The Project Gutenberg eBook, Trial of Mary Blandy, Edited by William Roughead

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at

Title: Trial of Mary Blandy

Editor: William Roughead

Release Date: June 16, 2004 [eBook #12640]

Language: English

Character set encoding: iso-8859-1


E-text prepared by Beth Trapaga
and the Project Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading Team
from images provided by the Million Book Project

Miss Blandy in her cell in Oxford Castle


Edited By


Author of "Twelve Scots Trials,"
"The Riddle of the Ruthvens,"
"Glengarry's Way," &c.



To Lord Dunsany

This record of grim reality
in exchange for his beautiful dreams


In undertaking to prepare an account of this celebrated trial, the Editor at the outset fondly trusted that the conviction of "the unfortunate Miss Blandy" might, upon due inquiry, be found to have been, as the phrase is, a miscarriage of justice. To the entertainment of this chivalrous if unlively hope he was moved as well by the youth, the sex, and the traditional charms of that lady, as by the doubts expressed by divers wiseacres concerning her guilt; but a more intimate knowledge of the facts upon which the adverse verdict rested, speedily disposed of his inconfident expectation.

Though the evidence sheds but a partial light upon the hidden springs of the dark business in which she was engaged, and much that should be known in order perfectly to appreciate her symbolic value remains obscure, we can rest assured that Mary Blandy, whatever she may have been, was no victim of judicial error. We watch, perforce, the tragedy from the front; never, despite the excellence of the official "book," do we get a glimpse of what is going on behind the scenes, nor see beneath the immobile and formal mask, the living face; but, when the spectacle of The Fair Parricide is over, we at least are satisfied that justice, legal and poetic, has been done.

Few cases in our criminal annals have occasioned a literature so extensive. The bibliography, compiled by Mr. Horace Bleackley in connection with his striking study, "The Love Philtre" (Some Distinguished Victims of the Scaffold, London, 1905),—which, by his courteous permission, is reprinted in the Appendix, enumerates no fewer than thirty contemporary tracts, while the references to the case by later writers would of themselves form a considerable list.

To this substantial cairn a further stone or two are here contributed. There will be found in the Appendix copies of original MSS. in the British Museum and the Public Record Office, not hitherto published, relating to the case. These comprise the correspondence of Lord Chancellor Hardwicke, Mr. Secretary Newcastle, the Solicitor to the Treasury, and other Government officials, regarding the conduct of the prosecution and the steps taken for the apprehension of Miss Blandy's accomplice, the Hon. William Henry Cranstoun; a petition of "The Noblemen and Gentlemen in the Neighbourhood of Henley-upon-Thames" as to the issuing of a proclamation for his arrest, with the opinion thereon of the Attorney-General, Sir Dudley Ryder; and the deposition of the person by whose means Cranstoun's flight from justice was successfully effected. This deposition is important as disclosing the true story of his escape, of which the published accounts are, as appears, erroneous. Among other matter now printed for the first time may be mentioned a letter from the War Office to the Paymaster-General, directing Cranstoun's name to be struck off the half-pay list; and a letter from John Riddell, the Scots genealogist, to James Maidment, giving some account of the descendants of Cranstoun. For permission to publish these documents the Editor is indebted to the courtesy of Mr. A.M. Broadley and Mr. John A. Fairley, the respective owners.

The iconography of Mary Blandy has been made a feature of the present volume, all the portraits of her known to the Editor being reproduced. A description of the curious satirical print, "The Scotch Triumvirate," will be found in the Appendix.

Of special interest is the facsimile of Miss Blandy's last letter to Captain Cranstoun, of which the interception, like that of Mrs. Maybrick's letter to Brierley, was fraught with such fateful consequences. The photograph is taken from the original letter in the Record Office, where the papers connected with the memorable Assizes in question have but recently been lodged.

For the account of the case contained in the Introduction, the Editor has read practically all the contemporaneous pamphlets—a tedious and often fruitless task—and has consulted such other sources of information as are now available. He has, however, thought well (esteeming the comfort of his readers above his own reputation for research) to present the product as a plain narrative, unencumbered by the frequent footnotes which citation of so many authorities would otherwise require—the rather that any references not furnished by the bibliography are sufficiently indicated in the text.

Finally, the Editor would express his gratitude to Mr. Horace Bleackley and Mr. A.M. Broadley for their kindness in affording him access to their collections of Blandyana, including rarities (to quote an old title-page) "nowhere to be found but in the Closets of the Curious," greatly to the lightening of his labours and the enrichment of the result.

EDINBURGH, April, 1914.



Table of Dates

The Trial—

The Indictment

The Prisoner's Defence

Motion by Mr. Ford to call another witness refused

Hon. Mr. Bathurst's Closing Speech for the Prosecution

Statement by the Prisoner

Mr. Baron Legge's Charge to the Jury

The Verdict

The Sentence


I.—Proceedings before the Coroner relative to the Death of Mr. Francis Blandy

II.—Copies of Original Letters in the British Museum and Public Record Office, relating to the Case of Mary Blandy

III.—A Letter from a Clergyman to Miss Mary Blandy, now a prisoner in Oxford Castle, with her Answer thereto; as also Miss Blandy's own narrative of the crime for which she is condemned to die

IV.—Miss Mary Blandy's own account of the affair between her and Mr. Cranstoun, from the commencement of their acquaintance in the year 1746 to the death of her father in August, 1751, with all the circumstances leading to that unhappy event

V.—Letter from Miss Blandy to a Clergyman in Henley

VI.—Contemporary Advertisement of a Love Philtre

VII.—Contemporary Account of the Execution of Mary Blandy

VIII.—Letter from the War Office to the Paymaster-General, striking Cranstoun's name off the Half-Pay List

IX.—The Confessions of Cranstoun—

X.—Extract from a Letter from Dunkirk anent the death of Cranstoun

XI.—Letter from John Biddell, the Scots genealogist, to James Maidment, regarding the descendants of Cranstoun

XII.—Bibliography of the Blandy Case

XIII.—Description of the satirical print "The Scotch Triumvirate"


Miss Blandy in her Cell in Oxford Castle
From an unpublished Sepia Drawing in the Collection of Mr. Horace Bleackley.

Facsimile of the Intercepted Letter to Cranstoun written by Mary Blandy
From the original MS. in the Public Record Office.

Miss Blandy
From a Mezzotint by T. Ryley, after L. Wilson, in the Collection of Mr. A.M. Broadley.

Miss Mary Blandy in Oxford Castle Gaol
From an Engraving in the British Museum.

Captain Cranstoun and Miss Blandy
From an Engraving in the British Museum.

Miss Mary Blandy
From an Engraving by B. Cole, after a Drawing for which she sat in Oxford Castle.

Miss Molly Blandy, taken from the life in Oxford Castle
From an Engraving in the Collection of Mr. A.M. Broadley.

Miss Mary Blandy, with scene of her Execution
From an Engraving by B. Cole, after an original Painting.

Captain William Henry Cranstoun, with his pompous funeral procession in Flanders
From an Engraving by B. Cole.

The Scotch Triumvirate
From a satirical Print in the Collection of Mr. Horace Bleackley.



In the earlier half of the eighteenth century there lived in the pleasant town of Henley-upon-Thames, in Oxfordshire, one Francis Blandy, gentleman, attorney-at-law. His wife, née Mary Stevens, sister to Mr. Serjeant Stevens of Culham Court, Henley, and of Doctors' Commons, a lady described as "an emblem of chastity and virtue; graceful in person, in mind elevated," had, it was thought, transmitted these amiable qualities to the only child of the marriage, a daughter Mary, baptised in the parish church of Henley on 15th July, 1720. Mr. Blandy, as a man of old family and a busy and prosperous practitioner, had become a person of some importance in the county. His professional skill was much appreciated by a large circle of clients, he acted as steward for most of the neighbouring gentry, and he had held efficiently for many years the office of town-clerk.

But above the public respect which his performance of these varied duties had secured him, Mr. Blandy prized his reputation as a man of wealth. The legend had grown with his practice and kept pace with his social advancement. The Blandys' door was open to all; their table, "whether filled with company or not, was every day plenteously supplied"; and a profuse if somewhat ostentatious hospitality was the "note" of the house, a comfortable mansion on the London road, close to Henley Bridge. Burn, in his History of Henley, describes it as "an old-fashioned house near the White Hart, represented in the view of the town facing the title-page" of his volume, and "now [1861] rebuilt." The White Hart still survives in Hart Street, with its courtyard and gallery, where of yore the town's folk were wont to watch the bear-baiting; one of those fine old country inns which one naturally associates with Pickwickian adventure.

In such surroundings the little Mary, idolised by her parents and spoiled by their disinterested guests, passed her girlhood. She is said to have been a clever, intelligent child, and of ways so winning as to "rapture" all with whom she came in contact. She was educated at home by her mother, who "instructed her in the principles of religion and piety, according to the rites and ceremonies of the Church of England." To what extent she benefited by the good dame's teaching will appear later, but at any rate she was fond of reading—a taste sufficiently remarkable in a girl of her day. At fourteen, we learn, she was mistress of those accomplishments which others of like station and opportunities rarely achieve until they are twenty, "if at all"; but her biographers, while exhausting their superlatives on her moral beauties, are significantly silent regarding her physical attractions. Like many a contemporary "toast," she had suffered the indignity of the smallpox; yet her figure was fine, and her brilliant black eyes and abundant hair redeemed a face otherwise rather ordinary. When to such mental gifts and charm of manner was added the prospect of a dower of ten thousand pounds—such was the figure at which public opinion put it, and her father did not deny that gossip for once spoke true—little wonder that Mary was considered a "catch" as well by the "smarts" of the place as by the military gentlemen who at that time were the high ornaments of Henley society.

Mr. Blandy, business-like in all things, wanted full value for his money; as none of Mary's local conquests appeared to promise him an adequate return, he reluctantly quitted the pen and, with his wife and daughter, spent a season at Bath, then the great market-place of matrimonial bargains. "As for Bath," Thackeray writes of this period, "all history went and bathed and drank there. George II. and his Queen, Prince Frederick and his Court, scarce a character one can mention of the early last century but was seen in that famous Pump Room, where Beau Nash presided, and his picture hung between the busts of Newton and Pope." Here was famous company indeed for an ambitious little country attorney to rub shoulders with in his hunt for a son-in-law. It is claimed for Miss Blandy by one of her biographers that her vivacity, wit, and good nature were such as to win for her an immediate social success; and she entered into all the gaieties of the season with a heart unburdened by the "business" which her father sought to combine with pleasures so expensive. She is even said to have had the honour of dancing with the Prince of Wales. Meanwhile, the old gentleman, appearing "genteel in dress" and keeping a plentiful table, lay in wait for such eligible visitors as should enter his parlour.

The first to do so with matrimonial intent was a thriving young apothecary, but Mr. Blandy quickly made it plain that Mary and her £10,000 were not to be had by any drug-compounding knave who might make sheep's eyes at her, and the apothecary returned to his gallipots for healing of his bruised affections. His place was taken by Mr. H——, a gentleman grateful to the young lady and personally desirable, but of means too limited to satisfy her parents' views, a fact conveyed by them to the wooer "in a friendly and elegant manner," which must have gone far to assuage his disappointment. The next suitor for "this blooming virgin," as her biographer names her, had the recommendation of being a soldier. Mr. T——, too, found favour with the damsel. His fine address was much appreciated by her mamma, who, being a devotee of fashion, heartily espoused his cause; but again the course of true love was barred by the question of settlements as broached by the old lawyer, and the man of war "retired with some resentment." There was, however, no lack of candidates for Mary's hand and dower. Captain D—— at once stepped into the breach and gallantly laid siege to the fair fortress. At last, it seemed Cupid's troublesome business was done; the captain's suit was agreeable to all parties, and the couple became engaged. Mary's walks with her lover in the fields of Henley gave her, we read, such exquisite delight that she frequently thought herself in heaven. But, alas, the stern summons of duty broke in upon her temporary Eden: the captain was ordered abroad with his regiment on active service, and the unlucky girl could but sit at home with her parents and patiently abide the issue.

Among Mr. Blandy's grand acquaintances was General Lord Mark Kerr, uncle of Lady Jane Douglas, the famous heroine of the great Douglas Cause. His lordship had taken at Henley a place named "The Paradise," probably through the agency of the obsequious attorney, whose family appear to have had the entrée to that patrician abode. Dining with her parents at Lord Mark's house in the summer of 1746, Mary Blandy encountered her fate. That fate from the first bore but a sinister aspect. Among the guests was one Captain the Hon. William Henry Cranstoun, a soldier and a Scot, whose appearance, according to a diurnal writer, was unprepossessing. "In his person he is remarkably ordinary, his stature is low, his face freckled and pitted with the smallpox, his eyes small and weak, his eyebrows sandy, and his shape no ways genteel; his legs are clumsy, and he has nothing in the least elegant in his manner." The moral attributes of this ugly little fellow were only less attractive than his physical imperfections. "He has a turn for gallantry, but Nature has denied him the proper gifts; he is fond of play, but his cunning always renders him suspected." He was at this time thirty-two years of age, and, as the phrase goes, a man of pleasure, but his militant prowess had hitherto been more conspicuous in the courts of Venus than in the field of Mars. The man was typical of his day and generation: should you desire his closer acquaintance you will find a lively sketch of him in Joseph Andrews, under the name of Beau Didapper.

If Mary was the Eve of this Henley "Paradise," the captain clearly possessed many characteristics of the serpent. As First-Lieutenant of Sir Andrew Agnew's regiment of marines, he had been "out"—on the wrong side, for a Scot—in the '45, and the butcher Cumberland having finally killed the cause at Culloden on 16th April, this warrior was now in Henley beating up recruits to fill the vacancies in the Hanoverian lines caused by the valour of the "rebels." Such a figure was a commonplace of the time, and Mr. Blandy would not have looked twice at him but for the fact that it appeared Lord Mark was his grand-uncle. The old lawyer, following up this aristocratic scent, found to his surprise and joy that the little lieutenant, with his courtesy style of captain, was no less a person than the fifth son of a Scots peer, William, fifth Lord Cranstoun, and his wife, Lady Jane Kerr, eldest daughter of William, second Marquis of Lothian. True, he learned the noble union had been blessed with seven sons and five daughters; my Lord Cranstoun had died in 1727, and his eldest son, James, reigned in his stead. The captain, a very much "younger" son, probably had little more than his pay and a fine assortment of debts; still, one cannot have everything. The rights of absent Captain D—— were forgotten, now that there was a chance to marry his daughter to a man who called the daughter of an Earl grandmother, and could claim kinship with half the aristocracy of Scotland; and Mr. Blandy frowned as he called to mind the presumption of the Bath apothecary.

How far matters went at this time we do not know, for Cranstoun left Henley in the autumn and did not revisit "The Paradise" till the following summer. Meanwhile Captain D—— returned from abroad, but unaccountably failed to communicate with the girl he had the year before so reluctantly left behind him. Mary's uncles, "desirous of renewing a courtship which they thought would turn much to the honour and benefit of their niece," intervened; but Captain D——, though "polite and candid," declined to renew his pretensions, and the affair fell through. Whether or not he had heard anything of the Cranstoun business does not appear.

According to Miss Blandy's Own Account, it was not until their second meeting at Lord Mark Kerr's in the summer of 1747 that the patrician but unattractive Cranstoun declared his passion. She also states that in doing so he referred to an illicit entanglement with a Scottish lady, falsely claiming to be his wedded wife, and that she (Mary) accepted him provisionally, "till the invalidity of the pretended marriage appeared to the whole world." But here, as we shall presently see, the fair authoress rather antedates the fact. Next day Cranstoun, formally proposing to the old folks for their daughter's hand, was received by them literally with open arms, henceforth to be treated as a son; and when, after a six weeks' visit to Bath in company with his gouty kinsman, the captain returned to Henley, it was as the guest of his future father-in-law, of whose "pious fraud" in the matter of the £10,000 dowry; despite his shrewdness, he was unaware. Though the sycophantic attorney would probably as lief have housed a monkey of lineage so distinguished, old Mrs. Blandy seems really to have adored the foxy little captain for his beaux yeux. Doubtless he fooled the dame to the top of her bent. For a time things went pleasantly enough in the old house by the bridge. The town-clerk boasted of his noble quarry, the mother enjoyed for the first time the company and conversation of a man of fashion, and Mary renewed amid the Henley meadows those paradisiacal experiences which formerly she had shared with faithless Captain D——. But once more her happiness received an unexpected check. Lord Mark Kerr, a soldier and a gentleman, becoming aware of the footing upon which his graceless grand-nephew was enjoying the Blandys' hospitality, wrote to the attorney the amazing news that his daughter's lover already had a wife and child living in Scotland.

The facts, so far as we know them, were these. On 22nd May, 1744, William Henry Cranstoun was privately married at Edinburgh to Anne, daughter of David Murray, merchant in Leith, a son of the late Sir David Murray of Stanhope, Baronet. As the lady and her family were Jacobite and Roman Catholic, the fact of the marriage was not published at the time for fear of prejudicing the gallant bridegroom's chances of promotion. The couple lived together "in a private manner" for some months, and in November the bride returned to her family, while the captain went to London to resume his regimental duties. They corresponded regularly by letter. Cranstoun wrote to his own and the lady's relatives, acknowledging that she had been his wife since May, but insisting that the marriage should still be kept secret; and on learning that he was likely to become a father, he communicated this fact to my Lord, his brother. Lady Cranstoun invited her daughter-in-law to Nether Crailing, the family seat in Roxburghshire, there to await the interesting event, but the young wife, fearing that Presbyterian influences would be brought to bear upon her, unfortunately declined, which gave offence to Lady Cranstoun and aroused some suspicion regarding the fact of the marriage. At Edinburgh, on 19th February, 1745, Mrs. Cranstoun gave birth to a daughter, who was baptised by a minister of the kirk in Newbattle, according to one account, in presence of members of both parents' families; and, by the father's request, one of his brothers held her during the ceremony. In view of these facts it must have required no common effrontery on the part of Cranstoun to disown his wife and child, as he did in the following year. The country being then in the throes of the last Jacobite rising, and his wife's family having cast in their lot with Prince Charlie, our gallant captain perceived in these circumstances a unique opportunity for ridding himself of his marital ties. The lady was a niece of John Murray of Broughton, the Prince's secretary who served the cause so ill; her brother, the reigning baronet, was taken prisoner at Culloden, tried at Carlisle, and sentenced to death, but owing to his youth, was reprieved and transported instead; so Cranstoun thought the course comparatively clear. His position was that Miss Murray had been his mistress, and that although he had promised to marry her if she would change her religion for his own purer Presbyterian faith, and as the lady refused to do so, he was entirely freed from his engagement. With cynical impudence he explained his previous admission of the marriage as due to a desire to "amuse" her relatives and save her honour. In October, 1746, his wife, by the advice of her friends and in accordance with Scots practice, raised in the Commissary Court at Edinburgh an action of declarator of marriage against her perfidious spouse, and the case was still pending before the Commissaries when Lord Mark Kerr, as we have seen, "gave away" his grand-nephew to the Blandys.

The old attorney was justly incensed at the unworthy trick of which he had been the victim. He had designed, indeed, on his own account, a little surprise for his son-in-law in the matter of the mythical dower, but that was another matter; so, in all the majesty of outraged fatherhood, he sought an interview with his treacherous guest. That gentleman, whose acquaintance with "tight corners" was, doubtless, like Mr. Waller's knowledge of London, extensive and peculiar, rose gallantly to the occasion. A firm believer in the £10,000 dot, he could not, of course, fully appreciate the moral beauty of Mr. Blandy's insistence on the unprofitableness of deceit; but, taxed with being a married man, "As I have a soul to be saved," swore he, "I am not, nor ever was!" The lady had wilfully misrepresented their equivocal relations, and the proceedings in the Scottish Courts meant, vulgarly, blackmail. Both families knew the true facts, and Lord Mark's interference was the result of an old quarrel between them, long since by him buried in oblivion, but on account of which his lordship, as appeared, still bore him a grudge. The action would certainly be decided in his favour, when nothing more would be heard of Miss Murray and her fraudulent claims. The affair was, no doubt, annoying, but such incidents were not viewed too seriously by people of fashion—here the captain would delicately take a pinch, and offer his snuff-box (with the Cranstoun arms: gules, three cranes argent) to the baffled attorney.

On the receipt of Lord Mark's letter, Mrs. Blandy, womanlike, believed the worst: "her poor Polly was ruined." But her sympathies were so far enlisted on behalf of the fascinating intended that she eagerly clutched at any explanation, however lame, which would put things upon the old footing. She proved a powerful advocate; and, in the end, Mr. Blandy, accepting his guest's word, allowed the engagement to continue in the meantime, until the result of the legal proceedings should be known. He was as loath to forego the chance of such an aristocratic connection as was his wife to part from so "genteel" a friend; while Mary Blandy—well, the damsels of her day were not morbidly nice in such matters, more than once had the nuptial cup eluded her expectant lips, enfin, she was nearing her thirtieth year: such an opportunity, as Mr. Bunthorne has it, might not occur again. With the proverbial blindness of those unwilling to see, the old man did nothing further in regard to Lord Mark Kerr's communication; that nobleman, annoyed at the indifference with which his well-meant warning had been received, forbade his kinsman the house, and the Blandys were thus deprived of their only means of knowledge as to the doings of their ambiguous guest.

For the movements of that gentleman from this time until the first "date" in the case, August, 1750, we must rely mainly upon the narrative given by his fair fiancée in her Own Account, and, unfortunately, after the manner of her sex, she is somewhat careless of dates. This first visit of Cranstoun lasted "five or six months"—from the autumn of 1747 till the spring of 1748—when he went to London on the footing that Mary, with her father's permission, should "stay for him" till the "unhappy affair" with his soi-disant spouse was legally determined. Pending this desired result, the lovers maintained a vigorous correspondence.

Sometime after his departure, Mrs. Blandy and her daughter went on a visit to Turville Court, the house of a friend named Mrs. Pocock, of whom we shall hear again. While there, the old lady became suddenly, and as was at first feared fatally, ill. Her constant cry, according to Mary, was, "Let Cranstoun be sent for," and no sooner had that insignificant warrior posted from Southampton to the sick-room than the patient began to mend. She declared, now that he had come, she would soon be well, and refused to take her medicines from any hand but his. Mr. Blandy, also summoned in haste, was much out of humour at "the great expense" incurred, and proposed forthwith to take his wife home, where "neither the physician's fees nor the apothecary's journeys could be so expensive"; and whenever the invalid was able to travel, the whole party, including the indispensable captain, returned to Henley. On the strength of the old lady's continued illness, Cranstoun contrived to "put in" another six months' free board and lodging under the Blandys' hospitable roof, until his regiment was "broke" at Southampton, when he set out for London. During this visit, says Mary, her father was sometimes "very rude" to his guest, which, in the circumstances, is not surprising.

Meanwhile, on 1st March, 1748, the Commissary Court had decreed William Henry Cranstoun and Anne Murray to be man and wife and the child of the marriage to be their lawful issue, and had decerned the captain to pay the lady an annuity of £40 sterling for her own aliment and £10 for their daughter's, so long as she should be maintained by her mother, and further had found him liable in expenses, amounting to £100. The proceedings disclose a very ugly incident. Shortly after leaving his wife, as before narrated, Cranstoun wrote to her that his sole chance of promotion in the Army depended on his appearing unmarried, and with much persuasion he at length prevailed upon her to copy a letter, framed by him, to the effect that she had never been his wife. Once possessed of this document in her handwriting, the little scoundrel sent copies of it to his own and his wife's relatives in Scotland, whereby she suffered much obloquy and neglect, and when that unhappy lady raised her action of declarator, with peculiar baseness he lodged the letter in process. Fortunately, she had preserved the original draft, together with her faithless husband's letters thereanent. This judgment was, for the gallant defender, now on half-pay, a veritable débâcle, and we may be sure that the confiding Blandys would have heard no word of it from him; but Mrs. Cranstoun, having learned something of the game her spouse was playing at Henley, herself wrote to Mr. Blandy, announcing the decision of the Commissaries and sending for his information a copy of the decree in her favour. This, surely, should have opened the eyes even of a provincial attorney, but Cranstoun, while admitting the fact, induced him to believe, the wish being father to the thought, that the Court of first instance, as was not unprecedented, had erred, and that he was advised, with good hope of success, to appeal against the judgment to the Court of Session. Finally to dispose of the captain's legal business, it may now be said that the appeal was in due course of time dismissed, and the decision of the Commissaries affirmed. Thus the marriage was as valid as Scots law could make it. True, as is pointed out by one of his biographers, he might have appealed to the House of Lords, "but did not, as it seldom happens that they reverse a decree of the Lords of Session!" Nowadays, we may assume, Cranstoun would have taken the risk. The result of this protracted litigation was never known to Mr. Blandy.

In the spring of 1749, "a few months" after Cranstoun's departure, Miss Blandy and her mother went to London for the purpose of taking medical advice as to the old lady's health, which was still unsatisfactory. They lived while in town with Mrs. Blandy's brother, Henry Stevens, the Serjeant, in Doctors' Commons. Cranstoun, with whom Mary had been in constant correspondence, waited upon the ladies the morning after their arrival, and came daily during their visit. On one occasion, Mary states, he brought his elder brother, the reigning baron, to call upon them. This gentleman was James, sixth Lord Cranstoun, who had succeeded to the title on the death of his father in 1727. What was his lordship's attitude regarding the "perplexing affair" in Scotland she does not inform us; but Mr. Serjeant Stevens refused to countenance the attentions of the entangled captain. Mrs. Blandy wept because her brother would not invite Cranstoun to dinner, and it was arranged that, to avoid "affronts," she should receive the captain's visits in her own room. But her friend Mrs. Pocock of Turville Court had a house in St. James's Square. "Hither Mr. Cranstoun perpetually came," says Mary, "when he understood that I was there;" so they were able to dispense with the Serjeant's hospitality. One day she and her mother were bidden to dine at Mrs. Pocock's, to meet my Lord Garnock (the future Lord Crauford). Cranstoun and their hostess called for them in a coach, and in the Strand whom should the party encounter but Mr. Blandy, come to town on business. "For God's sake, Mrs. Pocock, what do you with this rubbish?" cried the attorney, stopping the coach. "Rubbish!" quoth the lady, "Your wife, your daughter, and one who may be your son?" "Ay," replied the old man, "They are very well matched; 'tis a pity they should ever be asunder!" "God grant they never may," simpered the ugly lover; "don't you say amen, papa?" But amen, as appears, stuck in Mr. Blandy's throat: he declined Mrs. Pocock's invitation to join them, and shortly thereafter returned to Henley.

During this visit to town Mary Blandy states that Cranstoun proposed a secret marriage "according to the usage of the Church of England"—apparently with the view of testing the relative strength of the nuptial knot as tied by their respective Churches. Mary, with hereditary caution, refused to make the experiment unless an opinion of counsel were first obtained, and Cranstoun undertook to submit the point to Mr. Murray, the Solicitor-General for Scotland. Whatever view, if any, that learned authority expressed regarding so remarkable an expedient, Mary heard no more of the matter; but in Cranstoun's Account the marriage is said to have taken place at her own request, "lest he should prove ungrateful to her after so material an intimacy." How "material" in fact was the intimacy between them at this time we can only conjecture.

Mrs. Blandy seems to have made the most of her visit to the metropolis, for, according to her daughter, she had contracted debts amounting to forty pounds, and as she "durst not" inform Mr. Blandy, she borrowed that sum from her obliging future son-in-law. By what means the captain, in the then state of his finances, came by the money Mary fails to explain. Being thus, in a pecuniary sense, once more afloat, the ladies, taking grateful leave of Cranstoun, went home to Henley.

We hear nothing further of their doings until some six months after their return, when on Thursday, 28th September 1749, Mrs. Blandy became seriously ill. Mr. Norton, the Henley apothecary who attended the family, was sent for, and her brother, the Rev. John Stevens, of Fawley, who, "with other country gentlemen meeting to bowl at the Bell Inn," chanced then to be in the town, was also summoned. It was at first hoped that the old lady would rally as on the former occasion but she gradually grew worse, notwithstanding the attentions of the eminent Dr. Addington, brought from Reading to consult upon the case. Her husband, her daughter, and her two brothers were with her until the end, which came on Saturday, 30th September. To the last the dying woman clung to her belief in the good faith of her noble captain: "Mary has set her heart upon Cranstoun; when I am gone, let no one set you against the match," were her last words to her husband. He replied that they must wait till the "unhappy affair in Scotland" was decided. The complaint of which Mrs. Blandy died was, as appears, intestinal inflammation, but, as we shall see later, her daughter was popularly believed to have poisoned her. However wicked Mary Blandy may have been, she well knew that by her mother's death she and Cranstoun lost their best friend. An old acquaintance and neighbour of Mrs. Blandy, one Mrs. Mounteney, of whom we shall hear again, came upon a visit to the bereaved family. Mrs. Blandy, on her deathbed, had commended this lady to her husband, in case he should "discover an inclination to marry her"—she already was Mary's godmother; but Mrs. Mounteney was destined to play another part in the subsequent drama.

Miss Blandy broke the sad news by letter to her lover in London, and pressed him to come immediately to Henley; but the gallant officer replied that he was confined to the house for fear of the bailiffs, and suggested the propriety of a remittance from the mistress of his heart. Mary promptly borrowed forty pounds from Mrs. Mounteney, fifteen of which she forwarded for the enlargement of the captain, who, on regaining his freedom, came to Henley, where he remained some weeks. Francis Blandy was much affected by the loss of his wife. At first he seems to have raised no objection to Cranstoun's visit, but soon Mary had to complain of the "unkind things" which her father said both to her lover and herself. There was still no word from Scotland, except a "very civil" letter of condolence from my Lady Cranstoun, accompanied by a present of kippered salmon—apparently intended as an antidote to grief; but though the old man was gratified by such polite attentions, his mind was far from easy. He was fast losing all faith in the vision of that splendid alliance by which he had been so long deluded, and did not care to conceal his disappointment from the person mainly responsible.

On this visit mention was first made by Cranstoun of the fatal powder of which we shall hear so much. Miss Blandy states that, apropos to her father's unpropitious attitude, her lover "acquainted her of the great skill of the famous Mrs. Morgan," a cunning woman known to him in Scotland, from whom he had received a certain powder, "which she called love-powders"—being, as appears, the Scottish equivalent to the poculum amatorium or love philtre of the Romans. Mary said she had no faith in such things, but Cranstoun assured her of its efficacy, having once taken some himself, and immediately forgiven a friend to whom he had intended never to speak again. "If I had any of these powders," said he, "I would put them into something Mr. Blandy should drink." Such is Mary's account of the inception of the design upon her father's love—or life. There for the time matters rested.

"Before he left Henley for the last time," writes Lady Russell, to whose interesting account we shall later refer, "Captain Cranstoun made an assignation with Miss Blandy to meet her in the grounds of Park Place, which had long been their trysting-place; and here it was that in a walk which still goes by the name of 'Blandy's Walk,' he first broached his diabolical plan." Park Place, according to the same authority, had shortly before been purchased by General Conway and Lady Ailesbury from Mr. Blandy, as "trustee" of the property.

A "dunning" letter following the impecunious captain to his peaceful retreat alarmed the lovers, for the appearance of a bailiff in the respectable house in Hart Street would, for Mr. Blandy, have been, as the phrase goes, the last straw. Fortunately, Mary had retained against such a contingency the balance of Mrs. Mounteney's loan; and with another fifteen pounds of that lady's in his pocket, the captain left for London to liquidate his debt.

From that time till August, 1750, the shadow of his sinister guest did not darken the attorney's door. On the first of that month Cranstoun wrote that he proposed to wait upon him. "He must come, I suppose," sighed the old man, and allowed Mary to write that the visitor would be received. Doubtless, he faintly hoped that the Scottish difficulty was at last removed. But the captain, when he came, brought nothing better than the old empty assurances, and his host did not conceal how little weight he now attached to such professions. The visit was an unpleasant one for all parties, and the situation was rapidly becoming impossible. Mary "seldom rose from the table without tears." Her father spent his evenings at "the coffee-house," that he might see as little as possible of the unwelcome guest.

One morning, Mary states, Cranstoun put some of the magic powder in the old gentleman's tea, when, mirabile dictu, Mr. Blandy, who at breakfast had been very cross, appeared at dinner in the best of humours, and continued so "all the time Mr. Cranstoun stayed with him"! After this, who could doubt the beneficent efficacy of the wise woman's drug?

During one of their daily walks this singular lover informed his betrothed that he had a secret to communicate, to wit, that over and above the Scottish complication, "he had a daughter by one Miss Capel" a year before he met the present object of his desires. Miss Blandy, with much philosophy, replied that she hoped he now saw his follies and would not repeat them. "If I do," said Cranstoun, "I must be a villain; you alone can make me happy in this world; and by following your example, I hope I shall be happy in the next." A day or two afterwards, when Cranstoun was abroad, Mary, so far anticipating her wifely duties, entered his room in order to look out his things for the wash. She found more "dirty linen" than she expected. In an unlocked trunk was a letter of recent date, addressed to the gallant captain by a lady then enjoying his protection in town. Even Miss Blandy's robust affection was not, for the moment, able to overlook a treachery so base. She locked the trunk, put the key in her pocket, and at the first opportunity handed it to Cranstoun, with the remark that he should in future be more careful of his private correspondence. A disgusting scene ensued. For two hours the wretched little captain wept and raved, imploring her forgiveness. On his knees, clinging to the skirts of her gown, he swore he would not live till night unless she pardoned his offence. Mary asked him to leave Henley at once; she would not expose him, and their engagement "might seem to go off by degrees." But the miserable creature conjured her by her mother's dying words not to give him up, vowing never to repeat "the same provocations." In the end Mary foolishly yielded; one wonders at the strength of that abnormal passion by which she was driven to accept a position so impossible for a decent and intelligent girl.

Soon after this incident Cranstoun was summoned to Scotland, where his mother, Lady Cranstoun, was "extremely ill." "Good God!" cried this admirable son, "what shall I do? I have no money to carry me thither, and all my fortune is seized on but my half-pay!" For the third time Miss Blandy came to the rescue, even giving him back a miniature of his ugly countenance with which he had formerly presented her. At six o'clock next morning he set out for the North in a post-chaise. The old attorney rose early with good heart to speed the parting guest, and furnished him with a half-pint bottle of rum for the journey. Mary says they "all shed tears"; if so, hers were the only genuine tokens of regret. As she waved good-bye to her lover and watched the departing chaise till it was lost to view along the London road, she little thought that, although his sinister influence would remain with her to the end, his graceless person had passed from her sight for ever.

It was the month of November, 1750, when Cranstoun took final leave of Henley. In October, a year after Mrs. Blandy's death, divers curious phenomena had been observed in the old house by the bridge. Cranstoun professed that he could get no sleep o' nights, in his room "over the great parlour," by reason of unearthly music sounding through the chamber after midnight, for two hours at a time. On his informing his host of the circumstance, Mr. Blandy caustically observed, "It was Scotch music, I suppose?" from which Miss Blandy inferred that he was not in a good humour—though the inference seems somewhat strained. This manifestation was varied by rappings, rustlings, banging of doors, footfalls on the stairs, and other eerie sounds, "which greatly terrified Mr. Cranstoun." The old man was plainly annoyed by these stories, though he merely expressed the opinion that his guest was "light-headed." But when Cranstoun one morning announced that he had been visited in the night, as the clock struck two, by the old gentleman's wraith, "with his white stockings, his coat on, and a cap on his head," Mr. Blandy "did not seem pleased with the discourse," and the subject was dropped. But Mary, mentioning these strange matters to the maids, expressed the fear that such happenings boded no good to her father, and told how Mr. Cranstoun had learned from a cunning woman in Scotland that they were the messengers of death, and that her father would die within the year.

Whatever weight might attach to these gloomy prognostications of the mysterious Mrs. Morgan, it became obvious that from about that date Francis Blandy's health began to fail. He was in the sixty-second year of his age, and he suffered the combined assault of gout, gravel, and heartburn. The state of irritation and suspense consequent upon his daughter's relations with her lover must greatly have aggravated his troubles. It was assumed by the prosecution, on the ground of Mr. Blandy losing his teeth through decay, that he had begun to manifest the effects of poison soon after Cranstoun left Henley in November, 1750, but from the evidence given at the trial it seems improbable that anything injurious was administered to him until the receipt in the following April of that deadly present from Scotland, "The powder to clean the pebbles with." Mr. Norton, the medical man who attended him for several years, stated that the last illness Mr. Blandy had before the fatal one of August, 1751, was in July, 1750. The stuff that Cranstoun had put into the old gentleman's tea in August could, therefore, have no reference to the illness of the previous month, and certainly was not the genuine preparation of Mrs. Morgan. If Mary Blandy were not in fact his accomplice later, it may have been sifted sugar or something equally simple, to induce her to believe the magic powder harmless.

Having at length got his would-be son-in-law out of the house, Mr. Blandy determined to be fooled no further; he ordered Mary to write to Cranstoun telling him on no account to show his face again at Henley until his matrimonial difficulties were "quite decided." Tears and entreaties were of no avail; like all weak characters, Mr. Blandy, having for once put down his foot, was obdurate. This ultimatum she duly communicated to her lover in the North; if we could know in what terms and how replied to by him, we should solve the riddle. Hitherto they seem to have trusted to time and the old man's continued credulity to effect their respective ends, but now, if Miss Blandy were to secure a "husband" and Cranstoun lay hands upon her £10,000, some definite step must be taken. Both knew, what was as yet unknown to Mr. Blandy, that the appeal had long since been dismissed, and that while his wife lived Cranstoun could never marry Mary. At any moment her father might learn the truth and alter, by the stroke of a pen, the disposition of his fortune. That they openly agreed to remove by murder the obstacle to their mutual desires is unlikely. Cranstoun, as appears from all the circumstances, was the instigator, as he continued throughout the guiding spirit, of the plot; probably nothing more definite was said between them than that the "love powder" would counteract the old man's opposition; but from her subsequent conduct, as proved by the evidence, it is incredible that Mary acted in ignorance of the true purpose of the wise woman's prescription.

In April, or the beginning of May, 1751, by Miss Blandy's statement, she received from her lover a letter informing her that he had seen his old friend Mrs. Morgan, who was to oblige him with a fresh supply of her proprietary article, which he would send along with some "Scotch pebbles" for his betrothed's acceptance. "Ornaments of Scotch pebbles," says Lady Russell, "were the extreme of fashion in the year 1750." According to the opening speech for the Crown, both powder and pebbles arrived at Henley in April; Mary says they did not reach her hands till June. Susan Gunnell, one of the maidservants, stated at the trial that there were two consignments of pebbles from Scotland; one "in a large box of table linen," which came "early in the spring," and another in "a small box," some three months before her master's death. Cranstoun's instructions were "to mix the powder in tea." While professing to doubt "such efficacy could be lodged in any powder whatsoever," and expressing the fear "lest it should impair her father's health," Mary consented to give the love philtre a fair trial. "This some mornings after I did," she says in her Own Account.

Of the earlier phases of Francis Blandy's fatal illness, which began in this month of June, the evidence tells us nothing more definite than that he suffered much internal pain and frequently was sick; but two incidents occurring at that time throw some light upon the cause of his complaint. It was the habit of the old man to have his tea served "in a different dish from the rest of the family." One morning Susan Gunnell, finding that her master had left his tea untasted, drank it; for three days she was violently sick and continued unwell for a week. On another occasion Mr. Blandy's tea being again untouched by him, it was given to an old charwoman named Ann Emmet, often employed about the house. She shortly was seized with sickness so severe as to endanger her life. That Mary knew of both these mysterious attacks is proved; she was much concerned at the illness of the charwoman, who was a favourite of hers, and she sent white wine, whey, and broth for the invalid's use.

It is singular that such experiences failed to shake Miss Blandy's faith in the harmless nature of Mrs. Morgan's nostrum, but they at least made her realise that tea was an unsuitable vehicle for its exhibition, and she communicated the fact to Cranstoun. Her bloodthirsty adviser, however, was able to meet the difficulty. On 18th July he wrote to her, "in an allegorical manner," as follows:—"I am sorry there are such occasions to clean your pebbles; you must make use of the powder to them by putting it in anything of substance wherein it will not swim a-top of the water, of which I wrote to you in one of my last. I am afraid it will be too weak to take off their rust, or at least it will take too long a time." As a further inducement to her to hasten the work in hand, he described the beauties of Scotland, and mentioned that his mother, Lady Cranstoun, was having an apartment specially fitted up at Lennel House for Mary's use. The text of this letter was quoted by Bathurst in his opening speech for the Crown, but the report of the trial does not bear that the document itself was produced, or that it was proved to be in Cranstoun's handwriting. The letter is quoted in the Secret History and referred to in other contemporary tracts, and the fact of its existence appears to have been well known at the time. Further, Miss Blandy in her Own Account distinctly alludes to its receipt, and no objection was taken by her or her counsel to the reading of it at the trial. The point is of importance for two reasons. Firstly, this letter, if written by Cranstoun and received by Mary affords the strongest presumptive proof of their mutual guilt. Had their design been, as she asserted, innocent, what need to adopt in a private letter this "allegorical" and guarded language? Secondly, Mary, as we shall see, found means before her arrest to destroy the half of the Cranstoun correspondence in her keeping, and it would have been more satisfactory if the prosecution had shown how this particular letter escaped to fall into their hands. That she herself fabricated it in order to inculpate her accomplice is highly improbable; had she done so, as Mr. Bleackley has pointed out, its contents would have been more consistent with her defence.

On the evening of Sunday, 4th August, Susan Gunnell, by order of her mistress, made in a pan a quantity of water gruel for her master's use. On Monday, the 5th, Miss Blandy was seen by the maids at mid-day stirring the gruel with a spoon in the pantry. She remarked that she had been eating the oatmeal from the bottom of the pan, "and taking some up in the spoon, put it between her fingers and rubbed it." That night some of the gruel was sent up in a half-pint mug by Mary for her father's supper. When doing so, she repeated her curious action of the morning, taking a little in a spoon and rubbing it. On Tuesday, the 6th, the whole house was in confusion: Mr. Blandy had become seriously ill in the night, with symptoms of violent pain, vomiting, and purging. Mr. Norton, the Henley apothecary who attended the family, was summoned—at whose instance does not appear—and on arriving at the house he found the patient suffering, as he thought, from "a fit of colic." He asked him if he had eaten anything that could have disagreed with him; and Mary, who was in the bedroom, replied "that her papa had had nothing that she knew of, except some peas on the Saturday night before." Not a word was said about the gruel; and Mr. Norton had no reason to suspect poison. He prescribed, and himself brought certain remedies, promising to call next day. In the afternoon Miss Blandy, in the kitchen, asked Elizabeth Binfield, the cook, this strange question: "Betty, if one thing should happen, will you go with me to Scotland?" to which Betty cautiously replied, "If I should go there and not like it, it would be expensive travelling back again." That evening Susan was told to warm some of the gruel for her master's supper; she did so, and Mary herself carried it to him in the parlour. On going upstairs to bed, he was repeatedly sick, and called to Susan to bring him a basin.

Next morning, Wednesday, the 7th, Betty Binfield brought down from the bedroom the remains of Mr. Blandy's supper. Old Ann Emmet, the charwoman, chanced, unhappily for herself, to be in the kitchen. Susan told her she might eat what had been left, which she did, with the result that she too became violently ill, with symptoms similar to those of Mr. Blandy, and even by the following spring had not sufficiently recovered to be able to attend the trial of her benefactress. When Susan, at nine o'clock, went up to dress her mistress and informed her of her protegee's seizure, Miss Blandy feelingly remarked that she was glad she had not been downstairs, as it would have shocked her to see "her poor dame" so ill. The doctor called in the forenoon and found his patient easier. Later in the day Mary said to Susan that as her master had taken physic, he would require more gruel, but as there was still some left, she need not make it fresh "as she was ironing." Susan replied that the gruel was stale, being then four days old, and, further, that having herself tasted it, she felt very ill, upon which facts Mary made no comment. She thoughtfully warned the cook, however, that if Susan ate more of the gruel "she might do for herself—a person of her age," from which we must infer that Susan was much her master's senior; how, otherwise, was the old man to take it daily with impunity?

The strange circumstances attending this gruel aroused the maids' suspicions. They examined the remanent contents of the pan—the aged but adventurous Susan again tasting the fatal mixture was sick for many days—and found a white, gritty "settlement" at the bottom. They prudently put the pan in a locked closet overnight. Next day, Thursday, the 8th, Susan carried it to their neighbour, Mrs. Mounteney, who sent for Mr. Norton, the apothecary, by whom the contents were removed for subsequent examination, the result of which will in due course appear.

Meanwhile, Mary's uncle, the Rev. Mr. Stevens, of Fawley, having heard of his brother-in-law's illness, arrived on Friday, the 9th. To him Susan communicated the suspicious circumstances already mentioned, and he advised her to tell her master what she knew. Accordingly, at seven o'clock the following morning (Saturday, the 10th), Susan entered her master's bedroom, and broke to him the fearful news that his illness was suspected to be due to poison, administered to him by his own daughter. So soon as he had recovered from the first shock of this terrible intelligence, the old attorney asked her where Mary could have obtained the poison—he does not seem to have questioned the fact of its administration—and Susan could suggest no other source than Cranstoun. "Oh, that villain!" cried the sick man, realising in a flash the horrid plot of which he was the victim, "that ever he came to my house! I remember he mentioned a particular poison that they had in their country." Susan told him that Mr. Norton advised that Miss Blandy's papers be seized forthwith, but to this Mr. Blandy would not agree. "I never in all my life read a letter that came to my daughter," said the scrupulous old man; but he asked Susan to secure any of the powder she could find.

Determined at once to satisfy himself of the truth, Mr. Blandy rose and went downstairs to breakfast. There was present at that meal, besides himself and Mary, one Robert Littleton, his clerk, who had returned the night before from a holiday in Warwickshire. The old man appeared to him "in great agony, and complained very much." Mary handed her father his tea in his "particular dish." He tasted it, and, fixing his eyes upon her, remarked that it had a bad, gritty taste, and asked if she had put anything into it. The girl trembled and changed countenance, muttering that it was made as usual; to hide her confusion she hurried from the room. Mr. Blandy poured his tea into "the cat's basin" and sent for a fresh supply. After breakfast, Mary asked Littleton what had become of the tea, and, being told, seemed to him much upset by the occurrence. When the old man had finished his meal, he went into the kitchen to shave. While there he observed to his daughter, in presence of Betty Binfield, "I had like to have been poisoned once," referring to an occasion when he and two friends drank something hurtful at the coffee house. "One of these gentlemen died immediately, the other is dead now," said he; "I have survived them both, and it is my fortune to be poisoned at last," and, looking "very hard" at her, he turned away.

Miss Blandy must have been blind indeed had she failed to see the significance of these incidents. Anything but obtuse, she at once decided to take instant measures for her own protection. She went up to her room, and collecting Cranstoun's correspondence and what remained of the fatal powder, she returned to the kitchen; standing before the fire on pretence of drying the superscription of a letter, she threw the whole bundle into the grate and "stirred it down with a stick." The cook at the moment, whether by chance or design, put on some coals, which preserved the papers from flaming up, and as soon as their mistress had left the kitchen, the maids, now thoroughly on the alert, took off the coal. The letters were consumed, but they drew out almost uninjured a folded paper packet, bearing in Cranstoun's hand the suggestive words, "The powder to clean the pebbles with," and still containing a small quantity of white powder, which they delivered to Mr. Norton when he called later in the day. The apothecary found his patient worse, and stated his opinion to Mary, who asked him to bring from Reading the great Dr. Anthony Addington (father of Lord Sidmouth). Did she at the eleventh hour, pausing upon her dreadful path, seek yet to save her father's life, or was this merely a move to show her "innocence," as Dr. Pritchard, in similar circumstances, invited an eminent colleague to visit his dying victims? Both in her Narrative and her Own Account Mary takes full credit for calling in Dr. Addington, but she is unable to allude to the episodes of the parlour and the kitchen.

Dr. Addington arrived at midnight. From the condition of the patient, coupled with what he learned from him and Mr. Norton, the doctor had no doubt Mr. Blandy was suffering from the effects of poison. He at once informed the daughter, and inquired if her father had any enemies. "It is impossible!" she replied. "He is at peace with all the world and all the world is at peace with him." She added that her father had long suffered from colic and heartburn, to which his present indisposition was doubtless due. Dr. Addington remained in the sick-room until Sunday morning (the 11th), when he left, promising to return next day. He took with him the sediment from the pan and the packet rescued from the fire, both of which were delivered to him by Mr. Norton. At this time neither physician nor apothecary knew the precise nature of the powder. Before he quitted the house, Dr. Addington warned Mary that if her father died she would inevitably be ruined.

Her position was now, one would think, sufficiently precarious; but the infatuated woman took a further fatal step. Her "love" for her murderous little gallant moved her to warn him of their common danger. She wrote to him at Lennel House, Coldstream, and asked Littleton, who had been in the habit of directing her letters to Cranstoun, to seal, address, and post the missive as usual. But Littleton, aware of the dark cloud of suspicion that had settled upon his master's daughter, opened it and read as follows:—"Dear Willy,—My father is so bad that I have only time to tell you that if you do not hear from me soon again, don't be frightened. I am better myself. Lest any accident should happen to your letters, take care what you write. My sincere compliments. I am ever yours." Littleton at once showed the letter to Mr. Norton, and afterwards read it to Mr. Blandy: "He said very little. He smiled and said, 'Poor love-sick girl! What won't a girl do for a man she loves?'"

Facsimile of the Intercepted Letter to Cranstoun
written by Mary Blandy

There was then in the house Mary's uncle, Mr. Blandy, of Kingston, who had come to see his brother, and it was prudently decided, in view of all the circumstances, to refuse her access to the sick-room. But on the following morning (Monday, the 12th) Mr. Blandy sent by Susan Gunnell a message to his daughter "that he was ready to forgive her if she would but endeavour to bring that villain to justice." In accordance with the dying man's request, Mary was admitted to his room in presence of Susan and Mr. Norton. Unaware of the recovery of the powder and the interception of her letter, "she thanked God that she was much better, and said her mind was more at ease than it had been"; but, being informed of these damning discoveries, she fell on her knees by her father's bed and implored his forgiveness, vowing that she would never see or write to Cranstoun again. "I forgive thee, my dear," said the old man, "and I hope God will forgive thee; but thou shouldst have considered better than to have attempted anything against thy father." To which she answered, "Sir, as for your illness, I am entirely innocent." She admitted having put the powder into the gruel, "but," said she, "it was given me with another intent." Her father, "turning himself in his bed," exclaimed, "Oh, such a villain! To come to my house, eat and drink of the best my house could afford, and then to take away my life and ruin my daughter! Oh, my dear, thou must hate that man, must hate the ground he treads on, thou canst not help it!" "Sir," said Mary, "your tenderness towards me is like a sword piercing my heart—much worse than if you were ever so angry. I must down on my knees and beg you will not curse me." "I curse thee, my daughter," he rejoined, "how canst thou think I could curse thee? Nay, I bless thee, and hope God will bless thee also and amend thy life. Do, my dear, go out of my room and say no more, lest thou shouldst say anything to thine own prejudice"; whereupon, says Susan, who reports what passed, "she went directly out." Thus Mary and her father parted for the last time. It appears from this pathetic interview that the old man purposely treated her as Cranstoun's innocent dupe, to shield her, if possible, from the consequences of her guilt, of which, in the circumstances, he could have entertained no doubt.

Meanwhile Dr. Addington had applied to the mysterious powder the tests prescribed by the scientific knowledge of the time, which, if less delicate and reliable than the processes of Reinsch and Marsh—a red-hot poker was the principal agent—yielded results then deemed sufficiently conclusive. Judged by these experiments, Mrs. Morgan's mystic philtre was composed of nothing more recondite than white arsenic. When Dr. Addington called on Monday he found the patient much worse, and sent for Dr. Lewis, of Oxford, as he "apprehended Mr. Blandy to be in the utmost danger, and that this affair might come before a Court of judicature." He asked the dying man whether he himself knew if he had "taken poison often." Mr. Blandy said he believed he had, and in reply to the further question, whom he suspected to be the giver of the poison? "the tears stood in his eyes, yet he forced a smile, and said, 'A poor love-sick girl—I forgive her. I always thought there was mischief in those cursed Scotch pebbles.'" Dr. Lewis came, and confirmed Dr. Addington's diagnosis; by their orders Mary was that evening confined to her chamber, a guard was placed over her, and her keys, papers, "and all instruments wherewith she could hurt either herself or any other person" were taken from her. Dr. Addington graphically describes the scene when the guilty woman realised that all was lost. She protested that from the first she had been basely deceived by Cranstoun, that she had never put powder in anything her father swallowed, excepting the gruel drunk by him on the Monday and Tuesday nights, that she believed it "would make him kind to him [Cranstoun] and her," and that she did not know it to be poison "till she had seen its effects." She declined to assist in bringing her lover to justice—she considered him as her husband, "though the ceremony had not passed between them." In reply to further pertinent questions, e.g., whether she really pretended to believe in the childish business of the "love philtre"? why Cranstoun described it, if innoxious, as "powder to clean the pebbles with"? why, in view of her father's grave condition, she failed sooner to call in medical aid? and why she had concealed from him (Addington) what she knew to be the true cause of the illness? her answers were not such, says Dr. Addington, as gave him any satisfaction. She made, however, the highly damaging admission that, about six weeks before, she had put some of the powder into her father's tea, which Susan Gunnell drank and was ill for a week after. This was said in presence of Betty Binfield. Thus, it will be observed, Mary Blandy, on her own showing knew, long before she operated upon, the gruel at all, the baneful effects of the powder. Her statement that the motive for administering it was to make her father "kind" both to herself and Cranstoun should also be, in view of her subsequent defence, remembered.

On Tuesday, the 13th, the doctors found their patient delirious and "excessively weak." He grew worse throughout the day; but next morning he regained consciousness for an hour, and spoke of making his will in a day or two—a characteristic touch. He soon relapsed, however, and rapidly sinking, died at two o'clock in the afternoon of Wednesday, 14th August, 1751. So the end for which, trampling upon the common instincts of her kind and hardening her heart against the cry of Nature, she had so persistently and horribly striven, was at last attained—with what contentment to "The Fair Parricide," in her guarded chamber, may be left to the speculation of the curious. The servants had access to their mistress's room. That afternoon Miss Blandy asked Robert Harman, the footman, to go away with her immediately—to France, says one account—and offered him £500 if he would do so. He refused. At night, by her request, the cook, Betty Binfield, sat up with her. "Betty, will you go away with me?" she cried, so soon as they were alone. "If you will go to the Lion or the Bell and hire a post-chaise, I will give you fifteen guineas when you get into it, and ten guineas more when we come to London!" "Where will you go—into the North?" inquired the cautious cook; "Shall you go by sea?" and learning that the proposed excursion would include a voyage, Betty, being, as appears, a bad sailor, declined the offer. Her mistress then "burst into laughter," and said she was only joking! In the Narrative, written after her condemnation, Mary boldly denies that these significant incidents occurred; in her more elaborate Account she makes no reference to the subject. Those who saw her at this time testify to her extreme anxiety regarding her own situation, but say she showed no sign of sorrow, compassion, or remorse for her father's death.

