Dido Elizabeth Belle (1761 – July 1804) was a British heiress and a member of the Lindsay family of Evelix. She was born into slavery and illegitimate; her mother, Maria Belle, was an African slave in the British West Indies.


Dido Elizabeth Belle (June 1761 – July 1804) was a free black biracial 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; later knighted and promoted to admiral.[1] 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.[2]

Dido Elizabeth Belle
Painting of a young women
Painting of Belle (cropped), David Martin
BornJune 1761 (1761-06)
DiedJuly 1804(1804-07-00) (aged 43)
London, England
Resting placeSt George's Fields, Westminster (1804–1970s)
Jean Louis Charles Davinière
(m. 1793)

Early life

Belle's father Sir John Lindsay

Dido Elizabeth Belle was born into slavery in 1761[3] in the British West Indies to an enslaved African woman known as Maria Belle. (Her name was spelled as Maria Bell in Dido's baptism record.)[4] Her father was 24-year-old Sir John Lindsay, a member of the Lindsay of Evelix branch of the Clan Lindsay, who was a career naval officer and then captain of the British warship HMS Trent, based in the West Indies.[1] He was the son of Sir Alexander Lindsay, 3rd Baronet and his wife Amelia, daughter of David Murray, 5th Viscount Stormont. Lindsay is thought to have found Dido's mother, Maria Belle, held as a slave on a Spanish ship which his forces captured in the Caribbean.[3] Maria Belle was a 14-year-old child slave when she was captured, around the same time she got pregnant by Lindsay, and gave birth to Dido when she was about 15 years old. Her age was confirmed by the Pensacola property record about her later life: "the manumission transaction for the sum of two hundred Spanish milled dollars paid by Maria Belle a Negro Woman Slave about 28 years of age", dated 22 August 1774; this confirmed that Maria Belle was about 14 when Dido was conceived; it is unlikely that the conception was consensual.[5][6]

Sir John Lindsay returned to London after the war in 1765 with his young daughter and Maria Belle; he presumably took Dido to Kenwood House, home of his uncle, William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield, and his wife. Belle was baptised as Dido Elizabeth Belle in November 1766 at St George's, Bloomsbury, by her mother, Maria Belle, but Lindsay was absent from the baptism record. Dido Belle wasn't publicly acknowledged by her father Sir John Lindsay, hence she wasn't given the last name Lindsay, and instead used her mother's last name. Dido also didn't receive inheritance or acknowledgement from her father's later will, unlike her half-siblings.[3][6] Dido was raised at Kenwood with her cousin, Lady Elizabeth Murray, whose mother had died.

Lindsay married Mary Milner (1740-1799) in 1768. They had no children together. Maria Belle was known to have remained in England with Lindsay until 1774, when Lindsay having made her free and paid for her manumission, also transferred a piece of property in Pensacola to Maria, where she was required to build a house within 10 years; Maria Belle appeared in the Pensacola property record and her manumission paper.[5]

Sir John Lindsay would father a total of five illegitimate children from five different women: Dido Belle in June 1761, John Edward Lindsay in February 1762, Ann in November 1766, Elizabeth Lindsay (later Palmer) in December 1766, and John Lindsay in November 1767.[7][8] Only the latter two were named in his will.

A contemporary obituary of Sir John Lindsay, who had eventually been promoted to admiral, assumed that he was the father of Dido Belle, and described her: "[H]e has died, we believe, without any legitimate issue but has left one natural daughter, a Mulatta who has been brought up in Lord Mansfield's family almost from her infancy and whose amiable disposition and accomplishments have gained her the highest respect from all his Lordship's relations and visitants."[1] At one time, historians thought her mother was an African slave on a ship captured by Lindsay's warship during the Siege of Havana,[9] but this specific date is unlikely, as Dido was born in 1761.[4] The obituary also failed to mention the existence of John and Elizabeth Lindsay named in Sir John Lindsay's will.

