Viceroys and Important Events


After 1857 revolt, British Government passed Government of India act 1858. This act created office of viceroy in the place of Governor-General of India
Important event/contribution Name of the viceroy
First Viceroy of India Lord Canning
Introduction of Portfolio system Lord Canning
Introduction of Financial decentralization Lord Mayo
The first census was conducted during Lord Mayo
Father of Local government in India Lord Rippon
Passage of Vernacular press act Lord Lytton
Partition of Bengal Lord Curzon
Shifting of capital from Calcutta to Delhi Lord Hardinge
Jallianwala Bagh massacre & Rowlatt act Lord Chelmsford
Visit of Simon commission Lord Irwin
Arrival of Cripps Mission Lord Linlithgow
Arrival of Cabinet mission Lord Wavell
Last Viceroy of India Lord Mountbatten

Lord Canning: (1858-1862)

Lord Canning was the first viceroy of India. Some of the important events during his reign are
  • 1857 revolt was happened during his tenure he was able to suppress successfully 
  • Indian Councils Act, 1861 was passed. This act introduced portfolio system in India. 
  • He withdraw “Doctrine of Lapse” which was introduced by Lord Dalhousie 
  • Canning also introduced Code of Criminal Procedure. 

Lord Lawrence: (1864-1869)

Two important events happened during his tenure
  • High Courts were established at Calcutta, Bombay and Madras in 1865. 
  • Indian Forest Department was created 

LORD MAYO (1869 – 1872)

  • He started the process of financial decentralization in India. 
  • A census was held in 1871 during the tenure of Lord Mayo. It is the first census conducted in the history of India. 
  • He also organised the Statistical Survey of India. 
  • Mayo was the only Viceroy to be murdered in office by a Pathan convict in the Andamans in 1872. 

LORD LYTTON (1876 – 1880)

  • He was also known as the Viceroy to reverse characters. 
  • He Organised the Grand ‘Delhi Durbar’ in 1877 to decorate Queen Victoria with the title of ‘Kaiser I Hind’. 
  • In 1878, the Vernacular Press Act was passed. This Act empowered a Magistrate to secure an undertaking from the editor, publisher and printer of a vernacular newspaper that nothing would be published against the English Government. 
  • In the same year, the Arms Act was passed. This Act prevented the Indians to keep arms without an appropriate license. 
  • Lord Lytton introduced uniform salt tax throughout British India. 
  • He also abolished many import duties and supported the Free Trade policy 

LORD RIPON (1880 – 1884)

  • He is also known as Father of Local government in India 
  • He repealed infamous Vernacular Press act in the year 1882 
  • Lord Ripon introduced the Factory Act of 1881 to improve the service condition of the factory workers in India. The Act banned the appointment of children below the age of seven in factories 
  • He Passed the liberty Bill (1883) which enabled Indian district magistrates to try European criminals. But this was withdrawn later. 
Lord Ripon was the most popular Viceroy that England ever sent to India. The Indians, by and large, hailed him as “Ripon the Good” because he was the only Viceroy who handled the Indian problems with compassion and sympathy.

LORD CURZON (1899 – 1905)

  • To set the educational system in order, he instituted in 1902, a Universities Commission to go into the entire question of university education in the country. On the basis of the findings and recommendations of the Commission, Curzon brought in the Indian Universities Act of 1904, which brought all the universities in India under the control of the government. 
  • He is responsible for Partition of Bengal into two provinces East Bengal & Assam. 
  • He also appointed a Police Commission under Sir Andrew Frazer to enquire into the police administration of every province. 
  • 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. 

LORD MINTO (1905 – 1910)

Lord Minto served as Viceroy of India from 1905 to 1910. Major events that happened during his regime
  • Surat Split where moderates and extremists are divided (1907), 
  • Foundation of the Indian Muslim League (1906) 
  • Indian Council Act of 1909 also Moseley-Minto Reforms) was introduced during his tenure 
  • Establishment of Indian Home Rule Society in England by Shyamji Verma, 

LORD HARDINGE (1910 – 1916)

Lord Hardinge served as India’s Viceroy from 1910 to 1916. Some of the important events during his reign are
  • Held a durbar known as Delhi Durbar in December 1911 to celebrate the coronation of King George V. 
  • Lord Hardinge cancelled Partition of Bengal 
  • In 1911 he shifted capital from Calcutta to Delhi (1911). 
  • In 1914 outbreak of world war-I was happened during his tenure 

LORD CHELMSFORD (1916 – 1921)

Lord Chelmsford served as Viceroy of India from 1916 to 1921. Important events during his tenure are
  • Lucknow Pact was signed between INC and Muslim League in 1916 
  • August Declaration of 1917, whereby control over the Indian government would be gradually transferred to the Indian people 
  • Passing of Rowlatt Act and Jallianwala Bagh Tragedy was happened during his tenue 
  • The government of India act in 1919 also known as Montague Chelmsford reforms was introduced in India. 
  • He appointed Saddler Commission in 1917 to envisage new educational policy. 

LORD IRWIN (1926 – 1931)

  • Simon Commission visited India in 1928. 
  • Gandhi Irwin Pact was signed on March 5, 1931 and Civil Disobedience Movement was withdrawn. 

Lord Linlithgow: (1936-43)

  • Lord Linlithgow served as Viceroy of India from 1936 to 1934. 
  • His tenure was the longest reign as Viceroy of India 
  • Government of India act 1935 was passed during his reign 
  • Quit India Movement began during his tenure 
  • Arrival of Cripps mission also happened during his tenure 

Lord Wavell: (1943-1947)

  • Lord Wavell served as 23rd Viceroy of India from 1 October 1943 to 21 February 1947. 
  • The most important events during his tenure was Conclusion of World War-II with surrender of Japan; 
  • Cabinet mission arrived during his tenure 
  • Interim government was formed under Nehru during his tenure 

LORD MOUNTBATTEN (MARCH 1947 – AUGUST 1947)

  • Lord Mountbatten was the Last Viceroy of British India 
  • He also served as first Governor General of free India. 
  • Partition of India has happened during his tenure 
  • Indian Independence Act passed by the British parliament on July 4, 1947, by which India became independent on August 15, 1947. 


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