This is the first ever combined history of Britain's famous overseas civil services, the Indian Civil Service, the Colonial Administrative Service, and the Sudan Political Service. Set within the need both in Whitehall and overseas to administer the expanding empire, the growth of each Service and the nature of the work are documented in detail. Particular attention is paid to the socio- educational provenance of the young administrators and to the different methods of recruitment and training. A separate chapter looks at those who went on to reach the pinnacle of a governorship. The impact of decolonization upon imperial administrators, including the 'second careers' that they adopted, is considered. For a generation which has never known Crown service overseas as a career opportunity, this important study explains why for over a century it was a respected and much sought-after career for thousands of British graduates. It presents the making of 'the generic District Officer' as the model of Britain's overseas administrator and shows how he was enabled to meet the challenging responsibilities involved in imperial administration.