Source: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
CARBONARIIS, GIOVANNI ANTONIO DE, Italian priest, probably sailed with John Cabot’s expedition, 1498; fl. 1489–98.
Carbonariis appears to have been involved in the complex diplomatic relationships between the Italian states, the papacy, France, Spain, and England – the background against which the Cabot voyages took place. Apparently a man of note, Carbonariis spent some time in England, as an envoy or agent of the dukes of Milan. In 1489, Henry VII of England sent him as a royal messenger to Gian Galeazzo Sforza, and in 1497, Ludovico Sforza’s envoy in England, Raimondo de Soncino, speaks of Carbonariis as “the Reverend Master” whose advice he would take while in England.
Prior to the sailing of Cabot’s 1498 expedition, the duke sent a letter to Carbonariis in England, which Agostino de Spinula – in a letter from London, dated 20 June 1498 – said he would keep until Carbonariis’s return: he had “left recently with five ships, which his Majesty sent to discover new islands.” Carbonariis may have sailed on the London ship victualled at the king’s expense by Lancelot Thirkill and Thomas Bradley, and not on one of the two Bristol ships immediately under John Cabot’s command. Nothing further is known about Carbonariis, although he may well have returned to England.