Murder UK is a site dedicated to documenting and investigating murder in the UK. We aim to be precise with facts and avoid speculation. If however you find discrepancies please  Contact us







A - Z index







Florence Ricardo




Kill Total: 1

Kill date:

21 April 1876

Kill Place:

Balham, London


Married x 2




Charles Bravo
D.O.B. 1846

















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 over.

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.




Florence Bravo


Recommended Book









Copyright Murder UK 1993 -2016