This painting by Denis Dighton was painted in 1821 and depicts a group of officers and sergeants on Horseguards Parade. MacKinnon is the only person named in the painting perhaps because he was a well-known dandy of the period. It seems that he was also an athlete and a practical joker because whilst in Spain he dressed up as a nun and performed a handstand in front of an astonished Mother Superior and the Duke of Wellington. On another occasion, also in Spain, he impersonated the Duke of York and attended a function laid on by the local Mayor in his honour. A large bowl of punch was brought out and he plunged his head into it. The famous clown, Grimaldi said of him that if MacKinnon were to take up clowning professionally then he, Grimaldi, would be eclipsed.
He joined the regiment in 1804 and served at Copenhagen, in the Peninsula from 1808-12 and in Holland. He was Captain of the Grenadier Company at Waterloo where he was severely wounded. He commanded the Coldstream Guards from 1830 for six years until he died in 1836. During this time he wrote a history of the regiment, published in 1833.
In this painting he is the Dress uniform of a captain of the Battalion Company. His coat is well covered with gold lace and is very similar to that worn in the Grenadier Guards. See Officers Full Dress Coat c1821 It is a blue faced coat but has a red collar. He has gold epaulettes and a gorget round his neck, attached by a dark blue ribbon. His Waterloo medal is clearly shown as is the oval Beltplate on his swordbelt. He has white breeches and white gaiters. His shako worn at a rakish angle has a tall white plume with a red base. The top of the shako has a band of gold lace and the garter star badge on the front. The gold caplines, forming a V at the front, are purely decorative, and the olivet ends hang on the right side.
CO's | Regimental details