Publications and public relations

Since 2006, Dr Evan Jones and his associates have been engaged in a widely-reported search to determine what Dr Ruddock found and where she found it. The published results of their work can be found below – much of which is available for free – as well as well as information on papers presented by project members.

Publications: books

Evan T. Jones and Richard Stone (eds.), The World of the Newport Medieval Ship: Trade, Politics and Shipping in the Mid-Fifteenth Century (University of Wales Press, June, 2018). This is an edited volume based on a 2014 conference that was part-funded by the Cabot Project, since it helped set the Bristol / Severn Sea context for the fifteenth-century voyages of discovery.

Evan T. Jones and Margaret M. Condon, Cabot and Bristol's Age of Discovery: The Bristol Discovery Voyages 1480-1508 (University of Bristol, 23 Nov 2016), ISBN 0995619301, 104 pp., £11.99. For more information: see the book's webpage.

Heather Dalton, Merchants and Explorers: Roger Barlow, Sebastian Cabot, and Networks of Atlantic Exchange 1500-1560 (Oxford University Press, 2016)

Publications: articles and chapters

Francesco Guidi Bruscoli, '1497: Giovanni Caboto longe la côte américaine’ in L’Exploration du monde. Une autre histoire des Grandes Découvertes, coord. by R. Bertrand, dir. by H. Blais, G. Calafat, I. Heullant-Donat (Paris, Seuil, 2019), pp. 147-150. Available online on academia.edu.

Margaret M. Condon and Evan T. Jones, 'William Weston: early voyager to the New World', Historical Research,  91 (Nov. 2018), 628-46.  Published online: 3 October 2018. This article is freely available from the journal, courtesy of donation from Gretchen Bauta to provide Open Access.

Francesco Guidi-Bruscoli, ‘Beyond Iberia: Florentine Bankers and Cabot’s Voyage to the “New Land”, in Angelo Cattaneo (ed.) Shores of Vespucci: a historical research of Amerigo Vespucci’s life and contexts (Berlin, 2018) Chapter available free online at academia.edu.

Evan T Jones, 'The shipping industry of the Severn Sea' in Evan T. Jones and Richard Stone (eds.), The World of the Newport Medieval Ship: Trade, Politics and Shipping in the Mid-Fifteenth Century (University of Wales Press, June, 2018)

Evan T. Jones, 'Tonnage estimates of goods recorded in the Bristol ‘particular’ customs accounts: 1465/6, 1485/6, 1503/4' (University of Bristol, working paper, Oct. 2017). This is a working paper provding the underpinnings for some of the analyisis in Jones, 'The shipping industry of the Severn Sea'.

Evan T. Jones, '1492: revisited' in Ronald Hutton (ed.), Medieval or Early Modern: The Value of a Traditional Historical Division  (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2015), pp.42-53. Free preprint available from academia.edu

Francesco Guidi Bruscoli, 'Capitali Fiorentini nei primi viaggi verso il Nord America: Giovanni Caboto e Giovanni da Verrazzano' in G. Pinto, L. Rombai and C. Tripodi (eds.), Vespucci, Firenze e le Americhe (Florence, 2014).

Evan T. Jones, 'Bristol, Cabot and the New Found Land, 1496-1500' in P.E. Pope and S. Lewis-Simpson (eds.), Exploring Atlantic Transitions: Archaeologies of Permanence and Transience in New Found Lands (Boydell and Brewer, 2013). Available on academia.edu.

Francesco Guidi Bruscoli, 'John Cabot and his Italian Financiers', Historical Research, 85 (August, 2012). Published online in April 2012. Available on academia.edu.

Evan T. Jones, 'Henry VII and the Bristol expeditions to North America: the Condon documents', Historical Research, 83 (August, 2010). Copies of this article, which was published online in August 2009, are available for free from the journal.

Evan T. Jones and M. M. Condon, ‘Weston, William (d. in or before 1505)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, May 2010.

Evan T. Jones, 'Alwyn Ruddock: "John Cabot and the Discovery of America "', Historical Research, 81 (May, 2008), 224-254. Copies of this article, which was published online in April 2007, are available for free from the journal.

An earlier article in this field is also relevant, although some elements of it have been superceded by  more recent research:

'The Matthew of Bristol and the financiers of John Cabot's 1497 voyage to North America', English Historical Review, 121 (2006). Available for free from the journal. 

