No, I am not talking about Gattina in the subject line. She is more Madame Waterloo, a kind of satellite city of Brussels, where once a great history changing battle was fought.
In our lift are notice frames where notices are placed about what is happening in the building, a reminding of rules and what is on in Melbourne that might entertain or amuse.
I read on a notice that on Friday nights we have a European winter night market in a street called Madame Brussels Lane. I'd no idea where that is until I checked. It seems to be more a place or a bar or maybe a lane too. I will investigate this week. I had heard the name Madame Brussels and I vaguely knew of her infamy. Over to Wikipedia.
Caroline Hodgson was born in Potsdam in the then Prussia to John and Frederica Lohman. In 1871 she married Studholme Hodgson and they immediately emigrated to Australia. In 1872 Studholme joined the Victorian police and was posted to Mansfield in country Victoria. For some reason, Caroline did not go with him and remained in Melbourne.
By 1874 she was known as Madame Brussels and was running a number of brothels in the Little Lonsdale Street area in the north eastern area of the city and becoming quite rich. She bought a property on Beaconsfield Parade (beach front, St Kilda) and owned city properties. Her husband died from tuberculosis in 1893. She married again, to a German engineer fifteen years her junior in 1895, but when they were visiting family in Germany, he ran away to South Africa. Two years later they were temporarily reconciled, but finally divorced in 1907, the same year as the authorities finally shut down her brothels. The divorce was granted on the grounds of desertion and in court, to quote from Wikipedia, she appeared as a most benevolent looking old lady, and quite secured the sympathy of the court by her demeanor. She died the following year of diabetes related diseases. She had one adopted daughter and was buried next to her first husband in St Kilda Cemetery. Here is the only photo I can find of Madame Brussels. She looks a bit glam.
The State of Victoria's parliamentary mace is a ceremonial weapon, carried in to parliament by the Sergeant of Arms as the Speaker of the House enters parliament. All members of the parliament stand while the Sergeant of Arms shoulders the mace. The reverse happens when parliament ends at whatever time.
The Parliament of Victoria's first mace was a humble affair of
The second mace I hear you ask? Oh, you didn't. It was stolen by persons unknown and it was alleged it ended up in one of Madame Brussels brothels. This tale may or may not be true, but it is viewed by many now as fact. Here is another snip from Wikipedia.
Thirteen months later, the Bulletin and Table Talk published stories suggesting that members of parliament had taken the mace as a joke and left it in a bordello in Little Lon. The uproar was immense, the satire hilarious.
So, there you go. The mind boggles at what role the mace may have played in brothel. Sorry, once again I am talking about sex. Perhaps I should do it instead of writing about it, but I can't really remember how.