List of colonial Governors and Presidents of Madras

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This is a list of the Governors, Agents, and Presidents of colonial Madras, initially of the English East India Company, up to the end of British colonial rule in 1947.

English Agents[edit]

In 1639, the grant of Madras to the English was finalized between the factors of the Masulipatnam factory, represented by Francis Day, and the Raja of Chandragiri. In 1640, Andrew Cogan, the chief of the Masulipatnam factory, made his way to Madras in the company of Francis Day and the English and Indian employees of the Masulipatnam factory. The Agency of Madras was established on 1 March 1640 and Cogan was made the first Agent. The official title was 'Governor of Fort St George' and the Governor was usually referred to as Agent. Cogan served in the post for three years and was succeeded by Francis Day. After four agents had served their terms, Madras was upgraded to a Presidency during the time of Aaron Baker. However financial considerations forced the Company to revert to an agency soon after Aaron Baker had served his term. The Agency survived until 1684 when Madras was made a Presidency once and for all. Streynsham Master is the best remembered and most renowned of the Agents of Madras.

Name Took office Left office
Andrew Cogan 1 March 1640 1643
Francis Day 1643 1644
Thomas Ivie 1644 1648
Thomas Greenhill 1648 1652
Aaron Baker (President) 1652 1655
Thomas Greenhill 1655 1658
Sir Thomas Chambers 1658 1661
Sir Edward Winter 1661 August 1665
George Foxcraft August 1665 16 September 1665
Sir Edward Winter (second term) 16 September 1665 22 August 1668
George Foxcraft (second term) 22 August 1668 January 1670
Sir William Langhorne, 1st Baronet January 1670 27 January 1678
Streynsham Master 27 January 1678 3 July 1681
William Gyfford 3 July 1681 8 August 1684

Presidents[edit]

Madras was elevated to a Presidency in 1684 and remained so until 12 February 1785 when new rules and regulations brought by the Pitt's India Act reformed the administration of the East India Company with the exception of a three-year period of French rule from 1746 to 1749 when Madras was a governorship.

Subsequently, Elihu Yale who took charge on 8 August 1684 was the First President of Madras. Elihu Yale, Thomas Pitt and George Macartney are some of the well-known Presidents of Madras.

Name Took office Left office
Elihu Yale (First term) (acting) 8 August 1684 26 January 1685
William Gyfford 26 January 1685 25 July 1687
Elihu Yale (Second term) 25 July 1687 3 October 1692
Nathaniel Higginson 3 October 1692 7 July 1698
Thomas Pitt 7 July 1698 18 September 1709
Gulston Addison 18 September 1709 17 October 1709
Edmund Montague (acting) 17 October 1709 14 November 1709
William Fraser 14 November 1709 (acting) 11 July 1711
Edward Harrison 11 July 1711 8 January 1717
Joseph Collett 8 January 1717 18 January 1720
Francis Hastings (acting) 18 January 1720 15 October 1721
Nathaniel Elwick 15 October 1721 15 January 1725
James Macrae 15 January 1725 14 May 1730
George Morton Pitt 14 May 1730 23 January 1735
Richard Benyon (governor) 23 January 1735 14 January 1744
Nicholas Morse 14 January 1744 10 September 1746

Governors of the French East India Company[edit]

In 1746, Dupleix's deputy, La Bordannais laid siege to Madras and captured the city. For the next three years, Madras remained under French Governors, until 1749, when Madras was handed to the British as per the Treaty of Aix-la-Chappele. The illustrious Mahe de la Bordannais served as acting Governor for a few months until the appointment of Governor Jean-Jacques Duval d'Eprémesnil, who served until 1749 when Madras reverted to British rule.

Name Took office Left office
Mahé de La Bourdonnais (acting) 10 September 1746 2 October 1746
Jean-Jacques Duval d'Eprémesnil 2 October 1746 August 1749

Presidents of the British East India Company[edit]

During the period between 1746 and 1749, when Madras was under French rule, the British ran a provisional government from Fort David, near modern-day Porto Novo. In 1752, when Madras had been returned to the British, the then President of Madras, John Saunders, shifted the seat of government from Fort David to Madras. The British gained a lot of territory during the mid-18th century, so that by the time the French military power was crushed at the Battle of Wandiwash in 1761, the territory under the Presidency of Madras had increased manifold. In 1785, the Province of Madras was created and the President became the Governor of Madras.