At Kenwood House

Kenwood House, where Dido Elizabeth Belle spent most of her life before marriage
Painting of Dido Elizabeth Belle (l) and her cousin Lady Elizabeth Murray (r).
William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield, Dido Elizabeth Belle's great uncle and de facto guardian

The Earl and Countess of Mansfield lived at Kenwood House in Hampstead, just outside the City of London. Childless, they were already raising their motherless great-niece, Lady Elizabeth Murray, born in 1760. It is possible that the Mansfields took Belle in to be Lady Elizabeth's playmate and, later in life, her personal attendant. As a result, Dido was baptised eight months after Lady Elizabeth's arrival.[3] Her role within the family suggests that Belle became more that of a lady's companion than a lady's maid.

At Kenwood House, Dido Elizabeth Belle would work in dairy and poultry yard and as an amanuensis for Lord Mansfield in his later years.[6]

Belle lived at Kenwood House for 31 years. Her position was unusual because she had been born into slavery according to colonial law. Lord and Lady Mansfield treated her well and brought her up as an educated woman. As she grew older, she often assisted Mansfield by taking dictation of his letters, which showed she had been educated.[10]

One of Mansfield's friends, American Thomas Hutchinson, a former governor of Massachusetts who as a Loyalist had moved to London, recalled in his personal diary a visit to Kenwood in 1779 that Belle "was called upon by my Lord every minute for this thing and that, and showed the greatest attention to everything he said". He described her as "neither handsome nor genteel – pert enough".[10] He also talked about his first impressions of her at Lord Mansfield's house, saying "A Black came in after dinner and sat with the ladies, and after coffee, walked with the company in the gardens, one of the young ladies having her arm within the other. She had a very high cap, and her wool was much frizzled in her neck, but not enough to answer the large curls now in fashion. I knew her history before, but my Lord mentioned it again. Sir Lindsay, having taken her mother prisoner in a Spanish vessel, brought her to England, where she delivered of this girl, of which she was then with child, and which was taken care of by Lord M., and has been educated by his family. He calls her Dido, which I suppose is all the name she has. He knows he has been reproached for showing a fondness for her – I dare say not criminal".[11] From Lord Mansfield's statement to Hutchinson, Mansfield seemed to have disguised the fact that Dido was his own great niece from the Governor, which created an implication that Hutchinson thought she was Mansfield's mistress. Such a relationship would have been common in the West Indies as his diary implied "I dare say not criminal".[12]

A brief reference to Belle occurs in volume II of James Beattie's Elements of Moral Science.[13] Beattie refers to her intelligence, saying "But I happened, a few days after, to see his theory overturned, and my conjecture established by a negro girl about ten years old, who had been six years in England, and not only spoke with the articulation and accent of a native, but repeated some pieces of poetry, with a degree of elegance, which would have been admired in any English child of her years."[13] Following this is a footnote which states, "She was in Lord Mansfield's family; and at his desire, and in his presence, repeated those pieces of poetry to me. She was called Dido, and I believe is still alive."[13] This and the quotations from Thomas Hutchinson are some of the few direct references to Dido found in primary source material. However, neither Beattie nor Hutchinson were aware of Dido's familial ties to Lord Mansfield.

Lord Mansfield ruled on a related matter of the status of slaves in England in his capacity as Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales. When called on in 1772 to judge Somerset v Stewart, the case of an escaped slave whose owner wanted to send him back to the West Indies for sale, Mansfield tried hard to prevent the case coming to trial; Mansfield also suggested to Somerset's abolitionist protectors to buy him from Stewart, but they refused. The case went for trial and he decreed:

The state of slavery is of such a nature, that it is incapable of being introduced on any reasons, moral or political; but only positive law, which preserves its force long after the reasons, occasion, and time itself from whence it was created, is erased from memory: it's so odious, that nothing can be suffered to support it but positive law. Whatever inconveniences, therefore, may follow from a decision, I cannot say this case is allowed or approved by the law of England; and therefore the black must be discharged.[14]

Mansfield ruled that slavery did not exist in common law and had never been introduced by positive law. He later said his decision was intended only to apply to the slave at issue in the case.[15] Mansfield's ruling may have warned for some slave owners to not bring their slaves to England, but it did not stop slavery in the colonies.[15] Later his ruling was used by the abolitionists to argue that slavery was abolished in England.

