Who was Esme Shelby married to in Peaky Blinders?

Esme Shelby-Lee made a return to the Peaky Blinders in the third episode of the final season. Tommy Shelby went in search of her after thinking she may be responsible for a curse he believed to have been put on his family di lei, that was making his young daughter di lei Ruby sick di lei.

The BBC drama showed Esme played by Newport-born actress Aimee-Ffion Edwards and Tommy played by Cillian Murphy, trek both in car and then on horseback over rugged terrain to a gypsy grave, where she told Tommy the story of a blue sapphire. The cursed blue sapphire which was once worn by Tommy’s late wife Grace when she was killed by the Changretta crime family during a dinner event for the Shelby Charity Foundation.

After his wife’s death and discovering it was cursed, he gave the sapphire to Bethany Boswell but she later passed it on to her sister who then handed it to her seven-year-old daughter Connie, who later died after becoming sick with a cough.

Read more: Peaky Blinders: Where is the BBC period drama series filmed?

Esme bargained with Tommy that she would help to find the family, so he could pay them to lift the curse he had put on his daughter, but she would only do so in exchange for gold – but now that Tommy has discovered Ruby has died will he seek out revenge?



Esme Shelby-Lee and Tommy Shelby

Many may not have recognized Esme, as she left the show back in series four when her husband was murdered, but who was she married to?

Who was Esme Shelby married to in Peaky Blinders?

Esme Shelby was previously married to the third eldest Shelby brother, John Shelby played by Joe Cole, who is now starring in ITV’s The Ipcress File. Tommy arranged the marriage with the head of the Lee family back in series one to help bring peace between the Birmingham gang and the Lees.

The pair wed happily and welcomed two children into their brood alongside John’s four children by a previous marriage but Esme was always adamant she wanted no part in the Shelby business and when John died at the hands of the Changretta crime family. She vowed she was “done” with the Shelby family and would return to the Lee family and live as a gypsy widow.



Esme Shelby-Lee played by Aimee-Ffion Edwards
Esme Shelby-Lee played by Aimee-Ffion Edwards

Her last scene was in series four, episode two where she was seen taking the rings from her husband as she visited him in the morgue and told him she was taking the children “on the road” to be with “decent people”.

Peaky Blinders continues on BBC One and the BBC iPlayer on Sunday, March 20 from 9pm. You can watch the series so far on the BBC iPlayer.

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