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The Governor-General of India (1773–1950, from 1858 to 1947 the Viceroy and Governor-General of India, commonly shortened to Viceroy of India) was the representative of the
Monarch of the United Kingdom The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy, constitutional form of government by which a hereditary monarchy, hereditary sovereign reigns as the head of state of the United ...
and after Indian independence in 1947, the representative of the Indian head of state. The office was created in 1773, with the title of Governor-General of the Presidency of Fort William. The officer had direct control only over Fort William but supervised other
East India Company The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HEIC), East India Trading Company (EITC), the English East India Company or (after Acts of Union 1707, 1707) the British East India Company, and informally known a ...
officials in India. Complete authority over all of India was granted in 1833, and the official came to be known as the "Governor-General of India". In 1858, as a consequence of the
Indian Rebellion The Indian Rebellion of 1857 was a major, but ultimately unsuccessful, uprising in India in 1857–58 against the rule of the British East India Company The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (H ...
the previous year, the territories and assets of the East India Company came under the direct control of the
British Crown The Crown is the state (polity), state in all its aspects within the jurisprudence of the Commonwealth realms and their subdivisions (such as the Crown Dependencies, British Overseas Territories, overseas territories, Provinces and territorie ...

British Crown
; as a consequence, the
Company rule in India Company rule in India (sometimes, Company ''Raj'', from hi, राज्, rāj, lit=rule) refers to the rule or dominion of the British East India Company The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HE ...
was succeeded by the
British Raj The British Raj (; from ''rāj'', literally, "rule" in Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the In ...

British Raj
. The Governor-General (now also the
Viceroy A viceroy () is an official who runs a polity in the name of and as the representative of the monarch of the territory. The term derives from the Latin prefix ''vice-'', meaning "in the place of" and the French word ''roy'', meaning "king". A ...

Viceroy
) headed the central government of India, which administered the
provinces of British India A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or sovereign state, state. The term derives from the ancient Roman ''Roman province, provincia'', which was the major territorial and administrative unit of the Roman Empire, ...

provinces of British India
, including the
Punjab Punjab (; ; ; ; also as Panjāb or Panj-Āb) is a geopolitical, cultural, and in , specifically in the northern part of the , comprising areas of eastern and . The boundaries of the region are ill-defined and focus on historical accounts. ...
,
Bengal Bengal (; bn, বাংলা/বঙ্গ, translit=Bānglā/Bôngô, ) is a geopolitical, cultural and historical region located in South Asia, specifically in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal, p ...

Bengal
,
Bombay Mumbai (, ; also known as Bombay — the official name until 1995) is the capital city A capital or capital city is the municipality holding primary status in a Department (country subdivision), department, country, Constituent state, ...

Bombay
,
Madras Chennai (, ), also known as Madras (List of renamed Indian cities and states#Tamil Nadu, the official name until 1996), is the capital city of the states and territories of India, Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The state's largest city in area ...
, the United Provinces, and others. However, much of India was not ruled directly by the British Government; outside the provinces of British India, there were hundreds of nominally independent
princely states A princely state, also called a native state, feudatory state or Indian state (for those states on the subcontinent), was a vassal state A vassal state is any state that has a mutual obligation to a superior state or empire, in a status simi ...
or "native states", whose relationship was not with the British Government or the United Kingdom, but rather one of homage directly with the British monarch as sovereign successor to the
Mughal emperors The Mughal (or Moghul) emperors built and ruled the Mughal Empire The Mughal Empire, Mogul or Moghul Empire, was an Early modern period, early modern empire in South Asia. Quote: "Although the first two Timurid emperors and many of their ...

Mughal emperors
. From 1858, to reflect the Governor-General's new additional role as the monarch's representative in re the fealty relationships vis the princely states, the additional title of Viceroy was granted, such that the new office was entitled "
Viceroy A viceroy () is an official who runs a polity in the name of and as the representative of the monarch of the territory. The term derives from the Latin prefix ''vice-'', meaning "in the place of" and the French word ''roy'', meaning "king". A ...

