John Cabot was born Giovanni Caboto to Giulio Caboto and his wife in Italy. His birthplace may have been Gaeta or Castiglione Chiavarese in Genoa. His father was a spice merchant.
John and his family moved to Venice.
John almost certainly learned a lot about boats, sailing and navigation as Venice was a major trading port.
John married Mattea.
A son, Sebastian, was born to John and Mattea Cabot.
John became a citizen of Venice, having lived in the city for 15 years. Having citizenship allowed him to trade from Venice.
John was in financial trouble and left Venice to escape his debts. He and his family moved to Valencia in Spain.
1492 (3rd August)
John moved to Seville, Spain where he was involved in the construction of a stone bridge over the Guadalquivir river. The project was later abandoned.
John tried to get backing from the Spanish and the Portuguese for an expedition across the Atlantic Ocean. He believed that sailing west from a more northerly latitude than Colombus would result in a shorter route. However, he was unable to gain their financial backing.
John and his family moved to England. He settled in Bristol and tried to gain backing for his expedition.
1496 (5th March)
John Cabot and his three sons received letters patent from King Henry VII
giving them authorisation to sail under the royal flag.
John Cabot made his first voyage from England. He set sail from Bristol with one ship. Little is known of this voyage and it may have been aborted.
1497 (2nd May)
John made a second voyage, setting sail from Bristol on ‘The Matthew’. He hoped to find a route to China.
1497 (24th June)
John Cabot landed at either Cape Bonavista, St John’s Newfoundland or Cape Breton Island. He believed he had reached Asia and named the land Newfoundland. They did not attempt to venture inland but explored and charted the coastline. They also reported huge quantities of cod in the sea.
1497 (6th August)
John Cabot returned to Bristol and was welcomed ashore by the people of Bristol.
1497 (10th August)
John Cabot was given a reward of £10 by King Henry VII for his discovery.
King Henry VII awarded John Cabot a pension of £20 per year.
1498 (3rd February)
John Cabot was given new letters patent for another voyage.
1498 (early May)
John Cabot left Bristol with a fleet of five ships. Some of the ships were carrying cloth and other products so it is believed that he intended to trade on this voyage.
One of Cabot’s ships was damaged in a storm and had to put into port in Ireland. The rest of Cabot’s ships carried on their journey.
1498 (after July)
The fate of Cabot is unknown. It has long been believed that he died during the voyage, but new evidence suggests he may have returned to London and died soon afterwards.