Governor Generals of India

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Governor Generals of India

Governor Generals of India

Governor Generals of Bengal

Warren Hastings (1772-1785)

  • First Governor General of Bengal
  • Brought the Dual Government of Bengal to an end by the Regulating Act, 1773.
  • Deprived Zamindars of their judicial power and Civil and Criminal court were established.
  • Maintenance of records was made compulsory.
  • Great patron of oriental learning founded the Asiatic Society of Bengal with William Jones in 1784. He wrote introduction to the English translation of ‘The Gita’ by Charles Wilkins.
  • Impeachment proceedings started against him when he returned on the charges of taking bridge. After a trial of 7 years, he was finally acquitted.

Lord Cornwallis (1786-1793)

  • Did the Permanent Settlement of Bengal (also called Zamindary System)
  • First person to codify laws. The code separated the revenue administration from the administration of Justice.
  • Police Reforms: Each district was divided into 400 sq. miles and placed under a police superintendent.
  • The civil service was brought into existence.

Sir John Shore (1793-1798)

Lord Wellesley (1798-1805)

  • Adopted the police of Subsidiary Alliance- a system to keep the Indian rulers under control and to make the British the paramount power.
  • The states that accepted this policy were the Nizam of Hyderabad, the ruler of Mysore, the Raja of Tanjore, the Nawab at Awadh, the Peshwa, the Bhonsle Raja of Berar, the Scindia, the Rajputs of Jodhpur, Jaipur, etc.

George Barlow (1805-1807)

Lord Minto 1 (1807-1813)

  • Concluded the treaty of Amritsar with Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1809).
  • Charter Act 1813 was passed

Lord Hastings (1813-1823)

Lord Amherst (1823-1828)

Governor Generals of India

Lord William Bentinck (1828-1835)

  • Carried out the social reforms like Prohibition of Sati (1829) and Elimination of Thugs (1830)
  • Made English the medium of higher education in the country (after the recommendations of Macaulay).
  • Suppressed female infanticide and child sacrifice.
  • Charter Act 1833 was passed, made him the First Governor of India. Before him, the designation was Governor General of Bengal.

Sir Charles Metcalfe (1835-1836)

  • Abolished all restrictions on vernacular press (called Liberator of the Press).

Lord Auckland (1836-1842)

  • The most important event of his reign was the first Afghan War, which proved to be a disaster for the English.

Lord Ellenborough (1842-1844)

Lord Hardinge I (1844-1848)

Lord Dalhousie (1848-1856)

  • Opened the first Indian Railway in 1853 (From Bombay to Thane).
  • Laid out the telegraph lines in 1853 (First was From Calcutta to Agra).
  • Introduced the Doctrine of Lapse and captured Satara (1848), Jaipur and Sambhalpur (1849), Udaipur (1852), Jhansi (1853) and Nagpur (1854).
  • Established the postal system on the modern lines through the length and breadth of the country, which mode communication easier.
  • Started the Public Works Department. Many bridges were constructed and work on Grand Trunk Road was started. The harbors of Karachi, Bombay and Calcutta were also developed.
  • Made Shimla the summer capital.
  • Started Engineering College at Roorkee.
  • Encouraged science, forestry, commerce, mineralogy and industry.
  • In 1854, ‘Wood’s Dispatch’ was passed, which provided for the properly articulated system of education from the primary school to the university.
  • Due to Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar’s efforts, remarriage of window was legalized by Window Remarriage Act, 1856.


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