Map of Bermuda
A map of Bermuda printed in Amsterdam in 1640 by the noted cartographer William Janzon Blaeu shows how Bermuda was divided among its shareholders, who are listed at bottom. In the wake of the wreck of the Sea Venture in 1609 and the survival of its passengers, an English colony was created in Bermuda by the Somers Island Company (named for Sir George Somers), which operated as a subsidiary of the Virginia Company from 1612 until 1615. During those years, the company sent about 600 colonists to Bermuda and consistently turned a profit. Bermudians enjoyed lower mortality rates and longer life expectancy than their countrymen in both Virginia and England. By 1625, nine forts secured the island from Spanish encroachments, ministers led services at six churches, and 2,500 residents were governed in part by an elective assembly.
In the cartouche at center, the figure of Neptune holds a bark in one hand, and his trident in the other. Beneath him is a Latin description of the map, which includes the information that Bermuda lies at the mouth of the bay of Mexico, 3,300 English miles from London and precisely 500 miles from "Roanoack … in Virginia."