A Brief History of Saint Lucia Heritage Timeline


Early Saint Lucia History

Saint Lucia was first known as “Louanalao” by the Arawak Indians in 200 AD, meaning “Island of the Iguanas,” and then “Hewanorra,” in 800 AD when the Carib Indians arrived and assimilated their culture into Saint Lucia. Residents of Carib descent can still be found in Saint Lucia today.
The Caribs lived on Saint Lucia until the 1600s, when settlers attempted to take control of the island to boost European trade. Even during this period of colonialism, the Caribs continued to fight and stopped multiple attempts by the English and French to settle on the island.

history of saint lucia island
history of saint lucia island

Juan de Cosa didn’t actually colonize Saint Lucia. That honor falls to a pirate named François Le Clerc, nicknamed Jambe de Bois because of his wooden leg. Peg-Leg Le Clerc used Pigeon Island to attack Spanish ships in the 1550s, and the island is now a National Landmark with historic sites and museums to enthrall those who visit.

History On Saint Lucia

Official name Saint Lucia (LC)
Head of State Queen Elizabeth II (United Kingdom), represented by Governor General Errol Charles (acting since November 11, 2021)
Capital Castries
Official language English
Monetary unit East Caribbean Dollar (XCD)
Area (km2) 617

Ancient History of Saint Lucia Iceland’s

The first indigenous settlers arrived from South America around the third century but over time were assimilated by the Carib tribe.

The mythical peaks of Saint Lucia

The Caribbean, this paradisiacal zone located near the American continent makes more than one dream of it. In particular by its multitude of islands, each more magnificent than the next. Among them, we find the island of Saint Lucia , a real planetary jewel. This one was baptized thus in homage to Lucia of Syracuse, virgin of the Sicilian Church. The island is part of the Lesser Antilles, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. It culminates at 950 meters above sea level, thanks to Mont Gimie.

However, Saint Lucia is a volcanic island, whose area of activity was classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004, thus making the country proud since its two emblematic peaks serve as the grounds for the flag of the island.

History of Saint Lucia

Saint Lucia was inhabited by the Caribs Arawak and Kalinago before European contact in the early sixteenth century. It was colonized by the British and French in the seventeenth century and underwent several changes of possession until 1814, when France ceded it for the last time to the British. In 1958, Saint Lucia joined the short-lived semi-autonomous West Indies Federation. Saint Lucia was an associated state of the United Kingdom from 1967 to 1979 and then gained full independence on 22 February 1979.

saint lucia history facts
saint lucia history facts

St Lucia Pre-colonial period

Saint Lucia was first inhabited sometime between 1000 and 500 BC by the Ciboney people, but there is not much evidence of its presence on the island. The first proven inhabitants were the peaceful Arawaks, who are believed to have come from northern South America around 200-400 AD. C., as there are numerous archaeological sites on the island where specimens of well-developed Arawak pottery have been found. There is evidence to suggest that these early inhabitants named the island Iouanalao, which meant ‘Land of the Iguanas’, due to the large number of iguanas on the island.

The most aggressive Caribs arrived around 800 AD. C. and took control of the Arawaks by killing their men and assimilating women into their own society. They called the island Hewanarau, and later Hewanorra (Ioüanalao, or “where iguanas are found.”) This is the origin of the name of Hewanorra International Airport in Vieux Fort. The Caribs had a complex society, with hereditary kings and shamans. Their war canoes accommodated more than 100 men and were fast enough to reach a sailboat. They were later feared by European invaders for their ferocity in battle.

Saint Lucia In 16th century

Christopher Columbus may have sighted the island during his fourth voyage in 1502, since he made landfall in Martinique, but he does not mention the island in his log. Juan de la Cosa noted the island on his map of 1500, calling it El Falcón, and another island to the south Las Agujas. A Spanish charter from 1511 mentions the island within Spanish rule, and a globe in the Vatican made in 1520 shows the island as Santa Lucía. A Spanish map from 1529 shows S. Luzia.
In the late 1550s, the French pirate François le Clerc (known as Jambe de Bois, because of his stick leg) established a camp on Pigeon Island, from where he attacked passing Spanish ships.


In the 1600s, the French, English, and Dutch all attempted to take Saint Lucia as one of their colonies. The Dutch attempted to build Vieux Fort in the 1600s, but were pushed out by the Caribs. In 1639, the British sent 400 settlers to the island, who were wiped out by the Caribs in less than two years.
In 1651, a member of the French West India Company purchased the land from the Caribs to make it a French colony, and the English immediately sent 1,000 men to take back the island. This fighting continued until 1814, when the French ceded Saint Lucia to the English.

