List of governors-general of India

         The Regulating Act of 1773 created the office with the title of Governor-General of the Presidency of Fort William, or Governor-General of Bengal to be appointed by the Court of Directors of the East India Company (EIC). The Court of Directors assigned a Council of Four (based in India) to assist The Governor General, and decision of council was binding on Governor General during 1773-1784.

        The Saint Helena Act 1833 (or Government of India Act 1833) re-designated the office with the title of Governor-General of India.

   After the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the company rule was brought to an end, and the British India along with princely states came under the direct rule of the Crown. The Government of India Act 1858 created the office of Secretary of State for India in 1858 to oversee the affairs of India, which was advised by a new Council of India with 15 members (based in London). The existing Council of Four was formally renamed as the Council of Governor General of India or Executive Council of India. The Council of India was later abolished by Government of India Act 1935.

            From the year 1858 onward, the appointments of Governor-General of India were made by British Crown at the advice of Secretary of State for India. The office of Governor-General continued to exist as a ceremonial post in each of the new dominions until they adopted republican constitutions in 1950 and 1956 respectively.

List of Governors-General

 

# Name
(birth–death)
Picture Took office Left office Happenings Appointee
Governors of the Presidency of Fort William (Bengal), 1773–1833
1 Warren Hastings
(1732–1818)
20 October 1773 1 February 1785
  • Regulating Act of 1773
  • Supreme Court at
  • Asiatic Society of Bengal
  • English Translation of Bhagwat Gita
East India
Company
2 Sir John Macpherson
(acting)
(1745–1821)
1 February 1785 12 September 1786
3 The Earl Cornwallis
(1738–1805)
12 September 1786 28 October 1793
  • Established lower courts and appellate courts
  • Sanskrit College established by Jonathan Duncan
  • Permanent Settlement in Bihar and Bengal in 1793
  • Introduction of Cornwallis Code
  • Introduction of Civil Services in India
4 Sir John Shore
(1751–1834)
28 October 1793 18 March 1798
  • Policy of Non-intervention
  • Charter Act of 1793
5 Sir Alured Clarke
(acting)
(1744–1832)
18 March 1798 18 May 1798
6 The Earl of Mornington
(1760–1842)
18 May 1798 30 July 1805
  • Introduction of Subsidiary Alliance
  • Fourth Anglo Mysore War 1799
  • Fort William College at Calcutta
  • Formation of Madras Presidency in 1801
7 The Marquess Cornwallis
(1738–1805)
30 July 1805 5 October 1805
8 Sir George Barlow, Bt
(acting)
(1762–1847)
10 October 1805 31 July 1807 * Sepoy mutiny at Vellore took place during his tenure
9 The Lord Minto
(1751–1814)
31 July 1807 4 October 1813
  • Charter Act of 1813
10 The Earl of Moira
(1754–1826)
4 October 1813 9 January 1823
  • Ended the policy of Non-intervention
  • Third Anglo-Maratha War (1816-1818)
  • Creation of Bombay Presidency in 1818
  • Establishment of Ryotwari System in Madras
11 John Adam
(acting)
(1779–1825)
9 January 1823 1 August 1823
12 The Lord Amherst
(1773–1857)
1 August 1823 13 March 1828
13 William Butterworth Bayley
(acting)
(1782–1860)
13 March 1828 4 July 1828
14 Lord William Bentinck
(1774–1839)
4 July 1828 1833
  • Bengal Sati Regulation, 1829
  • Charter Act 1833
Governors-General of India, 1833–1858
14 Lord William Bentinck
(1774–1839)
1833 20 March 1835 East India
Company
15 Sir Charles Metcalfe, Bt
(acting)
(1785–1846)
20 March 1835 4 March 1836
16 The Lord Auckland
(1784–1849)
4 March 1836 28 February 1842
17 The Lord Ellenborough
(1790–1871)
28 February 1842 June 1844
18 William Wilberforce Bird
(acting)
(1784–1857)
June 1844 23 July 1844
19 Sir Henry Hardinge
(1785–1856)
23 July 1844 12 January 1848
20 The Earl of Dalhousie
(1812–1860)
12 January 1848 28 February 1856
  • Doctrine of Lapse
  • Charles Wood Dispatch
  • 1st Railway line connecting Bombay and Thane
  • Post Office Act, 1854
  • Established Public Works Department
  • Engineering College was established at Roorkee
21 The Viscount Canning
(1812–1862)
28 February 1856 1 November 1858
  • University of Bombay, Calcutta and Madras were set up in 1857
  • The revolt of 1857
  • The Government of India Act, 1858
  • Hindu Widows’ Remarriage Act, 1856
Governors-General and Viceroys of India, 1858–1947
21 The Viscount Canning[10]
(1812–1862)
1 November 1858 21 March 1862 Victoria
22 The Earl of Elgin
(1811–1863)
21 March 1862 20 November 1863
23 Sir Robert Napier
(acting)
(1810–1890)
21 November 1863 2 December 1863
24 Sir William Denison
(acting)
(1804–1871)
2 December 1863 12 January 1864
25 Sir John Lawrence, Bt
(1811–1879)
12 January 1864 12 January 1869
26 The Earl of Mayo
(1822–1872)
12 January 1869 8 February 1872
27 Sir John Strachey
(acting)
(1823–1907)
9 February 1872 23 February 1872
28 The Lord Napier
(acting)
(1819–1898)
24 February 1872 3 May 1872
29 The Lord Northbrook
(1826–1904)
3 May 1872 12 April 1876
30 The Lord Lytton
(1831–1891)
12 April 1876 8 June 1880
31 The Marquess of Ripon
(1827–1909)
8 June 1880 13 December 1884
  • First Factory Act(1881)
  • Repeal of the Vernacular Press Act (1882)
  • Ilbert Bill Controversy
32 The Earl of Dufferin
(1826–1902)
13 December 1884 10 December 1888
33 The Marquess of Lansdowne
(1845–1927)
10 December 1888 11 October 1894
34 The Earl of Elgin
(1849–1917)
11 October 1894 6 January 1899
35 The Lord Curzon of Kedleston[11]
(1859–1925)
6 January 1899 18 November 1905
36 The Earl of Minto
(1845–1914)
18 November 1905 23 November 1910 Edward VII
37 The Lord Hardinge of Penshurst
(1858–1944)
23 November 1910 4 April 1916 George V
38 The Lord Chelmsford
(1868–1933)
4 April 1916 2 April 1921
39 The Earl of Reading
(1860–1935)
2 April 1921 3 April 1926
40 The Lord Irwin
(1881–1959)
3 April 1926 18 April 1931
41 The Earl of Willingdon
(1866–1941)
18 April 1931 18 April 1936
42 The Marquess of Linlithgow
(1887–1952)
18 April 1936 1 October 1943 Edward VIII
43 The Viscount Wavell
(1883–1950)
1 October 1943 21 February 1947 George VI
44 The Viscount Mountbatten of Burma
(1900–1979)
21 February 1947 15 August 1947
Governors-General of the Dominion of India, 1947–1950
44 The Viscount Mountbatten of Burma
(1900–1979)
15 August 1947 21 June 1948 George VI
45 C. Rajagopalachari
(1878–1972)
21 June 1948 26 January 1950