It’s the Gold Rush era of California, New Zealand and southern Australia. They came from the Ticino region in the south of Switzerland and the foothills of the Alps in the north of Italy in the 1850s hoping to strike gold. Many sailed out on borrowed money expecting to strike it rich and make their fortunes in the Central Highlands of Victoria, Australia, where I lived for 5 years. Most didn’t.
But hey, were they unsung heroes who left behind a permanent legacy of Italy in the Aussie bush?
There was a ghost. A clue led me back to a fashionable Catholic widow over 200 years ago in Regency England who secretly married the heir to the British throne, the Prince of Wales. I think it was a legitimate marriage which, if proven by the other clues I uncovered, would have cast serious doubts on events of that time. If there were legitimate children then where are they? Who were they? And how did they change history, if at all?
But hey, was the first born son an unsung hero who was sent secretly to Australia and became the enigmatic Commander of the ‘Lady Nelson’?
And there’s more.
Illustrated: The tale of the mutiny on the Bounty remains one of the most intriguing stories of adventure on the high seas more than 200 years after the ill fated voyage that made Captain Bligh and Fletcher Christian legends. But what of the unsung heroes (like the unknown British sailor without a past who became Commander of the ‘Lady Nelson’) who sailed with Bligh on the ‘Bounty’?