500th Anniversary of the Discovery of the New World!!


The 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!!

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip await the arrival of the Matthew in Bonavista, Newfoundland, on June 24, 1997

Construction 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.

 

The Matthew undergoing sea trials in 1996

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Britannia and the Matthew

The 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

Letter from Prince Philip wishing the Matthew "God's speed."

 

THE 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 15th century.

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.

The North 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 route.

This book 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.

Brandon Hill with the River Avon in the background.

Brandon Hill, named after the great Hibernian missionary St. Brendan, overlooks the Avon River in Bristol.

 

Cabot Tower on Brandon Hill

This 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).

John 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.

Rome never 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 instead.

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 years previously.

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.

They 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.

Wycliffe is disinhumed,
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.

William Wordsworth


Vital Link

The Matthew of Bristol


References

  The 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.

Firstbrook, Peter, The Voyage of the Matthew, Bay Books & Tapes, San Francisco, CA, 1997.


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