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Subject > Armed Forces > Naval Forces and Merchant Navy

Date > 1400

John Cabot embarking in full ceremonial garb on the Matthew at Bristol on 20 May 1497

Type: Image

Sailing west from Bristol in the south west of England in May 1497, Cabot sighted land on 24 June. This was probably Newfoundland but also possibly Cape Breton Island. Cabot took possession of his discovery for England, which gave that country its first claim of trans-Atlantic territory.

Site: National Defence

The Matthew, John Cabot’s ship, 1497

Type: Image

The Matthew was a barque under 100 tons manned by a crew of 18 hands led by John Cabot. It sailed from Bristol in the south west of England in May 1497. The ship is known to have had a triangular lateen sail as shown in this reconstruction.

Site: National Defence