Elizabeth Veale, as she was then, was born in 1766 and raised in the English village of Bridgerule, on the border of Cornwall and Devon in England’s southwest.

The time I spent in Elizabeth Macarthur’s birthplace was absolutely the highlight of my trip to England.  But, as I alwayMr John Boudens seem to find, the place mattered far less than the people.

The spritely octogenarian, Mr Bowden, who showed me through St Bridget’s church and then rang the bells for me.  That’s him holding the enormous key to the church!

Rose Hitchings, who was almost as excited as me to find the gravestones of Elizabeth Macarthur’s parents and sister.

Diana Green who generously shared her knowledge, pictures and research.

The owners of The Glebe – now a beautiful accommodation venue but once the home of Elizabeth’s best friend Bridget Kingdon.  They were more than happy for me and my new friends to explore the (gorgeous) grounds.

Rosie Beat, of the Bridge Mill, who showed me her wonderful, and very beautiful, organic garden.

David and Vivienne HaleShiela Cholwill and MST, owners of Lodgeworthy Farm (where Elizabeth Macarthur was born) who kindly invited me into their home, shared their information about Elizabeth and fed me the BEST afternoon tea ever!

Diane of Tackbear Manor, who also showed me through her home and beautiful gardens.

And last but very definitely not least, Bridgerule locals Sheila and Colin Cholwill who willingly invited me, a complete stranger, into their home.  Luckily we quickly became friends and their generosity and kindness will stay with me for a very long time.

It was entirely thanks to Sheila (pictured with me – she’s the blonde) that my adventures in Bridgerule were so successful.  The woman is a human dynamo!


More blog posts about Bridgerule:


2018-03-21T14:56:19+10:00 July 8th, 2014|Elizabeth Macarthur, Life|13 Comments


  1. residentjudge July 8, 2014 at 8:30 am - Reply

    It’s lovely, isn’t it, when total strangers share their places with someone from the other side of the world on trust like this. It’s obviously a two-way thing: they deepen their knowledge of the house or church that they are custodians of, and for us it enriches our imagination of place, weather, views, smells.

  2. Michelle Scott Tucker July 8, 2014 at 11:18 am - Reply

    Welcome residentjudge! You are absolutely right on both counts and it’s something I’ve been thinking about – why and how do visits like mine to Bridgerule enrich the research? Stay tuned, I feel a new blog post coming on 😉

  3. […] and family stayed there for the next fifty years.   Hatherleigh is only 18 miles to the east of Bridgerule, the home of Elizabeth Macarthur.  In 1781 Elizabeth was fifteen and spending much of her time […]

  4. shark123 June 4, 2015 at 5:53 am - Reply

    That blond is my grandma Sheila cholwill I’m harvey cholwill

    • Michelle Scott Tucker June 4, 2015 at 9:20 am - Reply

      Welcome Harvey! Your grandma is a is a kind, generous and wise woman – you are a very lucky boy.

  5. […] Bridgerule (it’s the people that really matter) […]

  6. […] Bridgerule (it’s the people that really matter) […]

  7. […] England, when I visited Elizabeth Macarthur’s birthplace (a tiny village in north Devon) I met Sheila Cholwill, her husband Colin and her good friend Rose Hitchings. For two […]

  8. […] England, when I visited Elizabeth Macarthur’s birthplace (a tiny village in north Devon) I met Sheila Cholwill, her husband Colin and her good friend Rose Hitchings. For two […]

  9. […] the book. They interviewed the lovely Rose, who was one of the women I became friends with on my trip to the UK. And yes, Rose has already received her signed copy of the […]

  10. […] Macarthur (1766-1850) was born in Bridgerule, Devon where her father was an affluent farmer, in or aspiring to the lower reaches of the landed […]

  11. Lorna Laird. September 15, 2018 at 10:55 am - Reply

    I was born in Bideford, Devon, though am an Australian citizen. Loved your book on Elizabeth Macarthur and was thrilled to note Bideford got a mention in Chapter 7!

    • Michelle Scott Tucker September 17, 2018 at 8:25 pm - Reply

      I loved Devon – what a beautiful part of the world. And so pleased you enjoyed the book, thanks for letting me know. What was it that you liked about it?

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