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  #1  
Old 07-13-2007, 05:33 AM
tinker001 tinker001 is offline
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Who is America Named After? Its not Amerigo Vespucci!

America was named after a wealthy English merchant called Richard Ameryk.

Ameryk was the chief investor on the second transatlantic voyage of John Cabot - the English name of the Italian navigator Giovanni Cabotowhose voyages in 1497 and 1498 laid the ground work for the later British claim to Canada. He moved to London from Genoa in 1484 and was authorised by King Henry VII to search for unknown lands to the West.

On his little ship 'Matthew', Cabot reached Labrador in May 1497 and became the first recorded European to set foot on American soil, pre-dating Vespucci by 2 YEARS!

Cabot mapped the North AMerican coastline from Nova Scotia to Newfoundland. As chief patron of the voyage, Rishard Ameryk would have expected discoveries to be named after him. There is a record in the Bristol Calendar for the year ".....on St John the Baptist's day [24 June], the land of America was found by the merchants of Bristowe, in a ship called the Matthew", that clearly suggests this is what happened.

Although the original manuscript of this calendar has not survived, there are a number of references to it in other contemporary documents. This is the first use of the term 'America' to refer to the new continent.

The earliest surviving map to use the name is Martin Waldseemuller's great map of the world of 1507, but it only applied to South America. In his notes Waldseemuller makes the assumption that the name is derived from a Latin version of Amerigo Vespucci's first name, because Vespucci had discovered and mapped the South American coast from 1500 to 1502.

This suggests he didn't know for sure, and was trying to account for a name he had seen on other maps, possibly Cabot's. The only place where the name 'America' was known and used was Brisol - not somewhere the French-based Waldseemuller was likely to visit. Significantly, he replaced 'America' with 'Terra Incognita' in his world map of 1513.

Vespucci never reached North America. All the early maps and trade were British. Nor did he ever use the term 'America' for his discovery.

There's a good reason for this. New countries or continents were never named after a person's first name, but always after the second (as in Tasmania, Van Diemen's land or the Cook Islands).

America would have become 'Vespucci Land' (or Vespucci) if the Italian explorer had consciously given his name to it!

I hope Cecil will update his records accordingly and realise that, no matter how clever you think you are, there is always someone better around the corner!


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MODERATOR NOTE: Please note that this post is from 2007, the OP was banned long ago.-- CKDH

Last edited by C K Dexter Haven; 08-29-2013 at 06:52 AM.. Reason: Added Mod Note -- CKDH
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  #2  
Old 07-13-2007, 05:44 AM
naita naita is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinker001
America was named after a wealthy English merchant called Richard Ameryk.
Hello there tinker. It's customary to include a link to the column in question when posting comments. Like this:
Why was America named after Amerigo Vespucci?

And while your theory is interesting, it doesn't appear to be a popular one.
Quote:
Richard Amerike (Ameryk or ap Meurig) (c. 1445-1503) was a wealthy English merchant of Welsh descent who, it is theorized, funded John Cabot's voyage of discovery to North America in 1497. He is chiefly remembered because of the theory, not widely held, that the Americas are named after his surname.
Wikipedia on: Richard Amerike
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  #3  
Old 07-13-2007, 06:58 AM
astorian astorian is offline
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Not that this proves anything conclusively, one way or the other, but...

Sir Thomas More's famous "Utopia" was inspired by the discovery of America. More had read Amerigo Vespucci's letters, and was intrigued by the idea of a faraway land with strange, new customs. More's narrator was, supposedly, a former sailor and member of Vespucci's crew.

Now, if Richard Ameryk were really seen as an important force in the discovery of the New World, wouldn't Thomas More, a fellow Briton, know about him? Why credit an Italian with such a breakthrough rather than claim credit for a countryman?

It seems that, fairly or not, Amerigo Vespucci was the man who put the idea of a New World in most Europeans' minds, which means he's the more likely namesake.
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  #4  
Old 07-19-2007, 11:37 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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Sounds quite far-fetched and highly unlikely to me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tinker001
There is a record in the Bristol Calendar for the year ".....on St John the Baptist's day [24 June], the land of America was found by the merchants of Bristowe, in a ship called the Matthew", that clearly suggests this is what happened.

Although the original manuscript of this calendar has not survived, there are a number of references to it in other contemporary documents. This is the first use of the term 'America' to refer to the new continent.
Since the original map was lost in a fire, this essentially represents hearsay. There is no way of verifying that the quote actually originated in the year that is claimed; it may have originated long after the name America became commonly known and the quote may have been altered in hindsight. Contemporary references to the map don't provide evidence of what it actually said.

