The Spanish Empire known as the Hispanic Monarchy and as the Catholic Monarchy, was one of the largest empires in history. From the late 15th century to the early 19th, Spain controlled a huge overseas territory in the New World and the Asian archipelago of the Philippines, what they called "The Indies", it included territories in Europe and Oceania. The Spanish Empire has been described as the first global empire in history, a description given to the Portuguese Empire, it was the world's most powerful empire during the 16th and first half of the 17th centuries, reaching its maximum extension in the 18th century. The Spanish Empire was the first empire to be called "the empire on which the sun never sets". Castile became the dominant kingdom in Iberia because of its jurisdiction over the overseas empire in the Americas and the Philippines; the structure of empire was established under the Spanish Hapsburgs and under the Spanish Bourbon monarchs, the empire was brought under greater crown control and increased its revenues from the Indies.
The crown's authority in The Indies was enlarged by the papal grant of powers of patronage, giving it power in the religious sphere. An important element in the formation of Spain's empire was the dynastic union between Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon, known as the Catholic Monarchs, which initiated political and social cohesion but not political unification. Iberian kingdoms retained their political identities, with particular administration and juridical configurations. Although the power of the Spanish sovereign as monarch varied from one territory to another, the monarch acted as such in a unitary manner over all the ruler's territories through a system of councils: the unity did not mean uniformity. In 1580, when Philip II of Spain succeeded to the throne of Portugal, he established the Council of Portugal, which oversaw Portugal and its empire and "preserv its own laws and monetary system, united only in sharing a common sovereign." The Iberian Union remained in place until in 1640, when Portugal overthrew Hapsburg rule and reestablished independence under the House of Braganza.
Under Philip II, rather than the Hapsburg empire, was identified as the most powerful nation in the world eclipsing France and England. Furthermore, despite attacks from other European states, Spain retained its position of dominance with apparent ease; the Treaty of Cateau-Cambresis confirmed the inheritance of Philip II in Italy. Spain's claims to Naples and Sicily in southern Italy dated back to the Aragonese presence in the 15th century. Following the peace reached in 1559, there would be no Neapolitan revolts against Spanish rule until 1647; the Duchy of Milan formally remained part of the Holy Roman Empire but the title of Duke of Milan was given to the King of Spain. The death of the Ottoman emperor Suleiman the Magnificent in 1566 and the naval victory over the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 gave Spain a claim to be the greatest power not just in Europe but in the world; the Spanish Empire in the Americas was formed after conquering large stretches of land, beginning with Christopher Columbus in the Caribbean Islands.
In the early 16th century, it conquered and incorporated the Aztec and Inca Empires, retaining indigenous elites loyal to the Spanish crown and converts to Christianity as intermediaries between their communities and royal government. After a short period of delegation of authority by the crown in the Americas, the crown asserted control over those territories and established the Council of the Indies to oversee rule there; some scholars consider the initial period of the Spanish conquest as marking the most egregious case of genocide in the history of mankind. The death toll may have reached some 70 million indigenous people in this period. However, other scholars believe the vast majority of indigenous deaths were due to the low immunological capacity of native populations to resist exogenous diseases. Many native tribes and their cultures were wiped out by the Spanish conquest and disease epidemics; the structure of governance of its overseas empire was reformed in the late 18th century by the Bourbon monarchs.
Although the crown attempted to keep its empire a closed economic system under Hapsburg rule, Spain was unable to supply the Indies with sufficient consumer goods to meet demand, so that foreign merchants from Genoa, England and The Netherlands dominated the trade, with silver from the mines of Peru and Mexico flowing to other parts of Europe. The merchant guild of Seville served as middlemen in the trade; the crown's trade monopoly was broken early in the seventeenth century, with the crown colluding with the merchant guild for fiscal reasons in circumventing the closed system. Spain was unable to defend the territories it claimed in the Americas, with the Dutch, the English, the French taking Caribbean islands, using them to engage in contraband trade with the Spanish populace in the Indies. In the seventeenth century, the diversion of silver revenue to pay for European consumer goods and the rising costs of defense of its empire meant that "tangible benefits of America to Spain were dwindling...at a moment when the costs of empire were climbing sharply."The Bourbon monarchy attempted to expand the possibilities for trade within the empire, by allowing commerce between all ports in the empire, took other measures to revive economic activity to the benefit of Spain.
