Norfolk Island 559
In 1568 the Solomon Islands were discovered
by Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira. He, and Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa, the
Master of the Route, sailed from Callao, Peru in 1567. Mendaña named
the islands for the legendary islands of King Solomon of
Israel (961-922 B.C).
Mendaña destroyed Gamboa's journals and maps and abandoned him in
Mexico in order to take credit for the discovery. He was denied that
credit, but allowed to make another voyage to the islands in 1595,
where he discovered the Marquesas Islands. Mendaña died on this voyage
On the stamp Mendaña's name is misspelled Alvaro
de Mendana, without the accents. Also, the name Santiago is sometimes
mistaken for the starting place of the voyage, which would be an
error, but the name refers to
the ship Santiago, which Mendaña commanded on the first voyage.