John Cabot facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
John Cabot in traditional Venetian garb by Giustino Menescardi (1762). A mural painting in the Sala dello Scudo in the Palazzo Ducale, Venice.
Either Castiglione Chiavarese, Republic of Genoa
or Gaeta, Kingdom of Naples
|Died||Between c. 1498 and 1501|
|Other names||Giovanni Caboto, Zuan Chabotto, Giovanni Chabotte, Juan Caboto, Jean Caboto|
|Known for||first European since the Norse colonization of North America to explore coastal parts of North America|
|Spouse(s)||Mattea (m. circa 1470)|
|Children||Ludovico, Sebastian, and Sancto|
John Cabot (Italian: Giovanni Caboto; c. 1450 – c. 1500) was a Venetian navigator and explorer who in 1497, sailing westward from England in his ship Matthew, he discovered what he thought was Asia. In fact he discovered Canada, which he claimed for King Henry VII. This was the first European exploration of coastal North America since the Norse visits to Vinland in the eleventh century.
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.
Giovanni Caboto (his Italian name) was probably born in Genoa about 1450. He was the son of Giulio Caboto and his wife and he had a brother Piero. Gaeta (in the Province of Latina) and Castiglione Chiavarese (in the Province of Genoa) have both been proposed as birthplaces.
When he was still young his family moved to Venice. Venice was a larger seaport than Genoa and at the time was the most important in all of Europe. Growing up there he learned a great deal about sailing and the sea. Cabot became an excellent sailor. His father was a trader and taught Giovanni (John) all about the spice trade.
Cabot married a young woman named Mattea (female form of the name Matthew) about 1482. They had three sons who all sailed with their father. By this time he was a merchant and traveled widely. He and his family moved to the port of Bristol, England about 1490.
Voyage to North America
Cabot was described as having one "little ship", 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". The ship departed in May 1497 with a crew of 18 to 20 men.
He set sail from Bristol. Cabot sailed across the North Atlantic in about seven weeks. During the voyage they saw enormous quantities of Cod fish. Fishermen would soon follow to take advantage of the rich fishing of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland.
It is stated 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. After this landing, Cabot spent some weeks discovering the coast.
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.
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. In December 1497 the explorer was awarded a pension of £20 per year - equivalent to about four years' pay for an ordinary labourer or craftsman. On February 3, 1498 he was given new orders to help him prepare for a second expedition.
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". 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.
For centuries no other records were found that relate to this expedition; it was long believed that Cabot and his fleet were lost at sea. It is not known if Cabot died during the voyage, or returned safely and died shortly after.
Legacy and honors
- Giovanni Caboto (1762), painting at Ducal Palace, Venice.
- Cabot Tower (1897) in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Cabot's voyage.
- Cabot Tower, in Bristol, England. A 30-metre-tall red sandstone tower begun in 1897 to mark the 400th anniversary.
- Denis William Eden painting: John Cabot and his sons receive the charter from Henry VII to sail in search of new lands (1910), at Houses of Parliament.
- Giovanni Caboto Club (est. 1925), an Italian club located in Windsor, Ontario.
- A 1952 statue of the explorer is at Bristol's City Hall.
- John Cabot University is a United States-affiliated university established in 1972 in Rome, Italy.
- A 1985 bronze statue of the explorer by Stephen Joyce, is located at Bristol Harbourside.
- A replica of the Matthew of Bristol built to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the 1497 voyage, docked in Bristol.
- A second replica of the Matthew is located at Cape Bonavista.
- The scenic Cabot Trail in the Cape Breton Highlands is named after the explorer.
- John Cabot Academy is an independent school in Bristol, England.
- Cabot Ward was an electoral district in Bristol (abolished in 2016), indirectly named for the explorer and directly after the local Cabot Tower.
- Cabot Squares in London and Montreal.
- Cabot Circus, a 2008 shopping mall in Bristol, named as a result of a citywide poll.
- Cabot Street and Cabot Avenue in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador.
- A bronze statue of the explorer stands at the Confederation Building, St. John's.
- A bronze statue of the explorer is located at Cape Bonavista, Newfoundland. Plaques in English, French and Italian commemorate the historic voyage.
- John Cabot Catholic Secondary School in Mississauga, Ontario, is named after the explorer.
- Giovanni Caboto park located in Edmonton, Alberta.
- The Cabot Institute for the Environment at the University of Bristol is named after him.
- In 1897, the Newfoundland Colony issued a postage stamp, and in 1947, the Dominion of Newfoundland issued a postage stamp, marking the 400th and 450th anniversaries of Cabot's voyage to that island, respectively.
Images for kids
Giovanni Caboto house in Venice
In Spanish: Juan Caboto para niños
John Cabot Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.