Crown colony, dependent territory or royal colony were dependent territories under the administration of United Kingdom overseas territories that were controlled by the British Government. As such they are examples of dependencies that are under colonial rule. Crown colonies were renamed "British Dependent Territories" in 1981 with the exception of Hong Kong, which remained a Crown colony. Since 2002, Crown colonies have been known officially as British Overseas Territories.
In such territories, residents did not elect members of the British parliament. A Crown colony was usually administered by a governor who directly controlled the executive and was appointed by "the Crown" — a term that in practice usually means the UK government, acting on behalf of the monarch. However, the term "Crown colony" has sometimes been used of entities that have elected governments and partial autonomy; these are also known as self-governing colonies.
History[edit | edit source]
The first "royal colony" was the Colony of Virginia, after 1624, when the Crown of the Kingdom of England revoked the royal charter it had granted to the Virginia Company and assumed control of the administration.
Executive governors are sometimes complemented by a locally-appointed and/or elected legislature with limited powers — that is, such territories lack responsible government. For example, while the House of Assembly of Bermuda has existed continuously since its first session in 1620, Bermuda has only had responsible government since 1968. (Bermuda became a Crown colony in 1684, when the government revoked a Royal Charter given to the Somers Isles Company, successor to the Virginia Company, which had previously controlled administration, including the appointment of governors. Afterwards the British government appointed the Governor of Bermuda.)
Despite its later usage, the term "Crown colony" was used primarily, until the mid-19th century, to refer to colonies that had been acquired through wars, such as Trinidad and Tobago. After that time it was more broadly applied to every British territory other than British India, and self-governing colonies, such as the Province of Canada, Newfoundland, British Columbia, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia, and New Zealand.
The term Crown colony continued to be used until 1981, when the British Nationality Act 1981 reclassified the remaining British colonies as "British Dependent Territories". By this time, the term "Crown colony" referred specifically to colonies lacking substantial autonomy, which were administered by an executive governor, appointed by the British Government — such as Hong Kong, before its transfer in 1997 to the People's Republic of China.
Types[edit | edit source]
There were three types of Crown colonies as of 1918, with differing degrees of autonomy:
Crown colonies with representative councils such as Bermuda, Jamaica, Ceylon, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Fiji contained two legislative chambers, consisting of Crown-appointed and locally elected members.
Crown colonies with nominated councils such as British Honduras, Sierra Leone, Grenada and Hong Kong were staffed entirely by Crown-appointed members, with some appointed representation from the local population. Hong Kong had a representative council following the introduction of election for the Hong Kong Legislative Council in 1995.
List[edit | edit source]
|Name of colony||from||to||Reason for change of status|
|Template:Flagicon Aden||1937||1967||Became part of the Federation of South Arabia.|
|Template:Flagicon Bahamas||1718||1973||Became an independent Commonwealth Realm.|
|Template:Flagicon Basutoland||1884||1964||Became British protectorate in 1964; then became independent as Lesotho in 1966.|
|Template:Flag||1684||1981||Became British Dependent Territory in 1981.|
|Template:Flagicon British Bechuanaland||1885||1895||Became part of British Cape Colony in 1895.|
|Template:Flagicon British Guiana||1831||1966||Became independent as Guyana in 1966.|
|Template:Flagicon British Honduras (renamed Belize in 1964)||1884||1981||Became independent (as Belize) in 1981.|
|Template:Flagicon Burma||1937||1948||Separated from British India in 1937 and became a Crown colony.|
|Template:Flagicon United Province of Canada||1841||1867||Became part of Canada in 1867.|
|23px Cape Colony||1806||1910||Became part of the Union of South Africa in 1910.|
|Template:Flag||1962||1981||Became British Dependent Territory in 1981.|
|Template:Flagicon Ceylon||1815||1948||Became independent as Dominion of Ceylon in 1948.|
|Template:Flag icon British Columbia||1866||1871||Became part of Canada in 1871.|
|Template:Flagicon Cyprus||1914||1960||Became independent as Cyprus in 1960.|
|Template:Flag icon East Florida||1763||1783||Ceded to Spain. Later became part of the United States.|
|Template:Flag||1841||1981||Became a British Dependent Territory in 1981.|
|Template:Flagicon image Gambia Colony and Protectorate||1888||1965||Became independent as The Gambia in 1965.|
|Template:Flag icon Georgia||1755||1776||Became part of the United States of America in 1776.|
|Template:Flag||1713||1981||Became British Dependent Territory in 1981.|
|Template:Flag icon Gold Coast||1821||1957||Became independent in 1957 as Ghana.|
|Template:Flagicon Hong Kong||1842||1997||Was the last crown colony, handed over to China in 1997 marking the end of the British Empire.|
|Template:Flagicon Jamaica||1655||1962||Became independent in 1962 as Jamaica.|
|Template:Flagicon Kenya||1920||1963||United with the Kenya Protectorate in 1963 to form the independent country of Kenya.|
|Template:Flagicon image Labuan||1846||1890||Administered by British North Borneo Company from 1890–1904.|
|1906||1946||Incorporated in the Straits Settlements on 30 October 1906.|
|1946||1963||Incorporated in North Borneo on 15 July 1946. Became part of Malaysia in 1963.|
