John Cabot

John Cabot (Italian: Giovanni Caboto; c. 1450 – c. 1500) was an Italian[3] navigator and explorer. His 1497 discovery of the coast of North America under the commission of Henry VII of England is the earliest known European exploration of coastal North America since the Norse visits to Vinland in the eleventh century. To mark the celebration of the 500th anniversary of Cabot's expedition, both the Canadian and British governments elected Cape Bonavista, Newfoundland, as representing Cabot's first landing site. However, alternative locations have also been proposed.

John Cabot
Giovanni Caboto
John Cabot in traditional Venetian garb by Giustino Menescardi (1762). A mural painting in the Sala dello Scudo in the Palazzo Ducale, Venice.
Bornc. 1450
DiedBetween c. 1498 and 1501
Other namesGiovanni Caboto, Zuan Chabotto, Giovanni Chabotte, Juan Caboto, Jean Caboto
OccupationMaritime explorer
Known forfirst European since the Norse colonization of North America to explore coastal parts of North America
Spouse(s)Mattea (m. circa 1470)
ChildrenLudovico, Sebastian, and Sancto[2]

Name and origins

Bust of Giovanni Caboto. Panteon Veneto; Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti
Giovanni Caboto bust

Cabot is known today as Giovanni Caboto in Italian, as Zuan Chabotto in Venetian, and as John Cabot in English. The non-Italian forms are derived from how his name was recorded in related 15th-century documents. In Venice he signed his names as "Zuan Chabotto", Zuan being a form of John typical to Venice.[4] He continued to use this form in England, at least among Italians. He was referred to by his Italian banker in London as 'Giovanni Chabbote', in the only known contemporary document to use this version of his first name.[5]

He was born in Italy, the son of Giulio Caboto and his wife; he had a brother Piero.[6] Gaeta (in the Province of Latina) and Castiglione Chiavarese (in the Province of Genoa) have both been proposed as birthplaces.[6][7] The main evidence for Gaeta are records of a Caboto family residing there until the mid-15th century, but ceasing to be traceable after 1443.[8]

Pedro de Ayala, the Spanish envoy and Cabot's contemporary in London, described him in a letter to the Spanish Crown in 1498 as "another Genoese like Columbus".[9] John Cabot's son, Sebastian, said his father originally came from Genoa. In 1476 Cabot was made a citizen of the Republic of Venice, which required a minimum of fifteen years' residency in the city; thus he must have lived in Venice since at least 1461.[10]

Early life

John Cabot house (Venice)
Giovanni Caboto house in Venice

He may have been born slightly earlier than 1450, which is the approximate date most commonly given for his birth.[2] In 1471 Caboto was accepted into the religious confraternity of St John the Evangelist. Since this was one of the city's prestigious confraternities, his acceptance suggests that he was already a respected member of the community.

Following his gaining full Venetian citizenship in 1476, Caboto would have been eligible to engage in maritime trade, including the trade to the eastern Mediterranean that was the source of much of Venice's wealth. He presumably entered this trade shortly thereafter. A 1483 document refers to his selling a slave in Crete whom he had acquired while in the territories of the Sultan of Egypt, which then comprised most of what is now Israel, Syria and Lebanon.[11] This is not sufficient to prove Cabot's later assertion that he had visited Mecca, which he said in 1497 to the Milanese ambassador in London.[12] In this Mediterranean trade, he may have acquired better knowledge of the origins of the oriental (West Asian) merchandise he would have been dealing in (such as spices and silks) than most Europeans at that time.

"Zuan Cabotto" (i.e. John Cabot) is mentioned in a variety of Venetian records of the 1480s. These indicate that by 1484 he was married to Mattea and already had at least two sons.[13] Cabot's sons are Ludovico, Sebastian, and Sancto.[2] The Venetian sources contain references to Cabot's being involved in house building in the city. He may have relied on this experience when seeking work later in Spain as a civil engineer.[14]

Cabot fugitive
Cabot's travels around Europe, 1488–95, following his escape from Venice

Cabot appears to have got into financial trouble in the late 1480s and left Venice as an insolvent debtor by 5 November 1488. He moved to Valencia, Spain, where his creditors attempted to have him arrested by sending a lettera di raccomandazione a giustizia ("a letter of recommendation to justice") to the authorities.[15] While in Valencia, "John Cabot Montecalunya" (as he is referred to in local documents) proposed plans for improvements to the harbour. These proposals were rejected, however.[16] Early in 1494 he moved on to Seville, where he proposed, was contracted to build and, for five months, worked on the construction of a stone bridge over the Guadalquivir river. This project was abandoned following a decision of the City Council on 24 December 1494.[17] After this Cabot appears to have sought support in Seville and Lisbon for an Atlantic expedition, before moving to London to seek funding and political support.[18] He probably reached England in mid-1495.


Like other explorers at those times, including Christopher Columbus, Cabot led an expedition on commission, in his case, England. Cabot planned to depart to the west from a northerly latitude where the longitudes are much closer together, and where, as a result, the voyage would be much shorter.[19] He still had an expectation of finding an alternative route to China.

Historians had thought that, on arrival in England, Cabot went to Bristol, a major maritime centre, to seek financial backers.[20] This was the only English city to have had a history of undertaking exploratory expeditions into the Atlantic. Cabot's royal patent (issued by the Crown in 1496) stated that all expeditions should be undertaken from Bristol, so his primary financial supporters were probably based in that city. In any case, it also stipulated that the commerce resulting from any discoveries must be conducted with England alone, with goods only being brought in through Bristol.[21] This would have made Bristol into a monopoly port, with sole right to engage in colonial trade. In stating this, Henry VII of England was presumably copying Iberian practices: Portugal having made Lisbon into such a monopoly port, while Spain was in the process of doing the same thing with Seville.

