Uninhabited except for occasional pirates who used the islands as a secret hideaway, early records indicate that the islands were visited by Portugese explorers as early as 1609, but no claims were made on any island and they remained virtually uninhabited until 1742 when Frenchman Lazare Picault landed on Mahé Island.
Fourteen years later the French claimed the islands and named them “Isle Sechelles.” Around 1770 settlers began to arrive from Mauritius and in 1794 a formal French administrator was appointed.
There followed numerous skirmishes between the French and the British over who “owned” the Seychelles due to the recurrent wars that flared up regularly between these two aggressive opponents.
At long last in 1814 at the treaty of Paris, both Seychelles and Mauritius were ceded to the British.
After 1861 liberated slaves from East Africa were brought to the islands, swelling the population considerably, which was now becoming a homogenous mix of French, British, Mauritian, East African Arab and Indian settlers. In fact a true melting pot of races and colours.
1903 saw Seychelles become a British Crown colony and for the next 50 years life followed its simple way, almost oblivious to the outside world, despite the fact that two world wars had been raging.
In 1976 the Seychelloise people won freedom from the colonial system and became an independent Republic headed by James Mancham. A year later, France Albert Rene became President of a one party state. Multi-party elections were introduced in 1993 and continue to this day.