The Bourbons had inherited "an empire invaded by
The Puritans were English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries who sought to purify the Church of England of Roman Catholic practices, maintaining that the Church of England had not been reformed and needed to become more Protestant. Puritanism played a significant role in English history during the Protectorate. Puritans were dissatisfied with the limited extent of the English Reformation and with the Church of England's toleration of certain practices associated with the Roman Catholic Church, they formed and identified with various religious groups advocating greater purity of worship and doctrine, as well as personal and corporate piety. Puritans adopted a Reformed theology and, in that sense, were Calvinists. In church polity, some advocated separation from all other established Christian denominations in favour of autonomous gathered churches; these separatist and independent strands of Puritanism became prominent in the 1640s, when the supporters of a Presbyterian polity in the Westminster Assembly were unable to forge a new English national church.
By the late 1630s, Puritans were in alliance with the growing commercial world, with the parliamentary opposition to the royal prerogative, with the Scottish Presbyterians with whom they had much in common. They became a major political force in England and came to power as a result of the First English Civil War. All Puritan clergy left the Church of England after the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 and the 1662 Uniformity Act. Many continued to practice their faith in nonconformist denominations in Congregationalist and Presbyterian churches; the nature of the movement in England changed radically, although it retained its character for a much longer period in New England. Puritanism was never a formally defined religious division within Protestantism, the term Puritan itself was used after the turn of the 18th century; some Puritan ideals, including the formal rejection of Roman Catholicism, were incorporated into the doctrines of the Church of England. The Congregational churches considered to be a part of the Reformed tradition, are descended from the Puritans.
Moreover, Puritan beliefs are enshrined in the Savoy Declaration, the confession of faith held by the Congregationalist churches. In the 17th century, the word Puritan was a term applied not to many. Historians still debate a precise definition of Puritanism. Puritan was a pejorative term characterizing certain Protestant groups as extremist. Thomas Fuller, in his Church History, dates the first use of the word to 1564. Archbishop Matthew Parker of that time used it and precisian with a sense similar to the modern stickler. Puritans were distinguished for being "more intensely protestant than their protestant neighbors or the Church of England"."Non-separating Puritans" were dissatisfied with the Reformation of the Church of England but remained within it, advocating for further reform. "Separatists", or "separating Puritans", thought the Church of England was so corrupt that true Christians should separate from it altogether. In its widest historical sense, the term Puritan includes both groups.
Puritans should not be confused with more radical Protestant groups of the 16th and 17th centuries, such as Quakers and Familists who believed that individuals could be directly guided by the Holy Spirit and prioritized direct revelation over the Bible. In current English, puritan means "against pleasure". In such usage and puritanism are antonyms. In fact, Puritans placed it in the context of marriage. Peter Gay writes of the Puritans' standard reputation for "dour prudery" as a "misreading that went unquestioned in the nineteenth century", commenting how unpuritanical they were in favour of married sexuality, in opposition to the Catholic veneration of virginity, citing Edward Taylor and John Cotton. One Puritan settlement in western Massachusetts banished a husband because he refused to fulfill his sexual duties to his wife. Puritanism has a historical importance over a period of a century, followed by fifty years of development in New England, it changed character and emphasis decade-by-decade over that time.
Elizabethan Puritanism contended with the Elizabethan religious settlement, with little to show for it. The Lambeth Articles of 1595, a high-water mark for Calvinism within the Church of England, failed to receive royal approval; the accession of James I to the English throne brought the Millenary Petition, a Puritan manifesto of 1603 for reform of the English church, but James wanted a religious settlement along different lines. He called the Hampton Court Conference in 1604, heard the teachings of four prominent Puritan leaders, including Laurence Chaderton, but sided with his bishops, he was well informed on theological matters by his education and Scottish upbringing, he dealt shortly with the peevish legacy of Elizabethan Puritanism, pursuing an eirenic religious policy, in which he was arbiter. Many of James's episcopal appointments were Calvinists, notably James Montague, an influential courtier. Puritans still opposed much of the Roman Catholic summation in the Church of England, notably the Book of Common Prayer but the use of non-secular vestments during services, the sign of the Cross in baptism, kneeling to receive Holy Communion.
