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VOL. I. 



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1 '571 <^() 



Nearly thirty years having elapsed since the publication 
of these translations was first projected, a brief explanation 
of the delay is perhaps necessary. It was in 1863 that 
my attention was first called to Gallego's manuscript by 
the late Mr. Michael Kerney, to whom I am indebted, not 
only for scholarly help in the course of these translations, 
but also for advice in the formation of my library during 
the last forty years. Having acquired the manuscript 
from the late Mr. Quaritch, I showed it to my friend, the 
late Don Pascual de Gayangos; who, taking a keen interest 
in it, advised me to translate it for the Hakluyt Society, 
and himself looked over my translation, and compared my 
Spanish manuscript with the copy at Madrid. 

Not long after, during his researches at the British 
Museum, Don Pascual de Gayangos came upon Catoira's 
manuscript {Additional MSS, 9,944), containing a more 
detailed account of the voyage, and publication was 
delayed until this manuscript could be translated. A 
careful transcript had first to be made. This very difficult 
task was undertaken by Mr. R. E. G. Kirk, who also assisted 
me in part of the translation, and his patience and skill 
may be judged from the specimen of the handwriting that 
he had to decipher, which is reproduced in Vol. II. 

While my translations were in progress, I met Mr. 
C. M. Woodford^ (now H.M. Deputy Commissioner for the 
Solomon Islands), who was then on the point of leaving 
for the Pacific. He took out with him translations both of 
Gallego's and Catoira's narratives, and to him we are 

^ Author of A Naturalist among the Headhunters, 


indebted for most of our notes, for the identification of the 
places visited by the Spaniards, and for many photographs 
taken specially for these volumes. It is unfortunate that 
his absence at the Antipodes prevented him from revising 
the notes and the Introduction before they went to press ; 
for, with his high attainments as a naturalist and his 
unrivalled local knowledge, he would doubtless have been 
able to give us much additional information. 

Gallego's narrative was also shown to my old friend, the 
late Admiral of the Fleet Sir Alexander Milne, who was 
kind enough to work out and lay down for me the course 
indicated in our track-chart of the voyage. The daily 
positions of the ships were also worked out independently 
by Mr. C. R. Chapman, Captain of my yacht. The Dream ; 
and these, when laid down upon the chart, were found to 
correspond with Admiral Milne's track — an important 
factor in determining the identity of the Isle of Jesus, the 
land first sighted by the Spaniards. 

Meanwhile, Dr. Guppy published his important book on 
the Solomon Islands,^ and we had the opportunity of 
comparing his notes on the Spanish discoveries with the 
original narratives. Through the kindness of M. Leopold 
Delisle, Administrateur G^n^ral and Directeur of the 
Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, and the late M. Henri 
Michelant, Sous-Directeur of the Manuscript Department, 
I obtained a transcript of the anonymous manuscript in 
that library. I am deeply indebted to Sir Clements 
Markham for the great interest he has taken in the work 
from the beginning, and for lending me the two narratives 
printed in the Documentos Ineditos, 

Having collected this material, I sought the forgiveness 
of the Hakluyt Society for the long delay, and found the 
Council still willing to publish the translations as one of 

* The Solomon Islands aud their NativeSy by H. B. Guppy, M.B., 
F.G.S. London, 1887. 


their volumes. I have had the good fortune to secure the 
collaboration of my friend, Mr. Basil Thomson/ through 
whose unremitting care and attention the work appears in 
its present form. I am also indebted to Miss Amalia de 
Alberti for work in translating and in examining originals; 
to my eldest daughter, Lady William Cecil, for her help 
as amanuensis, and to my daughter Margaret for her 
untiring patience in revising the translations and helping 
me to compare them with the Spanish originals. 

Our thanks are also especially due to the Rev. R. H. 
Codrington, D.D., for many useful suggestions, and for the 
remarks upon the native languages which are incorporated 
in the Introduction ; to the Rev. Henry Welchman, of the 
Melanesian Mission, whose recent return from Ysabel 
Island, after a long residence, has enabled him to give 
us much valuable information ; to Colonel George Earl 
Church for identifying places on the Pacific Coast of 
America, and for information relating to Gallego's career ; 
to Mr. J. Edge-Partington and Mr. C. V. Lucas for the 
loan of their photographs. One of the illustrations repre- 
sents a number of Solomon Islanders, who were working 
on the Foulden plantation at Mackay on the Pioneer 
River, belonging to my late brother, Francis T. Amherst, 
M.L. A. of Queensland. 

It will thus be seen that the delay of nearly thirty years 

has not been without advantage, since it has resulted in 

the acquisition of material which has only lately become 

accessible. It is a curious coincidence that this work 

should appear at the time when, by the Proclamation of 

October 6th, 1900, all the islands first discovered by the 

Spaniards have become a part of the British Dominions 

beyond the Seas. 

A. OF H. 

* Author of The Diversions of a Prime Minister^ and other works 
on the South Seas. 

** Come, my friends 

Tis not too late to seek a newer world. 
Push off, and sitting well in order, smite 
The sounding furrows : for my purpose holds 
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths 
Of all the western stars, until I die. 
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down : 
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles." 





Sir Clements Makkham, K.C.a. F.R.a, Pres. R.G.S,, President. 

The Right Hon. The Lord Stanley of Alderley. Vice-President. 

Rear-Admiral Sir William Wharton, K.C.R, Vice-President. 

CoMMR. R M. Chambers, R.N. 

C. Raymond Beazlby, M.A. 

Colonel G. Earl Church. 

Sir W. Martin Conway. 

F. H. H. Guillemard, M.A., M.D. 

Edward Heawood, M.A. 

Dudley F. A. Hervey, C.M.G. 

E. F. IM Thurn, C.B., CM.G. 
J. Scott Kbltib, LL.D. 

F. W. Lucas. 

A. P. Maudslay. 
E. J. Payne, M.A. 
Howard Saunders. 
H. W. Trinder. 
Charles Welch, F.S.A. 

William Foster, B.A., Honorary Secretary. 




Introduction . i 

Native Words recorded in the Manuscripts Ixxxiv 

Native Place-Names . Ixxxvi 

I. A True and Correct Account of the Voyage to the Western 
Isles in the Southern Ocean, made by Hernando 
Gallego, the Chief Pilot . . . i 

II. A Short Account collected from the papers which they 
found in the City of La Plata, concerning the Voyage 
and Discovery of the Western Islands, commonly 
called the Isles of Solomon. Attributed to Pedro 
Sarmiento . . . . • 83 

III. A Consecutive Account of all that happened in the Dis- 

covery of the Islands which the Illustrious S' Alvaro 
DAVENDAf^A [stc] went to discover from the year 1 567 
to the year 1568 . . • 97 

IV. A Second Narrative of the Discovery of the Isles of 

Solomon, addressed to King Philip II of Spain by 
Alvaro de Mendaj^a . .161 


Native of San Christoval Frontispiece 

Spanish Vessels of the Sixteenth Centuiy . . xx 

Crescent-shaped Canoe of the Solomon Islands . xxii 

Small Stone-headed Clubs of East Malaita, mistaken for Gold 

by the Spaniards . . . . . xl 

Natives of Guadalcanar and S. Christoval working on the late 

Mr. Francis T. Amherst's Plantation in Queensland Ixxviii 



Facsimile of Title-page of Hernan Gallego*s Manuscript Ixxxvi 

Estrella Bay (Santa Ysabel de la Estrella) . 

The Gela (Florida) Islands 

The Islands of Savo (Solomon) and Sesarga (Spain) . 

Aola (Guadalcanal), the ** Urare" of Gallego 

Native of Lunga, North- West Guadalcanar (with Frigate bird in 
raised cicatrices on his breast) 

A Sculptor of Santa Ana 

The Village Hunchback (with hair bleached by lime) . 

North Island named La GaUra^ from its fismcied resemblance 
to a galley .... 

Mouth of the Tu-umbuto (Ortega) River 

Plate of Arms, etc., from S. Christoval and Guadalcanar 

Stone-headed Clubs from New Britain 







1. Manuscript Chart from the '' South Sea Waggoner" or Buc- 

caneer's Atlas, 1692 • . xiv 

2. The Western Hemisphere, showing the Solomon Islands, 

from the Or^ Terrarum of Ortelius, 1592 . Ixxii 

3. Chart of Ortelius, 1589, showing the Solomon Islands and 

Torres Straits seventeen years before Torres passed 
through them Ixxxvi 



HE Solomon Islands, the most im- 
portant and the most remote of the 
large groups of the Pacific, were the 
first to be discovered, and the last to 
be explored; if, indeed, islands of 
whose interior scarce anything is 
known can truthfully be said to have been explored. In 
1568 an expedition, fitted out by the Spanish Govern- 
ment, spent six months among the islands, and brought 
back to Peru an account of their discoveries so accurate 
and detailed that it is possible, 333 years afterwards, to 
identify every harbour and islet and creek by which 
they passed ; and yet, though ship after ship set out to 
seek them, they were so completely lost to Europeans that, 
in the course of two centuries, geographers came to doubt 
their existence, and they were actually expunged from the 
chart, until they were rc-discovered by Carteret and Bou- 
gainville in the latter half of the eighteenth century. And 
this, although the group included eight large islands 
stretched like a net across the course of navigators, in an 
almost unbroken line for six hundred miles ! There is 
surely nothing in the history of maritime discovery so 
strange as the story of how the Isles of Solomon were 
discovered, lost, and found again. 


In order to understand how this came about it is neces- 
sary to go back to the beginning of the sixteenth century. 
On 26th September, 15 13, Balboa saw the South Sea from 
the mountains of Panama, and, wading into it up to his 
middle, took possession of it in the name of his sovereign, 
Ferdinand of Spain.^ The report of this discovery made a 
great noise in Europe, and in 1520 Hernando Magellan 
was sent to force a way into the South Sea, which he did 
by the Strait which bears his name, afterwards meeting 
his death in the Moluccas. Several expeditions followed 
Magellan into the South Sea, despite the stirring events 
that kept the Spaniards occupied in Mexico and Peru. 
In 1525, Toribio Alonzo de Salazar discovered an island, 
which he named San Bartolomeo, about 14 deg. N. lat,* 
but the position was so doubtful that Gallego mistook for 
it the Musquillo Islands, in 8 deg. N. lat. (see p. li). In 
1527, Alvaro de Saavedra left New Spain with three 
vessels, two of which parted company in a storm 1,000 
leagues from port, and were never seen again. According 
to Hawaiian tradition, a foreign vessel was wrecked on 
the island of Keei about the same period, and two of 
the crew lived to become the ancestors of some of the 
Hawaiian chiefs of to-day.^ 

^ Bougainville claims the honour of the discovery of the South Sea 
for a Frenchman, Sieur Paulmier de Gonneville, who, sailing from 
Honfleur in 1503, rounded the Cape of Good Hope, and reached 
calm latitudes in the Indian Ocean. Driven out of his course by 
tempests, he discovered a large and populous land, where he stayed 
six months to refit, being hospitably entertained by the natives, 
two of whom he brought home to France. To compensate the chiefs 
son, Essomeric, for the breach of his promise to carry him back to his 
native land, he gave him his heiress in marriage, and J. B. Paulmier, 
a Canon of Lisieux in 1663, was a descendant of this native. Mr. 
Ernest Favenc with more ingenuity than discrimination, has lately 
attempted to prove that de Gonneville's discovery, which Bumey 
identified with Madagascar, and other writers with Brazil, was in 
reality the north-west coast of Australia (^History of Australian 
ExplorcUiofiy p. 295). It was certainly not any island in the Pacific. 

^ Krusenstern's Mimoires Hydrographiquis^ 1827, Pt. il, p. 49. 

3 The Polynesian Race^ by A. Fomander, 1880, vol. ii, p. 106. 


In 1537, Cortes despatched two vessels, under the com- 
mand of Fernando Grijalva and Alvarado, to explore the 
Equatorial ocean between South America and the Moluc- 
cas, for " islands to the westward which were imagined to 
abound in gold."^ Grijalva was murdered in a mutiny, but 
his ship bore away for the Moluccas, and was wrecked in 
the neighbourhood of New Guinea, after the crew had been 
reduced by disease and privation to seven persons, who, 
having been sold as slaves by the natives, were eventually 
ransomed by Galvano, the Governor of Moluccas. This 
expedition discovered several islands about 2 deg. N. lat.; 
and, as we shall presently see, an iron nail, perhaps a relic of 
their intercourse with the natives, was found by Mendafia 
in one of the Marshall Islands in 8 deg. N. lat, indicating 
that trade between the peoples of the Line Islands was as 
widely extended then as it is now. 

In 1542, an expedition of five vessels left Navidad in 
New Spain for the Philippines^ under the command of 
Ruiz Lopez de Villalobos, with Juan Gaetano as pilot, and 
Inigo Ortez de Retes (or de Rota) as one of his captains. 
In the following year, Bernaldo de la Torre started from 
Tidore on a voyage to New Spain, and claimed — as may be 
gathered from Gallego — to have discovered New Guinea. 
In 1545, Inigo Ortez de Retes left Tidore, and coasted 
along New Guinea.^ 

In 1555, the first notable discovery of islands in the 
Pacific was made. Juan Gaetano, who had been Villalobos' 
pilot thirteen years before, discovered the Hawaiian Islands, 
which he named Islas de Mesa. Unfortunately, no account 
of the voyage has come to light, but an anonymous 
MS. chart in the archives of the Colonial Office at Madrid, 
which is believed to be a copy of the Chart of the Spanish 

* De Couto, d. 5, 1. 6, c.5, Lisbon, 1612. Quoted by Dalrymple. 

* Despatch, Spanish Colonial Office, No. 66, 1865; Fomander's 
Polyfusian Race^ vol. ii, p. 363. 

3 Galvano's Discoveries of the World, Hakluyt Soc, 1862, p. 238. 



Galleon, records the discovery as having been made by 
Gaetanoin 1555.^ 

In 1565, Miguel Lopez de Legaspe crossed the ocean, 
and founded the first Spanish colony in the Philippines. 

Hitherto the expeditions to the westward had sailed 
from New Spain, and had followed a course north of the 
Equator ; and Peru, being in the throes of the civil war that 
ensued upon Pizarro's assassination in 1541, had work 
enough without embarking on foreign discovery. But the 
great unknown ocean lay stretched before the Peruvian 
colonists every day, to fire their imagination. They had 
dipped the tips of their fingers in gold ; they panted to 
bathe their bodies in it like the King of Bogotd, whose 
story was on every tongue. There was Martinez, fresh 
from the palaces of Manoa : there was Orellana, with eyes 
still dazzled by the gleaming roofs of El Dorado. It was 
the age of gold, and to the Spaniards the whole unknown 
world was yellow. 

With the dawn of settled government Peru became no 
place for the adventurers who had come out from Spain 
to find a short road to fortune. They wanted virgin fields 
such as Cortes and Pizarro had exploited, and they drank 
in greedily the tales of an undiscovered continent in the 
west which were current among the Indians and the sea- 
faring population of Callao. It was rumoured that the 
Inca, Tupac Yupanqui, in a voyage to the westward, had 
discovered two islands called Nina-chumpi (Fire Island) 
and Hahua-chumpi (Outer Island), and had brought back 
gold and silver, a throne made of copper, a multitude of 
black slaves, and the skin of an animal like a horsc.^ 
The babble of the taverns became in time debated 

^ Despatch, Spanish Colonial Office, No. 66, 1866. Quoted by 
Fomander, vol. ii, p. 360. 

^ Sir Clements Markham suggests that these may have been two 
of the Galapagos Islands (Hakluyt Soc, No. XCI, p. xiii). 


questions of the palace. Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa, 
who had made some study of the Inca traditions, pro- 
fessed to be able to fix the bearings of these islands ; and 
the learned men in the colony were agreed that they 
were the outposts of a southern continent which stretched 
northward from Tierra del Fuego till it reached lat. 15 deg. 
S., about 600 leagues from Peru. 

On February 20th, 1564, the Viceroy, the Conde de 
Nicva, was mysteriously murdered in Lima, and the 
Licentiate, Lope Garcia de Castro, President of the 
Chancery Court, was appointed Governor, with the special 
duty of discovering and punishing the assassins of his 
predecessor. In his term of office the Inquisition estab- 
lished itself in Peru, and Sarmiento, having fallen under 
its displeasure on an absurd charge of divination, redoubled 
his advocacy of a voyage of discovery as a means of 
escaping from the tyranny of the Holy Office. It was 
not until 1567 that the consent of the Government was 
obtained, nor is it certain what terms were conceded to 
its originator. Pedro Sarmiento declared that, while the 
command was to be given to the Governor's nephew, 
Alvaro de Mendafla, a young man of twenty-five, he him- 
self wa.s to have direction of the navigation ; and the fact 
that his advice was afterwards declined, furnished the 
material for a bitter quarrel with his commander. But, 
inasmuch as he was rated only as captain of the Capiiana, 
and his claims are ignored by the writers of all the other 
narratives, it seems more probable that he was giving to 
himself a position which he had asked for, but which had 
been refused. 

The expedition was fitted out in haste. Two ships, the 
Capitana, of 7,000 arrobas (250 tons), and the Almiranta, 
of 3,000 arrobas (107 tons),^ were purchased and fitted at a 


cost of 10,000 dollars, and the armament and provisions, 
including the materials for founding a settlement, cost 
the royal treasury a further sum of 60,000 dollars. The 
crews worked with a will. " To convert all infidels to Chris- 
tianity" was the official excuse for the expedition ; con- 
quest and spoliation were the real motives. The rank and 
file thought of the golden sun from the temple of Cuzco ; 
the commander remembered Cortes, Marquis of the Valley, 
and saw himself Viceroy of a new and a richer Mexico. 
Mendafta's orders were to steer for the rich islands and 
the continent already mentioned, and there to form a 
settlement, sending the ships back for reinforcements. 
The provisioning, being calculated on the supposition that 
the land was only 600 leagues distant, was, as it afterwards 
proved, quite insufficient. Before the ships had been three 
months out, the stores were running low, though they had 
been supplemented by rations of native food ; fuse for the 
arquebuses, the most essential of all their stores, began to 
fail them when it was most required ; the ships themselves, 
built for the calm waters of the Peruvian coast, were 
unfitted to battle with the terrific seas of the western 

It is difficult for anyone unacquainted with the ocean 
miscalled the Pacific to realise the reckless daring of the 
enterprise. Leaving in the month of November, with the 
hurricane season just approaching ; crossing an ocean more 
than 7,000 miles in width, beset with unknown coral reefs, 
in crazy vessels unprotected from the teredo^ and almost 
incapable of beating to windward ; with the prevailing 
wind behind them, and a "dead beat" all the way home- 
ward ; depending on provisions that no master, in the 
worst days of our merchant marine, would have dared to 
put to sea with, the adventurers had a thousand chances 
to one against ever finding their way home again. And 
yet, though they parted company for a time, in nineteen 


months both vessels were safe at anchor again in Callao, 
with the loss of less than one-third of their ships' companies. 
Before wc begin to follow the ships on their adventurous 
voyage, it will be well to give some account of the docu- 
ments that arc here translated, and of the chief persons 
who took part in the expedition. 


The Manuscripts. 

We have six manuscripts describing the voyage ; and 
though it is quite possible that others may be discovered 
either in the Archives of the Indies, or in one of the public 
libraries in Europe or South America, it is not likely that 
they will bring any new or important fact to light. 

(i) The narrative of Hernan Gallego, the Chief Pilot. The 
manuscript which is translated is in the possession of Lord 
Amherst of Hackney, who purchased it from Mr. Quaritch, about 
1863. There is another copy in the Royal Library at Madrid, 
and a third {Add. AfS. 17,625) in ihe British Museum, portions 
of which were translated by Dr. Guppy, and published in his 
important work, T/ie Solomon Islands. In the opinion of Don 
Pascual de Gayangos, who catalogued the Spanish Manuscripts 
in the British Museum, Lord Amherst's copy belongs to the late 
sixteenth or early seventeenth century, and is as old as the 
Madrid manuscript, both being perhaps transcripts from an older 
document. We produce facsimiles of the first and last pages. No 
trace of the chart referred to hy Gallego has yet been discovered. 

(z) The narrative of Pedro Sarmiento. This manuscript was 
in the Archive General de Reino, at Simancas, near Valiadolid.' 
It appears from the title-page to be a transcript of documents 
found in La Plata. Though unsigned, and written in the third 
person, its advocacy of Sarmienlo's side in his quarrel with his 
commander warrant us in believing that it was written by, or in 
the interests of, the person to whom we have assigned it, especially 
as Sarmiento always wrote in the third person. The manuscript 
was copied hy Juan Bautista Munoi, and printed in the 
Colleccion de Documenios Inedilos (tom. v), edited by Don Luis 
Torres de Mendoza, in 1862. 

(3) First naj-rative of Alvaro MendaSa de Neyra. This 
manuscript also was printed in the Dootmentos Inediles, having 


been copied at Simancas by MuAox. It is addressed to the 
Viceroy Castro, the writer's uncle, and it refers the reader to 
Gallcgo's report for the technical details of navigation. It is 
unfortunate that so admirably detailed a narrative should be 
mutilated, though the missing portions would probably not have 
added much to what we learn from Catoira's narrative, which 
follows the existing pages of Mendana very closely. There is a 
gap of nearly a month after February i7lh, 1568, which seems to 
show that several leaves are missing, and the journal finally breaks 
off at April loth, the latter portion being lost. 

{4) Second narrative of Mend AS A, This document, which is in 
the Library of the Academia della Historia, in vol. xxxv'i of the 
ColUccion dt Velasquez, was printed by Don justo Zaragoxa in his 
Hiitoria del Descubrimiento de las Rtgiones Austriales (Madrid, 
i88a). It was addressed to Philip II of Spain, and dated iiih 
September, 1569. Though it is much shorter than the writer's 
report to Castro, it contains enough additional matter to show that 
it was written independently. Several new native words are given ; 
and, as was natural in a report addressed to the king, more con- 
vincing reasons are given for the abandonment of the projected 

(s) The manuscript in the Bibliothixjue Nationale in Paris 
bears no signature, but the use of the first person plural in the 
report of the tirst voyage of the brigantine, which is evidently the 
work of an eye-witness, shows that it was written by a member of 
that expedition, but not by Ortega nor Galtego. It proves that 
among the rank and file of the expedition there was at least one 
educated man with high powers of observation. A French trans- 
lation was published by Edouard Charton in 1854 {Voyageurs 
Anciens el Modtmes'). Our translation was made from a transcript 
furnished by M. de Lisle, the Director of the Bibliolhfeque 
Nationale in Paris. 

(6) The narrative of Gomez !!"■[«>] Catoira, This manuscript, 
written in a sixteenth-century hand, and very difficult to decipher, 
as may be judged from the facsimile in vol. ii, is in the British 
Museum {^Add. MS. No. 9,944)- It was purchased in 1835 by 
the Trustees from Mr. Obadiah Rich ( 1 783-1 850), who was Consul 
in Spain for the United States, and made a valuable collecrion of 
MSS., which he sold in 1835, when he settled in London at 
12, Red Lion Square. The greater part of his manuscripts had 
been collected by MuOoz for his Historia del Nuevo Mundo, of 
which one volume only was published. Mufioz gave them to Don 
Antonio de Uguina, an intimate friend of Navarrete, whom he 
furnished with many of the materials for his ColUccion de Viagts 
de los EspaHoles. At his death they were purchased by M. 
Teraaux Compans, of Paris, who sold them to Mr. Rich. 

Catoira was Chief Purser of the Fleet, and its official chronicler. 
Though parts of his narrative are identical with that of Mendafla, 


who perhaps copied from him, his account of the natives is more 
full of gossip and detail 

(7) As a specimen of the wild stories respecting the Solomon 
Islands that were current in Peru after the return of Mendafia, we 
have included a translation of a manuscript in the Egerton 
Collection (No. 1,816, fol. 223) in the British Museum, itself a 
transcript of an older manuscript "in very old writing," but 
undated, which seems to have been taken down by a Captain 
Francisco de Cadres from the mouth of an aged South Sea 
Islander, named Chepo. This man may or may not have been 
one of the six Solomon Islanders brought by Mendafia to Peru ; 
in any case he richly deserved the fate that was promised if he 
swerved from the truth. From internal evidence, we judge the 
manuscript to date from the first quarter of the seventeenth 

There are many points of difference in the narratives, 
but there are no contradictions ; and although Sarmiento's 
narrative, the Paris manuscript, and Mendafta's memorial 
to the king are all condensed and abridged, each contains 
some incident omitted in the others. In order, therefore, 
to present a connected story, we have been obliged to 
include a general summary of the voyage in this Intro- 
duction. The most important manuscripts are those of 
Gallego and Catoira. As Chief Pilot, or as we should 
call him, Navigating Officer, Gallego generally dismisses 
matters unconnected with his professional duties in the 
fewest words, enlarging rather upon such technical points 
as observations and compass bearings. Indeed, so careful 
is he about the latter that he defeats his object, for he 
generally gives the double bearings, but in so complicated 
a fashion that some of them are quite unintelligible. The 
confusion is worse confounded by the fact that his narra- 
tive was taken down from dictation,^ and that the word 
Sudoeste (south-west) may easily have been mistaken for 
Sudeste (south-east) by a careless amanuensis. Com- 
position and penmanship, on the other hand, were Catoira*s 
profession, and to compile a faithful account of all that 

1 See pp. 1 1 and 36. 


he saw and heard was an important part of his duty. 
That he was well fitted for the task will be admitted by 
all who read his admirably detailed account of expeditions, 
such as the voyages of the brigantine, in which he did not 
himself take part. He took great interest in the customs 
and habits of the natives and the natural products of the 
country, matters that did not greatly concern Gallego; 
and his narrative is therefore by far the more interesting of 
the two. But the one is the complement of the other. 
Without Gallego*s careful observations we should have 
been unable to identify the places visited ; without Catoira 
we should know but little of the habits of the natives of 
those remote days. 

It is highly probable that Figueroa* had access to 
Mendafta's report, if not to Catoira's, as well as to 
Gallego's, for he mentions occurrences, such as the death 
of some of the crew at Estrella Bay, and the heaving- 
down of the ships at San Christoval, which are not found 
in Gallego, besides agreeing with Mendafta and Catoira 
in the number of the brigantine's crew. 

The Adventurers. 

Alvaro de Mendana de Neyra^ was born in the 
province of la Corufla, or Lugo, about 1542, and was 
therefore twenty-five years old when appointed to the 
command of this expedition. Nothing is known of his 
youth, but it is probable that he came to Peru in the train 
of his uncle, Castro, who was appointed President of the 
Chancery Court and Governor of Peru in 1 564. He seems 
to have been a man of humanity and a sympathy with 

* Hechos de Don Garcia Hurtado de Mendoza^ Madrid, 161 3. 

'It was not uncommon at this period for persons to be called after 
their place of birth, to distinguish them from others of the same name. 
There are five parishes named Neyra in the province of Lugo. 


natives rare enough in those days, and of a policy and 
self-restraint far beyond his years. With his ships' com- 
panies on half rations, he yet forbore to make raids upon 
the natives, despite the provocation of their unreasoning 
hostility, choosing rather to be guided by the humane 
advice of his chaplains. As in most of the Spanish 
expeditions of the sixteenth century, discipline was very 
lax, and at several points in the voyage it wanted but 
little for grumbling to break out into open mutiny. But 
Mendana knew when it was necessary to give way. He 
left the question of colonizing the islands to the vote of 
the majority — soldiers, sailors and all ; he allowed the 
pilots to steer for California against his own judgment ; 
but when to obey the will of the majority would have 
brought the whole expedition to destruction, as in the 
dispute about turning back to the Philippines when within 
a few days' sail of California, he knew how to be firm, and 
how to use his eloquence to good purpose. That his 
frequent concessions to his subordinates were due to no 
vacillation of character, is proved by the extraordinary 
patience with which he afterwards pursued his project of 
colonizing his discoveries in the face of every obstacle of 
official indifference and the persecution of private enemies ; 
and he never wavered in his purpose for twenty-eight years 
It was hard that such a man should have lived only just 
long enough to know that the crowning enterprise on 
which he had spent his life and his fortune was to end 
in disaster. 

Hernan Gallego was a man of a different stamp. 
Reared in the province of la Corufta, probably on a part 
of the coast within sight of the little island of Sesarga, he 
went to sea at a very early age. Nothing is known of 
his youth, but there is a passage in his narrative which 
indicates that he was promoted to the rank of pilot when 
he had been fifteen years at sea. In those days an efficient 


navigator can scarcely have failed to be employed in 
taking a vessel to the Indies ; and he must already have 
won a reputation for knowledge of the Pacific coast when, 
in 1557, Ladrilleros selected him and his brother Pedro 
as pilots for the two ships despatched from Valdivia 
under his command to explore the coast of Chile as far as 
the Strait of Magellan. The expedition was disastrous : 
seventy persons of the crews perished, and the remnant 
had barely strength to make the homeward voyage. For 
the next ten years Gallego seems to have pursued his 
profession as a pilot on the Pacific coast, where he was 
known at ports as far north as Santiago de Colima. He 
had something more than the education of his class, for 
his narrative, though devoid of literary merit, shows some 
qualities of observation and description. More than once 
the vessels owed their preservation to his extraordinary 
skill in handling them among a network of reefs on their 
lee; and he was the designer, builder, and navigator of 
the little brigantine with which most of the discoveries 
were made. The confidence which Mendafta reposed in 
him gave great offence to Pedro Sarmiento, who con- 
ceived for him the jealousy of the amateur for the pro- 

Our knowledge of his subsequent career is much con- 
fused by the fact that the famous navigator who accom- 
panied Pedro Sarmiento as Pilot in his first voyage to 
Magellan Straits, and who made over his great estate of 
Longotoma to the Augustine Friars of Chile, in 1606, was 
also named Hernan Gallego, or Hernan Gallegos Lamero.^ 
It is at least a remarkable coincidence that there should 
have been two contemporary navigators, both in the king's 
service, both accounted the most skilful pilots of their time 

^ He is sometimes also referred to as Lamero Gallegos, and some- 
times as Hernan Lamero. 


on the Pacific coast, and both bearing the name of Hernan 
Gallego; while none of the writers who refer to them 
thought it necessary to distinguish between them. And 
yet, if they were one and the same, we should have to 
believe that Gallego lived to 92, and commanded a ship at 
85. In the narrative here translated, Gallego says " I have 
been 45 years at sea, and 30 of them a pilot, yet never 
have I seen such a storm." If this was written in 1569, 
immediately after the return (and Mendafta refers to the 
narrative in his own report made not later than September, 
1 569), Gallego must have been born, at least as early as 
1 5 14. It is possible, however, that the passage in question 
may have been written some years after the author's 
return, and that it referred to the date at which he was 
writing. We first hear of Lamero in 1578, when Drake 
captured a small merchant vessel belonging to him. He 
suffered under a general accusation of giving false reports 
of his voyages; and, by an inaccurate report of this adven- 
ture, he induced the Viceroy to despatch Sarmiento on his 
abortive pursuit of Drake to Panama, at a cost of 4,000 
dollars.^ In later life, his title of Almirante, at first self- 
assumed, seems to have been publicly recognised. 

In two shipwrecks on the Pacific coast, a Hernan 
Gallego was cast away. In his account of Chile, written in 
1649, Alonso de Ovalle wrote: "The third river is called 
the Gallegos, from a Spaniard of that name who sailed 
along these coasts, and, like another Icarus, gave his 
name to one of them by being drowned in the sea hard by 
it, at a Cape which has the same name."* The geographer 
Lopez de Velasco, writing in 1 571-4, speaks of the Puerto 
de Hernan Gallegos in 48^ deg., and in Espinoza's Geo- 
graphy of Chile (1897), Cape Gallegos is placed in 46 deg. 

^ Historia de Valparaiso,^ by B. Vicuna Mackenna, Valparaiso, 1872. 
' Churchiirs Voyages, 


35 min., on the west side of the peninsula of Tres 
Montes. If the name had been bestowed when Velasco 
wrote in 1571, it follows that this shipwreck occurred about 

From the curious volume of MS. charts called "The 
Buccaneers' Atlas," or " South-Sea Waggoner/'^ we repro- 
duce a little plan recording the fact that in 1590, Her- 
nando Gallegos, Pilot, was cast away in the ship San 
Niego, on the shoals at the mouth of the River Zana.* 

The expression " cast away" does not necessarily imply 
drowning, and this Hernan Gallegos may have survived 
the wreck, to endow the Augustine Friars with his estate 
in 1606. 

If Ovalle was right, it is probable that Hernan Gallego 
lost his life in the south of Chile, within two years of his 
return from the Solomons ; but if he was merely guessing 
at the derivation of the name, " Puerto de Gallegos," the 
discoverer of the Solomon Islands may have ended his 
career, at the River Sana, in the wreck of "the galleon 
that abounded in treasure." The question is not, perhaps, 
of great importance. 

Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa was destined to become 
one of the most celebrated navigators of the sixteenth cen- 

1 " The Buccaneers' Atlas," an account of the coast from the port of 
Acapulco to the Straits of Lemaire,by William Hack, 1692, consists of 
a curious set of coloured charts. It was bought by Sir James Bate- 
man, of the South Sea Company, from William Hill, who, in an auto- 
graph letter dated December 3rd, 17 11, thus describes it: — " There is 
a large laborious omamentall guilt booke of mine with a redde cover 
in your office at Broad Streete, called the South Sea Waggoner, being 
ye long experience of ye famous Bucknere, Captain Barth Sharpe, and 
of an ancient French captain that hee tooke with his booke, maps, and 
papers, who had used those seas 70 yeares, being all in ye said 
booke, composed and depicted by one Captain William Hack, 
deceased, of whom I, about 18 yeares ago, purchased ye said booke 
and paid him £70 for ye same." The book was sold lately by Mr. 
Quaritch for £^. 

' Sana river, 1 5^ miles south of Eten Point, which is in about 7 deg. 
S. lat. 




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tury. From the records of the Inquisition,^ we learn that he 
was born at Alcala de Henares about 1532, and brought 
up at Pontevedra, near the western coast of Galicia. He 
entered the army at the age of eighteen, and having served 
in the European wars from 1550 to 1555, crossed over to 
the Indies to seek his fortune in 1557. After two years 
spent in Mexico and Guatemala, he went to Peru. For the 
next seven years he devoted himself to the study of 
native Peruvian history, which afterwards bore fruit in his 
memorial to Philip II on the Antiquities of the Incas, 
written to prove that they, the Incas themselves, were 
usurpers, and had no title to empire in Peru. He seems to 
have been on intimate terms with the household of the 
Viceroys, the Marquis de Caftete and the Conde de 
Nieva. On the arrival of Mendafta's uncle. Lope Garcia de 
Castro, as Governor of Peru, after the mysterious assassi- 
nation of the Conde de Nieva, Sarmiento fell into the 
clutches of the Holy Office. There were questions of a 
magic ink that he knew of, which no woman, receiving 
a love-letter written with it, could withstand, and of two 
magic rings engraved in Chaldean characters. For these 
high crimes, despite of convincing proof of innocence, he 
was sentenced to hear Mass in the Cathedral, stripped to 
the bare skin, and to perpetual banishment from the Indies ; 
but upon appeal to the Pope the second portion of the 
sentence was remitted. It was many years, however, before 
he was freed from the persecutions of the Holy Office. 
His after-life, as well as the matters that had procured for 
him the attention of the Inquisitors, show him to have 
possessed some mathematical attainments, and a turn for 
inquiry and invention. It was he who first announced 

* Histofia del Tribunal del Santa Officio de la Inyuisicion en Chile^ 
por Don Jose Toribo Medina, Santiago, 1890, voL 1, p. 310. Quoted 
by Sir Clements Markham, who has written an excellent account of 
Sarmiento's life in No. XCI of the Hakluyt Society's volumes. 


that Tupac Inca Yupanqui had discovered islands in the 
Western Ocean, and persuaded the governor to despatch 
the expedition here described. 

He was a difficult subordinate. Warped by jealousy of 
Gallego's influence with his commander, he was disloyal 
and disobedient throughout the voyage. In his expedition 
to the interior of Ysabel Island, he showed exaggerated 
caution, and a rough-handed manner with the natives 
that foreshadowed the cruelties which he afterwards prac- 
tised in Peru. 

On the homeward voyage Mendafia sent him in the 
AhnirantUy which parted company with her consort, as it 
was believed, with intention ; and at Realejo, whether on 
this account, or because he declared his intention of bringing 
charges against his commander, he was left behind. He 
was destined himself later to know the evil that may be 
wrought by a mutinous subordinate. 

In November, 1569, Castro being relieved by the new 
Viceroy, Don Francisco de Toledo, Sarmiento returned to 
Peru, and was at once restored to favour. Confronted with 
Mendafia, both before the Viceroy and the Royal Audience, 
he appears to have justified his conduct — no difficult matter 
now that Mendafta's uncle was superseded. Toledo, being 
resolved to sweep away the Inca family, found a ready 
tool in Sarmiento, who pursued Tupac Amaru, the last of 
the Incas, into the mountains, and captured him with his 
own hand. Thus he was the instrument of perhaps the 
foulest judicial murder in the whole of the Spanish annals. 
The young Inca was executed in the public square of Cuzco, 
despite the protests of the most influential Spaniards and 
the execration of the natives. Sarmiento felt no remorse ; 
for nine years afterwards he advised the King to continue 
the persecution of the survivors of the Inca family.* But 

^ Thomar, quoted by Sir Clements Markham (Hakluyt Soc, No. 
XCI, p. xix). 


Efrom that day the curse of the murdered Incas lay heavy 
Won him, and brought all his enterprises to destruction. 

Sarmiento was now employed to prepare a map and a 

history of the Incas for transmission to the King, being, 

as the Viceroy wrote, " the most able man on this subject 

that I have found in the country."' But the persecution 

, of the Holy Office was resumed ; Sarmiento was accused 

I of possessing certain astronomical rings — doubtless instru- 

Lments for navigation— which the Inquisitors took for the 

Itools of necromancy. The former sentence of banishment 

I was confirmed; and, being further found guilty of showing 

I the palm of his hand to an old woman, he was imprisoned 

l)!n November, 1575, and again sentenced to banishment 

■ But the Viceroy, Toledo, ordered his release, and restored 

Ifaim to the King's service under his special protection. 

In February, 1579, Drake reached Callao, and acting 
I upon inaccurate information from Hernan Gallego 
Lamero, whose ship Drake had captured, the Viceroy 
despatched Sarmiento as far as Panama in pursuit. On 
his return from this unsuccessful quest, he was placed in 
command of an expedition to fortify the Strait of 
Magellan, and to intercept Drake on his return. His 
survey of the Strait has received high praise from modern 
English surveyors. 

On his arrival in Spain, a powerful fleet was equipped 
Lto fortify and found settlements in the Strait ; and with 
Kthese objects in view, a number of colonists embarked with 
their families. Sarmiento was now to learn the bitterness 
of working with disloyal lieutenants, and perhaps to 
remember the evil part he himself had played in 
Mendafla's expedition: for the command of the fleet was 
entrusted to an incompetent and cowardly officer, Diego 

itly been discovered in the library of G611- 


Flores de Valdes, who did his best to wreck the expedition 
from the outset. Taking the fact that Sarmiento had 
quarrelled in turn with Mendafia, with Villalobos, and with 
Flores, we may conclude that, stout seaman and skilled 
navigator as he was, he lacked one quality essential to 
success — the faculty of working amicably with others. 
After founding his settlements, he was captured by one of 
Grenville's ships in 1586, and taken prisoner to England, 
where he was presented to Sir Walter Raleigh and to 
Queen Elizabeth, who furnished him with money and a 
passport to Spain ; but he was taken prisoner near 
Bayonne by the Vicomte de Bearne, a French Huguenot, 
and held to heavy ransom. When he was released in 1589, 
broken in health and prematurely aged by ill-treatment, 
the Spanish Armada had been defeated. It is not certain 
what became of him, for it is doubtful whether the Pedro 
Sarmiento who was living in Manilla in 1608 was the 
same man. 

Pedro de Ortega was a native of Guadalcanal, in the 
province of Valencia, and had been Alguacil-Mayor of 
Panama. He was rated as Maestro de Campo^ and in that 
capacity he led the expedition that scaled the dividing 
range of Ysabel Island. He commanded the brigantine 
in her first voyage, and on the whole he seems to have 
treated the natives with humanity. At Guadalcanal, 
and during the homeward voyage, he commanded the 
Almirantay and sometimes he showed a restive and inde- 
pendent spirit He was at the point of death when the 
ship reached Mexico, but eventually he recovered. 

Hernando Henriquez, the Alferez-General, was the 
only person in the expedition who was accorded the title 
of Don. He commanded the brigantine in her second 
voyage, and treated the natives with a humanity and 
moderation that incensed Gallego, even leaving payment 
for the provisions which he took from his aggressors. He 


Was at the point of death when the ships reached the 
Mexican coast. 


The Voyage. 

In the Capitana sailed Mendafla, Gallego, Sarmiento, 
and Catoira; in the Almiranta, Ortega; the complement of 
one hundred and fifty men, including seventy soldiers, four 
Franciscan friars, and a number of black slaves, being 
distributed between the two vessels. They left Callao on 
Wednesday, November 19th, 1567, and steered west-south- 
west, for twenty-six days, until they reached S. lat, 15 deg. 
30 min. ; because the Viceroy, on Sarmiento 's representa- 
tion, had said that "in 15 degrees of latitude there were 
many rich islands, 6cxD leagues from Peru."' 

Despairing of finding land in this latitude, Gallego 
recommended a more northerly course, and the ships were 
headed north-west, despite the protest of Pedro Sarmiento, 
who had already fallen out with Mendafla for not stopping 
three weeks earlier to investigate a cloud-bank, which some 
soldiers had mistaken for land ; and who, relying upon 
some assurance given him by the Viceroy, claimed the 
right of being consulted in the navigation. From thence- 
forward he seems to have been blinded by jealousy of 
Gallego, whose advice Mendafla was wise enough to take 
on every occasion, and to have headed a party of grumblers, 

' We are indebted to Colonel G. Earl Church for the following; 
identilicalioii of the places from which Gallego took his bearings In 
this part of the voyage. 

El Morro de Hac<iriqw.—\ii^x'\, formerly Hacari ; lat. 15 deg. 40 
min, S., on the west side of Cape Lomas. It takes its name from the 
town of Acari, twenty-seven miles inland. 

AUquipara /"(«'«/.— Alequi pa Valley lies in lat. IJ deg. 50111111. S., 
frith a difficult boat landing on the coasL 

El Morr6 de la A'n/Za.— Doubtless a corruption of Morro de la 
Cha]a,in lat. isde^. 55 min. S., 3,740 feet above sea-leveL Port Chala, 
' twelve miles East, is the nearest port to Cuico. 

Puerto de la Ntifidad.— In iq dee. 10 min. N. lat. 

C 2 


who would doubtless have broken out into open mutiny 
but for the tact of the young commander. 

A week later, on December 21st, they passed to the 
southward of the Marquesas, which Mendafta was destined 
to discover twenty-seven years later. On December 30th 
the patience of the pilots was exhausted, and Gallego could 
only pacify them by promising to bring them to land before 
the end of January. They held a north-westerly course 
until they reached the latitude of 6 deg. south, where the 
full force of the westerly current was in their favour ; and 
they ran down this latitude, passing a few miles to the 
north of the Union group. Gallego's prophecy was ful- 
filled. On January 15th they sighted an island which may 
be identified by the description with Nukufetau, one of the 
Ellice group. They had now been sixty-two days at sea ; 
their water had become tainted, and they were all eager to 
set foot upon their new discovery. But Gallego, doubting 
that so insignificant an island as this coral atoll could 
support life, did not care to incur the risk of bringing the 
ships to anchor at a place which he believed to be unin- 
habited, and neglected to obey Mendafta's orders until 
they had fallen to leeward. He was quickly undeceived. 
Canoes put off from the shore, manned by people " who 
were naked and mulattoes," the ancestors of the Micro- 
nesian population of the present time ; who would not 
approach the ship, but put out flags and lighted fires, 
apparently for the protection of their island.^ It will sur- 
prise no one who has experienced the force of the current 
among these islands to read that, once having fallen to lee- 
ward, the Spanish ships lost ground in every tack they 
made while endeavouring to approach the land. Even 

^ Dr. R. H. Codrington thinks that it must have been from these 
natives that the Spaniards heard the word Tauriqui (Te ariki), for 
chief, since the word does not belonjj to the group of languages in 
which the dialects of Ysabel Island are included. 


modern trading schooners, bound for an island only 
IS miles to windward, have to run to 5 deg. N. to find an 
easterly current, occupying eight or nine days over the 
voyage. The natural indignation of the crew against 
GalJego for having cheated them of the fruits of their dis- 
covery was scarcely appeased by his assurance that he 
would give them " more land than they could people." 
Seventeen days later.they narrowly escaped shipwreck on 
an extensive reef, which lay right athwart their course. It 
being Candlemas Eve, the reef was called Candelaria — a 
name which has been assigned, as we think wrongly, to the 
Roncador Shoal. Though Mendafia and Catoira mention 
a reef only, Gallego says that there were "several small 
islands lying in the midst of it ;" and adds that it was 
1 5 leagues across. This description will apply only to the 
Lord Howe Islands, named Ongtong Java byTasman, and 
lately ceded to England by Germany under the Samoa 
Convention. If the Spaniards had explored the islands, 
they would have thrown light upon an interesting page in 
Polynesian ethnology : for the islands are now inhabited 
by the descendants of Polynesian castaways, who have the 
language and some of the customs of their light-coloured 
ancestors, combined with a Melanesian physique ; and 
there is no clue to the date of this infusion of alien 

The ships now encountered what appears to have been 
the outer edge of a cyclone — a rare, though not an unre- 
corded, occurrence in this latitude. Drifting southward all 
the while without knowing it, they spent the next six days 
in fruitless endeavours to regain the reef ; until, on February 
7th, Gallego descried land, and the crews of both vessels, 
transported with delight, sang the Te Deum. It was Ysabel 
Island, the most central of the Solomon group ; but the 
land seemed so mountainous and so limitless, that they 
believed it to be a continent. The natives came off at 


once in canoes " shaped like a crescent moon" (the canoes 
shown in our illustrations), and " went about the ship, care- 
fully seeking something to steal, and if they found anything 
left about, they quickly threw it overboard, for the others 
to pick up from the canoes ;" which is precisely the beha- 
viour of their descendants of to-day. They readily pro- 
nounced the Spanish words they overheard, even shouting 
" Afuera ! " (Away!) to the Spaniards afterwards, when they 
wished to prevent them from exploring their country ; and 
the tauriqui Bilebanara exchanged names with Mendafia 
in token of friendship, just as natives were wont to do all 
over the Pacific. 

As they approached the shore, the ships became en- 
tangled in the barrier reef on the north side of Ysabel 
Island ; and, but for the courage and resource of Gallego, 
who boldly sailed them over this coral patch into deep 
water, they would probably have been lost. As they 
gathered way in this dangerous course, they saw the planet 
Venus over the main topsail at ten o'clock in the morning ; 
and, taking it for the star sent to guide the Magi (not 
knowing that it is a common phenomenon in these seas), 
they named the harbour Bahia de la Estrella, the name 
which has now been restored to it They called the island 
after the patron saint of the voyage, Santa Ysabel, on 
whose day they had set out from Callao. With the piety 
that distinguished the Spanish adventurers of that day, 
their first act was to land and erect a cross and bow 
before it, while the Franciscans chanted the hymn Vexilla 
Regis Prodeunt 

That same afternoon Gallego landed his carpenter's crew 
to fell timber for the building of a brigantine, in which to 
explore the coast without endangering the ships. A portion 
of the materials had been brought with them from Callao ; 
the rest had to be felled and sawn, and used green as it 


Meanwhile, several exploring expeditions were under- 
taken in the neighbourhood of the bay, The chief, Bile- 
banara, who had been profuse in assurances, failed to give 
them the practical proof of his friendship which they most 
desired — an ample supply of food. The fact was that the 
food planted by the natives, though more than sufficient for 
their own needs, was not equal to meeting in addition the 
unexpected demands of a hundred and fifty hungry sailors ; 
and Bilebanara had no other end in view but to disarm 
the hostility of the strangers, and to induce them to leave 
him alone. For a parallel to the political morcelkment of 
Melanesia, we may look the world through in vain. Every 
petty tribal unit inhabiting a few square miles spoke a 
dialect that was almost a different language, and was at 
perpetual enmity with its neighbours. Every stranger was 
an enemy, whom it was a virtue to slay. Head-hunting 
. canoes from other islands ranged the coast, attacking all 

■ who were not strong enough to repel them. Bilebanara 

■ was at war with Meta, his near neighbour to the eastward ; 

■ and, though they both admitted some sort of suzerainty in 
I Beneboncfa, the chief of St. George's Island, the intercourse 
t was so restricted that the natives on the south side of the 
Misland, not thirty miles from Estrella Bay, had not heard of 

the Spaniards, nor of the dread power of their arquebuses. 
I It was the same thirty years ago, with this difference : 
that the powerful tribe of Benebonefa has vanished, its 
remnant having passed in this generation into the maw of 
the head-hunters of New Georgia and Vella Lavella ; and 
Estrella Bay, which then swarmed with natives, is now 
desolate. The language of Bilebanara is still spoken, but 
by mountaineers of the hinterland, who now use many of 
the words which were taken down from the lips of their 
. ancestors by the Spaniards, more than three centuries ago. 
When two days had passed without a visit from Bile- 
lanara, Ortega was sent inland to find him. The natives 


received him coldly ; but, seeing that he made no attempt 
to push into the interior, abstained from attacking him. 
Mendafla now summoned a meeting of his officers and his 
chaplain, about which we, who are accustomed to regard 
the Spaniards of the sixteenth century as monsters of 
inhumanity in their relations with natives, cannot read 
without surprise. He pointed out that a fourth part of 
the provisions had been consumed ; and that, although the 
natives had been friendly, and had promised to barter 
food, yet they would not do so ; that it was necessary to 
the success of the expedition that food should be pro- 
cured ; and he sought counsel of the Vicar, in order that 
he might do nothing to burden the consciences of himself 
and his soldiers. The Vicar's reply breathes a spirit of 
humanity and good sense that is often lacking in the 
explorers of our own day. They were free, he said, to go 
inland in search of provisions, paying for them in articles 
of barter; and, if the natives refused to trade, they might 
take food in moderation, but not in such quantities as to 
cause distress to the natives. They were not to touch any- 
thing else, nor to commit any act of violence ; and if the 
natives attacked them, they were to act on the defensive, 
and abstain from reprisals. 

Acting upon this sane advice, Mendaha despatched 
Pedro Sarmiento with twenty-two men to scale the ridge 
that formed the watershed of the island, and see what lay 
beyond. He was to trade with the natives, but not to take 
anything by force if they refused it. The expedition was 
a failure : the natives opposed the Spaniards in force at the 
foot of the range, and they spent a miserable night on the 
bank of a river, in the rain, discharging arquebuses every 
fifteen minutes throughout the night to keep the natives 
at a distance. Hearing from the natives that before him 
lay the territory of a great chief called Benebonefa (who 
afterwards proved to be the chief of St. George's Island at 



the south-east end of Ysabel), Sarmiento lost heart, and 
turned back to the ships, with Bilebanara and his uncle, 
Havi, as guides. They were dogged by a large force of 
natives, who behaved threateningly, shouting the Spanish 
word " Afuera" (Away !), and fitting their arrows to the 
bowstring, Sarmiento, thereupon, hoping to keep Bile- 
banara as a hostage, caught hold of the shield suspended 
from his neck, but the chief ducked his head, and escaped. 
Havi, however, was secured, but that did not protect the 
Spaniards from attack. A soldier, Fernando Gallo, had 
his hand transfixed by an arrow ; several natives were 
wounded by arquebus shots, Sarmiento himself despatching 
one of them with his sword ; but the Spaniards fought their 
way to the beach without the loss of a man. 

Mendai'^a was naturally much chagrined at the breach 
of his instructions, and on February 2ist he ordered 
Sarmiento to restore the chief to his friends, together 
with a number of things that the soldiers had carried 
away in defiance of his orders. The natives behaved 
exactly as might be expected of them. They received 
Havi with great rejoicing, shouting to the Spaniards to 
sit down and extinguish the matches of their arquebuses, 
and they would bring them food in payment for their chief 
They set down the food at a distance, but could not be 
induced to venture within range of the firearms. Two 
small expeditions were now despatched east and west 
along the coast for some twelve or fifteen miles. They 
found the shore westward of Estrella Bay uninhabited, as 
it is to this day. being "steep-to," and unsuited to settle- 
ment ; but eastward of the bay it was densely populated, 
a contrast to its present condition. 

On March 4lh, Pedro de Ortega made an ascent of the 
main range with an escort of sixty men. They found the 
people of Bilebanara friendly, but when they began to climb 
the mountain, they encountered an inland tribe determined 


to oppose their advance ; nevertheless, they pushed on to 
a village perched upon a high ridge, where they captured 
and secured the chief as hostage, just as he was attempting 
to get behind Ortega, the favourite position for attack. 
The natives having fled to the bush, the Spaniards occu- 
pied their houses for the night Here occurred an in- 
cident which proved that friendly intercourse existed 
between the mountaineers and the coast people. One of 
Bilebanara's men who had been to the ships, and had 
exchanged names with Don Henriquez, approached alone, 
and behaved with such insolence that they tied him up 
beside the tauriqui: he escaped next day, after boldly 
attempting to wrest an arquebus from the soldier who 
guarded him. After very arduous climbing and desultory 
fighting with the natives, they reached the summit of the 
range, whence they had a view of the sea on the south 
side of the island, their prisoner subsequently confirming 
their conclusions by drawing a map in the dust, and indica- 
ting the enclosed space as caba (land), and the unenclosed 
as sina (sea). That night the prisoner escaped, and the 
Spaniards, having again obtained a view of the sea from a 
higher point, set out to return to the ships. They were at 
once attacked by a large body of natives, but, in obedi- 
ence to Mendafta's humane orders, they continued to fire 
in the air, setting fire to huts and temples in the hope of 
delaying the enemy. Of two soldiers who were wounded 
by arrows, one died afterwards of tetanus. The killing of 
a native with an arquebus-shot at last checked the attack, 
and the Spaniards found Bilebanara's people waiting for 
them with propitiatory offerings of food, though many of 
them had been recognised as taking part in the attack. 
The Vicar, Galvez, and another friar accompanied this ex- 
pedition at Ortega*s request, to advise him what course to 
take in any hostilities that might arise with the natives; 
and we are told that the Vicar was " much edified at the 


good Christian purpose" displayed by the commander, who, 
it must be confessed, behaved with great humanity even 
when judged by a modern standard, seeing that he suffered 
two casualties before he permitted any retaliation. 

There is one very puzzling passage in this part of the 
narratives. We are told that besides snakes, lizards, and 
scorpions, two or three sabandijas (? reptiles) were found in 
each of the temples, in their nests, and that the natives 
fed and worshipped them. The Spaniards also found them 
hung upon sticks in the houses near the fireplaces, and at 
night they sang like birds, and unlike other snakes; and 
one of them bit a soldier, who trod upon it, without sub- 
sequent hurt.^ 

A few days later, while Mendafla was on shore, superin- 
tending the building of the brigantine, seven war canoes 
approached, and presented him with the quarter of a boy, 
together with some taro roots : probably the only instance 
in the history of the Pacific of Europeans being invited to 
take part in cannibalism — a custom which the natives 
appear instinctively to conceal from strangers. The 
Spaniards were much shocked, and they buried the limb 
in sight of their visitors, who had been on a head-hunting 
expedition at an island 20 leagues distant. They came 
from a district or island to the westward, so their chief 
" Bene " could not have been the Bencbonefa of St. 
George's Island. They went off to Hakelaki Island, then 
called Cuia, and lighted a large fire, from which the Span- 
iards drew the natural inference: the island is described 
by Mr. Woodford as "just the place for a cannibal feast." 

Bilebanara, whose houses and temples had been spared 
by Ortega, now made friendly overtures, and voluntarily 
sent a hostage named "Diabolico" to the ships, asking 

' Dr. Welchman says Ihal the green tree-frogs are soinelitnes kept 
tied by the legs to sticks, for the sake of their piping, which may 
easily be misiakeii for the note of a night bird. 


for a Spanish hostage in exchange. While the point was 
in debate, a slave-boy called Terejo jumped into a canoe, 
and wrung from Mendafia a reluctant consent to his going. 
When he had been two days and a night away from the 
ships, a culverin was fired as a signal, and shortly after- 
wards he met his commander upon the beach. He was 
quite sorry to leave the natives, who had made a pet of 
him, setting their best before him, and plying him with 
questions until far into the night 

As a proof of this restored friendship, Mendana under- 
took to help Bilebanara in his feud with the common enemy, 
Meta. To the Spaniards, who had had rude experience of 
the native method of warfare, it was not a congenial enter- 
prise ; and, when Bilebanara failed to appear at the head 
of his warriors, the Spaniards eagerly seized upon the 
excuse to dismiss all their allies but six, and to make the 
attack unaided. They left on March i8th, under Pedro de 
Ortega ; but the Spaniards were too solicitous for Bileban- 
ara's welfare after their departure to make any serious 
assault upon his adversary. They contented themselves 
with capturing Meta*s son and three other natives, to serve 
as interpreters. Bilebanara now came off to the ships in 
state, made submission to the King of Spain, and forswore 
cannilMilism. The account of his behaviour, left us by 
McndaAa and his Chief Purser, is most vivid and minute. 
KvtMVthiiig was done to win his confidence, except the 
!<uuvMulor of the four prisoners, which he most desired ; 
^ikI which Mendana, with the cannibal feast fresh in his 
irKHXKMy. ourtly refused. 

