KENNEDY, David (c.1730-92), of Newark, Ayr.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1768 - 1774

Family and Education

b. c.1730, 3rd surv. s. of Sir John Kennedy, 2nd Bt., of Culzean by Jean, da. of Capt. Andrew Douglas of Mains, Dunbarton.  educ. Glasgow Univ. 1742; adv. 1752. unm.  suc. bro. Thomas as 10th Earl of Cassillis [S] 30 Nov. 1775.

Offices Held

Scottish representative peer 1776-90.


Kennedy was returned for Ayrshire in 1768 on his brother’s interest and that of the Earl of Loudoun. Directed in politics by Loudoun and James Stuart Mackenzie, he supported Administration: his only known vote against them was on the naval captains’ petition, 9 Feb. 1773. He appears never to have spoken in the House.

Loudoun, by the terms of his agreement with Cassillis in 1768, was to choose the Member for Ayrshire at the next general election. Kennedy, therefore, tried to obtain a judicial appointment in Scotland. Loudoun wrote to Bute on 6 Oct. 1771:1 ‘I have been informed by the Earl of Cassillis and Mr. Kennedy ... that there is a prospect of his seat being vacated by his being appointed a baron of the Exchequer.’ The rumour was that John Grant of Elchies, baron of the Scottish Exchequer, was to resign his office to Kennedy for £5,000,2 but Kennedy obtained no office. His old circuit companion, James Boswell, wrote about him on 5 Apr. 1773:3

I called on Mr. David Kennedy and found him the same joker as formerly and nothing more. It struck me a little to think that the gentlemen of Ayrshire should be represented in Parliament by a good honest merry fellow indeed, but one so totally incapable of the business of legislation and so devoid of the talents which distinguish a man in public life.

At the general election of 1774 Cassillis, Loudoun and Eglintoun composed their differences, and Kennedy stood as their joint candidate. But this coalition of the three peers provoked the independent freeholders, who set up Sir Adam Fergusson; and Kennedy was defeated.

Kennedy, Earl of Cassillis in 1775, died 18 Dec. 1792.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Edith Lady Haden-Guest


  • 1. Loudoun mss.
  • 2. Lt.-Col. Abercrombie to Loudoun, 11 Apr. 1772.
  • 3. Private Pprs. vi. 82.