The person charged with the duty of warding Mary in her chamber was Edward Herne, parish clerk of Henley, who some twelve years before had been employed in Mr. Blandy's office, and had since remained on intimate terms with the family. It would appear, from an allusion in a contemporary tract, that Herne was that "Mr. H——" whose pretensions to the hand of the attorney's daughter had once been politely rejected. If so, probably he still preserved sufficient of his former feeling to sympathise with her position and wink at her escape. Be the fact as it may, at ten o'clock next morning, Thursday, 15th August, Ned Herne, as Mary names him, leaving his fair charge unguarded, went off to dig a grave for his old master. So soon as the coast was clear, Mary, with "nothing on but a half-sack and petticoat without a hoop," ran out of the house into the street and over Henley bridge, in a last wild attempt to cheat her fate. Her distraught air and strange array attracted instant notice. She was quickly recognised and surrounded by an angry crowd—for the circumstances of Mr. Blandy's death were now common knowledge, and the Coroner's jury was to sit that day. Alarmed by her hostile reception, she sought refuge at the sign of the Angel, on the other side of the bridge, and Mrs. Davis, the landlady, shut the door upon the mob. There chanced then to be in the alehouse one Mr. Lane, who, with his wife, were interested spectators of these unwonted proceedings. Miss Blandy, having "called for a pint of wine and a toast," thus addressed the stranger—"Sir, you look like a gentleman; what do you think they will do to me?" Mr. Lane told her that she would be committed to the county gaol for trial at the Assizes, when, if her innocence appeared, she would be acquitted; if not, she would suffer accordingly. On receiving this cold comfort Mary "stamped her foot upon the ground," and cried, "Oh, that damned villain! But why should I blame him? I am more to blame than he, for I gave it him [her father] and knew the consequence." On cross-examination at a later stage, the witnesses were unable to swear whether the word she used was "knew" or "know." The distinction is obvious; but looking to the other evidence on the point, it is not of much importance. Mr. Alderman Fisher, a friend of Mr. Blandy and one of the jury summoned upon the inquest, came to the Angel and persuaded the fugitive to return. Though the distance was inconsiderable, Mr. Fisher had to convey her in a "close" post-chaise "to preserve her from the resentment of the populace." Welcomed home by the sergeant and mace-bearer sent by the Corporation of Henley to take her in charge, Mary asked Mr. Fisher how it would go with her. He told her, "very hard," unless she could support her story by the production of Cranstoun's letters. "Dear Mr. Fisher," said she, "I am afraid I have burnt some that would have brought him to justice. My honour to him will prove my ruin." If the letters afforded sufficient proof of Cranstoun's criminous intent, it hardly appears how the fact rhymes to Mary's innocence.

That day a post-mortem examination of Mr. Blandy's remains was made by Dr. Addington and others, and in the afternoon "at the house of John Gale, Richard Miles, Gent., Mayor and Coroner of the said town," opened his inquiry into the cause of death. An account of the proceedings at the inquest is printed in the Appendix. The medical witnesses examined were Drs. Addington and Lewis; Mr. Nicholson, surgeon in Henley; and the apothecary, Mr. Norton, who severally spoke to the symptoms exhibited by the deceased during life, the appearances presented by his body, and the result of the analysis of the powder. They were of opinion that Mr. Blandy died of poison, and that the powder was a poison capable of causing his death. The maids, Gunnell and Binfield, Harman the footman, and Mary's old flame, Ned Herne, were the other witnesses whose depositions were taken. Having heard the evidence, the jury found that Francis Blandy was poisoned, and that Mary Blandy "did poison and murder" him; and on Friday, 16th August, the mayor and coroner issued to the constables his warrant to convey the prisoner to the county gaol of Oxford, there to be detained until discharged by due course of law. That night Mr. Blandy's body was buried in the parish church at Henley. None of his relatives were present, Norton, his apothecary; Littleton, his clerk; and Harman, his footman, being the only mourners.

Miss Blandy was not removed to Oxford Castle till the following day, to enable her to make the arrangements necessary for a lengthy visit. By her request, one Mrs. Dean, a former servant of the family, accompanied her as her maid. Her tea caddy—"the cannisters were all most full of fine Hyson"—was not forgotten. At four o'clock on Saturday morning the ladies, attended by two constables, set out "very privately" in a landau and four, and, eluding the attention of the mob, reached Oxford about eleven. Mary's first question on arriving at the gaol was, "Am I to be fettered?" and, learning that she would not be put in irons so long as she behaved well, she remarked, "I have wore them all this morning in my mind in the coach." At first, we are told, "her imprisonment was indeed rather like a retirement from the world than the confinement of a criminal." She had her maid to attend her, the best, apartments in the keeper's house were placed at her disposal, she drank tea—her favourite Hyson—twice a day, walked at her pleasure in the keeper's garden, and of an evening enjoyed her game of cards. Her privacy was strictly respected; no one was allowed to "see her without her consent," though very extraordinary sums were daily offered for that purpose. What treatment more considerate could a sensitive gentlewoman desire? But the rude breath of the outer world was not so easily excluded. One day the interesting prisoner learned from a visitor the startling news that her father's fortune, of which, as he had left no will, she was sole heiress, had been found to amount to less than four thousand pounds! With what feelings would she recall the old attorney's boastful references to her £10,000 dower, the fame of which had first attracted her "lover," Cranstoun, and so led to results already sufficiently regrettable, the end of which she shuddered to foresee. How passionately the fierce woman must have cursed the irony of her fate! But to this mental torment were soon to be added physical discomfort and indignity. A rumour reached the authorities in London that a scheme was afoot to effect her rescue. On Friday, 25th October, the Secretary of State having instructed the Sheriff of the county "to take more particular care of her," the felon's fetters she had before feared were riveted upon her slender ankles; and there was an end to the daily walks amid the pleasant alleys of the keeper's garden. This broad hint as to her real position induced a different state of mind. The chapel services, hitherto somewhat neglected, were substituted for the mundane pastimes of tea-drinkings and cards, and the prison chaplain, the Rev. John Swinton, became her only visitor. To the pious attentions of that gentleman she may now be left while we see what happened beyond the narrow circuit of her cell.

We are enabled to throw some fresh light upon the doings of the powers in whose high hands lay the prisoner's life from certain correspondence, hitherto unpublished, relating to her case. These documents, here printed for the first time from the original MSS. in the British Museum and Public Record Office, will be found in the Appendix. On 27th September, 1751, Lord Chancellor Hardwicke wrote to the Duke of Newcastle, Secretary of State, advising that, if upon the examinations there appeared to be sufficient grounds to proceed against Mary Blandy for her father's murder, the prosecution should be carried on at the expense of the Crown, an unusual but not unprecedented practice; and that Mr. Sharpe, Solicitor to the Treasury, be ordered to take the necessary steps, under direction of the Attorney-General; otherwise it would be a reproach to the King's justice should so flagrant a crime escape punishment, as might, if the prosecution were left in the hands of the prisoner's own relatives, occur. As it was thought that Susan Gunnell and the old charwoman, Ann Emmet, material witnesses, "could not long survive the effects of the poison they partook of," and might "dye" before the trial, which in ordinary course would not be held until the Lent Assizes, his lordship suggested that a special commission be sent into Berkshire to find a bill of indictment there, so that the trial could be had at the King's Bench Bar within the next term. It appears from the correspondence that one Richard Lowe, the Mayor of Henley's messenger, had, shortly after Miss Blandy's committal, been despatched to Scotland with the view of apprehending the Hon. William Henry Cranstoun as accessory to the murder. From the address on Mary's intercepted letter, Cranstoun was believed to be in Berwick, and Lowe applied to Mr. Carre, the Sheriff-Depute of Berwickshire, who seems to have made some difficulty in granting a warrant in terms of the application, though ultimately he did so. By that time, however, the bird had flown; and Lowe and Carre each blamed the other for the failure to effect the fugitive's arrest. His lordship accordingly recommended that the Lord Justice-Clerk of Scotland be requested to hold an inquiry into the facts. Lord Hardwicke, in a private letter to the Duke of the same date, commented on the "extraordinary method" taken to apprehend Cranstoun, pointing out that a messenger ought to have been sent with the Secretary of State's warrant, "which runs equally over the whole kingdom"; that might have been executed with secrecy, whereas by the course adopted "so many persons must be apprized of it, that he could hardly fail of getting notice." On receipt of these letters, Newcastle wrote to Sir Dudley Ryder, the Attorney-General, that His Majesty would be pleased to give orders for the prosecution of Mary Blandy, and instructing him to take the requisite steps for that purpose. The result of the Justice-Clerk's inquiry, as appears from the further correspondence, was completely to exonerate Mr. Carre from the charges of negligence and delay made against him by the Mayor's messenger.

On 4th October the Chancellor wrote to the Secretary regarding a petition by the "Noblemen and Gentlemen in the Neighbourhood of Henley-upon-Thames, and the Mayor and principal Magistrates of that Town, to the Duke of Newcastle," thanking his grace for King George's "Paternal Goodness" in directing that the prisoner should be prosecuted at "His Majesty's Expence," stating that no endeavour would be wanting on their part to render that prosecution successful, and praying that, in order to bring to justice "the Wicked Contriver and Instigator of this Villainous Scheme," His Majesty might be pleased to offer by proclamation a reward for Cranstoun's apprehension. The signatories included the Mayor and Rector of Henley, divers county magnates, and also the local magistrates, Lords Macclesfield and Cadogan, whose "indefatigable diligence" in getting up the Crown case was specially commended by Bathurst at the trial. By Lord Hardwicke's instructions the Duke submitted the petition to the Attorney-General, with the query, whether it would be advisable to issue such a proclamation? And Sir Dudley Ryder, while of opinion that the matter was one "of mere discretion in His Majesty" and generally approving the measure, thought it probable that the person in question might even then "be gone beyond sea." Mr. Attorney's conjecture was, as we shall find, correct.

There is an interesting letter from one Mr. Wise to Mr. Sharpe, Solicitor to the Treasury, giving us a glimpse of Miss Blandy in prison. The writer describes a visit paid by him to Oxford Castle and the condition in which he found her, tells how he impressed upon the keeper and Mrs. Dean the dire results to themselves of allowing her to escape, and mentions the annoyance of Parson Swinton, "a great favourite of Miss Blandy's," at the "freedom" taken with his name by some anonymous scribbler. This was not the first time that reverend gentleman had to complain of the "liberty" of the Press, as we learn from certain curious pamphlets of 1739, from which it would seem that his reputation had no very sweet savour in contemporary nostrils. Mr. Sharpe, writing to Mr. Wise on 6th December, alludes to a threatening letter sent to Betty Binfield, purporting to be written by Cranstoun, from which it was inferred that the fugitive was lying concealed "either here in London or in the North." A similar "menacing letter" signed W.H.C. had been received by Dr. Lewis on 23rd November, which, like the other, was probably a hoax. Cranstoun, being then safe in France, would not so commit himself.

The last document of the series, "The Examination of Francis Gropptty," dated 3rd February, 1752, tells for the first time the story of the fugitive's escape. This was the man employed by the Cranstoun family to get their disreputable relative quietly out of England. The delicate negotiation was conducted by the Rev. Mr. Home, brother of Lord Home, and a certain Captain Alexander Hamilton. It was represented to Gropptty, who had "lived with Lord Home several years" and then "did business for him," that such a service would "very much, oblige Lord Cranstoun, Lord Home, and all the Family," and that, as there were no orders to stop Cranstoun at Dover, by complying with their request he, personally, ran no risk; accordingly he consented to see the interesting exile as far as Calais. On 2nd September Captain Hamilton produced Cranstoun at Gropptty's house in Mount Street. Our old acquaintance characteristically explained that he was without funds for the journey, having been "rob'd" of his money and portmanteau on his way to town. Gropptty was induced to purchase for the traveller "such, necessaries as he wanted," and Captain Hamilton went to solicit from Lord Ancrum a loan of twenty pounds for expenses. His lordship having unaccountably refused the advance, the guileless Gropptty agreed to lend ten guineas upon Captain Hamilton's note of hand, which, as he in his examination complained, was still "unsatisfied." He and Cranstoun then set out in a post-chaise for Dover, where they arrived next morning at nine o'clock. On 4th September they embarked in the packet for Calais, paying a guinea for their passage; and Gropptty, having seen his charge safely bestowed in lodgings "at the Rate of Fifty Livres a Month," returned to London. Informed of the successful issue of the adventure, the Rev. Mr. Home evinced a holy joy, and, in the name of his noble kinsman and of Lord Cranstoun, promised Gropptty a handsome reward for his trouble. That gentleman, however, said he had acted solely out of gratitude to Lord Home, and wanted nothing but his outlays; so he made out an "Acct. of the Expences he had been at," amounting, with the sum advanced by him, to eighteen pounds, for which Captain Hamilton obligingly gave him a bill upon my Lord Cranstoun. By a singular coincidence this document of debt also remained "unsatisfied"; his lordship, after keeping it for six weeks, "returned it unpaid, and the Examt. has not yet recd. the money"! Thus, in common with all who had any dealings with the Hon. William Henry Cranstoun, Gropptty in the end got the worse of the bargain.

While her gallant accomplice, having successfully stolen a march upon the hangman, was breathing the free air of the French seaport, Miss Blandy, in her cell in Oxford Castle, was preparing for her trial. She had at first entrusted her defence to one Mr. Newell, an attorney of Henley, who had succeeded her late father in the office of town-clerk; but the lawyer, at one of their consultations, untactfully expressing astonishment that she should have got herself into trouble over such "a mean-looking little ugly fellow" as Cranstoun, his client took umbrage at this observation as reflecting upon her taste in lovers, dispensed with his further services, and employed in his stead one Mr. Rivers of Woodstock. From the day of her arrest all sorts of rumours had been rife regarding so sensational a case. She had poisoned her mother; she had poisoned her friend Mrs. Pocock—how and when that lady in fact died we do not know; she was still in correspondence with Cranstoun; she was secretly married to the keeper's son, a step to which the circumstances of their acquaintance left her no alternative; her fortune was being employed to bribe the authorities; the principal witnesses against her had been got out of the way; she had (repeatedly and in divers ways) escaped; finally, as she herself, with reference to these reports, complained—"It has been said that I am a wretched drunkard, a prophane swearer, that I never went to chapel, contemned all holy ordinances, and in short gave myself up to all kinds of immorality." The depositions of the witnesses before the coroner were published "by some of the Friends and Relations of the Family, in order to prevent the Publick from being any longer imposed on with fictitious Stories," but both Miss Blandy and Mr. Ford, her counsel, took great exception to this at the trial. Pamphlets, as we shall presently see, poured from the press, and even before she appeared at the bar the first instalments of a formidable library of Blandyana, had come into being.

On Monday, 2nd March, 1752, the grand jury for the county of Oxford found a true bill against Mary Blandy. The Town Hall, where the Assizes were usually held, was "then rebuilding," and as the University authorities had refused the use of the Sheldonian Theatre, the trial was appointed to take place next morning in the beautiful hall of the Divinity School. Owing to the insertion overnight—by a mischievous undergraduate or other sympathiser with the day's heroine—of some obstacle in the keyhole, the door could not be opened, and the lock had to be forced, which delayed the proceedings for an hour. The judges meanwhile returned to their lodgings. This initial difficulty surmounted, at eight o'clock on Tuesday, 3rd March, Mary Blandy was placed at the bar to answer the grave charges made against her. There appeared for the Crown the Hon. Mr. Bathurst and Mr. Serjeant Hayward, assisted by the Hon. Mr. Barrington and Messrs. Hayes, Nares, and Ambler. The prisoner was defended by Mr. Ford, with whom were Messrs. Morton and Aston. The judges were the Hon. Heneage Legge and Sir Sidney Stafford Smythe, two of the Barons of His Majesty's Court of Exchequer.

Miss Blandy

As the following pages contain a verbatim reprint of the official report of the trial, published by permission of the judges, it is only necessary here briefly to refer to the proceedings. The trial lasted thirteen hours. It is, says Mr. Ainsworth Mitchell, in his Science and the Criminal, "remarkable as being the first one of which there is any detailed record, in which convincing scientific proof of poisoning was given." The indictment charged the prisoner with the wilful murder of Francis Blandy by administering to him white arsenic at divers times (1) between 10th November, 1750, and 5th August, 1751, in tea, and (2) between 5th and 14th August, 1751, in water gruel. The prisoner pleaded not guilty, a jury was duly sworn, and the indictment having been opened by Mr. Barrington, Bathurst began his address for the Crown. Though promoted later to the highest judicial office, he has been described as "the least efficient Lord Chancellor of the eighteenth century." Lord Campbell, in his Lives of the Chancellors, says that Bathurst's address was much praised for its eloquence, and "as it certainly contains proof of good feeling, if not of high talent and refined taste," his lordship transcribes for the benefit of his readers certain of its purpler passages. It was deemed worthy, at the time, of publication in separate form, with highly eulogistic notes, wherein we read that by its eloquent appeal both judges and counsel "were moved to mourn, nay, to weep like tenderest infants." The prisoner, however, heard it dry-eyed, nor will its effect be more melting for the modern reader. At the outset the learned counsel observed, with reference to the heinous nature of the crime, that he was not surprised "at this vast concourse of people collected together," from which it appears there were few vacant seats that morning in the Divinity School. Space will not permit us to accompany the future Lord Chancellor through his "most affecting oration," which presents the case for the Crown with moderation and fairness, and concludes with a tribute to the "indefatigable diligence" of the Earl of Macclesfield and Lord Cadogan "in inquiring into this hidden work of darkness." He was followed by Serjeant Hayward, who, employing a more rhetorical and florid style, was probably better appreciated by the audience, but added little to the jury's knowledge of the facts. In an "improving" passage he besought "the young gentlemen of this University," who seem to have been well represented, to guard against the first insidious approaches of vice. "See here," said he, "the dreadful consequences of disobedience to a parent."

We need not examine in detail the evidence led for the prosecution; from the foregoing narrative the reader already knows its main outlines and may study it at large in the following report. The Crown case opened with the medical witnesses, Drs. Addington and Lewis, and Mr. Norton, who clearly established the fact that arsenic was the cause of Mr. Blandy's death, that arsenic was present in the remains of his gruel, and that arsenic was the powder which the prisoner had attempted to destroy. The appearance of Mrs. Mounteney in the witness-box occasioned the only display of feeling exhibited by the accused throughout the whole trial. This lady was her godmother, and as she left the Court after giving her evidence, she clasped her god-child by the hand, exclaiming "God bless you!" For the moment Mary's brilliant black eyes filled with tears, but after drinking a glass of wine and water, she resumed her air of stoical indifference.

Susan Gunnell, "wore down to a Skelliton" by the effects of her curiosity, but sufficiently recovered to come into Court, was the principal witness for the prosecution. In addition to the material facts which we have before narrated, Susan deposed that the prisoner often spoke of her father as "an old villain," and wished for his death, and had complained that she was "very awkward," for, if he were dead, "she would go to Scotland and live with Lady Cranstoun." Susan gave her evidence with perfect fairness, and showed no animus against her former mistress. Equal in importance was the testimony of Betty Binfield, which, perhaps, is more open to Miss Blandy's objection as being "inspired with vindictive sentiments." When communicating to the maids Mrs. Morgan's prophecy regarding the duration of their master's life, the prisoner, said witness, expressed herself glad, "for that then she would soon be released from all her fatigues, and be happy." She was wont to curse her father, calling him "rascal and villain," and on one occasion had remarked, "Who would grudge to send an old father to hell for £10,000?" "Exactly them words," added the scrupulous cook, though in this instance her zeal had probably got the better of her memory. In cross-examination Betty was asked whether she had any ill-will against her mistress. "I always told her I wished her very well," was the diplomatic reply. "Did you," continued the prisoner's counsel, "ever say, 'Damn her for a black bitch! I should be glad to see her go up the ladder and be hanged'"? but Betty indignantly denied the utterance of any such ungenteel expressions.

The account given by this witness of the admissions made by her mistress to Dr. Addington in her presence led to the recall of that gentleman, who, in his former evidence, had not referred to the matter. The prisoner's counsel invited Dr. Addington to say that Miss Blandy's anxiety proceeded solely from concern for her father; the doctor excused himself from expressing any opinion, but, being indiscreetly pressed to do so, said that her agitation struck him as due entirely to fears for herself: he saw no tokens of grief for her father. On re-examination, it appeared that the doctor had attended professionally both Susan Gunnell and Ann Emmet; their symptoms, in his opinion, were those of arsenical poisoning. Alice Emmet was next called to speak to her mother's illness, the old charwoman herself being in no condition to come to Court. Littleton, old Blandy's clerk, gave his evidence with manifest regret, but had to admit that he frequently heard Miss Blandy curse her parent by the unfilial names of rogue, villain, and "toothless old dog." Harman, the footman, to whom Mary had offered the £500 bribe, and Mr. Fisher and Mr. and Mrs. Lane, who spoke to the incidents at the Angel Inn on the day of her attempted flight, were the other witnesses examined; the intercepted letter to Cranstoun was put in, and the Crown case closed.

According to the practice of the time, the prisoner's counsel, while allowed to examine their own, and cross-examine the prosecutor's witnesses, were not permitted to address the jury. Mary Blandy therefore now rose to make the speech in her own defence. Probably prepared for her beforehand, it merely enumerates the various injustices and misrepresentations of which she considered herself the victim. She made little attempt to refute the damning evidence against her, and concluded by protesting her innocence of her father's death; that she thought the powder "an inoffensive thing," and gave it to procure his love. In this she was well advised, for she was shrewd enough to see that upon the question of her knowledge of the quality and effect of the powder the verdict would turn.

Eight witnesses were called for the defence. Ann James, who washed for the family, stated that before Mr. Blandy's illness there was "a difference between Elizabeth Binfield and Miss Blandy, and Binfield was to go away." After Mary's removal to Oxford gaol (Saturday, 17th August), the witness heard Betty one day in the kitchen make use of the unparliamentary language already quoted. Mary Banks deposed that she was present at the time, and heard the words spoken. "It was the night Mr. Blandy was opened" (Thursday, 15th August); she was sure of that; Miss Blandy was then in the house. Betty Binfield, recalled and confronted with this evidence, persisted in her denial, but admitted the existence of "a little quarrel" with her mistress. Edward Herne, Mary's old admirer, gave her a high character as an affectionate, dutiful daughter. He was in the house as often as four times a week and never heard her swear an oath or speak a disrespectful word of her father. In cross-examination the witness admitted that in August, 1750, Miss Blandy told him that Cranstoun had put powder in her father's tea. He had visited her in prison, and on one occasion, a report having reached her that "the Captain was taken," she wrung her hands and said, "I hope in God it is true, that he may be brought to justice as well as I, and that he may suffer the punishment due to his crime, as I shall do for mine." Here for the first time the prisoner intervened. Her questions were directed to bring out that she had told Herne on the occasion mentioned that no "damage" resulted upon Cranstoun's use of the powder, from which fact she inferred its effects harmless, and that the "suffering" spoken of by her had reference to her imprisonment, though guiltless. For the rest, Thomas Cawley and Thomas Staverton, friends of Mr. Blandy for upwards of twenty years, spoke to the happy relations which to their knowledge subsisted between father and daughter. On her last visit to Staverton's house, Mary had remarked that, although her father "had many wives laid out for him," he would not marry till she was "settled." Mrs. Davis, the landlady of the Angel, and Robert Stoke, the officer who took the prisoner into custody, said that Miss Blandy did not then appear to them to be attempting night. This concluded the exculpatory evidence. For the defence, Mr. Ford protested against the "unjustifiable and illegal methods" used to prejudice his client, such as the publication of the proceedings at the inquest, and, particularly, the "very scandalous reports" concerning her, circulated since her commitment, to refute which he proposed to call "the reverend gentleman who had attended her," Parson Swinton. The Court, however, held that there was no need to do so, as the jury would entirely disregard anything not deposed to in Court. Mr. Bathurst replying for the Crown, maintained that it was proved to demonstration that Francis Blandy died of poison, put in his gruel upon the 5th of August by the prisoner's hand, as appeared not only from her own confession, but from all the evidence adduced. "Examine then, gentlemen," said the learned counsel, "whether it is possible she could do it ignorantly." In view of the great affection with which it was proved the dying man behaved to her, the prisoner's assertion that she gave him the powder "to make him love her" was incredible. She knew what effects the poisoned gruel produced upon him on the Monday and Tuesday, yet she would have given him more of it on the Wednesday. Having pointed out that, when she must have known the nature of the powder, she endeavoured to destroy it, instead of telling the physicians what she had given her father, which might have been the means of saving his life, counsel commented on the terms of the intercepted letter to Cranstoun as wholly inconsistent with her innocence. Further, he remarked on the contradiction as to dates in the evidence of the witnesses who reported Betty Binfield's forcible phrase, which, he contended, was in fact never uttered by her. Finally, he endorsed the censure of the prisoner's counsel upon the spreaders of the scandalous reports, which he asked the jury totally to disregard. On the conclusion of Bathurst's reply, the prisoner made the following statement:—"It is said I gave it [the powder] my father to make him fond of me: there was no occasion for that—but to make him fond of Cranstoun."

Mr. Baron Legge then proceeded to charge the jury. The manner in which his lordship reviewed the evidence and his exposition of its import and effect, indeed his whole conduct of the trial, have been well described as affording a favourable impression of his ability, impartiality, and humanity. He proceeded in the good old fashion, going carefully over the whole ground of the evidence, of which his notes appear to have been excellent; and after some general remarks upon the atrocity of the crime charged, and the nature and weight of circumstantial evidence—"more convincing and satisfactory than any other kind of evidence, because facts cannot lie"—observed that it was undeniable that Mr. Blandy died by poison administered to him by the prisoner at the bar: "What you are to try is reduced to this single question, whether the prisoner, at the time she gave it to her father, knew that it was poison, and what effect it would have?" If they believed that she did know, they must find her guilty; if, in view of her general character, the evidence led for the defence, and what she herself had said, they were not satisfied that she knew, then they would acquit her. The jury, without retiring, consulted for five minutes and returned a verdict of guilty. Mr. Baron Legge, having in dignified and moving terms exhorted the unhappy woman to repentance, then pronounced the inevitable sentence of the law—"That you are to be carried to the place of execution and there hanged by the neck until you are dead; and may God, of His infinite mercy, receive your soul."

It was nine o'clock at night; for thirteen mortal hours Mary Blandy had watched unflinchingly the "interesting game played by counsel with her life for stakes"; the "game" was over, and hers was the losing side; yet no sign of fear or agitation was manifested by that strange woman as she rose for the last time to address her judge. "My lord," said she, "as your lordship has been so good to show so much candour and impartiality in the course of my trial, I have one favour more to beg; which is, that your lordship would please to allow me a little time till I can settle my affairs and make my peace with God"; to which Mr. Baron Legge feelingly replied, "To be sure, you shall have a proper time allowed you." So, amid the tense stillness of the crowded "house," the curtain fell upon the great fourth act of the tragedy of "The Fair Parricide."

On leaving the hall to be taken back to prison, Mary Blandy, we read, "stepped into the Coach with as little Concern as if she had been going to a Ball"—the eighteenth century reporter anticipating by a hundred years his journalistic successor's phrase as to the demeanour of Madeleine Smith in similar trying circumstances. The result of the trial had preceded her to Oxford Castle, where she found the keeper's family "in some Disorder, the Children being all in Tears" at the fatal news. "Don't mind it," said their indomitable guest, "What does it signify? I am very hungry; pray, let me have something for supper as speedily as possible"; and our reporter proceeds to spoil his admirable picture by condescending upon "Mutton Chops and an Apple Pye."

The six weeks allowed her to prepare for death were all too short for the correspondence and literary labours in which she presently became involved. On 7th March "a Reverend Divine of Henley-upon-Thames," probably, from other evidence, the Rev. William Stockwood, rector of the parish, addressed to her a letter, exhorting her to confession and repentance. To this Miss Blandy replied on the 9th, maintaining that she had acted innocently. "There is an Account," she tells him, "as well as I was able to write, which I sent to my Uncle in London, that I here send you." Copies of these letters, and of the narrative referred to, are printed in the Appendix. She sends her "tenderest wishes" to her god-mother, Mrs. Mounteney, and trusts that she will be able to "serve" her with the Bishop of Winchester, apparently in the matter of a reprieve, of which Mary is said to have had good hope, by reason that she had once the honour of dancing with the late Prince of Wales—"Fred, who was alive and is dead." "Pray comfort poor Ned Herne," she writes, "and tell him I have the same friendship for him as ever." She asks that her letter and its enclosure be returned, as, being in her own handwriting, they may be of service to her character after her death. The object of this request was speedily apparent; on 20th March the whole documents were published under the title of A Letter from a Clergyman, to Miss Mary Blandy, &c., with a note by the publisher intimating that, for the satisfaction of the public, the original MS. was left with him. The fair authoress having thus fired the first shot, a fusilade of pamphlets began—the spent bullets are collected in the Bibliography—which, for volume and verbosity, is entitled to honourable mention in the annals of tractarian strife. An Answer to Miss Blandy's Narrative quickly followed upon the other side, in which, it is claimed, "all the Arguments she has advanc'd in Justification of her Innocence are fully refuted, and her Guilt clearly and undeniably prov'd." This was promptly met by The Case of Miss Blandy considered, as a Daughter, as a Gentlewoman, and as a Christian, with particular reference to her own Narrative, the author of which is better versed in classical analogies than in the facts of the case. Mary herself mentions a pamphlet, which she cites as The Life of Miss Mary Blandy, and attributes to "a French usher." This may have been one of the 1751 tracts containing accounts "of that most horrid Parricide," the title of which she deemed too indelicate for exact citation, or, perhaps, an earlier edition of A Genuine and Impartial Account of the Life of Miss Mary Blandy, &c., the copy of which in the Editor's possession, including an account of the execution, was published on 9th April, three days after the completion of that ceremony.

The last literary effort of Mary Blandy was an expansion of her Narrative, re-written in more detail and at much greater length, the revised version appearing on 18th April under the title of Miss Mary Blandy's Own Account of the Affair between her and Mr. Cranstoun, "from the commencement of their Acquaintance in the year 1746 to the Death of her Father in August, 1751, with all the Circumstances leading to that unhappy Event." This ingenious, rather than ingenuous, compilation was, it is said, prepared with the assistance of Parson Swinton, who had some previous experience of pamphleteering on his own account in 1739. Mr. Horace Bleackley has happily described it as "The most famous apologia in criminal literature," and as such it is reprinted in the present volume. Even this tour de force failed to convince a sceptical world, and on 15th April was published A Candid Appeal to the Publick concerning her case, by "a Gentleman of Oxford," wherein "All the ridiculous and false Assertions" contained in Miss Blandy's Own Account "are exploded, and the Whole of that Mysterious Affair set in a True Light." But by this time the fair disputant was beyond the reach of controversy, and the Oxford gentleman had it all his own way; though the pamphleteers kept the discussion alive a year longer than its subject.

An instructive feature of Mary's literary activities during her last days is her correspondence with Elizabeth Jeffries. "That unsavoury person" was, with her paramour, John Swan, convicted at Chelmsford Assizes on 12th March, 1752, of the murder at Walthamstow, on 3rd July, of one Joseph Jeffries, respectively uncle and master to his slayers. Elizabeth induced John to kill the old gentleman, who, aware of their intrigue, had threatened, as the Crown counsel neatly phrased it, "to alter his will, if she did not alter her conduct." This unpleasant case, as was, perhaps, in the circumstances, natural, attracted the attention of Miss Blandy. She read with much interest the report of the trial. "It is barbarous," was her comment—for, in truth, the murder was a sordid business, and sadly lacking in "style"—"but I am sorry for her, and hope she will have a good divine to attend her in her last moments, if possible a second Swinton, for, poor unhappy girl, I pity her." These sentiments shocked a lady visitor then present, who, expressing the opinion that all such inhuman wretches should suffer as they deserved, withdrew in dudgeon. Mary smilingly remarked, "I can't bear with these over-virtuous women. I believe if ever the devil picks a bone, it is one of theirs!" But the murderess of Walthamstow had somehow struck her fancy, and she wrote to her fellow-convict to express her sympathy. That young lady suitably replied, and the ensuing correspondence (7th January-19th March, 1752), published under the title of Genuine Letters between Miss Blandy and Miss Jeffries, if we may believe the description, is highly remarkable. At first Elizabeth asserted her innocence as stoutly as did Mary herself, but afterwards she acknowledged her guilt. Whereupon Mary, more in sorrow than in anger, wrote to her on 16th March for the last time. "Your deceiving of me was a small crime; it was deceiving yourself: for no retreat, tho' ever so pleasant, no diversions, no company, no, not Heaven itself, could have made you happy with those crimes unrepented of in your breast." So, with the promise to be "a suitor for her at the Throne of Mercy," Miss Blandy intimated that the correspondence must close; and on the 28th Miss Jeffries duly paid the penalty of her crime.

In A Book of Scoundrels, that improving and delightful work, Mr. Charles Whibley has, well observed: "A stern test of artistry is the gallows. Perfect behaviour at an enforced and public scrutiny may properly be esteemed an effect of talent—an effect which has not too often been rehearsed." This high standard, the hall-mark of the artist in crime, Mary Blandy admittedly attained. The execution, originally fixed for Saturday, 4th April, was postponed until Monday, the 6th, by request of the University authorities, who represented that to conduct such a ceremony during Holy Week "would be improper and unprecedented." The night before her end the doomed woman asked to see the scene of the morrow's tragedy, and looked out from one of the upper windows upon the gibbet, "opposite the door of the gaol, and made by laying a poll across upon the arms of two trees"—in her case "the fatal tree" had a new and very real significance; then she turned away, remarking only that it was "very high." At nine o'clock on Monday morning, attended by Parson Swinton, and "dress'd in a black crape sack, with her arms and hands ty'd with black paduasoy ribbons," Mary Blandy was led out to her death. About the two trees with, their ominous "poll" a crowd of silent spectators was assembled on the Castle Green, to whom, in accordance with the etiquette of the day, she made her "dying declaration"—to wit, that she was guiltless of her father's blood, though the innocent cause of his death, and that she did not "in the least contribute" to that of her mother or of Mrs. Pocock. This she swore upon her salvation; which only shows, says Lord Campbell, who was convinced of her guilt, "the worthlessness of the dying declarations of criminals, and the absurdity of the practice of trying to induce them to confess." We shall not dwell upon the shocking spectacle—the curious will find a contemporary account in the Appendix—but one characteristic detail may be mentioned. As she was climbing the fatal ladder, covered, for the occasion, with black cloth, she stopped, and addressing the celebrants of that grim ritual, "Gentlemen," said she, "do not hang me high, for the sake of decency."

Mary Blandy was but just in time to make so "genteel" an end. That very year (1752), owing to the alarming increase of murders, an Act was passed (25 Geo. II. c. 37) "for better preventing the Horrid Crime of Murder," whereby persons condemned therefor should be executed on the next day but one after sentence, and their bodies be given to the Surgeons' Company at their Hall with a view to dissection, and also, in the discretion of the judge, be hanged in chains. The first person to benefit by the provisions of the new Act did so on 1st July. But although Mary Blandy's body escaped these legal indignities, as neither coffin nor hearse had been prepared for its reception, it was carried through the crowd on the shoulders of one of the Sheriff's men, and deposited for some hours in his house. There suitable arrangements were made, and at one o'clock in the morning of Tuesday, 7th April, 1752, the body, by her own request, was buried in the chancel of Henley Parish Church, between those of her father and mother, when, notwithstanding the untimely hour, "there was assembled the greatest concourse of people ever known upon such an occasion." Henley Church has been "restored" since Mary's day, and there is now no indication of the grave, which, as the present rector courteously informs the Editor, is believed to be beneath the organ, in the north choir aisle.

Apropos to Mary Blandy's death, "Elia" has a quaint anecdote of Samuel Salt, one of the "Old Benchers of the Inner Temple." This gentleman, notable for his maladroit remarks, was bidden to dine with a relative of hers (doubtless Mr. Serjeant Stevens) on the day of the execution—not, one would think, a suitable occasion for festivity. Salt was warned beforehand by his valet to avoid all allusion to the subject, and promised to be specially careful. During the pause preliminary to the announcing of dinner, however, "he got up, looked out of window, and pulling down his ruffles—an ordinary motion with him—observed, 'it was a gloomy day,' and added, 'I suppose Miss Blandy must be hanged by this time.'"

The reader may care to know what became of Cranstoun. That "unspeakable Scot," it has regretfully to be recorded, was never made amenable to earthly justice. He was, indeed, the subject of at least four biographies, but human retribution followed him no further. Extracts from one of these "Lives" are, for what they are worth, printed in the Appendix, together with his posthumous Account of the Poisoning of the late Mr. Francis Blandy, a counterblast to Mary's masterpiece. This tract includes the text of three letters, alleged to have been written by her to her lover, and dated respectively 30th June, 16th July, and 1st August, 1751; but as, after his death, all his papers were, by order of Lord Cranstoun, sealed up and sent to his lordship in Scotland, who, in the circumstances, was little likely to part with them, it does not appear how these particular manuscripts came into the "editor's" possession. But, in that age of literary marvels, nothing need surprise us: a publisher actually issued as genuine the Original Letters to and from Miss Blandy and C—— C——, though the fact that Cranstoun's half of the correspondence had been destroyed by Mary Blandy was then a matter of common knowledge. In all these pamphlets, Cranstoun, while admitting his complicity in her crime, with, characteristic gallantry casts most of the blame upon his dead mistress. For the rest, he seems to have passed the brief remainder of his days in cheating as many of his fellow-sinners as, in the short time at his disposal, could reasonably be expected.

A hitherto unpublished letter from Henry Fox at the War Office, to Mr. Pitt, then Paymaster General, dated 14th March, 1752, is, by kind permission of Mr. A.M. Broadley, printed in the Appendix. After referring to Mary's conviction, the writer intimates that Cranstoun, "a reduc'd first Lieut. of Sir Andrew Agnew's late Regt. of Marines, now on the British Establishment of Half-Pay, was charged with contriving the manner of sd. Miss Blandy's Poisoning her Father and being an Abettor therein; and he having absconded from the time of her being comitted for the above Fact, I am commanded to signify to you it is His Majesty's Pleasure that the sd. Lieutenant Wm. Henry Cranstoune be struck off the sd. Establishment of Half-Pay, and that you do not issue any Moneys remaining in your Hands due to the sd. Lieut. Cranstoune." This shows the view taken by the Government of the part played by Cranstoun in the tragedy of Henley.

There will also be found in the Appendix an extract from, a letter from Dunkirk, published in the London Magazine for February, 1753, containing what appears to be a reliable account of the last days of Mary Blandy's lover; the particulars given are in general agreement with those contained in the various "Lives" above mentioned. Obliged to fly from France, where he had been harboured by one Mrs. Ross, his kinswoman, whose maiden name of Dunbar he had prudently assumed, he sought refuge in Flanders. Furnes, "a town belonging to the Queen of Hungary," had the dubious distinction of being selected by him as an asylum. There, on 2nd December, 1752, "at the sign of the Burgundy Cross," after a short illness, accompanied, it is satisfactory to note, with "great agonies," the Hon. William Henry Cranstoun finally ceased from troubling in the thirty-ninth year of his age. His personal belongings, "consisting chiefly of Laced and Embroidered Waistcoats," were sold to pay his debts. On his deathbed he was received into the Roman Catholic Church. The occasion of so notable a conversion was fittingly marked by the magnificence of his obsequies. "He was buried," we read, "in great solemnity, the Corporation attending the funeral; and a grand Mass was said over the corpse in the Cathedral Church, which, was finely illuminated." The impressive ceremonial would have gratified vainglorious Mr. Blandy had circumstances permitted his presence.

Some account of the descendants of Cranstoun is given in a letter by John Riddell, the Scots genealogist, hitherto unpublished, which is printed in the Appendix. George Cranstoun, Lord Corehouse, Cranstoun's nephew, was afterwards an eminent Scottish judge.

A word as to the guilt of Mary Blandy and her accomplice, which, in the opinion of some writers, is not beyond dispute. The question of motive in such cases is generally a puzzling one, and in the commission of many murders the end to be gained, always inadequate, often remains obscure. Barely does the motive—unlike the punishment which it was the sublime object of Mr. Gilbert's "Mikado" equitably to adjust—"fit the crime." Mary was well aware that she could not be Cranstoun's lawful wife, but hers was not a nature to shrink from the less regular union. Her passion for him was irresistible; she had ample proof of his chronic infidelity, but, in her blind infatuation, such "spots" upon the sun of her affection, were disregarded. She knew that, but for the £10,000 bait, her crafty lover would surely play her false; her father was sick of the whole affair, and if she went off with the captain, would doubtless disinherit her. As for that "honourable" gentleman himself, the inducement to get possession of her £10,000, the beginning and end of his connection with the Blandys, sufficiently explains his purpose. Was not the spirit of his family motto, "Thou shalt want ere I want," ever his guiding light and principle, and would such a man so circumstanced hesitate to resort to a crime which he could induce another to commit and, if necessary, suffer for, while he himself reaped the benefit in safety? Had he succeeded in securing both his mistress and her fortune, Mary's last state would, not improbably, have been worse than her first.

So much for the "motive," which presents little difficulty. Then, with regard to the question whether, on the assumption of his guilt, Mary Blandy was the intelligent agent of Cranstoun or his innocent dupe, no one who has studied the evidence against her can entertain a reasonable doubt. Apart from the threatening and abusive language which she applied to her father, her whole attitude towards his last illness shows how false were her subsequent professions of affection. She herself has disposed of the suggestion that she really believed in the love-compelling properties of the magic powder, though such a belief was not inconceivable, as appears from the contemporary advertisement of a "Love Philtre," of which a copy is printed in the Appendix. She told her dying father that if he were injured by the powder, she was not to blame, as "it was given her with another intent." What that "intent" was she did not then explain, but later she informed Dr. Addington that it was to "make him [her father] kind" to Cranstoun and herself. In the speech which she delivered in her own defence she said, "I gave it to procure his love"; and again, on the conclusion of Bathurst's reply, "It is said I gave it my father to make him fond of me: there was no occasion for that—but to make him fond of Cranstoun." In her Narrative she repeats this statement; but in her Own Account, written and revised by herself, she says, "I gave it to my poor father innocent of the effects it afterwards produced, God knows; not so stupid as to believe it would have that desired, to make him kind to us; but in obedience to Mr. Cranstoun, who ever seemed superstitious to the last degree." Here we have an entirely fresh (if no less false) reason assigned for the exhibition of the wise woman's drug; only, of course, another lie, but one which, disposes of her previous defence. Of the true qualities of the powder she had ample proof; she warned the maid that the gruel "might do for her," she saw its virulent effects upon Gunnell and Emmet, as well as on her father from its first administration, while her concealment of its use from the physician, and her destruction of the remanent portion, are equally incompatible with belief either in its innocence or her own. Finally, her burning of Cranstoun's letters, which, if her story was true, were her only means of confirming it, her attempts to bribe the servants, and her statements to Fisher and the Lanes at the Angel, afford, in Mr. Baron Legge's phrase, "a violent presumption" of her guilt.

Cranstoun, even at the time, did not lack apologists, who held that Miss Blandy, herself the solo criminal, cunningly sought to involve her guileless lover in order to lessen her own guilt. This view has been endorsed by later authorities. Anderson, in his Scottish Nation, remarks, "There does not appear to have been any grounds for supposing that the captain was in any way accessory to the murder"; and Mr. T.F. Henderson, in his article on Cranstoun in the Dictionary of National Biography, observes, "Apart from her [Mary Blandy's] statement there was nothing to connect him with the murder." These writers seem to have overlooked the following important facts:—The letter written by Cranstoun to Mary, read by Bathurst in his opening speech, the terms of which plainly prove the writer's complicity; and the packet rescued from the fire, bearing in his autograph the words, "The powder to clean the pebbles with," which, when we remember the nature of its contents, leaves small doubt of the sender's guilt. "A supposition," says Mr. Bleackley, "that does not explain [these] two damning circumstances must be baseless." The nocturnal manifestations experienced by Cranstoun, and interpreted by his friend Mrs. Morgan as presaging Mr. Blandy's death, must also be explained. Further, it would be interesting to know how the defenders of Cranstoun account for the warning given him by Mary in the intercepted letter—"Lest any accident should happen to your letters, take care what you write." That this was part of a subtle scheme to inculpate her lover will, in the circumstances, hardly be maintained. As Mr. Andrew Lang once remarked of a hypothesis equally untenable, "That cock won't fight." Would Cranstoun have fled as he did from justice, and gone into voluntary exile for life, when, if innocent, he had only to produce Mary's letters to him in proof of the blameless character of their correspondence? and why, when on his death those letters passed into Lord Cranstoun's custody, did not that nobleman publish them in vindication of his brother's honour, as he was directly challenged to do by a pamphleteer of the day? The Crown authorities, at any rate, as we have seen, did not share the opinion expressed by the writers above cited; and from what was said by Mr. Justice Buller, in the case of George Barrington (Mich. 30 Geo. III., reported Term Rep. 499), it appears that Cranstoun, for his concern in the murder of Mr. Blandy, was prosecuted to outlawry, the learned judge observing with reference to the form adopted on that occasion, "It was natural to suppose groat care had been taken in settling it, because some of the most eminent gentlemen in the profession were employed in it."

"Alas! the record of her page will tell
That one thus madden'd, lov'd, and guilty fell.
Who hath not heard of Blandy's fatal fame,
Deplor'd her fate, and sorrow'd o'er her shame?"

Thus the author of Henley: A Poem (Hickman & Stapledon, 1827); and, indeed, the frequent references to the case in the "literary remains" of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries bear witness to the justice of that poetic observation.

The inimitable Letters of Horace Walpole contain, as might be expected, more than one mention of this cause célèbre. Writing on 23rd March, 1752, to Horace Mann, he says, "There are two wretched women that just now are as much talked of [as the two Miss Gunnings], a Miss Jefferies and a Miss Blandy; the one condemned for murdering her uncle, the other her father. Both their stories have horrid circumstances; the first having been debauched by her uncle; the other had so tender a parent, that his whole concern while he was expiring, and knew her for his murderess, was to save her life. It is shocking to think what shambles this country is grown! Seventeen were executed this morning, after having murdered the turnkey on Friday night, and almost forced open Newgate. One is forced to travel, even at noon, as if one was going to battle." And again, on 13th May, "Miss Blandy died with a coolness of courage that is astonishing, and denying the fact, which has made a kind of party in her favour; as if a woman who would not stick at parricide would scruple a lie! We have made a law for immediate execution on conviction of murder: it will appear extraordinary to me if it has any effect; for I can't help believing that the terrible part of death must be the preparation for it." The "law" regarding summary executions to which Walpole refers is the Act already mentioned. To Henry Seymour Conway, on 23rd June, he writes, "Since the two Misses [Blandy and Jefferies] were hanged, and the two Misses [the beautiful Gunnings] were married, there is nothing at all talked of." On 28th August he writes to George Montague, "I have since been with Mr. Conway at Park Place, where I saw the individual Mr. Cooper, a banker, and lord of the manor of Henley, who had those two extraordinary forfeitures from the executions of the Misses Blandy and Jefferies, two fields from the former, and a malthouse from the latter. I had scarce credited the story, and was pleased to hear it confirmed by the very person: though it was not quite so remarkable as it was reported, for both forfeitures were in the same manor." This circumstance is noted in the Annual Register for 1768, in connection with the death of Mr. Cooper, at the age of eighty. From the following references it would appear that the empty old house in Hart Street had acquired a sinister reputation. On 8th November Walpole writes to Conway, "Have the Coopers seen Miss Blandy's ghost, or have they made Mr. Cranston poison a dozen or two more private gentlewomen?"—the allusion being to the deaths of Mrs. Blandy and Mrs. Pocock; and again, on 4th August, 1753, to John Chute. "The town of Henley has been extremely disturbed with an engagement between the ghosts of Miss Blandy and her father, which continued so violent, that some bold persons, to prevent further bloodshed broke in, and found it was two jackasses which had got into the kitchen."

Walpole barely exaggerates the wholesale legal butcheries by which the streets of London were then disgraced. "Many cartloads of our fellow-creatures are once in six weeks carried to slaughter," says Henry Fielding, in his Enquiry (1751); and well has Mr. Whibley described the period as "Newgate's golden age." As for Tyburn Tree, we read in its Annals, for example, "1752. July 13. Eleven executed at Tyburn."

Miss Mary Blandy in Oxford Castle Gaol

We can only glance at one or two further instances of the diffusion of "Blandy's fatal fame." None of the varied forms of the Newgate Calendar—that criminous Who's Who?—fails to accord her suitable if inaccurate notice. With other letter-writers of the time than the genial Horace the case forms a topical subject. James Granger reports to a reverend correspondent that "the principal subject of conversation in these parts is the tragical affair transacted at Henley.... It is supposed, as there is no direct and absolute proof that she was guilty, and her friends are rich and have great interest, that she will escape punishment." To Mrs. Delany, writing the day after the execution, the popular heroine "appeared very guilty by her trial," but we learn that Lady Huntingdon had written a letter to Miss Blandy after her conviction. On 22nd April, 1752, Miss Talbot writes to Mrs. Carter, who thought Mary had been "too severely judged," that "her hardiness in guilt" was shocking to think of. "Let me tell you one fact that young Goosetree, the lawyer, told to the Bishop of Gloucester," she writes, with reference to Miss Blandy's repeated statement that she never believed her father a rich man. "This Goosetree visited her in jail as an old acquaintance. She expressed to him great amazement at her father's being no richer, and said she had no notion but he must have been worth £10,000. Mr. Goosetree prudently told her the less she said about that the better, and she never said it afterwards, but the contrary." Miss Talbot adds that certain letters in Lord Macclesfield's hands "falsify others of her affirmations." By 5th May, 1753, Mrs. Delany writes, "We are now very full of talk about Eliza Canning."

As time goes on the tragedy of Henley, though gradually becoming a tradition, is still susceptible of current allusion. John Wilkes, writing from Bath to his daughter on 3rd January, 1779, regarding a lady of their acquaintance who proposed to keep house for a certain doctor, remarks "that he is sure it could not have lasted long, for she would have poisoned him, as Miss Blandy did her father, and forged a will in her own favour"; but Tate Wilkinson, in his Memoirs, observes, "Elizabeth Canning, Mary Squires, the gipsy, and Miss Blandy were such universal topics in 1752 that you would have supposed it the business of mankind to talk only of them; yet now, in 1790, ask a young man of twenty-five or thirty a question relative to these extraordinary personages, and he will be puzzled to answer, and will say, 'What mean you by enquiring? I do not understand you,'" So quickly had the "smarts" of the new generation forgotten the "fair Blandy" of their fathers' toasts. To make an end of such quotations, which might indefinitely be multiplied, we shall only refer the reader to Lady Russell's Three Generations of Fascinating Women (London: 1901), for good reading passim, and with special reference to her account of the interest taken in the case by Lady Ailesbury of Park Place, who "was related to the instigator of the crime," and, believing in Mary's innocence, used all her influence to obtain a pardon. To Mr. Horace Bleackley's brilliant study of the case we have already in the Preface referred.

It may, in closing, be worth while to remind the student of such matters that the year with which we have had so much concern was in other respects an important one in the annals of crime. On 14th May, 1752, the "Red Fox," Glenure, fell by an assassin's bullet in the wood of Lettermore, which fact resulted in the hanging of a guiltless gentleman and, in after years, more happily inspired an immortal tale; while on 1st January, 1753, occurred the disappearance of Elizabeth Canning, that bewildering damsel whose mission it was to baffle her contemporaries and to set at nought the skill of subsequent inquirers.

Well, we have learned all that history and tradition has to tell us about Mary Blandy; but what do we really know of that sombre soul that sinned and suffered and passed to its appointed place so long ago? A few "facts," some "circumstances"—which, if we may believe the dictum of Mr. Baron Legge, cannot lie; and yet she remains for us dark and inscrutable as in her portrait, where she sits calmly in her cell, preparing her false Account for the misleading of future generations. Like her French "parallel," Marie-Madeleine de Brinvilliers, like that other Madeleine of Scottish fame, she leaves us but a catalogue of ambiguous acts; her secret is still her own. If only she had been the creature of some great novelist's fancy, how intimately should we then have known all that is hidden from us now; imagine her made visible for us through the exquisite medium of Mr. Henry James's incomparable art—the subtle individual threads all cunningly combined, the pattern wondrously wrought, the colours delicately and exactly shaded, until, in the rich texture of the finished tapestry, the figure of the woman as she lived stood perfectly revealed.



22 May—Marriage of Cranstoun and Anne Murray.


19 February—Birth of their daughter.


August—Cranstoun meets Mary Blandy at Lord Mark Kerr's.

October—Mrs. Cranstoun takes proceedings in Commissary Court.


August—Second meeting of Cranstoun and Mary. Cranstoun visits the Blandys and stays six months.


January—Cranstoun returns to London.

1 March—Cranstoun's marriage upheld by the Commissary Court.

May—Mrs. Blandy's illness at Turville Court. Cranstoun pays a second six-months' visit to the Blandys.

December—Cranstoun's regiment "broke" at Southampton. He returns to London.


March—Mrs. Blandy and Mary visit Mr. Sergeant Stevens in Doctors' Commons.

28 September—Mrs. Blandy taken ill after her return home.

30 September—Death of Mrs. Blandy.


August—Cranstoun returns to Henley. Puts powder in Mr. Blandy's tea.

October—Cranstoun professes to hear nocturnal music, &c.

November—Cranstoun leaves Henley for the last time.


April—Cranstoun writes from Scotland to Mary that he has seen Mrs. Morgan and will send powder with pebbles.

June—Powder and pebbles received by Mary, with directions to put the powder in tea. Mr. Blandy becomes unwell. Gunnell and Emmet ill after drinking his tea.

18 July—Cranstoun writes to Mary suggesting she should put the powder in gruel.

4 August—Gunnell makes gruel in pan by Mary's orders.

5 August—Mary seen stirring gruel in pantry. Mr. Blandy taken seriously ill in the night.

6 August—Mr. Norton, the apothecary, called in. Gruel warmed for Mr. Blandy's supper.

7 August—Emmet eats what was left the night before, and is taken ill. Mary orders the remains of the gruel to be warmed. Gunnell and Binfield notice white sediment in pan and lock it up.

8 August—Gunnell and Binfield take pan to Mrs. Mounteney, who delivers it to Mr. Norton.

9 August—Mr. Stevens, of Fawley, arrives and hears suspicions.

10 August—Gunnell tells Mr. Blandy of suspicions. Mary burns papers and packet. Dr. Addington called in.

11 August—Pan and packet given to Dr. Addington. He warns Mary. Her letter to Cranstoun intercepted.

12 August—Last interview between Mary and her father.

13 August—Mr. Blandy worse. Dr. Lewis called in. Mary confined to her room.

14 August—Death of Mr. Blandy. Mary attempts to bribe Harmon and Binfield to effect her escape.

15 August—Flight of Mary. Coroner's inquest. Mary apprehended.

17 August—Mary removed to Oxford Castle.

4 September—Cranstoun escapes to Calais.


2 March—Grand Jury find a True Bill against Mary Blandy.

3 March—Trial at Oxford Assizes. Prisoner convicted and sentenced to death.

6 March—Execution of Mary Blandy.

2 December—Death of Cranstoun.




THE HONOURABLE HENEAGE LEGGE, ESQ., AND SIR SYDNEY STAFFORD SMYTHE, KNT., Two of the Barons of His Majesty's Court of Exchequer.

Counsel for the Crown

Counsel for the Prisoner

The Indictment—

On Monday, the 2nd of March, 1752, a bill of indictment was found by the grand inquest for the county of Oxford against Mary Blandy, spinster, for the murder of Francis Blandy, late of the parish of Henley-upon-Thames, in the said county, gentleman.