IX'' Nijsantinc was launched on April 4th, fifty-four days 
M\srt ^^^" tollinjj of the first tree for her timbers, and 
^.>iK<VN\$ the Stwtiago, Her career was scarcely less 
^^«^v<'^^V than that of two other little vessels, built in the 
>s>*o> ^^i NxA«\ts. which have left their mark in the history 
.^.Mc^xVAWcry— the schooner built by the Bounty 


mutineers, which, manned by bluejackets from the frigate 
Pandora, was the first European vessel to anchor in the 
Fiji Islands ; and the Messenger of Peace, built by the mis- 
sionary, John Williams, of native timber, without nails, 
paint, canvas, or caulking, which spread Christianity 
through Eastern Polynesia. The brigantine was undecked, 
and just large enough to carry thirty men with their arma- 
ment and stores ; that is to say, of about four or five tons 
burden. She mounted a small culverin, and she was pro- 
tected against attack by " waist-cloths " or boarding net- 
tings. Pedro de Ortega was placed in command of her, 
with Gallcgo as his pilot ; and among the seamen and 
soldiers was one who wrote the admirable anonymous 
report of her first cruise which is incorporated in Men- 
dafia's narrative. Without her the Spaniards must inevit- 
ably have perished in the Solomon Islands ; for, as Gallego 
pointed out in his answer to Sarmiento's protest against the 
boat voyage, it would have been madness to take the 
clumsy ships out of their safe anchorage in Estrella Bay, to 
beat about in a network of reefs without knowing in what 
direction anchorage could be found. 

First Voyage of the Brigantine. 
Ortega's instructions were to steer eastward in search of 
the lost continent pronounced by Sarmiento to lie south of 
the Isle of Jesus ; but as soon as Gallego had tested the 
seaworthy qualities of his little craft, he wisely resolved to 
cross no open sea in her. Sailing on Apri! 7th, they coasted 
until they made the eastern point of Ysabel, whence they 
stood across to the Gela^ group, named Florida in the 
modern charts. From the point of Ysabel they sighted 
Malaita, which they named Isla de Ramos. The native 
name Mala is the same to-day as it was then ; but, as in 

' Pronounced " Nngela.'' 

X5dx IMTkobOcttoM; 

the case of Tahiti, where Cook mistook the article " ** 
for a part of the name, and called it Otaheite, the Spaniards 
set down Mala eta (** There is Mala **) as Malaita ; and their 
mistake has been perpetuated by modern cartographers. 

Mr. Woodford has been at pains to identify the islands 
in the Gela (Florida) group visited by the brigantine ; and, 
with the advantage of having the journals of Catoira and 
Gallego on the spot, he has come to a different conclusion 
from that of Dr. Guppy^ (see p. 30, note). But even his 
identification leaves the island of Tanakula unaccounted 
for. It is clear, however, that after a sanguinary encounter 
with the natives of Olevunga on Easter Day, the Spaniards 
left the group by the Sandfly passage, and stood across 
for Guadalcanar,^ passing the volcanic island of Savo a few 
miles on their starboard hand. The volcano was then in 
eruption, as it has been more than once during the present 
century ; and, reminded by its outline of an island that lay 
opposite his Galician home, a little westward of la Corufia, 
Gallego named it Sesarga. It happened that Lord 
Amherst had Catoira's narrative on board his yacht when 
he was cruising along the Galician coast in 1879, and he 
bore up to Sesarga, when one of his daughters made a 
hasty sketch of the island. This was immediately recog- 
nised by the coastguard at la Coruna. The white line, 
"which appears to be a road descending from the top 
to the sea,*'* was conspicuous, and the general similarity 
of appearance may be judged by comparing the sketch of 
Sesarga with that of Savo drawn by Mr. C. M. Woodford, 
and shown in the illustration facing p. 30. This island, 
the only volcano in the group, was an important clue to 

^ TA^ Solomon Islands^ pp. 207, 274. 

' The proper Spanish spelling, Guadalcanal, has been followed in 
these translations : GuadaJcanar, the present name, is a corruption. 

8 In Savo this "road" is a dry water-course debouching near the 
village of Koila. Except in very rainy weather, the water is absorbed 
by the porous soil before it reaches the sea. 

iNTRObtlCTtoN. xxxi 

the identification of the discoveries of the Spaniards by 
Fleurieu and Burney.' 

Gallego, though he did not visit it, says that it was rich 
in food, mamees Q flames, i.e., yams), /'ana/es, which, though 
translated honeycombs, probably means lhe/a««, or small 
yam, roots and pigs. Savo is still celebrated for its yams. 

Early on April 19th, tlie brigantine dropped anchor at 
the mouth of the Tu-umbuto River, on the north side of 
Guadalcanar. The natives, men, women and children, 
dashed into the sea, and dragged the boat ashore by the 
grapnel. Then, with cries of "Mate! Mate!" (Dead! 
Dead ! i,e., Danger !), a word which the Spaniards not 
unnaturally took for their own word "Matar" — to slay, 
they began to throw stones at the crew, who replied with 
their arquebuses, killing two of their assailants. 

Having taiten formal possession, and victualled the 
brigantine from the deserted village, Ortega set sail to 
return to the ships, passing to the west of Savo, and 
making Ysabel Island at the sound that separates St. 
George's Island from the main island, now called, after 
Gallego's description, " Thousand Ships Bay." St. 
George's Island proved to be the seat of the mysterious 
chief Benebonefa, whose suzerainty was admitted as far 
north as Estrella Bay. The native name was Vcru or 
Boru. There is now no general name for the whole 
island, and the swarming population which then received 
Ortega on the beach has vanished : the last remnant, 
inhabiting a village named Konda, on the site of Bene- 
bonefa's town, having been swept away by head-hunters 
from New Georgia during the present generation. Ortega's 
proceedings at this island can scarcely be defended. 
The natives were friendly, but they declined to sell him 

I There was a severe eruption about i8;o, in which several natives 
met their deaths. Govana, the chief of Koila, remembers fleeing (or 
safety with his parents to Veit ali in Cuadalcanar. 


any of the pigs with which the island seemed to swarm ; 
nor would they present him to their chief, who appeared to 
have heard something of the Spanish methods of obtaining 
" interpreters," and prudently kept out of the way. There- 
upon the Spaniards seized four large canoes, and de- 
manded a ransom of ten pigs. The natives brought four, 
and received two of the stolen canoes, endeavouring to 
redeem the others by large tusks,^ which, being incompar- 
ably more valuable in the native estimate than living pigs, 
proved that the latter could not be caught. But Ortega 
was obdurate, and the brigantine sailed away with the 
canoes in tow. 

Clearing the sound by its northern passage, the brigan- 
tine sailed along the southern coast of Ysabel Island. 
There the crew were twice assailed by small fishing canoes: 
which caused the shrewd old chronicler to reason that 
there could not be much cohesion among the tribes, if the 
tidings of the destructive power of the arquebuses had not 
travelled these few leagues along the coast. Here they 
sighted two apparent islands which must have been Cape 
Pitt and Vangunu, the easterly extremity of New Georgia, 
and named them S. Nicholas and Arracifes (Reefs). Gallego, 
meanwhile, had determined the breadth of Ysabel to be 
20 leagues by observation, which is an indication of the 
inaccuracy of the nautical instruments of the time, for it 
is thrice its actual breadth. The brigantine passed through 
Austria Sound, at the western extremity of Ysabel, into 
Port Praslin,^ whence Choiseul Island was sighted and 
named S. Marcos. The voyage eastward to Estrella Bay 
was now a dead beat against the easterly trade wind ; 

* These, as Mr. Woodford thinks, may have been the teeth of the 
dugong, which is common near the shores of St. George ; but the teeth 
of the sperm-whale and boars' tusks are also prized by the natives. 
The latter, however, would have been familiar to the Spaniards. 

* The west end of Ysabel is an archipelago of small islands, as 
Gallego describes it, and not as depicted in the present chart. 


and, when the brigantine was within a few leagues of the 
ships, Ortega sent on one of the canoes which they were 
towing, a seaman with nine soldiers, and the son of the 
tauriqui Meta, to relieve Mendafla's anxiety. By the 
clumsiness of her crew the canoe was stranded upon a 
reef, and the people spent a wretched night in walking back 
towards the brigantine, with bare feet along the iron-bound 
coast Their native prisoner took to flight ; and hunger, 
thirst, and the fear that the brigantine would pass them 
unobserved, had driven them to despair, when they came 
upon a cross erected by an exploring party from the ships. 
At the same moment the brigantine hove in sight, and 
picked them up. Two days later.on May sth,they reached 
the ships. 

Arrival at Guadalcanar. 

Mendafla lost no time in proiiting by the new discoveries, 
and on May 8th the ships set sail for Guadalcanar ; after 
an act of perhaps necessary perfidy, which must have 
left the worst impression upon the natives of Estrella Bay. 
Meta's son having escaped from the brigantine, it was 
necessary to secure other interpreters; and, upon the 
pretext that Bilebanara had not been to visit him for some 
days, Mendafia seized and detained two of his men who 
were visiting the ships, without, as far as we are told, 
again calling upon the Vicar to salve his conscience. 
Bilebanara needed no better Justification for his caution 
and r 

On May I2th, the ships found an anchorage under the 
lee of the little islet of Tandai, which was named Puerto 
de la Cruz. The friars landed with a cross, and said 
Mass ; and afterwards carried the cross to the top of a high 
hill, where they set it up. As they turned to come down, 
the natives, who had been quietly watching their pro- 
ceedings, discharged a flight of arrows at them. The 


Spaniards replied, Itilling a chief and one of his men, 
who, the Spaniards believed, of course erroneously, were 
subsequently eaten by their fellow-tribesmen. Next 
morning the natives were seen to be carrying away the 
cross on their shoulders, and Sarmiento was despatched 
with a party to recover it. But before he reached the hill- 
top the natives had brought it back, and set it up again. 
A few days later, they were seen to be stripping the 
fruit from a grove of cocoanuts in the harbour, the 
property of the dead chief, for whose obsequies they were 
required. The Spaniards had marked the grove for their 
own, and this was more than they could suffer ; Mendafla 
accordingly landed to put a stop to it. He found two 
natives, who knocked down the remaining fruit for the 
Spaniards, at the same time giving them to understand 
that tliey were free to take cocoanuts from the dead man's 
property, but not from the marked trees. The passage is 
interesting in that it describes two customs of the present 
day— the stripping of a dead man's plantation as a mark 
of honour to his memory, and the custom of making fruit 
tabu by tying leaves round the stem of the tree. 

The brigantine was now caulked and victualled for a 
second voyage of discovery to the eastward, under the 
command of Don Hernando Henriquez, with Gallego as his 
pilot, She sailed on May igth ; and on the same day 
Andres Nuftez, a lancer of Peru, went inland with twenty- 
two men to prospect the stream beds for alluvial gold, 
leaving sixty men in the ships. 

This expedition, though barren of result, was full of 
adventure. Having travelled eight or nine miles eastward 
up the coast, the party struck inland, continually assailed 
by the natives with arrows and stones. They had with 
them dogs, and a native interpreter from Estrella Bay, who, 
Catoira remarks, was able to make himself understood in 
Guadalcanar, and who succeeded on several occasions in 



pacifying their assailants and persuading them to give the 
party food. The natives seem to have acted throughout 
more from curiosity and fear than determined hostility, 
and their efforts to oppose the Spaniards' advance was 
but half-hearted. On!y two attempts were made to pros- 
pect for gold, and in both cases the current was too strong 
for the washing-dish, and the annoyance from the natives 
too persistent for careful experiment, though the miners of 
the party professed to have found "indications of gold." 
They brought back with them some " fowls of Castille," 
which swarmed in several of the villages, though they were 
too active on the wing to be caught easily. These were 
the progenitors of the native poultry, which must have 
been domesticated in the Pacific Islands long before the 
arrival of Europeans, but which is now being rapidly dis- 
placed by the European breed. Two of the miners con- 
tracted fever, and Nuftez himself died a few days after his 
return from this expedition. 

Mendafla meanwhile had not been idle. The natives in 
the neighbourhood of Puerto de la Cruz, if not friendly, 
were not openly hostile ; and he penetrated several miles 
inland with a small party, and saw an astonishing number 
of villages. The population of this now almost deserted 
district must at this time have been very large. The 
whole country was under cultivation ; irrigated taro plan- 
tations covered every hillside ; and in the broad plains 
to the westward, intersected by rivers, he saw smoke rising 
in every direction. After reading Catoira's enumeration 
of the villages through which he passed, one is less inclined 
to doubt the number of the fighting men who are described 
as assailing the Spaniards later. 

Although the ships had been but six months out 
from Callao, their stores were already running low. The 
daily ration was S oz. of salt meat, S oz. of biscuit, and 
such native food as they could obtain. But now the native 


food gave out ; and the crew, with the approval of the friars, 
began to expostulate with Mendafla, who had refused to give 
them the means of bartering with the natives on their own 
account, though only two natives had ventured on board 
the ships since their arrival at the island. The unfortunate 
events that ensued were the natural outcome of an impos- 
sible situation. The natives would not sell food, and the 
Spaniards could not starve in the midst of plenty. Gentle 
measures having failed, Mendaila had recourse to Pedro 
Sarmiento, whose ruthlessness, as shown in his exploits 
both here, and afterwards in Peru, marked him for rough- 
handed work with the natives. He cleared a village of its 
stores, returning to his boat but just in time to prevent the 
massacre of her crew by a body of natives, who had already 
gone so far as to feel a soldier's leg to see whether it was 
tender. On a second expedition, Catoira relates how they 
got near enough to a village in the night to hear the natives 
laughing over the Spaniards' abortive efforts to induce 
them to sell food. On this occasion they captured a native 
by treachery, and carried him to the ship, to the displeasure 
of Mendafla, who foresaw what such proceedings must 
lead to. Another wanton capture of a little boy of six 
helped to precipitate hostilities. The child was the son 
of a chief who, according to Gallego's account, offered a 
pig in ransom and was refused. 

The storm broke on Ascension Day. Perez, the steward, 
" a very passionate man," had been in the habit of landing 
daily for water ; but on that day, " because they saw how 
changed the Indians were," it was deemed prudent to send 
with him an escort under an old soldier, Juan de Salas, 
who had always preached distrust of the natives. They 
had not been long on shore when an unusual commotion 
was observed. Mendaila landed and hastened to the 
watering-place, noticing, as he ran, two natives making 
grimaces at him and holding up the leg of a dead man. 


On a little islet near the river was a negro, badly wounded, 
who proved to be the only survivor of the ten who had 
gone in the boat The rest were found mutilated and 
dismembered. The caution of old de Salas, the choleric 
outbursts of Perez, had availed them nothing. It appeared 
that they had incautiously gone inland to gather cocoanuts, 
and had fallen into an ambuscade, although the survivor 
had a less simple tale to tell.' 

Chastisement being now the order of the day. Sarmicnto 
was not idle. It seemed that a tauriqui named Nano, or 
Nobolo, while professing friendship for the Spaniards, had 
collected warriors from the villages for several miles round 
to attack them. Sarmiento found it impossible to provoke 
them to open fight, though he burned all the villages 
within a large radius. Once or twice the natives contrived 
an ambush ; but one of the Spaniards' dogs detected them 
by scent, and saved his masters. A wounded native, whom 
they captured, told them that the assassins were the people 
of Lunga, on the San Urbano river. Thus far they had 
killed and wounded about forty natives ; and when Men- 
daiia sent to the Almiranta for a contingent to chastise the 
Lunga people, he met with a refusal, the soldiers being 
alarmed at the accounts brought back by Ortega from a 
foray which he had undertaken from the Almiranta on his 
own account. On June 6th, however, they were reinforced 
by the crew of the brigantine, which had returned before 
her time, owing to the illness of Gallego and several of her 
crew. Three days later, while the carpenter's crew were 
cutting a main-topmast on the islet of Tandai, a canoe 
was observed to put out from the shore with a pig, while 
large numbers of the natives were collecting on shore. 
Whether they intended to kill the party on the island, as 
the Spaniards thought, or were bringing the pig as a peace- 

' See Ca^toira's account, vol. ii. 



offering — which is more likely, considering the chastise- 
ment they had received — ^was never ascertained, because 
none was taken alive. A strong party from the ships 
intercepted the canoe ; and, having killed all her occupants, 
quartered the bodies and laid them on the spot where the 
Spaniards had been massacred. It was useless to stay 
longer in a district wherein every house had been burnt, 
every ounce of native food destroyed or consumed, and 
every native converted into an enemy burning for revenge. 
On June 13th, after setting the last village on fire, 
Mendafla left the Puerto de la Cruz for one of the islands 
discovered in the brigantine, and reported by Gallego to 
be suitable for careening the ships, which must, by this 
time, have been honeycombed by the teredo. 

Second Voyage of the Brigantine. 

We must go back to May 19th, the day on which 
Henriquez and Gallego had set sail in the brigantine. They 
coasted eastward along Guadalcanar, touching at the 
larger villages for food and water. The coast was densely 
populated, and the natives, though they received them 
peacefully, could not resist the temptation of throwing 
stones at them while they were re-embarking. In order 
to obtain food, Gallego pursued the same tactics that had 
succeeded at St. George's Island in the former cruise : he 
seized their canoes, and held them to ransom ; provoking 
the people of one village to resort to a curious trick, which 
> to show that the pigs were not so plentiful as the 
Spaniards supposed. Having made a dummy pig of straw, 
they carried it to the beach on a pole, as pigs are carried, 
and came off to the brigantine to claim their canoe ; but, 

leing that their trick was discovered, they attacked the 
Spaniards until put to flight by the report of the arque- 
buses. At the Bokokimbo river the natives made a 


determined attempt to drag the vessel ashore by her anchor, 
and, being repulsed by the arquebuses, they threw up 
bastions in the sand to prevent the Spaniards from 
watering; nor were they dispersed until fired upon with 
the culverins, It is strange to read that, after such 
treatment, the same natives were induced to carry water 
to the vessel. At Aola,' which is described as contain- 
ing " more than three leagues of dwellings," the Spaniards 
were received with great hospitality by over 3,000 
unarmed natives. This quality of friendliness to strangers, 
which seems to be hereditary in the tribe, led Mr. Woodford 
to choose Aola as his headquarters during his first visit 
to the group. 

Catoira's account of this part of the voyage is full of 
graphic pictures of native life. At one place, a single 
warrior came out in a canoe paddled by seven boys, 
"making grimaces and contortions like a devil," which is 
the native form of challenge. The Ysabe! interpreter 
clapped on a mask, and went to meet him, spear in 
hand. The encounter was noisy but bloodless, for, after 
grimacing and roaring at each other for some time to the 
great diversion of the Spaniards, they separated, and the 
brigantine pursued her course. The natives were most 
provocative when the brigantine was leaving them; for a 
retreat without fighting was attributed to fear, and the 
tiny vessel, manned by but thirty men, was no doubt a 
great temptation to them. They were emboldened, too, 
by Don Henrique?.' refusal to allow his people to fire upon 
them, until they had discharged iheir arrows: a humane 
policy that provoked that bluff seaman, Gallego, beyond 
endurance. In Marau Sound, at the eastern extremity of 
Guadalcanar, the report of arquebuses, discharged in the 
air, had ceased to have any terrors for the natives; and 



there was a sanguinary skirmish which cost the islanders 
several lives. 

The brigantine now stood across for Malaita, making 
the harbour called Uhu in the Admiralty Chart. The 
natives boarded the brigantine, and were friendly for a 
time, but afterwards they made an attack in which their 
chief, or mauriba^ was killed by a shot from the culverin. 
In an island which .seems even then to have been feared 
throughout the southern portion of the group, and which 
is still unsafe for Europeans to land upon, this is not 
surprising. Passing the Maramasiki Passage, which they, 
took to be a river, though the tide was too strong to allow 
them to explore it, the Spaniards put into the port of La 
Asuncion, identified by Mr. Woodford as Ariel Harbour, 
and then stood across for Ulawa. Most of the Malaita 
natives seem to have been armed with clubs, with stone 
heads covered with plaited grass. One of these had been 
seen at the east end of Guadalcanar, and the fact that they 
are mentioned in most of the manuscripts testifies to the 
profound impression that they made upon the Spaniards, 
who judged them from their weight to be of gold. The 
soldiers carried on a brisk trade by bartering caps for 
them, until detected by Henriquez, who, to check them, 
dispelled the pleasant fallacy by hammering two of them 
together until they broke, though the metallic appearance 
of the fracture seems to have left some of the Spaniards 
unconvinced, despite this conclusive experiment.* Even 

> Matraha is still the word for Chief in this part of Malaita. 

* This passage is a valuable check upon our identification of the 
locality, for, as Mr. Woodford has pointed out since the note on p. 
182 went to press, in this part of Malaita, and nowhere else in the 
Solomons, except Rennell Island, are made small, Mton-like clubs, 
about 18 in. long, which are said to be used for giving the coup-de- 
gf&ce to wounded prisoners. The handle is of hard wood inlaid with 
mother-of-pearl ; the head is a nodule of iron or copper pyrites, bound 
10 the handle, and completely covered over with fine grass -plaiting. 
They are now becoming rare, and there does not appear to be a 




••• '. 

• • •• • 

• • 

k • k k • 

t • 

<- ^. b C J 



Mendafla took comfort from the reflection that iron- 
stone^ " is the mother of all metals." Doubtless these 
stone clubs were partly responsible for the wild stories of 
gold in the islands that were current in Peru for many 
years afterwards, if not for the suggestive name of " Islas 
de Salomon" itself. 

The following passage in Catoira's narrative is doubtless 
a description of the white wigs, made of grass fibre, whirfi 
arc still worn by the old men. " In that island (Malaita) 
the Indians wear caps made of white hair and Indian 
rubies, which they have; and some wear them blue in the 
middle and white at the sides," 

At Ulawa the people received the brigantine peacefully, 
and sang to them all night ; but when she put to sea, 
several canoes came out in pursuit of her. The pursuers 
now became the pursued ; their canoes were captured, and 
in the battle that followed, twelve men and one woman 
were slain. The Spaniards, somewhat in consequently, 
named the island La Treguada (Truce Island), because the 
truce was broken ; but Gallego gives its native name as 
Uraba, which, allowing for the ordinary metathesis in 
Mclanesian names, is identical with its present name, 
Ulawa. The people have no reason to love Europeans, for 
Surville, who was the next to touch at the island, exactly 
two centuries later (1769), fired upon them with grape- 
shot More appositely than the Spaniards, he called the 
place " Contrarii5t<5," though the name referred to the 
disposition of the weather, rather than to that of the 

perfect specimen in the British Museum, but we produce here photo- 
graphs of two specimens that coincide exactly with the Spanish 
description. For these photographs we are indebted to Mr. Edge- 
Partington, who is perhaps the first authority on South Sea weapons. 
They may here be compared with the stone-headed clubs of New 

• The word margagita means metallic stone. In the Paris MS. it 
has been transcribed as margarita (pearl)> 


From Ulawa the brigantine crossed to the three 
low-lying islands, re-discovered in 1769 by Surville, by 
whom they were given their present name, "The Three 
Sisters" {Les Trots Somrs), Gallego called them "Les 
Tres Marias."^ They seem then to have had water and 
inhabitants ; they are now waterless and deserted. 

The identification of the Spanish discoveries up to this 
point has been an easy matter. The distances, the 
descriptions, and the bearings would themselves have been 
sufficient, even if there had not been native names and 
words to check them by. But Gallego's narrative now 
becomes difficult to reconcile with the present chart ; and 
in order to understand the difficulty, we must invite the 
reader to peruse this part of his narrative (p. 49) with our 
chart of the Solomon Islands before him. 

It is clear that the next island at which he touched was 
Ugi, where he noted a harbour for future use in careening 
the ships before leaving the group. Thence he crossed 
over to a large mountainous island, 2 leagues to the south- 
ward, and 40 leagues in length. This, it is equally clear, 
was the northern coast of San Christoval (as its southern 
side was afterwards named by Mendafta). But, on the 
following day, the brigantine was driven by a north-east 
gale to the western extremity of the island (Cape Re- 
cherche), whence a view was obtained of a large island to 
the south-west, 18 leagues distant, and 4 leagues from 
Guadalcanar. This island was named San Urban. Now, 
there is no island, large or small, lying south-west of Cape 
Recherche, nor separated by 4 leagues from Guadalcanar. 
Dr. Guppy's suggestion,^ that Gallego mistook the eastern 
peninsula of Cape Surville for a separate island, does not 
meet the difficulty ; because, in the first place, it is not 

* The native name is Olu Malau^ " The Three Malau." 
^ The Solomon Islands^ p. 222. 




visible cither from Ugi or from Cape Recherche ; and in 
the second, it lies neither south-west nor 4 leagues from 
Guadalcanar. The only possible explanation is that 
Gallcgo thought that Guadalcanar, viewed from the east- 
ward, was two distinct islands, divided by a narrow strait : 
an illusion due, perhaps, to the low free-board of the 
brigantine, which limited the point of vision to 6 ft. above 
the water; but with such a mountainous mass it is difficult 
to believe that an old navigator like Gallego can have 
been thus deceived. The matter must rest there ; for, 
although Mr. Woodford has found among the San Chris- 
toval natives a tradition that an island formerly existed 
between Ulawa and their island in the position of Lark 
Shoal, we cannot suppose that a large island south of 
Guadalcanar has vanished during the last three centuries. 
The difficulty is enhanced by the persistent references to 
the north and south coasts of San Christoval as distinct 
islands, even after the ships had approached it from the 

The voyage of the brigantine was cut short by a severe 
attack of fever and ague which prostrated Gallego and 
several of the crew. With the trade wind behind her, the 
brigantine made a quick voyage back to the ships, filled 
with provisions which the natives of Guadalcanar, who 
had taken to heart the lessons taught them on the outward 
voyage, were glad to give her- 

Departure from Guadalcanar. 

After inflicting punishment upon the murderers, the ships 
set sail from Puerto de la Cruz on June 13th, as already 
related. They beat up against the south-east trades, stand- 
ing close inshore on the alternate tacks, "a pleasant sight 
to the large population," according to Sarmiento ; the 
pleasure, we can well believe, being dashed with no regrets 


for the parting guest. On the second day, Paladino, one 
of the pilots, died, and was buried at sea. The ships 
anchored under the lee of the little island of Kokobara, 
opposite Aola.^ The people received them hospitably, 
probably because they too were at war with the people of 
" Feday " — the murderers of the boat's crew. The ships 
set sail again on June i8th, intending to make for Ugi, 
where Gallego had marked a harbour for heaving them 
down ; but the wind and current being contrary he 
could not fetch it, and he was obliged to pass to the 
southward of Santiago. At this point he adds to the 
confusion which clouds this part of his narrative by 
mistaking the southern coast of what he had already 
named Santiago for " an island which had not been seen 
by the brigantine," " narrow and hilly," and " very close to 
the Island of Santiago," and by giving it the second name 
of San Christoval, just as he had given Guadalcanar the 
second name of San Urban. After seven days' battling 
with the wind and currents, losing on one day what they 
had gained on its predecessor, the ships attempted to enter 
a harbour ; but drifting back they took refuge in another, 
a little to the westward, where there was a village of 
eighty-six houses. They landed on July ist, being received 
peaceably until they began to take food from the village 
by force, when the people flew to arms. There was a 
sharp encounter, and the natives fled to the bush with the 
loss of several killed. The food taken from the houses 
was suflicient to load a vessel. 

Third Voyage of the Brigantine. 

It being intended to find a better harbour for careening 
the ships, Mendafla ordered the brigantine to be pro- 

^ Gallego gives the native name as Urare, The / and r are inter^ 
changeable in the Melanesian languages. 




visioned for another voyage of exploration to the east- 
ward, under the command of a soldier, Francisco Muiioz 
Rico, with Gallego as pilot, and a crew of twenty-three 
men. They sailed on July 4th. Muiioz Rico had a shorter 
way with the natives than Don Henriquez. In a harbour 
about the middle of the island they kidnapped two boys, 
and captured two canoes and a quantity of provi.sions. A 
canoe now preceded them, raising the whole coast in arms, 
so that " we could not take anything at all in that whole 
island." At the eastern end of San Christoval they dis- 
covered the two small islands of Santa Catalina and 
Santa Ana. Gallego gives the native name of the 
former as Aguare, which is certainly the present name, 
Owariki.i His version of the native name of Santa Ana, 
Ytapa, may be Owaraha, imperfectly caught. On anchoring 
at Santa Catalina they were boarded by twelve natives, who 
informed them by signs that there was more land in the 
south-east. If the Spaniards understood ihcm correctly, 
they must have been referring to the Santa Cruz Islands, 
more than one hundred and fifty miles distant ; and it is 
possible that they may have heard of their existence from 
castaways, driven from Santa Cruz by the south-east trade 
wind. There can, however, have been no inter-communi- 
cation between the two groups, and it is more than 
doubtful whether the Pouro, of which Quiros heard at 
Taumako in 1606, was San Christoval, as has been 

When the Spaniards made preparations to land, there 
ensued the sequence of incidents which had almost passed 
into formal procedure — a shower of stones, a volley from 

* Or Owai'i, Little Owa ; Owaraha being Big Owa. 

* The most convincing of the reasons given by Dr. Codrington 
(u;ainst this identification is that the natives do not ciill S. Christoval 
^dMra, which is the name of one district only. {.The Mdan 
p. 6.) 


the arquebuses, the flight of the natives, and the looting 
of their huts. A seaman climbed a high cocoanut palm 
to look for land, and reported a heavy swell from the 
eastward, showing that there was open sea in that direction. 

The brigantine now stood over to the neighbouring 
island of Santa Ana (Owaraha), "a low, round island with 
a high place in the middle like a castle." The usual 
formalities with spears and arquebuses prevented the 
Spaniards from ascending the hill, and discovering the 
two curious fresh- water lakes with bottoms lOO feet 
below sea-level, which justify Dr. Guppy's comparison 
of the island to a " bowl of fresh water floating on the 
sea ;" for it is in reality a disc of coral clinging about 
a submerged volcanic peak. That night they lay off 
in the brigantine, hearing no sound " but the crowing 
of many cocks" — a proof that the fowls were not mega- 

On the following morning the foraging party fell into 
an ambush. The natives, with their bodies painted in 
streaks and with boughs on their heads, attacked them 
furiously, wounding three Spaniards and a negro, and 
transfixing the arm of Munoz with a spear, which went 
through shield and arm alike ; but, wounded as he 
was, he fell upon them with his sword, and put them to 
flight. Having burned the village, they set sail again 
for the ship. On the way thither, a canoe manned by 
four natives put off to them : they upset the canoe, and 
captured three alive, the fourth dying in defending himself. 
After these exploits, we are not surprised to read of 
Gallego*s objection to further foraging expeditions in this 
direction, namely, that the whole coast was in arms against 

On the return of the brigantine, Ortega and Gallego 
were dispatched to a harbour two miles distant, to find 
a place for careening the ships before proceeding in search 



On their report that the anchoi 

of further discoveries. 
was sheltered and hot, and the water poor, it was decided, 
in the interests of the sick, to careen the ships where 
they were. Curiously enough, Gallego makes no mention 
of this important work, belonging peculiarly to his 
department. Everything was taken out of the vessels, 
which were then stranded and hove down, while for three 
weeks the entire company camped on shore. They were 
not left unmolested by the rightful owners, who lay in wait 
for stragglers, and killed a Spaniard who liad strayed out 
of bounds without leave. But, on August 7th, they were 
able to re-embark without further loss. By this time the 
ten natives, whom they had brought from Ysabel and 
Guadalcanar, had all escaped, and only two of those 
kidnapped by the brigantine remained. 

On August 7th a " parliament" was summoned to decide 
upon their future movements. Not only the officers, but 
the friars, soldiers, and sailors, fifty-eight persons in all. 
were each in turn invited to give his opinion upon three 
propositions ; whether they should settle in the islands, or 
go in search of other lands, or return to Peru. It appears 
from the various accounts of this meeting that Mendana's 
orders were to settle in any good land that they might 
discover. To this Gallego and the other pilots objected 
that the ships and rigging were in such bad repair that, 
unless they began their return voyage immediately, they 
would never reach Peru alive ; that they were in a hostile 
country, with provisions running low ; and that with their 
small numbers their only hope of escaping massacre lay in 
their arquebuses, which had defective locks and an insuffi- 
cient supply of lead and match ; that they were too far 
from Peru to hope for succour ; and that, though the land 
was good enough, there was neither gold nor silver in it to 
justify them in colonizing it. Sound advice, indeed ; for a 
colony under such conditions would have been short-lived. 



Ortega and the friars based their objections upon other 
grounds. When the Viceroy ordered them to colonise, 

they said, he believed the land to be near Peru ; and if he 
had known how remote it was, his orders would have been 
different. As it was, New Guinea, the land discovered by 
Inigo Ortez de Retes, was so near that they voted for an 
expedition to the westward. This, too, was sound advice, 
for from New Guinea it would have been easy to make 
Manila. Some of the soldiers voted for setth'ng, Juan 
Moreno, a Lombard, who understood gold-mining, said 
that he had seen indications of gold ; Martin Alonzo, an 
experienced miner, went further, and affirmed that there 
was abundance of gold. Pedro Sarmiento, if his memorial 
directed against Mendafla is to be believed, gave the same 
counsel on the ground that they were strong enough to 
hold their own, and that they ought to obey the letter of 
the instructions. But the majority were against him ; and 
Mendai^a, who generally sought in the opinion of the 
majority the support which riper age would have given 
him, declared for a return to Peru. Whether, as Sarmiento 
says, "if Mendafla had wished it. a settlement would have 
been formed without opposition," may be doubted : more 
probably the expedition would have been split into two 
parties, and the settlement would have been abandoned as 
soon as made. The older heads knew too well that their 
only hope of security lay in the arquebuses — clumsy 
weapons, fired from a rest by means of a match or fuse 
applied to a touch-hole at the side. Six months of 
constant vigilance against attack, during which, for the 
most part, the match had to be kept lighted both by day 
and night, had exhausted their stores of this necessary 
part of their equipment. Want of match had curtailed the 
first two voyages of the brigantine, and now it brought 
the most important object of the expedition to nought. 
This "pariiament" of fifty-eight Spaniards, had it come 



to a different resolution, might have left a mark upon the 
world's history. It is not difficult to conjecture what would 
have been the consequence of a successful settlement in the 
Solomon Islands. Sooner or later It would have sent out 
a party to find a more healthy and peaceful land. The 
south-east trade wind would have carried the ship west- 
ward or south-westward, where the Australian coast could 
scarcely have escaped them, A Spanish colony in Queens- 
land would have played strange pranks with the destiny 
of Australia. 

Half convinced by Sarmiento's protests that the rich 
continent of his dreams lay to the south-east, Mendafla 
determined to steer for the coast of Chile. Reasoning 
from his experience in the spring Equinox that the wind 
would change in September, he was in favour of waiting 
another month for a fair wind ; but, seeing the shortness of 
provisions, the pilots were against him. They agreed to a 
south-easterly course whenever the wind should serve, 
but urged him to start immediately. Accordingly, Mass 
having been celebrated on shore for the last time, the 
water-vessels were filled, and Gabriel Muftoz was despatched 
to kidnap more natives as interpreters, to reinforce the two 
who had not succeeded in escaping. He returned before 
morning with a man and his wife with an infant at the 
breast, and a young girl, the wife's sister. All the six were 
landed alive at Lima ; but the man, the young girl, and 
one of the boys, died soon after their arrival, "devout 
Christians, invoking the name of Jesus many times." 

The Homeward Voyage. 

The ships sailed on August nth, and after seven days 
beating along the coast of San Christoval, they cleared 
Santa Ana and Santa Catalina, and stood to the north- 
east. Here the little brigantine, which had served them 



well despite her green timbers and her hurried building, 
had to be cut adrift owing to the heavy sea. The pilots 
seem now to have changed their minds about the south- 
easterly course, and to have told the crew that the only 
hope of reaching Peru alive lay in crossing the Line and 
making for California or Mexico, Mendafla, however, 
adhering to his belief that the wind would change with the 
Equinox, ordered the ships to be headed for the south-east 
whenever a lull in the south-east trade permitted it. On 
September 2nd they were but 3 deg, south of the Equator, 
and a few miles westward of the Gilbert Islands, of which 
they saw signs in "palms tied up in bundles, burnt logs 
and chips." Gallego believed the land from which these 
had drifted to be New Guinea, discovered, as he says, by 
Inigo Ortez de Retes, "and no one else; for Bernaldo de 
la Torre did not see it, nor is there a Cabo de Cruz as 
he says," 

On September 4th, Gallego and his pilots made a formal 
protest against the south-easterly tacks which Mendana 
insisted upon whenever the wind served, saying that they 
ought to steer towards one pole or the other, and not to 
beat about expending water and provisions to no purpose. 
To their general's contention that the wind would change 
with the Equinox, then only three weeks distant, they 
replied that " the landsman reasons, but the seaman 
navigates:" an appeal to craft-mystery before which the 
layman, however deep his own convictions, usually suc- 
cumbs. The pilots, moreover, had the whole ships' 
companies with them, and the young commander, mindful 
perhaps of the fate of Grijalva, who had been murdered by 
his crew under similar circumstances thirty years before, 
yielded with the best grace he could muster, bidding them 
remember that his opinion would be justified in the hard- 
ships that lay before them. The course was now laid for 
California. On September 6th they crossed the Line, 





expecting to see land daily. The water was already so 
short that they were glad to replenish their vessels from 
a passing shower. It was probably the constant expecta- 
tion of sighting land that restrained them from bearing 
away for the Philippines with a fair wind; a course they 
would have been glad enough to follow in October, when 
it was too late. 

On September 17th, they sighted the Musquillo Atolls 
of the Ralick Chain (Marshall Group),^ and called them 
San Mateo Shoals, though Gallcgo seems to have identi- 
fied them with the island of San Bartolomeo which 
Toribio Alonzo de Salazar professed to have discovered 
iti I535i about lat. 14 deg. north. Gallego gives the correct 
latitude of these islets, and his accurate description of them 
leaves no doubt as to their identity. Ortega and Henriqucz 
landed in the boat and explored a village from which the 
people had fled, apparently to sea, for a canoe was sighted 
making off under sail. They found food " of bad taste and 
smell " {fermented pandanus fruit), a fermented drink 
"like chiclia" brewing in a hole in the ground (cocoa-nut 
toddy), and a cock, but they found no water. They 
noticed, however, that the people obtained their water 
from holes scooped out of the stems of the palms, exactly 
as they do at the present day. But their strangest dis- 
covery was a chisel, made of an iron nail, from which they 
concluded that a ship from the Philippines had either 
visited the island or been wrecked there. The only vessel 
of whose previous passage through the Marshal! Group we 
have any record was that of Grijalva, which called at an 
island in 2 deg. north lat, after the mutiny and the murder 
of her commander.' With the easy communication along 
the chain of the Gilbert and Marshall Groups, an article 

' So named by Captain Bond, w 
* Sm p. 68, note. 

i si ted them ir 


SO highly prized as iron might easily have found its way 
northwards, during the thirty years that had intervened. 

Finding no bottom even close inshore, the ships 
resumed their northerly course, and on October 2nd, in 
19 deg. 20 min., N. lat, they discovered the loneliest of all 
the atolls in the Pacific, Wake's Island, which they named 
San Francisco. Ships in need of water could have lighted 
on no more unpropitious spot Not a cocoanut nor 
a pandanus has found a footing there : the only vegetation 
is a stunted shrub; the only living things are sea-birds. 
Bitterly disappointed, the Spaniards bore away, and cut 
down the daily ration to one pint of water, and 12 oz. 
of bread, though there were still more than four thousand 
miles of ocean to cross. The pilots of the two ships 
compared notes every two days, laying their course, as they 
believed, for the " Cabo de Fortunas," though differing in 
their estimate of its bearing, owing no doubt to the 
inaccuracies of their charts of the Californian coast, and 
their uncertainty regarding their longitude. All went well 
until October i6th, when the A/mzranta, which had been 
continually dropping astern, owing to her bad sailing 
qualities, parted company altogether. The Capitana lay 
to for many hours to wait for her, and, as she did not 
appear, Mendana concluded that Pedro Sarmiento, whose 
conduct more than once had verged upon mutiny, had 
deliberately had the course altered. When we remember 
that the two ships, unequal in size and speed as they 
were, had contrived to keep together by day and night in 
all winds and weathers for so many months, we may allow 
that his suspicions were not without reason. 

That afternoon, as they lay in the trough of the sea, a 
hurricane from the north-east struck them, and laid them 
on their beam ends. If the hatches had not been closed 
and caulked, the ship must have gone to the bottom, for 
her port deck was under water to the combings of 



the hatches. Seeing that she would not right herself, 
Mendana ordered the main-mast to be cut down, and it 
went over the side with all its yards and sails. The boat 
followed it, and the ship, relieved of their weight, began to 
right herself little by little. The people below, up to their 
necks in water, had abandoned hope, and were listening to 
one of the friars, who, though himself face to face with 
death, was calmly exhorting them to die like Christians, re- 
penting of their sins. The foresail was now shaken out to 
steady the ship, but the wind tore it to ribbons, and the 
sea carried away the stern-cabin. Setting a blanket and a 
"bonnet" (the piece laced to the after-leech of the main- 
sail in light winds) as storm sails, they rode out the storm 
for three days. "The wind came on us with such fury." 
wrote old Gallego, " as I had never before seen, although I 
have been forty-five years at sea, and thirty of them 
a pilot. Never have I seen such heavy weather, although 
I have seen storms enough." Under nothing but the fore- 
courses, the ship gave convincing evidence of her bad sail- 
ing qualities. She was good enough, Gallego remarks, for 
the coast of Peru, for which she was built, but in those 
heavy seas she threatened to pitch everybody overboard. 
The position of the ships when they encountered this 
disastrous gale is not very clear. Gallego estimated their 
distance from "Cabo de Fortunas" at 70 leagues, and says 
that the storm drove them 50 leagues to the south-west ; 
but Mendaiia says that the 70 leagues of the pilots were in 
reality 600. Both estimates, in the defective methods of 
dead reckoning of the period, must have been the merest 
guesses. All that is certain is that two whole months 
elapsed before they saw the shores of Californiai although, 
with a clumsy tub under her fore-courses only, making lee- 
way whenever the wind shifted abeam, this would imply no 
great distance. 

Their sufferings during these two months were such that 


it is astonishing that any survived. Their rations were 
reduced to " half a quartern of stinking water, 8 ounces of 
damaged biscuit, and a few black beans and oil ;" scurvy 
set in ; some of them lost their sight ; a dead body was 
thrown overboard every two days. A soldier gambled 
away his allowance of water, and went mad from thirst 
The last of their live-stock, the white cockatoo which was 
being taken home to astonish Lima, had to be killed to 
save the life of Don Henriquez, then in the last extremity 
of sickness. Small wonder that the men gathered in knots, 
and whispered of mutiny and of setting their course for 
the Philippines. But Mendana, whose rations had been 
the same as those of the humblest slave on board his ship, 
and who had yielded hitherto to every representation of 
his subordinates, now showed great qualities of leadership. 
Hearing that he had but t\i-o or three supporters left in the 
ship, and that the pilots were at the bottom of the con- 
spiracy, he met mutiny half-way, and addressed his crew 
publicly, assuring them that to turn back now with land 
almost in sight meant certain death ; reminding them that 
it was the pilots who had brought them to this pass against 
his wishes ; and imploring them for once to put trust in his 
judgment. For the moment his arguments prevailed. 
It was natural that he should see the finger of God in his 
immciiiatc justification, for on December 1 2th a pine-log 
was scon flcvating in the sea, and, pointing it out to the 
malci^ntents, ho cricii : " Sec what you would ha\'e done : 
\\t^ hA\-c rcachc\l the lanvi," A sailor jumped overboard 
tor it, and they cut it into man>* pieces, and made crosses 
cf thcnv to hrini: fine weather. Rain fc-l,and by spreading 
s,\ils or oK>ths, they v auj^ht water onouv:h for three days. 
On l\voml>ci loth, the K\o of Our Uuiy of the C^ Gallic 
si5:ht<\l land, anvl next monMnj: they w^re close in, near a 

* Sec p 'v, ,>A 




point which we take to have been Point San Antonio, 
in Lower California, Coasting southward they entered 
Sebastian Vizcaino Bay, now known as the seat of the 
Californian whale fishery, and were there embayed for 
three days. They landed at the Natividad Islands on a 
raft, and spent twelve days in cutting timber for building 
a boat, and feasting on fish and fresh water; but the 
hostility of the Indians compelled them to put to sea. 
As they went on, they were puzzled by finding Cape 
St Lucas in 23 deg. 36 min., a position widely differing, it 
would seem, from that assigned to it in the charts which 
they carried ; and for some time they doubted whether they 
had been really on the coast of California ; but at Santiago 
de Colima (N. lat. 19 deg. 5 min.), their next port of 
call, their doubts were set at rest by Gallego's recognition 
of some of the fishermen whom they met. They had 
previously attempted to make the " port of Xalosco," which 
was probably the little harbour now known as San Bias 
(lat 21 deg. 32 min. N.), the principal port of the Mexican 
state of Xalisco, or Jalisco, 

They had not been at anchor in Colima Harbour three 
days when, to their astonishment, they saw on the horizon 
the Almiranta, which they had long given up for lost 
Not knowing that there was a harbour there, she was 
pursuing her voyage, when bad weather forced her to seek 
shelter. Like the Capitana, she had been dismasted in the 
great storm in October, and had lost her boat. Her crew, 
too, had almost compelled their captain to set sail for the 
Philippines; and, reduced to their last jar of water, had 
suffered the extremity of hunger and thirst Pedro de 
Ortega was at the point of deatli, but in the delight of 
this meeting, which made them all shed tears of joy, he 
revived and recovered. The two ships lay for forty days 
at Santiago, and were visited by Sama, Alguacil -Mayor of 
the city of Mexico, who had heard of their arrival, and had 


been sent by the Governor of New Spain to question them. 
That he was not very favourably impressed with the value 
of their discoveries, is shown by a letter addressed to the 
King from Guadalajara by the Licentiate Juan de Orosco, 
on March 20th, 1 569, which is quoted hereafter. 

The delights of the meeting were not permitted to bury 
all differences. Pedro Sarmiento had still to be reckoned 
with ; and, whether on account of his share in theAlmzranta's 
parting company, or his open avowal of an intention to 
bring charges against Mendafia, he was placed under 
arrest Mendana and Gallego both omit any reference to 
this episode, and Sarmiento's version of the cause must be 
received with caution. 

At Santiago some of the sick died and some recovered ; 
but the total mortality on the homeward voyage amounted 
* to thirty, or more than one-fifth of the crews. There being 
no facilities for refitting, the ships sailed for the South on 
March loth ; and having touched for an hour at Acapulco 
for news of Peru, they steered for Guatulco (N. lat. 
15 deg. 48 min.). Scarcely had they anchored there 
when a great uproar arose, and the people began to flee 
inland, having heard reports from Mexico that they were 
Gente esttangera Escoseses^ which we have translated 
" Strange Scottish people."^ Hawkins had given Mexico 
cause to remember him but two years before. While the 
Capitana lay the night at this port, the Almtranta^ to 
MendaHa's indignation, sailed unconcernedly on her course, 
her pilots having now recognised the coast ; but despite 
the start which she had, she arrived at Realejo five days 
behind her consort. At Caputla (the port of San Salvador, 
in N. lat. 13 deg. 32 min., now known as Acajutla), a 
barque was sent out to reconnoitre, and her people were 
in great trepidation until they recognised Gallego. 

^ Supposing Escosesis to be intended for Escoceses, 



On April 4th, they put into Realejo, now known as 
Corinto, to refit the ships for the voyage to Peru. It was 
characteristic of the Spanish system of colonial govern- 
ment that neither royal officers nor private persons would 
grant or lend any money for the purpose, notwithstanding 
that the repairs were obviously necessary to the King's 
service. Mendana was not only obliged to pledge all his 
private property, but also to borrow 1,400 pesos from 
Gallego. Having been hove down and rigged, the ships 
were victualled at a cost of 400 pezos, and on May 26th 
they resumed their voyage. Pedro Sarmiento went no 
further. Whether he used a wise discretion in avoiding 
Peru as long as the uncle of his enemy was Viceroy, or 
whether Mendaiia compelled him to leave his ships, lest he 
should cloud the triumph of his arrival, is not clear from 
the narratives. 

The ships made Cape Guionos, in 10 deg. N. lat., 
their point of departure for Peru, and the remainder of the 
voyage was uneventful. On Sunday, July 26th, they cast 
anchor at Callao, and Don Hernando Hennquez set off" 
with the news to the City of the Kings. Of the 150 men 
who had set out, one-third had perished. 

Thus ended a voyage which, for the skill, enterprise, and 
bravery of its leaders, and the indomitable fortitude with 
which all its participants had borne their sufferings, was 
remarkable even in a century famous for maritime dis- 
covery. That it led to nothing was not the fault of those 
who had penetrated to the confines of the Pacific, and had 
found their way back in the teeth of every hardship which 
seamen can have to encounter. 

The Spanish Government cannot have regarded the 
results of the expedition with much enthusiasm. It had 
been fitted out to discover a rich continent within easy 
sail of Peru: it had found a detached group of islands. 


inhabited by naked barbarians, at an impracticable distance 
from any Spanish settlement Gold and silver, the only 
products that could have made such islands worth exploit- 
ing, had not been brought back, whatever the explorers 
might say about their existence. The cold official view of 
the discoveries is shown in the letter already referred to. 

" On the 8th of February there put into the port of Santiago 
near Colima, and in the jurisdiction of Mexico which is very near 
to this kingdom (New Galicia), two battered ships without masts 
or victuals, which had set out from the port of Lima in Peru, in 
quest of the Western islands, the Solomon Islands^ and New 
Guinea, in accordance with information which they had of 
them .... On the other side of the Line, towards the south, 
they discovered many thickly-populated islands in the lat. 

of 1 6 deg. to 12 deg In my opinion, according to the 

report that I have received, they were of little importance, 
although they say that they heard of better lands; for in the course 
of these discoveries they found no specimens of spices, nor of 
gold and silver, nor of merchandise, nor of any other source of 
profit, and all the people were naked savages The advan- 
tage that might be derived from exploring these islands would be 
to make slaves of the people, or to found a settlement in some 
port in one of them, where provisions could be collected for the 
discovery of the mainland, where it is reported that there is gold 
and silver, and that the people are clothed. Should such an 
expedition be despatched, it could be better accomplished from 
this country of New Spain, which is more convenient, than by way 
of Peru, for the wind is always contrary for returning from these 

islands to Peru Of the persons who sailed from the port 

of Lima, thirty-one or thirty-two were missing, including those who 
died of sickness, and those who were slain by the Indians in the 
said islands.'^ 

Mendana had, in fact, established nothing more than 
that his islands were well suited to agriculture and a 
promising hunting-ground for slaves ; the two uses to which, 
mutatis mutandis^ they are now put Whence, then, came 

^ This is the earliest official document in which the name Solomon 
Islands is used. 

' Letter of the Licentiate Juan de Orosco to the King. Archives 
of the Indies. Audience of Guadalajara ; a parchment book contain- 
ing various letters to the King from the Audiencia, the Bishop and 
others of New Galicia, 1549 to 1571. Quoted by Sr. Zaragoza. 



this name of the " Isles of Solomon," which seems by 
common consent to have been bestowed upon them? It 
is to be noticed that the name is not found in any of the 
MSS, except Sarmiento's, which appears to have been 
written some time after the termination of the voyage 
from a collection of papers found in La Plata, and that 
there it occurs only in the title-page as " the Western 
Islands in the Southern Ocean, i:ow;;;(i«/f f"^/^'^ The Isles 
of Solomon." Lopez Vaz, the Portuguese who was captured 
by Captain VVithnngton at the River Plate nearly twenty 
years afterwards, had an explanation of his own, "The 
discoverer of these islands named them the Isles of 
Solomon, to the end that the Spaniards, supposing them 
to be those isles from whence Solomon fetched gold to 
adorn the temple at Jerusalem, might be the more desirous 
to go and inhabit the same."' The explanation is ingenious, 
but if Mendaiia or his officers had been responsible for the 
name, they would assuredly have made use of it in their 
official narratives. It would have been easy for men bent 
upon such exaggeration as Lopez Vaz imputes, to twist 
the episode of the stone-headed clubs found in Malaita, 
and the statements of the prisoner from Meta's tribe and 
the natives captured in San Christoval, that a yellow metal 
was plentiful in the islands, into a prospectus most attrac- 
tive to adventurers ; but neither Mendaiia, nor any of his 
officers except Sarmiento, speaks of the prospect of finding 
gold with any conviction. We take it that this, like so 
many other names, originated with the populace, the 
credulous frequenters of taverns and longshoremen of the 
quays in Santiago and Callao, listening open-mouthed to 
the tales of the Inca Yupanqui's spoils. In the fateful 
Council at San Christoval, on August 7th, it was the 
soldiers and seamen only who spoke with conviction about 

' Hailuyt, vol iv, p. 1447. 


gold, and during the second voyage of the brigantine, it was 
the forecastle hands who refused to be convinced, even 
when Don Henriquez had broken two of the stone clubs 
by knocking them together. The suggestion of a listener 
that this might be the Ophir of Scripture would be 
eagerly passed from mouth to mouth, firing the imagination 
of adventurers, and providing a text for the wildest fables 
of a new Dorado. The evolution of these stories may be 
watched in the mouth of Lopez Vaz. "The gold that 
they found was upon this island (Guadalcanar), whereat 
they landed and took a town, finding small grains of gold 
hanged up in the houses thereof ; but because the Spaniards 
understood not the language of the country, and the 
Indians were very stout, and fought continually against 
them, they could never learn from whence the gold came."^ 
He also stated that the Spaniards, although " not seeking 
nor being desirous of gold," brought back from the island 
of Guadalcanar 40,000 /^^^j of it : a story founded probably 
upon the fact that, by pawning all the private property of 
himself and his officers, Mendafta was able to pay the 
shipwrights of Realejo for the repair of his vessels. 

But, because the Spaniards did not bring back indubit- 
able proof of gold, it does not follow that there is no gold 
in the Solomon Islands. Let us examine the evidence 
contained in the narratives : — 

Gallego describes the prospecting expedition of Andres 
Nuftez in Guadalcanar — 

" The miners who understand the thing, said that there was 

gold in that land And, whilst they were making trials, 

so many natives annoyed them that they were obliged to abandon 
the attempt. From the indication that they gave, they said that 
there was gold " (p. 40). 

Catoira is more explicit. From his account it appears 
that the river sand was never properly tested, on account 

1 Hakluyt^ vol. iv, p. 1447. 


pjSly of the hostility of the natives, and partly of the 
strength of the current, 

Sarmiento speaks of " many indications of gold," and 
continues — 

" An Indian called Caja of Meta, seeing in the ship certain 
dishes of brass and some gold coins, said that in his countiy, and 
in another region behind that island (New Georgia), he had seen 
much of it, and he called it Ure<iue " (p. 88). 

" Pedro Sarmiento saw a mineral containing gold" (in 
Guadalcanar) (p. 91). 

" It was learned from them (the interpreters) that there was 
much wealth in gold and pearls and spices in those islands, and 
in others near them " (p. 92). 

"Tarifino said that there was an indication of gold in the 
country ; and that he, as a. man who searched for mines, and 
had lived in the country where gold existed, knew this to be so. 
Martin Alonze, a man experienced in gold-mining, said that there 
was a great quantity of gold " (pp. 92, 93). 

Mendaila describes how he showed grains of gold to one 
the Ysabel natives, who, pointing to the island, said — 

" ' Yaro boem ;' bi>cru in his language signifying ' much.' I 
asked him what they called it, and he answered ' areque.' I 
inquired whether they wore it through their noses, or in their 
ears, which are pierced ; he said no, and made signs with bis 
hand that it was to be found near running water " (p. 172), 

" These Indians of San Chrtstoval say also that there is gold 
in the rivers of their country, and that the women of Aytoro 
wear it round their necks in lai^e grains as they find it, but they 
do not know how to raelt it. These Indians call gold abunt in 
their language. The report that it is found in the rivers agrees 
with what the Indian told me in Santa Vsabel, though there they 
call it tereque" (p. 181). 

