Agencies of British India

An agency of British India was an internally autonomous or semi-autonomous unit of British India whose external affairs were governed by an agent designated by the Viceroy of India.[1] They varied in character from fully autonomous self-governing dependencies such as princely states, where the agent functioned mainly as a representative of the Viceroy, to tribal tracts which were integral parts of the British Empire and where the agent was completely in charge of law and order. The agent of a protected tract or princely state usually lived outside the territory in his charge, as opposed to a Resident who usually lived within his confines and was frequently the District Collector of the adjoining British district.

Colonial India
British Indian Empire
Imperial entities of India
Dutch India1605–1825
Danish India1620–1869
French India1668–1954

Portuguese India
Casa da Índia1434–1833
Portuguese East India Company1628–1633

British India
East India Company1612–1757
Company rule in India1757–1858
British Raj1858–1947
British rule in Burma1824–1948
Princely states1721–1949
Partition of India

Civil and criminal justice in agencies were usually administered through locally made laws, and the Indian Penal Code was not applicable by default in these agencies.

List of agenciesEdit

Political agencies were created, merged or abolished at different times during the history of the British Raj.[2] This list includes all agencies, regardless of the historical period.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Great Britain India Office. The Imperial Gazetteer of India. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1908.
  2. ^   This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "British Empire". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.

Sources and external linksEdit