Fast forward to modern times. Saint Lucia was one of the last European colonies to finally declare independence. In fact, she only became independent within the British Commonwealth in 1979 and finally has a thriving, peaceful economy and sovereign government.

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Saint Lucia In 17th century

In 1605, an English ship named Oliphe Blossome he deviated from his course on his way to Guyana, and the 67 settlers began a settlement in Saint Lucia, after initially being received by the Caribbean chief Anthonie. By September 26, 1605, only 19 survived, following continuous attacks by the Caribbean chief Augraumart, so they fled the island. In 1626, the Compagnie de Saint-Christophe was authorized by Cardinal Richelieu, prime minister of Louis XIII of France, to colonize the Lesser Antilles, between the XI and XVIII parallels.

The following year, Charles I of England issued a royal patent to James Hay, first Earl of Carlisle, granting rights to the Caribbean islands situated between 10° and 20° north latitude, creating a competitive claim.

In 1635, the Compagnie de Saint-Christophe was reorganized under a new patent for the Compagnie des Îles de l’Amérique, which granted the company all the properties and administration of the previous company and the rights to continue colonizing vacant neighboring islands.

English documents claim that Bermuda settlers settled on the island in 1635, while a French patent letter claims liquidation on 8 March 1635 by Pierre Belain d’Esnambuc, who was succeeded by his nephew, Jacques Dyel du Parquet. Thomas Warner sent Captain Judlee with 300-400 English to establish a settlement at Praslin Bay, but the Caribs attacked them for three weeks, until the few remaining settlers fled on 12 October 1640. In 1642, Louis XIII extended the charter of the Compagnie des Îles de l’Amérique for twenty years. The following year, du Parquet, who had become governor of Martinique, noticed that the British had abandoned Saint Lucia and began making plans for a settlement.

In June 1650, he sent Louis de Kerengoan, Sieur de Rousselan and 40 French to establish a fort at the mouth of the Rivière du Carenage, near present-day Castries. When the Compagnie was facing bankruptcy, du Parquet sailed to France in September 1650 and bought the sole property of Grenada, the Grenadines, Martinique and Sainte-Lucie for ₣41,500.The French rejected an Attempted English invasion in 1659, but allowed the Dutch to build a redoubt near Vieux Fort Bay in 1654. On 6 April 1663, the Caribs sold Saint Lucia to Francis Willoughby, fifth Baron Willoughby of Parham, English governor of the Caribbean.

He invaded the island with 1100 English and 600 Amerindians in 5 warships and 17 canoes forcing the 14 French defenders to flee.  However, the English colony succumbed to the disease. The French regained control, but the English returned in June 1664 and retained possession until 20 October 1665, when diplomacy returned the island to the French. The English invaded again in 1665, but disease, famine and the Caribs forced them to flee in January 1666. The Treaty of Breda (1667) returned control of the island to the French. The English stormed the island in 1686

18th century

Both the British, based in Barbados, and the French, based in Martinique, found Saint Lucia attractive after the slave sugar industry developed in 1763, and during the eighteenth century the island changed ownership or was declared neutral territory a dozen times, although French settlements remained and the island was de facto a French colony well into the eighteenth century.

In 1722, George I of Great Britain granted Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent to John Montagu, second Duke of Montagu. In turn, he appointed Nathaniel Uring, captain of a merchant ship and adventurer, as deputy governor. Uring went to the islands with a group of seven ships and established a settlement at Petit Carenage. Unable to get enough support from the British warships, he and the new colonists were quickly driven out by the French.

The 1730 census showed 463 occupants of the island, which included only 125 whites, 37 Caribs, 175 slaves, and the rest free blacks or mestizos. The French took control of the island in 1744 and, by 1745, the island had a population of 3455, including 2573 slaves.

During the Seven Years’ War, Britain occupied Saint Lucia in 1762, but returned the island in the Treaty of Paris on 10 February 1763. Britain occupied the island again in 1778 after the Great Battle of Cul de Sac during the American Revolutionary War. British Admiral George Rodney then built Fort Rodney from 1779 to 1782.
By 1779, the island’s population had increased to 19,230, which included 16,003 slaves working on 44 sugar plantations. However, the Great Hurricane of 1780 killed about 800 people. When the island was returned to French rule in 1784, as a result of the Peace of Paris (1783), 300 plantations had been abandoned and a few thousand maroons lived in the interior.

In January 1791, during the French Revolution, the National Assembly sent four Comisarios to Saint Lucia to spread the philosophy of the revolution. In August, slaves began to abandon their property and the governor of Gimat fled. In December 1792, Lieutenant Jean-Baptiste Raymond de Lacrosse arrived with revolutionary pamphlets and poor whites and free people of color began to arm themselves as patriotas. On February 1, 1793, France declared war on England and Holland, and General Nicolas Xavier de Ricard took over as governor.

