John Cabot, Explorer II

Lead: In the spring of 1497, John Cabot, an Italian explorer in the service of King Henry VII of England, sailed west from Bristol, England to find a shorter route to the riches of China.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Cabot had tried to secure backing from the Spanish but Christopher Columbus was the dominant figure in exploration in the wake of his successful voyages to the Caribbean and the largely unknown Cabot had to turn to the English for financial support.

 

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John Cabot, Explorer I

Lead: Five years after Columbus’ epic voyage of discovery, another Italian sailed across the North Atlantic in search of a passage to China.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: John Cabot was probably born in Columbus’ hometown of Genoa at about the same time as his famous contemporary. He grew up in the Republic of Venice and by 1484 he had married and was engaged in the buying and selling of real estate. By the 1490s Cabot was a sailing master and had moved into commercial shipping of spices between the Middle East and Europe. It was a lucrative business. Spices, particularly pepper, cloves, and nutmeg, were household necessities in a pre-refrigeration era. One of their uses was to disguise the flavor of rotten meat.

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