Lord Linlithgow: Longest Reigning Viceroy of India

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Lord Linlithgow

Lord Linlithgow before becoming the Viceroy of India from 1936 to 1944, had a notable career in British politics by serving as a Member of Parliament and as the Governor-General of Australia. Moreover, his term as Viceroy aligned with a pivotal period in Indian history. It was marked by the surge in demands for independence that were spearheaded by leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru

Lord Linlithgow faced challenges such as the Quit India Movement in 1942. Furthermore, his response, while committed to maintaining British control, also acknowledged the need for constitutional reforms, notably through the Cripps Mission. His tenure witnessed India’s active participation in World War II which later set the stage for the subsequent transition to independence.

Source: The Edinburgh Sir Walter Scott Club

What was the Early Life of Lord Linlithgow?

Lord Linlithgow was born on the 24th of September, 1887 in Scotland as Victor Alexander John Hope with Queen Victoria as his godmother. He was the 2nd Marquess of Linlithgow and the eldest son of the 1st Marquess of Linlithgow. Additionally, he studied at Eton College and Ludgrove School during his formative years where he inherited a strong sense of duty and responsibility towards public service. 

In the year 1911, he got married to Doreen Milner. Furthermore, at the age of 25, in 1912 Lord Linlithgow was elected by the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He was a politician, agriculturalist and colonial administrator. 

Also Read: What is the Difference Between Governor-General and Viceroy?

What was the Role of Lord Linlithgow in India?

He succeeded Lord Willingdon in the year 1936 as Vicorey of India. He was in India when India was nearing Independence. Lord Linlithgow’s entry into India and the series of significant events that took place have a great role in the independence journey.

  • The first general electrons of 1936-1937, the Congress attained absolute majority as Lord Linlithgow became the Viceroy of India. 
  • At the fifty-fifty session of the Congress, Subhas Chandra Bose was elected as the President of the Congress in 1938.
  • Moreover, in 1939, after the outbreak of the Second World War, the Congress ministries resigned. 
  • In the same year, Bose resigned which led to the formation of the Forward Bloc.
  • In March 1940, in the Lahore Resolution by the Muslim League, there was a demand for a separate state for Muslims. 
  • Lord Linlithgow as the viceroy of India gave the “August Offer” in 1940 on behalf of the British. The offer was criticised by the Congress and endorsed by the Muslim League. 
  • The well-known Prime Minister of England, Winston Churchill was elected to the post in 1940. 
  • Furthermore, in 1941, Subhas Chandra Bose escaped from India and organised the Indian National Army. 
  • The Cripps Mission’s plan to offer dominion status to India and set up a Constituent Assembly was met with rejection by the Congress. 
  • In the year 1942, Congress passed the “Quit India Resolution.” There was the arrest of leaders which led to the outbreak of the “August Revolution” or the Revolt of 1942. 
  • In the Karachi Session of 1944, there was a slogan passed,” Divide and Quit.” 

Since he faced criticism and had been the longest-serving Viceroy of India, he left the post on the 1st of October, 1943. In the same year, the Bengal Famine struck. The position of the Viceroy was then succeeded by Lord Wavell. 

Lord Linlithgow UPSC

Lord Linlithgow was the Viceroy of India from 1936 to 1944. He succeeded Lord Willingdon and was succeeded by Lord Wavell in 1944. The time of Lord Linlithgow was a turning point in the history of Indian Independence. The August Offer of the British Government through the viceroy was faced with criticism by the Congress and hailed by the Muslim League. Moreover, Subhas Chandra Bose left India and formed the Indian National Army in 1941. The Quit India Movement also took place during his tenure which drove him out of India in 1944. 

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What did Lord Linlithgow do in India?

Lord Linlithgow was the Viceroy of India and he on behalf of the British government proposed the August Offer, which was met with criticism by the Congress and had the favour of the Muslim League, in 1940.

When did Linlithgow become Viceroy?

Lord Linlithgow became the Viceroy of India in 1936. He was the longest-serving Viceroy of India which ended in 1944. 

What was the tenure of Lord Linlithgow?

The tenure of Lord Linlithgow was 7 years from 1936 to 1944.

Who replaced Linlithgow as Viceroy in 1943?

In the year 1943, Lord Linlithgow was replaced by Lord Wavel. 

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