Some of the bishops under both Elizabeth and James tried to suppress Puritanism, though other bishops were more to
Old Providence McBean Lagoon National Natural Park
The Old Providence McBean Lagoon National Natural Park is a national park located on the northeast side of Providencia Island in the Archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina, Colombia. It is one of three national parks in the Colombian Caribbean with coral reefs on its territories, the other two being Tayrona and Rosario and San Bernardo Corals; the area covers 9.95 km2 and was declared a national park 1995 as a social defense against increased human activity in the form of time-sharing that would destroy a significant part of the area's mangroves. The park contains different ecosystems, such as mangrove forests, coral formations, beds of marine grasses, a small area of tropical dry forest. Due to the colorful coral reefs, the Providencia Island is known as "The Sea of Seven Colors". Crab Caye and the Three Brothers Cayes form four small islands. Average yearly rainfall is 3000 mm, with the largest precipitation occurring in October–November. There is a dry period from January to June.
Average temperature is 25°C and relative humidity 73.3%. The mangroves range from 3 m –12 m in height; the predominant species is red mangrove and there is smaller populations of black mangrove and white mangrove. There are 74 recorded species of bird in the area. Noteworthy marine species include: Audubon's shearwater, magnificent frigatebird, brown booby and royal tern; the extensive area of marine grasses around the lagoon and bordering mangroves is made up of Thalassia testudinum and Syringodium filiforme. A visitor centre on Crab Caye is accessible by boat. For conservation reasons, it is not permitted to access the other small islands that form part of the National Park. Villegas, Benjamin. Cortés, Latin American coral reefs, Gulf Professional Publishing, ISBN 978-0-444-51388-5; the park's page at Parques Nacionales Naturales de Colombia
Costa Rica the Republic of Costa Rica, is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, the Caribbean Sea to the northeast, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, Ecuador to the south of Cocos Island. It has a population of around 5 million in a land area of 51,060 square kilometers. An estimated 333,980 people live in the capital and largest city, San José with around 2 million people in the surrounding metropolitan area; the sovereign state of Costa Rica is a unitary presidential constitutional republic. It is known for its long-standing and stable democracy, for its educated workforce, most of whom speak English; the country spends 6.9% of its budget on education, compared to a global average of 4.4%. Its economy, once dependent on agriculture, has diversified to include sectors such as finance, corporate services for foreign companies and ecotourism. Many foreign manufacturing and services companies operate in Costa Rica's Free Trade Zones where they benefit from investment and tax incentives.
Costa Rica was facing a market liquidity crisis in 2017 due to a growing budget deficit. By August 2017, the Treasury was having difficulty paying its obligations. Other challenges facing the country in its attempts to improve the economy by increasing foreign investment include a poor infrastructure and a need to improve public sector efficiency. Costa Rica was sparsely inhabited by indigenous peoples before coming under Spanish rule in the 16th century, it remained a peripheral colony of the empire until independence as part of the First Mexican Empire, followed by membership in the United Provinces of Central America, from which it formally declared independence in 1847. Since Costa Rica has remained among the most stable and progressive nations in Latin America. Following the brief Costa Rican Civil War, it permanently abolished its army in 1949, becoming one of only a few sovereign nations without a standing army; the country has performed favorably in the Human Development Index, placing 69th in the world as of 2015, among the highest of any Latin American nation.
