John CabotBristol’s Age of Discovery, 1470-1508. Talk on Thursday April 19th at 7.30pm at Bishopston Library, Gloucester Rd. More intriguing facts and hitherto unknown evidence about this period of exploration and its connections with Bristol will be revealed by Dr Evan Davis, University of Bristol at this event in Bishopston Library.


John Cabot's voyage to North America in 1497, on the Matthew of Bristol, has long been famous. Many of us have set foot on the replica ship. But who was Cabot? Why did he come to Bristol? And what did he achieve? We do know that under the commission of Henry VIII Cabot was the first European to explore the North American coast after the Norse visits in the eleventh century.  

However Dr Evans and his research team have delved deeper into this period, and he will be talking about the bizarre genesis of the Cabot Project, a project of international renown.

Although John Cabot is at the heart of the story, his three expeditions are set in the context of the discovery enterprises funded and led by Bristol's merchants over many decades.

This talk will appeal to those who have a specific interest in maritime history, but also will be of interest to those who want to understand more about the development of Bristol, why the interest in North America and the process of untangling new evidence from a wide range of international sources.

William H. Bishop, 'The Matthew approaching the coast of Newfoundland in 1497' (1995)

Dr Evan Jones is a senior lecturer in economic and social history at the University of Bristol, where he specializes in the maritime history of Bristol in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Margaret M. Condon is the chief researcher on the Cabot Project. The author of several important articles on the reign of Henry VII, she has long expertise in late medieval administrative history.

The story so far in REDISCOVERING JOHN CABOT: Bristol’s Age of Discovery, 1470-1508 by Dr Evan and Margaret Condon will be on sale at a discounted price of £10.

Tickets £3 at the library or online here (purchase beforehand is recommended as seating is limited).

There will be a cash bar with quality fruit juices, coffee, and tea . Doors open at 7pm. This event is organised by the Friends of Bishopston Library:


Contact: Jenny Hoadley, (Friends of Bishopston Library)