Tha Mi Seo
The Somers Isles, alias the Islands of Bermuda, comprise the oldest remaining English (since 1704, British)colony. Discovered (though not visited) by the Spaniard, Juan de Bermudez, a century before (in the intervening years, the archipelago was a well-known navigational hazaed), the islands were first settled in 1609, by England. Although an accident resulting from the wrecking of the Virginia Company flagship, the Sea Venture, the settlement was permanent, with the Virginia Company's hold on the archipelago formalised in 1612 by the Third Charter issued to the company. This charter extended the boundaries of 'Virginia' far enough out to sea to encompass Bermuda, thenceforth also known as the Somers Isles, after the Admiral of the Company, Sir George Somers (who had been aboard the Sea Venture) and Virgineola. Also previously known as The Isle of Devils (due to the large number of wreckings and the storm-battered reputation it gained in the 16th Century), and La Garza t(after Bermudez' ship) he official name of the colony (in current double-speak, 'overseas territory') is The Somers Isles, alias the Islands of Bermuda. Although there are more than a hundred islands and islets in the archipelago, most of the landmass is comprised by seven larger islands. As these are joined by bridges or causeways, and the entire collection lies closely together, they give the impression of being a single unit, and are thought and spoken of as such: 'Bermuda', 'the Island', 'the Rock', and so on.
   It should be noted that the Colony was established by the Company as part of the policy of the English government to establish an Empire of its own (beyond the subjecation of its immediate Celtic neighbours). Intentional settlers joined those remaining behind from the Sea Venture with the arrival of the
Plough in 1612. The new arrivals founded St. George's Town (originally New London), today the oldest surviving English settlement in the New World. The Virginia Company handed administration of the settlement over to the Crown in 1614, it's investors spinning off a secon company, the Somers Isles Company, in 1615. The Virginia Company was dissolved in 1624, with the Crown taking over the administration of its North American settlement. The Somers Isles Company continued to run The Somers Isles as a commercial venture until it, too, was dissolved in 1684. Prior to this, the economy was intended to be agricultural, but, as this was of limited success in Bermuda, many settlers turned to ship-building and maritime trades. As it earned no income from the sattlers non-agricultural industry, the Company had attempted to stmie the new industries, and it was the islanders objections to its interference that led to the revoking of the Company's charter, and its resultant dissolution. The Crown took over the administration of the Colony, but left in place the system of government created by the Company: an appointed Governor, and an elected Parliament (The House of Assembly) which had held its first session in 1620, making it, today, the World's third-oldest continuous parliament. Although the political system has evolved since then, the Colony remains a largely autonomous part of England (and of Britain, since the Union of Parliaments in 1704 united the Kingdoms of Scotland and England.
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