Joan Ribaut, meanwhile, had taken an active part in France's civil
war. With his Huguenot townsmen of Dieppe he had fought against the
army of the Catholic French Government. Although aided by
reinforcements from England, Dieppe was forced to surrender, October 20,
Having fled to England, Ribaut soon was extolling to the English
people the advantages of Florida. Apparently undiscouraged by
Coligny's failure to lend assistance to the colony in America, he eagerly
sought for other sources through which the enterprise might be furthered.
In May 1563, the English version of his report to Coligny on
Florida was published in London. Ribaut at the time was active with an
Englishman, Thomas Stukeley, in gathering a fleet to sail for North
America. In an audience with Queen Elizabeth, Ribaut had dwelt upon
the wealth of Florida, and had urged her to lend aid to the venture. Of
the fleet being assembled, one ship belonged to the Queen, one to
Ribaut, two to Stukeley, and one was chartered.
Stukeley, a treacherous young adventurer, informed the Spanish
ambassador in London that he was departing dissatisfied from England,
and that he sought with this fleet to enter the service of Philip II of
Spain, once he had sailed. The ambassador, distrusting the good faith of
this offer, rejected it. Shrewdly guessing from Stukeley's indiscreet
conversation the destination of the expedition, the ambassador promptly
communicated what he had learned to Philip II.