Viceroys of India

After the Government of India Act, 1858, the Governor-General was called Viceroy of India.



Lord Canning (AD 1857-1862)

  • First Viceroy of India
  • Proclamation of Queen Victoria and the Government of India Act, 1858.
  • He was appointed as Secretary of India.
  • Transfer of Indian administration to the British Crown.
  • Indian Council Act of 1861 was passed by which Central and Provincial Legislative Councils were established.
  • Official end of Dalhousie’s “Doctrine of Lapse” in 1859.
  • The Indian Penal Code  (1858), Code of Criminal Procedure (1859) and High Court Act (1861) were introduced.
  • Indigo Revolt (1859-60) by the Indigo farmers of Bengal.
  • Appointment of James Wilson as the first Finance member, who introduced the income tax.
  • Slavery was declared as illegal in India.

Lord John Lawrence (AD 1864-1869)

  • Establishment of High Court in Calcutta, Bombay and Madras in 1865.
  • Bhutan War (1865)

Lord Mayo(AD 1869-1872)

  • Established of Department of Agriculture and Commerce.
  • Decentralisation of Finance.
  • Establishment of Statistical Survey of India.
  • For the first time India a Census was held in 1871 but it was unsuccessful.
  • He was assassinated by a Pathan in Andaman.
  • Establishment of Mayo College in Ajmer and Rajkot College in Kathiawar for political training of Indian princes.

Lord Lytton (AD 1876-1880)

  • Parliament passed the Royal Titles Act of 1876 and Queen Victoria got the title ‘Empress of India’.
  • Vernacular Press Act of 1878 was passed. This act also called ‘Gagging Act’. Under this act, no Indian language newspaper can wrote/preach anything seditious if this is found to happen, then all the person related to newspaper may be arrest and the paper would be banned.
  • Lord Lytton held 1st Delhi Darbar in 1877, where the Queen was declared as ‘Kaiser-i- Hind’.
  • A Famine Committee was appointed under Sir Richard Stratchy.
  • The II Afghan War (1878-80).
  • The maximum age limit for candidates of Indian Civil Services (ICS) exams was lowered from 21 to 19 years.
  • The Arms Act (1878).

Lord Ripon (AD 1880-1884)

  • He was appointed by the liberal party under Gladstone.
  • The first Factory Act of 1881 to improve child labour conditions.
  • Repeal of the Vernacular Press Act, 1882 hence, Ripon known as ‘Liberator of Indian Press’.
  • The 1st organised (or Successful) Census  was held in 1881.
  • Appointment of the Hunter Commission on school education in 1882.
  • The IIbert controversy (1883-84). This Bill was prepared by the member of the Viceroy’s Council, Sir C.P IIbert. This bill suggested that Indian Judges can also try the cases of Europeans but this Bill was rejected and later on it was proved as immediate cause in the formation of Indian National Congress.
  • Local-self government Acts were passed in various Provinces during 1883 to 85.
  • Pt. Madan Mohan Malviya said “Ripon was the greatest and the most beloved Viceroy whom India has known”.

Lord Dufferin (AD 1884-1888)

  • Formation of the Indian National Congress in 1885.
  • Third Burmese War (annexation of Upper and Lower Burma, 1885)
  • A famous statement said by Dufferin about Congress ‘A Microscopic Minority’.

Lord Curzon (AD 1899-1905)

  • A Famine Commission was appointed under the Presidency of Sir Anthony MacDonnell.
  • The Indian Coinage and Paper Currency Act of 1899 introduced.
  • Appointment of Police Commission (1902) under Sir Andrew Frazer to review Police Administration.
  • He organized the 2nd Delhi Darbar in 1903.
  • He passed the Ancient Monuments Preservation Act, 1904 and also established the Archaeological Department.
  • The Partition of Bengal  on 16th October, 1905 (it was cardinal blunder of Curzon).
  • The result of this partition was the beginning of the Swadeshi Movement and Boycott of British goods.
  • About Curzon it was said that ‘Curzon knew the art of making enemies like James-II of England’.
  • Established of Department of Commerce and Industry.
  • A famous statement Curzon said about Congress was ‘Congress is tottering to its fall and I will give it a peaceful demise’.

Lord Minto-II (AD 1905-1910)

  • Morley- Minto Reforms (Indian Councils Act of 1909).
  • Muslim League was formed by Salimullah in 1906 at Dacca and Agha Khan was appointment as first president of League.
  • The partition of Bengal came into force on October 10, 1906.
  • Surat session and split in the Congress (1907)
  • Tilak sentenced to six years imprisonment on charge of sedition.
  • Execution of Khudiram Bose April 30, 1908.

