The Tudor Society
  • #OTD in Tudor history – 5 March

    A portrait of Thomas Seymour and an engraving of a 16th century man smoking a pipe

    On this day in Tudor history, 5th March, Henry VII issued letters patent to explorer John Cabot (Giovanni Caboto), a bill of attainder listing 33 counts of treason was passed against Edward VI’s uncle, Thomas Seymour, and a Spanish physician introduced tobacco into Europe…

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  • John Cabot (1451-1498)

    John Cabot was born in 1451 and was the son of Julio Caboto and his wife Mattea, both of whom were Italian. Little is known of his early life; however, we know that John was granted Venetian citizenship on 28th March 1476, which granted him the right to trade and engage in maritime activities. His business activities have been traced in Venetian archives between the years 1482 and 1485; however, we do not know where he acquired his merchant or navigational training. In April 1493, while Cabot was in Valencia, Columbus passed through the city on his way to Barcelona, leaving historians with the belief that the two men met and that it was Columbus who inspired Cabot to become a transatlantic voyager. Indeed, a Spanish diplomat described Cabot as another Columbus, seeking people to aid him in his journey of discovery. At this time, Bristol was renowned for having an interest in transatlantic voyages, and it was said that the city was involved in Atlantic exploration from 1480. With this in mind, in or around 1495, John Cabot moved to Bristol.

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  • 5 March 1496 – Henry VII issues letters patent to explorer John Cabot

    On this day in history, King Henry VII issued letters patent to navigator and explorer Giovanni Caboto, better known as John Cabot, and his three sons, giving them his royal authority for a voyage of exploration:

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