At the time, it was suggested that Mansfield's personal experience with raising Dido Belle influenced his decision. Thomas Hutchinson later recalled a comment by a slave-owner: "A few years ago there was a cause before his Lordship brought by a Black for recovery of his liberty. A Jamaica planter, being asked what judgment his Lordship would give [answered] 'No doubt ... he will be set free, for Lord Mansfield keeps a Black in his house which governs him and the whole family.'"[10][16][17][18]

Social position

The notion of a biracial child born in this era to be raised as part of an aristocratic British family was virtually unheard of,[19] and the social conventions of Mansfield's household are somewhat unclear. A 2007 exhibit at Kenwood suggests that Dido's African origins may have played a part in the disparity, yet it was also usual to treat illegitimate children as lesser family, therefore she was not permitted to dine in with guests, as was reported by Thomas Hutchinson.[1] He said Belle joined the ladies afterwards for coffee in the drawing-room.[1] In 2014, author Paula Byrne wrote that Belle's exclusion from this particular dinner was pragmatic rather than the custom. She notes that other aspects of Belle's life, such as being given expensive medical treatments and luxurious bedroom furnishings, were evidence of her position as Lady Elizabeth's equal at Kenwood.[20]

As Belle grew older, she took on the responsibility of managing the dairy and poultry yards at Kenwood. This was a typical occupation for ladies of the gentry, but helping her uncle with his correspondence was less usual. This was normally done by a male secretary or a clerk. However, Elizabeth was never recorded managing dairy or poultry yards. Thomas Hutchinson also remarked on Dido's position in 1779 "She is a sort of Superintendent over the dairy, poultry yard, &c., which we visited, and she was called upon by my Lord every minute for this thing and that, and shewed the greatest attention to everything he said."[citation needed]

Although Lady Elizabeth attended Royal balls and parties with her father, Dido apparently was not allowed to attend. Dido was even absent from the ball thrown by Elizabeth's stepmother in 1782.[21] Lord Mansfield would also take Elizabeth riding with him to visit their neighbours, as noted by Mrs. Boscawen, but not Dido.[22]

Belle was also given an annual allowance of £20, plus an additional £5 for her birthday and Christmas. By contrast, Lady Elizabeth received £100, not including her birthday and other gifts, as the only surviving account book started just as Lady Elizabeth was leaving to be married, but Lady Elizabeth was an heiress in her own right through her mother's aristocratic family. Belle, quite apart from her race, was illegitimate, in a time and place when great social stigma usually accompanied such status. Dido's allowance was also given quarterly which means she received £5 every three months, while Lady Elizabeth received £50 every 6 months; this would have further limited Dido's purchasing power compared to Elizabeth's at any given time.[23][3][24]

For comparison, the annual wage of a female domestic worker holding the position of a housekeeper in a high-status household ranged from £20 to £70 at that time, while a lieutenant in the Royal Navy would draw about £100 a year.[25][26] About £200 purchased a 3-bedroom house with garden outside the city of London.[27][self-published source?]

In Lord Mansfield's will written and directed by himself, Mansfield did not acknowledge Dido as his niece; by contrast, he referred to Lady Elizabeth, Lady Anne, and Lady Margery Murray all as his nieces.[28]

Contemporary accounts from family friends did not mention Belle

Mary Hamilton (1756–1816) diarist, served Queen Charlotte as royal governess, she wrote in her diary that in spring 1784, her first cousin Lady Stormont and her stepdaughter Lady Elizabeth were invited to a royal ball at Carlton house by The Prince of Wales. Evidently, Dido was not invited to the ball.[29][30] Throughout Hamilton's diary, she never once mentioned Belle, despite her numerous visits to Kenwood, in which she had described all members of the Murray family, including Lady Elizabeth, Elizabeth's three half siblings, two unmarried aunts, old Lord Mansfield, even the parish priest. Dido was apparently excluded from excursions to church, tours of Kenwood, and other family outings that were attended by Hamilton, which seems to consolidate Belle's awkward position in the household.[29]

