The Case of Mary Blandy: Guilty or Innocent?

Giaconda's Blog

Mary Blandy

“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?”
~”Henley,” anonymous 1827 poem

The case of Mary Blandy divides opinion even today. Was she an innocent victim of a confidence trickster who was used and abandoned to a miserable fate or was she complicit in the murder of her father? Was Mary innocent, naïve and manipulated, thrown to the wolves by her own father and set up for a tragic end or cold-hearted, an unnatural daughter and murderess who was rightly executed for a terrible crime?

Our response to a case like this probably says as much about us and our world view as it does about the available evidence left to us from the C18th court case, trial and execution records and contemporary attitudes…

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