In the late 20th century, British historian Alwyn Ruddock claimed to have found documentation that Cabot went first to London, where he received some financial backing from its Italian community. She suggested one patron was Father Giovanni Antonio de Carbonariis, an Augustinian friar who was also the deputy to Adriano Castellesi, the papal tax collector. Ruddock suggested that Carbonariis accompanied Cabot's 1498 expedition. She also suggested that the friar, on good terms with the King, introduced the explorer to King Henry VII. Beyond this, Ruddock claimed that Cabot received a loan from an Italian banking house in London. As Ruddock ordered the destruction of all her research notes on her death in 2005, scholars have had to duplicate her research and rediscover documents.[22] The Cabot Project was formed at the University of Bristol in 2009 to research Cabot and the Bristol expeditions. Francesco Guidi Bruscoli (University of Florence) found some of Ruddock's documentation, confirming that Cabot received money in March 1496 from the Bardi family banking firm of Florence.[23] The bankers located in London provided fifty nobles (£16 13s. 4d.) to support Cabot's expedition to "go and find the new land". This payment from the Florentine merchants would have represented a substantial contribution, although it was not enough to completely finance the expedition.[23]

On 5 March 1496 Henry VII gave Cabot and his three sons letters patent with the following charge for exploration: authority, faculty and power to sail to all parts, regions and coasts of the eastern, western and northern sea, under our banners, flags and ensigns, with five ships or vessels of whatsoever burden and quality they may be, and with so many and with such mariners and men as they may wish to take with them in the said ships, at their own proper costs and charges, to find, discover and investigate whatsoever islands, countries, regions or provinces of heathens and infidels, in whatsoever part of the world placed, which before this time were unknown to all Christians.

[2][24] Those who received such patents had the right to assign them to third parties for execution.[20] His sons are believed to have still been minors.[25]


John Cabot plaque: John Cabot departing Bristol, England for Atlantic Canada (1497), installed at Sir Sandford Fleming Park, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Cabot went to Bristol to arrange preparations for his voyage. Bristol was the second-largest seaport in England. From 1480 onward it had supplied several expeditions to look for Hy-Brazil. According to Celtic legend, this island lay somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean.[26] There was widespread belief among merchants in the port that Bristol men had discovered the island at an earlier date but then lost track of it.[27][28] Ruddock had contended in a private 1988 letter to a colleague, Quinn, that she had found evidence in Italian archives that Bristol men had discovered North America pre-1470. As the island was believed to be a source of brazilwood (from which a valuable red dye could be obtained), merchants had economic incentive to find it.[29]

First voyage

Cabot's first voyage was little recorded. A winter 1497/98 letter from John Day (a Bristol merchant) to an addressee believed to be Christopher Columbus refers briefly to it, but writes mostly about the second, 1497 voyage. He notes, "Since your Lordship wants information relating to the first voyage, here is what happened: he went with one ship, his crew confused him, he was short of supplies and ran into bad weather, and he decided to turn back."[30] Since Cabot received his royal patent in March 1496, it is believed that he made his first voyage that summer.

Second voyage

Information about the 1497 voyage comes mostly from four short letters and an entry in a 1565 chronicle of the city of Bristol. The chronicle entry for 1496/7 says in full:

"This year, on St. John the Baptist's Day [24 June 1497], the land of America was found by the Merchants of Bristow in a shippe of Bristowe, called the Mathew; the which said the ship departed from the port of Bristowe, the second day of May, and came home again the 6th of August next following." – G.E. Weare, Cabot's Discovery of North America, (London, 1897), p. 116

What is known as the "John Day letter" provides considerable information about Cabot's second voyage. It was written during the winter of 1497/8 by Bristol merchant John Day (alias Hugh Say of London) to a man who is probably Christopher Columbus.[30] Day is believed to have been familiar with the key figures of the expedition and thus able to report on it.[31] If the lands Cabot had discovered lay west of the meridian laid down in the Treaty of Tordesillas, or if he intended to sail further west, Columbus would probably have believed that these voyages challenged his monopoly rights for westward exploration.[32]

In addition to these letters, Alwyn Ruddock claimed to have found another, written on 10 August 1497 by the London-based bankers of Fr. Giovanni Antonio de Carbonariis. This letter has yet to be found. From various written comments made by Ruddock, the letter did not appear to contain a detailed account of the voyage.[33] Ruddock said the letter contained "new evidence supporting the claim that seamen of Bristol had already discovered land across the ocean before John Cabot's arrival in England."[27] She contended that Bristol seamen had reached North America two decades before Cabot's expedition.[28]

Bonavista Cabot 2
A statue of John Cabot gazing across Bonavista Bay

The known sources do not concur on all aspects of the events, and none can be assumed to be entirely reliable. Cabot was described as having one "little ship",[12] of 50 tons burden, called the Matthew of Bristol (according to the 1565 chronicle). It was said to be laden with sufficient supplies for "seven or eight months".[30] The ship departed in May with a crew of 18[12] to 20 men.[30] They included an unnamed Burgundian (modern- day Netherlands) and a Genoese barber,[12] who presumably accompanied the expedition as the ship's surgeon.

