26 Napier Street, Fitzroy

Google Image – July 2019

In January 1886 the residents around 17-19 Napier Street were united against this premises, where they claimed Louise Seal, former ‘manageress’ for a similar institution kept by Madame Brussels in Lonsdale St was running a common brothel across the road from their residences.

One of those residents was Mrs. Catharine Bourgiveir of 26 Napier St. She stated that to all appearance (the house) was a disorderly house. Couples frequented the house as soon as it became dark, and after a short time came out of the house and usually went in different directions. Mrs Bourgiveir was cross-examined and they determined that she was married, but her husband had forsaken her. She kept a boarding house and had room for six persons, however she claims the brothel had seriously interfered with her business and several persons had left her house on that account. She accepted only respectable boarders and if they were not they had to go. (The Fitzroy City Press, 9 Jan 1886)

East Melbourne Conservation Study collection 1979 – sourced from Flickr – Graeme Butler

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