Viceroy
and Governor-General of India". This was usually shortened to "Viceroy of India". The title of Viceroy was abandoned when British India split into the two independent
dominion The term dominion was used to refer to one of several self-governing nations of the British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other D ...

dominion
s of
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...
and
Pakistan Pakistan, . Pronounced variably in English as , , , and . officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, fifth-most populous country, with a popul ...
, but the office of Governor-General continued to exist in each country separately until they adopted republican constitutions in 1950 and 1956, respectively. Until 1858, the Governor-General was selected by the Court of Directors of the East India Company, to whom he was responsible. Thereafter, he was appointed by the sovereign on the advice of the British Government; the
Secretary of state for India A secretary, administrative professional, or personal assistant A personal assistant, also referred to as personal aide (PA) or personal secretary (PS), is a job title describing a person who assists a specific person with their daily busine ...
, a member of the
UK Cabinet The Cabinet of the United Kingdom is a group of the most senior ministers of the crown Minister of the Crown is a formal constitutional term used in Commonwealth realms to describe a minister of the reigning sovereign or viceroy A vi ...
, was responsible for instructing him or her on the exercise of their powers. After 1947, the sovereign continued to appoint the Governor-General but thereafter did so on the advice of the government of the newly independent Dominion of India. Governor-General served at the pleasure of the sovereign, though the practice was to have them serve five-year terms. Governor-General could have their commission rescinded; and if one was removed, or left, a provisional Governor-General was sometimes appointed until a new holder of the office could be chosen. The first Governor-General in India (of Bengal) was
Warren Hastings Warren Hastings (6 December 1732 – 22 August 1818), an English statesman, was the first Governor of the Presidency of Fort William (Bengal), the head of the Supreme Council of Bengal, and thereby the first ''de facto'' Governor-General of Ben ...

Warren Hastings
, the first official Governor-General of British India was
Lord William Bentinck Lieutenant-general (United Kingdom), Lieutenant General Lord William Henry Cavendish-Bentinck (14 September 177417 June 1839), known as Lord William Bentinck, was a British soldier and statesman. He served as Governor-General of India from 1828 ...
, and the first Governor-General of the Dominion of India was
Lord Mountbatten Admiral of the Fleet Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma (born Prince Louis of Battenberg; 25 June 1900 – 27 August 1979), was a British Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's N ...
.


History

Many parts of the Indian subcontinent were governed by the
British East India Company The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HEIC), East India Trading Company (EITC), the English East India Company or (after 1707) the British East India Company, and informally known as John Company, Com ...
(founded in 1600), which nominally acted as the agent of the
Mughal emperor The Mughal (or Moghul) emperors built and ruled the Mughal Empire on the Indian subcontinent, mainly corresponding to the modern countries of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. The Mughals began to rule parts of India from 1526, and b ...
. Early British administrators were presidents or governors of
Bengal Presidency The Bengal Presidency, officially the Presidency of Fort William and later Bengal Province, was a subdivision of the British India, British Empire in India. At the height of its territorial jurisdiction, it covered large parts of what is now So ...
. In 1773, motivated by corruption in the company, the British government assumed partial control over the governance of India with the passage of the
Regulating Act of 1773 The Regulating Act of 1773 (formally, the East India Company Act 1772) was an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain The Parliament of Great Britain was formed in May 1707 following the ratification of the Acts of Union by both the Parlia ...
. A governor-general and
Supreme Council of Bengal Supreme Council of Bengal was the highest level of executive government in British India The provinces of India, earlier presidencies of British India and still earlier, presidency towns, were the administrative divisions of British governanc ...
were appointed to rule over the Presidency of Fort William in
Bengal Bengal (; bn, বাংলা/বঙ্গ, translit=Bānglā/Bôngô, ) is a geopolitical, cultural and historical region located in South Asia, specifically in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal, p ...

