July 1861: gold rush starts in Otago, South Island of New Zealand

In July 1861, while Bully Hayes was on his voyage to Java, gold was discovered in the mountains and valleys of Otago in the South Island of New Zealand. A rush was in full swing when Captain Hayes returned to Sydney after the sale of the Launceston barque. With cash from his share of the profits, Hayes decided to become a theatrical entrepreneur and to take a troupe of variety artists from Sydney to entertain the diggers on the Otago goldfields. the troupe, known as the Buckingham Variety Company, had, as its leading lady, Rosa Buckingham, a young soprano. Rosa had four brothers in the troupe; they, with their mother, a widow, were well known as “the Buckingham family” of entertainers. Bully also engaged a pair of comedians, Mr and Mrs Glogski, and three male vaudeville performers. As manager, bully booked passages for the artists in a coal barque, the Cincinnati, 445 tons, Captain Ryde. She sailed from Sydney on 6th July 1862, bound for Newcastle to load a cargo of coal, thence to Otago, New Zealand. The accommodation in the collier was far from comfortable. Bully had only been able to get berths in her because passengers who had previously booked had refused to accept the berths offered.
The History of William (Bully) Hayes, Part 2.


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