|Template:Flagicon Lower Canada||1791||1841||Became part of Province of Canada in 1841.|
|Template:Flagicon image Malacca||1946||1957||Became part of Malaya in 1957.|
|Template:Flagicon Malta||1813||1964||Became independent in 1964 as the State of Malta.|
|Template:Flag icon Massachusetts Bay||1692||1776||Became part of the United States of America in 1776 as the state of Massachusetts.|
|Template:Flagicon Mauritius||1903||1968||Became independent as Mauritius in 1968.|
|23px Natal||1843||1910||Became part of the Union of South Africa in 1910.|
|23px Newfoundland||1825||1907||Became the Dominion of Newfoundland in 1907, and later joined Canada in 1949.|
|Template:Flag icon New Hampshire||1692||1776||Became part of the United States of America in 1776.|
|Template:Flag icon New Jersey||1702||1776||Became part of the United States of America in 1776.|
|Template:Flagicon New South Wales||1788||1901||Became part of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901.|
|Template:Flag icon New York||1691||1776||Became part of the United States of America in 1776.|
|Template:Flagicon New Zealand||1841||1907||Became the Dominion of New Zealand in 1907.|
|Template:Flagicon Nigeria||1914||1960||Became independent as Nigeria in 1960.|
|Template:Flagicon Norfolk Island||1788||1914||Placed under administration of Australia in 1914 as a non-self governing territory. The island was self-governing between 1979 and 2015.|
|Template:Flagicon image North Borneo||1946||1963||Became part of Malaysia in 1963 as Sabah. Labuan separated from Sabah in 1984 to become a Federal Territory.|
|Template:Flag icon North Carolina||1729||1776||Became part of the United States of America in 1776.|
|Template:Flagicon image Penang||1946||1957||Became part of Malaya in 1957.|
|Template:Flag icon Quebec||1763||1791||Divided between Upper and Lower Canada and the Northwest Territory.|
|Template:Flagicon Queensland||1859||1901||Became part of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901.|
|Template:Flagicon Saint Christopher and Nevis||1882||1981||Became British Dependent Territory in 1981. Independent in 1983.|
|Template:Flagicon image Sarawak||1946||1963||Became part of Malaysia in 1963.|
|23px Seychelles||1903||1976||Separated from British Mauritius in 1903 and became a Crown Colony and became independent in 1976.|
|23px Sierra Leone||1808||1961||Became independent as Sierra Leone in 1961.|
|Template:Flagicon South Australia||1834||1901||Became part of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901.|
|Template:Flag icon South Carolina||1729||1776||Became part of the United States of America in 1776.|
|Template:Flagicon Southern Rhodesia||1923||1965/1980||Declared independence in 1965 as Rhodesia, which became Zimbabwe Rhodesia, independence recognized by Britain in 1980 as Zimbabwe.|
|Template:Flagicon Singapore||1946||1963||Singapore became part of Malaysia in 1963; then became independent as the Republic of Singapore in 1965.|
|1946||1946||Labuan was incorporated into North Borneo on 15 July 1946, which became part of Malaysia in 1963.|
|1946||1955||Cocos (Keeling) Islands was transferred to Australia in 1955.|
|1946||1957||Christmas Island was transferred to Australia in 1957.|
|Template:Flagicon Straits Settlements||1786||1946||Penang became a separate Crown colony within the Malayan Union in 1946, which was re-organised as the Federation of Malaya in 1948 and became independent in 1957; later became part of Malaysia in 1963.|
|1826||1946||Singapore became a separate Crown colony in 1946, after the Straits Settlements was dissolved.|
|1826||1946||Malacca became a separate Crown colony within the Malayan Union in 1946, which re-organised as the Federation of Malaya in 1948 and became independent in 1957; later became part of Malaysia in 1963.|
|1857||1946||Cocos (Keeling) Islands became part of the Colony of Singapore in 1946.|
|1874||1937||Dinding (now Manjung) became part of the Federated Malay States in 1937, which later became part of the Malayan Union in 1946; the Malayan Union became the Federation of Malaya in 1948 and became independent in 1957; later became part of Malaysia in 1963.|
|1888||1946||Christmas Island became part of the Colony of Singapore in 1946.|
|1906||1946||Labuan became part of the Colony of Singapore in 1946.|
|Template:Flagicon Tasmania||1803||1901||Van Diemen's Land from 1803 to 1856; Formerly part of New South Wales from 1803 to 1825, when made an independent colony. Became part of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901.|
|Template:Flagicon Upper Canada||1791||1841||Became part of Province of Canada in 1841.|
|23px Vancouver Island||1848||1866||Merged with the Colony of British Columbia in 1866 which joined Canada.|
|Template:Flagicon Victoria||1851||1901||Became part of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901.|
|Template:Flag icon Virginia||1624||1776||Became part of the United States of America in 1776.|
|Template:Flagicon Western Australia||1829||1901||Swan River Colony from 1829 to 1832. Became part of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901.|
|Template:Flag icon West Florida||1763||1783||Ceded to Spain. Later became part of the United States.|
See also[edit | edit source]
- Direct rule
- Crown dependency
- Self-governing colony
- Colonial Office
- British overseas territories
- British Empire
- Legislative council
Notes[edit | edit source]
- Template:Cite web
- Porter, p. 477.
- History of Parliament: Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago – Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago.
- Olson, p. 343.
- Jenks, p. 70.
- Jenks, pp. 71–4.
- See: Malaysia Act 1963
- See: the Independence of Singapore Agreement 1965 and the Acts of Parliament of the United Kingdom – Singapore Act 1966.
- Cocos (Keeling) Islands Act 1955.
- Christmas Island (Request and Consent) Act 1957 (NO. 102, 1957).
- See: Federation of Malaya Independence Act 1957
- Template:Cite web