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The history of Bequia dates back thousands of years, although the written history of the island only began in the 16th century, a little while before Europeans would finally make the island one of their colonies.
The early inhabitants of the island were the Arawaks and then the Caribs, both of which were small groups of the general population of people known as the Ameridians. During the 16th and 17th centuries, while Europeans were exploring the Caribbean, the Caribs managed to fight off the explorers many times. Europeans gave up on the area for a while.
In the early 1700’s, the French became interested in the neighboring island of St Vincent, and after taking it over sent a group of French small holders to Bequia to make their first settlement.
In 1763, with the signing of the Treaty of Paris, the French lost St Vincent and the Grenadines to the English, who were then also in control of Bequia. During the next decade there were a couple of attempts by the French to regain control of the island, but they all failed. Starting at the beginning of the 19th century, the British rule over the island was unchallenged.
For more information, check out this detailed history of Bequia.