We actually know very little about Samuel Cunnock.
The only surviving official record in which he appears is the Poor Rate Return of 1729 - this was a system of rating property and is the forerunner of today's Council Tax. Samuel is recorded as paying an annual rate of one penny for his property. A penny rate would have been on the poor side of average for a working class man at that time.
The other information we have concerning Samuel comes from his will, dated 14 December 1743 and the certificate of the will being proved. In fact he must have died very shortly after writing his will since it was proved just three weeks later, on 8 January 1743 (England didn't adopt the Gregorian calendar until 1752 and until then New Year's Day was Lady Day, 25 March).
From his will we know that Samuel was a carpenter and lived in Yeovil. He was married but his wife's name is unknown since he only refers to her as "my wife". He had two daughters; Rachell Leveridge and Jane Terrel and a grandson, Samuel Cunnock Terrel.
Despite me classing Samuel as "on the poor side of average for a working class man" in 1729, by the time of his will he had made remarkable financial progress for a carpenter, owning five properties -
From the certificate of when the will was proved we know that Rachell was married to William Leveridge and Jane was married to John Terrel. She was the mother of Samuel Cunnock Terrel who, it transpires, was only eight years old when his grandfather made him the sole executor of his will.
The last Will & Testament of Samuel Cunnock, 1743
In the Name of God Amen I Samuel Cunnock of Yeovil in the County of Somerset Carpenter being weak of Body but of a Sound and Disposing Mind and Memory Thanks be to God for the same Do make this my last Will and Testament in Manner Following First I give to my Wife my House in the Borough of Yeovil aforesaid during the Term of her Natural Life and from and after her Decease I give the same unto my Grandson Samuel Cunnock Terrel my Executor herein after named his Heirs Adm[inistrator]s and Assignes for and During all the rest residue and remainder of the Estate and Term which I shall have therein then to come [word illegible] I give to my Daughter Jane Terrel all that my Dwelling House with the Appurtenances lying in Rackleford Known by the name of the Anchor to her her Heirs Adm[inistrator]s and Assignes for ever I Give to my Daughter Rachell Leveridge all these my Three Tenements with the Appurtenances lying in Hendford within the parish of Yeovil for and During the term of her Natural Life and from and immediately after her Decease I give the same unto the Heirs of her Body Lawfully begotten or to be begotten and for default of such [word illegible] I Give the said Three last mentioned Tenements unto my said Grandson Samuel Cunnock Terrel his heirs and Assigns for ever Item all the rest and residue of any personal Estate Stocks goods and Chattles of what nature or kind soever not herein before by me Given I Give Devise and bequeath (after my Debts and Funeral Expenses are paid and Sattisfied) unto my said Wife my said Grandson Samuel Cunnock Terrel and my Two Daughters Jane Terrel and Rachell Leveridge Equally to be Divided between them by my Loving Friends Thomas Windsor and Robert Taylor Carpenter But my Will and meaning further is that if my said Wife do refuse to Release her Dower and Thirds of and for all my Lands herein before Divised that she shall receive no Benefit or Advantage by any Devise or Bequest in this my Will and upon such refusal as aforesaid I give my said Dwelling House in the Burrough of Yeovil aforesaid unto my said Executor for the residue of the Term which shall be therein to come and such other part or Share of my Personal Estate as is herein before given to my said Wife shall be Equally Divided Between my said [Heir ?] and Two Daughters and of this my said Will I do make my said Grandson Samuel Cunnock Terrel Sole Executor hereby revoking all former Wills by me at any time heretofore made and Declaring this only to be my Last Will and Testament In Witness whereof I the said Samuel Cunnock have hereunto set my hand and Seal this Fourteenth Day of December on the year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Forty Three
The mark of - Samuel Cunnock -
Signed Sealed Published and Declared by the said Samuel Cunnock as and for his last Will and Testament in the presence of us who on his request and in his presence have subscribed our Names as Witnesses hereto - Bartholomew Perry William Martin John Winsor.
Transcribed by Bob Osborn