"Those Damned Scotch Pebbles" [Trial]. Blandy, Mary [1720-1751], Defendant. The Genuine Tryal at Large of Mary Blandy, Spinster, For Poisoning Her Own Father Francis Blandy, Gent. Town-Clerk of Henley upon Thames, Oxfordshire, At the Assizes Held at Oxford, For the County of Oxford, On Tuesday the Third of March, 1752, Before the Hon. Mr. Baron Legge, And the Hon. Mr. Baron Smythe. Oxford Printed, London re-printed: [T. Bailey], 1752. 31,  pp. Quarto (6-1/2" x 4-1/4"). Stab-stitched pamphlet, disbound and recently resewn in plain wrappers, edges rouged. Light soiling to wrappers. Light toning to interior, light soiling to a few pages, bottom-edge of leaf D1 (pp. 25-26) mended without loss to text. Rare. $750. * Only edition. The well-educated daughter of a prosperous lawyer, Blandy was not a typical female criminal of the era. Her unfortunate story began when her father, Francis, advertised an unusually large dowry of ?10,000. This attracted many suitors, including one who captivated Mary, the Honourable Captain William Henry Cranstoun, the son of a Scottish nobleman. Mr. Blandy became angry when he learned that Cranstoun was already married and realized that he was after the dowry. Sensing danger, Cranstoun persuaded Mary to give her father a powder he acquired. Cranstoun said it would make the father like him. It was actually arsenic. Mary was fooled by this ruse and administered the powders, which he sent to her in presents of Scotch pebbles. When her father was stricken and she learned what she had done, Mary foolishly burned Cranstoun's letters and disposed of the remaining powder. Cranstoun fled to France when it was clear that Mary was going to be arrested. Mary defended herself ably, but her case was hopeless. She was sentenced to death by hanging. This was a sensational trial, and it generated a large pamphlet literature. It is also a historic trial because it was the first to consider medical evidence (derived from autopsy rather than traditional methods of observation). Blandy wrote a great deal in prison to promote her cause, including the pamphlet Miss Mary Blandy's Own Account of the Affair Between Her and Mr. Cranstoun. Her campaign failed to get her an appeal or a pardon. Also issued individually, this title was issued by T. Bailey as Part 3 of a four-part composite volume: The Gen.
Book number 72947