The Rohilla State of Rampur was established by Nawab Faizullah Khan on 7 October 1774 in the presence of British Commander Colonel Champion, and remained a pliant state under British protection thereafter. The first stone of the new Fort at Rampur was laid in 1775 by Nawab Faizullah Khan. Originally it was a group of four villages named Kather, the name of Raja Ram Singh.
Nawab Kalb Ali Khan was literate in Arabic and Persian. Under his rule the state did much work to uplift standards of education. He was also a Member of Council during the Viceroyalty of Lord John Lawrence. He built the Jama Masjid in Rampur at a cost of Rs. 3 Lakhs. He was also knighted in Agra by the Prince of Wales. He ruled for 22 years and 7 months. After his death his son Mushtaq Ali Khan took over. He appointed W. C. Wright as the Chief Engineer of the estate. He built many new buildings and canals. Nawab Hamid Ali became the new ruler in 1889 at the age of 14. Many new schools were opened during his reign, and lots of donations were provided to nearby colleges. He donated Rs. 50,000 to Lucknow Medical College. In 1905 he built the magnificent Darbar Hall within the Fort which now houses the great collection of Oriental manuscripts held by the Rampur Raza Library. His son Raza Ali Khan became the last ruling Nawab in 1930. On 1 July 1949 the State of Rampur was merged into the Republic of India. Rampur today presents a slightly decayed appearance: the palaces of the Nawabs are crumbling, as are the gates and walls of the fort. However, the Library remains a flourishing institution of immense value to scholars from all over the world.
Important descendants of the Nawabs include Murad Mian the first child of Murtaza Ali Khan Bahadur of Rampur. Begum Noor Bano, the widow of the former Nawab, Zulfiquar Ali Khan of Rampur. Begum Noor Bano has become a politician and won the election from Rampur parliamentary constituency in 1999. She lost the elections in 2004 and 2009. Murtaza Ali Khan and Zulfiquar Ali Khan (aka Mikki Mia), who continued to use the title of Nawab as a token even after independence and abolition of royalty but never ruled Rampur, are now dead. Murtaza Ali contested an election from Rampur opposite his mother Rafat Jamani Begum in 1972 and won. Although the two brothers were always political rivals they never faced each other in elections. Raza Inter College, Hamid Inter College and Murtaza Inter College are three higher secondary schools named after three nawabs.