A Royal Durbar was held at Allahabad in November 1, 1858. A proclamation was issued by Queen Victoria. It was read at the Durbar by Lord Canning, who was the last Governor General and the first Viceroy of India. The important features of the Queen’s Proclamation were the following.
- The Act laid down that henceforth India shall be governed by and in the name of the Queen.
- It abolished the Board of Control and the Court of Directors. The post of a Secretary of State was created. He was to be assisted by a Council of India which was to consist of fifteen members.
- The Doctrine of Lapse was cancelled and the British stopped the policy of annexation.
- A general amnesty (pardon) was granted to the rebels except those who were directly involved in killing the British subjects.
- The office of the Governor General was changed to that of Viceroy of India.
Various views were expressed regarding the nature of the Mutiny. Although the British historians did not give much importance to the Mutiny, the Indian historians called it India’s First War of Independence. So it occupies a unique place in history. Definitely it laid the foundation for the freedom movement in India.