Sebastian Cabot


Sebastian Cabot is famous for searching for the Northwest Passage across North America, attempting to circumnavigate the world, and making expeditions to Russia.

 Sebastiano Caboto was born in 1484 the third son of John Cabot, the English explorer, and Mattea Cabot.  His two older brothers were Ludovico and Sacto Cabot.

  Like his father before him, once in the employment of the English crown Sebastiano changed his name to Sebastian Cabot.  Which happened quickly considering he was a talented cartographer and had gone with his father on a voyage, in 1512  Sebastian was hired by King Henry VIII as a cartographer at Greenwich.

  Also that year Sebastian traveled to Spain and was made a captain by King Ferdinand V.  In 1517 he traveled back to England after Ferdinand V death.

  Back in England he tried in vain to win the approval of Vice-Admiral Perte for another expedition.

  The year 1522 the world saw him back working for Spain again as a "counsil of the indies" and holding the position of pilot-major.  However Sebastian had secretly offered his services to Venice, Italy, looking for the Northwest Passage to China.

  On March 4, 1525 he was given the title of captain general and a fleet of ships in which he was to find Tarshish, Ophir, and Cathay along a different course to the Moluccas.  The voyage was made up of three ships and 150 men.  They left on April 5, 1526 from Cadiz, but they only traveled as far as the mouth of Rio de la Plata.  While there Cabot argued with his companions and went to shore by himself. After exploring for a while he built two forts.

  Cabot returned to Spain in august of 1530.  when he reached shore he was indicted for his actions towards his fellow companions, and his lack of success.  He was banished on February 1, 1532 to Spanish-controlled Oran in North Africa.

  A year later he was pardoned and allowed to go back to Seville, there he continued to be a pilot-major of Spain.  He remained there until 1547. 

  In 1547 he was able to keep his title and the pension that Spain had given him, but he moved back to England where he received another salary and title, there he was known as a great pilot of England.

  Charles V tried several times in 1553 to get Cabot to come back to Spain, but he failed.  Also in that year Cabot renewed negotiations with Venice, but he reached no understanding with the city.

  After that he helped several other expeditions in various ways and became the life-governor of the "Company of Merchant Adventurers". 

  Nothing more is ever heard of him after that and it is presumed that he died not long after 1557 around the age of 73.       




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