On Tuesday, the 3rd of March, 1752, the Court being met, the prisoner Mary Blandy was set to the bar, when the Court proceeded thus—


Mary Blandy, hold up thy hand. [Which she did.] You stand indicted by the name of Mary Blandy, late of the parish of Henley-upon-Thames, in the county of Oxford, spinster, daughter of Francis Blandy, late of the same place, gentleman, deceased, for that you, not having the fear of God before your eyes, but being moved and seduced by the instigation of the devil, and of your malice aforethought, contriving and intending, him the said Francis Blandy, your said late father, in his lifetime, to deprive of his life, and him feloniously to kill and murder on the 10th day of November, in the twenty-third year of the reign of our sovereign lord George the Second, now King of Great Britain, and on divers days and times between the said 10th day of November and the 5th day of August, in the twenty-fifth year of the reign of His said Majesty, with force and arms, at the parish of Henley-upon-Thames aforesaid, in the county aforesaid, did knowingly, wilfully, and feloniously, and of your malice aforethought, mix and mingle certain deadly poison, to wit, white arsenic, in certain tea, which had been at divers times during the time above specified prepared for the use of the said Francis Blandy to be drank by him; you, the said Mary, then and there well knowing that the said tea, with which you did so mix and mingle the said deadly poison as aforesaid, was then and there prepared for the use of the said Francis Blandy, with intent to be then and there administered to him for his drinking the same; and the said tea with which the said poison was so mixed as aforesaid, afterwards, to wit, on the said 10th day of November and on the divers days and times aforesaid, at Henley-upon-Thames aforesaid, was delivered to the said Francis, to be then and there drank by him; and the said Francis Blandy, not knowing the said poison to have been mixed with the said tea, did afterwards, to wit, on the said 10th day of November and on the said divers days and times aforesaid, there drink and swallow several quantities of the said poison so mixed as aforesaid with the said tea; and that you the said Mary Blandy might more speedily kill and murder the said Francis Blandy, you the said Mary Blandy, on the said 5th day of August and at divers other days and times between the said 5th day of August and the 14th day of August, in the twenty-fifth year of the reign of our said sovereign lord George the Second, now King of Great Britain, &c., with force and arms, at the parish of Henley-upon-Thames aforesaid, in the county aforesaid, did knowingly, wilfully, feloniously, and of your malice aforethought, mix and mingle certain deadly poisons, to wit, white arsenic, with certain water gruel, which had been made and prepared for the use of your said then father, the said Francis Blandy, to be drank by him, you the said Mary then and there well knowing that the said water gruel, with which you did so mix and mingle the said deadly poison as aforesaid, was then and there made for the use of the said Francis Blandy, with intent to be then and there administered to him for his drinking the same; and the same water gruel, with which the said poison was so mixed as aforesaid, afterwards, to wit, on the same day and year, at Henley-upon-Thames aforesaid, was delivered to the said Francis, to be then and there drank by him; and the said Francis Blandy, not knowing the said poison to have been mixed with the said water gruel, did afterwards, to wit, on the said 5th day of August and on the next day following, and on divers other days and times afterwards, and before the said 14th day of August, there drink and swallow several quantities of the said poison, so mixed as aforesaid with the said water gruel, and the said Francis Blandy, of the poison aforesaid and by the operation thereof, became sick and greatly distempered in his body, and from the several times aforesaid until the 14th day of the same month of August, in the twenty-fifth year aforesaid, at the parish aforesaid, in the county aforesaid, did languish, on which said 14th day of August, in the twenty-fifth year aforesaid, the said Francis Blandy, at the parish aforesaid, in the county aforesaid, of that poison died; and so you, the said Mary Blandy, him the aforesaid Francis Blandy, at Henley-upon-Thames aforesaid, in manner and form aforesaid, feloniously, wilfully, and of your malice aforethought, did poison, kill, and murder, against the peace of our said lord the King, his crown and dignity.


How sayest thou, Mary Blandy, art thou guilty of the felony and murder whereof thou standest indicted, or not guilty?


Not guilty.


Culprit, how wilt thou be tried?


By God and my country.


God send thee a good deliverance.


Cryer, make a proclamation for silence.


Oyez, oyez, oyez! My lords the King's justices strictly charge and command all manner of persons to keep silence, upon pain of imprisonment.


Oyez! You good men, that are impanelled to try between our sovereign lord the King and the prisoner at the bar, answer to your names and save your fines.

The jury were called over and appeared.


You, the prisoner at the bar, these men which were last called and do now appear are those who are to pass between our sovereign lord the King and you upon the trial of your life and death. If therefore you will challenge them, or any of them, you must challenge them as they come to the book to be sworn, before they are sworn; and you shall be heard.


Anthony Woodward.


Anthony Woodward, look upon the prisoner. You shall well and truly try and true deliverance make between our sovereign lord the King and the prisoner at the bar, whom you shall have in charge, and a true verdict give, according to the evidence. So help you God.

And the same oath was administered to the rest (which were sworn), and their names are as follow:—

Anthony Woodward, sworn; Charles Harrison, sworn; Samuel George Glaze, sworn; William Farebrother, sworn; William Haynes, sworn; Thomas Crutch, sworn; Henry Swell, challenged; John Clarke, sworn; William Read, challenged; Harford Dobson, challenged; William Stone, challenged; William Hawkins, sworn; John Hayes, the elder, sworn; Samuel Badger, sworn; Samuel Bradley, sworn; William Brooks, challenged; Joseph Jagger, sworn.


Cryer, count these.

Jury—Anthony Woodward, Charles Harrison, Samuel George Glaze, William Farebrother, William Haynes, Thomas Crutch, John Clarke, William Hawkins, John Haynes, sen., Samuel Badger, Samuel Bradley, Joseph Jagger.


Gentlemen, are ye all sworn?


Cryer, make proclamation.


Oyez, oyez, oyez! If any one can inform my lords the King's justices, the King's serjeant, the King's attorney-general, or this inquest now to be taken of any treasons, murders, felonies, or misdemeanours committed or done by the prisoner at the bar let him come forth and he shall be heard, for the prisoner stands now at the bar upon her deliverance; and all persons that are bound by recognisance to give evidence against the prisoner at the bar let them come forth and give their evidence, or they will forfeit their recognisances.


Mary Blandy, hold up thy hand. Gentlemen of the jury, look upon the prisoner and hearken to her charge. She stands indicted by the name of Mary Blandy, of the parish of Henley-upon-Thames, in the county of Oxford, spinster, daughter of Francis Blandy, late of the same place, gentleman, deceased, for that she not having [as in the indictment before set forth]. Upon this indictment she has been arraigned, and upon her arraignment has pleaded not guilty, and for her trial has put herself upon God and her country, which country you are. Your charge therefore is to inquire whether she be guilty of the felony and murder whereof she stands indicted, or not guilty. If you find her guilty you shall inquire what goods or chattels, lands or tenements she had at the time of the felony committed, or at any time since. If you find her not guilty you shall inquire whether she fled for the same. If you find that she did fly for the same you shall inquire of her goods and chattels as if you had found her guilty. If you find her not guilty, and that she did not fly for the same, say so, and no more; and hear your evidence.

The Hon. Mr. Barrington then opened the indictment. After which,


The Hon. Mr. BATHURST[1] spoke as follows:—

May it please your lordships and you gentlemen of the jury, I am counsel in this case for the King, in whose name and at whose expense this prosecution is carried on against the prisoner at the bar, in order to bring her to justice for a crime of so black a dye that I am not at all surprised at this vast concourse of people collected together to hear and to see the trial and catastrophe of so execrable an offender as she is supposed to be.

For, gentlemen, the prisoner at the bar, Miss Mary Blandy, a gentlewoman by birth and education, stands indicted for no less a crime than that of murder, and not only for murder, but for the murder of her own father, and for the murder of a father passionately fond of her, undertaken with the utmost deliberation, carried on with an unvaried continuation of intention, and at last accomplished by a frequent repetition of the baneful dose, administered with her own hands. A crime so shocking in its own nature and so aggravated in all its circumstances as will (if she is proved to be guilty of it) justly render her infamous to the latest posterity, and make our children's children, when they read the horrid tale of this day, blush to think that such an inhuman creature ever had an existence.

I need not, gentlemen, paint to you the heinousness of the crime of murder. You have but to consult your own breasts, and you will know it.

Has a murder been committed? Who ever beheld the ghastly corpse of the murdered innocent weltering in its blood and did not feel his own blood run slow and cold through all his veins? Has the murderer escaped? With what eagerness do we pursue? With what zeal do we apprehend? With what joy do we bring to justice? And when the dreadful sentence of death is pronounced upon him, everybody hears it with satisfaction, and acknowledges the justice of the divine denunciation that, "By whom man's blood is shed, by man shall his blood be shed."

If this, then, is the case of every common murderer, what will be thought of one who has murdered her own father? who has designedly done the greatest of all human injuries to him from whom she received the first and greatest of all human benefits? who has wickedly taken away his life to whom she stands indebted for life? who has deliberately destroyed, in his old age, him by whose care and tenderness she was protected in her helpless infancy? who has impiously shut her ears against the loud voice of nature and of God, which bid her honour her father, and, instead of honouring him, has murdered him?

It becomes us, gentlemen, who appear here as counsel for the Crown, shortly to open the history of this whole affair, that you may be better able to attend to and understand the evidence we have to lay before you. And though, in doing this, I will endeavour rather to extenuate than to aggravate, yet I trust I have such a history to open as will shock the ears of all who hear me.

Mr. Francis Blandy, the unfortunate deceased, was an attorney at law, who lived at Henley, in this county. A man of character and reputation, he had one only child, a daughter—the darling of his soul, the comfort of his age. He took the utmost care of her education, and had the satisfaction to see his care was not ill-bestowed, for she was genteel, agreeable, sprightly, sensible. His whole thoughts were bent to settle her advantageously in the world. In order to do that he made use of a pious fraud (if I may be allowed the expression), pretending he could give her £10,000 for her fortune. This he did in hopes that some of the neighbouring gentlemen would pay their addresses to her, for out of regard to him she was from her earliest youth received into the best company, and her own behaviour made her afterwards acceptable to them. But how short-sighted is human prudence? What was intended for her promotion, proved his death and her destruction.

For, gentlemen, about six years ago, one Captain William Henry Cranstoun, a gentleman then in the army, happened to come to Henley to recruit. He soon got acquainted with the prisoner, and, hearing she was to have £10,000, fell in love—not with her, but with her fortune. Children he had before; married he was at that time, yet, concealing it from her, he insinuated himself into her good graces, and obtained her consent for marriage.

The father, who had heard a bad character of him, and who had reason to believe, what was afterwards confirmed, that he was at that very time married, you will easily imagine was averse to the proposal. Upon this Captain Cranstoun and the prisoner determined to remove that obstacle out of their way, and resolved to get as soon as possible into possession of the £10,000 that the poor man had unfortunately said he was worth.

In order for this, the captain being at Mr. Blandy's house in August, 1750, they both agreed upon this horrid deed. And that people might be less surprised at Mr. Blandy's death, they began by giving out that they heard music in the house—a certain sign (as Mr. Cranstoun had learned from a wise woman, one Mrs. Morgan, in Scotland) that the father would die in less than twelve months. The captain, too, pretended he was endowed with the gift of second sight, and affirmed that he had seen Mr. Blandy's apparition. This was another certain sign of his death, as she told the servants, to whom she frequently said her father would not live long. Nay, she went farther, and told them he would not live till the October following.

When it was she first began to mix poison with his victuals it is impossible for us to ascertain, but probably it was not long after November, 1750, when Mr. Cranstoun left Henley. The effects of the poison were soon perceived. You will hear Dr. Addington, his physician, tell you Mr. Blandy had for many months felt the dreadful effects of it. One of the effects was the teeth dropping out of his head whole from their sockets. Yet what do you think, gentlemen, the daughter did when she perceived it? "She damned him for a toothless old rogue, and wished him at hell." The poor man frequently complained of pains in his bowels, had frequent reachings and sickness; yet, instead of desisting, she wanted more poison to effect her purpose. And Mr. Cranstoun did accordingly in the April following send her a fresh supply; under the pretence of a present of Scotch pebbles, he enclosed a paper of white arsenic. This she frequently administered in his tea; and we shall prove to you that in June, having put some of it into a dish of tea, Mr. Blandy disliking the taste, left half in the cup. Unfortunately, a poor old charwoman (by name Ann Emmet), glad to get a breakfast, drank the remainder, together with a dish or two more out of the pot, and ate what bread and butter had been left. The consequence was that she was taken violently ill with purging and vomiting, and was in imminent danger of her life. The poor woman's daughter came and told Miss Blandy how ill her mother was; she, sorry that the poison was misapplied, said, "Do not let your mother be uneasy, I will send her what is proper for her." And, accordingly, sent her great quantities of sack whey and thin mutton broth, than which no physician could have prescribed better, and thus drenched the poor woman for ten days together, till she grew tired of her medicines, and sent her daughter again to Miss Blandy to beg a little small beer. "No, no small beer," the prisoner said, "that was not proper for her." Most plainly, then, she knew what it was the woman had taken in her father's tea. She knew its effect. She knew the proper antidotes. Having now experienced the strength of the poison, she grew more open and undaunted, was heard to say, "Who would grudge to send an old father to hell for £10,000?" I will make no remark upon such a horrid expression—it needs none. After this she continued to mix the poison with her father's tea as often as she had an opportunity. Soon afterwards Susan Gunnell, another witness we shall call, happened to drink some which her master had left; she was taken ill upon it, and continued so for three weeks. This second accident alarmed the prisoner. She was afraid of being discovered. She found it would not mix well with tea. Accordingly, she wrote to Mr. Cranstoun for further instructions. In answer to it, he bids her "put it into some liquid of a more thickish substance."

The father being ill, frequently took water gruel. This was a proper vehicle for the powder. Therefore from this time you will find her always busy about her father's gruel. But lest Susan Gunnell, who had been ill, should eat any of it, she cautioned her particularly against it, saying, "Susan, as you have been so ill, you had better not eat any of your master's water gruel; I have been told water gruel has done me harm, and perhaps it may have the same effect upon you." And lest this caution should not be sufficient, she spoke to Betty Binfield, the other maidservant, and asked her whether Susan ever ate any of her father's gruel, adding, "She had better not, for if she does it may do for her, you may tell her." Evidently, then, she knew what were the effects of the powder she put into her father's gruel; for if it would "do for" the servant, it would "do for" her father.

But the time approached beyond which she had foretold her father would not live. It was the middle of July, and the father still living. At this Mr. Cranstoun grows impatient. Upon the 18th of July he writes to her, and, expressing himself in an allegorical manner, which, however, you will easily understand, he says, "I am sorry there are such occasions to clean your pebbles; you must make use of the powder to them by putting it in anything of substance, wherein it will not swim a-top of the water, of which I wrote to you of in one of my last. I am afraid it will be too weak to take off their rust, or at least it will take too long a time."[2] Here he is encouraging her to double the dose; says, he is afraid it will be too weak, and will take up too much time. And, as a further incitement to her to make haste, describes the beauties of Scotland, and tells her that his mother, Lady Cranstoun, had employed workmen to fit up an apartment for her at Lennel House.

Soon after the receipt of this letter she followed the advice. And you will accordingly find the dose doubled. Her father grew worse, and, as she herself told the servants, complained of a fireball in his stomach, saying, "He never will be well till he has got rid of it." And yet you will find she herself, fearful lest he should get rid of it, was continually adding fuel to the fire, till it had consumed her father's entrails.

Gentlemen, I will not detain you by going through every particular, but bring you to the fatal period. Upon the 3rd of August, being Saturday, Susan Gunnell made a large pan of water gruel for her master. Upon Monday, the 5th, the prisoner will be proved to go into the pantry where it was kept, and, after having, according to Mr. Cranstoun's advice, put in a double dose of the powder, she stirred it about, for a considerable time, in order to make it mix the better. When, fearing she should have been observed, she went immediately into the laundry, to the maids, and told them that "she had been in the pantry, and, after stirring her papa's water gruel, had ate the oatmeal at the bottom," saying that, "if she was ever to take to the eating anything in particular, it would be oatmeal." Strange inconsistence! She who had cautioned the maid against it not above a fortnight before, who had declared that it had been prejudicial to her own health, is on a sudden grown mighty fond of it. But the pretence is easily to be seen through. That afternoon some of the water gruel was taken out of the pan and prepared for her father's supper. She again in the kitchen takes care to stir it sufficiently, looks at the spoon, rubs some between her fingers, and then sends it up to the poor old man her father. He scarce had swallowed it when he was taken violently ill, and continued so all the next day, with a griping, purging, and vomiting. Yet she herself orders a second mess of the same gruel for her father's supper on the Tuesday, and was herself the person who carried it up to her father and administered it to him as nourishment. The poor old man, grown weak with the frequent repetition, had not drank half the mess before he was seized, from head to foot, with the most violent pricking pains, continual reaching and vomiting, and was obliged to go to bed without finishing it. The next morning the poor charwoman, coming again to the house, unfortunately ate the remainder of the gruel, and was instantly affected in so violent a manner that for two hours together it was thought she would have died in Mr. Blandy's house. The prisoner at this time was in bed; but the maid, going up to her room, told her how ill dame Emmet had been, at the same time saying she had ate nothing but the remainder of her father's water gruel. The prisoner's answer was, "Poor woman! I am glad I was not up, I should have been shocked to have seen her"—should have been shocked to have seen the poor charwoman eat what was prepared for her father, but was never shocked at her father's eating it, or at his sufferings!

Gentlemen, in the afternoon of the Wednesday, notwithstanding the poor man, her father, had suffered so much for two days together, yet she again endeavours to give him more of the same gruel. "No," says the maid, "it has an odd taste; it is grown stale, I will make fresh." "It is not worth while to make fresh now, it will take you from your ironing; this will do," was the prisoner's answer. However, Susan made fresh, after which wanting the pan to put it in, she went to throw away what was before in it. Upon tilting the pan, she perceived a white powder at the bottom, which she knew could not be oatmeal. She showed it her fellow-servant, when, feeling it, they found it gritty. They then too plainly perceived what it was had made their poor master ill. What was to be done? Susan immediately carried the pan with the gruel and powder in it to Mrs. Mounteney, a neighbour and friend of the deceased. Mrs. Mounteney kept it till it was delivered to the apothecary, the apothecary delivered it to the physician, and he will tell you that upon trying it he found it to be white arsenic. Mr. Blandy continued from day to day to grow worse. At last, upon the Saturday morning, Susan Gunnell, an old honest, maidservant, uneasy to see how her poor master had been treated, went to his bedside, and, in the most prudent and gentlest manner, broke to him what had been the cause of his illness, and the strong ground there was to suspect that his daughter was the occasion of it. The father, with a fondness greater than ever a father felt before, cried out, "Poor love-sick girl! What will not a woman do for the man she loves? But who do you think gave her the powder?" She answered, "She could not tell, unless it was sent by Mr. Cranstoun." "I believe so too," says the master, "for I remember he has talked learnedly of poisons. I always thought there was mischief in those cursed Scotch pebbles."

Soon afterwards he got up and came to breakfast in his parlour, where his daughter and Mr. Littleton, his clerk, then were. A dish of tea, in the usual manner, was ready poured out for him. He just tasted it and said, "This tea has a bad taste," looked at the cup, then looked hard at his daughter. She was, for the first time, shocked, burst into tears, and ran out of the room. The poor father, more shocked than the daughter, poured the tea into the cat's basin, and went to the window to recover himself. She soon came again into the room. Mr. Littleton said, "Madam, I fear your father is very ill, for he has flung away his tea." Upon this news she trembled, and the tears again stood in her eyes. She again withdraws. Soon afterwards the father came into the kitchen, and, addressing himself to her, said, "Molly, I had like to have been poisoned twenty years ago, and now I find I shall die by poison at last." This was warning sufficient. She immediately went upstairs, brought down Mr. Cranstoun's letters, together with the remainder of the poison, and threw them (as she thought unobserved) into the fire. Thinking she had now cleared herself from the suspicious appearances of poison, her spirits mend, "she thanked God that she was much better, and said her mind was more at ease than it had been." Alas! how often does that which we fondly imagine will save us become our destruction? So it was in the present instance. For providentially, though the letters were destroyed, the paper with the poison in it was not burnt. One of the maids having immediately flung some fresh coals upon the fire, Miss Blandy went well satisfied out of the room. Upon her going out, Susan Gunnell said to her fellow-servants, "I saw Miss Blandy throw some papers in the fire, let us see whether we can discover what they were." They removed the coals, and found a paper with white powder in it, wrote upon, in Mr. Cranstoun's hands, "Powder to clean the pebbles."[3] This powder they preserved, and the doctor will tell you that it was white arsenic, the same which had been found in the pan of gruel.

Having now (as she imagined) concealed her own being concerned, you will find her the next day endeavouring to prevent her lover from being discovered. Mr. Blandy of Kingston having come the night before to see her father, on Sunday morning she sent Mr. Littleton with him to church; while they were there she sat down and wrote this letter to her beloved Cranstoun—

Dear Willy,—My father is so bad, that I have only time to tell you, that if you do not hear from me soon again, don't be frightened. I am better myself. Lest any accident should happen to your letters, take care what you write. My sincere compliments. I am ever yours.

"My father is so bad." Who had made him so? Yet does she say she was sorry for it? No; she knew her father was then dying by that powder that he had sent her, yet could acquaint him she was herself better. Under those circumstances could caution him to take care what he wrote, lest his letters should be discovered! What can speak more strongly their mutual guilt? This letter she sealed with no less than five wafers. When Mr. Littleton came from church she privately gave it to him, desiring it might be directed as usual, and put into the post. Mr. Littleton was at that time too well apprised of this black transaction to obey her commands. He opened the letter, took a copy of it. Upon further recollection, carried the original to the father, who bid him open and read it. He did so. What do you think, gentlemen, was all the poor old man said upon this discovery? He only again dropped these words, "Poor love-sick girl! What will not a woman do for the man she loves?"

Upon the Monday morning, after having been kept for two days without seeing her father, by the order of the physicians, her conscience, or rather fear, began to trouble her; she told the maid she should go distracted if she did not see her father, and sent a message to beg to see him. Accordingly she was admitted. The conversation between them was this—"Papa, how do you do?" "My dear, I am very ill." She immediately fell upon her knees and said, "Dear sir, banish me where you will; do with me what you please, so you do but pardon and forgive me. And as to Mr. Cranstoun, I never will see, write, or speak to him again." He answered, "I do forgive you, but you should, my dear, have considered that I was your own father." Upon this the prisoner said, "Sir, as to your illness I am innocent." Susan Gunnell, who was present, interrupted her at this expression, and told her she was astonished to hear her say she was innocent, when they had the poison to produce against her that she had put into her father's water gruel, and had preserved the paper she had thrown into the fire. The father, whose love and tenderness for his daughter exceeded expression, could not bear to hear her thus accused; therefore, turning himself in his bed, cried out, "Oh that villain! that hath eat of the best, and drank of the best my house could afford, to take away my life and ruin my daughter!" Upon hearing this the daughter ran to the other side of the bed to him; upon which he added, "My dear, you must hate that man, you must hate the very ground he treads on." Struck with this, the prisoner said, "Dear sir, your kindness towards me is worse than swords to my heart. I must down upon my knees and beg you not to curse me." Hear the father's answer, a father then dying by poison given by her hand—"I curse thee, my dear! No, I bless you, and will pray to God to bless you, and to amend your life"; then added, "So do, my dear, go out of the room lest you should say anything to accuse yourself." Was ever such tenderness from a parent to a child! She was prudent enough to follow his advice, and went out of the room without speaking. His kindness was swords to her heart for near half an hour. Going downstairs she met Betty Binfield, and, whilst she was thus affected, owned to her she had put some powder into her father's gruel, and that Susan and she, for their honesty to their master, deserved half her fortune.

Gentlemen, not to tire you with the particulars of every day, upon Wednesday, in the afternoon, the father died. Upon his death the prisoner, finding herself discovered, endeavoured to persuade the manservant to go off with her; but he was too honest to be tempted by a reward to assist her in going off, though she told him it would be £500 in his way. That night she refused to go to bed. Not out of grief for her father's death, for you will be told by the maid who sat up with her that she never during the whole night showed the least sorrow, compassion, or remorse upon his account. But in the middle of the night she proposed to get a post-chaise in order to go to London, and offered the maid twenty-five guineas to go with her. "A post-chaise! and go to London! God forbid, madam, I should do such a thing." The prisoner, finding the maid not proper for her purpose, immediately put a smile upon her face—"I was only joking." Only joking! Good God! would she now have it thought she was only joking?

Her father just dead by poison: she suspected of having poisoned him; accused of being a parricide; and would she have it thought she was capable of joking?

When I see the assistance she now has (and I am glad to see she has the assistance of three as able gentlemen as any in the profession) I am sure she will not be now advised to say she was then joking. But it will appear very plainly to you, gentlemen, that she was not joking, for the next morning she dressed herself in a proper habit for a journey, and, while the people put to take care of her were absent, stole out of the house and went over Henley Bridge. But the mob, who had heard of what she had done, followed her so close that she was forced to take shelter in a little alehouse, the Angel. Mr. Fisher, a gentleman who was afterwards one of the jury upon the coroner's inquisition, came there, and prevailed with her (or in other words forced her) to return home. Upon her return, the inquest sitting, she sends for Mr. Fisher into another room and said, "Dear Mr. Fisher, what do you think they will do with me? Will they send me to Oxford gaol?" "Madam," said he, "I am afraid it will go hard with you. But if you have any of Mr. Cranstoun's letters, and produce them, they may be of some service to you." Upon hearing this she cried out, "Dear Mr. Fisher, what have I done? I had letters that would have hanged that villain, but I have burnt them. My honour to that villain has brought me to my destruction." And she spoke the truth.

This, gentlemen, is in substance the history of this black affair. But, my lords, though this is the history in order of time, yet it is not the order in which we shall lay the evidence before your lordships and the jury. It will be proper for us to begin by establishing the fact that Mr. Francis Blandy did die of poison. When the physicians have proved that, we will then proceed to show that he died of the poison put into the water gruel on the 5th of August. After this we will call witnesses who from a number of circumstances, as well as from her own confession, will prove she put it into her father's water gruel, knowing it was for her father, and knowing it to be poison.

Having done this, we will conclude with a piece of evidence which I forgot to mention before, and that is the conversation between her and Mr. Lane at the Angel. Mr. Lane and his wife happening to be walking at that time, finding a mob about the door, stepped into the alehouse to see the prisoner. The moment she saw a gentleman, though it was one she did not know, she accosted him, "Sir, you appear to be a gentleman; for heaven's sake, what will become of me?" "Madam!" said he, "you will be sent to Oxford gaol; you will there be tried for your life. If you are innocent, you will be acquitted; if you are guilty, you will suffer death."

The prisoner upon hearing this stamped with her foot, and said, "Oh! that damned villain!" Then pausing, "But why do I blame him? I am most blame myself, for I gave it, and I knew the consequence." If she knew the consequence, I am sure there are none of you gentlemen but who will think she deserves to suffer the consequence.

And let me here observe how evidently the hand of Providence has interposed to bring her to this day's trial that she may suffer the consequence. For what but the hand of Providence could have preserved the paper thrown by her into the fire, and have snatched it unburnt from the devouring flame! Good God! how wonderful are all Thy ways, and how miraculously hast Thou preserved this paper to be this day produced in evidence against the prisoner in order that she may suffer the punishment due to her crime, and be a dreadful example to all others who may be tempted in like manner to offend Thy divine majesty!

Let me add that, next to Providence, the public are obliged to the two noble lords[4] whose indefatigable diligence in inquiring into this hidden work of darkness has enabled us to lay before you upon this occasion the clearest and strongest proof that such a dark transaction will admit of. For poisoning is done in secret and alone. It is not like other murders, neither can it be proved with equal perspicuity. However, the evidence we have in this case is as clear and direct as possible, and if it comes up to what I have opened to you I make no doubt but you will do that justice to your country which the oath you have taken requires of you.



May it please your lordships and you gentlemen of the jury, I likewise am appointed to assist the Crown on this occasion, but His Majesty's learned counsel having laid before you so faithful a narrative of this dismal transaction, it seems almost unnecessary for me to take up any more of your time in repeating anything that has been before said; and, indeed, my own inclinations would lead me to cast a veil over the guilty scene—a scene so black and so horrid that if my duty did not call me to it I could rather wish it might be for ever concealed from human eyes. But as we are now making inquisition for blood it is absolutely necessary for me to make some observations upon that chain of circumstances that attended this bloody contrivance and detested murder.

Experience has taught us that in many cases a single fact may be supported by false testimony, but where it is attended with a train of circumstances that cannot be invented (had they never happened), such a fact will always be made out to the satisfaction of a jury by the concurring assistance of circumstantial evidence. Because circumstances that tally one with another are above human contrivance. And especially such as naturally arise in their order from the first contrivance of a scheme to the fatal execution of it.

Having suggested this much, I shall now proceed to lay before you those sort of circumstances that seem to me to arise through this whole affair, and leave it to your judgment whether they do not amount to too convincing a proof that the prisoner at the bar has knowingly been the cause of her own father's death, for upon the prisoner's knowledge of what she did will depend her fate.

Of all kinds of murders that by poison is the most dreadful, as it takes a man unguarded, and gives him no opportunity to defend himself, much more so when administered by the hand of a child, whom one could least suspect, and from whom one might naturally look for assistance and comfort. Could a father entertain any suspicion of a child to whom, under God, he had been the second cause of life? No, sure, and yet this is the case now before you. The unfortunate deceased has received his death by poison, and that undoubtedly administered by the hand of his own—his only—his beloved child. Spare me, gentlemen, to pay the tribute of one tear to the memory of a person with whom I was most intimately acquainted, and to the excellency of whose disposition and integrity of heart I can safely bear faithful testimony. Oh! were he now living, and to see his daughter there, the severest tortures that poison could give would be nothing to what he would suffer from such a sight.

And since the bitterest agonies must at this time surround the heart of the prisoner if she does but think of what a father she has lost, I can readily join with her in her severest afflictions upon this occasion, and shall never blame myself for weeping with those that weep, nor can I make the least question but my learned assistants in this prosecution will with me rejoice likewise, if the prisoner, by making her innocence appear, shall upon the conclusion of this inquiry find occasion to rejoice. But, alas! too strong I fear will the charge against her be proved, too convincing are the circumstances that attend it. What those are, and what may be collected from them, is my next business to offer to your consideration.

But before I enter thereupon I must beg leave to address myself to this numerous and crowded assembly, whom curiosity hath led hither to hear the event of this solemn trial, hoping that whatever may be the consequence of it to the prisoner her present melancholy situation may turn to our advantage, and reduce our minds to seriousness and attention. Solemn, indeed, I may well call it as being a tribunal truly awful, for this method of trial before two of His Majesty's learned judges has scarce ever been known upon a circuit; judges of undoubted virtue, integrity, and learning, who undergo this laborious and important work, not only for the sake of bringing guilt to punishment, but to guard and protect innocence whenever it appears.

Captain Cranstoun and Miss Blandy

But you, young gentleman of this University, I particularly beg your attention, earnestly beseeching you to guard against the first approaches of and temptations to vice. See here the dreadful consequences of disobedience to a parent. Who could have thought that Miss Blandy, a young lady virtuously brought up, distinguished for her good behaviour and prudent conduct in life, till her unfortunate acquaintance with the wicked Cranstoun, should ever be brought to a trial for her life, and that for the most desperate and bloodiest kind of murder, committed by her own hand, upon her own father? Had she listened to his admonitions this calamity never had befallen her. Learn hence the dreadful consequences of disobedience to parents; and know also that the same mischief in all probability may happen to such who obstinately disregard, neglect, and despise the advice of those persons who have the charge and care of their education; of governors likewise, and of magistrates, and of all others who are put in authority over them. Let this fix in your mind the excellent maxim of the good physician, "Venienti occurrite morbo." Let us defend ourselves against the first temptations to sin, and guard our innocence as we would our lives; for if once we yield, though but a little, in whose power is it to say, hitherto will I go, and no further?

And now, gentlemen of the jury, those observations I had before mentioned, I shall attempt to lay before you in order to assist you in making a true judgment of the matter committed to your charge. The author and contriver of this bloody affair is not at present here. I sincerely wish that he was, because we should be able to convince him that such crimes as his cannot escape unpunished. The unhappy prisoner, ruined and undone by the treacherous flattery and pernicious advice of that abandoned, insidious, and execrable wretch, who had found means of introducing himself into her father's family, and whilst there, by false pretences of love, gained the affection of his only daughter and child. Love! did I call it? It deserves not the name; if it was love of anything it was of the £10,000 supposed to be the young lady's fortune. Could a man that had a wife of his own, and children, be really in love with another woman? Such a thing cannot be supposed, and therefore I beg leave to call it avarice and lust only; but be it what it will, the life of the father becomes an obstacle to the criminal proceedings that were intended and designed to be carried on between them, and therefore he must be removed before that imaginary state of felicity could be obtained according to their projected scheme. Mark how the destruction of this poor man is ushered into the world—apparitions, noises, voices, music, reported to be heard from time to time in the deceased's house. Even his days are numbered out, and his own child limits the space of his life but till the following month of October. What could be the meaning of this, but to prepare the world for a death that was predetermined? Who could limit the days of a man's life but a person who knew what was intended to be done towards the shortening of it?

In order to bring this about Cranstoun sends presents of pebbles, as also a powder to clean them, and this powder, gentlemen, you will find is the dreadful poison that accomplished this abominable scheme.

From time to time mention is made of the pebbles, but not a syllable of the powder. Why not of the one as well as of the other, if there had not been a mystery concealed in it? Preparation is made for an experiment of its power before Cranstoun's departure. He mixes the deadly draught, but the prisoner's conscience, not yet hardened, forced her to turn away her eyes, and she durst not venture to behold the cup prepared that was to send the father into another world.

Soon after this Cranstoun quits the family (having, no question, left instructions how to proceed further in completing the scheme he had laid for taking off the old man), and this you'll find by letters under his own hand, that the powder, whatever it was, must not be mixed in too thin a liquid, because it might be discovered, and therefore water gruel is thought fitter for the purpose. By the frequent mixtures that were made upon these occasions the unfortunate servant and charwoman accidentally drank part of the deadly composition. When complaint is made of their sickness, how does the prisoner behave? Does she not administer to them with as much art and skill as a physician could? Does she not prescribe proper liquids and draughts to absorb and take off the edge of the corroding poison? If she knew not what it was how could she administer so successfully to prevent the fatal consequences of it both in the maid and the charwoman? During this transaction the unhappy father finds himself afflicted with torturing pains immediately after receiving the composition from his daughter. Is there any care taken of him? Any physician sent for to attend him? Any healing draughts prepared to quiet the racks and tortures that he inwardly felt? None at all that I can find. He is left to take care of himself, and undergo those miseries that his own child had brought upon him, and yet had not the heart to give him any assistance. What could this proceed from, but guilty only? Would not an innocent child have made the strictest inquiry how her own father came to be out of order? Would she not have sought the world over for advice and assistance? But instead of that you hear the bitterest expressions proceed from her, expressions sufficient to shock human nature. They have been all mentioned already by my learned leader, and I will not again repeat them.

Observe, as things come nearer the crisis, whether her behaviour towards her father carries any better appearance. When it began to be suspected that Mr. Blandy's disorder was owing to poison, and strongly, from circumstances, that the prisoner was privy to it, the poor man, now too far gone, being informed that there was great reason to suspect his own child, what expressions does he make use of? No harsher than in the gentlest method saying, "Poor love-sick girl! I always thought there was mischief in those Scotch pebbles. Oh, that damned villain Cranstoun, that has ate of the best and drank of the best my house afforded, to serve me thus and ruin my poor love-sick girl!" An incontestable proof that he knew the cause of his disorder and the authors of it.

The report spread about the house of the father's suspicions soon alarmed the prisoner; what does she do upon this occasion? Can any other interpretation be put upon her actions than that they proceeded from a manifest intention to conceal her guilt? Why is the paper of powder thrown into the fire? From whence, as my learned leader most elegantly observes, it is miraculously preserved. What occasion for concealment had she not been conscious of something that was wrong? If she had not known what had been in the paper, for what purpose was it committed to the flames? And what really was contained in that paper will appear to you to be deadly poison.

The long-wished-for and fatal hour at last arrives, and but a little before a letter is sent by the prisoner to Cranstoun that her father was extremely ill, begging him to be cautious what he writes, lest any accident should happen to his letters. Do the circumstances, the language, or the time of writing this letter leave any room to suppose the prisoner could be innocent? They seem to me rather to be the fullest proof of her knowing what she had done. What accidents could befall Cranstoun's letters? Why is he to take care what he writes, if nothing but the effects of innocency were to be contained in those letters? In a very short time after this the strength of the poison carries the father out of the world. Do but hear how the prisoner behaved thereupon. The father's corpse was not yet cold when she makes application to the footman, with a temptation of large sums of money as a reward, if he would go off with her; but the fidelity and virtue of the servant was proof against the temptation even of four or five hundred pounds. The next proposal is to the maid to procure a chaise, with the offer of a reward for so doing, and to go along with her to London; but this project likewise failed, through the honesty of the servant. The next morning, in the absence of Edward Herne (the guard that was set over her), she makes her escape from her father's house, and, dressed as if going to take a journey, walked down the street; but the mob was soon aware of her, and forced her to take shelter in a public-house over the bridge. Do these proceedings look as if they were the effects of innocence? Far otherwise, I am afraid. Would an innocent person have quitted a deceased parent's house at a time when she was most wanting to make proper and decent preparations for his funeral? Would an innocent person, at such a time as this, offer money for assistance to make an escape? I think not; and I wish she may find a satisfactory cause to assign for such amazing behaviour.

Let us put innocence and guilt in the scale together, and observe to which side the prisoner's actions are most applicable. Innocence, celestial virgin, always has her guard about her; she dares look the frowns, the resentments, and the persecutions of the world in the face; is able to stand the test of the strictest inquiry; and the more we behold her, still the more shall we be in love with her charms. But it is not so with guilt. The baneful fiend makes use of unjustifiable means to conceal her wicked designs and prevent discovery. Artifice and cunning are her supporters, bribery and corruption the defenders of her cause; she flies before the face of law and justice, and shuns the probation of a candid and impartial inquiry. Upon the whole matter, you, gentlemen, are to judge; and judge as favourably as you can for the prisoner.

If this were not sufficient to convince us of the prisoner's guilt, I think the last transaction of all will leave not the least room to doubt. When in discourse with persons that came to her at the house where she had taken shelter, what but self-conviction could have drawn such expressions from her? In her discourse with Mr. Fisher about Cranstoun you will find she declared she had letters and papers that would have hanged that villain; and, again, says, "My honour, Mr. Fisher, to that villain has brought me to destruction"; and, again, in her inquiry of Mr. Lane, what they would do with her, she bursts out into this bitter exclamation, "Oh, that damned villain!" Then after a short pause, "But why should I blame him? I am more to blame than he is, for I gave it him." How could she be to blame for giving it if she knew not what it was? And, as it is said, went yet farther, and declared, "That she knew the consequence." If she did know it, she must expect to suffer the consequence of it too.

Thus, gentlemen, have I endeavoured to lay before you some observations upon this transaction, and I hope you will think them not unworthy of your consideration. I trust I have said nothing that relates to the fact that is not in my instructions; should it be otherwise, I assure you it was not with design. And whatever is not supported by legal evidence you will totally disregard.

If any other interpretation than what I have offered can be put upon these several transactions, and the circumstances attending them, I doubt not but you will always incline on the merciful side where there is room for so doing.

We shall now proceed to call our evidence.

The other gentlemen, of counsel for the King, were Mr. Hayes, Mr. Wares, and Mr. Ambler.

The counsel for the prisoner were Mr. Ford, Mr. Morton, and Mr. Aston.[5]

Evidence for the Prosecution—


Dr. ANTHONY ADDINGTON,[6] examined

I attended Mr. Blandy in his last illness.

When were you called to him the first time?—On Saturday evening, August the 10th.

In what condition did you find him?—He was in bed, and told me that, after drinking some gruel on Monday night, August the 5th, he had perceived an extraordinary grittiness in his mouth, attended with a very painful burning and pricking in his tongue, throat, stomach, and bowels, and with sickness and gripings, which symptoms had been relieved by fits of vomiting and purging.

Were those fits owing to any physic he had taken or to the gruel?—Not to any physic; they came on very soon after drinking the gruel.

Had he taken no physic that day?—No.

Did he make any further complaints?—He said that, after drinking more gruel on Tuesday night, August the 6th, he had felt the grittiness in his mouth again, and that the burning and pricking in his tongue, throat, stomach, and bowels had returned with double violence, and had been aggravated by a prodigious swelling of his belly, and exquisite pains and prickings in every external as well as internal part of his body, which prickings he compared to an infinite number of needles darting into him all at once.

How soon after drinking the gruel?—Almost immediately. He told me likewise that at the same time he had had cold sweats, hiccup, extreme restlessness and anxiety, but that then, viz., on Saturday night, August the 10th, having had a great many stools, and some bloody ones, he was pretty easy everywhere, except in his mouth, lips, nose, eyes, and fundament, and except some transient gripings in his bowels. I asked him to what he imputed those uneasy sensations in his mouth, lips, nose, and eyes? He said, to the fumes of something that he had taken in his gruel on Monday night, August the 5th, and Tuesday night, August the 6th. On inspection I found his tongue swelled and his throat slightly inflamed and excoriated. His lips, especially the upper one, were dry and rough, and had angry pimples on them. The inside of his nostrils was in the same condition. His eyes were a little bloodshot. Besides these appearances, I observed that he had a low, trembling, intermitting pulse; a difficult, unequal respiration; a yellowish complexion; a difficulty in the utterance of his words; and an inability of swallowing even a teaspoonful of the thinnest liquor at a time. As I suspected that these appearances and symptoms were the effect of poison, I asked Miss Blandy whether Mr. Blandy had lately given offence to either of his servants or clients, or any other person? She answered, "That he was at peace with all the world, and that all the world was at peace with him." I then asked her whether he had ever been subject to complaints of this kind before? She said that he had often been subject to the colic and heartburn, and that she supposed this was only a fit of that sort, and would soon go off, as usual. I told Mr. Blandy that I asked these questions because I suspected that by some means or other he had taken poison. He replied, "It might be so," or in words to that effect; but Miss Blandy said, "It was impossible." On Sunday morning, August the 11th, he seemed much relieved; his pulse, breath, complexion, and power of swallowing were greatly mended. He had had several stools in the night without any blood in them. The complaints which he had made of his mouth, lips, nose, and eyes were lessened; but he said the pain in his fundament continued, and that he still felt some pinchings in his bowels. On viewing his fundament, I found it almost surrounded with gleety excoriations and ulcers. About eight o'clock that morning I took my leave of him; but before I quitted his room Miss Blandy desired I would visit him again the next day. When I got downstairs one of the maids put a paper into my hands, which she said Miss Blandy had thrown into the kitchen fire. Several holes were burnt in the paper, but not a letter of the superscription was effaced. The superscription was "The powder to clean the pebbles with."

What is the maid's name that gave you that paper?—I cannot recollect which of the maids it was that gave it me. I opened the paper very carefully, and found in it a whiteish powder, like white arsenic in taste, but slightly discoloured by a little burnt paper mixed with it. I cannot swear this powder was arsenic, or any other poison, because the quantity was too small to make any experiment with that could be depended on.

What do you really suspect it to be?—I really suspect it to be white arsenic.

Please to proceed, sir.—As soon as the maid had left me, Mr. Norton, the apothecary, produced a powder that, he said, had been found at the bottom of that mess of gruel, which, as was supposed, had poisoned Mr. Blandy. He gave me some of this powder, and I examined it at my leisure, and believed it to be white arsenic. On Monday morning, August the 12th, I found Mr. Blandy much worse than I had left him the day before. His complexion was very bad, his pulse intermitted, and he breathed and swallowed with great difficulty. He complained more of his fundament than he had done before. His bowels were still in pain. I now desired that another physician might be called in, as I apprehended Mr. Blandy to be in the utmost danger, and that this affair might come before a Court of judicature. Dr. Lewis was then sent for from Oxford. I stayed with Mr. Blandy all this day. I asked him more than once whether he really thought he had taken poison? He answered each time that he believed he had. I asked him whether he thought he had taken poison often? He answered in the affirmative. His reasons for thinking so were because some of his teeth had decayed much faster than was natural, and because he had frequently for some months past, especially after his daughter had received a present of Scotch pebbles from Mr. Cranstoun, been affected with very violent and unaccountable prickings and heats in his tongue and throat, and with almost intolerable burnings and pains in his stomach and bowels, which used to go off in vomitings and purgings. I asked him whom he suspected to be the giver of the poison? The tears stood in his eyes, yet he forced a smile, and said—"A poor love-sick girl—I forgive her—I always thought there was mischief in those cursed Scotch pebbles." Dr. Lewis came about eight o'clock in the evening. Before he came Mr. Blandy's complexion, pulse, breath, and faculty of swallowing were much better again; but he complained more of pain in his fundament. This evening Miss Blandy was confined to her chamber, a guard was placed over her, and her keys, papers, and all instruments wherewith she could hurt either herself or any other person were taken from her.

How came that?—I proposed it to Dr. Lewis, and we both thought it proper, because we had great reason to suspect her as the author of Mr. Blandy's illness, and because this suspicion was not yet publicly known, and therefore no magistrate had Dr. Addington taken any notice of her.

Please to go on, Dr. Addington, with your account of Mr. Blandy.

On Tuesday morning, August the 13th, we found him worse again, His countenance, pulse, breath, and power of swallowing were extremely bad. He was excessively weak. His hands trembled. Both they and his face were cold and clammy. The pain was entirely gone from his bowels, but not from his fundament. He was now and then a little delirious. He had frequently a short cough and a very extraordinary elevation of his chest in fetching his breath, on which occasions an ulcerous matter generally issued from his fundament. Yet in his sensible intervals he was cheerful and jocose; he said, "he was like a person bit by a mad dog; for that he should be glad to drink, but could not swallow." About noon this day his speech faltered more and more. He was sometimes very restless, at others very sleepy. His face was quite ghastly. This night was a terrible one. On Wednesday morning, August the 14th, he recovered his senses for an hour or more. He told me he would make his will in two or three days; but he soon grew delirious again, and sinking every moment, died about two o'clock in the afternoon.

Upon the whole, did you then think, from the symptoms you have described and the observations you made, that Mr. Blandy died by poison?—Indeed I did.

And is it your present opinion?—It is; and I have never had the least occasion to alter it. His case was so particular, that he had not a symptom of any consequence but what other persons have had who have taken white arsenic, and after death had no appearance in his body but what other persons have had who have been destroyed by white arsenic.[7]

When was his body opened?—On Thursday, in the afternoon, August the 15th.

What appeared on opening it?—I committed the appearances to writing, and should be glad to read them, if the Court will give me leave.

[Then the doctor, on leave given by the Court, read as follows:—]

"Mr. Blandy's back and the hinder part of his arms, thighs, and legs were livid. That fat which lay on the muscles of his belly was of a loose texture, inclining to a state of fluidity. The muscles of his belly were very pale and flaccid. The cawl was yellower than is natural, and the side next the stomach and intestines looked brownish. The heart was variegated with purple spots. There was no water in the pericardium. The lungs resembled bladders half filled with air, and blotted in some places with pale, but in most with black, ink. The liver and spleen were much discoloured; the former looked as if it had been boiled, but that part of it which covered the stomach was particularly dark. A stone was found in the gall bladder. The bile was very fluid and of a dirty yellow colour, inclining to red. The kidneys were all over stained with livid spots. The stomach and bowels were inflated, and appeared before any incision was made into them as if they had been pinched, and extravasated blood had stagnated between their membranes. They contained nothing, as far as we examined, but a slimy bloody froth. Their coats were remarkably smooth, thin, and flabby. The wrinkles of the stomach were totally obliterated. The internal coat of the stomach and duodenum, especially about the orifices of the former, was prodigiously inflamed and excoriated. The redness of the white of the eye in a violent inflammation of that part, or rather the white of the eye just brushed and bleeding with the beards of barley, may serve to give some idea how this coat had been wounded. There was no schirrus in any gland of the abdomen, no adhesion of the lungs to the pleura, nor indeed the least trace of a natural decay in any part whatever."


Dr. WILLIAM LEWIS,[8] examined

Did you, Dr. Lewis, observe that Mr. Blandy had the symptoms which Dr. Addington has mentioned?—I did.

Did you observe that there were the same appearances on opening his body which Dr. Addington has described?—I observed and remember them all, except the spots on his heart.

Is it your real opinion that those symptoms and those appearances were owing to poison?—Yes.

And that he died of poison?—Absolutely.


Dr. ADDINGTON, cross-examined

Did you first intimate to Mr. Blandy, or he to you, that he had been poisoned?—He first intimated it to me.

Did you ask him whether he was certain that he had been poisoned by the gruel that he took on Monday night, August the 5th, and on Tuesday night, August the 6th?—I do not recollect that I did.

Are you sure that he said he was disordered after drinking the gruel on Monday night, the 5th of August?—Yes.

Did you over ask him why he drank more gruel on Tuesday night, August the 6th?—I believe I did not.

When did you make experiments on the powder delivered to you by Mr. Norton?—I made some the next day; but many more some time afterwards.

How long afterwards?—I cannot just say; it might be a month or more.

How often had you powder given you?—Twice.

Did you make experiments with both parcels?—Yes; but I gave the greatest part of the first to Mr. King, an experienced chemist in Reading, and desired that he would examine it, which he did, and he told me that it was white arsenic. The second parcel was used in trials made by myself.

Who had the second parcel in keeping till you tried it?—I had it, and kept it either in my pocket or under lock and key.

Did you never show it to anybody?—Yes, to several persons; but trusted nobody with it out of my sight.

Why do you believe it to be white arsenic?—For the following reasons:—(1) This powder has a milky whiteness; so has white arsenic. (2) This is gritty and almost insipid; so is white arsenic. (3) Part of it swims on the surface of cold water, like a pale sulphurous film, but the greatest part sinks to the bottom, and remains there undissolved; the same is true of white arsenic. (4) This thrown on red-hot iron does not flame, but rises entirely in thick white fumes, which have the stench of garlic, and cover cold iron held just over them with white flowers; white arsenic does the same. (5) I boiled 10 grains of this powder in 4 ounces of clean water, and then, passing the decoction through a filter, divided it into five equal parts, which were put into as many glasses—into one glass I poured a few drops of spirit of sal ammoniac, into another some of the lixivium of tartar, into the third some strong spirit of vitriol, into the fourth some spirit of salt, and into the last some syrup of violets. The spirit of sal ammoniac threw down a few particles of pale sediment. The lixivium of tartar gave a white cloud, which hung a little above the middle of the glass. The spirits of vitriol and salt made a considerable precipitation of lightish coloured substance, which, in the former hardened into glittering crystals, sticking to the sides and bottom of the glass. Syrup of violets produced a beautiful pale green tincture. Having washed the sauce pan, funnel, and glasses used in the foregoing experiments very clean, and provided a fresh filter, I boiled 10 grains of white arsenic, bought of Mr. Wilcock, druggist in Reading, in 4 ounces of clean water, and, filtering and dividing it into five equal parts, proceeded with them just as I had done with the former decoctions. There was an exact similitude between the experiments made on the two decoctions. They corresponded so nicely in each trial that I declare I never saw any two things in Nature more alike the decoction made with the powder found in Mr. Blandy's gruel and that made with white arsenic. From these experiments, and others which I am ready to produce if desired, I believe that powder to be white arsenic.

Did any person make these experiments with you?—No, but Mr. Wilcock, the druggist, was present while I made them; and he weighed both the powder and the white arsenic.

When did Mr. Blandy first take medicines by your order?—As soon as he could swallow, on Saturday night, the 10th August. Before that time he was under the care of Mr. Norton.



I live at Henley; I remember being sent for to Mrs. Mounteney's, in Henley, on Thursday, the 8th August, in order to show me the powder. There was with her Susan Gunnell, the servant maid. She brought in a pan. I looked at it and endeavoured to take it out that I might give a better account of it, for as it lay it was not possible to see what it was; then I laid it on white paper and delivered it to Mrs. Mounteney to take care of till it dried. She kept it till Sunday morning, then I had it to show to Dr. Addington. I saw the doctor try it once at my house upon a red-hot poker, upon which I did imagine it was of the arsenic kind.

Did you attend the deceased while he was ill?—I did. I went on the 6th of August. He told me he was ill, as he imagined, of a fit of the colic. He complained of a violent pain in his stomach, attended with great reachings, and swelled, and a great purging. I carried him physic, which he took on the Wednesday morning; he was then better. On the Thursday morning, as I was going, I met the maid. She told me he was not up, so I went about twelve. He was then with a client in the study. He told me the physic had done him a great deal of service, and desired more. I sent him some to take on Friday morning; I was not with him after Thursday.[9]

Had you used to attend him?—I had for several years. The last illness he had before was in July, 1750. I used to attend him.

Did you ever hear Miss Blandy talk of music?—I did. She said she had heard it in the house, and she feared something would happen in the family. She did not say anything particular, because I made very light of it.

Did she say anything of apparitions?—She said Mr. Cranstoun saw her father's apparition one night.

How long before his death was it that she talked about music?—It might be about three or four months before.

Was the powder you delivered to Dr. Addington the self-same powder you received of Mrs. Mounteney?—It was the very same; it had not been out of my custody.

Should you know it again?—I have some of the same now in my pocket. [He produces a paper sealed up with the Earl of Macclesfield's and Lord Cadogan's seals upon it.] This is some of the same that I delivered to Dr. Addington.


Who sent for you to the house?—I cannot tell that.

When you came, did you see Miss Blandy?—I did. She and Mr. Blandy were both together.

What conversation had you then?—I asked Mr. Blandy whether or no he had eaten anything that he thought disagreed with him? Miss Blandy made answer, and said her papa had had nothing that she knew of except some peas on the Saturday night before.

Did you hear anything of water gruel?—I knew nothing of that till it was brought to me.

Had you any suspicion of poison then?—I had not, nor Mr. Blandy had not mentioned anything of being poisoned by having taken water gruel.

What did Miss Blandy say to you?—She desired me to be careful of her father in his illness.

Did she show any dislike to his having physic?—No, none at all. She desired, when I saw any danger, I would let her know it, that she might have the advice of a physician.

When was this?—This was on Saturday, the 10th.

When he grew worse, did she advise a physician might be called in?—Yes, she did, after I said he was worse. She then begged that Dr. Addington might be sent for. Mr. Blandy was for deferring it till next day, but when I came down she asked if I thought him in danger. I said, "He is," then she said, "Though he seems to be against it, I will send for a doctor directly," and sent away a man unknown to him.

Was he for delaying?—He was, till the next morning.

How had she behaved to him in any other illness of her father's?—I never saw but at such times she behaved with true affection and regard.

Had she used to be much with him?—She used to be backwards and forwards with him in the room.

Did you give any intimation to Miss Blandy after the powder was tried?—I did not, but went up to acquaint her uncle. He was so affected he could not come down to apprise Mr. Blandy of it.

When did she first know that you knew of it?—I never knew she knew of it till the Monday.

How came you to suspect that at the bottom of the pan to be poison?—I found it very gritty, and had no smell. When I went down and saw the old washerwoman, that she had tasted of the water gruel and was affected with the same symptoms as Mr. Blandy, I then suspected he was poisoned, and said I was afraid Mr. Blandy had had foul play; but I did not tell either him or Miss Blandy so, because I found by the maid that Miss Blandy was suspected.

Whom did you suspect might do it?—I had suspicion it was Miss Blandy.


When was Dr. Addington sent for?—On the Saturday night.


Mrs. MARY MOUNTENEY,[10] examined

Susan Gunnell brought a pan to my house on the 8th of August with water gruel in it and powder at the bottom, and desired me to look at it. I sent for Mr. Norton. He took the powder out on a piece of white paper which I gave him. He delivered the same powder to me, and I took care of it and locked it up.


