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Monday, 28 December 2015

Captain Bully Hayes - Pirate of The South Seas:

Well - he really wasn't much of a pirate. He definitely was a murdering, crooked, swindler, bigamist, and 'slaver' notorious around the Pacific islands later in his career for "Blackbirding" - which was taking islanders by force or deception from their homes and delivering them into the pacifics sugar cane plantations as labour - where they were theoretically contracted to work for three years.
Bully Hayes.
American (Ohio) born William Henry Hayes (1827?-1877) operated as a 'Trader' around the islands from the 1850s with various ships under different names and with different wives - some of whom came to terminally bad ends.
One example of his trade is of him leaving New York as a passenger on board the 'Canton' .. but arriving in Singapore as the Captain and then "buying" the boat and renaming it as the 'C.W. Bradley,Jr.'

Based in Australia from 1857 he swindled and robbed his way back and forth across the Pacific to the US until things got too hot for him - so he then skipped to the gold-fields of Otago New Zealand in 1862 - where he cheated his way around Arrowtown and Christchurch marrying further widows a couple of more times while working as a travelling vaudeville artist and hotel keeper before acquiring the Brig 'Rona' in 1866.

He then went off again around the Marshall Islands and Samoa kidnapping and tricking islanders onto 'Blackbirding' ships as prisoners, labour for plantations on Fiji, Tahiti and Samoa.

He had been arrested and imprisoned here and there and got through a succession of brigs and schooners - wrecking and sinking them all over the place until his last vessel ..

- Which was The Lotus where he ended-up dead with a crushed skull and a few bullet holes inflicted by his cook Peter "Dutch Pete" Redick (and the Mate?) who is said to have attacked Hayes after being threatened - chasing him down a ladder as Hayes was trying to get to his revolver and stove-in his head from above and then threw him overboard.

Someone on the Internet thinks Hayes had an 1851 Colt ("Navy").

The Mate Charles Elson sailed The Lotus to Jaluit in the Marshall Islands - where nobody seems to have cared much about this sad demise.

Captain Bully Hayes R.I.P 31 March 1877

P.S. The thought just came to me that today - Hayes would have made a career as a leading politician.

- There is currently a restaurant & bar on Beach Road in the lovely holiday spot harbour of Akaroa (on our Banks Peninsula) called "The Bully Hayes".. great food and cold beer.


Marty K.