Viceroys or Governor in India |History-12 (2023)

Lord Canning (1856 – 1862)

  • The last Governor General and the first Viceroy.
  • Mutiny took place in his time.
  • On November, 1858, the rule passed on to the crown.
  • Withdrew Doctrine of Lapse.
  • The Universities of Calcutta, Bombay and Madras were established in 1857.
  • Indian Councils Act was passed in 1861.

Lord Elgin (1862 – 1863)

Lord Lawrence (1864 – 1869)

  • Telegraphic communication was opened with Europe.
  • High Courts were established at Calcutta, Bombay and Madras in 1865.
  • Expanded canal works and railways.
  • Created the Indian Forest department.

Lord Mayo (1869 – 1872)

  • Started the process of financial decentralization in India.
  • Established the Rajkot college at Kathiarwar and Mayo College at Ajmer for the Indian princes.
  • For the first time in Indian history, a census was held in 1871.
  • Organised the Statistical Survey of India.
  • Was the only Viceroy to be murdered in office by a Pathan convict in the Andamans in 1872.

Lord Northbrook (1872 – 1876)

Lord Lytton (1876 – 1880)

  • Known as the Viceroy to reverse characters.
  • Organised the Grand ‘Delhi Durbar’ in 1877 to decorate Queen Victoria with the title of ‘Kaiser I Hind’.
  • Arms act (1878) made it mandatory for Indians to acquire license for arms.
  • Passed the infamous Vernacular Press act (1878).

Lord Ripon (1880 – 1884)

  • Liberal person, who sympathized with Indians.
  • Repeated the Vernacular Press act (1882)
  • Passed the local self government act (1882)
  • Took steps to improve primary & secondary education (on William Hunter Commission’s recommendations).
  • The I Factory act, 1881, aimed at prohibiting child labour.
  • Passed the libert Bill (1883) which enabled Indian district magistrates to try European criminals. But this was withdrawn later.

Lord Dufferin (1884 – 1888)

Indian National Congress was formed during his tenure.

Lord Lansdowne (1888 – 1894)

  • II Factory act (1891) granted a weekly holiday and stipulated working hours for women and children, although it failed to address concerns such as work hours for men.
  • Categorization of Civil Services into Imperial, Provincial and Subordinate.
  • Indian Council act of 1892 was passed.
  • Appointment of Durand Commission to define the line between British India and Afghanistan.

Lord Elgin II (1894 – 1899)

Great famine of (1896 – 1897)
Lyall Commission was appointed.

Lord Curzon (1899 – 1905)

  • Passed the Indian Universities act (1904) in which official control over the Universities was increased.
  • Partitioned Bengal (October 16, 1905) into two provinces Bengal (proper) & East Bengal & Assam.
  • Appointed a Police Commission under Sir Andrew Frazer to enquire into the police administration of every province.
  • The risings of the frontier tribes in 1897 – 98 led him to create the North Western Frontier Province (NWFP).
  • Passed the Ancient Monuments Protection act (1904), to restore India’s cultural heritage. Thus the Archaeological Survey of India was established.
  • Passed the Indian Coinage and Paper Currency act (1899) and put India on a gold standard.
  • Extended railways to a great extent.

Lord Minto (1905 – 1910)

  • There was great political unrest in India. Various acts were passed to curb the revolutionary activities. Extremists like Lala Laipat Rai and Ajit Singh (in May, 1907) and Bal Gangadhar Tilak (in July, 1908) were sent to Mandalay jail in Burma.
  • The Indian Council act of 1909 or the Morley Minto Reforms was passed.

Lord Hardinge (1910 – 1916)

  • Held a durbar in December, 1911 to celebrate the coronation of King George V.
  • Partition of Bengal was cancelled (1911), capital shifted from Calcutta to Delhi (1911).
  • A bomb was thrown at him; but he escaped unhurt (December 23, 1912).
  • Gandhiji came back to India from South Africa (1915).
  • Annie Besant announced the Home Rule Movement.

Lord Chelmsford (1916 – 1921)

  • August Declaration of 1917, whereby control over the Indian government would be gradually transferred to the Indian people.
  • The government of India act in 1919 (Montague Chelmsford reforms) was passed.
  • Rowlatt act of 1919; Jallianwala Bagh Massacre (April 13, 1919).
  • Non Cooperation Movement.
  • An Indian Sir S.P.Sinha was appointed the Governor of Bengal.
  • A Women’s university was founded at Poona in 1916.
  • Saddler Commission was appointed in 1917 to envisage new educational policy.

