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The Government of India Act of 1858

02 Aug 2019  Fri

The Government of India Act of 1858 was passed on 2ng August 1858. It was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which called for the liquidation of the British East India Company. The act resulted in the transfer of power to the British Crown.

In the aftermath of India’s First War of Independence in 1857 against the East India Company, the British Government passed this act. Lord Palmerston, then-Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, introduced a bill for the transfer of control with the reason stating the grave defects in the existing system of the government of India.

Before introducing this law, another bill was passed with the title "An Act for the Better Government of India". This bill was issued on the same day with the provision that India was to be governed directly and in the name of the Crown.

The Act was followed a few months later by Queen Victoria's proclamation to the "Princes, Chiefs, and People of India". The proclamation stated that the British Crown had entire control over the British Indian Territory. The Act ushered in a new period of Indian history, bringing about the end of Company rule in India. The era of the new British Raj would last until the Partition of India in August 1947.

The coins shown above are Copper1 Quarter Anna issued in 1858 by East India Company which depicts the seal of the company on the Obverse and the name of the company along with the denomination on the reverse. On the other hand, the Silver Rupee depicts the bust of Queen Victoria on the obverse and the denomination and the year of issue on the reverse.

Image Courtesy: https://upload.wikimedia.org and www.ma-shops.com

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