John Cabot Timeline
Timeline Description: John Cabot was an Italian navigator and explorer. He discovered and claimed North America in the name of King Henry VII of England. He was the first modern European to land on the mainland of North America.

Date Event
1450 John Cabot is born.

John Cabot is born in Italy around 1450 and is thought to be the son of a Genoese spice merchant. Known by several different names in Europe, he refers to himself as Zuan Chabotto.
1471 Cabot moves to Venice.

Cabot is accepted into the prestigious confraternity of St John the Evangelist. Later, in 1476, he becomes a Venetian citizen after 15 years' residency.
1474 Cabot marries Mattea.

Cabot marries a girl named Mattea and they go on to have three sons; Ludovico, Sancto and Sebastiano. Sebastiano later follows in his father's footsteps, becoming an explorer in his own right.
1480s Cabot's naval career.

Cabot engages in a naval career, predominantly trading in the East Mediterranean. In 1483 he sells an Egyptian slave in Crete.
1488 Cabot moves to Spain.

Cabot runs into financial difficulty and leaves Venice as an insolvent debtor. He moves to Valencia in Spain where he manages to escape arrest from the Italian authorities. In 1494 he moves to Seville where he undertakes construction work.
1495 Cabot moves to England.

Cabot is inspired by fellow Italian Christopher Columbus and tries unsuccessfully to get sponsorship in Seville and Lisbon for an Atlantic expedition. He moves to England to seek financial support for his plans.
March 5, 1496 Cabot receives a patent from King Henry VII.

Cabot is granted a patent from the King affording him crew and five ships to explore new territories. His first expedition is aborted due to bad weather and poor supplies.
May 1497 Cabot discovers America.

In May Cabot once again sets sail from Bristol, this time in a ship named Matthew equipped with enough supplies for seven or eight months. Cabot successfully crosses the Atlantic and finds land somewhere in North America.
June 24, 1497 Cabot lands in Newfoundland:

It is still unknown where exactly Cabot went to shore, but Cape Bonavista in Newfoundland is the location recognized by the Canadian and British governments as being the official landing site.
June 24, 1497 Cabot claims the land.

Cabot only sets foot on North American soil long enough to get fresh water, stake the Venetian and Papal banners and claim the land for the King of England. He is the first European since the Vikings to reach North America.
August 6, 1497 Cabot returns to England.

On August 6, Cabot returns to Bristol triumphant and immediately visits the King. On August 10, he is awarded £10 which is the equivalent to two years' pay. In December he is also given a pension of £20 per year.
February 1498 Cabot's second voyage.

In February 1498 Cabot is given a second patent to help him prepare another, bigger expedition to North America.
May 1498 Cabot sets sail.

Cabot sets sail across the Atlantic, this time as part of a fleet of five ships. As well as regular supplies, some ships carry merchandize such as cloth and lace points hoping to trade with natives.
1498 Cabot's fleet disappears.

One of the ships is caught in a storm and docks in Ireland. The rest of the fleet continues the voyage, but it is not certain if they arrive at their destination or return to England.
1498 Cabot's fate.

It is initially thought that Cabot's expedition is lost at sea, but recent information suggests that they explore the East Coast of North America for two years and return to England in the spring of 1500. No further information is available.