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Langham Hotel, Gouger Street, Adelaide, 1901

Photo taken 01 January 1901

State Library Catalogue Reference: B 2583

36 Gouger Street, where the Central Market Arcade now is. The hotel was established in 1879 and originally known as the City Market Hotel but changed its name to the Langham Hotel in December 1880 and to the Hotel Langham in 1937. The remodelled building was demolished in 1968. The photograph shows Gouger Street decorated for the visit of the Duke of York.

On Saturday afternoon, between 4. and 5 o'clock, Francis James Gunn was assaulted by John Bourke, alias John Maddigan, in Gouger street, and the injuries received by Gunn were of such a serious character that he died on Wednesday morning. Late on Tuesday evening Dr. Hynes, who was attending Gunn, informed the police that there was little hope of his recovery, and an effort was made to obtain his dying depositions. The deceased refused to say anything, as he thought his condition was improving, but he died early next morning. Acting on information in their possession the police authorities issued a warrant for the apprehension of Bourke, and he was arrested in the Overway Hotel on a charge of common assault. The acting-coroner (Mr. G. H. Ayliffe) was informed of the occurrence and decided to hold an enquiry, which was commenced at the Board of Health Office on Thursday morning. Mr. J. R. Anderson appeared to watch the case for Maddigan. The first witness called was Eliza Gunn, the wife of the deceased, who gave the usual evidence as to identification. She stated that Gunn was 50 years of age and a bricklayer by trade. Between 5 and 6 p.m. on Saturday last he was brought home in a cab and on being assisted into the house he said, ' Oh I am done.' Witness took off his coat and then he went to the sofa and asked that a doctor might be sent for. Dr. Hynes was promptly summoned and the deceased remained under his care until he died. Did not see who brought her husband home, but he stated that it was Hodge. Gunn was sober and made a statement to the effect that he got hurt in the stomach while he was talking to Hodge in the bar of the Langham Hotel. A man had knocked his hat off and when deceased asked him why he did it the man replied that he had been insulted. The man put his fist through Gunn's hat and kicked it, after which he informed the stranger that he would have to pay 10s. 6d. for it on Monday or Tuesday. The man told Gunn then that he would have 10s. 6d. worth and struck him in the stomach. Deceased said that he had been struck by a fist, and this statement was corroborated by the landlord and landlady of the Langham Hotel when witness went to see them. A man came to her house on Sunday morning, but she did not know him at the time. Her husband after wards informed him that the man whom she identified as Maddigan had offered him a sovereign as compensation and had said he would pay the doctor's expenses. Deceased refused this and after some time witness told Maddigan that if he paid £4 she would give him a clean receipt and take no action against him. She had no idea at the time that her husband was in any danger and had merely taken the money to cover the expenses in connection with her husband's illness. Had asked her husband several times if he had been kicked, but he always replied in the negative and stated that it was merely a blow at the bottom of the stomach. Gunn was not under the influence of liquor when he was brought home but he was a man who drank and when, intoxicated he was very quarrelsome. Deceased had said that if Maddigan had not been mad drunk he would not have struck him and he was deeply grieved when the detectives went to the house to take his depositions. Witness had said to Gunn, : 'If you had been drunk, Frank, nobody would have dared to strike you.' This terminated the widow's evidence, and as she left the room she turned and, shaking hands with Maddigan, said — 'I am very sorry I could not prevent this.'
Lydia Hall, the landlady of the Langham Hotel, was next called and stated that she last saw the deceased alive on Saturday after noon. Believed there were ' a few words,' and Maddigan knocked Gunn's hat off. The latter said Maddigan would have to pay 10s. 6d. for the hat, and the other wanted to 'fight it' out'- Gunn replied that he was not a fighting man, but witness did not hear Maddigan -say, 'I will kick your guts out.' He did state that he would have 10s. 6d. worth out of Gunn, and while she was away getting a hat for the deceased to wear home Gunn received an injury. She found him in the stable-yard ; suffering great pain and sent him home in a cab. Before Maddigan, who was a little the worse for drink, knocked Gunn's hat off the latter had said nothing to him. Previous to the assault Maddigan was having ' a few little words' with another man in the corner of the room. Maddigan was a very excitable man. The only blow she saw him strike was when he-knocked the hat off. Gunn did not defend himself in any way. Deceased was sober, but Maddigan was so drunk that her husband had refused to supply him with liquor. William Gerling, a laborer, living at that street near the bottle factory with a German named Fred,' said he was present at the time of the assault and saw Maddigan knock Gunn's hat off. About two minutes later, Maddigan made a rush at Gunn and struck him with his fist. 'I could not tell you how the blow was struck,' continued witness, 'as I was three sheets in the wind. Gunn did not appear to be injured and went out in the direction of the Metropolitan Hotel. I then went to the Metropolitan and had a beer, I was not in a fit condition to know exactly what was going on I had the shakes and that was bad enough.' Examined by Detective S. Jones witness said ' A man named Harris who knew I was to give evidence said he would punch me because he said I knew nothing about the case. Harris is supposed to be a brother in-law of Maddigan. James Richard Meadows was at the Langham Hotel on the occasion in question. He had been working hard all day and ' had a few beers in him" He was sober. There was 'a bit of a barney' and then Maddigan knocked Gunn's hat off.' Gunn had said nothing to Maddigan prior to this and after the blow was struck he did not open his lips but stood as ' quiet as a lamb.'' A few minutes later Maddigan struck Gunn's hat out of his hand and kicked it around the bar, after which he said 'I'll kick your stomach out.' Did not know whether this was addressed to the deceased, or himself and left the hotel. Before, he left he saw Maddigan kick at