Lord Reading (1921 – 1926)

  • Rowlatt act was repeated along with the Press act of 1910.
  • Suppressed non – cooperation movement.
  • Prince of Wales visited India in November, 1921.
  • Moplah rebellion (1921) took place in Kerala.
  • Ahmedabad session of 1921.
  • Formation of Swaraj Party.
  • Vishwabharati University started functioning in 1922.
  • Communist part was founded in 1921 by M.N. Roy.
  • Kakory Train Robbery on August 9, 1925.
  • Communal riots of 1923 – 25 in Multan, Amritsar, Delhi, etc.
  • Swami Shraddhanand, a great nationalist and a leader of the Arya Samajists, was murdered in communal orgy.

Lord Irwin (1926 – 1931)

  • Simon Commission visited India in 1928.
  • Congress passed the Indian Resolution in 1929.
  • Dandi March (March 12, 1930).
  • Civil Disobedience Movement (1930).
  • First Round Table Conference held in England in 1930.
  • Gandhi Irwin Pact (March 5, 1931) was signed and Civil Disobediance Movement was withdrawn.
  • Martydorm of Jatin Das after 64 days hunger strike (1929).

Lord Willington (1931 – 1936)

  • Second Round Table conference in London in 1931.
  • On his return Gandhiji was again arrested and Civil Disobedience Movement was resumed in January, 1932.
  • Communal Awards (August 16, 1932) assigned seats to different religious communities. Gandhiji went on a epic fast in protest against this division.
  • Third Round Table conference in 1932.
  • Poona Pact was signed.
  • Government of India act (1935) was passed.

Lord Linlithgow (1936 – 1944)

  • Government of India act enforced in the provinces. Congress ministries formed in 8 out of 11 provinces. They remained in power for about 2 years till October 1939, when they gave up offices on the issue of India having been dragged into the II World War. The Muslim League observed the days as ‘Deliverance Say’ (22 December)
  • Churchill became the British PM in May, 1940. He declared that the Atlantic Charter (issued jointly by the UK and US, stating to give sovereign rights to those who have been forcibly deprived of them) does not apply to India.
  • Outbreak of World War II in 1939.
  • Cripps Mission in 1942.
  • Quit India Movement (August 8, 1942).

Lord Wavell (1944 – 1947)

  • Arranged the Shimla Conference on June 25, 1945 with Indian National Congress and Muslim League; failed.
  • Cabinet Mission Plan (May 16, 1946).
  • Elections to the constituent assembly were held and an Interim Government was appointed under Nehru.
  • First meeting of the constituent assembly was held on December 9, 1946.

Lord Mountbatten (March 1947 – August 1947)

  • Last Viceroy of British India and the first Governor General of free India.
  • Partition of India decided by the June 3 Plan.
  • Indian Independence Act passed by the British parliament on July 4, 1947, by which India became independent on August 15, 1947.
  • Retried in June 1948 and was succeeded by C. Rajagopalachari (the first and the last Indian Governor General of free India).

Warren Hastings Plan 1772 – 1785

  • Brought the Dual Govt, of Bengal to an end by the Regulating Act, 1773.
  • Deprived zamindars of their judicial powers and Civil and Criminal courts were established.
  • Maintenance of records was made compulsory.
  • The First Anglo – Maratha War (1776 – 82), which ended with the Treaty of Salbai (1782), and the Second Anglo – Mysore War (1780 – 84), which ended with the Treaty of Mangalore (1784), were fought during Hasting’s period.
  • As a great patron of oriental learning, he founded the Asiatic Society of Bengal with William Jones in 1784. He wrote introduction to the first English translation of “The Gita” by Charles Wilkins.
  • Impeachment proceedings started against him when he returned on the charges of taking bribe. After a trial of 7 years, he was finally acquitted.

Note : Sir John MacPherson was made the acting Governor – General from 1785 to 1786.

Lord Cornwallis (1786 – 1793)

  • Did the Permanent Settlement of Bengal (also called Zamindary System).
  • First person to codify laws. The code separated the revenue administration from the administration of justice.
  • Police Reforms : Each district was divided into 400 sq. miles and placed under a police superintendent assisted by constables.
  • The civil service was brought into existence.

Sir John Shore History (1793 – 1798)

Lord Wellesley (1798 – 1805)

  • Adopted the policy of Subsidiary Alliance a system to keep the Indian rulers under control and to make the British the paramount power.
  • He defeated the Mysore force under Tipu Sultan in the Fourth Anglo – Mysore War in 1799.

Subsidiary Alliance in India:

  • The Subsidiary Alliance System was used by Weilesley to bring Indian Slates within the orbit the British political power. The system played a very important part in the expansion of ll Company’s dominionsand many new territories were added to the Company’s possessions.
  • There were four stages in it. In the first stage, the Company undertook to lend its, friendly Indian prince to assist him in his wars, in the second stage, the Company’s troops tot the field on their own account with the assistance of an Indian ally who made common; them.

