Dutch and English settlers landed Saint Croix in 1625, joined by some French refugees from St. Kitts. However, the English expelled the settlers, before they themselves were evicted by a Spanish invasion in August 1650. The Spanish occupation was short lived, since a French force of 166 men attacked, and in the following year 1651 had established a colony of 300 on the island. From 1651 until 1664, the Knights of Malta ruled the island in the name of Louis XIV. The island then passed to the French West India Company. The colony was evacuated to San Domingo in 1695, when France battled the English and Dutch in the War of the Grand Alliance. The island then lay uninhabited and abandoned for another 38 years.