6 facts about Seychelles reveal how Napoleon and Marie-Antoinette are linked to the islands
How are French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, the ill-fated Louis XVI of France and Queen Marie-Antoinette linked to the Seychelles? And have you heard of a stolen stone?
Find out more interesting and intriguing historical facts about the island nation – all happening in September – through this week’s Buzz.
September 4, 1801
Thirty-eight deportees arrive on La Digue Island from France on board the ship ‘La Flèche’. They were the second batch of Jacobin terrorists that had planned to assassinate Napoleon Bonaparte on December 24, 1800, to arrive on the islands. The first batch came to the islands on July 12, the same year.
(Jacques Louis David, Wikipedia) Photo License: CC0
September 6, 1935
The first issue of L’Action Catholique, the organ of the Catholic Church came out. Printed by the Clarion Press, the paper’s proprietor and editor was Marcel Lemarchand. It cost 5 cents.
In 1957, the name of the paper was changed to L’echo des Iles. 3,000 copies of this first issue were distributed. The Roman Catholic paper is still being printed today and comes out on a fortnightly basis.
(Joe Laurence, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY
September 11, 1881
The British General Charles Gordon arrived at Mahé aboard Godavéry, to assess the defensive measures of the Seychelles Islands in the event of an enemy attack.
Gordon promulgated a facetious theory (I have tried to simplify – promoted a funny theory) that the Vallée de Mai on Praslin and the Coco de Mer palm is the Garden of Eden and The Tree of Knowledge mention in Genesis 2:9, 17; 3:6.
(Dreizung, Wikipedia) Photo License: CC BY-SA 3.0
September 15, 1894
The Stone of Possession was removed from its site in the grounds of Hotel Equateur in Victoria by a French General and placed aboard the S.S. Austalien bound for the Museum of Fleury in Paris.
Upon discovering the theft, the British administrator, T.Risely Griffifth ordered it back. The stone was returned to Seychelles on November 16.
(Beryl Ondiek) Photo License: All Rights Reserved
September 15, 1965
The Radio Seychelles made its first-ever live broadcast, and that was of a cross country cycle race.
For the sport cycle and standard cycle, Joseph Moses won in the sport cycle category taking 56 minutes to complete the 14-mile course. The standard cycle category was won by Joseph Azémia in 51 minutes.
(Salifa Karapetyan, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY
September 25, 185
Louis Poiret, a 70-year-old planter of French origin died on Mahé. When he arrived in Seychelles in 1804, he claimed to be the Dauphin, the son of the ill-fated Louis XVI of France and Queen Marie-Antoinette.
Poiret first stayed on the outer island of Ile Poivre and later moved to Cap Ternay – in the west of the main island.
(Alexander Kucharsky, Wikipedia) Photo License: CC0