Crown colony

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A Crown Colony, also known in the 17th century as royal colony, was a type of colonial administration of the English and later British Empire.[1][2] Crown, or royal colonies were ruled by a governor which is decided by the Monarch. By the middle of the nineteenth century, the Sovereign appointed royal governors on the advice of the Secretary of State for the Colonies.[3] Under the name of "royal colony", the first of what would later become known as Crown colonies was the English Colony of Virginia. This happened in 1624 after the Crown removed the Royal Charter it had given to the Virginia Company.[4]

Until the mid-nineteenth century, the term "Crown Colony" was only used to refer to those colonies which had been obtain through wars. Examples were Trinidad and Tobago,[5] British Guiana, and the colonies of settlement, such as The Canadas, Newfoundland, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia, and New Zealand, later to become the Dominions.[6] The term continued to be used up until 1981, when the British Nationality Act 1981 reclassified the remaining British colonies as "British Dependent Territories". From 2002 they have been known as British Overseas Territories.[7]

List of Crown colonies[change | change source]

Name of colony from to Reason for change of status
Flag of the Colony of Aden.svg Aden 1937 1967
Flag of Anguilla.svg Anguilla 1980 1981 Became British Dependent Territory in 1981
Unofficial Basutoland Ensign.svg Basutoland 1884 1964 Became British protectorate in 1964; then became independent as Lesotho in 1966.
Flag of Bermuda.svg Bermuda 1684 1981 Became British Dependent Territory in 1981
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg British Bechuanaland 1885 1895
Flag of British guiana 1919-1954.gif British Guiana 1831 1966 Became independent as Guyana in 1966.
Flag of British Honduras (1919-1981).svg British Honduras (renamed Belize in 1964) 1884 1981 Became independent (as Belize) in 1981
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Canada 1841 1867 Became part of the Dominion of Canada in 1867.
Cape Colony flag.png Cape of Good Hope 1806 1910 Became part of the Union of South Africa in 1910.
Flag of the Cayman Islands.svg Cayman Islands 1962 1981 Became British Dependent Territory in 1981
British Ceylon flag.png Ceylon 1815 1948 Became independent as Ceylon in 1948.
Flag - colonial flag of bc.jpg British Columbia 1866 1871 Became part of the Dominion of Canada in 1871.
Union flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg Connecticut 1636 1776 Became part of the United States of America in 1776.
Flag of Cyprus (1922-1960).svg Cyprus 1914 1960 Became independent as Cyprus in 1960.
Union flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg Delaware 1664 1776 Became part of the United States of America in 1776.
Union flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg East Florida 1763 1783 Ceded to Spain.
Flag of the Falkland Islands (1948-1999).svg Falkland Islands 1841 1981 Became a British Dependent Territory in 1981.
Union flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg Georgia 1732 1777 Became part of the United States of America in 1777.
Government Ensign of Gibraltar 1939-1999.svg Gibraltar 1713 1981 Became British Dependent Territory in 1981
Flag of Hong Kong (1959-1997).svg Hong Kong 1841 1981 Became British Dependent Territory in 1981. Ceded to China in 1997.
Flag of Jamaica (1957-1962).svg Jamaica 1865 1962 Became independent in 1962 as Jamaica.
Flag of British East Africa.svg Kenya 1920 1963 United with the Kenya Protectorate in 1963 to form the independent country of Kenya
Flag of the British Colony of Labuan (1912-1946).svg Labuan 1846 1890 Administered by British North Borneo Company from 1890-1904
Flag of the British Colony of Labuan (1912-1946).svg Labuan 1904 1906 Incorporated in Straits Settlements in 1906
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Lower Canada 1791 1841 Became part of Canada in 1841.
Flag of Malta (1943-1964).svg Malta 1813 1964 Became independent in 1964 as the State of Malta.
Union flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg Maryland 1632 1776 Became part of the United States of America in 1776.
Union flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg Massachusetts Bay 1692 1776 Became part of the United States of America in 1776.
BlueEnsignNatal.png Natal 1843 1910 Became part of the Union of South Africa in 1910.
Union flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg New Hampshire 1692 1776 Became part of the United States of America in 1776.
Union flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg New Jersey 1702 1776 Became part of the United States of America in 1776.
Flag of New South Wales.svg New South Wales 1788 1901 Became part of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901.
Union flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg New York 1691 1776 Became part of the United States of America in 1776.
Flag of New Zealand.svg New Zealand 1841 1907 Became a Dominion in 1907.
Flag of North Borneo.svg North Borneo 1946 1963 Became part of Malaysia in 1963
Union flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg North Carolina 1729 1776 Became part of the United States of America in 1776.
Union flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg Pennsylvania 1681 1783 Became part of the United States of America in 1783.
Union flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg Quebec 1763 1791 Divided between Upper and Lower Canada and the Northwest Territory.
Flag of Queensland.svg Queensland 1824 1901 Became part of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901.
Union flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg Rhode Island and Providence Plantations 1806 1776 Became part of the United States of America in 1776 as the state of Rhode Island.
Flag of the Crown Colony of Sarawak (1946).svg Sarawak 1946 1963 Became part of Malaysia in 1963
Flag of Sierra Leone 1916-1961.gif Sierra Leone 1808 1961
Union flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg South Carolina 1729 1776 Became part of the United States of America in 1776.
Flag of the British Straits Settlements (1874-1942).svg Straits Settlements consisting of Malacca, Dinding, Penang and Singapore (with Christmas Island and the Cocos Islands). 1826 1946 Became part of the Malayan Union in 1946 and later Malaysia 1963; Singapore joined Malaysia in 1963 but became independent in 1965.
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Upper Canada 1791 1841 Became part of Canada in 1841.
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Vancouver Island 1848 1866 Merged with the Colony of British Columbia in 1866
Flag of Victoria (Australia).svg Victoria 1851 1901 Became part of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901.
Union flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg Virginia 1624 1776 Became part of the United States of America in 1776.
Union flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg West Florida 1763 1783 Ceded to Spain.

Related pages[change | change source]

Notes[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  • Jenks, Edward (1918). The Government of the British Empire. Little, Brown, and company.
  • Olson, James (1996). Historical Dictionary of the British Empire. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0-313-29366-X
      .
  • Porter, Andrew (1998). The Nineteenth Century, The Oxford History of the British Empire Volume III. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-924678-5
      .
      . http://books.google.com/books?id=hIx3hR0-HkIC&pg=PA71&lpg=PA71#v=onepage&f=false. Retrieved 2010-03-30. "The phrase 'Crown Colony Government' is used with various meanings. In the broadest, and perhaps most correct, sense it is applied to all the colonies in which the Crown retains the real control of the executive (i.e. to all the West Indian colonies).  By both official and common usage, however, it is often narrowed as to exclude colonies with elected Assemblies, though without a responsible executive."