Pierre Belain d'Esnambuc

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 sailed to the Caribbean in 1625, hoping to establish a French settlement on the island of St. Christopher. 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. Open warfare led to the French expelling surviving Carib from the island in 1660.

After 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.

External links

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

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