story could well have inspired countless murder mysteries...
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...
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.
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.
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.
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
was convicted and hung. She allegedly told the executioner:
not hang me too high, for the sake of decency."
escaped to France where he died, penniless.