Tuesday 25 August 2020

1721. 🇧🇲 Bermuda Commemorates 400 Years Of Parliament.

🇧🇲 It is fashionable to talk about and write about all the evils that were brought into the world by the British and the Imperialism they took with them and indeed the history of the British Empire, the ancestor of the modern Commonwealth, is stained by many dark episodes. But sometimes it’s worth reflecting that with these bad things, the British, as they spread across the world, brought with them some remarkably important rights - the belief in the freedom of the individual and the right to have a say in his or her own future - personified by parliamentary democracy.
 In England Parliament is ancient, dating back to the thirteenth century when the barons led by Simon de Montfort finally embedded Magna Carta and its successors at the centre of the way the English were ruled by forcing Henry III, a weak and pathetic tyrant ruled by greedy self-serving favourites, to acknowledge the rights of the people (and as the centuries went by, ever increasing numbers of them) to have a say in how they should be ruled.

  And as the era of Imperialism got under way several centuries later, the English/British took their Parliaments with them and planted them in their colonies. And so it is remarkable that the postal service of Bermuda is now celebrating with the issue of 4 stamps, the Quatercentenary of the Bermuda Parliament, established by the English colonists there. The set was released on 6 August 2020 but I have no other details.

  The rights of free speech and individual freedom were among the cherished bye-products of British Imperialism; true in many countries they evolved rather than arriving overnight but there are many Parliaments across the world which have grown from these seeds of democracy and in them men and women debate their differences with words rather than with guns or by riot. Currently controversial as conjured up inevitably by the BBC are the words to Land Of Hope And Glory but it’s worth considering that Parliamentary democracy is one of the jewelled features of the Hope part of the song’s title. 

The Parliaments of The Commonwealth and former colonies, protectorates and mandated territories:- 

Westminster - 

Dublin - 

Edinburgh - 

Cardiff - 

 Ottawa - 

Canberra - 

Wellington - 

Cape Town - 

Cairo -

Baghdad.  ——

Amman - 

Naypyidaw - 

Jerusalem - 

Islamabad - 

New Delhi - 

Colombo - 

Kuala Lumpur - 

Accra - 

Abuja - 

Hargeisa. ——

Nicosia   ——

Dar Es Salaam - 

Freetown  ——

Kingston - 

Port Of Spain - 

Mulinu’u -

Kampala - 

Nairobi - 

Lilongwe -

Male  ——

Banjul. ——

Singapore - 

Valletta - 

Lusaka -

Bridgetown - 

Gaborone - 

Georgetown -

Maseru - 

Aden. ——

Nauru -

Port Louis. ——

Mbabane -

Suva -

Nuku’alofa. ——

Dhaka - 

Nassau -

St George’s - 

Port Moresby -

Victoria -

Rousseau ——

Honiara -

Funafuti. ——

Tarawa -

Castries - 

Kingstown  ——

Port Vila  ——

Harare  ——

St John’s -

Belmopan - 

Basseterre  ——

Bandar Seri Begawan ——

Windhoek. ——

Hong Kong -

Washington, successor Parliament to those of the 13 North American colonies -

And finally the off shore islands - 

St Peter Port -

 St Helier - 

Douglas -

Isle Of Man is home to the oldest Parliament in The Commonwealth, dating back more than 1000 years when it was held on Tynwald Hill at St John’s - 


  1. A remarkable run of stamps shown there, well done. I expect that took a while unless you have a database of subjects!

  2. Thanks for posting. Many of these are in my country collections. Democratic renewal: a big issue for the emerging countries here in Africa. Sorry you felt to have to apologise at the outset. In terms of values, it may be argued that the young middle class of Africans are more "Western" than their age cohort in the old "West"....exemplifying the values of individual liberty and social cohesion which these parliaments do mostly represent.

    1. Thank you, ‘Unknown’. Your comment is very interesting. One small point, I do not give an apology at the beginning though I mention that there were dark episodes in Imperial history. This hopefully gives balance to the piece and states fact. I find it hard to believe that there is any point in apologising for actions and events which took place possibly centuries ago and in which I personally had no role. History is history.