John Cabot and The Matthew
Under Royal commission, in 1497 Giovanni Caboto (John Cabot) and his crew set out from Bristol in the little wooden ship “The Matthew” seeking an alternative sea route to the east for spice trading.
Sailing west, they discovered Newfoundland, the North American continent, and the rich North Atlantic cod fishing grounds.
This extraordinary adventure is celebrated in the church by a whalebone, brought back by Cabot, a fine model of the Matthew (above the north door) and a stained glass window showing John, three of his sons who sailed with him, and their brave little ship.
Find out more about Cabot and his discovery of America on this page.
Read the Letters Patent presented to John Cabot by Henry VII
John Cabot and His Sons Receive the Charter from Henry VII to Sail in Search of New Lands, 1496
William Denis Eden (1878–1949)
Cabot's whalebone on display in St John's Chapel
Replica of The Matthew