is a town on the Avalon Peninsula
in Newfoundland and Labrador
. As of 2006, there are 4,723 people living in Carbonear, down from 4,759 in 2001.
The town of Carbonear is one of the oldest permanent settlements in Newfoundland and among the oldest settlements in North America lending to a rich and interesting history.
There are a number of different theories about the origin of the town's name. Possibly from the Spanish word "carbonera" (charcoal kiln); Carbonera, a town near Venice Italy where John Cabot is believed to have been born; or from a number of French words, most likely "Charbonnier" or "Carbonnier". One of the more recent and more interesting theories is by Alwyn Ruddock
of the University of London
, one of the world's foremost experts on John Cabot
's expeditions to the New World. She suggests that a group of reformed Augustinian
friars led by the high ranking Giovanni Antonio de Carbonariis
, accompanied Cabot on his second voyage in 1498 to establish a religious community in Newfoundland for the Augustinian order of the Carbonara. She believes that the settlement was established, though was probably short-lived, and a church built in the name of the order, the modern name of the town being a surviving relic. If true, Carbonear would not only have been the first Christian settlement of any kind in North America, but would have been home to the oldest, and only, medieval church built in... Read More