Discovered by Cabot in 1497. Sir Humphrey Gilbert

established a short-lived colony on the island in 1583. Another attempt

was made in 1610, by the Company of London. A more successful effort at

colonization was that of Lord Baltimore in 1621. For a time the colony

was governed by the so-called "Fishing Admirals," the most famous of

whom was Richard Whitbourne, author of A Discourse and Discoverie of

Newfoundland. French influence on the island dated from the founding of

Placentia in 1660. In 1696 Iberville captured St. John's, and laid waste

the coast settlements. St. John's was again captured by a French

squadron, in 1760. A Legislative Assembly was granted to the colony in

1832 as a result of popular agitation; and responsible government

established in 1855. Efforts to bring about the union of the island with

Canada were made in 1864, and again in 1895, but without success.