Beatrix Potter Chronology
July 28 Helen Beatrix Potter born in 2 Bolton Gardens,
South Kensington, London, first child of Helen and Rupert Potter.
Beatrix spends first summer holiday at Dalguise House, Dunkeld, Scotland, her summer
home for the next 11 years and her first experience in nature on her own.
brother Walter Bertram born.
first entry at age 15 in her Journal in a code devised by her, a simple letter for
letter substitution which was 'cracked' by Leslie Linder in 1958.
The Potter family's first Lake District holiday at Wray Castle in the Lake District.
Beatrix meets Hardwicke Rawnsley, one of the three founders of the National Trust.
Annie Carter(age 19) engaged as governess and companion for 16yr old Beatrix, to
teach German. Death of Edmund Potter, Beatrix's artistic, entrepreneurial and very
wealthy paternal grandfather.
Carter leaves to marry Edwin Moore , Noel Moore, the first child of 6 children,
is born two years later. Beatrix acquires a rabbit, Benjamin Bouncer.
first recorded microscopic watercolour -- gnat's leg.
Beatrix develops serious rheumatic fever affecting her heart. She paints her first
Benjamin Bouncer models for Potter family Christmas cards.
Beatrix sells first drawings to Hildesheimer & Faulkner of London, used as greeting
cards and illustrations to book of rhymes, A Happy Pair by Frederic E. Weatherly.
death of Jessy Potter, Beatrix's adored grandmother. Beatrix sketches for cards
or booklets which were rejected by Frederick Warne & Co.
Oct Beatrix meets Charlie McIntosh, the Perthshire
naturalist in Birnam, Scotland and discusses her fungi and mosses. They establish
a collaboration: exchange of material for paintings. She becomes preoccupied with
painting of fungi.
Sept 3 At Eastwood, Dunkeld, Scotland, Beatrix finds
and paints the rare fungus `Old Man of the Woods.'
Sept 4 Beatrix sends five year old Noel Moore a story
about her pet rabbit, Peter.
Sept 5 Beatrix sends four year old Eric Moore a picture
letter about "a frog called Mr. Jeremy Fisher."
Beatrix independently visits her cousin, Caroline Hutton near Gloucestershire
Draws the important botanical fossil Pitus.
Learns six complete plays by Shakespeare by hear.
Draws Roman objects to scale from a relics collection in London
McIntosh suggests she include half-step drawings of fungi to make them more botanically
Nister publishes Beatrix's drawings "A Frog he would a-fishing go"
Beatrix accepts commission from Caroline Martineau to draw 12 lithographs of insects
for Morely College for Men. Only two survive. Unknown if other 10 were finished.
May, Beatrix goes to Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew with
her uncle Sir Henry Roscoe to show her fungus drawings to Director Wm. Thistleton-Dyer.
July - Oct Beatrix and family spend summer holiday
in Near Sawrey, "Its is as nearly perfect a little place as I have ever lived in."
Dec. working on fungus reproduction .
Paper presented to Linnean Society "On the Germination of the Spores of Agaricineae"
by Kew scientist Wm. Massee Beatrix withdraws it to do further work. She is
Jan Peter Rabbit dies.
Sept. Frederick Warne & Co show interest in `The Tale
of Peter Rabbit in Mr. McGregor's Garden,' but reject rhyming text by Rawnsley.
Beatrix refuses to add colour to her illustrations.
Sept writes the story of Squirrel Nutkin in picture
letter to Norah Moore
Dec.16 Beatrix publishes 250 copies of the Tale
of Peter Rabbit, privately. With b/w drawings and coloured frontispiece.
Frederick Warne publishes 8000 copies of The Tale of Peter Rabbit, shortened and
illustrated in full colour
Nov. Bertram Potter secretly married in Edinburgh
Dec. Beatrix privately publishes 500 copies of The
Tailor of Gloucester
Aug. The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin published by Warne.,
Oct. shorter version of Tailor of Gloucester published by Warne
Dec Beatrix registers her Peter Rabbit doll at the
The Tale of Benjamin Bunny and The Tale of Two Bad Mice, published by Warne. Develops
board game of Peter Rabbit with rules.
July 25 Beatrix receives and accepts proposal of marriage
from her editor Norman Warne against her parent's objections. She is 39.
