The House of Assembly is the lower house of the Parliament of Bermuda. The house has 36 members, each elected for a five year term in a single seat constituencies.
The House of Assembly was originally the only house of Bermuda's parliament, and held its first session in 1620. It first met in Saint Peter's Church, in the original colonial capital, Saint George's, until its own building, the State House, was completed, also in 1620. It met in the State House until the capital was moved to Hamilton in 1815.
The House of Assembly was created at a time when Bermuda, or The Somers Isles, was administered by the Somers Isles Company (1615-1684), an offshoot of the Virginia Company. It was overseen by a Governor appointed by the Company (from 1684, by the Crown), although, for much of the colony's history, the real political power lay with the appointed Privy council, or Governor's Council, composed of members of Bermuda's wealthy merchant class. During periods when the colony was without a Governor, the President of the Council might find himself Acting Governor, also. The balance of power began to shift away from the Council in the 19th Century, when Bermuda assumed a new importance in Imperial security, and when the Governor became also the Commander in Chief of the naval establishment and military garrison. Following revisions made to Bermuda's parliamentary system in the 1960s, the two roles once performed by the dissolved Council are now performed by an appointed upper house, the Senate, and a Cabinet, which is composed of Ministers appointed from elected Members of Parliament from the House of Assembly. (more...)
Ewart Frederick Brown, Jr. (born 1946) was Premier of Bermuda and leader of the Progressive Labour Party (PLP) from 2006 and 2010. He served as Member of Parliament for the constituency of Warwick South Central for 17 years until his retirement from politics in October 2010.
Brown was elected leader of the ruling Progressive Labour Party on 30 October 2006, defeating his predecessor, Alex Scott, at a PLP delegates conference. He is the third leader of the PLP since the party won the 2003 general election. Brown led the party to win a third term in power in the election on 18 December 2007.
Brown is also a physician and medical director of Bermuda Healthcare Services. He is married to Wanda Henton Brown and has four sons, two are from a previous marriage. The sons are: Kevin, Maurice, Ewart III, and Donovan. (more...)