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William Hallett

(1733 - 1807)

William Hallett was the youngest of five children born to parents Samuel and Eleanor (nee Robins). He was christened at Haselbury Plucknett, Somerset on 1 July 1733.

It is likely that William's eldest brother Joseph, died before William was born. Certainly his parents named a further child Joseph in 1729.

In June 1747, thirteen year old William was apprenticed to Richard Ax, a Cordwainer from Martock, Somerset. The fee for his apprenticeship was £5.5s (five guineas), a significant amount of money in 1747. It has been suggested that the money may have been left in a will by William's great uncle George, also a Cordwainer who died in 1747.

William's father died at the age of fifty and was buried in Haselbury Plucknett on 24 April 1748; William was fourteen years old.

Both of William's sisters, Dyanor and Anne were married in Crewkerne in 1749 at the ages of 27 and 25 respectively. Why they moved to and married in Crewkerne in the same year is unknown. One possibility is that they moved away from the family home following the death of their father.

William's mother Eleanor died and was buried in Haselbury Plucknett on 30 May 1751.

William would have finished his apprenticeship when he was 21 in 1754. As no close family remained in Haselbury Plucknett, it appears that William left the area and travelled to Bristol. A 1714 reference was found to a Gabriel Robins going to Bristol to help his brother. It is possible Gabriel and his brother were William's uncles and he travelled to Bristol to work with them.

Sometime before 1761, William returned to Kingsbury Episcopi. He married Joan Batt in the village on 29 March 1761.

William was clearly working in his time served trade, as in August 1761, whilst still living in Kingsbury Episcopi, George Spracklton was apprenticed to William for seven years.

William and Joan's first child, also named William was baptised on 30 June 1763 at the South Petherton Old Meeting hall. This would suggest that the family were dissenters or nonconformists and makes tracing the births of their children very difficult. It is believed they had further children as follows:

1764? John
1761-70 James
1767 Sarah
Before 1772 Thomas
1772 Thomas
Before 1777 Samuel
1777 Samuel
1781 Hannah
Unknown Joseph

Children having the same name as in Thomas and Samuel above, is often an indication that the first child had died.

William is believed to be the William Hallett who traded with William Pittard whose farm accounts from 1785 to 1813 are held at the Somerset Records Office. Transactions involving William are detailed below.

Date Detail Receipts   Payments
    s d   s d
1785 None              
1786 None              
1787 Jan 1 Paid Wm Hallett 10/6 for work           10 6
1787 Apr 2 Recd of Wm Hallett for 1 calves Sciss wd 7 at 51/2 = 3/5   3 5        
1788 None              
1789 Jun 19 Recd of Wm Hallett for 4 Pigs wd 91 lb in part [ could this be part payment for rent? ]   ? ?        
1790 Jul 12 Recd of Wm Hallett for the remaining part of 19 for 4 pigs he had the 19th June 1789 being   9 6        
1790 Jul 12 Paid Wm Hallett for 1i pare of shoos yl do of pumps           13  
1791 Jan ? Recd of Wm Hallett for 3 young pigs war 133 at wt 2 3/4 1 10 5        
1791 Nov 3 Paid Wm Hallett for 1 new pair of shoos           6 6
1791 Nov 3 do for mending             6
1792 None              
1793 None              
1794 None              
1795 None              
1796 Jun 3 Paid Wm Hallett for 2 Pigs on Barrow and on[e] Sow that was his son Thomases 4 15s 0d         4 15  
1797 None              
1798 Jan 4 Recd of Wm Hallett for malt and hops had May 23 do for the sum that his son Thos had Aug 20   13          
1799 Apr 18 Recd of Wm Hallett for 3 bushels of malt   16 6        
1799 Apr 18 Paid Wm Hallett for 26 mun and 56lbs of old hay. (a further three entries were photographed to save time but the photo was unclear)         6 9  
1800 Nov 5 Recd of Wm Hallett for a hogshead of Syder [sic] 15/-   15          
1801 Jan 10 Recd of Wm Jn Hallett for malt and hops by my bill that began Nov 12 1799 and ended Sep' 24 1800        
1801 Jan 10 Paid Wm Jn Hallett for 1 pair of shoos and 1 pair of sleepers           14 
1801 Jun 23 Rec of Wm Hallett for 23 gallons of water syder had 8th Jan past           11   
1802 Dec 6 Recd of Wm Hallett for 1 hogshead of syder had Oct 29 1901         10   
1802 Dec 6 Pd Wm Hallett for 1 pair of shoos and mending the same for Sam Crocker          
1803 Not yet checked              
1804 None              
1805 None              
1806 None              
1807 None              
1808 None              
1809 Not yet checked              
1810 Not yet checked              
1811 None              
1812 Not yet checked              
1813 Not yet checked              


William's wife Joan died and was buried in Kingsbury Episcopi on 18 December 1803.

William died at the age of 73 and was buried on 3 May 1807 in Kingsbury Episcopi. The following is a transcript of his will.

Will, Probate, Conveyance, Hallett, William.

Date of the Probate and Sum sworn. 30 Nov 1807 under 100 pounds # 57

Name and Description of Testator or Testatrix : William Hallett of the Parish of Kingsbury Episcopi in the County of Somerset

Name and Place of Abode of Executor or Executrix: Thomas Hallett of Ash in So. County, Butcher and John Hallett of Kingsbury Episcopi afs, Cordwainer. Sons of Testator

Name of the Legatees, distinguishing the Residuary Legatee: Said Executors.

Degree of Kindred: Sons

Particulars of the several Specific Legacies, Bequests in Trust - and of the Residue: All his Messuages Lands Real and personal Estate whatsoever share and share alike."

Much of the above information was provided by Geoff Hallett who lives in Canada and has researched the Hallett family in great detail. Geoff was helped by previous research of Maurice Bartlett Hallett of Cardiff.