Lord William Bentinck- Sati Regulation-Charter Act of 1833-English Education Act 1835

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Lord William Bentinck

Lord William Bentinck

Lord William Bentinck was born in London.  He was a British soldier and statesman. He served as Governor-General of India (1828–1835) after the Earl of Amherst. During his tenure as Governor-General of British India, he received credit for reforms in the education, social and judiciary sectors.

Lord William Bentinck

The Charter Act of 1833

Medical college Kolkata

In 1764, the British East India Company set up the Indian Medical Service (IMS), which served Europeans in British India. In the civil and military establishments of the Presidency, on 9 May 1822, the British Government laid down a plan for filling the position of indigenous doctors of Bengal. In this regard, they established “The Native Medical Institution” on 21 June 1822 and imparted the medical teachings in the local language. In 1833 the Committee of William Bentinck recommended that a medical school be required “to educate the native people.” Therefore on 28 January 1835, a new medical school was established, known as the medical college Kolkata. It was intended to train indigenous youth regardless of caste and faith.

Governor-general of India (1828-1835)

He rejected the governorship of Madras in 1819 and awaited the appointment of Governor-General of Bengal, which occurred in 1827, to achieve his real ambition. The immediate instructions for Bentinck had been to rescue India from its financial difficulties. The Government of India was currently operating on approximately £1.5 million in annual deficits. Bentinck soon managed to make the deficit into a roughly equal surplus.

 His efforts resulted in the renewal of the Government of the East Indian Company by the Charter Act of 1833, which made Bentinck India’s first governor-general.  He then turned to personal reforms, including providing Indians with more administrative and judicial positions and improving Indian judges’ wages and status. Bentinck also made English the language of the higher courts and higher education in English instead of Persian and arranged financial aid for colleges to be adapted to Western styles

 Decisions as a Governor General of India

  • Bentinck showed great courage and humanity by his decision to abolish the Sati or Suttee, the Hindu tradition of burning widows with their husbands’ bodies living, and Banned the Sati.
  • Former General Governors have been reluctant against banning the custom as interference in religion, and the Indian army was especially likely to become upset. Still, Bentinck has not faced much open opposition.
  • He was also responsible for the action he had taken to stop the murder of unwanted children, the sacrifice of human beings.

Bengal Sati Regulation 1829

Bengal Sati Regulation

Bengal Sati Regulation

Governor-General Lord William William Bentinck gave Bengal Sati Regulation , or Regulation XVII in India under the rule of the East India Company, which prohibits and made the practice of Sati illegal in all jurisdictions of India (The Hindu custom of burning widows with the bodies of their husbands). The British implemented the first primary legislation on social reform in India through Bengal Sati Regulation and it was part of the Bentinck’s reforms. When Akbar was emperor he also banned the sati but it couldn’t happened properly. 

After consulting the army, the banning was enacted by Bentinck.  The opposition came from some conservative Hindus against the Bengal Sati Regulation.  Radhakanta Deb and Dharma Sabha considered the ban to interfere in Hindu religious matters and a breach of the 37th statute.

Hindus appealed in the court against the  Bengal Sati Regulation, but the court remained with Lord William decision.

The Kol Rebellion of 1831- Kol Revolt

During 1829-1839, the Adivasi Kol people of Chhota Nagpur revolted against the economic exploitation of land tenure and administration introduced by the East Indian Company. They became known in the British records as “The Kol Mujinni” and also known as Kol Revolt.

The Kol revolt or Rebellion of 1831 shows the hostility of the primitive tribes to destroy their previous independence. The immediate cause of the rebels was the Raja of Chota Nagpur’s activity. He started to robb the Muslims and the Sikhs several villages. So Muslims and Hindus started a revolt against it. The revolt quickly extended under Buddhu Bhagat, Joa Bhagat, Jaindari Manaki to Singbhum, Manbhum, Hazaribagh and the neighbouring districts. The rebels also started to destroy the houses of people.  

If they did not leave Chota Nagpur, the rebels threatened to kill the people. By killing thousands of tribals, the British were able in 1833 to suppress the kol revolt. The Kol revolt led the British Government to re-examine its administrative establishment and adopt a separate tribal policy.

