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Compagnie de Saint-Christophe

The Compagnie de Saint-Christophe was a company created and chartered by French adventurers to exploit the island of Saint-Christophe, the present-day Saint Kitts and Nevis. In 1625, a French adventurer, Pierre Bélain sieur d'Esnambuc, landed on Saint-Christophe with a band of adventurers and some slaves. Returning to France, in 1626 he applied to and received a charter from Cardinal Richelieu to create the Compagnie de Saint-Christophe. Richelieu was a major stockholder in the company, contributing some 10,000 livres out of the company's capital stock of 45,000 livres. The company was not very successful. In 1635 Richelieu directed his councilor François Fouquet to reorganize the company under the name Compagnie des Îles de l'Amérique, French for "Company of the American Islands". It was charged with colonizing Sainte-Christophe, Martinique and Guadeloupe.

On 15 September 1635, Pierre Belain d'Esnambuc, French governor of the island of St. Kitts, landed in the harbour of St. Pierre with 150 French settlers after being driven off St. Kitts by the English. D'Esnambuc claimed Martinique for the French King Louis XIII and the French "Compagnie des Îles de l'Amérique" (Company of the American Islands), and established the first European settlement at Fort Saint-Pierre (now St. Pierre). His nephew Jacques Dyel du Parquet assisted him and in 1637 became governor of the island.

See alsoEdit


  • Louis Jean Pierre Marie Bonnassieux. Les grandes compagnies de commerce: étude pour servir à l'histoire de la colonisation. Paris: 1892. Reprinted 1969 by Ayer Publishing.