Beatrice Olive Corfe was born in Winchester in 1866 the daughter of Edward Corfe a local tailor and woollen draper. Beatrice had five sisters, one a schoolmistress and three of them governesses, but the profession of the fifth is unknown. There were also two brothers, Charles Edward and William Corfe. Beatrice lived with her parents at 7 Kingsgate Street, Winchester in 1881 and 1891 and in 1895 moved to 93 Chesil Street which was renumbered 8 Chesil Street in 1929. She evidently stayed living with her father until his death sometime in 1910 (her mother having died in 1908) when she lived with at least one of her sisters but never married.
It is believed that many of the watercolours that Beatrice painted of Winchester in the closing years of the 19th century and opening years of the 20th century were commissioned by Alderman Thomas Stopher. Stopher was very interested in the history of Winchester and was concerned that the city would change considerably in the 20th century and that a record should exist of many of the buildings.
As well as the watercolours Beatrice made of Winchester she also made many botanical observations and sketches and was employed by the Natural History Museum to make watercolours for use as postcards in the 1930s. After World War II her collection of plant watercolours (numbering 1021) and sketchbook (holding 89 sketches) were bequeathed to the Natural History Museum where they are still held (ref: xx362324.1). These can be viewed online at the Natural History Museum website www.nhm.ac.uk, nature online British Wildlife Gallery, or search on 'Corfe' on the home page.
Beatrice lived in Winchester all her life and died in the city in 1947.