Mendana, despatched by the Viceroy of Peru, reached in 1567 the first Melanesian land seen by Europeans, the great island which he named Santa Ysabel de la Estrella, and from thence the voyagers under his command discovered further and named the large islands Malaita, Guadalcanal, San Crist-oval, and the lesser islands, Sesarga, which is Savo, Florida with its islets, Ulawa, and the small islands near San Cristoval. To these he gave the name of the Solomon Islands, to mark his conjecture, or to suggest the belief, that he had discovered the source of the riches of Solomon. In his second voyage of 1595, undertaken for the purpose of colonizing the Solomon Islands, Mendana discovered Santa Cruz, and attempted to form a settlement there; an attempt abandoned after two months, in consequence of his death and the sickness of the remnant of his crews. Quiros had been with Mendana, and was allowed in 1606 to carry out a project he had been continually urging of recovering and colonizing the Solomon group. Fortune however made him the discoverer of the New Hebrides, when he believed himself to have reached the great Austral Continent, in the island which still bears the name he gave it of Espiritu Santo. The first Melanesian islands however that he saw were those now known as the Banks' Islands, one of which, Santa Maria, retains the name he gave it: Torres, after parting from Quiros, saw and named the Torres Islands. After an interval of more than a century and a half, the French voyager Bougainville, in 1768, added Pentecost, Lepers' Island, and Malikolo to the discovery of Quiros, naming the group the Great Cyclades, and found the great islands of Choiseul and Bougainville beyond those discovered in the first voyage of Mendana.
Polynesian word Te Ariki, the Chief, in the form Taurique, is given as the designation of the chiefs in Ysabel, where it is now entirely out of place. This is the less easy of explanation, as the other native words given appear to be those now in use. I may add that I have discussed the accounts of Mendana's discoveries, as related in Burney's and Dalrymple's collections, with natives of the Solomon and Santa Cruz Islands; but unfortunately my notes on this subject have been lost.