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William Heelis was in partnership as a Hawkshead solicitor (his office was in the 17th century Lake District townhouse -- now Beatrix Potter Gallery) and became in early middle age the devoted husband of the famous children's author, Beatrix Potter. He met her whilst handling Beatrix's property transactions in the Lake District at Hawkshead, Cumbria (England). They became engaged in 1912. On October 14, 1913 they married though against her wealthy parent's wishes. They selfishly wanted their daughter to remain single. William was a gentleman of meek and discreet manner. After a long and happy marriage and the hard shock of his wife's death he left their home at Castle Cottage, Near Sawrey, Cumbria and spent the brief remainder of his life in a nursing home at York where he died. He was cremated.