Rainsford, Marcus (DNB00)

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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.