The author of the MS. in the Bibliothfeque Nationale 

says — 

" Neither is there any kind of metal, gold, silver, pewter, iron, 
nor anything else, except little elub-headed sticks of iron-stone." 

It will thus be seen that none of the Spaniards saw even 
what alluvial gold miners call "colours "of gold, for the 
signs of which they spoke seem to have been based merely 


upon the geological structure and configuration of the 
country. The " mineral containing gold," which Sarmiento 
professed to have seen, made no impression upon his com- 
rades, who did not usually err on the side of incredulity : 
most probably it was a stone charged with pyrites. The 
only evidence is that of natives, who, seeing brass and 
gold coins, said that such metal was common, and that 
they wore it in beads round their necks. The natives of 
the present day wear no ornaments of metal ; and it is 
most unlikely that, if they formerly did so, the custom 
would have been abandoned. Far more probable is it 
that in a conversation carried on by signs, the natives, 
misunderstanding the question, adopted their usual habit 
of giving the answer that they thought would be most 
pleasing to their questioner. Nevertheless, the natives can 
scarcely have failed to notice the stream tin and copper 
pyrites which are plentiful in their islands ; and the tereque^ 
which Caja declared to be found near running water, if 
not gold, may have been one of these metals. 

On the other hand, it is to be remembered that the 
Solomon Islands are still among the unexplored portions 
of the globe. Though the greater part of the coast-line 
has been visited by Europeans, few have penetrated as far 
inland as the Spaniards did; and those who live in the 
group, being Government officers, missionaries or traders, 
have other concerns than prospecting for gold in the 
stream beds. Europeans may live for many years in an 
auriferous country without knowing of the wealth beneath 
their feet, unless, as in Peru and West Africa, the natives 
themselves work the metal : natives in the same stage of 
development as the Solomon Islanders may see gold in 
the stream beds every day, without thinking of collecting 
it It was by a mere accident that a gold-field was dis- 
covered in Sudest Island, which is only eighty miles from 
Guadalcanar, and is composed of schistose slate, a forma- 



tion which Dr. Guppy noticed in Guadalcanar while 
passing along the coast.' The same author states that 
San Christoval is composed of "altered and highly crystal- 
line volcanic rocks" of great geological age, containing 
stream tin, haematite, arsenical iron and copper pyrites: 
stream tin being plentiful among the quartz and slate 
roclcs. In such surroundings the discovery of gold would 
not be surprising. A few years ago a trader announced 
that he knew of a spot in Guadalcanar where there was 
gold enough to load a ship. A syndicate was formed in 
California, and a schooner despatched to the group with a 
party of prospectors under the guidance of the discoverer. 
The ore that they obtained proved, on assay, to be mundic, 
and the guide narrowly escaped marooning by his indig- 
nant companions. In the course of their exploration, 
however, they did find gold, but not in payable quantity, 
and gold is frequently found in association with mundic. 
All that we can now say is that the geological formation is 
favourable to its existence, that the islands have never 
been prospected, and that it is quite possible that the 
Spaniards were right. When the Solomon Islands have 
passed into the hands of the Australian Commonwealth, 
it will not be long before the question is set at rest. 

Dr. Guppy has strong things to say about the inhumanity 
of the Spaniards in their dealings with the natives, even 
while making allowance for the spirit of the time. We 
prefer to agree with Admiral A. H. Markham in describing 
their conduct, when judged by any standard, as humane.* 
It is true that in the almost daily conflicts the natives lost 
little short of one hundred, while the Spaniards lost but 
twelve ; that at Estrella Bay, Mendaiia kidnapped a 
friendly native as an interpreter, and an entire family in 

' The Geology of the Solomon Islands. 
' The Cruise of the Rosario, 1873, p. 8. 


San Christoval; and that the brigantine, especially in her 
third voyage, kidnapped natives and seized canoes. But 
none of these outrages, which were at least no worse than 
those committed by the recruiting vessels of our own days, 
was wholly wanton. During the first few months of their 
intercourse, the natives were invariably the aggressors. 
When Pedro Sarmiento captured the chief, Havi, in his 
first expedition inland, Mendana immediately restored 
him to his friends. Every expedition despatched from 
the ships had orders never to take life except in the last 
necessity ; and this order was strictly obeyed by the camp- 
master, Ortega, both in his adventurous journey inland, 
and in the first voyage of the brigantine. There is nothing 
more surprising in the narratives than Mendana's consult- 
ing with his chaplains as to how he should proceed when 
the natives had refused to sell him food, than the friar's 
assurance that he might take provisions in moderation, 
paying for what he took, and only using weapons in self- 
defence. Even in the second voyage of the brigantine, 
when her crew might have been excused for a loss of 
temper with their treacherous aggressors, Don Henriquez 
left payment in the deserted houses for the provisions which 
he took in Malaita. Until the tragedy on Ascension Day, 
when ten Spaniards were treacherously butchered, most of 
the conflicts with the natives had been with the crew of the 
brigantine ; and the defenceless position of thirty men in an 
open boat (a tempting prize to head-hunters) is not to be 
forgotten. After the tragedy Mendana's temper changed ; 
but, even so, his resentment against the natives was less 
bitter than that of La P^rouse after his boat's crew had 
been cut off in Samoa. It is noticeable that expeditions 
under the command of the superior officers were always 
conducted with a humanity that incensed bluff sailors like 
Gallego ; but that when Sarmiento or private soldiers 
like Munoz were in command, there was a marked 




deterioration in conduct towards the natives: which is 
exactly what we should expect. When you have two 
vessels almost destitute of stores among a fierce and 
warlike people who refuse to sell provisions, conflicts 
are inevitable. The Spaniards could not starve amid 
abundance, nor abstain from using their weapons when 
attacked. Later voyagers of other nationalities, including 
our own, had a shorter way with the natives, with far less 
excuse. Roggewein, Schouten, and Surville used grape- 
shot with little provocation. Cook flogged Tongans on 
board his ship for petty thefts. It is still further to 
the credit of the Spaniards, that they did nothing to 
excite the jealousy of the native men, despite the custom 
of the Ysabel natives, which still exists, of offering their 
women for sale.' 

The religion of the Spaniards of the sixteenth century 
was, in fact, a more active and real influence in their daily 
conduct than we are inclined to believe. They went to 
their chaplains for guidance in their relations with the 
natives; and that the friars were conscientious and devoted 
men is shown not only by the straightforward advice they 
gave, but by their unselfish behaviour when face to face 
with death in the great storm of October 17th. The 
simple faith which saw a guiding light poised over the head 
of the drowning sailor, which believed the planet Venus to 
be the Star of the Magi sent to guide the ships into port, 
and made the offices of the Church the first duty of the 
humblest sailor, also justified the kidnapping of natives, 
who were to receive in exchange for their barbarism the 
immeasurable blessings of conversion. Before we lightly 
condemn the Spaniards for kidnapping natives, let us 

' It would be wel! if the same could h.ivc been said of our own 
exploring expeditions of the eighteenth century. Compare Cook's 
Journal, d'Entrecasieaux' Voyage, and Hamilton's Voyage of H.M.S. 


consider whether our own intercourse with the natives, 
controlled as it is rather by propriety than religion, is 
more edifying or more becoming. 

It says much for the courage of the Spaniards that no 
white man has climbed the dividing range of Ysabel Island 
since their day ; indeed, in the various punitive expeditions 
that have been undertaken by English ships of war, marines 
and blue-jackets, armed with modern rifles, have seldom 
been permitted to advance a furlong from the coast, where 
they are covered by the ship's guns. That thirty men, 
ignorant of the country, subjected to incessant attacks from 
a native population four times more numerous than it is at 
present, should have pushed a four days' journey into the 
interior, armed with no more deadly weapon than the 
arquebus, goes far towards explaining the extraordinary 
success of the handful of adventurers who conquered the 
New World under Cortes and Pizarro. The reader of 
these narratives cannot fail to be struck by the good 
practice that was made by the clumsy fire-arms of the 
time, discharged, it is true, for the most part at very close 
quarters, but seldom missing their man at what was fairly 
long range for unrifled barrels. 

It was now the object of Mendafta's life to plant a 
colony in his new discoveries. Though his voyage had 
dispelled the dream of a rich continent lying within a few 
days' sail of Peru, it does not appear to have been doubted 
that the Solomon Islands were but the outposts of a great 
mainland, as indeed they are. But for a time the attention 
of the Government was absorbed by a new danger at its 
own doors : Drake had broken into the Pacific. " When 
they thought to have sent colonics into these islands," 
affirmed Lopez Vaz,^ *' Captain Drake entered the South 
Sea, whereupon commandment was given that they should 

* Hakluyt^ vol. iii, p. 80 1. 



[not be inhabited ; that the English, or others who- pass 
the Straits of Magalhanes to go to the Malucas, might 
t have no succour there but such as they got of the 

The arrival of Toledo as Viceroy put an abrupt end to 
■Mendaiia's hopes of aid from the local Government, and 
Ehe resolved to apply in person to the Court Probably he 
flailed for Spain with his uncle Castro, the outgoing 
■Governor, at the end of 1569 ; but it was not until April 
137th, 1574, that, with the help of Castro, who was now a 
I'inember of the Royal Council of the Indies, he succeeded 
I obtaining the Royal decree which he sought This 
ndocument, which has been preserved,' sets forth his powers 
■in extraordinary detail. He was to take five hundred 
Ktnen, of whom fifty were to be married men with families, 
attle, horses, goats, sheep and pigs for breeding purposes. 
I Three fortified cities were to be founded within six years, 
land he was to give security for 10,000 ducats that these 
I Undertakings would be carried out. In return, he was 
I granted the absolute government of his colony for two 
Lgenerations, a number of slaves, exemption from customs 
[duties for ten years, authority to grant repartimientos of 
latives, to coin gold and silver, and to bear the title 
Marquis. This grant was followed by two others, 
idated July 14th and August 20th, amplifying and explain- 
ling the provisions of the principal document. 

Mendafta at once set about enrolling men for the 

^.expedition, and embarked at Seville in the middle of the 

lyear 1576, reaching Panama at the end of January, 1577. 

He was on the point of leaving for Peru when the Presi- 

lent. Dr. Loarte, in order to avenge himself vicariously 

•on Castro, had him arrested. The pretext was flimsy 

' Hisloria del Deseubrimtenlo del las regiones Austriales, Por Justo 
ta, torn. iii. 


enough. The Customs officers had confiscated a bale 
of cloth belonging to one of the soldiers, and Mendana 
had interfered to protect him from ill-treatment This 
caused some excitement among Mendana's soldiers, and, 
the blame being thrown upon him, he was cast into the 
common gaol with the negroes for four days, and was 
afterwards kept a close prisoner in the Corporation-house 
until he was able to embark for Peru. In the letter, 
dated from Panama on February 3rd, 1577, reporting this 
outrage to the King, he said that he was going to Peru 
in fear, for the Viceroy, Toledo, was also an avowed enemy 
of Castro, and might compel him to go to the Royal 
Audience at Quito " to await the convenience of the 
Government," that is, until the arrival of a new Viceroy; 
and therefore he implored the King to send orders to 
Toledo not to " interfere with the affairs of this expe- 
dition." The fears were justified, for in another letter, 
dated March 24th, 1580, he reported to the Council of 
the Indies, that Toledo had twice prevented him from 
sailing; the second time keeping him under arrest for 
many days, to the injury of a number of young women 
— who were awaiting the preparation of the fleet to get 
married and embark with their husbands, and who might 
be driven to an evil life by the delay — and the detriment 
of his own interests, since the encomienda of Indians which 
he held in Guanaco barely sufficed to cover his expenses. 

We know nothing of the occurrences of the next 
fifteen years. Mendana appears to have remained in 
Peru, for a relation of the steps taken to meet Thomas 
Cavendish, in 1588, refers to the Adelentado of the 
Solomon Islands by name -} but it was not until the 
appointment of Garcia Hurtado de Mendoza, Marquis 

^ Penelo de Leon, BibL Orient y Occident^ p. 642. Quoted by 


of Canete, as Viceroy, in 1590, that active preparations 
were begun. On April 5th, 1595, more than a quarter 
of a century after the return of the first expedition, all 
was ready, and Mendana set sail with four ships, and 
three hundred and sixty-eight emigrants, men, women 
and children. With them went Mendafia's wife. Dona 
Ysabel de Barreto, and her three brothers, and the Chief 
Pilot was Quiros. who was himself to command an expe- 
dition to the Far West, ten years later.^ It should have 
been an easy task for Mendana to " run down" his latitude 
until he reached the Solomon Islands, and had he not been 
diverted by new discoveries in his path, he would probably 
have done so. This is not the place for describing this 
disastrous voyage ; it is enough to say that, after dis- 
covering the Marquesas, Mendana came upon Santa Cruz 
in the New Hebrides, where he proceeded to establish his 
colony. But disease and dissension were at work from the 
outset, and in less than two months Mendana was dead 
and his colony abandoned. On leaving Santa Cruz, 
Quiros made a half-hearted effort to find San Christoval, 
whither, as he conjectured, one of the missing ships might 
have gone; but failing provisions obliged him to alter his 
course, when the mountain tops of the lost islands were 
almost in sight. Two only of the ships reached Manila, 
the others having passed into that romantic shadow-land 
of lost explorers, whose footprints, in the form of anchors 
of ancient workmanship and strange objects of metal, 
still mark many a lonely beach in the Pacific. 

On his return from the Philippines by way of Mexico, 
Quiros presented to the Viceroy of Peru two memorials, 
which have been preserved, setting forth in measured 
argument his belief that the islands discovered by 

* Dr. Guppy inadvertently makes Quiros accompany Mendana in 
1567, when he was two years old (The Solomon Islands^ p. 248). 


Mendana screened a continent, "the Antipodes to the 
greater part of Europe, Africa and Asia, where, from 20 
deg. to 60 deg., God has made men so useful."^ Lacking 
powers to grant Quiros the ships he asked, the Viceroy 
the Marquis of Selinas, sent him to Spain with a strong 
recommendation to King Philip II, who sent him back 
to Peru with a commission to select the best two 
ships in the fleet for his expedition. With Torres as 
his second in command, he set forth on his famous 
journey late in 1605, discovering, besides small islands, 
the Society Islands, the Duff" Group and the New 
Hebrides, but failing to find his former discovery of 
Santa Cruz. He enumerates the islands described to 
him by the natives of the Duff* Group, and among them 
Pouro, which has been taken for Bauro, the native name 
of a portion of San Christoval.^ The native account 
of neighbouring lands seems to have banished the lost 
Solomon Islands from Quiros' mind, and steering south- 
ward, he discovered Tucopia, and Australia del Espiritu 
Santo, in the New Hebrides, which he took to be the 
great Southern Continent. But a mutiny on board his 
ship compelled him to sail to Mexico without communi- 
cating with Torres, who, sailing westward, found Espiritu 
Santo to be an island, and passed safely through the 
strait that bears his name. 

Quiros now set out for Spain, to press for a new expe- 
dition. In order to attain his object, he is said to have 
presented to the King more than fifty memorials, of which 
several have been preserved. In 16 14, he set out for 
Callao with a new commission, but he died in Panama. 

^ FigueroOy quoted by Dalrymple. 

* The native spoke of arrows tipped with silver, that had been 
brought from Pouro. Dr. Codrington ( The Melanesians^ p. 6) gives 
reasons for not identifying this Pouro with S. Christoval and the 
New Hebrides, as is suggested on p. 51. 


His great reputation had arrested but for a moment the 
decay of the Spanish spirit of enterprise, and at his death 
there was none to take his place. 

The clouds of mystery that had gathered about the 
Solomon Islands were now denser than ever. In the 
taverns of Callao, tradition touched the lost islands with 
the wonder of the mirage. The money advanced by 
Gallego for the refitting of his ships had been transmuted 
by Lopez Vaz into gold, obtained in truck with the natives. 
Quiros' discovery in the New Hebrides of a stone which 
yielded a bead of white metal in the smelting-pot, had 
swelled by 1604 to "two crowns' worth of silver in two 
handfuls of dust, and the people gave them for iron as 
much and more in quantity of silver."^ The memory of 
seamen can dispense with printed documents; and while 
among the educated the existence of the Isles of Solomon 
came to be doubted, and successive Viceroys made it their 
policy to treat Mendana's discovery as a fable,^ the 
imagination of the illiterate saw them through a golden 

In fact, for all the good that geographical science had 
derived from these three Spanish expeditions, they might 
as well have never been undertaken. All the discoveries 
have had to be re-discovered, and the published narratives 
of them have only served as material for speculation and 
controversy. The Solomon Islands, which were delineated 
in their approximate position in 1587, now began to 
find new resting-places in the Chart of the Pacific. In 
Dudley's Arcano del Mare (1646) they are identified 
with the Marquesas. Delisle, early in the eighteenth 
century, carried them further westward ; Danville sup- 
pressed them altogether ;' Dairy mple, as late as 1790 

^ Narrative of a Lisbon Merchant^ Purchas, vol. iv, p. 1432. 
2 Pinkerton's Voyages^ vol. xiv, p. 12. 
' Guppy, The Solomon Islands^ p. 256. 


denied their existence as islands separate from New 

Their supposed latitude varied from 7 deg. to 19 deg. 
south, their longitude from 2400 to 7,500 miles west of Peru. 
Acosta, Herrera, and Lopez Vaz placed them 800 leagues 
from Peru, although the discoverers themselves estimated 
the distance at 1,700, which is nearly 2,000 miles short of 
the actual distance. This error is not more than may be laid 
to the account of that old enemy of early navigators, dead- 
reckoning ; for, while the latitude could be ascertained 
with approximate accuracy by the quadrant, the longitude 
could only be guessed from the indications of the " chain." 
As Pigafctta wrote in his Treatise on Navigation : " Pilots 
now-a-days are satisfied with knowing the latitude, and are 
so presumptuous that they refuse to hear the mention of 
longitude."* A navigator, making no allowance for current 
in the Pacific, may under-estimate his day's run by as 
much as 50 miles in the twenty-four hours, as La P^rouse 
found in the North Pacific ; and if the East India Company's 
ship Derby ^ sailing from the Cape to India in 17 19, could 
mistake the islands off Sumatra for the Maldives,* Gallego's 
under-estimate of longitude scarcely calls for comment. 
Dalrymple*s ingenious suggestion that the Spanish navi- 
gators had a strong motive for placing their discoveries 
as far east as possible,* may be true of the Spanish 
chroniclers, but not of the navigators themselves, who 
wrote their logs for the guidance of their own countrymen. 

* Nautical Memoirs of Alexander Dalrymple^ quoted by Dr. Guppy. 
2 Translated by Pinkerton, Voyages^ vol. ii. 

» North Pacific Pilot, 1870. 

* In 1496, when disputes between the two great maritime nations 
were foreseen, an appeal was made to the Borgia Pope, Alexander VI, 
to fix a line of demarcation between the spheres of Spain and Portugal. 
He chose the meridian of 370 leagues west of the Azores : all the 
undiscovered lands in that hemisphere east of that meridian were to 
belong to Portugal ; Spain was to have all that lay to the westward. 
Spain broke the contract at once by claiming the Moluccas, and it 


Terrarum" of Abraham Ortelius. 




f we except a bare mention of the Isles of Solomon by 
Joseph Acosta in 1590, and the admissions of Lopez Vaz, 
made to Withrington in 1586, the first printed account of 
Mendana's discovery was Antonio Herrera's vague descrip- 
tion of the islands that appeared in Madrid in 1601,* His 
chart and his facts alike were derived from hearsay, for the 
map is at variance with the description, and both are inac- 
curate.' Twelve years later there appeared Figueroa's 
account,* through which it became possible for the islands 
to be identified with the discoveries of Carteret and Bou- 
gainville two centuries later. But the narratives of the dis- 
coverers remained in manuscript in the Archives of the 
Indies, It was considered better, as Quiros wrote in 1602 
to de Morga. Governor of the Philippines, to let these 
islands remain unknown. Navigators, meanwhile, were re- 
discovering the lost group in every part of the Pacific. In 
1616, Le Maire believed Home Island (Niuatobutabu) to 
belong to it ; Roggewcin, in 1722, sighted two large islands, 
which Dalrymple and Burney thought to be the Solomons ; 
Geraelli Carreri, when in 34 deg. N. lat, in command 
of the great galleon, inferred that a canary, that perched 
in the rigging, had flown from the Solomon Islands, which 
his sailors declared to be only 2 deg, to the southward — 
that is, in 32 deg. N. lat. Betagh, who was a prisoner in 
Peru in 1721, records the arrival, not long before, of two 
ships that had been driven out of their course to the Solo- 
mons, In fact, the name of Solomon was made, for a 

became the busiaess of Spanish geographers to exaggerate the 
distance between Europe and India, and to understate the distance 
between Peru and the Philippines, in order to bring the colony within 
her hemisphere. Thus Ramusio understates ihe distance by no less 
than 40 deg. 

' Disctipdon de las Indias Ocoidenlales. 

' He suggests that the islands were discovered independently of 
Mendaiia, whom he calls Menda9a. 

' Heclios dc Don Garcia Hurtado de Mendcaa, Quarto Marques de 
Cafiele, par el Doctor Ckristovai Suarei de Figueroa. Madrid, 1613. 


time, to cover every discovery in the North and South 

It was not until the Transit of Venus in 1769 was 
approaching that the attention of geographers was again 
directed to Mendana's discoveries. While Pingr^ was 
translating Figueroa for his memorial on the selection of 
an observatory for the Transit, addressed to the French 
Academy of Sciences in 1766, Carteret was running down 
the latitude of 10 deg. S., " in hopes to have fallen in with 
some of the islands called Solomon's Islands." On reaching 
177 deg. 30 min. E. long., 5 degrees west of the supposed 
position of the lost group, he came to the conclusion 
" that, if there were any such islands, their situation was 
erroneously laid down." Abandoning the search, he stood 
to the westward, visiting Santa Cruz ; and, at last sighted 
Gower, Malaita, and Buka Islands,^ of the lost group, 
without recognising them. In 1768, Bougainville dis- 
covered Choiseul and Buka ; but, so far was he from 
realising the nature of his discovery, that he wrote : " En 
supposant que les details rapport^es sur la richesse de ces 
lies de Salomon ne soient pas fabuleux, on ignore oil elles 
sont situ^es ; et c'est vainement qu'on les a r^cherch^es 
depuis."2 In his chart of the Pacific, he sets down the 
Solomons about 500 miles north-west of Samoa, as " Isles 
(sic) Salomon, dont I'existence et la position sont douteuses." 

In the following year, 1769, exactly two centuries after 
Mendafia's visit, Surville anchored in Port Praslin, in 
Ysabel Island, and touched at Ulawa, Tres Marias, San 
Christoval, Santa Ana, and Santa Catalina ; and ignorant, 
like his predecessors, of the identity of his discoveries, he 
named the group Terre des Arsacides (Land of the Assas- 

* He named the northern end of Malaita — which he took for two 
distinct islands — Simpson and Carteret. 

* Bougainville's Voyage^ p. 21 


sins). In 17S!, Maurelle, the Spaniard, sighted Candelaria 
Shoals; and in 1788 Shortland coasted along Guadalcanar 
and San Christoval, naming the group New Georgia, under 
the impression that it was a new discovery. 

The identification of the lost group now passed from the 
chart-room to the study. In 17S1, M, Buache, in a Memoir 
on the Existence and Situation of Solomon's Islands} pre- 
sented to the Academy of Sciences in 1781, proved, with 
admirable patience and discrimination, that the Solomon 
Islands must be looked for in the space of 12J degrees of 
longitude that lay between Santa Cruz and New Guinea ; 
and that in this very space lay the large group discovered 
by Bougainville and Surville. His view found no accept- 
ance among English geographers; for Dalrymple obsti- 
nately clung to his identification of Mendana's island with 
New Britain," and Cook agreed with him.* But that 
French geographers were satisfied is shown by the instruc- 
tions issued to La F^rouse in 1785: " Les terres d^cou- 
vertes, d'une part, en 1768, par Bougainville, et de I'autre 
en 1769, par Surville, peuvent etre Ics 51es d^couvertes en 
1567 par Mendana, et connues depuis sous ce nom d'iles 
Salomon, que I'opinion, vraie ou fausse, qu'on a cue de leurs 
richesses, leur a fait donner dans des temps posterieurs."* 
Fleurieu waited in vain for the information that was to con- 
vert his argument into certainty ; for La I'^rouse, after 
leaving Botany Bay to execute this part of his instructions, 
was never seen again. As Dillon discovered more than 
thirty years afterwards, he was wrecked on Vanikoro, 
where two survivors of his great company lingered on 
until the year before their rescue might have been effected 

' Nautical Memoirs of Alexander Dalrymple. 

' Introduction to the Second Voyage. 

• Voya^ lie la Pirettse, ijgj ; vol. i, p. 35- 

n ijtSet i-/6g. 


" The brave navigator goes and returns not ; the seekers 
search far seas for him in vain ; . . . . and only some 
mournful mysterious shadow of him hovers long in all 
heads and hearts."^ 

What La P^rouse could not do for Bu^che and Fleurieu 
was amply done by d'Entrecasteaux, and many of the 
names bestowed by the Spaniards were restored to their 

The French geographers, with nothing to guide them 
but Figueroa's abridgment of the Spanish narratives, had 
by the mere process of inductive reasoning found the 
Solomon Islands. Had these manuscripts been published 
at the time they were written, the islands would not have 
been lost for two centuries. 

For the student of ethnology these manuscripts are full 
of suggestion, for they reveal to us an isolated island race, 
which is even now very little affected by intercourse with 
strangers, as they were nearly three hundred and fifty 
years ago. By all the laws of evolution, they should have 
been either progressing or deteriorating in the interval. 
They have done neither. As they are now, so were they 
then, head-hunting, eating the bodies of the slain, using 
the same arms, building the same vessels, wearing the 
same ornaments. It was not that, like the lower races of 
mankind, they had not made a start upon the road of 
progress. On the contrary, they were expert canoe- 
builders ; for, unlike most of the island races, they had 
advanced beyond the *' dug-out " dependent upon an out- 
rigger for stability, and built their graceful craft with 
planks, cleverly fitted together, and highly ornamented 
with carving and inlaying. Their houses were elaborate 
structures, with carven posts and walls of dyed pandanus 

^ Carlyle's French Revolution, 



leaf, disposed in chequer pattern t they hewed figures 
from the solid wood, with no tools but stone-adzes, 
and the modern specimens of their sculpture, correct 
even in anatomical detail, entitle them to be called the 
artists of the Pacific. They were diligent and skilful 
agriculturalists. Their conservatism is not due to any 
want of the faculty of imitation. The labourers recruited 
in recent years for the plantations of Queensland and 
Fiji have in many cases been entrusted with the manage- 
ment of machinery ; have been found good domestic 
servants, and far more apt to adopt European habits 
and European clothing than the Fijians and Samoans 
around them, who have been long in intimate contact 
with Europeans. And yet these very men, who have 
paraded the streets of Townsville and Suva almost 
foppishly clad, may be seen two months later on their 
native beach in Malaita, arrayed in a paiidanus leaf, with 
rifle in hand, to shoot at the crew of a passing schooner. 
In the history of travel there is probably no other 
instance of the veil being lifted for a brief moment to 
afford a glimpse of the life of an isolated island race, and 
then' dropped again for nigh three centuries, during which 
no ripple from the outer world came to disturb the silent 
backwater. If a solitary example could be held to prove 
anything, these documents would show that human pro- 
gress is dependent upon constant impulses from other 
races of mankind ; and that, left to itself, a people will stop 
at the point it had reached when it was cut off, and there- 
after remain stagnant. 

Three centuries have, it is true, brought a few changes. 
The use of the bow as a weapon by the natives of Ysabel 
Island has declined ; and the great bow used against the 
Spaniards, though slil! employed in Malaita, and occa- 
sionally in Florida, has in Ysabe), Guadalcanar. and San 
Christoval given place to the spear, and has dwindled into a 


diminutive weapon for shooting fish and birds. The spears 
in Malaita, which were tipped with flint in 1 568, are now 
pointed with hard wood.^ Tracts of land on the north-east 
coast of Ysabel, and the north-west extremity of Guadal- 
canar, which teemed with people in 1 568, are now desolate, 
and of the people who spoke the languages of which the 
documents preserve a few words, but a remnant survives. 
The last descendants of Benebonefa's powerful tribe, which 
the Spaniards found in St. George's Island, fell victims to 
the head-hunters of New Georgia scarce a generation ago. 
Head-hunting cannot be carried on for many years in 
succession without affecting the population ; and, making 
all due allowance for a natural tendency in the Spaniards 
to exaggerate the numbers of an enemy, we cannot doubt 
that the population of the Solomon Islands has been 
steadily decreasing for a long time. 

On the other hand, one acquainted with the Solomon 
Islanders of to-day cannot read a page of Catoira's account 
of them without recognising that the habits of the people 
are unchanged. Instances of identity of custom are too 
numerous to set down in detail. Then, as now, they dyed 
their hair a golden colour by smearing it with lime ; they 
wore wigs, armlets cut from the shell of the Tridacna Gigas, 
plumes of cockatoo feathers, and the tusks of boars, dugong 
and sperm-whales ; their musical instruments were the 
pan-pipes and the conch-shell trumpet ; they chewed the 
betel-nut^ and blackened their teeth ; they used shell- 
money ; they decorated their tambu houses with pig's 
jaws and carven images of reptiles. 

* The natives of Ugi, San Christoval and Ulawa know nothing of 
the origin of the worked flints that are always being turned up in their 
plantations, even affirming at Shortland Island that they had tumbled 
from the sky . Dr. Guppy assigns them to an aboriginal negrito race 
( The Solomon Islands^ p. 78), but it seems from Catoira's Journal 
that they have no title to such respectable antiquity. 

* The earliest description of the habit, except Pigafetta's, in the 
narrative of Magellan's voyage. 


The Native Languages. 

In the places that are still populated, even the language 
seems to have remained unaltered — a remarkable fact when 
it is remembered that the people of almost every district 
speak a different dialect, and that in the parts visited by 
the Spaniards there are three distinct languages. Thirty- 
eight native words have been preserved, and of these 
twenty-two have been identified. Seeing that the Spaniards 
asked their questions by signs, and were subject to the 
misunderstanding common to this means of communica- 
tion, and, further, that unfamiliar native words can 
scarcely pass unmutilated through the hands of the 
copyist, it is surprising that any of them have lived to be 
recognised. To Dr. R. H. Codrington, the first authority 
on Melanesian languages, we are indebted for the follow- 
ing comments, as well as for most of the identifications 
shown in the annexed vocabulary. 

The Spaniards, it is to be remarked, would be likely 
to confound / and r, b and v^ and to represent w as gu. 
It appears also that they used A as an aspirate. The 
languages of the islands they visited fall into two groups ; 
the one represented by the allied dialects of Ysabel, Florida, 
and the adjoining coast of Guadalcanar ; the other by 
those of East Guadalcanar, San Christoval, East Malaita, 
Ulawa, Ugi, and Santa Catalina. In the first of these two 
regions there are two distinct tongues : the one called 
Nggao (Gao, or Gau, as it is sometimes spelt, the g being 
pronounced ngy as in " finger"), belonging to the north-east 
part of Ysabel, including Estrella Bay ; and the other 
called Bugotu. The words recorded by the Spaniards 
from this region belong to both these dialects. It is 
characteristic of the Nggao speech to use kl^ y?, and gl^ 
and we have the words cofli (conch-shell) and nacloni^ 


besides bocru^ which may be a corruption of boclu^ though 
the word has not been identified.^ Itapulu, translated 
" brother," by Mendafia, is almost certainly tapulu, the 
inclusive first person dual pronoun, meaning " we two, 
thou and I," for the signs of brotherhood used by Mendafia 
might very naturally be interpreted by the natives as an 
inclusive dual. To the Bugotu tongue belong the words 
hutu (great), and Colanha^ which, supposing nh to be 
equivalent to fl as in modern Portuguese, must be koragna 
(within), the gn ox fl sound being very characteristic of 
Bugotu. Thus yne colanha^ which Mendana took for 
" This is Heaven," would be ini koragna^ which in Bugotu 
is " This is in the middle." To these may be added 
vinahu (taro), which Mr. Woodford found to be still in use. 
Teo is the negative in both tongues. The dialect of 
Florida is allied to Bugotu, and in this we \\2.v^pana (the 
small yam), and mbolo (pig), both in use to-day. 

Dr. Henry Welchman, who has but lately returned from 
Ysabel Island, and who has an intimate knowledge of the 
people and their languages, sees in the vocabulary of the 
Spaniards some confirmation of an idea which he had 
formed independently — that the Nggao tongue, now spoken 
only by inland people, was the original tongue of the 
greater part of Ysabel. 

In the second region, of which S. Christoval is the centre, 
it should be observed, first, that the sound w is very 
common, while it is almost unknown in the Ysabel-Florida 
region. This sound is strikingly represented in the list of 
words recorded by the Spaniards, in which gii may be 
taken to represent w. We do not find a single word spelt 
with gu by the Spaniards until they reached this second 

* Dr. Codrington thinks that bocru may be the plural signy^>&//, by 
a characteristic insertion of / after >6, the initial letter being an error in 
transcription, and that bocru cannot be the same word as Veru^ as 
suggested in our note on p. 151. 




region,' in which they give Guan-y-China (a chiefs name, 
probably Wa-ni . . . ., a common form of T\^xn€),Aguare, 
maragtiasaro. Aguare for Guare, as it appears on p. 92), 
is undoubtedly Owariki (or Owari'i), the native name of 
Santa Catalina. In the other words the article a, a 
common demonstrative in the Fagani dialect, is apparent. 
Aganiga (apple) is probably a gaviga, the Malay apple 
{Eugenia), the u for v being mistaken by the copyist for «. 
The g in gaviga, like the article a, points to the Bauro 
portion of San Christoval. There are, besides, A-iiuru, 
A-guru, and apo, which is a-bo, the present word for pig. 

The most puzzling word in the list is taurigui, mentioned 
in all the narratives as the first word uttered by the Ysabcl 
natives when they came off to the ships. Its form certainly 
suggests the purely Polynesian te ariki (the chief), and 
Dr. Codrington, feeling certain that such a word could 
never have been used in Ysabel, has suggested that the 
Spaniards heard it in the mouths of the people who put off 
from the Isle of Jesus {Nukufelau), and put it into the 
mouths of the Ysabel people by mistake. But the 
narratives all agree upon the point that the Jesus natives 
did not come near enough to speak, and that the word 
was in constant use by the Ysabel people. Melanesians 
are fond of using any foreign words they have picked up ; 
and it is therefore possible, if the word is really le ariki, 
that they had learned it not long before from some Poly- 
nesian castaways. Mendana, however, spells the word 
tabriqui, which is less like te ariki ; and, though neither 
can be identified with any word now in use, it is possible 
that the resemblance to the Polynesian word may be a 
coincidence. Mauriba, given as the Mala word for " chief," 
is almost certainly Maeraka. 

' If we e:(cept Guali, which Gallego gives as i 
Savo ; and ihis may be a corniption of QuoUa, c 

: of 



It is to be doubted whether flattie or mamee is a native 
word at all. It is more likely the Spanish word which 
corresponds with our j/atti and the French ignattte. 

Dr. Codrington has also remarked that the accepted 
spelling of native place-names is in most cases incorrect. 
Aguarc is, as he says, nearer the sound of Owari'i (Little 
Owa) ihan the Yoriki of tho older charts. The correct 
pronunciation of native names is seldom to be obtained 
from a trader ; the early voyagers set down the native 
names as they caught them, imperfectly, and the form was 
handed on. Thus Nggtla became Gela, Ulawa Ulava, 
Nggao Gau, Aula Aola, Hatinunu Hanono. It is to be 
hoped that in future surveys of the group many mistakes 
may be corrected. Throughout these narratives we have 
followed accepted, though sometimes incorrect, forms. 

The manuscripts also throw light upon several minor 
points of native history. They prove that the natives kept 
the dingo dog, the pig, and the fowl, as domestic animals, 
three centuries ago. 

The native dog of the Solomons has the pricked ears 
and the general appearance of the Australian dingo, but 
it is smaller. It prowls about the bush at night hunting 
for the ctisctis (opossum) ; and instead of barking, it howls 
like a jackal. It is rapidly dying out as a separate breed, 
for every ship from Sydney brings European dogs to barter 
for cockatoos ; but in several parts of the group it may 
still be found wild in the bush. 

The native fowl, common throughout the group thirty 
years ago, has now been replaced everywhere by the 
imported European breed; and Mr. Woodford says that 
the natives assured him that there were no fowls in the 
Solomons until white men came — meaning, no doubt, fowls 
of the present breed. The original bird was small, long 
in the tail, and active on the wing. 



Ginger was cultivated, and probably it was invested, as 
it is now, with supernatural powers in connection with 
fighting and the healing of the sick. The cinnamon 
of the Spaniards was perhaps a bark called lakili, still 
prized by the Ysabel natives, which has a pungent 
aromatic taste, and forms, as Mendaiia says, a thin skin 
upon the tongue. The almonds were the fruits of the 
Canarium, or nut-tree of the Malay Archipelago, which are 
still much used in native cookery. The native food has 
not altered in the least. Taro, the Calladium Esculentum, 
was the staple in Y.sabel ; pana, the prickly-vined yam, in 
Florida and Guadalcanar. The Malay apple, gaviga, was 
eaten, and the sugar-cane cultivated for food. Mendaiia 
gives a good description of betel-chewing, exactly as it 
is now practised, except that he omits the areca-nut, the 
most essential part of the process, which dyes the saliva 
red. The custom of smearing the red paste over the 
face was as common then as it is now. Plants with 
variegated leaves, crotons and dracxna, were planted in 
the villages for ornament. 

We need not smile at Colonel Pedro Xuarez' specific for 
the gout, for when the properties of the Solomon flora 
come to be investigated, there may well be additions to 
our Pharmacopceia, 

Seeing the extraordinary difficulties under which the 
Spanish adventurers laboured in their intercourse with 
the natives, their lack of provisions, their incessant con- 
flicts, the primitive weapons upon which their lives 
depended, their clumsy craft, and their attacks of fever 
unalleviated by the medical discoveries of the present day, 
it is to be doubted whether any explorers have achieved 
so much, and brought home so graphic and detailed 
an account of their discoveries, as did these Spaniards 
of the sixteenth century. 

B. T. 



Native Words Recorded in the Manuscripts. 

Native Word. 


ascribed by the 




From EstreUa 


Tauric^ue, or Tab- 


None . 

Perhaps Te Ariki, The 

Chief (a Polynesian 


Narriu . 


Na rihu 

The fighting. 

Nacloni . 


Neknoni, or 

A man, i.«., member of 

Nanoni (Gao) 

a chiefs retinue. 



lara . 




lago . 


Itapulu . 



Pronoun, ** We two, 
thou, and I.'' 

Caiboco . 

High Chief . 


Of many things 

Vinahu, Benau, 

An edible root 


The taro {Arum Escu- 




Conch - shell 

Hofli, or Kufli 

Conch-shell trumpet. 

Pace, or Case 



Woman. The / for g 
is doubtless a copyist's 


Child . 

Sua (child), or 

The native may have 

Sule (big) 

pointed to a child to 


mdicate age or height. 


Sea . 

Tina (?) 

Rock ; or perhaps hina^ 
the glare on the sea. 


Land . 





Mola . 


5^ame, or Mamee 

An edible root 

Probably the Spanish 
iiame = yam, not a 
native word. 

Compare the French 


Pearl . 

Davi . 

Pearl shell. The n for v 
bein^ inverted by the 



Pataka (?) 

To put on a necklet. 

Waria . 

To fight 

Nalea, Naleha . 

To eat 


Not . 

Teo . 


Tereque, or Are- 

Gold, or yel- 


low metal, 
This is Heaven 

Yne Colanha (or 

Koragna ; ini 

Within. This is in the 




Hutu • . 

Great . 

Hutu . 


Pendagri garrafri 


— ^ 

Probably the name of 
some spirit. 



Native Words Recorded in the Manuscripts — continued. 

Puirto de la Cruz. 




E. Malaita. 

Mauriba . 

I>ord, Chief . 



Gela (Florida), 

Pana, Panale 

An edible root 
Pig . 

Pana . 
Na mbolo 

The small yam of Florida 

The pig. 

San Christoval. 

Guan y China 

The king 

Probably a name, Wa- 


Cacaqu . 

Agatari . 
Aganiga . 
Cao, or Sao 

Title of official 

Away ! 

A gaviga 
Wao . 

ni . . . . 

«> 1' »» 

The Malay apple. 
Away ! 

Santa Catalina. 


Pig . 

A bo . 

The pig. 

Locality ftol 


(lold, or 

Caquisa . 




Native Place-Names. 



Modem Native Name. 

Cuia . 

Cambra, Somba or 


Veni, or Borru 
Gela . 
Mala, or Malaita I 
Urare . 

Guali . 


Tayla . 

Guare . 

Ytapa . 



Island in Estrella Bay . 
Village in Estrella Bay . 

District 1)ehind Estrella 

St. George's Island 
Florida Group 
Aola Village 

Ulawa Island . 
Savo Island 

A district or village in 

North Guadalcanar 
A village in North (>ua- 

Santa Catalina Island 
A district in San Christo- 

Santa Ana 
A province in San Chris- 

San Christoval 
A district in North Ciua- 

A {tart of (iiiadalcanar 


Now uninhabited. 

Unknown. There is a village 
named Baso a few miles 
eastward of the Bay. 
No name for the whole island. 
I Gela, pronounced Nggela. 
: .Mala. 

; Aola, or, more correctly. 
Quoila, a village on the west 



I Owariki. 

I Pr(>l)ably Aguare, applied to 

. San Christoval by mistake. 



I Hiiuro. 




CfiiJr ^'c ^w/«-jyi«? 

eUgteo. orjIC-TjaS?' ore '■/ PiM-^r^i cSf-r Jc^-f 






• • • 
• •• 


* > * 

A True and Correct Account 

of the 

Voyage to the Western Isles 

in the 

Southern Ocean, 

made by 


Native of the Town of La Coruna in the Kingdom of Galicia, 

In the year of our Lord Jesus Christ one thousand 

five hundred and sixty-six,^ during the reign over the 

Spanish Dominions of the Cathohc King Philip 

the Second and the Governorship in His 

Majesty's nanie over the Kingdom of 

Peru of the Illustrious Lord 

Lope Garcia de Castro. 

* The year was 1 567. 


I UNDERSTAND it to be incumbent on those who profess 
a knowledge of navigation, and who have had the good 
fortune to go somewhat further than others, to give an 
account of their success ; and there are many reasons why 
this is expedient, so that it should not remain hidden from 
those who as yet have no knowledge of it. 

Christian piety is, however, my chief reason, and the 
more so since the spirit of Christian zeal moved the most 
Catholic of Catholic monarchs, Don Philippe, our Lord, to 
write to his Governor, the most illustrious Lope Garcia de 
Castro, to enlighten and convert to Christianity all infidels, 
and to lead them as labourers into the vineyard of our 
Lord. This is my chief object : to fulfil my first obligation 
to him who sent me. I leave this to the charity of those 
who, when cruising to these islands, may be driven by the 
force of the winds out of their course ; that by means of 
this account, and the chart which I shall add, they may 
know in what part they are, and may be able to escape 
from danger and enemies. This is my intention without 
going further. Let the curious receive this brief account, 
for the author, from his natural timidity, had no wish that 
it should be printed. 

This is my object : this my wish. Receive, reader, this 
expression of my esteem, and may God be with you. 


* Except in this place, the name is spelt " Hernando" throughout 
the MS. 

B 2 


HE Governor, Lope Garcia de Castro, 
ordered two Ships of War to be fitted 
out for the discovery of certain 
islands and a continctit (tierra ^rtne) 
for which he had been ordered to 
search by our Lord, His Majestj', The 
CathoHc King Philip the Second of 
that name, because many men well versed in mathematics 
had deduced that they existed for certain in those positions. 
Obeying this order he selected the two Ships of War, and 
he appointed for General and Captain of the said fleet, 
Alvaro de Mendafta, his nephew ; as Master of the Camp, 
Pedro de Ortega of Valencia ; as Captain-General, Don 
Fernando Enriquez ; and, as Chief Pilot, myself, the said 
Hernando Gallego. The number of persons chosen for 
this voyage, including soldiers and sailors, four Fran- 
ciscan friars, and the slaves, was one hundred, this being 
done with all despatch and cheerfulness on the part of 
those who had to make the voyage. 

The fleet was fitted out with such willingness that it 
seemed almost impossible that everything could have been 
ready as it was ; and upon the 19th day of the month of 


November, One thousand five hundred and sixty-six,^ 
being Wednesday, the day of Sancta Isabel, we went out 
of Callao, the Port of the City of the Kings, and began 
our voyage ; and we sailed from the said port, which is 
in 12^ degrees latitude,^ and we beat to windward, and 
stood off from the land about six leagues' toward the 
south-west ; and we put well out to sea, steering by the 
same course, and sailed for three days with a good wind, 
until we were distant from the land 46 leagues. We did 
not gain more latitude than one degree, making these 
46 leagues to the south-west ; and we carried the needles 
pointing due north, because those that they make in the 
Kingdom of Spain, particularly in the town of Seville, are, 
in these parts, north-west a quarter point ; but we had not to 
make any allowance, nor add anything for compensation, 
nor pay any regard to this quarter point in the south-west. 
And, continuing our voyage on the same course, south- 
south-west, we went up to three-quarters of a degree with 
the wind rather freer than when we put to sea. The wind 
getting freer up to the said three-quarters of a degree, I 
saw that I had gone 32 leagues, and I took the altitude in 
14 J degrees. 

^ There is a curious discrepancy between the two journals in the 
matter of the year of departure. Catoira gives the date as November 
19th, 1567 : Gallego as November 19th, 1566 ; and he carries on this 
date, naming the following year as 1 567 ; but in August he calls the 
year 1 568, and says that he returned to Peru in 1 569. Figueroa, in 
the first line of his account of the voyage, says that the ships left in 
1567, but in the next paragraph he makes the date January loth, 1568, 
and he subsequently Isrings the ships back to Mexico in January 1568. 
Catoira alone is consistent in his dates, and that his are correct is 
shown by the actual dates of the moveable feasts to which he refers, 
namely : — 

Palm Sunday, April nth, 1568; Good Friday, April i6th, 1568; 
Easter Day, April i8th, 1568. 

The following dates are, therefore, correct : — 

Departure from Callao, November 19th, 1567 ; landing at Estrella 
Bay, February 9th, 1568 ; return to Callao, September nth, 1569. 

' The actual latitude is n* 56'. 

^ Read Spanish leagues, 17^^ to a degree, throughout the narrative. 


On the Monday following, being the 24th of November, 
continuing our voyage, we kept the same course for three 
days. I took the altitude, and at the end of the three 
days, in isi degrees, I found that I had made 57 leagues 
in the said course, east-.south-east [west-south-west?], (and 
was) abreast of the point " El Morro de Hacarique," which 
is in the same latitude. And, continuing our course, we 
sailed on. On Thursday and Friday, which was the 2Slh, 
I took the altitude in 15^ degrees : with the bow-lines full 
we went 30 leagues, because we had the wind free from 
the south-east, and the next day, the 29th of the said 
month, steering south-west, we sailed por masantacia} 
37 leagues, with a good fresh wind ; and on that day we 
had the wind free. On the 30th of the said month we 
made 40 leagues. I took the altitude in 15J degrees ; here 
the winds remained in the east, and south-east, and north- 
east, without any showers. It was on this day, the last day 
of November, that the Ecna^ was sleeping, and God willed 
that the ship should receive no damage. We were in the 
altitude of 15J degrees, east -south -east [west-south-west P] 
of the point of Atequipara, which is in altitude [? the 
direction of] of north-west and south-east, and we were 
abreast of the Morro de la Nalla. 

The first day of December gave us a shower from the 
east, astern. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, three 
days of the said month of December, we sailed westward 
in the same latitude, with the wind astern, 65 leagues in 
the three days. I took the altitude in 15! degrees. On our 
north we had the Gulf of Fego Antepeque [Teguante- 
peque], which is in 16 degrees north of the Equinoctial 
line, and if we were sailing in 15 J south of the Equinoctial 
line, we should be 546 leagues distant from that Gulf to the 

' The Madrid MS. reads " Marantacia."— P. de G. 
' U appears, from Caloira's account, [hat the ship sltuck afjainat a 
sleeping whale. 


southward. We steered westward, and in those two days 
we went 45 leagues. I took my altitude in I5f degrees, 
and on the Saturday and Sunday following we went on 
the same course. Up to the 7th of December we went 
56 leagues in the same altitude of isf degrees ; then I saw 
that the needle was steady to the Pole, and neither went 
up nor fell away to the south-east or to the south-west, 
which was well. Then I asked the pilots in what region 
we were, and they held a hot argument, and one said one 
thing, and one said another ; and thus we went on our 
voyage, sailing all about the Ocean to see if we could 
make land, and taking account of the birds which went in 
the morning and in the evening, whence they came, and 
whither they went to sleep at sunset ; but it was all to no 
purpose, for some birds went to the north, and others to 
the south, and it was not at all certain but that they went 
after the flying fish which abounded in this region. 

On Monday, the 8th of the said month of December, 
we went between day and night 30 leagues. I took the 
altitude in 15} degrees. I sailed in this latitude because 
the Senor Presidente^ had said that in 1 5 degrees of latitude 
there were many rich islands, 600 leagues from Peru. But 
I fully determined not to follow this latitude further, for I 
saw no signs which could promise me that there was land 
about that region. Afterwards, on Monday the 8th day 
of the said month, we went 30 leagues to the south-east 
[south-west ?], and we steered by the said point east 
[west ?] four days to the 1 2th of December ; and I took the 
altitude, and found myself in 15J degrees, and saw that 
I had gone 80 leagues, the Puerto de la Navidad being 
due north. And here I took the opinion and compared the 
altitude of the other pilots, and we were in one and the same 
altitude, although theirs was a little higher than mine. On 

^ The President of the Chancery Court (Cancillerid) at Lima. 


Satiirdaj' and Sunday, the 14th of the said month, we went 
to the south-west. In those two days we made 62 leagues. 
On the 1 5th day of the month of December we went in the 
day's run of one night and one day, 30 leagues. I took 
my altitude, and found myself in 15^ degrees. On the 
Tuesday following we steered west -quarter-south. I took 
my altitude in 15I degrees, and I found that we had gone 
46 leagues. 

Not wishing to follow this latitude any longer, as I did 
not see any sign of land, having sailed by the same latitude 
620 leagues, rather more than less, I determined to abandon 
it. We began steering west-quarter-north, and we steered 
on that course four days, which were Tuesday, Wednesday, 
Thursday and Friday, I saw that we had diminished our 
altitude two degrees in the four days on that course, and 
that we had gone 166 leagues, and I took my altitude in 
13J degrees. 

On Saturday, the 20th of the said month, we ran to the 
north-west a whole day's journey in fine weather, and the 
same day we had a shower. We always kept a look-out 
for land, although we had not seen signs thereof In this 
whole day's Journey we went 40 leagues. I found myself 
in the altitude of 12^ degrees south of the Equinoctial line ; 
and, as we did not discover any land, nor sign thereof, I 
determined to sail to the Sth or 9th degree. 

On the Sunday following we went 25 leagues to the 
northwest, and we were in an altitude of 12 degrees.^ 

On the Monday following, the 22nd of the said month, 
in day and night we went 30 leagues, north -west-quarter- 
west. I took my altitude in 1 1 degrees. 

' Here there is evidently some omission in the MS. — P. de G. 

' Between December 19th and ^jlh, they must have passed about 
midway between the Paumotus and the Marquesas, and about the 
30th they must have been near Slarbuck Islnnd, which is only visible 
for a distance of fifteen miles. 


On the Tuesday following, the 23rd of the said month, 
we went 30 leagues to the north-west, and I found myself 
in the altitude of 10 J degrees. 

On the Wednesday and Thursday, the eve of the 
Nativity, we went 40 leagues to the north-west, and I 
found myself in an altitude of g} degrees. 

On the Friday following, St Stephen's day, we went 
25 leagues to the north-west, and I found myself in an 
altitude of barely 9 degrees. 

On the Saturday and Sunday following, the 28th of the 
said month, we went 60 leagues west-north-west, and I 
found myself in an altitude of 7^ degrees. 

On the Monday following we ran west-quarter-north, 
and we went 30 leagues, and found ourselves in an alti- 
tude of 7f degrees. On this day I consulted the pilots, 
and the consultation resulted in their telling me that I was 
the only one whose zeal had not flagged, since we had 
gone so many leagues and had not seen any land, nor signs 
of any. I interrupted them by saying that they need not 
be disheartened, for that, with the favour of God, they 
should see it by the end of January, and they all held their 
peace, and said nothing. 

On the Tuesday following, which was the last day of 
December,^ we went west-quarter-north-west 32 leagues, 
and I took my altitude and found that I was in 6J degrees. 
At mid-day I examined the needle to see if it deviated 
from the direct line of the Pole, and it deviated north-west 
a third of a quarter. 

On Wednesday, which was the first day of January,^ we 
sailed onward toward the west, going 30 leagues, and I 
took my altitude in 6J degrees, the currents being very 

^ 30th December. Gallego has skipped a day. 
2 Wednesday was Deceml>er 31st. 


On Thursday, the day of the new year 1567,' we went 
25 leagues to the west, steering according to our fancy, 
and proceeding on our voyage. 

On Friday, January 2nd, we went 10 leagues to the west, 
and the wind gave us a sign of fair weather, which appeared 
to us a sign that we were near land." 

On the Saturday following, the third of the same month, 
steering by the same point of the compass in an altitude of 
6J degrees, on that said day I asked the usual question of 
the pilots ; they answered me that they had no reckoning, 
having already taken it in 6 degrees full. 

On the Sunday following, the 4th of the said month, we 
went 25 days — 1 mean leagues* — to the west in the same 
altitude, because the current ran east and west. 

On the Monday following, the 5th of the said month, 
sailing on the same course and latitude, we went 12 leagues 
without being turned by the current. 

On the Tuesday following, January 6th, we went west- 
ward 25 leagues in the altitude of 6^ degrees ; and on 
Wednesday, the 7th, we sailed on the same course west- 
ward 10 leagues. This day we had a great squall which 
made us strike all sail. 

On the Thursday following, the 8th of the said month, 
we went 15 leagues, our course being wcst-quarter-south- 
west, and I found myself in an altitude of 6 degrees ; and 
on that day the wind was in the north, and we had the 
sails struck, keeping ourselves in a low altitude because 
the wind was very strong from the north. 

On Friday and Saturday, the 9th and 10th of the said 

' 1568. Catoira and Mendana both relale lh:it on this day a man 
fell overboard, and that, in rescuing bim, the ships foaled, damaging 
the Capitana's bowsprit (vol. ii). 

* It was aclually the case. They were close to Atafu, the nonhem- 
most of the Union Group. 

" This shows that a scribe was taking the notes down from dicta- 


month, with a little wind, putting her head west-quarter- 
south-west, we went in the two days 15 leagues, in the 
latitude of 6§ degrees. I observed that the ship was going 
out of her true course, gaining latitude, because all the 
way that we had made was south of the Equinoctial. 

On Sunday, the nth of the said month, we went 25 
leagues to the west, and I took my altitude in 6J degrees. 
This day the wind shifted to north-east 

On Monday, which was the 12th of the said month, 
we went 30 leagues with a very fair wind to the west, in 
the altitude of 6J degrees. This day there was a great 
squall and rain, which compelled us to run under easy 
sail. The same day those belonging to the Almiranta 
asked me how far the land might be ; I answered that it 
seemed to me to be about 300 leagues off, and that we 
could not possibly see it before the end of the month. 

On the Tuesday following, the 13th of the said month, 
we went 25 leagues west-quarter- south-west. I found 
myself in the altitude of 6 degrees, and we had a squall 
from the north which lasted an hour. 

On the day following, Wednesday, the 14th of the said 
month, we went 30 leagues, sailing westward with many 
squalls, and with the wind in the north-east, for it would 
not remain steady, but chopped about to the north and 
east ; nevertheless, we ran with the sheets free, and we 
kept the sails so because we were getting short of water. 
At this time some of the people were losing confidence 
about ever seeing land. I always said that, by God's 
help, it should be given to them, that they should suffer 
no harm. 

