- British territories were broadly divided into administrative units called Presidencies. There were three Presidencies: Bengal, Madras and Bombay.
- Each was ruled by a Governor. The supreme head of the administration was the Governor-General.
- When East India Company came to India, it controlled Bengal through a post named as “Governor of Bengal” (first Governor of Bengal: Robert Clive).
- Other Presidencies, Bombay and Madras, had their own Governor.
- However, after the passing of Regulating Act 1773, the post of Governor of Bengal was converted into “Governor-General of Bengal”.
- Warren Hastings, the first Governor-General, introduced several administrative reforms, notably in the sphere of justice.
- The first Governor-General of Bengal was Warren Hastings with tenure of office from 1772-1785.
- Warren Hastings was an English statesman, the head of the Supreme Council of Bengal.
- He brought an end to the Dual Government system by enforcing the Regulating Act of 1773.
- He founded the Calcutta Madrasa for the promotion of Islamic studies, and the Asiatic Society of Bengal with William Jones in the year 1781 and 1784 respectively.
- Hastings was also elected as a fellow of the Royal Society in 1801.
List of Governors-General of Bengal
|Year||Governor-General of Bengal||Major Reforms & Events|
|1772-1785||Warren Hastings||Regulating Act of 1773|
Supreme Council of Bengal
Supreme Court of Judicature at Fort William (1774) was established
Asiatic Society of Bengal (1784)
Pitt’s India Act (1784)
Stopped Mughal pension to Shah Alam II
Abolished the Dual System in Bengal (Which was introduced by Robert Clive).
Moved Treasury from Murshidabad to Calcutta
James Augustus Hicky’s Bengal Gazette- First Indian newspaper published (in 1780)
First Anglo-Maratha War (1775–82)
Second Anglo-Mysore war (1780–84)
First Rohilla War of 1773–1774
Ring fence policy
Founded Calcutta Madrasa (Aliah University) in 1780.
Creation of collector post
The first Governor General to be prosecuted for impeachment. (As a consequence of his involvement in First Rohilla War)
Experimentation on land settlements [Izaredari system]. (1772-five years settlement, changed to 1 year in 1776)
He formed Amini Commission in 1776.
Abolished Dastak system (which was introduced by Robert Clive)
English Translation of Bhagwat Gita by Charles Wilkins
|1786-1793||Lord Cornwallis||Established lower courts and appellate courts|
Permanent Settlement in Bihar and Bengal in 1793
3rd Anglo-Mysore war (1790–92) and Treaty of Seringapatam
Introduction of Cornwallis Code in 1793.
Introduction of Civil Services in India
Sanskrit Vidyalaya at Benaresk (now Varanasi) established by Johnathan Duncan (then Governor of Bombay) in 1791.
Introduced Sunset Law
|1793-1798||Sir John Shore||Policy of Non-intervention|
Charter Act of 1793
Second Rohilla War 1794
Battle of Kharda between Nizam and Marathas (1795)
|1798-1805||Lord Wellesley||Introduction of Subsidiary Alliance (1798)|
Fourth Anglo Mysore War 1799
The Subsidiary Treaty of Bassein in 1802 and Second Anglo-Maratha War (1803–05)
Establishing Fort William College at Calcutta (1800)
Establishment of Madras presidency
Raj Bhavan at Calcutta was established in 1803
Censorship Act, 1799
Took over the administration of Tanjore(1799), Surat(1800) and Carnatica(1801)
|1805-1807||Sir George Barlow||The Acting Governor-General of India until the arrival of Lord Minto,|
Diminished the area of British territory because of his passion for economy and retrenchment,
Sepoy mutiny at Vellore (The prelude to the First War of Independence of India)
Bank of Calcutta (1806) established (later Imperial Bank of India, now State Bank of India)
|1807-1813||Lord Minto I||Concluded the treaty of Amritsar with Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1809,|
Introduced the Charter Act of 1813
|1813-1823||Lord Hastings||Ended the policy of Non-intervention|
Third Anglo-Maratha War (1816–1818)
the abolition of Peshwaship
Anglo-Nepalese War (1814–16) ended with the signing of Treaty of Sugauli (1816)
Creation of Bombay Presidency in 1818
Establishment of Ryotwari System in Madras Presidency in 1820 by the governor Sir Thomas Munro.
Establishment of Mahalwari System in Northern India by Holt Mackenzie (1822)
Hindu College (now Presidency University) at Calcutta in 1817
The Pindari War (1817–1818) (Complete Destruction of the Pindari Clan of India)
Bengal Tenancy Act was passed in 1822.
General Committee of Public Instruction was formed in 1823
|1823-1828||Lord Amherst||Barrackpore mutiny of 1824|
First Anglo-Burmese War (1824–26) (East India Company defeats Burmese King Bagyidaw and annexes Assam, Manipur, Arakan and Tenasserim)
Establishment of Sanskrit College at Calcutta (1824)
Treaty of Yandabo, 1826 (East India Company humiliates and extracts 1 million Pounds from the Burmese King Bagyidaw)