The famous Italian Explorer, who sailed for England, John Cabot is credited with being the first European, after the Vikings, to explore North America. Although Christopher
Columbus had sailed to the America's five years earlier; he had not explored North America but rather had landed much further south in the Caribbean. On this page we list
interesting facts about John Cabot including when he sailed to North America, where he landed, and how he was supposedly lost at sea. This information is written for both kids
John Cabot Interesting Facts and First Voyage
He was born in Italy around 1450 AD with the name Giovanni Caboto (in English he is called John Cabot).
When Cabot was 11 years old he moved with his family to Venice where he became interested in sailing and exploration.
In 1474 he married a woman named Mattea with who he had three sons named Ludovico, Sancto and Sebastiano.
He officially became a citizen of Venice in 1476.
In Venice he became involved in maritime trade, for which this city was famous.
He left Venice in the late 1480s due to financial problems. He moved to Valencia, Spain where his creditors in Venice tried unsuccessfully to have him arrested.
While in Spain it is believed he tried to obtain funding for an Atlantic expedition but was unsuccessful.
Around 1495 he moved to London, England where he found support from King Henry VII for a voyage to sail across the Atlantic Ocean for the purpose of discovery.
Historians believe Cabot attempted his first voyage across the Atlantic Ocean in the summer of 1496. There is very little historical information about this voyage. This voyage
is believed to have involved only one ship that turned back to England before reaching North America due to bad weather and supply problems.
John Cabot Second Voyage Facts
Information on Cabot's second voyage comes from a few short letters and an entry in a chronicle of the city of Bristol, England written in 1565. These sources are not considered
entirely reliable and provide some conflicting information.
John Cabot's second voyage involved one ship called the Matthew.
The second voyage departed from Bristol, England in May of 1497 with a crew of around 18 men.
Like Christopher Columbus, in 1492, Cabot was looking for a route to Asia.
Unlike Christopher Columbus Cabot's ship sailed further north; sailing past Ireland on its way across the Atlantic Ocean.
In late June of 1497 Cabot landed somewhere on the east coast of North America.
Exactly where in North America the expedition landed is disputed. Possible landing locations mentioned by historians are mainland Nova Scotia, Cape Breton Island off the coast of
Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Labrador, or the coast of Maine. Cape Bonavista on the mainland of Newfoundland, Canada has been designated the official landing spot of Cabot and his
According to the records of this voyage Cabot and his men only landed once in North America and did not journey far from the coast. They did not stay very long either; just long
enough to bring fresh water on to the ship.
The explorers did not encounter any Native Americans but did find evidence of natives including a trail, nets, tools, and a site where a fire had been started.
Cabot claimed the new found land for the King of England.
After getting back on his ship Cabot is said to have spent some time exploring the North American coast before heading back to England in July of 1497 and arriving in early
August of 1497.
John Cabot Last Voyage and Conclusion
In February of 1498 Cabot was granted permission to make a third voyage across the Atlantic Ocean.
Cabot departed from Bristol, England with a fleet of five ships in May of 1498.
It has been generally believed that on this voyage Cabot and his fleet encountered a storm and were lost at sea. However some historians believe Cabot actually spent two years
exploring North America and returned to England, although evidence of this is minimal.
One of John Cabot's sons, Sebastian Cabot, followed in his father's footsteps and became a famous explorer. His explorations included a voyage to North America.
A statue of John Cabot was erected on the coast and along the Discovery Trail on Cape Bonavista in Newfoundland, Canada.
In 1897 in honor of the 400th anniversary of John Cabot's discovery of North America a commemorative stamp honoring this discovery was issued by the Newfoundland Post Office.