Publications: document transcriptions

The Project has published a number of annotated document transcriptions through the University of Bristol's electronic repository (formerly ROSE, now PURE), some of which include photographs of the original documents and / or lengthy introductions. These are permanently-available sources for use by students and researchers. In addition, we are posting some documents on other sites / e-repositories, such as academia.edu and the UK Data Service. This is being done to try to increase the accessibility of the files. Where additional copies are available, this has been indicated.

Aldobrandino Tanagli and Francesco Cattani: Chancery petition, c. 1490 (Aug 2013); academia.edu

William Weston v Thomas Smith: Chancery Petition, 1490 (Dec 2012); academia.edu

John Johns (Jonys) of Bristol, merchant vs. John Day alias Hugh Say: Chancery petition, c. 1502 (Dec 2012); academia.edu

Thomas Nash of Bristol, bowyer, vs. John Day alias Hugh Say: Chancery petition, c. 1502 (June 2012); academia.edu

Will of George Smith, merchant of Bristol, 1490 (Dec 2011); academia.edu

Warrant for the payment of John Cabot’s pension, 22 February 1498 (Oct 2011);  academia.edu

The grant of a pension of £20 per year to John Cabot, 13 December 1497 (Oct 2011); academia.edu

Will of Hugh Say, mercer of London, 10 December 1517 (June 2011); academia.edu

Henry VII’s letter to John Morton concerning William Weston’s voyage to the new found land (April 2011); academia.edu

John Esterfeld vs. William Weston of Bristol: Chancery petition transcript, c.1499 (Jan 2009); academia.edu

Will of John Foster, merchant of Bristol, 6 August 1492 (Jan 2009); academia.edu

The Quinn papers: transcripts of correspondence relating to the Bristol discovery voyages to North America in the fifteenth century (Jan 2009); academia.edu

Christopher de Carbonariis vs. Sheriffs of London: Chancery petition transcript, 1490 (Dec 2006); academia.edu

Fr. Giovanni Antonio de Carbonariis vs. Sheriffs of London: Chancery petition transcript, c.1496 (Nov 2006); academia.edu

Publications: Bristol 'particular' customs account transcriptions

The Bristol 'particular' customs accounts record the duties levied on merchandise imported or exported from the Port of Bristol. They form an essential source for understanding Bristol's trade and shipping in the the fifteenth-seventeenth centuries. Sixteenth-century customs accounts, covering eleven individual years, have previously been published electronically and in hard copy as part of the ESRC-funded project: Ireland-Bristol Trade in the Sixteenth Century. The value of this material for understanding the Bristol discovery voyages had been established by Evan Jones, in his 2006 'Matthew of Bristol' article. One element of the Cabot Project's work has thus involved the identification, transcription and analysis of the surviving Bristol 'particular' accounts of the mid-late fifteenth century. Drafts of transcriptions were also employed extensively by those presenting papers at The World of the Newport Ship conference (2014) and, subsequently, in the volume dedicated to this subject.

For technical reasons, the introduction to each account, and the EXCEL database for each, have been published as separate files. Ranging from 500 to 7,000 words, each introduction provides an extended commentary on the account including, where relevant, the arguments for its identification and dating. Editorial conventions are set out in the introduction to the 1461 account. They are not repeated at length in other files.

We intend in time to publish all the extant customs accounts, first as electronic trancriptions in EXCEL and then in hard copy through the Bristol Record Society. The electronic versions are being published primarily through University of Bristol e-repositories. However, as indicated below, additional copies have been posted on academia.edu.

Bristol 1461: Particulars of Account of Thomas Gibbes and Robert Strangways, customers, 26 March to 29 September 1461 (Feb 2016); academia.edu Introduction & Database

Bristol 1463: View of Account of Thomas Gibbes and Robert Strangways, customers, 29 September 1462 to Easter [10 April] 1463 (Dec 2019)

Bristol 1465: Particulars of Account of Thomas Gibbes and John Senecle, customers, 29 September to 28 November 1465 (Jan 2016); academia.edu Introduction & Database

Bristol 1465-6: Particulars of Account of Thomas Gibbes and Robert Strangways, customers, 28 November 1465 to 14 May 1466 (April 2019); academia.edu Introduction & Database

Bristol circa 1470: Particulars of Account of unknown customers, small fragment (April, 2019); academia.edu Introduction & Database

Bristol 1470: Particulars of Account of Richard Walwyn and Richard Drewes, customers, 18 August to 4 November 1470 (April 2019); academia.edu Introduction & Database

Bristol 1470-71: Particulars of Account of Daniel Sheldon, controller, 4 November 1470 to 29 March 1471 (April, 2019); academia.edu Introduction & Database