It is likely that two ranking Bristol merchants were part of the expedition.[12] One was probably William Weston, who had not been identified as part of Cabot's expedition before the find of a new document in the late 20th century. His participation was confirmed by a document found in the early 21st century noting his reward from the King in January 1498 after the ship returned. More importantly, in 2009 historian Evan Jones confirmed that Weston had undertaken an independent voyage to the New Found Land in 1499, probably under Cabot's patent, as the first Englishman to lead an expedition to North America.[34] In 2018 Condon and Jones published a further article that confirmed Weston's involvement with Cabot prior to the 1498 expedition.[35]

Leaving Bristol, the expedition sailed past Ireland and across the Atlantic, making landfall somewhere on the coast of North America on 24 June 1497. The exact location of the landfall has long been disputed, with different communities vying for the honor. Historians have proposed Cape Bonavista and St. John's (present-day Newfoundland); Cape Breton Island (Nova Scotia);[19] as well as Labrador (Canada) and Maine (United States) as possibilities. Since the discovery of the "John Day letter" in the 1950s, it seems most likely that the initial landfall was either on Newfoundland or Cape Breton Island. This is because Day's letter implies that the coastline explored in 1497 lay between the latitudes of Bordeaux, France and Dursey Head in southern Ireland. The initial landfall seems to have taken place close to the southern latitude, with the expedition returning home after reaching the northern one.[36]

1497 voyage
Route of 1497 voyage posited by Jones and Condon.

For the 500th-anniversary celebrations, the governments of Canada and the United Kingdom designated Cape Bonavista in Newfoundland as the "official" landing place. Here in 1997 Queen Elizabeth II, along with members of the Italian and Canadian governments, greeted the replica Matthew of Bristol, following its celebratory crossing of the Atlantic.[37]

Cabot is reported to have landed only once during the expedition and did not advance "beyond the shooting distance of a crossbow".[30] Pasqualigo and Day both state that the expedition made no contact with any native people; crew found the remains of a fire, a human trail, nets and a wooden tool. The crew appeared to have remained on land just long enough to take on fresh water; they also raised the Venetian and Papal banners, claiming the land for the King of England and recognising the religious authority of the Roman Catholic Church.[38] After this landing, Cabot spent some weeks "discovering the coast," with most "discovered after turning back."[30]

Final voyage

A replica of the Matthew in Bristol

On return to Bristol, Cabot rode to London to report to the King. On 10 August 1497, he was given a reward of £10 – equivalent to about two years' pay for an ordinary labourer or craftsman.[39] The explorer was feted; Soncino wrote on 23 August that Cabot "is called the Great Admiral [note: as Christopher Columbus had been] and vast honour is paid to him and he goes dressed in silk, and these English run after him like mad".[12] Such adulation was short-lived, for over the next few months the King's attention was occupied by the Second Cornish Uprising of 1497, led by Perkin Warbeck. Once Henry's throne was secure, he gave more thought to Cabot. On 26 September, just a few days after the collapse of the revolt, the King made an award of £2 to Cabot.[40] In December 1497 the explorer was awarded a pension of £20 per year. On February 3, 1498 he was given new letters patent covering the voyage[41] and to help him prepare a second expedition.[42] In March and April, the King also advanced a number of loans to Lancelot Thirkill of London, Thomas Bradley and John Cair, who were to accompany Cabot's new expedition.[43]

The Great Chronicle of London (1189–1512) reports that Cabot departed with a fleet of five ships from Bristol at the beginning of May 1498, one of which had been prepared by the King. Some of the ships were said to be carrying merchandise, including cloth, caps, lace points and other "trifles".[44] This suggests that Cabot intended to engage in trade on this expedition. The Spanish envoy in London reported in July that one of the ships had been caught in a storm and been forced to land in Ireland, but that Cabot and the other four ships had continued on.[9]

For centuries no other records were found (or at least published) that relate to this expedition; it was long believed that Cabot and his fleet were lost at sea. But at least one of the men scheduled to accompany the expedition, Lancelot Thirkill of London, is recorded as living in London in 1501.[45]

It is not known if Cabot died during the voyage, or returned safely and died shortly after.[46]

La Cosa map North Atlantic (1500)
Juan de La Cosa's map of the North Atlantic, 1500

The historian Alwyn Ruddock worked on Cabot and his era for 35 years. She suggested that Cabot and his expedition successfully returned to England in the spring of 1500. She claimed their return followed an epic two-year exploration of the east coast of North America, south into the Chesapeake Bay area and perhaps as far as the Spanish territories in the Caribbean. Her evidence included the well-known world map of the Spanish cartographer Juan de la Cosa. His chart included the North American coast and seas 'discovered by the English' between 1497 and 1500.[47]

Ruddock suggested Fr. Giovanni Antonio de Carbonariis and the other friars who accompanied the 1498 expedition had stayed in Newfoundland and founded a mission. If Carbonariis founded a settlement in North America, it would have been the first Christian settlement on the continent, and may have included a church, the only medieval church to have been built there.[48]

The Cabot Project at the University of Bristol was organized in 2009 to search for the evidence on which Ruddock's claims rest, as well as to undertake related studies of Cabot and his expeditions.[49] The lead researchers on the project, Evan Jones and Margaret Condon, claim to have found further evidence to support aspects of Ruddock's case, including some of the information she intended to use to argue for a successful return of the 1498 expedition to Bristol. These appear to place John Cabot in London by May 1500, albeit Jones and Condon have yet to publish their documentation.