Bengal
. The first governor-general and Council were named in the Act. The Charter Act 1833 replaced the governor-general and Council of Fort William with the governor-general and Council of India. The power to elect the governor-general was retained by the Court of Directors, but the choice became subject to the sovereign's approval via the
India Board The Right Honourable Board of Commissioners for the Affairs of India (commonly known as the India Board or the Board of Control) was an arm of the Government of the United Kingdom The Government of the United Kingdom, domestically referred to ...
. After the
Indian Rebellion of 1857 The Indian Rebellion of 1857 was a major, but ultimately unsuccessful, uprising in India in 1857–58 against the rule of the British East India Company, which functioned as a sovereign power on behalf of the British Crown. The rebellion ...

Indian Rebellion of 1857
, the British East India Company's territories in India were put under the direct control of the sovereign. The
Government of India Act 1858 The Government of India Act 1858 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the supreme legislative body A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority to make laws for a Poli ...
vested the power to appoint the governor-general in the sovereign. The governor-general, in turn, had the power to appoint all lieutenant governors in India, subject to the sovereign's approval. India and Pakistan acquired independence in 1947, but governors-general continued to be appointed over each nation until republican constitutions were written.
Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma Admiral of the Fleet (Royal Navy), Admiral of the Fleet Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma (born Prince Louis of Battenberg; 25 June 1900 – 27 August 1979), was a British Royal Navy officer and state ...
, remained governor-general of India for some time after independence, but the two nations were otherwise headed by native governors-general. India became a secular republic in 1950; Pakistan became an Islamic one in 1956.


Functions

The governor-general originally had power only over the Presidency of Fort William in Bengal. The Regulating Act, however, granted them additional powers relating to foreign affairs and defence. The other presidencies of the East India Company (
Madras Chennai (, ), also known as Madras (List of renamed Indian cities and states#Tamil Nadu, the official name until 1996), is the capital city of the states and territories of India, Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The state's largest city in area ...
,
Bombay Mumbai (, ; also known as Bombay — the official name until 1995) is the capital city A capital or capital city is the municipality holding primary status in a Department (country subdivision), department, country, Constituent state, ...
and Bencoolen) were not allowed to declare war on or make peace with an Indian prince without receiving the prior approval of the governor-general and Council of Fort William. The powers of the governor-general, in respect of foreign affairs, were increased by the India Act 1784. The Act provided that the other governors under the East India Company could not declare war, make peace or conclude a treaty with an Indian prince unless expressly directed to do so by the governor-general or by the company's Court of Directors. While the governor-general thus became the controller of foreign policy in India, he was not the explicit head of British India. That status came only with the Charter Act 1833, which granted him "superintendence, direction and control of the whole civil and military Government" of all of British India. The Act also granted legislative powers to the governor-general and Council. After 1858, the governor-general (now usually known as the
viceroy A viceroy () is an official who runs a polity in the name of and as the representative of the monarch of the territory. The term derives from the Latin prefix ''vice-'', meaning "in the place of" and the French word ''roy'', meaning "king". A ...

viceroy
) functioned as the chief administrator of India and as the Sovereign's representative. India was divided into numerous
provinces A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are g ...
, each under the head of a
governor A governor is, in most cases, a public official with the power to govern the Executive (government), executive branch of a non-sovereign or sub-national level of government, ranking under the head of state. In federations, ''governor'' may be t ...