On the Thursday following, which was the isth of the 
said month of January, we had many squalls and thunder 
and lightning, such as we had not seen all the voyage. 
The wind was light in the west-north-west, and we were 
from the land of Peru, by the course we were taking, 1450 

1 5 Jan.] 



leagues in a direct line. On the morrow we went south-west- 
quarter-west, with the wind light, 1 5 leagues, and wc were in 
the altitude of 6J degrees. A boy went up to the main-top, 
and discovered land, which was a little island on the port 
side to the south-west-quarter-south, and we were about six 
leagues from it, because the island was low, and could not 
be seen much farther off". Steering towards it we arrived 
about sunset. This island is low and flat, and has round it 
many reefs. It has some palm-trees, and, as it were, a bay 
of the sea in the middle of it. There is also a beach of 
sand, and when we came up to it, I took my altitude in 6J 
degrees. We wanted to send the boat to it, and, whilst 
discussing the question, wc waited for the Alitiirmita, 
which was much astern. In the meantime there came 
from the island seven canoes full of people, and of them 
some turned back to shore, but the greater part came to 
the ship, but seeing so many people they returned to the 
shore, and made great illuminations that night, which 
appeared to be intended for the protection of their island. 
They also put out flags, though we could not determine 
whether they were of palm-tree matting, or of cotton, 
because they were more or less white. The people in the 
canoes were naked and mulattoes. When the Almiranta 
came up to us, wc agreed that we could not put the boats 
ashore until the morrow, because it was late ; but at dawn, 
there came on bad weather from the north-west that made 
us fall off a quarter of a league to leeward of the island ; 
and when wc tried to make it, wc could not, because the 
wind was so strong that we were unable to carry sail, 
I pointed out that the wind was strong, and that if we 
persisted in returning to the island we might wreck the 
ships because the wind was contrary ; and that it was not 
right to place ourselves in such a predicament, to be all 
lost for so small an island ; for, since the island was peopled, 
1 said, other islands could not be very far off; besides, 


although so near the island, we could not find the bottom 
with 200 fathoms. We named it the Island of Jesus, 
because we arrived there the day after the isth of 

And, because there were great currents, I could not go 
further south-west, and I could not sail nearer to the wind, 
which was north-west There was a murmuring amongst 
the soldiers, who said that, despite the risk of being lost, 
they would not leave the island. Being weary of the 
voyage, they showed great displeasure, but I cheered them 
and consoled them, saying that they need have no fear, for 
that with the favour of God, I would give them more land 

^ Mr. Woodford is no doubt correct in identifying the Isle of Jesus 
with Nukufetau in the Ellice Group, in lat. 7° 50' south. It is quite true 
that, instead of lying 600 miles east of Candelaria Reef, the distance 
assigned by Gallego, Nukufetau is actually 1200 miles distant from 
the Reef, and that Gallego's latitude is 6|*, which, allowing for his 
usual error in excess should, perhaps, read 6^* : but, with the defective 
instruments of the time, a description of natural features is infinitely 
more trustworthy than nautical observation. The "Isle of Jesus" 
was low and flat, surrounded by reefs, and had a large beach of sand, 
and a bay of the sea in the middle of it. Now, Nukufetau is the only 
island in this part of the Pacific that exactly answers this description. 
The natives, who were of a tawny hue, and made signal fires at night, 
suggest the Nukufetau people, who, when they would sail to the island 
of Oaitupu, make great fires on the beach until they see an answering 
glare in the northern sky. In the older charts, following Krusenstem, 
the " Isle of Jesus" was placed in 171* 30' ; and, until October, 1898, 
another island, Motuiti, or Kennedy Island, reported by the Nautilus 
in 1801, was placed in 167*48' ; but a special search having been made 
for it sixty miles east and west, the island has now been finally 
expunged from the Admiralty Charts. Dr. Guppy, writing in 1887, 
thought that the " Isle of Jesus " would still be discovered in about the 
position assigned for it by Gallego ; but the Hydrographic Depart- 
ment now considers this most unlikely. Gallego's error in latitude 
may be explained by the fact that in the stormy weather which he 
describes, and in the excitement prevailing on board, he could take 
no observation, and his under-estimate of the distance between Jesus 
Island and the Candelaria Reef (Ongtong Java) is readily accounted 
for by the strong easterly current, which might easily have carried 
him forty miles a day for the seventeen days. By dead reckoning he 
fell short of the actual distance between Callao and Ongtong Java by 
1600 miles ; and in the last fifteen days, when he was battling with 
squalls and head winds, his dead reckoning of 167 leagues must have 
been the merest guess. 




than they could people, and that this island was only 
S or 6 leagues in size at the most.^ 

Thus we continued our voyage, with many squalls, the 
north-east wind failing us, and I judged it best to direct 
them to steer west- north-west. We were about I3 leagues 
off the island, and we had the island to the north-east of 
us, altitude 7J degrees ; and four days later — that is to say, 
the 3 1st of the said month — steering west-north-west, and 
following this course west-north-west, four days in 6 degrees, 
we went about 60 leagues, at the rate of 46 leagues a 
degree. And we were beating to windward, because the 
winds were northerly, which happens here more than in 
any other region. 

On Thursday and Friday, the 23rd, we went to the west, 
running free 40 leagues. I took the altitude in 6 degrees. 
We had some squalls, but they did not last long. 

On Saturday and Sunday, the 25th of the said month 
of January, we ran westward with a north wind. I took my 
altitude in 6 degrees. 

On the Monday. Tuesday, and Wednesday following, 1 
directed them to steer west, and towards evening I took 
my altitude in $i degrees : the current set towards the 
north, and, because the steering was difficult, we went only 
30 leagues in these three days. 

On the following Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, which 
was the last day of January, we went 6 leagues, steering 
west -south -west. We found ourselves in the altitude of 
barely 6 degrees. 

On Sunday, February ist, being 16; leagues from the 
said [stand of Jesus, that day, about g o'clock in the 

' Once to leeward of [his island, it is impossible even for modem 
schooners to beat up to it against wind and current. Id order to 
make Apamamn from Kuria, which lies only fifteen miles down-wind, 
Mr. Woodford found it necessary (o run from 30° south latitude to 
5* north latitude in order 10 find an easterly current, occupying nine 
days over the voyage. 


morning, we discovered a low line of shoals with several 
small islands lying in the midst of them.^ We were 
2 leagues off them, and they lay in the direction of north- 
east and south-west They were about i S leagues across, as 
far as we could make out, because we could not see the end 
of them. We called them the " Shoals of the Candelaria," 
because we saw them on Candlemas Eve. And I took the 
altitude about the middle of them, between east and west, 
about 6J degrees. From the Island of Jesus to these 
reefs we were seventeen days with the winds contrary, and 
those winds took us to within 50 leagues of the islands. 
We were coasting about all day to the south-west to see 
if we could arrive at them, but we could not. At sunset 
we had a heavy squall from the west-north-west, with so 
strong a wind that we had to reef our sails.^ We were all 
that night in a cross sea, and next day, carrying nothing 
but the head sails, we put her head to the north. Then 
the wind veered to the north-west — that was Monday, the 
day of our Lady of Candlemas — and that night we had 
much rain and wind, and were obliged to strike sail, and 
without sails we could make no headway against the wind. 
On Wednesday, February 4th, the wind went down, and 
we set sail, and were tacking about, with the wind west 
and north-west, to see if we could find the reefs, which we 
had left north-west-quarter-north. And, night coming on, 
we got a little north-west wind, and made another tack to 
the south-west for two hours, and then we lay-to, because 
it was night, and we could not see any reefs or banks like 
those we had passed. 

^ Catoira does not mention the islands. The existence of islands 
shows that Fleurieu and Krusenstern were wrong in identifying this 
reef with the Roncador Reef, on which there is nothing but a single 
rock, 10 ft. high. Dalrymple, writing in 1770, was the first to point 
out that Candelaria was the Ongtong Java of Tasman. 

' Here the Madrid MS. had a few lines more, and the whole 
passage differs considerably. — P. de G. 


On the Thursday following, February 5th, we made sail, 
so as not to fall off with the north-west wind, and we ran 
south -west -quarter- west for 3 or 4 leagues. Then the wind 
veered to the west, and we again struck sail, and lay in 
that position all night, with little wind. I took the altitude, 
and found myself in 7 degrees, 8 minutes; having been 
four days without an altitude of the sun, I had drifted 
15 le^ues south-quarter-west 1 then made sail, setting 
her head towards the north. 

And it was Saturday, the 7th of the said month of 
Fcbruaiy, at the end of eighty days counted from the day 
we set out from Caltao, the Port of the City of the Kings : 
and that day, in the morning, I ordered a sailor to climb to 
the main-top, and look towards the south for land, because 
there appeared to mc something very high in that quarter. 
And the sailor reported land, and presently it was visible 
to us. And we hoisted aflag, so that the A/miranlu, which 
was half a league from the Capitana, should know it, and 
everybody received the news with great joy and gratitude 
for the grace that God had vouchsafed to us through the 
intercession of the Virgin of Good Fortune, the Glorious 
Mother of God, whom we all worshipped, to whom we all 
prayed, singing the " Te Deum Laudamus." 

Then I directed them to go on the other tack — that is to 
say, on the south-west tack^and the wind was west-north- 
west. We were distant from the land, when wc saw it, 
about IS leagues, it being very high, and we went on that 
tack all day. Having sailed 4 or 5 leagues we discovered 
much more land of the same island, which we believed 
to be a continent But, sailing upon that tack, we were 
unable to reach it until the next day, Sunday, at four in 
the afternoon, the 8th of the said month of February, when 
we reached the land. 

As we drew near there came out to see us many canoes 
or canabuchos [sic], making signals of peace. At first they 


did not dare to come near the ships, but when they saw 
the ships approaching the land, and the Greneral threw out 
to them coloured caps to re-assure them, they came close 
to the ship. And we launched the boat, and in it there 
went Juan Enriquez, the pilot, with eight arquebus-men 
and shield-bearers, to search for and find a port to anchor 
in. Some of the canoemen, bolder than the other natives, 
began to board the ship. I had them well entertained, 
giving them to eat and to drink. And, having been with 
us till nearly nightfall, they entered into their canoes, and 
went ashore. And when those who had gone in the boat 
saw that night was coming on, they returned without 
having had time to discover a harbour. And as night came 
on we put out to sea, and the natives in the canoes went 
to their homes ; and they told us that if we had gone with 
them, they would have given us food and entertained us. 
We went beating about that night with little wind, and the 
current carried us more than 3 leagues west-south-west 
over some reefs, and we were afraid of being lost upon 
them, because the sea was breaking amongst them.^ 
Being in seven fathoms of water, we made an outward 
tack, and struck sail till morning, when it appeared 
that the current was driving us upon these shoals ; and, as 
the sea was breaking over them, we made sail, and hailed 
the Almiranta that she should keep well out, as we were 
in shoal water ; and thus we kept standing off until we 
got depth enough. Then I sent word to Juan Enriquez, 
who was in the boat, that he should go ashore, and look 
out for an anchorage for the ships ; but, seeing so many reefs, 
he returned to the ship. When I saw that he would not 
go, I myself embarked in the boat to go and look for a 

^ On a calm day Mr. Woodford found that the sea only broke on 
a few patches, but in rough weather, with a depth of only seven 
fathoms, the break would be continuous. The ships probably crossed 
the reef just westward of Hakelaki Island. 



9 Feb.] 

harbour, but those in the ship saw my determination, 
and would not let me go. Thereupon, the General sent 
orders to Juan Enriquez that he should go back again to 
seek an anchorage. I said that I would seek it myself with 
the ships, for all this was mere delay and waste of time ; 
and, commending ourselves to God, I sent a man to the I 
foretop, and another to the bowsprit, telling them to notice 
when the shoals whitened ; and, with the lead line in hand, 
and standing by all the bowlines and sheets, with the anchor 
cleared, in case it should be necessary to go about or to 
anchor, I made them steer where there were seven fathoms 
of water, for it appeared to me that we should not find less 
depth. Those in the boat not yet being able to reach 
shore, I determined to enter slowly myself; and, sounding, 
I got twelve fathoms with a clear bottom, and further on 
a cleaner bottom. And, at the passage through the reef 
there appeared to us a real star, though it was broad day,^ 
and we took it for a guide and a good omen, and grew 
cheerful and full of hope. And, as we went in, the water 
deepened little by little, and I informed the General that 
wc were already beyond the reef, and had found good 
anchorage. We hoisted a flag for the Almiratita to follow 
us, and as we neared the port which the boat had entered, 
they signalled to us that a good anchorage bad been found. 
So we entered with the star ahead and anchored, and the 
Almiranta followed us in. At the entrance of the port, 
a great piece of earth fell, larger than the ship. 

It was the day of Santa Polonia, the gth of February 
of the said year, and we named the port " Santa Ysabel 
de la Estrella." This port is in latitude 8 degrees less 

10 minutes. The island we named " Santa Ysabel :" 
in the language of the Indians it is called Cambra 

■ In these latitudes It is not uncommon to see the planei Venus 
distinctly as early as Iwo-and-a-half hours before sunset 

C 2 


[Thambra], and the Cacique of the place was named 

This port is almost in the middle of the island on the 
northern side, and 26 leagues south-west of the reefs. 
This same day most of the officers went on shore, and 
I took possession of it in the name of His Majesty, and 
erected a cross. I also looked for the most convenient 
place for building a brigantine. Next day we made pre- 
parations for felling, and began to cut wood, and worked 
with all diligence. I myself, with most of the carpenters, 
set the negroes to saw the planks and timber with all 
diligence ; and, whilst we were busy with the brigantine, 
the General despatched Pedro Sarmiento with thirty men 
to go inland about 5 leagues. On the way they had several 
skirmishes with the Indians, and took a prisoner from them. 
As they were returning to the ship with him, one of the 
soldiers was wounded by an arrow, but no harm came of 
it; and the General, having treated the Indian kindly, 
ordered him to be set at liberty that he might go and give 
notice to the rest of the natives on the island.* At that 
time the General sent the Master of the Camp, Pedro de 
Ortega, to see if he could discover what land there was in 
the interior ; and he took with him thirty -five soldiers, and 
some boys and negroes, about fifty-two persons in all. He 
was absent seven days on this service, and had many 
skirmishes with the Indians, wherein he burned many 
temples of the worshippers of snakes, toads and other insects 
{oiras sabandijas). From this expedition two soldiers 
came out wounded, and one of them, who was called 
Alonzo Martin, died of tetanus, and he was a good soldier. 

^ This part of the coast is now uninhabited, the natives having been 
exterminated or dispersed by head-hunting canoes from New Georgia, 
Vella Lavella, and other islands. On a rocky point in the bay there 
are signs of former clearings, and, until a few years a^^o, there was a 
small village called Kokaibuko. Pedro Sarmiento gives the native 
name as " Atogla." 

* How we were there, and intended no harm. — P. de G. 





The Master of the Camp gave account to the Grcneral 
of all he had seen. These people are mulattoes, and their 
hair is crisp ; they go naked, their private parts being 
covered with prepared palm leaves. They use for food a 
kind of maize or roots, which they call benans^ and 
cocoanuts, and plenty of fish. I believe that they are a 
cleanly race, and I think it is certain that they eat human 

There now came to the port fourteen armed canoes, 
which came to the place where we were building the 
brigantine, while they were saying mass on shore ; and 
the principal Cacique of them, called a Taurique, sent a 
deputation to the General with a present, which was a 
quarter of a boy, with the arm and hand, and some roots 
of benaus. These the General ordered them to take away, 
in order that they might understand that our food was not 
human flesh. And he ordered it to be buried before them, 
at which they were much ashamed and hung down their 
heads, and returned to a small island which was at the 
entrance of the port* The principal Cacique of these 
canaluchos calls himself Taurique Bene. This Taurique 
has his seat about i $ leagues from this port, west-quarter- 
north. This took place on the isth of March. 

Now, whilst the brigantine was being finished, the General 
sent the Master of the Camp and Pedro Roanges and Juan 
Enriquez, the pilots, to seek out the residence and place of 
the Taurique Meta, and there went with them thirty 
soldiers and four Indians, friends of the Taurique Bille- 
banarra, who was at enmity with the Taurique Meta : and 
they went in the ship's boat, because they could not go by 
land, there being several rivers. After passing a promon- 
tory, they landed the people on a beach, and the Master 

^ Panuy the word still used by the Gela natives for a small species 
of yam. 

' Hakelaki Island, just the place for a cannibal feast. 


of the Camp sent the boat before them to a point about 
6 leagues off, while they went by land to the said point. 
There they had many squalls. They remained there four 
days, and captured four Indians, and one of them was bitten 
by a dog. After one or two days the General ordered two 
of the prisoners to be set at liberty, and told them by signs 
to bring food, and that we should then surrender the other 
two who remained. The friendly Indians, who had been 
in the company of the Master of the Camp, thought that 
the four Indian captives should be delivered to them, and 
they asked the General for them, but he would not give 
them up for fear they should kill them, at which they 
seemed in great discontent. 

On the 4th of April I launched the brigantine,^ and 
they fitted her out well for the work that was intended, 
which was to discover other ports and islands ; and there- 
fore it was determined to send in her me, the said Hernan 
Gallego, the Master of the Camp, ten soldiers and twelve 
sailors.* On the 7th of April, we went out of the port to 
examine this coast and other lands, pursuing our voyage to 
reconnoitre this coast to the west [east ?], where there is 
high land belonging to the Meta Taurique, whither the 
Master of the Camp had gone on the former expedition. 
And we discovered two little islands* which had many palm 
trees, from which we supplied ourselves with palmettos* 
and cocoanuts, and there I took the altitude, and found 
that we were in 8 degrees exactly. These islands are 
6 leagues from the port of Santa Ysabel de la Estrella. 
The land runs south-east and* north-east [north-west ?]. 

^ She had been built in fifty-four days from the felling of the first 
tree. Gallego had been so closely employed, that we have to go to 
Catoira for the details of the two expeditions to the interior. 

* Figueroa gives the number of soldiers as eighteen, a proof that 
he had access to Catoira's MS. 

3 Named Ninuha in the present Chart. 

* The fruit of the fan-palm. — P. de G. 


Although the needle deviated a quarter of a point to the 
north-east, and, the needle so remained, [the land] was in 
the direction of east and west-quarter- north. And sailing 
onward, we saw many islands in the same parallel' hasta 
la provinciade Vallas $ leagues from our place of departure; 
and we anchored at a small island,^ in which wc found a 
canoe and three houses. We landed seven soidiers, and 
they went towards the houses in pursuit of the I ndians, who 
carried off their canoe ; and, having arrived at the houses, 
they found in them much food, which they brought to the 
' brigantine. And, pursuing our voyage along the said coast, 
there came out to us seventeen canoes, in which came a 
very daring Indian, who drew up to the brigantine, and rais- 
ing his bow against us, indicated by signs that we must go 
with him to the Cacique Babalay, who summoned us to his 
presence ; and that if we would not go, he would take us 
by force and would kill us. Seeing his audacity, the Master 
of the Camp ordered them to fire upon him, and so knocked 
him down with an arquebus ; and, when those in the canoe 
saw him fall, they all fled to the land ; and presently I 
tacked round the turn of the land to fetch a port because 
it blew very hard. After we had anchored I took my 
altitude, and found we were in 8J degrees. The trend of 
the island is east and west, quarter-west-north-west. This 
island is 7 leagues from the island of Meta, which is on the 
east side. 

I set sail with the wind north-north-west, and because 
the wind was rather abeam we had to row ; and after we 
had stood out to sea a little, I altered the course, and set 
sail, running south-west -quarter- west [south -east -quarter- 
east ?], for so ran the coast ; and, as we sailed on, we nearly 
carried away the mast I saw what was taking place, and 

*■ The islets enclosing the Marinse Lagoon. 
* Fapula I., which lies offGau. 


ordered them to secure the sail, and set the rigging to 
windward, and so we stayed the mast. And the night fell 
with much darkness and clouds, and wind and rain, while 
we were outside knowing no port to run to ; and we hugged 
the reefs in the roll of the sea until I saw that the reefs 
ceased to make phosphorescence,^ and that the point was 
passed, and I entered into a good port at four o'clock in 
the night, and we lay that night at our ease. This port 
lies 6 leagues from the place of our departure, in a large 
bay, and contains a town, and seven or eight populous 

The next day I sent men on shore for water and wood, 
and on the beach we saw more than one hundred Indians 
approaching with their bows and arrows and clubs, which 
are the arms with which they fight. Fearing some ambush 
on land, the Master of the Camp ordered his men to 
embark, and presently the Indians came close to us without 
doing us any harm, and there came also a canoe. Seeing 
that they did not attack, the Master of the Camp ordered 
four soldiers to land, and fire three or four shots with their 
arquebuses to frighten them ; and, when this was done, 
and the Indians saw it, they discharged their arrows and 
fled. This took place on April 1 2th. 

While we were in this bay we saw to seaward a very 
large island, which lay east and west with this bay ; in the 

> From Gau to Flokora Point there is a shore reef with a nasty 
break upon it. The Spaniards were in the utmost peril : they were 
saved by a circumstance that has served many a sailor overtaken by 
nijj^ht among the reefs. The sea that night happened to be alive with 
" Noctilucae," and each roller, as it crashed upon the reef, was 
mapped out by a sinuous line of phosphorescence. Where the 
luminous animalculae ceased to be churned into activity, Gallego 
knew that there was deep water. 

* The native names of these are Kapika, Jagi, Sisigara, Gara, and 
two others. There was formerly a village in the south side of this 
bay called Boko. A vigorous clump of cocoanuts still marks its site, 
but the natives, to the number of fifty, were exterminated by head- 
hunters from Ronongo not many years ago. 


language of the Indians the island is called " Malaita." 
On the west side the point of this island lies cast and west 
with the point of Meta, and with the Candelaria Rcuf. 
north-west and soiith-east-quarter-east 52 leagues, and 
the point of this island of Malayta in 8 degrees. It is 
distant from Ihe Island of Santa Y^abel [4 leagues. There 
are five or six small islands at the point, which in circum- 
ference may be each about 2 leagues, and there are two 
islands midway between the two large islands.^ To this 
Island of Malayta we gave the name of" Isla de Ramos," 
because we had discovered it on I'alm Sunday {Domingo 
tic Ramos). 

We pursued our voyage along the coast before us, and 
at the head of this bay we saw more than seven large 
canoes full of people, and we made for the shore where 
there were some fisheries, and the canoes came to us, 
and many Indians followed us along the shore, shooting 
arrows at us with loud yells. Seeing the boldness of their 
attack, the Master of the Camp ordered his men to fire 
some arquebuses, with which we killed an Indian, and 
the rest fled. Next day, which was the 14th of the said 
month of April, as we were running along the coast east 
and west [south-east ?], about 6 leagues from our starting- 
point, there came out to us some friendly Indians, who 
brought us cocoanuts and what we wanted ; and here we 
saw a pig, which was the first we had seen. On another 

' Malaita. Caloira says that they saw this island before weathering 
Flokora Point, which would be impossible ; but he had his inforitlation 
at second-hand, while Gallego writes as an eye-witness. In the pre- 
sent Admiralty Chart (1900) the name of " Ramos " is given to the 
island lying midway between Ysabel and Malaita, and called by the 
Ysabe! natives and by the Gela people "Onogo," From Gallego's 
position, this island would appear like two small islands close together. 
Now, the native name for Malaiia to this day is " Mala," which Catoira 
correctly gives to it later in his journal. Probably the natives, point- 
ing it oul 10 Gallego, said " Mala-ita I" (Anglicei " There is Mala ;"). 
It Is probably too laie now 10 restore the rightful name, the name 
of Malaita being too widely known. 


day, we went out on a voyage of discovery from the point 
and end of this island, going to the south-east. From 
the entrance of the creek the coast runs north-north-west 
and south-east to the point of the island. There are 
several small islands near it, and from this point to the 
creek is 14 leagues. I took my altitude, and this point is 
in 9 degrees barely. And there came out against us two 
canoes with warriors, to ask of us one of the two Indians 
whom we had taken from Meta ; and they shot some arrows 
at us, and we fired an arquebus to frighten them, and so 
they went away. Another day, which was the i6th of the 
month, being at the end of this island, we gave it the name 
of Cape Prieto.^ From there we discovered some islands 
to the south-east, which are 9 leagues from this point. Some 
lie north-quarter-north-west and south-east, and others 
north-west and south-east ; to these last-named we came 
this day, going to the south-east with a fair wind. At 
ten o'clock in the night we arrived at an island which is 
about a league and a half in circumference, and we anchored 
off it. It is low, and full of reefs and shoals all round it ; 
it has many palm groves and it is inhabited, and we were 
there that night, and at daybreak we wished to go on shore 
but could not, for the island is, as I have said before, full 
of shoals and reefs.* It was named La Galera ; and there 
came out to us a canoe {canaluchd) of fifty oars, and they 
came to us in order of battle ; and they came close to us 
and said nothing to us, nor moved against us, but went 
along with us to another large island, which was distant 
about a league from this one. Presently there came out 
many canoes, small and large, and in one of them came a 

^ This Cape is spelt in three different ways in the MS. at the 
British Museum, viz. : Pueto, Puerto, and Pricto. In Lord Amherst's 
MS. it is generally spelt Prieto. 

* No island in the Gela group answers this description except North 



16 April] 

principal Taurique, approaching us peaceably, and gave 
us beads which they are in the habit of wearing, and which 
arc like what they have in Puerto Viejo ;' and the Master of 
the Camp received him well, and in token of peace we gave 
him what we had brought with us. The Taurique pre- 
sently ordered the great canoes to tow the brigantine, and 
bring us inside the port, and so they did. And after- 
wards, when we were inside, the Master of the Camp went 
on shore with eighteen soldiers, and I remained on the 
brigantine with twelve ; and presently the Indians put 
themselves in battle array against us, throwing stones, and 
Jeering and scoffing at us, because we asked them for some 
food. Seeing their disgraceful conduct, some shots were 
fired at them, by which two Indians were killed. Imme- 
diately they fled, leaving us their houses without defence. 
In the language of the Indians this island is called Pela,^ 
and it is in a chain of five islands which lie east and west, 
one with the other ; and it is the first on the east [west ?] 
side, because we discovered it coming from east to west 
[west to east ?], and it is with Cape Prieto north-west and 
south-east, 9 leagues from the said cape. This island is 
about 12 leagues in circumference ; it is thickly peopled 
with natives, and has many huts, and the villages and 
towns are regular and near to each other. We gave it 
the name of Buena Vista, because it appeared very fertile. 
And there are many people like those I have mentioned 
above, and they go about entirely naked ; they do not 
cover their private parts, and their faces are patterned 
There are many small inhabited islands round it. I look 
my altitude on it at pj degrees south of the Equinoctial. 
It runs east and west. 

' A town in I 
' The present 

e province of Quito, in the kingdom of Pera.— 
ative name of these is, collectively, Gela. — C. M. W. 


On Good Friday of the said year we went from this 
island to another, which is about a league from it ; we 
found in it a quantity of cocoanuts, and we put a quantity 
of them in the brigantine for our sustenance. And whilst 
we were in this island, there came to us a canoe with three 
Indians, who told us that, if we would go from there to 
the large island, they would give us pigs, but we did not 
want them. 

On arriving at the large island the Master of the Camp 
went on shore, and went up to a village which stood upon 
an eminence, and there they gave him two pigs, with which 
he came back to embark, without their doing him any 
harm, and we returned to pass the night at the small 
island. This day was Holy Saturday, and the day follow- 
ing, which was the passover of the Resurrection, we coasted 
along the island by the southern shore, and from thence 
we went to another island, which is about a league from 
it. On our arrival, there came out to us more than twenty 
canoes with native warriors, who tried to take us to their 
village as prisoners. Considering us as of little account, 
they began to show great rejoicing amongst themselves. 
I then ordered the grappling-iron to be weighed, that I 
"light go to another and better anchorage, for we were 
very near the shoals. And when the Indians saw that, 
and knew that we were going off, they embarked very 
quickly in their canoes with bows and arrows and clubs, 
and many stones. And threatening us very much, they 
began to shoot arrows and stones at us ; and seeing their 
boldness, we replied with the arquebuses, and many Indians 
were killed, and all were routed. They rallied afresh, and 
again attacked us with more fury, although this time also 
they got the worst of it, and were routed a second time. 
There would be more than seven hundred Indians. We 
took three of their canoes, although afterwards we left 
them two and took the third. And, abandoning their 


villages, they ran along an upper ridge, giving loud shrieks 
and yells. And presently the Master of the Camp landed 
with twenty men to try to bring some supplies to the 
brigantine, and to make friends with the natives ; but 
they did not care to come near because of the arquebuses, 
of which they were much afraid ; but they went on ahead, 
calling to one another, and sounding their conch shells 
and drums. Perceiving that there was nothing to be done, 
our men set fire to a house, after having taken possession 
of the island in the name of His Majesty, as we did in the 
others ; and we gave it the name of La Florida. This 
island is in the latitude of 9J degrees, [and lies] east and 
west with the island of Buena Vista. The island is about 
25 leagues in circumference. In appearance it is a fine 
island. It has many inhabitants, although naked as is 
the case in most of the islands. They dye their hair a red 
colour ; they eat human flesh ; and they have their villages 
built as in Mexico over the water.^ 

That day we went to other islands, which lay further 
to the east in the same latitude. The first is in circum- 
ference about 25 leagues. We had no opposition from 
them [the natives], because they were already aware that 
they would gain nothing from us if they came to blows 
with us. We gave this island the name of San Dimas. 
We did not go to the other islands so as not to delay 
ourselves, and we named one San German, and the other 
Guadalupe.2 Next day, in the morning, we were at another 

^ The natives of Florida Island still build their houses on piles. 

" After a careful examination upon the spot, Mr. Woodford has 
come to a conclusion different from that of Dr. Guppy. He identified 
La Galera with North Island ; Pela (or Buena Vista, as the Spaniards 
called it), with the Buena Vista of the modem Chart (native name, 
Vati Lau). He identifies La Florida with Olevu^a. It was here that 
the collision with the natives occurred, as described by both Gallego 
and Catoira ; though the latter, deriving his information at second- 
hand, calls the island San Dimas. The wind being contrary, the 



3 ort 































lai^e island, which is on the south side of 
these five islands, and in the middle of the 
way there is another one, to which we gave 
the name of Sesagar [Sesarga?]. It is 
about 8 leagues in circumference. This 
island is high and round, and contains 
much food, Matnees, and honeycombs, and 
roots, and pigs, but they have no grain 
whatever. In the middle of this island 
there is a volcano, which is always throw- 
ing out a great deal of smoke. There is a 
white line on it, which appears to be a 
road descending from the top to the sea. 
This island is in g\ degrees, and is dis- 
tant from the island of Buena Vista, north- 
west and south-east, 5 leagues. From this 
island there came out to us five canoes, 
and they gave us a fish, intimating by 
signs that, if we would go with them 
to the island, they would give us pigs. 

brigantine bore away for Guadalcanal, without 
crossing the Sandfly passage ; but Gallego men- 
tions three more islands lying eastward, which 
he did not visit : S. Dimas, S. German, and 
Guadalupe. There are in fact two, divided by 
the Mboli Passage, but as one is sailing away 
towards Savo the land appears as three islands, 
which shows that Gallego did not hug the shore 
east of the Sandfly passage, but obtained only 
a distant view of it. S. Dimas was therefore the 
land just east of the Passage : S. German, the land 
between Halavo and the Mboli Passage : and 
Guadalupe the separate island east of the Mboli 
Passage. It is true that from the coast of Guadal- 
canal the land again appears as one island, but in 
the return voyage of the brigantine, when off Savo 
(Sesarga), the Spaniards would have been con- 
firmed in their opmion that there were three. The 
profile in the margin should settle finally a dis- 
cussion that was active a century ago, but which is 
now almost forgotten. 

••• \ 

• •• 

• • • • • 


• ••. 

• « 

• • •• 

• • • •■ 

k * » « 

- > V tt 


The Indians went away, and we slept that night at 

Another day, which was the 19th of April, we came 
to the large island which we had seen, and there was a 
village of the Indians, and a large river. There came 
out canoes to the brigantine, and some Indians swimming, 
and some women and boys. We gave them a rope, and, 
drawing it, they brought us to land ; and when we were 
near the land they began throwing stones at us, saying: 
"Mate! Mate!" meaning to say that they would kill us.^ 
Firing some arquebuses at them, we killed two of them, 

' Sesarga is the Savo of the Chart. Catoira states ihat Gallego so 
named it from the similarity of its outline with that of the island of 
Sesarga, which lies a little westward of La Coruna, opposite his home 
in Galicia. In 1879, when Lord Amherst was cruising with his 
daughters off the northern coast of ^pain in his yacht, the Dream, 
they saw and sketched the island, and noticed the white line that 
streaked its side like a path. The coastguard at La Coruna, on 
looking throu){h the sketches, at once recognised Scsarga from the 
drawing, which may here be compared with Mr. Woodford's sketch 
of Savo. 

Mr. Woodford made a minute examination of ihe volcano in iSSS. 
It was then quiescent, and the eruption predicted by the natives in 
1877 to occur in thirty moons had not taken place. The bed of ihe 
crater was roughly circular, about a mile in diameter, quite flat and 
overgrown with reed, fern, and small trees. It was about 250 ft. 
lower than the lip, and 800 ft. above the sea. Near its north-north- 
east wall there is a heap of boulders, like an inverted basin, 200 ft. 
high, and 800 ft. in diameter at the base, covered with dense vegeta- 
tion near the top, where the natives would not venture, for fear of 
two devils [manaaia) that lived there. From the summit Mr. Wood- 
ford obtained a new orchid, a yellow dendrobium. At one spot near 
the base steam was issuing, and at the foot of the volcano there were 
sulphurous springs in which the natives boil their yams. The water 
of these springs, analysed by Mr. Liversedge, of Sydney, was found 
to contain hydrochloric and sulphuric acid, together wilh silica, iron, 
alumina, calcium, magnesium, sodium, and ferrous sulphide. The 
megapodes are here so lame, that it is said not to be uncommon for 
a native to be digging eggs out of one hole while a hen-bird is scratch- 
ing up the sand a few yards off to deposit others. 

According to native tradition there was an eruption about foriy-five 
years ago, and several others during the nineteenth century. 

' " Kill I kill 1" Dr. Guppy points out the curious coincidence 
between the word Mate, almost universal throughout the Pacific for 
" kill," and the Spanish Matar — to kill. This passage disposes of 
the ingenious suggestion of some amateur philologists that the word 
Hate was a relic of the early Spajiish discoveries. 


and immediately they left us and fled away. The Master 
of the Camp landed with twenty men and took possession ; 
as in the other village there was found a great quantity of 
food of roots and ginger^ collected in small baskets, of 
which there was a great quantity in the island. We put 
into the brigantine what we could, including a pig, and 
the same evening we went on board. To this island we 
gave the name of Guadalcanal,^ and [we called] the river 
Ortega.' I took my altitude in loj degrees, with the 
highest point of the island of Buena Vista north and south 
9 leagues, and with that of Sesarga north-west and south- 
east. From this place we determined to return to where 
we had left the ships, and so we put about, losing sight of 
the island of Santa Ysabel. And we passed by the island 
of Sesarga, which is called in the language of the Indians 
Guali.* We followed that course, and went near Cape 
Prieto, to the southward of it ; and, sailing along the coast 
we went by an island, which is 7 leagues from Cape Prieto, 
which is north-west-quarter-north-west [north - quarter - 
west?] with the island of Sesarga, 15 leagues. The 
Taurique of this island is called Bene Bonesa, and the 
island Veru. It is a league from Santa Ysabel. The 
entrance is from the south-east. This island, Veru, has 
a good harbour, which could hold a thousand vessels. 
There is a channel 6 leagues long, a depth of from 12 to 
1 5 fathoms ; it is very clear, and it has a mouth on the 
north-west a league wide. This channel runs west-north- 
west. At the end of the island, where there is the outlet, 

^ Ginger is plentiful in the bush, and in native plantations. It is 
eaten by the " wise men," and by warriors to give them courage. 

2 The natives of Florida and Sesarga call this part of Guadalcanal 

3 The Tu-umbuto River. 

* The village on the south-west side of the island is still called 
Koila. It was probably towards this village that Gallego was pointing 
when the natives gave him the name Guali. 

19 April] 



there is a large village. In the Island of Veru, which has 
more than 300 huts, the Indians received us peacefully, 
and gave us a pig. and we took three canoes of them 
because they refused to give us more than one pig. 
When they saw that we had taken their canoes, they 
made an exchange, giving for two canoes two pig.s. We 
saw on this island several pearls, which the Indians 
brought, and which they did not seem to think much of. 
They brought us some teeth or tusks, which appeared to 
belong to some large animal which they thought a great 
deal of, and said we should take them, and give them back 
their canoe.' I was of opinion that we should give them 
back the canoe, and take the tusks, but the Master of the 
Camp did not wish it. This island is in the latitude 
9J degrees. I gave it the name of the Isla de Jorge.- 

Pursuing our return to the ships, and coasting the island 
of Santa Ysabel to the west- quarter- north, about a third 
part of the island on the south south -west side, we saw 
two large islands. We did not go to them, because the 
time that was given to us to return had nearly expired, 
and also because on this coast there arc many reefs and 
shoals, so that we could hardly go there with the brigantine, 
and one could not sail near them with the ships. These 
islands were about 6 leagues from Santa Vsabel. They 
are in latitude 9i degrees to the south, because they 
are east and west with the Island of Veru, 10 leagues. 
These islands that we passed by are east and west one 
with the other. There is much land ahead running east 
and west-quarter-north-west — south-east [east-quarter- 
south-east and west-quarter-north-west i*]. Because the 

' Their descendants sliU set a high value on boar's lusks. 

* St. George's Island. Mr. Woodford obtained three native names 
for this island: Sindu, Tinande, and Eiri. There is now no per- 
manent village, but he was told that about the site of Beneboneja's 
village there was a settlement called Konda, which was swept away 
some years ago by Iie.-id-hunters from New Georgia. 


needle north-wested {noruestava) [north-easted ?], I took the 
sun close by a river, and found myself in 9 degrees full. 
We saw many bats, so large that they are from wing to 
wing 5 ft. across.^ The island is 20 leagues in width, 
because I took the sun where the ships were, which is on 
the north, and now on the south side I found myself in the 
said 9 degrees full, and on the northern side it was 8 
degrees less 8 minutes, north-north-east, south-south-west, 
20 leagues. Of the large islands which we saw, we gave to 
the one the name of San Nicolas, and to the other, which 
is to the south-east, the Isla de Arracifes [Reefs], because 
there are many.* 

Going on to finish boxing the island, we went for four 
days. We did not go at night, because we could not 
navigate on account of the many reefs. And we entered 
into a channel, sailing on for about a quarter of a league ; 
and, as there was no outlet, we had to go out again with 
the oars.' And at this time there came out against us, 
amongst the reefs, many Indians with their bows and 
arrows ; and we set sail, going by the same point of the 
compass. And there came out 18 canoes of fishermen, and 
in each of them thirty Indians, with their bows and arrows, 
and they shot at us. We fired some arquebuses, so they 
fled, and left us. On the 26th of April we were amongst 
the reefs, and we ran aground on them ; and, because in 
this island there are many sueflos (sleepers) as they call 
them [sunken rocks ?], we were forced to back to get out 
of them. At this time there came out against us many 
Indians, with bows and arrows. We fired some shots at 
them, but we did not repeat this, because the Indians 

^ The Pteropus Grandis^ one of Mr. Woodford's new species, 
described by Mr. Oldfield Thomas. 

* S. Nicholas and Arracifes. Catoira does not mention these. The 
former must have been Cape Pitt, on Gatukai Island ; the latter 
Vangunu Island. They form the easterly extremity of New Georgia. 

' I.e.^ the channel was a cul-de-sac. 


left us. Near this there are many small islands, inhabited 
and uninhabited. Arriving at a point of the island at the 
end of it, [we saw that] it runs north-east and south-west 
for 6 leagues, and that the island becomes narrower. We 
then entered a channel, which divides the island from the 
other small islands round it, which arc many, and in- 
habited:* it is on the west side uf this island, and at the 
end of it. I took my altitude, and found myself in 7i 
degrees. The island is 95 leagues long, and in circum- 
ference more than 200 leagues. And, as we were sailing 
along it, there came out some canoes, and we fired some 
shots at them, and they left off annoying us. 

And, going out of the channel, in returning easi-quarter- 
south-east, we saw, 6 leagues [away], a large island. We 
did not go to it, so as not to delay ourselves. We gave 
it the name of tlie isla de San Marcos.- It is in the 
latitude of 7f degrees. It lies east and west-quarter- 
north-west — south-west with the island of Santa Ysabel 
[true bearing, east and west]. All the people that we have 
as yet seen are naked, and arc like the Arabs of Barbary, 
and they recognise no chief, 

And, on the 28th of the said month, as we sailed on, 
there came out thirty-four canoes in order of battle, to 
take from us the three large canoes that we were towing 
astern, and they followed us for more than 2 leagues ; and, 
seeing the determination with which we [they?] came 
after us, we fired shots at them with a culverin and arque- 
buses, and with that they made off as quickly as possible. 

And although we had been a long time since we parted 
from the ships, and were trying to return to them, the 
delay was compulsory because the winds kept in the east. 

' They iniisi h»ve passed through Austria Sound inlo Port Prasliii, 
,d nol, as Dr. Guppy Ihought, through Manning Straits. 
* Choiseul Island. 


which was ahead of us, so that we could not arrive any 
sooner.^ One Sunday, being anchored in a small unin- 
habited island, we determined to send on a canoe with 
nine soldiers and a sailor and an Indian who had always 
gone with us. And going along in the canoe from point 
to point, because they dared not put her to sea, through 
their negligence they ran amongst some reefs, and the 
canoe went to pieces ; but by the mercy of God the people 
in her got away with the loss of what they took with them, 
the arquebuses and the ammunition being well soaked. 
They determined to return to the brigantine all together, 
but the Indian ran away from them, although he was not 
a native of that country. And, having all walked through- 
out that night among rocks and boulders along the coast, 
because there was no road, for fear that the Indians should 
come upon them, they arrived at a point where they 
found a cross which they themselves had put there when 
they passed by ; and they worshipped it, and determined 
there to await the brigantine. At that time our brigantine 
loomed in the distance towards them, and they hoisted a 
flag, seen by those who came in her. We suspected what 
it was, and we went to take them up, and we found them 
in a very bad plight ; and so pursuing our voyage, and 
following the coast, we arrived at the place where they 
were wrecked, which was near to a small island in which 
they had left two pigs that they had taken. And we went 
for them with a canoe, and took them in. We anchored 
in the neighbourhood, for there was much depth — I mean 
wind.^ And, when • it became fine weather, and the wind 
was off shore, we went inside the reefs, seeking for our 
ships all that day and part of the night. And on the 

* It being now May, the south-east trade wind had set in. From 
Port Praslin to Estrella Bay it was a dead beat to windward. 

' fondo digo viento : another sign that the MS. was taken down 
from dictation. 



5 May] 

morrow at day-break we set sail, and we arrived at the 
port of Santa Ysabel de la EstrcHa, where we found the 
ships, with no small amount of satisfaction and content, 
both on the one side and on the other.' The same day 
that we arrived at Santa Ysabel, the fifth day of the month 
of May, the general said that it was time that we should 
get the ships ready, and go out at once, and that we 
should go on to carry through what we had undertaken. 

And so, on the 8th of the said month, we went out of the 
port of Santa Ysabel dc la Estrella, and, going out beyond 
the reefs which are at the entrance of this port, and sailing 
on, at the end of two days the brigantine fell off towards 
the land, because she could not keep up with the ships ; 
so much so, that at night time we almost lost sight 
of her, although there were on board the pilot Gregorio 
Gonzales and some of the sailors and soldiers that had 
been in her. Fearing that we should lose her, I made 
signals to him that he should put her out to sea, for I con- 
sidered it certain that, if one of the ships did not turn back 
to take her in tow, we should lose her ; and as the brigan- 
tine was a matter of great importance to us in the discovery 
of these islands on account of the many reefs, and as we 
had built her with much trouble and labour, 1 left the 
Almirantn to go on, and returned with the Capitatta to 
look for her, with the lead line in my hand for fear of the 
reefs. And when about 6 leagues out at sea, I found 
myself in six fathoms, and put her on the other tack ; and 
it pleased God that we found more depth. It was night 
when we reached the brigantine ; not without some trouble 
we towed her astern in search of the Almiranta, which had 
gone on, keeping her course, after I had given them proper 
directions as to the course they should steer on account of 
the many reefs which are there. On this course, leaving 

' They had completed the circuii o( Ysabel Island, 


behind the islands of Beru and Flores, and many others 
which I discovered in the brigantine, without touching at 
them, at the end of four days we saw ahead the Almiranta, 
which had not found a harbour. 

On Tuesday, the I2th day of the month of May, I found 
anchorage in the Island of Guadalcanal, which is [the 
island] towards which we had set out from Santa Ysabel, 
but we could not fetch the Rio de Ortega, where we had 
been with the brigantine, for it was to windward of us, 
2 leagues from where we lay. That day there was so 
much east wind that we carried away a bolt {clave\ and lost 
an anchor. And on the morrow, in the morning, I went 
in the boat to look for another good port, because we were 
anchored near the beach, about a league from it, behind a 
small island, which is near the said island of Guadalcanal. 
1 sounded everywhere, and I found it was clean, and a 
good anchorage for the ships, because there was a large 
river, to which we gave the name of the Rio Gallego.^ It 
is in the latitude of lo degrees 8 minutes. From thence 
I returned to the ships, and brought them into the port, 
which we called El Puerto de la Cruz.^ 

This same day the General and the greater part of the 
soldiers went on shore, and I [went] also, and we took 
possession of the island in the name of His Majesty, as in 
the case of the greater part of them ; and, upon a little 
hillock that we found there, we set up a cross, and we all 
worshipped it. And there were several Indians about the 
place ; and seeing that we were turning back, some of them 

^ Mr. Woodford, who has given much time to the examination of 
this coast, identifies the river Ortega with the Tu-umbuto ; the river 
Gallego with the Nanago ; and the river S. Urbano with one of the 
small streams in the bight of the bay. 

- The Puerto de la Cruz is marked on the Admiralty Chart. They 
anchored behind the little island of Tandai, which Catoira describes 
as a point, and Gallego as an island. It is both, for it is only con- 
nected with the land by a sandspit, which may then have been awash 
at high water. 

t May] 



began to shoot arrows : and wc fired some shots at them 
with the arquebuses, and killed two [ndians, upon which 
they left us and fled. And we went on board for the 

Next day, in the morning, wishing to go on shore to 
say Mass, we saw that the Indians had seized upon the 
cross that we had left there, and were taking it away. 
Seeing their boldness, the Genera! sent the solditrs to go 
and look for the cross, and to put it back in its place ; and 
being ready in the boat to go on shore, we saw that the 
Indians themselves had brought it back, and were going 
to put it back in its place. And it appeared that they had 
not fixed it well, and that it would fall, and presently they 
themselves took steps to set it up ; but, for fear of us, they 
did not finish putting it up, but fled. At that our men 
went ashore, and disembarked, and the General sent i'cdro 
Sarmiento to the cross with some soldiers, and he remained 
on the beach with the greater part of the people. On 
arriving there he found that the cross was not set up 
straight, and so they fixed it as it was before; Pedro 
Sarmiento then returned, and all embarked, and came to 
the ships. 

In order not to lose time, I gave the order to repair the 
brigantine, which made much water; and they repaired 
her immediately. And when she was repaired, it was 
arranged that Don Hernando Henriquez, the Captain- 
General {Alferes-Gtneral') and I, the said Hernan Gallego, 
shouid go in the brigantine with thirty soldiers and sailors, 
to explore the remaining lands of the said island of 
Guadalcanal. And on the 19th day of May we, the above- 
mentioned, set sail in the brigantine along the coast of the 
said island, which is called in the language of the natives, 
Sabo.' And the same day the General sent Andres Nuflez, 

> This 

2, SavD, is the present n 

e for Sesarga. 


with thirty other soldiers, to see what there was on shore, 
and make trial for minerals in diflerent clefts and broken 
piccesof ground ; for the miners, who understand the thing, 
said that there was gold tn that land. So they took leave 
for seven days to go and return. And, whilst they were 
making trials, being close to a large river, so many natives 
annoyed them that they were obliged to abandon the 
attempt, because they would not let them go on further 
with what they had begun. From the indication they 
gave, they said that there was gold.' They had many 
skirmishes on entering [the island], and they found for 
the first timff fowls of Castille.^ They took away two 
hens and a cock, with which they were all very much 
pleased, thinking that they had found a better land. 

Those in the brigantine, sailing up the coast of this 
island from the south-east [north-west P] to the north- 
west [south-east ?],' found many villages near a river which 
was about a league from where the ships lay. We went 
ahead, and came to the Rio de Ortega, which is another 
league further. The whole coast seemed full of villages,* 
although we did not stop there, because we had seen them 
before. We went on by the said coast, and came to a 
river and anchored in it ; and there we thought that we 
had better go on shore, and see what the people were like. 

' A lit mutstra qiif dkrcn liixtron que avia oro. Ii is not c[uiie 
clear whether it was from specimens or from indications thai the miners 
thought that there was gold. 

" Dr. Guppy was tnisiakcn in supposing these 10 be megapodidat, 
in which the sexes are indistinguishable. Thai ihey were domesllc 
fowls is shown in a later passage, which describes the cocks as crow- 

' Figueroa gives the ci 

it-sDuth-cast.— Guppy. 

* At the present time the whole coast, from Tu-umbulo River 
(Ortega River) westward Is uninhabited, a sad contrast with its con- 
dition in Gallego's day. Mr. Woodford suggests that the numerous 
grassy hills and flats, which are only seen on this coast and in Gela, 
are the remains of old cultivation. The annual bosh fires prevent the 
trees from taking root. 


And there came out to us more than two hundred peaceful 
Indians, with their bows in their hands, and the clubs 
with which they fight. And they gave us some plantains, 
of which there are a great many there. And after they 
had seen what there was, the people embarked ; and whilst 
we were embarking, the natives sent a few stones at us. We 
weFe then about 12 leagues distant from the ships, and on 
our course, going south-east, we saw many villages of the 
natives on another river. We named the river San Bernar- 
dino, because it was that same day. It is in the latitude 
of loj degrees north-north-west — south-west [? north-north- 
west — south-south-east], and it has a very high, rounded 
hill.^ This river is about 4 leagues from that which we 
left behind us, as I take the distance to be. 

We went coasting along the said island. At 2 leagues 
from this river we came upon a large village at the mouth 
of a little river. Don Hernando went on shore, and took 
a canoe that he found on the river, and some roots, which 
they call mantes^ and others call flames, which they found 
in caves. And we told the natives to give us some pigs, 
and that we would give them back their canoes. And in 
order to detain us and gather themselves together, they 
said they would give them to us. And so they began to 
sound the instruments which they have for collecting them- 
selves for battle, and there came more than six hundred 
warriors {gandules)? And when we were embarked, 
they came to the beach, with their arms and arrows and 
clubs and stones. And they began to shoot at us ; but 
for all that we did not fire a single shot with the arque- 
buses at them, although they did not cease shooting ; 

* Identified by Mr. Woodford with the Nalimbiu River. The high 
rcund hill is the " Lion's Head," a very conspicuous object at this 

^ Gandul is an Arabic word to designate the warriors of a cele- 
brated African tribe who came over to Spain. Alcota de los Gandules, 
or Gasules, retain their name to this day. — P. de G< 


and some of them began to swim, and entered into the 
brigantine, trying to cajole us with good words, and asking 
us for the canoe, saying that they would give us a pig. 
They even tried to take it, as we were towing it astern ; 
and seeing this, we threatened them, and they went ashore. 
Then the Indians brought a stake and a bundle of straw 
to look like a pig, and they laid it on the beach ; and some 
of them came to the brigantine, and said that there was 
the pig, and that we should take it and give them the 
canoe ; and we understood the trick that they wished to 
play us, and when they saw that we had discovered it, 
and were not coming for it, they began to throw stones 
at us, and began swimming, with their weapons in their 
hands ; but for all that we did not wish to do them any 
harm till we saw their boldness, and understood that they 
were coming to the brigantine to shoot at us with their 
arrows. We then fired a few arquebus shots in the air to 
frighten them, but not to wound anybody ; and so we went 
on *along the coast, they following us by land ; until, on 
another day, the 22nd of May, we came upon a large 
river, with a large population, and they joined with them ; 
and there was so great a number of natives that they 
were innumerable. We named this river Santa Elena.^ 

There are along the coast many plains with palm groves 
and cocoanuts. This island had a very high ridge of moun- 
tains inland, and many ravines, whence the rivers rise ; 
and from the chain of mountains to the sea there are 
8 leagues of plain. At the mouth of the river there are 
many shoals of sand, but we did not go there, but stood 
out from the coast to double a point of reefs. There we 
anchored, and the south-east winds blew so strong that 
there was much danger in securing ourselves under the lee 
of the shoals which came from the river ; but 1 anchored 

^ The Bokokimbo River. — Woodford. 


there, although there was too much wind for us to be 
in smooth water. The Indians came out to us, swimming 
with their weapons and arrows ; there were more than a 
thousand of them, and a great number remained on shore. 
And they plunged in, and dived into the water to take up 
the anchor, and haul the brigantine to shore ; and seeing 
their determination and persistency we fired some arque- 
buses, and killed some of them, upon which they left us 
and went on shore. And they made some bastions of 
sand to shelter themselves, and our water ran short, so 
that it became necessary for us to get some. At the 
moment when the prpw touched the land, a great number 
of them came together to prevent us from taking it, 
hiding behind their bastions, and from there they defended 
themselves. And we charged a culverin with small shot, 
and discharged it against their bastions, with which some 
were wounded, and one killed. Seeing that there was no 
remedy, they left the beach, and retired to the side of the 
mountain ; and so we had a spot to take the canoe for 
water, which we brought, although the water was rather 
brackish. And I told them that if they did not go and 
bring sweeter water they should not come into the brigan- 
tine ; and, threatening the Indians, I told them that they 
must bring water in the jars which we gave them for it ; 
and the Indians took them and went for it, and brought 
sweet water, and put it into the brigantine. And presently 
all came on board, and they did not follow us any more. 
And we went on by the same coast for about 6 leagues, and 
anchored in a large place, where there were more than 
3 leagues of dwellings,^ from which more than three thou- 
sand Indians came out to us making signals of peace ; and 
they gave us a pig, and many cocoanuts, and they filled the 
jars of water for us, and brought them on board in their 

^ Doubtless Aola. — Woodford. 


canoes. And they came on board the brigantine to see 
us without weapons. And, near to the beach, about half 
a league seaward, were two small inhabited islands ;^ and 
further on is another small island of sand to the north- 
west of these two islands. 

And presently we went on, going south-east, for so runs 
the coast, and about 2 leagues on are other two islands,* and 
another one of sand near them, which were not inhabited. 
On the 24th of May we went on, and there came out to 
us eighteen canoes, and they were with us till sunset ; 
and when they were about to go they threatened us, shoot- 
ing their bows at us. We fired some shots at them to 
drive them away, and they fled as quickly as possible ; and 
so we pursued our route up to the point of the island, 
which is north-west and south-east. And we went to look 
for a port for the ships, in case of necessity. And we 
found at the end of the point many islands, and shoals 
between them, amongst which was a large island with a 
good harbour.' We wanted water, and two canoes that 
came in our company showed it to us deceitfully, intending 
to kill us, because they came with their weapons, and there 
joined them other thirty, one of which carried thirty Indian 
warriors. Having come to us who were getting water, they 
came on shore, and threw a number of stones and arrows 
and spears ; and they went against the brigantine, and the 
greater part of those on shore attacked those who were 
getting water. And we, seeing their determination and 
boldness, fired some arquebuses, which killed some and 
wounded many ; and so they fled, and left us two canoes 
without anybody in them, and the greater part went 
away. The large canoe was damaged ; and, in the con- 
fusion that we caused them, some jumped into the sea ; 

1 Rura Suli and Rura Kiki. ^ Kokobara and V'alelua. 

^ Marau Sound. 

r*-. •' 

• ••, 

• ••• 

• • 

• • •• 

• . • 

25 May] narrative of gallego. 45 

and we took it with four Indians, two wounded and two 
unhurt, whom we put on shore ; and we treated them well, 
giving them their liberty and the canoe, that they might 
go away, and they went. And I had a boy whom I 
took there. I took my altitude in loj degrees. On the 
south-south-east of this point the coast runs north-east — 
south-west. We did not see any end to this point, and 
the port was forty leagues from where we left the ships. 

We went out of this port with much trouble on account 
of the reefs, and we saw south-east-quarter-east an island 
which was 7 leagues off. We did not go to it, because we 
went to the Island of Malayta, so called in the Indian 
language, which is with the Island of Guadalcanal and 
with the point where we were north-east, south-east [and] 
quarter-east-south-east. After we went out we sailed north- 
west-quarter-east [north-east-quarter-east ?], 16 leagues. 
And we went to a good port, which had many reefs at the 
entrance, and there came out twenty-five canoes, with 
warriors shooting arrows. We fired some shots, and killed 
some and wounded others, and they fled back again. This 
port is in the latitude of loj degrees, on the coast facing 
south-south-west. It was named the Puerto Escondido 
[Hidden Port], because it is almost shut in by reefs.^ We 
found in this island knobs of the size of oranges, of a metal 
that appeared to be gold, below which metal was pearlshell. 
They have them fixed upon a stick to fight with when 
they come to close quarters. Most of them carry them. 
These Indians are like the rest : they go about naked. 
This is the island which we called Ramos, and we took 
possession of it in the name of His Majesty. 