The Project is collaborating on an archaeological excavation at the community of Carbonear, Newfoundland, located at Conception Bay and believed the likely location for Carbonariis' mission settlement. The Archaeology of Historic Carbonear Project, carried out by Memorial University of Newfoundland, has conducted summer fieldwork each season since 2011. So far, it has found evidence of planter habitation since the late 17th century and of trade with Spain through Bilbao, including a Spanish coin minted in Peru.[50][51]

Additional English voyages

1508 voyage
Presumed course of Sebastian Cabot's voyage of 1508-9, based on Peter Martyr's 1516 account and subsequent references to it.

Ruddock claimed that William Weston of Bristol, a supporter of Cabot, undertook an independent expedition to North America in 1499, sailing north from Newfoundland up to the Hudson Strait.[48] If correct, this was probably the first North West Passage expedition. In 2009, Jones confirmed that William Weston (who was not previously known to have been involved) led an expedition from Bristol [with royal support] to the "new found land" in 1499 or 1500, making him the first Englishman to lead exploration of North America. This find has changed the understanding of English roles in exploration of that continent.[52][53] In 2018, Condon and Jones published a further article about William Weston. This revealed that Weston and Cabot had received rewards from King Henry VII in January 1498, following a royal audience, thereby confirming that the two explorers were involved by this stage. Condon and Jones also revealed that in 1500 the King rewarded Weston £30 for 'his expenses about the finding of the new land'.[54]

King Henry VII continued to support exploration from Bristol. The king granted Hugh Eliot, Robert Thorne and his son a bounty of ₤20 in January 1502 for purchasing the Gabriel, a ship for an expedition voyage that summer. Later in 1502 or early 1503 he paid Eliot a reward of ₤100 for a voyage, or voyages, in "2 ships to the Isle of new finding," as Newfoundland was called. This amount was larger than any previously accounted for in royal support of the explorations.[52] Around this time the Bristol based explorers established a formal company, backed by Letters Patent, called the Company Adventurers to the New Found Land. This conducted further expeditions in 1503 and 1504.[55]

In 1508-9, Sebastian Cabot undertook a final voyage to North America from Bristol. According to Peter Martyr's 1516 account this expedition explored a section of the coast from the Hudson Bay to about Chesapeake Bay. Following his return to England in 1509, Sebastian found that his sponsor, Henry VII, had died and that the new king, Henry VIII, had little interest in westward exploration.[56]


Cabot married Mattea around 1470, and had issue including three sons:

Sebastian Cabot's voyages

Sebastian Cabot, one of John's sons, also became an explorer, later making at least one voyage to North America. In 1508 he was searching for the Northwest Passage. Nearly two decades later, he sailed to South America for Spain to repeat Ferdinand Magellan's voyage around the world. He became diverted by searching for silver along the Río de la Plata (1525–1528) in Argentina.[57]

Legacy and honors

Square Cabot, Montreal
Newfoundland Cabots ship 1897 issue-10d
~ The Matthew ~
In 1897, on the 400th anniversary of Cabot's discovery of North America, the Newfoundland Post Office issued a commemorative stamp honouring Cabot and his discovery.

See also


  • Evan T. Jones and Margaret M. Condon, Cabot and Bristol's Age of Discovery: The Bristol Discovery Voyages 1480–1508 (University of Bristol, Nov. 2016). This short book provides an up-to-date account of the voyages, based on the research of the "Cabot Project", aimed at a general audience.
  • Evan T. Jones, "Alwyn Ruddock: 'John Cabot and the Discovery of America' ", Historical Research Vol 81, Issue 212 (2008), pp. 224–254. Provides updated information on new discoveries of documents related to Cabot and his voyage, and claims made in the late 20th century by Alwyn Ruddock.
  • Evan T. Jones, "Henry VII and the Bristol expeditions to North America: the Condon documents", Historical Research, 27 Aug 2009, relates primarily to newly discovered documents related to William Weston's 1499 voyage.
  • Francesco Guidi-Bruscoli, 'John Cabot and his Italian Financiers', Historical Research (Published online, April 2012).
  • J.A. Williamson, The Cabot Voyages and Bristol Discovery Under Henry VII (Hakluyt Society, Second Series, No. 120, CUP, 1962). Considered the essential source-book for Cabot and his voyages. Numerous documents have been discovered in the Italian, Spanish and English archives that provide new insights into these events and era.
  • Skelton, R. A. (1979–2016). "Cabot, John". Dictionary of Canadian Biography (online ed.). University of Toronto Press. A short introduction; it has been updated based on material published related to The Cabot Project at the University of Bristol.
  • H.P. Biggar (ed.), The Precursors of Jacques Cartier, 1497–1534: A Collection of Documents Relating to the Early History of the Dominion of Canada (Ottawa, 1911). Contains transcriptions of many of the original documents in their original languages – i.e. Latin, Spanish and Italian.
  • P. D'Epiro, M.D. Pinkowish, Sprezzatura: 50 Ways Italian Genius Shaped the World, 1st Anchor Book Edition, 2001, pp. 179–180.

