14th August
It was on this day...
1751 Murder Mystery Type Death In England...

This story could well have inspired countless murder mysteries...

Francis Blandy fell into a coma and died on this day, poisoned by arsenic administered to him over a period of months by his daughter. She was trying to get her hands on her substantial dowry...

Mary Blandy, Francis's daughter, tried to escape to France that night. She tried to bribe a servant to help her but he refused. As she tried to escape on her own she was stopped by neighbors after rumors spread that her father had been poisoned.

Suspicions had been growing in the household (a white powder had been found in a pan used to feed her father) and servants were aware that 26 year old Mary was having an affair with a penniless married man, William Cranstoun.

Francis had initially approved of the match, Cranstoun was living in the household, but when Cranstoun wrote to his wife asking her not to 'disavow the marriage' her vengeance was swift. Cranstoun was told to leave the Blandy home, but Mary continued seeing him behind her father's back.

Mary's dowry was untouchable, and so their scheme was born. They decided to slowly poison Francis over a matter of months by putting small amounts of arsenic in his food. When Francis died Mary was seen trying to dispose of some white powder. A servant managed to preserve some of the powder, which was used at her trial to convict her.

She was convicted and hung. She allegedly told the executioner:

"Do not hang me too high, for the sake of decency."

Cranstoun escaped to France where he died, penniless.

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