|SOME DISTINGUISHED CHARACTERS
AND INTERESTING PLACES
Dr TIPPING BROWN
OF PHOENIX LODGE
Tipping Brown, MD played a very prominent part in the affairs of freemasonry and many other aspects of life in the old Port of Sunderland.
Dr. Brown became master of Lodge No 207 (later Phoenix Lodge) in the latter part of 1781 after the resignation of Captain Thompson who had served the lodge as master for 7 good years.
However, in November 1783 the Hall which had been built by Captain Thompson in Vine Street in 1778, somehow took fire and the hall was entirely destroyed – the lodge at this time being called King George’s Lodge ( Garbutt 1819).
A subscription was entered into, land was purchased and on 5th August 1784 the first stone was laid by Tipping Brown for the aptly named Phoenix Lodge Hall.
For the dedication of the Hall, on 5th April 1785 Dr Brown wrote an ode that was sung by the full Durham Cathedral choir and many others.
Below we set out the last verse of the ode;
The sun he fix’d, the central soul,
To animate the mighty whole.
Harmonious, regular, they move,
Just emblem of fraternal love.
The laws of Masonry are Nature’s laws:
Hail sacred Mystery ---first Almighty Cause!
With Michael Scarth he aimed to improve relations between the two Sunderland Lodges and because of his genial nature, his great knowledge of freemasonry and his many social attributes he, surely, must have had a very beneficial influence on the younger man.
We have previously mentioned that Scarth was third partner in the construction of the IRON BRIDGE and here again we see the hand of the good doctor in the tribute he wrote, in Latin, to Rowland Burdon which was inscribed on the plate set in the bridge foundation stone.
Foundation stone inscribed and read in Latin by the
Grand Warden Translated and read by the Grand Secretary
Civium Gallicorum ardor vesanus
Gentes turbavit Eurpeas
ROLANDUS BURDON, Armiger
Ripas, scopulis praeruptas,
Ponte conjungere ferreo
Feliciter fundamina posuit
Octavo calendus Octobris,
Anno salutis humanae
GEORGI1 Tertii XXX111.
GULIELMO HENRICO LAMBTON, Armigero,
Summo provinciala majistro
Fratrum Societatis Architectonicae,
Et procerum comitatus Dunelmensis
Populi quoque plurima comitante caterva.
Mancant vestigial diu
At that time,
When the mad fury of French citizens,
Dictating acts of supreme depravity,
Disturbed the peace of Europe
With iron war;
ROWLAND BURDON ESQ, M P.
Aiming at worthier purposes,
Hath resolved the steep and
Of the river Wear,
With an Iron Bridge.
He happily laid the foundation
On the 24th day of September,
In the year of human salvation, 1793,
And the 33rd, of the reign
Of George the Third,
In the presence of
WILLIAM HENRY LAMBTON, Esq. M P. P G M
With a respectable circle of the Brethren
Of the Society
Of Free and Accepted Masons’
And of the Magistrates and principal
Gentlemen of the County of Durham;
Attended by an immence concourse of people.
Long may the vestiges endure
of a hope not made in vain.
Tipping Brown, M D became Vice President of the Sunderland Humane Society when it was formed in 1791.
This Society did excellent work until it was merged into the newly formed Sunderland Dispensary in 1794 when Dr Brown was appointed as one of two Physicians together with four Surgeons and a House–Apothecary.
The first Sunderland Hospital.
In 1795 the Sunderland Subscription Library was officially formed with Dr Tipping Brown as its President.
Rowland Burdon and Ralph Milbanke, M P s representing the County of Durham, were chosen as Patrons.