Name Took office Left office
John Hinde (in Fort David) 10 September 1746 14 April 1747
Charles Floyer (in Fort David) 14 April 1747 19 September 1750
Thomas Saunders (in Fort David up to 5 April 1752) 19 September 1750 14 January 1755
George Pigot (1st time) 14 January 1755 14 November 1763
Robert Palk 14 November 1763 25 January 1767
Charles Bourchier 25 January 1767 31 January 1770
Josias Du Pré 31 January 1770 2 February 1773
Alexander Wynch 2 February 1773 11 December 1775
George Pigot (2nd time) 11 December 1775 23 August 1776
George Stratton 23 August 1776 31 August 1777
John Whitehall (first time) (acting) 31 August 1777 8 February 1778
Sir Thomas Rumbold 8 February 1778 6 April 1780
John Whitehall (second time) (acting) 6 April 1780 8 November 1780
Charles Smith (acting) 8 November 1780 22 June 1781
George MaCartney 22 June 1781 12 February 1785

Governors (of British India)[edit]

Name Took office Left office
George MaCartney 12 February 1785 14 June 1785
Alexander Davidson (acting) 14 June 1785 6 April 1786
Sir Archibald Campbell 6 April 1786 7 February 1789
John Holland (acting) 7 February 1789 13 February 1790
Edward J.Holland (acting) 13 February 1790 20 February 1790
William Medows 20 February 1790 1 August 1792
Sir Charles Oakeley 1 August 1792 7 September 1794
Baron Hobart 7 September 1794 21 February 1798
George Harris (acting) 21 February 1798 21 August 1798
The 2nd Baron Clive 21 August 1798 30 August 1803
Lord William Henry Cavendish-Bentinck 30 August 1803 11 September 1807
William Petrie (acting) 11 September 1807 24 February 1808
Sir George Barlow, 1st Baronet 24 February 1808 21 May 1813
John Abercromby (acting) 21 May 1813 16 September 1814
Hugh Elliot 16 September 1814 1820
Sir Thomas Munro 1820 10 July 1827
Henry Sullivan Graeme (acting) 10 July 1827 18 October 1827
Stephen Rumbold Lushington 18 October 1827 25 October 1832
Sir Frederick Adam 25 October 1832 4 March 1837
George Edward Russell (acting) 4 March 1837 6 March 1837
The 13th Lord Elphinstone 6 March 1837 24 September 1842
The 8th Marquess of Tweeddale 24 September 1842 23 February 1848
Henry Dickinson (acting) 23 February 1848 7 April 1848
Sir Henry Eldred Pottinger 7 April 1848 24 April 1854
Daniel Eliott (acting) 24 April 1854 28 April 1854
The 3rd Baron Harris 28 April 1854 28 March 1859
Sir Charles Edward Trevelyan 28 March 1859 8 June 1860
William Ambrose Morehead (1st time) (acting) 8 June 1860 5 July 1860
Sir Henry George Ward 5 July 1860 2 August 1860
William Ambrose Morehead (2nd time) (acting) 4 August 1860 18 February 1861
Sir William Thomas Denison (1st time) 18 February 1861 26 November 1863
Edward Maltby (acting) 26 November 1863 18 January 1864
Sir William Thomas Denison (2nd time) 18 January 1864 27 March 1866
Francis Napier 27 March 1866 19 February 1872
Alexander John Arbuthnot (acting) 19 February 1872 15 May 1872
Lord Hobart 15 May 1872 29 April 1875
William Rose Robinson (acting) 29 April 1875 23 November 1875
The 3rd Duke of Buckingham and Chandos 23 November 1875 20 December 1880
William Patrick Adam 20 December 1880 24 May 1881
William Huddleston (acting) 24 May 1881 5 November 1881
M.E. Grant Duff 5 November 1881 8 December 1886
The 1st Baron Connemara 8 December 1886 1 December 1890
John Henry Garstin 1 December 1890 23 January 1891
The 3rd Baron Wenlock 23 January 1891 18 March 1896
Sir Arthur Elibank Havelock 18 March 1896 28 December 1900
The 2nd Baron Ampthill (1st time) 28 December 1900 30 April 1904
James Thompson (acting) 30 April 1904 13 December 1904
The 2nd Baron Ampthill (2nd time) 13 December 1904 15 February 1906
Sir Gabriel Stokes (acting) 15 February 1906 28 March 1906
Sir Arthur Lawley 28 March 1906 3 November 1911
Sir Thomas David Gibson-Carmichael 3 November 1911 30 March 1912
Sir Murray Hammick (acting) 30 March 1912 30 October 1912
The 1st Baron Pentland 30 October 1912 29 March 1919
Sir Alexander Gordon Cardew 29 March 1919 10 April 1919
The 1st Baron Willingdon 10 April 1919 12 April 1924
Sir Charles George Todhunter (acting) 12 April 1924 14 April 1924
The 2nd Viscount Goschen 14 April 1924 29 June 1929
Sir Norman Edward Majoribanks (acting) 29 June 1929 11 November 1929
Sir George Frederick Stanley (1st time) 11 November 1929 16 May 1934
Sir Muhammad Usman Sahib Bahadur (acting) 16 May 1934 16 August 1934
Sir George Frederick Stanley (2nd time) 16 August 1934 15 November 1934
Lord Erskine (1st time) 15 November 1934 18 June 1936
Kurma Venkata Reddy Naidu (acting) 18 June 1936 1 October 1936
Lord Erskine (2nd time) 1 October 1936 12 March 1940
Arthur Oswald James Hope 12 March 1940 26 February 1946
Sir Henry Foley Knight (acting) 26 February 1946 5 May 1946
Sir Archibald Edward Nye 5 May 1946 15 August 1947

References[edit]

External links[edit]