Books about The Matthew

Books about The Matthew

Our publications help to raise much-needed funds for the continued maintenance of the ship. They are all available on board at special prices that no other bookstore can beat!

The Matthew of Bristol

This is the story of the modern Matthew – one of the most iconic symbols of Bristol’s Age of Discovery – and of her trading and seafaring heritage. She’s a faithful representation of the ship used by John Cabot when he discovered Newfoundland in 1497.

The modern Matthew was built by Bristol shipwrights to mark the 500th anniversary of Cabot’s discovery. In 1997 she re-enacted the original voyage across the North Atlantic, following the same course that John Cabot sailed in 1497, carrying the same number of crew and taking the same time to complete the crossing.

Who had the idea to build her? How was she designed and built? What was it like to sail the North Atlantic in a tiny wooden ship? What does she do now? These and many more questions are answered in The Matthew of Bristol.

Published in 2017 by Bristol Books.

This book is available to buy online from Bristol Books and on board the ship.

Cabot and Bristol's Age of Discovery

The Bristol Discovery Voyages 1480-1508

John Cabot's voyage to North America in 1497 on The Matthew of Bristol has long been famous. But who was Cabot? Why did he come to Bristol? And what did he achieve?

In this book, the two leading historians of the Bristol discovery voyages draw on their recent research and new discoveries to tell the story of the voyages of exploration launched from Bristol at this time. The Venetian Zuan Chabotto (John Cabot) lies at the heart of this story. But his three expeditions are set in the context of the discovery enterprises funded and led by Bristol's merchants over many decades.

The book is written for the general reader and is richly illustrated to bring the fruits of the University of Bristol's acclaimed Cabot Project to the wider public.

This book is available to buy online from the University of Bristol and on board the ship.


The replica of John Cabot's square-rigged caravel in which he discovered his 'New Founde Landes' – a voyage from the past into the future.

Published ahead of her Atlantic voyage in 1997, this short book covers the design and construction of the modern Matthew. 

This booklet is available on the ship.