It has been cited by the United Nations Development Programme as having attained much higher human development than other countries at the same income levels, with a better record on human development and inequality than the median of the region. Costa Rica has progressive environmental policies, it is the only country to meet all five UNDP criteria established to measure environmental sustainability. It was ranked 42nd in the world, third in the Americas, in the 2016 Environmental Performance Index, was twice ranked the best performing country in the New Economics Foundation's Happy Planet Index, which measures environmental sustainability, was identified by the NEF as the greenest country in the world in 2009. Costa Rica plans to become a carbon-neutral country by 2021. By 2016, 98.1% of its electricity was generated from green sources hydro, solar and biomass. Historians have classified the indigenous people of Costa Rica as belonging to the Intermediate Area, where the peripheries of the Mesoamerican and Andean native cultures overlapped.
More pre-Columbian Costa Rica has been described as part of the Isthmo-Colombian Area. Stone tools, the oldest evidence of human occupation in Costa Rica, are associated with the arrival of various groups of hunter-gatherers about 10,000 to 7,000 years BCE in the Turrialba Valley; the presence of Clovis culture type spearheads and arrows from South America opens the possibility that, in this area, two different cultures coexisted. Agriculture became evident in the populations, they grew tubers and roots. For the first and second millennia BCE there were settled farming communities; these were small and scattered, although the timing of the transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture as the main livelihood in the territory is still unknown. The earliest use of pottery appears around 2,000 to 3,000 BCE. Shards of pots, cylindrical vases, platters and other forms of vases decorated with grooves and some modelled after animals have been found; the impact of indigenous peoples on modern Costa Rican culture has been small compared to other nations, since the country lacked a strong native civilization to begin with.
Most of the native population was absorbed into the Spanish-speaking colonial society through inter-marriage, except for some small remnants, the most significant of which are the Bribri and Boruca tribes who still inhabit the mountains of the Cordillera de Talamanca, in the southeastern part of Costa Rica, near the frontier with Panama. The name la costa rica, meaning "rich coast" in the Spanish language, was in some accounts first applied by Christopher Columbus, who sailed to the eastern shores of Costa Rica during his final voyage in 1502, reported vast quantities of gold jewelry worn by natives; the name may have come from conquistador Gil González Dávila, who landed on the west coast in 1522, encountered natives, appropriated some of their gold. During most of the colonial period, Costa Rica was the southernmost province of the Captaincy General of Guatemala, nominally part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain. In practice, the captaincy general was a autonomous entity within the Spanish Empire.
Costa Rica's distance from the capital of the captaincy in Guatemala, its legal prohibition under Spanish law from trade with its southern neighbor Panama part of the Viceroyalty of New Granada, lack of r
Thomas Gage (priest)
Thomas Gage was an English Dominican friar, best known for his travel writing on New Spain and Central America during a sojourn there of over a decade. He observes colonial society and culture. On his return to England in 1637 he converted to Anglicanism. Thomas Gage was the son of the English Catholic gentleman John Gage, from 1622 a baronet, his wife Margaret; the family were strong Catholics and were intermarried with other Catholic families, including that of Sir Thomas More, the former Lord Chancellor. The family's Catholicism was practiced behind closed doors, his three older brothers followed in the Catholic tradition. One was the Royalist soldier Colonel Sir Henry Gage, who fought on the Continent for Catholic Spain and in England for Charles I. In fact, there were no fewer than five priests in the family since their half-brothers John and Francis, born of their father's second marriage, were priests. John Gage wanted his son Thomas to become a Jesuit, to this end sent him for a schooling with the Jesuits of the College of St. Omer in the Low Countries and seems to have been an unremarkable pupil.
From St Omer he was sent for further education with a view to becoming a Jesuit priest to the English College at Valladolid in Spain. Valladolid was the scene of a good deal of rivalry and bad feeling between the different religious orders, a situation worsened by the temperamental and political tensions between the Spanish and the English. Gage developed a contempt for the Jesuits and like numerous other students of the English College at that period took refuge with a rival establishment, choosing the Dominicans, he joined the Dominicans in Jerez and his pro-Jesuit father disinherited him. Having been sent to the English College, Valladolid, in Spain, he showed his first sign of a difficult character when he developed a loathing for the Jesuits who ran the College and entered the Dominican Order, being ordained a priest; as a Spanish Dominican he served as professor of rhetoric in the convent of Jerez, volunteered in 1625 for the mission to the Philippines. There was a hitch. Before his departure a royal decree forbade any foreigner, under severe penalties, to go to the Spanish colonies.
