❖   Important Viceroys & Governor-General of British India

Governor Generals of Bengal (1972 – 1833)

1)  Warren Hastings (1773 – 1785)

  1. Founded the Asiatic Society of Bengal with William Jones in 1784.
  2. Abolished the Dual Government in Bengal in 1772.
  3. The Regulating Act of 1773 appointed him the first Governor General of Bengal.

2)   Lord Cornwallis (1786 – 1793)

  1. He introduced Permanent Settlement (land revenue) in 1793.
  2. Cornwallis Code = Separations of powers (executive & judiciary).

3)  Lord Wellesley (1793 – 1798)

  1. Known as Bengal Tiger.
  2. Introduced the system of Subsidiary Alliance (A policy that was made to govern all princely states of India)

Nizam Ali (Nizam 0f Hyderabad) first native ruler of India to adopt this subsidiary alliance.

  1. Created the Madras Presidency.

4) Lord Minto (1807 – 1813)

  1. Treaty of Amritsar in 1809, between Ranjit Singh & the English.
  2. Charter Act of 1813 was passed.

5) Lord Francis Hastings (1813 – 1823)

  1. Win the 3rd Anglo – Maratha War (1817 – 1818)
  2. Introduced the Ryotwari System ( Land Revenue)
  1. Mahalwari System (Land Revenue) was introduced in North – West Province by James Thomson.

Governor – Generals of India (1833 – 1857)

1)  Lord William Bentinck (1828 – 1835)

  1. Charter Act of 1833 (Made Governor – General of Bengal to Governor General of India)
  2. Banned practice of Sati in 1829.
  3. Banned Female Infanticide.
  4. Made English to be court language in higher court but Persian continued in Lower Courts.

2) Sir Charles Metcalfe (1835 – 1836)

i. Abolished restriction on press that’s why he is known as Liberator of press.

3) Lord Dalhousie (1849 – 1856)

  1. Abolished Files & Pensions, Introduction of Window Remarriage Bill (Nov 17, 1855)
  2. 2nd Anglo-Sikh War (1848 – 1848).
  3. ‘Doctrine of Lapse’ introduced & annexed Satara, Jhansi, Nagpur & many other cities.
  4. 1st Railway line in 1853 from Bombay to Thane.
  5. In 1853, started the recruitment of the Civil Service by Competitive Examination.
  6. Introduction of “Telegraph”.
  7. 1st Engineer College “Imperial College of Engineer” in Roorkee nowadays it is known as IIT – Roorkee.

Viceroys of India (1858 – 1947)

After, 1857 revolt an India Act of 1858 gave power to the British Government from East India Company. Queen of Britain became the Queen of India. Queen Victoria became the Queen of India. That changed the name from Governor-General to India to Viceroy of India.

1) Lord Canning (1858 – 1862)

  1. Withdrawal of the ‘Doctrine of Lapse’.
  2. Foundation of Universities of Calcutta, Bombay and Madras in 1857.
  3. Indigo Revolt in Bengal in 1859 – 1860.
  4. Indigo Councils of Act in 1861.

2) Lord Elgin I (1863 – 1863)

3) Sir John Lawrence (1864 – 1869)

  1. High Courts were established at Calcutta, Bombay and Madras in 1865.
  2. Created Indian forest Department (1864) & appointed Dr. Dietrich Brandis, a German forest officer inspector general of forests in 1866. Imperial Forest Service was constituted in 1867. India Forest College established in 1938 at Dehra Dun.

4) Lord Maya (1869 – 1872)

  1. 1st Time in Indian History, a census was held in 1872.
  2. Organised the Statistical Survey of India.
  3. Established the Rajkot at Kathiarwar & Maya College at Ajmer for Indian princes.
  4. Only Viceroy murdered in office in Andamans in 1872.

5) Lord Northbrook (1872 – 1876)

6) Lord Lytton (1876 – 1880)

i. Queen Victoria was declared as the Kaisar – i – Hind.

7) Lord Ripon (1880 – 1884)

  1. Passing of the first factory act in 1881 for the welfare of child labour.
  1. Repeal of Vernacular Press Act in 1882. (He abolished all the restrictions on the print of local newspaper, Vernacular – local language).
  2. Foundation of the Local Self – Government (1882)
  3. Holding of the first decennial & regular census in 1881 which put the total population at 254 million.
  4. Education Commission under Sir William Hunter in 1882.
  5. The Ilbert Bill Controversy.

8)   Lord Dufferin (1884 – 1888)

i. Foundation of Indian National Congress (A.O. Hume Founder of INC)

9)   Lord Lansdowne (1888 – 1894)

i. Appointment of Durand Commission to define the line between British India & Afghanistan (1893)

10)   Lord Elgin II (1894 – 1899)

  1. The Munda Uprising (Birsa Munda) of 1899.
  2. Great femine of 1896 – 1897.
  3. Assassination of two British officials – Rend Amherst by Chapeker Brothers in 1897.

