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"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

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


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,



(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

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

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.



_I. - Cranstoun's Own Version of the Facts._

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

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

[Illustration: Captain William Henry Cranstoun, with his pompous
funeral procession in Flanders
(_From an Engraving by B. Cole_.)]

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

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