Not many merchant bankers today disappear, and when they do, it is seldom because they are thought to have been eaten by cannibals. For a century, Benjamin Boyd’s greatest claim to fame was his mysterious disappearance at Guadalcanal, in the Solomon Islands, in 1851. For a decade before that, however, Ben Boyd carved an erratic, distinctive path through colonial society and through the New South Wales economy. Today, he is remembered through a collection of ruins and buildings south of Eden on the New South Wales border, all that remains of his private town, Boydtown.
By Marion Diamond