Lady Mansfield's lifelong friends, Mrs. Boscawen and Mary Delany, both prominent members of the Blue Stockings Society, wrote frequently to each other about the news of the Mansfield's family, ranging from Lord Mansfield's health to Lady Elizabeth's marriage. Mrs. Boscawen visited Kenwood in 1782 and said "Kenwood, where I am always received in kindness. My Lord has gone to London; but my lady and 3 Miss Murrays made me almost forget to go home". They too never mentioned Belle.[22]

Later life

Lady Mansfield died on 10 April 1784 after a long illness; thus Elizabeth's two aunts, Lady Anne and Lady Margery took charge of the household accounts.

On 15 December 1785, Lady Elizabeth married George Finch Hatton, a rich aristocratic gentlemen, heir to Earl of Winchilsea and Earl Nottingham after his unmarried cousin, he was also Lady Mansfield's nephew, their wedding was witnessed by Lord Stormont and Lord Mansfield. Belle's companion, Elizabeth, left Kenwood at the age of 25 and began her married life between her husband's two vast estates Kirby Hall and Eastwell Park.[3]

Belle's father died in 1788 without legitimate heirs, bequeathing £1,000 to be shared by his "reputed children", John and Elizabeth Lindsay (as noted in his will) and nothing for Dido.[1] Overwhelming sources said that the Elizabeth named in his will was his other illegitimate daughter called Elizabeth Lindsay later Palmer (born c. 1765), who lived in Scotland.[1][31] Elizabeth Palmer and her half brother John Lindsay were known to keep in contact.

Belle's legal status while Lord Mansfield was alive is uncertain.[32] In his will written in 1783, published in 1793, Lord Mansfield officially confirmed or conferred Belle's freedom but unlike Lady Elizabeth, he did not refer to Dido as his niece.[28] To secure her future after his death, he bequeathed to her £500 as an outright sum and a £100 annuity.[33] In 1799, Belle also inherited £100 from Lady Margery Murray, one of two unmarried aunts who had come to live with and help care for the Murrays in their later years.[3][34]

However, Lord Mansfield left his niece Lady Elizabeth Murray £10,000. Her father was in line to inherit his uncle's title and entire wealth, Elizabeth received £7,000 more from her father.[1]

Initially in the original 1782 will of Lord Mansfield, he only intended Dido to receive the £100 annuity, but then decided to add the lump sum of £200 and another £300, resulting in £500, saying: "I give Dido the sum of two hundred pounds to set out with ... I think it right considering how she has been bred and how she has behaved to make a better provision for Dido".[28] Lady Elizabeth was always intended to receive £10,000; he also added to Lady Elizabeth's two aunts' inheritances resulting in £22,000 and £1,000 annuity for their life. As a judge, Mansfield was well aware that Elizabeth would eventually inherit the wealth of her two aunts, making Lady Elizabeth's total inheritance from the family around £40,000.[28]

After Lord Mansfield's death in March 1793, Belle, now aged 32, married Jean Louis Charles Davinière (anglicized to John Davinier) on 5 December 1793 at St George's, Hanover Square. Their wedding was witnessed by John Coventry and Martha Darnell (a dairy maid from Kenwood).[35][36] Belle's husband was a French servant from Ducey in Normandy. His date of birth is unknown, but he was baptised on 16 November 1768; assuming this happened shortly after birth, he was seven years younger than his wife. He had left France for England towards the end of the 1780s and found work as valet or steward, the terminology of his occupation varies on different sources, but his employer John ('Fish') Craufurd died in 1814, and in his will, he referred to Davinière firmly as his valet.[37] They were both then residents of the parish.[6][38][39] The Daviniers had at least three sons: twins Charles and John, both baptised at St George's on 8 May 1795; and William Thomas, baptised there on 26 January 1802.[39][40][41]

