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CabotCabot (properly Caboto). 1. Giovanni, a notable voyager, was born at Genoa in 1420, and, coming to England, was employed by Henry VII. in the work of Atlantic exploration. On June 24th, 1497, he discovered Labrador, part of the mainland of the American continent. He died in 1498. 2. His son, Sebastiano, was born in 1473 at Venice, or, as some say, in 1477 at Bristol, where his father had settled; and in 1497 he accompanied his father on the voyage which resulted in the discovery of Labrador, and the exploration of the coast lines of Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and Florida. He made another voyage, which was designed for the discovery of a passage to India, in 1498, and, after undertaking further expeditions, entered the service of Ferdinand of Spain in 1512. He soon, however, returned to England, and set out on a voyage during which he visited Hudson's Bay. Disgusted, apparently, at the treatment which he met with from his subordinates, he once more went to Spain, and, under the patronage of Charles V., examined the coasts of Brazil, and discovered San Salvador. In 1549 he again came to England, and was by Edward VI. made "Grand Pilot of England" and "Governor of the Mystery and Company of the Merchant Adventurers for the Discovery of Regions, Dominions, Islands, and Places Unknown." He suggested a voyage for the discovery of a northeast passage to China, and although this, which was undertaken in 1553, did not produce the desired results, it led to the opening of a very valuable trade with Russia. After an honourable and useful career, Cabot died in London about the year 1557. J. F. Nicholls (1869), and Hellwald (1871), have written his life, concerning which, however, remarkably little is known, if it be measured by the lasting value of his achievements.
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