Further reading


  1. ^ "Cabato". Treccani Italy. Treccani Italy.
  2. ^ a b c d "Catholic Encyclopedia "John & Sebastian Cabot"". newadvent. 2007. Retrieved 17 May 2008.
  3. ^ Frederic C., Lane (1978). Storia di Venezia (in Italian). Turin: Einaudi.
  4. ^ Edoardo Giuffrida, "New documents on Giovanni Caboto" in R. Mamoli Zorzi (ed.), Attraversare gli Oceani: Da Giovanni Caboto al Canada Multiculturale (Venice, 1999), 61. Juliana de Luna, Names from Sixteenth Century Venice (2008).
  5. ^ "Cabot Project", Bristol Website
  6. ^ a b c Skelton, R.A. (1979) [1966]. "Cabot, John". In Brown, George Williams. Dictionary of Canadian Biography. I (1000–1700) (online ed.). University of Toronto Press.
  7. ^ "SCHEDA TECNICA DOCUMENTARIO "CABOTO": I CABOTO E IL NUOVO MONDO" (PDF) (Press release) (in Italian). Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 3 June 2008. (TECHNICAL DOCUMENTARY "CABOTO": I and Catalan origins have been proved to be without foundation.
  8. ^ Roberto Almagiá, Commemorazione di Sebastiano Caboto nel IV centenario della morte (Venice, 1958), pp. 37–38. (in Italian)
  9. ^ a b "Pedro de Ayala letter 1498 to the Spanish Crown". The Smugglers' City. Department of Historical Studies, University of Bristol. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  10. ^ J.A. Williamson, The Cabot Voyages and Bristol Discovery Under Henry VII (Hakluyt Society, Second Series, No. 120, CUP, 1962), pp. 33–34.
  11. ^ Giuffrida, "New documents on Giovanni Caboto" pp. 62–3
  12. ^ a b c d e f Primary Sources: "Raimondo de Raimondi de Soncino, Milanese Ambassador in England, to Ludovico Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan, 18 December 1497, The Smugglers' City, History Dept., University of Bristol
  13. ^ Williamson, The Cabot Voyages, pp. 93, 192–95
  14. ^ Giuffrida, "New documents on Giovanni Caboto," pp. 69
  15. ^ M. F. Tiepolo, "Documenti Veneziani su Giovanni Caboto", Studi Veneziani, xv (1973), pp. 585–97
  16. ^ M. Balesteros-Gaibrois, "Juan Caboto en España: nueva luz sobre un problema viejo", Revista de Indias, iv (1943), 607–27
  17. ^ "John Cabot in Seville, 1494", The Smugglers' City, Dept. of History, University of Bristol
  18. ^ Evan T. Jones and Margaret M. Condon, Cabot and Bristol's Age of Discovery: The Bristol Discovery Voyages 1480–1508 (University of Bristol, Nov. 2016), pp. 23–27.
  19. ^ a b Derek Croxton (2007). "The Cabot Dilemma: John Cabot's 1497 Voyage & the Limits of Historiography". University of Virginia. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  20. ^ a b Evan T. Jones, "The Matthew of Bristol and the financiers of John Cabot's 1497 voyage to North America", English Historical Review (2006)
  21. ^ The Commercial Policy of England Toward the American Colonies: the Acts of Trade, p. 38; in Emory R. Johnson, T. W. Van Metre, G. G. Huebner, D. S. Hanchett, History of Domestic and Foreign Commerce of the United States – Vol. 1, Carnegie Institution of Washington, 1915
  22. ^ Evan T. Jones, "Alwyn Ruddock: John Cabot and the Discovery of America", Historical Research Vol 81, Issue 212 (2008), pp. 231–34.
  23. ^ a b Guidi-Bruscoli, Francesco (2012). "John Cabot and his Italian financiers*". Historical Research. 85 (229): 372–393. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2281.2012.00597.x.
  24. ^ Primary Sources: "First Letters Patent granted by Henry VII to John Cabot, 5 March 1496", The Smugglers' City, History Dept., University of Bristol
  25. ^ Skelton, R.A. (1979) [1966]. "Cabot, Sebastian". In Brown, George Williams. Dictionary of Canadian Biography. I (1000–1700) (online ed.). University of Toronto Press.
  26. ^ Williamson, The Cabot Voyages, pp. 187–9
  27. ^ a b Jones, Evan T. (2008). "Alwyn Ruddock: John Cabot and the Discovery of America". Historical Research. 2007 (212): 237–40. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2281.2007.00422.x.
  28. ^ a b Douglas Hunter, "Rewriting History: Alwyn Ruddock and John Cabot", extended July 2010 version of article by same name published in Canada's History, April 2010; accessed 24 April 2015
  29. ^ "Salazar's account of Bristol's discovery of the Island of Brasil (pre 1476)". The Smuggler's City. University of Bristol.
  30. ^ a b c d e f "John Day letter to the Lord Grand Admiral, Winter 1497/8", The Smugglers' City, Dept. of History, University of Bristol.
