Queen Elizabeth now refused to send a ship with the fleet, not
desiring to antagonize the Spanish ruler by openly taking part in an
invasion of a region claimed by Spain. Nevertheless, she did grant
Stukeley the use of the royal banner.
Longing to return to Florida, Ribaut had not been averse to using
any means at hand for his purpose. But an ardent French patriot, it is
doubtful that he ever really intended aiding the English to gain a foothold
in that country. Probably he had learned of Stukeley's attempted alliance
with the hated Spaniards. Possibly he also became suspicious of
Elizabeth's motives and decided to withdraw completely from a
confused situation. With four French hostages that were being held by
English Government, he boldly seized a ship and attempted an escape to
France. They were captured at Gravesend, however, and Ribaut, victim
of intrigue and complicated international diplomacy, was imprisoned in
the Tower of London.
The first war between Catholics and Huguenots in France was
concluded with the Treaty of Amboise in 1563, a truce that lasted four
years. Once again Gaspard de Coligny was free to turn his attention
toward strengthening French claims in Florida.
With Ribaut an English prisoner, the High Admiral selected Rene
de Laudonniere, who had been a lieutenant in the first voyage, to
command another French expedition to the New World.
Laudonniere sailed from Havre, France on April 22, 1564.
Aboard his three ships were three hundred colonists, including soldiers,