Cranstoun, William Henry (DNB00)

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Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 13
Cranstoun, William Henry

by Thomas Finlayson Henderson ‎

CRANSTOUN, WILLIAM HENRY (1714–1752), fifth son of William, fifth lord Cranstoun, and his wife, Lady Jane Ker, eldest daughter of William, second marquis of Lothian, was born in 1714. While a captain in the army he married privately at Edinburgh, on 22 May 1745, Anne, daughter of David Murray of Leith. In 1746 he disowned the marriage, but the lady insisted on its lawfulness, and the commissaries, on 1 March 1748, granted a decree in her favour, with an annuity of 40l. sterling for herself and 10l. for her daughter so long as she should be alimented by her mother. The cause of Cranstoun's conduct was that he had fallen in love with Miss Mary Blandy [q. v.], the daughter of an attorney of Henley-on-Thames. Mr. Blandy objected to Cranstoun paying his addresses to her on the ground that he was already married, and resenting his interference Miss Blandy poisoned her father on 14 Aug. 1751 . She afterwards alleged that the powder she administered had been sent to her by Cranstoun from Scotland as a love-potion; but apart from her statement there was nothing to connect him with the murder. He died on 9 Dec. 1762.

[Life of W. H. Cranstoun. 1763 ; Douglas's Scotch Peerage (Wood), i. 368 ; Anderson s Scottish Nation; the authorities referred to in the notice of Mary Blandy, v. 202.]

T. F. H.