Celebrating Bermuda’s First Permanent Settlers

July 11, 2012 | 0 Comments

The first group of permanent settlers arrived in Bermuda from England on the Plough on 11 July, 1612, 400 years ago to the day. There were sixty persons on board (men, women and children) under the command of Captain Robert Davis, (a member of the Somers’ 1609 fleet) and the first governor designate, Richard Moore.

Governor Moore was said to be an industrious man and the fact that he was a skilled carpenter bode well for the settlers and the work that lay ahead.

On arrival, the Governor and his settlers joined Carter, Chard and Waters on Smith’s Island, but after a few weeks when the Plough left to return home they all moved across the harbor to set up their new town, St Georges and began the building of the colony.

“Everything had to be learned through experiment: planting crops that would thrive in the new soil and climate; building homes with sub-tropical materials; hunting for food and locating fresh water” (Bermuda: Five Centuries).

The town will be busy with events and a spokesperson said, “This weekend celebrates the 400th anniversary of our town and you can learn all about and experience these times with a wide variety of events. We encourage you to dress up in period costume, if you wish, and be a part of the celebration.

“Bring the Family. Come, Celebrate with the East End. All Events are Free unless otherwise stated.”

Provided below is a listing of events, locations and times.

Special Events on Saturday 14 July, 2012 only:

St George’s Foundation Activities at World Heritage Center, Penno’s Wharf:

  • Open 10 am until 4 pm Admission Free
  • The film “A Stroll through St George’s” will be shown continuously. Find out who was Ann Bingham? See the rock from Jamestown that went there on the Deliverance in 1610! Be sure to visit the Second Hand Rose Charity Shoppe!
  • 11 am Lecture by Professor Michael Jarvis on “Earliest Bermuda, 1612-1625″ Dr. Jarvis will discuss the challenges of planting a colony, the backgrounds of Bermuda’s founding mothers and fathers, the keys to early Bermuda settlers’ success, and the very early emergence of a distinct “Bermudian” (vs. English or African) identity.
  • 12 noon: Lecture by Dr. George Cook on “Some Men who Sailed the Sea Venture”. Dr. Cook will focus on Henry Ravens ( Master’s Mate), Robert Walsingham ( Coxswain ) and Richard Frobisher ( Shipwright ), three of the chief under officers on the “Sea Venture”, including what is known of their later lives after their Bermuda adventure. Also covered will be the functions of some of the other crew members, their tools and instruments, and the common practices in keeping an early 17th century ship sailing and generally ship-shape.
  • 2.30 pm repeat Lecture by Professor Michael Jarvis on “Earliest Bermuda 1612 – 1625” ………………………….
  • Ye Olde Town Market will open at 11 am and stay open until 4 pm.
  • The Town Crier will conduct the “Ducking of the Wench” at 12 am and 2pm
  • At 1 pm a photograph will be taken of 120 persons on the deck of the Deliverance which is approximately the number it carried to Jamestown in 1610 starting more or less from the same location! ($10 per person for the Deliverance Fund)

St George’s Historical Society Museum:

  • Saturday opening 10 am until 4 pm Free Admission.
  • Lucy Attride-Sterling will give a quilting demonstration from 10.30 am until 4 pm.
  • Ronnie Chameau will display dolls of the period and give a weaving display from 1 pm until 4pm.
  • Trudy Snaith will recount the Sarah Catherine story and provide an explanation of old kitchen tools from 3 pm to 4 pm.
  • White elephant and plant sale from 10 am to 4 pm.
  • Permanent Jubilee Display.
  • Sea Cadets will demonstrate how to tie knots during the day.

Special Events for both Saturday and Sunday:

The Deliverance on Ordnance Island and The World Heritage Centre at Penno’s Wharf:

  • The film “A Stroll through St George’s” will be shown at the World Heritage Centre continuously. Find out who was Ann Bingham? See the rock from Jamestown that went there on the Deliverance in 1610! Be sure to visit Second Hand Rose Charity Shoppe!
  • The World Heritage Centre will be open 10 am until 4 pm on Saturday and Noon until 4 pm on Sunday. Admission Free.
  • The Deliverance will be open both days from 10 am until 4 pm. Admission free (other than the photograph at 1pm Saturday)
  • Carter House and Settler’s Dwelling c 1612. Open 10 am until 4 pm Saturday and Sunday Admission Free. Minibus available for return trip from the Square at $5. Parking at Carter House across street.
  • The Settlers Dwelling c 1612: Larry Mills will describe building methods and tools from 1612. Timber framing is now complete; ready to thatch with Palmetto. Try using an Auger or Adze.
  • Also see the almost complete Humpback whale skeleton found at Tucker’s Town! Tommy Fox?
  • St Peter’s Church now also “Their Majesties Chappell”
  • The Church will be open on the Saturday from 10 am until 4 pm and Sunday afternoon after the 11.15 am commemorative service.
  • The Bermuda National Trust will have both the Tucker House and the Globe Hotel open from 10am until 4 pm on both days with tour guides available at both locations. Admission Free.
  • The St George’s Historical Society; The Mitchell House will be open on Saturday from 10 am until 4 pm and Sunday from Noon until 4 pm.
  • The recently refurbished Fort St Catherine will be open both days from 10 am until 4 pm. A mini bus will shuttle passengers from the Town Square to the Fort every 30 minutes.
  • The Town Hall will be open both days from 9 am until 6 pm. Two of the Verpilleaux paintings which used to hang on the walls of the upper floor of the Town Hall prior to Fabian’s visit will be cleaned and put on display in the Town Hall in an effort to raise funds to clean the rest of these paintings which depict Bermuda as it was in the early 1930s.

Special Events on Sunday 15 July, 2012 only:

  • St. Peter’s will hold a special service at 11:15am to commemorate the arrival of the Plough 400 years ago. Lessons will be read by representatives of the various historical groups in the town.
  • Boat tours to Smith’s Island to Sites of two Archaeological sites from early 1600’s. Boat, the Stommel leaves Ordnance Island at 1pm and 3pm. Cost of tour will be $20 per person for the cost of the boat with surplus for the proposed exhibit at the World Heritage Centre, “The Crossroads of the Atlantic” based on Dr. Michael Jarvis’ book “In the Eye of All Trade”. Maximum is 40 people per trip. Be early! Tour is 2 hours. Your guides will be Michael Jarvis and Alexandra Mairs-Kessler on the island. Be the first to visit the site where Carter, Waters and Chard are thought to have had their camp from November 1610, when the Patience departed for England with Sir George Somers body. In July 1612 the Plough arrived with Governor Richard Moore and 50 settlers. Boat will also visit sites on the South side of Smith’s Island where the Plough first anchored. Rick Spurling will describe the arrival of the Plough and the meeting with the “Three Kings” of Smith’s Island.
  • The Bermudian Heritage Museum will be open from 4pm to 6pm with a Powerpoint presentation on the life of Mary Prince.
  • The Bermuda National Trust will put on a “Voices From The Past” historical vignette at 12:30 pm and again at 2pm at Tucker House performed by the talented Bermudian actress, Barbara Jones. Admission Free.
  • The St George’s Dinghy and Sports Club will be holding dinghy races in the harbour with the race for the E. R. Williams Cup starting at Noon and the second race for the Middleton Cup programmed for 1.30pm and the third race for the Trott Cup to start at 3pm.
  • St George’s Historical Society Museum will be open from 12am until 4pm. Plants will remain on sale.
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