The Oxford Biblical Studies Online and Oxford Islamic Studies Online have retired. Content you previously purchased on Oxford Biblical Studies Online or Oxford Islamic Studies Online has now moved to Oxford Reference, Oxford Handbooks Online, Oxford Scholarship Online, or What Everyone Needs to Know®. For information on how to continue to view articles visit the subscriber services page.

Related Content

Related Overviews

George Canning (1770—1827) prime minister and parodist

Indian Mutiny

Robert Peel (1788—1850) prime minister


See all related overviews in Oxford Reference »


More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • History
  • Regional and National History


Show Summary Details


Charles John Canning

(1812—1862) governor-general and first viceroy of India

Quick Reference


Canning served as under‐secretary to Robert Peel and as postmaster‐general to Lord Aberdeen before being appointed governor‐general of India in 1856. His years in office were dominated by the Indian mutiny of 1857. He recalled an army from China and insisted on military reconquest. Afterwards he resisted demands for widespread vengeance, earning the nickname ‘Clemency Canning’. His post‐mutiny policies centred on reorganizing the army and promoting the loyalty of Indians to Britain. He founded the first Indian universities, passed tenancy legislation, guaranteed the continuity of princely states, and banned interference in Indian religion and custom.

Reference entries