Beatrix (Potter) Heelis

Helen Beatrix (Potter) Heelis (1866 - 1943)

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Helen Beatrix (Beatrix) Heelis formerly Potter
Born in Kensington, London, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Wife of — married in Kensington, London, Englandmap
[children unknown]
Died in Near Sawrey, Lancashire, Englandmap
Profile last modified | Created 23 Jul 2014
This page has been accessed 1,833 times.

Categories: This Day In History July 28 | This Day In History December 22 | Authors | Famous Authors of the 20th Century | English Authors | Women's History | English Notables.

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Beatrix (Potter) Heelis is Notable.
Beatrix Potter was an English Author, illustrator, natural scientist and conservationist best known for her imaginative children's books, featuring animals such as those in the Tale of Peter Rabbit, which celebrated the British landscape and country life.

Beatrix Potter

Helen Beatrix Potter, daughter and first born child of Rupert William Potter and Helen Leech, was born July 28, 1866 at 2 Bolton Gardens, Kensington, London, England.[1] It was six years later in 1872 that her brother, Walter Bertram Potter was born and it was in this year that Beatrix was introduced to her first governess, Miss Flora Hammond.[2] During childhood Beatrix rarely saw her brother, who attended boarding school, and had very little contact with children her own age. She was drawn into her own world and began to write stories based on animals and being a talented artist she add her own illustrations. Spending her childhood summer holidays in the Lake District she was surrounded by wildlife and countryside and developed an interest in natural history.[3]

When Beatrix was in her 20s she unsuccessfully tried to get her books published. Finally in 1902 Beatrix, who was now 36, had her first book, Peter Rabbit, published by Frederick Warne of Frederick Warne & Co. The company hadn't held out much hope for the book and had passed the project to the younger brother, Norman Warne, who turned out to be an excellent choice. Within the first year 28,000 copies where in print. [4]

Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were – Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail, and Peter. The Tale of Peter Rabbit (1902)

The working relationship between Beatrix and Norman blossomed and they eventually became engaged in 1906. Tragically, before the wedding took place, Norman Warne died of pernicious anaemia. Naturally Beatrix was devasted and she moved to Hill Top Farm in Sawrey, where she lived for the rest of her life.[5]

Aged 47, Beatrix married William Heelis, a local solicitor, October 14, 1913 at Kensington, London. In 1926, with failing eye sight , Beatrix published her last book and turned her attention to sheep breeding of which she was very successful. [2] William and Helen can be found on the 1939 Register, living in Sawrey, where William is shown as a solicitor, and Helen describes herself as a farmer of private means. [6]

Beatrix died December 22, 1943 in Sawrey. In her will she had left over 4000 acres to the National Trust. It is one of the biggest legacy's ever left.[7] During her lifetime Beatrix Potter had 23 books in the Peter Rabbit series published, the copyright of which was bequeathed to Norman Warne's nephew, Frederick Warne Stephens upon her death. The copyright expired in the UK January 1, 2014. [2]


  1. England and Wales, Birth Registration Index, 1837-1920, index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 09 Aug 2014), Helen B Potter, 1866.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Lear, Linda. Beatrix Potter. The Extraordinary Life of a Victorian Genius. January 1, 2006. Accessed August 9, 2014.
  3. The Life of Beatrix Potter. Peter Rabbit. Accessed August 9, 2014.
  4. Biography Beatrix Potter. Biography Online. Accessed August 9, 2014.
  5. Beatrix Potter. The website, (accessed Aug 09 2014).
  6. Findmypast 1939 register Ref: RG101/4957D/008/33 Letter Code: NZQH
  7. Frederick Warne & Co., 1989. The Complete Tales Of Beatrix Potter. Print. Penguin Books Ltd: Middlesex, England.

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Images: 2
Beatrix Potter Image 1
Beatrix Potter Image 1

Yewtree Farm
Yewtree Farm

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Beatrix is 32 degrees from Rosa Parks, 24 degrees from Anne Tichborne and 17 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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