Did you ever see any behaviour of Miss Blandy otherwise than that of an affectionate daughter?—I never did. She was always dutiful to her father, as far as I saw, when her father was present.

To whom did you first mention that this powder was put into the paper?—To the best of my remembrance, I never made mention of it to anybody till Mr. Norton fetched it away, which was on the 11th of August, the Sunday morning after, to be shown to Dr. Addington.

Between the time of its being brought to your house and the time it was fetched away, were you ever at Mr. Blandy's house?—No, I was not in that time, but was there on Sunday in the afternoon.

Had you not showed it at any other place during that time?—I had not, sir.

Did you, on the Sunday, in the afternoon, mention it to Mr. or Miss Blandy?—No, not to either of them.



I carried the water gruel in a pan to Mrs. Mounteney's house.

Whose use was it made for?—It was made for Mr. Blandy's use, on the Sunday seven-night before his death.

Who made it?—I made it.

Where did you put it after you had made it?—I put it into the common pantry, where all the family used to go.

Did you observe any particular person busy about there afterwards?—No, nobody; Miss Blandy told me on the Monday she had been in the pantry (I did not see her) stirring her father's water gruel, and eating the oatmeal out of the bottom of it.

What time of the Monday was this?—This was some time about the middle of the day.

Did Mr. Blandy take any of that water gruel?—I gave him a half-pint mug of it on Monday evening for him to take before he went to bed.

Did you observe anybody meddle with that half-pint mug afterwards?—I saw Miss Blandy take the teaspoon that was in the mug and stir the water gruel, and after put her finger to the spoon, and then rubbed her fingers.

Did Mr. Blandy drink any of that water gruel?—Mr. Blandy drank some of it, and on the Tuesday morning, when he came downstairs, he did not come through the kitchen as usual, but went the back way into his study.

Did you see him come down?—I did not.

When was the first time you saw him that day?—It was betwixt nine and ten. Miss Blandy and he were together; he was not well, and going to lie down on the bed.

Did you see him in the evening?—In the evening Robert Harman came to me as I was coming downstairs and told me I must warm some water gruel, for my master was in haste for supper.

Did you warm some?—I warmed some of that out of the pan, of which he had some the night before, and Miss Blandy carried it to him into the parlour.

Did he drink it?—I believe he did; there seemed to be about half of it left the next morning.

How did he seem to be after?—I met him soon after he had ate the water gruel going upstairs to bed. I lighted him up. As soon as he was got into the room he called for a basin to reach; he seemed to be very sick by his reaching a considerable time.

How was he next morning?—About six o'clock I went up the next morning to carry him his physic. He said he had had a pretty good night, and was much better.

Had he reached much overnight?—He had, for the basin was half-full, which I left clean overnight.

Was any order given you to give him any more water gruel?—On the Wednesday Miss Blandy came into the kitchen and said, "Susan, as your master has taken physic, he may want more water gruel, and, as there is some in the house, you need not make fresh, as you are ironing." I told her it was stale, if there was enough, and it would not hinder much to make fresh; so I made fresh accordingly, and I went into the pantry to put some in for my master's dinner. Then I brought out the pan (the evening before I thought it had an odd taste), so I was willing to taste it again to see if I was mistaken or not. I put it to my mouth and drank some, and, taking it from my mouth, I observed some whiteness at the bottom.

What did you do upon that?—I went immediately to the kitchen and told Betty Binfield there was a white settlement, and I did not remember I ever had seen oatmeal so white before. Betty said, "Let me see it." I carried it to her. She said, "What oatmeal is this? I think it looks as white as flour." We both took the pan and turned it about, and strictly observed it, and concluded it could be nothing but oatmeal. I then took it out of doors into the light and saw it plainer; then I put my finger to it and found it gritty at the bottom of the pan. I then recollected I had heard say poison was white and gritty, which made me afraid it was poison.

What did you do with the pan?—I carried it back again and set it down on the dresser in the kitchen; it stood there a short time, then I locked it up in the closet, and on the Thursday morning carried it to Mrs. Mounteney, and Mr. Norton came there and saw it.

Do you remember Miss Blandy saying anything to you about eating her papa's water gruel?—About six weeks before his death I went into the parlour. Miss Blandy said, "Susan, what is the matter with you? You do not look well." I said, "I do not know what is the matter; I am not well, but I do not know what is the matter." She said, "What have you ate or drank?" upon which I said, "Nothing more than the rest of the family." She said, "Susan, have you eaten any water gruel? for I am told water gruel hurts me, and it may hurt you." I said, "It cannot affect me, madam, for I have not eaten any."

What was it Betty Binfield[11] said to you about water gruel?—Betty Binfield said Miss Blandy asked if I had eaten any of her papa's water gruel, saying, if I did, I might do for myself, a person of my age.

What time was this?—I cannot say whether it was just after or just before the time she had spoken to me herself. On the Wednesday morning, as I was coming downstairs from giving my master his physic, I met Elizabeth Binfield with the water gruel in a basin which he had left. I said to the charwoman, Ann Emmet, "Dame, you used to be fond of water gruel; here is a very fine mess my master left last night, and I believe it will do you good." The woman soon sat down on a bench in the kitchen and ate some of it, I cannot say all.

How was she afterwards?—She said the house smelt of physic, and everything tasted of physic; she went out, I believe into the wash-house, to reach, before she could finish it.

Did you follow her?—No, I did not; but about twenty minutes or half an hour after that I went to the necessary house and found her there vomiting and reaching, and, as she said, purging.

How long did she abide there?—She was there an hour and a half, during which time I went divers times to her. At first I carried her some surfeit water; she then desired to have some fair water. The next time I went to see how she did she said she was no better. I desired her to come indoors, hoping she would be better by the fire. She said she was not able to come in. I said I would lead her in. I did, and set her down in a chair by the fire. She was vomiting and reaching continually. She sat there about half an hour, or something more, during which time she grew much worse, and I thought her to be in a fit or seized with death.

Did you acquaint Miss Blandy with the illness and symptoms of this poor woman?—I told Miss Blandy when I went into the room to dress her, about nine o'clock, that Dame (the name we used to call her by) had been very ill that morning; that she had complained that the smell of her master's physic had made her sick; and that she had eaten nothing but a little of her master's water gruel which he had left last night, which could not hurt her.

What did she say to that?—She said she was very glad she was not below stairs, for she would have been shocked to have seen her poor Dame so ill.

As you have lived servant in the house, how did you observe Miss Blandy behave towards her father, and in what manner did she use to talk of him, three or four months before his death?—Sometimes she would talk very affectionately, and sometimes but middling.

What do you mean by "middling"?—Sometimes she would say he was an old villain for using an only child in such a manner.

Did she wish him to live?—Sometimes she wished for him long life, sometimes for his death.

When she wished for his death, in what manner did she express herself?—She often said she was very awkward, and that if he was dead she would go to Scotland and live with Lady Cranstoun.

Did she ever say how long she thought her father might live?—Sometimes she would say, for his constitution, he might live these twenty years; sometimes she would say he looked ill and poorly.

Do you remember when Dr. Addington was sent for on the Saturday?—I do.

Had Miss Blandy used to go into her father's room after that time?—She did as often as she pleased till Sunday night; then Mr. Norton took Miss Blandy downstairs and desired me not to let anybody go into the room except myself to wait on him.

Did she come in afterwards?—She came into the room on Monday morning, soon after Mr. Norton came in, or with him. I went in about ten o'clock again.

What conversation passed between Miss Blandy and her father?—She fell down on her knees, and said to him, "Banish me, or send me to any remote part of the world; do what you please, so you forgive me; and as to Mr. Cranstoun, I will never see him, speak to him, nor write to him more so long as I live, so you will forgive me."

What answer did he make?—He said, "I forgive thee, my dear, and I hope God will forgive thee; but thee shouldst have considered better than to have attempted anything against thy father; thee shouldst have considered I was thy own father."

What said she to this?—She answered, "Sir, as for your illness, I am entirely innocent." I said, "Madam, I believe you must not say you are entirely innocent, for the powder that was taken out of the water gruel, and the paper of powder that was taken out of the fire, are now in such hands that they must be publicly produced." I told her I believed I had one dose prepared for my master in a dish of tea about six weeks ago.

Did you tell her this before her father?—I did.

What answer did she make?—She said, "I have put no powder into tea. I have put powder into water gruel, and if you are injured I am entirely innocent, for it was given me with another intent."

What said Mr. Blandy to this?—My master turned himself in his bed and said to her, "Oh, such a villain! come to my house, ate of the best, and drank of the best that my house could afford, to take away my life and ruin my daughter."

What else passed?—He said, "Oh, my dear! Thee must hate that man, thee must hate the ground he treads on, thee canst not help it." The daughter said "Oh, sir, your tenderness towards me is like a sword to my heart; every word you say is like swords piercing my heart—much worse than if you were to be ever so angry. I must down on my knees and beg you will not curse me."

What said the father?—He said, "I curse thee! my dear, how couldst thou think I could curse thee? No, I bless thee, and hope God will bless thee and amend thy life;" and said further, "Do, my dear, go out of my room, say no more, lest thou shouldst say anything to thy own prejudice; go to thy uncle Stevens, take him for thy friend; poor man! I am sorry for him." Upon this she directly went out of the room.

Give an account of the paper you mentioned to her, how it was found?—On the Saturday before my master died I was in the kitchen. Miss Blandy had wrote a direction on a letter to go to her uncle Stevens. Going to the fire to dry it, I saw her put a paper into the fire, or two papers, I cannot say whether. I went to the fire and saw her stir it down with a stick. Elizabeth Binfield then put on fresh coals, which I believe kept the paper from being consumed. Soon after Miss Blandy had put it in she left the kitchen; I said to Elizabeth Binfield, "Betty, Miss Blandy has been burning something"; she asked, "Where?" I pointed to the grate and said, "At that corner"; upon which Betty Binfield moved a coal and took from thence a paper. I stood by and saw her. She gave it into my hand; it was a small piece of paper, with some writing on it, folded up about 3 inches long. The writing was, "The powder to clean the pebbles," to the best of my remembrance.

Did you read it?—I did not, Elizabeth Binfield read it to me. [Produced in Court, part of it burnt, scaled up with the Earl of Macclesfield and Lord Cadogan's seals.] This is the paper, I believe, by the look of it; but I did not see it unfolded. I delivered it into Elizabeth Binfield's hand on Saturday night between eleven and twelve o'clock. From the time it was taken out of the fire it had not been out of my pocket, or anything done to it, from that time till I gave it her. I went into my master's room about seven o'clock in the morning to carry him something to drink. When he had drank it, I said, "I have something to say to you concerning your health and concerning your family; I must beg you will not put yourself in a passion, but hear me what I have to say." Then I told him, "I believe, sir, you have got something in your water gruel that has done you some injury, and I believe Miss Blandy put it in, by her coming into the washhouse on Monday and saying she had been stirring her papa's water gruel and eating the oatmeal out from the bottom." He said, "I find I have something not right; my head is not right as it used to be, nor has been for some time." I had before told him I had found the powder in the gruel. He said, "Dost thou know anything of this powder? Didst thee ever see any of it?" I said, "No, sir, I never saw any but what I saw in the water gruel." He said, "Dost know where she had this powder, nor canst not thee guess?" I said, "I cannot tell, except she had it of Mr. Cranstoun." My reason for suspecting that was, Miss Blandy had letters oftener than usual. My master said, "And, now thee mention'st it, I remember when he was at my house he mentioned a particular poison that they had in their country," saying, "Oh, that villain! that ever he came to my house!" I told him likewise that I had showed the powder to Mr. Norton; he asked what Mr. Norton said to it; I told him Mr. Norton could not say what it was, as it was wet, but said, "Let it be what it will, it ought not to be there"; and said he was fearful there was foul play somewhere. My master said, "What, Norton not know! that is strange, and so much used to drugs." Then I told him Mr. Norton thought proper he should search her pockets, and take away her keys and papers. He said, "I cannot do it, I cannot shock her so much; canst not thee, when thou goest into her room, take out a letter or two, that she may think she dropped them by chance?" I told him, "I had no right to do it; she is your daughter, and you have a right to do it, and nobody else." He said, "I never in all my life read a letter that came to my daughter from any person." He desired, if possible, if I could meet with any powder anywhere that I would secure it.

Do you remember when Ann Emmet was sick (the charwoman)?—I do, but cannot say how long or how little a time before this; I remember she was ill some time before my master's death.

What did the prisoner order the old woman to eat at that time?—She sent her some sack whey and some broth, I believe, to the value of a quart or three pints at twice, about once a day, or every other day, for four or five days.

Have you been ill from what you ate yourself?—I was ill after drinking a dish of tea one Sunday morning, which I thought was not well relished, and I believed somebody had been taking salts in the cup before.

Who was it poured out for?—I believe it was poured out for my master.

Why do you believe that?—Because he used to drink in a different dish from the rest of the family, and it was out of his dish.

When was this?—This was about six weeks and three days before his death.

How did you find yourself after drinking it?—I found no ill-effects till after dinner; I then had a hardness in my stomach, and apprehended it was from eating plentifully of beans for dinner.

What symptoms had you afterwards?—My stomach seemed to have something in it that could not digest, and I had remarkable trembling for three days, and after that for three mornings was seized with a reaching.

Have you since that time been ill from what you ate or drank?—I tasted the water gruel twice—once on the Tuesday evening when I was mixing it for my master, and on Wednesday, when I was going to pour it away, I put the pan to my mouth and drank a little of it.

How did you find yourself after that?—I did not find any remarkable disorder till the Wednesday morning about two o'clock, before my master's death; then I was seemingly seized with convulsions. My throat was very troublesome for five or six weeks after, and seemed a little soreish and a little swelled. I continued very ill for three weeks and upwards after my master's death, which was on the Wednesday. I went to bed sick at two that morning, and applied to Dr. Addington.

Do you remember anything besides letters coming from Mr. Cranstoun?—I remember she had once a large box of table linen and some Scotch pebbles in it; she said they came from him.

What time was this?—This was early in the spring, before my master's death.

Had she more than one box sent to her?—She had a small box sent afterwards of Scotch pebbles; that might be about three months before his death, or less, I cannot say.

Did she use to show the pebbles to anybody?—She used to show them to any person of her acquaintance; but I never heard of any powder to clean them.


For a year before the 5th of August last had anything ailed your master so as to call in the apothecary?—About a year before he had had a violent cold.

Was he, or was he not, in good health for a year before?—He was frequently complaining of the gravel and heartburn, which he was subject to for years.

Did he make any other complaints?—He used to have little fits of the gout.

Was there any other complaint for seven, eight, nine, or ten years?—Nothing particular, but that of the heartburn, which I cannot tell whether I ever heard him complain of before or not.

Can you take upon you to say that he made any particular complaint of the heartburn more than he had done at any other time?—I cannot say positively, because I have not continued these things in my memory. He ordered me to give him some dry oatmeal and water for the heartburn.

Is that good for the heartburn?—I have been told it is very good for it.

How was her behaviour to her father?—Her general behaviour was dutiful, except upon any passion or a hasty word from her father.

When did she call her father "old villain"?—She would use expressions of that kind when she was in a passion.

Upon what account?—For using her ill.


Were these expressions made use of before his face or behind his back?—I have heard her before his face and behind his back.


When have you heard it?—I believe in the last twelve months, but cannot be sure.


Recollect on what occasion?—It has been, I believe, on little passions on both sides, and that generally from trifles.


When did you first communicate your suspicion to Mr. Blandy about his being poisoned?—On the Saturday morning before his death, from what I saw on the Wednesday before.

Why did you keep this suspicion of yours from Wednesday to Saturday?—The reason I did not tell my suspicions to Mr. Blandy sooner than Saturday was because I stayed for Mr. Stevens, the prisoner's uncle, who did not come till Friday night; I told him then, and he desired me to tell Mr. Blandy of it.

Did you ever say anything of it to Miss Blandy?—No, I did not.

Pray, what conversation passed between her father and her down upon her knees, &c.?—She said, "Sir, how do you do?" He said, "I am very ill."

Was anything said about Mr. Cranstoun's addresses to her?—Yes, there was. That conversation was occasioned by a message that Mr. Blandy had sent to his daughter by me on Monday morning.

What was that message?—That he was ready to forgive her if she would but endeavour to bring that villain to justice.

Did she say with what intent the powder was given to her?—She said it was given her with another intent.

Did she say upon what intent?—She did not say that. He did not ask that.

Was not that explained?—It was no ways explained.

Did he treat her as if she herself was innocent?—He did, sir.

Then all he said afterwards was as thinking his daughter very innocent?—It was, sir.

As to the ruin of his daughter, did he think it was entirely owing to Cranstoun?—Mr. Blandy said he believed his daughter entirely innocent of what had happened.

By what he said to you, do you think that the father thought his daughter was imposed upon by Cranstoun when he used that expression, "She must hate the man," &c.?—I do think so; he said, "Where is Polly?" I answered, "In her room." He said, "Poor, unfortunate girl! That ever she should be imposed upon and led away by such a villain to do such a thing!"

Do you imagine, from the whole conversation that passed between her father and her, that she was entirely innocent of the fact of the powder being given?—I do not think so; she said she was innocent.

What was your opinion? Did the father think her wholly unacquainted with the effect of the powder?—I believe he thought so; that is as much as I can say.

When you told Miss Blandy that the washerwoman was extremely ill, having ate some water gruel, was anything more said with relation to the father's having ate some of the same water gruel before?—I don't remember there was a word said about the father's having ate any of it.

During the time of his illness was not Miss Blandy's behaviour to her father with as much care and tenderness as any daughter could show?—She seemed to direct everything as she could have done for herself, or any other person that was sick.

Do you know that she was guilty of any neglect in this respect?—No, I do not, sir.


What did he mean when he said, "Poor, unfortunate girl! That ever she should be imposed upon and led away by such a villain to do such a thing!" What do you imagine he meant by such a thing?—By giving him that which she did not know what it was.


When she told you that water gruel would serve for her father on the Wednesday did she know that her father had been ill by taking water gruel on the Monday and Tuesday nights?—She knew he was ill, but I cannot tell whether she knew the cause of it; and knew that the charwoman was ill before she proposed my giving him the same gruel, but did not oppose my making fresh for any other reason than that it would hinder my ironing.



I was a servant to Mr. Francis Blandy at Henley, and had been almost three years.

When did you first discover his illness and hear him complain of unusual prickings in has stomach?—About a fortnight before he died.

Did you ever hear Miss Blandy talk of something in the house which she said presaged his death, or something like it?—I have often heard her talk of walkings and music in the house that she had heard. She said she thought it to be her mother, saying the music foretold her father's death.

Whom has she said so to?—She has told me so.

How long ago?—For some time before her father's death; I believe for three-quarters of a year.

How long did she continue talking in this manner?—She did till his death. I have often heard her say he would die before October.

What reasons did she give for that?—By the music, saying she had been informed that music foretells deaths within a twelvemonth.

Who did she say had informed her so?—She said Mr. Cranstoun had been to some famous woman who had informed him so, and named one Mrs. Morgan, who lived either in Scotland or London, I cannot say which.

Did she express herself glad or sorry?—Glad, for that then she should soon be released from all her fatigues, and soon be happy.

Did she talk of the state of health in which he was?—Sometimes she has said he has been very well, sometimes ill. I remember I heard her say that my master complained of a ball of fire in his guts. I believe it was before the Monday he ate the water gruel. I cannot particularly say. I believe a fortnight before he died, then she said, Mr. Cranstoun had told her of that famous woman's opinion about music.

Do you remember the first time one Ann Emmet was taken ill?—It was about a month or six weeks before.

Do you know what Miss Blandy ordered her in that illness?—I do. She ordered her some white wine whey, and broth several times. I made it two or three times, two quarts at a time.

Do you remember a paper being taken out of the fire?—I do. It was on the Saturday before my master died. I took it out myself.

Should you know it again if you see it?—I believe I should. (She is shown a paper.) I really believe this is it, which I took out of the fire and delivered it to Susan Gunnell, after which I had it again from her, and I delivered it to Dr. Addington and Mr. Norton.

Do you remember Miss Blandy's saying anything about Susan Gunnel's eating the water gruel?—I do. When Susan was ill she asked me how Susan did. I said, "Very ill." Said she, "Do you remember her ever drinking her master's water gruel?" I said, "Not as I know of." She said, "If she does she may do for herself, may I tell you."

Did she bid you tell Susan so?—She did not bid me tell Susan, but I did tell her.

What time was this?—It might be about a month or six weeks before Mr. Blandy's death.

Do you remember any expressions she made use of about her father?—I heard her say, "Who would grudge to send an old father to hell for £10,000?" Exactly them words.

When was this?—It was about a month before his death, or it may be more; I cannot justly tell.

How was this conversation introduced?—She was speaking of young girls being kept out of their fortunes.

Who was with you at this time?—It was to me, and nobody else.

Have you heard her abuse him with bad language?—I have heard her curse him, call him rascal and villain.

What was she so angry with her father about?—Mr. Cranstoun was at our house about three-quarters of a year before Mr. Blandy's death. He came in August, 1750, and stayed there till near Christmas. It was not agreeable to my master. We used to think by his temper that he did not approve of his being so much with his daughter, but I do not believe he debarred his daughter from keeping his company.

Did you ever hear him say anything to her of his having been once like to be poisoned?—I was in the kitchen when my master came in to be shaved. I stayed there till he went out again. Miss Blandy was there, and he said that once he had like to have been poisoned.

When was it that he said so?—It was on the 10th of August, saying he was once at the coffee-house or the Lion, and he and two other gentlemen had like to have been poisoned by what they had drank. Miss Blandy said, "Sir, I remember it very well." She said it was at one of those places, and he said no, it was the other. He said, "One of the gentlemen died immediately, the other is dead now, and I have survived them both; but it is my fortune to be poisoned at last." He looked very hard at her during the time he was talking.

What did he say was put into the wine?—I remember he said it was white arsenic.

When he looked hard at her how did she look?—She looked in great confusion and all in a tremble.

Did you sit up with Miss Blandy the night after her father died?—I did till three o'clock. She went to bed about one. She said to me, "Betty, will you go away with me? If you will go to the Lion or the Bell and hire a post-chaise I will give you fifteen guineas when you get into it and ten guineas more when we came to London." I said, "Where will you go then? Into the north?" She said, "I shall go into the west of England." I said, "Shall you go by sea?" She said, "I believe some part of the way." I said, "I will not go." Then she burst into laughter, and said, "I was only in a joke. Did you think I was in earnest?" "Yes," said I. "No," said she, "I was only joking."

Did you ever hear Miss Blandy tell Dr. Addington that she had given your master some of that powder?—I heard Miss Blandy tell the doctor she had given my master some of that powder before in a dish of tea, which, she said, he did not drink, and she threw it into the street out of the window, fearing she should be discovered, and filled the cup again, and that Susan Gunnell drank it, and was ill for a week after.

When was this?—This was on the Monday before my master died.

Do you remember what happened on Monday, the 5th of August?—Yes. On that day I and two washerwomen were in the wash-house. Miss Blandy came in, and said, "Betty, I have been in the pantry eating some of the oatmeal out of your master's water gruel." I took no notice of it, but the same day, in the afternoon, I went into the pantry, and Miss Blandy followed me, and took a spoon and stirred the water gruel, and, taking some up in the spoon, put it between her fingers and rubbed it.

What was it in?—It was in a pan. When my master was taken ill on the Tuesday in the afternoon Miss Blandy came into the kitchen, and said, "Betty, if one thing should happen, will you go with me to Scotland?" I said, "Madam, I do not know." "What," says she, "you are unwilling to leave your friends?" Said I, "If I should go there, and not like it, it will be expensive travelling back again."

Did she say, "If one thing should happen"? What thing?—I took no further notice of it then, but those were the words. On the Monday morning before he died she said to me, "Betty, go up to your master and give my duty to him, and tell him I beg to speak one word with him." I did. She went up. I met her when she came out of the room from him. She clasped me round the neck, and burst out a-crying, and said, "Susan and you are the two honestest servants in the world; you ought to be imaged in gold for your honesty; half my fortune will not make you amends for your honesty to my father."


Had Mr. Blandy at any time, and when, previous to the 5th of August been ill?—About a twelvemonth before he had been ill some time, but I cannot tell how long.

What was his illness?—He had a great cold.

Did he take any physic?—I believe he did once or twice.

Can you tell the time?—I believe it was the latter end of July or beginning of August.

Who made the whey and broth that were sent to the washerwoman?—My fellow-servant made the whey; I made the broth.

Was she a kind mistress to the washerwoman?—She was. She had a greater regard for her than any other woman that came about the house.

About this music, who did she say heard it?—She mostly mentioned herself hearing that.

Was this talk when Cranstoun was there?—I heard her talk so when he was there and in his absence.

Was it when she was in an angry temper only that she used those words to her father?—I have heard her in the best of times curse her father.

Was Susan Gunnell very ill after drinking that tea?—She was, and continued so for a week.


Was it at the time Susan was ill from drinking of the tea that Miss Blandy asked you about her taking the gruel and said it would do for her? And did she say anything else?—Miss Blandy said she poured it out for my master, but he went to church and left it.


Have you had any ill-will against her?—I always told her I wished her very well.

Did you ever say, "Damn her for a black bitch; I should be glad to see her go up the ladder and be hanged"?—No, sir, I never did in my life.


Did you and the rest of the family observe that Mr. Blandy's looks were as well the last six months as before?—Miss Blandy has said to me, "Don't you think my father looks faint?" Sometimes I have said, "He is," sometimes not. I never observed any alteration at all.

[Here Dr. Addington is appealed to by the counsel for the prisoner.]


Do you, Dr. Addington, remember Miss Blandy telling you on Monday night, the 12th August, that she had on a Sunday morning, about six weeks before, when her father was absent from the parlour, mixed a powder with his tea, and that Susan Gunnell had drank that tea?—I remember her telling me that Monday night that she had on a Sunday morning, about six weeks before, when her father was absent from the parlour, mixed a powder with his tea, but do not remember her saying that Susan Gunnell had drank that tea. I have several times heard Susan Gunnell say that she was sure she had been poisoned by drinking tea out of Mr. Blandy's cup that Sunday morning.

Did not Miss Blandy declare to you that she had always thought the powder innocent?—Yes.

Did she not always declare the same?—Yes.

[The KING'S COUNSEL then interposed, and said that he had not intended to mention what had passed in discourse between the prisoner and Dr. Addington; but that now, as her own counsel had been pleased to call for part of it, he desired the whole might be laid before the Court.]



On Monday night, the 12th August, after Miss Blandy had been secured, and her papers, keys, &c., taken from her, she threw herself on the bed and groaned, then raised herself and wrung her hands, and said that it was impossible for any words to describe the horrors and agonies in her breast; that Mr. Cranstoun had ruined her; that she had ever, till now, believed him a man of the strictest honour; that she had mixed a powder with the gruel, which her father had drank on the foregoing Monday and Tuesday nights; that she was the cause of his death, and that she desired life for no end but to go through a painful penance for her sin. She protested at the same time that she had never mixed the powder with anything else that he had swallowed, and that she did not know it to be poison till she had seen its effects. She said that she had received the powder from Mr. Cranstoun with a present of Scotch pebbles; that he had written on the paper that held it, "The powder to clean the pebbles with"; that he had assured her it was harmless; that he had often taken it himself; that if she would give her father some of it now and then, a little and a little at a time, in any liquid, it would make him kind to him and her; that accordingly, about six weeks before, at breakfast-time, her father being out of the room, she had put a little of it into his cup of tea, but that he never drank it; that, part of the powder swimming at top of the tea, and part sinking to the bottom, she had poured it out of the window and filled up the cup with fresh tea; that then she wrote to Mr. Cranstoun to let him know that she could not give it in tea without being discovered; and that in his answer he had advised her to give it in water gruel for the future, or in any other thickish fluid. I asked her whether she would endeavour to bring Mr. Cranstoun to justice. After a short pause she answered that she was fully conscious of her own guilt, and was unwilling to add guilt to guilt, which she thought she should do if she took any step to the prejudice of Mr. Cranstoun, whom she considered as her husband though the ceremony had not passed between them.


Was anything more said by the prisoner or you?—I asked her whether she had been so weak as to believe the powder that she had put into her father's tea and gruel so harmless as Mr. Cranstoun had represented it; why Mr. Cranstoun had called it a powder to clean pebbles if it was intended only to make Mr. Blandy kind; why she had not tried it on herself before she ventured to try it on her father; why she had flung it into the fire; why, if she had really thought it innocent, she had been fearful of a discovery when part of it swam on the top of the tea; why, when she had found it hurtful to her father, she had neglected so many days to call proper assistance to him; and why, when I was called at last, she had endeavoured to keep me in the dark and hide the true cause of his illness.

What answers did she make to these questions?—I cannot justly say, but very well remember that they were not such as gave me any satisfaction.


She said then that she was entirely ignorant of the effects of the powder.

She said that she did not know it to be poison till she had seen its effects.

Let me ask you, Dr. Addington, this single question, whether the horrors and agonies which Miss Blandy was in at this time were not, in your opinion, owing solely to a hearty concern for her father?—I beg, sir, that you will excuse my giving an answer to this question. It is not easy, you know, to form a true judgment of the heart, and I hope a witness need not deliver his opinion of it.

I do not speak of the heart; you are only desired to say whether those agitations of body and mind which Miss Blandy showed at this time did not seem to you to arise entirely from a tender concern for her father?—Since you oblige me, sir, to speak to this particular, I must say that all the agitation of body and mind which Miss Blandy showed at this time, or any other, when I was with her, seemed to me to arise more from the apprehension of unhappy consequences to herself than from a tender and hearty concern for her father.

Did you never, then, observe in her any evident tokens of grief for her father?—I never thought I did.

Did she never wish for his recovery?—Often.

Did not you think that those wishes implied a concern for him?—I did not, because I had before told her that if he died soon she would inevitably be ruined.

When did you tell her this?—On Sunday morning, the 11th August, just before I left Henley.

Did not she desire you that morning, before you quitted his room, to visit him again the next day?—Yes.

And was she not very solicitous that you should do him all the service in your power?—I cannot say that I discovered any solicitude in her on this score till Monday night, the 12th August, after she was confined, and her keys and other things had been taken from her.


Did you, Dr. Addington, attend Susan Gunnell in her illness?—Yes, sir, but I took no minutes of her case.

Did her symptoms agree with Mr. Blandy's?—They differed from his in some respects, but the most material were manifestly of the same kind with his, though in a much less degree.

Did you think them owing to poison?—Yes.

Did you attend Ann Emmet?—Yes, sir.

To what cause did you ascribe her disorder?—To poison, for she told me that, on Wednesday morning, the 7th August, very soon after drinking some gruel at Mr. Blandy's, she had been seized with prickings and burnings in her tongue, throat, and stomach, which had been followed by severe fits of vomiting and purging; and I observed that she had many other symptoms which agreed with Mr. Blandy's.

Did she say that she thought she had ever taken poison before?—On my telling her that I ascribed her complaints to poison, which she had taken in gruel at Mr. Blandy's on the 7th August, she said that, if she had been poisoned by drinking that gruel at Mr. Blandy's, she was sure that she had been poisoned there the haytime before by drinking something else.


ALICE EMMET, examined

My mother is now very ill, and cannot attend; she was charwoman at Mr. Blandy's in June last; she was taken very ill in the night with a vomiting and reaching, upwards and downwards. I went to Miss Blandy in the morning, by her desire, to see if she would send her something, as she wanted something to drink, saying she was very dry. Miss said she would send something, which she did in about two hours.

Did you tell her what your mother had ate or drank?—No, I did not, only said my mother was very ill and very dry, and desired something to drink.



I was clerk to Mr. Blandy almost two years. The latter end of July last I went to my father's, in Warwickshire, and returned again on the 9th August, and breakfasted with Mr. Blandy and his daughter the next morning, which was on a Saturday. He was in great agony, and complained very much. He had a particular dish to drink his tea in. He tasted his tea, and did not drink it, saying it had a gritty, bad taste, and asked Miss whether she had not put too much of the black stuff in it, meaning Bohea tea. She answered it was as usual. He tasted it again and said it had a bad taste. She seemed to be in some sort of a tremor. He looked particular at her, and she looked very much confused and hurried, and went out of the room. Soon after my master poured it out into the cat's basin, and set it to be filled again. After this, when he was not there, Miss asked me what he did with the tea. I said he had not drunk it, but put it into the cat's basin in the window; then she looked a good deal confused and flurried. The next day Mr. Blandy, of Kingston, came about half an hour after nine in the morning. They walked into the parlour, and left me to breakfast by myself in the kitchen. I went to church. When I returned, the prisoner desired me to walk with her cousin into the garden; she delivered a letter to me, and desired me to seal and direct it as usual, and put it into the post.

Had you ever directed any letter for her before?—I have, a great many. I used to direct her letters to Mr. Cranstoun. [He is shown a letter.] This is one.

Did you put it into the post?—I did not. I opened it, having just before heard Mr. Blandy was poisoned by his own daughter. I transcribed it, and took it to Mr. Norton, the apothecary at Henley, and after that I showed it and read it to Mr. Blandy.

What did he say?—He said very little. He smiled and said, "Poor, love-sick girl! What won't a girl do for a man she loves?" (or to that effect).

Have you ever seen her write?—I have, very often.

Look at this letter; is it her own handwriting?—I cannot tell. It is written worse than she used to write, but it is the same she gave me.

Do you remember Mr. Cranstoun coming there in August, 1750?—I do. It was either the latter end of July or the beginning of August.

Did you hear any talk about music about that time?—After he was gone I heard the prisoner say she heard music in the house; this I heard her say very often, and that it denoted a death in the family. Sometimes she said she believed it would be herself; at other times it might be her father, by reason of his being so much broken. I heard her say once she thought she heard her mother.

Did she say when that death would happen?—She said that death would happen before October, meaning the death of her father, seeming to me.

Have you heard her curse her father?—I have heard her several times, for a rogue, a villain, a toothless old dog.

How long was this before her father's death?—I cannot justly tell that, but I have heard her a great many times within two months of his death, and a great while before. I used to tell her he was much broken latterly, and would not live long. She would say she thought so too, and that the music portended his death.


When you breakfasted with them in the parlour who was there first?—She was.

Did you see the tea made?—No, sir.

Did you see it poured out?—No; but he desired me to taste the tea. I did mine, and said I fancied his mouth was out of taste.

Did not this hurry you say Miss Blandy was in arise from the displeasure of her father because the tea was not made to his mind?—I cannot say that, or what it was from.

What became of that he threw into the cat's basin?—He left it there.

R. Harman


I was servant to Mr. Blandy at the time of his death. That night he died the prisoner asked me where I should live next. I said I did not know. She asked me to go with her. I asked her where she was going? She said it would be £500 in my way, and no hurt to me if I would. I told her I did not choose to go.

Did she tell you to what place she was going?—She did not.

Did she want to go away at that time of night?—Then, immediately.


Did she give any reason why she desired to go away?—No, she gave none.

How long had you lived there?—A twelvemonth.

What has been her general behaviour to her father during the time you were there?—She behaved very well, so far as ever I saw, and to all the family.

Did you ever hear her swear about her father?—No, I never did.

R. Fisher


I was one of the jury on the coroner's inquest that sat on Mr. Blandy's body on Thursday, 15th of August. As I was going up street to go to market I was told Miss Blandy was gone over the bridge. I went and found her at the sign of the Angel, on the other side of the bridge. I told her I was very sorry for her misfortune, and asked her what she could think of herself to come from home, and if she would be glad to go home again? She said, "Yes, but what must I do to get there for the mob?" I said I would endeavour to get a close post-chaise and carry her home. I went out through the mob and got one, and carried her home. She asked me whether she was to go to Oxford that night or not. I said I believed not. When I came to her father's house I delivered her up to the constables. When we were upon the inquiry before the coroner a gentleman was asking for some letters which came in the time of Mr. Blandy's illness. I went to her uncle, Stevens, to see for them. She then asked me again what the gentlemen intended to do with her, or how it would go. I said I was afraid very hard, unless she could produce some letters to bring Mr. Cranstoun to justice. She said, "Dear Mr. Fisher, I am afraid I have burnt some that would have brought him to justice." She took a key out of her pocket, and said, "Take this key and see if you can find such letters in such a drawer." There was one Mrs. Minn stood by. I desired her to go with the key, which she did. But no letters were found there. Then Miss Blandy said, "My honour to him will prove my ruin."

What did she mean by the word "him"?—Mr. Cranstoun—when she found there were no letters of consequence to be found.


Mrs. LANE, examined

I was with my husband at Henley at the sign of the Angel on the other side of the bridge. There was Miss Blandy. The first word I heard Mr. Lane, my husband, say was, if she was found guilty she would suffer according to law, upon which she stamped her foot upon the ground, and said, "O that damned villain!" then paused a little, and said "But why should I blame him, for I am more to blame than he, for I gave it him, and knew the consequence?"

Did she say I knew or I know?—I really cannot say, sir, for I did not expect to be called for to be examined here, and will not take upon me to swear positively to a word. She was in a sort of agony, in a very great fright.


Mr. LANE, examined

I went into the room where the prisoner was before my wife the day after Mr. Blandy's death. She arose from her chair, and met me, and looked hard at me. She said, "Sir, I have not the pleasure of knowing you." Said I, "No, I am a stranger to you." She said, "Sir, you look like a gentleman. What do you think they will do with me?" Said I, "You will be committed to the county gaol, and be tried at the assizes, and if your innocence appears you will be acquitted; if not, you will suffer accordingly." She stamped with her foot, and said, "O! that damned villain! But why do I blame him? I am more to blame." Then Mr. Littleton came in, which took off my attention from her that I did not hear so as to give an account of the whole.

[The letter which Littleton opened, read in Court.] Directed to the hon. William Henry Cranstoun, Esq.—

Dear Willy,—My father is so bad, that I have only time to tell you, that if you do not hear from me soon again, do not be frightened. I am better myself; and lest any accident should happen to your letters take care what you write. My sincere compliments. I am ever, yours.

The Prisoner's Defence[12]


My lords, it is morally impossible for me to lay down the hardships I have received—I have been aspersed in my character. In the first place, it has been said that I have spoken ill of my father, that I have cursed him, and wished him at hell, which is extremely false. Sometimes little family affairs have happened, and he did not speak to me so kind as I could wish. I own I am passionate, my lords, and in those passions some hasty expressions might have dropped; but great care has been taken to recollect every word I have spoken at different times, and to apply them to such particular purposes as my enemies knew would do me the greatest injury. These are hardships, my lords, extreme hardships, such as you yourselves must allow to be so. It is said, too, my lords, that I endeavoured to make my escape. Your lordships will judge from the difficulties I laboured under. I had lost my father—I was accused of being his murderer—I was not permitted to go near him—I was forsaken by my friends—affronted by the mob—insulted by my servants. Although I begged to have the liberty to listen at the door where he died I was not allowed it. My keys were taken from me, my shoe buckles and garters, too—to prevent me from making away with myself, as though I was the most abandoned creature. What could I do, my lords? I verily believe I must have been out of my senses. When I heard my father was dead, and the door open, I ran out of the house and over the bridge, and had nothing on but a half-sack and petticoat without a hoop—my petticoats hanging about me—the mob gathered about me. Was this a condition, my lords, to make my escape in? A good woman beyond the bridge seeing me in this distress desired me to walk in till the mob was dispersed. The town serjeant was there. I begged he would take me under his protection to have me home. The woman said it was not proper; the mob was very great, and that I had better stay a little. When I came home they said I used the constable ill. I was locked up for fifteen hours, with only an odd servant of the family to attend me. I was not allowed a maid for the common decencies of my sex. I was sent to gaol, and was in hopes there, at least, this usage would have ended. But was told it was reported I was frequently drunk; that I attempted to make my escape; that I never attended the chapel. A more abstemious woman, my lords, I believe does not live.

Miss Mary Blandy

Upon the report of my making my escape the gentleman who was High Sheriff last year (not the present) came and told me, by order of the higher powers, he must put an iron on me. I submitted, as I always do to the higher powers. Some time after he came again, and said he must put a heavier upon me, which I have worn, my lords, till I came hither. I asked the Sheriff why I was so ironed. He said he did it by the command of some noble peer on his hearing that I intended to make my escape. I told them I never had such a thought, and I would bear it with the other cruel usage I had received on my character. The Rev. Mr. Swinton, the worthy clergyman who attended me in prison, can testify that I was very regular at the chapel whenever I was well. Sometimes I really was not able to come out, and then he attended me in my room. They likewise have published papers and depositions which ought not to have been published in order to represent me as the most abandoned of my sex and to prejudice the world against me. I submit myself to your lordships and to the worthy jury. I can assure your lordships, as I am to answer it before that grand tribunal, where I must appear, I am as innocent as the child unborn of the death of my father. I would not endeavour to save my life at the expense of truth. I really thought the powder an innocent, inoffensive thing, and I gave it to procure his love. It has been mentioned, I should say I was ruined. My lords, when a young woman loses her character is not that her ruin? Why, then, should this expression be construed in so wide a sense? Is it not ruining my character to have such a thing laid to my charge? And whatever may be the event of this trial I am ruined most effectually.

Evidence for the Defence—


ANN JAMES, examined

I live at Henley, and had use to wash for Mr. Blandy. I remember the time Mr. Blandy grew ill. Before he was ill there was a difference between Elizabeth Binfield and Miss Blandy, and Binfield was to go away.

How long before Mr. Blandy's death?—It might be pretty near a quarter of a year before. I have heard her curse Miss Blandy, and damn her for a bitch, and said she would not stay. Since this affair happened I heard her say, "Damn her for a black bitch. I shall be glad to see her go up the ladder and swing."

How long after?—It was after Miss Blandy was sent away to gaol.


What was this quarrel about?—I do not know. I heard her say she had a quarrel, and was to go away several times.

Who was by at this time?—Mary Banks was by, and Nurse Edwards, and Mary Seymour, and I am not sure whether Robert Harman was there or not.

How was it introduced?—It happened in Mr. Blandy's kitchen; she was always talking about Miss.

Were you there on the 5th of August?—I cannot say I was.

Do you remember the prisoner's coming into the washhouse and saying she had been doing something with her father's water gruel?—No, I do not remember it.



Did you, Elizabeth Binfield, ever make use of such an expression as this witness has mentioned?—I never said such words.

Did you ever tell this witness Miss and you had quarrelled?—To the best of my knowledge, I never told her about a quarrel.

Have you ever had a quarrel?—We had a little quarrel sometime before.

Did you ever declare you were to go away?—I did.


MARY BANKS, examined

I remember being in Mr. Blandy's kitchen in company with Ann James.


Who was in company?—I do not remember.

Do you remember a conversation between Elizabeth Binfield and Ann James?—I do not remember anything of it.

Do you remember her aspersing Miss Blandy's character?—I do not recollect.

Did you hear her say, "She should be glad to see the black bitch go up the ladder to be hanged"?—She did say, "She should be glad to see the black bitch go up the ladder to be hanged."

When was this?—It was the night Mr. Blandy was opened.

Are you sure it was that day?—I am sure it was.

Where was Miss Blandy then?—She was then in the house.

E. Herne

EDWARD HERNE, examined

I formerly was a servant in Mr. Blandy's family; I went there eighteen years ago, and left them about twelve years ago last November, but have been frequently at the house ever since, that is, may be once, twice, thrice, or four times in a week.

What was Miss's general behaviour to her father and in the family?—She behaved, according to what I always observed, as well to her father and the family as anybody could do, an affectionate, dutiful daughter.

Did you see her during the time of Mr. Blandy's illness?—I did. The first time I went into the room she was not able to speak to me nor I to her for ten minutes.

What was that owing to?—It was owing to the greatness of her grief.

When was this?—It was the 12th of August, at night.

How did her father seem to be satisfied with her behaviour and conduct?—She was put into my custody that night; when I went into the room (upon hearing the groans of her father) she said, at my return, "Pray, Ned, how does he do?"

Did you ever hear her speak ill of her father?—I never heard her swear an oath all the time I have known her, or speak a disrespectful word of her father.


What are you?—I am sexton of the parish.

On what night did Mr. Blandy die?—On the Wednesday night.

How came you, as she was put under your care, to let her get away?—I was gone to dig a grave, and was sent for home; they told me she was gone over the bridge.

Had you any talk with her about this affair?—She declared to me that Captain Cranstoun put some powder into tea one morning for Mr. Blandy, and she turned herself about he was stirring it in the cup.

When did she tell you this?—In August, 1750.

Have you seen her since she has been in Oxford Gaol?—I have. When the report was spread that the captain was taken I was with her in the gaol; a gentleman came in and said he was taken; she wrung her hands and said, "I hope in God it is true, that he may be brought to justice as well as I, and that he may suffer the punishment due to his crime as she should do for hers."


Give me leave to ask the last witness some questions.


You had better tell your questions to your counsel, for you may do yourself harm by asking questions.


Did not the prisoner at the same time declare that as to herself she was totally innocent, and had no design to hurt her father?—At that time she declared that when Cranstoun put the powder into the tea, upon which no damage at all came, and when she put powder afterwards herself, she apprehended no damage could come to her father.

When she spoke of her own suffering did she not mean the same misfortune that she then laboured under?—She said she should be glad Cranstoun should be taken and brought to justice; she thought it would bring the whole to light, he being the occasion of it all, for she suffered (by being in prison) and was innocent, and knew nothing that it was poison no more than I or any one person in the house.

T. Cawley


I have known Miss Blandy twenty years and upwards, and her father likewise; I was intimate in the family, and have frequently drunk tea there.

What was her behaviour to her father during your knowledge of her?—I never saw any other than dutiful.



I have lived near them five or six and twenty years and upwards, and was always intimate with them; I always thought they were two happy people, he happy in a daughter and she in a father, as any in the world. The last time she was at our house she expressed her father had had many wives laid out for him, but she was satisfied he never would marry till she was settled.


Did you observe for the last three or four months before his death that he declined in his health?—I observed he did; I do not say as to his health, but he seemed to shrink, and I have often told my wife my old friend Blandy was going.

Had he lost any teeth latterly?—I do not know as to that; he was a good-looking man.


How old was he?—I think he was sixty-two.


MARY DAVIS, examined

I live at the Angel at Henley Bridge; I remember Miss Blandy coming over the bridge the day that Mr. Blandy was opened; she was walking along, and a great crowd of people after her. I, seeing that, went and asked what was the matter; I asked her where she was going? She said, "To take a walk for a little air, for they were going to open her father, and she could not bear the house." The mob followed her so fast was the reason I asked her to go to my house, which she accepted.

Did she walk fast or slowly?—She was walking as softly as foot could be laid to the ground; it had not the least appearance of her going to make her escape.

R. Stoke

ROBERT STOKE, examined

I saw the prisoner with Mrs. Davis the day her father was opened; I told her I had orders from the Mayor to detain her. She said she was very glad, because the mob was about.

Did you think, from her dress and behaviour, she was about to attempt to make her escape?—No, it did not appear to me at all.


Were you there when Mr. and Mrs. Lane came in?—I was.

Did you hear the words she said to Mr. Lane?—I heard nothing at all.



As very unjustifiable and illegal methods have been used to prejudice the world against Miss Blandy, such as it is to be hoped, no man will have the boldness to repeat—I mean the printing and publishing the examination of witnesses before her trial—and as very scandalous reports have been spread concerning her behaviour ever since her imprisonment, it is desired that the reverend gentleman who has attended her as a clergyman may give an account of her conduct whilst in gaol, that she may at least be delivered of some of the infamy she at present lies under.

To which he was answered by the Court that it was needless to call a witness to that, as the jury was only to regard what was deposed in Court, and entirely to disregard what papers had been printed and spread about, or any report whatsoever.



Your lordships will, I hope, indulge me in a very few words by way of reply, and after the length of evidence which has been laid before the jury I will take up but little of your lordships' time.

Gentlemen, you observe it has been proved to a demonstration that Mr. Francis Blandy did die of poison. It is as clearly proved that he died of the poison put into his water gruel upon the 5th of August, and that the prisoner at the bar put it in. For so much appears, not only from her own confession, but from a variety of other evidence. The single question, therefore, for your consideration is, whether she did it knowingly or ignorantly?

I admit that in some of the conversations which she has had at different times with different persons she has said she did it without knowing it to be poison, or believing it to be so. At the same time I beg leave to observe (as you will find when their lordships sum up the evidence to you) that she did not always make the same pretence.

Examine then, gentlemen, whether it is possible she could do it ignorantly.

It has appeared in evidence that she owned she saw Mr. Cranstoun put some powder into her father's tea in the month of August preceding, that she had herself afterwards done the same; but she said she saw no ill-effect from it, and therefore concluded it was not hurtful. Her own witness, Thomas Staverton, says that for the past year Mr. Blandy used to shrink in his clothes, that he made the observation to his wife and told her his friend Blandy was going. Our witnesses have said that she herself made the same observation, told them her father looked very ill, as though he would not live, and said he would not live till October.

And here let me observe one thing. She says she gave her father this powder to make him love her. After having heard the great affection with which the poor dying man behaved towards her, can you think she wanted any charm for that purpose? After having heard what her own witnesses have said of the father's fondness for the daughter, can you believe she had occasion for any love powder?

But one thing more. She knew her father had taken this powder in his water gruel upon the Monday night, and upon the Tuesday night; saw how violently he was affected by it, and yet would have had more of the same gruel given to him upon the Wednesday.

Yet one thing more. When she must have been fully satisfied that it was poison, and that it would probably be the occasion of his death, she endeavoured to burn the paper in which the rest of the powder was contained, without ever acquainting the physicians what she had given him, which might have been the means for them to have prescribed what was proper for his relief.

Still one thing more. She is accused upon the Saturday; she attempts to burn the powder upon the Saturday; and yet upon the Sunday she stays from church in order to write a letter to Mr. Cranstoun. In that letter she styles him her "dear Willy," acquaints him her father is so bad that he must not be frightened if he does not soon hear from her again; says she is herself better; then cautions him to take care what he writes lest his letters should fall into a wrong hand. Was this such a letter as she would have wrote if she had been innocent? if she had not known the quality of the powder? if she had been imposed upon by Mr. Cranstoun?

I will only make one other observation, which is that of all our witnesses she has attempted to discredit only one. She called two persons to contradict Elizabeth Binfield in regard to a scandalous expression (which she was charged with, but which she positively denied ever to have made use of) in saying "she should be glad to see the prisoner go up the ladder and swing." They first called Ann James; she swore to the expression, and said it was after Miss Blandy was sent to Oxford gaol. The next witness, Mary Banks, who at first did not remember the conversation, and at last did not remember who were present, said (upon being asked about the time) that she was sure the conversation happened upon the Thursday night on which Mr. Blandy was opened, and during the time that Miss Blandy was in the house. These two witnesses, therefore, grossly contradict one another, consequently ought not to take away the credit of Elizabeth Binfield. And let me observe that Elizabeth Binfield proved nothing (besides some few expressions used by Miss Blandy) but what was confirmed by the other maidservant, Susan Gunnell.

Miss Molly Blandy, taken from the life in Oxford Castle

I will, in justice to the prisoner, add (what has already been observed by Mr. Ford) that the printing which was given in evidence before the coroner, drawing odious comparisons between her and former parricides, and spreading scandalous reports in regard to her manner of demeaning herself in prison, was a shameful behaviour towards her, and a gross offence against public justice. But you, gentlemen, are men of sense, and upon your oaths; you will therefore totally disregard whatever you have heard out of this place. You are sworn to give a true verdict between the king and the prisoner at the bar, according to the evidence now laid before you. It is upon that we (who appear for the public) rest our cause. If, upon that evidence, she appears to be innocent, in God's name let her be acquitted; but if, upon that evidence, she appears to be guilty, I am sure you will do justice to the public, and acquit your own consciences.


It is said I gave it my father to make him fond of me. There was no occasion for that—but to make him fond of Cranstoun.

Charge to the Jury—

Baron Legge


Gentlemen of the jury, Mary Blandy, the prisoner at the bar, stands indicted before you for the murder of Francis Blandy, her late father, by mixing poison in tea and water gruel, which she had prepared for him, to which she has pleaded that she is not guilty.

In the first place, gentlemen, I would take notice to you of a very improper and a very scandalous behaviour towards the prisoner by certain people who have taken upon themselves very unjustifiably to publish in print what they call depositions, taken before the coroner, in relation to this very affair which is now brought before you to determine. I hope you have not seen them; but if you have, I must tell you, as you are men of sense and probity, that you must divest yourselves of every prejudice that can arise from thence and attend merely to the evidence that has now been given before you in Court, which I shall endeavour to repeat to you as exactly as I am able after so great a length of examination.

In support of the indictment, the counsel for the Crown have called a great number of witnesses. In order to establish, in the first place, the fact that Mr. Blandy died of poison, they begin with Dr. Addington, who tells you that he did attend Mr. Blandy in his last illness; that he was first called in upon Saturday evening, the 10th of August last; that the deceased complained that after drinking some water gruel on Monday night, the 5th of August, he perceived a grittiness in his mouth, attended with a pricking-burning, especially about his tongue and throat; that he had a pricking and burning in his stomach, accompanied with sickness; a pricking and griping in his bowels; but that afterwards he purged and vomited a good deal, which had lessened those symptoms he had complained of; that on Tuesday night, the 6th of August, he took more gruel, and had immediately a return of the same symptoms, but more aggravated; that he had besides hiccups, cold sweats, great anxieties, prickings in every external as well as internal part of his body, which he compared to so many needles darting at the same time into all parts of him; but the doctor tells you at the time he saw him he said he was easy, except in his mouth, his nose, lips, eyes, and fundament, and some transient pinchings in his bowels, which the doctor then imputed to the purgings and vomitings, for he had had some bloody stools; that he imputed the sensations upwards to the fumes of something he had taken the Monday and Tuesday before; that he inspected the parts affected, and found his tongue swelled, his throat excoriated and a little swelled, his lips dry, and pimples on them, pimples on the inside of his nostrils, and his eyes bloodshot; that next morning he examined his fundament, which he found surrounded with ulcers; his pulse trembled and intermitted, his breath was interrupted and laborious, his complexion yellowish, and he could not without the greatest difficulty swallow a teaspoonful of the thinnest liquid; that he then asked him if he had given offence to any person whatever. His daughter the prisoner was then present, and she made answer that her father was at peace with all the world, and all the world with him. He then asked if he had been subject to this kind of complaint before. The prisoner said that he was subject to the heartburn and colic, and she supposed this would go off as it used to do; that he then told them that he suspected that by some means or other he had taken poison, to which the deceased replied he did not know but he might, or words to that effect; but the prisoner said it was impossible. He returned to visit him on Sunday morning, and found him something relieved; that he had some stools, but none bloody, which he took for a spasm; that afterwards Norton, the apothecary, gave him some powder, which he said had been taken out of gruel, which the deceased had drank on Monday and Tuesday; this powder he examined at leisure, and believed it to be white arsenic; that the same morning a paper was put into his hands by one of the maids, which she said had been taken out of the fire, and which she saw Miss Blandy throw in. There was a superscription on the paper, "powder to clean the pebbles." There was so little of it that he cannot say positively what it was, but suspects it to be arsenic, for he put it on his tongue and it felt like arsenic, but some burnt paper mixed with it had discoloured and softened it. He tells you that on Monday morning the deceased was worse; all the symptoms returned, and he complained more of his fundament than before. He then desired the assistance of some skilful physician, because he looked upon him to be in the utmost danger, and apprehended this affair might come before a court of judicature. He asked the deceased if he really thought he was poisoned, to which he answered that he really believed so, and thought he had taken it often, because his teeth rotted faster than usual; he had frequent prickings and burnings in his tongue and throat, violent heartburn, and frequent stools, that carried it off again by unaccountable fits of vomiting and purging; that he had had these symptoms, especially after his daughter had received a present of Scotch pebbles from Mr. Cranstoun. He then asked the deceased who he suspected had given the poison to him; the tears then stood in his eyes, but he forced a smile and said, "A poor love-sick girl! I forgive her; I always thought there was mischief in those cursed Scotch pebbles."

