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Freemasons' Tavern, Pirie Street, Adelaide, c1862

Photo taken 31 December 1861

State Library Catalogue Reference: B 8350

At 83 Pirie Street, south-west corner of Pirie Street and Freemason's Lane. Established in 1841 and ceased trading in 1978. The 1940 restyled building remains, with some alterations to the facade.

Dr. Fisher, J.P., held an inquest at the Freemasons' Tavern, Pirie-street, on Thursday, October 20, on the body of Lawson Brown, who died the preceding evening. A Jury of 13 having been empanelled, and Mr. J. Morcomb chosen foreman, they proceeded to view the body. On their return, the following evidence was taken.
James Phillips, medical practitioner, residing in Adelaide, was called to see deceased at the Freemasons' Tavern on the evening of last Friday week. Found him in a bed with a broken thigh. With the assistance of his partner, Dr. Mayo, reduced the fracture. Was in constant attendance on deceased up to Wednesday afternoon' Brown was then in apparently good health. Was sent for again in the evening, but when he arrived Brown was dead, having died just previously. Could not state the actual cause of death. Could not hazard an opinion. The coroner, with the approval of the jury, here instructed Dr. Phillips to make a post mortem examination' of the body, which he at once set about doing.
Mary Jane Dawe, living in Pirie-street, said on the 6th of the present month she received a letter from the deceased, which she thought it was necessary her husband should see. Accordingly showed it to him. Produced the letter. It as follows :—"Pirie-street, Freemason’s Tavern; —Dear Madam—The old gent, that resides at Freemasons' would be glad to meet you this evening, at 8 o'clock, at the blacksmith's corner, alone,. near your place of residence for a few minutes. I believe there are two of you who stop in same house. I want to speak to the one that Whiting had nothing to do with.—Yours, &c., Old Man. P. S. —Have a white handkerchief in your hands so that no mistake may be made."
Went to the "blacksmith's corner" in the evening, followed by her husband. Deceased was there, and acknowledged having written the letter. He gave no reasons for writing it, but said he could prove its contents; He also stated that there was nothing in the letter requiring an apology. Then went away, and her husband also, nothing further transpiring. By Jurors—The letter was addressed," Mrs. Dawe, dressmaker, opposite Freemasons' Tavern, Pirie-street.” Had never previously spoken to the deceased in her life. Knew him by sight.
Jas. W. Dobbie said he was passing along Pirie-street, towards King William-street, on Friday evening, September 9, and when near the Union Bank was told two men were fighting on the other side of the road. Went across. They were fighting near the timber yard. As he was going across, heard a smart rap, and then the men closed, struggled, and both fell. Heard some one call for the police. Believed it was the deceased. The man struggling with him was Mr. Dawe. Did not know it till he got up to the men. Brown said his leg was broken. Thought his statement was not true till he felt his leg and found the bone protruding. Rushed off for a cab. When he returned there were a policeman and a considerable number of people present. Noticed that Mr. Dawe's head was cut, and that the blood was running down his forehead. When Mr. Dawe saw him, he turned to him and said—"Mr. Dobbie, that man ,pointing to the defeated, who was lying on the ground) has struck me on the head three times. Believed the body had seen to be that-of the man who was fighting with Mr. Dawe. 'Mr. Dawe stated that Brown struck him with the whip he had in his hand, which witness took from him and threw on the ground. The deceased said to him, I insulted that man's wife, by sending her an insulting letter, and we've been fighting about it." No one was with the men but himself. A young lady—Miss Doyle— made the remark to him that two men were fighting on the other side of the load. By a juror—The men were fighting just inside the fence, and they fell on the grass.
Florence Darling, landlord of the Freemasons' Tavern, stated, that about 8 o'clock on the evening of last Friday week Mr. Dawe rushed into the bar with blood on his face and clothes, and said Brown had attacked him with a whip and struck him three times. In explanation, he said Brown had written a letter to his wife asking her to meet her at the blacksmith's corner that he had waited upon him demanding an explanation or an apology, and that he refused to give either, but said Dawe could take it out of him if he was able, to which Dawe replied that he would not soil his hands with him, whereupon Brown struck him with a. whip, three times. Knew the deceased. He stayed at his house when in town. Believed him to be a woolstapler in the employ of the Hon. J. Crozier on the Darling. Accompanied Mr. Dawe to the Police Station, where he -aid an information against Brown for an assault. On returning to his house, found that Brown had been carried upstairs to his bedroom, and was told that he had his thigh broken. Sent for several doctors, and Dr. Phillips was the first to arrive. By Jurors—The deceased had been staying in the house about six weeks. He had not accused any one to him of breaking his thigh. He only carried the whip when he was drinking. He was not drinking to his knowledge on the day the fight occurred. He was of sober habits.”
(Left sitting)
Express and Telegraph, Thursday 20 October 1870, page 2

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