In line with tradition, Holsworthy's Pretty Maid for 2023 was revealed to the world today (July 5) when she stepped through the doors of St Peter's and St Paul's Church at the stroke of noon.

Bronte Stevens is 17 years old and lives in Winterland Lane, Holsworthy where her great-grandfather used to farm. Following her education at Holsworthy Community College where she was a House Captain, Bronte is continuing the family tradition as she is currently studying for an advanced Diploma in Agriculture at Duchy College Stoke Climsland as part of her journey toward a career in Agronomy or Livestock Management, which she particularly enjoys. She is also a member of Clawton YFC.

Bronte was born in Milton Dameral and christened at Holsworthy Church by Father Michael Reynolds on Christmas Eve 2006. She also attended the Church Toddler Group and Sunday School with her older sister Daniella. She now attends both Holsworthy and Hollacombe Churches.

She enjoys playing the piano and has been an active member of the Tetcott Pony Club from a young age, riding her pony Bee, and particularly enjoys the discipline of dressage competing as part of the England, South West, and Devon teams in the BD Youth Competitions.

History of the Pretty Maid

The Pretty Maid’s charity was gifted in the will of the Rev Thomas Meyrick, of Carta Martha, who died on May 27, 1841. He was the brother of the Rev Owen Meyrick, one-time rector of Holsworthy. 

Under the terms of the will the income from the legacy is to be paid annually: “To the young single woman resident in Holsworthy under the age of 30 who is generally esteemed by the young as the most deserving; the most handsome; the most noted for her quietness and attendance at church.”

The will states that the donations were made to maintain peace on earth and goodwill among men. 

It adds: “May this well-meant example lead rulers to see their subjects are better directed and led by harmless amusement and by judicious reward than by the fear of punishment.”