- May 2016
“All this has led some scholars to *suggest* that these pre-Cabot Bristol expeditions had actually discovered the Newfoundland fishing grounds, and that their sponsors had kept this discovery a secret for as long as possible in order not to share the fishing grounds with anyone else.” (the asterisks are mine)
“Alwyn Ruddock offers the more cautious conclusion that these several voyages were unsuccessful efforts to re- discover a fishery which had been found by accident but then was lost.”
“All the evidence suggests that Bristol's support for voyages into the Atlantic during the 1400s was part of a search for new trading prospects, rather than fishing opportunities, and that no one knew anything about Newfoundland or its fabulous fishing grounds until Cabot returned to England from his voyage in 1497.”
We all know that English, Breton, Cantabrian, Basque and Portuguese fishermen adventured long in the North Atlantic Sea, long before Columbus first voyage, but there are two important points: first is that we don’t know if they reached America, second is that if they reached America that reaching didn’t had consequences.
It is a bit like the discussion that occurred in another thread: It is possible that the Portuguese reached Australia long before the Dutch and the British, but that arrival didn’t had consequences.