  31. ^ "The John Day Letter". Heritage Newfoundland & Labrador. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  32. ^ Woodroffe, Sasha. "Breaking the Spanish Monopoly in the Caribbean". Academia. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  33. ^ E.T. Jones, "The Quinn papers: transcripts of correspondence relating to the Bristol discovery voyages to North America in the fifteenth century", p. 16.. Note: Based on Ruddock's letter to Quinn on 1 May 1992, she thought that the bank was Venetian; Condon and Jones found documentation in August 2010 suggesting this conclusion was incorrect and that it was Florentine.
  34. ^ Evan T. Jones, 'Henry VII and the Bristol expeditions to North America: the Condon documents', Historical Research, 27 Aug 2009
  35. ^ Margaret M. Condon and Evan T. jones, 'William Weston: early voyager to the New World', Historical Research (Nov. 2018, published online, 3 Oct 2018).
  36. ^ Evan T. Jones and Margaret M. Condon, Cabot and Bristol's Age of Discovery: The Bristol Discovery Voyages 1480–1508 (University of Bristol, 2016), pp. 43–44.
  37. ^ Lion of Saint Mark, given by Regione Veneto to the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, for the 500th year from the arrival of John Cabot:
  38. ^ P. D'Epiro, M.D. Pinkowish, "Sprezzatura: 50 Ways Italian Genius Shaped the World" pp. 179–180
  39. ^ Williamson, The Cabot Voyages, p. 214
  40. ^ Evan T. Jones, 'Bristol, Cabot and the New Found Land, 1496–1500' in P.E. Pope and S. Lewis-Simpson (eds.), Exploring Atlantic Transitions: Archaeologies of Permanence and Transience in New Found Lands (Boydell and Brewer, 2013), pp. 29–30.
  41. ^ The Letters Patents of King Henry the Seventh Granted unto Iohn Cabot and his Three Sonnes, Lewis, Sebastian and Sancius for the Discouerie of New and Unknowen Lands, February 3, 1498 from Avalon Project
  42. ^ Williamson, The Cabot Voyages, pp. 217–19, 226–7
  43. ^ Williamson, The Cabot Voyages, pp. 214–15
  44. ^ Williamson, The Cabot Voyages, pp. 220–23
  45. ^ Williamson (1962), The Cabot Voyages, pp. 92–4
  46. ^ di Alberto Magnaghi. "CABOTO, Giovanni e Sebastiano in "Enciclopedia Italiana"". Retrieved 2017-03-06.
  47. ^ Evan T. Jones and Margaret M. Condon, Cabot and Bristol's Age of Discovery: The Bristol Discovery Voyages 1480–1508 (University of Bristol, Nov. 2016), p. 2.
  48. ^ a b Evan T. Jones (2008), "Alwyn Ruddock: John Cabot and the Discovery of America ", first published online 5 April 2007, Historical Research, Volume 81, Issue 212, May 2008, pp. 242–49.
  49. ^ "The Cabot Project", University of Bristol, 2009.
  50. ^ Peter E. Pope and Bryn Tapper, "Historic Carbonear, Summer 2013", Provincial Archaeology Office 2013 Archaeology Review, Vol. 12-2013, pages 127-133, accessed 24 April 2015
  51. ^ Mark Rendell, "17th-century coins unearthed in Carbonear" Archived 24 April 2015 at, The Telegram, 17 April 2014, accessed 24 April 2015
  52. ^ a b Evan T. Jones, "Henry VII and the Bristol expeditions to North America: the Condon documents", Historical Research, 27 August 2009
  53. ^ Evan T. Jones and M. M. Condon, "Weston, William (d. in or before 1505)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, May 2010
  54. ^ Margaret M. Condon and Evan T. jones, 'William Weston: early voyager to the New World', Historical Research (Nov. 2018, published online, 3 Oct 2018).
  55. ^ Evan T. Jones and Margaret M. Condon, Cabot and Bristol's Age of Discovery: The Bristol Discovery Voyages 1480–1508 (University of Bristol, Nov. 2016).
  56. ^ Evan T. Jones and Margaret M. Condon, Cabot and Bristol's Age of Discovery: The Bristol Discovery Voyages 1480–1508 (University of Bristol, Nov. 2016).
  57. ^ Cutler, Miriam (2011). Buenos Aires Street Guide. LibrosEnRed. p. 16. ISBN 9781597546539.
  58. ^ Painting of Giovanni Caboto by Giustino Menescardi
  59. ^ Denis William Eden: John Cabot and his sons receive the charter from Henry VII to sail in search of new lands (1910), at Houses of Parliament
  60. ^ Giovanni Caboto Club History Archived 17 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  61. ^ Douglas Merritt, Sculpture in Bristol (Bristol, 2002), p. 90. Note: In 1956 this was designated as a "symbolic figure of an Elizabethan seaman," although the sculptor Charles Wheeler exhibited the work in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition of 1952 as "Number 1423, John Cabot – sketch model for the statue on the New Council House, Bristol". The figure is dressed in fifteenth-century clothing, has a fifteenth-century navigational instrument (astrolabe) hanging from his belt and holds what appear to represent Cabot's letters patent.
  62. ^ Peter Pope, "Review: The Race to the New World: Christopher Columbus, John Cabot, and a Lost History of Discovery. Douglas Hunter", The Canadian Historical Review, Vol.93, No.4, December 2012 (subscription required)