Quote:
The earliest surviving map to use the name is Martin Waldseemuller's great map of the world of 1507, but it only applied to South America. In his notes Waldseemuller makes the assumption that the name is derived from a Latin version of Amerigo Vespucci's first name, because Vespucci had discovered and mapped the South American coast from 1500 to 1502.

This suggests he didn't know for sure, and was trying to account for a name he had seen on other maps, possibly Cabot's. The only place where the name 'America' was known and used was Brisol - not somewhere the French-based Waldseemuller was likely to visit. Significantly, he replaced 'America' with 'Terra Incognita' in his world map of 1513.
Because Waldseemuller only applied the name to South America, there is no reason to suppose he would have connected it in any way with Cabot's discovery. Cabot himself didn't know he had discovered a continent, and the lands he charted were separated by many thousands of miles from the Spanish discoveries to the south. There was no reason to suppose that anything but open ocean lay between the relatively small stretch of northern coasts that Cabot found, and the vastly more extensive lands from the Yucatan to Argentina that had been explored by Columbus, Hojeda, Vespucci, and others.

Quote:
Vespucci never reached North America. All the early maps and trade were British.
So what? The name America wasn't extended to North America until much later.

Quote:
Nor did he ever use the term 'America' for his discovery.
No one ever claimed he did. Waldseemuller is generally credited with the coinage.

Quote:
There's a good reason for this. New countries or continents were never named after a person's first name, but always after the second (as in Tasmania, Van Diemen's land or the Cook Islands).

America would have become 'Vespucci Land' (or Vespucci) if the Italian explorer had consciously given his name to it!
This is nonsense. In fact, at that time, at the dawn of the European Age of Discovery, there was no solid convention about naming new lands. The names of most new discoveries were derived from native names, or the names of saints on whose days the discoveries had been made. Occasionally the first name of a royal patron might be used. Columbus, for example, named various islands after Ferdinand, Isabela, and their daughter Juana (the original name of Cuba), although the names did not stick. The convention of using the last name of a discoverer did not really catch hold until well into the 16th Century. Without a firm convention, and since other discoveries had called after the first name of an honoree, there was no real reason to prevent Waldseemuller from using Vespucci's first name. Since the known continents of Europa, Asia, and Africa all began and ended in vowels it would have been easy for Waldseemuller to use America for consistency. As he explained:

Quote:
"But now these parts [Europe, Asia and Africa, the three continents of the Ptolemaic geography] have been extensively explored and a fourth part has been discovered by Americus Vespuccius [a Latin form of Vespucci's name], as will be seen in the appendix: I do not see what right any one would have to object to calling this part after Americus, who discovered it and who is a man of intelligence, [and so to name it] Amerige, that is, the Land of Americus, or America: since both Europa and Asia got their names from women."

Quote:
I hope Cecil will update his records accordingly and realise that, no matter how clever you think you are, there is always someone better around the corner!
I hope you realize you are going to need much more solid evidence if you are going to dispute Cecil (or the consensus of most historians). What you have presented is no more than hearsay, speculation, and supposition, and I scarcely think Cecil is likely to revise his column on such a weak basis.
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  #5  
Old 01-18-2013, 12:56 AM
BarnabyBristol BarnabyBristol is offline
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Ameryk's Coat of Arms

Richard Ameryk's coat of arms can be seen at St Mary's Church in Bristol. And guess what it is made from - stars and stripes!
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  #6  
Old 01-18-2013, 02:32 AM
Smapti Smapti is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinker001 View Post

There's a good reason for this. New countries or continents were never named after a person's first name, but always after the second (as in Tasmania, Van Diemen's land or the Cook Islands).
This will come as some news to the residents of the Carolinas, Maryland, Georgia, St. Augustine, San Francisco, San Diego, Prince Edward Island, Prince William, Victoria, and about 400 cities in Texas.
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  #7  
Old 01-18-2013, 03:58 AM
thelurkinghorror thelurkinghorror is offline
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Originally Posted by Smapti View Post
This will come as some news to the residents of the Carolinas, Maryland, Georgia, St. Augustine, San Francisco, San Diego, Prince Edward Island, Prince William, Victoria, and about 400 cities in Texas.
True that those were their first names, but on the other hand, their last names weren't: of England, (*), of Hippo, of Assisi, of Alcalá, of Kent and Strathearn, of Cumberland, of the United Kingdom, of... Texas has too many names.