We went out of this port, and as we were sailing round 
to the south-east, about 4 leagues, we discovered the 
entrance of a port like a river, which we thought was a 

^ Probably the harbour called Uhu in the Chart 


river dividing the country [in two].^ We could not enter 
it, as there was a strong current which prevented our 
going into it ; so we passed on for another 4 leagues, and 
there we found another good port, where I took the altitude, 
which was loj degrees south of the equinoctial. There 
is a small island at the entrance, which, in going into the 
harbour, must be left close on the starboard hand. In 
this port there came out to us two hundred Indians who 
did not attack us. To this port we gave the name of La 
Asuncion (Assumption), because I entered it that very 
day.* That day we went out of it, and we went along the 
coast to the south-east N«ear to the end of the island we 
put into a small cove, and they shot arrows at us. We 
fired some shots at them, and they left us and fled. Having 
come out of the cove we went to the end of the island, 
which is in loj degrees. It lies north-east — south-west 
with the Island of Jesus, the first that we saw, which is in 
7 degrees south, and 85^ leagues from the head of the 
Island of Malayta, which is north-east — south-west with 
the point of the said island, and is with Meta east and 
west 8 degrees. And it is of the thickness of the cape 
that makes the other point [i.e., the west point of Ysabel], 
which is in 7 degrees, and it is, one point with the other, 
north-east, south-west quarter-north, west^ with the Island 
of Jesus, 135 leagues. This Island of Malayta is 1 14 leagues 
in length, but I did not go on the north side, and therefore 
I do not know how broad it is. The Island of Guadalcanal 

' This was certainly the Maramasiki Passage, which cuts the south- 
eastern end of Malaita in two. 

* Probably Ariel Harbour. — Woodford. 

^ In order to read these complicated bearings, we must remember 
that (}allego usually gives the double bearing ; and, whenever both 
bearings are to be qualified by a point, he appears to put the qualifica- 
tion of both bearings together at the end. This bearing would thus 
be read : " North-east and south-west : quarter north : west ;" the 
"quarter north" qualifying the north-east," and the " west" qualifying 
the " south-west." 


is very large : I do not give the size of it, because it is a 
great piece of land, and to go round it would take half a 
year ; but I can say that it is very large, having gone the 
length of it on the north side 130 leagues. And I did not 
come to the end of it ; because the coast trended west 
on the east side of the said headland, from whence I saw 
a very great number of large villages. From the end of 
the Island of Malayta we saw, east-quarter-east [east-quarter 
south ?] another island 8 leagues from that point, whither 
we went, arriving at night time. We anchored near the 
shore, in front of a village, where there was a little river ; 
and while we were anchoring, two canoes came out to 
reconnoitre us, and turned back. Afterwards at dawn, 
we sent people on shore to fetch water, and the natives 
all came out peaceably with their wives and children. All 
these people are naked, like the greater part of them. The 
women carry about a sort of fan in their hands, which they 
sometimes hold before them. Having taken the water, we 
asked for a pig, and they brought one ; and, having placed 
it so that we could see it, they turned back to take it away. 
We did them no harm, and so, having embarked, we 
went out to go round the island. And when the Indians 
saw that we were going, they came out in pursuit of us, 
the greater part of them in their canoes, with their bows 
and arrows, shooting their arrows ; and with an arquebus 
we shot the first one who came to the attack, upon which 
they turned and fled. And we pursued them up to the port, 
and we took from them some canoes, as they were intend- 
ing to eat us. The peaceful Indian that we had brought 
with us climbed into a palm tree, and saw that the Indians 
were coming in bands with their war shields, and we put 
ourselves in battle array, and sent three soldiers to recon- 
noitre the people. They attacked us on two or three 
sides in canoes, and also the brigantine ; and we played 
upon them with the musketry, and twelve Indians and 


one Indian woman were killed. And presently they 
retired, and our people, who were on shore, embarked in 
the brigantine, and we went on, pursuing our exploration. 
The island is called in the language of the Indians, Uraba ;* 
we called it " La Treguada" (Truce Island), because they 
attacked us after a broken truce. This island is in 
loA degrees ; it has much people, and food enough for 
the people that are there, although it is small. It is 
25 leagues [in extent]. There is traffic with most of the 
islands that are near. There is a point on the north-west, 
which runs north-west — south-cast up to the middle of the 
island, from which we took this observation of 10 degrees ; 
and the other half runs north-west — south-east to the end 
of the island. And from the point of the island, towards 
the south-quarter-south-south-west, are some low islands, 
with many shoals round them. They are about 3 leagues 
from this island of La Treguada : to these we went, and 
there took water. They are inhabited. We named them 
"Las Tres Marias" (The Three Maries).- They lie east 
and west quarter north-west south-east. There is another 
island, which is 3 leagues from the Marias. It is low, and 
the people in it are like most of the others ; in this we 
found a good harbour. We named this island "San Juan," 
We arrived there on the ist of June. Wc took possession 
of it, as of all the others, in the name of His Majesty. It 
is 6 leagues round, and it is in the latitude of lOj degrees.' 
From thence we went to another large island, which is 
north and south with this one 2 leagues ; and, before we 

' Its present name. The "L" and " R" being inierchangeable, 
a.od " W " being easily confused with " R " in the mouth of a naiive, 
Ulawa is idenlical with Umba. The next European to visit it was 
Surville, exactly two centuries later (1769). He, too, established 
communications with grape shot. He called the island " Contrariety." 

* Named "The Three Sisters " in the Chart, after Surville. They 
are now iminhabited and apparently waterless. 

> Ugi Island. 


got there, there came out ninety-three canoes with warriors, 
and we had a great skirmish {guacanara\ and took an Indian 
chief. And we put him below, and he got hold of a sword, 
and, defending himself with it, he tried to escape ; but in 
the end the sword was taken away from him, and we bound 
him. We wished to send men on shore to take possession 
of the island, but the people pressed down upon us so hard 
that we could not do it. And we returned towards the 
island of San Juan, and I told Don Fernando that I would 
offer to fetch back to it before dawn, and so it was done. 
And in the island of San Juan they ransomed the Indian 
and gave us three pigs for him. Don Fernando Enriquez 
gave him some chaquiras (coloured beads), and embraced 
him in token of peace. 

Another day, the 2nd of June, at daybreak, we were 
under the island of Santiago, and there came out more 
than fifty canoes : and there was a dispute, because some 
wished to carry us off to their village. We were forced to 
fire some shots, so as to rtiake them leave us, after which 
they left us and fled. I took possession of the island 
in the name of His Majesty, without any hindrance or 
impediment whatever, and we did no harm to them. This 
island is 40 leagues long on the north side, and it is narrow, 
and in part mountainous and well peopled. The people of 
this island go about naked, and eat human flesh. It is in 
the latitude of loj degrees, and the point upon the east 
side is north-west — south-east with the island of Treguada, 
12 leagues, and the point on the south-east side is north- 
west — south-east 18 leagues with the island of Malayta. 
And, having all embarked to go on, there came a great 
wind from the north-east, which took us to the headland 
of Santiago, whence we saw a large island to the south- 
west, which runs south-west, west-south-west, or north- 
west. It was 18 leagues distant. It is in the latitude of 
lO^ degrees south of the Equinoctial. This island is 



four leagues from the island of Guadalcanal. We named 
it the island of "San Urban."' On account of the illness 
of myself and several soldiers, we did not go on, but 
keeping away to leeward, we arrived at the island of Guadal- 
canal. We went on shore at a village, where the Indians 
gave us /a guacatiitra? when we passed by it, wishing to 
to get water. And we landed the three Indians in a canoe, 
and they gave us a pig and some honey {panales). Leaving 
us at the village, they fled, for they had much fear of i 
We gave them beads {ckaquiras) in token of peace. We 
went from thence, and returned towards the ships, touching 
at several parts where we had been before ; and the natives 
received us peaceably, and gave us what they had, for . 
they were much afraid on account of the arquebuses which 
we carried. We went on to a port where we had been 
received peaceably when we passed by it. We took water 
there, and they gave us a pig, and they almost filled up the 
brigantine vi\'Ci\ pitnaes, which is the food they eat. Under 
the shelter of the island there is a very good harbour for 
the ships, and it is thickly peopled. We went out from 
thence towards the ships, and we reconnoitred a river, 
where we had been before. 

We entered the river under sail, in order to take 
some food on board, and we arrived near a village ; 
and when the Indians saw us, they decamped from the 
village. We found many panaes and flames, with which 
we loaded the brigantine. I wished to take away 
white parrot, which the Indians had injured, and many 

' At ihis point GallcBO becomes confused. Santiago was evidently 
the north coast of the island which they aftenvartls named " San 
Chrisioval." Dt. Guppy thinks that San Urban was the peninsula 
of Cape Surville, which Is connected with the main island by low land 
that would be indistinguishable at a distance. 

* That is, they attacked us. "Guacanara" is a South Americ 
word, meaning war, fight, skirmish ; perhaps also war-cry, as appears 
from this passage. The Spanish " Algazara " may be derived from 
ii.-P. de G. 

5 June] 



Others of different colours ; and when the Indians saw 
that we did them no harm, all those that were near 
came back, and gave us a pig, that we might go away. 
Presently we passed a river, which has a large population 
on its bank, and we anchored in it. And the Indians began 
to kindle fire, and to cast it into the air {i hechar por lo 
aito), a thing that we had not seen in any other port. 

Next day, which was Whit-Sunday, the 6th of June, we 
arrived at the ships. We found them all very sad, because 
on Ascension Day, the steward, four soldiers, and five 
negroes, going on shore for water (as they went at other 
times), because the Cacique of that part was a friend, and 
was accustomed to come on board the ship, and to give 
them cocoanuts, and they themselves were accustomed to 
bring the water in the jars ; and we trusted them on account 
of the friendship with which they treated us) ; going 
that day for water, it appears that the boat ran aground, 
and as she was laden they did not take care to shove her 
off ; at that instant, they came out from an ambuscade with 
weapons, and set upon them, and they did not leave any 
alive but a negro of mine who had escaped ; and the greater 
part of them they cut into pieces ; cutting off their heads 
and arms and legs, taking out their tongues, and sucking 
out their brains with great ferocity. And the negro that 
escaped was able to do so because he swam to an islet 
which was near, although they swam after him ; and, with 
a cutlass which he had in his hand, he defended himself 
in such a manner that they left him, and he reached the 
islet. And from thence he began to cry out to those in the 
ship, making signals, which they understood, and in as 
short a time as possible the General went on shore to see 
what had happened. And when he reached the shore 
the disaster had occurred, and the Indians had assembled 
on the hill ; and presently they took the dead Christians, 
and carried them away to bury them in the place where 


it was customary to say Mass, tlie soldiers in one place J 
and the negroes in another. One of the negroes slain 1 
belonged to the king, and two belonged to us, and ' 
one to the boatswain. It was something to hear the 
clamour and noise that the Indians made with their 
drums ; it seemed as if it were a day of gathering for 
judi^mcnt, because for that purpose there were gathered 
together more than forty thousand Iridians. And, having 
buried their dead, they returned to the ships with much 
sorrow at what had happened. 

The cause that moved the Indians to war, so far as I 
understood what they said, was that they had taken a 
boy from the tribe of a Cacique, and the Cacique came 
to tell those of the ship Capitana that, if they would give 
him up to him, he would give a pig for him, and they 
did not wish to give him up. Next day the Cacique 
brought a pig down to the ship and said, that if they 
would give him the boy, who was one of his family, he 
would give them the pig. And they would not give 
him up, but took the pig by force. The Cacique, having 
seen what had been done to him, came no more to the 
ships, and a few days afterwards this disaster occurred. 
On another day after this sad event, the General ordered 
i'edro Sarmiento to go ashore with as many people as 
he could muster, to chastise them. He burned several 
villages, and killed more than twenty Indians. Then he 
returned to give an account of what had been done. And 
each day, as we went on shore, we managed to give them 
some chastisement. And on another occasion the General 
ordered I'edro Sarmiento to go to a point, which was 
south-east about a league and half from the ships, because 
there appeared no Indian whom we could chastise ; for it 
seemed to him that all the Indians had been concerned in 
the treachery and in the death of the Christians. Taking 
two boats, and fifty soldiers in them, they landed, but found 



9jlinc] NAkkATIVK OF GALLEGO. 53 

no Indians, because they had pone into the liills. So he set 
fire to all the houses and villages that he found, and 
returned to the ship. And from a point some Indians 
came slowly in pursuit of him. Our people then arranged 
an ambuscade, by which Chcy killed three or four Indians, 
and the rest fled; after which we returned towards the 
boats, and embarked and came to the ships. And from an 
Indian, whom we had taken, we learned who were con- 
cerned in the death of our people. He said that a 
Taurique, called Nobolo, whose village was on the bank of 
a river, about a league from the Rio Gallego towards the 
east, was the chief person concerned, together with many 
others, who were joined together with that purpose, with 
the said result,^ 

On Wednesday, the 9th day of June, being on- the islet 
near to the large island, which was near the harbour where 
the ships were, the men of the Ahniraiita were making a 
maintopmast, and the carpenter's guard consisted of some 
musketeers and shield-bearers, about eight in all. The 
Indians, wishing to make another assault like the last one, 
were in ambush, more than three hundred of them, deter- 
mined to make the assault. About ten Indians passed over 
to the small island in a canoe, keeping their bows and arrows 
concealed. They brought a pig to deceive our men and to 
engage them in a parley, whilst other Indian warriors were 
arriving. When I saw the Indians and the canoe crossing 
over to the place where they were making the topmast, 1 
ordered some musketeers to get into the boat, and with 
them Pedro Sarmicnto ; they went on, concealed by the 
little island, and they could not be seen from the canoe- 
When the boat arrived near the small island, we passed 
between it and the large island, near the canoe, which held 

' The part of the coast to which Nobolo belonged is failed Lunga, 
which is not 10 be confused with the village of Lango near the 
Natimbiu River, a few miles \o the eastward. 


only one Indian, because the greater part had thrown them- 
selves into the sea. The canoe was taken with the pig, 
which they were taking to deceive those that were making 
the mast, and we returned to the ship, having killed nearly 
all the Indians who were in the canoe. This was the best 
foray that had been made, because they were much 

On the I2th of the said month of June, the General went 
out with the briganline and the boat, and the greater part 
of his people, to inflict more chastisement on the river that 
lay to the eastward one league from where the ships were, i 
and I went with him. We arrived near the river an hoi 
before daybreak, in order that from thence we might go I 
unperceived, and fall right upon the Indians ; but, having I 
sentinels, they saw us immediately, and stood to arms. I 
remained in the brigantine at the mouth of the river, with j 
four musketeers and the boat, so as not to let any canoe I 
pass out. And when the General arrived at the village | 
they had all forsaken it, and, as they found nobody, they I 
set fire to it ; it had more than two hundred houses. Then | 
we returned to the ship. 

Next day, Sunday, the 13th of the said month of June, 1 
we set sail in the night to go with the ships to the place I 
that we had discovered with the brigantine ; and having J 
sailed east -south -east, about 8 leagues from where we had I 
been lying, we had to anchor because the wind was] 
contrary. Here the General went on shore to get some I 
food for the sick, of whom there were many, and presently 1 
we returned to the ships ; and, the land breeze springing j 
up, we weighed anchor and set sail. Here died Paladine, ] 
the pilot. We buried him at sea. We lost sight of the I 
brigantine because she was ahead, and we did not see her I 
until we came to the harbour where she was anchored, near I 
an island half a league to windward of where we had been I 
with the brigantine in our voyage of discovery. There! 

• •• 
• • • • 

• • • 

'. • • • 

•• • 

• • 

» • 


were many people, and they came out to us peaceably. We 
were there all day, because it was the day of Corpus Christi. 
Mass was said on a small island which was near the 
harbour. There we took water, and they gave us volun- 
tarily pigs and many cocoa-nuts and Hames. The Cacique 
of that district is called Meso, and the village Urare.^ We 
left this island on the port side. This district is at war 
with the people of Feday, which is the place where we 
were anchored when they killed our people. 

On the iSthof June we went out of this port, continuing 
our voyage to search for the island of Santiago or San 
Juan,* which is that which we discovered and gave this 
name to. We beat to windward with strong head winds, 
trying all that time to make the island of Santiago ; but, 
owing to the rough and contrary weather, we could not 
make it, and I determined to pass to the southward of 
Santiago, the strong wind and contrary currents preventing 
us from making a;ny port. We went coasting along an island 
which had not been seen by the brigantine, and we were 
fourteen days before we made the end of the island ; and 
in the middle of the island, owing to the contrary winds 
and currents, what we made one day we lost another, 
so we tried to find a port. We named the island San 
Christoval. It was our Lord's pleasure that at the end of 
so much hard work, we should find a very good port for 
the ships ; and on the following day I went from the port 
to the ship, and went on board of her ; and we were beating 
to windward all that night, and the heavy weather obliged 
us to lie in a cross sea with our sails furled. And when 
it was dawn we found we had fallen off 3 leagues from 
the port ;* and, though we tried to make the port, which 

^ The district is now called Lungo and the village Aola. 

2 Gallego here forgets that he had given the name of S. Juan to 
Ugi, and Santiago to the island south of it, />., S. Christoval, 

3 Probably Manewai Harbour, 



was to windward of us, we could not do it ; and because 
we fell off each tack, I was obliged to put myself into the 
brigantine, which I did, and went off in her to seek another 
harbour. I made signals that they should follow the 
brigantine: and, the signal having been made, the ship 
followed the brigantine, which was outside a point of reefs 
that form the harbour, and so we entered into it safely. 
It is a good harbour, and has a village of about eighty 
houses ; and, after dinner, the Genera! went on shore, and 
the captains and soldiers with him, to take possession of 
the island in the name of His Majesty, which wc did 
quietly, because the Indians received us peaceably. And 
the same evening we went in marching order to look at 
the village without doing them any harm, and we returned 
to the .ships, determining to return to the village on the 
morrow for some food, of which we were in want. 

On the morning of the ist of July, we all went on shore. 
The General went towards one part of the village with 
most of our people, and Fedro Sarmiento with twelve 
soldiers entered into the village from another direction, 
with the determination of seizing food on account of our 
great need of it. And the Indians, seeing that wc were 
determined, and that we were approaching the village 
from two sides, began to make a disturbance, and went 
to arms, making signs to us to re-embark. They held a 
meeting among themselves in a hollow, which was on 
the side where Pedro Sarmiento entered, and I and they 
all saw one of the chiefs making exorcisms and incanta- 
tions to the Devil, They were certainly afraid of him, 
because it appeared that his body was possessed by the 
Devil,* And two other Indians, making great grimaces 
and great tremblings, took up the sand with their feet and 
hands, and threw it up in the air. With loud cries and 

' Heathen priests throughout ihe Pacific si 
working themselves into a kind of convulsive 

o have ihc power of 


roaring, they went towards the boats, and threw the water 
into the air ; at this moment the trumpets sounded to collect 
the people together, and so they came to where the General 
stood, with all the people, with their bows and arrows and 
their darts for throwing, and their clubs which are the 
weapons with which they are accustomed to fight. And 
they came very near our people, bending their bows, and 
ordering us to go away. We were forced to fire on them, and 
we killed some and wounded others, upon which they for- 
sook the village and fled away from it. In it there was a 
great quantity of food oipanaes and Hames, and many cocoa- 
nuts and almonds {almenoras) enough to load a vessel. We 
began immediately to take to the boat all that we found ; 
and that day they did nothing else, and the Indians did not 
dare to return to the village any more, and that night we 
embarked in our ships. This harbour is 1 1 degrees south : 
it is very close to the Island of Santiago, on the south-east.^ 
It is narrow and hilly, and the people are like the rest. 

At the end of three days, the General ordered the brigan- 
tinc to go to discover more land. Francisco Muftoz Rico 
and ten soldiers, and I myself with thirteen sailors, went in 
her. We went out of the port on the 4th of July, coasting 
along the said Island of Paubro, for so it is called in the 
language of the natives, but we called it San Christoval.^ 
Up to the middle of the island the coast runs north-west, 
south-east and a quarter east and west for about 20 
leagues, and the other half runs east and west, quarter 

^ It is here evident that Gallego thought that the northern and 
southern coasts of S. Christoval were distinct islands. 

* The present native name is Bauro. Dr. Guppy points out that, 
forty years afterwards, Quiros, when at Taumaco in the Duff Group, 
heard of a native pilot who had come from a great and populous island 
called Pouro, which lay to the westward, and that he had brought 
thence arrows tipped with metal. The name is very sugp^estive to all 
students of Polynesian and Melanesian myth, for in Fiji, Tonga, and 
other groups, the spirits of the dead leap into the western ocean to 
pass over to Bouro, or Bulo, the land of their origin. 


north-west, south-east. We entered into a harbour on this 
side, which is the first that t discovered with the brigantine, 
and remained there for a day to repair. 

Next day, in the morning, ive went out thence along the 
coast, east-quarter-south-east, and wc entered into a cove 
shut in by reefs, near which there were three villages. We 
took there two boys, and the commanding officer went with 
all the people to reconnoitre the village, which was about a 
league off, and I remained in charge of the brigantine, 
not without some small risk, as there remained with me 
only three soldiers to guard the brigantine ; and a few 
hours afterwards the people returned with two canoes that 
they had taken, five sucking pigs, and plenty oipanaes and 
plantains, with which they embarked, and we set sail for 
the coast beyond. 

Next day there came out to us a canoe with two Indians 
peacefully, and one of them entered into the brigantine. 
We were going to find a harbour, and we sailed on along 
tlie said coast, in which there were many villages, and the 
people of them very turbulent, as we expected, because a 
canoe preceded u.s, giving warning in such a manner that 
we could not take anything at alt in that whole island. 
And as we sailed near the land, under a headland, there 
came out to us many Indians, who threw stones at us with 
a great noise. At the extremity of this island we dis- 
covered two small islands. This point of the island is 
1 1 degrees and a half south of the Equinoctial. This island 
is about 100 leagues in circumference, and about 7 leagues 
broad, and thickly peopled. From this point we went to 
one of the small islands on the south side : it was the 
smallest one. and, arriving there, we anchored. And there 
came out to us twelve Indians, who came on board the 
brigantine, and remained a time with us : and, being asked 
by signs if there was much land ahead, they said "No!" 
but, in the south-cast to which wc were pointing, they said 



there was much land, and we saw it, but, not having any 
time, we did not go to look at it.' And all that day and 
night we had much wind. Wc wanted to disembark, but 
the natives threw stones at us ; and, in order lo defend 
ourselves, wc fired some arquebuses. They all fled, and we 
went on shore and came to the village, where we found 
several pigs, and many almonds and plantains. I sent a 
seaman up a high palm tree, to see if he could see any land 
towards the south or south-east, or north-west [? south- 
west]. And it did not appear that there was any land 
ahead, and a heavy swell set in from the east, which was a 
sign that there was not much land ahead. We named this 
island Santa Catallna : in the language of the natives it is 
called Aguare.' Lt is in circumference about 40^ leagues, 
low and flat ; it has many palm-trees, and is thickly 
peopled, and has many reefs. It is in the latitude of 
I r| degrees. With the point of the island of San Christo- 
val it bears south-east^north-west two leagues. 

On the nth of the said month we departed from this 
island for another island, which bears north-north-west — 
south -south- east with this one, about a short league. With 
the point of San Christoval it lies east and west, a quarter 
north-west — south-east [west by north — east by south?] 
3 leagues. It is in the latitude of li degrees 36 minutes. 
We gave it the name of Santa Ana, but in the language of 
the natives it is called Ytapa.* It is about 7 leagues in 
circumference. It is a low, round island, with a high place 
in the middle like a castle. It is well peopled, and has 
many of the conveniences necessary for life. There is much 

' The natives may have referred to the New Hebrides group, which 
lies to the south-east, but the Spaniards enuld not have s,-en it. 

' O-wariki is the native name ; Aguare is, perhaps, the same »'ord 
imperfectly caught. 

^ A mistake for 4. 

* The present name is O-wnraha, which might be mistaken for 
Jtapa by ears unaccustomed to the native language and pronunciation. 


food, such as pigs, and Castilian fowls, and there is a very 
good port on the east [west ?] side. Arriving there, we sent 
some men ashore, and the natives began to attack us. An 
Indian was killed, and they began to flee ; and they 
abandoned the village, and our people entered into the 
houses to look for food ; but they found nothing but three 
pigs, because they had put all the rest in a safe place. 
Night coming on, we embarked in our brigantine, and we 
kept off the land ; and all that night we heard no noise, 
except the crowing of many cocks.^ 

Next day, very early on the 1 3th of July, we sent people 
on shore to look for some food to bring to the ship for the 
sick that wc had. The Indians were lying in ambush. 
When they saw that we sent the people on shore, and that I 
remained with four soldiers on board the brigantine, they 
began with a great shout to attack our people, flring many 
darts and arrows. They came with their bodies painted 
in streaks, with boughs on their heads: they wounded 
three Spaniards and a negro of mine, and also the com- 
mander of the Spaniards, Francisco Mufloz ; they threw a 
dart at him which went through his shield, and right through 
his arm, so that the dart came out a palm's length on the 
other side of the shield. And, cheering on our people, he 
attacked them valiantly, killing several Indians and wound- 
ing many others ; so, happily, they abandoned the field 
and fled. Our men then set fire to the village, and obtained 
water, and we looked out from the highest point that there 
was to see if any land appeared, and as none could be 
seen we embarked to return to the ship. And, sailing all 
that day with a fair wind, we arrived at the island of San 
Christoval, and that night we entered into a harbour. 

* This shows that the " C.istili«in fowls " were not Megapodidce^ 
which do not crow, but the Gallus Hankiva which is found domesticated 
throujfhout the Malay Archipelago, and is the parent of domestic 


• • • 

• • • 

• • •- 

•• • 


because there was a prospect of bad weather. Then we 
went ashore to a village that was there, and the Indians 
belonging to it fled, firing some arrows : they wounded a 
soldier in the throat, although not dangerously. Having 
taken some food, we embarked with it, though we did not 
wish to leave the port till the moon was up. We gave 
the port the name of La Palma. 

Pursuing our voyage towards the ships, when we were 
about 4 leagues from them, there came a canoe to look at 
us, and see what sort of people we were ; and as we were 
in want of Indians for interpreters, we endeavoured to 
take It ; and so we upset the canoe, and out of the four 
Indians that came in her we took three alive, and one died 
in defending himself. And at the hour of Vespers we 
arrived at the Puerto de la Visitacion de Nuestra Senora 
where the ships were. I found that, through bad manage- 
ment, all the Indians that we had taken in the islands had 

I gave account to the General of all that we had done 
and seen in that expedition, and that there neither was, 
nor appeared to be, any more land ahead ; and said that he 
should consider what was best to be done, because all the 
extent of the land, which seemed to have no limit, lay to 
the west and south-east. And there was a meeting of 
captains and pilots, to consider what was best to be done 
in the said voyage, and it was ordered that the ships should 
be refitted to continue our voyage. And this was the 
opinion of the whole conference. 

The preparations having been made, on Saturday, 
August 7th, of the said year, 1568,^ all being present, I 
made a protest to the General and the captains ; and I said 
decidedly that it was right that we should determine upon 
making use of what we met with [i.e., be satisfied with our 

^ Here the MS. has the correct year, 1568. 


present discovery], because the ships were becoming worm- 
eaten and worn-out, and the rigging was getting rotten. 
And the General replied that it would be well for the 
brigantine to go for more food, of which there was a dearth. 
And they asked me my opinion about the return to Peru 
whence we had set out, and I said decidedly that it would 
not be well to send the brigantine for food, since all the 
islands at which we had been were in a state of disturbance, 
and the food taken away, and that it would not be well to 
pursue our voyage south of the equinoctial line, as we 
should be lost, since we were many, and we had but little 
food and but few vessels for storing water ; and that if we 
did attempt the voyage that way, after having been placed 
in a latitude where we might find fair weather for sailing — 
which would be a difficult matter, there being no land in 
the direction of south- south -west and south, whence fine 
weather might spring — and seeing that we had still to 
traverse 1,700 leagues of gulf (o'i ^f^o) and new navigation, 
it appeared to me to be no fixed matter for decision ; and 1 
gave it as my opinion that we should go in search of the 
north, in the latitude of the first land, for in going from 
Peru to the said islands it is necessary to go in the direction 
of the southern tropic, in 30 degrees or more, to see in that 
direction if there be any way back to the said Peru 
[i.e., by getting beyond the limits of the contrary south- 
east trade wind and the westerly current], and, when 
they ventured to return, it would have to be with a 
great abundance of water and provisions ; otherwise 
there would be danger of all perishing. So the pilots all 
adopted my opinion, together with the protest that 1 
made before a clerk, who was Antonio de Cieaa. And, 
as for the opinion they asked of me concerning settling 
in the islands, 1 said that, as to that, I had only to 
see that the General performed and kept the instruc- 
tions that he had about it ; and to this opinion they all 


adhered, and all remained in agreement without any 

And, on the Monday following, in the middle of the 
night when we were all reposing, the General ordered me 
and Graviel Muftoz [Nuftez] to go with some soldiers and 
make an entrance into a village, to see if we could take 
some Indians for interpreters. We went with about thirty 
men. I took an Indian and his wife and little boy, and 
the rest of the Indians fled, and so we returned to the 
ships ; and immediately we got ready to take them out, 
and pursue our voyage.* 

On the nth of August of the said year, we went out 
from the Puerto de Nuestra Seftora, which is in 11 degrees 
south of the Equinoctial, to pursue our voyage towards 
Peru. And we went, beating to windward off the island of 
San Christoval, and at the end of seven days after leaving 
the said port, we had doubled the said island of San 
Christoval and the two islands of Santa Catalina and 
Santa Ana. 

On Tuesday, in the evening, being hove-to, we took the 
bearings of the islands of Santa Catalina and Santa Ana, 
north-north-west 3 leagues distant, and, having looked in 
every direction, we saw no land. And, while we were 
3 leagues from these islands, there came up a very strong 
wind from the south-east, which drove us to the north-west- 
quarter-east [north-east by east]. All that night and day, 
which was the night of Tuesday, we were on the same 

On Wednesday, which was the i8th of August, we went 
20 leagues from the two little islands, under courses, and 
we were hove-to all that night without making any way. 

^ Light is thrown upon this confused passage by Sarmiento's 

' Catoira, and, following him, Figueroa, says that the ships were 
hove down and caulked in this harbour, where they had spent forty- 
four days. 


On Thursday, in a day and a night, we ran to the north- 
west by north, 15 leagues, till Friday morning, which was 
the 20th of August of the said year. 

And following that course on Saturday, we could do 
nothing on account of the strong wind and sea, which came 
from the north-east 

And on Sunday, the 22nd of August, with squalls and 
calms in the morning, we went 25 leagues north-north-west 
— south-south-east 

On Monday, in the morning, we went 18 leagues north 
by east, and I took the altitude, and found that we were in 
7 degrees full, south of the Equator, east and west, quarter 
north-west, south-east [east-by-south and west-by-north], 
36 leagues from the Island of Jesus, that lay to the east- 
ward. The Island of Jesus was the first that we had 
discovered before {como) we saw the archipelago of islands. 
They would not let me go on a voyage of discovery ahead, 
whither I wanted to go ; and I consider it certain that, if 
they had let me go on ahead, we should have found a 
land very prosperous and rich, which must be there till it 
shall please God that it shall be discovered by whomsoever 
it shall so please Him. And we were not very far from 
it, and of its goodness I did not wish to speak at this time, 
because all, being despondent, desired to return to Peru. 

On Monday, in the evening, the wind fell, and we put 
her head to the south-east-by-cast, and we went 2 leagues 
and were becalmed. 

On Tuesday we had a cross sea. On Wednesday and 
Thursday we went north-north-east, 22 leagues, and on 
Thursday, 26th August, at noon, we were in an altitude of 
5^ degrees, 45 leagues east and west, quarter-north-west — 
south-east from the Island of Jesus. This island is in 
6J degrees east and west-quarter-north-west — south-east 
That day, Thursday, in the middle of the day, we put her 
head south-east to south-east-by-south, and we went on 


this course 4 leagues till Vesper time, when the wind fell. 
We put her head to the north-east, and we went all that 
night, and the next day, which was Friday, now to the 
north-west, now to the quarter-east, now to the quarter- 

And we ran till Saturday, the 28th of August of the said 
year, in 5 degrees less a quarter, and that same day the wind 
fell. And we went upon the other tack with the foresail 
and mizzen, because the wind was strong, putting her head 
to south-east-by-south 4 leagues, and presently we went 
on the other tack north-by-east, and brought ourselves 
into 4^ degrees south of the Equinoctial. That day, at 
nine o'clock, the wind sprang up from the north-east, 
and then we went upon the other tack south-east-by- 

We went that day and the six [following] days on the 
said course. Presently the wind fell, and we went on the 
other tack north-by-east, and we ran on this course on 
Monday and Tuesday, half towards the north-east, the 
other half north-by-east, and we found ourselves in the 
altitude of barely 3 degrees. 

Wednesday. All that day, which was the ist of September, 
we were becalmed till sunset, and at night a little wind 
came from the north-east. All that night and day, which 
was the 2nd of September, we ran to the south-east. We 
went about 7 leagues. The wind changed, and we put 
about to the north, and we went on that course till we 
found ourselves in 1 degree; we went about 17^ leagues 
to each degree. 

On Saturday, in the morning, we went i degree north 
and south, which is 17^ leagues. We went on the latitudes 
of 2 and 3 degrees up to 4 south of the Equinoctial. We 
saw very many signs of land, for we found many palms, 
tied up in bundles, and burnt logs, and other pieces of 
wood, and chips {rosuras), which the sea brought from the 



land.^ It was a sign that there was land near ; and although 
we did not see it, we believed it to be New Guinea, for 
that is in no greater altitude than 4 degrees south of the 
Equinoctial, and Inigo Ortez de Retes discovered it, and 
no one else ; for Bernardo de la Torre did not see it ; nor 
is there a Cabo de Cruz, as he says. On the morning of 
Saturday, which was the 4th of September, I told Juan 
Henriquez, the pilot, that we ought to petition the General 
to go one way or the other, because we were tacking about, 
using up the provisions and water ; and that we should put 
ourselves towards one Pole or the other to go on our 
voyage, since he had not wished to take my opinion, but 
to follow his own. And so I requested him, and all this 
took place before Antonio de Ciesa, the clerk, all of which 
will appear more at length, as that petition is in the pos- 
session of the said clerk. 

From Saturday to Sunday evening we went north-west 
25 leagues, and we must have been in about the latitude 
of three quarters of a degree. 

On Monday and Tuesday, the 6th and 7th of the said 
month, we ran to the north 35 leagues, and we found 
ourselves in the latitude of 3 degrees north of the Equi- 

And on the 8th of the said month we went north- 
east-quarter-east, and found ourselves in the latitude of 
4 degrees ; and that day I told those in the Almiranta to 
keep a good look-out from 6 degrees to 1 1 degrees, 
because there was land ahead ; and so they did, although 
we went onward. In eleven days we went 25 leagues 
north-east-quarter-cast, and we found ourselves in an 
altitude of 5 degrees and 5 leagues [minutes ?] north- 

^ They were running along the chain of the Gilbert Islands, a few 
miles to leeward of them. 

13 Sept.] 



And on tlie 12th nf the said month of September, at 
five oclock in the morning, we had the sails furled, with 
sfjualls ; wc hoisted them in the middle of the night, when 
the wind chopped into the east, and we put her head north- 
north-west, being reefed, because of the necessity for 
catching some water from the showers to drink. Presently 
the wind chopped to the north-east, and we went north- 
north-west, although we made no way to the north-by- 
west to reach the altitude of 6 degrees, because the needle 
inclined to the north-east. 

On the 15th and i6th of the said month the wind was 
freer, and we went to the north-east with little wind and 
fine weather. And we went about 12 leagues south-east, 
with many squalls. 

On the 1 7th of the said month, with the wind north-east, 
wc went to the north, till we were in 8 degrees north of the 
Equinoctial; and, being in this latitude of 8 degrees, we came 
upon the shoals and islands of San Bartolomeo,' the east 
and south-east point of which is in 8 degrees, and the other 
extremity at the north-west in 85 degrees. We came upon 
these islands two hours before dawn. They run north- 
west and south-east, in length about 15 leagues ; and they 
have two Unes of reefs, which appear like channels on 
either hand. There would be about half a league between 

' The Musquillo Islands, in the Ra.1ick Chain of the Marshall 
Group, were named by Captain Bond in 1793. " They form a double 
atoll, about thirty-eighl miles in length, and trending north-west and 
south-east. The north-west end is in latitude 8° 10' N., and ihe south- 
east end is in latitude 7° 46' N. Captain Bond ranged along the 
;oasIs of above twenty small islands. At the north-west end, and 
isolated from the rest, are two small islands about three miles aparL 
On comparing this description with that k'^'C" by Gallego, the reader 
will have little doubt as to the identity of (he Musquillo Islands with 
the Spanish discovery. It is probable that Gallego considered this 
discovery to be near the positmn of an island discovered in 1536 in 
14° N. latitude, by Toribio Alonio de Salazar, 328 Spanish leagues 
from the Mariana Islands, and named by him San Bartolomeo. This 
discovery of Salaiar is marked in Krusensiem's Genera! Alias of the 

Pacific." — Guppy, p. 276. 

r 2 


one and the other. At the end of one or the other on the 
north-west are two little islands : they lie with the other, 
east-south-east, a league apart. There is a great depth of 
water ; on the west side we could not find any bottom to 
anchor at this island. We launched the boat to go for 
water. In this island there are many houses and people. 
Between the islands, of which there were more than 
twenty, [we saw] a boat or canoe under sail. When they 
went on shore they found nothing but one Castilian cock, 
which they brought. The people left their houses and 
fled. We found a chisel made of a nail, by which it 
appeared that ships had passed that way.^ They did not 
find any water, but they found some cocoanut palms 
bored through, which showed how they got their water,^ 
and some pieces of cayro [rope ?]. We beat to windward 
for three hours, and I could not find a bottom to anchor, 
there being about 1,000 fathoms {estados). These Indians 
drink chiclia from a kind of pine-apple, and for this reason 
there arc swarms of flies. The boat having returned with 
the people, we resumed our voyage. 

We ran to the north till we were in the latitude of 
9 J degrees. This was on the 21st of the said month. On 
that day the wind changed to the north, and we put her 

^ This must have been a relic of the voyage of Grijalva and 
Alvarado, from Mexico to the Moluccas, in 1538, thus recorded by 
Antonio Galvano : "From Peru they sailed above 1,000 leagues, 
without sight of land on the one side, nor yet on the other of the 
Equinoctial. And in 2 degrees north they discovered one island, 
named Asea, which seemeth to be one of the islands of Cloves" 
(Dalrymple). Asea was, doubtless, one of the Gilbert Islands, which 
form a continuous chain with the Marshall Group. Then, as now, 
there seems to have been trade from island to island, and so precious 
a commodity as iron would be preser\ed for a much longer period 
than thirty years. In 1777 Cook found in Hawaii a fragment of a 
wide sword, a relic of Saavedra's ship lost there in 1527, or of 
Gaetano's visit in 1555. The family of Fatafehi, in Tonga, still 
preserves a plane-iron presented by Captain Cook. 

* In all these atolls the natives obtain drinking-water by gouging 
out deep pockets in the stems of the cocoa-nut palms, to catch the rain 
water that trickles down them. 


head east-by- north to get nearer to the land, and beat to 
windward, because water failed us, and the people were 
sick and were dying rapidly. We went on this course 
20 leagues, and found ourselves in the latitude of I2j^ 

On the 22nd of the said month, the wind was light in 
the north-east, and we put her head to the north till we 
found ourselves in 1 1^ degrees. This was on the 28th of 
September. In those days we went 5^^ degrees north and 
south, 94| leagues. On the 29th and 30th of the said 
month we went north-north-west 12 degrees. 

On the 1st and 2nd of October, in those two days we 
went till we found ourselves in latitude 19^ degrees, and 
we discovered a small island, low in the water, forming as 
it were an enclosure, like network. It was uninhabited, and 
surrounded by reefs. We remained all that night in a 
cross sea to take water, believing it was inhabited. There 
was nothing on it but sea-birds, and sandy places covered 
with bushes. This island is about 2 leagues in circumference. 
It was the day of San Francisco, and we gave the island the 
name of San Francisco. It is in the latitude of 19^ degrees 
north of the Equator.^ 

On the 5th and 6th of October we went towards the 
north. I took the altitude in 22 degrees. We went two 

^ The lonely atoll known as Wake's Island, re-discovered in 1796 
by the Prince William Henry ^ and visited in 1840 by Commodore 
Wilkes, who thus describes it : " Wake's Island is a low coral one, of 
triangular form, and 8 ft. above the surface. It has a large lagoon in 
the centre, which was well filled with fish of a variety of species : 
among these were some fine mullet. There is no fresh water on the 
island, and neither pandanus nor cocoanut tree. It has upon it the 
shrubs which are usually found on the low islands of the Pacific, the 
most abundant of which was the Taumefortia. The short-tailed 
albatross is found here ; birds quite tame, though not as numerous as 
in other uninhabited islands. The appearance of the coral blocks 
and vegetation leads to this conclusion : that the island is at times 
submerged, or that at times the sea makes a complete breach over it." 
— Narrative of the United States Exploring ErpediHon^ 1840, vol. v, 
p. 267, quoted by Dr. Guppy. 


days and nights, and we gained 2f degrees north and south 
at 17 leagues to the degree. We went 46I leagues. 

On the 6th and 7th of the said month we sailed north- 
north-west. I took the altitude, and found myself in 23J 
degrees, which is the Tropic of Cancer. In those two days 
we went from north to north-west — south to south-east 
i^ degrees, 19J leagues and 28| leagues. 

On the 8th and 9th of the said month we went north-by- 
east till we were in the latitude of 27 degrees ; and on the 
lOth, nth, and 12th of the said month we went north- 
quarter-north-west till we were in the latitude of 28^ 

On the 13th and 14th of the said month, we sailed north- 
north-west till we were in the latitude of 30 degrees. 

On the I Sth of the said month, we went 12 leagues north- 
east in the latitude of 30J degrees. 

Throughout this voyage the pilots compared notes every 
two days. 

On the i6th and 17th we sailed north-east, and I took 
the opinion of the pilots of the Almiranta^ asking them 
when they ought to make the land, and where the Cabo 
de Fortunas lay. They answered me that to the north- 
north-west-quarter-north there was land with a cape, and 
that we were about 80, or 70, leagues from it ; and that we 
were falling off much to leeward of the land, and they 
could not make the cape with that wind, because the coast 
runs north-west — south-east, and it could not be done 
without stranding the vessels. This took place on the 
14th of the said month, and the two vessels sailed north- 
east together. In the middle of the night there came a 
squall with a little rain. We furled the sails, and at that 
instant the Almiranta stood to windward ; and so for an 
hour she left us dropping astern, and at daybreak we saw 
only the top of her mast ; and we waited for her under 
the fore-sail only ; and all that night we did not sail fast, 
waiting for her, going to the north-east ; and at two o'clock 


in the morning we struck all sail because we could not see 
her. That was on the i6th of the said month of October. 

On Sunday, the 17th of the said month, two hours after 
noon, with the wind south-east, we lay with our sails 
furled, because there was much wind ; and we were rolling 
with the tempest from the north-east, for we were in a 
cross sea without sails ; and the wind came upon us with 
such fury as I had never before seen from the north-east, 
although I had been forty-five years at sea, and thirty of 
them a pilot. Never have I seen such heavy weather, 
although I have seen storms enough. It frightened me, 
for being with our sails furled, as we were, there came such 
a sudden onset of wind and sea, that it made us heel over 
below the water, up to the middle hatch on the port side 
of the ship ; and it had not been battened down and 
caulked as I had ordered it to be caulked, and the boat 
unplugged (j^ desfondar el batel\ when I saw signs of 
storms. We were deluged with water, and were in such a 
plight that the sailors and some of the soldiers were 
swimming about inside the ship, trying to launch the 
boat ; and it pleased God and His Blessed Mother that 
it should go into the sea, full of cables and water, for 
the sailors and soldiers were not sufficient to launch it. 
I presently ordered the sailors to set the fore-stay-sail a 
little ; and although they had not let out more than two 
reefs, the stay-sail was torn into two thousand pieces, and 
there was nothing left of it but the bolt-ropes. The ship 
was on her beam ends for more than half an hour, till thev 
cut away the mast ; and I ordered them to make a sail of a 
blanket {frecadd), and of a piece of a boneta} and with that 
I put the ship into her course. We ran all that night and 
day back to the southward. The sea carried away the 
stern cabin. The weather began to clear up, but we had 

^ The boneta or bonnet was a piece of canvas, sometimes added to 
the lower part of the mainsail, or papahigo mayor. 


gone out of our course more than 50 leagues, for the storm 
came upon us in 31 J degrees ; and, when it began to clear 
up, two days after the storm had passed, we found ourselves 
in 30 degrees. 

It was the Eve of St. Luke when that weather came, and 
we were from the Cabo de Fortunas north-east-by-north 
and south-east-by-south [south-west-by-south] 70 leagues ; 
and when it began to clear up we were 120 leagues, rather 
more than less. Presently the wind sprang up, and we laid 
her head to the course. It was on the morning of Tuesday, 
and we went with the fore-courses, having no other sail, 
because the sailors had thrown the bonetas into the sea. 
That day, which was the 21st of October, the wind began 
to fall off to the north-east, with much wind and sea ; and 
the said wind lasted till the 29th of the said month. And 
we were on one tack and the other, because we could not 
put her more across sea lest it should swallow us up : 
since the ship was not good in a cross sea, for she shipped 
seas, first on one side, and then on the other. And so it 
happened that we made as much sternway as headway. 

On the 29th of October, in the evening, the wind chopped 
to the east-south-east, with so much sea and wind that we 
could not set any sails, for the wind carried them away, and 
we had no sail set that night. We had a cross sea with much 
wind and thunder and lightning, and it seemed as if the 
world was coming to an end. Next day, in the morning, 
I ordered them to shake out the sprit-sail for a fore-stay- 
sail, to run with that ; and we had not gone an hour-glass' 
run to the north-east when the wind chopped to the south 
very strong, and carried away the sail, and we were without 
any ; and we hoisted the blankets for sails, and ran that 
day with them ; and presently the wind was in our favour, 
and we set the fore-courses, and we ran to the north-east 
that day, and next day, which was the last day of the 
said month of October. And the wind was chopping about 


with showers, till it settled in the east, and we ran to the 
east, because at that time we were in a latitude of 29 
degrees ; for, during the last few days, we were not able to 
gain any altitude, for the sufficient reason that the wind 
was in the north-east day and night, and sometimes fell 
and sometimes rose with much fury ; so it drove us to the 
south-east with only the fore-courses, and put us in an 
altitude of 26 degrees south [north ?]. 

This wind lasted till the 4th of November, and we were 
going astern, losing altitude, because we were not able to 
go with the sea abeam. On the 4th of November of the 
said year, the wind veered to the east, and we went to the 
north-north-east, with such favourable weather that the 
ship hardly required steering. We went on that course till 
we were in an altitude of 27 degrees. Then the wind veered 
to the north-north-east, and it seemed as if it brought 
the Devil with it, and we went east by south. Presently 
the wind shifted to the north-east, and we went to the 
south-east, very much worn by hunger and thirst, and they 
only gave us for rations half a quartern of stinking water, 
and eight ounces of biscuit, and a very few black beans 
and oil, because they had nothing else in the ship ; and 
the greater part of the people were blind from weakness, 
owing to having no more food to eat than I have mentioned. 
We were at the point of reaching a harbour, but we could 
not do it because we had no boat ; and we all agreed to 
hope that God would send us a remedy. And He provided 
of His great mercy on the day of Santa Ysabel to send us 
wind, and we put her head on her course, sailing in an 
altitude of 28 to 30 degrees. We dared not go higher, 
because the storms were still very great, and the seas would 
swallow us up ; and the ship was not good for such work, 
because with a little sea she would pitch everybody over- 
board, being only built for the coast of Peru, for which 
work she was good enough ; but for these seas and gulfs, 


she was only fit to drown us all. At that time of trouble, 
when there was a little calm, a soldier gambled with the 
allowance of water that they gave him ; and, having lost 
it, he was like a madman, calling out all day from thirst. 

This weather lasted till the day of Santa Ysabel, which 
was till we had made 125 leagues on our course. It 
lasted seven days, till the 26th of November. Presently 
the wind dropped and went to the north-east, and we were 
in an altitude of 29 degrees full. This wind remained 
contrary till the 7th of December, with thunder and heavy 
clouds, and we were driven back about 20 leagues. 

On the 9th of the month of December, the wind changed 
to the south-south-west, and lasted three days, till we 
were in an altitude of 31 degrees. We ran north-east to 
put ourselves in that altitude. At the end of three days, 
we saw in the sea a pine log and much bind-weed {corre- 
guel(i)\ a sailor jumped overboard for it, and very soon 
brought it on board, in order to bring fine weather. We 
saw many gulls, and a goose, and other things that were 
signs that there was land, although we were far off it on 
account of the many currents. 

On the 1 2th of December the wind died down in the 
south-south-west, and shifted to the north so lightly that 
the sails hardly left the mast ; for we were sheltered by 
the land, which lay to the north, although we were not in 
the altitude of it. Rain fell, and with some bed-sheets 
that they had, the soldiers and sailors were able to collect 
water enough for three days. And, as the weather cleared 
up, the wind became fresher ; and, although we made but 
little way on account of the few sails that we had, and the 
many currents, yet the more we went forward the more 
the wind and the swell of the sea rose. But I saw that if 
we went on we should be near land, since we began to see 
signs of it. 

The wind lasted till wc saw land. On the cvc of Nucstra 


Seflora de la O,^ as I was standinpf at the side of the 
vessel, I saw the land ; and there were some who despaired 
of seeing it, and said that it could not be so. However, 
sailing all that night, two hours before dawn, we were one 
league from it, near to two small islands, which were a 
league from the main land, in the altitude of 30 degrees 
north of the Equinoctial. The day before we saw the land 
we had fixed the needle towards the north, going on our 
course north-west — south-east ; and we entered into a bay, 
not without great thankfulness for the mercy of God, who 
had preserved us through so many storms and privations 
of food, and when the soldiers never thought to see [the 
land] again. The bay looked like a corral for branding 
cattle. We could not see the outside point of it on account 
of the great distance, and because the coast ran north- 
west — south-east. We found ourselves shut in, and to 
double the point it was necessary to put her head to the 
westward. We anchored in five fathoms, at the foot of a 
beach of sand, and from thence we went out tacking to 
double the point, almost where we had entered. We were 
three days in this bay, with calms and north-west winds ; 
and we gave it the name of ** La Bahia de S. Thom6," 
because we entered it on the day of Saint Thomas. It is 
in the altitude of 27J degrees. 

We passed the headland in the morning of Thursday, 
the 23rd of December. There are at the point of this bay 
two large islands. They have very good channels : they 
call them the islands of Cacones ;^ we were on the beach 

^ There were originally seven " Great OV or days on which the 
Latin antiphons, " O Sapientia," " O Adonai," etc., were sung, and 
special feasts were celebrated. The first was on December i6th, and 
the last on December 23rd, omitting December 21st, St. Thomas's 
day. The *'0" referred to here must have been December 20th 
(** O Oriens"). 

* Guppy identifies the bay with the Bay of Sebastian Vizcaino in 
Lower California, the headland with Point Eugenio, and the two 
islands with Cerros and Natividad Islands. 


between them twelve days. We went on a raft of casks to 
take water, because we had no boat, the sea having carried 
it away. We made another raft of reeds and empty casks, 
and we took twelve barrels of water which we put into the 
vessel, with much fish that we caught 

We went from thence on our voyage, because there were 
some warlike Indians, and we put on board much wood 
which we had cut down to make a boat for the ship. We 
arrived near the port of Xalosco ; and, as we were going 
to enter it, the wind came very strong, and because we 
might be lost, there being a cross sea, and because the 
port of Santiago was but 50 leagues from thence, I put 
out to sea to double Cape Corrientes, which is in 21 degrees. 
Pursuing our course to the south-east, at the end of three 
days and a half, on the 24th day of January, we entered 
the port of Santiago, where we found some fishermen, and 

1 knew the land and the people in it, and the fishermen 
who were there very well. This port is near that of the 
Natividad, 6 leagues distant, and the bay has a good 
bottom. The larger island is to windward. It is 2 leagues 
north-west of the point, and the other, which is near 
the point, is half a league north and south from it. There 
are shoals on the south-east of the island, which extend 

2 leagues further. We went along the coast north-west — 
south-east, till we arrived at the other point. Although on 
our way we found many signs that made us think that it was 
California, yet we were not satisfied that it was the point 
of California, which should have been in the Tropic, where 
there is the port of San Lucar, which is the point of 
California in the Tropic, being certain that we were in 23 
degrees 36 minutes. Before arriving at the point of Cali- 
fornia, there is a point of sand stretching north-west — 
south-east, which is north-east — south-west.^ 

^ The whole passage is obscure. 


And on the south-east there is a river of sweet water, 
very large and full of fish. It is in the altitude of 23^ 
degrees north of the Equinoctial. It was the New Year 
of 1 569 when we arrived near this river, 6 leagues to the 
east of it, and 18 leagues from the village of Colima. This 
port is in the altitude of 19^ degrees. There we threw out 
the wood that we had taken to make our boat. 

At the end of the three days that we were there, on the 
day of San Vicente, we saw looming in the distance the 
Alntiranta^ which had got separated from us, and remained 
astern. They were in much want of water and victuals, 
and they had no boat, for the great storm had carried it 
away, as with us, and they had had to cut away their 
mainmast. They did not know the coast. It pleased Our 
Lord that we should meet in this port God knows we 
were glad to find ourselves all together, knowing that Our 
Lord had worked a miracle in delivering us from so many 
storms, and the Almiranta had only one jar of water left. 
This took place on the 25th of January, the day of the 
Conversion of Saint Paul. And they told us what had 
happened to them in the great storm. While we were in 
this port making the barque, or boat, for the Capitana, we 
were able to buy a boat from a fisherman for the Almiranta 
in the place of the one they had lost in the storm, and 
to obtain what was necessary to proceed with our voys^e. 
Thither came Sama, the Alguacil-Mayor [Chief Constable] 
of the City of Mexico, with some people of the City of 
Colima, to see what sort of people we were, and he spoke 
with the General. 

Afterwards, on the loth of March, we embarked. At 
nine o'clock in the evening there was an eclipse of the 
moon, and we set sail from the port of Santiago and went 
out of it ; and at the end of an hour the moon shone again. 
At the end of nine days we entered into the port of Acapulco 
to get news of Peru, but they were not able to tell us any- 



thing. We were there about an hour, and then we went 
out again, following our course. This port of Acapulco is 
in 17 degrees. It is the nearest port to the City of Mexico, 
from which it is distant not more than 70 leagues. 

Pursuing our route along the coast, wishing to have news 
of Peru, we made for the port of Guatulco, and anchored 
about a league off it. We sent a boat to get wine and 
biscuit All the people were in a great uproar, flying 
inland because it had been heard in Mexico that we were 
strange Scottish people {gente estratigera escosese). This 
port is in the altitude of igj degrees, and 120 leagues from 
Mexico, and 80 from the port behind us, which we had 
passed, as 1 have said. We were half a day and one night 
anchored outside the port, and the A /miniri fa going on her 
course left us, without waiting for the Capitana. because 
from thence onward the pilots who were in her had 
recognised the coast, and the General was much annoyed 
that they had not looked out for the Capttatia. And so 
we went out, the Almiranta being a day and a night ahead 
of us. We arrived at the port of Caputla nine days' before 
the Almiranta arrived. There a barque came out to look 
at us to see what people we were, and they also were 
disturbed, like the rest of the people ; but as I had been 
in those parts many times, they recognised me, and so they 
returned to the village, understanding that we had been 
discovering the islands. We pursued our voyage to the 
port of Rcalejo' to repair the ship there, because we had 

' Five, as shown by the dates given at the end of the paragraph. 

* At Realejo the quarrel between Pedro Sarmientn and Mendaiia. 1 
seems to have come 10 a head. Throughout Ihe voyage he had been 

protesting against the northerly course followed by Mendana on the I 

advice of Gallego, and at Colima he seems to have been put under 1 

arrest for declaring his intention of laying a formai complaint before J 

the King. The additional offence of trying to steal a march upon the 1 

CapUana by standing on without waiting for her, was too much for j 


neither masts nor rigging, nor a clean hull, and we could 
not cross to Peru in the state that we were in. We arrived 
at the said port on the 4th of April, and the Almiranta 
arrived on the 9th of said month. In this port we hove 
down the ships, and caulked them, and put in masts 
and rigging, of which we had need to be able to cross to 

With all our need, when we arrived at this port, neither 

the Royal Officials nor other persons would ^ 

\^MS, torn] or lend any money for the repair of the said 
ships ; and seeing that they would be lost, and that it 
was in the service of His Majesty, I lent the General 
all the money that I had of my own, and I took upon 
myself an obligation of 1,400 dollars with which they 
repaired the said ships, and victualled them with another 
piece of gold of 400 dollars, all of which I lent for the 
service of His Majesty. This port is in the altitude of 
12^ degrees. 

