AIP Christmas #21: Presidencies of British India

This post is part of the Anglo-Indian Project Christmas series 2016.


The administration of British India was divided into three Presidencies: Bengal, Bombay and Madras. These had developed from the East India Company’s factory bases and existed, in various forms, between 1612 and 1947, conventionally divided into three historical periods.

  1. During the 17th century the East India Company set up factories. By the mid-18th century three Presidency towns had grown in size: Madras, Bombay and Calcutta.
  2. Between 1757–1858, the Company gradually acquired sovereignty over large parts of India, now called “Presidencies.”
  3. Following the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the Company’s remaining powers were transferred to the Crown. In the new British Raj (1858–1947), sovereignty extended to a few new regions, such as Upper Burma. Increasingly, however, unwieldy presidencies were broken up into “Provinces”. (Source: Presidencies and provinces of British India)

Map of Presidencies in British India. Picture from:

See: AIP, Presidencies of British India, FIBIS and Presidencies and provinces of British India for more information on Presidencies.

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