Sebastian did not accompany his father on the disastrous voyage in 1498. But in 1508, Sebastian led an English expedition to North America.
Following the route of his father, Sebastian reached Newfoundland and sailed north, searching for a passage through North America to the Indies. He found a giant strait that led west, but winter ice forced him to return to England in early 1509.
There, the new king, Henry VIII, showed little enthusiasm for exploration. Frustrated, Cabot went to Spain, where he stayed for the next 30 years. In 1526, he led a Spanish expedition to find a shorter route around the world than the route made by Ferdinand Magellan’s sailors, who completed the journey in 1522.
But Cabot only got as far as Brazil, where he heard reports of a wealthy kingdom inland. He abandoned his mission and sailed up rivers into Paraguay. He found nothing and returned to Spain, unsuccessful and in disgrace. After his failure, Cabot returned to England and led two more voyages to North America.
Again, he failed to find a passage to the Indies. In his last journey, he tried to sail north around Finland to reach Russia. He was forced to turn back, but his persistence earned him the title “the elder statesman of the Age of Discovery.”