List of Governors-General and Viceroys of India

  List of Governors-General and Viceroys of India  

INTRODUCTION: The Britishers came to India as traders in 1600 in the form of the East India Company. The East India Company had rights of trading in India under a Charter granted by Queen Elizabeth I. In the second half of the 18th century, the Company continued to be primarily a trading business. In 1757, the battle of Plassey, and the battle of Buxar in 1764, the decisive victory of the British East India Company established the British rule in India. Britain had a strong and efficient bureaucracy that it established in its colonies. The British were able to establish this control through the Governor, Governor-General, and Viceroy in India.

They first controlled Bengal through a post named ‘Governor of Bengal’. Robert Clive was the first governor of Bengal. However, other presidencies, Bombay and Madras, had their own Governors. In 1773, with the passing of the Regulating Act of 1773, the post of Governor of Bengal was converted into Governor-General of Bengal. This Act provided the governor of Madras and Bombay work under the Governor-General of Bengal.  Warren-Hastings became the first Governor-general of Bengal.

Lists of the Governor-General of Bengal between 1773 and 1833 are given below in the table.


NameNotable EventsAppointer
Warren Hastings


Regulating Act of 1773

Pitt’s India Act 1784

Stopped Mughal pension to Shah Alam II

First Anglo-Maratha War (1775-1782) and Second Anglo-Mysore War (1780-1784)

The first Rohilla War of (1773-1774)

East India Company


Lord Cornwallis


Third Anglo-Mysore War (1790-1792)

Permanent Settlement in Bengal and Bihar.

Introduction of Cornwallis Code in 1793.

Established lower courts and appellate courts

John Shore


Charter Act of 1793

The second Rohilla War in 1793

Lord Wellesley


Fourth Anglo Mysore War

Second Anglo Maratha War

Introduction of Subsidiary Alliance System

Lord Minto


Treaty of Amritsar with Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1809

Charter Act of 1813

Lord Hastings


Anglo-Nepal War (1814-1816)

Treaty of Sugauli in 1816

Third Maratha War

Establishment of Ryotwari System in Madras

Lord Amherst


First Anglo Burmese War in 1824-1826

After the passing of the Charter Act of 1833, the post of Governor-General of Bengal was converted into the Governor-General of India. William Bentinck became the first Governor-general of India.

Lists of the Governor-General of India between 1833 and 1858 are given below in the table.


NameNotable EventsAppointer
Lord William Bentinck


Abolition of Sati System in 1829

Christian Missionaries get exclusive rights to spread Christianity in British India.

East India Company


Lord Auckland


First Anglo Afghan War

Established the Bank of Bombay

Lord Ellenborough


Established the Bank of Madras

British defeat Marathas in the Gwalior war

Henry Hardinge


First Anglo-Sikh war and treaty of Lahore (1846)

Treaty of Bhairowal in 1846

Lord Dalhousie


Charter Act of 1853

Second Anglo-Sikh war

Annexation of Lower Burma

The Post office Act in 1854

Lord Canning


In 1857, Indian Rebellion

Remarriage Act of Hindu Widows in 1856

After the revolt in 1857, the Company rule was abolished and India came under the direct control of the British Crown by the Government of India Act 1858. This Act changed the name of the post of the Governor-General of India to Viceroy of India. Lord Canning became the first Viceroy of India.

Lists of Viceroy of India between 1858 and 1947 are given below in the table.


NameNotable EventsAppointer
Lord Canning


The Government of India Act of 1858

Abolition of East India Rule

Indian Councils Act of 1861

Establishment of Archaeological Survey of India



Lord Elign


Establishment of High Court Bombay, Calcutta, and Madras in 1862

Wahabi movement suppressed

Lord John Lawrence


Establishment of Allahabad High Court in 1866

Bhutan war and Assam and Bengal Duars

Lord Mayo


Establishment of the department of commerce and agriculture
Lord Northbrook


Jyotiba Phula launches the Satyashodhak  Samaj against caste system and untouchability in 1873.
Lord Lytton


Second Anglo-Afghan War (1878-1880)

Arms Act in 1878

Lord Ripon


First complete Census

Hunter Commission on education in 1882

The first Factory Act in 1881.

Lord Dufferin


The third Burmese War

Establishment of Indian National Congress in 1885

Lord Lansdowne


Factory Act in 1891

Indian Councils Act of 1892

Lord Elgin



In 1897, the establishment of Ramkrishana Mission by Swami Vivekananda at Belur Math.
Lord Curzon



Partition of Bengal in 1905

Indian Universities Act in 1904

Lord Minto



In 1906, the establishment of Muslim League by Aga khan

The Indian councils Act of 1909

Edward VII

(1901- 1910)

Lord Hardinge II



In 1911, transfer of capital from Calcutta to Delhi

In 1914, McMahon border was created between India and China.

George VI


Lord Chelmsford



In 1916, Lucknow Pact

Government of India Act of 1919

In 1919, Jallianwalla Bagh Massacre

In 1917, Champaran Satyagraha

Lord Reading



In 1921, Malabar rebellion

In 1922, establishment of Swaraj Party

In 1925, RSS Foundation

Lord Irwin



Simon Commission in 1927

In 1930, First Round Table Conference

In 1931, execution of Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru, and Sukhdev Thapar

Lord Willingdon



The Government of India Act 1935

In 1934, the Reserve Bank of India Act

In 1932, Poona Pact between Gandhi and Ambedkar

Lord Linlithgow



In 1941, formation of the Indian National Army

In 1942, Cripps Mission

In 1942, Quit India Movement

George VI


Lord Wavell



In 1945, Simla Conference

Cabinet Mission in 1946

In 1946, Direct Action Day

In 1946, mutiny in the Royal Navy

Lord Mountbatten

(21 Feb 1947-15 Aug 1947)

The Indian Independence Act of 1947

After the independence of India, the office of the Governor-General continued to exist as a ceremonial post in India until India adopted a republican constitution in 1950. 

Lists of the Governor-General of the Dominion of India between 1947 and 1950 are given below in the table.

NameNotable EventsAppointer
Lord Mountbatten

(15 Aug 1947-21 June 1948)

First Governor-General of Dominion of IndiaGeorge VI


Chakravarti Rajagopalachari


Last Governor-General of India, before the office was permanently abolished in 1950


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