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History of Seychelles

Seychelles is a comparatively young nation which can trace its first settlement back to 1770 when the islands were first settled by the French, leading a small party of whites, Indians and Africans.  The islands remained in French hands until the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo, evolving from humble beginnings to attain a population of 3,500 by the time Seychelles was ceded to Britain under the treaty of Paris in 1814. 


Clock Tower, Mahé, Seychelles

During this period Seychelles came to know the enlightened policies of administrators such as Pierre Poivre, the brilliant politicking of Governor Queau de Quinssy and, of course, the terrible repercussions of the French Revolution. 


Under the British, Seychelles achieved a population of some 7,000 by the year 1825.  Important estates were established during this time producing coconut, food crops, cotton and sugar cane. 

During this period
Seychelles also saw the establishment of Victoria as her capital, the exile of numerous and colourful troublemakers from the Empire, the devastation caused by the famous Avalanche of 1862 and the economic repercussions of the abolition of slavery. 


Seychelles achieved independence from Britain in 1976 and became a republic within the commonwealth. 

Following a period of single party rule by the government of Mr. France Albert René, on
December 4, 1991, President René announced a return to the multiparty system of government, 1993 saw the first multiparty presidential and legislative elections held under a new constitution in which President René was victorious.  President René also won the 1998 and 2003 elections before transferring the Presidency to James Alix Michel in June 2004.

Clock Tower, Mahé, Seychelles  

© Seychelles Tourism Board   


La Buse, pirate 

One of the most celebrated tales concerns a pirate called Olivier le Vasseur, known as La Buse or ‘the Buzzard’.  

Marauding in the Indian Ocean, he and his crew captured the ship ‘Vierge du Cap’ off the island of La Reunion. Its cargo was particularly impressive; golden goblets, coins and a 7 foot-high, solid gold cross, encrusted with diamonds, emeralds and rubies, known as the Fiery Cross of Goa. 

La Buse was eventually captured after hiding his spoils. Standing on the scaffold in La Reunion, he defi antly threw a scrap of parchment into the crowd, challenging anyone to find his treasure.  

The hunt was taken up in the 1950s by Reginald Cruise-Wilkins, who decoded La Buse’s treasure map and was convinced that the hoard lay somewhere in the vicinity of Bel Ombre on Mahé. Cruise-Wilkins spent a great part of his life searching for the treasure. And the hunt, carried on by his family, continues today. 

On the face of it, many of the facts about these staggering islands are difficult to believe. The blurring between fact and fiction, and reality and fantasy, is precisely what entices modern storytellers to come and create their own stories.  An irresistible pull that has led Compton Mackenzie, Noel Coward, Alec Waugh, Ian Fleming and countless others to find inspiration, tranquillity and the peace of mind that only Seychelles can give.

Source : Seychelles Tourism Board

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history of seychelles (by nation online)
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