Beatrix Potter’s characters found on headstones at Brompton Cemetery

Peter Rabbett, Jeremiah Fisher, Mr Nutkins, Mr Brock and Mr McGregor have all been found on stones at Brompton cemetery, near where Miss Potter lived. This seems to confirm local rumours that have circulated for years about the source of the names of her characters.

NPG P1825; Beatrix Potter (Mrs Heelis) by Charles King
Beatrix Potter.

The discovery was made by a member of the Friends of Brompton Cemetery committee after they accessed the recently computerised burial registers which records 250,000 burial sites in the cemetery. Brompton Cemetery opened in 1840.

Beatrix Potter was born at home in 2 Bolton Gardens, Kensington in 1866 and lived there until she got married in 1913. She was born into an upper-class household, was educated by governesses and grew up isolated from other children. She had numerous pets and spent holidays in Scotland and the Lake District, developing a love of landscape, flora, and fauna, all of which she closely observed and painted.

In 1902, Potter self-published the highly successful children’s book The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Following this, Potter began writing and illustrating children’s books full-time.

Potter lived a short walk from Brompton Cemetery.

In all, Potter wrote thirty books; of which twenty three were children’s books.


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