Sierra Leone Colony and Protectorate

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Colony and Protectorate of Sierra Leone
Motto: Auspice Britannia liber
(Latin: "Free under the protection of Britain")
Anthem: God Save the King (1808–1837; 1901–1952)
God Save the Queen (1837–1901; 1952–1961)
Sierra Leone in its region.svg
Status British Crown Colony
Capital Freetown
Common languages English (official), Temne, Mende, Krio widely spoken
Government Crown colony
• 1808–1820
George III (first)
• 1952–1961
Elizabeth II (last)
• 1808
Thomas Ludlam (first)
• 1956–1961
Maurice Henry Dorman (last)
Prime Ministera  
• 1954–1961
Milton Margai
• Colony established
1 January[1] 1808[1][2]
• Protectorate established
31 August[3] 1896[2][3]
• Independence as Sierra Leone
27 April 1961
1924 81,999 km2 (31,660 sq mi)
• 1808
• 1924
• 1955
• 1960
Currency Pound sterling (until 1912)
British West African pound (from 1912)
ISO 3166 code SL
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Kingdom of Koya
Wassoulou Empire
Sierra Leone (1961–1971)
Today part of  Sierra Leone
  1. The official name for head of government of Sierra Leone was "Chief Minister of Sierra Leone" from 1954 until 1958 and "Prime Minister of Sierra Leone" from 1958 until 1961.
Source for 1924 area and population: [6]

The Sierra Leone Colony and Protectorate was the British colonial administration in Sierra Leone from 1808[1][2] to 1961,[1][2][7] part of the British Empire in the New Imperialism era. The Crown colony, which included the area surrounding Freetown, was established in 1808. The protectorate was established in 1896[2][3] and included the interior of what is today known as Sierra Leone.[2] Freetown served as the capital of British West Africa from 1821 until 1874.[8]

The motto of the colony and protectorate was Auspice Britannia liber (Latin for "Free under the protection of Britain"). This motto was included on Sierra Leone's later flag and coat of arms.[9]

The colony and protectorate lasted until 1961 when Sierra Leone gained independence from the United Kingdom, with Elizabeth II as Queen of Sierra Leone. It retained her as head of state for a decade until 1971, when the country became a republic.[2]

See also[edit]



  • Fyle, Magbaily C. (2006). Historical Dictionary of Sierra Leone. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press. pp. XVIII–XXII. ISBN 978-0-8108-5339-3. 


  1. ^ a b c d "Sierra Leone". Retrieved 7 November 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "History of Sierra Leone". HistoryWorld. Retrieved 27 July 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c Fyle 2006, p. XX.
  4. ^ Fyle 2006, p. XVIII.
  5. ^ a b "Sierra Leone Population". Worldometers. Retrieved 6 September 2017. 
  6. ^ "The British Empire in 1924". The British Empire. Retrieved 7 November 2017. 
  7. ^ Fyle 2006, p. XXII.
  8. ^ "Freetown – national capital, Sierra Leone". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 7 November 2017. 
  9. ^ "Flag of Sierra Leone". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 22 September 2017. 

External links[edit]