Cabot Sails to North America

Cabot Discovered Labrador for England

John Cabot hailed from Venice. Like Columbus, he believed that Asia could be reached by sailing west. However, Cabot was of the opinion that the most direct route would be by sailing north, as this would shorten the distance. Despite his beliefs, he couldn't secure support from the Venetians, nor from the Spanish or Portuguese.

However, Cabot managed to convince King Henry of England to sponsor his voyage. The king granted Cabot, along with his sons, a charter that permitted them to "search for islands or regions inhabited by infidels, and hitherto unknown to Christendom." Any lands Cabot discovered would be claimed in England's name. In exchange for this privilege, Cabot was awarded exclusive trading rights in these new territories. He agreed to pay 20% of his profits to King Henry. With everything in place, Cabot set sail at the end of May.

On June 24th, 1498, Cabot reached what is now known as Labrador and claimed it for England. While his goal had been the Far East, he encountered the American continent, much like Columbus had before him.

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