The three types of English colonies in America were charter, proprietary and royal. Colonies were classified according to how each colony was governed.
Before the English colonies in America were granted complete independence from Britain, they remained under the rule of the English monarchy. The King of England did allow for partial self-governing within some of the colonies. The type of arrangement made between the settlers and the monarchy determined the classification of that colony.
Charter colonies were governed according to a charter granted to the colony's government by the King of England. In proprietary colonies, the King gave the full right to govern to an individual or group in each colony. Governing in those colonies was done according to a charter agreement between the colony and the monarchy. Royal colonies, also known as crown colonies, were under the rule of the English Crown, governed by an official appointed by the King.