Murder at the Priory: Who Killed Charles Bravo?

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On April 21st, 1876 30-year-old Charles Delauney Turner Bravo was found poisoned in the Priory, his home in South London. The ambitious British lawyer had just only married Florence Ricardo (nee Campbell), a wealthy widow five months before his death. On April 18th, 1876 Bravo had dinner with his wife and her companion, Mrs. Jane Cannon Cox (“Florence Bravo,” n.d.). After dinner Bravo retreated to his room and a few minutes later, Bravo cried out for hot water. The maid and Mrs. Cox rushed to help Bravo and he soon fell into unconsciousness. Three days later Bravo was pronounced dead. The post-mortem in St Thomas’s hospital revealed that Bravo died of a massive dose of tartar emetic – 30 to 40 grains (Scriven, 2001) and according to…show more content…
He expects total obedience from his wife and to control her finances. Victorian wives knew about this and accepted it, but Florence was no ordinary Victorian woman. She opted the Married Woman’s Property Act 1870 which states that woman could hold on to their own money (Married Woman’s Property Act, n.d.) and this had enraged Bravo. Her marriage to Bravo was a marriage of convenience rather than love because he could restore her social position and she could bring a substantial amount of money (from her first husband) into the marriage. Not long into the marriage, Bravo again tried to exert control over the household affairs and Florence’s money. George Griffiths was discharged by Bravo and that enraged Griffiths because he had just gotten married and his wife was pregnant. Besides that, Griffiths was kicked out from his residence by his former employer. All these reasons are sufficient to trigger Griffiths’ urge to harm Bravo out of grievance. Griffiths had even predicted Bravo’s death in a few months time (Sherwin, 2004). Other than that, Ruddick discovered the record of Sales of Poison Register that proves Griffiths had purchased four ounces of tartar emetic to use on the horses (as cited in Ruddick, 2001, pp. 124). Griffiths would know the effect of tartar emetic if overdosed and he certainly had the access to it, but is he really the murderer? I doubt so. According to Ruddick (2001), Griffiths was in Kent when Bravo had been poisoned

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