Dido Elizabeth Belle

Dido Elizabeth Belle (June 1761 – July 1804) was a free black British gentlewoman. She was born into slavery and illegitimate; her mother, Maria Belle, was an enslaved Black woman in the British West Indies. Her father was Sir John Lindsay, a British career naval officer who was stationed there. Her father was knighted and promoted to admiral. 

Lindsay took Belle with him when he returned to England in 1765, entrusting her upbringing to his uncle William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield, and his wife Elizabeth Murray, Countess of Mansfield. The Murrays educated Belle, bringing her up as a free gentlewoman at their Kenwood House, together with another great-niece, Lady Elizabeth Murray, whose mother had died. Lady Elizabeth and Belle were second cousins. Belle lived there for 30 years. In his will of 1793, Lord Mansfield provided an outright sum and an annuity to her.

Source: Dido Elizabeth Belle – Wikiwand

A Stitch in Time – episode on Dido Elizabeth Belle

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