Bermuda consists of 140 islands and islets located in the North Atlantic Ocean east of North Carolina and north of Puerto Rico. These islands, named after Juan de Bermúdez, the Spanish navigator who discovered them in 1505, remained uninhabited for most of the 1500s and early 1600s. All this changed in 1612, when the English officially claimed the islands. As the first residents, the English were to have a significant impact on shaping all aspects of life within these islands. The religious life of the islands was primarily Protestant Christianity—consisting initially of the Church of England, then the Church of Scotland, and much later the Puritans who were fleeing persecution in England.

Two additional features that also played a significant role in shaping life in the ...

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