External links

Primary sources

15th century in Canada

Events from the 15th century in Canada.

Cabot Square, Montreal

Cabot Square (French: Square Cabot) is an urban square in Montreal, Quebec, Canada between the former Montreal Forum and the former Montreal Children's Hospital. The square is located in the Shaughnessy Village neighbourhood, an area which has been recently re-dubbed the Quartier des Grands Jardins and has been slated for redevelopment.It is one of three statues of John Cabot in Canada; the others are found at Confederation Building in St. John's, NF and Cape Bonavista. Two other statues of Cabot are both found in Bristol, England (Council House, Bristol and Bristol Harbour).

Cabot Tower, Bristol

Cabot Tower is a tower in Bristol, England, situated in a public park on Brandon Hill, between the city centre, Clifton and Hotwells. It is a grade II listed building.The tower was built in the 1890s to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the journey of John Cabot from Bristol to land which later became Canada. Public access to the viewing platforms at the top of the tower was suspended from 2007 to 2011 for repairs.

Cabot Trail

The Cabot Trail is a highway and scenic roadway in northern Victoria County and Inverness County on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, Canada.

The route measures 298 km (185 mi) in length and completes a loop around the northern tip of the island, passing along and through the Cape Breton Highlands. It is named after the explorer John Cabot who landed in Atlantic Canada in 1497, although most historians agree his landfall likely took place in Newfoundland and not Cape Breton Island. (Premier Angus L. MacDonald attempted to re-brand Nova Scotia for tourism purposes as primarily Scottish and, as part of this effort, created both the names Cape Breton Highlands and Cabot Trail.) Construction of the initial route was completed in 1932.

Its northern section of the Cabot Trail passes through Cape Breton Highlands National Park. The western and eastern sections follow the rugged coastline, with views of the ocean. The southwestern section passes through the Margaree River valley before passing along Bras d'Or Lake.

This trail is the only trunk secondary highway in Nova Scotia which does not have a signed route designation. Road signs along the route instead have a unique mountain logo.The road is internally referred to by the Department of Transportation and Public Works as Trunk 30. The Trunk 30 road named the "Cabot Trail" loops from Exit 7 on Nova Scotia Highway 105 at Buckwheat Corner to Exit 11 on Highway 105 at South Haven. The scenic travelway known as the "Cabot Trail" includes all of Trunk 30, as well as the portion of Highway 105 between exits 7 and 11.

The entire route is open year-round.

Cape Bonavista

Cape Bonavista is a headland located on the east coast of the island of Newfoundland in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. It is located at the northeastern tip of the Bonavista Peninsula, which separates Trinity Bay to the south from Bonavista Bay to the north. The nearby town of Bonavista takes its name from this historic landmark.

John Cabot may have landed at this site on June 24, 1497 with his second expedition to North America (or at another time in the 15th century). Other Newfoundland locations also claim to be his landing site.

The lighthouse on Cape Bonavista was built in 1843. A thriving puffin colony is located on a craggy island separated from the Cape by a narrow, precipitous channel.


Clarenville is a town on the east coast of Newfoundland in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Clarenville was incorporated in 1951 and is located in the Shoal Harbour valley fronting an arm of the Atlantic Ocean called Random Sound.

The town grew in importance after it became a junction on the Newfoundland Railway where a branch line to the Bonavista Peninsula left the main line. The construction of the Trans-Canada Highway through the community in the 1960s resulted in it becoming a local service centre for central-eastern Newfoundland, serving 96,000 people living in 90 communities within a 100 km radius. Clarenville is centrally located and within two hours' driving time of 70% of the province's population.

The town is a natural gateway to the Discovery Trail, extending down the Bonavista Peninsula to Trinity and Bonavista, reputed site of the first landing of European explorer John Cabot. The trail is a panorama of scenery, historic sites, coastal towns and villages.

Frederick Vreeland

Frederick Dalziel Vreeland (born June 24, 1927) is an American diplomat and writer. He is the son of fashion editor Diana Vreeland (1903–1989) and the banker Thomas Reed Vreeland (1899–1966).

James Creagan

James Francis Creagan (born 1940) is a United States diplomat. From 1996 to 1999, he served as U.S. Ambassador to Honduras. Previously, he had served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the American Embassy to the Holy See and Italy, the Consul General in São Paulo, Brazil and the Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Brasília. Although he retired broadly from public service in 1999, he stepped in briefly in 2009 in Bolivia as special Chargé d'Affaires.Creagan is the director of the Center for International Studies at the University of the Incarnate Word, where he teaches courses for the Government and International Affairs Department. Formerly, he served as president of John Cabot University in Rome.

In January 2016, Ambassador Creagan was named the Ambassador Eugene Scassa Visiting Professor of International Diplomacy at St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, Texas where he teaches courses in the Political Science Department.

Jean Ango

Jean Ango (italianized version for Jehan Angot) (1480–1551) was a Norman ship-owner who provided ships to king of France Francis I for exploration of the globe. A native of Dieppe, Ango took over his father's import-export business, and ventured into the spice trade with Africa and India. He was one of the first French to challenge the monopoly of Spain and Portugal, in addition to trading with the eastern Mediterranean, the British Isles, and the Low Countries. He also helped to finance the voyages of Giovanni da Verrazzano and Jacques Cartier.His father (also named Jean Ango) sent two ships to Newfoundland in an early colonization attempt, including Jehan Denis and Thomas Aubert as captain of the Pensée.

Their arrival in 1508 is the second recorded voyage of a French ship to the Grand Banks after the expedition of John Cabot. After his father's death (probably in the final years of the reign of King Louis XII), the younger Jean Ango stopped any personal participation in trading voyages and settled in Dieppe with his inherited fortune.He eventually controlled a fleet, partially or alone, of 70 ships, including merchant ships and fishing vessels. Although he funded expeditions for trade and exploration, and used his ships (legally) for wartime raids, "he also sponsored voyages whose only purpose was piracy".Ango was an intimate friend of King Francis I. In 1521 he was styled Viscount of Dieppe, and in 1533, after the king had visited him in his mansion in Normandy, captain of Dieppe. When John III of Portugal confiscated one of his ships which carried plunder from captured vessels, Ango received the French king's permission to respond. Acting under a letter of marque issued on 26 July 1530, he harassed the Portuguese fleet in the Atlantic, and even threatened to block the port of Lisbon. On 15 August 1531, the Portuguese king agreed to pay reparations of 60,000 ducats in return for Ango's agreement to stop his actions and surrender the letter of marque which permitted them.He lost popularity under King Henry II. Already nearly bankrupt after his forced participation in a royal armament project, he was imprisoned after 1549 for failing to pay taxes on his profits from privateering.In his book La chanson des pilotes, he was the first to describe in writing the use of tobacco.

