List of Viceroys in India

This article consists of the list of viceroys in India from 1858 to 1947. The title of viceroy was introduced post the battle of 1857. The British government witnessed the mismanagement by the East India company and therefore the government introduced a representative head titled as the Viceroy of India.

List of Viceroys in India
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From the civil services exam perspective, the List of Viceroys and the role they played under the EIC is important to the UPSC Syllabus and candidates must go through the points discussed further below in this article.

This is an important topic for the IAS exam.

Viceroys in India from 1858 to 1947

Given below is the list of Viceroys in India, their tenure and achievements, important from the perspective of the upcoming civil service exam:

Viceroy Tenure Achievement
Lord Canning 1858-1862
  • Abolished doctrine of lapse
Lord Elgin 1862 – 1863
  • Wahabi Movement
Lord Lawrence 1864 – 1869
  • Establishment of High court in Calcutta, Madras during his reign.
  • Anglo-Bhutanese war
Lord Mayo 1869 – 1872
  • Financial Distribution between centre and state introduced for the first time
  • First Census in 1872
  • Mayo College for the royal elite was set up
  • Lord Mayo was the only Governor-General who was killed in India. He was killed by Sher Ali Afridi in Port Blair
  • Establishment of Statistical Survey of India
Lord Northbrook 1872 – 1876
  • Civil Marriage and Arya Samaj marriage introduced
  • Universal Marriage Act introduced in 1872
  • Intercaste Marriage allowed
  • Kuka Movement in Punjab
Lord Lytton 1876 – 1880
  • Vernacular Press Act, 1878
  • Arms Act, 1878
  • Nationalist view – Due to High rate of taxation purchasing power had reduced.
  • Government view – Drought is natural phenomena due to which people became poor
  • Ignored severe famine and organized durbar. Proclaimed Queen Victoria “The Empress of India”
  • Abolished tax on cotton for British traders
  • Maximum age to take up civil services exam lowered from 21 to 19
Lord Ripon 1880 – 1884
  • Was the most loved Governor-General
  • Repealed the controversial Arms and Vernacular press act
  • Set up Local self-governments – Panchayats and Municipal Boards due to which he was known as Father of Self Government
  • 2 new universities opened – Punjab University 1884, Allahabad University 1887
  • Illbert Bill – Indian judge cannot try English Judge
  • Appointment of Hunter Commission
Lord Dufferin 1884 – 1888
  • III Anglo-­‐Burmese war (1885-­‐1886)
  • Indian National Congress was founded in 1885
Lord Lansdowne 1888 – 1894
  • Indian Councils Act, 1892 (Indirect election was introduced for the first time)
  • Factory Act, 1891
Lord Elgin II 1894 – 1899
  • First British Officer called Rands was killed.
  • He was killed by Chapekar (Ramkrishna & Damodar) Brothers. This was the first political murder.
Lord Curzon 1899 – 1905
  • Indian Universities act – to control Indian Universities
  • Raleigh Commission
  • Partition of Bengal
  • Curzon-Kitchener controversy
Lord Minto II 1905 – 1910
  • Morley – Minto reforms
Lord Hardinge II 1910 – 1916
  • Mesopotamian Campaign
  • Transfer of Capital from Calcutta to Delhi
  • Hindu Mahasabha was established by Madan Mohan Malaviya
Lord Chelmsford 1916 – 1921
  • Home Rule League Movements
  • Rowlatt Act was passed
  • Montague – Chelmsford reform was passed
Lord Reading 1921 – 1926
  • Swaraj Party was formed
  • Chauri – Chaura incident took place
Lord Irwin 1926 – 1931
  • Launch of civil disobedience movement and Dandi march
  • First round table conference was held
Lord Willingdon 1931 – 1936
  • Second & Third Round Table Conference
  • Poona pact was signed
  • Communal award was started
Lord Linlithgow 1936 – 1944
  • Cripps Mission
  • Quit India movement
Lord Wavell 1944 – 1947
  • CR Formula 1944
  • Launch of Direct Action day
  • Wavell Plan & Shimla conference
Lord Mountbatten 1947-48
  • June 3rd Plan
  • Last Viceroy and First Governor-General of free India

To know more about governors-general of India, refer to the linked article.

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Kickstart your UPSC Exam preparation now and complement it with the information discussed about.

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List of Viceroys in India
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Frequently Asked Questions on Viceroys in India


Who was the first Viceroy of India?

Ans. Lord Canning was the first Viceroy of India. His tenure lasted for four years between 1858 and 1862.

Who is a Viceroy?

The Governor-General of India was given the title of Viceroy, that is, a personal representative of the Crown. This is one of the important changes after the British Parliament passed a new Act in 1858 and transferred the powers of the East India Company to the British Crown in order to ensure more responsible management of Indian affairs.

What were the duties of a Viceroy?

The viceroy was given a council to advise him, called the India Council.

Who was the first Viceroy of India after independence?

Lord Mountbatten was the last Viceroy of India and the first Governor-General of independent India. He was sent as Viceroy to India in March to make arrangements for the transfer of Power by June 1948.

Who was the last Viceroy of India?

Lord Mountbatten was the last Viceroy of India. His tenure lasted between 1947 and 1948.

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