A famous Victorian case that still attracts
discussion today, one of the great unsolved murder cases
of the last two hundred years.
21st April 1876, 30 year old Charles Delauny Turner Bravo
died from poisoning by antimony. The
case was never solved, but his wife Florence was one of
the main suspects.
Florence Ricardo, born in 1850, was a
wealthy widow, having inherited £40,000 when her first
husband died in suspicious circumstances. She married the
penny pinching, mean barrister Charles Bravo, Florence had
been having an affair, but promised Bravo that it was
Charles Bravo ate dinner with his wife and
her friend, after dinner Florence retired to bed early as
she had recently been unwell, having suffered a third
miscarriage, probably due to her excessive drinking.
18th April 1876, At around 9:15pm on
the evening Charles Bravo, who was the second husband of
wealthy Florence, also 30, went upstairs to bed.
The Bravo's lived in a huge attractive
house called the Priory in Bedford Hill, Balham, London.
He administered to himself some Laudanum, a well know cure
at the time for tooth ache.
At about 9:45pm Bravo was
heard calling from his bedroom, he and Florence had
separate rooms, he dashed from his room shouting for hot
water to drink. Mrs. Jane Cannon Cox, a companion of
Florence who lived in the house, heard the cries for help
and rushed to the aid of Bravo, he was very ill and soon
lapsed into unconsciousness. Florence was called from her
sleep, and the doctor was called, the doctor suspected
poison, but could find no trace.
When Florence Bravo was
questioned, she stated that her husband had taken the
Laudanum for neuralgia and may have swallowed
some. Florence called in Sir William Gull one of the
most notable doctors of the time. He questioned Bravo
who continued with her story of
Laudanum, Gull told the family that Bravo was dying from
poison, Bravo eventually died on 21st April.
A Post-mortem examination revealed that
Bravo had died from poisoning by antimony, probably
administered in a dose of 20 - 30 grains. The subsequent
inquest returned an open verdict, it being though that
Bravo had committed suicide. It was no secret that
Florence had been having an affair with an elderly doctor,
and also that Mrs. Cox had many arguments with Bravo. A
second inquest into the death in 1876 which was virtually
a trial of Florence and Mrs. Cox returned a verdict of
wilful murder, but stipulating that there was insufficient
evidence to proceed any further.
17th September 1878, .Florence died from
the effects of drink
two years later.
say in our USER FORUM >>