Belle and her husband resided at 14 Ranelagh Street North, Pimlico (at the time was on the outskirts of London). Their house had 2 rooms on each floor and a garden.[36] Belle's £100 a year could afford her a small house outside of London, but she would hardly able to afford one female servant.[42][43]

Belle died in 1804[44] at the age of 43, and was interred in July of that year at St George's Fields, Westminster, a burial ground close to what is now Bayswater Road. In the 1970s, the site was redeveloped, and her grave was moved.[39] Her husband later remarried to a white woman working as a maid, Jane Holland, and had two more children with his second wife.[45][39][46]



Two of Belle's sons, William Thomas and Charles, were employed by the East India Company; William in England and Charles in India.[41][47] Presumably, both of them had enjoyed a private school education in their childhood, with tuition in English, Greek, Latin, French, accounting, land surveying, mathematics and drawing.[37]

Charles Davinière joined the army in 1811 and initially served as ensign with the Madras Army (one of the territorial armies of the East India Company (HEIC), preceding the British Indian Army). He was assigned to the 15th Madras Native Infantry (MNI) and later to the 30th MNI (that was formed from the 2nd Battalion, 15th MNI, in 1824). He was promoted to lieutenant in 1817 and captain in 1827.[41] In August 1837, he was "to have charge of Infantry recruits" in the headquarters at Fort St. George.[48] Becoming major in 1841, Davinière retired on health grounds in 1845[41] or 1847, still serving then with the 30th MNI.[49] Nonetheless, he was promoted one more time, to lieutenant colonel of the Madras Infantry, in 1855.[50] The reason seems unclear; possibly he was reactivated for an unknown number of years.

Charles Davinière had married Hannah Nash, youngest daughter of J. Nash, Esquire of Kensington, at Kensington Church in August 1836.[51] After his (final) retirement, Charles lived with his wife, children, and servants at Lansdowne Villas in Notting Hill, where he died on 24 January 1873.[52]

William Thomas Davinière married a widow, Fanny Graham, and had a daughter, Emily. Emily died unmarried in 1870, several years after the death of her parents.

Belle's last known descendant, her great-great-grandson Harold Davinier [sic], died childless in South Africa in 1975.[53]

Representation in media

18th-century portrait painting

The family commissioned a painting of Dido and Elizabeth. Completed in 1779, it was formerly attributed to Johan Zoffany,[4] but, following research by the BBC TV programme Fake or Fortune?,[54] it has now been verified by the Scottish National Gallery as a painting of the Scottish portraitist David Martin in the Zoffany style.[55] The family archivist stated that the painting was put in storage at Kenwood House just 3 years after Lord Mansfield's death and stayed there until the 1920s, when the family sold Kenwood House and moved their belongings to Scone Palace in Perth, Scotland.

According to Historic England, the painting is "unique in British art of the 18th century in depicting a black woman and a white woman as near equals".[1] It shows Dido alongside and slightly behind her cousin Elizabeth, carrying exotic fruit and wearing a turban with a large ostrich feather.[53] The painting is owned by the present Earl of Mansfield and housed at Scone Palace. In 2007, it was exhibited in Kenwood House as part of an exposition marking the bicentenary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act 1807, together with more information about Belle.[4]

The painting is discussed by English Heritage in the following way:

The portrait of the two women is highly unusual in 18th-century British art for showing a black woman as the equal of her white companion, rather than as a servant or slave. [...] The basket of tropical fruit she carries and the turban with expensive feather that she wears suggest an exotic difference from her more conventionally styled white cousin, who is sitting reading a book.

