Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 47.djvu/190

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Rainsford
Rainsford
184

forty volumes of manuscript, which were purchased by the British Museum, and now comprise Additional MSS. 23644–80; they include autobiographical memoranda, papers and letters referring to Portugal, 1762–4, to Gibraltar, 1793–6, to raising of German mercenaries, 1776–8, a narrative of the expedition to the Mediterranean, 1781–2, correspondence with Lord Amherst, the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland and others, papers on freemasonry, magnetism, and alchemical processes, copies of the correspondence and papers of Lord Tyrawley, and of the journal of the Duke of Gloucester. The papers relating to the raising of German mercenaries for the American war of independence have been printed in the ‘Proceedings of the New York Historical Society,’ 1879.

[Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 23644–80, esp. No. 23667 (see above); Gent. Mag. 1809, i. 486, 583; Official Return of Members of Parl.; Morant's Essex, i. 464; Genealogist, ii. 108–9; Thomson's Hist. Roy. Soc.]

A. F. P.

RAINSFORD, MARCUS (fl. 1805), author, younger son of Edward Rainsford of Sallins, co. Kildare, born about 1750, obtained a commission and saw service in the 105th regiment, commanded by Francis, lord Rawdon (afterwards second Earl of Moira), during the American war of independence. In 1794 he served under the Duke of York in the Netherlands, and was afterwards employed in raising black troops in the West Indies. In 1799 he visited St. Domingo, and had an interview with Toussaint L'Ouverture. He was subsequently arrested and condemned to death as a spy, but was reprieved and eventually set at liberty. Of this adventure he published an account, entitled ‘A Memoir of Transactions that took place in St. Domingo in the Spring of 1799’ (London, 1802, 8vo; 2nd edit. entitled ‘St. Domingo; or an Historical, Political, and Military Sketch of the Black Republic,’ 1802, 8vo). He retired from the army with the rank of captain about 1803. He also published ‘An Historical Account of the Black Empire of Hayti,’ London, 4to, 1805; and a poem in the heroic couplet, entitled ‘The Revolution; or Britain Delivered,’ London, 1801 (2nd edit. 8vo). The date of Rainsford's death is uncertain. His sister Frances (d. 1809) married, first, in 1774, Major-general Wellbore Ellis Doyle (d. 1797); and, secondly, Count Joseph Grimaldi, brother of the Prince of Monaco.

[Memoir above mentioned; Foster's Baronetage, ‘Doyle;’ Gent. Mag. 1832, ii. 512; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

J. M. R.

RAINSFORD, Sir RICHARD (1605–1680), judge, second son of Robert Rainsford of Staverton, Northamptonshire, by his first wife, Mary, daughter of Thomas Kirton of Thorpe-Mandeville in the same county, was born in 1605. He matriculated at Oxford from Exeter College on 13 Dec. 1622, but left the university without a degree. In 1630 he was elected recorder of Daventry, being then a student of Lincoln's Inn, where he was called to the bar on 16 Oct. 1632, and elected treasurer in 1660. In 1653 he was elected recorder of Northampton, which borough he represented in the Convention parliament of 1660, and also in Charles II's first parliament, until his elevation to the bench. As he was designated a member of the projected order of Knights of the Royal Oak, it is probable that during the interregnum he had shown himself a king's friend. On 26 Oct. 1660 he was sworn serjeant-at-law, and on 16 Nov. 1663 was raised to the exchequer bench, having in the interval received the honour of knighthood. Rainsford presided over the commission which sat at Dublin during the earlier months of 1663 to supervise the execution of the Act of Settlement, and on his return to England was raised to the exchequer bench, 16 Nov. the same year.

He was one of Sir Matthew Hale's colleagues in the commission which sat at Clifford's Inn, 1667–72, to determine the legal questions arising out of the rebuilding of the quarters of London destroyed by the great fire. In the meantime he was transferred to the king's bench, 6 Feb. 1668–9, and on 12 April 1676 he succeeded Hale as lord chief justice. On the return to Lord Shaftesbury's writ of habeas corpus he decided, 29 June 1677, an important point of constitutional law, viz. that the courts of law have no jurisdiction, during the parliamentary session, to discharge a peer committed by order of the House of Lords, even though the warrant of commitment be such as would be void if issued by an ordinary tribunal [see Cooper, Anthony Ashley, first Earl of Shaftesbury]. Rainsford was removed to make room for Sir William Scroggs in June 1678. He died at Dallington, Northamptonshire, where he had his seat and founded an almshouse. His remains were interred in Dallington church.

Rainsford married at Kingsthorpe, on 30 May 1637, Catherine, daughter of Rev. Samuel Clerke, D.D., rector of St. Peter's, Northampton, who survived him, and died on 1 June 1698. By her he had, with five daughters, six sons. Most of his children died early. His eldest son, Richard, matricu-