Sebastian Cabot (explorer)
Overview
 
Sebastian Cabot was an explorer, born in the Venetian Republic.
Sebastiano Caboto was born to Giovanni Caboto (John Cabot
John Cabot
John Cabot was an Italian navigator and explorer whose 1497 discovery of parts of North America is commonly held to have been the first European encounter with the continent of North America since the Norse Vikings in the eleventh century...

), also an explorer variously credited with Genoese
Republic of Genoa
The Most Serene Republic of Genoa |Ligurian]]: Repúbrica de Zêna) was an independent state from 1005 to 1797 in Liguria on the northwestern Italian coast, as well as Corsica from 1347 to 1768, and numerous other territories throughout the Mediterranean....

 or Gaeta
Gaeta
Gaeta is a city and comune in the province of Latina, in Lazio, central Italy. Set on a promontory stretching towards the Gulf of Gaeta, it is 120 km from Rome and 80 km from Naples....

n origins, and Mattea. He told Englishman Richard Eden that he was born in Bristol
Bristol
Bristol is a city, unitary authority area and ceremonial county in South West England, with an estimated population of 433,100 for the unitary authority in 2009, and a surrounding Larger Urban Zone with an estimated 1,070,000 residents in 2007...

 and carried to Venice at four years of age; however, he also told Gasparo Contarini
Gasparo Contarini
thumb|240px|Gasparo Contarini.Gasparo Contarini was an Italian diplomat and cardinal. He was one of the first proponents of the dialogue with Protestants, after the Reformation.-Biography:...

, the Venetian ambassador at the court of Charles V
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

 that he was Venetian, educated in England.
Encyclopedia
Sebastian Cabot was an explorer, born in the Venetian Republic.

Origins

Sebastiano Caboto was born to Giovanni Caboto (John Cabot
John Cabot
John Cabot was an Italian navigator and explorer whose 1497 discovery of parts of North America is commonly held to have been the first European encounter with the continent of North America since the Norse Vikings in the eleventh century...

), also an explorer variously credited with Genoese
Republic of Genoa
The Most Serene Republic of Genoa |Ligurian]]: Repúbrica de Zêna) was an independent state from 1005 to 1797 in Liguria on the northwestern Italian coast, as well as Corsica from 1347 to 1768, and numerous other territories throughout the Mediterranean....

 or Gaeta
Gaeta
Gaeta is a city and comune in the province of Latina, in Lazio, central Italy. Set on a promontory stretching towards the Gulf of Gaeta, it is 120 km from Rome and 80 km from Naples....

n origins, and Mattea. He told Englishman Richard Eden that he was born in Bristol
Bristol
Bristol is a city, unitary authority area and ceremonial county in South West England, with an estimated population of 433,100 for the unitary authority in 2009, and a surrounding Larger Urban Zone with an estimated 1,070,000 residents in 2007...

 and carried to Venice at four years of age; however, he also told Gasparo Contarini
Gasparo Contarini
thumb|240px|Gasparo Contarini.Gasparo Contarini was an Italian diplomat and cardinal. He was one of the first proponents of the dialogue with Protestants, after the Reformation.-Biography:...

, the Venetian ambassador at the court of Charles V
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

 that he was Venetian, educated in England. Contarini noted it in his diary.
He may have sailed with his father in the service of England, in May 1497. John Cabot, sailing from Bristol
Bristol
Bristol is a city, unitary authority area and ceremonial county in South West England, with an estimated population of 433,100 for the unitary authority in 2009, and a surrounding Larger Urban Zone with an estimated 1,070,000 residents in 2007...

, took the small ship Matthew along the coasts of a "New Found Land". There is much controversy over where exactly Cabot landed, but two likely locations that are often suggested are Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the most populous province in Atlantic Canada. The name of the province is Latin for "New Scotland," but "Nova Scotia" is the recognized, English-language name of the province. The provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the...

 and Newfoundland. Cabot and his crew mistook this place for China, without finding the passage to the east they were looking for.

Some scholars maintain that the name America comes from Richard Ameryk, a Bristol merchant and customs officer, who is claimed on very slender evidence to have helped finance the Cabot voyages.

Early employment with England and Spain

In 1508-09 Sebastian Cabot followed in his father's footsteps by leading one of the first expeditions to find a North-West passage, and indeed claimed to have found one, but was forced to turn back by his crew. He may have found the entrance to Hudson's Bay.

By 1512 Sebastian was certainly employed by Henry VIII
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

 as a cartographer at Greenwich
Greenwich
Greenwich is a district of south London, England, located in the London Borough of Greenwich.Greenwich is best known for its maritime history and for giving its name to the Greenwich Meridian and Greenwich Mean Time...

. In the same year he accompanied the English explorer Hugh Willoughby to Spain, where he was made captain by Ferdinand V
Ferdinand II of Aragon
Ferdinand the Catholic was King of Aragon , Sicily , Naples , Valencia, Sardinia, and Navarre, Count of Barcelona, jure uxoris King of Castile and then regent of that country also from 1508 to his death, in the name of...

