A Dowry Leads to Death by Love Potion

Although not known as ‘conventionally attractive’, Mary Blandy was often described as well-mannered and highly educated, she was well-liked and respected by many. Born in 1720, Mary was raised in a middle-class family in Oxfordshire, England. Francis loved to spoil and dote on his only child.


Mary’s parents announced a £10,000 dowry for their daughter’s hand in marriage. In reality, the Blandy’s only had £4,000 to offer and not a penny more. Francis wanted to portray an affluent appearance and avoid unworthy suitors for his daughter. It was not until Mary turned 25-years-old, an age criticized as too old to be unmarried at the time, that Francis lowered his standards.

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