Viceroy of India List - First & Last Viceroy of India, Indian Viceroy List from 1857 to 1947 PDF

By Shubhra Anand Jain|Updated : October 6th, 2022

The Viceroy of India was a representative of the British Crown in India that overlooked the implementation of all of the policies set by the government and maintained their rule. Initially, the Viceroy was called the Governor-General of India before the post underwent some changes.

After 1857, the Governor General of India was called the Viceroys of India from 1857 to 1947. Download the complete List of Viceroy of India and their important details. 

Table of Content

First Viceroy of India

The 1st Viceroy of India was Lord Canning from 1858 to 1862. After the Last Governor General of India, the Government of India Act 1858 was passed, which changed the name of the post of Governor-General of India to the Viceroy of India. The Viceroy was to be directly appointed by the British government.

The revolt of 1857 was the first organized rebellion attack that the somewhat docile Indian population had launched on the EIC. It worried the English monarch back in Britain, who feared losing India as its cash cow. To appease the crowds with the promise of a better administration and efficient rule-making, the Crown terminated the company rule, and India came under its direct control through the Viceroys of India. 

Viceroy of India List

The British Viceroy of India had diplomatic powers, and the Viceroy governed colonies under the British crown. The Governor General of India mainly had administrative powers. There were 20 viceroys appointed, from Lord Canning being the first to Lord Mountbatten being the Last Viceroy of India. 

List of Viceroy of India from 1857 to 1947 PDF

Complete List of Viceroy of India from 1857 to 1947 is mentioned below. We have also compiled significant events in the period of each Viceroy. 

List of Viceroy of India

All Viceroy of India (British)

Tenure of Viceroy in India

Significant Events

Lord Canning - First Viceroy of British India

1856-1862

The Revolt of 1857 happened during his service.

The establishment of three universities at Calcutta, Madras and Bombay in 1857

The rule of the East India Company was abolished and the control was transferred to the Crown by the Government of India Act, 1858

Indian Councils Act of 1861

Lord Elgin - Second Viceroy of India

1862-1863

Wahabi Movement happened under his reign.

Lord John Lawrence

1864-1869

The Bhutan War (1865) happened in his service.

The High Courts at Calcutta, Bombay, and Madras were established in 1865.

Lord Mayo

1869-1872

The financial distribution between the center and the state was introduced for the first time.

India's first Census was done in 1872

The Mayo College for the royal elite was set up

Establishment of Statistical Survey of India

The only Governor-General to die in India was Lord Mayo. Sher Ali Afridi murdered him in Port Blair.

Lord Northbrook

1872-1876

Civil Marriage under the Universal Marriage Act was introduced in 1872. This act allowed intercaste marriage.

Arya Samaj was established.

Kuka Movement was observed in Punjab

Lord Lytton

1876-1880

Several acts were introduced; the Vernacular Press Act (1878), and the Arms Act (1878).

The Second Afghan War happened from 1878-80

Queen Victoria took the title of Kaiser-i-Hind' which translates to Queen Empress of India

Lord Ripon

1880-1884

Upon receiving backlash, the Vernacular Press Act (1882) was repealed.

The first Factory Act of 1881 was introduced.

There was a government resolution passed on the establishment of local self-government (1882)

The Ilbert Bill controversy (1883-84)

Hunter Commission on education (1882)

Viceroy in 1887 - Lord Dufferin

1884-1888

The Third Burmese War (1885-86).

One of the most noteworthy events was the establishment of the Indian National Congress in 1885.

Lord Lansdowne

1888-1894

Another Factory Act was introduced in 1891.

Indian Councils Act, 1892

The Durand Commission was set up in 1893.

Lord Elgin II

1894-1899

Brothers Ramkrishna and Damodar Chapekar killed the first British officer, Rands. During the time of British control in India, it was the very first political assassination.

Lord Curzon

1899-1905

The Police Commission was appointed in 1902.

The appointment of the Universities Commission happened in 1902.

Indian Universities Act of 1904 was introduced.

Partition of Bengal of 1905 was Curzon's master move towards the British Policy of Divide and Rule'.

Lord Minto II

1905-1910

Surat Split of Congress (1907)

The Muslim League was established in 1906.

Morley-Minto Reforms came in 1909.

Lord Hardinge II

1910-1916

The Partition of Bengal was annulled in 1911.

The British capital shifted from Calcutta to Delhi (1911)

Establishment of the Hindu Mahasabha (1915)

Lord Chelmsford

1916-1921

Chelmsford's India saw a lot of change and tragedy.

The Lucknow pact occurred in 1916.

The Champaran Satyagraha was launched in 1917.

Montagu's August Declaration (1917)

The Government of India Act (1919) was introduced.

The Rowlatt Act (1919) or the Black laws were introduced. There were nationwide protests.

This led to one of the most tragic events in Indian history, the Jallianwalla Bagh massacre (1919).

Launch of Non-Cooperation and Khilafat Movements

Lord Reading

Lord Reading Time Period- 1921-1926

The Chauri Chaura incident (1922) happened which lead to the withdrawal of the Non-Cooperation Movement in 1922 by Mahatma Gandhi

Establishment of Swaraj Party(1922)

Kakori train robbery (1925)

Lord Irwin

1926-1931

The Simon Commission came to India in 1927.