. After Ferdinand's death he returned to England. In 1516, Cabot and Sir Thomas Pert, then Vice Admiral of England, sailed in two ships to explore the coasts of Brazil and the West Indies for Henry VIII
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

. After coming under artillery fire at Hispaniola
Hispaniola
Hispaniola is a major island in the Caribbean, containing the two sovereign states of the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The island is located between the islands of Cuba to the west and Puerto Rico to the east, within the hurricane belt...

, the expedition withdrew and returned to England reportedly because of Pert's faint-heartedness. Subsequently, Cabot moved to Spain due to greater support for explorations by the Spanish king. In 1522, although once more in the employ of Spain as a member of the Council of the Indies and holding the rank of pilot-major, he secretly offered his services to Venice, undertaking to find the Northwest Passage
Northwest Passage
The Northwest Passage is a sea route through the Arctic Ocean, along the northern coast of North America via waterways amidst the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans...

 to China.

Voyages to America

Cabot finally received the rank of captain general from Spain, and was entrusted on March 4, 1525, with the command of a fleet which was to determine from astronomical observation the precise demarcation of the Treaty of Tordesillas
Treaty of Tordesillas
The Treaty of Tordesillas , signed at Tordesillas , , divided the newly discovered lands outside Europe between Spain and Portugal along a meridian 370 leagueswest of the Cape Verde islands...

 and then to convey settlers to the Moluccas, in order to strengthen Spanish claims there. It was officially noted as an expedition "for the discovery of Tharsis, Ophir, and Eastern Cathay
Cathay
Cathay is the Anglicized version of "Catai" and an alternative name for China in English. It originates from the word Khitan, the name of a nomadic people who founded the Liao Dynasty which ruled much of Northern China from 907 to 1125, and who had a state of their own centered around today's...

." This expedition consisted of four ships with 200 men, and set sail from Sanlucar de Barrameda
Sanlúcar de Barrameda
Sanlúcar de Barrameda is a city in the northwest of Cádiz province, part of the autonomous community of Andalucía in southern Spain. Sanlúcar is located on the left bank at the mouth of the Guadalquivir River opposite the Doñana National Park, 52 km from the provincial capital Cádiz and...

 on April 3, 1526.

This voyage might have resulted in a second circumnavigation
Circumnavigation
Circumnavigation – literally, "navigation of a circumference" – refers to travelling all the way around an island, a continent, or the entire planet Earth.- Global circumnavigation :...

 of the world. Upon landing in Brazil
Recife
Recife is the fifth-largest metropolitan area in Brazil with 4,136,506 inhabitants, the largest metropolitan area of the North/Northeast Regions, the 5th-largest metropolitan influence area in Brazil, and the capital and largest city of the state of Pernambuco. The population of the city proper...

, however, rumors of the wealth of the Incan king and the nearly-successful invasion of Aleixo García
Alejo García
Aleixo Garcia, also Alejo García was a Portuguese-born explorer and conquistador who explored the Rio de la Plata in service to Spain, and later the Paraguay and Bolivia....

 caused Cabot to abandon his charge and instead further explore the interior of the Río de la Plata
Río de la Plata
The Río de la Plata —sometimes rendered River Plate in British English and the Commonwealth, and occasionally rendered [La] Plata River in other English-speaking countries—is the river and estuary formed by the confluence of the Uruguay River and the Paraná River on the border between Argentina and...

.

Cabot had already earned the disapproval of his crew by stranding the fleet in the doldrums
Doldrums
The doldrums is a colloquial expression derived from historical maritime usage for those parts of the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean affected by the Intertropical Convergence Zone, a low-pressure area around the equator where the prevailing winds are calm...

 and running the flagship
Flagship
A flagship is a vessel used by the commanding officer of a group of naval ships, reflecting the custom of its commander, characteristically a flag officer, flying a distinguishing flag...

 aground off Santa Catarina Island. His decision regarding the Río de la Plata led to open resistance from Martin Méndez (his lieutenant general
Lieutenant
A lieutenant is a junior commissioned officer in many nations' armed forces. Typically, the rank of lieutenant in naval usage, while still a junior officer rank, is senior to the army rank...

), Miguel de Rodas (pilot
Maritime pilot
A pilot is a mariner who guides ships through dangerous or congested waters, such as harbours or river mouths. With the exception of the Panama Canal, the pilot is only an advisor, as the captain remains in legal, overriding command of the vessel....

 of the capitana), and Francisco de Rojas (the captain of one of the other vessels). He dealt with the mutiny by marooning them and other officers on Santa Catarina Island.

He then traveled into the Río de la Plata and spent five months exploring the estuary. He established a fort called San Salvador at the confluence of the Uruguay
Uruguay River
The Uruguay River is a river in South America. It flows from north to south and makes boundary with Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay, separating some of the Argentine provinces of the Mesopotamia from the other two countries...

 and the Río San Salvador. This was the first Spanish settlement in modern-day Uruguay
Uruguay
Uruguay ,officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay,sometimes the Eastern Republic of Uruguay; ) is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to some 3.5 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area...