governor
,
lieutenant governor A lieutenant governor, lieutenant-governor, or vice governor is a high officer of state, whose precise role and rank vary by jurisdiction. Often a lieutenant governor is the deputy, or lieutenant A lieutenant ( or abbreviated Lt., Lt, LT, Lie ...
or chief commissioner or
administrator Administrator or admin may refer to: Job roles Computing and internet * Database administrator, a person who is responsible for the environmental aspects of a database * Forum administrator, one who oversees discussions on an Internet forum * ...
. Governors were appointed by the
British Government The Government of the United Kingdom, domestically referred to as Her Majesty's Government, is the central government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
, to whom they were directly responsible; lieutenant governors, chief commissioners, and administrators, however, were appointed by and were subordinate to the viceroy. The viceroy also oversaw the most powerful princely rulers: the
Nizam of Hyderabad 230px, Mir Osman Ali Khan The Nizams were the rulers of Hyderabad from 18th-through-20th-century. Nizam of Hyderabad (Niẓām ul-Mulk, also known as Asaf Jah) was the title of the monarch of the Hyderabad State Hyderabad State (), ...
, the
Maharaja of Mysore Maharaja of Mysore was the principal title of the ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore, Mysore State during the British Raj in India and earlier of the Kingdom of Mysore. After India's independence in 1947, the ruler lost his kingdom, but he and his s ...
, the Maharaja (
Scindia Scindia dynasty (anglicized from Shinde and also spelled popularly as Shinde in Maharashtra), is a Hindu Maratha dynasty of Kunbi origin that ruled the erstwhile Gwalior State, State of Gwalior. It had the patel-ship of Kumberkerrab in Wai. It ...
) of
Gwalior Gwalior () is a major city in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh lies at upper Madhya Pradesh and one of the National Capital Region (India)#Counter magnets, Counter-magnet cities. Located south of Delhi, the capital city of India, fr ...
, the
Maharaja Mahārāja (; also spelled Maharajah, Maharaj) is a Sanskrit title for a "great ruler", "great Monarch, king" or "high king". A few ruled mighty states informally called empires, including ruler raja Sri Gupta, founder of the ancient Indian ...
of
Jammu and Kashmir Jammu is the winter capital of the Indian union territory of Jammu and Kashmir (union territory), Jammu and Kashmir. It is the headquarters and the largest city in Jammu district of the union territory. Lying on the banks of the river Tawi River ...
and the
GaekwadGaekwad (also spelled as Gaikwar and Gaikwad) (Marathi: Gāyǎkǎvāḍǎ) is a surname native to Indian state of Maharashtra Maharashtra (; , abbr. MH) is a state in the western peninsular region of India India (Hindi: ), officially the ...
(Gaekwar) Maharaja of
Baroda Vadodara, also known as Baroda, is the third-largest city in the Indian state India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by populat ...

Baroda
. The remaining princely rulers were overseen either by the
Rajputana Agency The Rajputana Agency was a political office of the British Raj, British Indian Empire dealing with a collection of native states in Rajputana (now in Rajasthan, northwestern India), under the political charge of an Agent reporting directly to ...
and
Central India Agency The Central India Agency was created in 1854, by amalgamating the Western Malwa Agency with other smaller political offices which formerly reported to the Governor-General of India The Governor-General of India (1773–1950, from 1858 t ...
, which were headed by representatives of the viceroy or by provincial authorities. The
Chamber of Princes The Chamber of Princes (''Narendra Mandal'') was an institution established in 1920 by a royal proclamation A proclamation (Lat. ''proclamare'', to make public by announcement) is an official declaration issued by a person of authority to m ...
was an institution established in 1920 by a
Royal Proclamation A proclamation (Lat. ''proclamare'', to make public by announcement) is an official declaration issued by a person of authority to make certain announcements known. Proclamations are currently used within the governing framework of some nations ...
of King-Emperor
George V George V (George Frederick Ernest Albert; 3 June 1865 – 20 January 1936) was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 until his death in 1936. Born during the reign of his grandmother ...

George V
to provide a forum in which the princely rulers could voice their needs and aspirations to the government. The chamber usually met only once a year, with the viceroy presiding, but it appointed a Standing Committee, which met more often. Upon independence in August 1947, the title of viceroy was abolished. The representative of the
British Sovereign The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy A constitutional monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exercises authority in accordance with a written or ...
became known once again as the governor-general. C. Rajagopalachari became the only
Indian Indian or Indians refers to people or things related to India, or to the indigenous people of the Americas, or Aboriginal Australians until the 19th century. People South Asia * Indian people, people of Indian nationality, or people who come ...
governor-general. However, once India acquired independence, the governor-general's role became almost entirely ceremonial, with power being exercised on a day-to-day basis by the Indian cabinet. After the nation became a republic in 1950, the
president of India The president of India (IAST The International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST) is a transliteration scheme that allows the lossless romanisation Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the scienc ...
continued to perform the same functions.


