Mackinnon, Daniel (1791-1836) (DNB00)

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MACKINNON, DANIEL (1791–1836), colonel and historian of the Coldstream guards, born in 1791, was son of William Mackinnon, chief of the clan Mackinnon (see Anderson, iii. 27). William Alexander Mackinnon [q. v.] was his elder brother, and Daniel Henry Mackinnon [q. v.] was his first cousin. On 16 June 1804 he was appointed ensign in the Coldstream guards, in which his uncle, Henry Mackinnon, author of 'A Journal of the Campaign in Portugal and Spain' (1812), who fell as a major-general at Ciudad Rodrigo, in 1812, was then a lieutenant-colonel. He became lieutenant and captain in the regiment in 1808, and captain and lieutenant-colonel on 25 July 1814, junior major 1826, senior major 1829, and regimental lieutenant -colonel and colonel in 1830. He served with his regiment at Bremen in 1805; at Copenhagen in 1807; in the Peninsula from 31 Dec. 1808 to August 1812; in North Holland, August to December 1814; and was captain of the grenadier company and acting second major of his battalion at Waterloo, when he was despatched from Byng's brigade in the afternoon (of 18 June) with two companies, to reinforce Hougoumont, after Foy had put the Nassau troops to flight. He received a severe wound in the knee, and had his horse shot under him. When lieutenant-colonel of the regiment he compiled the 'Origin and History of the Coldstream Guards,' London, 1832, 2 vols. 8vo, which was one of the first, and is still one of the best books of its class.

'Dan' Mackinnon, as his friends called him, was remarkable for his extraordinary agility and daring in climbing, vaulting, and such-like exercises. Many stories are told of his athletic feats (see Chambers, Eminent Scotsmen, vol. iii., and Gent Mag. 1836, ii. 208) and of his love of practical jokes, which were never ill-natured, although they sometimes involved him in scrapes. Gronow relates many anecdotes of him, and states that Joe Grimaldi [q. v.] the clown often said 'Colonel Mackinnon had only to put on the motley, and he would totally eclipse me' (Reminiscences, i. 61). Gronow describes Mackinnon as the constant companion of Byron when the poet was at Lisbon during the Peninsular war (ib. ii. 195). A well-built, handsome man, he was in later years a well-known figure about town, at White's, and other haunts of fashion. He died at his residence in Hertford Street, Mayfair, London, 22 June 1836, in his forty-sixth year. He married MissDent, daughter of John Dent, M.P. for Poole, and by her left issue.

[Anderson's Scottish Nation, iii. 27-9; Chambers's Eminent Scotsmen, vol. iii.; Burke's Landed Gentry, vol. ii.; Mackinnon's Origin and Hist. Coldstream Guards, ii. 127, 182, 207; Gronow's Reminiscences (revised edition in 2 toIs.), i. 33, 61-2, 231-2, ii. 196-6, 259-60; Gent. Mag. 1833 pt. i. p. 240 (review of book), 1836 p. 208 (obituary notice).]

H. M. C.