Canning, Charles John Canning, Earl, 1812–62, British statesman; third son of George Canning. Succeeding to the peerage conferred on his mother, he took his seat as Viscount Canning in the House of Lords (1837) and served as Sir Robert Peel's undersecretary for foreign affairs (1841–46) and Lord Aberdeen's postmaster general (1853–55). Appointed (1856) governor-general of India, he became known as "Clemency Canning" for his efforts to restrain revenge against the Indians during the Indian Mutiny. In 1858, when the power of government was transferred from the East India Company to the British crown, Canning became the first viceroy of India. He was created earl in 1859 and retired in 1862.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.