What Is a Royal Colony?

A royal colony, one of three organizational types in colonial America, was administered by a governor and council appointed by and acting on behalf of the king of England. The seven royal colonies were New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.

These colonies had a representational assembly, elected by colonists, that managed daily tasks, such as dealing with crime or piracy. Later, these assemblies formed the core of the leaders of the American Revolution.

The other two types of colonies were proprietary and charter, both of which were self-governed. When King James II assumed the throne, he attempted to convert both charter and proprietary colonies into royal colonies, but was met with resistance.