The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







A viceroy is somebody who governs a country or province as a substitute for the monarch. The term derives from the Latin prefix vice-, meaning "in the place of" and roi, meaning king. A vicereine is a woman in a viceregal position, or a viceroy's wife.

For example, the kings of early modern Spain employed numerous viceroys to rule over various parts of their lands. In Europe, until the 18th century there were Viceroys of Aragon, Valencia, Catalonia, Sardinia, Sicily, Naples, and Portugal (1580-1640), while in the New World, there were viceroys in Mexico City to govern New Spain and in Lima, Peru to govern western South America. The New World territories under the control of viceroys were known as Viceroyalties. Due to the growing size of Spain's American colonies, new viceroyalties were created for New Granada (1717) and Río de la Plata (1776).

In imperial China, viceroy was the English translation of the title "general supervisor-protector" (督護 or 總督) of Chinese officials heading some large administrative divisions. For instance, there was a viceroy of the two Guangs (Guangdong and Guangxi), a viceroy of Hukwang (the combination of the provinces of Hubei and Hunan). Li Hongzhang was viceroy of Hukwang from 1867 to 1870.

From 1858 to 1947, the Governor-General of India was also the Viceroy of India. The Lord Lieutenant of Ireland was also sometimes referred to as a viceroy. The adjective viceregal is used in some Commonwealth realms to refer to the function of the Governor-General as representative of the Crown. The Governor-General in Commonwealth realms is sometimes informally referred to as the viceroy, particularly in newspaper headlines.

List of viceroyalties

See also

Last updated: 05-02-2005 04:51:17
Last updated: 05-02-2005 11:43:05