The Charter Act of 1833

Charter act of 1833, also known as the Act of St Helena in 1833 or the Government of India Act 1833. In 1833 the Saint Helen Act was passed, and the East India Company monopoly was thus abolished.  Bengal’s Governor-General was made Indian Governor-General. The Act introduced a member of the law in the Governor General’s Executive Council. For the benefit of the Christians in India, the Bishops of Mumbai, Madras and Calcutta were to be nominated.

The British Parliament passed this Act to increase the East India firm’s tenure by 20 years because the commercial and administrative privileges granted the company by the 1813 act ended in 1833.

Charter Act of 1833- Background

British Industrial Revolution: Market demand resulted.  It’s meant that Indians had to function based on ‘Laissez Faire’ as a market for English mass production.

  • The 1833 Charter Act, also known as the 1833 Saint Helena Act, was adopted to satisfy Industrialized Britain’s requirements.
  • 20 years of extension was given to the British East India Company (EIC) under the Charter Act of 1833.

Features of the Act 1833

  • The business activities of the company have been closed. It has become a British Indian administrative body.
  • Trade links between the company and China have also been completed.
  • This law allowed the English to settle in India freely.
  • This Act legalized Britain’s colonization.
  • The company still had Indian land, but it was held “in confidence for its majesty.”

Provisions of the Act

Bengal’s Governor General was restored to the office of the Indian Governor-General. Lord William Bentinck became India’s first Governor-General.

✔       The administration of the country was therefore unified under one control.

✔       Bombay and Madras Governors lost their legislative authority.

✔       In all British India, the Governor-General exercises legislative power.

✔       The GG in the Council was empowered to modify, abolish or modify any law relating to all persons and places of British Indian origin, whether they be British, foreign or indigenous people.

✔       In Council, the Governor-General controlled the civil and military affairs of the company.

✔       Four members were to be members of the Governor General’s Council. The fourth member only had limited authority.

✔       The Government of India was named for the first moment by the Governor-General and India Council

Committee on Indian Law

It mandated the British Parliament to bring any legislation made in India before it and referred to as ‘Act.”

The Act established an Indian Law Commission.

Lord Macaulay was President of the First Law Commission. The aim was that all Indian laws should be codified.

Divided into Bengal

The Act allowed the Bengali Presidency to be divided into the Agra and Fort William presidencies. But this has never happened.

Government Serving Indians

It was the first Act to allow Indians to take part in the administration of the country.


At that time, the Act assisted in mitigating slavery in India. In Britain and all of its property, the British Parliament abolished slavery in 1833.

Tilt to Christendom

The Act allowed three bishops to be in India since the number of British residents increased. It was also aimed at regulating the creation of Christian institutions in India. It was the first step towards centralizing the administration of India.

Drawbacks of the Act

1.  The over-centralization burdened the work of the government-in-council in such a way that it could not dedicate time or attention to broad issues of public importance or principles.

 2. The Supreme Council did not have a representative of the presidencies. The Government, therefore, could not meet the local Government’s needs, urgencies and needs. The presidencies were ultimately dissatisfied and indifferent to the laws and actions put in place by the Supreme Council.


Without a doubt, the Charter Act of 1833 was Parliament’s most important measure in the 19th century. This Act paved the way for British India unification and the establishment of a strong central government in this country. This law provided for a codification of the regulations for the first time in British India’s history and set aside the restricted view of disqualification of the country’s administration. This Act enabled Indians to participate freely in the county administration without restrictions on origin, color, caste, belief, etc.

English Education Act 1835

Lord William Bentinck, Governor-General of India also gave the English Education act.  It was in prepared in England. Under the English Education act “No Indian native will be consider disable due to religion, place of birth, descended or colour  to get employmento or  any place.

He adopted the English Education Act 1835, which states:

            1- Promoting European literature and science among Indians. To make it possible the British Government started to invest in English literature. 

2.         All teachers and students in all institutions came in under the supervisory authority of the Committee to continue receiving their grants fromt the lord’s council. 

3.         A considerable money was spent by the Committee on the Printing of Oriental Works.

4.         The lord council also ordered that all the funds made available by these reforms to the Englisg education committe Committee under the English education act to provide English language and science to the native population.


In March 1835, Bentinck left India, returned to England to reject his pairing, and was elected to the House of Commons. In Paris, he passed away in 1839.


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