Robert Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Earl of Lytton He served as Viceroy of India between 1876 and 1880, used to write poems with the Pen name of Owen Meredith.
During his tenure, a Royal Titles Act conferring on the queen Victoria the title of the Empress of India was passed and a magnificent Delhi Darbar was organized in 1877 in which queen Victoria was adorned with title Qaiser-i-Hind.
In 1877, Lord Lytton convened a durbar (imperial assembly) in Delhi which was attended by around 84,000 people including princes and title holders. In 1878, he promulgated the Vernacular Press Act, which empowered him to confiscate the press and paper of a local language newspaper publishing ‘seditious material’. The act resulted in public outcry in Calcutta led by the Indian Association and Surendranath Banerjee.
During his tenure Aligarh College was founded in 1877 and the Vernacular Press act, Arms act were passed in 1878. The age for eligibility in civil services was brought down from 21 to 18 years. The second Anglo-Afghan war also fought during his tenure which proved to be very expensive.
The Indian Arms Act of 1878 was legislated during Lord Lytton’s time. By this act, no Indians could keep unlicensed arms. However, the English people could hold arms without license.
His implementation of Britain’s trading policy has been blamed for increasing the severity of the famine. Critics have further attested that Lytton’s belief in Social Darwinism regards the plight of the starving and dying Indians.
Lord Lytton also was responsible for the economic distress caused by abolishing the Tax on the foreign cotton coming to India, to safeguard the British Traders.
The maximum age to enter in to the Civil Services Examination was reduced from 21 years to 19 years.
Lucile was a verse novel written by Lord Lytton, published in 1860. His son-in-law, and one of Britain’s most outstanding architects, Sir Edwin Lutyens, played a major role in the creation of New Delhi.
In 1880 he resigned his Viceroyalty simultaneously with the Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli.