VICEROYS OF INDIA
Lord Canning (1856-1862)
Immediately after Queen Victoria’s proclamation, Lord Canning was appointed the first viceroy of British India. During his tenure, the India Penal Code came into force in 1860 and the India Council Act of 1861 was passed by the British Parliament for setting up of legislative councils in the provinces, with Indians as members.
Lord Mayo (1869-1872)
The Mayo College in Ajmer was established in his honour. He improved the Andaman jail administration and made systems for the welfare of the prisoners. He was killed by a Wahabi prisoner in the Andaman jail premises.
Lord Lytton (1876-1880)
Lytton held a Durbar in Delhi, proclaiming Queen Victoria as the Empress of India. In 1878, the Vernacular Press Act restricted the freedom of the press.
Lord Ripon (1880-1884)
During Ripon’s period, there was a phase of progress with the Factories Act, 1881, which tried to improve the position of factory workers.
Lord Dufferin (1884-1888)
The Indian National Congress was also formed during this time. Dufferin appointed the Public Service Commission in 1886.
Lord Curzon (1899-1905)
The Swadeshi Movement and Partition of Bengal (1905-1911) were crucial events that took place during his tenure. Curzon is remembered for his Police reforms under the guidance of Sir Andrew Frazer. He brought about education reforms by setting up the Raleigh Commission. Curzon passed the Ancient Monument Protection Act, 1904, and the Punjab Land Act, 1905.
Lord Harding II (1910-1916)
Notable events during Harding II’s tenure were the visit of King George V and Queen Mary in December 1911, to celebrate the accession of King George V. a Great Durbar was held in Delhi in their honour. Further, the capital of India was shifted from Kolkata to Delhi. The Partition of Bengal was annulled during his term.
Lord Chelmsford (1916-1922)
Important events during Chelmsford’s term were as follows: (i) the August Declaration of 1917, whereby control over the Indian government would be gradually transferred to the Indian people; (ii) the Government of India Act, 1919, (Montague-Chelmsford Reforms) was passed; (iii) the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre that took place on 13 April 1919; (iv) organization of Mahatma Gandhi’s non-cooperation movement called satyagraha and (v) the Rowlatt Act of 1919. Agitation began all over the country against the Rowlatt Act.
Lord Reading (1922-1926)
Significant events of his term were as follows: (i) the Ahmedabad Session of 1921; (ii) Formation of Swaraj Party; (iii) Communal riots of 1922
Lord Linlithgow (1936-1943)
The Muslim League leader, Jinnah, demanded the state the Pakistan for the Muslims. The Cripps Mission of 1942 was a failure and the Quit India Resolution was passed by the Congress.
Lord Mountbatten (March 1947-August 1947)
Lord Mountbatten was the last Viceroy and the first Governor-General of free India. The partition of India was decided by the June 3rd Plan, and the Indian Independence Act, 1947, was passed, which made India an independent nation on 15 August 1947, and Pakistan a free nation on 14 August 1947. Lord Mountbatten retired in June 1948 and was succeeded by C. Rajagopalachari, who became the first Indian Governor-General of independent India.