Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Daniell, Samuel

DANIELL, SAMUEL (1775–1811), artist and traveller, a younger brother of William Daniell, R.A. [q. v.], and nephew of Thomas Daniell, R.A., F.R.S. [q. v.], was born in 1775. Like his elder brother, he appears to have had a taste for natural history, which led to his visiting the Cape of Good Hope during the first British occupation of that colony. He was appointed secretary and draughtsman to a mission under Mr. Truter and Dr. Somerville, despatched in 1801 by the acting governor, Lieutenant-general Francis Dundas, to visit ‘the country of the Booshuanas’ (Bechuanaland). The expedition reached Lataku, then believed to be the remotest point of South Africa ever visited by Europeans, and met with a friendly reception. A narrative of the journey by Mr. Truter, the senior commissioner, is given as an appendix to Sir John Barrow's ‘Voyage to Cochin China’ (London, 1806, 4to). A number of sketches made by Daniell during the journey were subsequently engraved and published by his brother. Daniell proceeded in 1806 to Ceylon, and spent several years there in travelling and sketching. He died there in December 1811, aged 36. The ‘Gentleman's Magazine,’ 1812, thus refers to his death: ‘Mr. Daniell was ever ready with his own eye to explore every object worthy of research, and with his own hand to convey to the world a faithful representation of what he saw. Unhappily, whilst traversing and occasionally taking up his abode in swamps and forests, the strength of his constitution, which he too much confided in, did not enable him to resist the approaches of disease’ (vol. lxxxii. pt. ii. p. 296). Daniell exhibited in landscape at the Society of Artists and at the Royal Academy at various times between 1791 and 1812 (Graves, Dict. of Artists). His published works are:

  1. ‘African Scenery and Animals,’ 2 parts, London, 1804–5, fol.
  2. ‘Picturesque Illustrations of Scenery, Animals, &c. … of Ceylon,’ London, 1808, fol.
  3. ‘Sketches of Native Tribes, &c. in South Africa,’ with illustrative notices by Dr. Somerville and Sir John Barrow, London, 1820, 4to.
  4. ‘Sketches of South Africa,’ London, 1821, 4to.
  5. ‘Twenty varied Subjects of the Tribe of Antelopes,’ London, 1832, oblong 4to.

[Authorities cited above; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

H. M. C.