Film, music, plays

  • Dido Belle (2006), a film by Jason Young, was written as a short period drama titled Kenwood House. It was workshopped at Battersea Arts Centre on 21 June 2006 as part of the Battersea Writers' Group script development programme.
  • Shirley J. Thompson's operatic trilogy, Spirit Songs – including Spirit of the Middle Passage about Dido Elizabeth Belle, with Abigail Kelly in the role – was performed with the Philharmonia Orchestra at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, in March 2007 as part of the 200-year commemoration of the act abolishing the Atlantic slave trade.[57]
  • An African Cargo by Margaret Busby, a play staged by Black Theatre Co-operative (now NitroBeat)[58] featuring actor Jeffery Kissoon at Greenwich Theatre, 2007, in commemoration of the bicentenary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act,[59] deals with a landmark 1783 trial presided over by Lord Mansfield at the Guildhall,[60][61] resulting from the Zong massacre. The character of Dido Belle expresses to the audience feelings of horror and injustice for the murder of the slaves on the ship.[62]
  • Let Justice Be Done by Suchitra Chatterjee and Maureen Hicks, a play put on by the Mixed Blessings Theatre Group was premiered at the 2008 Brighton Fringe and explored the influence that Dido Belle might have had on her great-uncle's Somersett Ruling of 1772.[63]
  • Belle (2013), a highly fictionalised feature film directed by Amma Asante, explores Dido's life as the multiracial natural daughter of an aristocrat in 18th-century England, who became an heiress but occupied an ambiguous social position. The film is based on the 1779 painting of Dido and her cousin Elizabeth.[55] The film stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Dido and Tom Wilkinson as her guardian Lord Mansfield.
  • Fern Meets Dido (2018), A musical written by Evadne Bygrave based on the book Fern and Kate Meet Dido Elizabeth Belle by David Gleave. The story of a modern-day young biracial girl, disaffected at school and uncertain about her identity. On a school trip to Kenwood House, something magical happens, and she goes back in time and meets Dido.
  • I, Dido (2018), a three-handed play by Non Vaughan-O'Hagan was commissioned by St George's Bloomsbury where Dido was baptised. The play explores the relationship between Dido, Lord Mansfield and Lady Betty. Act I takes place on the night of 6 June 1780 when the Mansfields' home in Bloomsbury Square was destroyed in the Gordon Riots. Act II takes place in Kenwood House six years later, after the death of Lady Betty. The play has also been adapted as a short film of the same name, directed by Penelope Shales-Slyne.
  • The character of Katherine “Kitty” Higham is inspired by Dido in the TV series Ghosts (2019 TV series).


  • Family Likeness, a 2013 novel by Caitlin Davies, was inspired in part by the life of Dido Elizabeth Belle.[64]
  • Author Paula Byrne was commissioned to write Belle: The True Story of Dido Belle (2014) as a tie-in to the 2013 film Belle. It was published in paperback and as an audiobook when the movie opened in the United States.[6]
  • Zadie Smith mentions the story of Belle in her 2016 novel Swing Time when the narrator goes to Kenwood House and overhears a tour guide talking about her.
  • The short-story collection The Woman Who Gave Birth to Rabbits, by Emma Donoghue, contains a short story called "Dido", about Dido Elizabeth Belle.
  • Dangerous Freedom, a 2021 historical novel about Dido Belle by Lawrence Scott, the story was largely spun from a lot of known facts about Dido Elizabeth Belle.
  • Dido Elizabeth Belle features as one of the two central characters in The Lizzie and Belle Mysteries: Drama and Danger by children's author J.T. Williams, published in 2022. This is the first of series of historical novels set in eighteenth century London, anchored around the imagined friendship of Dido Belle with Elizabeth "Lizzie" Sancho, daughter of Ignatius Sancho.[65]


