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> Issue 70 > Page 55 - John Cabot's Landfall, 1497 - "It WAS Cape Breton!"

Page 55 - John Cabot's Landfall, 1497 - "It WAS Cape Breton!"

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1996/6/1 (264 reads)

part of the world they be,' sailed in a Bristol ship THE MATTHEW, and first planted the flags of England and Venice on the 24th of June 1497 oa the north eastern seaboard of North America, and by his discoveries in this and the following year gave to England a claim upon the C(??itment which the colonizing spirit of her sons made good in later times.... So it was that in 1897 the Roy? al Socety of Canada refrained from officially adopting any one of the theories with re? spect to Cabot's landfall in 1497, although a committee of the Society emphatically ex? pressed their opinion that "the greatly preponderating weight of evidence" indicated the easternmost cape of Cape Bre? ton Island as the landfall. That attitude of the Royal So? ciety of Canada in 1897 is suf? ficient to tum our attention to the voyage of 1497. At the outset one is struck by the fact that in the past there has been much confusion of thought about the early voyages to North America by John Cabot and his son Sebastian. That confusion arose from the mea? gre character of the official record, which has had to be supplemented by information from secondary sources, much of it conflicting.... Cabot's voyage of 1497 was, at least in part, a continuation of the English search for the Western Islands. Western Islands, some real and others imaginary, appeared on maps in the late Middle Ages. The real islands were the Madeira and Azores, and the imaginary ones included Antilia or Island of the Seven Cities, St. Brandan's Island and Brazil. Antilia was usually rep? resented as a very large island far to the west of Africa, and was sometimes associated with the legendary island of the Sev- An 1837 tracing from the Juan de La Cosa Map of 1500, compared with a modern map. Comparison of the maps may be aided by a ruler placed vertically on the page. Source: Crucial Maps in the Early Cartography and Place-Nomenclature of the Atlantic Coast of Canada by W. F. Ganong. rf''''''''rr'''CapcCansc en Cities, which was supposed to have been colonized in the eighth century by seven bishops and their followers, who had fled from Spain and Portugal on account of the Moslem inva? sion, each bishop founding a separate city. St. Brandan, abbot of a Benedictine monastery in Ireland, was supposed to have made an extended voyage out into the Atlantic in the sixth cen? tury in search of an ideal island, revealed to him in a dream. Cedar House Bakery and Restaurant 674-2929 OPEN DAILY FOR BREAKFAST, LUNCH & DINNER bread • scones • oatcakes • cookies • pies TRANS-CANADA HWY NEAR SEAL ISLAND BRIDGE CAPE CARE SERVICES Quality Personal Care d''e) ltd. ..caring for people; ~ AT HOME OR IN HOSPITAL ~ • RN's (and RN Foot Care Specialists) • CNA's • Screened • Bonded • Insured • Home Care Workers • Reasonable Rates FREE IN-HOME ASSESSMENT rServingAllA 'Cape Breton' 282 GEORGE STREET • SYDNEY • PHONE 562-2444 • FAX 539-7210
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