Viceroys of India and significant Events in their rule

After the 1857 revolt, the company rule was abolished in India and the power came under the direct control of the British Crown. After the revolt  Government of India Act 1858 passed.

The Act of 1858 changed the name of the post-Governor General of India to Viceroy of India. The Viceroy was appointed directly by the British Government. The first viceroy was Lord Canning.

List of Viceroys of India

1. Lord Canning – 1858 to 1862

During the tenure of Lord Canning, the Government of India Act,1858 was passed which created the office of the viceroy to be the same person who was Governor General of India. Thus Lord canning was the last Governor-general of India and the first viceroy of India.

Important events during his tenure:

  • He served as the last governor-general during 1856- 57.
  • During his tenure, the Mutiny of 1857.
  • He was the first viceroy of India
  • The Government of India Act, 1858– Transfer of power to the Crown from East India Company.  
  • White mutiny by European troops -1859.
  • The Police Act of 1861, and
  •  Indian Council Act of 1861: introduced the portfolio system in India.
  • Indian civil services Act 1861

2. Lord Elgin I – 1862 to 63

  • Wahabi Movement 
  • He died after only 20 months in office.

3. Lord John Lawrence – 1864 to 1869

Important events during the tenure of Lawrence:

  • Bhutan war or Duar war– 1865-  (defeat of Bhutanese army), the ‘Treaty of Sinchula’ signed on 11 Nov. 1865.
  • Establishment of High court at Calcutta, Bombay, and Madras in 1865.
  • Orissa Famine 1866- Millions of people starved to death.
  • The submarine telegraphy system started in 1865.

4. Lord Mayo – 1869 to 1872

Important events during the tenure of Lord Mayo:

  • He started the process of decentralization of finance.
  • Followed the policy of non-intervention in foreign affairs.
  • Rajkot College in Kathiawar and Mayo college at Ajmer.
  • Statistical survey of India Established. India’s first census in 1871.
  • Department of Revenue, Agriculture, and commerce was established.
  • State railway introduced.
  • He was known for infrastructure 
  • He was murdered in office by a Pathan Sher Ali in Port Blair.

5. Lord Northbrook – 1872 to 76

  • Prince of Wales visit in 1875.
  • Trail of Gaekwar of Baroda.
  • The Kuka movement in Punjab.

6. Lord Lytton – 1876 to 1880

  • Famine (scarcity of food) of 1876-78, Under the presidency of Richard Strachey- appointment of Famine Commission in 1878.
  • Royal title Act of 1876- Queen Victoria assumed the title – ‘Kaiser-i-Hind ‘or ‘Queen Empress of India”. By this, the theory came that Britain would protect Indian states from internal as well as external problems.
  • The Vernacular Press Act of 1878.
  • The Arms Act- 1878.
  • The second afghan War 1878-1880.

7. Lord Ripon – 1880 to 1884

  • Vernacular Press Act Repealed in 1882.
  • For improving Labour conditions – The First Factory Act 1881.
  • Resolution of government on Local self-government -1882
  • Under chairman Sir William Hunter- Education Commission Appointed.
  • The controversy of Ilbert bill 1883-84.

8. Lord Dufferin – 1884 to 1888

  • Third Burmese War (1885-86)
  • Indian National Congress was established.

9. Lord Lansdowne – 1888 to 1894

  • Factory Act of 1891.
  • Civil services were categorized into imperial, provisional, and subordinate.
  • Indian Council Act-1892.
  • Durand commission – 1893- for defining the Durand line between India and Afghanistan, (now in between Pakistan and Afghanistan, it also touches a small portion of India in POK).  

10. Lord Elgin II – 1894 to 1899

  • Chapekar Brothers assassinated two British officials-1897.

11. Lord Curzon – 1899 t0 1905

  • To review Police administration- The Police commission was appointed in 1902 – Under Sir Andrew Frazer.
  • University Commission- 1902 and Indian Universities Act- 1904
  • Calcutta Corporation Act- 1899.
  • Ancient Monument Preservation Act-1904.
  • Partition of Bengal- 1905.
  • Curzon- Kitchener controversy.
  • Younghusband’s Mission to Tibet – 1904.

12. Lord Minto II – 1905 to 1910

  • Anti-partition and Swadeshi Movement Popularized.  
  • In the annual session of 1907, there was a split in Congress.
  • Aga Khan Established the Muslim league in 1906.

