North America 1497: John Cabot’s expeditions
Columbus’ discoveries created excitement in Europe and in 1496 Henry VII of England agreed to sponsor another Italian navigator, John Cabot, in his own explorations. Cabot arrived off the coast of Newfoundland in 1497, possibly—his voyages are poorly documented—returning to explore the coast of North America the following year, but, like Columbus, was disappointed to find no wealthy Asian kingdoms. Meanwhile, Columbus faced renewed problems in Hispaniola when Roldán led a revolt of Spanish settlers and Taíno against his authority (1497–99).
?? 1497–31 Aug 1499 Roldán’s rebellion▲
In 1496 Christopher Columbus left Hispaniola for Spain, leaving his brother Bartholomew in charge of the colony. Dissatisfied with the governance of the Columbus brothers, Francisco Roldán, the mayor of La Isabela, seized this opportunity to lead many of the Spanish settlers and soldiers in revolt in 1497. Basing himself in the semi-independent Taíno chiefdom of Jaragua, Roldán’s actions also encouraged the short-lived revolt of the chiefdoms of Maguá and Higüey the following year. In 1498 Columbus returned, finally bringing an end to the revolt by buying Roldán off with concessions.
May–6 Aug 1497 John Cabot’s second voyage▲
In March 1496 the Venetian navigator Giovanni Caboto—John Cabot in English—was granted letters patent by Henry VII of England to explore the seas. After an unsuccessful first voyage, Cabot departed Bristol aboard the Matthew in May 1497, sighting part of North America—most likely Cape Breton Island or one of Newfoundland’s capes—on 24 June. Landing just once to take possession of the land for the king, Cabot proceeded northwards along the coast before returning to arrive back in England in August.