Beatrix Potter was born in London on 28 July 1866 and died on 22 December 1943. We would like to share some of the memorable moments of her life.
Beatrix Potter plaque / The Beatrix Potter Society
Helen Beatrix Potter was born
Helen Beatrix Potter was born at 2 Bolton Gardens, South Kensington, London, the first child of Helen and Rupert Potter.
The Potters family holiday at Dalguise House, Dunkeld,
Scotland, their ‘summer home’ for the next eleven years.
Potter family at Dalguise / The Beatrix Potter Society
Beatrix and Bertram / The Beatrix Potter Society
14 March 1872
Walter Bertram Potter
Walter Bertram Potter, Beatrix’s brother, was born at 2 Bolton Gardens.
First Lake District holiday
The Potters family’s first Lake District holiday was at Wray Castle. It was here that Beatrix met Hardwicke Rawnsley, one of the three founders of the National Trust.
Wray Castle / The Beatrix Potter Society
4 September 1893
Peter Rabbit letter
From Eastwood, Dunkeld, Beatrix sends five-year-old Noel Moore a story about her pet rabbit, Peter.
20 May 1896
Beatrix Potter visits Kew Gardens
Beatrix goes to Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, with her uncle, Sir Henry Roscoe, to show her fungus drawings to Director W. Thiselton-Dyer.
They wrote their names in the guest book at Kew Gardens.
Kew Gardens Guest Book / The Beatrix Potter Society
Near Sawrey Sign / The Beatrix Potter Society
Holiday in Near Sawrey
The Potters holiday in Near Sawrey in the Lake District, Beatrix commenting, ‘It is as nearly perfect a little place as I ever lived in.’
1 April 1897
The paper ‘On the Germination of the Spores of Agaricineae’ by thirty-year-old Helen B. Potter, was presented to The Linnean Society of London by George Massee from Kew, because women were not allowed to attend the Society meetings.
The Linnean Society sign / The Beatrix Potter Society
16 December 1901
First publication of The Tale of Peter Rabbit
Beatrix Potter publishes The Tale of Peter Rabbit privately in an edition of 250 copies, with black-and-white illustrations and a coloured frontispiece.
Beatrix Potter buys Hill Top Farm
Beatrix buys Hill Top, a working farm in the village of Near Sawrey in the Lake District.
Hill Top / The Beatrix Potter Society
Castle Farm / The Beatrix Potter Society
Beatrix Potter buys Castle Farm
Beatrix buys a second farm in Near Sawrey called Castle Farm.
First official translation of Peter Rabbit
The Tale of Peter Rabbit was translated into Dutch in 1912. This is the first official translation.
First Dutch Translation / The Beatrix Potter Society
Beatrix and William / The Beatrix Potter Society
Beatrix Potter is married
Beatrix Potter and William Heelis marry at St Mary Abbots, Kensington, London. They chose Castle Cottage as their home, keeping Hill Top as a place for Beatrix to work.
Beatrix helps to set up a Nursing Trust for the villages of Sawrey, Hawkshead and Wray. She buys a house and car for the nurse.
Beatrix’s mother, eighty-year-old Helen Potter, buys Lindeth Howe, Windermere.
Lindeth Howe / Lindeth Howe
Cockshott Pont / The Beatrix Potter Society
Beatrix sells fifty redrawn Peter Rabbit illustrations through ‘The Horn Book Magazine’, Boston, for the National Trust to save the Windermere lake frontage, known as Cockshott Point, from developers.
Publication of Tale of Little Pig Robinson
The Tale of Little Pig Robinson is published by Frederick Warne. The last of the little books
Published by Frederick Warne & Co Ltd. reproduced by kind permission
Herdwick Sheep / Betsy Bray
19 March 1943
At the Annual General Meeting of the Herdwick Sheep Breeders’ Association Beatrix is elected President from March 1944. She would have been the first woman President of the Association. Unfortunately she died before she could take this role.
Beatrix Potter Dies
At the age of seventy-seven, Beatrix is struck down by bronchitis and heart trouble and later dies at Castle Cottage, her husband, William Heelis, by her side, at the age of seventy-seven.
William Heelis Dies
William Heelis dies in Purey Cust Nursing Home, York. The joint Heelis properties, over 4,000 acres with seventeen farms and eight cottages, are bequeathed to the National Trust.