In all the years JPs have been taking Statutory Declarations, perhaps the most publicised was taken in the early 1900s, that of Mrs Ellen Carter of Dunedin. The declaration was part of a long, rambling column in the Otago Daily Times on 18th November 1905 advertising a proprietary medicine, Clements Tonic.
The distinctive brown bottle... some also had the embossed notice 'remains the property of Clements Tonic"
The article began relating the many years of suffering poor Mrs Carter endured including melancholy, upset digestive organs, sleeplessness, back ache, neuralgia, restlessness, morning sickness, flatulence and palpitations of the heart. A more comprehensive catalogue of ills is hard to imagine, but help was at hand! As might be anticipated in such an advertisement, we were told that “a friend”, per chance, suggested taking Clements Tonic. “Had I not taken it, I don't believe I would be here now, for Clements Tonic was the only thing that saved me, and you may be surprised to hear I had only taken two bottles of that medicine when I began to get relief”, Mrs Carter declared, “two bottles, mind you, gave me more ease than all the medicine I had paid for over many years, and the best of it all was that I got stronger and stronger as each bottle was emptied… the pains and stiffness were gone. I believe Clements Tonic put ten years on to my life!”
Mrs Carter's endorsement of the fine product is followed by the Statutory Declaration.
Declared at Dunedin this twelfth day of March, one thousand nine hundred and three, before me, (signed) R. CHISHOLM, J.P.'