Council

The governor-general was always advised by a Council on the exercise of his legislative and executive powers. The governor-general, while exercising many functions, was referred to as the "Governor-General in Council." The Regulating Act 1773 provided for the election of four counsellors by the East India Company's Court of Directors. The Governor-General was to be assisted by an executive council of four members and was given a casting vote but no veto. The decision of the council was binding on the governor-general. In 1784, the council was reduced to three members; the governor-general continued to have both an ordinary vote and a casting vote. In 1786, the power of the governor-general was increased even further, as Council decisions ceased to be binding. The Charter Act 1833 made further changes to the structure of the council. The Act was the first law to distinguish between the executive and legislative responsibilities of the governor-general. As provided under the Act, there were to be four members of the Council elected by the Court of Directors. The first three members were permitted to participate on all occasions, but the fourth member was only allowed to sit and vote when legislation was being debated. In 1858, the Court of Directors ceased to have the power to elect members of the council. Instead, the one member who had a vote only on legislative questions came to be appointed by the sovereign, and the other three members by the
secretary of state for India A secretary, administrative professional, or personal assistant A personal assistant, also referred to as personal aide (PA) or personal secretary (PS), is a job title describing a person who assists a specific person with their daily busine ...
. The
Indian Councils Act 1861 The Indian Councils Act 1861 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the Parliamentary sovereignty in the United Kingdom, supreme Legislature, legislative body of the United Kingdom, the Cr ...
made several changes to the council's composition. Three members were to be appointed by the secretary of state for India, and two by the Sovereign. The power to appoint all five members passed to the Crown in 1869. The viceroy was empowered to appoint an additional 'six to twelve' members (changed to 'ten to sixteen' in 1892, and to 'sixty' in 1909). The five individuals appointed by the sovereign or the Indian secretary headed the executive departments, while those appointed by the viceroy debated and voted on legislation. In 1919, an Indian legislature, consisting of a Council of State and a Legislative Assembly, took over the legislative functions of the Viceroy's Council. The viceroy nonetheless retained significant power over legislation. He could authorise the expenditure of money without the Legislature's consent for "ecclesiastical, political
nd
nd
defence" purposes, and for any purpose during "emergencies." He was permitted to veto, or even stop debate on, any bill. If he recommended the passage of a bill, but only one chamber cooperated, he could declare the bill passed over the objections of the other chamber. The Legislature had no authority over foreign affairs and defence. The president of the Council of State was appointed by the viceroy; the Legislative Assembly elected its president, but the election required the viceroy's approval.


Style and title

Until 1833, the title of the position was "governor-general of the Presidency of Fort William in Bengal". The
Government of India Act 1833 The Saint Helena Act 1833 or the Charter Act of 1833 (3 & 4 Will 4 c 85) is an Acts of Parliament in the United Kingdom, Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. As this Act was also intended to provide for an extension of the royal charter gr ...
converted the title into "governor-general of India", effective from 22 April 1834.''Government of India Act 1833''
Keith, Arthur Berriedale, ''Speeches & Documents on Indian Policy, 1750-1921'', see section 41 of the Act
The title "viceroy and governor-general" was first used in the queen's proclamation appointing Viscount Canning in 1858. It was never conferred by an act of parliament but was used in warrants of precedence and in the statutes of knightly orders. In usage, "viceroy" is employed where the governor-general's position as the monarch's representative is in view. The viceregal title was not used when the sovereign was present in India. It was meant to indicate new responsibilities, especially ritualistic ones, but it conferred no new statutory authority. The governor-general regularly used the title in communications with the
Imperial Legislative Council The Imperial Legislative Council was a legislature A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) who us ...
, but all legislation was made only in the name of the Governor-General-in-Council (or the Government of India).Arnold P. Kaminsky, ''The India Office, 1880–1910'' (Greenwood Press, 1986), p. 126. The governor-general was styled ''Excellency'' and enjoyed precedence over all other government officials in India. He was referred to as 'His Excellency' and addressed as 'Your Excellency'. From 1858 to 1947, the Governor-General was known as the Viceroy of India (from the French ''roi'', meaning 'king'), and wives of Viceroys were known as Vicereines (from the French ''reine'', meaning 'queen'). The Vicereine was referred to as 'Her Excellency' and was also addressed as 'Your Excellency'. Neither title was employed while the Sovereign was in India. However, the only British sovereign to visit India during the period of British rule was
George V George V (George Frederick Ernest Albert; 3 June 1865 – 20 January 1936) was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 until his death in 1936. Born during the reign of his grandmother ...