We went out of the said port on the 26th day of 
May. We sailed to Cape Guion, and from that Cape we 
crossed to the coast of Peru. On the 4th of June we lost 
sight of the coast of Nicar .... [Nicaragua : MS, tom\ 
and on the 5th of the said month we went to leeward of 
Mai Pelo. And on the nth of the said month, in the 
morning, we were opposite Tacames [Atacames ?] 4 leagues 

Mendana, who left his insubordinate lieutenant ashore at Realejo, and 
sailed without him. Perhaps Sarmiento himself was not aggrieved by 
this arrangement, for he could scarcely have hoped for an impartial 
hearing of his charges against the nephew at the hands of the uncle, 
and there was an old sentence pronounced against him by the Holy 
Office still un purged. Rut in November of the same year, Lope 
(jarcia de Castro was relieved by a new Viceroy, Francisco de Toledo, 
and Sarmiento then left Mexico for Peru, where he was confronted 
with Mendana, both before the Viceroy and the Royal Audience, 
acquitted of blame, and reinstated in the royal service. 

^ "Give,'' according to the MS. in the British Museum. 


below the Cape of San Francisco on the coast of Peru. 
On the 14th of the said month we anchored in Puerto- 
viejo. On the 19th of July we arrived at Point Santa 
Elena. On Sunday, the 26th of the said month of July, 
Don Fernando Enriquez set off with the news to the City 
of the Kings [Lima]. 

Laus Deo. 


collected from the 

Papers which they found in the City of La Plata, 


The Voyage and Discovery 

of the 

Western Islands, 




* " Colleccion de Munoz," tomo xxxvii. Copied by Muiioz from 
the Archives of the Indies at Simancas, and printed in the 
Documentos Ineditos, It seems to have been written by, or in 
the interests of, Pedro Sarmiento. 


N the year IS67 one I'edro Sar- 
miento gave to the Licentiate Castro, 
Governor of Peru, information con- 
cerning many islands and continents 
which he said existed in the Southern 
Ocean, and offered personally to dis- 
cover them in the name of his Majesty, 
and with that intention he had collected proofs and made 

The Licentiate Castro having heard his account, ordered 
two ships of war to be equipped for this discovery, the 
one of 3,000 arrobas and upwards, the other of 7,000, 
which cost 10.000 dollars (assayed). They provisioned 
the vessels for at least a month, expending more than 
60,000 dollars for munitions of war, for the supply of 
soldiers, armaments, stuffs, and things likely to be re- 
quired, all at the cost of His Majesty, in virtue of a 
Royal warrant empowering him to act, which he said that 
he held, without counting the pay that would be due to 
the sailors for arrears of wages on their return. 

There were attached to them for this cruise more than 
70 soldiers, who, with the sailors and servants, made more 
than 150 men. As General of the expedition, Castro 

G 2 


nominated his nephew, Alvaro di Amendaiia ;^ as Master 
of the Camp {Maestre de Campo). Pedro dc Ortega; as 
Captain of the ship Capitana, Pedro Sarmiento ; as 
Ensign- {Alfercz-') General, Don Fernando- Enriquez ; 
as Captain of the Artillery, Colonel Pedro Xuarez ; as 
Chief Pilot, Hernan Gallego ; also three other pilots and 
four friars of the Order of St. Francis. 

The general wish of the people, the resolution of the 
soldiers, and the instructions that they carried were unani- 
mous, that they should settle in the country that they 
discovered ; and for that purpose they were furnished 
liberally with munitions of war, arms, clothing, seeds, 
and other things required by settlers. 

It was intended that they should follow the course west- 
south-west up to 23 degrees, which was the latitude that 
Pedro Sarmiento had fixed upon ; and when they had to 
change or take another course, that the pilots and the 
cosmographer, Pedro Sarmiento, should meet together and 
discuss the matter ; and that it should be the duty of 
the General to order whatever they agreed upon to be 
carried out.* 

With this commission they set out from Lima on Wednes- 
day, the 19th of November of the year 1567, and up to 
the 28th of the said month they steered west -south -west, 
which was the course laid down by Pedro Sarmiento, 170 
leagues tie allura (sic). On that day, which was Friday, 
Hernan Gallego changed the course, without the consent 

' Mendaiia; by misiake, no daubi, Herrera calls him Alvaro de 

' Hernando Enriquei is called Fernando throughout this MS. 

' There is nothing in any of the other narratives to justify the 
preponderance which Sarmiento here confers upon himself. On the 
contrary, it is evident that he was ranked no higher than Captain 
of the Capitana, with no voice in the navigation. It is probable thai 
he is here giving himself the authority which he demanded of the 
Viceroy, but which was not conceded to him in the Instructions. 
These seem never to have been made public. 



or agreement of the pilots or of Pedro Sarmiento, which was 
obligatory by the Instructions.' 

Pedro Sarmiento spoke to the General about this change 
of course with much persi.stency, and told him publicly by 
word of mouth that he ought not to consent to it, and that 
he ought to have it altered, since he would the 
discovery and be lost, and they would be departing from 
the instructions of His Majesty and of Castro. The 
General would not do this, but acquiesced in the course 
set by the pilot. 

Sailing on this course, and having gone about 2S0 
leagues from Lima, on Thursday, 4th December, at the 
hour of vespers, a soldier named Alonzo Rodriguez Franco, 
and another named Manuel Alvarez, discovered land to 
the north -north -east, and several soldiers affirmed it to be 
so. Judging from the course and the altitude, which was 
14 degrees south, Pedro Sarmiento affirmed it more than 
any one else ; but although he petitioned the General, 
begging him to go thither and take posse.ssion of it and 
explore it, the General would not do so, neither he nor 
the Chief Pilot ; and they sailed onward, falling off in 
latitude and leaving the land, which was on the left hand 
towards the south, according to signs which they saw 
every day. This confirmed what Pedro Sarmiento was 
saying, and had said before.- And they went on, falling 
off in latitude and going out of the course which Pedro 
Sarmiento said they ought to take, more than 750 leagues 
from the above land which the General said he would 
not take possession of.unlii they were 1307 leagues distant 
from the city of Lima. This the Pilot did with the consent 

' There w 
soldiers had 
away." Neither Gallego 

i-wesl, in 15° 30' south latitude, 
land within 500 miles of their position. The 
cloud-bank, or what sailors call " Cape Fly- 
Mendana thinks the episode worthy of 


and permission of the General, in order, they say, to layl 
his course for the Philippines. 

In this state of affairs, being in a little more than 5 " 
degrees whither they had fallen since they were in 15 de- 
grees, the General, finding himself out of his reckoning.and 
without hope of discovering land, sought the counsel and 
opinion of Sarmicnto, who gave it to him, and made them 
steer wcst-by-south (Oesteciiarta al SuiioesU)hecause there 
was no possible means of returning to the land which lay 
behind them, as the weather was contrary.* And having 
gone up to 7 degrees, 4000 [sic] leagues from Lima, they 
discovered an island which they called "Jesus," as they 
had discovered it on that day, the 1 5lh January.^ Although 
small, it was populated, and It had a large fishery. Seven 
or eight canoes came out from it, with people in them to 
speak to them. 

Pedro Sarmiento besought the General to take possession 
of this island, but he would neither do this, nor go towards 
the south in search of the continent which Sarmiento 
promised to discover.^ Within twenty -four hours the 
General and the Pilot preferred to deviate from the course, 
to decrease their latitude, going away from the land, which 
was a great grief to the soldiers. We went down to 
5 degrees, and here again Pedro Sarmiento directed the 
course ; and having gone upwards of 1 30 leagues to the 
westward of the island of Jesus, in 6J degrees, they dis- 

' Gallego does roi meniion any change of 
part of Uie voyage he gives the laiiiude 


11 this 

■ The feasl of ihe " Holy Name of Jesus " used to be observed on 
January i5lh in Spain and the Neiherlands. Wriiing of Seville in 
1637, de Quintanaduetias says that this feast was assigned to January 
I jth in the old Breviaries and Missals for more than 1 50 years before 
his day {Santos de la Ciudad de Sevilla, p. 333). 

' From the other narratives it is evident that Mendafia wisherl to 
touch at the island, but ihai Gallego, who believed it lo be uninhabited, 
neglected to obey his orders until they had fallen loo far <o leaward to 
beat up against wind and c 


covered some shoals ahead which they named " de la 
Candelaria," on ist February.* 

On the 7th February of the said year, 15 leagues to 
the south- west -south of these shoals, they discovered 
the island of Atogla, which they called " Santa Ysabel de la 
Estrella," because, as they were entering the harbour of 
Somba at mid-day, they saw a bright star. Here they 
anchored and landed ; they took possession for His 
Majesty ; they erected a cross and said mass. 

Here came the Taiiriquis, who are the chiefs of that land, 
especially the Tniirigui called Biley Banharra, in the name 
of his father called Salacai, and of his brother called Riquia, 
and their vassals, and made submission to the three Kings 
of Castille three or four times, which was confirmed by a 
clerk in public form. The first Spaniard who went inland 
to explore this island was Pedro Sarmiento, with fifteen 
men. He went 7 leagues inland, and during his return 
his friend Biley had skirmishes with him five times ; but 
the islanders were punished and beaten off, and the 
Spaniards recovered their prestige, and the others had 
great fear. 

Pedro de Ortega went inland another time by the same 
road, and arrived at the province of " Tiaragajo."- He had a 
skirmish, and repelled the Indians, two Spaniards being 
wounded, one of whom died afterwards of the wound on 
board ship. 

Another time Pedro Sarmiento went inland to restore 
liberty to a governor called Havi, who had been taken in 
a skirmish during their first excursion ; and he restored 
their former friendship which was of great advantage, and 
he made Biley come afterwards and ratify the friendship 
and ask pardon. 

' Ongtong Java. See p. 16, noU. 

' Mendalia calls it "Tiarabaso"; Catoira, " Baso." There is now a 
village called B.iso on the Meringd Lagoon ; the land of Meta in the 
Spaniards' time. 


Pedro de Ortega went out to Meta, and took three 
interpreters ; and afterwards Pedro de Ortega went out of 
this port in the brigantinc. and sailed round all this island 
of Santa Ysabe!, and discovered many other islands towards 
the east, the south, and the west. 

This island is thickly peopled and mountainous, and 
more than half of it faces west. It is a high, mountainous 
country. The people are of about our stature, cheerful, 
of a bright reddish colour rather than mulatto. They go 
about naked, but some of the women are clothed. There 
is abundance of natural food, roots and fruits, pigs and 
fowls of Castille, many doves, grey pigeons, and other birds 
of beautiful plumage, which are palatable and wholesome ; 
there is much timber fit for building ships and houses, 
and many excellent manglares for the masts of ships ; 
here they built the brigantine of a timber which contains 
much resin and dye {drogas). There is ginger, cinnamon, 
sandal-wood of various kinds, aloes, sarsaparilla, and china} 
In the port of La Estrella there is much coral, Incaios of 
various colours, specimens of large pearls, a very trans- 
parent crystal, and many indications of gold. An Indian 
called Caja of Meta, seeing in the ship certain dishes of 
brass, and some gold coins, said that in his country and 
in another region behind that island, he had seen much of 
it, and he called it tereque. 

They are cleanly in the villages. They live collected 
together m a gathering of regular villages ; there is no 
confusion or disorder. There are chiefs whom they call 
Tauriqui, and other chiefs they call Caihococes; they have 
courts of justice ; they are temperate in their eating and 
drinking ; they shew affection towards their wives ; they 
are good labourers; they are musical, and sing in concert 



I China root, a drug from the East Indie 
the purposes for which sarsaparilla is used. 

formerly esteemed for 


with voice and flutes ; they are industrious, inquisitive, and 
fond of learning new things, and of giving information 
about their own things ; they believe in the immortality of 
the soul ; they call God and the Heaven Colanha ; they 
call the Devi! Pondagri-garrafri, and him they worship ; 
they have sacred places wherein they bury their chiefs, and 
the common people outside ; they punish drunkenness. 
The land is healthy, and we did not see any conspicuous 
malady, or contagious disease. The island has good rivers 
and harbours ; the water is clear, palatable, and wholesome. 
They navigate along the coast in what they call molas, which 
are very light By the compass this island is 280 leagues in 
circumference, and by the roadways more than 350 leagues. 
They have thirty-seven principal provinces, in all of which 
there is ginger and cinnamon, especially in grain, and much 
sugar-cane and other very profitable things. They call 
the cinnamon caquisa, and the ginger sago. To the west- 
ward of this island there is an archipelago of innumerable 
islands, and towards the south one sees a great stretch of 
land which they called San Marcos.' It lies about \2 or 
15 leagues to the southward. This is the place about 
which Caja informed them concerning the gold.- 

They went out from this island of Santa Ysabel on the 
8th May, and they went to the others that they had dis- 
covered on the east side of this island ; they passed in 
sight of, and very near, the islands of La Galera, Buena- 
vista, Florida, and San Dimas, which they call collectively 
by one name, Gella.^ The land is pleasant in appearance. 

' New Georgia. Bui the Spaniards named it S. Nicholas, and 
gave the name S. Marcos to Choiseul Island. Ortega had a better 
view of this large island from the dividing ridge of Santa Ysabel than 
Gallego, who saw it only from the sea-level. 

* It is possible that the Spaniards misunderstood Caja, who was 
only trying to convey to them that the natives of Rnbiana, who are 
artists and inlayers as well as head-hunters, were more skilful crafts- 
men than the men of Santa Ysabel. 

' Gela, their present native name. 


neither high nor low, thickly populated, and abounding in 

They arrived at the large island which the natives call 
Gaumbata, and the Spaniards Guadalcanal, on the nth 
May, when they took possession for His Majesty, and 
erected across, and said Mass in the port of the possession 
in the province of Mombalu, where there was a Tauriqui 
called Mano, who came peacefully to the Spaniards, and 
made obeisance to the Kings of Castille, and enrolled 
himself for roya! service. 

From this port went out a commander called Andres 
Nunez with twenty-seven men, who went inland 7 leagues. 
He found large villages with much people and food ; he 
met willi some resistance, but he pot through all well. 

From the same port went out Don Fernando Enriquez 
in the brigantine, and coasted alonfj this island about 
90 leagues, and arrived at another very large island 
which is called Los Ilefes.' The Spaniards called it San 
German,' and from there appeared another which they call 
Dc Ramos, in which there are great tracts {cuerpos) of 
country thickly peopled. 

In this island of Guadalcanal, the natives whom they 
had thought friendly killed nine Christians by treachery, 
without their having done them any harm ; in consequence 
of this the Captain, Pedro Sarmiento, punished them. He 
went up into the country for nine days, during which they 
threw spears at him at random, and he suffered much hard- 
ship. They burned many villages, and at the same time 
they took and killed other islanders who had attacked 
some Spaniards who were on a small islet, and they took 
interpreters from the country. 

' The name Los llifes is not mentioned in the other 
Probably the north side of S. Chtistovai is meant. The name 
S. German had been ^iven to one of the Florida sub-group in an earlier 
voyage of the brigantine. 


This islcind of Guadalcanal, for its fertility and the 
mildness of its air, for water, for agriculture, for cattle, 
and for fitness for growing things of Castille, is the best of 
those in this region. It appears to be of very large extent. 
Neither from one part nor the other could one have any 
idea of the end or circumference of it, without taking 
observations from both east and west to determine the 
size of it. They have not so much timber as in Santa 
Ysabel, and for this reason fewer sea-going canoes. The 
people are the same a.s those in Santa Ysabel, but 
better disposed. They have no places of worship, nor 
do they understand what they should worship. It was 
supposed that they live in simplicity of religion, which 
is a good disposition for receiving whatever they may be 

There are fields full of ginger, cinnamon, sugar-cane, 
almonds of Castille, long-shaped &\hcrts, p/nniatios [plan- 
tains?], cocoa-nuts, fowls, pigs, fish, sandal-wood of various 
scents {drogas), and many other things. They are cleanly ; 
they live together in bodies. There are harbours on the 
sea-coast, at distances of from i to 2 leagues and more. 
The best villages are on the rivers, which are very 
calm ; the water is wholesome and soft, Pedro Sarmiento 
saw a mineral containing gold, and other things of worth 
and value. They were in the island forty days and 

Then they left in the ships, and, coasting along Guadal- 
canal, they went, sometimes hugging the shore, sometimes 
putting out to sea — ^a pleasant sight to the large popula- 
tion.^ They passed by the islands of San German, and 
the greater part of those mentioned above. They anchored 

ii trade wind had r 


at the island of Guare,^ which the Spaniards called San 
Christoval ; they landed there on the day of the Visitacion 
de Nuestra Seflora, and they called the village by that 
name. From hence there went out in the brigantine a 
commander called Francisco Rico. He coasted along this 
island 100 leagues to the south. He discovered two more 
islands, Santa Catalina and Santa Ana, which were small 
and thickly peopled. They attacked him, and wounded 
the commander and a soldier severely ; but the Christians 
came off victorious. Here the interpreters, whom they 
brought from the other islands, escaped, and they took here 
five or six others whom they brought to Lima ; and it was 
learned from them that there was much wealth in gold, 
and pearls and spices in those islands and in others near 
them. Here they were several times attacked, and one 
Spaniard was killed ; nevertheless they repaired the ships, 
and held a consultation about making a settlement. 

Fifty-eight persons gave their opinions, the greater part 
being soldiers ; and the pilots, captains and friars all 
praised the country as being fertile, healthy, and well- 
peopled. Some of the others were of opinion that they 
should not settle there, because they said that there were 
too many natives, and the Spaniards were few, and had not 
sufficient ammunition, and were far from Peru. The fault, 
if there were any, was the General's, because, if he had 
wished it, a settlement would have been formed without 

One Juan Moreno, a Lombard, said that he was right. 
Tarifino said that there was an indication of gold in the 
country ; and that he, as a man who had searched for mines 
and had lived in the country where gold existed, knew 
this to be so. 

* Gallego gives the native name of S. Christoval as Paubro : the 
present native name is Bauro. Guare may have been the name of 
the district. 


Martin Alonzo, a man experienced in gold-mining, said 
that there was a great quantity of gold, and voted that 
they should settle there. 

Others said that they ought to go to seek the land of 
which Sarmiento had spoken when they started. Sarmi- 
ento gave his opinion that they should settle there, say- 
ing tiiat they had plenty of men and ammunition, and 
he always urged that they should observe and comply 
with the instructions of His Majesty and the Governor 

Pedro Sarmiento and the pilots then gave their opinion 
regarding the course which they should take, and Pedro 
Sarmiento gave the course of the ships with all the bear- 
ings, and stated his opinion that they should follow a 
south-west [-east ?] course in search of the other land which 
he wished to discover at the beginning, lying opposite Chile.' 
The three pilots were of his opinion. Gallego, although 
he also said that he should do so, did not perform what he 
had promised, but steered instead for New Spain, in defiance 
of the resolution, and it was a miracle that they escaped, 
for they suffered from hunger, thirst, and soreness in the 
gums ; and some of them died.- In 33 degrees the General 
left the Ahniranla, in which went Captain Sarmiento, who 
followed his proper course ; and if it had not been for him, 
under God's Providence, they would have been lost. 

They reached the city of Colima in New Spain with the 
Capitana. where, because Pedro Sarmiento had evidence to 
lay before His Majesty, they seized and harassed him ; and 
from thence they came to Realcjo, where the General left 
Pedro Sarmiento, and went to Peru,* 

' if they had taken his advice they would never have reached Peru 
alive, for the trade wind would have been right in their leeth, and ihey 
would have been beating against a strong easterly current. Foreseeing 
this, Gallego decided upon a northerly course. 

• Between thirty and forty, accoriiing to the MS. in the Biblioth^quc 
Nationale in Paris. ' See p. 78. 


They could not gain much information about the country, 
because neither had they sufficient time, nor did the 
General wish to examine it, nor to take possession of it. 
The good land for trading for gold may be gathered from 
this account as being on the left hand towards the south, 
opposite Chile. 

This is a consecutive account 

of all that happened and took place in the 
discovery of the islands which the illustrious 
S»^. Alvaro Davendana [stc] went to dis- 
cover, from the year 1 567 to the year 1 568, 
by order of the illustrious Licentiate 
Castro, his uncle, Governor and 
President of the Kingdoms 
of Peru. 

Extracted de verbo ad verbum from the account which he sent to 
the said Lord President, the tenour of which is 

as follows.* 

* From the Munoz Collection, tom. xxxvii, taken from the Archives 
at Simancas, and printed in the Documentos Ineditos. There is a gap 
of some three weeks after February 17th, indicating that several 
sheets are missing, and the narrative finally breaks off at May loth, 
1568, the latter portion being lost. 




Most Illustrious Lord, 

HE events which befell His Majesty's 
fleet, formed for the discovery of new 
lands in this South Sea, according 
to your Lordship's command, and all 
things that happened in the gulf from 
our departure until our arrival at and 
discovery of the islands, and also in the islands, are as 
follows : — 

As your Lordship saw, we embarked in this port of CalJao 
on Wednesday the 19th of November, 1 567, at four in the 
afternoon ; wc set sail and plied to windward, but did not 
get out, nor make any headway that day. 

On the following Thursday, the 20th of the said month, 
we left the port of Callao of the City of Los Reyes, and 
began to navigate towards the west-south-west ; and as 
the Chief Pilot, Hernan Gallego, will give your Lordship a 
particular account of the courses and latitudes of our 
navigation, and of all things touching the navigation, and 
of how we ploughed the seas, I will not state them here, 
On Sunday, the 30th of the said month of November, 


at daybreak, the ship Capitana struck a sleeping whale, 
which frightened some of the people ; this day we had the 
first heavy fall of rain, though we had had a few light 
showers before. 

On Thursday, the ist of January, 1568, having come 
down from isf degrees to 6 degrees, as Hernan Gallego 
and I were sitting after nightfall at the side of the vessel 
near the poop, we heard a splash in the water, and Hernan 
Gallego raised the cry of " Man overboard ! " We looked, 
and saw a man who was crying for help. I recognised 
him as a half-breed, the son of Pedro de Cevallos, who had 
accompanied Mateo Pinedo. We threw him ropes to catch, 
but he could not do so ; then we unlashed a hen-coop which 
was hanging outside the poop, and threw it to him that 
he might keep himself afloat, but he did not see it, for it 
was not very light. Fortunately for him, there was not 
much wind, and the sea was calm, and, though the ship was 
moving, it was but slowly. Hernan Gallego tried to turn 
back for him, but the wind was so light that the ship would 
not go about. Then he ordered the sails to be furled, and 
we shouted to the lad, who answered, but we judged from 
his voice that he was already exhausted. In the mean- 
time the Almiranta was drawing towards us, and we 
shouted to her to pick him up, but she could not do so ; 
and as we lay with the sea on our beam, it being night, she 
came so close to us that we feared lest she should carry 
away our bowsprit ; but it pleased God that she should pass 
clear of us, doing no damage ; and, when she had gone on, 
we shouted to the lad again and received no answer. Then 
we thought that he was drowned, and I bade them all 
recommend him to the care of Our Lady, and we all did 
so. Then we shouted again, and he answered very faintly, 
at which we rejoiced greatly ; and, seeing that he could 
never reach the ship, two of the sailors, named Domingo 
Hernandez Gallego and Juan Rodriguez Mendcz, jumped 


overboard. We threw one of the hatches into the sea with 
a sounding-line {soldalesa\ which Juan Rodriguez took 
along with him. The sailors swam on, shouting to make 
sure of where he was, and, having reached him, they placed 
him on the hatch, for, having been an hour in the water, 
he was tired with swimming. From the ship Juan Enri- 
quez drew the line in very carefully lest it should break, 
and so brought the lad to it ; and it is my belief that Our 
Lady delivered him miraculously, because we recommended 
him to Her ; and some affirm that, when he answered, they 
saw a light like a candle above the spot, and he himself, 
when he was back on board, declared that he had seen a 
light above him. 

On Thursday, the 8th of January, a sailor named Juan 
Rodriguez fell overboard, but it pleased God that there 
should be a cable hanging from the poop, to which he clung ; 
and, had he not done so, he would have been in great 
danger, for there was a fair wind. 

On Wednesday, the 14th of the said month, at nightfall, 
we had heavy showers and such fierce winds from the east 
and north-west, that we were forced to furl our sails. They 
lasted a short time, and that night, for the first time during 
the voyage, we had thunder and lightning. 

On the following Thursday, the 1 5th of the said month 
of January, 1568, being about 1,400 leagues east and west 
from this coast of Peru, steering due west, a little after nine 
o'clock in the morning, a lad called Trejo,^ being aloft, first 
sighted land upon the starboard side to the south-west [stc\ 
Saying nothing, the lad came down to where I was, and 
told me that he had sighted land, and asked me to send a 
sailor aloft to see. I told this to Hernan Gallego, who 
immediately sent a sailor, but he sighted the land before 
he got up, and shortly afterwards we all saw it. When 

* This lad's name is given by Herrera, who must have had access to 
this MS., for it is not given in the other narratives. 

H 2 


Pedro Sarmiento saw it, he said that it was the volcanoes 
which form some high islands off the coast of New Guinea ; 
but we soon perceived that it was a small low island in a 
different latitude. Hernan Gallego, seeing that it was so 
small and low, would not approach it, taking it to be a desert 
island, but he asked me whether I wished to go thither; 
and I answered that we had come out for that purpose, and 
that he should steer for it It was about noon, and we sat 
down to dine ; after dinner, Hernan Gallego again asked me 
whether I wished to touch at the island. I, seeing that he 
had not steered for it when I answered him the first time, 
replied that such was my will, for I had not come out to 
trade but to discover land, and though it were but a sand- 
spit {farellon\ His Majesty's orders were to give an account 
of it, such being the purpose of our voyage. Then he gave 
orders to steer east and take the island, which we were 
already leaving behind, and we returned towards it, though 
much against the pilot's inclination, for he thought that 
it was uninhabited, and it seemed to him that we would 
find near it larger islands at which we might touch. When 
we drew near, we found it so small that it was not 
more than six leagues in circumference. This island was 
very full of trees like palms ; towards the north it had a 
reef, which entered the sea a quarter of a league, and 
towards the south was another smaller reef. On the west 
side it had a strand lying lengthways, with reefs in different 
parts. This is on the west side, for we could not go round 
{boxar) the east side because of the weather. Taking this 
island from the sea outwards [/>., facing the island], it has 
a shape like two galleys, with a copse in the middle which 
appears like a fleet of ships.^ When we were within a 
little less than half a league of the island, the Chief Pilot 
ordered the sails to be furled until the other ship should 

^ A good description of NukufeUu. 


come up, because we could find no bottom. When the 
sails were furled, a sailor who was aloft said that he thought 
that he saw canoes approaching ; then others went up to 
look, and said that they were rocks upon which the sea 
was breaking. Then the first sailor went up again, and 
maintained that if they were rocks the sea would be seen 
breaking upon them more plainly, and that the objects he 
saw rose and fell upon the waves. When they drew 
nearer we perceived that they were canoes, and that men 
were coming in them. Then I ordered the men to come 
down, and, though many wished to arm themselves, I 
would not allow it, saying that it was unnecessary, for 
there would not be so many men on that island but that 
we could drive them off with sticks if they came near us, 
and therefore they must all remain calm and quiet. We 
saw that the Indians were approaching in little canoes, a 
man in each, for from the ship we counted seven or eight 
Indians in seven canoes, and afterwards two put back to 
shore, and the other five came on to examine the ship ; 
and when they were within bow-shot, or a little further off, 
they raised the oars with which they were rowing, and 
turned back with shouts. Seeing this, I ordered signals to 
be made to them with a white cloth to induce them to 
return, but it was useless. When they had returned to 
shore they also displayed white signals, and in a little 
while they placed them all along the shore, and, if it had 
not been so late, we would have lowered the boat ; but we 
put off doing that, and also seeking a port for the ships, 
until the next morning. It was fifty-seven days from our 
departure from Callao till our arrival at this island, during 
which we had a favourable wind and a calm sea. 

In the meantime the Almiranta had come up, and when 
she drew near I ordered the pilot to set sail, in order that 
we might not have the sea on our beam so close to shore, 
and be unable to find a bottom. Thus we tacked all night 


between the sea and land. During the night I gave orders 
to the men, and appointed a post for each, in order that, in 
case anything unforeseen should occur they might not be 
unprepared, and each one might know what to do in case 
of necessity. We passed a quiet night in great tranquility 
until the morning watch. During the first watch the 
Alntiranta showed a light, to which the Indians responded 
with a light on shore, and, when she extinguished hers, the 
light on shore was extinguished likewise. The men were 
very contented, hoping to take the island, to which I gave 
the name of " Jesus," because we reached it the day after 
that festival.^ The gulf which we traversed from Callao 
de Lima to this island I called " Golfo de Concepcion," 
because we were in it on that feast of Our Lady. This is 
the largest gulf navigated, nor was any larger seen in the 
whole discovery. 

To return, however, to what occurred to us in endeavour- 
ing to touch at the island. At daybreak the weather 
clouded and it began to rain ; then a strong wind arose, 
which was aided by the current, so that we began to edge 
away very perceptibly ; we managed to get near the shore, 
and might have anchored easily, but, when it was light, we 
looked for the Almiranta, and could not see her. We 
tacked out to sea again, and saw her very far to leeward of 
the island. I told the pilots to put back to shore, for now 
the other ship had seen us and would follow ; they replied 
that they thought it impossible for that ship to reach the 
island, since she was so far to leeward ; but that if I wished 
to put back to land, they would do so, though they warned 
me that it would be very dangerous for the ship ^/w/V/iw/a, 
which might be lost in endeavouring to reach the land, and 
thereupon they bade me decide, saying that they would 
obey my orders. I told them to rejoin the other ship, and, 

* See p. 86, note. 


if both could reach the land, it would be wrong not to do 
so, since the men were very anxious to take in water ; for, 
though our supply was not exhausted, it was all bad, and 
we always drank it reluctantly, which was the truth. 
They replied that they would be very pleased to do so, 
and steered towards the said ship. She was following the 
land tack and we the sea, and so she passed us ; then she 
went about, and took the sea tack, and then both ships 
took the land tack, and thus we continued tacking all day 
to reach the island ; but the wind and rain were so heavy 
and violent, and the current so strong, that we were clearly 
falling off more than 6 leagues from it. The pilots, seeing 
how we were losing way, told me that we could not reach 
the island, for I might see for myself how we were falling 
off, and, that if we remained there until the next day, we 
should lose so much that we should not be able to get back 
to our present latitude of 6 degrees ; besides, the weather 
was very bad, and showed signs of growing worse, and it 
seemed that we ought not to endanger the ships, especially 
the Almiranta, which was small ; and we should very soon 
reach other land, where we could find a port and provide 
ourselves with whatever we required. I replied that it was 
not my intention to endanger the ships or their crews, and 
that with God's help we should, no doubt, find other and 
better lands ; but that, this being the first we had sighted, I 
wished to take possession of it in the name of His Majesty ; 
but that, if in attempting to reach it the ships would be 
endangered, I bade them desist and pursue our voyage, 
for His Majesty's service was my only concern. Then the 
pilots steered west-south-west upon a bowline {bolina)^ which 
was all they could do until the wind increased. The island 
is in the latitude of barely 7 degrees.^ 

* This paragraph was Mendana*s defence against one of the charges 
which he knew that Pedro Sarmiento intended to bring against him — 
that he neglected to touch at what Sarmiento regarded as an island 
outlying his iierra ^rme. 


That day, Friday, we advanced very little before nightfall, 
because we had spent nearly all the day tacking to reach 
the island. Upon the course we were following Heman 
Gallego thought that he saw another island, though I 
thought it uncertain ; but he said that he could not touch 
at it because it lay to windward, and the rain and darkness 
were very great ; but when he pointed it out to me, it 
seemed to me to be nothing but the clouds.^ 

On the following Saturday, the 17th of the said month 
of January, the wind freshened, and we steered west-north- 
west, still with heavy rain. This day the pilot told me 
that he had never seen such a storm in the South Sea as 
on the day when we were off the island, for he had seen 
many signs of hurricanes and great storms, and we experi- 
enced one so severe that they said the like had never been 
seen in the tropics before. 

From Friday, the day we left the island, until the end 
of the following Monday, we advanced 40 leagues west and 
west-north-east [west-north-west ?], and as the prevailing 
winds were north-west and west, I said that it would be well 
to go down to 6 degrees in order that we might increase 
our latitude when I wished, for the currents and north- 
west winds would prevent us from reaching the equinoctial 
line, and we could go south when we liked. On the said 
Monday, the 19th January, Hernan Gallego took the sun, 
and found 6 degrees of latitude ; then he gave orders to 
steer west-quarter-north-west, in order to alter our latitude 
by degrees until he could take the sun again. 

On the following Tuesday and Wednesday we steered 
the same course for 20 leagues in the said latitude of 
6 degrees. 

On the Thursday and the Friday we went westward for 

* It is possible that in tacking they sighted Nui, or Funafuti, each 
visible about fifteen miles from the masthead, if they made long 


20 leagues more in the said latitude of 6 degrees, with heavy 
rain all the time. On Friday the downpour lasted twelve 
hours without ceasing, during which no fires could be 
lighted in the ship, and it was impossible to cook the food. 

On Saturday and the following Sunday, the 24th and 
25th of the said month of January, we advanced 35 leagues 
with such strong winds from the north-west that our ship 
sailed under her courses ;^ and although sometimes we might 
have set more sail, we did not do so because we were waiting 
for the AlmirantUf whose sails were furled ; and thus, waiting 
for her, we lost one quarter of our way, sometimes because 
she sailed slowly, and sometimes because her sails were 
furled. Yet, in spite of this, and of our having refrained from 
touching at the island in order not to endanger the said 
ship, those on board of her questioned us why we had not 
touched at the island. I answered that, though we could 
have done so, we did not, for fear that they might be cast 
away. They replied that if I had done so they would have 
followed, even at the cost of carrying away their masts 
and losing their lives. I replied that this was just what 
I wished to avoid. 

On the following Monday and Tuesday we advanced 
25 leagues westward in the latitude of 6 degrees. 

On Wednesday we advanced 1 5 leagues. On this day 
we took the sun, and found $\ degrees of latitude, and I 
ordered Hernan Gallego, the Chief Pilot, to steer south- 
west, because the currents were carrying us to a lower 

On the following Thursday and Friday we advanced 
10 leagues and were becalmed ; and when the wind blew it 
was from the west, with heavy rain, and so boisterous that 
we were obliged to furl the sails. 

^ Papahigos, The papahigos mayor is the mainsail, and the 
papahigo menor the foresail, both without the bonnet or piece some- 
times added to the lower part. — Note by Munoz. 


On the following Saturday, which was the last day of 
January of the said year 1568, owing to calms and contrary 
winds, as on the previous day, we advanced only 5 leagues. 

On Sunday, the ist of February, at two o'clock in the 
afternoon or thereabouts, the wind being light, although 
we had been obliged to take in sail three or four times, 
always advancing with care and keeping a strict watch 
ahead, as we were steering west, Hernan Gallego, the 
Chief Pilot, saw breakers on the starboard side, and sent a 
man aloft to see if land was in sight ; but there appeared to 
be nothing but a reef six leagues in length, lying from 
south-west to north-east. We coasted along it at about a 
league distant, the sea breaking over it in every part.^ 
I ordered it to be named Candelaria [Candlemas] Reef, 
because we sighted it on the eve of that festival ; it is well 
within the latitude of 6 degrees. We cruised about it all 
that day to see whether we could approach or touch at it, 
and whether it had any wood or water, thinking that it might 
contain some very low land : not that we required them 
then, but in case calms should bring us to need them. We 
cruised along the reefs until the hour of vespers, tacking 
occasionally, because the wind blew almost directly upon 
them, but at that hour the wind began to fall until it was 
entirely from the west, blowing from over the reefs. As we 
could not reach them with such a contrary wind, we turned 
north-north-west ; then the wind veered to west-north-west 
and west, with occasional squalls, heavy rain, and whirl- 
winds, so that we were obliged to furl our sails and remain 
in a cross sea all night. 

On Monday, Our Lady's feast of Candlemas, and on the 

^ This description would apply to the Roncador Reef better than to 
Ongtong Java ; but since Gallego distinctly mentions small islands 
among the shoals, and estimates the extent of the reefs at 15 leagues, 
and further gives the latitude at 6\\ there can be little doubt that the 
Candelaria shoals were identical with Ongtong Java. 


following Tuesday, we had a cross sea, because the wind 
was in our teeth with heavy rain. The wind and rain were 
so continuous that, as soon as a storm had passed from 
stem to stern, it was blown back upon us ; and sometimes 
we saw rain storms coming upon us from stem to stern, 
starboard and larboard ; and when we thought that they 
had passed over they returned immediately, with wind 
from every quarter and constant thunder. 

On the following Wednesday, the 4th of the said month 
of February, the weather grew a little calmer, and we 
tacked one way and the other, endeavouring with a light 
wind to approach the reef, in order not to lose distance. 
At night the wind blew from the west, and we furled our 

On the following Thursday, in order not to lose ground, 
we set sail and steered south-west-quarter-west in the 
latitude of 6 degrees, leaving the reefs behind, and went in 
search of the land, which, as we thought, could not be very 
far off. At night a contrary wind sprang up, and we furled 
our sails. On the next day we saw many signs of land 
such as cocoa-nuts, palm branches snakes, toads, crabs, 
oranges, and many other things, which gave us great joy. 

On the following Friday, the 6th of the said month, 
we advanced but little, being becalmed, and the little wind 
that sprang up was contrary ; and so we lay with sails 
furled most of the day and through the night until the 
following morning. 

It pleased God that, on the morning of the 7th of the 
said month of February, the Saturday after we had sighted 
the reefs, being 1 5 leagues from them, and steering north- 
north-west, with the foresail set and the wind west-south- 
west, in order not to decrease our latitude while the wind 
was generally northerly, Hernan Gallego, the Chief Pilot, 
sighted land, which seemed very high. As it was so large 
and high we thought that it must be a continent It lay 


1 5 leagues distant when we sighted it, and we were all that 
day and the next making for it As soon as the natives 
saw us there came out many small canoes with Indians, 
all equipped for war, with bows and arrows and lances 
of palm wood. Then they made signs of peace, saying 
many times tabriqui^ tabriqui^ and I said to some soldiers 
who were beside me that I thought they must be asking 
for the captain, and bade them point me out if they said 
it again, and then we should understand them. They did 
so, and the soldiers pointed to me, saying, tabriqui^ tabriqui^ 
after them. Then they called to one another, and all looked 
at me, and I made them signs to draw near and come on 
board, but they would not Then I asked for a red cap, 
and threw it overboard, and they picked it up and gave it 
to a chief who was in a canoe, and he put it on his head, 
and the rest returned to beg for more. Upon this, other 
canoes came out with other tabriquis^ and all begged for 
caps. I threw out three or four others, which they picked 
up and gave to the chiefs who were the tabriquis ; but 
this, and the many signs of friendship which I made them, 
were of no avail. They eagerly watched the signs that I 
made them, which were beckoning with my hand, making 
the sign of the cross, and raising my hands to heaven ; and 
they did the same, especially one of them, who did so many 
times. But, in spite of all, they dared not come on board, 
until a sailor jumped over the side and swam to one of the 
canoes ; seeing this, they drew near, albeit with great signs 
of fear, and about two dozen of them came on board. 
I embraced them with a great show of friendship, and 
ordered food and drink to be given to them ; they ate 
meat and preserves, but no biscuit ; they tasted the wine, 
but did not drink it, because they did not like the taste. 
They pronounced the words that they heard us say in our 
tongue, and we did the same with theirs, and one of them 
repeated the Pater Noster and Credo, pronouncing it as 


well as we ourselves did. I ordered a shirt to be given 
him, and some beads to the rest, with caps, bells, and other 
presents. They went about the ship, carefully seeking 
something to steal, and if they found anything left about, 
they quickly threw it overboard for the others to pick up 
from the canoes. One of them climbed to the top by the 
rigging as lightly as the most practised sailor. Their 
canoes are very well made and very light ; they are shaped 
like a crescent, the largest holding about thirty persons. 
They are so swift that, although our ships under sail 
started two leagues ahead of them, with a good wind and 
all the sails set, they caught us up within the hour. Their 
speed in rowing is marvellous ; they row in the fashion of 
the people of Cartagena. 

We could not enter the port that day, since it was late, 
and we did not know the way. Therefore, I sent fifteen 
soldiers in the boat, with arquebuses and targets, to find an 
anchorage before nightfall. Seeing them set out, half of 
the natives went with them very contentedly, and the rest 
remained on board, each tabriqui importuning me to choose 
the port in his district. At nightfall they all withdrew. 
Before it was quite dark the boat returned, having found no 
port. The soldiers who were in it reported that, when they 
were near the shore, a large canoe came out, containing 
seventeen or eighteen Indians, who showed signs of hosti- 
lity, their chief standing up and brandishing a club, and 
the rest their bows and arrows. This petty chief spoke 
loudly to our men as he drew near, but a chief who was 
in one of the canoes accompanying the boat — the same 
who had taken a silver cup which I gave him, for though 
he would not drink the wine he took the cup — went on and 
confronted the approaching Indians, and began to argue 
with them, whereupon they retired without attempting 
anything further, and our men returned to the ship. When 
the chief saw them turn back he was very sad, and called 


upon them to accompany him, making signs that he would 
give them food and drink in his own territory. 

We tacked all night between the land and sea, and came 
so close to a reef that we were in great danger, and lay at 
an angle {aristef with the reef, unable to turn ; but it 
pleased God to deliver us from this peril, and we stood 
out to sea till it was day. I wished to punish the soldiers 
who were on watch, because they had not warned the man 
at the helm ; but they exonerated themselves, saying that 
they had warned the pilots, and they had taken no notice, 
because the Almiranta was in front, a little to leeward, 
and was therefore in greater danger than we were, being 

On the next day, Monday, I sent out boats and men to 
find a port, which they had had no time to do the night 
before ; and while the ships were plying to windward, 
following the boats, we found ourselves over a ridge of rocks 
{restinga) formed by the reef aforesaid. The ridge appeared 
to be quite a league in length, and, in order to get out to 
sea again, we sailed out over it upon a bow-line. We were 
certainly in great peril, for we could see the bottom very 
clearly, and we were in four, five, and six fathoms, and 
did not know when there might be less depth. When we 
were in deep water again, Hernan Gallego considered it 
better to stand in at once for the shore, without waiting 
until a cross wind might set in, and bring us to destruction ; 
and, though many advised me not to let him do so until 
the pilot who had gone to find a port should signal to us, 
or come to fetch us, I replied to all those who said this 
that I trusted Hernan Gallego as a very skilful man, as 
indeed he is, and I would not prevent him from entering 
the port if he dared to do so ; and I bade him do whatever 
he thought best for the good of all. He ordered two 

* Arista? 


anchors to be made ready, and with the sheets and the 
line {trizd) in his hand, in case it should be necessary to 
drop anchor over the shoal, he steered for the land again ; 
thus resolved, we bore upon our course, firmly persuaded 
that Our Lord favoured us through the intercession of His 
Divine Mother, and of the three Magi who had ever been 
our advocates : for, at about ten o'clock in the morning, 
after we had put out to sea, and just as we were re-enter- 
ing the shallow water, we saw about the middle of the 
main top-sail a resplendent star, which we took to be a 
guide sent to us by them to show us the passage through 
the shallows, because we entered them at a part where the 
bottom was clearly seen and the entrance narrow ; and 
when we had passed them we found good anchorage in 
several fathoms, and so we found a port according to our 
great desire. And because we had sailed from the king- 
dom of Peru upon the feast of Santa Ysabel, and also 
because she had been our patroness throughout the voyage, 
I called the island Santa Ysabel. I called the port Bahia 
de la Estrella (Bay of the Star). As soon as the Capitana 
anchored a number of canoes came alongside, and the 
Indians stared in amazement at a sight which was so 
novel to them. As the Almiranta was entering, and 
approaching us who were lying at anchor — she having put 
to sea again when we did — I ordered a salute to be fired 
in order to cheer the soldiers, who were depressed and 
fatigued by the voyage ; the guns and muskets were 
accordingly discharged, at which the natives were much 

On this day, Monday, the 9th of February, as soon as 
the Almiranta had cast anchor, I disembarked with my 
Master of the Camp, Ensign-General, and Captains, and 
Fray Francisco de Galvez, the Vicar, and all the other 
clergy that I had with me, and a few soldiers, and we 
went on shore. Then I ordered them to set up a large 


cross, which Fray Francisco de Galvez carried upon his 
shoulders, and he supported it while we paid our devotions 
to it, and rendered thanks to Our Lord, who had guided 
us safe to port, and brought us thither in peace and concord 
with all. Then I ordered it to be set up in a convenient 
spot, and having erected it, we again adored it; after 
which the said Father Francisco and the other clergy 
recited the hymn Vexilla Regis prodeunt. Then, with the 
necessary formalities, I took possession of the land in the 
name of his Majesty. 

The next day, Tuesday, I ordered Mass to be said, and 
commanded all the soldiers and sailors and the greater 
part of the people to attend it, and commend themselves to 
Our Lord. The said day there came on board a chief whom 
they call tabriqui, which signifies " lord ;" his name was 
Bileban-Arra, and his territory lies near this port, which, 
in the Indian tongue, is called Samba ; it is on the summit 
of an eminence, half a league from the port. He differed 
from the Indians who accompanied him in wearing on 
his head a turban, formed of numerous black and white 
feathers, and on his wrists armlets made of very white 
bone which looked to us like alabaster.^ A small shield, 
which they call taco-taco^ hung from his neck. He brought 
me a present of cocoa-nuts, which I accepted, giving him 
other presents in return. At his earnest request I allowed 
him to come on board, he first making the signs of peace 
which I had seen made to me the day before ; I did the 
same, and then he asked me to give him a cap, offering me 
one of his bracelets in exchange. Understanding that he 
would then come on board, I ordered a cap to be tied to 
a rope, and lowered to him, and he took it and tied the 
bracelet to another rope, but would not leave hold of it 

^ Ajorcas (armlets) is a word of Arabic derivation. These armlets 
are made of the giant Tridacna shell rubbed down to the necessary 
shape with infinite labour. They are worn above the elbow. 

10 Feb.] NARRATIVE OF MENDAff A. 113- 

until he had the cap in his hands. He waited until some 
of his Indians were on board, and when he came up a 
negro was playing a tabor and flute, and he and the rest 
began to dance a strange dance. I made him sit down, 
and began to ask him what they called the sun, the moon, 
the sky, and other things ; and he named them all in his 
tongue, which is such that it may easily be learned by us, 
as ours by them, for they speak very distinctly, and with- 
out the affectation {de papd) of the people of Peru. They 
seemed very eager to learn our words, and asked us to 
teach them, at which we were greatly rejoiced, because of 
the good fruit, which, please God, might be borne when we 
taught them our holy Catholic Faith, to know and serve 

This chief asked me by signs what my name was, and, 
when I replied that it was Mendafta, he answered that his 
was Bileban-Arra, and he rejoiced greatly at hearing my 
name, and learning that I was a tabriquiy and he asked 
me to exchange names with him. This we did : I was 
called Bileban-Arra, and he took my name ; he was very 
much pleased and satisfied, and, that he might not forget 
it, he kept on repeating "Mendafta, Mendafta." He 
invited me to visit him next day, saying that he would 
give me food, and, when I made signs that I would do so, 
he was highly pleased. 

The next day, Wednesday, I went on shore in the morn- 
ing to hear Mass ; and while I was doing so, there came 
twenty-two canoes of other tabriquis of this island, who 
came to gaze at us, a great novelty to them ; among them 
was one called Meta, who would not land, although I called 
to him. While I was on shore, there came two brothers 
of the tabriqui Bile, and they brought me cocoa-nuts and 
other food that they had. Among those who accom- 
panied them were two well-built Indians, and they asked 
me to go with them, for their brother Bile was expecting 



me, and these two strong Indians were to carry me on 
their shoulders up the hill. When I declined to go, they 
withdrew, and the tabriqui himself came to the ship, 
bringing me cocoa-nuts and other provisions. Their 
musical instruments are a number of pipes of reed, bound 
together in order according to size like an organ, upon 
which they play with their mouths, as upon the fife '} they 
have also large shells which they call coflis} I ordered the 
fife and trumpet to be played, and afterwards some of the 
soldiers sang to the guitar ; they were astonished at our 
instruments, and still more at our singing. Then they 
danced, being very fond of this exercise ; and, as I gave 
them a few presents and treated them well, they came to 
see me every day, although I gave them but little to eat ; 
but, every time they came to the ship, they brought 
their arms. 

One day, when we had seen neither canoes, nor even 
Indians on shore, four or five of another faction came to 
see me, and these did not seem so willing to make friends 
with us as those of Bileban-Arra, for they would not come 
on board, nor even approach the ship. They came 
arrayed for battle, standing in their canoes with bows 
and arrows in their hands. Our friend, Bileban-Arra, 
seeing their attitude, came out from his port with four 
or five canoes full of men, himself standing very erect in 
one of them : for when they come in this manner their 
intention is hostile, otherwise they remain seated.' Look- 
ing very ferocious, he approached, and when the others 

^ The pan pipes, here described, are still in use. 

* Though the conch-shell is called Tavidi by the coast tribes of 
Ysabel Island, Mr. Woodford found that the bush natives of Mount 
Guku behind Estrella Bay call it Hojliy so pronounced as sometimes 
to sound like Kojli, 

' The present custom. When a war-canoe is approaching a village 
to attack it, they stand up in the canoe while the chief addresses the 
spirits. — Woodford. 



saw him they turned and fled, and he pursued them. Seeing 
that he was gaining on them, they surrendered, throwing 
themselves down in the canoes. Seeing that they sur- 
rendered, he spoke to them and let them go; and he was 
very merry over this, and we gathered from it that they 
had enmity and warfare between them. He came after- 
wards to the ship, and showed me plainly by signs that 
Meta, the labriqui before mentioned, who would not land, 
was plotting to kill me, together with other tabriquis of 
the island, his friends, among whom he named the follow- 
ing: Riari, Babalay, Coboa, Sambe, Maclago, Ciamarrotovo, 
Ganigo, and four or five others who, he said, were coming 
together to kill and eat us ; from this we gathered that 
they were cannibals. He told me that they had called 
upon him to join them against me, but that he had refused, 
and bade me call him if they came against me, and he 
would help me ; after which he returned to his dwelling. 

This tabriqui, Bite, then remained two days without 
coming to see me, by which I understood that he had 
renounced my friendship and joined the others, and that 
some treason was on foot. Thereupon 1 resolved to send 
some one to visit him, to learn what he intended and what 
he was doing, I sent the Master of the Camp, Hernando 
Henriquez, and Captain Pedro Sarmiento with twenty 
soldiers. When they reached his camp he received them 
more in fear than in friendship, and in his hut they saw 
nothing of any kind, except two little dogs. The tabriqui 
offered them cocoa-nuts and water, but only gave them a 
small cane full of water ; and, though they asked for more, 
he would not send for it, nor did he seem to have any 
other kind of vessel. Their chief food is cocoa-nuts, and 
a kind of root which they call vinakus [taro?] ' 

' Here occurs the following passage : " Convidaron ii los n 
con algunas mujeres, y como ellos hidesen asco y escuplesen dellas, 
por darles ^ entender que no se las habian de tomar, se admiraban, 


While this was going on the Master of the Camp ordered 
some to go forward a little, to see whether there were any 
roads ; but when a soldier set off to do so, the Indians 
called him back before he had gone twice the breadth 
of the quarter-deck, and he returned for fear of offend- 
ing them ; and, when the Master of the Camp heard 
that they had not allowed him to go, he ordered him to 
take an earthen jar which he had given to the Indians, 
and to go where he had ordered him upon the pretext 
of fetching water ; and he ordered the soldiers to remain 
where they were, and advance no further, and Don 
Hernando Enriquez remained with them. The Master of 
the Camp and Captain Sarmiento took the tabriqui by 
the hand, and walked away from the rest, talking to him. 
He led them to a hut much lower down, and showed them 
to his father ; they told me that he seemed very pleased to 
see them, and they were also pleased ; he was a man who 
looked like a ruler, whose person showed authority ; he 
was very old and very tall, with a white beard so long 
that it reached to his waist ;^ he was whiter than his 
children, being almost as white as a Spaniard ; his name 
is Salacay. They remained with him awhile, and, as the 
conversation appeared to the Indians to last too long, 
they began to tell them to go, saying : ''fuera ! fuera ! " 
(" away !"), which they had learnt from me, having heard me 
say it to the soldiers when they came to see me ; and as 
they said it so haughtily, our men withdrew in order not 
to offend them, and came back again. When the Master 

y mds de que no las trujesemos. Y como algunos de los nuestros se 
apartasen i orinar, ellas se iban tras ellos para ver con que, y hubo 
una que se llego d tomar de la falda del sayo i. un soldado por verlo. 
Como los nuestros se escusasen, se subio un indio escondidamente 
encima de un drbol, donde algunos se apartaban k orinar, para 
veiles sus verguenzas, porque no sabian qud juzgar de nosotros." 

^ This is very rare among the Solomon Islanders, who, as a rule, 
are almost beardless. 

1 5 Feb.] NARRATIVE OF MENDA^^A. 1 1 7 

of the Camp told Don Hernando that he had seen Salacay, 
the father of the tabriqui, Bile, he wished to go back and 
see him, and they returned together; but when they 
arrived at the place, they found no sign of Salacay, nor of 
any other Indian, but only various articles of dress and 
some beads which I had given them ; they did not touch 
these, nor injure anything belonging to them, although they 
might have taken many things besides food, for they had 
every opportunity. Seeing a mochadero close by, they 
went to see what it contained, but they found no gold nor 
silver, nor anything worth a tomin,^ nor even any vessel 
from which to eat and drink, nor anything to sleep upon. 

One day there came to the ship some Indians belonging 
to another chief, in four canoes, in which they brought 
three women ; and when they saw that we had no women 
with us they thought to tempt us by asking us to buy them. 
I made signs to them that we refused, and that we could 
not bear the sight of them, and bade them take them away, 
which they did immediately. Some of these women are 
well-favoured, and fairer than those of Peru ; their hair is 
very red, and cut short beneath the ear. 

Seeing that since our arrival at this land we had not 
explored it at all, because Bile had not come to the ship 
as usual, and we did not know whether it was an island or a 
continent, I assembled the Master of the Camp, and the 
captains, and in their presence I asked the opinion of 
Fray Francisco de Galvez, the Vicar, touching my own 
conscience and that of my soldiers, telling him that I wished 
to send inland to explore the country ; that it was three 
months since we left the port of the City of Los Reyes, 
and we had not touched land until we came to this port of 
La Estrella ; that a fourth part of the provisions had been 

^ " Tomin " is the word used in the Indies for a coin worth about 
eight martos. — Muiioz. 


consumed, and yet we had seen nothing ; that we could 
not leave this port for thirty days more, because we were 
building a brigantine to explore the coast, and that it 
would therefore be well to spare the provisions, and avail 
ourselves of the food used by the natives ; for that, though 
I had sufficient victuals in the ship to last for some time, 
it was still necessary to go in quest of other land, and we 
might live upon what the land produced so long as we 
remained in this port ; that I had made peace with the 
tabriqui of the land, and he treated us with friendship and 
visited us, but that, though I had asked him by signs to 
bring us food and he would be paid for it, and had sent 
to visit him in order to confirm our friendship, yet, in 
spite of all, neither he, nor his Indians, would bring us 
anything, but on the contrary had become estranged from 
us, and would not come to the ships as they did before ; 
and that my chief desire was not to burden my conscience, 
nor that of my soldiers, but to order all things as best 
befitted the service of God and of His Majesty ; and there- 
fore I called upon him to give me his opinion in the matter 
as seemed best to him. 

To this the said Vicar, Fray Francisco de Galvez, 
replied that he was aware that I had done all that I could, 
and had made friends with the tabriqui who was the chief, 
and with his Indians, giving them gratuitously some of the 
articles of barter, and that I might very well go inland in 
search of provision, paying for it with other things ; and 
that, if the natives refused to barter it, I might take some 
in moderation, but not in such quantities that they would 
feel the want of it, and not touching any of their other 
property, nor their wives and children. And in case they 
should not allow us to take provision when they professed 
friendship for us, if they defended it, and made war upon 
me, and so broke the peace, in such a case I and my 
soldiers might very well defend and guard what we had 


taken in the way of provision, so long as we did not pursue 
or attack them, but only defended ourselves. 