Dr. Lewis came that evening, and Miss Blandy was sent into her chamber, under a guard, and all papers in her pocket, and all instruments with which she might hurt herself, or any other person, and her keys, were taken from her, that nothing might be secreted; for it was not then publicly known that Mr. Blandy was poisoned, and they thought themselves accountable for her forthcoming. On Monday night the deceased mended again, and grew better and worse, unaccountably, as long as he lived. On Tuesday morning everything growing worse, he became excessively weak, rambled in his discourse, and grew delirious, had cold, clammy sweats, short cough, and a deep way of fetching his breath; and he observed upon these occasions that an ulcerous matter issued from his fundament. In the midst of all this, whenever he recovered his senses he said he was better, and seemed quite serene, and told him he thought himself like a man bit by a mad dog. "I should be glad to drink, but I can't swallow." About noon his speech faltered more than before; he grew ghastly, was a shocking sight, and had a very bad night. On Wednesday morning he recovered his senses a little and said he would make his will in a few days; but soon grew delirious again, sunk every minute, and about two in the afternoon he died.

The doctor tells you he then thought, and still thinks, that he died of poison; that he had no symptoms while he lived, nor after he was dead, but what are common in people who have taken white arsenic. He then read some observations which he had made on the appearances of his body after he was dead; that his back and the parts he lay on were livid; the fat on the muscles of his belly was loose in texture and, approached fluidity; the muscles of the belly were pale and flaccid; the cawl yellower than natural; the side next the stomach and intestines brownish; the heart variegated with purple spots; there was no water in the pericardium; the lungs resembled bladders filled with air, blotted with black, like ink; the liver and spleen were discoloured, and the former looked as if it had been boiled; a stone was found in the gall-bladder; the bile was very fluid and of a dirty yellow colour inclining to red; the kidneys were stained with livid spots; the stomach and bowels were inflated, and looked liked they had been pinched, and blood stagnated in the membranes; they contained slimy, bloody froth; their coats were thin, smooth, and flabby; the inside of the stomach was quite smooth, and, about the orifices, inflamed, and appeared stabbed and wounded, like the white of an eye just brushed by the beards of barley; that there was no appearance of any natural decay at all in him, and therefore he has no doubt of his dying by poison; and believes that poison to have been white arsenic; that the deceased never gave him any reason why he took the same sort of gruel a second time, nor did he ask him. He tells you, as to the powder that was given him by Norton, he made some experiments with it the next day, and some part of it he gave to Mr. King, an experienced chemist in Reading, who, upon trial, found it to be arsenic, as he told him; that he twice had powder from Norton, and that what he had the second time he kept entirely in his own custody and made experiments with it a month afterwards; that he never was out of the room while those experiments were making, and he observed them to tally exactly with other arsenic which he tried at the same time. I need not mis-spend your time in repeating the several experiments which the doctor has told you he made of it; he has been very minute and particular in his account of them, and, upon the whole, concludes the same to have been arsenic.

Dr. Lewis, the other physician, who has likewise been sworn, stood by all the while, and confirms Dr. Addington's evidence, tells you he observed the same symptoms, and gives it absolutely as his opinion that Mr. Blandy died by poison, of which he has not the least doubt.

The next witness that is called on the part of the Crown is Benjamin Norton, who is an apothecary at Henley. He tells you he was sent for to Mrs. Mounteney's, in Henley, on Thursday morning, the 8th of August; that there was a pan brought thither by Susan Gunnel, Mr. Blandy's maidservant, with some water gruel in it; that he was asked what that powder was in the bottom of the pan, to which he replied that it was impossible to say whilst it was wet in the gruel, but that he would take it out; that accordingly he did take it out and laid it upon paper, and gave it to Mrs. Mounteney to keep, which she did till the Sunday following, when it was delivered to him, and he showed it to Dr. Addington, to whom he gave some of it twice, and, by the experiment made upon it with a hot poker, he apprehended it to be of the arsenic kind; that the powder he gave Dr. Addington was the same that he received from Mrs. Mounteney; that he has some of it still by him, which, he now produces in Court. He tells you that he was sent for to Mr. Blandy on Tuesday, the 6th of August; that he was very ill, as he imagined, of colic, and complained of a violent pain in his stomach, attended with reaching and purging and swelling of the bowels; that he took physic on Wednesday morning, from which he found himself better; that on Thursday he went there in the morning, but did not then see him, but went again about twelve o'clock, and then saw him; he desired to have more physic, which he sent him to take on the Friday morning; that he has been used to attend Mr. Blandy, but that he never saw him thus out of order; that the last illness that he had had was thirteen months before. He tells you that he has heard the prisoner say that she had heard music in the house, which portended something, and that Cranstoun had seen her father's apparition, and this was some months before her father's death; he says that he cannot tell who it was sent for him, but that when he came he found Mr. Blandy and the prisoner together; that he asked if he had eaten anything that had disagreed with him, to which the prisoner made answer, nothing that she knew of, except some peas on the Saturday night before; that at that time he did not apprehend anything of poison, nor did Mr. Blandy mention anything of taking the gruel to him; that on Saturday the prisoner desired he would take care of her father, and if there were any danger, call for help; he told her he thought he was in great danger, and then she begged Dr. Addington might be sent for. Mr. Blandy himself would have deferred it till the next day, but she, notwithstanding, sent for him immediately. He tells you that as to the powder he found it to be gritty, and had no smell; at first he could not tell what it was till he took notice of the old woman's symptoms to be the same as Mr. Blandy's; then he suspected foul play, and from what he heard in the family suspected Miss Blandy.

Mrs. Mounteney is then called, who tells you that she remembers Susan Gunnell bringing a pan to her house with water gruel and powder at the bottom of it on Thursday; that she sent for Norton, the apothecary, who took the powder out, and laid it on white paper, which he gave to her to keep till it was called for; that she locked it up, and delivered the same to Norton on the Sunday following; she tells you that the prisoner always behaved dutifully to her father, as far as ever she saw, when in his presence; that she did not mention the paper left with her to anybody till it was fetched away on Sunday morning, the 11th of August; that she was not at Mr. Blandy's in that time, and neither saw him nor the prisoner, but she was there on the Sunday afternoon, though she did not then mention anything of it.

The next witness is Susan Gunnell, who tells you that she carried the pan of water gruel to Mrs. Mounteney's from Mr. Blandy's, which had been made at his house the Sunday seven-night before his death by himself; that she set it in the common pantry, where all the family used to go, and observed nobody to be busy there afterwards; but on Monday the prisoner told her she had been stirring her papa's water gruel and eating the oatmeal out of the bottom; that she gave him a half-pint mug of it that Monday night before he went to bed; that she saw the prisoner take the teaspoon that was in the mug, stir it about, and then put her fingers to the spoon, and rub them together, and then he drank some part of it; that on Tuesday morning she did not see him when first he came downstairs, and the first time she saw him was between nine and ten o'clock, when Miss Blandy and he were together; that he then said he was not well, and going to lie down; that on Tuesday evening Robert Harman bid her warm her master some water gruel, for he was in haste for supper; that she warmed him some of the same, which Miss Blandy carried into the parlour, and she believes he ate of it, for there was about half left in the morning; that she met him that night, after the water gruel, as he was going up to bed; as soon as he got into the room he called for a basin to reach, and seemed to be very sick by reaching several times; the next morning about six o'clock she carries him up his physic, when he told her he had had a pretty good night, and was better; but he had vomited in the night, as she judges by the basin, which she had left clean, and was then about half-full; that on Wednesday the prisoner came into the kitchen and said to her that as her master had taken physic he might want water gruel, therefore she might give him the same again, and not leave her work to make fresh, as she was busy ironing; to which she answered that it was stale, if there was enough of it; that it would not take much time, and she would make fresh, and accordingly did so; that she had the evening before taken up the pan, and disliked the taste, and thought it stale, but was now willing to taste it again; that she put the pan to her mouth and drank some of it, and then observed some whiteness at the bottom, and told Betty Binfield that she never saw any oatmeal settlement so white before, whereupon Betty Binfield looked at it, and said "Oatmeal this! I think it looks as white as flour"; she then took it out of doors, where there was more light, and putting her finger to the bottom of the pan, found it gritty, upon which she recollected that she had heard that poison was white and gritty, which made her fear this might be poison; she therefore locked it up in a closet, and on Thursday morning carried it to Mrs. Mounteney's, where Mr. Norton saw it. She tells you that about six weeks before Mr. Blandy's death she was not very well herself, and Miss Blandy then asked her what was the matter with her, and what she had eaten or drank; to which she answered that she knew not what ailed her, but she had taken nothing more than the rest of the family; upon which the prisoner said to her, "Susan, have you eaten any water gruel? For I am told it hurts me, and may hurt you." To which she answered, "Madam, it cannot affect me, for I have eaten none." She then mentions a conversation that Betty Binfield told her she had with the prisoner on the same subject, but that you will hear from Betty Binfield herself. She then tells you that on the Wednesday morning, after she had given her master his physic, she saw Ann Emmet, the charwoman, and said to her, "Dame, you used to be fond of water gruel; here's a fine mess for you which my master left last night"; and thereupon warmed it, and gave it her; that the woman sat down on a bench in the kitchen and drank some of it, but not all, and said the house smelt of physic, and everything tasted of physic, and she must go out and reach before she could finish it; that she went out to the wash-house, as she believes; that in about half an hour she followed her, and then found her in the necessary-house reaching, and, as she said, purging; that the old woman stayed there an hour and a half, during which time she went frequently to her, and carried her surfeit water; she said she was no better, and desired some fair water, upon which she persuaded her to come into the house, but she said she was not able without help; that then she led her in and put her in a chair by the fire, where the coughing and reaching continued; that she stayed in the house half an hour, and grew worse, and she thought her in a fit or seized with death; that about nine of the clock that morning she went up to Miss Blandy and acquainted her that her dame had been very ill and complained that the smell of physic had made her sick, and at the same time told her that she had eaten nothing but a little of her master's water gruel, which could not hurt her, to which the prisoner said, "That she was glad she was not below stairs, for she should have been shocked to have seen her poor dame so ill." She tells you that sometimes the prisoner talked affectionately of her father, and at other times but middling, and called him an old villain for using an only child so. Sometimes she wished for his long life, and sometimes for his death, and would often say, "That she was very awkward, and that if her father was dead she would go to Scotland and live with Lady Cranstoun; that by her father's constitution he might live twenty years, but sometimes would say she did not think he looked so well." She remembers Dr. Addington being sent for on Saturday evening, and tells you that the prisoner was not debarred going into her father's room till Sunday night, when Mr. Norton brought her down with him, and told this witness not to suffer any person to go into her master's room except herself, who looked after him. That about ten of the clock on Monday morning the prisoner came into the room after Mr. Norton; that she then fell on her knees to her father, and said, "Sir, banish me where you please; do with me what you please, so you do, but forgive me; and as for Cranstoun, I will never see him, speak to him, or write to him more as long as I live if you will forgive me." To which the deceased made answer, "I forgive thee, my dear, and I hope God will forgive thee; but thee shouldst have considered better before thee attemptedst anything against thy father; thee shouldst have considered I was thy own father." That the prisoner then said, "Sir, as to your illness I am entirely innocent." To which the witness replied, "Madam, I believe you must not say you are entirely innocent, for the powder left in the water gruel and the paper of powder taken out of the fire are now in such hands that they must be publicly produced." The witness then told her that she believed she had herself taken, about six weeks before, a dose in tea that was prepared for her master. To which the prisoner answered, "I have put no powder in tea; I have put powder in water gruel. If you have received any injury I am entirely innocent; it was given me with another intent." The deceased hearing this turned himself in his bed, and said, "Oh, such a villain! Come to my house, eat of the best and drink of the best my house could afford, should take away my life and ruin my daughter. Oh! my dear, thee must hate that man; thee must hate the ground he goes on; thee can'st not help it." That the prisoner replied, "Sir, your tenderness to me is like a sword to my heart. Every word you say is like swords piercing my heart, much worse than if you were to be ever so angry. I must down on my knees and beg you will not curse me." To which her father answered, "I curse thee, my dear! How shouldst think I could curse thee? No; I bless thee, and hope God will bless thee, and amend thy life. Do, my dear, go out of the room; say no more lest thee shouldst say anything to thy own prejudice. Go to thy Uncle Stevens; take him for thy friend. Poor man, I am sorry for him." And that then the prisoner went directly out of the room. This witness further tells you that on the Saturday before she was in the kitchen about twelve o'clock at noon, when the prisoner having wrote the direction of a letter to her uncle Stevens and going to the fire to dry it, she observed her put a paper or two into the fire, and saw her thrust them down with a stick; that Elizabeth Binfield, then putting some fresh coals on, she believes kept the paper from being consumed, soon after which the prisoner left the kitchen, and she herself acquainted Betty Binfield that the prisoner had been burning something; that Betty Binfield asked where, and the witness pointed to the corner of the grate, whereupon Betty Binfield moved a large coal and took out a paper and gave it to her; that it was a small piece of paper with writing upon it, viz., "The powder to clean the pebbles," to the best of her remembrance. She did not read it herself, but Betty Binfield did, and told her what it was; that about eleven or twelve o'clock that night she delivered this paper to Betty Binfield again, but it had never been out of her pocket till that time. She tells you that before this, upon the same Saturday morning, she had been in her master's room about seven o'clock to carry him something to drink, and when he had drank it she said to him, "Sir, I have something to communicate to you which nearly concerns your health and your family, I believe you have got something in your water gruel that I am afraid has hurt you, and I believe Miss Blandy put it in by her coming into the wash-house on Monday and saying that she had been stirring her papa's water gruel and eating the oatmeal out of it." Upon which he said, "I find I have something not right. My head is not right as it used to be, nor has been for some time." This witness told him that she had found a powder in the pan, upon which he said to her, "Dost thee know anything of this powder? Didst thee ever see any of it?" To which she answered, "No, none but what she saw in the water gruel." He then asked her, "Dost know where she had this powder, or canst guess?" To which she replied, "I cannot guess anywhere, except from Mr. Cranstoun. My reason to suspect that is, Miss Blandy has lately had letters oftener than usual." Her master then said, "Now you mention it, I remember when he was at my house he talked of a particular poison they had in his country. Oh! that villain, that ever he came into my house." She likewise told him that she had shown the powder to Mr. Norton, but he could not tell what it was, as it was wet, but whatever it was it ought not to be there. Her master expressed some surprise, and said, "Mr. Norton not know! That's strange. A person so much used to drugs." She told him Mr. Norton thought it would be proper for him (her father) to seize her pockets with her keys and papers. To which he said, "I cannot do it; I cannot shock her so much. But canst not thee take out a letter or two which she may think she has dropped by chance?" The witness told him, "No, sir, I have no right; she is your daughter. You may do it, and nobody else." She tells you she cannot say how long before this it was that Ann Emmet had been sick with the tea; that Miss Blandy then sent her whey and broth, a quart or three pints at a time, once a day or every other day; that she herself once drank a dish of tea on a Sunday morning out of her master's dish, which was not well relished, and she thought somebody had been taking salts in that cup; and this was about six weeks and three days before her master's death; that she found no ill effect from it till after dinner that day; she had then a hardness at her stomach, which she apprehended was from eating plentifully of beans at dinner; that afterwards she seemed to have some indigestion, and had a remarkable trembling upon her; that she had no other symptoms for three days, but afterwards, for about three days more, she was troubled with a reaching every morning. She says she tasted the water gruel twice, once on the Tuesday, when she was mixing it for her master, and again on the Wednesday, but found no remarkable disorder till about two o'clock on the Wednesday morning before her master's death, when she was seized with convulsions. She says that her throat continued troublesome for six or seven weeks after she had drank the tea, and continued ill for three weeks after her master's death. She remembered once that the prisoner had a large box of linen and some pebbles from Mr. Cranstoun in the spring, before her master's death, and a small box of Scotch pebbles afterwards, about three months before his death; that the prisoner showed the pebbles to many of her acquaintance, but the witness never heard of powder to clean them; she tells you that about a year before his death her master had a cold, but she does not remember he was so ill as to send for the apothecary; that he used to be equally complaining of the gravel, gout, and heartburn for twelve years; knows nothing particular of any complaint but the heartburn, and that he may have complained of all the time she has lived in the house, but she is not positive.

She says the prisoner's behaviour to her father, in general, seemed to be dutiful, but she used undutiful expressions in her passions; that there had been no conversation between her master and the prisoner before her asking forgiveness, but a message sent by him to her that he was willing to forgive her if she would bring that villain to justice; in all he said afterwards he seemed to speak of his daughter as if he believed her innocent of any intention to hurt him, and looked on Cranstoun as the first mover and contriver of all, and had said, "Poor, unfortunate girl, that ever she should be led away by such a villain to do such a thing!" She believes he thought his daughter unacquainted with the effects of the powder; that the prisoner during his illness kept him company and directed everything for him as for herself; the prisoner knew her father was ill on Monday and Tuesday nights, but would not take upon her to say that she knew what was the cause of it, but she knew that the charwoman had been ill on the Wednesday morning before she told the witness that the old water gruel would serve for her father.

The next witness is Elizabeth Binfield, who tells you that she was a servant to the deceased almost three years before his death; that he first complained of unusual pains and prickings about a fortnight before his death; that she has often heard the prisoner mention walking and music that she had heard in the house; that she thought it to be her mother; and three-quarters of a year before her master's death the prisoner told her that the music presaged his death, and continued talking in the same way to the time of it; that she has often heard her say he would die before October; that the prisoner told her that Mr. Cranstoun had informed her that a famous woman, one Mrs. Morgan, who lived in Scotland or London, but which the witness cannot say, had said so; that the prisoner used to appear glad when she spoke of the prospect of her father's death, for that then she should be released from all her fatigues and be happy. She tells you she heard the prisoner say that her father complained of a ball of fire in his guts before the Monday on which he took the water gruel; she tells you that she remembers that Ann Emmet, the charwoman, was ill about five or six weeks before this time, and that the prisoner ordered her white wine, whey, and broth; that she herself made the broth two or three times, two quarts at a time. She says that on Saturday, the 10th of August, the paper was taken out of the fire by herself, which she looks upon, and says she really believes it to be the same which she gave to Susan Gunnell, had again from her, and then delivered to Dr. Addington and Mr. Norton. She tells you that, when Susan Gunnell was ill, the prisoner asked this witness if Susan had taken any of her father's water gruel, and upon her answering, "Not that I know," the prisoner said, "If she does, she may do for herself, may I tell you." With this conversation she acquainted Susan Gunnell about a month or six weeks before her master's death, in which particular she is confirmed by Susan Gunnell. She says, further, that she heard the prisoner say, "Who would grudge to send an old father to hell for £10,000?" And this she introduced by talking of young girls being kept out of their fortunes. She has heard the prisoner often curse her father and call him rascal and villain. She says that Mr. Cranstoun had been at her master's about three-quarters of a year before his death, and she believes her master did not approve of his being so much with his daughter, as she judged by his temper; but she does not believe he debarred his daughter from keeping him company. She says that, upon Saturday, the 10th of August, she was in the kitchen when her master was shaving, and the prisoner was there, and her master said he had once like to have been poisoned at a public-house; to which the prisoner answered that she remembered it very well. Her master said that one of the company died immediately, the other is now dead, but it was his fortune to be poisoned at last; and then looked hard at the prisoner, who appeared in great confusion, and seemed all in a tremble. Her master said further that it was white arsenic that was put into their wine. This witness then tells you that she sat up with the prisoner the night her father died till three o'clock, but the prisoner went to bed about one; that they had no discourse at all of her father. But the prisoner asked her if she would go away with her, and offered, if she would go to the Bell or the Lion and hire a post-chaise, she would give her fifteen guineas at getting into the chaise and ten guineas more when they got to London; that, on the witness refusing to comply with this request, the prisoner burst into laughter and said she was only joking. She tells you further that she heard the prisoner tell Dr. Addington that she had given the powder to her father before, and then it was in tea; that she was afraid of a discovery, so flung it away, and filled the cup up again, which Susan Gunnell drank, and was ill for a week after. She says that upon Monday, the 5th of August, the prisoner came into the wash-house and said that she had been in the pantry eating oatmeal out of her father's gruel, which she little regarded then. But the same day, in the afternoon, she saw the prisoner in the pantry, take a teaspoon, and stir the water gruel, which was in a pan, and then rubbed it between her fingers; that on the Tuesday evening the prisoner came into the kitchen to her and said, "Betty, if one thing should happen, will you go into Scotland with me?" To which she said, "Madam, I do not know." "What," says the prisoner, "you are unwilling to leave your friends?" To which the witness replied that, if she should go there and not like it, it would be expensive travelling. She says that on Monday morning, the 12th of August, she went on a message from the prisoner to beg of her father that she might speak one word with him, which, being granted, the prisoner went up; and that she afterwards met the prisoner coming out of her father's room, when she clasped the witness round the neck, burst out a-crying, and said to her, "Susan and you are the two honestest servants in the world; you deserve to be imaged in gold for your honesty; half my fortune will not make you amends for your honesty to my father." She tells you that her master had been out of order about twelve months before this time, and that it was at the time when Susan Gunnell was ill by drinking the tea that the prisoner cautioned her about Susan's drinking her father's water gruel.

Dr. Addington having been appealed to by the last witness, in the course of her evidence, is again called up, and confirms all that this witness has said, except he does not remember the circumstance of Susan Gunnell's being ill with the tea.

He says that the prisoner always told him she thought it an innocent powder, but said it was impossible to express her horror that she was the cause of her father's death, though she protested that she thought it innocent when she gave it, for Mr. Cranstoun had assured her that he used to take it himself, and called it a love-powder; that she had a letter from him directing her to give it in gruel, as she had informed him it did not mix in tea; that "for her own part she desired life for no other purpose than only to go through a severe penance for her sins"; that, on her being pressed by him to discover all she knew relating to Cranstoun, her answer was that "she was fully conscious of her own guilt, and would not add guilt to guilt, for she looked on Cranstoun as her husband, though the ceremony had not passed between them." He tells you further that he does not remember that she gave him any satisfactory answer to any of the questions which he put to her, which he has repeated to you, and which are very material ones, but always persisted that she was entirely ignorant of the effects of the powder till she saw them on her father; and often said, "Pray God send it may not kill him," after he had told her, and her father too, the danger of her father, and that he apprehended her to be undone. He then tells you he attended Susan Gunnell, who had the same symptoms with the deceased, but in a less degree. He also attended Ann Emmet, who had the same symptoms, and told her that she was poisoned.

Alice Emmet is then called, who is daughter to Ann Emmet, the old charwoman, who gives you an account that her mother was charwoman at Mr. Blandy's in June last, in the time of hay harvest; that she was then taken sick, was seized in the night-time with a vomiting and purging, and this witness went in the morning to the prisoner, by her mother's desire, and acquainted her with the condition she was in; that the prisoner said she was sorry, and would send her something to drink, which she did in about an hour or two afterwards.

The next witness is Mr. Littleton, who had been clerk to the deceased about two years, and tells you he came home from his father's, in Warwickshire, upon the 9th of August last; that the next morning the prisoner, her father, and himself were at breakfast together; that they stayed for the deceased some time; that when he came he appeared to be ill and in great agony; that he had always a particular cup to himself; that he tasted his tea and did not like it, but said it had a gritty, bad taste, and asked the prisoner if she had not put too much of the black stuff in it (meaning Bohea tea). The prisoner said it was as usual. He then tasted it again and said it had a bad taste, and looked very particularly at her. She seemed in a flurry, and walked out of the room. The deceased then poured the tea into the oat's basin and went away. Soon after the prisoner came into the room again, when he told her that he thought the deceased was very ill, for that he could not eat his breakfast; on which she asked what he had done with it, and, upon his acquainting her that it was poured into the cat's basin, she seemed a good deal confused; that the next day, being Sunday, Mr. Blandy, of Kingston, came to their house, and went to church along with him; that after they returned from church the prisoner desired this witness to walk with her and Mr. Blandy in the garden, when she put a letter into his hand and bid him direct it as usual, which he understood to be to Mr. Cranstoun (having been used to direct others before), to seal it, and put it in the post. He tells you he had then heard so much that he opened the letter, transcribed it, carried it to Mr. Norton, and read it to the deceased, who only said, "Poor, love-sick girl! what won't a girl do for a man she loves?" This letter he has now looked at, tells you that it is written worse than usual, therefore he cannot swear whether it is her hand or no, but he can swear it is the same she gave him. The letter itself has been read to you, and I will make no remarks upon it. He tells you that after Mr. Cranstoun was gone from Henley, in August 1750, he has often heard the prisoner say that she heard music, which portended death in the family, and sometimes thought it might be herself, sometimes her father, because he was so much broken; that he has heard her say death would happen before October; that he has often heard her curse her father, damn him for a rogue and a toothless old dog, within two months of his death and a great while before; that he has told her himself that he thought Mr. Blandy seemed broken, upon which she said she thought so too, and that the music portended his death.

Robert Harman is called next, who tells you that he was servant to Mr. Blandy at the time of his death; that the night his master died the prisoner asked him where he should live next, on which he told her he did not know; and she then asked him if he would go away with her, and, upon his saying he did not care to do so, she told him no hurt would come to him, but it would be £500 in his way, and wanted him to go away then immediately. He says the prisoner behaved well to her father and all the family, as far as he knows, and never heard her swear about her father.

The next witness is Richard Fisher, who was one of the jury on inspection of the body of the deceased. On Thursday, the 15th of August, he was informed that Miss Blandy was gone over Henley Bridge, and went to her at the Angel. When he came into the room he told her he was sorry for her misfortune, and asked her if she would not be glad to go home again. She said she should, but could not get through the mob, upon which he got a covered post-chaise and carried her home. As they were going she asked him if she was to go to Oxford that night; that he told her he believed not. When he brought her to her father's house he delivered her up to the constable; that after this he was upon the jury, and when he went to her again she asked him how it was likely to go with her, upon which he told her he was afraid very hardly, unless she could produce letters or papers of consequence to bring Cranstoun to justice. Upon which she said, "Dear Mr. Fisher, I have burnt those letters that would have brought him to justice," and gave a key out of her pocket to search a drawer for letters; but none being found, she said, "My honour to him (meaning Cranstoun) will prove my ruin."

Mrs. Lane is then called, who says she went to the Angel along with her husband, when the prisoner was there. The first word she heard her husband say was, if she was guilty she would suffer according to law; upon which the prisoner stamped on the ground, and the first thing she heard her say was, "O that damned villain!" then paused a little and went on again, "But why do I blame him? I am more to blame myself, for it was I gave it him, and know the consequence." Upon being asked whether she said "I knew" or "I know," the witness tells you that she will not be positive which, but the prisoner was in a sort of agony; whichever way it was, it may make some little difference, but nothing material.

Mr. Lane, the husband of the last witness, is then called, and tells you that he went into the room before his wife; that the prisoner rose and met him, told him he was a stranger to her, but, as he appeared like a gentleman, she asked him what they would do with her; that he told her she would be committed to the county gaol, and tried at the assizes; if her innocence appeared she would be acquitted, if not, she would suffer accordingly. Upon which she stamped with her foot and said, "O that damned villain! But why do I blame him? I am more to blame"; that then Mr. Littleton came in, which took off his attention; that he did not hear what followed so as to be able to give an account of it.

The letter from the prisoner to Captain Cranstoun, without any date to it, which was opened by Littleton, has, then, been read to you, and with that the counsel for the Crown conclude their evidence.

The prisoner in her defence complains of hard usage she has met with, denies her ever speaking ill of her father, owns herself to be passionate, and complains that words of heat upon family affairs have been misconstrued and applied to an ill intention in her; that she was not in her senses when she lost her father, nor in a proper dress to make her escape when she went over Henley Bridge; that she was taken in at the Angel by the woman of the house out of more compassion, and was then desirous to put herself under the protection of the town sergeant; that, during her confinement, she was not suffered to have decent attendance for a woman; that she was affronted by her own servants, cruelly traduced, and heavily ironed, without any reasonable cause; that she thought the powder innocent, and never had a thought of hurting her father; but her own ruin is effected by such an imputation upon her, and her appearance here, without her being convicted. She then calls her witnesses, and the first is Ann James, who tells you she lives at Henley, and used to wash at Mr. Blandy's house; that she remembers that some time before Mr. Blandy's illness there was a difference between the prisoner and Elizabeth Binfield, and that the latter was to go away; and that she has heard Elizabeth Binfield curse the prisoner and damn her for a bitch, and say she would not stay; that since this affair happened she heard her say (speaking of the prisoner), "Damn her for a black bitch; she should be glad to see her go up the ladder and swing." She tells you that, when this conversation happened, the prisoner was gone to gaol, that it was in Mr. Blandy's kitchen, and that Nurse Edwards, Mary Seymour, and Mary Banks were present.

Elizabeth Binfield is then called up again, and absolutely denies the words she is charged with; she says she never acquainted the witness with any quarrel she had had, to the best of her remembrance, but that she had some few words of difference with the prisoner, who had said that she was to go away.

Mary Banks is then called, who says that she was in Mr. Blandy's kitchen while he was dead in the house; but she does not remember who was in company, nor any conversation that passed between Elizabeth Binfield and Ann James till the words are directly put into her mouth, and then she recollects that Elizabeth Binfield said "she should be glad to see Miss Blandy, that black bitch, go up the ladder to be hanged;" but she tells you this was on the night that Mr. Blandy was opened, and that the prisoner was then in the house.

Those two witnesses are called to impeach the credit of Elizabeth Binfield as having a prejudice against the prisoner; but I see no great stress to be laid on their evidence, for they manifestly contradict one another, but do not falsify her in any one thing she has said.

The next witness that she calls is Edward Herne, who was a servant to Mr. Blandy eighteen years ago, and has left his place about twelve years; but he has been very seldom without going three or four days a week to his house ever since; that the prisoner's general behaviour to her father and the family was as well as anybody could do, with affection and duty, as far as ever he saw; that on the Monday night before Mr. Blandy died he went to the house, and that neither the prisoner nor he could speak for some minutes, which he attributed to her great concern; that she was put into his custody that night; that on hearing the groans of her father he went into him, at her desire, to inquire how he did; that he never heard her swear or speak disrespectfully of her father. He says he was not in the way when she went over Henley Bridge (being sent to dig a grave, he being sexton); that he has seen her since her confinement at Oxford, and she told him that Captain Cranstoun had before put some powder in her father's tea; that she turned about, and when she turned again he was stirring it in; that on a report that Captain Cranstoun was taken, she wrung her hands and said, "She hoped in God it was true, that he might be brought to justice as well as herself; that as she was to suffer the punishment due to her crime, he might do so too;" but at the same time she declared that when Cranstoun put the powder into the tea, and she herself did so afterwards, she saw no ill effects of it, or saw any harm from it; but if he were taken it would bring the whole to light, for she was innocent, and knew no more of its being poison than any person there.

Thomas Cawley, the next witness, says that he has known the prisoner for twenty years and upwards; that he was intimate in the family, and never saw any other than the behaviour of a dutiful daughter from her.

Thomas Staverton, that he has known the prisoner five- or six-and-twenty years; that he has lived near the family, and always thought that her father and she were very happy in each other. He has observed that Mr. Blandy was declining in his health; for four years or more he seemed to shrink, and believes he was about sixty-two years of age.

Mary Davis is the next witness. She lives at the Angel, by Henley Bridge, and remembers the prisoner coming over the day her father was opened; that she was walking along with a great crowd after her; that she went to her and asked her what was the matter, and where she was going. The prisoner said she was going to walk for the air, for that they were going to open her father, and that she could not bear the house. The mob followed so close that she invited the prisoner into her house, which she accepted, and was walking gently, and had not the appearance of making an escape.

Robert Stoke tells you he knows the last witness, Mrs. Davis, and saw the prisoner with her in her house the day her father was opened; that he was ordered by the mayor to take care of the prisoner, which she said she was very glad of, because the mob was about; and he did not observe any inclination or attempt whatsoever to make an escape.

This, gentlemen, is the substance of the evidence on both sides, as nearly as I can recollect it. I have not wilfully omitted or misstated any part of it; but if I have, I hope the gentlemen who are of counsel on either side will be so kind as to set me right.

A very tragical story it is, gentlemen, that you have heard, and upon which you are now to form your judgment and give your verdict.

The crime with which the prisoner stands charged is of the most heinous nature and blackest dye, attended with considerations that shock human nature, being not only murder, but parricide—the murder of her own father. But the more atrocious, the more flagrant the crime is, the more clearly and satisfactory you will expect that it should be made out to you.

In all cases of murder it is of necessity that there should be malice aforethought, which is the essence of and constitutes the offence; but that malice may be either express or implied by the law. Express malice must arise from the previous acts or declarations of the party offending, but implied malice may arise from numbers of circumstances relating either to the nature of the act itself, the manner of executing it, the person killing, or the person killed, from, which the law will as certainly infer malice as where it is express.

Poison in particular is in its nature so secret, and withal so deliberate, that wherever that is knowingly given, and death ensues, the so putting to death can be no other than wilful and malicious.

In the present case, which is to be made out by circumstances, great part of the evidence must rest upon presumption, in which the law makes a distinction. A slight or probable presumption only has little or no weight, but a violent presumption amounts in law to full proof, that is, where circumstances speak so strongly that to suppose the contrary would be absurd. I mention this to you that you may fix your attention on the several circumstances that have been laid before you, and consider whether you can collect from them such a presumption as the law calls a violent presumption, and from which you must conclude the prisoner to be guilty. I would observe further that where that presumption necessarily arises from circumstances they are more convincing and satisfactory than any other kind of evidence, because facts cannot lie.

I cannot now go through the evidence again, but you will consider the whole together, and from thence determine what you think it amounts to. Thus far is undeniably true, and agreed on all sides, that Mr. Blandy died by poison, and that that poison was administered to him by his daughter, the prisoner at the bar. What you are to try is reduced to this single question—whether the prisoner, at the time she gave it to her father, knew that it was poison, and what effect it would have?

If you believe that she knew it to be poison, the other part, viz., that she knew the effect, is consequential, and you must find her guilty. On the other hand, if you are satisfied, from her general character, from what has been said by the evidence on her part, and from what she has said herself, that she did not know it to be poison, nor had any malicious intention against her father, you ought to acquit her. But if you think she knowingly gave poison to her father, you can do no other than find her guilty.

The jury consulted together about five minutes and then turned to the Court.


Gentlemen, are you all agreed on your verdict?




Who shall say for you?


Our foreman.


Mary Blandy, hold up thy hand (which she did). Gentlemen of the jury, look upon the prisoner. How say you, is Mary Blandy guilty of the felony and murder whereof she stands indicted or not guilty?




What goods or chattels, lands or tenements, had she at the time of the same felony and murder committed, or at any time since to your knowledge?




Hearken, to your verdict as the Court hath recorded it. You say that Mary Blandy is guilty of the felony and murder whereof she stands indicted, and that she has not any goods or chattels, lands or tenements, at the time of the said felony and murder committed, or at any time since, to your knowledge, and so you say all.


Mary Blandy, hold up thy hand. You have been indicted of felony and murder. You have been thereupon arraigned, and pleaded thereto not guilty, and for your trial you have put yourself upon God and your country, which country have found you guilty. What have you now to say for yourself why the Court should not proceed to give judgment of death upon you according to law?


Oyez! My lords the King's justices do strictly charge and command all manner of persons to keep silence whilst sentence of death is passing on the prisoner at the bar, upon pain of imprisonment.


Mary Blandy, you have been indicted for the murder of your father, and for your trial have put yourself upon God and your country. That country has found you guilty.

You have had a long and a fair trial, and sorry I am that it falls to my lot to acquaint you that I am now no more at liberty to suppose you innocent than I was before to presume you guilty.

You are convicted of a crime so dreadful, so horrid in itself, that human nature shudders at it—the wilful murder of your own father! A father by all accounts the most fond, the most tender, the most indulgent that ever lived. That father with his dying breath forgave you. May your heavenly Father do so too!

It is hard to conceive that anything could induce you to perpetrate an act so shocking, so impossible to reconcile to nature or reason. One should have thought your own sense, your education, and even the natural softness of your sex, might have secured you from an attempt so barbarous and so wicked.

What views you had, or what was your intention, is best known to yourself. With God and your conscience be it. At this bar we can judge only from appearances and from the evidence produced to us. But do not deceive yourself; remember you are very shortly to appear before a much more awful tribunal, where no subterfuge can avail, no art, no disguise can screen you from the Searcher of all hearts—"He revealeth the deep and secret things, He knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with Him."

Let me advise you to make the best and wisest use of the little time you are likely to continue in this world. Apply to the throne of grace, and endeavour to make your peace with that Power whose justice and mercy are both infinite.

Nothing now remains but to pronounce the sentence of the law upon you, which is—

"That you are to be carried to the place of execution and there hanged by the neck until you are dead; and may God of His infinite mercy receive your soul."

The prisoner then addressed herself to the judge in this manner—

"My lord, as your lordship has been so good to show so much candour and impartiality in the course of my trial, I have one favour more to beg, which is, that your lordship would please to allow me a little time till I can settle my affairs, and make my peace with God."

To which his lordship replied—

"To be sure, you shall have a proper time allowed you."

On Monday, the 6th of April following, the prisoner was executed at Oxford, according to the sentence pronounced against her.

Miss Mary Blandy, with scene of her Execution




(From No. 2 of Bibliography, Appendix XII.)

I.—Depositions of Witnesses.

Town of Henley-on-Thames in the County of Oxford. To wit, DEPOSITIONS OF WITNESSES AND EXAMINATIONS taken on oath the 15th day of August 1751, before Richard Miles, Gent. Mayor and Coroner of the said town; and also before the jury impannelled to inquire into the cause of the death of Francis Blandy, Gent. now lying dead.

ANTHONY ADDINGTON of Reading, in the County of Berkshire, Doctor of Physick, maketh oath and saith, That Mary Blandy, daughter of Francis Blandy, Gent. deceased, acknowledged to this deponent, that she received of the Hon. William Henry Cranstoun, a powder which was called a powder to clean the stones or pebbles, which were sent to her at the same time as a present; and that Monday, the 5th instant, she mixed part of the said powder in a mess of water gruel; but said, that, she did not know that it was poison, till she found the effects of it on her father; for that the said Mr. Cranstoun had assured her, that if she gave her father now and then of the said powder in gruel, or any other thin liquor, it would make him kind to her: And that the said Mr. Cranstoun assured her, that it was innocent, and that he frequently took of it himself; and that this deponent received from Mr. Benjamin Norton, who was apothecary to the said Francis Blandy, some small portion of a powder, which Mr. Norton said was found at the bottom of the above-mentioned mess of gruel given to the said Francis Blandy on the 5th instant, and that this deponent, after examination of the said powder, to be poison.


Taken on oath, the 15th day of August, 1751, before me

WILLIAM LEWIS, of the University of Oxford, Doctor of Physick, maketh oath and saith, that Mary Blandy, daughter of Francis Blandy, Gent. deceased, acknowledged to this deponent, that she had frequently given to her said father, the powder which she had received from the Hon. William Henry Cranstoun called the powder to clean the stones or pebbles, which she had received from him, but that she did not know that the said powder was poison, but that it was intended to make her father kind to her.


Taken on oath, the 15th day of August, 1751, before me

EDWARD NICHOLAS of Henley upon Thames, in the County of Oxford, surgeon, upon his oath saith, that he has examined the body of Francis Blandy, Gent. deceased, and saith, that he found that the fat on the abdomen was near a state of fluidity, and that the muscles and membranes were extremely pale; and that the omentum, was preternaturally yellow, and that part which covered the stomach was brownish; that the external part of the stomach was extremely discoloured with livid spots; the internal part was extremely inflamed, and covered almost entirely with extravasated blood; the intestines were very pale and flabby, and in some parts especially, which were near the stomach, there was much extravasated blood; the liver was likewise sphacelated, in those parts particularly which were contiguous to the stomach; the bile was of a very deep yellow; in the gall bladder was found a stone about the size of a large filbert; the lungs were covered in every point with black spots; the kidneys, spleen and heart were likewise greatly spotted; there was found no water in the pericardium; in short, he never found or beheld a body in which the viscera were so universally inflamed and mortified.


Taken on oath, the 15th day of August, 1751, before me

THE DEPOSITIONS AND EXAMINATIONS of A. Addington and William Lewis, doctors of physick, taken on their respective oaths, the 15th day of August, 1751, before me

Mayor and Coroner.

The fat on the abdomen was observed to be near a state of fluidity.

The muscles and membranes were extremely pale.

The omentum was preternaturally yellow, and that part which covered the stomach was brownish.

The external part of the stomach was extremely discoloured with livid spots; the internal part was extremely inflamed, and covered almost entirely with extravasated blood.

The intestines were very pale and flabby, and in those parts especially which were near the stomach, there was much extravasated blood.

The liver was likewise sphacelated, in those parts particularly which were contiguous to the stomach.

The bile was of a very deep yellow; in the gall bladder we found a stone about the size of a large filbert.

The lungs were covered in every part with black spots.

The kidneys, spleen and heart were likewise greatly spotted; there was found no water in the pericardium.

In short, we never beheld a body in which the viscera were so universally inflamed and mortified.

It is our real opinion, that the cause of Mr. Blandy's death was poison.


SUSANNAH GUNNELL, servant to Francis Blandy, Gent. deceased, upon her oath saith, that some time last week, she this examinant, gave to the said Francis Blandy some water gruel, and saith, that she observed that there was some settlement at the bottom of the pan, wherein the said water gruel was; and saith, that the same was white and gritty, and settled at the bottom of the pan; and saith, that this deponent, delivered the said pan, with the gruel and powder settled at the bottom thereof to Mr. Benjamin Norton, who was apothecary to the said Francis Blandy.

The mark X of the said


Taken on oath, the 15th day of August, 1751, before me

ROBERT HARMAN, servant to Francis Blandy, Gent. deceas'd upon his oath saith, that Miss Mary Blandy, told this examinant, that it was love-powder which she put into her father's gruel, on Monday 5th day of August last, but that she was innocent of the consequence of it.


Taken on oath, the 15th day of August, 1751, before me

BENJAMIN NORTON of Henley upon Thames, in the County of Oxon, apothecary, upon his oath saith, that on Tuesday the 6th Day of August instant, he this examinant was sent to Mr. Francis Blandy, deceased, who then complained of a violent pain in his stomach and bowels, attended with a violent vomiting and purging; and saith that on the Thursday morning following, Susannah Gunnell, servant to the said Mr. Blandy, sent to this examinant, to ask his opinion concerning some powder she had found in some water gruel, part of which her master had drunk; that he took out of the said gruel the said powder, and that he has examined the same, and suspects the same to be poison, and imagines the powder which was given to the said Francis Blandy, might be the occasion of his death, for that this examinant believes he was poisoned.


Taken on oath, the 15th day of August, 1751, before me

ELIZABETH BINFIELD, late servant to Mr. Francis Blandy, deceased, upon her oath saith, that about two months ago she heard Miss Mary Blandy his daughter say, Who would grudge to send an old father to hell for £10,000, and saith, that she hath heard her often wish her father dead and at hell; and that he would die next October: and saith that the said Mary Blandy a few days since declared to this examinant, that on Monday the 5th day of August instant, she the said Mary Blandy put some powder, which she called love powder, into some water gruel, which was given to and eat by her said father: And further saith, that on the said Monday her said master drank some of the said water gruel, and saith, that the said Mary Blandy declared to this examinant, that her said father had told her he had a ball of fire in his stomach, and that he should not be well till the same was out; and saith, that on the next day, being Tuesday, her said master continued very ill, and in the evening he drank some more of the said water gruel, and was immediately afterwards taken very ill, and reached violently, and went to bed. On the Wednesday, he the said Francis Blandy took physick, and about two of the clock the same day, the said Mary Blandy would have had her said father taken the remainder of the said water gruel, but the other servant would not let him take it, and was going to throw it away, when she espied at the bottom of the basen some white stuff, and called to this examinant to look at it, which she did, and the same was very white and gritty; and saith, that she heard the said Mary Blandy, declare to Doctor Addington, that she never attempted to give her said father any powder but once before, and that she then put it into his tea, which he did not drink, as it would not mix well.


Taken on oath, the 15th day of August, 1751, before me
Mayor and Coroner.

EDWARD HERNE on his oath saith, that he was a servant or writer to Francis Blandy, Gentleman, deceased; and saith, that during the time of the illness of the said Francis Blandy, he, this examinant, heard Mary Blandy, the daughter of the said Francis Blandy, deceased, declare that she had received some powder, with some pebbles from Captain Cranstoun, which she said were Love-Powders; and further saith, that she told him when she received the same from the said Captain Cranstoun, that he desired that she would administer the same to her father.


Taken on oath, the 15th day of August, 1751, before me
Mayor and Coroner.

II.—Verdict of Jury.

Town of Henley upon Thames in the County of Oxford. To Wit, AN INQUISITION indented, taken at the house of John Gale, within the town of Henley upon Thames aforesaid, the 15th day of August, in the 25th year of the reign of King George the Second, and in the year of our Lord 1751.

Before Richard Miles, gentleman, Mayor and Coroner of the said town, upon view of the body of Francis Blandy, gentleman, deceased, now lying dead, upon the oaths of James Fisher, William Toovey, Benjamin Sarney, Peter Sarney, William Norman, Richard Beach, L. Nicholas, Thomas Mason, Tho. Staverton, John Blackman, J. Skinner, James Lambden, and Richard Fisher, good and lawful men of the said town, who having been sworn and charged to enquire for our Sovereign Lord the King, when, where, and by what means and after what fashion the said Francis Blandy came by his death upon their oaths say, that the said Francis Blandy was poisoned; and that they have a strong suspicion, from the depositions of the witnesses, that Mary Blandy, daughter of the said Francis Blandy, did poison and murder her said father Francis Blandy, against the peace of our said Lord the King, his Crown and Dignity. In witness of which act and things, as well the Coroner aforesaid, as the jurors aforesaid, have to this inquisition set their hands and seals, the day and year first above written.

This Inquisition was taken the 15th day of August, 1751, before me

R. Miles, Mayor and Coroner. JAMES FISHER.


III.—Warrant for Committal of Mary Blandy.

Town of Henley upon Thames in the County of Oxford. To Wit, To the Constables of the said town, and to each and every of them, and also to the Keeper of his Majesty's Gaol, in and for the said county of Oxford.

WHEREAS Mary Blandy, of Henley upon Thames, aforesaid, spinster, stands charged upon oath before me, with a violent suspicion of poisoning and murdering Francis Blandy, gentleman, her late father, deceased: These are in his Majesty's name to require and command the said Constables, that you, some or one of you, do forthwith convey the said Mary Blandy to his Majesty's said gaol in and for the said county, and deliver her to the Keeper thereof: Hereby also requiring you the said Keeper to receive into the said gaol the body of the said Mary Blandy, and her there safely to keep until she shall be from thence discharged by due course of law, and hereof fail not at your perils. Given under my hand and seal this 16th day of August, 1751.

RICHARD MILES, Mayor and Coroner.



(Hitherto Unpublished.)

(B.M. Add. MS. 32,725, f. 216.)

Wimple, Sept. 27th, 1751.

My Dear Lord,—I received from Mr. Jones, by your Grace's directions, the inclosed papers relating to the Murder of Mr. Blandy of Henley. I apprehend, by his letter, that the Question, upon which your Grace desires my Opinion is, whether it is proper that the Prosecution should be carried on by the order, and at the expense, of the Crown? Your Grace observes by Mr. Pauncefort's letter, who is a Gentleman of Character & writes like a man of sense, that, as the Relations of the Deceased (who must necessarily be also relations to the Daughter) are circumstanced, & seem at present disposed, no effectual Prosecution can be expected from them; and therefore I am clearly of opinion that, if upon Examinations there appears sufficient ground to proceed, it is necessary & will be for the honour of the Government, that the Prosecution should be carried on at the expense of the Crown, & that Mr. Sharpe should be forthwith ordered to take the proper steps for that purpose under the direction of Mr. Attorney General. There have been several Instances of such flagrant offences having been prosecuted at the Government's expence. I remember two when I was Solicitor & Attorney General; one against two Welshmen, Athowe by name, for a Murder in Pembrokeshire; the other against a Woman in Oxford Road, who, in concert with her Gallant, murdered her Husband privately, & afterwards cut his body in pieces, & packed it up in a Basket.[14] The reason which prevailed for both these orders, was that there was ground to apprehend that the Criminals might have escaped Justice without such an extraordinary Interposition; and that Interposition was much applauded by the Public. In the present case it would be a Reproach to the King's Justice, and I am sure would create the justest concern & Indignation in His Majesty's own mind, if such an atrocious Crime of Poisoning & Parricide should escape unpunished, by means of the Prosecution being left in the hands of the Prisoner's own Relations.

There is one circumstance in Mr. Pauncefort's letter, which deserves particular attention. He says it is thought the Maid and Charwoman (who I presume are two material Witnesses) cannot long survive the effects of ye Poison they partook of. If that be so, my opinion would carry me so far as to think, that a special commission should be sent into Berkshire, some days before the next Term, to find a Bill of Indictment there, & then the Trial may be had at the King's Bench Bar within the next Term; for otherwise no Trial can be till the next Spring Assizes, before which time these Witnesses may probably dye, if what is repeated be true.

I have said all this upon a supposition that the Informations & Examinations lay a sufficient foundation for a Prosecution, for I have not seen any Copies of them. If they do not, id neo dictum esto. But there your Grace will be pleased to refer to Mr. Attorney or Mr. Solicitor.

There is another matter arising upon the enclosed Papers, which ought not to pass without some notice; and that is the behaviour of Mr. Carre, the Sheriff-Depute of Berwickshire,[15] and of Richard Lowe, the Mayor of Henley's Messenger. The Sheriff-Depute's letter contains a strong Charge against Lowe, & Lowe in his examination, swears several odd circumstances relating to the Sheriff-Depute, & to some relating to himself. Mr. Carre is a Gentleman of good Character, but this matter deserves to be enquired into; and I submit it to your Grace whether it may not be advisable to transmit copies of Lowe's Examination, & of these Letters to my Lord Justice Clerk,[16] that he may, in a proper manner enquire into the facts, & take such Examinations upon Oath, as he shall think fit. This will tend to Mr. Carre's Vindication, if he has done his Duty. If there are any material circumstances against Lieut. Cranstoun, some further enquiry should be made after him.

Forgive me for adding one thing more—that it should be pointed out to Mr. Attorney to consider whether the crime of the Daughter, who, as I apprehend, lived with & was maintained by her Father, may not be Petty Treason.

I am, always, etc.,


(B.M. Add. MS. 32,725, f. 218.)


Wimple, Sept. 27th, 1751.

My Dear Lord,—I have reserved for this private letter a few words relating to Dr. Rooke's affair.... But before I enter into that, permit me to make an observation upon the extraordinary method, which was taken to apprehend Lieut. Cranstoun. I see, by the dates, that the Informations must have been sent up to the Office when Your Grace was in Sussex, & therefore the affair did not come before you. But surely the right way would have been to have sent a Messenger, with the Secretary of State's Warrant. That might have been executed with Secrecy, whereas, in the other method, so many persons must be apprized of it, that he could hardly fail of getting notice. Tho' the Crime was not Treason, nor what is usually called an offence concerning the Government; yet being of so black a nature, & the Fact committed within the Jurisdiction of England, & the Person charged being then within the Jurisdiction of Scotland, it was a very proper case for bringing him up by a Secretary's Warrant, which runs equally over the whole Kingdom. I say this to Your Grace only, & beg it may not be mentioned to anybody. But the circumstances may be worth your enquiring into; for I have heard the thing spoken of accidently in conversation; & if Cranstoun got off at the time Lowe supposes, it may create some clamour. May not this be a further reason for the Government shewing a more than ordinary attention to ye Prosecution?

I am, etc.,

Duke of Newcastle.

(State Papers, Dom. Entry Books, George II., vol. 134, f. 90.)

Whitehall, Sept. 27th, 1751.

Mr. Attorney General,

Sir,—It having been represented to the King, that the Relations of Mary Blandy, who is confined in the Castle at Oxford, upon suspicion of having poisoned her Father, the late Mr. Blandy, of Henley upon Thames, do not intend to prosecute her for that crime, and application having been made, that His Majesty would be pleased to give Orders for the Prosecution of the said Mary Blandy; I am commanded to signify to you the King's Pleasure, That you should immediately enquire into this Affair; and that, in case you should find that the relations of the said Mary Blandy do not propose to prosecute her for the Murder of her Father, you should forthwith take the necessary steps for that Purpose; That so wicked and henious a Crime may not go unpunished.

I am, etc.,


(State Papers, Dom. (George II.), Bundle 117, No. 45.)

Henley upon Thames, 4th Oct., 1751.

My Lord,—We the Noblemen and Gentlemen in the Neighbourhood of Henley upon Thames, and the Mayor and Principal Magistrates of that Town, having met there together this day to make farther enquiries in relation to the inhuman Murder of the late Mr. Blandy, have unanimously agreed to return our sincere thanks to Your Grace for your great readiness in promoting all proper measures for bringing to Justice the persons concerned in that Horrid and Shocking Transaction. And we take this Opportunity of expressing the just Sense we have of his Majesty's Paternal Goodness to his people, in directing that the person, who is now in Custody, and with the greatest reason supposed to be chiefly instrumental in that Uncommon scene of Iniquity, should be prosecuted at His Majesty's Expence: And we beg leave to assure Your Grace, that no endeavours shall be wanting on our part, to render that prosecution successful, and to bring to condign punishment not only the Unnatural Daughter of that Unhappy Gentleman, but also the Wicked Contriver and Instigator of this Cruel Design. But at the same time we take the Liberty of representing to Your Grace, as our humble Opinion, that there will be little Room to hope that the Original Author & Promoter of this Villainous Scheme can be brought to Justice, unless His Majesty will further be graciously pleased to offer by Proclamation a proper Reward for apprehending Mr. William Henry Cranstoun formerly a Lieutenant of Marines, but now an Officer in a Scotch Regiment in the Service of the States General; And we Earnestly request Your Grace to recommend to His Majesty the Issueing out such a Proclamation. We are with the greatest respect,

Your Grace's Most Obedient And Most Humble Servants.


[Annexed to this petition is a copy of the same, with the names of the petitioners, also copied, and underneath them is written—]

Mr. Sharpe received this additional paper from the Duke of Newcastle with directions from His Grace to lay the same before Mr. Attorney General and to desire his opinion.

Qu. Whether it may be advisable to Issue a Proclamation with the Offer of a Reward for apprehending Lieut. Cranstoun.

This is a matter of mere discretion in His Majesty, and as there is no objection in point of Law to the Issueing such a Proclamation, so if there is any prospect of success in apprehending Cranstoun by that means I should think it an advisable measure. But as he has certainly notice of an Intent to apprehend him it is probable he may be gone beyond sea, to his service. If so the most probable means would be to get him seized by the order of the States General or any other State where he may be found to be.

D. RYDER, 14 Oct., 1751.

[Endorsed] The Noblemen & Gentlemen in the Neighbourhood of Henley upon Thames, and the Mayor & principal Magistrates of that Town to the Duke of Newcastle.

Oct. 14th, 1751.

For your Opinion hereon.

Mr. Attorney General.

3 Gs. Sharpe.

(B.M. Add. MS. 32,725, f. 259.)

Wimple, Oct. 9th, 1751. 4 o'clock p.m.

