Blandy, Mary (1719–1752)

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article
views updated

Blandy, Mary (1719–1752)

English murderer who was convicted and hanged for poisoning her father. Born at Henley-on-Thames, England, in 1719; convicted of murder and hanged at Oxford, England, in 1752; only daughter of Francis Blandy (a lawyer).

Mary Blandy was the well-born daughter of an esteemed lawyer, Francis Blandy. Her downfall began with her engagement to Captain William Henry Cranstoun (the titled son of a Scottish peer) who was already married and the father of two children. Upon discovering Cranstoun's deception, Blandy's father renounced the betrothal and sent the deceiver scurrying back to Scotland. From there, Cranstoun reportedly sent Mary Blandy some powders, instructing her to lace her father's food and drink in order to soften him up. As Blandy did so, she was seen by the servants who turned her in after her father succumbed to the poison and died. Blandy was subsequently arrested and tried. In spite of her best efforts in her own defense, she was sentenced to death and hung in 1752. It is said that upon hearing of his lover's arrest, Cranstoun fled to France and joined a Catholic monastery where he later died.

Barbara Morgan , Melrose, Massachusetts