Bermuda History

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History

The islands were discovered by Juan Bermúdez, in 1503, but were uninhabited until colonists under Sir George Somers were wrecked there in 1609. A company was formed for the ‘Plantation of the Somers’ Islands’, and in 1684 the Crown took over the government. A referendum in August 1995 rejected independence from the United Kingdom. Bermuda consists of a group of 138 islands and islets.

Bermuda is self-governing, with its own constitution and its own government, which enacts local laws, while the United Kingdom retains responsibility for defense and foreign relations.
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Timeline

1609 - The English Virginia Company permanently settled Bermuda
1615 - 1684 - The Somers Isles Company, managed the colony until 1684. At that time, the company's charter was revoked, and the English Crown took over administration
1707 - The islands became a British colony following the 1707 unification of the parliaments of Scotland and England
1899 - 1902 -During the Anglo-Boer War 5,000 Boer prisoners of war were housed on five islands of Bermuda
1949 - Bermuda became the oldest remaining British overseas territory

Local Histories

  • Hayward, Walter Brownell. Bermuda Past and Present: A Descriptive and Historical Account of the Somer Islands. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1912. Digital version at DLOC - free.
  • Lefroy, John Henry. Memorials of the Discovery and Early Settlement of the Bermudas or Somers Islands, 1515-1687. 2 vols. London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1877, 1879. Digital versions at Google Books: Vol. 1 | Vol. 2 - both free.

References