.

Leaving the two larger ships there, he sailed up the Paraná
Paraná River
The Paraná River is a river in south Central South America, running through Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina for some . It is second in length only to the Amazon River among South American rivers. The name Paraná is an abbreviation of the phrase "para rehe onáva", which comes from the Tupi language...

 in the brigantine
Brigantine
In sailing, a brigantine or hermaphrodite brig is a vessel with two masts, only the forward of which is square rigged.-Origins of the term:...

 and a galley constructed at Santa Catarina. His party constructed a small fort called Santo or Espíritu Santo at the confluence of the Paraná and the Río Carcarañá. This was the first Spanish settlement in present-day Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

; the town of Caboto was later constructed nearby and named in his honor. Losing 18 men to an ambush, he returned to San Salvador, passing Diego García's expedition as he went.

Cabot sent one ship back to Spain, with his reports, accusations against the mutineers, and requests for further aid. In the spring of 1529, he returned upriver to Espíritu Santo, which he discovered had been overwhelmed and burnt by the Indians during his absence. He recovered the cannon
Cannon
A cannon is any piece of artillery that uses gunpowder or other usually explosive-based propellents to launch a projectile. Cannon vary in caliber, range, mobility, rate of fire, angle of fire, and firepower; different forms of cannon combine and balance these attributes in varying degrees,...

 and returned to San Salvador.

At a council on 6 August 1529, it was decided to return to Spain. Cabot sailed with García to São Vicente
São Vicente, São Paulo
São Vicente is a coastal city of southern São Paulo, Brazil. Its estimated population in 2006 was 329,370 inhabitants.It was the first Portuguese permanent settlement in the Americas and the first capital of the Captaincy of São Vicente, now the state of São Paulo...

. Purchasing 50 slaves there, he coasted Brazil and arrived in Seville
Seville
Seville is the artistic, historic, cultural, and financial capital of southern Spain. It is the capital of the autonomous community of Andalusia and of the province of Seville. It is situated on the plain of the River Guadalquivir, with an average elevation of above sea level...

 on 22 July 1530, returning home with one ship and 24 men.

He was arraigned
Arraignment
Arraignment is a formal reading of a criminal complaint in the presence of the defendant to inform the defendant of the charges against him or her. In response to arraignment, the accused is expected to enter a plea...

 on charges from the Crown, Rojas, and by the families of Rodas and Méndez. He was condemned by the Council of the Indies on charges of disobedience, misadministration, and causing the death of officers under his command and sentenced to heavy fines and a two-year banishment to Oran
Oran
Oran is a major city on the northwestern Mediterranean coast of Algeria, and the second largest city of the country.It is the capital of the Oran Province . The city has a population of 759,645 , while the metropolitan area has a population of approximately 1,500,000, making it the second largest...

 in North Africa. His banishment was later doubled.

During these proceedings, however, the Emperor had been absent in Germany. Upon his return, Cabot presented him with descriptions of the region. Although no pardon is recorded and the fines were still paid, it is known that Cabot never went into exile and was pilot-major of Spain until 1547, when without losing either the title or the pension, he left Spain and returned to England, where he received a salary with the title of great navigator.

Later life

In the year 1553 Charles V made unsuccessful attempts to win him back. In the meantime Cabot had reopened negotiations with Venice, but he reached no agreement with that city. After this he aided both with information and advice the expedition of Willoughby and Chancellor
Muscovy Company
The Muscovy Company , was a trading company chartered in 1555. It was the first major chartered joint stock company, the precursor of the type of business that would soon flourish in England, and became closely associated with such famous names as Henry Hudson and William Baffin...

, was made life-governor of the "Company of Merchant Adventurers", and equipped (1557) the expedition of Steven Borough
Steven Borough
Steven Borough , English navigator, was born at Northam, Devon.In 1553 he took part in the expedition which was dispatched from the Thames under Sir Hugh Willoughby to look for a northern passage to Cathay and India, serving as master of the Edward Bonaventure, on which Richard Chancellor sailed as...

.

Accounts of journeys

The account of Cabot's journeys written by himself has been lost. All that remains of his personal work is a map of the world drawn in 1544; one copy of this was found in Bavaria, and is still preserved in the Bibliothèque National
Bibliothèque nationale de France
The is the National Library of France, located in Paris. It is intended to be the repository of all that is published in France. The current president of the library is Bruno Racine.-History:...

 in Paris. This map is especially important for the light it throws on the first journey of John Cabot. The accounts of the journeys of John and Sebastian Cabot were collected by Richard Hakluyt
Richard Hakluyt
Richard Hakluyt was an English writer. He is principally remembered for his efforts in promoting and supporting the settlement of North America by the English through his works, notably Divers Voyages Touching the Discoverie of America and The Principal Navigations, Voiages, Traffiques and...

.

Sources

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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