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The Evidence File

CASE:Posioned at The Priory DATE:1976
Exhibit A. Persons of Interest
Charles Bravo : Victim
Charles Bravo

Age: 30. Barrister. High-spirited, good natured but belligerent and spiced with a temper. Was heavily influenced by his domineering mother. Married widow Florence Ricardo in December 1875. Prior to this he had a relationship with a woman with whom he fathered a daughter, Katie.

Suspected of poisoning himself un/intentionally.

Florence Bravo : Suspect
Charles Bravo

Age: 30. Wife of Charles. Indulgent, free-spirited, headstrong but emotionally fragile. Married Alexander Ricardo in 1864. Widowed in 1871. An affair with Dr Gully ended with an abortion and she fell seriously ill. She said the care of her companion Mrs Cox saved her life. The two became close friends.

Suspected of poisoning Charles.

Jane Cox : Suspect
Charles Bravo

Age: 48. Companion to Florence since 1872. Cautious, circumspect and intelligent. Married and went to Jamaica in 1861. Widowed in 1869 and returned to England. Was a governess before becoming companion to Florence. Introduced Florence to Charles. Key concern was the education of her three boys.

Suspected of poisoning and/or covering up.

Dr James Gully : Suspect
Charles Bravo

Age: 68. Famous hydrotherapist. Intelligent, charismatic, cosmopolitan, urbane. Treated Florence in 1871 and became romantically involved. Gave up practice and moved to Balham to be near Florence. Florence ended the affair to reconcile with her family. Reputation ruined when affair became sensational news.

Suspected of masterminding the poisoning.

Mary Ann Keeber : Key Witness
Charles Bravo

Age: 23. Housemaid. Deligent and proved to be the most significant witness. Without Mary Ann there might not have been The Bravo Mystery. She witnessed Charles Bravo on the landing calling out for Florence; she raised the alarm; she woke Mrs Bravo; and threw doubt on Mrs Cox's testimony.

Involvement: Witnessed Bravo's collapse.

Frederick Rowe : Witness
Charles Bravo

Age: 33. Butler. Loyal servant to Charles Bravo. Rowe was employed by Bravo prior to his marriage and followed him to the Priory. Rowe was an useful witness but failed to explain what happened to the wine after the dinner - but this did not impact the inquest as the water bottle was identified as the poison source.

Involvement: Witnessed final dinner.

Sir William Gull : Expert Witness
Charles Bravo

Age: 59. Famous doctor, Physician-in-Ordinary to Queen Victoria. His role in the Bravo Case was not his finest hour. His examination of Charles appeared perfunctory, he lost his temper during the inquest and was embroiled in a professional dispute with Dr Johnson over the case.

Involvement: Advocated suicide theory.

Dr George Johnson : Expert Witness
Charles Bravo

Age: 57. Eminent doctor, knighted in 1892. Of all the attending doctors Johnson appeared to be in command - he was the one who first diagnosed irritant poison. He published his account of Bravo's symptoms and treatment in The Lancet. Initially suspected suicide but later changed his view.

Involvement: Key medical expert.

Index of Evidence