11) Lord Curzon (1899 – 1905)

  1. Partition of Bengal 1905.
    1. Creation of a new province called the North – West frontier province.
    1. Passed the Indian Coinage & paper currency act (1899) & put India on a gold standard.

12) Lord Minto (1905 – 1910)

  1. The Indian Council act of 1909 or the Morley – Minto Reforms was passed.
    1. Extremists like Lala Lajpat Rai & ajit singh (in may 1907) & Bal Gangadhar Tilak (in July, 1908) were sent to Mandalay jail in Burma.

13) Lord Hardinge (1910 – 1916)

  1. Partition of Bengal cancelled.
  2. Delhi Durbar held in 1911 in honour of George V.
  3. Bihar & Odisha separated from Bengal on 1st April 1912.
  4. Capital shifted from Kolkata to New Delhi in 1912.
  5. Bomb thrown on him, This case is known as “Delhi Conspiracy Case” or “Delhi Lahore Conspiracy Case” or “Hardinge Bomb Case”.

“Basant Kumar Biswas, Amir Chand and Avadh Behari were convicted & executed.

  • Gandhiji came back to India from South Africa (1915).
  • Annie Besant announced the Home Ruled Movement.

14) Lord Chelmsford (1916 – 1921)

  1. Rowlett Act passed 1919.
  2. Jallianwala Bagh Massacre (13 April, 1919).
  3. August Declaration of 1917, whereby control over the Indian government would be gradually transferred to the Indian people.
  4. The government of India Act in 1919 (Montague Chelmsford Reforms) was passed.
  5. Non – Cooperation Movement.
  6. A Women’s University was founded at Poona in 1916.

15)         Lord Reading (1921 – 1926)

  1. Prince of Wales visited India in November, 1921.
  2. Moplah Rebellian, 1921 (also known Malabar Rebellian extended version of Khilafat Movement in Kerala in 1921, After some time it took the shape of communal violence).
  3. Formation of Swaraj Party.
  4. Communist Party was founded in 1921 by M.N.Roy.
  5. Kakory Train robbery on August 9, 1925.
  6. Swami Sharddhanand, a great nationlist & a leader of the Arya Samajists, was murdered in a communal argy.

16) Lord Irwin (1926 – 1931)

  1. Simon Commission visited India in 1928.
    1. Congress Passed the Indian Resolution in 1929. (Demand of Poorn Swaraj in Lahore Session, 1929)
    1. Dandi March (March 12, 1930).
    1. Civil Disobedience Movement (1930).
    1. 1st Round Fable Conference held in England in 1930. (Gandhiji didn’t participate)
    1. Gandhi – Irwin Pact (March 5, 1931) was signed and civil – disobedience Movement was withdrawn.
    1. Martydorm of Jatin Das after 64 days hunger strike (1929).

17)   Lord Willington (1931 – 1936)

  1. 2nd Round Fable Conference in London in 1931. (Gandhiji participated in it)
  2. On his return Gandhiji was again arrested & civil disobedience Movement was resumed in Jan, 1932.
  3. Poona Pact was signed between Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. B.R.Ambedkar reached on 25th Sept 1932.
  4. Third Round Fable Conference in 1932 in Britain, Congress was not invited. Chaudhary Rehmat Ali proposed the name of a new land specially carved out from India for this Muslims as “Pakistan”.
  5. Government of India Act (1935) was passed.

18)   Lord Lin Lithgow (1936 – 1944)

  1. Remain Viceroy for Eight years.
  2. Outbreak of World War II.
  3. Vripps Mission in 1942 (Sir Stafford Crips was sent to India togain their support in Second World War.) This mission was failed.
  4. Quit India Movement (August 8, 1942)

19) Lord Wavell (1943 – 1947)

  1. Wavell Plan (Known as Breakdown Plan) in 1945.
  2. Arranged the Shimla Conference on June 25, 1945 with Indian National Congress & Muslim League, failed.
  1. Cabinet Mission Plan (May 16, 1946). This mission was successful. As it draw a machinery to the constitution of Independent India; make arrangement for interim government; like a declaration for India’s Independence.
  2. Elections to the constituent assembly were held & an Interim Government under J.L.Nehru.
  3. First meeting of constituent assembly was held on December 9, 1946.

20) Lord Mountbetten (March 1947 – August 1947

  1. Last Viceroy of British India & first Governor General of free India.
  2. Partition of India decided by the June 3 Plan.
  3. Indian Independence Day Act passed by the British Parliament on July 4, 1947 , by which India became Independent on August 15, 1947.
  4. Retired in June 1948 & was succeeded by C.Rajagopalachari (the first & last Indian Governor General of free Indian.)


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