July Beatrix leaves for holiday in Wales
Aug 25. Norman Warne dies of leukaemia, age 37
`Peter Rabbit' wallpaper goes on sale
Sept The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy Winkle published
Oct. The Pie and the Patty-Pan published
Nov. Beatrix officially buys Hill Top Farm in Near
July The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher published by Warne
Sept Beatrix starts to breed Herdwick Sheep at Hill Top
The Tale of Tom Kitten published.
publication of The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck.
Beatrix buys second farm in Near Sawrey, Castle Farm
two more tales published :The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies, & The Tale of Ginger and
Beatrix registers Jemima Puddle-Duck doll at Patent Office.
The Tale of Timmy Tiptoes and Peter Rabbit's Painting Book published by Warne
The Tale of Mr. Todd is published.
Beatrix campaigns against hydroplanes on Windermere
at the end of year, Beatrix accepts proposal of marriage from William Heelis, a
Lake District solicitor.
- 1913 Oct.
marries Heelis in London take Castle Cottage as their home, keeping Hill Top Farm
as a place for Beatrix to work.
Warne publishes The Tale of Piggling Bland
Beatrix's father dies.
BP employs a woman, Louie Choyce to help her with the farm and garden.
Two more stories published
Harold Warne arrested for embezzlement in London,
Beatrix helps to save company with a new book, Appley Dappley's Book of Rhymes which
she began in 1902.
Bertram Potter dies of stroke in Scotland
Tale of Johnny Town Mouse published
new Warne firm incorporated, presses BP for new book
Beatrix establishes District Nursing trust in Sawrey area
Hardwicke Rawnsley dies
Anne Carroll Moore, American superintendent of Children's Work, New York public
Library visits Sawrey and encourages Beatrix to write another book. Begins a stream
of American visitors to Near Sawrey.
Dec. Cecily Parsley's Nursery Rhymes published
Beatrix buys Troutbeck Park Farm, 1900 acre sheep farm
Jemima Puddle-Duck's Painting Book published.
The Roly-Poly Pudding changed to The Tale of Samuel Whiskers
Beatrix employs shepherd Tom Storey at Troutbeck Park
Nov. Storey moves to Hill Top to manage farm and breed
May, sells 50 drawings through The Horn Book Magazine,
Book Shop for Girls and Boys in Boston to raise money to save shoreline of Windermere
Visit from Henry P. Coolidge from Boston, The Fairy Caravan would be dedicated to
Warne publishes Peter Rabbit's Almanac for 1929
David McKay in Philadelphia publishes The Fairy Caravan US only until 1930
63 yr old Beatrix buys 5000 acre Monk Coniston on condition that
National Trust will take over half when they raise the money
wins silver challenge cup for best Lake District Herdwick ewe.
Sept. The Tale of Little Pig Robinson published by
Oct. Trust bought half Monk Coniston, but ask Beatrix
to manage entire estate
McKay publishes grisly version of Bluebeard, called Sister Anne, in US only Helen
Potter, Beatrix's mother dies at 93
Walt Disney offers to make film of Peter Rabbit, BP refuses
Beatrix hands over management of half of Monk Consiton to National Trust agent Bruce
Beatrix has surgery in Liverpool
Beatrix dictates her will before second surgery
England and France declare War on Germany
Beatrix supervises farm work during war, whole edition of Peter Rabbit lost in bombing
Beatrix elected President of Herdwick Sheep Breeders' Assoc. to begin March 1944.
She would have been first woman president of Association.
Aug. agrees to publication of "Wag-By Wall" in Christmas
edition of The Horn Book. Published posthumously.
Beatrix Potter Heelis dies at 77 at Castle Cottage, cremated at
Blackpool, and ashes scattered on her land by husband and Tom Storey
William Heelies dies. Joint Heelis property, over 4000 acres with 17 farms, 8 cottages
all bequeathed to National Trust
Beatrix and Spot
Beatrix and William Gaskell
Peter Rabbit Patent
Beatrix and William Heelis
Beatrix and Kep
(courtesy National Trust)
* Chronology by Linda Lear, adapted from Judy Taylor's in Beatrix Potter Artist
& Illustrator, paintings and drawings selected by Anne Stevenson Hobbs
(London: Frederick Warne & Co., 2005)