Crown Colony of Malta

Crown Colony of the Island of Malta and its Dependencies

Kolonja tal-Gżira ta' Malta u d-Dipendenzi tagħha (in Maltese)
Colonia dell'Isola di Malta e Sue Dipendenze (in Italian)
Flag of Malta
Flag of Malta (1943).svg
Top: Official Flag (1943–1964)
Bottom: Unofficial Flag (1943–1964)
Anthem: L-Innu Malti
The Malta Hymn

Royal anthem
God Save the King/Queen (1813–1964)
Europe in 1815, Malta in dark green, United Kingdom in light blue
Europe in 1815, Malta in dark green, United Kingdom in light blue
StatusBritish colony
Common languagesEnglish, Maltese, Italian (to 1934)
Roman Catholicism
• 1813–1820
George III (first)
• 1952–1964
Elizabeth II (last)
• 1813–1824
Sir Thomas Maitland (first)
• 1962–1964
Sir Maurice Henry Dorman (last)
Prime Minister 
• 1921–1923
Joseph Howard (first)
• 1962–1964
Giorgio Borġ Olivier (last)
Senate (to 1933)
Legislative Assembly
• Established
23 July 1813
30 May 1814
• Independence
21 September 1964
1823316 km2 (122 sq mi)
1911316 km2 (122 sq mi)
1957316 km2 (122 sq mi)
• 1823
• 1911
• 1957
CurrencyMaltese scudo and various other currencies (1813–1825)
Pound sterling (1825–1964)
ISO 3166 codeMT
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Malta Protectorate
State of Malta

The Crown Colony of the Island of Malta and its Dependencies (commonly known as the Crown Colony of Malta or simply Malta) was the British colony in the Maltese islands, today the modern Republic of Malta. It was established when the Malta Protectorate was transformed into a British Crown colony in 1813, and this was confirmed by the Treaty of Paris in 1814.

Establishment and early years (1813–1824)

The British coat of arms on the Main Guard building in Valletta. The building now houses the Office of the Attorney General.

From 1530 to 1798, Malta had been ruled by the Order of Saint John. The Order was ousted during the War of the Second Coalition and Malta was occupied by Napoleon. The Maltese rebelled after a couple of months of French rule and asked Britain for help. Eventually, the French capitulated in 1800 and Malta voluntarily became a British protectorate. Britain was then supposed to evacuate the island according to the terms of the Treaty of Amiens of 1802, but failed to keep this obligation – one of several mutual cases of non-adherence to the treaty, which eventually led to its collapse and the resumption of war between Britain and France a year later.

Malta became a Crown Colony on 23 July 1813, when Sir Thomas Maitland was appointed as Governor of Malta. That year, Malta was granted the Bathurst Constitution. Malta's status as a Crown Colony was confirmed by the Treaty of Paris of 1814, which was itself reaffirmed by the Congress of Vienna of 1815.

The plague broke out in Malta in March 1813, when a British merchant ship infected with the disease arrived from Alexandria. The disease began to spread especially in Valletta and the Grand Harbour area, and when Governor Maitland arrived, stricter quarantine measures were enforced. The plague spread to Gozo by January 1814, but the islands were free of the disease by March of that year. Overall, 4,486 people were killed which amounted to 4% of the total population.[1]

After the eradication of the plague, Maitland made several reforms. He was autocratic since he refused to form an advisory council made up of Maltese representatives, and so he was informally known as "King Tom". He formed the Malta Police Force in 1814, while the local Italian-speaking Università was dissolved in 1819. Various reforms were undertaken in taxation and the law courts as well. Maitland remained Governor until his death on 17 January 1824.[1]