Page:Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography volume 1.djvu/19

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Henry VII., King of England, was the son of Edward Tudor, Earl of Richmond, by his marriage with Margaret Beaufort, only daughter of John Duke of Beaufort. The deaths of Henry VI. and of his son Prince Edward made Henry the head of the House of Lancaster. He remained in Brittainy during the whole of the reign of Edward IV. But Edward's death in 1483, and the murder of his two sons by the usurper Richard, removed almost every rival belonging to the house of York that could dispute his pretensions. He made war against Richard and defeated him at Bosworth in Leicestershire, and became King in his place. In his administration of the government he was politic and prudent. He encouraged men of letters and was a great patron of commerce. He came very nearly anticipating Ferdinand and Isabella in sending out Columbus; and under his encouragement the Cabots discovered North America in 1497. Henry VII. was the father of Henry VIII. and grandfather of Queen Elizabeth. He died at Richmond, April 2, 1509.

Cabot, John, a Venetian navigator, and first discoverer of North America. He visited Arabia, and in 1491 was employed by some merchants in Bristol, England, in hunting for the mythical island of the seven cities and Brazil. In 1495, in one of these private voyages, he saw land. Encouraged accordingly, he petitioned Henry VII., King of England, to grant unto him and his three sons Lewis. Sebastian and Sanctius, a charter to discover and possess new lands. The letters patent passed the seals on March 5, 1496, and on May 2, 1497, John Cabot sailed from Bristol with a small ship and 18 persons. Having reached the continent of North America, somewhere about Cape Breton Island, he coasted down 300 miles. He was three months on the voyage, and on his return received much honor, and the people, we are told, "ran after him like mad." for enlistment in his voyages. To show where he landed he made a chart and globe with the place designated. The King gave him presents and a pension out of the customs of the port of Bristol. Aided by Henry, Cabot sailed on a second voyage in the beginning of summer, 1498, with five ships, but it is probable that he died on the voyage, as the expedition seems to have returned under the charge of his son, Sebastian Cabot. Columbus never saw any part of the territory of the United States, and as a nation we trace back to the discoveries of John Cabot.

Cabot, Sebastian, second son of John Cabot, was probably born in Bristol, about 1577, and probably sailed with his father in many of his voyages. His name appears in the petition to Henry VII. and in the charter granted by the King, March 5, 1496. He probably went with his father in his voyage to America May 2, 1497, and the voyage of 1498 which sailed under the father was probably, on account of the latter's death, under the son's charge on its return. Later under the auspices of Thomas Pert, vice-admiral of Eng-