Portrait of Dido Elizabeth Belle Lindsay and her cousin Lady Elizabeth Murray

Portrait of Dido Elizabeth Belle Lindsay and her cousin Lady Elizabeth Murray, believed to be by Johann Zoffany.

Dido Elizabeth Belle Lindsay (1761-1804) was the mixed-race daughter of a British aristocrat. While she was, under colonial law, born into slavery, she was given a unique position. She was educated and given lavish bedroom furnishings. Her work included multiple responsibilities, the most important being that of her uncle’s correspondence, and companion to her cousin. After her fathers death, she became an heiress as she was included into his will. While many of these facts are considered common decency today, Lindsay’s life was rather shocking to many during her time.