Dear Cousin,— ... I enclose the Representation of the Noblemen etc., in the Neighbourhood of Henley relating to the issueing a Proclamation for the apprehending of Lieut. Cranstoun. It is impossible for me to judge whether this is a proper Case for issueing such a Proclamation, without seeing the Examinations & proofs of his Guilt, & of the probability of his having fled for it. But, if there is proper Evidence of his Guilt, & a probable one of his Flight, I think it is a just foundation to issue such a proclamation in so flagrant a Case. I submit to My Lord Duke whether he will not think it proper to refer the Papers to Mr. Attorney General....

I am, etc.,


(B.M. Add. MS. 32,725, f. 291.)

Redbraes Castle, 15th Oct., 1751.

My Lord,—In obedience to your Grace's commands to the Lord Justice Clerk, informing him it was His Majesty's pleasure, he should enquire upon oath into the conduct of Mr. Carre of Nisbet advocate, our Sheriff, in relation to the apprehending of Mr. Cranstoun; I yesterday waited on his Lordship at Duns; & gave him an account of what I knew of that matter upon oath. I heard some other examinations taken at the same time, & have the pleasure to see that your Grace will receive entire satisfaction from this Inquiry.

I cannot omitt My Lord, upon this occasion expressing to your Grace the grateful sense all his Majesty's faithful subjects here have of your goodness in ordering this enquiry to be made, without which the misrepresentations contained in Lowe's affidavit, with the Justice of peace's Commentary, might have lurkt & crept about unobserved in the South of England, & his Majesty's subjects here could have had no opportunity of removing the injurious imputations cast upon them.

My Lord Justice Clerk has spared no pains to make the account compleat, and it gives me particular pleasure My Lord that your Grace will thereby be enabled to form a character of Mr. Carre from vouchers free from all suspicion of that partiality which perhaps might be thought to attend my recommendations of a friend & relation. Your Grace will see that Mr. Carre came from his own house with the Lord Justice Clerk, in his Lordship's post-chaise, to dine, by a previous appointment, at my house, which is only distant from his own half an hours driving; & this in order to have the advice & assistance of the Lord Justice Clerk. I am persuaded your Grace will think, you could not have wished him to choose a more judicious adviser, or a more sagacious Inspector into his conduct. Upon examination your Grace will find, that the Lawyers here will reckon Mr. Carre rather to have stretched a point to get over the provision in our Act of Parliament, in order to grant his Warrant, than to have affected any doubt, or dilatoriness upon the occasion. And that those Scots Lawyers who have not studied our Law with the same superiority of capacity & genius that Mr. Carre has, would hardly have consented to give a Warrant, upon the grounds Mr. Carre granted it....

I am, etc.,

Duke of Newcastle.

(Sate Papers, Dom. Entry Books (George II.), vol. 134, f. 97.)

Whitehall, Oct. 31st, 1751.

Mr. Pauncefort,

Sir,—Having by His Majesty's Command, directed an Enquiry to be made into the Conduct of Mr. Carre, the Sheriff of Berwickshire, upon the application that was made to him for causing Lieut. Cranstoun to be apprehended; and such an Enquiry having been accordingly made by the Lord Justice Clerk; I send you inclosed a Letter, which I have received from His Lordship together with the several Examinations that have been taken upon that occasion.—I am, etc.,


P.S.—I send you the original Papers above mentioned, which you will be pleased to return to me as soon as may be.

(B.M. Add. MS. 32,725, f. 380.)

Early Court, Nov. 7th, 1751.

My Lord,—I have had the honour to receive from your Grace, the Lord Justice Clerk's Letter, and the Examinations that have been taken in persuance of an Enquiry made into the conduct of Mr. Carre the Sheriff of Berwickshire, upon the application that was made to him for causing Lieutenant Cranstoun to be apprehended, & I should have acknowledged the receipt of them by the last Post, but I did not return from a Commission of the Navigations, held at a remote part of the county, till Wednesday.

I have in consequence sent an Express to the Earl of Macclesfield, to desire a meeting of the Corporation & the neighbouring Gentlemen of the County of Oxford at Henley; in order to lay before them the several Examinations; and its a particular Happiness to me that I am in this instance employed to represent to the Gentlemen of the County the Watchfulness & unwearied attention of the Crown to the vigorous Execution of the Laws, by having ordered this strict & immediate Enquiry to be made into the suspected Neglects & Delays of the Sheriff, tho' grounded upon a single Information; as likewise that I am made instrumental in the justifying as well as accusing the Conduct of the Sheriff; That the complaints of the Messenger were without any foundation; & that every thing was done by the Sheriff that was consistent with a cautious Magistrate.

I shall in obedience to your Grace's commands return the Examinations to you.

I am, etc.,


(State Papers, Dom. (George II.) Bundle 116, No. 36.)

[No date.]

Sir,—I was favoured with yr two last letters, and also with yr answer to my letter of the 24th Novr. last, wch I acknowledged in another letter wch I wrote to you from Mr. Aldworths at Stanlake, wherein I gave you an Acct. of a Threatening Letter from Cranstoun to Betty Binfield, and wch I find you had sent up to you by Lord Macclesfield. On Receipt of your last I set out yesterday morning to Ld. Macclesfields, where I lay, and came this day to Oxford, and immediately on my arrival went to the Castle where I found Miss Blandy with the very same Iron on her Leg wch I saw rivetted on myself when last here, and wch I now believe has never been off since, for her leg is considerably swelled, and the Red Cloth wch was round the Iron before has been cut off to give her room, but it is still so close, as renders it impossible to be slipt over her Heel. I also find by what I saw myself and by the Report of a Gentleman or two in whom I can confide, that Wisdom has kept a much stricter Guard over Miss Blandy ever since I was here before than he used to do, and that she has not been permitted to walk in the Garden once since. However I repeated the contents of your letter to him, and remonstrated how very absurd it wd be in him now, not to continue ye strictest watch over a person whose Trial will be made a Matter of so great Consequence to the Publick, and on whose safe custody, for that purpose, his future character & Livelihood would intirely depend. I also sent for Mrs. Deane (the person who is with Miss Blandy) into the Room with Wisdom, and told her that it would be impossible for Miss Blandy to make an Escape without her Privity & Assistance, and that if such a thing shd happen, not only the Goaler wd be answerable for what ever Act she did towards it, But that she herself wd also be imprisoned for Life etc, so that upon the whole I dont imagine there is now any fear of her making her escape. Parson Swinton is very angry wth the Freedom the letter writer has taken with (his) name, and is endeavouring to find out the Author of that and many other Reports of the same kind. It is owing to his Credulity of her Innocence, that these Jokes have been spread, and I find that he is a great favourite of Miss Blandy's. I will endeavour to get the Briefs settled in the best manner I am able and as soon as I have done, will send you a copy, and am—wishing you many happy years.


Yr Obliged humble Servt.


P.S.—I promised to write to Ld. Cadogan who went to Town yesterday, but as the Post is this instant going, must beg you to acquaint his Lordship all is safe.


To John Sharpe Esq. Solicitor to the Treasury at his Chambers in Lincolns Inn, London.

(State Papers, Dom. (George II.) Bundle 117, No. 90.)

Dear Sir,—I beg leave to trouble you with another Lre I have reced from Lord Macclesfield by last night's Post, and which shews pretty plainly that the threatning Lre I gave you yesterday was wrote and sent by Cranstoun and that there is great Reason to believe that Cranstoun is lying concealed either here in London or in the North—I beg you will lay the enclosed before his Grace with my most dutifull Respects—and believe me to be with the most real truth and esteem,

Dr Sir, Your most obliged and ever faithfull hble Servt.,


Friday morning, 6th Decr., 1751.

(State Papers, Dom. (George II.), Bundle 118, No. 22.)

The Examination upon Oath of Francis Gropptty of Mount Street, in the Parish of St. George Hanover Square taken this 3rd Day of Febry 1752.

The Examt says that upon the First Day of September last he was sent for by the Revd. Mr. Home to his lodgings in the Haymarket, who told the Examt. that a Gentleman of his, Mr. Homes, acquaintance, was going to Calais, & as he spoke no French, desired the Examt. to go with him. The Examt. asked who it was, & after some hesitation Mr. Home told him it was Capt. Cranston Bror. to Lord Cranston who was accused of having sent poison to a Miss Blandy, who was suspected to have poison'd her Father; but that he was inocent, & only wanted to get out of the way till his Tryal came on, when he would surrender himself.

The Examt. says he made an objection to going & told Mr. Home, that as he had expectations, from the Recommendations of Lord Home[19] and Sir Walter Blacket, to the Duke of Grafton, of being made one of the King's Messengers he was afraid it might hurt him, but Mr. Home assured him that he could not be brought into the least trouble, and added that he would oblige him, Mr. Home, Ld. Home & all the family & that for his satisfaction he would give him a note to Capt. Alexander Hamilton, who would assure him of the same.

That the Examt. went to Capt. Hamilton, who told him that he knew where Capt. Cranston was & that if the Examt. would see him safe at Calais, he would very much oblige Lord Cranston, Ld. Home & all the Family. The Examt. asked Capt. Hamilton if there had been any proceedings against Capt. Cranston or if any orders were given to stop him at Dover? Capt. Hamilton said he would enquire, & the next day Sepr. 2nd told the Examt. he had enquired & that there had not been any proceedings against Capt. Cranston nor were there any Orders to stop him at Dover.

The Examt. says that he lived with Lord Home several years & now does business for him; that he was willing to oblige his Lordship & not doubting from the assurances of Mr. Home yt he was doing a right thing, consented to go to Calais with Capt. Cranston.

That upon the said 2nd of September Capt. Hamilton brought Capt. Cranston to the Examt's. House; that Capt. Cranston said he had been rob'd in his way to town of his Money & Portmanteau & seem'd in great distress. That the Examt. by the Direction of Capt. Hamilton bought for Capt. Cranston such necessaries as he wanted & Capt. Hamilton went to Lord Ancrum[20] to borrow Twenty pounds to defray the expence of the Journey & repay the Examt. the money he had expended. That upon his return he told Capt. Cranston that Lord Ancrum wd not lend him the money; says, that Capt. Cranston cried very much & said for God's sake dear Hamilton get Money somewhere & get me abroad.

That the Examt. seeing the great distress both of Capt. Hamilton & Capt. Cranston, said that if ten Guineas wd. be of service he wd. lend Capt. Hamilton that sum, which he accordingly did & took Capt. Hamilton's Note of Hand, which is still unsatisfied.

That he set out with Capt. Cranston in a Post Chaise for Dover, where they arrived the next morning Sept. 3rd about 9 o'clock.

That they went to bed at the Post House about 4 o'clock in the afternoon in the same room, & about half an hour afterwards the Capt. of the Packet came into the Room & said he was informed they were going to Calais & desired they would go with him, which they agreed to & the next morning went with him to Calais & paid a Guinea for their passage.—Says they had no discourse at all with the Capt. of the Packet during the Passage.

The Examt. says he took Lodgings & agreed for Board for Capt. Cranston at Calais at the Rate of Fifty Livres a Month & upon the 6th Sept. returned in the same Packet to Dover. That upon his passage back the Capt. of the Packet said he believed the person who went with the Examt. to Calais was very glad to be landed, for that he seemed very uneasy; The Examt. answered may be so, & no other discourse happened upon the subject.

That the Capt. of the Packet observed that he thought he had seen the Examt. at Harwych, the Examt. said very likely for that he had passed from thence to Holland with his master Lord Home during the War.

The Examt. absolutely denies that he passed or attempted to pass for a King's Messenger, or that he mentioned the name of his Grace the Duke of Newcastle, nor was his Grace's name mentioned; nor did any Discourse what so ever pass about Messengers.

That upon his return to London he waited upon Mr. Home to acquaint him that he had landed Capt. Cranston safe at Calais. Mr. Home expressed himself very much obliged & assured the Examt. he would represent to his Brother & Lord Cranston the trouble he had had, & did not doubt but they would be equally obliged & reward him very well. The Examt. said he did not expect any reward, that what he had done was out of gratitude to Lord Home & his family & was very glad he had had it in his power to oblige them: & the Examt. said the same to Capt. Hamilton & never kept it a secret from any body, but talked of his having gone over with Capt. Cranston in common discourse & before anybody.

That the Examt. made out an Acct. of the Expences he had been at & delivered it to Capt. Hamilton, which amounted, with the money lent, to eighteen pounds, for which sum Capt. Hamilton gave him a Bill of exchange upon Ld. Cranston, which Bill the Examt. sent to Scotland to Lord Cranston, who having kept it near six weeks return'd it unpaid; and the Examt. has not yet recd. the money.

And lastly the Examt. says that he arrived in England with his Master at the end of the late War, & has not been out of England since that time except to Calais with Capt. Cranston as aforesaid.


this 3rd Feb., 1752.
Taken upon Oath; before L. Stanhope.



(No. 3 of Bibliography, Appendix XII.)

(The original copy of this letter, in Miss Blandy's own handwriting, for the satisfaction of the public, is left with the publisher.)

March 14, 1752.

Reader,—Condemn no person rashly. Thou has already, perhaps, passed sentence upon this unfortunate. But remember, that God alone knows the secrets of the heart; and that circumstances spring many times from motives which it is impossible for man to discover.

The following letter was written to this unhappy lady by a clergyman,[21] after her receiving sentence of death.


March 7, 1752.

Dear Miss,—Had it been at my own option, I never would have chose to be the least concerned in your unhappy affair; but since divine providence, without my own seeking, has thought fit to order it otherwise, I shall, from obligations of compassion and humanity, offer some things to your serious consideration. Your power of receiving benefit from my advice, is but of short duration; may God grant that you may rightly use this. That you believe in God, in the immortal nature of the soul, in Jesus Christ, and in a future state of rewards and punishments, I am willing to persuade myself. As to the unworthy man who has tempted you to your ruin, I have good grounds to believe him to be an infidel. If he has communicated such principles to you, to render you more capable of executing his wicked purposes, your persisting therein will ruin your poor soul for ever. The moment you enter into that awful state of separation, you will be eternally convinced of your error. The very devils believe a God, and tremble.

You will, perhaps, express surprise at my entertaining a doubt of this nature. What? You that have been so constant at public worship, that have so frequently participated of the most sacred rite of the Christian religion, to be thought an infidel? Alas! Miss, externals are but the husks of piety; they are easy to the hypocrite. The body may bow down in the house of God, yet the soul do homage to Belial. God forbid, that this should touch you.

And indeed to be sincere, when on the one hand I view the arguments of your guilt, and, on the other, behold your strong assertions of innocence, to the hazarding of the soul, if untrue, I am greatly perplexed, I know not what to say or believe. The alternative, I presume, is, you are either a believer and innocent, or an infidel and guilty. But that holy religion which I profess, obliging me, in all cases of doubt, to incline to the most charitable construction; I say, that I am willingly persuaded, that you believe in the above mentioned truths, and are in some degree innocent.

You have, dear Miss, applied to temporal counsel, with regard to the determination of your body. They have failed. Your life is forfeited to justice. You are already dead in the eye of the law. Oh! Miss, the counsels which my poor understanding gives, is spiritual; may they be more successful: May God grant that the fate of your soul may not resemble the fate of your body! May it not perish and die for ever!

Now, Miss, you must necessarily be in one of these two situations; you must either be innocent, by not designing to hurt your father; or you designed to kill your father, and are guilty, and conceal your guilt for private reasons. Permit me to offer something upon each of these heads.

If it should be the case, that you are innocently the cause of Mr. Blandy's death, which Heaven grant! if you harboured not a thought of injuring your unhappy father, you have the greatest of all comforts to support you. You may think upon that last and awful tribunal, before which all the sons of Adam shall appear, and from which no secret is hid. There will be no injustice. Innocence will be vindicated. The scheme of Providence will be then unfolded. There your patience under your sufferings and resignation to the decrees of Heaven will be rewarded. Your errors and failings God will pity and have mercy upon; for he remembers whereof we are made. You may face the ignominious tree with calmness. Death has no stings to wound innocence. Guilt alone clothes him with terrors (to the guilty wretch he is terrible indeed!). And at the resurrection, and at the last day, you will joyfully behold Jesus Christ your Saviour, join the triumphant multitudes of the blessed, and follow them into the everlasting mansions of glory.

The other point I am about to speak to, is upon a supposition of your guilt. God direct me what to say! If you repent, you will be saved. But what repentance can be adequate to such crimes? O Miss! your infamous end is a satisfaction due to human laws. But there is another satisfaction which God expects to be made for such a dreadful violation of laws divine. Once, Miss, you had two fathers to provide for and protect you; one by the ties of Nature, the other by the bonds of grace and religion. And now your earthly parent is your accuser, and your heavenly one your judge. Both are become your enemies. Good God! what deep distress is this! where can misery like this find comfort and relief? O Miss! the only anchor which can preserve your soul from perishing, is your blessed Saviour. Believe in Him; whatsoever you ask in His name, believing, God will grant. For to them that believe, all things are possible. Unburthen your whole soul. Pour out your fervent prayers to God. Remember, that infinite mercy is glorified in the vilest sinners. If there are any accessaries to this horrid crime, discover them. Make all possible reparation for injuries you have done. Heartily forgive, and pray for your enemies and more particularly for all concerned in the Prosecution against you. Detest your sins truly, and resolve to do so for the time to come, and be in charity with all men. If you perform these things truly and sincerely, your life, which sets in gloomy clouds, shame and darkness, may, by the mercies of God, rise in glory, honour and brightness.

But perhaps, Miss, to your everlasting hazard, you will not confess your guilt, for some private reasons. And what must these be?

You may possibly then imagine, that if you confess your crime to God, you are not obliged to confess to the world. Generally speaking God is the sole confessor of mankind; but your case is a particular exception to this rule. You will want the assistance of God's ministers. But how is it possible for you to receive any benefit from them, if you do not represent to them the true state of your soul without any disguise? A secret of this nature, smothered in the breast, is a fire which preys upon, and consumes all quietness and repose. Consider too the imminent danger of a lie of this nature; consider the justice due to your accusers, to your judges, and to the world.

But you will say, confession of my crime cuts off all hope of Royal Mercy. Dear Miss, do not indulge yourself in such a thought. Prepare for the worst. Consider how pernicious flattery of this nature is. Remember that God is only a God of mercy in this; in another life, he is a God of justice.

I can hardly think that shame has any share in the concealment of your guilt; for no shame can exceed that which you have already suffered. Besides, confession is all the amends you can make; and mankind know experimentally how frail and imperfect human nature is, and will allow for it accordingly.

And thus, dear Miss, have I wrote to you, with a sincere view to your everlasting happiness. If during this dismal twilight, this interval between life and death, I can serve you, command me. The world generally flies the unfortunate, rejoices in evil, triumphs over distress; believe me glad to deviate from such inhumanity. As the offices of friendship which you can receive from me are confined to such a short period, let them be such as concern your everlasting welfare. The greatest pleasure I can receive (if pleasure can arise from such sad potions), will be to hear that you entertain a comfortable assurance of being happy for ever. Which that you may be, is the fervent prayer of, etc.

Whether or no this gentleman, in the above letter, has not urged the matter home to Miss Blandy, is submitted to the judgment of the public.

Here follows verbatim her answer.

Monday, March 9, 1752.

Reverend Sir,—I did not receive your's till Sunday night late; and now so ill in body, that nothing but my gratitude to you for all your goodness could have enabled me to write. I have with great care and thought often read over your kind advice; and will, as well as the sad condition I am in will give me leave, speak the truth.

The first and most material to my poor soul is, that I believe in God the Father, and in His blessed Son Jesus Christ, who, I verily believe, came into the world to save sinners; and that He will come again to judge the world; and that we must all give an account in our own bodies, and receive the reward of a good or ill spent life; that God is a God of Justice, but of mercy too; and that by repentance all may be saved.

As to the unworthy man you mention, I never heard finer lessons come from any one. Had he, Sir, shewn really what he may be (an infidel), I never should have been so deceived; for of all crimes, that ever shocked me most. No, Sir, I owe all my miseries to the appearances of virtue; by that deceived and ruined in this world, but hope through Christ to be pardoned. I was, and never denied it, the fatal instrument; but knew not the nature of, nor had a thought those powders could hurt. Had I not destroyed his letters, all must have been convinced; but, like all the rest, he commanded, and I obeyed and burnt them. There is an account, as well as I was able to write, which I sent to my Uncle in London. That I here send you. God knows never poor soul wrote in more pain, and I now am not able hardly to hold my pen. But will not conclude this without explaining the true state of my mind. As I did not give this fatal powder to kill or hurt my poor father; I hope God will forgive me, with repentance for the ill use I have made of that sense he gave me, and not be for ever angry with me. Death I deserve, for not being better on my guard against my grand enemy; for loving and relying too much on the human part. I hope (when all is done that friends can do for me to save that life which God has given me, and which if to last these hundred years, would be too short for me to repent, and make amends for the follies I have committed) I shall have such help from my God, as to convince my poor friends I die a Christian, and with hopes of forgiveness through the merits of our Advocate and Mediator Jesus Christ.

I beg, my dear sir, you will excuse my writing more, and will believe I am truly sensible of your goodness to me. May God bless you, sir, and send you happiness here and hereafter. I beg my duty to my poor uncle; pray him to forgive, and pity, and pray for me. I beg my tenderest wishes to Mrs. Mounteney; and if she can serve me with the Bishop of W——[22] or any other, I know she will do it. Pray comfort poor Ned Hearne, and tell him I have the same friendship for him as ever. And pray, sir, continue your friendship and good wishes to,

Reverend Sir,

Your truly affected, Much obliged humble Servant,


P.S.—I beg, for very just reasons to myself and friends, that this letter and papers may soon be returned to me; that is, as soon as you have done with them. You will oblige me, if you keep a copy of the letter; but the real letter I would have back, and the real papers, as being my own handwriting, and may be of service to me, to my character after my death, and to my family.


There is no occasion of hinting to the judicious reader that in this letter it is plain that Miss Blandy twice solemnly declares her innocence.

But let us now proceed to Miss Blandy's own relation of an affair which has so much engrossed the attention of the public.

Miss Blandy's narrative referred to in the foregoing letter:—


O! Christian Reader!

My misfortunes have been, and are such, as never woman felt before. O! let the tears of the wretched move human minds to pity, and give ear to my sad case, here wrote with greatest truth. It is impossible indeed, in my unhappy circumstances, to recollect half of my misfortunes, so as to place them in a proper light. Let some generous breast then do that for the miserable, and God will reward goodness towards an unhappy, deceived, ruined woman. Think what power man has over our sex, when we truly love! And what woman, let her have what sense she will, can stand the arguments and persuasions men will make use of? Don't think that by this I mean, that I ever was, or could have been persuaded to hurt one hair of my poor father's head. No; what I mean is Cranstoun's baseness and art, in making me believe that those powders were innocent, and would make my father love him. He gave my father some himself more than a year before he died, and said, when he gave it him, that he (Cranstoun) had took several papers of it himself. I saw nothing of any ill effects from these powders on my father; nor did he complain of any one disorder, more than what he has ever been subject to above these ten years, the gravel and the heartburn; but never complained of the heartburn, except when he had the gravel coming on him; and he never was less afflicted with those disorders than during the last year of his life, in which he never took one medicine from his apothecary, as he made oath in Court.

Mr. Cranstoun, soon after he gave these powders to my father, said to me, do you not see that your father is kinder to me? I now will venture to tell him, that I cannot get the appeal lodged this Sessions (meaning his affair in Scotland); upon which he went to my father's study, and told him. They both came out together in great good humour, and my father said not one word against my waiting another Sessions.

Mr. Cranstoun came to our house in the beginning of August, or latter end of July, staid with us some months, and then he said he was obliged to go for Scotland. My father seemed not pleased with him at first, but they parted in great friendship, I thought; and I received a letter from Cranstoun (which is now among my papers) full of respect and tenderness for my father. But soon after he was gone my father, who had either heard some ill of him, or was tired of so long an affair, told me to let Mr. Cranstoun know, that I should wait the next Sessions; but he must not come to his house till his affairs in Scotland were settled. I obeyed his commands, and had a letter full of love, and seeming misery, back in answer to mine; that he found that he had lost my father's love, and feared he should mine too. He got his mother and sisters to write to my father, and seemed to do all in his power to force him to love him.

Some time after this he sent me word, that he had met with his old friend Mrs. Morgan in Scotland, and that he would get some of those powders he had before; and begged of me, if I loved him, to give them to my father; for that they would make him kind to us again in this affair, and make him stay with patience till the next Sessions; when, upon his word, the appeal should be lodged. I wrote him back word, I did not care for doing it, lest it should hurt my father's health. He wrote me word, that it was quite innocent, and could not hurt him; and how could I think that he would send any thing to hurt a father of mine? and that self-interest would be reason enough lor him to take care of his health.

Now, in this place, I must beg to clear up one thing, that I imagined my poor father rich, and that Mr. Cranstoun did the same. As to myself, it is, by all that's good, false. I have often told Mr. Cranstoun, I knew my father was not worth what the world said; but that if he lived I did not doubt but he would provide for us and ours, as his business was so great, and life retired. I then supposed that Mr. Cranstoun meant, by saying, that his own interests would make him careful, to refer to such discourse.

Mr. Cranstoun's having then such strong reasons to know how necessary my father's life must be, and I believing his honour to be so great, and that his love was still greater; these were the reasons of my not mistrusting that the powder would hurt my father, if I mixed it with his tea. It not mixing well, I threw it away, and wrote him word, I would not try it again, for it would be discovered. This they bring against me. But is it not, reasonable to imagine, that if any person was to discover that a powder had been given them, to force them to love anyone, would not a discovery of this nature produce a very different effect? Would it not fix resentment? This would have been, at that time death to me; such was my opinion of Cranstoun, and for this reason I used the aforesaid words.

But to proceed. On my writing to Mr. Cranstoun, that it would not mix in tea, he told me to mix it in gruel. I received the powders in June; but did not put any into his gruel till the 5th of August; when I fatally obeyed Mr. Cranstoun's orders, and was innocently the instrument of death, as they say, to the best of fathers; brought disgrace to my family, and shameful death to myself, unless my hard case, here truly repented, recommends me to Royal pity, clemency and compassion. And as I here declare, and as I look upon myself as a dying woman, I never did design to hurt my father, but thought the powder innocent, as Cranstoun told me it was. Let me be punished for my follies, but not lose my life. Sure, it is hard to die for ignorance, and too good an opinion of a villain! Must the falsities and malice which I have been pursued with, prevail so far as to take away my life? O consider my misfortunes, and indeed it will fill your eyes with tears; you must pity me, and say, never was poor soul so hardly used. But peace, my heart. I gave my father the powder on Monday night; on Tuesday he complained. I sent for the apothecary; who came, and said he would send him some physic. In the evening my father said he would have some water gruel. I never went out to order this, and knew not whether it was the same or no as he had on Monday, as that he drank on Monday was made either on Saturday or Sunday. However, on the Wednesday my father took physic, and was better; came all Thursday down into the parlour, as also on Friday; Mr. Norton, by my desire, all this time attending him very often. And Mr. Norton did in the Court declare, that I was the person that did send for a physician, and would have sent before, if thought necessary. When I found my father so ill, I sent, unknown to him, for Dr. Addington. The doctor said, he believed he was in great danger. I desired Dr. Addington to attend him, and come the next day; which he did. On Monday morning going into my father's room early (for though I never from his first disorder left him long in the day, yet his tenderness would not let me sit up all night with him), I was denied to see him. This so surprised and frightened me, that I cried out, What? Not see my father? On which I heard my father reply, My dear Polly, you shall presently; and some time after I did. That meeting and parting, and the mutual love, sorrow, and grief, is truly described by Susanna Gunnel; though poor soul she is mistaken in some other respects.

I was after this confined in my room by Dr. Addington's own orders; during which confinement, as I am informed, my father wanted to see some body, and it was imagined to be me. But, alas! I was not suffered. The night before he died, my father sent his blessing to me, with his commands to bring that villain to justice. I sent him answer back, I would do all in my power to hang that villain, as he rightly called him.

But the usage which I received in my father's house, unknown to him I am sure, is shocking to relate. My going to listen at his door, the only comfort left me, to hear if he was asleep was denied me. All my keys were taken from, me—my letters—my very garters. My maid-servant never came near me, helpless as I was by grief and fits. This I bore patiently, being fearful of disturbing my father, as our rooms joined. The man who was with me can witness to my sufferings, how often I wished for instant death to take me, and spare my dear father, whom never child loved better; whose death alone, unattended with these misfortunes, would have been an excessive shock to me.

When Dr. Addington, and Dr. Lewis (who was called in it seems) came into the room, and told me, that nothing could save my ever dear father; for a considerable time I sat like a stone image; and then told them, that I had given my poor father some powders which Cranstoun had given me, and feared those had hurt my father, though Cranstoun assured me that they would not.

It is not in human nature to declare what I suffered at that time. God grant that no one ever may again.

When my father was dead, though mistress of myself, my keys, servants, two horses in the stable, all my own; yet I never quitted my room. Though none dared to molest me, I never stirred. They say, that I walked about my room for hours; but I hardly remember anything. Much is now said of my trying to bribe my servants. How contrary to truth! As for bribing Betty my cook; of all my servants she was my greatest enemy throughout my misfortunes; and an attempt to bribe her must surely be the strongest instance of lunacy, of one not in her right mind. I own I should have been glad not to have gone to jail; as who would not? But then I would with pleasure have resigned myself up at the Assizes, and stood the chance of life or death. I did not at that time imagine, that I had such enemies, or that human nature could be so wicked and abandoned. On the Thursday my father was to be opened. In the morning Suzanna Gunnel sent for me, being indisposed: When I saw her, she begged that I would bring Mr. Cranstoun to justice, which was the request and command of her dying master; and that if anything gave him concern in his last moments, it was an apprehension of his escaping, being a man of quality, and interest among the great. I replied that I would do all in my power, and went down into my room again.

Soon after Dr. Lewis came into my room, and I found by him that my poor father's body was to be opened as that morning. As soon as he was gone, I could not bear to stay in the house, but walked out. Let reason judge whether I intended an escape. My dress was an half-sack and petticoat, made for a hoop, and the sides very long; neither man nor horse to assist me; and, as they say, I walked as slow as foot could fall; half the town at my heels; and but for the mercy of a woman, who sheltered me in her house, had perhaps lost my life. When I was sent for back by the Justices, the gentlemen who conveyed me to my house, witnessed that I thanked him. Surely this cannot be interpreted an attempt to escape.

In consequence then of the words which, during these melancholy and distracting scenes, I had spoke to Dr. Addington, that I was innocent of the nature of the powders, but had given them to my father, I was sent to prison, where I was till my trial, and am now in safe custody. The untruths which have been told of me, the messengers sent after me, to see if I was safe, the putting me in Irons (though so weak and ill, that my own body was too much to carry about), the baseness and wickedness of printing the depositions to hurt me with the jury; under all this I bore up from knowing my innocence.

But give me leave to mention what happened at my trial. I was brought to the Bar; and must do the judges, and all the gentlemen of the law, that justice, that they used me as a gentlewoman should be, though unfortunate. I must, however, observe, that when the judges read and summed up the evidence, or indeed when anything was said in Court, there was such a noise, that the jury, I am sure, could not hear the evidence; and I hope I shall be forgiven, if I say, that some of them seemed not to give that attention I think they ought. Nay, the judges were often obliged to speak for silence in the Court, and bid them for shame let the jury hear and attend. When all the witnesses were examined on both sides, the judge gave his charge like a man fit to hold the sword of justice; and my council and friends were in great hopes for me. But, most surprising treatment! without going out of the Court, without being any time consulting, their verdict was, Guilty! God's will be done. My behaviour at my trial, and when sentence was passed, I leave to the world. My enemies, as they have done all along, may misinterpret it, and call innocence and Christian courage hardened guilt. But let them know, that nothing but innocency could stand the shock of such repeated misfortunes, and prospect of death.

O Christian reader! remember what blessings will attend you for defending the orphan, the injured, and the deceived. And if the dead are sensible what the living do; what prayers must not dear parents pour out before the throne of mercy for such charity, for endeavouring to rescue their only child and much-loved daughter from a shameful death. Drop pen; my spirits, harrassed out with sorrow, fail. God Almighty preserve you and yours from such misfortunes, and receive my poor soul into the arms of his mercy, through Jesus Christ. Amen.

Whosoever thou art, whose eyes drink in this sad and moving tale, indulge one tear. Remember the instability of sublunary things, and judge no man happy till he dies.



(No. 8 of Bibliography, Appendix XII.)

My acquaintance with Mr. Cranstoun, who was lieutenant of a regiment of marines, commenced at Lord Mark Kerr's,[23] in one of the summer months, as I at present apprehend, of the year 1746. At first we entertained of each other only sentiments of friendship, I being upon the point of marrying another gentleman; which, for some prudential reasons, was soon put off, and at last came to nothing. Some months after our first interview, Mr. Cranstoun left Henley; and, about the following summer, returned to his uncle, Lord Mark Kerr, who lived at a house he had hired in that town, called Paradise. After his arrival at Henley, our friendship continued for some time; in one part of which I told him, as a friend that wished me well, of another advantageous match that had been proposed to me; but at the same time declared to him, that I was afraid the gentleman was not formed to make me happy. Upon this, he asked me, "whether or not I preferred mutual love to the grandeur of life?" To which I replied, "I preferred the man I loved and esteemed to all others." This induced him to make a proposal to me in the following terms: "Miss Blandy, I have upon my hands an unhappy affair, which to you I have made no secret of; I can assure you, before I speak what follows, I am not now married, nor never was; tho' by the nature of the Laws of Scotland, I am involved in some difficulties brought upon me by that affair, out of which it will be some time before I can extricate myself. Do you think you could love a man well enough to stay till this affair be brought to a determination? I have, added he, wished such a proposal might take effect from the very first moment that I saw you; but my honour would not permit me to make it in form, till the invalidity of my pretended marriage did appear to the whole world." To this I made no reply, as Lord Mark Kerr at that instant came into the garden; Mr. Cranstoun and I being then at his house. The next day Mr. Cranstoun came to my father's, and renewed the discourse; on which I told him, that "if my Papa and Mamma would approve of my staying for him, I readily consented thereto." After this he took the first opportunity of speaking to my Mamma upon the same subject; and he received from her the following answer: "Sir, you do my daughter an honour; but I have understood, that you have a perplexing affair upon your hands, and it is reported that you are married." He then made answer, "Madam, as I have a soul to be saved, I am not, nor ever was." To which she replied: "Very well, Mr. Cranstoun, I will take your word as to that; but I have many more reasons to give you why I disapprove of your proposal. In the first place, you are a man of fashion., and I believe your fortune small; my daughter has been brought up with great rare and tenderness, and as neither of you seem to me cut out to live upon a small fortune, you would both like to live in a manner suitable to your station." To which she added, "I can assure you, Mr. Cranstoun, had my daughter £10,000 and in my disposal, I would give her to you with the greatest pleasure. There is one thing, continued she, I think, Mr. Cranstoun, I ought to inform you of. Notwithstanding the world reports Mr. Blandy to be able to give his daughter down a handsome fortune, I am sure he cannot do it; tho' I was ever made a stranger to his circumstances." To which he replied, "If Mr. Blandy will give me his daughter, I shall not trouble him about that." This, as far as I can recollect, is the substance of what passed on Mr. Cranstoun's first making his addresses to me.

After the last conference, my mamma and Mr. Cranstoun had several others to the same effect; the last of which was followed by Mr. Cranstoun's journey to Bath. He attended his uncle. Lord Mark Kerr, thither; but before he left Henley, he obtained my father's leave to correspond with me. He went to Bath, if my memory fails me not, in the latter season of the year 1747; after I had been above a year acquainted with him. He staid at Bath about five or six weeks; and, after his return to Henley, lived at our house, with my father's and mother's approbation, five or six months. At the end of this term, he went up to town; and, within a few days after his arrival there, wrote to my father, to beg; the favour of him to comply with his request, that I might be permitted to stay for him till his unhappy affair with Miss Murray (for so was his supposed wife called) was finally determined. This, he said, he was assured, by the best judges, must end in a little time with certain success: which, as he added, would make him the happiest man living; and he doubted not but he should communicate the same degree of happiness to me, by the tender treatment I should meet with from him. My father gave the letter to me with a smile, and told me, "that was a letter which he believed I should read with some pleasure." After I had read it, I said, "What will you answer it, sir?"' To which he replied, "Not at all." Upon this, looking earnestly at him, said, "Not at all, papa?" "No," replied he, "you shall answer it yourself." "In what manner, sir?" subjoined I. "As," returned he, "is most agreeable to you." To which, however, he thought fit to add, "Tho' I give you leave in this manner, yet if you are prudent you will not think of having a man of quality without any fortune, when you may marry a man with a very ample one, of as good a gentleman's family as any in England: But, continued he, if you can be contented, I'll do what I can to make you happy with him. I believe he loves you, and mutual love must make the marriage-state happy." Mr. Blunt, the owner or proprietor of Paradise, the house inhabited by Lord Mark Kerr, was then at my father's, and knew, if I am not mistaken, from whom the letter came. Be that as it will, no more passed on this subject at that time. The next post I informed Mr. Cranstoun, that "My papa had given me leave to write to him whatever I pleased; in consequence of which I should take the liberty to assure him, that I would stay for him, and accept of no other offer till his affair was brought to a decision; and that if it was not determined in his favour, I doubted whether I should accept of any ever after." Tho' I did not see Mr. Cranstoun for several months, our correspondence still continued; letters passing and repassing between us almost every post.

During this interval, my mamma went to a place called Turville Court, to the house of one Mrs. Pocock; where she was seized with a disorder, that it was thought would have proved fatal to her. Through the whole course of her illness, when in her senses, she constantly cried out, "Let Cranstoun be sent for:" On which, I at last sent for him. He was then at Southampton; which, by the miscarriage of one of his letters, I was ignorant of. But the very night he reached London, he set out for Turville Court, and arrived there about ten o'clock at night. As soon as he came to Mrs. Pocock's house, he was instantly taken up into my mother's chamber, which greatly refreshed and revived her; for she immediately raised herself up in bed, took him about the neck, and kissed him in the most affectionate manner. At the same time, she said, "My dear Cranstoun, I am glad you are come; I now shall grow well soon." Nor would she take any medicines, but from his hand, saying, "My poor nurse must not be jealous (meaning her daughter) since loving him I knew is pleasing her." The next day she got up, and sent for Mr. Cranstoun into her room; saying, "This I owe to you, my dear Cranstoun; your coming has given me new health and fresh spirits: I was fearful lest I should die, and you not here to comfort that poor girl, how like death she looks!" My father came thither that day to see his spouse, and took Mr. Cranstoun, who met him in the hall, up in his arms, saying, "I am glad to see you here, how does my wife?" Upon Mr. Cranstoun's telling him, "she was much better, and up," he said, smiling, "I suppose they will both of them (meaning his wife and daughter) be much better, now you are come." My father seemed in great good humour all that day. The next time he came (for he returned home at night) he appeared much out of humour at the great expence incurred by my mother on the foregoing occasion, and desired her to think of removing to her own house; since in that case, neither the physician's fees nor the apothecary's journeys could be so expensive. But she was too weak to be removed immediately. However, in a short time, she returned home, in company with myself and Mr. Cranstoun, who, with my father and mother's approbation, resided with us above six months. During which interval, my father was sometimes extremely kind, and sometimes very rude to Mr. Cranstoun, as well as very harsh, to his daughter. I observed, that this rudeness and harshness generally appeared after he had been in company with some persons, and particularly one hereafter mentioned, who were known not to approve of my marriage with Mr. Cranstoun. My father also frequently made my mother very uneasy, on account of her approbation of that marriage; tho' he always declared, that he thought Mr. Cranstoun a most agreeable man. Whilst he was last at my father's house, the regiment of marines to which he belonged was broke at Southampton; which obliged him to go thither: But he did not stay there above two or three days; and upon his return to Henley, was received by my father with great tenderness, who told him, that "as he was now broke, he supposed his cash, would run low; and that therefore he was welcome to stay with him." This happening in my presence, I went up to my father kissed him, and said, "Sir, I shall never forget this goodness." Mr. Cranstoun having lost his post in the regiment of marines, did not remain long in Henley; but set out soon for London, where he made a pretty, considerable stay. We kept up, however, our correspondence, as usual in times of absence, he writing to me almost every post.

A few months after Mr. Cranstoun's return from Southampton, my mother went up to London, in order to ask advice for a complaint in her breast, and took me along with her. Upon our arrival there, we went to her brother's, Mr. Henry Steven's, in Doctors' Commons, where we resided all the time we remained in town. I had before apprized Mr Cranstoun of our intended journey; and he waited upon me the next morning after our arrival at my uncle's. Hither he came every day to visit me, whilst we stayed in London. Once he brought his brother, the Lord Cranstoun, with him, who was then just married. One of Mr. Cranstoun's visits happening a little before dinner, my mother asked her brother, Mr. Henry Stevens, to invite him to dinner; but this favour was refused her: On which, coming into the dining-room, whore she found me and Mr. Cranstoun, she took him by the hand, and burst into tears, saying, "My dear Mr. Cranstoun, I am sorry you should be so affronted by any of my family, but I dare not ask you to stay to dinner. However, continued she, come to me as often as you can in my own apartment; in a morning I am always alone." To this Mr. Cranstoun made answer, "My dear mamma, don't be uneasy—I don't come for the sake of them, but of you and your daughter. And let him put on never so terrible a face, he shall not keep me from you." At this time Mrs. Focock was in town, and had a house in St. James's Square, to which I used to go most days. Hither Mr. Cranstoun perpetually came, when he understood that I was here; and that with my father's, who arrived in town after we had reached it, and mother's consent. Mrs. Pocock often asked my father, whilst in London, to make one of the party. But he answered her, "You keep such quality hours, as neither agree with my health, nor suit my business; however, you will have two parts of me, my wife and my daughter." "Yes," replied Mrs. Pocock, "and not only these two, but likewise another bit of you, which will be coming soon." At this he smiled, and said, "What, Cranstoun! a little bit, indeed, I think! They are very well matched—I was surprised not to find him here—I thought they could not have been so long asunder." My father went away and left his family there. The next day my mother and I were invited to dine at Mrs. Pocock's, in order to meet the present Lord Crauford,[24] then Lord Garnock, and Mr. Cranstoun. The latter attended Mrs. Pocock in a coach she had hired to fetch me and my mother into her house. My father met us in the Strand, and stopped the coach, crying out, "For God's sake, Mrs. Pocock, what do you with this rubbish every day?" "Rubbish, do you call them," replied she, "your wife, your daughter, and one who may be your son?" "Aye, aye," said he, "they are very well matched; 'tis pity they should ever be asunder." On which, Mr. Cranstoun took hold of my father's hand, and cried out, "God grant they never may; don't you say Amen, papa." At this my father smiled, and said, "Make her these fine speeches seven years hence." He then took his leave of them, saying, "He had so much business upon his hands, that he could not stand idling there"; bidding the coachman to drive on, and crying out, "God bless you, I wish you merry." Mrs. Pocock then asked him, "If he could not contrive to come to them?" To which he made answer, alluding to the distance of her house, "God bless you, do you think I can come down now to Henley?" Then our coachman drove on to St. James's Square; and soon after my father left the town, in order to return home.

Whilst I was now in London, Mr. Cranstoun proposed a private marriage to me, saying, "It might help us with regard to the affair in Scotland; since a real marriage, according to the usage of the Church of England, if matters went hard, might possibly invalidate a contract that arose only from cohabitation." In order to understand which, it must be observed, that Mr. Cranstoun had before cohabitated with one Miss Murray, by whom he had had a child then living; and was consequently considered, by the Laws of Scotland, as her husband. This, he said, was the only thing that intituled her to him, as he never was married by any priest. To Mr. Cranstoun's proposal I answered, "I won't, Cranstoun, do you so much injury, as well as myself; for my father never will forgive it, nor give me a farthing." To which he replied, "There will be no occasion to discover it, but upon such an interesting event; and then surely, if you love me, you will suffer anything rather than part with me. What would I not suffer for you!" To this I made answer, "I would do nothing in the affair without he could procure the advice of the best council, and be certainly informed by this that such a marriage would be valid. Consider with Yourself," said I, "Cranstoun, what a condition I should be in, if I should lose my character, my friends, and yourself?—And you I must lose, if your former supposed marriage should be declared valid, and in honour we must never see each other more." He then said, "He would go and lay the case immediately before the best council, particularly Mr. Murray, the Solicitor-General." But I heard no more of this affair whilst we staid in town, excepting that it was laid before the said council; nor did I receive any more solicitations from him on this head.

About this time my mother being distressed for money, was very uneasy, as well as in a bad state of health; which gave me great concern. Being one day, therefore, alone, and in tears, Mr. Cranstoun came unexpectedly into the room, and insisted upon knowing the reason of my grief; which at last, after many tender persuasions on his part, I discovered to him. I told him my mother owed forty pounds, and as she durst not inform my father of it, did not know which way to get it. To this he replied, "I only wish I had as many hundreds: I will get it for you, my dear, to-morrow. Poor woman, how can her husband use her so!" On which, my mother coming in, no more was at that time said. Mr. Cranstoun stayed but a little while; and when he went away, he told me, "He would see about it." After he was gone, I took my mother in my arms, and said, "My dear mamma, you may be easy about this money, for Mr. Cranstoun will get it for you to-morrow." At this my mother burst into tears, and cried, "Why will Mr. Blandy expose himself and me so? How can the poor soul get it? But he shall have my watch if he ever wants it, and I cannot pay him in money." To this I made answer, "As to paying him in money, mamma, that you never can; having never been mistress of such a sum, nor likely ever to be so; but make yourself easy, if we meet, you will never be asked for it."

The next day she and I went to see her sister, Mrs. Frances Stevens, who then lived with her uncle, Mr. Cary, in Watling Street; where Mr. Cranstoun and his cousin, Mr. Edmonstoun, took their leave of us, we being to set out for Henley the day following. Mr. Cranstoun brought the money with him, which he delivered into my mother's own hand; on which, not being able to speak, she squeezed his hand and burst into tears. He then kissed her, and said, "Remember, 'tis a son, and therefore don't make yourself uneasy; you can't lie under any obligation to me." Then he took me by the hand, and led me into another room. Here I was going to return him thanks for his goodness to my mother: but this he prevented, by kissing me, and saying, "That was all he desired in return." Then he gave me five guineas, and desired me to keep them by me; since, in case the council should think a private marriage proper, they should enable me to come up in a post-chaise to London, and meet him there, with all possible expedition. After a little farther discourse, we parted in a very moving manner. I paid ten pounds for my mother, out of the forty pounds she had been supplied with by Mr. Cranstoun, that very night. The next morning we set out for Henley, where we arrived in due time. The day following, being Sunday, I wrote to Mr. Cranstoun, as he had requested me to do; giving him an account of our safe arrival, and thanking him in the strongest terms, for his late extraordinary favour. The next day, being Monday, the other thirty pounds, being the remaining part of the money my mother had borrowed of Mr. Cranstoun, she paid to the footman, for fowls, butter, eggs, wine, and other provisions, brought into the house, chiefly on account of entertainments, by him.

From this time to Sept. 28th, 1749, my mother continued in a good state of health. But on that day, which was about half a year after her last departure from London, at one o'clock in the morning, she was taken very ill. This giving me, who always lay with her, great uneasiness, I immediately got up, and called her maid., who instantly appeared; and then she got out of bed, and retired. When she came into bed again, she said, "My dear Molly, don't fright yourself: You know there is now no danger." In order to understand which words, it will be proper to observe, that, when my mother was in labour of me, she received a hurt; which made me apprehensive of ill consequences, which either the cholick, which was her present disorder, or any obstructions in the parts contiguous to those which are the seat of that distemper, happened. She lay pretty easy till six, when I dispatched a messenger for Mr. Norton, the apothecary to the family, who lived in Henley. When he came, she complained of a pain in her bowels; upon which he took some blood from her, and ordered her some gentle physic. She seemed better after this, but nothing passed through her. It being Friday, and many country gentlemen meeting to bowl at the Bell Inn, the Rev. Mr. Stevens of Fawley, my mother's brother, came thither that day, paid a visit to his sister, and found her greatly indisposed. When he left the room, in which she lay, for she kept her bed, I followed him out, and asked him, if he thought there was any danger; telling him how she then was, the manner in which she was first seized, and what had been prescribed her. As she before had had several such fits of cholick, Mr. Stevens did not apprehend any immediate danger. I said, "If my mamma was not better soon, I would send for a physician." To which he replied, "You are much in the right of it; but stay a little, and see what effects the physic will have." He called again in the evening, and found her better, tho' nothing had yet passed through her. About twelve o'clock at night my mother obliged me, who was then myself indisposed, to get into another bed; and promised to send to me, if she found herself worse. Soon after this, she grew much worse; but would not send to her daughter, saying, "She would know her fate too soon." She farther said in Mr. Norton, who was then with her, "My daughter loves me so well, that I wish my decease may not be the death of her." Between five and six o'clock in the morning, on Saturday Sept. 30th, 1749, my mother's maid came up to me, and told me, that, "If I would see my mother alive, I must come immediately into her chamber." I leaped out of bed, put on my shoes, and one petticoat only, and ran thither in the greatest confusion imaginable. When my mother saw me, she put out her hand, and said, "Now, Molly, shew yourself a Christian, and submit to what God is pleased to order. I must die, my dear: God will enable you to bear it, if you pray to Him." On which I turned about in a state of distraction, ran to my father's room, and said to him, "For God's sake, sir, come to my mother's room: she is this instant dying." Then I ran, with great inquietude, into the kitchen, where I found my footman, and sent him immediately to Fawley for the Rev. Mr. Stevens, my uncle, and his brother, Mr. Henry Stevens, of Doctors Commons, who was then at his house in Henley. I also, at the same time, dispatched a messenger to Dr. Addington, who lived at Reading. After which I went upstairs, and found my father sitting by my mother's bedside. She took him and me both by the hand, joining our hands together, and saying to him, "Be both a father and a mother to her: I have long tried and known her temper, Mr. Blandy. She is all your heart can wish for, and has been the best of daughters to me. Use her with a generous confidence, and she will never abuse it. She has set her heart upon Cranstoun; when I am gone, let no one set you against this match." To these last words Mr. Blandy immediately made answer, "It shall not be my fault, if this does not take place; but they must stay, you know, till the unhappy affair in Scotland is decided." "God bless you," replied she, "and thank you for that promise; God bless you, Mr. Blandy, for all your kindnesses to me and my girl. God grant that you may both live long, that you may be a blessing to each other. Whatever little unkindnesses may have passed I freely forgive you. Now, if you please to go down, Mr. Blandy, for my spirits fail me." My father then kissed her, and retired in tears, saying, as he went, "The doctor still may think of something that may be of service to you." At this she smiled and said, "Not without you can give me a new inside." When my father was gone, my mother took hold of my hand, drew me to her, and kissed me. Taking notice that I had no cloaths on, she ordered my maid to bring 'em down, and dress me. This being done, she ordered her servants out of the room; and told me, "she had many things, if her strength would permit, to say to me. Be sure then," said she, "Molly, when I am gone, to remember the lessons I have taught you. Be dutiful to your father; and if you think I have been sometimes a little hardly used, do not remember it in wrath; but defend my character if aspersed. I owe some more money, Molly, God knows how you will get it paid. I wish your uncles would stand your friends. If your father should know it, I am only fearful for you. Indeed, my dear, I never spent it in extravagancies. I was in hopes you would have been married; I then would have told your father all, as I could have come to you till his passion had been over." On my being drowned In tears, she catched me in her arms, and cried, "I leave the world with the greatest pleasure, only thee makes me sorry to go. Oh that I could but take you along with me!—But then what would poor Cranstoun do? Be sure, child, you behave with honour in that affair; don't, either thro' interest or terror, violate the promises you have made." To this I reply'd, "You may be sure, madam, I never will. I will do all I can to act as you would wish your daughter to do. Oh mamma, you have been the best of mothers to me! How can I survive you, and go thro' all the miseries I must meet with after your death, without a friend to advise with on any emergency or occasion." "My dear," returned she, "your uncle John, in things you cannot speak to your papa about, will help and advise you in the tenderest manner; and you may repose an absolute confidence in him."

Soon after Mr. Stevens of Fawley came, and I conducted him into my mother's chamber. At his approach to her, he was so overwhelmed with grief, that he could not speak a word. She took him by the hand, and said, "I am glad to see you, my dear brother. You must help to comfort your poor niece, who will stand in need of your assistance. Never forsake her, my dear brother. All that gives me pain in death is the leaving of her behind me." Then turning to me, "Your uncle Jack, my dear, will take care of you, and look on you as his own," At which Mr. Stevens took hold of his sister's and niece's hands, and, with tears, told 'em both he would. Then turning about, he asked me if the physician was not yet come? My mother said, "They would send for him, but he could be of no service to her"; giving her brother at the same time such reasons for her despondency as convinced him, that there were little or no hopes of her recovery. He found himself so moved at this, that he was obliged to go down stairs, and retire to my father and Mr. Henry Stevens, who were at that time both in the parlour. The physician, Dr. Addington, of Reading, soon arrived, and went directly to my mother's room. When he came in, she showed him the inflammation and swelling on her bowels. He prescribed her some physic, to be taken once in every two hours, and ordered her to be blooded immediately. Her bowels also, according to his direction, were to be fomented and poulticed once in every four hours. This operation I took upon myself, and punctually performed it. I also gave her every medicine she took till she was at the point of death, and I myself was forced to be carried out of the room in a fit. Dr. Addington, before he prescribed anything, went with me out of the room, and told me he was afraid he could do nothing for her; repeating the same afterwards both to my father and my two uncles. Notwithstanding which, he thought fit to order the above mentioned poultices and fomentations; which, according to his direction, were applied, tho' without producing any good effect. In fine, my dear mother died Sept. 30, 1749, about nine o'clock at night.

For six months preceding her sickness, or thereabouts, being the interval between her last departure from London and the time her indisposition seized her, my mother never saw Mr. Cranstoun; tho' I constantly, and even almost every post, corresponded with him. It must here be observed, that Lady Cranstoun had wrote to my mother some time before, to return her thanks for the civilities her son had received from her. It must also be remembered, that a little before my mother went last to town, I and my father both received letters from Miss Murray, signed "N. Cranstoun," to inform us, that she was his lawful wife. The decree of the Court of Scotland in her favour was sent with these letters. When I received them, I carried them to my father. After he had read them, I asked him "what I was to do." His answer was, "I do not trouble my head about it." On which I went to my mother, and consulted with her about what was to be done; and, by her advice, wrote to Mr. Cranstoun, begging him, as he was a man of honour, to let me know the truth. At the same time, I sent him the letters that came from Scotland, and occasioned this epistle. In answer to this, he said, "It was certainly her hand; but that she never was his wife, nor has any right to the name": And, in order to gain credit to his assertion, he made the strongest protestations. Before my mother wrote last to him, and that a considerable time, he had sent me a solemn Contract of Marriage, wherein he declared he never had been married before, and stiled me therein "Mrs. Cranstoun." But to put an end to this digression, and proceed to what happened after my mother's death.

