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The office of Secretary of State for India, or India Secretary, was created in 1858 when Company rule in India ended and British India was brought under direct British administration (a period often called the British Raj).

The Secretary of State was the political head of the India Office, a new British government department responsible for the government of India, and was a member of the cabinet of the United Kingdom. In 1935, following the Government of India Act 1935, a new Burma Office was created, in preparation for the establishment of Burmamarker as a separate colony, but the same Secretary of State headed both Departments and was styled the Secretary of State for India and Burma. The India Office came to an end in 1947, when the Partition of India resulted in the creation of two new independent dominions, the Union of India and the dominion of Pakistan. Burma achieved independence separately early in 1948.

Secretaries of State for India, 1858-1937

Name Entered office Left office
Lord Stanley 2 September 1858 11 June 1859
Sir Charles Wood, Bt 18 June 1859 16 February 1866
The Earl de Grey 16 February 1866 26 June 1866
Viscount Cranborne 6 July 1866 8 March 1867
Sir Stafford Northcote, Bt 8 March 1867 1 December 1868
The Duke of Argyll 9 December 1868 17 February 1874
The Marquess of Salisbury 21 February 1874 2 April 1878
The Viscount Cranbrook 2 April 1878 21 April 1880
The Marquess of Hartington 28 April 1880 16 December 1882
The Earl of Kimberley 16 December 1882 9 June 1885
Lord Randolph Churchill 24 June 1885 28 January 1886
The Earl of Kimberley 6 February 1886 20 July 1886
Sir R. A. Cross
(Viscount Cross from 19 August 1886)
3 August 1886 11 August 1892
The Earl of Kimberley 18 August 1892 10 March 1894
Henry Fowler 10 March 1894 21 June 1895
Lord George Hamilton 4 July 1895 9 October 1903
Hon. St John Brodrick 9 October 1903 4 December 1905
John Morley
(Viscount Morley of Blackburn from 1908)
10 December 1905 3 November 1910
The Earl of Crewe 3 November 1910 7 March 1911
The Viscount Morley of Blackburn 7 March 1911 25 May 1911
The Earl of Crewe
(Marquess of Crewe from July 1911)
25 May 1911 25 May 1915
Austen Chamberlain 25 May 1915 17 July 1917
Hon. Edwin Samuel Montagu 17 July 1917 19 March 1922
The Viscount Peel 19 March 1922 22 January 1924
The Lord Olivier 22 January 1924 3 November 1924
The Earl of Birkenhead 6 November 1924 18 October 1928
The Viscount Peel 18 October 1928 4 June 1929
William Wedgwood Benn 7 June 1929 24 August 1931
Sir Samuel Hoare 25 August 1931 7 June 1935
The Marquess of Zetland 7 June 1935 28 May 1937


Secretaries of State for India and Burma, 1937-1947

Name Entered office Left office
The Marquess of Zetland 28 May 1937 13 May 1940
Leo Amery 13 May 1940 26 July 1945
The Lord Pethick-Lawrence 3 August 1945 17 April 1947
The Earl of Listowel 17 April 1947 14 August 1947


Secretaries of State for Burma, 1947-1948

Name Entered office Left office
The Earl of Listowel 14 August 1947 4 January 1948


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