Herefordshire to wit
I Philip Stedman Sparksman of the Parish of Bosbury in the County of Hereford Farmer do solemnly and sincerely declare that I am the eldest son of Mrs Susannah Sparksman by her husband John Sparksman and am now forty two years of age or thereabouts and was born at a place called De Troit in the United States in America that I continued to live there until the year one thousand eight hundred and seventeen when I came to England and resided with my Great Uncle Mr Philip Stedman at the Razees in the said Parish of Bosbury that I have frequently heard my mother Mrs Susannah Sparksman declare that she had been living in America about six years previous to her marriage with my Father but that she was born in England and from many circumstances and facts which have come to my knowledge I have no doubt whatever of the truth of her statement and verily believe the same to be true.
That my Great Uncle the said Philip Stedman used many endeavours to find out where my mother and her family were living in America and when he succeeded in discovering us he requested me or one of the family to be sent over to reside with him as my mother and her family were his only relatives that accordingly I came over and resided with him as requested until the period of his decease in November one thousand eight hundred and twenty at the Razees aforesaid
That during the time I so resided with the said Philip Stedman I frequently heard him speak of my mother as being his niece and since the death of his brother Mr John Stedman without lawful issue his sole heiress and relative That on the death of the said Philip Stedman I sent to my father and mother in America informing them of the event and also the purport of his Will.
That in the course of the following year one thousand eight hundred and twenty one my father and mother arrived in England and resided at the Razees for many years till the death of my father in one thousand eight hundred and twenty five - or thereabouts
That from living with said Philip Stedman I gained the knowledge of all my family and that there were no other relatives of the said Philip Stedman and John Stedman except my mother and her family. That the said John Stedman married but had no issue and that his widow died some few years after his decease.
That the said Philip Stedman never married and died a Bachelor. [sic] That the Trustees for sale, Messieurs Richard Hemming and James Holbrook, of the property devised to them for the purpose comprising three hundred acres of land besides the Razees Estate or thereabouts always recognised my mother the said Susannah Sparksman as the sole heiress of the said John and Philip Stedman.
That the said Trustees for sale had at various times sold various parts of the Freehold property devised by my Great Uncle and my mother was always required by the respective purchasers to join in the respective conveyances as Heiress at Law and I have frequently been present and seen her execute these conveyances and was present and see her execute the conveyance of the Razees Estate to Mr Philip Howe Daniel.
That my mother left England for America sometime since and I believe is at present living there and that to obtain strict legal evidence would be attended with great expense and lastly I do not hesitate to state that my mother Mrs Susannah Sparksman is the sole Heiress at Law of both of my Great Uncles the said John and Philip Stedman and I do make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true and by virtue of the provisions of an act made and passed in the fifth and sixth year of the Reign of his present Majesty intituled [sic] “An Act to repeal an act of the present session of Parliament intituled An Act for the more effectual abolition of Oaths and Affirmations taken and made in various departments of the State and to substitute declarations in lieu thereof and for the more entire suppression of voluntary and extra judicial oaths and affidavits and to make other provisions for the abolition of unnecessary oaths”
Sworn at Ledbury in the County of Hereford this thirtieth day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty six before me
[Signed] Edward Hankins
[Signed to the right] Phillip Stedman Sparksman [sic]
Transcribed by Patricia Matthews from the original
document held by the Bosbury Chroniclers, 2013.