People say "da Vinci invented..." but that sounds odd when you think about it. In other words, those people's first names were used and they didn't have last names. I don't know if our OP's comment was brainy and correct, but I know it now craves BRAAAINS.

*Maryland was named after Henrietta Maria (also no last name, but an "of France"), wife of Charles I (the guy who lent his name to the Carolinas, in a roundabout Latinate fashion). It wasn't named after any of the Marys anyone has heard of, and Maria was part of her name but not last, like how a modern day Frenchman can be named Jean-Marie Le Pen, but only have a first and last name. And we just because part of his name is "Marie" doesn't mean that he's effeminate, but we can make fun of him for many other reasons.
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  #8  
Old 01-18-2013, 04:27 AM
Gagundathar Gagundathar is offline
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I just learned something new. Thanks, thelurkinghorror! (A sentence I don't think I ever expected to type.) I had thought that the Carolinas were named after Charles II, but it turns out they were named BY Charles II in memory of his deceased father, Charles I.

Ignorance fought!
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  #9  
Old 01-18-2013, 04:54 AM
APB APB is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarnabyBristol View Post
Richard Ameryk's coat of arms can be seen at St Mary's Church in Bristol. And guess what it is made from - stars and stripes!
Firstly, so what? Stripes and stars are some of the most common heraldic devices.

Secondly, the coat of arms are in St Mark's Church, Bristol, also known as the Lord Mayor's Chapel. Also, it is just one quartering in the arms of the Poyntz family. There is a photograph on the website of Rodney Broome, one of the leading proponents of the theory.

Thirdly, and most crucially, the arms are not those of the Ameryk family. The 1623 heraldic visitation of Gloucestershire records those as the arms of the Clanvowe family. It appears as part of the Poyntz arms because one of the Poyntz ancestors had married a Clanvowe heiress in the fourteenth century. The printed edition of the visitation can be found here; the details of the Poyntz arms are at p. 130.
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  #10  
Old 01-18-2013, 08:13 AM
eastcheap eastcheap is offline
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Originally Posted by Smapti View Post
This will come as some news to the residents of the Carolinas, Maryland, Georgia, St. Augustine, San Francisco, San Diego, Prince Edward Island, Prince William, Victoria
Of course, those were all people who were referred to by their first (or assumed) names anyway.

Leaving aside the fact that some of those are a bit of a stretch (Fate...really?), I couldn't help but notice that the vast majority of names on the "male" list are surnames.

Also, shouldn't Beverly and Lynn appear in both lists?
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  #11  
Old 01-18-2013, 09:20 AM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by APB View Post
Firstly, so what? Stripes and stars are some of the most common heraldic devices.

Secondly, the coat of arms are in St Mark's Church, Bristol, also known as the Lord Mayor's Chapel. Also, it is just one quartering in the arms of the Poyntz family. There is a photograph on the website of Rodney Broome, one of the leading proponents of the theory.

Thirdly, and most crucially, the arms are not those of the Ameryk family. The 1623 heraldic visitation of Gloucestershire records those as the arms of the Clanvowe family. It appears as part of the Poyntz arms because one of the Poyntz ancestors had married a Clanvowe heiress in the fourteenth century. The printed edition of the visitation can be found here; the details of the Poyntz arms are at p. 130.
Yeah, but other than that...
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  #12  
Old 01-18-2013, 10:26 PM
John W. Kennedy John W. Kennedy is offline
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Actually, Maryland was named in a coded allusion to the BVM, the colony having been instituted with the plan that it would become a refuge for English Roman Catholics. The connection with Henrietta Marie was a pro-forma blind.
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  #13  
Old 08-28-2013, 10:22 PM
mortimermcmirestinks mortimermcmirestinks is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinker001 View Post
...Cabot reached Labrador in May 1497 and became the first recorded European to set foot on American soil...
Can you say "Vikings"? Does the name Erik the Red ring a bell?
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  #14  
Old 08-29-2013, 03:12 AM
Floater Floater is offline
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Originally Posted by mortimermcmirestinks View Post
Does the name Erik the Red ring a bell?
Erik the Red never set foot upon American soil. That honour belongs to his son Leif Eriksson.
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  #15  
Old 08-29-2013, 06:51 AM
C K Dexter Haven C K Dexter Haven is offline
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MODERATOR NOTE: This thread was started back in 2007, posts #5 - 12 are from Jan 2013, and the last couple of posts were recent. That's OK, we got no problem with resurrected threads in this forum, I just want folks to be alert (so don't get all hot and bothered about responding to posts that are several years old.)
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