Petite Martinique

Grenada Louis XIV Commonwealth of Nations
Petit martinique island in Carriacou, Grenada

Petite Martinique is one of the islands of Carriacou and Petite Martinique, which is a dependency of Grenada.

It is 2½ miles away from Carriacou. With its 586 acres (2.37 km2) and population of 900, it is smaller than Carriacou. Petite Martinique is much smaller, comprising about 9.8% of the total area and 30% of the entire population which is estimated at 10,000. The residents of this island live by boat-building, fishing and seafaring.


The first European founder of the island of Petite Martinique was a French fisherman called Mr. Pierre from Martinique. In the early 1700s, Mr. Pierre, left his home island of Martinique in search for new fertile lands to plant his crops. The island was owned by him and his wife ('Madame Pierre'), their children and their slaves.[1] Hence, the largest village was named Madame Pierre after the wife of the French owner. It is thought that he figured that the isle was shaped roughly like Martinique so he named it Petite (little) Martinique.

Colonial history

On 27th Sep 1650, Jacques du Parquet bought Grenada from the Compagnie des Iles de l'Amerique, which was dissolved, for the equivalent of £1160. In 1657, Jacques du Parquet sold Grenada to the Comte de Cerrillac for the equivalent of £1890.[2] In 1664, King Louis XIV bought out the independent island owners and established the French West India Company.[3] In 1674 the French West India Company was dissolved. Proprietary rule ended in Grenada, which became a French crown colony.[3]

Petite Martinique was part of the French colony in 1762. It was part of the British West Indies Grenada colony from 1763-1779 and 1783-1974. It was part of French Grenada colony from 1779-1783. It has been a dependency of Grenada since 1974.

Recent history

The majority of the inhabitants today are of Indian, Scottish, Portuguese, French and African descent. There still is a British influence on the island as it was colonised by the British Empire and it is part of Grenada, a Commonwealth state. The only French influence is demonstrated in village names, such as L'Esterre, La Resource, Beausejour, and others. However, the local dialect is English-based creole languages.

The Sacred Heart Church was the first Roman Catholic church on Petite Martinique and the first wooden building. It was destroyed by a hurricane in the 1940s and the Church standing today was built in 1947.

Though Hurricane Ivan in 2004 dealt a devastating blow to the island of Grenada, remarkably, Carriacou and Petite Martinique suffered significantly less damage. However, in 2005, Hurricane Emily hit Carriacou, damaging and forcing evacuation of its only hospital and destroying or damaging hundreds of homes.


Petite Martinique RC School is the only school in the island,[4] so other schoolchildren travel by boat to schools in nearby Carriacou.


  1. ^ "Petit Martinique". :History of Petit Martinique. Retrieved December 11, 2014.
  2. ^ Steele, page 52
  3. ^ a b Steele, page 54
  4. ^ "Petite Martinique RC School".