Cabot was an Italian-born explorer who, in attempting to find a direct route to Asia, became the first early modern European to discover North America.
John Cabot (in Italian Giovanni Caboto) was probably born in Genoa but may have been from a Venetian family. In around 1490 he moved to England, settling in the port of Bristol. In May 1497, with the support of the English king Henry VII, Cabot sailed west from Bristol on the Matthew in the hope of finding a route to Asia. On 24 June, he sighted land and called it New-found-land. He believed it was Asia and claimed it for England.
He returned to England and began to plan a second expedition. In May 1498, he set out on a further voyage with a fleet of four or five ships, aiming to discover Japan. The fate of the expedition is uncertain; it is thought that Cabot eventually reached North America but never managed to make the return voyage across the Atlantic.
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