Gage was hidden in a barrel and the party of thirty or so Dominican friars sailed from Cadiz, on 2 July 1625. The route led through Mexico, where Gage decided to remain and for a time taught Latin in the convent school. By Gage's own account, in Mexico City he heard from a friar who had run away from his duties in the Philippines that the Dominican superiors there were cruel and harsh and the friars corrupt and worldly. In order to escape onward posting to the Philippines and three other friars escaped from Mexico for Guatemala. Here he was accepted by the Dominicans as a useful addition to their manpower, he spent two or three years in the priory in Santiago de los Caballeros, where he seems to have liked the opportunity for study but began to have religious doubts and was led to ask to return to England. The Dominican authorities refused, on the grounds that missionaries had to remain in the Americas for ten years. Further embittered, he decided to accompany friar Francisco Moran into new territories of Guatemala to learn the language and ways of the Amerinds.
This he preached to two communities of Mixco and Pinola for five years. It seems that this was in his mind at least in part a mercenary operation, aimed at gathering funds to finance a return to England. Gage gathered a handsome 9,000 crowns, in what proportion gained is left unclear. By 1635, with this sum accumulated, now disenchanted with Spanish America, was ready to return to Europe, requested permission from the Dominican Provincial, was refused and was posted instead to Petapa. After a year there he decided to run for it. All in all he had spent the years 1625-1637 in Guatemala. Turning his wealth into pearls and precious stones, on 7 January 1637, he made his way through Nicaragua and sailed from Costa Rica on 4 February, he was captured by Dutch corsairs led by Diego el Mulato en route. Gage was unharmed and was allowed to keep some books and paintings, but lost all his other valuables, he reached Spain on 28 November 1637, in 1638 arrived in England. There, after an absence of twenty-six years, he discovered that he had been disowned and disinherited by his father, long deceased, though he was welcomed and treated well by his family.
He could not get along with his fellow Dominicans in England and soon traveled to Rome, though his doubts about his faith continued. On the way out he called on his brother Colonel Henry Gage at his winter quarters near Ghent; this journey, lengthened by ill-health and wartime conditions, brought him a number of adventures, but the opportunity to visit Protestant communities in both Germany and France. In Rome, where he continued to conceal his leaning to Protestantism, he involved himself in a variety of intrigues. While popular psychology can be a dangerous trap when applied to historical figures, Gage seems to conform to a kind of type, not unknown in the pages of history: the austere fanatic who ends up kicking over the traces. In the Americas he met with instances of how the Christianity preached by the missionaries quickly became an ingredient in a curious syncretistical mix. Without doubt he encountered cases of the sort of laxity which the Dominican and other orders were trying to remedy in other parts of the world.
Clerical scandals are not new, either. At the same time Gage dedicates his energies to telling the world tales such as that of the friars playing cards, with one friar who jokingly scoops the winnings into the sleeve of
The Caribbean is a region of The Americas that consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands and the surrounding coasts. The region is southeast of the Gulf of Mexico and the North American mainland, east of Central America, north of South America. Situated on the Caribbean Plate, the region comprises more than 700 islands, islets and cays; these islands form island arcs that delineate the eastern and northern edges of the Caribbean Sea. The Caribbean islands, consisting of the Greater Antilles on the north and the Lesser Antilles on the south and east, are part of the somewhat larger West Indies grouping, which includes the Lucayan Archipelago; the Lucayans and, less Bermuda, are sometimes considered Caribbean despite the fact that none of these islands border the Caribbean Sea. In a wider sense, the mainland countries and territories of Belize, the Caribbean region of Colombia, the Yucatán Peninsula, Margarita Island, the Guyanas, are included due to their political and cultural ties with the region.
