Ruth Blay (June 10, 1737 – December 30, 1768) [1] was executed by hanging after being convicted of concealment of a stillborn illegitimate child, which was later found on the floor of the barn next to the house in which she was staying. She was not convicted of killing the baby. She was granted 3 reprieves before the execution. Blay was the last female executed by the state (then a colony) of New Hampshire. She was executed by Thomas Packer, Portsmouth’s High Sheriff,[2] who also oversaw the execution of Eliphaz Dow in 1755. [3]

Ruth Blay
Born(1737-06-10)June 10, 1737
DiedDecember 30, 1768(1768-12-30) (aged 31)
Cause of deathExecution by hanging
Criminal statusExecuted
Criminal penaltyDeath by hanging

Blay split her time between teaching in nearby towns and being a seamstress.

Ruth Blay's story is covered in an episode of the podcast Lore.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Smith & Campbell "Ruth Blay" worldconnect Accessed July 10, 2013
  2. ^ "Ruth Blay Hanged Here in 1768".
  3. ^ Warren Brown (1900). "History of the Town of Hampton Falls, N. H.: From the Time of the first settlement within its borders 1640 until 1900". p. 312.