Mike Harding saying it like it is...

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  • Facts & Fiction
  • Facts & Fiction

America or Vespucciland?

Richard Amerik was a Welshman based in Bristol as a British customs official (there were lots of Welshmen in Bristol in the 15th century). Amerik invested in the explorations of John Cabot, who arrived in the 'New World' in 1497, becoming the first recorded person from Britain to do so.

It's worth pointing out that there is overwhealming evidence of a Scandinavian expedition and even a settlement in what we now call Newfoundland. Also, there is 'some' evidence to back the rumour that there had been numerous Welsh expeditions too. 

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All of these predate the Amerigo Vespucci claim. The name "Amerik" would have appeared on maps and documents used by these early adventurers, those used by Vespucci too. The custom of naming a place after the discoverers surname means that if the 'New World' had really been named after Amerigo Vespucci it should now be known as 'Vespucciland' or something similar!