Bristol 1471: Particulars of Account of Richard Walwyn and Nicholas Warynges, customers, 29 March 1471 to 29 September 1471 (April, 2019); academia.edu Introduction & Database

Bristol 1472: Particulars of account of John Langston and Nicholas Warynges, customers, 20 November 1472 to 14 December 1472 (April, 2019); academia.edu Introduction & Database

Bristol 1473: Particulars of Account of Thomas Croft and John Langston, customers, April to September 1473 (May 2019); academia.edu Introduction & Database

Bristol 1474: Particulars of account of Thomas Croft and John Langston, customers, 10 April 1474 to 29 September 1474 (Nov, 2019); academia.edu Introduction & Database

Bristol 1475: Particulars of Account of Thomas Croft and John Langston, customers, 26 March to 20 July 1475 (Dec, 2019)

Bristol c.1477: Particulars of Account of Thomas Asshe, controller, large fragment, early August to 2 September (Nov, 2019); academia.edu Introduction & Database

Bristol 1483, January: Particulars of Account of John Walshe, controller (April 2019); academia.edu Introduction & Database

Publications: web articles

Dr Jones has posted a number of short web-articles, one MA dissertation and some out-of-print publications that relate to the Bristol voyages of this period. While these are intended to be of use to students / researchers, the permanence of these items is not guaranteed and the articles themselves may be revised over time.

Salazar's account of Bristol's discovery of the Island of Brasil (pre 1476)

Robert Ricart's Chronicle of Bristol, 1480-1508

John Cabot in Seville, 1494

'Cabot Roll': 1496-99

The Fust MS. / Maurice Toby's Chronicle of Bristol, 1565

Annabel Peacock, 'The Men of Bristol and the Atlantic Discovery Voyages of the Fifteenth and Early Sixteenth Centuries (MA Dissertation, Bristol, 2007)

Academic conferences / seminar papers

Francesco Guidi Bruscoli (University of Florence), 'Italian bankers and Cabot's voyage', University of Ottowa, 13 March 2019

Francesco Guidi Bruscoli (University of Florence), 'Italian merchant-bankers in England in the late middle ages: a history of (many) successes and (spectacular) failures', The British Institute of Florence, 21 September 2016

E. T. Jones (University of Bristol), 'The Matthew of Bristol: Life and Afterlife': UWE Regional History Centre Talks, MShed, Bristol, 17 March 2016

E. T. Jones (University of Bristol), 'Rediscovering Cabot: the Bristol Voyages of Discovery, c.1470-1508', The Emergence of a Maritime Nation: Britain in the Tudor and Stuart Age, 1485-1714, National Maritime Museum, 24-25 July 2015. Similar papers given at University of Birmingham, March 2016; University of Durham, July 2017.

The World of the Newport Ship, 17-19 July 2014. This conference and the forthcoming conference volume are an offshoot of the Cabot Project, funded by Gretchen Bauta.

E. T. Jones (University of Bristol), 'Constructing Cabot: the making of a Bristol hero' and R. Stone (University of Bristol), 'John Guy: the hero who wasn’t', Imperial City: Bristol in the World, UWE / MShed conference, Bristol, 20-21 September 2013.

Margaret Condon, 'The Cabot Project', The Fifteenth Century Conference, Oxford, 5-7 September 2013

M. M. Condon 'Alwyn Ruddock, John Cabot, and the early Atlantic explorations': Medieval Studies Summer School, University of Cambridge (ICE) 15 August 2013. 

F. Guidi-Bruscoli, ''"So that he could go and find the new land": Italian money for John Cabot's voyages of 1496-7', University of Bristol, 14 January 2013.

F. Guidi-Bruscoli, 'Beyond Iberia: Florentine bankers and John Cabot’s voyage to the “New Land”' at 'Mundus Novus. Vespucci: Ancient World and New World', Lisbon, 13-14 December 2012.

F. Guidi-Bruscoli, ‘Capitali fiorentini nei primi viaggi verso il Nord America: Giovanni Caboto e Giovanni da Verrazzano’,  at 'Vespucci, Firenze e le Americhe', Florence, 22-24 November 2012.

E. T. Jones, ‘William Weston: Bristol's forgotten explorer’, University of Bristol, 7 Feb. 2012.

F. Guidi-Bruscoli, ‘John Cabot’s Italian Financiers’ at the 'Ninth European Historical Economics Society Conference', Dublin, 2-3 September 2011.

