Writer and actress. Born as Winifred Beech in a Suffolk rectory. Died France.
1914 she married John Fortescue (1859-1933, librarian, archivist at Windsor Castle and British Army historian), despite being 28 years younger than him. She gave up her stage career and took up an interior decorating and dress designing business until illness forced her to give it up. She then began writing for Punch, the Daily Chronicle and The Evening News, and then started a Women's Page for the Morning Post. In the 1930s Sir John and Lady Fortescue moved to Provence in France, where she began her book writing career with 'Perfume from Provence'. She wrote a number of other books there. The marriage produced no children and her husband died within 2 years of them moving to France, but she stayed on until forced to move out by the German invasion during WW2. She returned at the end of the war and died in Opio, Provence.
Peter Riley, curator of Perfume from Provence, drew our attention to the photo of a miniature version of the Elfin Oak, also by Ivor Innes, which Fortescue wrote about in 'Perfume from Provence’. Peter confirms that (2023) it still hangs in the porch of the Fortescue's former home in Provence.
Sister-in-law to Emily Fortescue for whom we have a good case as the donor of the nearby clock tower.