13. Lord Harding II – 1910 to 1916

  • Like Bombay and Madras, the Bengal Presidency was Created in 1911.
  • The Capital transferred from Calcutta to Delhi in 1911.
  • Madan Mohan Malaviya established Hindu Mahasabha in 1915.
  • Coronation durbar- King George V held in Delhi in 1911.

14. Lord Chelmsford – 1916 to 1921

  • Annie Besant and Tilak formed Home Rule Leagues in 1916.
  • Lucknow session of congress 1916.
  • Lucknow pact – between Congress and the Muslim League in 1916.
  • the foundation of Sabarmati Ashram – 1916.
  • Champaran Satyagraha – 1916
  • Kheda Satyagraha-1918.
  • Satyagraha at Ahmedabad- 1918.
  • Montague’s August Declaration- 1917.
  • Government of India Act- 1919.
  • Rowlett Act- 1919,
  • The Jallianwalla Bagh massacre- 1919.
  • Non-Cooperation and Khilafat Movement launched.
  • Saddler’s commission 1917-for reform in Educational Policy.
  • Death of Tilak – 1 August 1920.
  • First Indian Became a governor- S.P.Sinha appointed as Governor of Bihar.

15. Lord Reading – 1919 to 1926

  • The incidence of Chauri Chaura- February 5, 1922, and withdrawal of the non-  Cooperation Movement.
  • Moplah rebellion- Kerala in 1921.
  • Repeal of press Act 1910 and Rowlatt Act of 1919.
  • Robbery in Kakori train- 1925.
  • C.R Dass and Motilal Nehru established the Swaraj Party – in 1922.
  • Examination for ICS Both in London and Delhi came into effect in 1923.

16. Lord Irwin – 1926 to 1931

  • Simon commission in India- 1928.
  • For the suggestion (Frame) of the constitution of India, A conference of all parties was held at Lucknow in 1928, the report called Nehru Report.
  • Murder of Saunders, Bomb blast in Assembly hall of Delhi,1929
  • Purna Swaraj Resolution in 1929 in Lahore session of Congress.
  • Gandhi started Dandi March (12 March 1930), Launched the Civil Disobedience Movement.
  • “Deepavali Declaration” by Lord Irwin – 1929.
  • Gandhi – Irwin Pact- 1931 and the Civil Disobedience Movement suspended.

17. Lord Willingdon – 1931 to 1936

  • The second round table Conference (1931) failed and the Civil disobedience movement resumed.
  • Separate communal electorate setup.
  • Poona Pact 1932.
  • Third Round Table Conference 1932.
  • Individual Civil Disobedience- 1933.
  • The government of India Act of- 1935.
  • All India Kishan Sabha Established- 1936
  • Congress Socialist Party – 1934- By Acharya Narendra Dev and Jayaprakash Narayan.
  • Burma separated from India in 1935.

18. Lord Linlithgow – 1936 to 1944

  • Congress got an absolute majority in First General Election- 1936-37.
  • In the 51st session of congress (1938) Subhash Chandra Bose was elected as president of the congress.
  • August offer- 1940.
  • In 1940 – Winston Churchill was elected as prime minister of England.
  • Quit India Resolution- 1942 ( crips offer failed, Prominent leaders arrested)
  • “Divide and Quit” slogan at Karachi session -1944, of Muslim League.

19. Lord Wavell – 1944 to 1947

  • C.R Formula- 1944, (Gandhi and Jinnah Talk Failed as Jinnah rejected the offer because he wanted congress to accept the two-nation theory).
  • Wavell Plan (Shimla Conference- June 1945)
  • End of the second world war in 1945.
  • Cabinet Mission (May 1946).
  • ‘Direct Action Day’- 16 August 1946, also called 1946 “Calcutta killings” by the Muslim league.
  • The interim Government was formed by Congress in September 1946. (September 2, 1946- August 15, 1947.)
  • The end of British Rule in India was announced on February 20, 1947- by Clement Attlee (PM of England).  

20. Lord Mountbatten – 1947 to 1948

  • Indian Independence Bill introduced in House of commons.
  • The Boundary Commission was appointed under Sir Cyril Redcliff for partition.

You can also read: List of Governors general  of India 

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