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  2. ^ "Women In History | Dido Belle". English Heritage.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Adams, Gene (1984). "Dido Elizabeth Belle / A Black Girl at Kenwood / an account of a protégée of the 1st Lord Mansfield" (PDF). Camden History Review. 12: 10–14. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 March 2020. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d "Slavery and Justice Exhibition at Kenwood House". Historic England. Retrieved 5 April 2023.
  5. ^ a b "Dido Belle". English Heritage. Retrieved 15 May 2023.
  6. ^ a b c d e Byrne, Paula, Belle: The True Story of Dido Belle, Harper Audiobooks, 2014. Retrieved 28 June 2014.
  7. ^ Murden, Sarah (20 March 2023). "What became of Dido Elizabeth Belle's mother, Maria Belle?". All Things Georgian. Retrieved 17 May 2023.
  8. ^ Major, Joanne (13 April 2023). "Dido Elizabeth Belle: revealing her half-siblings". Joanne Major. Retrieved 14 December 2023.
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  10. ^ a b c Diu, Nisha Lilia (6 July 2016). "Dido Belle: Britain's first black aristocrat". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 3 June 2020. Retrieved 5 April 2023.
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  14. ^ Usherwood, Stephen. (1981) "The Black Must Be Discharged - The Abolitionists' Debt to Lord Mansfield", History Today Volume: 31 Issue: 3. 1981.
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  16. ^ Reddie, Richard S. (2007). Abolition! The Struggle to Abolish Slavery in the British Colonies. Oxford: Lion Hudson. p. 142.
  17. ^ Walvin, James (1971). The Black Presence. London. pp. 26–27.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  18. ^ "Black presence". The National Archives. 2004. Retrieved 5 April 2023.
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  20. ^ Start the Week, BBC Radio 4, 14 April 2014.
  21. ^ "The Mary Hamilton Papers: List of attendees at a ball at Lady Stormont's". Manchester Digital Collections. Retrieved 15 July 2023.
  22. ^ a b Delany (Mary), Mrs (1862). The Autobiography and Correspondence of Mary Granville, Mrs. Delany: With Interesting Reminiscences of King George the Third and Queen Charlotte. R. Bentley.
  23. ^ "Dido Elizabeth Belle". JaneAusten.co.uk. Retrieved 12 January 2023.
  24. ^ Trackman, Ian. "Lord Mansfield's Household Accounts 1785 to 1793". {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  25. ^ Field, Jacob F. (February 2013). "Domestic service, gender, and wages in rural England, c. 1700–1860". The Economic History Review. 66 (1): 249–272. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0289.2011.00648.x. JSTOR 42921522. S2CID 154017584.
  26. ^ Williams, Joseph (11 May 2019). "A Sailor's Life in Lord Nelson's Navy". War History Online. Retrieved 7 June 2022.
  27. ^ Murden, Sarah (29 April 2020). "Dido Elizabeth Belle: Questions and Answers". All Things Georgian. Retrieved 7 June 2022.
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  29. ^ a b "The Mary Hamilton Papers". Manchester Digital Collections. University of Manchester. Retrieved 13 January 2023.
  30. ^ "Letter from Sir William Hamilton to Mary Hamilton (HAM/1/4/4/13)". Manchester Digital Collections. University of Manchester. Retrieved 17 January 2023.
  31. ^ Adesina, Precious (26 July 2022). "Black Portraits Get New Names, and a New Show". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 27 July 2022.
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  33. ^ "Dido Elizabeth Belle and The First Earl of Mansfield". Slavery and Justice Exhibition at Kenwood House, Historic England.
  34. ^ Public Record Office, Catalogue reference: PROB 11/1324/97: 'Will of The Right Honorable, Lady Margery Murray, Spinster of Twickenham, Middlesex': "... one hundred pounds to Dido Elizabeth Belle, as a token of my regard ..." The will was first drafted in 1793 but in a codicil dated 1796 Lady Margery specified that the bequest of £100 to Dido "she being now married to Mr. Davinier" was to be "for her separate use and at her disposal".
  35. ^ Sarahmurden (10 July 2018). "Dido Elizabeth Belle and John Davinière, what became of them?". All Things Georgian. Retrieved 17 May 2023.[self-published source?]
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  38. ^ Murden, Sarah (3 January 2022). "Dido Elizabeth Belle – Ranelagh Street, Pimlico". All Things Georgian. Retrieved 6 June 2022.[self-published source?]
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