In our new series on Famous English Travellers, we will present to you some important English personalities from the past who have made a crucial contribution to our knowledge by their travels. We hope you will enjoy our small history excursion!

John Cabot

The man who discovered Canada



Born in 1450 in the Italian port of Genoa

Died in 1499 in England


trader, civil engineer, explorer

Special Achievements:

Explored the coastline of Canada, was the second European to find North America (after Christopher Columbus)



  • 1496 – the information about his first voyage comes from a letter sent to Columbus. He used only one ship and the weather and the lack of supplies forced him to come back quickly.
  • 1497 – everything known for this trip also comes from letters and a brief chronicle. He travelled on one ship to explore the Atlantic, hoping to find a sea route, a northwest passage to the Indies and China.  After 50 days, Cabot reached the New World instead (North America).
  • 1498 – after assembling a small fleet of 500 ships, John Cabot headed towards America once again. Two months later, one of the ships got caught in a storm and had to return. No other details are known about this expedition, it is assumed that the fleet got lost in the sea.


Cultural Impact:

  • A tower in Bristol – Cabot Tower and a shopping mall – Cabot Circus
  • John Cabot University – an American university in Rome, Italy



Be Sociable, Share!