Upon this I told the Master of the Camp, and the other 
captains who were present, to give me their opinion ; and 
they replied that it would be well to go inland and explore 
the country, and I agreed with them. Therefore I arranged 
that on Monday, the i6th of the said month of February, 
Captain Pedro Sarmiento should set out with sixteen 
soldiers and six servants to carry the provisions. He was 
to go through the land of this tabriqui, Bileban-Arra, and 
push on until he reached the summit of a mountain which 
formed a chain that could be seen from the port, from 
whence he might survey the character of the land, and 
ascertain whether it were an island or a continent, and 
discover what food the natives had ; he was to bargain 
with them in a friendly way, and, if they would give him 
food in barter, he was to bring back as much as he could 
carry ; but, if not, he was to take nothing against their 
will, and to do them no harm, but to pursue his journey. 
The limit of time that I gave him was four days for going 
and returning ; and, though he might have taken some pro- 
vision by force if they would not sell it, I told him not to 
do so, that our cause might be better justified, and that 
they might not suppose that we meant them any harm ; 
and upon their return, according to their report, I would 
consider what was best to be done. 

They set out before daybreak upon the day aforesaid, 
and, as the Indians had posted sentinels, they were aware 
of it, and began to blow certain large shells which they 
call coflis ; and, hearing them, our men went up to a level 
place to wait until it was light. When it was day they 
began their march, and on the height near the dwelling 
of the tabriqui they came upon more than one hundred 
Indians who had assembled there, prepared for fighting. 
As our men approached they shouted to them to come 


near, for they were friends ; the Indians would not do so, 
but retreated, our men following them, towards a piece of 
ground further on which was inhabited ; and as they 
pushed on, they overtook the Indians, and spoke to them, 
and made friends with them. They asked our men, by 
signs, whither they were going, and if they were looking 
for Bileban-Arra, their chief, and they answered in the 
affirmative ; the natives replied that he had gone further 
down, and that this was the land of another chief; but our 
men went on, and the Indians remained where they were. 
When our men had passed, the Indians went round by 
another way to guard their huts, and stood in fours at the 
entrances, crying to our men : ^^afuera ! afuera .'" and, that 
they might not think that we would do them any harm, our 
people passed on, and let them alone. After going a good 
half league they came upon six huts standing together, 
which were painted, and better built than those of Bile, and 
there was a temple there. Here they found many Indians, 
besides the hundred they had left behind who had come by 
another road ; our men gathered from this that they were 
assembling to do battle with them, which the Indians 
called narriu. 

Our men advanced and asked them for some water, but 
they refused, saying that they had none, and thereupon 
our men left them and began to march forward, straight 
towards a river which they saw there. When they reached 
the bank of the river they found the tabriqui^ Bileban- 
Arra, there, with more than two hundred Indians. Our 
men approached him, and asked him to be friends with 
them, to which he agreed, but they did not think his 
friendship was sincere. Then Captain Sarmiento asked 
the tabriqui to come down with him, and he did so with 
his Indians ; they saw many Indians higher up the moun- 
tain, blowing shells to assemble their men ; then they saw 
some Indians upon the bank of the river, and joined them. 


and made friends with all of them. When our men were in 
the river, they saw upon the further bank of it another 
party of Indians who were coming down the mountain 
towards the place whither they were making ; but our men 
continued to cross the river, that the Indians might not 
suppose that they were afraid of them. The river has 
many windings, so that they were obliged to cross it many 
times before they reached the foot of the mountain range ; 
and, as it was then very late, Captain Sarmiento thought 
it better to spend the night there, and endeavour to find 
shelter from the rain, until the next day. It rained so 
heavily all night that they were unable to strike a light ; 
they were wet through and covered with mud, in which 
they were even obliged to sleep ; their provisions got so 
wet that they could not eat them ; but they found in the 
neighbourhood a quantity of cocoa-nuts and palmetto, 

which they ate.^ 

On the morning of the next day, they set out from 
that island, and crossed the arm of sea of which the 
Indians had told them ; and having done so, they saw four 
or five canoes full of Indians coming towards them ; they 
called to them, but they refused to come until twenty- 

^ At this point the narrative breaks off. The next paragraph relates 
to Pedro de Ortega's excursion eastward along the coast, nearly a 
month later, and it is evident that several leaves of the MS. are 
missing. From the other narratives we learn that seven exploring 
expeditions were undertaken while the ships lay in Estreila Bay. 

(i) Ortega's expedition, to ascertain why Chief Vilevanara had 
not revisited the ships. 

(2) Sarmiento's expedition, on February i6th, here described, re- 
sulting in the capture of the chiefs uncle, Havi. 

(3) Sarmiento's excursion, about February 21st, to restore the 
prisoner to his friends. 

(4) The expeditions of Gabriel Muiioz and Diego Davila along the 
coast in both directions, on February 24th. 

(5) Ortega's ascent of the main range, on March 4th, with fifty 
men, resulting in the discovery that Santa Ysabel was an island. 

(6) Ortega's expedition to the territory of Meta, and the capture of 
four natives. 

(7) Enriquez's ascent to look for the brigantine. 

The MS. breaks off in No. 2) and resumes in the middle of No. 6. 


eight canoes had assembled, in which there were one 
hundred Indians or more. Our men awaited their arrival 
on the shore, but they would not approach ; then the 
Master of the Camp spoke to them, calling them brothers, 
and bidding them disembark, for he would do them no 
harm. Upon this the Indians that they had with them as 
guides, who had hidden themselves, thinking that these 
were a party of Indians belonging to Meta, now recog- 
nised them as naclanis — that is, vassals — of Bileban-Arra, 
their chief. When the Master of the Camp heard this, he 
made them come forward to speak with those in the 
canoes ; and when the latter saw them they were very 
glad and made much of them ; and they told them that 
our men were going to kill Meta, at which they were very 
glad ; then they landed, and the Master of the Camp 
embraced them, and gave them several presents, for which 
they thanked him, and gave him some provisions and six 
Indians to go with our men against Meta. Then they 
went forward along the shore, and saw several of Meta's 
Indians come out to look at them, and spy where they 
were going. They came close to the dwelling of Meta, 
which is upon a height beyond a strip of populated land, 
which they could not reach that night, as it was late. 

At that time many of his Indians were scattered about the 
shore, and when they saw our men approaching and calling 
to them, they fled towards the thicket (arcabuz)} Seeing 
that they could not reach the dwelling, and that the Indians 
would not wait for them, they resolved to camp upon the 
shore ; and, finding no convenient site for the purpose, the 
Master of the Camp thought it better to send on a few 
soldiers to see whether there was a more suitable place 
for camping in. Going forward the better to explore the 

^ Mr. Woodford thinks that this word, " Arcabuz," or " Arcabuco" 
(thicket), is used throughout the MSS. for " mangrove." 

17 March] 



place where they were, one of the soldiers saw an Indian 
come out of the thicket off his guard, and carrying a little 
vinahu ; he endeavoured to seize him, thinking that, as he 
was alone, it would be safer to capture him, but the Indian 
threw himself into the sea : this availed him nothing, for 
the soldier seized him at last, and, as he was struggling in 
the water to escape so that the soldier could not get him 
out, a dog that they had with them seized the Indian by the 
arm, and then he kept quiet, and they brought him ashore 
and bound him, and brought him to the place where the 
Master of the Camp had remained. They slept that night 
in this place, and were as uncomfortable as on the first 
night, because of the heavy rain which prevented them 
from striking a light, for, when they succeeded in doing 
so, the rain quenched it immediately, and thus they were 
very tired and wet. They found a quantity of cocoa-nuts 
and palmetto, which they ate, for they had nothing else. 

The next day the Master of the Camp went with twenty- 
five soldiers, to see a large tree which he had been told was 
covered with cocoa-nuts, and which was very near the 
place where they were encamped. He ordered them to cut 
it down, and they found that it bore more than two 
hundred cocoa-nuts, all of which they gathered and put 
into the boat. When they had finished gathering them, the 
Indians understood that they were only seeking provisions 
and would do them no further harm, and about eighty of 
them came and brought them some roots of vinahu. The 
Master of the Camp received them very well, making them 
many signs of friendship, and beckoning to them with kind 
words, calling them brothers ; and he brought them to the 
place where he had encamped, and, his orders being to take 
not more than four or six of them as interpreters, he did 
them no further harm than to capture four of them, one of 
whom was the son of the tabriqui, Meta. As he was 
leading them straight to the huts, still holding them by 


the hands, they thought that the interview had lasted long 
enough, and they endeavoured to make off. Then some 
of our men caught hold of them, and threw them down 
and bound them ; and as the rest were well provided with 
bows, lances and clubs, they separated from our party, 
and our men stood on their guard in case they should 
attack them ; they did not dare to do so, but turned their 
backs and retreated slowly, although the son of the 
tabriqui made a loud outcry while he was being bound, 
calling upon Meta, his father, to come to his aid. When 
they had been bound they were placed in the boat, and 
the Master of the Camp ordered Gabriel Mufioz to embark 
in it, with several soldiers to guard them in case any 
canoes should appear ; and they were to go towards the 
ship, while he and the rest pushed forward along the shore. 
The boat with the Indians and the cocoa-nuts reached the 
ship before the Master of the Camp. They told me that, 
as they came along at night, all the Indians had untied 
themselves, but they could not understand how they had 
done it, for they had bound them securely with their hands 
behind their backs ; when they discovered that they were 
free, they bound them again. I ordered the cocoa-nuts to be 
distributed among the company. The Master of the Camp 
and his men arrived later, having been two days longer 
in returning to the ship, for I had allowed them four days 
for going and returning ; and, their provisions having got 
wet, they had nothing to eat for three days but cocoa-nuts 
and palmetto, which is not sustaining food. They all 
arrived in good health, but very fatigued from the bad 
roads and the wettings they had undergone from heavy 
rains and fording rivers. When they arrived, the four 
Indians who had gone with them asked me to give them 
the four prisoners, saying that they wished to take them 
to their tabriqui^ Bile, that he might eat them. I told 
them to go and fetch him to the ships, and I would 

20 March] narrative of mendana. 125 

give them to him, and thereupon they went off" well 

The next day he sent a message that he could not 
come, but would do so the next day without fail. In the 
morning he sent six Indians, requesting that I would send 
him the boat, in which to come off with his naclonis ; 
and I ordered the boat to go, and a few soldiers in it. 
First he sent thirty Indians in the boat, saying that he 
would come later ; he assembled eight canoes full of 
Indians, and after a little while he himself came, very fine 
with many bracelets of bone^ upon his arms, and a plate of 
the same round his reck, and bracelets of very small stag's 
teeth.* and very small stones resembling coral,* which he 
wore on his arms and legs. He came with such gravity 
and dignity as we could not but admire in a savage ; he 
approached, seated in his canoe, after all his naclonis, which 
signifies vassals, had arrived and entered the ship. He 
remained for a while looking at us, his cheek resting on 
his hand, and, although I called him he did not reply ; 
when we laughed at his gravity, feeling himself inclined to 
laugh he cunningly covered his mouth with his hand. He 
gradually approached the ship, and, as he did not come 
on board, I called him ; then he asked me if I wished to 
kill him, as he was much frightened. 1 bade him have no 
fear, for I was his friend and brother, and I told him to 
come on board at once. He ordered one of his brothers, 
who was behind him in the canoe, to take off all the 
bracelets he wore on one arm and the plate from round his 
neck, and then had them well washed ; when this was done, 
he bade me send my men aside and seat myself, for 
he wished to come on board. When I had ordered the 
men to stand aside, and had seated myself, he came up 
with the utmost gravity, and stood at the side a moment, 

* Shell inaney. 

126 niscovERv OF THE SOLOMON ISLANDS. [20 March I 

looking at the ship, and seeing that there were many people 
under the awning, he came along the side to where 1 was, 
and seated himself beside me without speaking; then he 
made the sign of the cross with his hands, and looked up 
to heaven ; then he raised his hands, and put the bone 
plate round my neck and the bracelets on my arm, and 
after doing this, he remained awhile without speaking, i 

I understood that he was making me a great present,J 
and that they thought a great deal of it, for these things 
are only worn by chiefs. When he thought fit to speak, he 
told me that he had been much afraid that I would kill 
him, and therefore he had not been to see me ; but from 
henceforward he would do so, and would bring me provi- 
sions, for he wished to be my friend, and his Indians should 
be my naclonis, and he and I would be the chiefs of that 
country. A few moments before I had asked him who 
was the principal tabriqui in this country, and he replied 
j^^:', which signifies "Thou," and afterwards ^rnz, which 
means " I," and that he and I would be itapulus, which 
means brothers, and that all the natives should be my 
naclonis, which means vassals, and they would all serve me. 
As we had told him before that the Lord God was King 
of Heaven, Earth, and Sea, and of all Creation, and that 
the King of Castilte was a great chief and Lord of all the 
Earth, he asked me to explain this to him. 

I told him that God was the caiboco, which with them 
signifies " Great Lord," and bocru, which means " of many 
things," and that he was King of Heaven and Earth, and 
of the sun, moon, and stars, and of the whole world ; and 
that the King of Castille was the great lord of the earth, 
and 1, and all of us, were his vassals. Then he made a 
gesture which was not that of a savage, for he raised his 
outstretched hand to heaven palm downwards, and with a 
finger of his other hand pointed upwards, asking if God 
was up above ; and when I gave him to understand that 


^o March] narrative of mendaSa. 127 

such was the case, he turned his finger downwards, pointing 
to the ground, and inquired if the King of Castille was on 
earth ; and I gave him to understand that he was, where- 
upon he showed great astonishment and a kind of joy, 
saying that he wished to visit him. Then we spoke of 
other things, and I expressed my pleasure at his coming, 
and ordered a collation to be served to him. He remained 
on the ship for some time, very well contented and joyful 
at the friendship which I showed him ; and, though the 
Indians of Meta were prisoners in the stocks, he would not 
look at them more than once, showing his superiority in 
this. When he was leaving he asked me to give them to 
him, for he wanted to take them with him ; I told him, 
with kind words, that I could not do so, and begged him 
from thenceforward not to be at war with Meta, but to 
make friends with him. He replied that he did not wish 
to be friends with Meta ; I had previously asked the son of 
Meta whether his father would make friends with Bile, and 
he replied that he would not Then I made Bile under- 
stand that he and his Indians ought not to eat human 
flesh, pointing out the harm which it did them ; and he 
replied that he would do so no more, but would bury it, 
making a show of digging up the earth and throwing it 
back again. Then they withdrew, well pleased, and 
brought me two canoes full of cocoa-nuts and vinahu. 

We kept Meta's four Indians prisoners until Wednesday, 
the 24th of the said month of March, when, seeing that 
their people did not come for them, in order that they 
might not suppose that we had killed and eaten them, 
according to their own custom, I resolved to send two of 
them, the oldest and most miserable, to tell Meta that 
such was not the case, but, on the contrary, that we treated 
them very well, as indeed we did ; also to tell him to 
come and see me, for I wished to be his friend, and to 
bring me some provisions, and I would release his son and 


the other prisoner. When the prisoners left they said that 
they would tell him all this, and would bring us plenty of 
provisions and several things which, enumerated in their 
tongue, we could not understand. This they perceived, 
and explained themselves very clearly by signs ; and they 
have some witty sayings and repartees, which were very 
remarkable in savages. 

After the two Indians had gone to their own people, a fort- 
night elapsed, at the end of which there came four Indians 
in a canoe, one of them being another of Meta's sons, 
brother to him who was our prisoner. I was on shore 
hearing Mass at the time ; they approached the ship, and 
gave some provisions which they had brought, but it was 
very little ; when the two brothers recognised one another, 
they were so moved that they shed tears of joy, although 
the Indians did not dare come up into the ship, but stood 
trembling with fear. Then the Master of the Camp and 
Pedro Sarmiento put out in the boat, and brought them to 
me on shore that I might see them ; but, hearing the 
discharge of an arquebus, and being afraid to approach, 
they turned and fled. And when they told me that they 
came from Meta, I embarked in the boat to go and speak 
with those who still remained, and I took with me the 
Indian prisoner that he might speak with them ; but they 
would not stay longer than to give two pieces of cloth to 
the prisoner, and they retired without speaking. 

They began to build the brigantine on the 1 3th February, 
for in the meantime we were looking for a suitable place 
in which to build it, and one where there was good timber, 
for what we had brought with us was not sufficient to 
build half the boat. We found such a quantity of good 
timber in this island that many ships might be built there. 
It was finished on Saturday, the 3rd April, and launched 
on the following Sunday, which was Lazarus Sunday (El 
de Lazaro). 



7 April] 

On the following Wednesday, the 7th of the said month 
of April, the Master of the Camp and Hernan Galiego, the 
Chief Pilot, set out in the brigantine with thirty men, 
soldiers and sailors included ; Pedro Sarmicnto and some 
of the soldiers considered this ill-done, thinking that the 
ships ought to have gone with the brigantine. This secret 
murmuring having come to my knowledge a few days 
before, I summoned the Master of the Camp and the 
pilots, and asked their opinion on the subject, and all 
agreed to abide by the decision of Hernan Galiego, the 
Chief Pilot, he being a man who understood the matter so 
well. He replied that it was not proper for the ships to 
leave this port, where they were rn safety, until it was 
known whither they were to go, because we might be lost 
through having no knowledge of this region, in which 
there seemed to be many shoals, and in the course of our 
navigation we might easily get in somewhere from whence 
we should find it impossible to get out, or some contrary 
or violent wind might drive us helplessly upon some island 
or shoal. Hearing this opinion from Hernan Galiego, by 
which all had agreed to abide, it seemed right to me to 
adhere to the first arrangement. Since the day on which 
we left the first island that we sighted, some of the soldiers 
had criticised my proceedings behind my back, asking 
for what reason we had not touched there ; and even the 
Captain, Pedro Sarmiento, told them that we had left a 
kingdom behind, and that I would not do as he advised, so 
that some were disheartened, and I was obliged to speak 
to them and encourage them. Therefore, it seemed to me 
that the first expedition of the brigantine should be towards 
the east from whence we came, until they sighted the point 
of the said island, and that afterwards they should seek the 
latitude of lo degrees, or thereabouts, and put to sea in 
search of any other land or island for which the ships 
could steer, and, if they found none, that they should 


return, and we should go forward ; but that, should they 
discover any, they should find a port before returning, in 
order that the ships might not be obhged to ply to wind- 
ward, and be in peril from contrary winds and weather. 
In this way, if the land were good, we should have to go no 
further, and. if it were not, the men would have no cause 
to complain of its being left behind ; for, though ail were 
loyal servants of His Majesty, the complaint of some of 
them, that land had been left behind, affected their good 
will in going forward. 

Bileban Arra came to the ship on Good Friday, t 
i6th of April. Many days had passed since we had seen 
him and he had been so friendly with me. As I had 
given him to understand before how vast was the territory 
of His Majesty, and what a great chief he was, I repeated 
the same thing on this occasion, and showed him on the 
map the part that represented the sea, to which he listened 
very attentively ; then I told him that everything that I 
pointed out as land was under the dominion of the King of 
Castille, and I showed him a small island marked upon the 
chart, and said that this was his own country ; he was much 
amazed, and assured me that his island was very large, 
but I said that it was no larger than that which I pointed 
out, All this conversation was carried on in a few words 
of his language, and by signs, which they are very quick at 
understanding. I told him also that His Majesty had 
ma.ny taMguis for nac/onis, and 1 myself was his nacloni. 
Then he gave his allegiance to His Majesty, saying that 
he and his nadonis, and his paces, which signifies women, 
and his sulis, which signifies children, wished to be the 
naclonis of His Majesty and to serve him. I took posses- 
sion in His Majesty's name, and Bile came without being 
sent for, and voluntarily gave his allegiance. When I said 
that he was now a friend and ttacloni of the King of 
Castille, both he and his companions were much pleased, 


1 6 April] 




and showed that they were very glad of it. Afterwards, 
when his Indians came to the ship, they would inquire 
after the King of Castille, and say that they wished to 
see him. 

That day he told me that as the Master of the Camp 
and his men were passing the territory of a tabriqui called 
Brata in the brigantine, many Indians put out in canoes, 
and called to him to approach, saying that they would give 
him provisions, and that, as he came towards them, they 
began to shoot at him with arrows, the Master of the 
Camp warding off the arrows with his shield and sword, 
calling to them that they were his brothers, and bidding 
them to be quiet, for he meant them no harm ; but it was 
of no use, for while he spoke the Indians only shot their 
arrows faster against our men, who then fired upon them 
from behind the waistcloths of the brigantine, and killed 
twenty of them, among whom were two chiefs. Then the 
Indians had grappled with the brigantine, and our men 
had struck at them with partisans, and secured several 
canoes with the spikes of their partisans, and this had 
been seen by some of the Indians who were with him. 

He returned on the morning of the next day, and he 
seemed to understand that, having declared allegiance to 
His Majesty, he was bound to do more than he did before, 
for he brought me cocoa-nuts and vinaku, and a very 
large turtle on which there was as much meat as on a 
sheep, the flesh being very savoury, like veal. He would 
not come on board, but he ordered his Indians to give 
me this present, and went away to the place where 
the brigantine had been built. When he saw how the 
timber had been cut down, and watched the forging of 
iron, and the sawing of some planks, he was much amazed. 
Then he returned, and went for the first time on board the 
Almiranta, which he had never seen ; then, thinking that 
it was getting late, he came to bid me farewell, and spoke 


to me from his canoe, asking me if I would go with him 
to his house. I bade him a friendly good-night, and told 
him to come and see me often. He begged me to give 
him a plate to eat from, for they have none, and I ordered 
one to be given to him, and he went away well pleased. 

After Bile had tendered his allegiance there came more 
Indians to the ship, bringing more provisions than before. 
Four days later there came a brother of Bile, called 
Riquia, who is chief of another faction, who, though he 
had been to see me before, had always gone away imme- 
diately ; and when he heard that his brother had tendered 
his allegiance like himself, for he had done so before, it 
seemed to him that our friendship was well confirmed, 
and he remained on board with his Indians, and slept 
there all night. And they said that they wished to stay 
with me, and go to visit the King of Castille, and I made 
much of them, and they went away very well pleased. 

In this island of Santa Ysabel there are parrots, 
white, green, red, tawny, and variegated ; some of them 
are marked like magpies, and some are multi-coloured. 
There are also peacocks, pheasants, eagles and other birds 
of prey ; there are doves, larger than the largest wild 
pigeons of Spain, and some have a fleshy protuberance 
above the nostrils, like half a pomegranate, very red. Their 
plumage resembles that of the peacock's tail. There arc 
also small dogs like those of Castille. They eat the bark 
of a certain tree which resembles cinnamon, but it smells 
rather like fennel, and its taste is exactly that of cloves ; 
when a little is placed on the tongue it forms a thin skin, 
as does the finest cinnamon ; they prize it highly, for on two 
occasions they gave me pieces that did not weigh half an 
ounce. There are trees which yield a gum with a very plea- 
sant aromatic smell, and others from which blood seems to 
flow when the bark is cut ; and if it is cut between the bark 
and the core and thrown into the water it dyes it a deep 


• • • • -J 

» • - 

• # 

17 April] NARRATIVE OF MENDAf!JA. 1 33 

blue, the core being yellow ; we discovered this in felling 
timber for repairing the ships. There is sarsaparilla, and 
abundance of sweet basil, tarragon, and blite} which the 
Indians do not know. On the little hillock above the 
place where we built the brigantine, we found a kind of 
grass which Caspar de Colmenares grasped in his hand, 
and wherever the leaves touched him he said that he felt 
as if he had been burnt, so great was the pain. I looked 
at the hand, and saw that wherever the grass had touched 
it the skin was burnt as if with fire. There are fragrant 
odours from the trees and herbs all over the mountains in 
this island. There are also oranges, which the Indians 
do not eat, nor even know of; there are cypress nuts 
resembling those of Cartagena in shape and colour ; they 
grow upon a thistle, but the Indians do not eat them ; 
their natural smell is like that of a pippin ; I would 
never allow any to be eaten : there are trees which 
bear a white flower which smells very much like jasmine, 
and the blossom of another tree smells like musk- 

There are Indians of different complexions in this 
island ; some are of the same colour as those of Peru, others 
are black, and a few are quite fair, these being either they 
who rarely leave their houses,* or young boys. They all curl 
and dye their hair, and some dye it a light colour ; some 
are naturally fair. The women are better looking than 
those of Peru, but they disfigure themselves greatly by 

^ Munoz says that tarragon is the dragon-wort, and blite a pot-herb 
of two kinds, white and red. 

' The signs of mixed origin were probably more conspicuous 350 
years ago even than they are now. Confinement to the hut always 
has the effect of bleaching the skin; and, in Fiji, chiefs' daughters are 
sometimes confined to the house during the daytime for several years, 
in order to lighten their complexion, and so enhance their value in 
the marriage market. They are called tambu-singa (forbidden the 


blackening their teeth,' which they do on purpose, bott 
men and women ; the boys and girls are better looking 
and less ill-favoured, because their teeth are white. Thel 
women wear their hair cut short, so that it does not reach 
their shoulders ; it is very ruddy {rubio)? The men clip 
their hair in various ways ; some have a tonsure like friars, 
some cut their hair as we do, some shave nearly half their 
heads from the occiput, some leave a patch of hair which 
looks like a cap worn on one side ; some leave two locks 
on the temples, which grow so long that they reach from 
above the ear to below the breast, and they wear it in a 
plait ; others do not cut their hair, but make it into curls 
like a turban ; they curl the ends on each side until it 
reaches to the ears, and then they make another small 
curl from the occiput to the forehead. Their tongue and 
lips are very red, for they colour them with a herb which 
they eat ; it has a broad leaf, and burns like pepper ; they 
chew this herb with lime which they make from white 
lucaios, which is a stone formed in the sea like coral ; and 
having a piece of this lime in their mouths, it makes a red 
juice, and this is why their tongues and lips are always 
so red ; they also smear their faces with this juice for 
ornament Although they chew this herb, they do not 
get this red juice unless they mix it with the said lime,' 

' Mr. Woodford remarks that their descendants carrj' a black 
mineral substance, in omamcnled calabashes, for the purpose of 
blackening the teeih. He thought that it was iron pyrites. 

' By being bleached with lime. The hair, except in rare cases, is 
naturally black. 

^ This is an excellent description of betel -chewing, as it is practised 
at the present day. The lime, formed of burnt coraJ {lucaioi may be 
a Peruvian word), is curried in an ornamented gourd, closed with a 
pahn-leaf stopper. The betel-nut is put into the mouth with a leaf 
of the climbing pepper ; the carved lime-stick, moistened with saliva, 
is dipped into the powdered lime and carried to the mouth, and the 
saliva is immediately dyed blood-red. The red paste of the chewed 
t>etel is often smeared upon the face for ornament, and also dabbed 
upun any part of the body to cure local pain. A favourite remedy is 




5 May] 

In this island there are bats so iarge that, for fear of 
being accused of falsehood, I would not mention their size 
if they had not been seen by everybody in the fleet I 
measured one which we killed, and it measured more than 
three feet from the tip of one wing to the other ; the head 
and body is like that of an ajo, with thick fur, and they 
have canine teeth.' 

We were expecting the brigantine every moment, but it 
did not appear, and Bile was neglecting us, not having 
come near the ships for twelve days ; from which we con- 
cluded that he had gone with men to the place where 
the brigantine was, and that he was contemplating some 
knavery, as there were so few men in it I resolved to 
send Don Hernando Enriquez, the Ensign-General, to his 
dwelling to enquire into this, and also to speak to him 
and tell him to come to see me, if he was there, and to 
contrive to bring him back with him, because I wished to 
see him before he could set out He started one morning 
at day-break, and when the Indians saw him coming, some 
of them came to the water's edge to receive our men, and 
told them not to climb the hill, because the brigantine was 
approaching, and they had seen it Not believing this 
they climbed the hill, and, having reached their destination, 
they used every endeavour to see Bileban Arra and speak 
with him, and they found him in his dwelling. Don 
Hernando addressed him with a great show of friendship, 
but he would not come, and he took to flight In order 
that they might not suppose that any harm was intended 

to spit some of the paste into ihe patient's ear, a trealmenl which 
Mr. Woodford narrowly escaped when suffering from fever. 

Betel-chewing is practised in the Malay Archipelago, New Guinea, 
and as far east as the Solomons. Farther to the easlward, kava- 
drinkin^ lakes its place as a stimulant. This is, perhaps, the eadjesl 
description of the custom. 

' The Fitropus Grandis. It is eaten by the natives as a delicacy, 
and the wing bones are used for the barbs of spears and for mat 
needles (sec p. 155, note). The Ajo is probably a Peruvian animal. 



towards them, and thus break the friendship that e 
between them, they refrained from pursuing him. They 
presumed the cause of his flight to be that, seeing the 
brigantine returning, he feared that we would carry him 
off in our ships. Seeing this, some of his Indians again 
approached our men, and told them that the brigantine 
was coming, and offered to lead them to a place whence 
they could see it ; thither they went, and saw the brigan- 
tine nearing the port. As the tabriqui appeared no more, 
they returned to the ships, and with them came twenty 
Indians, who brought me some provisions ; they reached 
the ships at the same time as the brigantine — at noon on 
the sth of May. I saw that they had not on board the 
brigantine the Indian whom they had taken as interpreter, 
being one of the two captured from Meta, as aforesaid, 
They told me that they had lost him,' and suggested that 
Bileban Arra's men had arrived at an opportune moment, 
for it seemed to me very necessary not to leave that place 
to explore what had been discovered without interpreters ; 
I ordered two to be detained, which was done, and I 
dismissed the rest, embracing them and giving them several 
presents. I bade them tell Bile that I had taken these 
Indians because he had not been to see me, but that this 
did not prevent me from being still his friend and his 
brother, and that I only took them to show to the king 
of Castille, and would then send them back. I said this 
that he might not fee! aggrieved, and regard my action as 
a breach of our peace and friendship. 

To return to the brigantine ; I received it with great 
joy, for we were growing anxious at the delay, not only 
because of the time which had elapsed, this day making 
four weeks since they had set out, but also because four 
soldiers had died of sickness in this port, and many others 

5 May] 



had fallen ill with fevers which oppressed us. and therefore 
we were eager to set out again. It pleased God that the 
Master of the Camp and the Chief Pilot and their men 
should arrive in good health, at which I rejoiced greatly. 
and also at the good news which they brought me, that 
they had discovered other and better islands. The events 
that befell them during their navigation, and in the said 
islands, are as follows : — 

The Report which was made to me of the First 
Voyage of Discovery in the Brigantine,' 

On Wednesday, the 7th of April, at the hour of vespers, 
the brigantine set sail upon a voyage of discovery, having 
on board Pedro de Ortega of Valencia, Master of the 
Camp, whom your Worship appointed captain of the 
expedition ; and Hernan Gallego, the Chief Pilot of the 
fleet. Your Worship saw the deep feeling we experienced 
in separating from the rest of our comrades, since, God 
be praised, great harmony and brotherhood have reigned 
among us all in the service of God and our king. We 
proceeded along the coast with a contrary wind, and at 
midnight we were obliged to put into port ; the wind fell, 
and with the land breeze {terral) we set out again on 
Thursday morning, the 8th of April. On the morning of 
the next day. Friday, we cast anchor at the islet where 
we slept when we went to explore the territory of Meta, 
on a former occasion. Here there came many canoes full 
of Indians, men and women, who, after .some of them had 
gone round our brigantine refusing to approach, all with- 
drew to the other side of the island. We cut some 
palmetto ; and, the wind being still contrary, we arrived 

' This report seems lo have been written by some member of the 
brigantine's crew other than Onega and Gallego, 




that night opposite the territory and dwelling of Meta, I 
and slept there. 

The next day, Saturday, during the morning watch, 
with a land breeze which was barely sufficient, we put 
to sea, in order that when the wind changed we might 
proceed upon our way ;' and presently, in the morning, 
eight canoes came out and kept close to us for a long 
while, and gave us two Rshes ; but, when the wind and 
sea increased they left us, and we were obliged to put 
in to the coast. When we had cast anchor the Master of 
the Camp ordered Francisco Garcia, a native of Tarifa, to 
land with eight soldiers and the servants, and examine 
some huts which were close by, to see if there was any food 
there, in order to spare as much as possible our own, which 
was scarce. The Indians, who were on the shore to the 
number of about thirty- five or forty, would not wait, 
although we called and entreated them, but went up and 
assembled near the huts ; and when our soldiers went up 
towards them, began to discharge arrows and stones at 
them ; our soldiers gained the height by firing a few 
arquebuses in the air without harming the Indians. 
Entering the huts, they found a large provision ol panaes 
and cocoa-nuts, and brought back the servants laden with 
them i and when they had embarked we passed the night 
opposite the huts. 

The next day, which was Palm Sunday, we put out with 
the land breeze, and we discovered towards the North an 
island which we called " ls!a de Ramos." Towards eight 
o'clock in the morning four canoes came from the coast 
where we had passed the night, signalling to us to return I 
to their dwellings, for they were our friends and would 

' In all the larger islands during ihe season of the south-east trades, I 
the sea bieeze drops at sunset near the shore, and a steady land J 
breeze springs up about 8 p.m., continuing until sunrise the next I 
morning. The Spaniards were following the usual custom of coasten \ 
plying to windward. 


II April] 




give us iood, pn /I aes and cocoa-nuts ; and they made signs 
to us to throw them a rope, and they would tow us back. 
In a little while sixteen canoes had assembled, containing 
one hundred and thirty Indians, well-armed with bows 
and arrows and clubs, and in one of them was an old man 
standing armed, and he went round and round the brigan- 
tine, threatening the other canoes, and saying that he 
must be the one to tow us, and signing to us that we 
must go with him, or he would kill us all. They surrounded 
us fearlessly, and with great audacity began to discharge 
their arrows at us ; when they had discharged several, the 
Master of the Camp ordered us to fire upon them. The 
old chief was killed by a shot from an arquebus, and he 
fell out of the canoe into the sea, and we saw him no more. 
Immediately the others took to flight, still shooting arrows 
at us, whereupon we fired a few arquebuses at them, which 
did them some damage, and they made off, and we saw 
no more of them. Then, the wind being contrary, we put 
back to the coast to which the canoes had gone. We lay 
all that day at anchor, the wind and sea being high, and 
all the Indians from the canoes stood upon a high hill, at 
about the distance of an arquebus shot; they shouted to 
us all day, but attempted no hostility. We waited, hoping 
that the wind would grow calmer in the afternoon ; but, on 
the contrary, it freshened, and the Chief Pilot, being of 
opinion that, if it should grow more boisterous, we should 
be badly stationed, and be in danger of being driven upon 
an ironbound coast, ordered the men to take to the oars ; 
and, by dint of great labour on the part of the sailors and 
negroes, we got out to sea and set sail. We doubled a 
point, and then the wind increased, and we entered a bay 
with great fear, for it was a dark night, and the coast is 
full of reefs and shoals which it is very difficult to avoid, 
even in the daytime. We cast anchor, and on the next 
day, Monday, we approached the land to take in water. 


lour leagues from the island of GuadalcaiuL We naJ 
it the is'-and cf " San Urban. "^ Oo account of the il J 
of myse*.!' and sev-eial soldien. n-c did not go on, 1 
keepir^ an-ay to 'ee»-ard. we arm-ed at the island of GiK 
caral. We »er- on shore at a village, where the Inc 
gave us -» ^J^-Jmara.* when we passed by it, wishiiJ 
to ;et water. Artd we landed the three Indians in a 
and ihey ^ave us a p^ and some hooey {poMoits^ 
us at the village, they fled, for they had much fear J 
We ^ve them beads ^cka^turMs) in token of peace.! 
went fron ther.ce, and returned towards the ships, toiT 
at severa" parts where we had been before ; and tl 
rci:e:vci us peaceably, and gave us what they 1 
:hey m ere zt.-z'?. afraid on account of the arquebus 
we caniec. We went oa to a port where we \ 
received peaceab'y when we passed bj- it. We ' 
there, ari they ^ave us a p^. and the>- almost fi 
br: -irt'-e w:th rammt, which is the food tibey e 
:he *hi:'.:ir cf the island there is a Tcry good I 
i.:c ~'~-.-::. i:-i :t is thickly peopled. We« 
thtiice :cwari? the ships, and we 1 
v.hi-:i: v.iL hdi been belbfe. 

W:f e:-:eri>i :he river under sail, in -: 
>:::.-■ f.c-i -" bioard, and we arrived r.c, 
ir.i v.h;- :*".; I:".dians saw us, they decaniiju-. 
w.'.xz; "vVc :cj-k1 many p num and 1 
,,i- !,ii;-.: the arigaatiric. I wished 
■--:'-.:•; \'-:<r.::. ■-t.-.A tbc Indisns had injure 

. Ic5« be«Hies ^x^asei. San: 1 
be islud whdi iWt «6en>i- 
j.-pf^ tki^s diM San Urbu - 
.-b ts 11^1 ml wiA tkE own ^- 

::iVted w 

f i - AlfB" ' I 

• », 

• m a ' 


with ten arquebusiers, three sailors, four negroes and a 
half-breed, so that we numbered nineteen in all, leaving 
the brigantine well guarded by the other soldiers and the 
Chief Pilot, who were on board, intending, if the Indians 
attacked us too vigorously, to frighten them by landing 
and firing the culverins (versos). 

The tabriqui who was with the canoe came to us with 
all the Indians, and the Master of the Camp made much 
of him, and gave some more beads to him, and also to 
some of the others who appeared to be chiefs. In the 
presence of the tabriqui and of ail the Indians, the said 
Master of the Camp took possession of this island in 
the name of your Worship as His Majesty's Governor, 
and of the neighbouring islands, which were numerous, 
though small. We asked them for food, saying that we 
would pay for it, whereupon the tabriqui led us to some 
other huts, farther from the place where we landed, and 
there they threw us down but ten cocoa-nuts in ail. The 
Master of the Camp remarked that this was very little 
food for us ; the Indians consulted together, and the 
tabriqui ordered that no more were to be given, and returned 
to the Master of the Camp the string of beads which he 
had given him. Having received it, the Master of the 
Camp gave it back to the Indian, who seemed to grow 
very angry at this ; and, taking it, threw it on the ground. 
Then the Master of the Camp refused to take the cocoa- 
nuts, and we went towards the brigantine, they following 
us. When we reached the huts, seeing that there was an 
abundance of palmettos upon the shore, the Master of 
the Camp ordered three or four to be cut down to serve 
us for food ; when the Indians saw this they began to 
make a disturbance, and the Master of the Camp told 
them that, since they would give us no provisions, and 
we had given them of what we had, we must get food 
.somehow ; but if they would give us some we would not 


cut down the trees. We waited for a time, but as they 
would not bring us anything, we began again to cut down 
the palmettos, whereupon we were attacked by more 
than thirty Indians, who molested us with stones and 
arrows. The Master of the Camp would not allow us to 
fire upon them, and made signs to remind them of the 
friendship which they had shown us ; nevertheless, as 
they would not desist, but were pressing us hard, he 
ordered us to fire, and at the first discharge an Indian 
was killed by a shot from an arquebus, and others were 
wounded. They all turned their backs, and made a rush 
to escape from the palm-grove. The Master of the Camp 
ordered that no more shots should be fired at them unless 
they attacked us again ; but when they reached the shore, 
they rallied again, and sent another shower of stones and 
arrows at us. Then the Master of the Camp told an 
arquebusier who stood near him to fire at an Indian who 
was leading the attack, brandishing a two-handed club, and 
inciting the others. He shot him in the chest, and he fell 
instantly, the others taking to flight. The Master of the 
Camp ordered us not to pursue them, but to return to the 
brigantine, which we did. The Master of the Camp was 
deeply grieved that these things should have occurred 
upon a day so holy as Good Friday, the day of the 
Passion of our Redeemer, Jesus Christ ; but had we acted 
otherwise the result would have been worse, for we were 
obliged to return to the brigantine in water; 
and they might have done us great damage, and suflered 
great loss themselves from the culverins fired by those in 
the brigantine. And as your Worship and your Master of 
the Camp and his soldiers had from the first resolved 
that this voyage of discovery should be carried out 
with the least injury to any one, and the greatest service 
to God, Our Lord, and the King, our master, great care 
was taken to do no hurt, except in averting some greater 




17 April] NARRATIVE OF MENDASa. 145 

evil to ourselves or to the Indians embarked in our brigan- 
tine. At about the hour of vespers, when all the canoes 
had dispersed to their respective places, we went and 
anchored for the night at a small island a quarter of a 
league distant. We landed when it was already late, and 
found a hidden store of cocoa-nuts ; there were about 
eight hundred or a thousand, and we placed them in the 
brigantine, and kept good watch all night. 

In the morning of the next day, the eve of Easter 
Sunday, there came a canoe containing three Indians, who 
came close to us, saying that they were our friends, and 
would do us no harm if we did them none. The Master 
of the Camp told them that he believed them to be 
friendly, and bade them provide us with food and we 
would pay them for it. They told us to take from the 
island what cocoa-nuts we chose, for there was an abund- 
ance of them, and they would bring us panaes, which are 
a kind of root resembling the potatoes {papas) of Peru.' 
The Master of the Camp made signs to them to bring us 
some pigs, which they call nambohs} for, from the many 
jaw-bones of these animals which they had seen, they 
judged that there were some in the island. The Indians 
promised to bring some, but seeing that they did not return 
we went to their huts, and, when they saw us, they went up 
the mountain in the direction of the other huts. The Master 
of the Camp landed with ten of his soldiers, three sailors 
and three negroes, and we went up the hill after them. 
They retreated to the huts, and from thence sent two 
Indians with a pig resembling those of Castille, bidding us 
take it and go away. The Master of the Camp embraced 

> Pana is still the name of the small yam, the staple food of these 
natives, throughout Ysabel and the Gela Islands. It reseitibles the 
potato in outward appearance. 

* Mboh is siil! the native word for pig in the Gela (Florida) group 
only. Na is the article. 



them, and said that he considered them his friends, ai 
went with them to the huts, and the Indians waited for 
him until there were about five hundred standing round ; 
we joined them, treating them with great affection and 
friendship, and we asked them for more pigs. They said 
that they had very few, because they had to be brought 
from other islands, but they would give us one more, and 
then we could go in peace. We took the two pigs, and 
gave thanks to God that he had given us food for Easter- 

This island is thickly populated ; all the people 
well-grown and good-looking. The country should be' 
healthy, for the mountain appeared to be as parched with 
heat as it is in Spain.' There are many old men among 
them ; we came across one who was more than one hundred 
years old, and a woman who was more than one hundred 
and twenty. I think it very certain that they would soon 
be brought into complete subjection. It will be easy to 
implant our holy Catholic faith amongst them, for we 
found no mochaderos or idol-temples here. They are. 
more civilised in all things than those of the island 
Santa Ysabel, but they go naked, with only a strip of do) 
about the loins. There was no sign of silver or gold among 
the natives; it is held as certain that there are pearls, 
because we found some shells of pearl-oysters, but the 
water was too deep for us to put it to the proof. 

In the morning of the next day, which was EasI 
Sunday, we set sail for an island opposite, to which 
gave the name of San Dimas, and which was half a 
league distant from Buena Vista, In the port from which 
we set sail to leave the place where we were we saw a star 
as clear as the morning star, which gave us great pleasure 




ong I 


' The Gela islands are a sCrikiDg contrast 10 the heavily-limbered 
slopes of Ysabel. They ubound in bare plains, covered with coarse 
grass, and the annual bush-lires prevent trees from taking root. 



it being so notable a day. In this contentment we pursued 
our course to the said island of San Dimas, discovering 
many other islands on every side, some large, some small, 
some merely peaks rising from the water (^jho^Us), We 
gave the largest island the name of Pascua Florida. As 
we approached the island of San Dimas, a few canoes 
came out towards us, their number gradually increasing to 
twenty-five, all very well equipped ; four of the largest 
carried forty and fifty-five warriors {ganduks), with their 
bows and arrows, clubs and baskets of stones to fling with 
the hand. They drew near to the brigantine, and each of 
them endeavoured to take us to their own lands. They 
said many things to us on the way which we could not 
understand, but which showed that they wished to be 
friends with us. But as, on the other hand, we saw them 
preparing their bows and arrows, and emptying their 
baskets of stones into the canoes, we signified to them, 
with the friendliest words and signs that we knew, that we 
wished to be at peace with them. Thereupon we cast 
anchor very close to the shore, at which the Indians were 
not a little pleased to find that they would be able to catch 
parents and offspring in one nest. For, seeing a brigantine 
no larger than one of their large canoes, with only thirty 
persons in it, there was the greatest joy in the world among 
them ; and the greater number of the canoes surrounded 
the brigantine, and two of the largest ran ashore to join the 
people on the land. Those on the sea and those on shore 
numbered altogether six hundred warriors {ganduUs), 
rather more than less. As it seemed to Hernan Gallego, 
the Chief Pilot, that we were very close to the shore and 
to some rocks, and that when the tide went down we 
might be stranded, he ordered the . . . .' to be raised, and, 
when the Indians saw this, they thought that we wanted to 


get away, and flew into the greatest possible fuiy» and 
with loud shouts hegskn to shoot arrows and stones at us 
from every side. The first arquebus shot brought down 
an Indian in one of the canoes; other arquebuses were 
aimed at the same canoe, and three other Indians fell 
All the soldiers fired with good aim, sinking three or four 
canoes, and killing ten or twelve men, and wounding many. 
Though I expected that in the fighting more would be 
killed, they having already rallied three times, seeing the 
damage which we did them, they gave up the struggle and 
retreated, without having harmed one of us, although they 
had sent many arrows and stones into the brigantine, 
which the soldiers warded off with shields with great cool- 
ness. A little while after they had all disappeared, eight 
or ten Indians appeared upon the shore, making signs 
that they wished to make peace, and throwing their arms 
upon the ground. The Master of the Camp made signs 
that we were willing, and that we would do no harm 
except to those who injured us. They said that those 
j who gave us battle belonged to another country. After 

I the Master of the Camp had dined, he landed with ten 

I arquebusiers and myself, but, despite our assurances, the 

Indians on the shore would not wait for us. Seeing that 
I they would not approach, the Master of the Camp, in 

1 their presence, took possession of this island called San 

Dimas and of all the small islands which surrounded 
I it, in the name of your Worship as His Majesty's 

i governor. 

^ The next day, which was Monday in Easter week, wc 

! left the island of San Dimas to go to another ver>' largt 

island which appeared in the south-west, but we could nol 
; reach it, the wind being so light.^ On the way we saw 

another island which, as it resembled an island nea: 

* Apparently they left the group by the Sandfly passage. 

19 April] 






Gaiicia, the Chief Pilot called Cesarga.' Sixteen small 
canoes came from this island, containing about one hun- 
dred Indians, and some of them joined the brigantine, 
asking us to go to their land ; but though we were only 
two leagues distant from it, the Master of the Camp would 
not go thither before we had been to the other island, 
which seemed the largest piece of land we had yet seen ; 
and as we could not get to it that day, he would not put 
into it at night, thinking that there might be shoals and 
reefs as with the rest. We lay all night with the sea on 
our beam until the morning watch. 

The next day, the last day of Easter-tide, we reached the 
land, which was the largest that we had yet seen, with many 
savannahs and bare mountains. The shore is very clean 
and free from reefs, and the prow of any rowing vessel can 
be run straight on shore. We were surprised that no 
canoes came out to meet us, as at the other islands, for 
there came only three very small canoes, and many Indians 
swam out, the women and children standing up to their 
breasts in the water. They numbered about two hundred 
altogether. Our brigantine cast anchor, and immediately 
all the Indians began to drag at it, hoping to tear us away 
from it and tow us ashore. When we prevented them 
both men and women began to hurl showers of stones at 
us, and in order to frighten them we fired several arque- 
buses in the air in order not to hurt any of the women and 
boys, but nevertheless an Indian was killed. The Master 
of the Camp landed with six arquebusiers and four 
shield- bearers, and found a village of twenty-six houses 
or huts, very large and well-built They were made of 

I Savo (see p. 31, note). The people of this island speak a. 
language quite distinct from any in the Solomon Islands, even in 
respect of grammar. Il has affinities with the languages of Ambry m 
ancl Nengone. Dr. Codrington is disposed to think that it is an 
archaic Melanesian dialect. 


reeds covered with grass from the savannah, for as far'' 
as we could see from the coast there did not appear 
to be any palms whatever, which is a sign of very good 
soil and a mild climate. Like Callao de Lima, this village 
is near the shore, on the bank of a very rapid river, 
which seemed to come from a great distance, and those 
who understand these things say that it must surely 
be a land of gold. In the huts we found a great quantity 
of their provisions, which are panaes and ftanus, which we 
took for our food. The Master of the Camp, in your 
Worship's name, as Governor for His Majesty, took 
possession of this land as he had of the rest, and gave 
it the name of his native place, which is Guadalcanal, 
and he called the river Ortega. In one of the huts we 
found a basket full of roots of green ginger, which gave 
us great pleasure ; and if the land had not been so targe 
and the men too few to be divided into two parties, the 
Master of the Camp would have taken two days' journey 
into the interior, not only to inspect the river and several 
creeks, but also to see whether he could find any spices. 
The land shows signs of being very large, and well fitted 
for anything. 

The Master of the Camp ordered us to set sail for the 
island of Santa Ysabel, where the ships lay, as we had 
been absent from them for many days, and we feared that 
if we spent as many days in returning your Worship 
would be anxious ; besides, we had reached the latitude o'f 
I degrees, and no further land was in sight Though 
the Master of the Camp wished to go on to the latitude 
of 12 degrees, the Chief Pilot did not think fit to put to 
sea in such a craft, but only to go from land to land, for 
fear of a violent wind. Therefore we went upon our way, 
intending to ask your Worship to come with the ships 
to this island of Guadalcanal to inspect it, and to examine 
the rivers and creeks, and to go round the island with 

•»b V 

• C . U • 


the brigantine ; because in the opinion of the pilot and 
others it is certainly lai^er than San Domingo or the 
island of Hispaniola, and still larger islands might appear 
upon the other side of it We steered all that night in 
the direction of [the island of] Ponemanefa, which is an 
island near that of Santa Ysabel, in which the Indians 
say that there is a great quantity of pigs and deer. 

At nightfall, on Wednesday, the 21st of April, we 
approached the point of the island of Ponemanefa ; the 
island is called Borru,^ and it is separated by a quarter of 
a league from that of Santa Ysabel, and less at other 
points. We went in more than 7 leagues among these 
islands ; there is a very good bottom, and all the carracks^ 
of the world could enter there ; it is well sheltered from 
all winds, because there are many twists and turns, and 
very good bays. The entrance by which we went in is to 
the south-east, and the exit to the north-west. This Pone- 
manefa has a quantity of land in the island of Santa 
Ysabel ; he is the most powerful of all the tabriquis, and 
therefore they call him Tabriqui-Caiboco^ which signifies 
"great lord," and all the others fear him.* This Ponemanefa 
has his dwelling and habitation in the island of Borru, 
where the Master of the Camp landed with twelve arque- 
busiers, and eight shield-bearers, and walked along the 
shore, where there were many huts, well-kept and clean, 
but containing no food of any kind ; the Indians did 
not carry arms. They marvelled at the sight of us, 
though they said that they had heard of our coming, 

1 Or Veru, according to Gallego. The word is probably the same 
as bocru (p. 126), and means "great" in the dialect of S.-E. Ysabel. 

2 Carrack — a kind of large vessel, slow in navigation. — Muiioz. 

5 Ponemanefa is evidently the same chief whose name, according to 
Catoira, was invoked by the people behind Estrella Bay to induce 
Sarmiento to desist from climbmg the dividing range. His influence 
was probably acknowledged all along the south coast of Ysabel, and 
for some distance inland. 



and we told them that if they did us no harm we would 
do them none. A little later more than one thousand 
Indians assembled, divided into many bodies, without 
any arms whatever ; the Master of the Camp made 
presents to many of them, and told them to fetch the 
tabriqui^ for he had several things to give him. They 
replied that the tabriqui was afraid, and dared not 
come to him; and in spite of all assurances the tabriqui 
would never appear. Having reached the house of the 
tabriquiy which stands in the midst of the others, the 
Master of the Camp, in the presence of all the Indians, 
took possession in the name of your Worship ; then he 
said to the Indians that, since they were our friends, they 
should give us some pigs, for they had plenty, and the 
land seemed to swarm with them ; they ran into the woods 
when called, and the Indians would not give us any, 
but little by little made off into the woods, and abandoned 
their dwellings. We pushed forward to some huts, where 
we found a little pig which they had left tied up, and in a 
very large gaepon there were four canoes, which, from their 
size, seemed to belong to the tabriqui The Master of the 
Camp ordered them to be launched, and, when this was 
done, we embarked in the brigantine. Then the Indians 
came to the shore, demanding their canoes. The Master 
of the Camp replied that, since they professed to be our 
friends, and the tabriqui had not been to see us, and they 
would not give us any pigs, we had taken these canoes 
which belonged to the tabriqui, but, if they wanted them, 
we would return them if they gave us ten pigs ; they 
brought two, and we gave them one of the canoes; and as 
it was late we put out from the shore, and remained there 
all night. 

In the morning of the next day, Friday, there came a 
canoe with two Indians bringing us two more pigs, and we 
gave them another of the canoes; and we told them that if 

23 April] NARRATIVE OF MEKDAfiA. 153 

they wanted the other two they must bring us four more 
pigs, or otherwise we would carry off the canoes. We 
waited for some time, but, as they did not appear, we took 
the other two canoes away with us. This island has a 
very favourable appearance ; it is thickly populated, for 
in this place alone there were more than one hundred 
and fifty houses or huts, very well built, and there were 
more than one hundred canoes drawn up on shore. 
The island is about 25 leagues in circumference; we 
called it San Jorge. We resolved to go round the island 
of Santa Ysabel, in order to make certain of its size, 
and see whether any islands appeared to the south 
of it' 

We went along the coast on Friday and Saturday with- 
out seeing any people, nor any canoe whatever, until 
Sunday, the 3Sth of April, when there came to us eight 
small fishing canoes, none of which held more than four 
Indians. They kept pace with us for awhile as we sailed 
along. Seeing that they were so few, and that there was 
nothing in their canoes but fishing nets, we took no care to 
have a piece of match alight, in order to avoid wasting it, 
since it was this that we were most in need of. We were 
talking to them thus off our guard, when on a sudden an 
archer from every canoe began to discharge arrows at us ; 
and, while we were getting the match alight, they sent a 
good shower of arrows amongst us, wounding one of the 
soldiers, who presently revenged himself, for he brought 
down an Indian with his first shot, and another soldier 
killed a second, whereupon they all took to flight, with two 
Indians dead, and others wounded. Then, from some reefs 
ahead of us there appeared twelve canoes, which had been 

hich Callego saw (p. 34). 







employed in fishing, intending to do the same as the others, 
for an Indian stood up in the canoe which was in front of 
the rest, brandishing a bow. To avoid further harm, the 
Master of the Camp ordered us to fire on them from afar, 
and we discharged three arquebuses at them, striking the 
side of their canoe. They hastened back to the rest, telling 
them what had occurred, and none of them approached us 

The people of this island are very brave, and there 
is no friendship between them. This is easily seen, be- 
cause we had been two months and a half in the island 
of Santa Ysabel, and all the island was not acquainted 
with our coming except here and there; for at every league, 
six little canoes, or two or three, ventured out and dis- 
charged two dozen arrows at us : whereas, if they had been 
a people under the power of a principal chief whom they 
were bound to obey, seeing a brigantine with so few men in 
it, they could with great facility have done us considerable 
injury by persevering in the fight, if three or four hundred 
canoes had assembled. All the coast being full of shoals 
and reefs, we did not dare to keep on our course at night, 
and that same Sunday night we entered a bay and cast 
anchor ; and here at daybreak on the next day, Monday, 
we saw a sight so extraordinary and well-nigh incredible, 
that I set it down here. At the end of the bay, on the 
further side, we saw flocks of bats fly past, to the number 
of more than two thousand, as large as kites, the smallest 
of them being as large as doves. It is true that some days 
before, in Puerto de la Estrella, where we built the brigan- 
tine, a soldier with his arquebus at night-fall had killed 
one which measured five feet from the tip of one wing to 
that of the other ; its head was larger than that of a 
hedgehog, its wings as large as those of a sparrow-hawk, 
with one very large nail in each wing larger than the 
rest. It is certain that if these creatures bite like those 



found on continents they would be sufficient to devastate 
a kingdom.^ 

All that Monday we went forward along the coast 
without seeing any canoes, and on that day the Chief 
Pilot took the latitude, and found it 7f degrees. 

The next day, Tuesday, the 27th of April, the Chief 
Pilot, Heman Gallego, thought fit to enter a canal which 
he believed would lead to the other side of the island ; and 
all that day we went through archipelagoes of islands, 
large and small,' in which the current was very strong, 
and that day a few canoes came out to us, as usual : these 
were bolder, for they shouted at us all the night from land 
and sea. 

