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Stamps - HM The Queen Elizabeth II, 1956, British Virgin Islands

no number in katalog -
Years of issue: 01.11.1956
Signatures: no signature
Serie: No Serie
Specimen of: 1956
Material: Paper
Size (mm): 39 х 29
Printer: TDLR (Thomas de la Rue & Company), London

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Stamps - HM The Queen Elizabeth II, 1956




Stamps - HM The Queen Elizabeth II, 1956

Sheet of British Virgin Islands stamps of 1956. 50 stamps / 1/2 cent each.


On stamps - Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II.


Although - the old map of Tortola island.

Tortola is the largest and most populated of the British Virgin Islands, a group of islands that form part of the archipelago of the Virgin Islands. It has a surface area of 55.7 square kilometers (21.5 square miles). Mount Sage is its highest point at 530 meters (1,740 feet) above sea level.

Local tradition recounts that Christopher Columbus named the island Tórtola, meaning "turtle dove" in Spanish. In fact, Columbus named the island Santa Ana. Dutch colonists called it Ter Tholen, after Tholen, a coastal island that is part of the Netherlands. When the British took over, the name evolved to Tortola.

On his second voyage for the Spanish Crown to the Caribbean or West Indies, Christopher Columbus spotted what are now called the British and US Virgin Islands. He named the archipelago after the 11,000 virgins of the V-century Christian martyr St. Ursula. The Spanish made a few attempts to settle the islands, but pirates such as Blackbeard and Captain Kidd were the first permanent residents.

In the late XVI century, the English, who had successfully settled the area contesting claims by the Dutch, established a permanent plantation colony on Tortola and the surrounding islands. Settlers developed the islands for the sugarcane industry, with large plantations dependent on the slave labor of Africans bought from local chiefs and transported across the Atlantic. The majority of early settlers came in the late eighteenth century: Loyalists from the Thirteen Colonies after the American Revolutionary War were given land grants here by the Crown to encourage development. They brought their slaves with them, who outnumbered the British colonists. The sugar industry dominated Tortola economic history for more than a century.

In the early XIX century, after Britain abolished the international slave trade, the Royal Navy patrolled the Caribbean to intercept illegal slave ships. The colony settled liberated Africans from these ships on Tortola, in the then-unsettled Kingstown area. St. Phillip's Church was built in the early XIX century in this community as one of the earliest free black churches in the Americas.

After the abolition of slavery in the British colonies in 1834, planters found it difficult to make a profit in the sugar industry based on paying and managing free labor. At this time, Cuba and some South American countries still had slave labor in the sugar industry. In addition, there were changes in the sugar industry, with sugar beets cultivated in England and the United States offering a competing product. During the downturn as sugar agriculture became less profitable, a large proportion of the white landowning population left the British Virgin Islands.

In the late 1970s, the British businessman Ken Bates attempted to lease a large part of the island on a 199-year lease, but this action was blocked. Noel Lloyd, a local activist, led a protest movement forcing the local government to drop the plan. Today, a park on Tortola is named after Noel Lloyd and features a statue in his honour.


Stamps - HM The Queen Elizabeth II, 1956

Uniface (white).