The next stage was reached when the Indian ally was not to supply men but money. The company undertook to raise, train and equip an. army under English officers and rende to the ally a fixed number of troops on receiving a sum of money towards the cost of these troop Tire final stage was the next logical step.
The Company undertook to defend the territories of an Indian ally and for that purpose stationed a subsidiary force in the territory of the state. 11 Indian ally was asked not to pay money but surrender territory from the revenue of which tl expenses of the subsidiary force were to be met.

  • The Indian states were to conduct negotiations with other states through the Company. The ste was to accept a British Resident at its headquarters. The Alliance enabled the Company maintain a large standing army at the expense of Indian princes. It disarmed the Indian states ai threw British protectorate over them.
  • The states that accepted this policy were the Nizam of Hyderabad, the ruler of Mysore, the Raja Tanjore, the Nawab of Awadh, the Feshwa, the Bhonsle Raja of Berar, the Scindia, the Rajputs Jodhpur, Jaipur, etc.

Land Revenue System in India:
Permanent Settlement (The Zamindari System)

  • Introduced in Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and districts of Banaras and Northern districts of Madras by Lord Cornwallis in 1793.
  • John Shore planned this.
  • It declared Zamindars as the owners of the land. Hence, they could keep 1/11th of the revenue collected to themselves while the British got a fixed share of 10/11th of the revenue collected. The Zamindars were free, to fix the rent.
  • Assured of their ownership, many Zamindars stayed in towns (absentee landlordism) and exploited their tenants.

Ryotwari System in India:

  • Introduced in Bombay, Madras and Assam. Lord Munro and Charles Reed recommended it.
  • In this, a direct settlement was made between the govt, and the ryot (cultivator).
  • The revenue was fixed for a period not exceeding 30 years, on the basis of the quality of the soil and the nature of the crop. It was based on the scientific rent theory of Ricardo.
  • The position of the cultivator became more secure but the rigid system of revenue collection often forced him into the clutches of the money – lender.

Mahalwari System in India:

  • Modified version of Zamindari settlement introduced in the Ganges valley, NWFR parts of Central India and Punjab. Revenue settlement was to be made by village or estate with landlords. In Western UR a settlement was made with the village communities, which maintained a form of common ownership known as Bhaichara, or with Mahals, which were groups of villages.
  • Revenue was periodically revised.

George Barlow (1805 – 1807)

Lord Minto I (1807 – 1813)

  • Concluded the treaty of Amritsar with Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1809).
  • Charter Act of 1813 was passed.

Lord Hasting (1813 – 1823)

The Anglo-Nepal War (1814 – 16) was fought during his reign which ended with the Treaty of Sagauli (1816).
Lord Amherst (1823 – 1828)

Lord William Bentinck History (1828-1835)

  • Carried out the social reforms like Prohibition of Sari (1829) and elimination of thugs (1830).
  • Made English the medium ofhighereducation inthe country (Afterthe recommendations of Macaulay).
  • Suppressed female infanticide and child sacrifice.
  • Charter Act of 1833 was passed; made him the first Governor General of India. Before him, the designation was Governor General of Bengal.

Sir Charles Mercalfe (1835 – 1836)

Abolished all restrictions on vernacular press (called Liberator of the Press).

Lord Auckland (1836 – 1842)

The most important event of his reign was the First Afghan War, which proved to be a disaster for the English.
Lord Ellenborough (1842 – 1844)
Lord Hardinge I (1844 – 1848)

Lord Dalhousie Reforms (1848 – 1856)

  • Opened the first Indian Railway in 1853 (from Bombay to Thane).
  • Laid out the telegraph lines in 1853 (First was from Calcutta to Agra).
  • Introduced the Doctrine of Lapse and captured Satara (1848), Jaipur and Sambhalpur (1849), Udaipur (1852), Jhansi (1854) and Nagpur (1854) through it.
  • Established the postal system on the modern lines through the length and breadth of the country, which made communication easier.
  • Started the Public Works Department. Many bridges were constructed and the work on Grand Trunk Road was started. The harbors of Karachi, Bombay and Calcutta were also developed.

Lord Dalhousie Doctrine of Lapse : The Doctrine of Lapse was an annexation policy devised by Lord Dalhousie. According to the Doctrine, any princely state or territory under the direct influence (paramountcy) of the British East India Company, as a vassal state under the British Subsidiary System, would automatically be annexed if the ruler was either “manifestly incompetent or died without a direct heir”.
The company took over the princely states of Satara (1848), Jaipur and Sambalpur (1849), Nagpur and Jhansi (1854) and Awadh (Oudh) (1856) using the Doctrine. The Doctrine is thought to be one of the major driving forces behind the Revolt of 1857.

  • Made Shimla the summer capital.
  • Started Engineering College at Roorkee.
  • Encouraged science, forestry, commerce, mineralogy and industry.
  • In 1854, “Wood’s Dispatch’ was passed, which provided for the properly articulated system of education from the primary school to the university.
  • Due to Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar’s efforts, remarriage of widows was legalized by Widow Remarriage Act, 1856).
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