Bermuda - World Arbitration Reporter, Second Edition
Originally from World Arbitration Reporter - Second Edition
I. INTRODUCTION: ARBITRATION IN BERMUDA HISTORY AND INFRASTRUCTURE
A. History and Current Legislation on Arbitration
1. Historical Overview
Bermuda was settled in 1609. The Virginia Company of London, pursuant to the First Charter of Virginia granted by King James I, was sending supplies by way of a convoy to the Jamestown Settlement, located in what is the present day State of Virginia, U.S.A. The flagship of the fleet of nine ships, the Sea Venture, a newly built ship which had been rushed into service, started to take on sea water after a fierce storm. The Admiral of the fleet, George Somers, to save the lives of those on board, drove the ship aground on one of the reefs which surrounded a small group of islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, about 800 miles from the American coast. From the salvage, the survivors built two smaller ships, Deliverance and Patience. Less than a year later, they had continued on to Jamestown, leaving behind some men to take possession of the Somers Isles, uninhabited islands which had been originally discovered by a Spanish seafarer Juan Bermudez and whose early discovery is memorialized by the present day name of these islands, Bermuda.
In 1612, the First Charter of Virginia was extended to include the Somers Isles. In 1615 a separate company was formed, the London Company of the Somers Isles. The Somers Isles were transferred to that company. The London Company ran the colony until it was dissolved in 1684. Representative government had been introduced in 1620 when the House of Assembly held its first session and Bermuda has been a self-governing colony since that date. The common law, the doctrines of equity and the Acts of Parliament of England of general application which were in force in England as of 11th July 1612 were declared to be in force in the islands. So began the legislative history of Bermuda.