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English merchant Weston was the first to land in North America after Columbus.

Byline: ANI

London, Aug.28 (ANI): A Bristol merchant going by the name of William Weston William Pritchard Weston (1804 - 21 February, 1888) was the third Premier of Tasmania.

Born in Shoreditch, England, Weston emigrated to Tasmania in about 1830, purchasing a property near Longford, and lived there for several years.
 was the first Englishman to set foot in North America North America, third largest continent (1990 est. pop. 365,000,000), c.9,400,000 sq mi (24,346,000 sq km), the northern of the two continents of the Western Hemisphere. , seven years after Christopher Columbus.

Two years earlier, the Venetian explorer Giovanni Cabotto - better known as John Cabot - had sailed from Bristol under a patent from King Henry. He is thought to have landed in Newfoundland or Nova Scotia Nova Scotia (nō`və skō`shə) [Lat.,=new Scotland], province (2001 pop. 908,007), 21,425 sq mi (55,491 sq km), E Canada. Geography
, in what is usually seen as the first European expedition to land in North America proper.

In the early 16th century, several English expeditions are known to have followed, but Dr Evan Jones, senior lecturer senior lecturer
n. Chiefly British
A university teacher, especially one ranking next below a reader.
 in Economic and Social History at the University of Bristol, has unearthed Unearthed is the name of a Triple J project to find and "dig up" (hence the name) hidden talent in regional Australia.

Unearthed has had three incarnations - they first visited each region of Australia where Triple J had a transmitter - 41 regions in all.
 previously overlooked evidence that Weston was in fact the first.

In a letter from the King to his Lord Chancellor lord chancellor
 also called Lord High Chancellor or Lord Keeper of the Great Seal

British official who is custodian of the great seal and a cabinet minister. Until the 14th century the chancellor served as royal chaplain and king's secretary.
 sent on March 12, 1499, Henry instructs his minister to suspend an injunction against Weston because the merchant was about to "with God's grace pass and sail for to search and find if he can the new found land".

"Up until now, no one had ever even heard of William Weston. Yet this letter reveals him to be the first Englishman to lead an expedition to North America," The Times quotes Dr. Jones, as saying.

The letter was found 30 years ago and mis-catalogued among a bundle of Chancery files in what is now the National Archives, but had previously been overlooked by historians.

Weston was allowed to undertake the voyage because he had been one of Cabot's leading supporters, Dr Jones believes.

Although Cabot had sold himself to Henry as an expert navigator, he had been forced to leave Venice because of unpaid debts and had no money for an expedition.

"He went to backers in Bristol to provide finance for the expedition in exchange for a share of any proceeds," Dr Jones said.

Weston was likely to have been one of these backers, and would have been able to use Cabot's patent for the King for his own expedition. (ANI)

Copyright 2009 Asian News International The Asian News International (ANI) agency provides multimedia news to China and 50 bureaus in India. It covers virtually all of South Asia since its foundation and presently claims, on its official website, to be the leading South Asia-wide news agency.  (ANI) - All Rights Reserved.

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Publication:Asian News International
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Aug 28, 2009
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