Harcourt Butler, Indian States Commission (1927)

Nehru Report (1928)

Deepavali Declaration (1929)

Lahore session of the Congress where the Purna Swaraj Resolution was taken happened in 1929

The revolutionary Dandi March was from 12 Mar 1930 – 6 Apr 1930 which successfully launched the Civil Disobedience Movement the same year.

First Round Table Conference (1930)

Gandhi-Irwin Pact (1931)

Lord Willingdon

1931-1936

Establishment of the Communal Award (1932)

Second & Third Round Table Conference (1932)

The Poona Pact (1932) resolved the issues between Dr BR Ambedkar and Mahatma Gandhi over separate electorates for Dalits.

Government of India Act of 1935

Lord Linlithgow

Linlithgow Time Period - 1936-1944

Resignation of the Congress ministries after the outbreak of the Second World War (1939)

Tripuri Crisis & formation of forward Bloc (1939)

Lahore Resolution of the Muslim League (demand for a separate state for Muslims) 1940

August Offer' of 1940

Formation of the Indian National Army (1941)

Cripps Mission (1942)

Quit India Movement (1942)

Lord Wavell

1944-1947

C. Rajagopalachari's CR Formula (1944)

Wavell Plan and the Simla Conference (1942)

Cabinet Mission (1946)

Direct Action Day was announced by the Muslim League (1946)

Announcement of the end of British rule in India by Clement Attlee (1947)

Lord Mountbatten

1947-1948

June Third Plan (1947)

Redcliff commission (1947)

India's Independence (15 August 1947)

Last Viceroy of India

Lord Mountbatten was appointed as the last Viceroy of India in 1947 with the primary responsibility of preventing the partition of India. After the independence of India, Lord Mountbatten remained as the first governor-general of an independent India until June 1948. His name was Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas Mountbatten. 

Last Governor General of India

Chakravarti Rajagopalachari was the Last Governor-General of India from 1948-1950, making him the only Indian to become the Governor General before the office was abolished. The Last British Governor General of India was Lord Mountbatten. 

Other Important UPSC Notes

National Population Policy 2000

7th Schedule of Indian Constitution

Schedules of Indian Constitution

Government of India Act 1935

Wholesale Price Index

National Development Council in India

Article 21 of Indian Constitution

Delhi Sultanate

History of Medieval India

Electoral Reforms in India

Ramappa Temple

Self Help Groups in India

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FAQs on Viceroy of India

  • Lord Canning was made the first Viceroy of India. After the mutiny of 1857, the British parliament passed an act that ended the rule of the East India company in India. It means the control of Indian rule was transferred to the British Crown.

  • There were 20 Viceroys of India. The 1st Viceroy was Lord Canning, and the last was Lord Mountbatten. All Viceroy of India list is as follows. 

    • Lord Canning
    • Lord Elgin
    • Lord Lawrence
    • Lord Mayo
    • Lord Northbrook
    • Lord Lytton
    • Lord Ripon
    • Lord Dufferin
    • Lord Lansdowne
    • Lord Elgin II
    • Lord Curzon
    • Lord Minto II
    • Lord Hardinge II
    • Lord Chelmsford
    • Lord Reading
    • Lord Irwin
    • Lord Willingdon
    • Lord Linlithgow
    • Lord Wavell
    • Lord Mountbatten


  • Lord Mountbatten was the viceroy of India in 1947 when India got its independence. Hence, he was the last Viceroy of India.

  • Sher Ali Afridi assassinated Lord Mayo in Port Blair. He was the only Indian Viceroy to be killed in India. Lord Mayo served from 1869 to 1872 and contributed to the country's infrastructural development. 

  • Lord Mountbatten was the last viceroy of Independent India as India attained independence in his tenure. 

  • Lord Linlithgow was the longest-serving Viceroy of India from 1936 to 1944 (8 years).

  • William Bentick was the first Governor-General of British India. After the Charter Act of 1833 was passed, the Governor-General of Bengal was made the Governor-General of British India.

  • Under the Government of India Act of 1858, power was transferred from East India Company to the British Crown. The Governor-General was given the title of Viceroy or Crown's personal representative. Lord Canning became the first Viceroy.

  • Lord Linlithgow was the viceroy at the time of the quit India movement from 1936 to 1944.

  • Lord Ripon was one of the viceroys in India during British rule who served between 1880-84. He is known to be the most liberal viceroy, popularly known as the 'Good Viceroy of India' who launched several reform programs as soon as he took office on 8th June 1880.

  • Lord Curzon was the Viceroy of India during the Swadeshi Movement as he announced the partition of Bengal in July 1905. Then the Indian National Congress, initiated the Swadeshi movement in Bengal. 

  • Lord Linlithgow was the Viceroy of India in 1942. He was also the longest-serving Viceroy of India.

  • 1945 was a tumultuous year of the world as the Second World War culminated with the tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Viceroy of India in 1945 was Lord Wavell.

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