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.


Dunkeld Scotland

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 Windermere

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

Near Sawrey Sign / The Beatrix Potter Society

July 1896

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

Paper presentation

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.

Linnean Society in London

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.

Pieter Langoor Peter Rabbit Dutch

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.

April 1916

Louie Choyce helps Beatrix Potter

Eleanor (Louie) Choyce, aged forty, is employed by Beatrix to help with the farm and garden. She and Beatrix Potter became friends.

The Choyce Letters / The Beatrix Potter Society


Nursing Trust

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.


Lindeth Howe

Beatrix’s mother, eighty-year-old Helen Potter, buys Lindeth Howe, Windermere.

Lindeth Howe / Lindeth Howe

Cockshott Pont / The Beatrix Potter Society


Protecting Windermere

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.

September 1930

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

Elected President

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.

December 1943

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.

August 1945

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.

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