• 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

YearGovernor-General of BengalMajor Reforms & Events
1772-1785Warren HastingsRegulating 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
1786-1793Lord CornwallisEstablished 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
1793-1798Sir John Shore Policy of Non-intervention

Charter Act of 1793

Second Rohilla War 1794

Battle of Kharda between Nizam and Marathas (1795)
1798-1805Lord 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)
1805-1807Sir George BarlowThe 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)
1807-1813Lord Minto IConcluded the treaty of Amritsar with Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1809,

Introduced the Charter Act of 1813
1813-1823Lord 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)

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