Latin "Gubernare: Governor" Direct and Guide

Latin "Praesidere: Preside over" Seated in the front and "Praesidium" Defense

"President" became the name for the head of an endowed college or community, starting in the 1450s.
Early British colonies in the US, having investment coming from England, had an elected "President" starting with John Smith in Virginia in 1608.

contrasted with

Latin "Residere: Sit (back) down" Settle down and "Resident" in the late 1300s in middle English from the same word in old French.


Surat and Bombay, Madras and Bengal

1612 Surat's presidency was established with the founding of an East India Company factory in the western Indian port city of Surat in 1612 and was terminated when the presidency's seat was moved to Bombay (Mumbai), 280 kilometres south, in 1687. At its height, the presidency included all factories on the west coast of India, including Ahmadabad, Balasore (1655-84), Bombay (1665-87), Hughly (1655-84). From 1655 to 1684, the President of the Surat factory also exercised his authority over Madras (Chennai) on the east coast.

1668 On 27 March a Royal Charter was issued transferring Bombay from Charles II to the British East India Company for an annual rent of £10. On 21 September the appointed Commissioners received their charge for the island, and the island was handed over to the Company on 23 September. Upon the transfer, Bombay was made subordinate to the Company's settlement in Surat. During 1668–87, the Governors of Bombay, who were the Presidents of Surat Council, spent most of their time in Surat. During this time, Bombay was administered by a Deputy Governor.


In 1684, Elihu Yale became the first President of Madras, first settled in 1640, with Madras also subsequently known as a "presidency"


In 1687, the Company shifted its main holdings from Surat to Bombay, which had become the administrative centre of all the west coast settlements. Following the transfer, Bombay was placed at the head of all the Company's establishments in India. However, the onset of plague and cholera delayed implementation, and the headquarters was not actually moved to Bombay until 1708. During the Governorships of John Gayer, Nicholas Waite, and William Aislabie (1694–1715), the Bombay Governors also held the title of "General". Their main title, meanwhile, continued to be "President", with Governor of Bombay being a supplementary title and role.

In 1756 the Bengal Army originated with the establishment of a European Regiment followed in 1757 by a locally recruited unit of Bengal sepoys in the form of the "Lal Paltan" battalion.

In 1758, Robert Clive became the first Governor of Bengal.
The Bengal Presidency was established in 1765, following the defeat of the last independent Nawab of Bengal at the Battle of Plassey in 23 June 1757, and the Battle of Buxar in 22 October 1764.

At this time the three principal trading administrations including factories and forts, were
1. The Madras Presidency (or the Presidency of Fort St. George)
2. The Bombay Presidency
3. The Bengal Presidency (or the Presidency of Fort William)

Each one was administered by a Governor.
In 1773 Warren Hastings became first Governor-General of Bengal, but also just one member of a five-man Supreme Council of Bengal.

Following the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the presidencies became known as provinces.

**End of notes