is a royal official who governs a country or province in the name of and as representative of the monarch
. The term derives from the Latin prefix vice-
, meaning "in the place of" and the French word roi
, meaning king. His province or larger territory is called a viceroyalty
. The relative adjective is viceregal
. A vicereine
is a woman in a viceregal position (rare, as it usually includes military high command), or a Viceroy's wife.
The etymological allusion to the royal style makes it be perceived as higher than governor-general and lord lieutenant, even when in some cases it is a synonym for that administrative rank, and not necessarily above several "provincial" (lieutenant-) governors.
In some cases, the title (and the office, unless the title is not permanently attached to the job) is reserved for members of the ruling dynasty. It was not uncommon for potential heirs to the throne to obtain such a post (or an equivalent one, without the viceregal style) as a test — and learning stage, not unlike the even loftier "associations to the throne", such as the Roman consortium imperii — or the Caesars in Emperor Diocletian's original Tetrarchy.
The title was originally used in the Aragonese Crown
since 14th Century for Sardinia
. The absolutist
Kings of Spain
employed numerous Viceroys to rule over various parts of their vast empire "where the sun never set", both European and overseas.
In Europe, until the 18th century the Spanish crown appointed Viceroys of Aragon, Valencia, Catalonia, Navarre, Sardinia, Sicily, Naples and Portugal (1580 – 1640). With the ascension of the House of Bourbon to the Spanish throne, the historic Aragonese viceroyalties were replaced by new Captaincies General. At the end of War of the Spanish Succession, the Spanish Monarchy was shorn of its Italian possessions.
With the Spanish colonization of the Americas, the institution of viceroys was adapted to govern the highly populated and wealthy regions of New Spain (Mexico) and Peru. The viceroys of these two areas had oversight over the other provinces, with most of the North American, Central American, Caribbean and Philippine areas supervised by the viceroy in Mexico City and the South American ones by the viceroy in Lima, (with the exception of most of today's Venezuela, which was overseen by the Audiencia of Santo Domingo for most of the colonial period). These large administrative territories became known as Viceroyalties (Spanish term: virreinato). There were only two New World viceroyalties until 1717, when the new Bourbon Dynasty established two additional viceroyalties to promote economic growth and new settlements. New viceroyalties were created for New Granada in 1717 (capital, Bogotá) and the Río de la Plata in 1776 (capital, Buenos Aires).
The viceroyalties of Spanish America and the Philippines were subdivided into smaller, automous units, the Audiencias and the Captaincies General, which in most cases became the bases for the independent countries of modern Spanish America. These units gathered the local provinces which could be governed by a either a corregidor (sometimes alcalde mayor) or by a cabildo. Audiencias primarily functioned as superior judicial tribunals, but unlike their European counterparts, the New World audiencias were granted by law both administrative and legislative powers. Captaincies General were primarily military districts set up in areas with a risk of foreign or Indian attack, but the captains general were usually given political powers over the provinces under their command. Because the long distances to the viceregal capital would hamper effective communication, both audiencias and captains general were authorized to communicate directly with the crown through the Council of the Indies. The Bourbon Reforms introduced the new office of the intendant, which was appointed directly by the crown and had broad fiscal and administrative powers in political and military issues.
British Empire and Commonwealth
From 1858 (when the British crown took over the role of the British East India Company
, which had appointed governors-general since 20 October 1774
, and maintained its last incumbent) to 1947, the height of the British Raj
, the British colonial Governor
of India was also known as the Viceroy of India
(only the last incumbent was connected to royalty: 21 February
– 15 August 1947 Louis Francis Mountbatten
, Earl Mountbatten of Burma).
The Lord Lieutenant of Ireland was also sometimes referred to as a British viceroy or in the Irish language Tánaiste-Ri, literally 'deputy king'.
The title itself and the derived adjective "vice-regal" are used in some Commonwealth realms (in general technically incorrect, as formerly in British India) to refer to the function of the governor general (and in Canada, provincial lieutenant governors, and in Australia, state governors) as representatives of the Crown. This usage may reflect the direct relationship between a governor general and the Crown and a governor general's exercise of all royal powers and functions under the Balfour Declaration of 1926.
in Portuguese Vice-Rei
- Portuguese India, with its seat in Goa, started in 1505–1509 under Viceroy Francisco de Almeida (b.1450–d.1510). From 1505 on Viceroys, Governors(-general) and Governing Commissions were many times interleaved as the form of government until the last Viceroy Afonso Henriques, Duke of Oporto (b.1865-d.1920) in 1896. From 1896 until 1961 only Governors–general took place.
- Brazil, 1714–1808. Since 1714 Governors-General of Brazil were titled "Viceroys". With the arrival of the Portuguese Royal Family in Brazil in 1808 due to the Napoleonic Wars, the office of Viceroy ceased to exist, due to the presence of the Queen and of the Prince Regent in the giant colony. Brazil remained the seat of the Portuguese Empire until 1821, but when the Portuguese Court returned to Portugal the colonial office of Viceroy was not re-established, given that Brazil had been elevated to the rank of a kingdom, and a new State, the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves had been proclaimed in 1815. Thus, when the Royal Family returned to Lisbon, Prince Dom Pedro was left behind to govern Brazil with the rank of Regent, as Viceroy was perceived as being a colonial title and Brazil was no longer a colony since the proclamation of the United Kingdom. Prince Regent Dom Pedro would proclaim Brazil's independence in 1822, becoming the first Emperor of the newly formed Brazilian Empire.