Lord Hardinge-II (AD 1910-1916)

  • Partition of Bengal was reversed in 1911.
  • A grand Darbar (3rd Delhi Darbar) was held at Delhi in honour of King George V in 1911.
  • Capital of India shifted from Calcutta to Delhi.
  • Bomb thrown at convoy of Lord Hardinge on his entry into Delhi.
  • Ghadar Party formed at San Francisco and began the Ghadar Movements.
  • Establishment of Hindu Mahasabha by Madan Mohan Malviya in 1915.

Lord Chelmsford (AD 1916- 1921)

  • Lucknow  Session  of Congress (1916) and Lucknow Pact between the Congress and Muslim League (1916).
  • Formation of two Home Rule League by Tilak at Pune and by Annie Besant  at Adyar (near Madras) in 1916.
  • Arrival of M.K Gandhi and establishment of  Sabarmati Ashram .
  • Launch of Champaran Satyagarh (1917), Kheda Satyagrah (1918) and Satyagarh at Ahmedabad (1918).
  • Montagu’s August Declaration (1917)
  • The Government of India Act of 1919, which introduced diarchy in the Provinces.
  • Rowlatt Act, 1919 and the Jalianwala Bagh Massacre on 13th April, 1919.
  • Khilafat Movement (1919-1920) and Non-Cooperation (1920- 1922).
  • Formation of Saddler Commission  for education in 1917.
  • Appointment of S.P Sinha (First Indian to become a Governor) as Governor of Bihar.

Lord Reading (AD 1921-1926)

  • Formation of Communist Party of India in 1921 by M.N Roy in Tashkent.
  • Formation of Swaraj Party by C.R Das and Motilal Nehru 1922.
  • Violent incidents at Chauri- Chaura and Gandhi called off the Non-Cooperation Movement (1922).
  • Decision was taken to hold simultaneous examination s for the ICS both in Delhi and London with effect from 1923.
  • Formation of Rashtriya  Swayemsevak Sangh (RSS) in 1925.
  • Kakori train robbery in 1925.
  • Murder of Swami Shraddhanand in 1926
  • Moplah Rebellion in Kerala (Malabar Coast) in 1921.

Lord Irwin (AD 1926-1931)

  • Appointment of Simon Commission in 1927.
  • The Simon Commission came to India in 1928.
  • In 1928, Nehru Report recommends principles for the new Constitution of India.
  • In Lahore Session of 1929, Congress adopted the goal of Complete Independence for India.
  • Civil Disobedience Movement started in 1930.
  • M.K Gandhi began Dandi March to manufacture illegal salt on March 12th, 1930.
  • Gandhi-Irwin pact of 1931 and the suspension of Civil Disobedience Movement.
  • Pt. Jawaharlal  Nehru hoists the tricolour of Indian Independence on the Bank of river Ravi at Lahore on 1st January, 1930.
  • All India Youth Congress, formed in 1928.
  • Appointment of Harcourt Butler Indian States Commission in 1927.
  • First Round Table Conference in 1930.
  • Murder of Saunders, the ASP of Lahore.

Lord Willington (AD 1931-1936)

  • Second Round Table Conference in 1931.
  • Ramsay MacDonald announced the Communal Award (modified by the Poona Pact) in 1932.
  • Third Round Table Conference in 1932.
  • The Government of India Act, 1935 passed.
  • Launched of individual Civil Disobedience Movement in 1933.
  • Foundation of Congress Socialist Party, 1934.
  • Burma separated from India, 1935
  • All India Kisan Sabha, 1936.

Lord Linlithgow (AD 1936-1944)

  • First General Election (1936-1937)
  • Subhas Chandra  Bose elected as the President of Congress at the 51st session of Congress (1938)
  • Resignation of Subhas Chandra Bose in 1938 and formation of Forward Bloc.
  • Observation of Deliverance Day by Muslim League in 1939.
  • Divide and Quit slogan at the Karachi Session (1944) of the Muslim League.
  • August Offer, 1940.
  • Cripps Mission, 1942.
  • Quit India Movement, 1942.

Lord Wavell (AD 1944 -1947)

  • C.R. formula, 1944.
  • End of Second World War, 1945
  • Cabinet Mission, 1946 and acceptance of its proposals by Congress.
  • Direct Action Day by the Muslim League on the 16th August, 1946.
  • British Prime Minister Attlee’s announcement of 20th February 1947, that power would be transferred to the Indians by June, 1948.

Lord Mountbatten (AD 1947-1948)

  • Last British Viceroy of India
  • First Governor-General of India after Independence.
  • Announced the June 3, 1947 plan.
  • Indian Independence  Act of 1947 for the partition of India.
  • Partition of India and Pakistan’s coming into being on 14th August, 1947.
  • Appointment of two boundary commissions under Sir Cyril Radcliffe.

C. Rajagopalachari (AD 1948-1950)

  • The last Governor General of free India.
  • The only Indian Governor-General remained in office from 21st June, 1948 to 25th January, 1950.



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