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      William 'Bully' Hayes.

William Hayes often described as a buccaneer, freebooter, blackbirder and sometimes pirate is one of histories colourful characters.  His history is hard to nail down conclusively and like Frank The Poet he to has at least one impersonator that clouds our knowledge of him.

There is no doubt that Bully Hayes was an impressive man physically and could be as charming as he was ruthless. His portrayals are highly contridictory at times appearing to favour fair play at other times being prepaid to take advantage of any man or women. It all depended on who was writing his history.

Two Australians play an important part in the way we see Bully Hayes. Louis Becke  sailed with Bully and is a supporter of Bully and clearly idolised his leader. Sir Henry Parkes on the other hand alerts all Australian readers that they should having nothing to do with the dispicable Hayes.

In earlier pages we provide some evidence that connects Bully with the McIvor escort robbery and the disappearance of the Madagascar. ( John Sadlier's telling of the 'W.H' pannikin found with the escort robbers possessions and Henry Parkes' mentioning of Bully being involved in an Escort Robbery). On this page we'll add a few more snippets that display his connection with these events. It should be noted that no one has ever attempted to previously link Bully with these events in Victoria and so this work may well challenge the status quo however we believe that the link is legitimate and we hope in future to find further evidence that will further confirm our research.

Arthur H. Clark in his noted work: 'The Clipper Ship Era' 1912. Records the following in regards to The Rainbow.

'Captain John Land, her able and enthusiastic commander, declared that she was the fastest ship in the world, and this was undeniably true; finding no one to differ from him, he gave it as his opinion that no ship could be built to outsail the Rainbow, and it is also true that very few vessels have ever broken her record. She was lost on her fifth voyage while bound from New York for Valparaiso (having left New York on the 17th March 1848) in 1848 under the command of Captain Hayes, and it was supposed that she foundered off Cape Horn'.

Some others are of the opinion that this may not have been our Captain Hayes as he would have been only 21 years of age by their reckoning and in their view too young to have been a Captain. We believe that given his birthdate is variable and it is possible he could have been a Captain at this age we feel that this is Bully Hayes. We also believe that Bully wrecked this ship south of Valparisio and makes it to shore and onto California.


Basil Lubbock in his noted work: 'Bully Hayes South Seas Pirate. 1931. Records the following about Bully Hayes.

'He probably arrived in San Fransisco soon after the discovery of Gold in California, and the lawlessness at the port entry to Eldorado must have been greatly to his liking. In the diary of Chester S.Lyman there is mention of a Captain Hayes from the islands putting up at Mrs Grimes' house at San Fransisco on September 21st 1848...'.

Basil doubts that this could be our Captain Hayes however the dates fit nicely with the disappearance of the Rainbow some months earlier. We believe that this is an accurate record.  

The evidence below critically places Captain (Bully)  Hayes in Australia in the lead up to the escort robbery. He sails from San Francisco on 25th of November  1851 and arrives in Sydney on the 20th of Feburary 1852. He then leaves the ship to particpate in the gold rush.

Amazingly he is replaced as Captain by Captain Harris who later then becomes the Captain of the Madagascar. This connects the two men and supports their later meeting on the Madagascar.

The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954) Monday 5 January 1852.
SAN FRANCISCO.-In consequence of an un- avoidable detention, the departure of thc steamer Considc was delayed until the 20th'of November.- Alta, November 21. In addition to the vessels already laid on for Sydney, the following were advertised.-P.elhorq, ship, SOO tuns, to sail on the 6th December ; Mary and Ellen, bri*{t 250 tons, Captain M'Lean, to sail' 25lK November ; Lalla Rookh, barque, 400 tons. Captain Hayes, to sail 25th November; Nina, brig, Captain Phillips, ta sail in all December; Ferdinand, schooner, 1G0 tons, Peile«, to sail 25th November, via Sandwich Islands ; Ellen Brooks, ship, 10Û0 tons, with despatch.​​​

Lalla Rookh Arrived: Port Jackson  20 FEB 1852 LALLA ROOKH From: San Francisco .


The Empire (Sydney NSW. Thursday 18th March 1852, page 2. National Library of Australia.


March 17.-Lalla Rookh, barque, 373 tons,
Captain Harris, for Newcastle, in ballast.

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