The National Convention abolished slavery on February 4, 1794, but Saint Lucia fell to a British invasion led by Vice Admiral John Jervis on April 1, 1794. Morne Fortune became Fort Charlotte. Soon, a patriotic army of resistance,L’Armee Francaise dans les Bois, began to fight back. Thus began the First War of Bandits.

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A short time later, the British invaded in response to the concerns of wealthy plantation owners, who wanted to maintain sugar production. On February 21, 1795, a group of rebels, led by Victor Hugues, defeated a battalion of British troops. Over the next four months, a group of newly freed slaves known as the bandits expelled not only the British army, but all white slave owners from the island (the owners of colored slaves were left alone, as in Haiti). The English were finally defeated on 19 June and fled the island.

The royalist planters fled with them, leaving the remaining Santa Lucans to enjoy “l’Année de la Liberté”, “a year of liberation from slavery…”. Gaspard Goyrand, a Frenchman who was commissar of Saint Lucia, later became governor of Saint Lucia and proclaimed the abolition of slavery. Goyrand brought the aristocratic landowners to trial. Several lost their heads on the guillotine, which had been brought to St. Lucia with the troops. He then proceeded to reorganize the island.

The British continued to harbour hopes of retaking the island and in April 1796 Sir Ralph Abercrombie and his troops attempted to do so. Castries burned as part of the conflict and, after about a month of bitter fighting, the French surrendered at Morne Fortune on May 25. General Moore was elevated to the post of governor of Saint Lucia by Abercrombie and was left with 5,000 soldiers to complete the task of subduing the entire island.

British Brigadier. General John Moore was appointed military governor on 25 May 1796 and participated in the Second Bandits’ War. Some bandoleros they began to surrender in 1797, when they were promised that they would not be returned to slavery. Definitive freedom and the end of hostilities came with Emancipation in 1838.

Saint Lucia In 19th century

The Treaty of Amiens of 1802 restored the island to French control and Napoleon Bonaparte re-established slavery. The British recaptured the island in June 1803, when Commodore Samuel Hood defeated the French governor Brig. General Antoine Nogués. The island was officially ceded to Britain in 1814.
Also in 1838, Saint Lucia joined the administration of the British Windward Isles, based in Barbados. This lasted until 1885, when the capital was moved to Granada.


At the end of the 18th century, the French governor restored the freedom of the slaves of Saint Lucia. The British invaded the territory again and re-established slavery. Castries was then burned during the confrontation between the French Republicans and the slaves on one side, and the British forces on the other.
In 1814, the Treaty of Paris definitively ceded Saint Lucia to the United Kingdom. Slavery was abolished on the island 20 years later, but all slaves were forced to undergo a four-year training requiring them to work for free for their former masters.

In 1838, the United Kingdom incorporated Saint Lucia into the Windward Islands. The territory is ruled from Barbados and then from Grenada.

Saint Lucia In 20th to 21st century

During the Battle of the Caribbean, a German submarine attacked and sank two British ships in the port of Castries on 9 March 1942.

The rise of self-government has marked the twentieth-century history of St. Lucia. A 1924 constitution gave the island its first form of representative government, with a minority of elected members in the legislative council previously appointed by all. Universal adult suffrage was introduced in 1951 and elected members became the majority of the council. Ministerial government was introduced in 1956, and in 1958 Saint Lucia joined the Short-lived West Indies Federation, a semi-autonomous dependency of the United Kingdom.

When the federation collapsed in 1962, following Jamaica’s withdrawal, a smaller federation was briefly attempted. After the second failure, the United Kingdom and the six windward and leeward islands: Grenada, St. Vincent, Dominica, Antigua, St. Kitts and Nevis and Anguilla, and St. Kitts and Nevis.

By 1957, bananas surpassed sugar as the main export crop.

As an associated state of the United Kingdom from 1967 to 1979, Saint Lucia had full responsibility for internal self-government, but left its foreign affairs and defence responsibilities to the United Kingdom. This interim arrangement ended on 22 February 1979, when Saint Lucia achieved full independence. Saint Lucia continues to recognize Queen Elizabeth II as the titular head of state and is an active member of the Commonwealth of Nations. The island continues to cooperate with its neighbours through the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM), the Eastern Caribbean Common Market (ECCM) and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

history of st lucia
history of st lucia


Over the years, Saint Lucia gradually gained independence. In 1958, the island joined the Federation of the West Indies which gave it semi-autonomous independence. Four years later, following the withdrawal of Jamaica, this federation disappeared and a second was set up but did not enjoy the expected success. The associated state was then created by the United Kingdom with the aim of calming the anger that was rising in the West Indies. In 1967, the island became semi-independent. All its internal affairs are settled on the spot, only its foreign affairs are still managed by the United Kingdom. On 22 February 1979, Saint Lucia became completely independent.