On the day following her decease, which was Sunday, Mr. Stevens of Fawley was desired to write Mr. Cranstoun word of this sorrowful event; which he did, I being incapable of either knowing or doing any thing. Mrs. Stevens, the Rev. Mr. Stevens's wife, staid with me from Saturday night, when my mother died, till the Sunday night following. Then Mrs. Mounteney, a friend of my late mother's, came to me, and staid with me some time. My mother, on her deathbed, had begged me not to oppose the match between my father and this Mrs. Mounteney, if, after her death, he discovered an inclination to marry her; as she was a woman of honour, and would use me well for her sake. On the Tuesday following my mother's death Mr. Cranstoun sent his footman express to Henley, with letters to me and my father. When my father opened his letter and read it, the tears ran down his checks, and he cried out, "How tenderly does he write!" Then he gave Mrs. Mounteney the letter to read, who, after having read it, said it was as pretty a letter as could have been wrote on such an occasion; "He has lost a friend indeed," said she, "but I don't doubt," speaking to my father, "but you will make up her loss to them both." Then, my father said to me, "Pray read your letter to us." This I did, and the letter contained an earnest desire, that if I could not write myself, I would let his footman see me, that he might know how I really was; since he was almost distracted for fear of my being ill after so great a shock. He also begged me to remember, "That there was one left still, who loved me as tenderly as my mother could do, and whose whole happiness in this world depended upon my life." My father told me, tho' my mother was to be buried that night, "I must write a line to him, in order to ease the poor soul as much as I could; and let him know that he was as welcome to my father's house, whenever he would please to come, as he was before." On this I wrote to him, and shewed the letter to my father. The footman set out with it for London the same night, or very early the next morning. Mr. Cranstoun not coming down so soon as was expected, my father one day, being alone with me, seemed to express himself as if he thought it wrong; upon which I wrote a very pressing letter to him, to come immediately to Henley. To this he in a letter replied, that he was not able to go out at that time for debt, and was fearful if he should come, the Bailiffs might follow him; his fortune being seized in Scotland, for the maintenance of Miss Murray and her child. The debt that occasioned this perplexity, he said, was near fifteen guineas. I having borrowed forty pounds of Mrs. Mounteney, to pay off part of my mother's debts, sent him up fifteen guineas out of this sum; on which he came down to Henley, and staid some weeks with my father, who received him with great marks of affection and esteem.

During this interval, he acquainted me with the great skill of the famous Mrs. Morgan, who had described me and my father, tho' she had never seen us, in the most perfect and surprising manner possible. He further acquainted me, that she had given him some powders to take, which she called Love-powders. Some time after this conversation, my father seemed much out of humour, and said several unkind things, both to Mr. Cranstoun and me. This induced Mr. Cranstoun, when alone with me not long after, to say, "I wish I could give your father some of the love-powders." "For what?" said I. "Because," replied he, "they would make him love me." "Are you weak enough," said I, "to think that there is such a power in any powders?" "Yes, I really do," replied he, "for I took them myself, and forgave a friend soon after; tho' I never intended to have spoke to him again." This subject dropped for some days, and no more said of it: but on my father's being very much out of humour one night, Mr. Cranstoun said, "If I had any of these powders, I would put them into something that Mr. Blandy should drink." To which I answered, "I am glad you have not, for I have no faith in such things." "But I have," replied he. Just before he returned to London, he received a dunning letter. This was on a Sunday, when my father was at church. I perceiving him to look dull, begged to know the reason. He said he must leave me the next day. On which I asked him what could occasion such a sudden departure? He then told me he had received a letter, concerning a debt he owed, that he had no money to pay; and that if he staid in Henley, the bailiffs might come down in quest of him thither; and you know your father's temper, said he, if that should happen. This induced me to desire a sight of the letter; which having perused, I immediately gave him the money he wanted on this occasion, winch amounted to fifteen pounds, and was part of the sum I had before borrowed of Mrs. Mounteney. This, with the other fifteen pounds sent him from Henley, made up thirty of the forty pounds he had formerly lent my mother. As soon as he had received this money, he wrote a letter to his creditor in London, informing him, that he would pay him on a day therein mentioned. A few days after this, he set out for London, and kept up his correspondence with me for several months, not returning to Henley till August 1750. The morning he left Henley, my father parted with him with the greatest tenderness; yet the moment he was gone, he used me very cruelly on his account. This had such an effect upon me, that it threw me into hysteric fits. His conduct for some time was very uncertain; sometimes extremely tender, and at other times the reverse; he on certain occasions saying very bitter and cruel things to me.

During this interval, my father received a present of some dried salmon from Lady Cranstoun in Scotland, and a very civil letter, which he did not answer, tho' he seemed pleased with the contents of it. The first of August 1750, as I apprehend, Mr. Cranstoun wrote to my father, that he would wait upon him, and I carried the letter up to him, he then being in his bed-chamber. After he had opened and read it, he made no manner of answer. I then asked him what answer I should write. To which he replied, "He must come, I suppose." On this I wrote to him, giving him to understand, that I should be glad to see him. This produced an answer from him, wherein he told me, he would be with me on the Monday following; but he came on Sunday, whilst we were at dinner. My father received him with great tenderness seemingly, and said, "He was sorry he had not seen him half an hour sooner, for he was afraid the dinner was quite cold." My father after dinner went to church, and left Mr. Cranstoun and me together: after church was over, my father returned, drank tea with us, and seemed to be in perfect good humour; and so he remained for several weeks; but afterwards changed so much in his temper, that I seldom arose from table without tears. This gave Mr. Cranstoun great pain; so that he one time said to me, "Why will you not permit me to give your father some of the powders which I formerly mentioned? If I was to give him them," continued he, "they are quite innocent, and will do him no harm, if they did not produce the desired effect." He had no sooner spoke those words than my father came in; upon which a profound silence ensued. Next morning I went into my father's study, and found him very much out of humour: he had spent the evening at the coffee-house, as he frequently did, and generally came home in a bad humour from thence. I went from him into the parlour where I found Mr. Cranstoun: he insisted upon knowing what was the matter, I appearing to him to have been lately in tears: I told him the whole affair. He replied, "I hate he should go to that house, he always comes home from thence in a very ill humour." I had made the tea, and got up to fetch some sugar, which was in a glass scrutore at the farther end of the room; and when I rose up, Mr. Cranstoun said to me, "I will now put in some of the powder—upon my soul it will not hurt him." My father was in his study at the time these words were spoken. I made answer, "Don't do it, Cranstoun; it will make me uneasy, and can do you no good." To this he replied, "It can do no hurt, and therefore I will mix it." After I had got the sugar, I returned to the tea-table, and was going to throw away the tea, in which Mr. Cranstoun had put some of the powder; but my father came in that moment, and prevented me from executing my design. My father seemed very much out of humour all breakfast-time; and, soon after breakfast was over, retired to his study. Mr. Cranstoun and I then took a walk. At dinner my father appeared in the best of humours, and continued so all the time Mr. Cranstoun stayed with him. Mr. Cranstoun and I used to walk out every day. On one of those days, Mr. Cranstoun told me he had a secret to impart to me, and begg'd me not to be angry with him for it; adding, he knew I had too much good sense to be so. The secret in short was this: he had had a daughter by one Miss Capel, a year before he knew me; and, as he pretended, all his friends had insisted upon his telling me of it. To this I replied, "Your follies, Cranstoun, have been very great; but I hope you see them." "That I do," said he, "with penitence and shame." "Then, sir," replied I, "I freely forgive you; but never shall, if you repeat these follies now after our acquaintance." "If I do," said he, "I must be a villain; you alone can make me happy in this world; and, by following your example, I hope I shall be happy in the next." Mr. Cranstoun gave my father the powder in August 1750, and stayed with him in Henley, as I believe, till some day in the beginning of November, the same year. A day or two after the preceding dialogue, one morning I got, up, and asked my maid, "How Mr. Cranstoun did?" Who answered, "He is gone out a walking, Madam." Upon this, I, as soon as I was drest, went up into Mr. Cranstoun's room, to look out his linnen for my maid to mend. I could not find it on the table, where it used to lie; and seeing a key in his trunk, I opened it. The first thing I found there was a letter from a hand I knew not, tho' he used always to give me his letters to open, and that unasked by me. This I opened to read, and found it to come from a woman he kept. Having read it, I shut the trunk, locked it fast, and put the key in my pocket. The letter I left in the same place where I found it. I then went down to my father in his study, and asked him to come to breakfast. He said, "No, not till Cranstoun returns home;" on which I retired into the parlour. A few minutes after, Mr. Cranstoun and Mr. Littleton, my father's clerk, both came in together. We all of us then went to breakfast. My father said to me, soon after we sat down, "You look very pale, Molly; what is the matter with you?" "I am not very well, sir," replied I. After we had breakfasted, my father and his clerk went out of the room. I then gave Mr. Cranstoun the keys of his trunk, and bade him be more careful for the future, and not leave his letters so much exposed. At these words he almost fainted away. He got up, and retired to his room immediately. I was going to my own room, when he called to me, and begged me, for God's sake, to come to him: which I instantly did. He then fell down on his knees before me, and begged me, for God's sake, to forgive him; if I was resolved to see him no more. On this I told him I forgave him, but intreated him to make some excuse to leave Henley the next day: "For I will not," said I, "expose you, if I can help it; and our affair may scorn to go off by degrees." The last words, seemingly so confounded him, that he made me no answer, but threw himself on the bed, crying out, "I am ruined, I am ruined. Oh Molly, you never loved me!" I then was upon the point of going out of the room, without giving him any answer. Upon which he got hold of my gown, and swore, "He would not live till night, if I did not forgive him." He bad me, "Remember my mother's last dying commands, and reflect upon the pain it would give his mother." He protested "that he could never forgive himself, if I did; and that he never would repeat the same provocations." He kept me then two hours, before he could prevail upon me to declare, that I would not break off my acquaintance with him. Mr. Cranstoun pretended to be sick two or three days upon this unlucky event; but I cannot help thinking this now to have been only a delusion. Some time after this Mr. Cranstoun had a letter from his brother, the Lord Cranstoun, to desire him to come immediately to Scotland, in order to settle some of his own affairs there, and to see his mother, the Lady Cranstoun, who was then extremely ill. Upon the arrival of this letter Mr. Cranstoun said to me, "Good God, what shall I do! I have no money to carry me thither and all my fortune is seized on, but my half-pay!" This made me very uneasy. He then said, "He would part with his watch, in order to enable him to raise a sum sufficient to defray the expence of his journey to Scotland." I told him, "I had no money to give him, but would freely make him a present of my own watch; as I could not bear to see him without one." Then I took a picture of himself, which he had some time before given me, off my watch, and freely made him a present of it. Two days after this he departed for Scotland, and I never afterwards saw him. He set out about six o'clock in the morning. My father got up early that morning to take leave of him before his departure, at which he seemed vastly uneasy. He took him in his arms, and said, "God bless you, my dear Cranstoun, when you come next, I hope your unhappy affair will be decided to our mutual satisfaction." To this Mr. Cranstoun replied, "Yes, sir, I hope in my favour; or if this should fail that you should hear of my death. Be tender to," continued he, "and comfort this poor thing," turning towards me, "whom I love better than myself." Then my father look Mr. Cranstoun and myself in his arms, and we all three shed tears. This was a very moving scene. My father afterwards went out of the room, and fetched a silver dram-bottle, holding near half a pint, filled it with rum, and made a present of both to Mr. Cranstoun; bidding him keep the dram-bottle for his sake, and drink the liquor on the road; assuring him, that if he found himself sick or cold, the latter would prove a cordial to him. Mr. Cranstoun then got into the post-chaise, and took his leave of Henley.

It will be proper to take notice in this place, by way of digression, of a very remarkable event, or rather series of events, that happened before Mr. Cranstoun's last departure for Scotland. One day whilst my mother and I were last in London, we were talking of the immortality of the soul; and the subject we were then upon led us insensibly to a discourse of apparitions; and that again to a promise we made each other, that the first of us who died should appear to the survivor, after death, if permitted so to do. My mother dying first, in the manner already related, I sometimes retired into the room where she died, in hopes of seeing her. Here I lay near half a year, earnestly desiring to see my mother, without being able either to see or hear any thing. After this, my father lay in that room; but for some time neither saw nor heard any thing. Afterwards, one night, he taxed me with being at his chamber door, rapping at it, rushing with my silk-gown, and refusing to answer him when he called to me. My chamber was at a small distance from his, and into it he came the next morning: demanding for what reason I had so frighted him. To this I replied, "I had never been at his door, nor out of my bed the whole night." He then inquired of all the maids, who only lay in the house, whether any of them disturbed him; to which they all answered in the negative. Soon after this, Mr. Cranstoun came to Henley, as has been already observed, and was put into a room, called the hall-chamber, over the great parlour; which was reckoned the best in the house. Here he was shut out from the rest of the family. Till October 1750, above a year after my mother's death, no noise at all was heard, excepting that at Mr. Blandy's chamber-door above mentioned. But one morning in the beginning of that month, Mr. Cranstoun being in the parlour, I asked him, "What made him look so pale, and to seem so uneasy?" "I have met," said he, "with the oddest accident this night that ever befel me: the moment I got into bed, I heard the finest music that can possibly be imagined. I sat up in my bed upon this, to hear from whence it came; and it seemed to me to come from the middle of the stairs. It continued, as I believe, at least above two hours." At this I laughed, and said, "O Cranstoun, how can you be so whimsical?" "Tis no whim," replied he, "for I really heard it; nor had I been asleep; for it began soon after I got into bed." I then said, "Don't make yourself uneasy, if it was so; since nothing ill, sure, can be presaged by music." When my father came into the parlour, this topic of conversation was instantly dropped. The next night, I, who lay quite at the other end of the house, being awake, heard music, that seemed to me to be in the yard, exceeding plainly. Upon this, I got up and looked out of the window that faced the yard, but saw nothing. The music, however, continued till near morning, when I fell asleep, and heard no more of it. My mother's maid coming into my chamber, as usual, to call me, I told her what I heard. This drew from her the following saucy answer: "You see and hear, Madam, with Mr. Cranstoun's eyes and ears." To which I made no other reply than, "Go, and send me my own maid". As soon as I was dressed, I went into Mr. Cranstoun's room, whom I found sitting therein by the fire. I asked him, at first coming into the room, "How he had spent the night, and whether he had heard the music?" To which he replied, "Yes, all night long; I could not sleep a wink for it; nay, I got out of my bed, and followed it into the great parlour, where it left me. I then returned into my own room, and heard such odd noises in the parlour under me, as greatly discomposed me." "I wish," added he, "you would send me up a bason of tea." To which I replied, "Pray come down, as you are now up; for you know my papa is better tempered when you are by, than when I am with him alone." We then both went down to breakfast, but said nothing to my father of what had happened.

A little while after this, Susannah Gunnel, my mother's maid, who had before given me the impertinent answer, came into my bedchamber before I was up, and told me she had heard the music. She also begged my pardon for not believing me, when I had formerly averted the same thing. Mr. Cranstoun, myself, and this maid then talked all together about this surprising event. Mr. Cranstoun declared he had heard noises, as well as music, which the other two at that time never heard. The music generally began about twelve o'clock at night. My father obliging the family to be in bed about eleven, I told the aforesaid maid, who was an old servant in the family, "That she and I would go together up into Mr. Cranstoun's room at twelve o'clock, and try if we could find out what these noises were." According to agreement, therefore, we went up into that room at the hour proposed; and heard very clearly and most distinctly the music. The maid fell asleep about three o'clock in the morning; but was soon waked with an uncommon noise, heard both by Mr. Cranstoun and myself. This noise resembled thumping or knocking at a door, which greatly terrified Mr. Cranstoun, and the maid. In less than a minute after this, we all three heard plainly the footsteps of my mother, as I then apprehended, by which she seemed to be going down stairs towards the kitchen door, which soon after seemed to be opened. We all three sat silent, and heard the same invisible being come up stairs again. Upon this, I took the candle, they still sitting by the fire, and was going to open the chamber door, saying, "Surely it must be one of the maids." Mr. Cranstoun observing this, cried out, "Perhaps it may be your father, don't let him see you here." Then he took the candle, opened the door, and looked down the stairs himself; but could perceive nothing at all. In less than three minutes after this I said, "I will now go into my room to bed, being fatigued and frightened almost to death." "I believe," continued I, "it is near four." These words were no sooner uttered than we all heard the former footsteps, as tho' some person had been coming directly to the room where we were, but stopped short at the door. Upon this I immediately catched up the candle, went to the door and open'd it; but saw nothing, tho' I heard something plainly go down the stairs. Then I went to the maid, who was half asleep, and did not perfectly hear the last footsteps. But Mr. Cranstoun heard them, and seemed greatly surprised. Then I bad the maid go with me instantly to bed, not being able to keep up my spirits any longer. Soon after this, Mr. Cranstoun and I went up to Fawley, to pay a visit to the Rev. Mr. Stevens; and whilst we were there, I gave my uncle an account of this surprising affair. But he laughed at me, and called me little fool, for my pains. Then Mr. Cranstoun said, "Sir, I myself heard it." To which Mr. Stevens made no other reply than, "Sir, I don't doubt you think you heard it; but don't you believe there is a great deal in fancy? May it not be some trick of the servants?" To which I made answer, "No, Sir, that is impossible; since if they could make the noise, they could not the music." Mr. Stevens not giving much credit to what we affirmed, we immediately changed the subject of discourse. By this time all the servants that lay in the house had heard both the music and noise; and one morning at breakfast, Mr. Cranstoun ventured to tell my father of the music. At such a strange report, my father stared at him, and cried, "Are yon light-headed?" In answer to which Mr. Cranstoun reply'd, "Your daughter, sir, has heard the same, and so have all your servants." To this my father, smiling, returned, "It was Scotch music, I suppose;" and said some other things that shewed he was not in good humour. Upon which it was thought fit immediately to drop the discourse.

Some few days after this, on a Sunday in the afternoon, Mr. Cranstoun and I being alone in the parlour, Betty Binfield, the cook-maid, came running into the room, and said, "There is such a noise in the room over my master's study, for God's sake come into the yard and hear it." But when we came, we could hear nothing. However, returning into the parlour through the hall, we heard a noise over our heads, like that of some heavy person walking. The room over the hall was once my mother's dressing-room, tho' it then had a bed in it: but now, it was my dressing-room, it had none at all. Hearing the noise, we both went up into the room; but then, notwithstanding the late noise, could see nothing at all. After which, we went down and drank tea with my father.

About a fortnight before Mr. Cranstoun's last departure for Scotland, Susannah Gunnel one morning going into his room with some vinegar and water to wash his eyes, he asked her, "If ever her master walked in his sleep?" She replied, "Not that she ever knew of." "It is very odd," said he, "he was in my room to-night, dressed with his white stockings, his coat on, and a cap on his head. I had never," continued he, "been asleep, and the clock had just struck two. I heard him walk up my stairs, open the door, and come into the room: upon which I moved my curtain, and seeing him, I cried, 'Aha! old friend, what did you come to fright me? I have not been asleep since I came to bed, and heard you come up.' But he went on, he would not answer me one word. However, he walked quite across my room, then turned back, and as he approached my bed-side, kissed his hand, bowed, and went out of the room. Then I heard him go down stairs. It was, certainly," continued he, "your master, sleeping or waking; but which, I cannot tell." Susan greatly surprised at this story, then came running down to me, who was getting up, and told me what Mr. Cranstoun had said. To this I made no answer, but went up immediately into his room, and asked him what he meant by this story Susan had told me. In answer to which, he repeated the same story, and declared it to be true in every particular. He then said, "He supposed Mr. Blandy came to see whether he was in bed or not." When he went down to breakfast, he asked my father, "What made him fright him so last night?" My father being surprised at this, and staring on him, asked him, "What he meant?" Mr. Cranstoun then told the same story over again. To which my father replied, "It must have been a dream, for I went to bed at eleven o'clock, and did not rise out of it till seven this morning. Besides, I could not have appeared in my coat, as you pretend, since the maid had it to put a button upon it." My father did not seem pleased with the discourse; which induced me to put an end to it as soon as possible. The surprising facts here mentioned, of the reality of which I cannot entertain the least doubt, made a deep and lasting impression upon my mind. Since, therefore, in my opinion, they were too slightly touched upon at my trial, notwithstanding the incredulity of the present age as to facts of this nature, I could by no means think it improper to give so particular and distinct a relation of them here.

Mr. Cranstoun, soon after this, taking his leave of Henley, set out for Scotland, as has been already observed. A day or two after his departure, Mr. Cranstoun wrote me a letter on the road, wherein he begged me to make acceptable to my father his most grateful acknowledgements for his late goodness to him. "This," he said, "had made such an impression upon him, that he never should forget it as long as he lived; and that he should always entertain the same tender sentiments for him as for his father, the late Lord Cranstoun,[25] himself, had he been then alive." In the same letter, he also desired me to permit my letters to be directed by some body who wrote a more masculine hand than mine; since otherwise they might be intercepted by some one or other of Miss Murray's family, as they were jealous of the affair carried on between us two. He likewise therein insisted upon my subscribing myself "M.C." instead of "M.B." tho' he did not discover to me the real view he had therein. Soon after he arrived at his mother's, he wrote me another letter, wherein he informed me, that he told his mother[26] we were married, and had been so for some time: and that she would write to me, as her daughter, by the very next post. This she did; and her letter came accompanied with one from her son, wherein he desired me, if I loved him, to answer his mother's by the return of the post, and sign myself "Mary Cranstoun" at length, as I knew before God I was, by a solemn contract, entitled to that name. This, he pretended, would make his mother stir more in the Scotch affair. On the supposition that I was her daughter, she wrote many tender letters to me, always directing to me by the name of "Mary Cranstoun," and sent me some very handsome presents of Scotch linen. He also obliged his eldest sister, Mrs. Selby,[27] and her husband, to write to me as their sister. Lady Cranstoun likewise wrote to my father in a very complaisant style, thanking him for the civilities he had shewn her son; and hinting, that she hoped it would be in her power to return them to me, when she should have the pleasure of seeing me in Scotland, which she begged might be soon. Lord Cranstoun, his brother, also wrote to my father, and returned him thanks in the same polite manner. During this whole period, my father's behaviour to me was very uncertain; but always good after he had received any of these letters. In a few months, however, after Mr. Cranstoun's departure, my father's temper was much altered for the worse. He upbraided me with having rejected much better offers than any that had come from Scotland; and at last ordered me to write to Mr. Cranstoun not to return to Henley, till his affair with Miss Murray was quite decided. I complied with this order, writing to him in the terms prescribed me. To this I received an answer full of tenderness, grief, and despair. He said, "He found my father loved him no longer, and was afraid he would inspire me with the same sentiments. He saw," he said, "a coolness throughout my whole letter; but conjured me to remember the sacred promises and engagements that had passed between us." After this, I received several other letters from him, filled with the same sort of expostulation; and penned in the same desponding and disconsolate strain. I likewise received several letters from his mother, the old Lady Cranstoun, and Mrs. Selby, his sister, wrote in a most affectionate style.

In April, or the beginning of May, 1751, as I apprehend, I had another letter from Mr. Cranstoun, wherein he acquainted me, that he had seen his old friend, Mrs. Morgan; and that if he could procure any more of her powder, he would send it with the Scotch pebbles he intended to make me a present of. In answer to this, I told him, "I was surprised that a man of his sense could believe such efficacy to be lodged in any powder whatsoever; and that I would not give it my father, lest it should impair his health." To this, in his next letter, he replied, "That he was extremely surprised I should believe he would send any thing that might prove prejudicial to my father, when his own interest was so apparently concerned in his preservation." I took this as referring to a conversation we had had a little before he set out for Scotland; wherein I told him, "I was sure my father was not a man of a very considerable fortune; but that if he lived, I was persuaded he would provide very handsomely for us and ours, as he lived so retired, and his business was every day increasing." So far was I from imagining, that I should be a gainer by my father's death, as has been so maliciously and uncharitably suggested! Mr. Cranstoun also seemed most cordially and sincerely to join with me in the same notion. Soon after this, in another letter, he informed me, "That some of the aforesaid powder should be sent with the Scotch pebbles he intended me; and that he should write upon the paper in which the powder was contained, 'powder to clean Scotch pebbles,' lest, if he gave it its true name, the box should be opened, and he be laughed at by the person opening it, and taken for a superstitious fool, as he had been by me before." In June 1751, the box with the powder and pebbles arrived at Henley, and a letter came to me the next day, wherein he ordered me to mix the powder in tea. This some mornings after I did; but finding that it would not mix well with tea, I flung the liquor into which it had been thrown out of the window. I farther declare, that looking into the cup, I saw nothing adhere to the sides of it; nor was such an adhesion probable, as the powder swam on the top of the liquor. My father drank two cups of tea out of that cup, before I threw the powder into it: nor did he drink any more out of it that morning, it being Sunday, and he fearing to drink a third cup, lest he should be too late for church. It has been said by Susan Gunnel, at my Trial, that she drank out of the aforesaid cup, and was very ill after it. In answer to which, I must beg leave to observe, that she never before would drink out of any other cup, than one which she called her own, different from this, and which I drank out of on that and most other mornings. It has been farther said, that Dame Emmet, a charwoman, was likewise hurt by drinking tea at my father's house: be pleased to remember, Reader, that I mixed it but in one cup, and then threw it away. Susan said, she drank out of the cup and was ill, what then could hurt this woman, who to my knowledge was not at our house that day? Mr. Nicholas, an apothecary, attended this old woman in the first sickness they talk of, which, by Susan, I understood was a weakness common to her, viz. fainting fits and purging; and I know, that she had had fainting fits many times before. When I heard she was ill, I ordered Susan to send her whey, broth, or any thing that she thought would be proper for her. She had long served the family, would joke and divert me, and I loved her extremely. Nor can my enemies themselves (let them paint me how they please) deny that from my heart I pitied the poor. I never felt more pleasure, than when I fed the hungry, cloathed the naked, and supplied the wants of those in distress. Had God blessed me with a more plentiful fortune, I should have exerted myself in this more; and I flatter myself, that the poor and indigent of our town will do me justice in this particular, and own that I was not wanting in my duty towards them. But to proceed in my account: I would not fix on any other charwoman; and Susan said, that Dame Emmet would, she thought, by my goodness, soon get strength to work again. I told her, was it ever so long I would stay for her. I mixed the powder, as was said before, on the Sunday, and on the Tuesday wrote to Mr. Cranstoun, that it would not mix in tea, and that I would not try it any more, lest my father should find it out. This has been brought against me by many: but let any one consider, if the discovery of such a procedure as this, would not have excited anger, and consequently have been followed by resentment in my father. This might have occasioned a total separation of me from Mr. Cranstoun, a thing I at that time dreaded more than even death itself. In answer to this letter, I had one from him to assure me the powder was innocent, and to beg I would give it in gruel, or something thicker than tea. Many more letters to the same effect I received, before I would give it again; but most fatally, on the 5th August, I gave it to my poor father, innocent of the effects it afterwards produced, God knows; not so stupid as to believe it would have that desired, to make him kind to us; but in obedience to Mr. Cranstoun, who ever seemed superstitions to the last degree, and had, as I thought, and have declared before, all the just notions of the necessity of my father's life for him, me, and ours. On the Monday the 5th, as has been said, I mixed the powder in his gruel, and at night it was in a half-pint mug, set ready for him to carry to bed with him. It had no taste. The next morning, as he had done at dinner the day before, he complained of a pain in his stomach, and the heart-burn; which he ever did before he had the gravel. I went for Mr. Norton at eleven o'clock in the forenoon, who said, that a little physick would be right for my father to take on Wednesday. At night he ordered some water gruel for his supper, which his footman went for. When it came, my father said, "Taste it, Molly, has it not an odd taste?" I tasted it, but found no taste different from what is to be found in all good water gruel. After this he went up to bed, and my father found himself sick, and reached; after which he said he was better, and I went up to bed. Susan gave him his physick in the morning, and I went into his bed-chamber about eight o'clock; then I found him charming well. Susan says that on my father's wanting gruel on the Wednesday, I said, as they were busy at ironing, they might give him some of the same he had before. I do not remember this; but if I did, it was impossible I should know that the gruel he had on Tuesday was the same he had on Monday; as that he drank on Monday was made on Saturday or Sunday, I believe on Saturday night; much less imagine that she whoever made it, and managed it as she pleased, would pretend to keep such stale gruel for her master. Thursday and Friday he came down stairs. I often asked Mr. Norton, "If he thought him in danger; if he did, I would send for Dr. Addington." On Saturday Mr. Norton told me, "he thought my father in danger." I said, "I would send for the doctor;" but he replied, "I had better ask my father's leave." I bid him speak to my father about it, which he did; but my father replied, "Stay till to-morrow, and if I am not better then, send for him." As soon as I was told this, I said, "That would not satisfy me; I would send immediately, which I did; and Mr. Norton, the apothecary, attested this in Court." On the same night, being Saturday, the doctor came, I believe it was near twelve o'clock. He saw my father, and wrote for him: he did not then apprehend his case to be desperate. I have been by this gentleman blamed, for not telling then what I had given my father. I was in hopes that he would have lived, and that my folly would never have been known: in order the more effectually to conceal which, the remainder of the powder I had, the Wednesday before, thrown away, and burnt Mr. Cranstoun's letter: so I had nothing to evince the innocence of my intention, and was moreover frightened out of my wits. Let the good-natured part of the world put themselves in my place, and then condemn me if they can for this. On Sunday my father said, "He was better"; but found himself obliged to keep his bed that day. Mr. Blandy, of Kingston, a relation of ours, came to visit us, stayed with me to breakfast, and then went to church with Mr. Littleton, my father's clerk. I went, after they had gone to my father, and found him seemingly inclined to sleep; so let him, retired into the parlour, and wrote to Mr. Cranstoun, as I did almost every post. I had, on the Friday before, a letter from him; wherein some secrets of his family were disclosed. As I wrote in a hurry, I only advised him to take care what he wrote; which, as my unhappy affairs turned out, my enemies dressed up greatly to my disadvantage at my trial. I gave this letter, as I did all of them, to Mr. Littleton to direct, who opened it, carried it to a friend of his for advice on the occasion, and conveyed it to a French usher; who, by the help of it, published a pamphlet entitled, The Life of Miss Mary Blandy. On Sunday in the afternoon, Mrs. Mounteney and her sister came to see my father; who told them, "He hoped he should soon be able to meet them in his parlour; since he thought himself better then." Susan was to sit up with her master that night. The Rev. Mr. Stockwood, Rector of the parish, came in the evening to visit him; the apothecary was there likewise; and he desired the room might be quite still; so that only Susan, the old maid, was to be with him. After this I went up to my father's bedside; upon which he took me in his arms and kissed me: I went out of the room with Mr. Stockwood and Mr. Norton, the apothecary, almost dead, and begg'd of the latter to tell me if he thought my father still in danger. He said "he was better, and hoped he would still mend. To-morrow," said he, "we shall judge better, and you will hear what Dr. Addington will say." While Mr. Stockwood staid, Mr. Littleton and Betty, my father's cook-maid, behaved tolerably well; but as soon as he was gone they altered their conduct; however, upon Mr. Norton's speaking to him, Mr. Littleton became much more civil; and Betty followed his example. I took a candle, and went up into my own room; but in the way I listened at my father's door, and found everything still there; this induced me to hope that he was asleep. On Monday morning, I went to his door, in order to go in: his tenderness would not let me stay up a-nights; but I was seldom from him in the daytime. I was deprived access to him; which so surprised and frightened me, that I cried out, "What, not see my father!" Upon which, I heard him reply, "My dear Polly, you shall presently;" and some time after I did. This scene was inexpressibly moving. The mutual love, sorrow, and grief, that then appeared, are truly described by Susannah Gunnel; tho', poor soul, she is much mistaken in many other respects. I was, as soon as Dr. Addington came, by his orders, confined to my own room; and not suffered to go near my father, or even so much as to listen at his door; all the comfort I then could have had, would have been to know whether he slept or no; but this was likewise refused me. A man was put into my room night and day; no woman suffer'd to attend me. My garters, keys, and letters were taken away from me, by Dr. Addington himself. Dr. Lewis, who it seems was called in, was at this time with him; but he behaved perfectly like a gentleman to me. During this confinement I had hardly any thing to eat or drink: and once I staid from five in the afternoon till the same hour the next day without any sustenance at all, as the man with me can witness, except a single dish of tea; which, I believe, I owed to the humanity of Dr. Lewis. I had frequently very bad fits, and my head was never quite clear; yet I was sensible the person who gave these orders had no right to confine me in such a manner. But I bore it patiently, as my room was very near my father's, and I was fearful of disturbing him. Dr. Addington and Dr. Lewis then came into my room, and told me "Nothing could save my dear father." For some time I sat like an image; and then told them, that I had given him some powders, which I received from Cranstoun, and feared they might have hurt him, tho' that villain assured me they were of a very innocent nature. At my trial, it appeared, that Dr. Addington had wrote down the questions he put to me, but none of my answers to them. The Judge asked him the reason of this. He said, "They were not satisfactory to him." To which his lordship replied, "They might have been so to the Court." The questions were these. Why I did not send for him sooner? In answer to which, I told him, that I did send for him as soon as they would let me know that my father was in the least danger. And that even at last I sent for him against my father's consent. This, I added, he could not but know, by what my father said, when he first came on Saturday night into his room. The next question was, why I did not take some of the powders myself, if I thought them so innocent? To this I answered, I never was desired by Mr. Cranstoun to take them; and that if they could produce such an effect as was ascribed to them, I was sure I had no need of them, but that had he desired this, I should most certainly have done it. It is impossible to repeat half the miseries I went thro', unknown, I am sure, to my poor father. The man that was set over me as my guard had been an old servant in the family: which I at first thought was done out of kindness; but am now convinced it was not. When Dr. Addington was asked, "If I express'd a desire to preserve my father's life, and on this account desired him to come again the next day, and do all he could to save him," he said, "I did." He then was asked his sentiments of that matter; to which he replied, "She seemed to me more concerned for the consequences to herself than to her father." However, the Doctor owned that my behaviour shewed me to be anxious for my poor father's life. Could I paint the restless nights and days I went through, the prayers I made to God to take me and spare my father, whose death alone, unattended with other misfortunes, would have greatly shocked me, the heart of every person who has any bowels at all would undoubtedly bleed for me. What is here advanced, the man that attended me knows to be true also, who cannot be suspected of partiality. Susan Gunnel can attest the same. She observed at this juncture several instances between us both of filial duty and paternal affection.

On Wednesday, about two o'clock in the afternoon, by my father's death, I was left one of the most wretched orphans that ever lived. Not only indifferent and dispassionate persons, but even some of the most cruel of mine enemies themselves, seem to have had at least some small compassion for me. Soon after my father's death I had all his keys, except that of his study, which I had before committed to the care of the Rev. Mr. Stevens of Fawley, my dear unhappy uncle, delivered to me. This gentleman and another of my uncles visited me that fatal afternoon. This occasioned such a moving scene, as is impossible for any human pen to describe. After their departure, I walked like a frantic distracted person. Mr. Skinner, a schoolmaster in Henley, who came to see me, as I have been since informed, declared that he did not take me to be in my senses. So that no stress ought to be laid on any part of my conduct at this time. Nor will this at all surprise the candid reader, if he will but dispassionately consider the whole case, and put himself in my place. I had lost mine only parent, whose untimely death was then imputed to me. Tho' I had no intention to hurt him, and consequently in that respect was innocent; yet there was great reason to fear, that I had been made the fatal instrument of his death—and that by listening to the man I loved above all others, and even better than life itself. I had depended upon his, as I imagined, superior honour; but found myself deceived and deluded by him. The people about me were apprized, that I entertained, and not without just reason, a very bad opinion of them; which could not but inspire them with vindictive sentiments, and a firm resolution to hurt me, if ever they had it in their power. My cook-maid was more inflamed against me than any of the rest; and yet, for very good reasons, I was absolutely obliged to keep her. My mother's maid was disagreeable to me; but yet, on account of money due to her, which I could not pay, it was not then in my power to dismiss her. But this most melancholy subject I shall not now chuse any farther to expatiate upon. I have brought down the preceding narrative to my father's death, where I at first intended it should end. Besides, I have now not many days to live, and matters of infinitely greater moment to think upon. May God forgive me my follies, and my enemies theirs! May he likewise take my poor soul into his protection, and receive me to mercy, through the merits of my Mediator and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, who died to save sinners! Amen.

The foregoing narrative, which I most earnestly desire may be published, was partly dictated and partly wrote by me, whilst under sentence of death; and is strictly agreeable to truth in every particular.


Witness my hand.

Signed by Miss Mary Blandy, in the Castle at Oxford, April 4, 1752, in presence of two Clergymen, members of the University of Oxford.



(From No. 8 of Bibliography, Appendix XII.)

The following is an answer to a letter sent Miss Blandy by a worthy clergyman in Henley, upon a very extraordinary subject, and highly deserves a place here:—

Rev. Sir,—I received yours, and at first felt all the horror innocence so belied could do; but now, Sir, I look on it as a blessing from God, both to wean me from this world, and make the near approach of death less dreadful to me. You desire me, in your letter, if innocent of my poor mother's death and that of Mrs. Pocock, to make a solemn declaration, and have it witnessed; which I here do. I declare before God, at whose dread Tribunal I must shortly appear, that as I hope for mercy there, I never did buy any poison, knowingly, whatever of Mr. Prince, who did live at Henley, and now lives at Reading, or of Mr. Pottinger, an apothecary and surgeon in Henley; nor did I ever buy any poison in Henley, or anywhere else in all my life; that as for mother's and Mrs. Pocock's death, I am as innocent of it as the child unborn, so help me God in my last moments, and at the great Day of Judgment. If ever I did hurt their lives, may God condemn me. This, Sir, I hope, will convince you of my innocency. And if the world will not believe what even I dying swear, God forgive them, and turn their hearts. One day all must appear together at one bar. There no prompting of witnesses, no lies, no little arts of law will do. There, I doubt not, I shall meet my poor father and mother, and my much loved friend (through the mercies of Jesus Christ, who died for sinners) forgiven and in bliss. There the tears that cannot move man's heart shall be by God dried up. Farewell, Sir, God bless you, and believe me, while I live, ever Your much obliged humble Servant,


(N.B.—This letter was attested to be M. Blandy's, &c., Apr. 4th, 1752.)



(From No. 17 of Bibliography, Appendix XII.)

(Here follows an exact copy of a most wicked advertisement, publickly distributed in the streets of London, and dispersed in the neighbouring Towns and villages; without any notice taken of such an enormity by the Magistrates, or any measures pursued to punish the miscreants who disperse them, according to their desserts. However, the wretches who thus impose on the world, finding their account therein, as they certainly do, is a proof of multitudes being as credulous in this affair as Miss Blandy, and account for her being imposed on, in the manner she declares she was, by Cranstoun.)


Sold for Five Shillings a bottle, at the Golden-Ball, in Stone-Cutters-Street, Fleet-Market.

Any person that is in love with a man, and he won't return it, let her come to me, and I'll make him glad of her, and thank ye to boot, by only giving him a little of these love drops, it will make him that he can't rest without her. And the like, if a man is in love with a young woman, and she won't comply, let him give her a little of this liquor of love, and she will not be able to rest without him. If a woman has got a husband that goes astray, let her give him a few of these drops, and it will make him, rest at home, and never desire to go no more. And the like with a man if his wife goes astray, it will make her that she will never desire no other man.

This liquor is the study of a Jesuit, one Mr. Delore, and is sold by his nephew, Mr. John Delore, and I promise very fair, if it don't perform all I say, I'll have nothing for my pains; and if any young master has debauched a servant, and after won't have her, let her give him a little of this liquor, and if he don't marry her, I'll have nothing for it; therefore, I promise very fair, no performance no pay.



(From No. 7 of Bibliography, Appendix XII.)

She was attended daily by the Rev. Mr. Swinton, before whom, there is no doubt, she behaved properly (though in his absence seemed not under the least concern) as appears From Mr. Swinton, himself, whose veracity I don't in the least scruple, who has at various times declared, that whenever he was with Miss Blandy after her condemnation, she behaved in a becoming manner for a person under such circumstances; but I am afraid she had too much art for that gentleman, and that he was rather too credulous, and often imposed upon by her; she made him believe, 'tis certain, that after her mother's death, her apparition frequently appear'd; that there was musick hoard in the house night and day; yet all the performers were invisible. The reader will be surprised that stories of this kind should prevail at this time of day, and still more so, that Mr. Swinton should listen to them; but I am well informed that this gentleman himself is apt, to give credit to things of this sort.

Some days before her execution, she said that she intended to speak at the tree, if she had spirits when she came there, but that she was afraid the sudden shock of seeing the gallows might be too much for her to withstand, and that her spirits might fail her, unless she had an opportunity of seeing it beforehand, which she did, as the reader will find hereafter.

We are now arrived at the verge of this unfortunate's life; the day before her execution she receiv'd the Holy Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, and sign'd and deliver'd the following paper, in order to convince the world how much she had been imposed on and seduc'd.

I, Mary Blandy, do declare, that I die in a full persuasion of the truth and excellency of the Christian religion, and a sincere, though unworthy, member of the Church of England. I do likewise hope for a pardon and remission of my sins, by the mercy of God, through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, my most blessed Lord and Saviour. I do also further declare, that I did not know or believe that the powder, to which the death of my dear father has been ascribed, had any noxious or poisonous quality lodged in it; and that I had no intention to hurt, and much less to destroy him, by giving him that powder; All this is true, as I hope for eternal salvation, and mercy from Almighty God, in whose most awful and immediate presence I must soon appear. I die in perfect peace and charity with all mankind, and do from the bottom of my soul forgive all my enemies, and particularly those who have in any manner contributed to, or been instrumental in bringing me to the ignominous death I am so soon to suffer. This is my last declaration, as to the points therein contained; and I do most earnestly desire, that it may be published after my decease. Witness my hand, MARY BLANDY.

It has been before intimated that Miss often declared to the Rev. Mr. Swinton that since the death of her mother she had frequently in the night, and sometimes in the day been entertained with musick, performed, as she imagined, by invisible spirits; and since her conviction, has often been amused in the same manner; but in the night before her execution, the musick was more heavenly than ever she had heard it before; and this she declared in the morning before she was executed.

As a report had been universally spread that she would be executed on the Friday before, a very great concourse of people were got together upon the Castle Green, to be spectators of the execution. Miss went up several times into the room facing the Green, where she could view the great crowd of people about it; which she did with all the calmness and unconcern imaginable; and only said that she would not balk their expectations, tho' her execution might be deferred a day or two longer.

About ten o'clock on Sunday night, being informed that the Sheriff was come to town, she sent a messenger to him, to request that she might not be disturbed till right in the morning, and that as soon after as he pleased she would be ready for the great task she had to undergo. Accordingly, about half an hour after eight, the Sheriff, with her attorney, and the Rev. Mr. Swinton, went to the Goal, and after half an hour's private prayers with the clergyman, she came down into the Goal yard, where the Sheriff's men were, and held two guineas in her hands for the executioner, which she took with her to the fatal tree.

The night before her execution, she spent the chief of her time in prayers. She went to bed about the usual hour, and had little rest in the fore part of the night, but was at prayers in bed between three and four o'clock; after ending of which, she got up and dress'd herself; and some time after this, went up into the upper rooms of the house to look upon the gallows, which is opposite the door of the goal, and made by laying a poll across upon the arms of two trees, when she observed that it was very high. She went out of the Castle about nine o'clock, attended by the Rev. Mr. Swinton, dress'd in a black crape sack, with her arms and hands ty'd with black paduasoy ribbons, and her whole dress extremely neat; her countenance was solemn, and her behaviour well suited to her deplorable circumstances; but she bore up under her misfortunes with amazing fortitude.

When she came to the gallows Mr. Swinton read several select prayers suitable to the occasion, and then asked her if she had anything to say to the populace? to which she answered, yes. She then begged the prayers of all the spectators, and declared herself guilty of administering the powder to her father, but without knowing that it had the least poisonous quality in it, or intending to do him any injury, as she hoped to meet with mercy at that great Tribunal before whom she should very shortly appear. And as it had likewise been rumoured that she was instrumental in the death of her mother in like manner as her father, and also of Mrs. Pocock, she declared herself not even the innocent cause of either of their deaths (if she was the innocent cause of that of her father) as she hoped for salvation in a future state.

As she ascended the ladder, after she had got up about five steps, she said, "Gentlemen, do not hang me high, for the sake of decency;" and then being desired to step up a little higher, she did two stops, and then turning herself about, she trembled, and said, "I am afraid I shall fall." After this, the halter was put about her neck, and she pulled down her handkerchief over her face, without shedding one tear all the time. In this manner she prayed a little while upon the ladder, then gave the signal, by holding out a little book which she had in her hands. There was not a large concourse of people at the execution, but the most thinking part of them were so affected with her behaviour and deplorable circumstances, that they were in tears. After hanging above half an hour the Sheriff gave orders for her being cut down. Thus far the utmost decorum was observed, but for want of some proper person to take care of her body, this melancholy scene became still more shocking to human nature. There was neither coffin to put her body in, nor hearse to carry it away; nor was it taken back into the Castle, which was only a few yards, but upon being cut down was carried through the crowd upon the shoulders of one of the Sheriff's men in the most beastly manner, with her legs exposed very indecently for several hundred yards, and then deposited in the Sheriff's man's house, 'till about half an hour past five o'clock, when the body was put in a hearse, and carried to Henley, where she was interred about one o'clock the next morning in the church, between her father and mother, where was assembled the greatest concourse of people ever known upon such an occasion. The funeral service was performed by the same clergyman as wrote the letter, dated the 7th of March (as before inserted)[29] to whom, among seven guineas which she left for seven rings, she bequeathed one of them.



(From the original MS. in the possession of Mr. A.M. Broadley.)

War Office, 14th March, 1752.

Sir,—On Tuesday the 3d instant came on at Oxford, before the Honble. Mr. Baron Legge & Mr. Baron Smythe, the Tryal of Miss Mary Blandy for Poisoning her late Father; when first Lieutenant Wm. Henry Cranstoune, a reduc'd first Lieut. of Sir Andrew Agnew's late Regt. of Marines, now on the British Establishment of Half-Pay, was charg'd with contriving the manner of sd. Miss Blandy's Poisoning her Father and being an Abettor therein: And he having absconded from the time of her being comitted for the above Fact:—I am comanded to signify to you it is His Majesty's Pleasure that the sd. Lieutenant Wm. Henry Cranstoune be struck off the sd. Establishment of Half Pay, and that you do not issue any Moneys remaining in your Hands, due to the sd. Lieut. Cranstoune.—I am,

Sr. your most obedient & most humble Servant,


Rt. Honble. Mr. Pitt, Paymaster-General.

[Endorsed] War Office, 14th March, 1752. Mr. Fox to Mr. Pitt directing the Half Pay of Lieut. Willm. Henry Cranstoun to be Stopt. Ent. No. 1 W.P. Fo. 11.



(From No. 19 of Bibliography, Appendix XII.)

I.—Cranstoun's Own Version of the Facts.

Let us now return to Capt. Cranstoun, who as soon as he heard Miss was committed to Oxford Jail, secreted himself from the Publick, so that when Messengers were dispatched with Warrants to apprehend him, he was not to be found. In this concealment (either in Scotland, or the North of England) he lay for six months, that is from the middle of August, till a few days before Miss's Trial, which, came on the 2nd of March, when being well informed of the dangerous Situation she was in, and that his own Fate depended upon hers, his thought it high time to take care of himself; which he did by transporting himself to Bologn in France.

On his Arrival at Bologn, he found out one Mrs. Ross, whose Maiden Name was Dunbar and a distant relation to his family. To this woman he made his Application, told her the Troubles in which he was involved and entreated her to have so much compassion on him as to protect and conceal him till the storm was a little blown over, and to screen him from the Dangers he had just Reason to apprehend. Mrs. Ross was so affected by his disastrous condition, that in regard to the noble Family of which he was an unhappy Branch, she promised to serve him in the best Manner she could; but advised him to change his name, and to take that of Dunbar, which had been that of her own.

Here the Captain thought himself secure from the Pursuit of his Enemies; but, unluckily for him, some of his Wife's Relations, who were Officers in some French Troops residing there, got Scent of him, and knowing in what a base & treacherous manner he had used that unhappy Woman, and being inform'd, that, to escape the Hand of Justice, he had fled thither for Refuge, threatened Vengeance if ever they should light on him, for his inhuman Usage of his Wife. The Captain hearing of their Menaces, and not doubling but they would be as good as their Words, kept very close in his Lodging.

In this obscurity he continued to the 26th of July, not daring to speak to any Body, or even to stir out of doors. But being at length, weary of his Confinement, and under dreadful Apprehensions that he should one day fall a Sacrifice to the Resentment of his Persecutors, consulted with Mrs. Ross, what course he should take to avoid the Dangers he was then exposed to. After mature Deliberation, it was agreed, that he and his two companions who went over with him, should take a trip to Paris; and in order to secure a place of retreat, upon any Emergency, Mrs. Ross should go to Furnes, a town in Flanders, in the Jurisdiction of the Queen of Hungary, where they would come to her on their return.

Accordingly the next Morning before Day, they set out on their Journey, not in a Postchaise, or any Publick Vehicle, for fear of a Discovery, but on Foot; and lodging every Night at some obscure Village, till their Arrival at Paris.

The Subject of their Conversation on the Road generally turned upon the Captain's Amours and the Intrigues he had been engaged in with the Fair Sex, but more particularly his affair with Miss Blandy. They expressed their surprize that he should make his addresses to a young Lady of her Character and Fortune, with a view of marrying her, when the Conjugal Obligations he was already under, rendered the Accomplishment impossible:

Nothing, answered the Captain, seems impossible to Men of undaunted Courage and heroic Spirits.... Now, as to Miss Blandy, with whom you are surprized I should enter into such deep engagements, attend to my Reasons, and your Wonder I believe will soon cease. I am, you know, the Son of a Nobleman, and, consequently have those high Thoughts and ambitious Desires which are inherent to those of a noble Extraction. As a younger Son, my Patrimony was too small to gratify my Passion for those Pleasures enjoyed by my Equals. This put me on contriving Schemes to answer the Extent of my Ambition.

On my coming to Henley, my first Enquiry was, what Ladies were the Toasts among the Men of Pleasure & Gaiety. Miss Blandy was named as the chief of them, and famed for a great Fortune. Accident soon gave me an Interview with her; I visited, and was well received by the whole Family, and soon insinuated myself into her good Graces, and I quickly perceived that she had swallowed the Bait. The Father entertained me at Bed and Board, and the Daughter obliged me with her Company, and supplyed my Wants of Money upon every Emergency, nor was the Mother less fond of me than the Daughter.

But no human Bliss is permanent; it was not long before a Discovery was made that I was a married Man. Here I had Occasion for the Exercise of all my Cunning. To deny it, I knew was to no purpose, because it would be proved; and to own it, might be the means of ruining my Design. Now, in order to steer safely between Scilla and Charibdis, I fairly owned the Charge; but at the same Time intimated, that the Noose was not tyed so fast, but that it might be easily undone, and that I was then in a Fair Way of setting that Marriage aside; and to gain belief to my Assertion, I persuaded my poor credulous Wife to disown me for her Husband, whose Letter restored me to the good opinion of the Family, but especially of my Mistress and her Mother.

The old Gentleman, however, was not so easy of Belief; he was afraid there was a Snake in the Grass and tho' he seemed to give Credit to my Protestations, that the Cause would quickly be decided, yet I could easily perceive a Coldness in his Behaviour, which was an evident Proof to me that I had lost ground in his favour; nor was I less sensible that the event of my Trial in Scotland, would not contribute anything to replace me in his good Opinion. I found myself in such a situation, that I must very shortly, either lose my Mistress, and, what was more valuable to me, her Fortune, or make one desperate Push to recover both. Several schemes for this purpose were offered to my Thoughts; but none seemed so feasible as dispatching the Old Man into the other World: For if he was but once Dead, I was well assured I should soon be in Possession of his Estate. I had however, one Difficulty to surmount, which was, to make my Mistress a Party concerned in the Execution of my Project. I knew she was greatly provoked at her Father's late unkind Behaviour to me; which I took care to aggravate all I could, which produced the Effects I desired; and she declared she was ready to embrace any scheme I could propose to release us from our Embarrassments; nay, I convinced her, that we should never have her Father's consent, and therefore it would be in vain to wait for it. And, in order to fix her entirely in my Interest, I used all my Rhetorick to persuade her to a private Marriage, which however for good Reasons she did not think proper to agree to; yet she gave me her solemn Vow, that no other Man but myself should call her Wife, and that in the mean Time, she should reckon herself in Duty bound to have the utmost Regard to my Will & Pleasure.

What I now speak of, was after Judgment was given against me in Scotland, and a Decree, confirming the Validity of my Marriage, had been pronounced. This Decree, I assured Mr. Blandy, his Wife and Daughter, I should be able to vacate by an Appeal to the next Sessions. After several pretended Delays in the Proceedings, finding Mr. Blandy's temper very much soured against me, I thought it necessary to hasten my Project to a Conclusion. To this end I had several private conferences with my Mistress; wherein I observed to her the visible decay of her Father's Affections to me, and the Improbability of his ever giving his consent to our marriage, and therefore that other measures must be taken to accomplish our Happiness, which otherwise would be very precarious. I told her I was possessed of a Drug, produced no where but in Scotland, of such rare Qualities, that by a proper Application, it would procure Love where there never was any, or restore it when absolutely lost and gone. Of this Drug, or Powder, I would give some to her Father, and she would soon be convinced of its Efficacy by its benevolent Effects. Accordingly I mixed some with his Tea several times, But in such small quantities as I knew would not immediately effect him; and I assured her, that tho' it did not produce a visible Alteration at present, its Operations being slow and internal, yet in the end it would effectually do its Work.

I likewise pretended there was an absolute Necessity for my going into Scotland in order to bring on the Appeal, but in reality to carry on my Design against old Blandy with the greater secrecy and security. But before I went, I took care to infuse such notions into her Head as tended to lessen the Guilt of destroying the Life of a Father, who obstructed the Happiness of his only Child; and strenuously argued, that the froward humours of old Age ought not to put a restraint on the Pleasures of Youth, and that when they did so, there was no sin in removing the Obstacle out of the way.

But to prevail with her to come more heartily into my Measures, I played another Stratagem upon her.... Having thus persuaded her into a Belief of an Event, which I had good Grounds to be assured would certainly happen, I found no great difficulty in bringing her to use the Means to accomplish it. I told her I was then going to Scotland, for the Purposes she knew; that I would thence send her a Quantity of the Powder; and to prevent a Discovery, would send her a Parcel of Scots Pebbles, with Directions to use it in cleaning them, but really in the Manner as she had seen me use it, & as often as she had Opportunity.

Miss, I find, in the Narrative she has published of her Case, solemnly declares, she was perfectly ignorant of the noxious Quality of the Powder: but had she suffered the Publick to have seen my Letters, the World would have known that she was privy to the Design, and equally concerned in the Plot, as I can convince you even to Demonstration by her Answers to my Letters, under her own Hand, which I will show you when we return to our Lodgings. However, I do not blame her for denying it, because it was the only means she had left of persuading the World to believe her innocent.

Perhaps, Gentlemen, you will suppose I am guilty of a great deal of Vanity, in imagining myself capable of so grossly imposing on the Understanding of a Lady of such refined sense as Miss Blandy was acknowledged to be. In answer to which I can only say, that when Love has taken possession of the Heart, it leaves but very little Room for Reflection. That this was Miss Blandy's case, I will give you some few instances of the violence of her Passion, and then leave you to judge to what extravagant Lengths that might carry her.

As my small Income afforded me but slender Supplies, I was frequently in Debt, and as often at a loss how to come off with Honour. Miss was my constant Friend on such Occasions; and when her own Purse could not do it, she had recourse to her Servant, Susan Gunnel, who having scraped together about 90l. Miss borrowed near 80l. of it for the relief of my Wants.

Again; at the Death of the Prince of Wales,[30] her Father gave her twenty Guineas to buy her Mourning, of which she laid out about 51. for that Purpose, and the Remainder she remitted to me, being then in Scotland.

