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Bermuda: 1609-1999

Sir George Somers is sailing across the Atlantic in 1609 with reinforcements for the colony of Virginia when he is shipwrecked off one of the islands of Bermuda. With some of his crew he manages to get ashore. They survive as castaways for ten months, during which they build two small boats. They then continue their journey, reaching Jamestown in 1610.

Accounts of the castaways on the uninhabited island partly inspire Shakespeare's The Tempest, written in about 1611. A new company is formed in 1615 to settle Bermuda (also known as the Somers' Islands). Bermuda has remained ever since in British hands, with the status of a self-governing colony since 1968.

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