Geopolitically, the Caribbean islands are regarded as a subregion of North America and are organized into 30 territories including sovereign states, overseas departments, dependencies. From December 15, 1954, to October 10, 2010, there was a country known as the Netherlands Antilles composed of five states, all of which were Dutch dependencies. From January 3, 1958, to May 31, 1962, there was a short-lived political union called the West Indies Federation composed of ten English-speaking Caribbean territories, all of which were British dependencies; the West Indies cricket team continues to represent many of those nations. The region takes its name from that of the Caribs, an ethnic group present in the Lesser Antilles and parts of adjacent South America at the time of the Spanish conquest of the Americas; the two most prevalent pronunciations of "Caribbean" outside the Caribbean are, with the primary stress on the third syllable, with the stress on the second. Most authorities of the last century preferred the stress on the third syllable.
This is the older of the two pronunciations, but the stressed-second-syllable variant has been established for over 75 years. It has been suggested that speakers of British English prefer while North American speakers more use, but major American dictionaries and other sources list the stress on the third syllable as more common in American English too. According to the American version of Oxford Online Dictionaries, the stress on the second syllable is becoming more common in UK English and is considered "by some" to be more up to date and more "correct"; the Oxford Online Dictionaries claim that the stress on the second syllable is the most common pronunciation in the Caribbean itself, but according to the Dictionary of Caribbean English Usage, the most common pronunciation in Caribbean English stresses the first syllable instead. The word "Caribbean" has multiple uses, its principal ones are political. The Caribbean can be expanded to include territories with strong cultural and historical connections to slavery, European colonisation and the plantation system.
The United Nations geoscheme for the Americas presents the Caribbean as a distinct region within the Americas. Physiographically, the Caribbean region is a chain of islands surrounding the Caribbean Sea. To the north, the region is bordered by the Gulf of Mexico, the Straits of Florida and the Northern Atlantic Ocean, which lies to the east and northeast. To the south lies the coastline of the continent of South America. Politically, the "Caribbean" may be centred on socio-economic groupings found in the region. For example, the bloc known as the Caribbean Community contains the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, the Republic of Suriname in South America and Belize in Central America as full members. Bermuda and the Turks and Caicos Islands, which are in the Atlantic Ocean, are associate members of the Caribbean Community; the Commonwealth of the Bahamas is in the Atlantic and is a full member of the Caribbean Community. Alternatively, the organisation called the Association of Caribbean States consists of every nation in the surrounding regions that lie on the Caribbean, plus El Salvador, which lies on the Pacific Ocean.
According to the ACS, the total population of its member states is 227 million people. The geography and climate in the Caribbean region varies: Some islands in the region have flat terrain of non-volcanic origin; these islands include Aruba, Curaçao, Bonaire, the Cayman Islands, Saint Croix, the Bahamas, Antigua. Others possess rugged towering mountain-ranges like the islands of Saint Martin, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, Dominica, Saba, Sint Eustatius, Saint Kitts, Saint Lucia, Saint Thomas, Saint John, Grenada, Saint Vincent, Guadeloupe and Trinidad and Tobago. Definitions of the terms Greater Antilles and Lesser Antilles vary; the Virgin Islands as part of the Puerto Rican bank are sometimes included with the Greater Antilles. The term Lesser Antilles is used to define an island arc that includes Grenada but excludes Trinidad and Tobago and the Leeward Antilles; the waters of the Caribbean Sea host large, migratory schools of fish and coral reef
Philip Bell (governor)
Philip Bell was Governor of Bermuda from 1626 to 1629, of the Providence Island colony from 1629 to 1636, of Barbados from 1640 to 1650 during the English Civil War. During his terms of office in Providence and Barbados, the colonies moved from using indentured English workers to slaves imported from West Africa; the Providence Island colony, despite its puritan ideals, became a haven for privateers attacking ships in the Spanish Main. Philip Bell came from the family of Sir Robert Bell, a prominent politician under Queen Elizabeth I of England who died in 1577. Karen Ordahl Kupperman, author of a researched book on the Providence Island colony, of which he was the first governor, says he was son of Sir Robert's sixth child, Sir Edmund Bell. If so, he was born on 19 June 1590, either in South Acre, Norfolk or in Beaupré Hall, Norfolk, his mother was Anne Osborne, daughter of Sir Peter Osbourne, the Treasurer's Remembrancer in the Exchequer. Several of his siblings became involved with the Virginia colony.
