Sebastian Cabot

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Sebastian Cabot

Sebastian Cabot (1475?-1557) was an Italian explorer and cosmographer.

He is Venetian by birth but upon his return to England in 1548 he claimed that he was English man. This was done to escape extradition and reinstated to Spain. He was invited by King Ferdinand V to Spain after the death of Henry VII. Cabot was then appointed pilot-major of the kingdom in 1518.

In 1525 he took charge of a three-ship Spanish expedition that was to develop trade in the Orient. However, he disregarded this objective because of the reports of the wealth in the Rio de la Platta region of South America. Cabot had an ambition of discovering the direct route to Asia and sailed in search of a southwest passage in 1526. His three expeditions were fruitless thus he was banished to Africa. But he was given pardon after two years and was again pilot major.

Cabot was given assistance by Fray Garcia de Loaysa in his expedition in the Philippines in accordance to the Royal Decree dated 26 April 1525. de Loaysa was stationed in the Moluccas islands and this posed great help for the Italian explorer. Cabot and his men requested to engage in trade in the islands in their return trip from the Moluccas. He was also given orders to claim the Islands of Tersis, Ofir and Apango, and of Catayo Oriental and other lands and islands included in their agreement.

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