Other colonial viceroyalties
- New France, in present Canada, after a single Governor (24 July 1534–15 January 1541 Jacques Cartier) had Lieutenants-general and Viceroys 15 January 1541–September 1543 Jean François de la Rocquet, sieur de Robervalle (b. c.1500–d. 1560), after September 1543–3 January 1578 Abandonment again 3 January 1578–February 1606 Troilus de Mesgouez, marquis de la Roche-Mesgouez (d. 1606) (viceroy and from 12 January 1598, lieutenant-general), February 1606–1614 Jean de Biencourt, sieur de Poutrincourt, baron de St. Just (b. 1557–d. 1615); next a series of Viceroys (resident in France) 8 October 1611–1672, later Governors and Governors-general.
- in Italian Viceré: The highest colonial representatives in the "federation" of Italian East Africa (six provinces, each under a governor; together Ethiopia, Eritrea and Italian Somaliland) were no longer styled "High Commissioner", but "Viceroy and Governor-general" from 5 May 1936, when fascist forces temporarily occupied Ethiopia, until 27 November 1941, when the last Italian administrator surrendered to the Allies. The Italian King Victor Emmanuel claimed the title of "Emperor of Ethiopia" (Nəgusä nägäst, "King of Kings") and declared himself to be a successor to the Nəgusä nägäst, even though Emperor Haile Selassie I continued to hold this title while in exile, and resumed his actual, physical throne on 5 May 1941.
Other Domestic Viceroys, including personal unions
- During the rule of the House of Hanover in Britain, the German principality of Hanover was run by a group of ministers. However, the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire meant that Hanover was incorporated into the British Empire. During the Regency of George, Prince of Wales, and the reigns of George IV and William IV, their younger brother Adolphus was Viceroy (1814–1837). Hanover left the Empire in 1837 and became independent under another brother, Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland. Queen Victoria, as a woman, could not inherit Hanover.
- Corsica had one, 1406–c.1420: Vincentello d'Istria, Count and Viceroy (nominally for Aragon).
- Napoleon I Bonaparte created his adoptive stepson, Eugène de Beauharnais, Viceroi d'Italie in his kingdom of Italy (in personal union with his French Empire), and the same Prince later Prince of Venice, i.e. heir apparent to that royal crown, while excluded from the French imperial throne which was reserved for his son by the empress, a born Habsburg archduchess).
- The Congress of Vienna combined the territories of Lombardy and Venetia into the Kingdom of Lombardy and Venetia, under the Austrian Habsburgs. The king was the Austrian Emperor, locally represented by a viceroy: Francis Joseph ruled over the Kingdom but his younger brother Maximilian, who later became Emperor of Mexico, served as his viceroy in Milan (1857-1859).
- Viceroy of Norway, during the Union between Sweden and Norway.
- under the Romanov Emperors of Russia:
- Poland, while in personal union under the Emperors of Russia as Kings (styled Tsar; 20 June 1815–5 November 1916), had only one Viceroy, 9 December 1815–1 December 1830: Grand Duke Konstantin Pavlovich Romanov (b. 1779–d. 1831)
- Transcaucasia (Armenia, Azerbaidjan and Georgia; first under Governors in Tbilisi 1802–1844) had Viceroys of Transcaucasia:
- 1845–1853: Mikhail Semyonovich Prince Vorontsov (b. 1782–d. 1856).
- 1853–1854: Nikolay Andreyevich Read (acting) (b. 1792–d. 1855);
- 1854–1856: Nikolay Nikolayevich Muravyev (b. 1794–d. 1866);
- 1856–1862: Prince Aleksandr Ivanovich Baryatinsky (b. 1814–d. 1879);
- 1862–1881: Grand Duke Mikhail Nikolayevich Romanov (b. 1832–d. 1909); next a series of Chief Heads of the Civil Administration of the Caucasus, including several imperial princes, 1882–1905, then again Viceroys:
- 1905–1915: Count Illaryon Ivanovich, Vorontsov-Dashkov (b. 1837–d. 1916);
- 1915–February 1917: Grand Duke Nikolay Nikolayevich Romanov (b. 1837–d. 1929).
- The American Director (later assuming the title of U.S. Presidential Envoy and Administrator in Iraq) of Coalition Provisional Authority after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, was referred to by Time Magazine and the Washington Postas a "viceroy."
As many princely and administrative titles, viceroy is often used, generally unofficially, to render somewhat equivalent titles and offices in non-western cultures.
- The khedive of Egypt, especially with the dynasty initiated by Muhammad Ali Pasha (1805-1848). This officer established an almost autonomous regime in Egypt, which officially still was under Ottoman rule. Although Mehemet Ali/Muhammad Ali used different symbols to mark his independence from the Sublime Porte, he never openly declared himself independent. Adopting the title of viceroy was yet another way to walk the thin line between challenging the Sultan's power explicitly and respecting his jurisdiction. Muhammad Ali Pasha's son, Ismail Pasha, subsequently received the title of Khedive which was almost an equivalent to viceroy.
In imperial China
was the English translation of the title "general supervisor-protector" (Zǒngdū
總督), otherwise translated as the Governor General
, who were heading large administrative divisions, directly under the imperial court
. These divisions are usually two or three provinces. The regions included Zhili
, Liangjiang, Liangguang
, Shangan, Minzhe, Yungui and Sichuan. Li Hongzhang
was viceroy of Huguang from 1867 to 1870, and Yuan Shikai
was once Viceroy of Zhili
Sri Lankan and Southeast Asian tradition
- Uparaja, variations and compounds such as Maha Uparaja
Sources and references
- WorldStatesmen — click each present country
- Elliott, J. H., Imperial Spain, 1469-1716. London: Edward Arnold, 1963.
- Fisher, Lillian Estelle. Viceregal Administration in the Spanish American Colonies. Berkeley, University of California Press, 1926.
- Harding, C. H., The Spanish Empire in America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1947.