Marcus Rainsford

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Marcus Rainsford
Marcus Rainsford.jpg
Captain Marcus Rainsford (left)
Borncirca 1758[citation needed]
Died4 November 1817(1817-11-04) (aged 58–59)
London, England
Resting placeSt Giles in the Fields, London, England
EducationTrinity College Dublin TCD
OccupationSoldier, Author, Historian
Known forAuthor on the Haitian Revolution
Cap MarcusRainsford.jpg

Captain Marcus Rainsford (circa 1758 – 4 November 1817)[citation needed] was an officer in the British Army, serving in the Battle of Camden 1780, during the American Revolutionary War. He published An Historical Account of the Black Empire of Hayti, London, in 1805.


Rainsford was a younger son of Edward Rainsford of Sallins, Kildare, born c. 1750.[1] He was educated at Trinity College Dublin and obtained an MA in 1773. He joined the Irish Volunteers (18th century) in 1779.

The Dublin Volunteers 1778

He 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. He took part in the Battle of Camden in 1780. In 1794 he served under the Duke of York in the Netherlands, during the Flanders Campaign and was afterwards employed in raising black troops in the West Indies.

In 1799 Rainsford 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.

Rainsford died in November 1817 and is buried in St Giles in the Fields, London, England.


Rainsford published:

  • A Memoir of Transactions that took place in St. Domingo in the Spring of 1799 (London, 1802; 2nd edit. as St. Domingo; or an Historical, Political, and Military Sketch of the Black Republic, 1802).
  • An Historical Account of the Black Empire of Hayti, London, 1805.
  • A poem in heroic couplets, The Revolution; or Britain Delivered, London, 1801 (2nd edit.).


  1. ^ Rigg, James McMullen (1889). "Rainsford, Marcus" . In Stephen, Leslie (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. 17. London: Smith, Elder & Co.