Here we continue the story of Elizabeth Veale, born 1766, and a descendant of Devonshire Gentry. She later married John McArthur and emigrated to Australia on the Second Fleet in 1790.
Elizabeth Veale was about 12 years of age when her mother remarried and moved away from Bridgerule.
It is believed that it was at this time, she moved into the household of the Rev John Kingdon. Although John and Jane Kingdon had several sons, they only had one daughter at this time.
The Rev John Kingdon was also from a landed family of Holsworthy. He was born in 1735, the eldest son of Roger and Judith Kingdon. He began his education at Holsworthy and later is believed to have attended a Grammar School in Exeter, before going to Exeter College, at Oxford University. In later years, he was well known for his great scholarship.
John Kingdon was appointed Vicar of Bridgerule in 1765 but lived at nearby Holsworthy.
On 25 June 1766, the Rev John Kingdon married, Jane Hockin, of Okehampton, Devonshire.
Bridget Kingdon, their eldest child was born at Holsworthy in 1767 and was baptized there on 21 July. The family moved into the Bridgerule vicarage, known as East Park, soon afterward. All their subsequent children were born there and baptized at St Bridget’s.
Elizabeth Veale had grown up in the village with Bridget Kingdon, and she was welcomed into the household as a suitable companion.
John Kingdon also believed that girls should be well educated to run the family estates, while their husbands were absent, and so privately tutored his daughter, Bridget, and Elizabeth Veale. Not only to read and write well but also to study literature and sciences. She lived there several years before returning to the Hatherly home.
John Hatherly, Elizabeth Veale’s grandfather is known to have doted on his granddaughter and was preparing her for a ‘good’ marriage. Although Lodgeworthy in Bridgerule, was now in the hands of Edmund Leach, it had prospered and was intended for Elizabeth Veale’s dowry. Life was good on those Devonshire farms as Elizabeth Veale grew into womanhood.
Meanwhile down in Stoke Climsland, Edmund and Grace Leach had also prospered and they had had a daughter, Mary Isabella. She had been born in late 1780 and was baptized at All Saints Parish Church, Stoke Climsland on 14 January 1781.
However, when the American War of Independence ended in 1782, it changed life everywhere including those farming communities in Devon. Depression hit Britain quickly and severely with few markets, failing crops and increasing population by migration and immigration. Over the next five years disaster was to slowly engulf many families in that part of the country.
The result was that Edmund Leach gradually sank into bankruptcy, and had to sell all his property, including Lodgeworthy at Bridgerule, leaving Elizabeth Veale without any means for a dowry.
Elizabeth’s mother, Grace Leach, along with her youngest daughter Mary Isabella, returned to her father, John Hatherly’s home at Bridgerule, on the death of her mother, Grace Hatherly, in 1785. Her husband Edmund Leach remained at Stoke Climsland, where he died a pauper and was buried in All Saints Churchyard on 1 April 1791. His grave is unmarked.
In 1787, Elizabeth Veale was just 21 years of age when she met the dashing John McArthur. He was a tutor at the school where the young Thomas Hockin, a son of the Rev John and Jane Kingdon, was a pupil. He was invited by Thomas’s parents, to visit them at the Bridgerule vicarage. Thomas’s sister, Bridget was a close friend of Elizabeth Veale, and she too was invited to the vicarage to meet the charming young man.
Elizabeth Veale married John McArthur the following year at St Bridget’s, Bridgerule. The McArthurs left the parish soon afterward, and within a short time emigrated to the other side of the world.
In 1792, shortly before her father’s death, Grace Leach married on 27 March, John Bond, a friend of her father, who had known Grace all her life. Her father was ill and wanted someone, who could take care of her after he died. He died at Bridgerule and was buried in St Bridget’s Churchyard on 16 August 1792.
Elizabeth McArthur, when she heard her mother had married him, made a comment that leads us to believe that she thought him not socially acceptable, and her mother had married beneath her. Something Elizabeth’s mother thought Elizabeth had done when she married John McArthur.
Elizabeth, by this time, was in New South Wales far away, and no comfort or help to her mother.
Grace Bond’s youngest daughter Mary Isabella Leach, was only eleven years of age when her mother remarried. John Bond died on 16 July 1824 and Grace Bond died 22 June 1836 aged 89 years.
Mary Isabella Leach married Thomas Hacker on 22 January 1801 at Poundstock (Cornwall) and had a family of seven daughters. She later emigrated with some of her children and their families in 1852, to Prince Edward Island, Canada, where she died in 1858.