George V
, who attended the
Delhi Durbar The Delhi Durbar (meaning "Court A court is any person or institution, often as a government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the case of it ...
in 1911 with his wife,
Mary Mary may refer to: People * Mary (name) Mary is a feminine Femininity (also called womanliness or girlishness) is a set of attributes, behaviors, and roles generally associated with women and girls. Although femininity is socially constru ...
. When the
Order of the Star of India The Most Exalted Order of the Star of India was an order of chivalry An order of chivalry, order of knighthood, chivalric order, or equestrian order is an order of knights typically founded during or inspired by the original Catholic mili ...

Order of the Star of India
was founded in 1861, the viceroy was made its grand master ''ex officio''. The viceroy was also made the ''ex officio'' grand master of the
Order of the Indian Empire The Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire was an founded by on 1 January 1878. The Order includes members of three classes: #Knight Grand Commander () #Knight Commander () #Companion () No appointments have been made since 1947, the year ...

Order of the Indian Empire
upon its foundation in 1877. Most governors-general and viceroys were peers. Frequently, a viceroy who was already a peer would be granted a peerage of higher rank, as with the granting of a
marquessate A marquess (; french: marquis, ) is a nobleman of high hereditary rank in various European peerages and in those of some of their former colonies. The term is also used to translate equivalent Asian styles, as in History of China#Imperial Chi ...
to Lord Reading and an
earldom Earl () is a rank of the nobility in Britain. The title originates in the Old English word ''eorl'', meaning "a man of noble birth or rank". The word is cognate with the Scandinavia Scandinavia, Sami languages, Sami: ''Skadesi-suolu''/''S ...
and later a marquessate to
Freeman Freeman-Thomas
Freeman Freeman-Thomas
. Of those viceroys who were not peers, Sir John Shore was a
baronet A baronet ( or ; abbreviated Bart or Bt) or the rare female equivalent, a baronetess (, , or ; abbreviation Btss), is the holder of a baronetcy, a hereditary title awarded by the British Crown The Crown is the in all its aspects within ...

baronet
, and
Lord William Bentinck Lieutenant-general (United Kingdom), Lieutenant General Lord William Henry Cavendish-Bentinck (14 September 177417 June 1839), known as Lord William Bentinck, was a British soldier and statesman. He served as Governor-General of India from 1828 ...
was entitled to the
courtesy title A courtesy title is a title A title is one or more words used before or after a person's name, in certain contexts. It may signify either generation, an official position, or a professional or academic qualification. In some languages, titles ma ...
'
lord Lord is an appellation for a person or deity who has authority, control, or power (social and political), power over others, acting as a master, a chief, or a ruler. The appellation can also denote certain persons who hold a title of the Peera ...

lord
' because he was the son of a
duke Duke is a male title either of a monarch ruling over a , or of a member of , or . As rulers, dukes are ranked below s, s, s, s, and sovereign s. As royalty or nobility, they are ranked below princes of nobility and grand dukes. The title comes ...

duke
. Only the first and last governors-general
Warren Hastings Warren Hastings (6 December 1732 – 22 August 1818), an English statesman, was the first Governor of the Presidency of Fort William (Bengal), the head of the Supreme Council of Bengal, and thereby the first ''de facto'' Governor-General of Ben ...

Warren Hastings
and
Chakravarti Rajagopalachari Chakravarti Rajagopalachari (10 December 1878 – 25 December 1972), informally called Rajaji or C.R., was an Indian statesman, writer, lawyer, and independence activist. Rajagopalachari was the last Governor-General of India The Gove ...
as well as some provisional governors-general, had no honorific titles at all.


