Cabot Sails to North America

Cabot Discovered Labrador for England

John Cabot was from Venice. Cabot believed, as did Columbus, that it was possible to get to Asia by sailing to the West. However, Cabot believed the only way to get to Asia was by sailing North, as he understood that the distances would be shorter. He did not get support from the Venetians, nor from Spain or Portugal.

Cabot was able to convince King Henry of England to back him. He secured for himself and his sons a charter from the King Henry to "search for islands or regions inhabited by infidels, and hitherto unknown to Christendom." Cabot was to then take possession of these territories in the name of England. In return, Cabot was granted exclusive trading rights to the newly discovered territories. From his profits, Cabot was to obligated to pay 20% to the King. Cabot set sail in the end of May.

On June 24th 1498, Cabot reached Labrador, which he claimed for England. He had wanted to get to the Far East, but like Columbus, Cabot found the American continent was in his way.

Account of the Cabot Voyage
Biography of Cabot
Internet Links on Cabot