Bermuda called the Somers Isles, is a small group of islands in the mid-Atlantic. The Somers Isles Company owned the islands, arranged for settlement by Englishmen who planted tobacco. There was limited available land, the soil was poor and the climate unfavorable; the planters' problems were compounded by squabbles between the Warwick and Sandys factions of the company. Captain Philip Bell reached Bermuda late in 1626 or early in 1627. Bell belonged to the Warwick faction, he found his predecessor, Captain Henry Woodhouse, facing an attack by the Bermuda assembly for misgovernment. Bell advised Woodhouse to leave as soon as possible, but Woodhouse refused and was censured and fined thrown in prison when he refused to apologise. Bell, from a privileged background, resented the high status of merchants on the island, he complained of needing "to live in such a slavishe subjectione to such meane & base minded men as the citizen part of the Companye are & doe showe themselves." As governor, Bell was entitled to 32 servants, of whom 24 were to work the 12 shares of land that were assigned to him.
Although some were black, they were not slaves. In 1629 Bell wrote pessimistically And as for this island, the strength and work of the land so much decrease and decay that in a short time it will be of small value or profit as so much tobacco now being planted and being brought home of better quality and from richer climates and plantations, I make a question whether this will shortly be worth anything at all. Bell fell out with some of the other settlers in Bermuda. In a letter to Sir Nathaniel Rich dated 28 April 1629, Bell protested about having been blamed for the unrest by the Somers Island Company in England without having been given the opportunity to defend himself, he said the ringleader of the unrest was Stephen Painter, whom he described as a man of "Luciferian Pride", said the contention arose because Bell would not "suffer the conclusions of the General Assembly and the general equity of the whole land to give place to PAINTER's proud and licentious humour." Bell said that he had resolved to move from the island, to settle wherever his father in law Daniel Elfreth went.
In 1629, Bell became governor of the Providence Island colony. He was succeeded by Captain Roger Wood, who governed from 1629 to 1637. In 1628 two ships funded by the puritan Robert Rich, 2nd Earl of Warwick, explored the western Caribbean and discovered the San Andrés and Santa Catalina islands. Captain Daniel Elfrith, Bell's father-in-law, sailed to Bermuda where he told Bell of their findings. In March 1629, Bell wrote to his cousin Sir Nathaniel Rich announcing the discovery. Bell's letter described Santa Catalina as "lying in the heart of the Indies & the mouth of the Spaniards." Thus it was an excellent base for privateering against the Spanish ships. Bell considered that the island would provide excellent revenue from tobacco and other crops. Bell's letter led to the formation of the Providence Island Company to organize the settlement. Bell took several Bermudans with him including whites and blacks. In 1630 the Company decided. At first Bell lived alone on the island, but when he threatened to resign the Providence Island Company arranged to ship out his wife to encourage him to stay.
This was an exception. Until 1935 the Company discouraged planters from bringing their families; the company forbade swearing, drunkenness or profaning the Sabbath and warned against the evils of idleness. Bell was instructed to seize and destroy "cards and Dice and Tables", sent to the island. Despite or because of this, there were intense disputes among the occupants of the island throughout the life of the colony. Although the original plan had been to grow tobacco, there was a glut on the market; the directors tried to encourage the planters to grow crops such as silk grass, sugar cane, figs or juniper berries. However, despite a collapse in prices in 1634, the planters persisted in growing tobacco. Labor on Providence island was undertaken by indentured servants from England, although Bell brought some black slaves from Bermuda. Around 1634–1635 the four-year terms of the indentured servants expired, planters demanded the right to use slaves in their place. One colonist spoke out against this practice.
Bell silenced this man on instructions from the Company, so he could not stir up the slaves against their masters. When the English arrived, they found a small group of Dutch privateers living there. Elfrith invited the privateer Diego el Mulato to the island; the settle