Gunn, but could not say whether he kicked the man or the hat. Henry Powell, a ''clicker’' was in the Langham Hotel on Saturday afternoon between 4 and 5 o'clock. There were musicians playing in the bar and he went in to see what was going on. Maddigan came into the bar shortly afterwards and called the witness Meadows a 'cadger.' Deceased turned around and said— 'The man who calls him that is a thing.' Maddigan then knocked Gunn's hat off and witness picked it up and returned it to deceased, saying at the same time to Maddigan 'Stop it, Jack, there is nothing in doing that.' Could not remember whether Gunn said anything beyond, 'You will have to pay 10s. 6d. for that.' Some words did pass between, the owner of the hat and Maddigan, but he did not know what they were. Witness saw Maddigan strike Gunn low down on the body, and then the latter walked out of the hotel. He did not see Maddigan kick the deceased, nor did he think, Maddigan could have kicked Gunn without him seeing it. Witness thought Gunn was drunk, and when he left the hotel his body was a little doubled up. Walter William Riley, a laborer, corroborated the evidence given by Powell. John Crown, ostler, at the Langham Hotel, stated that he found a man lying in the lane near the hotel on Saturday afternoon. When asked if he was drunk the man, who was the deceased, replied, that he 'was not, but had been struck, on the stomach in the bar. He requested witness to get a cab and take him home. Mr. Hodge, a mason, got in the cab with deceased and they drove away together. Dr. Hynes said he was called on Saturday, November 23, to see Gunn, who complained of a sharp stinging pain in the abdominal regions. He said he was very ill, and he looked it. He was collapsed, had an anxious expression, and every movement aggravated his sufferings. He was immediately treated with a view to relieve pain, lessen shock or collapse, and prevent inflammation. Although he rallied somewhat on Sunday and during the forenoon of Monday symptoms of inflammation (peritonitis) showed themselves and quickly developed: Gunn rapidly became worse, and died on Wednesday morning about 8.30. A post-mortem examination was made by witness on Wednesday afternoon at 4 o'clock, and an inspection of the body showed no signs of bruising and no contusions were seen. In the abdominal cavity a large quantity of limpid peritoneal fluid was found. There was diffusion of blood, but no blood clots in the cavity. The spleen, kidneys; liver, and bladder were found normal in their positions and structure. The intestines were much swollen and their glistening appearance was gone, showing, signs of the inflammation. The intestines were united with fresh adhesions. The thorax was opened and its contents examined. The heart and lungs were found healthy, and no fluid was in the pleural cavity. The intestines on dissection showed no inflammation on their mucous surfaces, and the walls of the 'stomach - were not inflamed. From his treatment of the case and postmortem examination he was of opinion that the cause of death was peritonitis. When the patient was first brought to him he examined him carefully over the seat of the pain, and found no marks of violence. He questioned the deceased as to the cause of his illness, and he told witness that he had been injured in the stomach. He did not say how he was injured, but witness was present when his wife explained the cause of the illness. In indicating the precise locality of the pain deceased pointed to the region of his spleen, but he mentioned, that his injury was at a lower level and nearer, the navel. While Gunn was conscious, and in his presence, his wife made a statement similar to what she had made in her evidence. A blow on the upper or middle portion of the abdomen might be so severe as to cause immediate death by shock or result fatally some days later, and the violence might be so slight that no ecchymosis or contusion could be noticed on the skin. The symptoms and subsequent termination of the deceased's case could be brought about by a blow of a fist Cross-examined by Mr. Anderson, Dr. Hynes said people were more liable to inflammation of the bowels in hot weather than during the winter months. The weather was very hot on Saturday and Sunday, and a chill might have set up such inflammation as he found in the case of the deceased. Questioned by a juror the witness said the inflammation could not have been caused by drink, as the walls and internal coating of the stomach were not inflamed. Mrs.Hall, recalled, said she noticed nothing wrong with the deceased's health. He appeared to be a strong man. He drank beer on the afternoon in question but, although the cellar was cool she did not think the beer was excessively cold. Detective Jones, gave evidence as to the arrest of Maddigan on a charge of common assault. Told him the charge; cautioned him. Maddigan said-' Is he dead ? I did not think a blow like that would kill a man. I gave them £4. They seemed to be satisfied, and promised to pay the doctor's expenses. When prisoner said, 'Is he dead?' witness replied, ' Yes, and you may be tried on a more serious charge.' Maddigan appeared to be recovering from the effects of drink. This concluded the evidence, and the coroner informed Maddigan that he could make a statement if he desired. On the advice of his counsel Maddigan reserved his defence. The coroner summed up at length, and the jury returned a verdict 'That, the deceased, Francis James Gunn, came to his death through a blow delivered by the prisoner, John Bourke, commonly, known as John Maddigan, without any provocation. The jury unanimously agreed that the said John Bourke is guilty of manslaughter. The jury wish to emphasise—their opinion that the evidence given by William Gerling, H. Powell, and. Walter W. Riley was unworthy of credence, and the jury desire the coroner to censure them for the manner in which their evidence was given. In answer to a question from the coroner the foreman (Mr. D. M. Sayers) stated that the jury were of opinion that the blow was not struck with malice. Detective Jones, at this stage, informed the Coroner that a woman outside had threatened to lay the witness Meadow's head open with a 4lb weight. The coroner said that as the threat was not made in the precincts of the court he had no jurisdiction in the matter, but the witness could apply to a magistrate or police protection. The witnesses Riley, Powell and Gerling were called in and censured, and Bourke was committed for trial. "
Chronicle, Saturday 30 November 1895, page 15

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