Monday, October 20, 2014

Bermuda: Admiral Sir George Somers - St. George, Bermuda

Admiral Sir George Somers
St. George, Bermuda

N 32° 22.824 W 064° 40.616

Short Description: 

A statue of the founder of the Bermuda Colony, Admiral Sir George Somers, is located on the west end of Ordinance Island in the Town of St. George, Bermuda.

Long Description:

George Somers was born in Lyme Regis, Dorset, England in 1554. He joined the Royal Navy and participated in the Anglo-Spanish War of 1595. He later commanded several English ships, including HMS Vanguard, HMS Swiftsure, and HMS Warspite. In 1603 he was kighted for his service to the crown.

In 1609, Somers was appointed as Admiral of the Virginia Company's Third Supply relief fleet and was sent to the Jamestown colony in present day Virginia. On June 2, 1609, he sailed from Plymouth, England on the Sea Venture, the flagship of the seven-ship fleet. The ships encounter a storm on July 25th and were separated. The Sea Venture began to leak rapidly. On July 28th he spotted land, what is now Bermuda. He had to purposely drive his ship on a reef to prevent it from sinking. All of the 150 people on board were able to safely reach shore.

While ashore, the crew and passengers built a church and houses. This was the beginning of the settlement of Bermuda colony. Admiral Somers oversaw the construction of two small ships, the Deliverance and the Patience, from local timber and the wreakage of the Sea venture. They then and sailed to the original destination, the Jamestown Colony, to deliver much needed supplies. Thus enabling the survival of the colony.

A 1.5 times life-size bronze statue of Admiral Sir George Somers was created by Desmond Fountain and unveiled by Her Royal Highness Princess Margaret in 1984 to the celebrate the 375th anniversary of the settlement of Bermuda. Admiral Somers is wearing a period clothing: a button down tunic with scalloped cuffs, a large cape, puffy pants cinched at the knee, leather leggings, and shoes with bows. He strikes a dramatic pose by looking up with with his hands held high. His cape is blowing in the wind. He stands on a circular plinth which is inscribed:

Sir George Somers descried land on July 28, 1609

A newer plaque installed in the plaza in front of the statue is inscribed:

{Tuesday April 24th, 1554 - Friday November 9th, 1610}

This plaque symbolizes our historic connections:

LYME REGIS, Dorset, England - ST. GEORGE'S, Bermuda - JAMESTOWN, Virginia, U.S.A.

Unveiled by Sally Holman, Mayor of Lyme Regis, as part of the 400th Anniversary observance of this "Towne Ancient & Loyal"


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