Illustrator. Born in Harrow, Margaret Fortnum has illustrated about 80 children's books, most famously the Paddington series from the beginning to 1974.
Andrew Behan has researched Fortnum: Margaret Emily Noel Fortnum, (known as Peggy Fortnum), was born on 23 December 1919 in Harrow, Middlesex, the youngest of the six children of Lieutenant Commander Arthur John Fortnum R.N.R. and Mary Georgina Fortnum, née Hay. Her father was an Advertising Manager for the Lemco & Oxo Company. Electoral registers from 1919 to 1922 show the family living at 11 Hamilton Road, Harrow, but from 1923 the family resided at 6 Marlborough Hill, Harrow. Educated at St Margaret's School, Harrow, in 1939 she enrolled in the Tunbridge Wells School of Art. 1940 saw her join the Auxiliary Territorial Service but she was injured when she fell through a broken door of a troop carrier and her leg was run over by a lorry. The army admitted liability and gave her a grant which enabled her to enrol at the Central School of Art in London.
Electoral registers in 1945 and 1946 show her living at 2a Downshire Hill, Hampstead, but the register of 1948 shows her living at 19 Parliament Hill, Hampstead and those from 1949 record that she was at 15 Lyndhurst Road, Hampstead. The 1956 and 1957 registers record her at 15 Lyndhurst Road, Hampstead along with five other voters including a Ralph N. Nuttall-Smith (but not including his wife). In 1958 Ralph Nuttall Nuttall-Smith obtained a divorce from his wife of 21 years, Katherina Barbara Maria Nuttall-Smith née Comes and later that year he and Peggy Fortnum were married in Hampstead. The 1959 electoral registers shows them continuing to live at 15 Lyndhurst Road but then moving to 21 Willow Road, Hampstead where they remained until at least 1965.
They moved to Essex and at the time of her husband's death on 10 January 1988 they were living at 67 Churchfields, West Mersea, Colchester, Essex, CO5 8QN. Electoral registers from 2004 to 2008 confirm that she was living at Flat 10, Hall Barn, High Street, West Mersea, Colchester, CO5 8SD. She died, aged 96 years, on 28 March 2016.