The first separate organization for the administration of colonial affairs was a committee of the Privy Council appointed 'for the plantaçons' in 1660. In the same year this was redesignated the Council for Foreign Plantations, and in 1672 it was united with the Council for Trade to form the Council of Trade and Plantations.
From 1768 colonial affairs had also been dealt with by the Secretary of State for the American, or Colonial Department, until 1782, when the Privy Council once again assumed direct responsibility for the colonies.
For the following two years, colonial affairs were dealt with by the Plantations Branch of the Home Office. In 1784, the Committee for Trade and Foreign Plantations was formed, though this gradually lost influence to the Secretary of State for the War and Colonial Department (later the Secretary of State for the Colonies).
The new secretaryship was completely separated from the office of the Secretary for War in 1856. In 1925, a separate Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs was appointed. The Colonial Office finally merged with the Commonwealth Relations Office in in 1966 to form the Commonwealth Office.
Desk diaries of Colonial Office patronage secretaries, with notes recording impressions of prospective candidates for colonial employment at their preliminary interviews, 1899, 1902-1912, 1914, 1915.
The diaries were transferred from the Records Section of the Library Division of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to the library through the Oxford Development Records Project, [c1980].Access Conditions
Bodleian reader's ticket required.Reproduction Restrictions
No reproduction or publication without permission. Contact the library in the first instance.
Listed as no. 576 in Manuscript Collections in Rhodes House Library Oxford, Accessions 1978-1994 (Oxford, Bodleian Library, 1996).Related Units of Description
While the The National Archives is the official custodian of Colonial Office records, the library holds the following Colonial Office material:
Great Britain. Colonial Office | Officials and employees