On the next day, Wednesday, we came out of this 
archipelago of islands, which must have numbered more 
than eighty, large and small. We emerged into the sea 
on the north side, and there came out from the said islands 
twenty-five well equipped canoes, with the same boldness 
as the others showed. We fired on them from afar, and 
they made off before we did them any harm : for it was 
our intention to return to the ships as soon as possible, 
as your Worship would be anxious at our delay. We 
were not able to do this as speedily as we desired, the 
wind being against us for reaching the ships ; and, though 
it fell a little at night, we did not dare to go forward in 
the dark, because of the many shoals and reefs which 
surround the island, and are found two, three, four, ten, 
and twenty leagues out to sea ; and there are many near 

^ These huge bats, like those in Tonga, frequent certain trees during 
the daytime, where they hang in countless numbers, looking like some 
strange and repulsive fruit. Mr. Woodford was taken to one of 
these colonies in Shortland Island, Bougainville Straits, and was 
allowed to shoot some. In Tonga they are regarded with superstitious 
awe, and their occasional desertion of the colony is regarded as por- 
tending the chiefs death. A migration in May, 1900, was held to 
portend the death of Ata, which certainly occurred a few weeks 
later. ^ Austria Sound. 


the shore, so that we greatly dreaded the thought of 
getting out from that island with the ships. 

We continued along the coast until Sunday, the wind 
being still contrary, at which we were all much grieved, 
thinking of the anxiety which your Worship and the rest 
must be enduring through our delay. The Chief Pilot 
said that one of the very large canoes which we had 
with us could go easily with half a dozen soldiers, in a 
day and a half, and that it would be a great satisfaction 
to your Worship. The Master of the Camp approved of 
this, and many of the soldiers cheerfully volunteered to 
go. Then the Master of the Camp sent six soldiers — four 
arquebusiers, and two shield-bearers — a sailor and a negro 
with their equipment and provisions, with orders that, 
since the land ahead of us was very secure from Indians, 
they having knowledge of our coming, they should go 
forward along the coast. Accordingly they separated from 
us on Sunday, the loth [2nd?] of May, at noon, and con- 
tinued on their way for four leagues, until, an hour before 
nightfall, and as they were passing to windward of some 
reefs, the wind blowing heavily and the sea growing 
rough, they could not keep the canoe steady, in spite of all 
their efforts, and they were driven sideways upon the reefs, 
where the canoe was dashed to pieces, and they nearly 
perished, some of them being unable to swim. With great 
trouble and danger they reached a small island formed 
by the reef, where they thought to have perished at the 
hands of the Indians if God had not miraculously favoured 
them, for all the ammunition for their arquebuses was 
wet, and they could not use them. Being in this fear of 
attack from the islanders, they decided to leave two pigs, 
which they had with them, hidden in the island, and bare- 
footed as they were, to go in quest of the brigantine. 
Those that could not swim crossed from the island to 
the shore upon the planks of the canoe, the rest swimming. 


Then they began to make their way over the rocks with 
their bare feet, as best they could, in which they suffered 
greatly ; but seeing that it was a matter of life or death — 
for if we passed them with the brigantine without seeing 
them, they were lost — all drew strength from weakness, 
and showed great courage both in this and in facing what 
might occur should they meet with the natives. Besides 
this, the woods were so thick that they were often obliged 
to go through water which reached to their chins. Push- 
ing forward that night through all these difficulties, they 
came to three estuaries which they could not cross ; 
and therefore they resolved to make a raft, which they 
lashed with their drawers and handkerchiefs, and on this 
those who could not swim made the crossing, and the 
others swam holding on to it When day was just break- 
ing, they came to a point on the shore where we had 
dined and set up a cross on the previous Sunday ;' they 
derived great consolation from the sight of it, and threw 
themselves upon their knees to adore it, giving thanks to 
the Lord who had saved them from so many dangers, and 
beseeching His Divine Majesty, through the intercession 
of His most glorious Mother, to be pleased to hear and 
assist them in their necessity, and not to allow them to 
be devoured by the savages of that island. Having finished 
their prayer, they resolved to make a raft as well as they 
could, in order that, if the whole of Monday passed without 
theirdiscovering the brigantine, they might return at night 
upon the said raft to the island where they had left the 
pigs, and hiding there in the woods by day, make their 


' A proof that the disaster occurred only a few miles from Estrella 
Bay, for the cross must have been erected by an exploring party from 
the ships. From Gallego's account it appears that they reached the 
ship only twenty-four hours after ihey were picked up. They saw 
no natives, because this part of (he coast is unsuiied lo settlement, 
and the only natives who now visit it are head-hunling canoes passing 
up and down the coast. 


way back to the ships at night Besides the hardships 
aforesaid, they had to endure extreme hunger and thirst 
While they were making the raft Our Lord was pleased 
to deliver them, and send the brigantine thither ; and with 
no little joy at the sight they gave Him thanks, and 
signalled to the brigantine with handkerchiefs. We were 
astounded when we recognised our comrades, thinking that 
they had received some injury. We put in to them, and 
they embarked, exhausted by hunger and thirst and the 
hardships of the road, and with their feet badly wounded 
by the rocks. Though they had lost their clothes and 
linen they had with great difficulty preserved their arms, 
and had lost only an arquebus and two swords ; here they 
lost the Indian whom we had brought with us as an inter- 
preter, and whom they had taken with them, and they 
could not find him. After this we proceeded on our way 
until we reached the ships. 

To return, and give your Lordship an account of what 
the brigantine brought in the way of stores. It con- 
sisted of three pigs, and a large quantity of the provisions 
used by the natives, which are cocoa-nuts, and certain 
large roots which they call Hafnes, and others smaller, 
which they call panaes, and which are better than potatoes.^ 

^ Here the narrative breaks off, the concluding portion of the 
manuscript in the Archives at Simancas being lost. 



of the 

Discovery of the Isles- of 


Addressed from Lima to King Philip II of 

Spain, by Alvaro de Menda^^a, 

on September nth, 1569.^ 

* This document is to be found in the Library of the Academia 
della Historia, in Vol. xxxvi of the Colleccion de Velasquez. It 
was printed by Don Justo Zaragoga in his Historia del Descubri- 
miento de las Regiones Austriales (Madrid, 1882). It is an 
abridgment of the mutilated narrative which here precedes it, 
but it contains some additional particulars. 



ERE my knowledge and discretion in 
giving your Majesty this brief account 
of the voyage of discovery which, as 
General, 1 made to the South Sea 
by order of the Licentiate Castro, 
Governor of Peru, equal to the faith 
and goodwill with which I offered my person to the 
hardships and dangers thereof, in the service of your 
Majesty, I might feel assured that my account would be 
pleasing to you ; but, since in those who cannot render 
the service they desire, the will should be taken for the 
deed, I beseech your Majesty to accept mine, in con- 
sideration of the faithfulness with which I served your 

We embarked at Callao, the Port of the City of Los 
Reyes, on Wednesday the 19th of November, and, though 
we made sail, it being very late, we did not get out of the 
port until dawn the next day, the 20th of the said month 
of the year 1567. We steered our course west-south-west 
until we were well within the latitude of 15 degrees, and 
then we altered it to west-quarter-south-west until we were 
within a quarter of the latitude of 16 degrees ; and in this 



latitude and sometimes in less, as the needle varied, we 
sailed west for twenty days with a fresh wind and calm 
sea, until, according to the opinion of the pilots, we were 
more than 800 leagues from the City of Los Reyes. Seeing 
that we had found no land upon the course which we had 
followed, and that, according to our information from Peru, 
and the distance we had travelled, we ought to have sighted 
it long before, I ordered our course to be changed, with 
the intention of ploughing the sea in every direction until I 
found it. Steering west-south-west [west- north -west] we 
went down to well within 6 degrees of south latitude ; and, 
seeing that upon this course also we found no land, I 
ordered them to steer west, and we followed this course for 
twenty-four days, at the end of which it pleased God that 
we should come upon a small low island about 6 leagues in 
circumference. We took it to be uninhabited, until we came 
close to it, and saw seven canoes of Indians approaching. 
They came near enough to reconnoitre the ships, and then 
turned back; and although we made signs to them, and 
beckoned to them with a cloth, they would not come back. 
1 remained there, waiting for the Almiranta, in which came 
Pedro de Ortega, Chief Alguacil of Panama, who served 
your Majesty upon this expedition as Master of the Camp, 
with the intention of landing ; but, as it was very late when 
he arrived, we deferred it until the next day. Although 
the night was very calm and clear, the weather changed 
just before daybreak, and a great storm arose, and the sea 
struck the side of my ship so heavily that it broke a small 
bulkhead beneath the deck house. This island is in the 
latitude of bareiy 7 degrees ; we gave it the name of 
"Jesus," because the time for celebrating that feast was 
close at hand when we discovered it ; it was discovered on 
the I Sth of January of the year 1568. 

Seeing that bad weather had overtaken us, and that the 
wind and storm were increasing every hour, the pilots 


1 5 Jan. I $68] narrative of mendana. 




thought that it would be well to put to sea with the ships, 
and not to be so close to land, and therefore we steered 
west-south-west with the bow-lines taut, in the hope of soon 
sighting more land, since this, which was so small, was 
inhabited. Fifteen days after we had left it, we came upon 
some shoals, upon which we should have been lost if God 
had not shown mercy to us, for it was very dark when we 
came upon them, and the weather was fair, and suddenly 
a violent gust of wind struck us on the prow, and forced 
us to furl our sails more hastily than we wished ; and 
when it had spent its fury, the weather grew fine as before. 
The pilot ordered the sails to be set again, and this was 
hardly done when the wind blew again as before; and this 
occurred five or six times, the wind returning as soon as we 
had shaken out the sails. Seeing this, we lay with the sea 
on our beam, waiting till it was day in order to set sail 
again ; and we had not advanced a league before we found 
ourselves upon the shoal, and, though we were not half a 
league from it, we could not see it. Upon this we all 
rendered thanks to God for having delivered us from this 
danger, recognising that His hand had sent the contrary 
winds to save us from destruction. We gave them the 
name of the Baxos de la Candelaria, because we discovered 
them on the eve of that feast [Candlemas], They are well 
within 6 degrees of south latitude, and about 180 leagues 
from the Isle of Jesus. 

Eight days after we had passed the shoals, we discovered 
so large an island that, when we sighted it, we thought 
that it was a continent ; we discovered it on the 7th of 
February, 1568. In approaching it we ran no less risk of 
losing our lives than we had in approaching the aforesaid 
shoals, for, when we reached it, it was so late that, though 
we sent men in a boat to find a port, they had no time to 
do so, and in a place where there were so many Indians, it 
not wise that the boat should go too far from the side 


of the ship at night ; and therefore wc were obliged to 
ply to windward until the morning. In tacking backward 
and forward, we chanced upon a reef which juts out from 
the shore, and being over it we tried to turn back, but th« 
ship would not go about. Seeing ourselves in these strait5,j 
we called upon Our Lady, for we had no hope of helpi 
except from Heaven ; and when we were in the deepest, 
affliction, thinking that we must strike upon the rocks 
where we must all perish, either by drowning or at the 
hands of the Indians, the ship went about, and we steered 
out to sea. The reason why we approached so close to 
the land was that the Almiranta preceded us, and was 
therefore in great peril, and if she had been as large as the 
Capitana, she must have been lost. After we had got clear 
of this reef we pHed to windward until morning, and when 
day broke, that hardships and tribulations might not be 
wanting to us just when we thought ourselves out of 
danger, we found ourselves In another still greater, for we 
found that the ships were over a reef which ran out to sea, 
springing from the reef upon which we had been the night 
before, and we were but four or five fathoms above the 
living rock, not knowing in what direction to steer to find 
more depth ; and if the ships had struck they would have, 
gone to pieces, because it was all rock, and when it came 
to putting back to sea the wind was right in our teeth. 
We again had recourse to prayers and petitions, according 
to the custom of navigators when they are in dangers such 
as we were in at that moment ; and it pleased God that the 
wind should shift a little, and, with the bow-lines taut until 
the bulwarks of the ship were almost under the water, we 
put out to sea. And, that we might more clearly under« 
stand that it was God who released us from these perils' 
through the intercession of His Blessed Mother, whom we 
ever called upon to intercede for us. He deigned to give 
us a sign in the sky and on earth, and it was in this wise. 



After we had put out to sea, it seemed to the Chief Pilot 
that, as it was now near mid-day, it was not wise for the 
ships to await the return of the boats, which had gone to 
seek a port, because they would be very late, and the 
change of wind might bring bad weather, and prevent our 
reaching the coast of the island ; and that the most prudent 
course would be to put into land with the ships and find a 
port. So we resolved to turn back, having the anchors 
ready and the sheets held in the hand, in case it should be 
necessary to anchor upon the shoal ; and steering for the 
shore in this manner we saw a very bright and resplendent 
star, which appeared on the right side of the mainmast, 
and steering to the right we entered a port with no mishap 
whatever. At the entrance we saw a mountain above the 
sea, all of living rock, from which a large piece covered 
with trees fell into the water with a great shock and noise ; 
and although it sometimes happens in Spain that a star is 
seen at noon, that we should see one when we were in such 
necessity, and should then succeed so well in entering the 
port, causes us to regard it as the work of God, and to 
believe that it was from His hand that this beacon was 
sent to lead us safely into port. 

When both the ships had cast anchor we landed, and set 
up a cross upon a height. Fray Francisco de Galvez, the 
vicar of the Franciscan friars whom we had with us, carried 
it upon his shoulders to the most convenient place that we 
could find ; and when it was set up we all said a prayer, 
and the clergy chanted the hymn, Vexilla regis prodeunt : 
and then I took possession of all that land in the name of 
your Majesty. On the same day when the ships arrived, 
there came one of the principal chiefs of the island, to 
whom belonged the port in which we were ; who, after 
performing some ceremonies with me, came on board, and 
I made him presents and treated him well, and we became 
friends. Our manner of making friends originated with 



him ; he asked me by signs what my name was, saying, in 
his own tongue, "lybeago" [or " tn tybeago"^ and, when I had 
understood him, I totd him my name, and he said that he 
was called Bile-Banharra, and requested me to change 
names with him, so that he should be called Mendafia like 
me, and I should be called Bile like him ; and so we did, 
and we remained on very good terms.' These Indians 
have very apt tongues, for they pronounced our words as 
clearly as ourselves, and one to whom the Creed was recited 
in Romance, repeated it as clearly as if he had been a 

We remained in this island three months, for the 
purpose of building a brigantine in which to explore the 
land, and cruise along it, for as yet we did not know 
whether it was an island. This delayed us for many days, 
because it was the rainy season when we arrived, and it 
rained continually, and we had few workmen. In the 
meantime two expeditions were made into the interior, one 
by Captain Pedro Sarmiento, and the other by the Master 
of the Camp, Pedro de Ortega ; and before either of them 
was made, I'edro de Ortega, with a few soldiers, went, in 
my behalf, to visit the tauriqui Bile, who showed him to 
his father, who is called Salacay, and he rejoiced greatly to 
see him, although Salacay did not take much notice of 
him ; he is a man of good disposition, white and very 
old, with a great white beard. After seeing him they 

Before I sent to visit Bile there came to see the ships 
five canoes of Indians, well provided with the arms which 
they use, which are bows and arrows, lances and clubs. 
They did not dare to come on board, and Bile, who per- 
ceived them from his village, which is on the summit of 


' Compare Captain Cook's account of his intercourse widi the chiefs I 
in Tahiti. The rite of makint friends by an exchange of names has 
been noticed in many parts of the Pacific. 


an eminence, went to meet them with four other canoes 
full of men, for they must have been his enemies. When 
those who were near the ship saw him coming, they put off, 
and Bile pursued and overtook them ; and when he reached 
them they all surrendered, bending with their breasts 
upon the gunwale of the canoes, and he passed through 
their midst, and we could see that he spoke to them sharply; 
then he let them go without harming any of them. This 
Bile looked very wild and fierce in the bravery that he 
displayed ; he was standing erect in the canoe with a very 
high crest of black and white feathers on his head, with 
many armlets of very white bone on his arms, and bracelets 
made of very small coral with little white teeth between 
them,^ and a small shield round his neck, and a large two- 
handed club in his hand. On leaving the canoes of these 
Indians he came on board, and told me that several 
tauriquis of the islands were plotting to assemble and come 
to kill me ; and he told me their names, which were : Meta, 
who assembled the others, Rau, Baualay, Couoa, Sanbe, 
Maelago, Ciamarratouo, Ganigou,* and four or five others 
whom he had asked to join with them, but they had refused ; 
and he bade me call for him if they came, and he would 
come to my assistance with his followers. I thanked him 
very much for his offer and clothed him, and he withdrew 
well pleased. After this he was two days without coming 
to see me, and, suspecting that he had joined the con- 
spiracy of the other chiefs, I sent Pedro de Ortega to 
visit him, and by these means to discover what was 
going on. 

The events which occurred during the expeditions of 

* Shell money. 

* See p. 115, where these names are differently spelt. The forms 
given by Catoira (vol. ii) are more consistent with the form of native 
nomenclature. Mr. Woodford collected eighty-seven names from this 
district, and, though none of these are among them, the forms can 
be recognised. 


Pedro Sarmiento and Pedro dc Ortega into the interior are 
as follows : Pedro Sarmiento went first with seventeen i 
soldiers and six servants to carry four days' provisions for I 
all. On the first day they journeyed for about 6 leagues, 
and reached the bank of a very cool river, very cheerful to 
the sight ; and they crossed this river many times, because 
of its numerous windings. Here he found the tauriqui 
Bile, who was not in his village when they passed through 
it. He camped that night upon a height with his men, 
seeing that along the banks of the river, and about all the 
country within sight, there were many Indians. The next 
day he resolved to return, thinking that he had not men 
enough, although the soldiers wished to go forward to the 
place which I had appointed, which was a mountain range 
at the foot of which they were, that they might ascertain 
if the sea were visible on the other side, and find out if this 
were an island or the mainland. Then he returned to the 
ships with the news given him by the Indians, that there 
was a great chief who called himself Ponemanefaa. Bile 
went with him as far as his village, leading him by a better 
and shorter road than the one by which he had come. It 
appeared to him that the Indians were about to attack 
him, for, after they had reached Bile's village, Bile said to 
them in our language, "Fuera, fuera!" and he tried to 
seize Bile, and they came to blows, and the tauriqui 
escaped. They wounded one of the soldiers in the head 
with an arrow, and the Spaniards defeated the Indians, 
and captured the brother of Salacay, and uncle of Bile, and 
brought him to the ships. I set him free after three 
days, in order to regain the friendship of Bile ; and to 
show gratitude for his liberty, the Indian, when he was 
going, returned and embraced me. Pedro Sarmiento 
himself accompanied him to his village, and, such was the 
delight of the Indians at seeing him, that they wept with 
him for joy ; and being grateful for this good deed done to 



them, they told our people to be seated, and they would 
bring them food. Then they brought many cocoa-nuts and 
intiahu, a root which they eat instead of bread. Our men 
took leave of the Indians, who said that from thenceforth 
they would continue to visit me. After Sarmiento had 
returned from taking back the Indian whom he had 
captured, seeing that his expedition had been profitless, 1 
sent Pedro de Ortega with thirty arquebusiers and fifteen 
shield -bearers, and fifteen servants to carry eight days' 
provision for all, with orders to climb to the summit of the 
mountains to reconnoitre and see what was there, and to 
bring an account of everything. He was eight days going 
and coming, and he climbed the mountains, where he 
found a tauriqui who was lord of that province, which is 
called Tiarabaso.' He went by the river which Pedro 
Sarmiento crossed, and at the crossing of the river and all 
along the way, many Indians came out to meet him peace- 
fully, until he climbed to the summit, from whence he saw 
a great squadron of Indians and the lauriqui with them. 
The latter came to speak to Pedro de Ortega, and it 
seemed to him that both he and his Indians had some evil 
design, for, while he was with him, he called for his club to 
an Indian who carried it, and the Indians became restless ; 
and therefore he seized the tauriqui. because, while he was 
a prisoner, the others would not dare harm him. And so 
it proved, for, while he held the chief prisoner, they did not 
attack him. But one night the tauriqui escaped and fled, 
and then the natives attacked him, and he fought with 
them every day until he reached the lands of Bile, On the 
last day on which he fought with them, they had a battle 
which lasted from daybreak until neariy three in the after- 
noon. They wounded two soldiers, piercing the thigh of 


■ Called Tiaragajo by Sarmiento ; Baso by Catoira. 
village called Baso in the Mering^ lagoon. 


one with an arrow, and the arm of another, and he who 
was wounded in the arm died eight days afterwards, for the 
wound mortified. Pedro de Ortega returned through the 
village of Bile, and, when he reached it, the chief gave him 
many cocoa-nuts for his men. He brought news that the 
land we were on was an island ; for so he was told by the 
tauriqui of Tiarabaso, and they saw the sea on the other 

While Pedro de Ortega was inland there came to the port 
a tauriqui who called himself Bene, whose territory lay to 
the west of this island. While I was hearing Mass on 
shore he arrived with fifteen canoes full of men, well 
provided with arms, and he sent me a quarter of human 
flesh which seemed to be that of a boy, with some roots 
oi vinahu, saying to me in his language, "Naleha, naUka !" 
which signifies " eat it." I accepted the present, and, being 
greatly grieved that there should be this pernicious custom 
in that country, and that they should suppose that we ate 
it, I ordered everyone to stand aside so that the tauriqui 
might see what was done. Then I caused a grave to be 
dug at the water's edge, and had the quarter buried in his 
presence, and said to him in his language, " Teo naleka arra" 
which signifies " I do not eat it." He regarded this very 
attentively, and, seeing that we set no value on the present, 
they all bent down over their canoes like men vexed or 
offended, and put off and withdrew with their heads bent 

In order to occupy the soldiers, and to prevent their 
being idle while the brigantine was being finished, I sent 
Gabriel Mufloz and another soldier named Diego de Avila 
along the coast, each with twelve soldiers, one to the east 
and the other to the west. Gabriel Mufloz, who went west, 
penetrated 4 leagues along the coast, but found nothing to 
report except a large river which flowed into the sea, with 
a very shady bank to which he gave the name of San 




Matias because it was his feast that day.' Diego de Avila 
also advanced four leagues to the east, and found a large 
population of Indians ; he spoke to them and asked them 
to be friends, and. when our people told them not to be 
afraid, they approached and became very friendly, and said 
that they would come and see me, although they were 
afraid of the arquebuses, knowing the harm they could do. 
He found a river and gave it his name, calling it the Rio 
de Diego de Avila. 

When the brigantine was finished, as it was not proper 
to go and explore with the ships in a land where there 
were so many shoals, I sent Pedro de Ortega in it with 
thirty men, including soldiers and sailors, with the Chief 
Pilot, Hernan Gallego, for his pilot. He was a month 
going and coming, and before he went on this expedition, 
because we had no interpreter to speak for us in such other 
land as we might find, I sent him to the territory of Meta, 
which is lo leagues along the coast from the port in which 
we were, with twenty arquebusiers, fifteen shield-bearers, 
and four of Bile's Indians as guides. He brought back 
four Indians, two of whom said they were the sons of the 
tauriqui Meta, I set the other two free, and Pedro de 
Ortega took one of Meta's sons with him in the brigantine 
as interpreter,^ and the other remained with me in the ship. 
I showed him all the spices which I carried, and he recog- 
nised clove, nutmeg and ginger; but he said that there was 
no pepper, mace and cinnamon, though in his land they 
have the bark of a tree which they eat, and which resembles 
cinnamon, although the taste is very different, for it is 

' The coast lo the westward of Estrella Bay is uniDhabited, being 
unsuitable for native settlement. 

' He could not have been of much use as an interpreter, for the 
languages of Gela and Guadalcanal are quite different from that of 
the northern coast of Ysabel. Catoira, however, records conversa- 
tions carried on with the Guadalcanal people throuRh another Vsabel 



like allspice ; they call it laquifa. I showed him pearl: 
and grains of gold ; he said that there were many pearls 
in the sea, and they call them daui\ and with regard to 
the gold, he pointed with his hand to the island, saying, 
"yaro bocrii" bocru^ in his language signifying " much." I 
asked him what they called it, and he answered areque; 
I inquired whether they wore it through their noses, or in 
their ears, which are pierced ; he said no, and made signs 
with his hand that it was to be found where there wi 
running water.* 

It was very right not to go exploring with the shi] 
without sending the brigantine in advance, because, con- 
sidering the many shoals which the brigantine found, it 
would have been impossible for the ships to have escaped 
striking upon them, and we should all have been lost, 
[n this expedition Pedro de Ortega discovered much land. 
The first which he discovered (after coasting the island of 
Santa Ysabel, which was the name I gave to this first 
island where we cast anchor, and the port I called Puerto 
de la Estrella, in memory of the star we saw in the sky 
when we entered it) was a very large island to which he 
gave the name of " Isla de Ramos." He did not touch 
at it, but from the size it appeared to be, and the parts 
which they saw, it seemed to the Chief Pilot to be about 
300 leagues in circumference. He gave it this name because) 
it was discovered in the morning of Palm Sunday. Ht 
discovered another small island about 2 leagues in circuni< 
ferencc, which he called La Galera, and other islands nei 
it, one called Buena Vista, another San Dimas,and anotht 

' This word is the same as 
Barru or Veru. It probably 
common name for islands i 
(Great Land) in Fiji. 

' Probably the man mistook the gold for iron 
plentiful in the sand of the stream-beds. On p. 
as tert^u^. 

i native name of St. George's Island, 
:ant " Great," "Great Island" being a 
Melanesia. Compare Vanua Levu 



16 April] 




Isia de Ftores [or La Florida], each of which must be more 
than 20 leagues in circumference ; between them are other 
small islands from 2 to 3 leagues in circumference. The first 
of these islands is about 8 or 9 leagues from that of Santa 
Ysabel. Besides these said islands he discovered one to 
which he gave the name of Guadalcanal ; according to the 
opinion of the pilots it was more than 300 leagues in cir- 
cumference. After this he discovered an island which is 
near that of Santa Ysabel to the south, more than 30 
leagues in circumference, according to the opinion of the 
Chief Pilot ; he gave it the name of San Jorge, and in the 
language of the Indians it is called Borue [or Veru], In 
this island is the king of the island of Santa Ysabel whom 
Pedro Sarmiento heard of when he went inland ; he is 
called Ponemanefaa [or Benebonefa]. and the Indians 
say that he is cayboco ; he would never allow Pedro 
de Ortega to see him. The distance between this island 
and that of Santa Ysabel is half a league in some parts, 
and one league in others. There is a very good bay 
between these two islands, 7 leagues in width, in which 
any ships, however large, may anchor, for the depth is 
from 12 to IS fathoms in every part, and it has a clear 
bottom. In a village where they landed in this island of 
San Jorge they found many very large canoes, and two 
very thin jars of clay, and throughout all the countries we 
went to, we did not find any other clay vessels but these ; 
the Indians said they had brought them from another land 
far off.' After passing this island Pedro de Ortega coasted 
along the island of Santa Ysabel, and discovered three 
islands to the south-west thereof, each of which appeared 
to the pilot, Judging from their size, to be more than 100 
leagues in circumference, but they did not touch at them. 

' Probably from the islands in Bougainviile Straits where pottery 
s made. An excellent description of the process is to be found in 
Dr. Guppy's Solomon Islands, p. 63. 


One was called San Marcos,' another San Jeronimo, and 
another, Isle de Arracifes (Isle of Reefs), for there are many 
reefs between all these islands. He completed the circuit 
of the island of Santa Ysabel, and returned to the ships. 
He had many skirmishes with the natives, but it pleased 
God that they should not kill any of the Christians. He 
found ginger in the island of Guadalcanal by chance, with- 
out thinking or knowing what it was, for though it is 
abundant in these islands the natives use it very little. 

While Pedro de Ortega was exploring, Bile came twice 
to the ships, and I endeavoured to make him understand 
that I was a vassal of your Majesty, and by yourcommand 
had come to that country to see him and the other iauriquis 
on behalf of your Majesty, and to bring them to the know- 
ledge of God and of our holy Catholic faith. He was very 
attentive to all this, and when he asked me where the King 
of Castille was, I replied that he was in Castille, his own 
land. He asked me again if he was a very great lord, and, 
in order to make him better understand what I wanted 
and what he desired, I took a sea chart, and showed him 
what was sea and what was land, and, pointing to a very 
small island, I said that this was his country, and that all 
the rest belonged to your Majesty, and that all the tauri- 
gttis and chiefs of these lands were naclonis, which signifies 
vassals, of your Majesty. Then he asked me where God 
was, and if He was a great lord ; I replied that God had 
made the colantha and caba and fina, which is the heavens. 
earth, and sea, and that from Him we had life, and that 
He had created us ail, saying many of these words in his 
language. He thought that he had understood me, and 
wishing to signify the same to me, he made a sign in the 
following manner. He raised his open hand in the air and 

' Mendaiia is in error. The two islands that lay south « 
S. Nicholas and Arracifes : S. Marcos (Choiseul) lay west. 

2 5 April] 




said in his language, "yne colatttha" which signifies " this is 
Heaven ;" then with the finger of the other hand placed 
upon that which he had stretched out, he said in our 
tongue, " aqui Dios," and in his own, "cayboco hutubocru caba 
bocru Ana" which signifies, " King and great lord of the 
earth and sea ;" and then he pointed to the earth, saying, 
" aqui Rey de Castilla cayboco caba" which signifies " lord 
of the earth." I replied that so it was, and he was well 
satisfied, seeing that he had made himself understood, I 
told him that since he was my friend and brother, and that 
I was a vassal of your Majesty, he ought to be one also. 
He assented, saying that he, his children, and brothers, and 
all his naclonis, were naclonis of your Majesty like myself; 
and he adhered to this whenever the question was put to 
him, and thereupon I caused a deed to be drawn up in 
proof that he rendered allegiance to your Majesty, and 
accounted himself your vassal. 

When Pedro de Ortega returned from exploring with 
the brigantine, I immediately went out with the ships to 
go to the Island of Guadalcanal. I coasted along that of 
Santa Ysabel, and passed in sight of Ramos and Buena 
Vista, which fully deserved its name, and of the greater 
part of those near it. We anchored at the Island of 
Guadalcanal under the shelter of a point, and near a river 
which we called Gallego. I landed, and took possession 
for your Majesty, and from thence I sent Don Hernando 
Enriquez, my Ensign-General, to explore in the brigantine. 
In the meantime I despatched an expedition into the 
interior, sending a soldier named Andres Nufiez, who was 
a lancer in Peru, in command of twenty soldiers. He 
went 4 or 5 leagues inland, and had many skirmishes with 
the Indians ; but it pleased God that not one of his 
soldiers should be wounded; he died, alas! six or seven 
days after his return. Another day I went two leagues 
inland with twenty-six men and Pedro de Ortega. We 



climbed a small steep hill which wc saw, and from whid 
a great part of the island was visible. From the tin 
landed until we reached the top of the hill, I coui 
thirty villages and more. From the summit of the 
we saw towards the east and the south-east many thickly- 
populated plains ; and it is not surprising that the plains 
should be populated since the mountains are. 

Seeing that much of the provision we had brought froi 
Peru was exhausted, and that we did not know how long 
we should be delayed there, or what weather we should 
have, it seemed well to me that we should avail ourselves 
of what was to be had in the country, and for that purpose 
I treated with several tauriquis of the coast, that they 
should give me provisions, and I would give them some of 
the beads and bells, and other articles of barter which 
1 carried. They flatly refused, and seeing what little 
there was in them, with the agreement and counsel of the 
captain and the clergy, we went inland to find food, am 
brought back to the ship three or four boat-loads of rool 
which are very good and sustaining ; at which the Indianj 
became unruly, and in order to revenge themselves set an 
ambush one day. For ten men went in a boat to fetch 
water, and though I warned them not to remain on land 
longer than was necessary to get the water, they feasted 
upon some cocoa-nuts which they found gathered in a 
palm-grove, and the Indians, seeing them thus occupied, 
fell upon them and killed nine, only one, a negro, escaping 
by swimming. I punished them for this the next day, 
burning many of their villages, and also killing some 
Indians. The day on which these nine men were killed 
was the feast of the Ascension of our Redeemer. 

In his exploring expedition with the brigantine, in which 
he carried thirty men, including soldiers and sailors and 
the Chief Pilot. Don Hernando Enriquez was absent 
eighteen days, returning quickly because the Chief Pilot 

ns ^^ 

.ns I 

21 May] 



and several of the soldiers were ill with fever. He coasted 
along the island of Guadalcanal towards the east for more 
than 30 leagues. All that part of it which he passed was 
thickly populated in large villages ; he saw a town which 
extended for more than 3 leagues, all in a plain under 
palm trees.' From thence he discovered an island which 
the natives call Malay, which is near Ramos, the same 
that the natives call Malayta} Pursuing his discovery 
from thence, he reached an island which the Indians called 
Uraba, and he called it " Atreguada ;" after this he dis- 
covered three other islands close to it, which he called the 
"Tres Marias;" these are small, but Atreguada is about 
25 leagues in circumference. He also discovered two other 
islands, one of which he called Santiago and the other 
San Juan, 10 or 12 leagues in circumference. He had 
many skirmishes with the natives both by land and sea, 
but he always defeated them, and they did not wound one 
of his soldiers ; the brigantine met with a storm on the 
way back. All these islands are so crowded with people 
that it is amazing. 

When Don Hernando returned with the brigantine we left 
the port in which we were anchored, and which we called 
La Cruz, to go to the island of Santiago ;^ and after we had 
doubled the island of Guadalcanal the weather was such that 
we sought a higher latitude. In coming out from between 
the island of Santiago and that of Guadalcanal, we met with 
a very severe storm ; and after many promises and prayers, 
God was pleased that we should reach the port of an 
island which we discovered, which we called San Christo- 

f the Resident Cor 

Gal lego 

' Aola, the presei 
gives the native name as urarc. 

' See p, 25, note, Mendaiia's confusion is probably owing to thi 
natives having sometimes used the words " Mala" (the real n 
the island), and sometimes " Mala-ila t" ("There is Mala"). 

' /.«., Ugi, because Callego had seen there a suitable plj 
careening the ships. 



val. Before we got very close to the shore, the Chief 
Pilot went with the brigantine to find the port, making 
signals to us to follow with the ships ; and as the day on 
which we cast anchor In this port was the feast of the 
Visitation, we gave it that name. I landed at a little 
village which was built on the water's edge, and in the 
presence of the Indians I took possession of the land for 
your Majesty. I spoke to the natives, and we were on 
friendly terms. On the morning of the next day we landed 
with the intention of bartering for provisions, and when we 
had done so, an Indian made a kind of incantation ; drawing 
a circle, he stood within it, and shouted aloud. All the 
Indians looked disturbed at this, and he began to tremble 
until he was on the point of falling, and he went and held 
on to the bahaseque \sic\ of a house. We understood that 
he had invoked the Devil. Then he and all the others 
took up their arms and came towards us, making signs to 
us to begone. They would not listen to us, but as it 
seemed to me that we might still end peacefully, ! advanced 
a little from the others, but he brandished a lance which 
he had ready to burl at me ; and, seeing that it was now 
impossible to conclude anything with them, I ordered 
several arquebuses to be fired, and then we attacked them 
and gained the village, and the next day Mass was said 
there. There was an abundance of their provisions in this 
village, and we took what we thought necessary to the 
ships. I 

After we arrived at this island, I sent Francisco Munoz 
Rico, a soldier, to explore in the brigantine with thirty 
men and the Chief Pilot ; he was eight days in coming 
and going. He coasted to the end of the island of San 
Christoval, and at the extremity he discovered two small 
islands, each of which was a little more than two or three 
leagues in circumference ; we called them Santa Ana and 
Santa Catalina ; they are thickly populated. On each of 


» • 




these islands; he had a skirmish with the natives, and in 
that on the island of Santa Ana they were closely pressed, 
for the Indians fought valiantly, and wounded a soldier 
in the head with a lance, so that the lance remained in the 
wound, and the soldier fell to the ground, at which the 
Indians were greatly encouraged, but he rose up when 
another drew the lance out of the wound. They wounded 
another soldier in the thigh with a lance, and pierced the 
captain through his shield, strap, and arm, tilt the lance 
stood out more than a span on the other side, which it 
seems impossible that a man should be strong enough to 
do with a lance destitute of iron. Not only this shield, 
but those of all the company were pierced through and 
through by the lances. Our men fought valiantly until 
they put the Indians to flight, and then they embarked, 
and returned to the ships, where they were healed of their 

Francisco Mufioz brought four Indians as interpreters, 
because ten Indians whom we had brought from the other 
islands, fled from us at this island, and of these which he 
brought two also fled. 

After Francisco Mufioz had returned, bringing a report 
that upon the course which we had followed hitherto there 
was no more land, and that the Indians indicated that land 
lay south-west, as the Indians of Guadalcanal and Santa 
Ysabel had said, since we had no provisions for going back 
and discovering more land, I assembled all the company, 
captains and soldiers as well as pilots and sailors, and 
asked them all without distinction what was best to be 
done, and whether we should make a settlement here or 
not. They were all of opinion that we ought to return 
and give an account of what we had done, for we were 
very few for settling, and most of the people were sick ; 
that besides this we were in want of ammunition, such as 
lead and match, and most of the locks of the arquebuses 



were damaged, and some had burst ; that this land was so 
remote that those who might settle there could not be 
succoured, and that the course most conducive to your 
Majesty's ser\'ice was to return and give an account of what 
had been done ; but that, notwithstanding, if J bade them 
stay, they would do so. Seeing that they were all agreed 
in the opinion that we ought to return, having already 
prepared the ships with the little pitch and rigging we had 
left, 1 ordered the pilots to make ready to start ; and as we 
had with us only two Indian boys as interpreters, it seemed 
to me that this was not enough : and in order that, if these 
should die, others might be left, I sent Gabriel Muftoz to 
keep watch one night near a village which was close by, 
and to bring back two or three Indians. Before morning 
he returned, with a married Indian and his wife with an 
infant at the breast, and a young girl, the wife's sister. All 
these that we brought became Christians, and displayed 
great diligence in learning their prayers. The married 
man and one of the boys, and also the young girl, died in 
the city of Los Reyes, devout Christians, invoking the 
name of Jesus many times. Many thanks should be 
rendered to Our Lord, because He has shown mercy to 
that land, and has begun to call to Himself the people 
thereof, who have been for so many years without the 
light of faith. 

All the islands thus discovered are thickly populated, 
and are all within sight of each other. The island of ' 
Santa Ysabel is very long and narrow, and, though 2CX} 
leagues in circumference, is not more than a decree in 
breadth ; this island is less populated from Puerto de la 
Eslrella to the west, because it is near the seat of the 
tauriqui Bile, who, being very ferocious, is the cause of its 
being uninhabited. In spite of this, according to the 
population and the Indians who were seen, we concluded 
that 30,ocx) lighting men could be raised there ; and from 

7 Aug.] 


the island of San Jorge, which is near it, although it is 
small, more than' From the island of Guadalcanal, 
both from what we saw of it and from the report of 
the Indians, more than 300,000 fighting men could be 
raised, and from Buena Vista and San Dimas, and the 
Isia de Flores [La Florida], with those near it, more than 
50,000; and from the island of Santiago, from what was 
seen of it and from the report of the Indians, more than 
100,000 ; and as many from that of San Christoval, which 
has a circumference of more than lOO leagues. The 
Indians we took as interpreters, who are natives of that 
island, say that the king thereof is called Giian y China, 
and at certain times he sends out a visitor whom they call 
cacagu, who has a guard of 10,000. Nevertheless, all the 
Indians in this island fear the island of Ramos [Malaita], 
which is at war with all the others.* The profitable produce 
of this island is cloves, ginger, and nutmeg ; of these three 
we brought back only a little ginger, which was gathered 
by chance ; the Indians call cloves agunt, and nutmeg 
agatari. They also say that there are pearls. I brought 
back the shell of an oyster in which the pearls are found, 
and, considering its size, they cannot fail to be good ones. 
These Indians of San Christoval say also that there is gold 
in the rivers of their country, and that the women of 
Aytoro wear it round their necks in large grains as they 
find it, but they do not know how to melt it. Aytoro is a 
province in the interior of San Christoval. These Indians 
call gold aburu in their language. The report that it is 
found in the rivers agrees with what the Indian told me in 

' This is, of course, an exaggeration, but it is evident thai the 
populanon in 1567 was at least four times greater than it is now. 
Head-hunting and epidemics are the most probable causes of the 

' It is so still, nor is it safe for Europeans to explore except in 
strong parties. 


Santa Ysabel, though there they call it tereque. Spikenard 
is also found ; 1 have brought a specimen of It to show to 
your Majesty ; it was found by a fortunate chance, for the 
Indians neither use it nor have knowledge of It. It was 
recognised by a soldier (formerly an apothecary), who, 
landing at the island of Guadalcanal, found it at the water's 
edge, near a river which flows into the sea. There is also 
sandal-wood ; this was identified here in Los Reyes by the 
doctors, who, while examining the Indian arms which t 
had brought back, found two lances of a reddish wood, 
which, from its colour and fragrance, they declared to be 
sandal-wood, Ebony is also plentiful ; they make arms of 
it, which they use in warfare, We found in these islands 
some clubs, seemingly of metal covered with woven palm ; 
they are very heavy, and are used in warfare ; they are 
really made of pressed ironstone,' and its presence is a 
very good sign, for it is the mother of all metals. I also 
asked the Indians if there was any silver, and showed 
them some, but they said that there was none in their 

There are many fruit trees in these islands bearing good 
fruit ; the Indians say that there are apples like those of 
this country, and they call them aganiga in their language; 
and there are also melons ; 1 saw some, but they were very 
small, and, though they looked like ours, it is not certain 
that they are the same. In their language they call them 1 

' Compare ihe 

at ihe east end of MaUita, on p. 45. 
melal which appeared to be gold.' 
margagita (ironstone), which seems 
Pans MS. as titargarita (pearl), 
the stone-headed dubs now made 
which are shown here in a Plate. 

t of these clubs found at Puerto Escondido, 

Gallego says that they were "of 
The word used in the lext 15 
D have been transcribed in the 
t is clear that they resembled 
id used in New Britain, two of 
very bard and 

heavy volcanic formation, containing specks of pyrites, which, in the 
inflamed imagination of (lallfgo and his companions, became gold. 
These clubs do not seem now to be made in Ihe Solomon Islands, 
though, from the number seen in Malaita by the Spaniards, it is 
evident that they were then manufactured in the group. 





Stune-hkaded CU'BS. 
FToni New BrilaEn. 

From New IfEland, pr.'bihly itn|Knal fr^>in Ne- B 
(Brilitb Mt.Kum Collccli^n) 

7 Aug.] 



maraguasaro, and they say that they are good when it does 
not rain, but worthless when it does. They have pigs and 
hens h'lte those of Spain, and numerous wild pigeons, larger 
beyond comparison than ours ; there are many parrots of 
all colours, and some very white. The soil is very fertile, 
and the roots of the trees arc very deep ; all the trees and 
herbs of that region are aromatic. There is abundant 
sweet basil on the mountains, and all the flowers on the 
trees are of a very bright colour. I found a certain gum 
upon a tree, discovering it through the strong odour which 
it exhaled, and 1 brought it to the ship. A captain of 
artillery, named Pero Xuarez,' who was suffering from the 
gout, put some on his feet at night, and the next morning 
the pain had disappeared, and since we arrived here he 
has often assured me that he has never had a touch of 
it since. 

When the ships were ready, and I had consulted the 
pilots as to the course we ought to follow in returning to 
Peru (my intention being to steer south-east and east-south- 
east if the weather served, in quest of the coast of Chili, as 
I told them many times), we left Puerto de la Visitacion in 
the island of San Christoval, The said pilots determined 
that we should go in quest of New Spain, although, before 
wc put out, as well as afterwards, I bade them many times 
consider the course they were following ; sayingthat by way 
of New Spain, even with very favourable weather, we could 
not reach Peru in six months ; and, further, that we were 
navigating in the wrong direction in going north in the 
winter season, when we must needs have bad weather, and 
that it would be better to wait on shore until the sun had 
passed the Equinox, and the weather had changed as it did 
in the March Equinox, and in the meantime they could go 
with the brigantine to seek provisions. But they would 

' Described elsewhere as Colonel Pedro Xuarei. 


approve of none of these things, saying that the landsman 
reasons and the seaman navigates ; and that it was better 
to put out, and, if the weather served, sail south-east, 
navigating in accordance with the weather. I replied that 
the weather would change with the September Equinox, 
which was only a month distant, and we would be in a 
region where we could not avail ourselves of it But 
nothing would move them from their first opinion.* 

We left Puerto de la Visitacion on Wednesday, the nth 
of August, of the year 1568 ; we were seven days in doubling 
the island of San Christoval, and those of Santa Ana and 
Santa Catalina, for the wind was south-east and contrary. 
After doubling them we steered north-east until we were 
35 or 40 leagues east of the island named Jesus, and there 
the wind changed to north-east, so that we were able to 
steer south-east-quarter-east, and then I gave orders to turn. 
This wind lasted but a short time, and, as it was near the 
Equinox, and the wind in these regions changes with it, 
as we had found in the month of March, it was now 
unsettled preparatory to settling in one quarter. Con- 
sequently, every time that the wind served for steering 
south-east and east-south-east, I ordered the ships to be 
put about in order that we might sail according to the wind. 
We had already met with rough weather, and, during a 
storm the chief lateen yard of my ship was broken, and the 
sail torn to pieces. Seeing that I persisted in following a 
south-east course, and in going south and not north, they 
agreed among themselves to make a representation to me, 
which they did. Seeing that I would not follow the advice 
of the pilots, the soldiers came to me, and begged me for 

^ The pilots were probably right. Even after the September 
Equinox the prevailing winds are east and south-east, with calms and 
gales, and westerly winds seldom blow for more than three days in 
succession until latitude 30" S. is reached. In beating to windward 
the ships would have passed through a region bestrewn with reefs. 

4 Sept.] 



the love of God not to order the navigation in a direction 
in which we must all perish and be drowned, for the pilots 
said that it was impossible to go south, and escape with 
our lives, and that I was repaying them badly for working 
with me in the service of your Majesty, if I would reward 
them by taking them to their death. The sailors clamoured 
also, and they were so weak that they could hardly manage 
the sails. Seeing that they all thought it an error on my 
part not to follow the opinion of the pilots, I replied that 
my sole intention was to pursue a prudent course of navi- 
gation ; and since they all thought that the pilots were right, 
they might proceed in peace ; but 1 bade them remember 
that time would bear me witness in the hardships which 
we should have to endure. The joy of all was so great 
at seeing that I had resolved to steer for New Spain, that 
it seemed to restore life to all. 

After all this we crossed the line, and, reaching 8J degrees 
of north latitude, we discovered some shoals and small 
islands which numbered more than fifteen or sixteen. All 
these islets, some of which are a little less than a league in 
circumference, are surrounded by a reef Pedro de Ortega 
and Don Hernando Enriquez landed upon them. Some 
of them are inhabited, and, though there were huts and fire 
in the place where they landed, they saw no inhabitants, 
for they had fled. Among the reefs and islands we saw 
three sails, like those of a raft, and I suspected that the 
Indians of the island had put to sea. Leaving these islands, 
which to our knowledge had not been seen by any of the 
fleets which had been to the Philippines, and giving them 
the name of San Mateo Shoals,' we reached latitude 19^ 
degrees, where we discovered another island, which I judged 
to be 8 leagues in circumference ; it is very low land. We 

■ The Musqiiillo Islands (5ee p. 67, iwir). Gallego, thinking that 
they «*trc [he islands said to have heen disnovered by Salaiar iti 1536, 
ani! named by hiin San tSartolomco, omits this name of San Mateo. 


approached it with the ships to see whether we could find ' 
an anchorage, and to take in water if there was any there, 
for we were in great want of it, having found none at the 
former reefs. We made the circuit of the island, and saw 
that the sea entered it in some parts, and that it was com- 
pletely deserted, containing nothing but sea birds ; brambles 
were the only vegetation. Finding that it was useless, and 
that there was no water, we put to sea. and cut down the 
rations, giving to each a pint of water and twelve ounces of . 
bread. We gave it the name of San Francisco,' because it I 
was discovered on the eve of that feast, I 

On leaving this island we steered north-north-east and 
north, and sometimes north- north-west, because of the 
v^/w(iVaK/a, which could not keep her luffas we did, so that we 
were driven upon her; and upon these courses we reached 
32i degrees ofnorth latitude, where 1 asked the pilots at what 
point we were. The pilots of the Capitana found that we 
were 70 degrees from the coast of New Spain, and those of 
the AIntiranta found that we were nearer. We continued 
in this latitude all night, and in the morning we could not 
see the Ahniranla, and so we furled our large sails to wait for 
her. We continued thus until noon, but, as she did not 
appear, 1 ordered all the sails to be furled, and so they 
remained until sunset, when we saw her to windward, but 
she was hardly visible because of a mist which had fallen. 
As it was night, in order not to lose way, we set our foresail 
and tnizzen, and so continued until the morning of the next 
day, which was the eve of St. Luke's day. the 17th of 
October, when a violent hurricane arose, the wind blowing 
so violently from the north that, though all the sails were 
furled, it caused the ship to heel over to port till the beam 
ends were under water to the hatches, which had been 
closed and caulked when we saw the storm increasing. 

17 Oct.] 




Not a soul on board expected lo escape from this peril, and 
the lamentations of the people were such that it broke one's 
heart to hear the piteous words that they spoke to one 
another. One of the friars whom we had with us behaved 
very well, for, after singing the Creed with those who were 
with him below, he encouraged them to die like Christians, 
exhorting them to true contrition and repentance for their 
sins. We who were on deck, calling upon God, endea- 
voured with blows of the mallet to get the boat launched. 
in which by God's help we succeeded. There was so much 
water in the ship, and she was lying at such an angle, that 
many of the people below were swimming. Seeing that 
the launching of the boat had done no good, I told the 
pilots that we must cut down the mainmast, but they 
objected, saying that we should be lost, for we would be 
unable to navigate ; at last, against their will, upon my 
saying that we could manage the 70 leagues to the coast 
with the foremast, they had it cut down, and it fell into the 
sea with the sails and yards. When the mast fell, the ship 
began to right herself little by little. Wishing to spread 
the foresail in order to handle the ship, while we were 
unfurling the sail, the wind caught it and tore it to pieces, 
of which the largest was not sufficient to patch an old sail. 
Hastily we fetched a blanket, and made a storm sail of it, 
and thereupon the ship bore up and righted, the water ran 
out of the scuppers, and with the pumps we threw out what 
was below. We sailed with the blanket all that day and 
the next, until the weather grew fairer and we could bend a 
foresail. Three days afterwards, when the fury of the storm 
had abated, 1 ordered an inspection of our victuals and 
water, and, finding that there was very little, in order that 
it might not fail us altogether, we cut down the rations to 
eleven ounces of biscuit, but it was so damaged that we could 
not eat quite six, although we had no other food. The water 
was cut down to half a pint each, my share not exceeding 


that of any private individual, and upon this allowance of 
bread and water we lived for three months ; for when the 
pilots said that we were 70 leagues from land we were 
really more than 600. The distance from the land, and 
other storms which we endured, in which we were on the 
point of perishing, made the men long to turn back, not 
only because they thought that the pilots did not know 
where we were, but also because we were suffering from 
g^at sickness and hunger. Many had their gums swollen 
until the flesh covered their teeth ;^ others lost their sight 
through weakness, and others fell ill of fevers ; and even 
when we had a little help and comfort, we threw a man 
overboard every day ; their chief consolation was to call 
me to see them die ; and not only did I feel great sorrow 
and compassion when I saw this, but even now, whenever 
I call to mind how I looked upon their death, it touches 
me to the soul and overcomes me. 

All the men were firmly bent on turning back, thinking 
that it was the only way to save their lives and put an end 
to much hardship and misery ; and they gathered in knots 
and circles discussing how I could not only be prevailed upon 
to put back, but forced to do so. Being informed by a 
soldier that there were only five on my side against all the 
rest, I went to them and told them that they were out of 
all reason in wishing to put back, adducing many reasons 
and arguments to prove that it was wrong, and that it was 
better to go on. In reply, they urged the hardships they 
were suffering, saying that they spoke thus because of our 
present necessity, which was past hope of succour, and 
bidding me not to make it a point of honour not to turn 
back, since it was more in the interest of your Majesty's 
service to put back to the Philippines where we should all 

From scurvy. 


be saved, than to perish thus. They bade me take counsel 
with the pilots upon the question, from which I suspected 
that the idea of turning back originated with them ; and 1 
replied that 1 did not want the opinion of the pilots, for it 
was through following their advice, and their want of 
confidence in me, that we were in such necessity. I bade 
them believe me now, since they had not done so before, 
and consider that the contrary weather we were having 
was in the last quarter of the moon, and that if we turned 
back in such weather it would change with the new moon ; 
that if we went 200 leagues to sea in the present weather 
we could not return if we wished, being without sails, and 
that we must of necessity perish at sea of hunger and 
thirst, and be so weak that the survivors would not be able 
to throw the dead overboard ; and, since they saw that 1 
endured as much hunger and necessity as themselves, and 
valued my life as highly as each one of them did their own, 
I bade them believe that I was acting for the good of 
all, since we could not by any means be more than 100 
leagues from land. They were somewhat pacified by these 
words, though not sufficiently to induce them to give up 
the idea of turning back, but they thought it would be 
better to wait for the change of the moon. In the mean- 
time, God, who is the true helper in all necessities, was 
pleased to assist me, and turn the men from their plan of 
going back ; the weather grew calm, and during the calm 
I saw floating upon the water towards the ship a large 
piece of wood, very clean, and without bark ; and, pointing 
it out to the men, I said, " See what you would have done ; 
we have reached the land." Then I sent a sailor overboard 
for it, and he brought it back. The wood had a very sweet 
smell, and we cut it into many pieces, each of us taking 
one. After we had found the wood, we were eight days 
in reaching land, which we sighted on the eve of Nuestra 


Sefiora de la O ;* and on the morning of the next day we 1 
reached it in 30 degrees of north latitude. 

Though wc were approaching the land, we did not ' 
increase the rations of bread and water, but, in our joy at 
seeing it, we did not feel the hardship. We coasted along 
the land as far as California, which lies differently from the 
way in which it is represented. As we cruised along it we 
entered a large bay, in which we were three days unable to 
get out- Afterwards wc reached California, and, at the 
extremity thereof, in a corner, we saw a river, having found 
no other on the whole coast. We anchored near it, and I 
landed with six soldiers, as many servants, and the Chief 
Pilot, upon a raft which we made of planks and some casks. 
We took back three or four casks of water, and some 
albatross and seagulls which I shot, of which we made ■ 
broth for the sick, and with the timber which we cut to J 
make a boat, we embarked and went to the port o£m 
Santiago de Colima. We reached it on the 23rd offl 
January^ and, though we rejoiced that we had escaped4^ 
from our long sea voyage, and had reached a Christian land, 
it was no small grief to us to think that our comrades in 
the Almiranta were drowned, for from the day before the 
storm we had not seen her, and that was now three months J 
past. But as the mercies which God shows to man areB 
always brought to perfection. He was not only pleased to ■• 
save me from hardship and perils, but He saved them 
likewise, and, that we might recognise it as the work of 
His hands. He brought her into the same port the day after j 
I arrived ; and, in order to convince us more certainly thatT 
He had brought her thither, He sent the Almiranta contraryJ 

' December 10 (sec p. 7Si note). 
* The B&y of Sebastian Vizcaino. Mendatia named it San ThomM 
{lee p. 75)- 
' Gallego ^aya Januar>' 24th, 


24 Jan. 1569] NARRATIVE OF M£NDAf!^A. I9I 

weather, and forced her to return when she would have 
gone on, not tcnowing that there was a port. Our delight 
at seeing each other was so g^eat that we wept for joy. 
Pedro de Ortega arrived so ill that I thought that we should 
have to bury him the next day ; but the joy of seeing us 
brought him to himself very quickly. The ship arrived 
like ours without a mainmast, for, during the storm when 
we cut ours down, they did the same. Their ship heeled 
over like ours, and they threw their boat overboard ; they 
suffered the same lack of bread and water, and the same 
dissension about putting back. We remained for forty days 
in that port, where some of the men recovered, and some 
died '} and, as there was no means of repairing the ships 
there, we went from thence to Nicaragua, where they were 
repaired, although your Majesty's governor and officials 
would not give anything towards it. I was obliged to 
borrow money for it, and to pledge the gold and silver 
which I had. When they were repaired, which took two 
months, I set out for Peru, and reached the port of Callao 
of the City of Los Reyes on the i ith of September, 1569. 

God keep your Majesty's Catholic and Royal person for 
many years, with great increase of kingdoms and dominions. 

Your Majesty's humble servant who kisses your Royal 


^ Between thirty and forty died on the homeward voyage (see 
vol. ii). 


■ 1 


MAR 1 . 1986 

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