You are very quiet, my dears, but I thought you would want to know a least a part of the rest of the story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the heroine of the movie Belle, which our own Cara King presented to us this week. My thanks to those who commented. Please feel free to continue doing so.
As Cara and QNPoohBear pointed out, the movie was a fictionalized version of Dido’s life. In reality, she was no dewy-eyed youth when she married; she was more than 30, and she did not marry John Davinier until Lord Mansfield had died. They had three sons, twins two years after they’d married and another son later. Sadly, she did not live to see her 44th birthday. John later remarried and had two more children with his second wife.
Her cousin Elizabeth ended up marrying George Finch-Hatton when she was 25 and he was 38. George was the nephew to Lady Elizabeth, “Mama” in the movie, so we can imagine she must have made the introductions. George was the oldest son of respectable family, but his father was the fifth son of the 7th Earl of Winchilsea, so ascending to a title was highly likely. Elizabeth’s George did, however, have not one but two estates, and he was elected to Parliament and served for 12 years, so conceivably Elizabeth and he did rather well. It didn’t hurt that Lord Mansfield left her 10,000 pounds on his death.
They had a number of children (some sources say three, others five). Interestingly enough, their oldest son, another George Finch-Hatton, beat all the odds and became the 10th Earl of Winchilsea when his father and all four of his uncles preceded him to the grave. That’s him in the portrait (and it struck me he looked a bit like an older, portlier Tom Felton). Unfortunately, Elizabeth also preceded him in death, so she did not have the opportunity to enjoy her son’s elevation in status.
Want more details about what happened after the movie ended? See this fabulous post from English Heritage.