Oxford MailUnlock a poisoner's past (From Oxford Mail)

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Unlock a poisoner's past

Oxford Mail: Oxford Castle’s Lois Sadler dressed as Mary Blandy, who was imprisoned in 1751 for poisoning her father with arsenic. She was eventually hanged outside the castle Buy this photo Oxford Castle’s Lois Sadler dressed as Mary Blandy, who was imprisoned in 1751 for poisoning her father with arsenic. She was eventually hanged outside the castle

OXFORD Castle is inviting visitors to take a trip back in time this Easter.

Punters can learn the story of Mary Blandy, accused of poisoning her own father in the 18th century, and decide for themselves if she was guilty.

In 1751, aristocrat Miss Blandy was imprisoned in Oxford Castle, accused of patricide.

Her father had offered a substantial dowry for her hand in marriage, but the young heiress was already in love with a married man.

Her lover, Captain William Cranston, is alleged to have sent her a letter containing arsenic to poison her father with.

Tour guide Lois Sadler, who plays the part of Miss Blandy, said: “The story goes that he sent her a powder one day and told her if she sprinkled it in his food it would soften his temper and make him look favourably on their marriage.

“That’s where it gets a little bit tricky. Did she know it was poison, or think it was something else?

“Either way, he certainly wasn’t objecting after that.”

Visitors to the museum take a tour through the sordid saga, watched video submissions from key witnesses before making their own minds up.

The Trials and Sentencing Trail is open until April 21. Tickets costs £15 for adults, £10 for children or £45 for a family ticket.

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