Kenwood Connections traces the extraordinary story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the illegitimate great niece of the first Earl of Mansfield, the owner of Kenwood House, now an Historic England property. Dido’s father was a captain in the British Navy and her mother was an African woman, possibly enslaved, whom he encountered when his ship was on duty in the Caribbean.
In the 1760s, Dido was sent by her father to live with her childless great-uncle at Kenwood House, London, along with her young half-cousin Lady Elizabeth Murray, whose mother had died. Dido grew up at Kenwood during the period when her uncle, Lord Chief Justice and Britain’s most senior judge, presided over key court cases on the legality of slavery in Britain.
Find out more about Dido’s story and the London that she lived in by watching the video Kenwood Connections. The video is also available to view with subtitles.