John Cabot Birthday & Fun Facts

Height, Age, Net Worth, Biography & More

Akinwalere Olaleye
Feb 08, 2024 By Akinwalere Olaleye
Originally Published on Nov 30, 2023
Read all about John Cabot and how he mistakenly made his way to the new world- North America and Newfoundland in his search for Asia- similar to Christopher Columbus.
Age: 1-99
Read time: 4.0 Min

About John Cabot

John Cabot (1450-1499) was a renowned Italian explorer and navigator. He moved to Venice in his early years, where he learned sailing and navigation, and later became a Venetian citizen. Inspired by the discoveries of Bartolomeu Dias and Christopher Columbus, Cabot envisioned reaching Asia by sailing west.

In 1497, under the patronage of King Henry VII of England, Cabot embarked on his first voyage, during which he discovered the eastern coast of North America, likely landing in present-day Newfoundland or Labrador in Canada. John Cabot's exploration of the Labrador Coast highlighted the region's rich fish stocks and contributed to the creation of English fishing fleets in North America.

John Cabot's journeys were crucial in sparking English colonial and trade interests, reinforcing England's New World claims. Cabot remains renowned for his navigational skills, royal support, and role as an early explorer.

Childhood and Education

John Cabot, born Giovanni Caboto around 1450, was a native of Genoa, Italy. His father, Giulio Caboto, was a spice merchant, and he had at least one brother named Piero. As of 2023, there are no details about any formal education that John Cabot may have had.

At the age of 11, Cabot's family relocated to Venice, a significant seaport in Europe at the time, where he learned sailing and navigation from Italian seamen and merchants. This move also exposed him to the spice trade, a business his father was involved in.

In 1476, Cabot was granted Venetian citizenship and began to engage in eastern Mediterranean trade. Financial difficulties forced him to leave Venice in debt in November 1488. Influenced by Bartolomeu Dias and Christopher Columbus, these experiences shaped his future explorations.

Family and Relationship

In 1474, John Cabot married a woman named Mattea, and they had three sons named Ludovico, Sancto, and Sebastiano.

Career And Professional Highlights

Best Known For…

John Cabot is best known as a Venetian explorer and navigator who made significant voyages to North America under the commission of King Henry VII of England. His voyages in 1497 and 1498 helped lay the groundwork for the later British claim to Canada.

Cabot's most notable career accomplishment was his 1497 voyage to North America. John Cabot sailed from Bristol in a small ship, Matthew, with a crew of 18 men. They made landfall on the morning of June 24, but the precise location of the landing is uncertain. However, theories suggest it could be in southern Labrador, Newfoundland, or Cape Breton Island. Mistakenly, Cabot believed he had reached the northeast coast of Asia. He described the land as excellent, the climate moderate, and the surrounding sea so rich with fish that it could make England independent from Iceland's fish supply.

John Cabot appears to have been intrigued by the idea of reaching Asia's markets, abundant in gold, silk, gems, and spices, influencing his decision to sail westward. Supported by King Henry VII, John Cabot achieved a historic feat by traversing the Atlantic Ocean and claiming North American land for England, under the false impression that he had arrived at Asia's northeast coast. The king, however, was somewhat let down by the absence of spices, which was a primary objective of the expedition.

In February 1498, he received new letters patent for a second expedition. Cabot departed from Bristol, England, with five ships and a crew of 300 men. The ships were well-stocked with food and carried items like cloth and lace for trading, indicating plans to engage in commerce with Indigenous populations. Historical evidence indicates that Cabot's expedition likely surveyed Canada's eastern coast, and there is a possibility that a priest on board may have set up a Christian community in Newfoundland.

His maritime expertise and royal patronage were crucial in helping John Cabot discover Newfoundland and Cape Breton Island on the North American coast, and establish his legacy as a pioneering explorer. Cabot's expeditions also showed that a short path across the North Atlantic was feasible, playing a key role in establishing England-North America transatlantic trade.

Despite the controversy and mystery surrounding the details of his life and voyages, Cabot's contributions to exploration and navigation have had a lasting impact on European exploration and the history of North America.

Other Interesting John Cabot Facts And Trivia

  • An American liberal arts institution, John Cabot University, was established in Rome in 1972 in honor of the maritime explorer. 
  • Cabot got inspired to explore distant areas after reading vivid descriptions of Marco Polo and his adventures in Chinese cities.
  • Sebastiano, one of John Cabot's sons also became an explorer like his father.
  • John Cabot is believed to have died sometime around 1499 or 1500, although more sources report 1499 as his year of death.

 

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John Cabot Birthday & Fun Facts Facts

Birth Name

Giovanni Caboto

Nationality

Italian

Place of Birth

Gaeta

Child Star?

No

Occupation

Explorer, Navigator

Partner

Mattea

Parents

Giulio Caboto

Siblings

Piero
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Sources

www.havefunwithhistory.comwww.johncabot.eduwww.thehistorypress.co.ukwww.biography.comwww.johncabot.eduwww.britannica.comwww.johncabot.eduen.wikipedia.orgwww.rmg.co.uk

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Written by Akinwalere Olaleye

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

Akinwalere Olaleye picture

Akinwalere OlaleyeBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

As a highly motivated, detail-oriented, and energetic individual, Olaleye's expertise lies in administrative and management operations. With extensive knowledge as an Editor and Communications Analyst, Olaleye excels in editing, writing, and media relations. Her commitment to upholding professional ethics and driving organizational growth sets her apart. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Benin, Edo State. 

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