There is no doubt, as will be shown, that from 1480, if not earlier, the merchants of Bristol were making voyages for the discovery of unknown lands to the westward of the British Isles; and we have now good reason to suppose that John Cabot, formerly thought to have lived many years at Bristol before he made his American voyages, did not come to England until 1495 or possibly 1494. This is the inference to be drawn from certain Spanish documents first made public in 1943, which will be considered in subsequent pages of this book. The period of the pre-Cabotian voyages from Bristol is therefore approximately from 1480 to 1494 or 1495. We have here to consider the evidence that bears upon them.