500th Anniversary of the Discovery of the New
500th anniversary of the Discovery of the New World should
have taken place in 1994. However, due to the cunning craftiness of
Rome the great anniversary celebrations were changed to 1997. The British
Royal Family were also misled by this duplicity!!
Elizabeth II and Prince Philip await the arrival of the Matthew
in Bonavista, Newfoundland, on June 24, 1997
of a replica of John Cabot's tiny ship the Matthew commenced
in Bristol, England, in Feb.. 1994. It should have sailed
that same year.
Matthew undergoing sea trials in 1996
and the Matthew
Matthew and the Royal Yacht Britannia together at
Cowes Week in August 1996. Members of the Royal Family took the
opportunity to pay an informal visit to the replica of Cabot's ship.
HRH Prince Philip was one of the patrons
of the Matthew reconstruction project
from Prince Philip wishing the Matthew "God's
TEXT OF THE LETTER
To the seamen
of Europe the Atlantic has always been a challenge and a barrier.
For none more so than those along the western seaboard from Spain
to Norway. The Irish epic 'Navigatio Brendani' suggests that St.
Brendan broke the barrier in the 6th century and the Norse Sagas
relate that Leif Eriksson, the son of Erik the Red, established
a small settlement on Newfoundland some 500 years later. There
is also circumstantial evidence that fishermen from Bristol were
fishing for cod on the Grand Banks off Newfoundland in the early
Then in 1497
John Cabot set out from Bristol, under the patronage of King Henry
VII, on one of the most remarkable voyages in the history of maritime
discovery. The significance of the voyage of the 'Matthew' is
that it took John Cabot to the mainland of North America and which
eventually led to the migration of many English-speaking people
to the countries of that continent.
Atlantic is not a comfortable environment at any time, and for
the seamen of the 15th century in their small sailing ships it
presented a formidable hazard. The chances of the `Matthew' getting
across and back were a great deal shorter than of the 'Apollo'
reaching and returning from the moon. Even Columbus, five years
earlier, could expect better weather conditions on his more southerly
sets Cabot's achievement in the greater context of the exciting
and dynamic period of European maritime exploration. It also follows
the fascinating story of the conception, design and construction
of a replica of the `Matthew'. No one will follow the progress
of the new 'Matthew' more closely than I as she marks the quincentenary
of John Cabot's great adventure by following his track from Bristol
to Newfoundland in May and June 1997.
I wish her
Master and crew, God's speed and a safe passage.
Hill with the River Avon in the background.
named after the great Hibernian missionary St. Brendan, overlooks
the Avon River in Bristol.
on Brandon Hill
100 feet high tower on top of Brandon Hill commemorates John
Cabot's voyage to America in 1497 and was built in 1897 (and
opened on September 6, 1898).
Wycliffe's ashes were thrown into the Avon River.
John Wycliffe (1330-1384),
the Morning Star of the Reformation.
The great Reformer and most
learned man John Wycliffe was the first person to publicly call
the Pope - the Antichrist. The English people loved him
and his writings influenced John Huss to start a reformation of
the church in Bohemia.
forgave the English people for favoring John Wycliffe and that
is one of the main reasons why she conspired to steal the New
World from the real Discoverer and give it to the Spanish Inquisition
Exactly 100 years after the burning of John Huss
at the stake, Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the church
door at Wittenberg, Germany.
John Wycliffe —the morning star of
the Reformation — was born in Yorkshire in the north of England.
His followers were called "Lollards." These "Lollards"
were the descendants of the church founded by St. Columba of Iona 1,000
Wycliffe was condemned by the church and
died of a stroke on New Year's Eve in 1384. But his memory and influence
continued so strong that he was formally condemned again thirty years
later at the Council of Constance. Orders were given for his writings
to be destroyed, his bones exhumed and burned, and the ashes to be thrown
into the nearby river. Somehow the Church authorities thought that by
burning his remains they might erase his memory.
burnt his bones to ashes and cast them into the Swift, a neighboring
brook running close by. Thus the brook hath conveyed his ashes into
Avon, Avon into Severn; Severn into the narrow seas; and they into the
main ocean. And thus the ashes of Wycliffe are the emblem of his doctrine
which now is dispersed the world over.
Yea, his dry bones to ashes are consumed,
And flung into the brook that travels near;
Forthwith that ancient Voice which streams can hear
Thus speaks (that Voice which walks upon the wind,
Though seldom heard by busy human kind):
As thou these ashes, little Brook! wilt bear
Into the Avon—Avon to the tide
Of Severn—Severn to the narrow seas—
Into main ocean they,—this deed accurst,
An emblem yields to friends and enemies,
How the bold Teacher’s Doctrine sanctified
By truth, shall spread throughout the world dispersed.
Matthew of Bristol
Voyage of the Matthew was made into an excellent 6 part
TV series by the BBC and Public Television. It was broadcast in
the U.S. sometime in 1997. The series is not for sale anywhere
but can be obtained from many U.S. colleges and libraries through
the library inter loan programs.
Peter, The Voyage of the Matthew, Bay Books & Tapes, San
Francisco, CA, 1997.
to Main Menu