British Governors
The British Governor of Ceylon was an official who ruled British Ceylon during the British colonial period between 1798 and 1948. Upon the end of British rule and the creation of Dominion of Ceylon in 1948, this office was replaced by the Governor-General, who represented the British Monarch and not the Government of the United Kingdom as did the Governor. The office of Governor-General was itself abolished in 1972 and replace by the post of President when Sri Lanka became a Republic.
British Governors - (1795 - 1948)
1. Frederick North1798 - 1805
2. Thomas Maitland1805 - 1811
3. John Wilson1811 - 1812
4. Robert Brownrigg1812 - 1820
5. Edward Barnes1820 - 1822
6. James Campbell1822 - 1824
7. Edward Paget1822 - 1822
8. Edward Barnes1824 - 1831
9. John Wilson1831 - 1831
10. Robert Wilmot-Horton1831 - 1837
11. James Alexander Stewart-Mackenzie1837 - 1841
12. Colin Campbell1841 - 1847
13. The Viscount Torrington1847 - 1850
14. James Emerson Tennent1847 - 1847
15. Charles Justin MacCarthy1850 - 1850
16. George William Anderson1850 - 1855
17. Charles Justin MacCarthy1855 - 1855
18. Henry George Ward1855 - 1860
19. Charles Justin MacCarthy1860 - 1863
20. Charles Edmund Wilkinson1860 - 1860
21. Henry Frederick Lockyer1860 - 1860
22. Terence OBrien1863 - 1865
23. Hercules Robinson1865 - 1872
24. Henry Turner Irving1872 - 1872
25. William Henry Gregory1872 - 1877
26. James Robert Longden1877 - 1883
27. Arthur Hamilton-Gordon1883 - 1890
28. John Douglas1883 - 1883
29. Arthur Elibank Havelock1890 - 1895
30. Edward Noel Walker1895 - 1896
31. Joseph West Ridgeway1896 - 1903
32. Everard Fim Thurn1903 - 1903
33. Henry Arthur Blake1903 - 1907
34. Henry Edward McCallum1907 - 1913
35. Hugh Clifford1907 - 1907
36. Reginald Edward Stubbs1913 - 1913
37. Robert Chalmers1913 - 1915
38. Reginald Edward Stubbs1915 - 1916
39. John Anderson1916 - 1918
40. William Henry Manning1918 - 1925
41. Reginald Edward Stubbs1918 - 1918
42. Cecil Clementi1925 - 1925
43. Edward Bruce Alexander1925 - 1925
44. Hugh Clifford1925 - 1927
45. Arthur George Murchison Fletcher1927 - 1928
46. Herbert Stanley1928 - 1931
47. Graeme Thomson1931 - 1933
48. Bernard Henry Bourdillon1931 - 1931
49. Graeme Tyrrell1933 - 1933
50. Reginald Edward Stubbs1933 - 1937
51. Maxwell MacLagan Wedderburn1937 - 1937
52. Andrew Caldecott1937 - 1944
53. Henry Monck-Mason Moore1944 - 1948
British - (1815 - 1948)
British Ceylon (Sinhala: බ්‍රිතාන්‍ය ලංකාව Britanya Lankava Tamil: பிரித்தானிய இலங்கை Birithaniya Ilangai), known contemporaneously as Ceylon, was a British Crown colony between 1815 and 1948. At first the area it covered did not include the Kingdom of Kandy, which was a protectorate from 1815, but from 1817 to 1948 the British possessions included the whole island of Ceylon, now the nation of Sri Lanka.
Before the beginning of the Dutch governance, the island of Ceylon was divided between the Portuguese Empire and the Kingdom of Kandy, who were in the midst of a war for control of the island as a whole. The island attracted the attention of the newly formed Dutch Republic when they were invited by the Sinhalese King to fight the Portuguese. Dutch rule over much of the island was soon imposed.
In the late 18th century the Dutch, weakened by their wars against Great Britain, were conquered by Napoleonic France, and their leaders became refugees in London. No longer able to govern their part of the island effectively, the Dutch transferred the rule of it to the British, although this was against the wishes of the Dutch residing there.
As soon as Great Britain gained the European-controlled parts of Ceylon from the Dutch, they wanted to expand their new sphere of influence by making the native Kingdom of Kandy a protectorate, an offer initially refused by the King of Kandy. Although the previous Dutch administration had not been powerful enough to threaten the reign of the Kandyan Kings, the British were much more powerful. The Kandyan refusal to accept a protectorate led eventually to war, which ended with the capitulation of the Kandyans.
The rule of the king Sri Vikrama Rajasinha was not favoured by his chieftains. The king, who was of South Indian ancestry, faced powerful chieftains and sought cruel measures to repress their popularity with the people. A successful coup was organised by the Sinhala chiefs in which they accepted the British crown as their new sovereign. This ended the line of the kingdom of Kandy and King Rajasinhe was taken as a prisoner, ending his hope that the British would allow him to retain power. The war spelt the end of a most cruel tyrant who tortured Sinhala aristocracy at will in one of the most cruel ways. The Kandyan treaty which was signed in 1815 was called the Kandyan Convention and stated the terms under which the Kandyans would live as a British protectorate. The Buddhist religion was to be given protection by the Crown, and Christianity would not be imposed on the population, as had happened during Portuguese and Dutch rule. The Kandyan Convention is an important legal document because it specifies the conditions which the British promised for the Kandyan territory. For economic and strategic reasons the British then annexed British Ceylon to the Madras Presidency of British India.
It took the ruling families of Kandy less than two years to realise that the authority of the British government was a fundamentally different one to that of the (deposed) Nayakkar dynasty. Soon the Kandyans rebelled against the British and waged a guerrilla war. Discontent with British activities soon boiled over into open rebellion, commencing in the duchy of Uva in 1817, so called the Uva Rebellion, also known as the Third Kandyan War, when, according to a dissertation written by J. B. Müller, the British rulers killed everyone from the Uva-Wellassa region.[4][5] The main cause of the rebellion was the British authorities' failure to protect and uphold the customary Buddhist traditions, which were viewed by the islanders as an integral part of their lives.
The rebellion, which soon developed into a guerrilla war of the kind the Kandyans had fought against European powers for centuries, was centred on the Kandyan nobility and their unhappiness with developments under British rule since 1815. However it was the last uprising of this kind and Britain's brutal response massacred the rebels, as a warning to the rest of the Sri Lankan community and annexed the Kingdom of Kandy to British Ceylon in 1817.
Between 1796 and 1948, Ceylon was a British crown colony. Although the British monarch was the head of state, in practice his or her functions were exercised in the colony by the colonial Governor, who acted on instructions from the British government in London.