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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. 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. 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.
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, 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. 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.
List of Crown colonies
|Name of colony||from||to||Reason for change of status|
|Anguilla||1980||1981||Became British Dependent Territory in 1981|
|Basutoland||1884||1964||Became British protectorate in 1964; then became independent as Lesotho in 1966.|
|Bermuda||1684||1981||Became British Dependent Territory in 1981|
|British Guiana||1831||1966||Became independent as Guyana in 1966.|
|British Honduras (renamed Belize in 1964)||1884||1981||Became independent (as Belize) in 1981|
|Canada||1841||1867||Became part of the Dominion of Canada in 1867.|
|Cape of Good Hope||1806||1910||Became part of the Union of South Africa in 1910.|
|Cayman Islands||1962||1981||Became British Dependent Territory in 1981|
|Ceylon||1815||1948||Became independent as Ceylon in 1948.|
|British Columbia||1866||1871||Became part of the Dominion of Canada in 1871.|
|Connecticut||1636||1776||Became part of the United States of America in 1776.|
|Cyprus||1914||1960||Became independent as Cyprus in 1960.|
|Delaware||1664||1776||Became part of the United States of America in 1776.|
|East Florida||1763||1783||Ceded to Spain.|
|Falkland Islands||1841||1981||Became a British Dependent Territory in 1981.|
|Georgia||1732||1777||Became part of the United States of America in 1777.|
|Gibraltar||1713||1981||Became British Dependent Territory in 1981|
|Hong Kong||1841||1981||Became British Dependent Territory in 1981. Ceded to China in 1997.|
|Jamaica||1865||1962||Became independent in 1962 as Jamaica.|
|Kenya||1920||1963||United with the Kenya Protectorate in 1963 to form the independent country of Kenya|
|Labuan||1846||1890||Administered by British North Borneo Company from 1890-1904|
|Labuan||1904||1906||Incorporated in Straits Settlements in 1906|
|Lower Canada||1791||1841||Became part of Canada in 1841.|
|Malta||1813||1964||Became independent in 1964 as the State of Malta.|
|Maryland||1632||1776||Became part of the United States of America in 1776.|
|Massachusetts Bay||1692||1776||Became part of the United States of America in 1776.|
|Natal||1843||1910||Became part of the Union of South Africa in 1910.|
|New Hampshire||1692||1776||Became part of the United States of America in 1776.|
|New Jersey||1702||1776||Became part of the United States of America in 1776.|
|New South Wales||1788||1901||Became part of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901.|
|New York||1691||1776||Became part of the United States of America in 1776.|
|New Zealand||1841||1907||Became a Dominion in 1907.|
|North Borneo||1946||1963||Became part of Malaysia in 1963|
|North Carolina||1729||1776||Became part of the United States of America in 1776.|
|Pennsylvania||1681||1783||Became part of the United States of America in 1783.|
|Quebec||1763||1791||Divided between Upper and Lower Canada and the Northwest Territory.|
|Queensland||1824||1901||Became part of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901.|
|Rhode Island and Providence Plantations||1806||1776||Became part of the United States of America in 1776 as the state of Rhode Island.|
|Sarawak||1946||1963||Became part of Malaysia in 1963|
|South Carolina||1729||1776||Became part of the United States of America in 1776.|
|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.|
|Upper Canada||1791||1841||Became part of Canada in 1841.|
|Vancouver Island||1848||1866||Merged with the Colony of British Columbia in 1866|
|Victoria||1851||1901||Became part of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901.|
|Virginia||1624||1776||Became part of the United States of America in 1776.|
|West Florida||1763||1783||Ceded to Spain.|
- U.S. Library of Congress - Glossary of terms
- Compact Oxford English Dictionary - "Crown colony"
- Jenks, p.70
- Porter, p.477
- History of Parliament: Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago - Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago
- Olson, p.343
- http://www.legislation.gov.uk.+"British Overseas Territories Act 2002". http://www.legislation.gov.uk. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2002/8/contents.
- 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.
- Porter, Andrew (1998). The Nineteenth Century, The Oxford History of the British Empire Volume III. Oxford University Press.
- Wrong, Hume (1923). "The Old Representative System: The Change To Crown Colony Government". Government of the West Indies. England: Oxford University Press. p. 71.
. 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.".