John Cabot claimed lands for King Henry VII of England. Born Giovanni Caboto in Italy around 1450, he was an explorer and navigator who was given permission by the king to seek out and discover new lands for England.
Intent on traveling to Asia in 1497, Cabot and his crew set sail on a west and north course, believing that the route to Asia would be shorter from northern Europe. On June 24, 1497, Cabot and his crew landed and made a British claim to land in Canada, mistaking it for Asia. The exact location of the landing is unknown, and while some historians believe that Cabot landed at Cape Breton Island or mainland Nova Scotia, others believe he may have landed at Newfoundland, Labrador or even Maine.