John C. Lodge

John Christian Lodge (August 12, 1862 – February 6, 1950) was an influential politician from Detroit, Michigan, serving as mayor from 1922 to 1923, in 1924, and from 1927 to 1929, and spending over 30 years on the Detroit City Council.

John Cabot Academy

John Cabot Academy formerly John Cabot CTC, is one of 15 City Technology Colleges that first opened for students in the 1993/1994 academic year. It has since converted to Academy status on 1 September 2007. It is located east of Bristol, England in the Kingswood area of South Gloucestershire and is named after John Cabot, an explorer who set out from Bristol and reached the Americas in 1497. The academy has 1,068 students, about 220 of whom are in the sixth form.

John Cabot Catholic Secondary School

John Cabot Catholic Secondary School is located in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. It is a separate Catholic high school within the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board. The school mascot is the Colt.

John Cabot House

The John Cabot House is a historic house at 117 Cabot Street in downtown Beverly, Massachusetts. Built in 1781 by a prominent local businessman and ship owner, it was the town's first brick mansion house. It is now owned by Historic Beverly and open to the public five days a week. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.

John Cabot University

John Cabot University is a small American liberal arts university in the Trastevere district (rione) of Rome, Italy. It is named for the Venetian explorer Giovanni Caboto better known by the English form of his name, John Cabot. As of 2016 it has more than 1,000 students in fields like Art History, Business Administration and International Affairs. The university has three campuses in central Rome. It was founded in 1972 as a small affiliate program with Hiram College, before becoming its own independent university in 1991 and earning accreditation in 2003. Until about 1991 it was known as John Cabot International College.:461

List of tallest buildings in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

St. John's is the largest city and metropolis in Newfoundland and Labrador with a population of 192,326. In St. John's, there are seven buildings that stand taller than 50 m (164 ft). The tallest building in the city is the 11-storey, 64 m (210 ft) Confederation Building. The majority of the high-rises in the city are in the downtown area, however Confederation building is located outside of the downtown. The tallest building downtown is the 63 m (207 ft) John Cabot Place, with 13 floors.Due to strict height regulations in the downtown area, the city has seen very few high-rises built in comparison to other cities of similar size. In 2010 the city amended height regulation for a small area of Water Street to allow for higher density buildings. The latest development in this area was 351 Water Street; at 47.4 m (156 ft) and 11 floors.


Matthew may refer to:

Matthew (given name)

Matthew (surname)

Matthew (ship), the ship sailed by John Cabot in 1497 from Bristol to North America

Matthew (album), a 2000 album by rapper Kool Keith

Matthew (elm cultivar), a cultivar of the Chinese Elm Ulmus parvifolia

Hurricane Matthew, a former hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean.

Matthew (ship)

The Matthew is a replica of a caravel sailed by John Cabot in 1497 from Bristol to North America, presumably Newfoundland. After a voyage which had got no further than Iceland, Cabot left again with only one vessel, the Matthew, a small ship (50 tons), but fast and able. The crew consisted of only 18 men. The Matthew departed either 2 May or 20 May 1497. He sailed to Dursey Head (latitude 51°36N), Ireland, from where he sailed due west, expecting to reach Asia. However, landfall was reached in North America on 24 June 1497. His precise landing place is a matter of much controversy, with Cape Bonavista or St. John's in Newfoundland the most likely sites.

Cabot went ashore to take possession of the land, and explored the coast for some time, probably departing on 20 July. On the homeward voyage his sailors incorrectly thought they were going too far north, so Cabot sailed a more southerly course, reaching Brittany instead of England. On 6 August he arrived back in Bristol.

Richard Amerike

Richard ap Meryk, anglicised to Richard Amerike (or Ameryk) (c. 1440–1503) was an Anglo-Welsh merchant, royal customs officer and, at the end of his life, sheriff of Bristol. Several claims have been made for Amerike by popular writers of the late twentieth century. One was that he was the major funder of the voyage of exploration launched from Bristol by the Venetian John Cabot in 1497, and that Amerike was the owner of Cabot's ship, the Matthew. The other claim revived a theory first proposed in 1908 by a Bristolian scholar and amateur historian, Alfred Hudd. Hudd's theory, greatly elaborated by later writers, suggested that the continental name America was derived from Amerike's surname in gratitude for his sponsorship of Cabot's successful discovery expedition to the 'New World'. However, neither claim is backed up by hard evidence, and the consensus view is that America is named after Amerigo Vespucci, the Italian explorer.

Sebastian Cabot (explorer)

Sebastian Cabot (Italian and Venetian: Sebastiano Caboto, Spanish: Sebastián Caboto, Gaboto or Cabot; c. 1474 – c. December 1557) was an Italian explorer, likely born in the Venetian Republic. He was the son of Italian explorer John Cabot (Giovanni Caboto) and his Venetian wife Mattea.

After his father's death, Cabot conducted his own voyages of discovery, seeking the Northwest Passage through North America for England. He later sailed for Spain, traveling to South America, where he explored the Rio de la Plata and established two new forts.

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