KENNEDY, Thomas (1673-1754), of Dunure, Ayr.
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Family and Education
b. 1673, 1st s. of Sir Thomas Kennedy of Kirkhill and Dunure, ld. provost of Edinburgh 1685-7 by Agnes Halden. educ. Edinburgh 1688; Utrecht 1692; adv. 1698. m. 19 Aug. 1714, Grizel, da. of Patrick Kynynmont of Kynynmont, Fife, wid. of Sir Alexander Murray, 1st Bt., of Melgund, Forfar, s.p. suc. fa. 1715.
Jt. solicitor-gen. [S] 1709-14; ld. adv. 30 Mar.-9 Oct. 1714; baron of the Exchequer [S] 1721-d.
Kennedy, who came of a junior branch of the earls of Cassilis [S], was made lord advocate by the Tory Government in 1714, after acting unofficially in this capacity.1 Commenting on the appointment, a Jacobite M.P. observed: ‘Though not perhaps so tight a Tory as could have been wished, [he] was much preferable to any of his predecessors, and there was little reason to doubt his concurring with the Queen’s measures’.2 He lost his post on George I’s accession, notwithstanding applications to Argyll and Ilay, as well as to their opponents, the Squadrone, and to Walpole. He also sought arrears of salary for himself and one of his brothers, promotion for two more brothers, and a pardon for another, who had been employed at the Jacobite court. In the last he was supported by Duncan Forbes and James St. Clair. He ended as the client of the Duke of Argyll, to whom he owed his return for Ayr Burghs, and probably the appointment which terminated his brief parliamentary career. In 1736 one of his brothers was made deputy governor of Inverness by the influence of Argyll’s brother, Lord Ilay.3 He died 19 May 1754.