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Pierre Belain d'Esnambuc

Pierre Belain, Sieur d'Esnambuc
La fondation de la Martinique en 1635.jpg
Pierre Belain d'Esnambuc founding the colony of Martinique (by Théodore Gudin)
Governor general of the French Antilles
In office
1628 – December 1636
Preceded by(none)
Succeeded byPierre du Halde
Personal details
Born(1585-03-09)9 March 1585
Allouville, Seine-Maritime, France
Saint Christopher Island
OccupationTrader and adventurer

Pierre Belain, Sieur d'Esnambuc (1585–1636) was a French trader and adventurer in the Caribbean, who established the first permanent French colony, Saint-Pierre, on the island of Martinique in 1635.


Belain, commanding a 14-gun brigantine with a crew of 40 in 1625, arrived on the island of St. Christopher.[1]

In 1626 he returned to France, where he won the support of Cardinal Richelieu to establish French colonies in the region. Richelieu became a shareholder in the Compagnie de Saint-Christophe, created to accomplish this with D'Esnambuc at its head. The company was not particularly successful and Richelieu had it reorganized as the Compagnie des Îles de l'Amérique. In 1635 D'Esnambuc sailed to Martinique with one hundred French settlers to clear land for sugarcane plantations. This led to tensions with the indigenous Carib population. He established Jean Dupont as local governor before returning to Saint Christophe. Open warfare led to the French expelling surviving Carib from St Christophe in 1644.

Having spent six months on Martinique, D'Esnambuc returned to Saint Christopher, where he soon died. His nephew, Jacques Dyel du Parquet, inherited D'Esnambuc's authority over the French settlements in the Caribbean. He remained in Martinique and did not concern himself with the other islands.

See also


  1. ^ Hubbard, Vincent (2002). A History of St. Kitts. Macmillan Caribbean. p. 16,21. ISBN 9780333747605.

External links

Government offices
New creation Governor of Saint-Christophe
Succeeded by
Pierre du Halde