Another Instance of the Extravagance of her Passion was this: You must know, that during the Course of our mutual Love and Tenderness, some envious female Sprite whispered in her Ear, that I had at that very time a Bastard, and was obliged to maintain both Mother and Child. To this Charge I pleaded guilty, but told her, that it was a piece of Gallantry that was never imputed to a Soldier as a Crime, and hoped I might plead the general Practice in Excuse. In short, she not only forgave me, but contributed all in her Power to the Support of both.

Miss however, was not so easily pacified on another Occasion, when she happened to spring a Mine that had like to have blown up all my works. When I lodged in the House, some Occasion or other calling me suddenly into the Town, I forgot to take out the Key of my Trunk. Miss coming into the Room soon afterwards, sees the Key, and opens the Repository, when the first thing she cast her Eyes upon, was a Letter, which I had lately received from a Mistress I kept in Petto. This opened such a scene of Ingratitude and Perfidy, that when she charged me with it, I was scarce able to stand the Shock, and was so thunderstruck, that for some time I had not a word to say for myself. But when I had a little recollected my scattered Spirits, I had Address enough to pacify her Wrath, even in an Instance of such a notorious Breach of my Fidelity.

These you will allow, were uncommon Instances of Affection for a Man so circumstanced as I was; after which, can you suppose her capable of denying me anything within the Compass of her Power? Can you any longer wonder that she should join with me in compassing the Death of her Father, when I had convinced her that our Happiness could no otherwise be accomplished?

In this manner the Captain entertained his Companions on their Journey to Paris. Where being arrived, they took a Lodging in a By-street.... Every day for a fortnight, they spent in visiting the most remarkable places in Paris.... But finding their Exchequer pretty near exhausted, they began seriously to think of returning home to their good Landlady. Accordingly they set out on their journey and on the third day reached Furnes, where they again met with a kind reception. Mr. Ross, their Landlord, was likewise then just returned from England, where the Captain had sent him to receive Money for a Bill of 60l. which was the only Remittance that was sent him from his Arrival in France to the Time of his Death.

Not long after his return to Fumes he was taken with a severe Fit of Illness, from which however he recovered.... In this miserable condition he languished till he bethought himself that possibly he might receive some spiritual Belief from a Father famed for his Piety in a neighbouring Convent. To him he addresses himself and entreats his assistance & advice. The good Father having probed the wounds of his Conscience, and brought him to a due sense of his Sins, applyed the healing remedy of Absolution, on the Penitent's declaring himself reconciled to the Church of Rome.

After this, Cranstoun seemed to be pretty easy in his mind, but e'er long was seized with a terrible desease in his body, which was swoln to that Degree that it was apprehended he would have burst, & felt such Torments in every Limb & Joint, as made him wish for Death for some days before he died, which was Nov. 30, 1752.... After the Funeral was over, a Letter was sent to his Mother, the Lady Dowager Cranstoun; to which an answer was soon returned with an Order, to secure & seal up all his Papers of every kind, & transmit them to his Brother the Lord Cranstoun in Scotland and his cloathes, consisting chiefly of Laced & Embroidered Waistcoats, to be sold for the Discharge of his Debts; All this was punctually complied with.

Captain William Henry Cranstoun, with his pompous
funeral procession in Flanders

I shall only add, that by the Captain's Death, his wife came to enjoy the 75l. a year, the Interest of the 1500l. which was his Paternal Fortune; and by his Will, Heir to the Principal, to support her and her Daughter; which was some Recompense for the Troubles and Vexations he had occasioned her.

II.—Captain Cranstoun's Account of the Poisoning of the Late Mr. Francis Blandy.

(No. 20 of Bibliography, Appendix XII.)



As the Publick are in great Doubts concerning the Truth of the cruel, and almost unparalleled Murder of the late Mr. Blandy, of HENLEY UPON THAMES, in Oxfordshire, by Reason of the mysterious Accounts published as the Confession of his Daughter, who was executed for that cruel Parricide, and which were done by her own Desire and Direction: the following Pages are thought necessary to be made publick, by which the World may be satisfied concerning that tragical Affair: which is from the Words of Captain WILLIAM-HENRY CRANSTOUN, hitherto supposed, but now out of Doubt, to have been concerned with her in that black Crime: and also from original Letters of hers, and papers found immediately after his Decease, in his Portmanteau-Trunk in his Room in the House of Mons. MAULSET, the Sign of the BURGUNDY CROSS, in the Town of FURNES, in the AUSTRIAN NETHERLANDS, where he died on THURSDAY, the 30th of NOVEMBER last, and was buried in the Cathedral Church there, in great Funeral Pomp, on the second of DECEMBER.

It is thought needless to premise any more, only to assure the Publick that what is contained in the following short Tract is authentick, and gives an account of the Vicissitudes of Fortune, which attended Captain CRANSTOUN, from the Time of his absconding for Prevention of his being apprehended, to the Time of his Death, which was attended with great Torments.

Miss Mary Blandy, being suspected of poisoning her Father, Mr. Francis Blandy, who died in great Agonies, on the 14th of August, 1751, was examined by the Mayor and Coroner of Henley upon Thames: and there appearing, upon the Oaths of the Servants to the Deceased, and others, sufficient Grounds to think that Miss Blandy, with the Assistance and Advice of Capt. William Henry Cranstoun, was the Parracide, she was accordingly committed to Oxford Castle: and a proper Warrant and Messenger was sent, in order to apprehend the said Capt. Cranstoun, who was then supposed to be either in Northumberland or Scotland, with his Mother: but the Affair being in the News-Papers, it reached the Knowledge of a certain Person of Distinction, who was a relation of the Captain's, before the Messenger and Warrant got down, who informed him thereof: upon which the Captain thought it most advisable to abscond: And being secreted from that Time, in England, till the Beginning of March, 1752, when Miss was tried at Oxford Assizes, and found guilty, it was then thought proper for him to get out of the Kingdom: as upon her Trial it appeared, beyond all Doubt, that he was principally concerned in that Murder, and furnished her with the Powders that compleated the vile Deed.

On the eighteenth Day of March, at which Time she lay under Sentence of Death, he embarked in a Vessel for Bologne in France, and went by the name of Dunbar, a Female distant relation of his, of that name, being there at the time: who was married to one R——[31], and who was there on Account of some Debts he had contracted in Great Britain.

Cranstoun arrived at Bologne on the 27th Day of the Month of March, which soon being known, he was obliged to be kept secret in that Town; as some of the Relations of his Wife who were Officers in one of the Scotch Regiments in the French Service, upon hearing of his being there, declared they would destroy him, not only for his cruel and villainous Usage to his Wife and Child, but also as being a Murderer: and went purposely to Bologne.

He continued at Bologne in Secret till the 20th of July last, when he absconded privately in the Morning early, with the said R——, and his Wife who were obliged to fly, on Account of an Arret of the Parliament of Paris, which had ordered him to pay 1000 Livres, and Cost of a Law-Suit, to the famous or, more properly, infamous Captain P——-w,[32] so well known here: And as that Affair was something remarkable, I shall here give the reader a brief Relation of it, notwithstanding it is foreign to Mr. Cranstoun's Affair, which, as it will take up but little Room, I am almost persuaded will not be disagreeable to the Reader.

A certain Irish Nobleman being at Bologna, on Account of Debts he owed in England, Capt. P——w being there at the same Time, got acquainted with the above-named Irish Lord. At this Time Mr. R——, who was married to Mr. Cranstoun's Relation, as above-named, was a Merchant in that Town, and who, together with many more of the Merchants of the Place, was taken in very considerably by the said Irish Lord.

The above-nam'd Lord having got as deep in Debt as he possibly could, and his being so intimately acquainted with the Captain, who lived very profusely with my Lord, on the Money he had got upon Credit: this R——, with the Rest of that Nobleman's Creditors, began to press his Lordship for their Money, and his Lordship finding it impossible to weather the Storm off much longer, having told them, from Time to Time, that he was to have great Remittances from his Steward: and P——w puffing his Lordship off greatly to the Creditors, his Lordship secretly got away from Bologne, in a Vessel that was bound for Ireland.

His Lordship being gone, the Creditors all agreed (affirming that P——w was concerned in facilitating his Escape, and cheating them) to apply to the Magistrates of the City of Bologne for a Process against P——w, for their several Debts due to them from his Lordship, as he was not only concerned in helping him to make his Escape, but had partaken largely of the Money.

Upon their application P——w was arrested, and cast by the Magistrates of Bologne afterwards in the Law-Suit: who appealing to the Parliament of Paris, against the Decree and Judgment of the Magistrates of Bologne: they on hearing the Cause on both sides, reversed the Decree of the Magistrates of Bologne, and issued in May last an Arret, that his Lordship's Creditors should pay to the Captain, as Damages for his false Imprisonment, Costs and Scandal he had sustained by the Prosecution of their Suit, 3000 Livres, besides all his costs in both Courts, and also that they should be at the Expence of Printing and Paper, for 1500 Copies of the said Arret, which were to be stuck up on the Exchanges, and other Publick Places, in the several Cities and great Towns in France; which was accordingly done, the latter End of the said Month of May, pursuant to the said Arret.

Mr. Cranstoun about this time received a Bill of £60 from Scotland, payable in London, which Mr. R—— went privately to London with, and got the Money for: which was all the Remittances Cranstoun ever had to the Time of his Death, from Great Britain.

Mr. R—— being returned to Bologne with the Cash in July, and not being able to satisfy his Part of the Arret of the Parliament of Paris, to the Captain, and dreading the fatal Consequence thereof, privately absconded, as is related before, with his Wife and Cranstoun, to Ostend in the Queen of Hungary's Territories, as a Sanctuary from the Arret of the French Parliament: where they continued only about fourteen Days, and then removed to Furnes, and took up their Abode at the House known by the Sign of the Burgundy Cross, where Mr. R—— died in September, and Cranstoun the 30th of November following.

During the Time of his living at Furnes, he always went by the Name of Dunbar, and first Cousin to Mrs. R——.

Capt. P——w, on the Credit of this Arret of Parliament, put up for a great Man: who being known too well at Bologne to live there, either with Respect or Honour, removed to a Town in France, call'd Somers, nine Miles from Bologne, in the Road to Paris, where he took the grandest House in the Place: but his Fortune being only outside Shew, as it was when in England, in September he absconded from thence: and was obliged to fly into the Queen of Hungary's Country for Protection, having contracted large Debts in France.

The Captain now began his old Tricks; for at Brussels, going for a London Merchant, he obtained a Parcel of fine Lace, some Pieces of Velvets, and other Things, to the Amount of near £200, for which he gave the Gentleman of Brussels a pretended Bill for £321 8s. 6d. of a Banker's in London: and on the Payment of the said Bill, he was to have another large Parcel of Goods.

The Bill was sent to England for Payment, but the Captain had fled before the Return of a Letter, which informed the Tradesman that it was a counterfeit Bill: whereupon they pursued him, and soon found that the Goods he had obtained were shipped on Board a Vessel for England, at Flushing, a Sea-Port in Zealand, belonging to the States of Holland, from which Place the Captain had been gone three Days: that was the last Account that Mrs. R—— and Cranstoun ever heard of him.

I shall now proceed to the Account given by Captain Cranstoun, concerning the poisoning of Mr. Blandy: in which I shall insert three Letters, bearing Date the 30th of June, the 16th of July, and the 18th of August, 1751: all directed for the Honourable William Henry Cranstoun, Esq., which were found among his Papers at his Death: all being judged by the near Similitude of the Writings to have been wrote by one Person: and tho' no Name was subscribed at the Bottom of either, yet, by their Contents, they plainly shew from whom they were sent.

Mr. Cranstoun, at his first Coming into France, talked very little concerning the Affair of Mr. Blandy's Death: but some Time after, having read the Account published in London (by the Divine that attended Miss Blandy in her Confinement) as her own Confession, and at her desire: which was brought him by Mr. R——, when he came from London, from receiving the £60 Bill before-mentioned, he began to be more open upon that Head to Mr. R——, particularly in vindicating himself, and blaming her for Ingratitude, for he said, she was as much the Occasion of the unfortunate Deed as himself: which will more fully appear from the following Relation which he gave of it himself.

That they having contracted so great a Friendship and mutual Love, which was absolutely strengthened by a private Marriage of her own proposing, lest he should prove ungrateful to her (which he said were her own Words) after so material an Intimacy, and leave her, and go and live with his real Wife, and her Mother being dead, she and he, the first Time they met after her Mother's Decease (which he believed was about 9 or 10 months before Mr. Blandy died, and which was the last Time he was at Henley) began to consult how they should get the old Gentleman out of the Way, she proposing, as soon as they could get Possession of the Effects of the Father, to go both into Northumberland, and live upon it with his Mother: That he did propose the Method that was afterwards put in Practice, and she very readily came into it, and the whole Affair was settled between them, when he left Henley the last Time, and never before.

He frequently declared, that he believed her Mother was a very virtuous Woman, and blamed her much, for giving such a ludicrous, as well as foreign Account, of some Transactions between him and her Mother, in her Narrative: and hoped, he said, that what was published as her solemn Declaration, That she did not know (sic) that the Powder which he had sent her, with some Peebles, and which she had administered to her Father, were of a poisonous Quality, was a falsehood, and published without her Knowledge, as it appeared to him the same was not done till after she was dead: for that she was sensible of what Quality they were, and for what purpose sent, and particularly by the effect they had on a Woman, who was a Servant in her Father's Family, sometime before, as she had wrote him Word.

It will not be improper, in this Place, to insert the Letters, as they tend to the Confirmation of what Mr. Cranstoun had declared.


Dear Willy,—These, I hope, will find you in Health, as they leave me, but not in so much Perplexity: for I have endeavoured to do as directed by yours, with the Contents of your Presents, and they will not mix properly.

The old Woman that chars sometimes in the House, having drank a little Liquor in which I had put some is very bad: and I am conscious of the Affair being discovered, without you can put me into some better, or more proper Method of using them. When you write, let it be as mystically as you please, lest an Interception should happen to your Letter, for I shall easily understand it. When I think of the Affair in Hand, I am in great Distress of Mind, and endeavour to bear up under it as well as I can: but should be glad if you was near me, to help to support my fleeting Spirits: But why should I say so, or desire any such Thing, when I consider your cogent Reasons for being at a Distance: as it might, as soon as the Affair is compleated, be the Occasion of a bad Consequence to us both.

I have nothing more to add, but only desire you would not be long before you send me your Answer.

Yours affectionately, &c.

June 30, 1751.

(The superscription of this letter, and the next following, was almost rubbed out, so could not be exactly seen: but as the word Berwick was quite plain, as well as his name, it is supposed they were directed as the third letter was.)


Dear Willy,—I received yours safe on the 11th Instant, and I am glad to hear you are well. I particularly understand what you mean, and I'll polish, the Peebles as well as I can, for there shall not be wanting any Thing in my Power, to do the Business effectually. They begin to come brighter by the new Method I have taken: and as soon as I find the good Effects of the Scheme, you shall have Intelligence with all convenient Speed. Adieu, for this Time, my Spirits damping much: but pray God keep us in Health, till we have the Happiness of seeing each other.

Yours affectionately, &c.

July 16, 1751.


Dear Willy,—I have been in great Anxiety of Mind since last Post-Day, by not hearing from you. Your letter of the 24th of last Month, I received safe Yesterday, and am somewhat enlivened in my Spirits by understanding you are well. I am going forward with all convenient Speed in the Business: and have not only a fatiguing Time of it, but am sometimes in the greatest Frights, there being constantly about me so many to be kept insensible of the Affair. You may expect to hear again from me soon: and rest yourself assured, that tho' I suffer more Horrors of Mind than I do at this Time, which I think is impossible, I will pursue that, which is the only Method, I am sensible, left, of ever being happy together. I hope, by my next, to inform you that the Business is compleated.

Yours affectionately, &c.

August 1, 1751.

Directed for the Honourable Mr. William Henry Cranstoun, to be left at the Post-House, at Berwick.

By these Letters, and the account which Cranstoun himself had given, it plainly appears that the Murder of Mr. Blandy had been consulted some Time: and that it must be supposed that the Powders had been attempted, if not absolutely given him in his Victuals, or Liquor, before the Time they were put into his Gruel, as was discovered by the Maid-Servant, and which proved the Cause of his Death.

Also by these Letters it is most reasonable to believe that what was meant in the last by the words, "Tho' I suffer more Horrors of Mind than I do at this Time, I will pursue": that it came from the unfortunate and infatuated Miss Blandy, and that poisoning her Father was then fully resolved on by her: which reasonable Supposition is much strengthened by the subsequent Words in the same Letter, viz., "I hope in my next to inform you that the Business is compleated." And I really think it can admit of no Doubt, as the administring the Powders to him in his Water-Gruel, which was the Cause of his Death, was but four days after the Date of this Letter, for it appears by its Date to be sent on Thursday the first of August, and Monday the fifth of the same Month, she acknowledged she put the Powders into the Gruel: which was proved by Dr. Addington and Dr. Lewis, on her Trial, to be the Cause of Mr. Blandy's Death, who languished till the 14th of the same Month, when he expired.

That other Part of the same Letter, where 'tis said, "I am going forward with, all convenient Speed in the Business, and have not only a fatiguing Time of it, but am sometimes in the greatest Fright: there being so many constantly about me, to be kept insensible of the Affair," is plain enough meant that when she thought of the wicked Deed she was about to perform, it brought her Conscience to fly in her Face, as she advanced: and that the Servants of the House were the great Obstacles in her Way.

I shall not takes up the Reader's Time any longer, in making Observations on the Letters, only observe in general that they all shew that the Writer was sensibly touched, at such Times as they were endeavouring to practice the hellish Device, to destroy the old Gentleman; and also, that sometimes their Consciences led them to think of what the Consequences of such an enormous Crime must be.

I shall now return to Mr. Cranstoun. While he was at Furnes he was very thoughtful, and was never observed to be once in a merry Humour: frequently staying in his Room all Day, except Meal-Times: and praying very devoutly.

On his finding himself once very ill, tho' it was six Weeks before he died (for he recovered and went abroad after that Illness), he made a Will, all which he wrote with his own Hand: in which he left, after paying his Debts, at Furnes, to M. Malsot, where he lived, and his Funeral Charges, all his paternal Fortune, of £1500, to his Daughter by his Wife, who lives with her Relations, at Hexham, in Northumberland.

This £1500 which he left in his Will to his Child, was what was left him on the Death of his Father: and the Estate of his elder Brother, the Lord Cranstoun, was charged with the Payment of it: and he received £75 per Annum, in Lieu of the Principal Sum, £50 per Annum of which was settled by Order of the Lords of Sessions, in Scotland, on his Wife, at the Time when he had Villainy sufficient to bring a Cause before the Court of Sessions, to set aside his Marriage: and from that Time she has received it, for the Support of her and her Child.

The Gentlewoman he had married, and was wicked enough to deny,[33] was the Daughter of the late Sir David Murray, Baronet, and Sister of the present Sir David Murray, who is now in the Service of the King of France, in the East Indies: This young Gentleman was unfortunate enough to take Part with the young Pretender in the late Rebellion, being Nephew to Mr. Murray, of Broughton, the Pretender's then Secretary: and after the Battle of Culloden was taken Prisoner, and tried at Carlisle, where he received Sentence of Death as a Rebel: but for his Youth, not being then above eighteen Years of Age, he was reprieved and transported.

One Circumstance that appeared on the Trial of the Legality of his Marriage with Miss Murray was very particular, as he had the Folly, as well as the Wickedness, to deny the same: and that was, a Marriage-Settlement of £50 per Annum, which he had made on her in his own Hand-Writing, was produced and proved: which was confirmed by the Lords of Sessions.

After the Burial of Mr. Cranstoun, at Furnes, a Letter was sent to his Wife, at Hexham, to inform her of it, and another was sent to the Lady Dowager Cranstoun, his Mother: to the last of which an Answer was soon returned, which was to desire, that all his Papers and Will might be sealed up, and sent to his Brother, Lord Cranstoun, in Scotland, with an Account of what was owing, and to whom, in Order for their being paid, but his Cloaths, which consisted of some very rich Waistcoats, were desired to be sold at Furnes: which was done accordingly.

He frequently declared his Life was a Burthen to him, and in his Death he suffered great Torments: for his body was so much swoln, that it was expected he would have bursted for several Days before he died.

As Miss Blandy had given an Account in her Narrative, that it was him who first proposed a private Marriage with each other, he solemnly declared, just before he died, that he could not be positive which of them proposed it first: but that he was certain, that it was Miss Blandy that desired and insisted it should be so, and was very pressing till it was done: And he often called upon God Almighty to forgive both his Crimes, and those of Miss Blandy, particularly, he said hers, as she had died with asserting so many enormous Falsities contained in that Account, said to be published by her Orders and Inspection.



(From the London Magazine, February, 1753.)

On Dec. 2 last died at the sign of the Burgundy-cross in Furness, a town belonging to the Queen of Hungary, about 15 English miles East of this place, Capt. William Henry Cranstoun, aged forty-six. His illness did not continue above 9 days, but the last three his pains were so very great, and he was swelled to such a degree, that it was thought by the physician and apothecary that attended him, that he would have burst, and by the great agonies he expired in, he was thought to be raving mad. As he had just before his death embraced the Roman Catholick religion, he was buried in great solemnity, the corporation attending the funeral, and a grand mass was said over the corpse in the cathedral church, which was finely illuminated, and in which he was buried. Some little time before he died he made a will, which was sealed up in the presence of one Mrs. Ross (whose maiden name was Dunbar, and which name he went by) and two other persons who were also his acquaintance. The will he signed with his own name, and gave all his fortune which was in his brother's hands to his child, who is now living at Hexham in Northumberland, with her mother, to whom he had so villainously denied being married, and for which he often said, a curse had attended him for injuring the character of so good a wife. When he was asked concerning Mr. Blandy's murder, he often reflected on himself greatly, yet said, that Miss Blandy ought not to have blamed him so much as she did, but the particulars of which he said should never be known till his death. He first made his escape out of England the latter end of last February to Bologne; but as soon as he was known to be there, was obliged to be kept concealed by Mrs. Ross, some relations of his wife's, who were in that country, threatening revenge for his base usage to her; so that Miss Ross and he were obliged at last to fly from Bologne by night, which was on the 26th of July last, and lived in Furnes from that time. The fortune in his Brother's hands, which he has left to his child, by his will, is £1500, his patrimony which he formerly received 5 per cent. for, but on his being cast before the Lords of Session in Scotland, in the cause concerning the validity of his marriage, which was confirmed, £50 out of the £75 was ordered by their lordships to be paid the wife annually for the support of her and the child, which she received, and has lived ever since with some of her relations in Hexham aforementioned. It was further said that before he died he declared that he and Miss Blandy were privately married before the death of her mother, which was near two years before Mr. Blandy was poisoned.



(From the original MS. in the possession of Mr. John A. Fairley.)

Edinburgh, April 16th, 1843. 57 Melville Street,

My Dear Sir,—I herewith return your Blandy and Cranstoun collections, with many thanks.

I certainly understood from the late James Rutherford, Esqr., of the Customs, Edinburgh, a cadet of the Rutherfords of Edgerston, and through his mother, a female descendant—one of the nearest—of the Edmonstones of Corehouse, that it was in consequence of the great exertions of an Edmonstone of Corehouse that the guilty Cranston was first concealed, and afterwards enabled to escape abroad. I think he said that the Edmonstones of Corehouse were descended, or relatives, of the Cranstons, but that the latter were not descended of the former, or could be in any respect their heirs.

A greater intimacy, however, subsequently arose between the two families, owing to the friendly exertions of the Edmonstone as above, that ended in a superannuated lady, the late Miss Edmonstone of Corehouse, entailing or settling her estate upon the present George Cranstoun of Corehouse,[34] nephew of the poisoner, to the exclusion of the late Roger Ayton, and her other heirs at law. In this manner the Cranston family may be said to have benefitted by his atrocity, and advantage to have resulted from evil; the friendship or kindness of the Edmonstones having been rivetted and increased towards the relatives of him they had rescued, and whom, on that account, they additionally cherished—this I learnt from the previous authority referred to. Nay, the old lady wished above all things that the ci-devant judge should marry and continue his line, a thing that for some special reason he did not desire, and found it difficult to stave off to her. This also from the same authority. Though very old, no legal ground could be found on enquiry by which her settlement could be voided.

The following excerpt from the Statement of the Evidence submitted to the jury, on the occasion of the present Admiral Sir Thomas Livingstone of Westquarter, Baronet, being served heir-male of James, first Earl of Calender in 1821, in which I was professionally engaged, shews what became of the issue of William Henry Cranstoun, the poisoner. Alexander (Livingstone) of Bedlormie and Ogilface, afterwards Sir Alexander Livingstone, Bart., having succeeded to the Scottish Baronetage of Westquarter and to the estates of that branch of the house of Livingstone, was twice married; first to Anne Atkinson, daughter of John Atkinson of London, and secondly to Jane Cranston, daughter of the Honourable William Henry Cranston, fifth son of the Lord Cranston. By his first marriage he had seven sons, Alexander, William, Thomas, the claimant (still alive), John, Thurstanus, James and George, and one daughter, Anne, married to the Rev. John Fenton of Torpenhow, in the County of Cumberland. By his second marriage he had two sons, Francis and David, both dead unmarried, and one daughter, Elizabeth, married to James Kirsopp, Esquire, of the Spital, Northumberland.

I remain,

Yours sincerely,




(Compiled by Mr. Horace Bleackley.)


1. An Authentic Narrative of that most Horrid Parricide. (Printed in the year 1751. Name of publisher in second edition, M. Cooper.)

2. A Genuine and full Account of the Parricide committed by Mary Blandy. Oxford: Printed for and sold by C. Goddard in the High St., and sold by R. Walker in the little Old Bailey, and by all booksellers and pamphlet Shops. (Published November 9, 1751.)

3. A Letter from a Clergyman to Miss Mary Blandy with her answer thereto. ... As also Miss Blandy's Own Narrative. London; Printed for M. Cooper at the Globe in Paternoster Row. 1752. Price Six-pence. Brit. Mus. (March 20, 1752.)

4. An Answer to Miss Blandy's Narrative. London; Printed for W. Owen, near Temple Bar. 1752. Price 3d. Brit. Mus. (March 27, 1752.)

5. The Case of Miss Blandy considered as a Daughter, as a Gentlewoman, and as a Christian. Oxford; Printed for R. Baldwin, at the Rose in Paternoster Row. Brit. Mus. (April 6, 1752.)

6. Original Letters to and from Miss Blandy and C—— C——, London. Printed for S. Johnson, near the Haymarket, Charing Cross. 1752. Brit. Mus. (April 8, 1752.)

7. A Genuine and impartial Account of the Life of Miss M. Blandy. W. Jackson and R. Walker. (April 9, 1752.)

8. Miss Mary Blandy's Own Account. London: Printed for A. Millar in the Strand. 1752 (price one shilling and sixpence). N.B. The Original Account authenticated by Miss Blandy in a proper manner may be seen at the above A. Millar's. Brit. Mus. (April 10, 1752. The most famous apologia in criminal literature.)

9. A Candid Appeal to the Public, by a Gentleman of Oxford. London. Printed for J. Clifford in the Old Bailey, and sold at the Pamphleteer Shops. 1752. Price 6d. Brit. Mus. (April 15, 1752.)

10. The Tryal of Mary Blandy. Published by Permission of the Judges. London: Printed for John and James Rivington at the Bible and Crown and in St. Paul's Churchyard. 1752. In folio price two shillings. 8vo. one shilling. Brit. Mus. (April 24, 1752.)

11. The Genuine Histories of the Life and Transactions of John Swan and Eliz Jeffries, ... and Miss Mary Blandy. London: Printed and sold by T. Bailey opposite the Pewter-Pot-Inn in Leadenhall Street. (Published after April 10, 1752.)

12. An Authentic and full History of all the Circumstances of the Cruel Poisoning of Mr. Francis Blandy, printed only for Mr. Wm. Owen, Bookseller at Temple Bar, London, and R. Goadby in Sherborne. Brit. Mus. (Without date. From pp. 113-132 the pamphlet resembles the "Answer to Miss Blandy's Narrative," published also by Wm. Owen.)

13. The Authentic Trials of John Swan and Elizabeth Jeffryes.... With the Tryal of Miss Mary Blandy. London: Printed by R. Walker for W. Richards, near the East Gate, Oxford. 1752. Brit. Mus. (Published later than the "Candid Appeal.")

14. The Fair Parricide. A Tragedy in three Acts. Founded on a late melancholy event. London. Printed for T. Waller, opposite Fetter Lane. Fleet Street (price 1/-). Brit. Mus. (May 5, 1752.)

15. The Genuine Speech of the Hon Mr. ——, at the late trial of Miss Blandy. London: Printed for J. Roberts in Warwick Lane. 1752. (Price sixpence.) Brit. Mus. (May 15, 1752.)

16. The x x x x Packet Broke open, or a letter from Miss Blandy in the Shades below to Capt. Cranstoun in his exile above. London. Printed for M. Cooper at the Globe in Paternoster Row. 1752. Price 6d. Brit. Mus. (May 16, 1752.)

17. The Secret History of Miss Blandy. London. Printed for Henry Williams, and sold by the booksellers at the Exchange, in Ludgate St., at Charing Cross, and St. James. Price 1s. 6d. Brit. Mus. (June 11, 1752. A sane and well-written account of the whole story.)

18. Memories of the Life of Wm. Henry Cranstoun, Esqre. London. Printed for J. Bouquet, at the White Hart, in Paternoster Row. 1752. Price one shilling. Brit. Mus. (June 18, 1752.)

19. The Genuine Lives of Capt. Cranstoun and Miss Mary Blandy. London. Printed for M. Cooper, Paternoster Row, and C. Sympson at the Bible Warehouse, Chancery Lane. 1753. Price one shilling. Brit. Mus.

20. Capt. Cranstoun's Account of the Poisoning of the Late Mr. Francis Blandy. London: Printed for R. Richards, the Corner of Bernard's-Inn, near the Black Swan, Holborn. Brit. Mus. (March 1-3, 1753.)

21. Memories of the life and most remarkable transactions of Capt. William Henry Cranstoun. Containing an account of his conduct in his younger years. His letter to his wife to persuade her to disown him as her husband. His trial in Scotland, and the Court's decree thereto. His courtship of Miss Blandy; his success therein, and the tragical issue of that affair. His voluntary exile abroad with the several accidents that befel him from his flight to his death. His reconciliation to the Church of Rome, with the Conversation he had with a Rev. Father of the Church at the time of his conversion. His miserable death, and pompous funeral. Printed for M. Cooper in Paternoster Row; W. Reeve in Fleet Street; and C. Sympson in Chancery Lane. Price 6d. With a curious print of Capt. Cranstoun. Brit. Mus. (March 10-13, 1753. As the title-page of this pamphlet is torn out of the copy in the Brit. Mus., it is given in full. From pp. 3-21 the tract is identical with "The Genuine Lives," also published by M. Cooper.)

22. Parricides! The trial of Philip Stansfield, Gt., for the murder of his father in Scotland, 1688. Also the trial of Miss Mary Blandy, for the murder of her Father, at Oxford, 1752. London (1810). Printed by J. Dean, 57 Wardour St., Soho for T. Brown, 154 Drury Lane and W. Evans, 14 Market St., St. James's. Brit. Mus.

23. The Female Parricide, or the History of Mary-Margaret d'Aubray, Marchioness of Brinvillier.... In which a parallel is drawn between the Marchioness and Miss Blandy. C. Micklewright, Reading. Sold by J. Newbery. Price 1/-. (March 5, 1752.)

Lowndes mentions also:—

24. An Impartial Inquiry into the Case of Miss Blandy. With reflections on her Trial, Defence, Bepentance, Denial, Death. 1753. 8vo.

25. The Female Parricide. A Tragedy, by Edward Crane, of Manchester. 1761. 8vo.

26. A Letter from a Gentleman to Miss Blandy with her answer thereto. 1752. 8vo. (Possibly the same as "A Letter from a Clergyman.")

The two following are advertised in the newspapers of the day:—

27. Case of Miss Blandy and Miss Jeffries fairly stated, and compared.... R. Robinson, Golden Lion, Ludgate Street. (March 26, 1752.)

28. Genuine Letters between Miss Blandy and Miss Jeffries before and after their Conviction. J. Scott, Exchange Alley; W. Owen, Temple Bar; G. Woodfall, Charing Cross. (April 21, 1752.)

29. Broadside. Execution of Miss Blandy. Pitts, Printer, Toy and Marble Warehouse, 6 Great St. Andrew's St., Seven Dials. Brit. Mus.

30. The Addl. MSS., 15930. Manuscript Department in the Brit. Mus.


1. Read's Weekly Journal, March and April (1752), February 3 (1753).

2. The General Advertiser, August-November (1751), March and April (1752).

3. The London Evening Post, March and April (1752).

4. The Covent Garden Journal (Sir Alexander Drawcansir), February, March, and April (1752).

5. The London Morning Penny Post, August and September (1751).

6. Gentleman's Magazine, pp. 396, 486-88 (1751), pp. 108-17, 152, 188, 195 (1752), pp. 47, 151 (1753), p. 803, pt. II (1783).

7. Universal Magazine, pp 114-124, 187, 281 (1752).

8. London Magazine, pp. 379, 475, 512 (1751), pp. 127, 180, 189 (1752), p. 89 (1753).

[In addition to the two London editions of the authorised report of the trial specified in No. 10 of the Bibliography, it may be noted that the trial was reprinted at length in the same year at Dublin, and in an abridged form at London and Edinburgh, all 8vo.—ED.]



(From Catalogue of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum, Vol. III., Part ii., p. 847.)



Sr ∗∗∗g sc. (? Strange, W.) Ram∗∗y Pix'd.∗ [1752].

∗These signatures were, doubtless, used with a satirical intention.

This engraving displays a stage, as if erected for an execution. The above title is inscribed on a gallows, under which is James Lowry, with a rope about his neck, and in one hand a cudgel, inscribed "The Royal Oke Fore Mast," see below; a label in his mouth is inscribed, "Lowry; the Laird of the Land; Sung by Sr. W——m. Lawther." At his feet rises the ghost of Hossack, saying, "You suffered justly, for Wipping me to Death. K. Hossack."

At one side stands Mr. William Henry Cranstoun, with a rope round his neck, and crossing his body like a riband of knighthood; in his pocket is "Powder to Clean Pebbels" in his mouth a label, "Jammy will save me." Before him rises the ghost of Miss Mary Blandy, saying, "My Honour, Cra——s ruin'd me." The ghost of her mother rising at the side of the platform, and wringing her hands in pain, replies, "Child he's Married!" At Cranstoun's feet is an advertisement of "Scotch Powder to cure the Itch."

At the other side is Major James Macdonald, with a halter round his neck & crossing his body, as above; in his hand is a paper inscribed "S. Sea Anuities D-am my School Master." In his mouth is a label, bearing, "I have Escaped Hanging I own I'm a Highland Villain."

In front is what is intended for a mock shield of Scotland. The shield is perforated with holes for eyes and a mouth so as to represent a mask, and it is charged with a crowned thistle; the supporters are an ass's head, plaided and wearing a Scotch bonnet, and a peacock. Motto, "Impudent, Rebellious, Lazy and Proud."

Beneath is engraved:—

"Proud Scot, Beggarly Scot, witness keen, Old England has made you all Gentlemen."

James Lowry, who had commanded the "Molly" merchantman, was tried February 18, 1752, for the murder of Kenrich Hossack, by whipping him to death; after a trial of eight hours he was found guilty. "The Royal Oak Foremast" was the name he gave to a stick used in his manner of enforcing naval discipline. On the 25th of March he was hanged at Execution Dock, and his body was hung in chains at Blackball. Other acts of cruelty involving the deaths of the victims were charged on him. (See The Gentleman's Magazine, 1751, p. 234; 1752, pp. 89, 94, 140.)

The exclamation of Miss Blandy referring to Cranstoun is nearly the same as that uttered by the speaker, as deposed by Mrs. Lane, a witness at the trial, when she was arrested during a wandering flight between the death of her father and the returning of the verdict of "Wilfull Murder." The witness declared Miss Blandy said "The damned villain, Cranstoun!—my honour to him will be my ruin," etc. The exclamation of the ghost of Mrs. Blandy refers to the fact that Cranstoun had been married in 1745, according to the Scotch process, to Anne, daughter of Sir David Murray, whom he repudiated two years after. Cranstoun was brother of James, afterwards sixth Lord Cranstoun, probably the "Jammy" refered to in his speech as above quoted.

The Scotch Triumvirate


[1] Henry Bathurst (1714-1794), Solicitor-General to the Prince of Wales, 1745; Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, 1751; Lord Chancellor, 1771; succeeded his father as Earl Bathurst, 1775; and in the following year presided as Lord High Steward at the trial of the Duchess of Kingston. He resigned the Seal in 1778.—ED.

[2] This quotation is the only reference made during the trial to this important letter, which, from the report, does not appear to have been formally "put in." See Introduction.—ED.

[3] So far as appears from the report of the trial, no proof was offered that these words were in the handwriting of Cranstoun. See Introduction.—ED.

[4] The Earl of Macclesfield and Lord Cadogan, the local magistrates who undertook the preliminary work of getting up the case for the prosecution.—ED.

[5] Afterwards Sir Richard Aston, and one of the Commissioners of the Great Seal on the death of Lord Chancellor Yorke in 1770.—ED.

[6]  Born, 1713; died, 1790. Practised as a physician at Reading until 1754, when he removed to London. Chatham was one of his patients. As a specialist in mental diseases he was called in to attend George III. in 1788. He was the father of Henry Addington, first Viscount Sidmouth.—ED.

[7]  The doctor intended to have excepted the stone found in Mr. Blandy's gall-bladder.—Original Note.

[8]  Born, 1714; died, 1781. Practised in London till 1745, when he removed to Kingston-on-Thames. He was eminent for his writings on the Pharmacopoaeia.—ED.

[9]  Saturday. See infra.—ED.

[10]  This lady was Mary Blandy's godmother. She died in 1781 at the age of 86. It is remarkable that the prisoner's fortitude remained unshaken throughout the trial except when Mrs. Mounteney was in the box.—ED.

[11]  The counsel for the prisoner waived the objection to this as hearsay evidence, because the counsel for the Crown assured them they would call Betty Binfield herself next.—Original Note.

[12]  According to the practice then in use, counsel for the defence were not permitted to address the jury.—ED.

[13]  Heneage Legge (1703-1759), second son of William, first Earl of Dartmouth, was called to the Bar, 1728, took silk in 1739, and was appointed one of the Barons of Exchequer in 1747.—ED.

[14]  The celebrated Catherine Hayes, heroine of the Newgate Calendar and Thackeray's Catherine.—ED.

[15]  George Carre of Nisbet, son of John Carre of Cavers, admitted Advocate 9th June, 1752. He became Sheriff of Berwick in 1748, and wasraised to the Bench as Lord Nisbet, 31st July, 1755. He died at Edinburgh, 21st February, 1760.—ED.

[16]  Charles Erskine, Lord Tinwald.—ED.

[17]  George Parker, second Earl of Macclesfield, son of Lord Chancellor Macclesfield, was a famous philosopher and President of the Royal Society. He had the principal share in preparing the Act of Parliament for the introduction of the change in the Calendar in 1751, known as the "New Style."—ED.

[18]  Charles, second Baron Cadogan of Oakley, died 1776. His wife was a daughter of Sir Hans Sloane.—ED.

[19]  William, eighth Earl of Home, first cousin of the Hon. William Henry Cranstoun, died 1761. Their mothers were Lady Anne and Lady Jean Kerr, daughters of the second Marquess of Lothian, and their daughter Lady Mary married Alexander Hamilton of Ballincrieff.—ED.

[20]  Afterwards fourth Marquess of Lothian, first cousin of the Hon. William Henry Cranstoun. He died in 1775.—ED.

[21]  Probably the Rev. William Stockwood, Rector of Henley.—ED.

[22]  Winchester.

[23]  Son of Robert, first Marquis of Lothian and grand-uncle of the Hon. Wm. Henry Cranstoun. Born, 1676. He followed a career of arms, and died unmarried 2nd February, 1752. His natural son, Captain John Kerr, courted his "cousin," Lady Jane Douglas of the "Douglas Cause," and was killed in 1725 by her brother Archibald, Duke of Douglas. Lord Mark was not friendly with his niece, Lady Jane.—ED.

[24]  George, 21st Earl of Crauford, born 1729. Succeeded to that title, 1749; died 1781.—ED.

[25]  William, fifth Lord Cranstoun, married, 1703, Lady Jean Kerr, and died in January 7, 1726-7.—ED.

[26]  Née Lady Jean Kerr, died March, 1768.—ED.

[27]  The Hon. Anne Cranstoun married Gabriel Selby of Paston, Northumberland, died 1769.—ED.

[28]  Mr. C.J.S. Thompson, in his Mystery and Romance of Alchemy and Pharmacy, remarks, "About the sixteenth century philtres came to be compounded and sold by the apothecaries, who doubtless derived from them a lucrative profit. Favourite ingredients with these later practitioners were mandragora, cantharides, and vervain, which were supposed to have Satanic properties. They were mixed with other herbs said to have an aphrodisiac effect; also man's gall, the eyes of a black cat, and the blood of a lapwing, bat, or goat." The same authority states that in the seventeenth century "Hoffman's Water of Magnanimity," compounded of winged ants, was a popular specific.—ED.

[29]  Appendix III.

[30]  Frederick, Prince of Wales, died 20th March, 1751.—ED.

[31]  Ross.

[32]  Plaistow.

[33]  This denial is the more odd as the Murrays of Stanhope and the Kerrs of Lothian (Captain Cranstoun's maternal relatives) had already a marriage tie. Lord Charles Kerr of Cramond (died 1735), had married Janet, eldest daughter of Sir David Murray of Stanhope, and her daughter Jean Janet, born 1712, was the second wife of William, third Marquess of Lothian, Captain Cranstoun's uncle.—ED.

[34]  Later, Lord Corehouse, one of the Senators of the College of Justice.—ED.


******* This file should be named 12640-h.txt or *******

This and all associated files of various formats will be found in:

Updated editions will replace the previous one--the old editions will be renamed.

Creating the works from public domain print editions means that no one owns a United States copyright in these works, so the Foundation (and you!) can copy and distribute it in the United States without permission and without paying copyright royalties. Special rules, set forth in the General Terms of Use part of this license, apply to copying and distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works to protect the PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm concept and trademark. Project Gutenberg is a registered trademark, and may not be used if you charge for the eBooks, unless you receive specific permission. If you do not charge anything for copies of this eBook, complying with the rules is very easy. You may use this eBook for nearly any purpose such as creation of derivative works, reports, performances and research. They may be modified and printed and given away--you may do practically ANYTHING with public domain eBooks. Redistribution is subject to the trademark license, especially commercial redistribution.



To protect the Project Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting the free
distribution of electronic works, by using or distributing this work
(or any other work associated in any way with the phrase "Project
Gutenberg"), you agree to comply with all the terms of the Full Project
Gutenberg-tm License (available with this file or online at

Section 1.  General Terms of Use and Redistributing Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic works

1.A.  By reading or using any part of this Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic work, you indicate that you have read, understand, agree to
and accept all the terms of this license and intellectual property
(trademark/copyright) agreement.  If you do not agree to abide by all
the terms of this agreement, you must cease using and return or destroy
all copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works in your possession.
If you paid a fee for obtaining a copy of or access to a Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic work and you do not agree to be bound by the
terms of this agreement, you may obtain a refund from the person or
entity to whom you paid the fee as set forth in paragraph 1.E.8.

1.B.  "Project Gutenberg" is a registered trademark.  It may only be
used on or associated in any way with an electronic work by people who
agree to be bound by the terms of this agreement.  There are a few
things that you can do with most Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works
even without complying with the full terms of this agreement.  See
paragraph 1.C below.  There are a lot of things you can do with Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic works if you follow the terms of this agreement
and help preserve free future access to Project Gutenberg-tm electronic
works.  See paragraph 1.E below.

1.C.  The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation ("the Foundation"
or PGLAF), owns a compilation copyright in the collection of Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic works.  Nearly all the individual works in the
collection are in the public domain in the United States.  If an
individual work is in the public domain in the United States and you are
located in the United States, we do not claim a right to prevent you from
copying, distributing, performing, displaying or creating derivative
works based on the work as long as all references to Project Gutenberg
are removed.  Of course, we hope that you will support the Project
Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting free access to electronic works by
freely sharing Project Gutenberg-tm works in compliance with the terms of
this agreement for keeping the Project Gutenberg-tm name associated with
the work.  You can easily comply with the terms of this agreement by
keeping this work in the same format with its attached full Project
Gutenberg-tm License when you share it without charge with others.

1.D.  The copyright laws of the place where you are located also govern
what you can do with this work.  Copyright laws in most countries are in
a constant state of change.  If you are outside the United States, check
the laws of your country in addition to the terms of this agreement
before downloading, copying, displaying, performing, distributing or
creating derivative works based on this work or any other Project
Gutenberg-tm work.  The Foundation makes no representations concerning
the copyright status of any work in any country outside the United

1.E.  Unless you have removed all references to Project Gutenberg:

1.E.1.  The following sentence, with active links to, or other immediate
access to, the full Project Gutenberg-tm License must appear prominently
whenever any copy of a Project Gutenberg-tm work (any work on which the
phrase "Project Gutenberg" appears, or with which the phrase "Project
Gutenberg" is associated) is accessed, displayed, performed, viewed,
copied or distributed:

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at

1.E.2.  If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is derived
from the public domain (does not contain a notice indicating that it is
posted with permission of the copyright holder), the work can be copied
and distributed to anyone in the United States without paying any fees
or charges.  If you are redistributing or providing access to a work
with the phrase "Project Gutenberg" associated with or appearing on the
work, you must comply either with the requirements of paragraphs 1.E.1
through 1.E.7 or obtain permission for the use of the work and the
Project Gutenberg-tm trademark as set forth in paragraphs 1.E.8 or

1.E.3.  If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is posted
with the permission of the copyright holder, your use and distribution
must comply with both paragraphs 1.E.1 through 1.E.7 and any additional
terms imposed by the copyright holder.  Additional terms will be linked
to the Project Gutenberg-tm License for all works posted with the
permission of the copyright holder found at the beginning of this work.

1.E.4.  Do not unlink or detach or remove the full Project Gutenberg-tm
License terms from this work, or any files containing a part of this
work or any other work associated with Project Gutenberg-tm.

1.E.5.  Do not copy, display, perform, distribute or redistribute this
electronic work, or any part of this electronic work, without
prominently displaying the sentence set forth in paragraph 1.E.1 with
active links or immediate access to the full terms of the Project
Gutenberg-tm License.

1.E.6.  You may convert to and distribute this work in any binary,
compressed, marked up, nonproprietary or proprietary form, including any
word processing or hypertext form.  However, if you provide access to or
distribute copies of a Project Gutenberg-tm work in a format other than
"Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other format used in the official version
posted on the official Project Gutenberg-tm web site (,
you must, at no additional cost, fee or expense to the user, provide a
copy, a means of exporting a copy, or a means of obtaining a copy upon
request, of the work in its original "Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other
form.  Any alternate format must include the full Project Gutenberg-tm
License as specified in paragraph 1.E.1.

1.E.7.  Do not charge a fee for access to, viewing, displaying,
performing, copying or distributing any Project Gutenberg-tm works
unless you comply with paragraph 1.E.8 or 1.E.9.

1.E.8.  You may charge a reasonable fee for copies of or providing
access to or distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works provided

- You pay a royalty fee of 20% of the gross profits you derive from
     the use of Project Gutenberg-tm works calculated using the method
     you already use to calculate your applicable taxes.  The fee is
     owed to the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tm trademark, but he
     has agreed to donate royalties under this paragraph to the
     Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation.  Royalty payments
     must be paid within 60 days following each date on which you
     prepare (or are legally required to prepare) your periodic tax
     returns.  Royalty payments should be clearly marked as such and
     sent to the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation at the
     address specified in Section 4, "Information about donations to
     the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation."

- You provide a full refund of any money paid by a user who notifies
     you in writing (or by e-mail) within 30 days of receipt that s/he
     does not agree to the terms of the full Project Gutenberg-tm
     License.  You must require such a user to return or
     destroy all copies of the works possessed in a physical medium
     and discontinue all use of and all access to other copies of
     Project Gutenberg-tm works.

- You provide, in accordance with paragraph 1.F.3, a full refund of any
     money paid for a work or a replacement copy, if a defect in the
     electronic work is discovered and reported to you within 90 days
     of receipt of the work.

- You comply with all other terms of this agreement for free
     distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm works.

1.E.9.  If you wish to charge a fee or distribute a Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic work or group of works on different terms than are set
forth in this agreement, you must obtain permission in writing from
both the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation and Michael
Hart, the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tm trademark.  Contact the
Foundation as set forth in Section 3 below.


1.F.1.  Project Gutenberg volunteers and employees expend considerable
effort to identify, do copyright research on, transcribe and proofread
public domain works in creating the Project Gutenberg-tm
collection.  Despite these efforts, Project Gutenberg-tm electronic
works, and the medium on which they may be stored, may contain
"Defects," such as, but not limited to, incomplete, inaccurate or
corrupt data, transcription errors, a copyright or other intellectual
property infringement, a defective or damaged disk or other medium, a
computer virus, or computer codes that damage or cannot be read by
your equipment.

of Replacement or Refund" described in paragraph 1.F.3, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, the owner of the Project
Gutenberg-tm trademark, and any other party distributing a Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic work under this agreement, disclaim all
liability to you for damages, costs and expenses, including legal

defect in this electronic work within 90 days of receiving it, you can
receive a refund of the money (if any) you paid for it by sending a
written explanation to the person you received the work from.  If you
received the work on a physical medium, you must return the medium with
your written explanation.  The person or entity that provided you with
the defective work may elect to provide a replacement copy in lieu of a
refund.  If you received the work electronically, the person or entity
providing it to you may choose to give you a second opportunity to
receive the work electronically in lieu of a refund.  If the second copy
is also defective, you may demand a refund in writing without further
opportunities to fix the problem.

1.F.4.  Except for the limited right of replacement or refund set forth
in paragraph 1.F.3, this work is provided to you 'AS-IS,' WITH NO OTHER

1.F.5.  Some states do not allow disclaimers of certain implied
warranties or the exclusion or limitation of certain types of damages.
If any disclaimer or limitation set forth in this agreement violates the
law of the state applicable to this agreement, the agreement shall be
interpreted to make the maximum disclaimer or limitation permitted by
the applicable state law.  The invalidity or unenforceability of any
provision of this agreement shall not void the remaining provisions.

1.F.6.  INDEMNITY - You agree to indemnify and hold the Foundation, the
trademark owner, any agent or employee of the Foundation, anyone
providing copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works in accordance
with this agreement, and any volunteers associated with the production,
promotion and distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works,
harmless from all liability, costs and expenses, including legal fees,
that arise directly or indirectly from any of the following which you do
or cause to occur: (a) distribution of this or any Project Gutenberg-tm
work, (b) alteration, modification, or additions or deletions to any
Project Gutenberg-tm work, and (c) any Defect you cause.

Section  2.  Information about the Mission of Project Gutenberg-tm

Project Gutenberg-tm is synonymous with the free distribution of
electronic works in formats readable by the widest variety of computers
including obsolete, old, middle-aged and new computers.  It exists
because of the efforts of hundreds of volunteers and donations from
people in all walks of life.

Volunteers and financial support to provide volunteers with the
assistance they need, is critical to reaching Project Gutenberg-tm's
goals and ensuring that the Project Gutenberg-tm collection will
remain freely available for generations to come.  In 2001, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation was created to provide a secure
and permanent future for Project Gutenberg-tm and future generations.
To learn more about the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation
and how your efforts and donations can help, see Sections 3 and 4
and the Foundation web page at

Section 3.  Information about the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive

The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation is a non profit
501(c)(3) educational corporation organized under the laws of the
state of Mississippi and granted tax exempt status by the Internal
Revenue Service.  The Foundation's EIN or federal tax identification
number is 64-6221541.  Its 501(c)(3) letter is posted at  Contributions to the Project Gutenberg
Literary Archive Foundation are tax deductible to the full extent
permitted by U.S. federal laws and your state's laws.

The Foundation's principal office is located at 4557 Melan Dr. S.
Fairbanks, AK, 99712., but its volunteers and employees are scattered
throughout numerous locations.  Its business office is located at
809 North 1500 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84116, (801) 596-1887, email  Email contact links and up to date contact
information can be found at the Foundation's web site and official
page at

For additional contact information:
     Dr. Gregory B. Newby
     Chief Executive and Director

Section 4.  Information about Donations to the Project Gutenberg
Literary Archive Foundation

Project Gutenberg-tm depends upon and cannot survive without wide
spread public support and donations to carry out its mission of
increasing the number of public domain and licensed works that can be
freely distributed in machine readable form accessible by the widest
array of equipment including outdated equipment.  Many small donations
($1 to $5,000) are particularly important to maintaining tax exempt
status with the IRS.

The Foundation is committed to complying with the laws regulating
charities and charitable donations in all 50 states of the United
States.  Compliance requirements are not uniform and it takes a
considerable effort, much paperwork and many fees to meet and keep up
with these requirements.  We do not solicit donations in locations
where we have not received written confirmation of compliance.  To
SEND DONATIONS or determine the status of compliance for any
particular state visit

While we cannot and do not solicit contributions from states where we
have not met the solicitation requirements, we know of no prohibition
against accepting unsolicited donations from donors in such states who
approach us with offers to donate.

International donations are gratefully accepted, but we cannot make
any statements concerning tax treatment of donations received from
outside the United States.  U.S. laws alone swamp our small staff.

Please check the Project Gutenberg Web pages for current donation
methods and addresses.  Donations are accepted in a number of other
ways including including checks, online payments and credit card
donations.  To donate, please visit:

Section 5.  General Information About Project Gutenberg-tm electronic

Professor Michael S. Hart was the originator of the Project Gutenberg-tm
concept of a library of electronic works that could be freely shared
with anyone.  For thirty years, he produced and distributed Project
Gutenberg-tm eBooks with only a loose network of volunteer support.

Project Gutenberg-tm eBooks are often created from several printed
editions, all of which are confirmed as Public Domain in the U.S.
unless a copyright notice is included.  Thus, we do not necessarily
keep eBooks in compliance with any particular paper edition.

Each eBook is in a subdirectory of the same number as the eBook's
eBook number, often in several formats including plain vanilla ASCII,
compressed (zipped), HTML and others.

Corrected EDITIONS of our eBooks replace the old file and take over
the old filename and etext number.  The replaced older file is renamed.
VERSIONS based on separate sources are treated as new eBooks receiving
new filenames and etext numbers.

Most people start at our Web site which has the main PG search facility:

This Web site includes information about Project Gutenberg-tm,
including how to make donations to the Project Gutenberg Literary
Archive Foundation, how to help produce our new eBooks, and how to
subscribe to our email newsletter to hear about new eBooks.

EBooks posted prior to November 2003, with eBook numbers BELOW #10000,
are filed in directories based on their release date.  If you want to
download any of these eBooks directly, rather than using the regular
search system you may utilize the following addresses and just
download by the etext year.

    (Or /etext 05, 04, 03, 02, 01, 00, 99,
     98, 97, 96, 95, 94, 93, 92, 92, 91 or 90)

EBooks posted since November 2003, with etext numbers OVER #10000, are
filed in a different way.  The year of a release date is no longer part
of the directory path.  The path is based on the etext number (which is
identical to the filename).  The path to the file is made up of single
digits corresponding to all but the last digit in the filename.  For
example an eBook of filename 10234 would be found at:

or filename 24689 would be found at:

An alternative method of locating eBooks: