Mehdi Hasan Khan

Other names: 

Mahdi Hasan Khan Fath Nawaz Jung

Date of birth: 
01 Jan 1852
Precise DOB unknown: 
City of birth: 
Fathpur (30 miles from Lucknow)
Country of birth: 
Date of death: 
20 Jan 1904
Date of 1st arrival in Britain: 
14 Mar 1888
Dates of time spent in Britain: 

14 March - 29 September 1888


Mehdi Hasan Khan was a Hyderabadi Civil Servant of Lucknow Origin. Born in around 1852, he met and married Ellen Gertrude Donnelly, the daughter of the Irish Resident of Lucknow. In 1883, he got a job in Hyderabad and became Chief Justice in 1886. In 1887 he was given the title Fath Nawaz Jung by the Nizam.

In 1888 he was deputed by the Nizam to travel to London regarding a case involving the Hyderabad (Deccan) Mining Company. During his time in Britain, Khan wrote a diary of observations. This was first partly published in a few edited extracts by Mary Hobhouse in the Indian Magazine in 1890. It was then also published for private circulation in 1890.

Associated with Sayyid Ahmad Khan and the Aligarh College, Khan arrived in England with introductions to relatives and colleagues of English officials. He was received in London by Theodore Beck's sister and invited to a 'drawing room' held by Queen Victoria in Buckingham Palace on 9 May 1888. The diaries deal with his visits to various landmarks and towns in England, the people he met and also provide some social commentary on British life.


Lord and Lady Hobhouse, Miss E. A. Manning, Lord Northbrook.

Involved in events: 

Annual Cutlers' Feast at the Cutlers' Hall, Sheffield, 6 September 1888 [see The Times, 7 September 1888]

Published works: 

Extracts from the Diary of the Nawab Mehdi Hasan Khan Fathah Nawaj Jung (London: Talbot Bros, 1890)


Hobhouse, Mary, 'London Sketched by an Indian Pen', Indian Magazine 230 (February 1890), pp. 61-73

Hobhouse, Mary, 'Further Sketches by an Indian Pen', Indian Magazine 231 (March 1890), pp. 139-49

Daily News, 4 February 1890 (review of Hobhouse's article).

Secondary works: 

Khalidi, Omar (ed.), An Indian Passage to Europe: The Travels of Fath Nawaj Jang (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2006)


From Preface to Extracts from the Diary of the Nawab Mehdi Hasan Khan Fathah Nawaj Jung (London: Talbot Bros, 1890) pp. 3-4.


My main objects in projecting a visit to England were to study the question of difference of nationality, to see the broad principles, political and social, wherein the Indian races differ from the English, to see how far we can meet on a common ground, to study minutely the institutions and customs of England, and to form some opinion as to the class of people that we get to rule us.