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The diverse Saint Lucia history means it is a melting pot of various cultures. Carib culture still has a strong influence on the island, even though it is mixed with African cultures brought over during colonial times. English, French, and Dutch elements also blend with the others on the island, making Saint Lucia culture unique to those who visit.
Visitors who set foot on Saint Lucia can experience this culture, and learn about the various eras of the island’s history. Explore ancient archaeological sites from Arawak times or walk along the Old Town of Vieux Fort to feel what it would be like living in Saint Lucia during the 17th and 18th centuries. The history of the island lives on through Saint Lucia’s diverse culture.


How did saint Lucia get its name

How did St Lucia get its name? Saint Lucia was first known as “Louanalao” by the Arawak Indians in 200 AD, meaning “Island of the Iguanas,” and then “Hewanorra,” in 800 AD when the Carib Indians arrived and assimilated their culture into Saint Lucia. In 1605, the British invaded the island and settled. Etymology. Saint Lucia was named after Saint Lucy of Syracuse (AD 283 – 304). Saint Lucia and Ireland are the only two sovereign states in the world named after a woman (Ireland is named after the Celtic goddess of fertility Eire).

Who was Saint Lucia?

Lucia was born in Syracuse of Sicily, probably, in the year 251 of our era, in the bosom of a Christian family, which belonged to the rich landed nobility of the place. Lucio, her father, died when the girl was just five years old, remaining under the tutelage of Eutychia, her mother. Over the years, Lucia becomes a beautiful young woman, modest in her behavior and endowed with great kindness.

History of St Lucia Day

history of saint lucia day: St. Lucia’s Day is celebrated primarily in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and some Swedish-speaking areas of Finland on December 13. This year the holiday falls on Monday, December 13, 2021.

History of the Carnival of Santa Lucia

Carnivals are festivals whose origin is located specifically in Europe, in ancient Rome. The carnival was originally a celebration to pay homage to the various gods that was spreading first to central Europe and then throughout the continent. Over time, carnivals were a perfect excuse to eat as much as possible before the celebration of Lent, so it was a custom to eat and drink until you could not before performing the fasting obligatory by religion.

The festivities began to take shape and occupy other elements, such as masks and costumes, which allowed people to perform certain immoral or unethical acts. In addition, allow people to enter different people, serve as an escape valve from everyday life and even commit crimes. Due to the unethical, savage and immoral nature, it suffered from strong caesuras, both by the religious authority and by the government of the various countries.

With the passage of time, carnivals began to become civilized, being moderately accepted by the authorities. Despite their rejection of the festivities, carnivals ended up being more or less tolerated by the church, until they were set as a celebration that preceded Lent, so the link with the church was remarkable. Carnivals became tradition, taking place every year and evolving over time.

During the process ofclonization of the Caribbean and Latin America, these traditions began to be imposed in the New World, achieving a syncretism between European religious festivals, African slave customs and Creole beliefs. Celebrations in the Caribbean were limited to free whites, Creoles and blacks, so slaves were forbidden to celebrate their customs or be part of carnivals. After the abolition of slavery, a great revolution was formed in the Caribbean carnival festivities, as new free men could celebrate the holidays in their own way.

Kristi Ann
Kristi Ann

Because the island of Saint Lucia was an epicenter of the slave trade, the African influence on the island is remarkable, so not only carnival elements of the Caribbean can be found, but also African traditions and elements. Initially, carnival parties in Saint Lucia were celebrated during the traditional period; that is, between the month of February and March. However, in order not to be overshadowed by larger carnivals, such as those in Trinidad and Tobago, it was decided to move the carnivals to mid-July. Since 1999, carnival in St. Lucia has been celebrated as a summer carnival.

Where is the Santa Lucia Carnival?

Carnival is celebrated in Castries, capital city of Saint Lucia, Caribbean country.
Castries is the economic epicenter of the island, as well as the entry point par excellence for the entire island. The city has an area of 79 square kilometers where about 70,000 people live.

St Lucian Culture
St Lucian Culture and fashion

History of saint Lucia Timeline

Date Country
1674 colony of the french crown
1723 Neutral territory (agreed by Great Britain and France)
1743 French colony (Sainte Lucie)

1748 Neutral territory (de jure agreed by Great Britain and France)
1756 French colony (Sainte Lucie)
1762 british occupation
1763 Restored to France
1778 british occupation

1783 Restored to France
1796 british occupation
1802 Restored to France
1803 british occupation
1814 Confirmed British possession

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