Dr Arthur Brewe: A Tuam-Titanic Connection

Arthur Brewe (right) and his patients in Egypt 1912

Arthur Dominick Brewe was the son of Henry Joseph Brewe, an RIC Inspector and Frances Alicia Jackson. He was baptised in Woodford, Co. Galway and the family lived at Marble Hill, Woodford. Arthur was well educated and travelled many times to the USA. His final voyage was aboard the Titanic in 1912.

Arthur’s father died in 1869 and his mother remarried in 1875. Her new husband, Joseph Butler was the widower of her sister, Alice. Joseph was a doctor and the family lived in Winterfield, Annaghdown, Co. Galway. The couple went on to have two daughters; Mary Joseph born 1877 and Frances Mary born 1878. Burton Butler, Frances’s step-son also lived at Winterfield.

Winterfield House, Annaghdown c.1830s

In May 1897 Arthur boarded the Pennland at Queenstown, Cork and set sail for the USA. He recorded his occupation as a labourer and his final destination as Philadelphia. In July 1898 he became a naturalised citizen having married Annie Constance Gregory in January of that year. During his many sailings to and from the USA his occupation is variously recorded. In 1893 for example, he is listed as a journalist and in 1897 a clerk.

Arthur is later listed as a graduate of the Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia. He graduates in June 1905 as a Doctor of Medicine and begins to practice in neurology. The 1910 US Federal Census lists Arthur and his wife Annie C. living at 1812 58th Street, Philadelphia. The couple have been married for 12 years though no children are recorded.

The Irish Independent reported the death of Dr Brewe on 12th May 1912 . He had boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg having finished a tour of Africa. Some time earlier, he had toured Rome, Naples, Florence and Paris. Immediately before sailing he wrote to his sister, Mary in Ireland. By this time Mary was married to Dr. Patrick Dixon Glynn of Kilbannon, Tuam and Waterview House Turloughmore, Galway. The newspaper reported that his letter to Mary was the last that was ever heard of Arthur, and …’she little thought as she read his graphic pen-pictures of his tour that he was fast approaching his doom'.

Last will of Arthur Brewe 1906

Arthur was aged 45 at the time of his death and his body was never recovered. His final will dated 22nd May 1906 bequeathed all of his possessions to his wife Annie.

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