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Hunt

A John and Aicia Hunt are listed as tenants in Emborough in 1471 and 1477. They may not have been related to the William Hunt who was appointed as vicar of Chewton Mendip on 22nd October, 1706. His patron was William Kingsmill V which suggests that William had not yet lost his mind. The Clergy database shows William Hunt held several other positions whilst he was the vicar of Chewton Mendip including the role of  prebend of Wells cathedral for two or three other parishes. This shows that he was another member of Wells Cathedral’s staff who was an incumbent of Chewton Mendip which goes back to Canon Roger mentioned in 1241. He may not have been the same William Hunt who was paying poor rates in Chewton Mendip at the same time but he probably was.
 The church lands  in Chewton Mendip were owned by several people and several people with links to the church owned land in Chewton Mendip. The Taswells and Jenkins families fall into the categories of wealthy churchmen who also owned farmland in Chewton Mendip. The Hunts do not appear as land owners in the 1794 map but the last William Hunt may have already died by that date.
 Some of the records in the Clergy Database suggests that William Hunt’s name was James. There are subsequent references to both William and James Hunts  in Chewton Mendip during the next century.
 It is possible that the Hunts lived at Chewton House or Chewton Priory for at least part of the 18th century based on a process of elimination. William Hunt may have lived in either building that occupied the sites of the Old Vicarge or the Old Rectory when he was an incumbent but as a pluralist he could have lived in several places. The survey conducted by Edmund Rack in the 1780s describes Chewton Mendip as a place with a few fine buildings but mainly ‘mean houses’ with thached roofs. Most of the fine buildings were owned by the Kingsmills at the time and other records state that William or James Hunt was a steward for the Kingsmills. Barrow Farm is another prossibility for their residence.
The Rev William Hunt resigned his living in Chewton Mendip in 1713 or 1714, possibly to concentrate on his other roles, but he lived untill 1733. He may have been married to Martha because poor relief accounts were being prepared on her behalf in 1737. This suggests she was a wealthy widow.
One or more William Hunts were paying poor rates in Chewton Mendip consistently through the 18th centuries. A William Hunt acted as an overseer and the name crops up in several other places. He had a flamboyant signature with a squiggly tail on the T in his name which makes his last name look like Huntly. Other variations on the spelling of his name may have been Huntone. It is probable that references to Mr Hunt after 1733 refer to the son of the Rev Willim Hunt.
 William Hunt the overseer was probably married to Ann Christian Symes who was the sister of Richard Symes, the rector of St Werburghs in Bristol. Richard Symes was in turn married to Ann Hunt, William’s sister. They are all commemorated on a white marble memorial of the baptistery of Chewton Mendip church. The inscriptions suggest William Hunt may have died in 1773 whilst the Symes died in 1799 and 1798 respectively. A Thomas Symes was another overseer of Chewton Mendip in the late 18th century but his relationship with Richard is unknown.
 A third William Hunt was paying poor rates and  rents to the Kingsmill whilst acting as an agent for that family. Some of these records refer to a James Hunt so it is possible that there was a separate family of Hunts in the village at the time or that there were two brothers of the same family.
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