In the wake of Drake and Hawkins came French corsairs and Dutch freebooters. All knew that the Virgin Islands had some of the most secure and unattended harbors in the West Indies. The middle island of St John remained disputed territory untilwhen the Danish side claimed it for good.
By all accounts, the natural beauty of the British Virgin Islands is by far their greatest treasure. The BVI National Parks Trust was established inand today there are some 28 National Parks that are home to 16 native species of orchids in addition to a vast array of bird, plant and marine life. This acre reserve, managed by the National Park Trust, includes the 1,foot Mt.
Ter Tholen in Dutch could refer to the island, Tholen in Holland, or possibly a ship. Other islands, according to Dr Kent, were named to serve as signposts to ship captains for provisioning. The name Virgin Islands comes from Christopher Columbus who named the multitude of islands after the alleged 11, virgins, followers of St Ursula, who were beheaded in the fourth century.
Although the British Virgin Islands maintain their close Commonwealth links, American influence is also very strong, from the popularity of basketball to the official BVI currency, the United States dollar. The Caribs displaced the Arawaks during the 15th century, not long before Christopher Columbus first spotted the Virgin Islands in Privateering and piracy were rampant on the British Virgin Islands during the 17th century, when the French, Spanish, Dutch, and British all fought over control of these strategically important islands.
The islands are geographically part of the Virgin Islands archipelago and are located in the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles. The British Virgin Islands were first settled by the Dutch in and taken over in by a group of English planters. In constitutional government was granted.
Christopher Columbus named the Virgin Islands after Saint Ursula and her eleven thousand martyred virgins. Tortola is the largest and most densely populated of the British Virgin Islands and is separated from Saint Thomas by a narrow and easily traversed sea channel. This physical proximity contributed to a long history of social and economic interaction and interdependence between the BVI and the USVI, and British Virgin Islanders reflect this history in their occasional use of the term "Virgin Islanders" to refer to themselves.
The history of the British Virgin Islands is one rich in piracy, privateering, and territorial disputes. Although Arawak and Carib Indians inhabited the islands as far back as BC, none of the Europeans, who started arriving here in the s, ever reported encountering indigenous peoples. Unlike the more contentious reports from the neighboring islands.
The islands are geographically part of the Virgin Islands archipelago and are located in the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles. The islands had a population of about 28, at the Census, of whom approximately 23, lived on Tortola;  current estimates put the population at 35, July Although the territory is not part of the European Union and not directly subject to EU law, British Virgin Islanders are deemed to be citizens of the EU by virtue of their British citizenship. The official name of the territory is still simply the "Virgin Islands", but the prefix "British" is often used.