Arrival of Lord William Bentinck

Return of Lord Amherst and arrival of Lord William Bentinck 1828

Lord Amherst departed from India in 1828 and his place was taken by acting Governor General William Butterworth Bayley for some time in 1828. He was succeeded by Lord William Bentinck whose term was from 1828 to 1835.

  • 20 years back Lord William Bentinck was Governor of Madras and had seen the Mutiny of Vellore.

Lord William Bentinck 1828-1835

The 7 years tenure of Lord Bentinck was not marked by any war adventures & extension of the territories. But this 7 years period forms an epoch in the administrative reforms in India. It started a process by which the Indian population, which is furious of sudden changes, was made to obey the British rulers and administration slowly.

  • Partially this period can be said as of “benevolent administrators”.

There is an inscription on his statue at Calcutta which was penned by Lord Macaulay. He writes:

He abolished cruel rites; he effaced humiliating distinctions; he gave liberty to the expression of public opinion; his constant study was to elevate the intellectual and moral character of the nations committed to his charge.

Finances of the Company at the time of Lord William Bentinck

The Finances of the East India Company were tottering due to the prologed Anglo Burmese War. There was a general dissatisfaction among the masses who had heard the story of the Mutiny of Barrackpur. The first step Lord William Bentinck took was to restore the equilibrium in the East India Company’s finances. He took the following steps:

  1. He reduced the permanent expenditures of the company amounting to 15 Lakh Sterling every year.
  2. He incorporated the revenue from the lands which had escaped the earlier assessments.
  3. He imposed duty on Opium cultivated in Malwa.
  4. He widened the door, though which the natives could enter the services of the company.
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