Flag and insignia

From around 1885, the Viceroy of India was allowed to fly a
Union Flag The Union Jack, or Union Flag, is the de facto national flag of the United Kingdom. Though no law has been passed officially making the Union Jack the national flag of the United Kingdom, it has effectively become the national flag through prec ...

Union Flag
augmented in the centre with the 'Star of India' surmounted by a Crown. This flag was not the Viceroy's personal flag; it was also used by Governors, Lieutenant Governors, Chief Commissioners and other British officers in India. When at sea, only the Viceroy flew the flag from the mainmast, while other officials flew it from the foremast. From 1947 to 1950, the Governor-General of India used a dark blue flag bearing the royal crest (a lion standing on the Crown), beneath which was the word 'India' in gold majuscules. The same design is still used by many other Commonwealth Realm Governors-General. This last flag was the personal flag of the Governor-General only. File:Badge of the Viceroy of India (1876-1904).svg, Badge of the Viceroy of India (1876-1904) depicted with St. Edward's Crown File:Crest of the Viceroy of India.svg, Badge of the Viceroy and Governor-General (1904–1947) depicted with Tudor Crown File:Flag of the Governor-General of India (1885–1947).svg, Standard of the Viceroy and Governor-general (1885–1947) File:Flag of the Governor-General of India (1947-1950).svg, Standard of the Governor-General (1947–50)


Residence

The governor-general of Fort William resided in Belvedere House,
Calcutta Kolkata ( or , ; also known as Calcutta , the official name until 2001) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger upperca ...

Calcutta
, until the early nineteenth century, when
Government House Government House is the name of many of the residences of governors-general, governors and lieutenant-governor A lieutenant governor, lieutenant-governor, or vice governor is a high officer of state, whose precise role and rank vary by jurisdictio ...
was constructed. In 1854, the lieutenant governor of Bengal took up residence there. Now, the
Belvedere Estate The Belvedere Estate consists of Belvedere House and the grounds surrounding it, in which the National Library of India The National Library of India is a library located in Belvedere Estate, Alipore, Kolkata Kolkata ( or , ; also ...
houses the
National Library of India The National Library of India is a library located in Belvedere Estate, Alipore, Kolkata Kolkata ( or , ; also known as Calcutta , List of renamed Indian cities and states#West Bengal, the official name until 2001) is the Capital city, ...
.
Lord Wellesley Richard Colley Wellesley, 1st Marquess Wellesley of Norragh, (20 June 1760 – 26 September 1842) was an Anglo-Irish politician and colonial administrator Colonialism is a practice or policy of control by one people or power over other peo ...

Lord Wellesley
, who is reputed to have said that ‘India should be governed from a
palace A palace is a grand residence, especially a royal residence, or the home of a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to eit ...

palace
, not from a
country house An English country house is a large house or mansion in the English countryside. Such houses were often owned by individuals who also owned a Townhouse (Great Britain), town house. This allowed them to spend time in the country and in the cit ...

country house
’, constructed a grand
mansion A mansion is a large dwelling house. The word itself derives through Old French from the Latin word ''mansio'' "dwelling", an abstract noun derived from the verb ''manere'' "to dwell". The English word ''manse'' originally defined a property la ...

mansion
, known as Government House in
Calcutta Kolkata ( or , ; also known as Calcutta , the official name until 2001) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger upperca ...

Calcutta
, between 1799 and 1803. The mansion remained in use until the capital moved from
Calcutta Kolkata ( or , ; also known as Calcutta , the official name until 2001) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger upperca ...

Calcutta
to
Delhi Delhi (; ''Dillī''; ''Dillī''; ''Dêhlī''), officially the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi, is a city and a of containing , the capital of India. * * * Straddling the river, but primarily its western or right bank, Delhi ...

Delhi
in 1912. Thereafter, the lieutenant governor of Bengal, who had hitherto resided in Belvedere House, was upgraded to a full governor and transferred to Government House. Now, it serves as the residence of the governor of the Indian state of
West Bengal West Bengal (, Bengali Bengali or Bengalee, or Bengalese may refer to: *something of, from, or related to Bengal, a large region in South Asia * Bengalis, an ethnic and linguistic group of the region * Bengali language, the language they sp ...

