Biography

The Colonial Office was a government department of the Kingdom of Great Britain and later of the United Kingdom, first created to deal with the colonial affairs of British North America but needed also to oversee the increasing number of colonies of the British Empire. Despite its name, the Colonial Office was never responsible for all Britain's Imperial territories; for example protectorates fell under the purview of the Foreign Office, British India was ruled by the East India Company until 1858 (thereafter being succeeded by the India Office as a result of the Indian Mutiny), whilst the role of the colonial office in the affairs of the Dominions changed as time passed.

It was headed by the Secretary of State for the Colonies, also known more informally as the Colonial Secretary.

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