Bermuda was first occupied by the British in 1609, after a sea captain called George Somers landed there in a desperate bid to save his crew and their sinking ship. The colony was officially settled by British colonizers from 1612 and slaves were sent there soon after. Bermudan slaves were prone to rebellion in the 1600s and even more so once they had been joined by thousands of indentured Irish labourers who had been exiled during Oliver Cromwell's recapture of Ireland. Hundreds of Native American slaves were also deported to Bermuda. Bermudan Slaves were freed in 1834 without having to experience the four further years of apprenticeship applied elsewhere. In 1995 Bermuda held a referendum on Independence, 74% of the electorate opposed independence and it remains a British Overseas Territory.