Unsolved Murders

Sarah Doolson

Age: 36

Sex: female

Date: 20 Apr 1911

Place: 200 Wallgate, Wigan, Lancashire

Sarah Doolson died from the results of an illegal operation.

A woman was suspected for her murder but it was said that there was not enough evidence against her for either a charge of murder or manslaughter.

Sarah Doolson was initially buried but was later exhumed at the request of the Home Secretary.

Sarah Doolson had died from a ulcerative endocarditis due to some septic infection and had recently had a miscarriage within three weeks of her death.

The court heard that the woman had performed an abortion on Sarah Doolson on 15 April 1911 and that she died five days later.

Sarah Doolson was 36 and was married with 3 children aged 11, 6 and 5. She had also had four other children who had died.

It was heard that on 15 April Sarah Doolson and her husband had left their home in Autumn Street, Horwich and gone to see the woman in Wigan at 200 Wallgate, Wigan at about 5pm. It was said that they then went into the parlour and that the woman took Sarah Doolson upstairs. While Sarah Doolson was upstairs the husband went to the Seven Stars Hotel with another woman and had a special whisky for one shilling and sixpence.

After, the husband said that he returned to the house and saw his wife and asked how she was and asked if it hurt and said that Sarah Doolson replied, 'No I scarcely ever felt it'. It was then said that the woman said, 'There’s nothing to hurt you I only use these two fingers and if they ever belway I'll cut the buggers off'. It was then heard that another woman at the house then said, 'Put down your sovereign', which he did and the woman picked it up.

It was heard then that the woman said, 'If anything should happen to you and you should feel bad there’s a good sixpenny doctor down here I will get you a bottle and you will feel alright'. 

Sarah Doolson was said to have then said, 'If anything should happen to me and I die I will take the secret to the grave.', and that the woman had replied, 'God bless you'. It was heard then that the woman said, 'I don't come to seek you, you come to seek me. What’s a sovereign to having children and I wish my life'.

Sarah Doolson had been about 9-10 weeks in the family way.

*map pointers are rough estimates based on known location details as per Place field above.

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see National Archives - ASSI 52/171

see Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Tuesday 09 May 1911