West Bengal
, and is referred to by its
Bengali Bengali or Bengalee, or Bengalese may refer to: *something of, from, or related to Bengal, a large region in South Asia * Bengalis, an ethnic and linguistic group of the region * Bengali language, the language they speak ** Bengali alphabet, the wr ...
name
Raj Bhavan Raj Bhavan () is the common name of the official residences of the governor (India), governors of the states of India and may refer to: List of Raj Bhavan See also

*Raj Niwas *Rashtrapati Bhavan *Rashtrapati Nilayam *Rashtrapati Niwas *Vice P ...
. After the capital moved from Calcutta to Delhi, the viceroy occupied the newly built Viceroy's House, designed by
Sir Edwin Lutyens Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens ( ; 29 March 1869 – 1 January 1944) was an English architect known for imaginatively adapting traditional architectural styles to the requirements of his era. He designed many English country house An Engli ...

Sir Edwin Lutyens
. Though construction began in 1912, it did not conclude until 1929; the palace was not formally inaugurated until 1931. The final cost exceeded £877,000 (over £35,000,000 in modern terms)—more than twice the figure originally allocated. Today the residence, now known by the Hindi name of '
Rashtrapati Bhavan The Rashtrapati Bhavan (, rásh-tra-pa-ti bha-vun; ; originally Viceroy's House and later Government House) is the official residence of the President of India at the western end of Rajpath in New Delhi, India. Rashtrapati Bhavan may refer ...

Rashtrapati Bhavan
', is used by the
president of India The president of India (IAST The International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST) is a transliteration scheme that allows the lossless romanisation Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the scienc ...
. Throughout the British administration, governors-general retreated to the
Viceregal LodgeViceregal Lodge may refer to: ;Residences of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland: * Áras an Uachtaráin, Dublin (1780s–1922) * Chapelizod House, County Dublin (1680s) ;Residences of the Viceroy of India: * Rashtrapati Niwas, Simla (1888) * Rashtrapati ...

Viceregal Lodge
''(now Rashtrapati Niwas)'' at Shimla each summer to escape the heat, and the government of India moved with them. The Viceregal Lodge now houses the Indian Institute of Advanced Study.


List


See also

* British Empire * Commander-in-Chief, India * Council of India * Emperor of India * History of Bangladesh * History of India * History of Pakistan * India Office * Indian Civil Service * Indian independence movement * List of governors-general of India * Partition of India


Notes


References


External links


Association of Commonwealth Archivists and Record Managers (1999) "Government Buildings – India"
* George William Forrest, Forrest, G. W., Order of the Indian Empire, CIE, (editor) (1910) ''Selections from the State Papers of the Governors-General of India; Warren Hastings'' (2 vols), Oxford: Blackwell's * ''Encyclopædia Britannica'' ("British Empire" and "Viceroy"), London: Cambridge University Press, 1911, 11th edition, * James, Lawrence (1997) ''Raj: the Making and Unmaking of British India'' London: Little, Brown & Company * Keith, A. B. (editor) (1922) ''Speeches and Documents on Indian Policy, 1750–1921'', London: Oxford University Press
Oldenburg, P. (2004). "India." ''Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia.''
2009-10-31)
mountbattenofburma.com – Tribute & Memorial website to Louis, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma


Further reading

* * Dodwell H. H., ed. ''The Cambridge History of India. Volume 6: The Indian Empire 1858-1918. With Chapters on the Development of Administration 1818-1858'' (1932) 660p
online edition
also published as vol 5 of the ''Cambridge History of the British Empire'' *Moon, Penderel. ''The British Conquest and Dominion of India'' (2 vol. 1989) 1235pp; the fullest scholarly history of political and military events from a British top-down perspective; *Rudhra, A. B. (1940) ''The Viceroy and Governor-General of India''. London: H. Milford, Oxford University Press * . {{DEFAULTSORT:Governor-General Of India Governors-General of India, India and the Commonwealth of Nations Westminster system