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][page needed]


This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (December 2020) (Learn how and when to remove this message)

The agencies 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.

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 agencies

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 also


  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 links