Chapter 2

Arrowtown in New Zealand.

Captain Hayes did not intend to remain stranded in Sydney. He set about the task of finding a financial backer and was soon to meet a businessman named Clift at the Sydney Races. Hayes managed to persuade him to become involved in a business 'deal' and to purchase a barque named the Launceston, lying in Sydney harbour.
In 1861, Hayes was the registered owner of the vessel, while Clift was the mortgagee. Hayes sailed from Sydney and temporarily disappeared among the Pacific Islands.

News reached Hayes that large quantities of gold quartz and nuggets had been found in the streams near Arrowtown, Otago, in the South Island of NEW ZEALAND.

arrowtown The township was full of gold miners, all eager to spend their newly acquired wealth in the hotels of this lawless town.

 New calico tent "hotels" sprung up quickly, the Golden Age, the Eureka, Victorian and Galway Arms.  Licensing laws were totally unknown and barmaids plentyful.

Bully Hayes
Hayes arrived in the township in April, 1863, where the lack of Police and Law and Order was just the spot for this cunning sea captain, who was soon to set himself up as a respectable Innkeeper, seeking funds from two goldminers who were drinking at the bar after a lucky strike and had money in their pockets. With promises to make them even richer from the profits of his venture, they agreed to supply the capital he needed.

Hayes persuasive tongue convinced them to put up enough money to erect a sod building, some 60ft x 30ft in size to become his new inn. From these funds he paid the labourers £2 per day. When the walls were up, a framework of native timber was erected over this to form a roof, to which yards of calico were then sown.

In a few days the building was opened as the United States Hotel, [soon renamed Prince of Wales Hotel & Theatre] with the comic singer Charles Thatcher and Madame Vitelli performing live entertainment every evening.



Vocal and Instrumental Music every Evening by talented Artistes
W.H. HAYES Proprietor.

W.H.H. has great pleasure in informing the public that the
inimitable Thatcher and Madame Vitelli will shortly make
their first appearance in this township at the Prince of Wales Hotel.

The money rolled in with Hayes drawing huge profits from the sale of whisky and dancing girls in the saloon. The opposition on the other side of the main street, the Buckingham Hotel, became Hayes bitter rivals for trade.

A rumour began to spread that Hayes had lost one of his ears in his old days in California. The Buckingham's, quick and eager to pick up on such things, offered to put up a £5 reward to any barber in town, who while cutting Hayes hair would make it short enough to expose the missing ear for all to see.

At last one plucky barber, anxious to get the reward money,  snipped off the long gold hair to reveal his one missing ear! Hayes was livid and quickly wound a large bandage around his head. The Buckingham's were delighted and paid up the reward.
Perhaps it was the humiliation of his haircut or the arrival of additional Police into the rowdy township, that prompted Hayes to sell his hotel and leave Arrow town. Hayes left New Zealand aboard his schooner named Black Diamond, bound for Sydney.

A year later, in 1864, he turned up in Auckland. Aboard he had a cargo of coal from Newcastle, Australia, which he sold. Up to his old tricks, he did the rounds of the local stores, gaining credit for goods, before sailing off for Nelson without paying for them. 

The Sydney Morning Herald reported:

“The shipping people of Auckland were evidently clay in the hands of this astute barrator. They were apparently quite ignorant of his evil reputation, with a result that was duly recorded in the Southern Cross of July 19th, 1864. Once again 'Bully' Hayes slipped away on a Sunday for Nelson and paid his creditors with the foretopsail.”


Undaunted, Hayes arrived off Nelson at the top of the South Island, where he put into the Croixelles, saying that his ship needed caulking to stop her leaks and to load firewood.

Rumours had it that Hayes had 'married' at least three times and had aboard the vessel his 'wife', Mrs. Rona Hayes, aged 20 and baby daughter Adelaide Hayes aged 13 months,  Mary Cowley his wife's maidservant, aged 15, and Mrs Hayes brother, George Cunningham.

As they wanted to get into the Nelson Township, Hayes hired a small yacht from a Mr. Askew on August the 24th to make the journey.
Disaster was to strike when they were midway across, as a sudden squall sprang up and the yacht became swamped, throwing them all into the sea.

 Captain Hayes stated to the police, at an official enquiry, that he was knocked senseless by the mast when the yacht sank stern first, drowning his wife, the baby, the maidservant and Mrs. Hayes brother. Somehow, clinging dazed to an oar, Bully Hayes made his way ashore to the rocky coast and raised the alarm.

Meanwhile, Hayes creditors had been at work again, due to the publicity the drownings had received in the newspapers, and a group of sworn 'special' constables was already on its way to the Croixelles to arrest the Black Diamond.
After several days, the vessel was finally found, with Hayes below asleep. The constables crept quietly on board and Captain Hayes found himself looking into the muzzle of a police revolver when he awoke. The Black Diamond was taken back to Nelson and subsequently to Auckland where she was rightfully claimed by her owners.

Bully Hayes seems to have recovered from all of these problems and on February 1st, 1865, Hayes became the registered owner of the vesselShamrock, clearing out of New Zealand for Fiji, the purchase funds being allegedly put up by a wealthy Auckland 'lady'.
He returned to New Zealand with a large cargo of fruit, which was unloaded at Lyttleton and sold, together with the vessel.
With the proceeds of the sales, Hayes bought the brig Rona, 150 tons, which he sailed back to Fiji.

Returning to New Zealand again, he arrived off Hokitika and anchored. He had arrived at the time of the Maori Land Wars when Colonial troops were arriving from Australia to boost the regiments already here.
Rumours were rife that the Rona had a cargo of gunpowder and shot, which Hayes had stowed underneath his cabin, where no official would ever dream of looking for it. Hayes intended to sell this to the Hauhau Maori at Kawhia, or another arranged place along the north coast.

The story came to the ears of the local constabulary at Hokitika who, on arrival at the berth, found that Hayes had already sailed.
The rumour was well founded, for he headed the Rona to Raglan Harbour and boldly unloaded arms and ammunition. Having unloaded, the bargaining began over the payment and it was while he was busy haggling over this that he was warned about a patrol of armed constables who were less than two miles away, galloping towards the Raglan township.

Hayes, always at the ready, knowing that her hold was clear, quickly grabbed the cash, hauled up the anchor and was under sail by the time the constables got to the wharf.

Captain Hayes headed very cautiously for Auckland Harbour. Things were getting far too hot for him in New Zealand.

He sent his mate ashore in the whaleboat while anchoring off Rangitoto.
Interestingly, the custom's officer's report, published in the Southern Cross newspaper at the time, stated that Hayes had his wife Amelia and his two daughters, Leonora and Laurina, with him when the Rona was cleared and sailed from Auckland on January 16th, 1864.
It would seem that they had left San Francisco and arranged to meet him there.

Captain Bully Hayes was NEVER seen in New Zealand waters again.

Hayes Index  |  Chapter 1  |  Chapter 2  |  Chapter 3