This article has been extracted from
THE IMPERIAL GAZETTEER OF INDIA , 1908.
OXFORD, AT THE CLARENDON PRESS.
Note: National, provincial and district boundaries have changed considerably since 1908. Typically, old states, ‘divisions’ and districts have been broken into smaller units, units, and many tahsils upgraded to districts.Many units have since been renamed. Therefore, this article is being posted mainly for its historical value.
The subah or province of Agra was one of twelve into which the Mughal empire was originally divided by Akbar. It took its name from Agra City, the imperial capital, and both city and province were subsequently called Akbarabad. The Subah is described in the Ain-i-Akbari as 175 kos long from Palwal (now in Gurgaon District) to Ghatampur (Cawnpore District), and 100 kos broad from Kanauj (Farrukhabad District) to Chanderi (Gwalior State).
It thus included, in the present United Provinces, the whole of the Agra Division, with Aligarh and half Bulandshahr District to the north, and most of Cawnpore, Jalaun, and Jhansi District to the east and south. On the west it extended over parts of the present States o Jaipur, Alwar,
Bharatpur, Karauli, and Dholpur in Rajputana, and Gwalior in Central India. The province nominally survived till the end of the eighteenth century, though Rajputs, Jats, Marathas, and the Pathans of Farrukhabad had been the actual rulers for nearly a hundred years.
The eastern portion, which is now British territory, was acquired, partly by cession from the Nawab of Oudh in 1801, and partly 'by conquest from the Marathas in 1803, and was at first included, with other areas acquired at the same periods, in the Presidency of Bengal. Administrative difficulties arose, owing to the distance of these outlying tracts from the seat of Government at Calcutta ; and, after various temporary measures, a Board of Revenue and a Sadr Diwani and Nizamat Adalat (Chief Civil and Criminal Courts) were constituted in 1831 for the so-called Western Provinces,, entirely independent of the Board and Courts at Calcutta.
A few years later a Presidency of Agra was formed by the statute 3 and 4 William IV, cap. 85, which comprised the whole of the present United Provinces, except Oudh and parts of Bundelkhand, and a Governor was appointed. The scheme was, however, Never completely carried out ; and a Lieutenant-Governor of the North- western Provinces, which included the same area, was appointed in 1836 under the statute 5 and 6 William IV, cap. 52. By Act VII of 1902 a change was made in designation, and the North- Western Provinces and Oudh became the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh. The term ' Agra ' is now applied (section 4 (4), United Provinces Act 1 of 1904) to the territories formerly known as the North-Western Provinces.