Governors- General of British India




Warren Hastings (AD 1772-1785)

  • He succeeded Clive in 1772 and became the first Governor of Bengal  for two years and in 1774, after enactment of Regulating Act in 1773, he became enactment the first Governor-General of Bengal.
  • He passed  the Regulating Act of 1773 and also end the dual system of administration in 1772 set up by Clive.
  • Appointment of collectors to manage  revenue and justice related to revenue affairs.
  • Transfer of treasury from Murshidabad to Calcutta.
  • The Supreme Court was set up at Calcutta in 1774 and Calcutta Madarasa in 1781.
  • The Rohilla war between the Rohillas and Nawab of Awadh (1774).
  • The first Anglo-Maratha war (1775-82) and the Treaty of Salbai in 1782.
  • Pitt’s India Act of 1784
  • Foundation of Asiatic Society of Bengal with William Jones in 1784. It was established due to the rising  interest of Englishmen into Indian Culture.
  • Strained relationships with Chait Singh, the  Maharaja of Benaras, which led to Hastings subsequent impeachment in England under the charge of taking bribes but later  he was acquitted. He was the only Governor- General against him impeachment proceeding were done.
  • First English translation of Bhagwadagita was done by Charles Wilkins and the introduction was written by Warren Hastings.

Lord Cornwallis ( AD 1786-1793)

  • Established lower grade courts and Appellate Courts.
  • District judge post started.
  • The Third Anglo-Mysore war (1789-92) and the Treaty of Seringapatam in 1792
  • To suppress the bribery,he increase the salaries of the employees of the company and police officers.
  • In 1791-92,Sanskrit college was established in Varanasi by Jonathan Duncan.
  • Introduction of the permanent settlement in Bengal and Bihar in 1793.
  • Introduction of the Cornwallis Code on the basis of  distribution of powers in 1793.

Sir John Shore (AD 1793-1798)

  • Famous for his policy of non-intervention.
  • Charter Act of 1793
  • Battle of Kharda between Nizam and Marathas (AD 1795)

Lord Wellesley (AD 1798-1805)

  • Introduction of Subsidiary Alliance  System in AD 1798, to bring Indian States under the control of British political power. He converted British Empire in India  into British Empire of India because he covered largest area.
  • The fourth Anglo-Mysore War (AD 1799)
  • Treaty of Bassein between Baji Rao II and the  English (AD1801)
  • The Second Anglo-Maratha War (AD 1803-1805)
  • The first Subsidiary treaty was signed with the Nizam of Hyderabad in AD 1798 and 1800 followed by Tanjore (AD 1799), Awadh (AD 1801), Bhosle (AD 1803), Gwalior (AD 1804), Indore (AD 1817) and Udaipur, Jaipur & Jodhpur (AD 1818)
  • Formation of Madras Presidency in AD 1801
  • He described himself as Bengal Tiger.
  • He founded the Fort William College at Calcutta

Lord Hastings (AD 1813-1823)

  • Ended the policy of Non-Intervention
  • Military operations against Pindaris (AD 1817- 1818)
  • The third Anglo-Maratha War (AD 1816-1818)
  • Abolition of Peshwaship and annexation of all his territories in AD 1818.
  • Creation of Bombay Presidency in AD 1818
  • By 1818, all the Indian territories excepting the Punjab and Sindh had been brought under British control.
  • Gurkha War or The Anglo-Nepal War (AD 1814-1816) and the Treaty of Sagauli.
  • He abolished the Censorship of press.
  • Established of the Ryotwari System in Madras by the Governor Thomas Munro.
  • The Ryotwari & Mahalwari System introduced in Bombay by the Governor Elphinstone.
  • In the North-Western  Provinces the Mahalwari System was introduced.

Lord William Bentinck (AD 1828-1835)

  • He was appointed as the governor General of Bengal from AD 1828 to 1833 but after enactment of the Charter Act of 1833, he became first Governor General of India. He was also known as the liberal Governor-General.
  • He was famous for the social reforms  such as abolition of sati (AD 1829) with the help of Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Suppression of Thugi (AD 1830) and suppression of infanticide and child sacrifices.
  • Randhakant Deb opposed abolition of Sati Pratha.
  • Macaulay report on English language accepted as the  official language of India, after recommendations of Macaulay. This report was based on downward filtration (it means teach further many more).
  • Opium trade was regularised, licensed and duty paid.
  • Salaries of Civil Servants were reduced along with the Bhatta of Military officers.
  • In higher Courts, Persian was replaced by English as the Court language.
  • He established the first Medical College in Calcutta.
  • Annexation of Mysore (AD 1831), Kachar (AD 1834) and Coorg (AD 1834).

Lord Charles Metcalfe ( AD 1835-1836)

  • He is called as ‘Liberator of the Indian Press’, as he removed all the restrictions on the press in India.

Lord Dalhousie ( AD 1848-1856)

  • He introduced ‘Doctrine of Lapse’  for annexing the dependent States whose ruler died without a natural heir to succeed him.
  • Some important Indian States viz. Satara (AD 1848), Jhansi (AD 1853), Jaitpur & Sambhalpur (AD 1854) and Nagpur (AD 1854) were annexed by the  enforcement of the Doctrine of Lapse.
  • He also introduced Doctrine of Good of Governed under which Awadh (AD 1856) and Punjab (AD 1849) were annexed.
  • Charles Wood’s Dispatch on Indian education was accepted, which is called  MagnaCarta  of British Education.
  • Railway minutes of 1853 and laying down  of first railway  line connecting Bombay and Thane in 1853.
  • Post Office Act, 1854 was passed and first time postage stamps were issued and Postal and Telegram System was established.
  • The first telegraph  line laid between Calcutta to Agra.
  • He established  Public Work Department. The objective behind the formation of this department was construction and maintenance  of Canals, roads, bridges, etc.
  • Second Anglo-Sikh War (AD 1848-49) and annexation of Punjab in 1849.
  • Abolition of titles and pensions.
  • Shimla became the summer capital of India and permanent headquarters army.
  • Competitive  examination for Indian Civil Services were started.
  • Headquarters of Bengal Artillery were  shifted from  Calcutta to Meerut.
  • An Engineering College was established at Roorkee..
  • The Charter Act of 1853 passed.
  • Widow Remarriage Act (AD 1856): The main contributor to pass this act was Ishwar Chandra Vidhyasagar.


Lord Canning (AD 1856-1857)

  • Universities of Bombay, Calcutta and Madras were set up in 1857.
  • The revolt of 1857.

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