Heather Dalton, ‘The Cabot Project: International collaboration and the voyages to America of John Cabot and the merchants of Bristol’, University of Melbourne, 18 April 2011; University of Sheffield, 9 Nov. 2011.

E. T. Jones, ‘Rediscovering Cabot, 1496-1500’ at 'A Second City Remembered: Rethinking Bristol’s History, 1400-2000', Bristol, 23 July 2010.

E. T. Jones, 'Bristol, Cabot and the New Found Land, 1496-1500'. The public lecture at 'Exploring New World Transitions: From Seasonal Presence to Permanent Settlement', St Johns, Newfoundland, 16 June 2010. Also presented as a public lecture at Carbonear, Newfoundland, 14 June. A version of this paper is to be published in Peter E. Pope and Shannon Lewis-Simpson, eds. Exploring Atlantic Transitions : Archaeologies of Permanence and Transience in New Found Lands (Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology Monograph no. 7. Woodbridge, Suffolk, forthcoming 2013)

Public engagement

Having been aware, from the start, of the strong public interest in the Cabot voyages, we have sought to communicate our research findings to the general public. This has included lectures to local societies and the creation of a Schools Group  to introduce our research to Bristol school children. Our decision to produce a short book, aimed at a general audience, was a major part of this process.

Over the years, there has been extensive media coverage of the project's findings. Some of the highlights are listed below:

Aristos Georgiou, Hidden writing on 500-year-old scrolls reveals secrets of first English voyage to AmericaNewsweek (4 October 2018)

Laura Geggel, 500-year-old scroll reveals King Henry VII's extraordianry support of travelers to New World, Live Science (4 October 2018)

Evan T Jones, The genesis of 'William Weston: early voyage to the New World', Historical Research blog (4 October 2018)

Guido Moltedo, Cabotaggi in banca e libri gialli, Il (Oct. 2012), 180-81

John Cabot’s celebrated ship dabbled in smugglingThe National Post, Windsor Star, et al. (8 July 2012)

Francesco Guidi Bruscoli, 'A shoe box of discovery', The American (July, 2012)

Discovery of a £16 Advance Sheds Light on John Cabot’s AdventuresNew York Times (19 June 2012)

Italiener finanzierten Entdeckung NordamerikasDer Spiegel (6 May 2012)

Did an English expedition BEAT Columbus to the Americas? Record of bank loan to sailor who found North America in 1497 hints that others may have been there firstDaily Mail (4 May 2012)

Rossella Lorenzi, 'Columbus may not have been first to America', Discovery News (3 May 2012)

'Cabot may have known of new world before Columbus, newly discovered document suggests', Vancouver Sun, The Province, National Post, Edmonton Journal et al. (29 April 2012)

'Italian bankers paid for Cabot voyage', The Post (28 April 2012)

'Italian bank backed Cabot voyage to Newfoundland, new research reveals', Montreal Gazette, Times Colonist, Ottawa Citizen, Vancouver Sun, Calgary Herald et. al.  (20 Oct. 2010)

Douglas Hunter, Rewriting History: Alwyn Ruddock and John Cabot (July 2010). 
This is an extended version of the article published in Canada's History (April, 2010).

'Bristol's early navigators', Current Archaeology (November 2009), pp. 46-7.

'The lost voyage', Global TV News (Canada)  broadcast and podcast (12 October 2009)

The Cabot Mystery, audio podcast for 'The Atlantic Conference' (10 October 2009)

'Search hopes to find 510-year-old Nfld. church', National Post, Windsor Star, Star Phoenix, Edmonton Journal, Ottawa Citizen, et. al. (6 September 2009)

'A Tudor mariner's epic exploits', The Big Story, BBC History Magazine (September 2009), pp. 12-13

William Weston, an English merchant, ‘first to land in North America'The Times (28 August 2009)

Evidence for first English-led expedition to North America discoveredThe Daily Mail (28 August 2009)

John Cabot was not Bristol's only explorerWestern Daily Press / Bristol Evening News (28 August 2009)

Britânicos chegaram a América em 1499O Globo, Brazil (28 August 2009)

Revela carta de Henry VII primera expedición inglesa a NorteaméricaEl Porvenir, Mexico (28 August 2009)

'Fee for discovering Canada: 40 shillings', The National Post, Vancouver Sun, Windsor Star (27 August 2009)

King's letter reveals epic voyage, BBC News Online (27 August 2009)

'510-year-old royal letter points to Englishman’s contact with Canada', The National Post, Vancouver Sun, Montreal Gazette, Calgary Herald, Ottawa Citizen, Times Colonist (26 August 2009)

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