John Cabot

By Ryan D.

Life

John Cabot was an explorer and navigator, and is the reason that we speak English in North America today. According to History.com, John was born as Giovanni Caboto in 1450 in Genoa, Italy. His birth certificate was lost at sea so no one knows the exact date of his birth. In the text from History.com, it explains that as a young person he had a lot of sailing experience while working for a trading company. In the 1490s he moved to England. Evidence from Biography.com, suggests that he worked as a merchant in the spice trade. He studied navigation and map-making. According to His†ory.com, Cabot became interested in finding a sailing route to the rich markets of Asia.

First Voyage

John Cabot convinced King Henry VII to give Cabot money to make a sailing expedition west to find a quicker water route to Asia. He sailed across the Atlantic Ocean and made landfall in North America. Biography.com states, no one knows the exact location but they think it was near Newfoundland or Labrador. He claimed the land for the King. He brought 3 native people from North America to England and they taught them how to speak English. When he got back to England the King was overjoyed with the news. He gave Cabot more money to go on another trip to North America.

Last Voyage


In May 1498, John Cabot departed from England on his second trip towards North America. History.com sadly states, he never made it to North America because of bad weather. His ship also never made it back to England and he was never officially heard from again.

Fun Facts

John Cabot married a Venetian girl, Mattea, in 1474 went to have three sons, Ludovico, Sancto, Sebastiano. Sebastiano would later become an explorer.


It appears likely that John Cabot had become inspired by the achievements of the explorers such as Christopher Columbus and Bartolomeu Dias, when he set off for England. He settled, with his family, in Bristol in the mid 1490s.


The ocean Cabot sailed was often called the “Sea of Darkness.” Some people believed that it contained dangerous mermaids and sea creatures. Cabot knew that sea travel was rough, but he did not believe these myths.


The Matthew was a special ship. It had decks at the front and back. Most ships just had a hull, or a large wooden dy without decks.


They named a university after his name.
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