In the name of God Amen, I, John Stedman of the Razes in the parish of Bosbury in the
county of Hereford, Esquire, considering the uncertainty of this mortal life and being of sound disposing mind, memory
and understanding, do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner following (that is to say) First
I resign my Soul to Almighty God hoping for a joyful Resurrection and eternal Salvation through the Merits and
Mediation of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and my Body I desire may be buried at the discretion of my Executors
hereinafter named. I dispose of my Real and personal Estate as follows. I give, devise and bequeath unto my wife,
Ann Stedman, all that my Capital Messuage or Mansion House called the Razes aforesaid together with the Offices
and outbuildings thereto belonging with their and every of their appurtenances and also Thirty acres of Land, any
that she shall think proper to elect, out of the arable, meadow and pasture Grounds belonging to the said Estate
called the Razes to hold to my said wife for and during the term of her natural [‘life’ omitted] she
keeping and preserving the same in good order and repair.
Also I give and bequeath unto my said wife, Ann Stedman, one annuity or yearly Rent Charge of two hundred pounds of lawful money of Great Britain for and during the term of her natural life payable and to be paid yearly upon four days in the year (that is to say) the twenty-fifth day of March, the twenty-fourth day of June, the twenty-ninth day of September and the twenty-fifth day of December by even and equal portions without any deduction or abatement for or in respect of any taxes, payments or other matter or thing whatsoever, the first payment thereof to begin and be made on such of the said days as shall next happen after my decease. And I hereby charge and make chargeable all my Freehold, Leasehold and Copyhold Estates, Messuages, Lands, Tenements and hereditaments whatsoever situate and being in the several Counties of Hereford, Worcester and Gloucester, except my estate called the Nashend in the parish of Bosbury aforesaid, with the payment of the said annuity or yearly Rent Charge of two hundred pounds with full power for my said wife or her agents to enter and distrain for the same or any part thereof for the better and more speedy recovery thereof as in cases for the Recovery of Rent.
I give, devise and bequeath unto my Brother, Philip Stedman, now residing at Niagra [Niagara] in North America, all that my capital messuage and farm called the Nash End situate and being in the parish of Bosbury aforesaid together with all the Outbuildings, Lands, Tenements, Hereditaments and Appurtenances thereto belonging to hold unto the said Philip Stedman and his heirs for ever. Also I give devise and bequeath unto the said Philip Stedman and his heirs all and every other my Freehold, Leasehold and Copyhold Messuages, Lands, Tenements and hereditaments whatsoever with their and every of their appurtenances situate and being in the county of Hereford, Worcester and Gloucester or elsewhere in the Kingdom of Great Britain, subject nevertheless to the Estate for life and the annuity hereinbefore given to my said wife, Ann Stedman, and charged and chargeable with the payment of one thousand pounds to be paid and disposed of to such person and persons at such time and times and in such proportion and proportions as my said wife shall by her last will and testament in writing or by any other deed or instrument in writing to be by her duly Executed in the presence of three or more credible witnesses shall give direct limit or appoint the same.
I give and bequeath unto my wife, Ann Stedman, all my Household Goods and furniture and plate (except my large Silver Bowl and my Silver Teapot) which I give and bequeath unto my Brother, Philip Stedman. Also I give and bequeath unto my said wife Ann Stedman all my live and dead stock which shall be in or upon my Estate called the Razes at the time of my decease. I give and bequeath unto Phillip Ballard, son of John Ballard of Great Malvern in the county of Worcester, Innholder, the Legacy or Sum of one hundred pounds to be paid him by my Executor hereinafter named when and as soon as he shall have attained his age of twenty one years. I give and bequeath unto my nephew and niece, Philip and Susannah Stedman, now residing at Niagra [Niagara] in North America, the several and respective Legacies or Sums of five pounds apiece to be paid to them by my Executor within one year next after my decease.
All the Rest, Residue and Remainder of all my Real and Personal Estate whatsoever and wheresoever not hereinbefore disposed of, I give devise and bequeath unto my said Brother Philip Stedman and his heirs for ever. And lastly, I do hereby nominate and appoint my brother in law The Reverend Mr Robert Taylor of the parish of Moore, in the county of Salop [Shropshire], Clerk, and The Reverend Mr Thomas Cox of Quatsford [Quatford?, now in Shropshire] In the county of Hereford, Clerk, joint Executors and Trustees of this my last will and Testament hereby revoking all former wills by me at any time heretofore made, in witness whereof, I, the said Testator, John Stedman, have to this my last will and testament contained in three sheets of paper to the two first sheets set my hand and to the last my hand and seal this 23rd day of November in the twenty seventh year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord, George the third, by the Grace of God of Great Britain, France and Ireland, King, defender of the faith and so forth and in the year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and eighty six. John Stedman (LS) signed sealed published and declared by the said John Stedman the Testator as and for his last will and testament in the presence of us who in his presence and in the presence of each other and at his request have subscribed our names as witnesses hereto Edmund Brydges, Thomas Brydges, Sarah Vale
A codicil to be annexed and taken as part of the last will and Testament of John Stedman of the Razes in the parish of Bosbury In the county of Hereford, Esquire, whereas the said John Stedman by his last will and testament Bearing date the twenty third day of November one thousand seven hundred and eighty six hath given and bequeathed unto Philip Ballard, son of John Ballard of Great Malvern in the county of Worcester, Innholder the sum of one hundred pounds to be paid him on his attaining the age of twenty one years and whereas the said John Stedman some time since paid the sum of one hundred pounds to his father John Ballard for the purpose of articling him to an attorney now the said John Stedman doth hereby revoke and make void the said Legacy so given by him to the said Philip Ballard by his last will and testament as aforesaid. In witness whereof the said John Stedman have to this codicil hereunto set his hand and seal this twelfth day of September one thousand seven hundred and ninety eight John Stedman LS Signed Sealed published and declared by the said John Stedman the Testator as and for a codicil to be annexed to his last will and testament in the presence of John Meakings, Temple, London, Thomas Newell
This Will was proved at London with a codicil, the thirty first day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred hundred[sic] and nine before the Right Honourable Sir John Nicholl Knight, Doctor of Law, Master Keeper or Commissary of the prerogative Court of Canterbury, lawfully constituted by the oath of the Reverend Robert Taylor, Clerk, the Surviving Executor named in the said will, to whom administration was granted of all and singular the Goods Chattels and Credits of the said deceased he having been first sworn by Commission duly to administer.