Murder New Zealand

Murder UK

Murder Austrailia






Murder UK is a site dedicated to documenting and investigating murder in the UK. We aim to be precise with facts and avoid speculation. If however you find discrepancies please  Contact us







A - Z index








Sarah Malcolm




Kill Total: 3

Kill date:

3 February 1733

Kill Place:







Ann Price

Elizabeth Harrison

Lydia Duncomb





Old Bailey














3rd February 1733, Sarah Malcolm  worked as a laundress, and had many clients. this gave her access to apartments and flats, and enabled her to see what the premises contained. On the fateful night she, along with three accomplices entered the apartment of elderly Lydia Duncomb, with the intention of robbery.

On the Sunday morning a friend of Mrs. Duncomb called and got no answer, she raised the alarm. a locksmith was called, and it was Sarah Malcolm who was the first to enter.

Mrs. Duncomb's body was found lying on her bed she had been strangled. Also discovered in the apartment were two other bodies, that of Ann Price and Elizabeth Harrison, both were servants of Lydia Duncomb, both had also been strangled.

The apartment had been completely stripped of anything of value, and the strongbox had been forced open and emptied.

A neighbour, who also used Sarah's services came home on the Sunday lunchtime, and found Sarah in his room, he was surprised to see her there at that time and asked her to leave. after she had gone he checked his room, found some of his things missing, and also discovered a blood stained tankard.

Suspicion was now placed upon Sarah and the police were called. When Sarah was searched as she entered Newgate prison on the Monday morning she was found to have a large amount of gold and silver coins on her. She also had a purse hidden in her bra, containing a large amount of money, she claimed the money and coins had been found in the street.


Friday 23rd February 1733, Trial at the old Bailey in London,

The  court indictment against her read:

Sarah Malcolm, alias Mallcombe was indicted for the Murder of Ann Price, Spinster, by wilfully and maliciously giving her with a Knife one mortal Wound on the Throat, of the length of two Inches, and depth of one Inch, on the 4th of February instant, of which wound the said Anne Price instantly died.
She was a second time indicted for the Murder of Elizabeth Harrison, spinster, by strangling and choking her with a cord, on the said 4th of February; by reason of which strangling and choking the said Elizabeth Harrison instantly died.
She was a third time indicted for the Murder of Lydia Duncomb , Widow, by strangling and choking her with a Cord, on the said 4th of February, by which Strangling and Choking the said Lydia Duncomb instantly died.
She was again indicted for breaking and entering the dwelling-house of Lydia Duncomb , Widow, and stealing 20 Moidores, (Spanish gold coins valued at 27 shillings each) 18 Guineas, one Broad-Piece, value 25 s. 4 Broad-Pieces, value 23 s. each, one half Broad-Piece, value 11 s. 6 d. 25 s. in Silver, a Silver Tankard, Value 40 s. a Canvas Bag, Value 1 d. and two Smocks, value 12 s. on the 4th day of February instant, about the hour of 2 in the night of the same day.”


Sarah pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.

All were capital offences, so it was decided to proceed only with the murder of Ann price to save court time and money.

She claimed that she had indeed been there, for the purpose of robbery, and that the accomplices must have committed the murders when she was not looking. She demanded the return to her of the money and coins she had found.

she was found guilty and sentenced to death.

She returned to New gate to await execution. It was common practice at the time to carry out the execution close to where the crime had been committed.

Newgate’s portable gallows was set up in Fleet Street, in the square opposite Mitre Court


Wednesday 7th of March 1733, Sarah Malcolm was executed by executioner John Hooper.



Have your say in our USER FORUM >>




Recommended Book







Copyright Murder UK 1993 -2011