The 50th Anniversary of SPUP/SPPF/Parti Lepep

The Seychelles which consists of some 115 islands and islets in the Indian Ocean were sighted by Arab navigators as far back as 851. In 1501, the Portuguese Explorer, Joao de Nova discovered the islands of Faquhar in 1502, another Portuguese Admiral, Vasco da Gama discovered the island now known as the ‘Admirantes.

In 1609, an English expedition arrived at Mahé and made the first recorded landing. In 1742, a French expedition landed at Mahé and visited some other inner islands which they named the Labourdonnais islands – in honour of Bertrand Francois Mahé de La Bourdonnais (1699-1753) Governor of Mauritius, after whom the main island of the Seychelles Mahé, was named.

In 1756, the French took possession of the Seychelles which they named so, in honour of Jean Moreau des Séchelles (1690-1960), Minister of Finance of King Louis XV.

In 1770, the first settlers arrived on the island of Ste Anne and in 1778 the fist establishment was created on Mahé. It was called L’Etablissement du Roi. Hundreds of slaves were brought to Mahé to work on coconut and cotton plantations. In 1794, the English captured the Seychelles and in compliance with the Treaty of Capitulation the French commandant, Jean Baptiste Queau de Quincy (1748-1827) remained until 1811 after which he was appointed as Juge de Paix. The Treaty of Paris 1814 ceded the islands of Seychelles and Mauritius. It was administered by a series of civil commissioners until when by Letters Patent of 31 August of 1903, Seychelles became a crown colony with a Governor, Ernest Bickham Sweet Escott (1857-1941), Executive and Legislative Councils.


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