- This article is for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's character. For other versions of the character see Versions of Charles Augustus Milverton.
Charles Augustus Milverton was a blackmailer featured in The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton.
He is described as "the king of the blackmailers" and inspires in Sherlock Holmes more revulsion than any of the murderers he has encountered in his career.
One night, Holmes and John Watson break into Milverton's home to crack his safe and destroy his blackmail materials. They are interrupted when Milverton enters his study in the middle of the night, supposedly to meet with a woman who has incriminating materials to sell. The woman turns out to be one of Milverton's past victims, whose husband died after Milverton sent the compromising documents to him. In revenge, she draws a pistol and shoots Milverton dead.
After she is gone, Holmes swiftly empties the contents of Milverton's safe and burns them, to prevent any future grief to his victims, then he and Watson flee the house.
The next morning, Inspector Lestrade asks for Holmes's help in identifying Milverton's murderer. Holmes declines, declaring that his sympathies lie fully with Milverton's victims.
- It is mentioned the The Hound of the Baskervilles that Holmes, giving reasons for why he cannot leave London, is trying to resolve a scandal involving a blackmailer. Given that the scandal is mentioned to be of a large scale, it is possible that the blackmailer is Milverton.
- Milverton is based upon real-life blackmailer Charles Augustus Howell.
- In the Granada television series, Milverton was played by Robert Hardy.
- He was played by Peter Vaughan in the BBC2 Radio adaptation.
- His name inspired the Sherlock villain Charles Augustus Magnussen.
- In the short story The Execution of Sherlock Holmes by Donald Thomas, Milverton's brother is one of several criminals who kidnap Holmes and "convict" him in a mock trial. This brother blames Holmes for Milverton's murder, not knowing that he was actually killed by a woman.
- Milverton appears in season one, episode twenty of Elementary.