The earliest baptism of a black person recorded in the Watford Parish Records was in July 1727. The entry reads: “Charles, a negro formerly called Donas, servant to Her Grace the Duchess of Bedford baptised at Cashiobury.” There are two other early baptism records:
1730, June 9
“Othello, a negro formerly called Donas, servant to the Rt Hon Earl of Essex, baptised at Cashiobury”. (Notice that Othello was baptised on the same day as Lady Anne, daughter of William, Earl of Essex.)
1774, August 12
“George Edward Doney, a negro, servant to the Earl of Essex, aged about 16 as presumed”.