Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Kennedy, Gilbert (d.1527)

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KENNEDY, GILBERT, second Earl of Cassilis (d. 1527), was sixth in descent from John Kennedy of Dunure, who in 1358 obtained a charter from David II confirming him in possession of many estates in Ayrshire. The family probably descended from Duncan, created Earl of Carrick (c. 1228), the grandson of Fergus, lord of Galloway (d. 1161). Among Gilbert's ancestors were Sir James Kennedy, father of James Kennedy (1406?–1465) [q. v.], and Gilbert, created first Lord Kennedy (c 1456). David, his father, was created first Earl of Cassillis before 7 Feb. 1510 (Fraser, Montgomerie Earls of Eglintoun, ii. 71), married Agnes, daughter of William, lord Borthwick, and fell at Flodden on 9 Sept. 1513. Gilbert must then have already come to man's estate, as in 1515 he was helping to besiege Queen Margaret in Stirling Castle, and in February 1516 was sent as ambassador to England. In 1519 he is found siding with Arran against Angus, and when, in May 1523, the regent Albany sailed for France, he was one of the four nobles to whom was committed the keeping of the boy-king, James V. He was sworn a privy councillor, on 4 Sept. 1524 concluded at Berwick a three months' truce with the Duke of Norfolk, and during the following winter was twice in London, endeavouring to negotiate a definite peace and a marriage between James and the Princess Mary. In January 1526 he was with Arran at Linlithgow, arrayed against Angus, and in September with Lennox, arrayed against Angus and Arran. He shared in Lennox's defeat, and Arran on his forfeiture received a grant of his lands, but on 9 Nov. he was discharged of treason. However, on 22 Dec. 1527 he was slain at Prestwick by Hugh Campbell of Loudoun, sheriff of Ayr, at the instigation, it was said, of Sir James Hamilton, Arran's bastard son. A remission was granted for this slaughter in July 1528 to the sheriff and fourteen hundred others; and a letter of the same month from Dacre to Wolsey says that ‘the King is ruled by the Queen, Henry Stewart, now her husband, Lord Maxwell, and the Laird of Buccleuch, with the sheriff of Ayr, who slew the Earl of Cassillis, and now bedfellow to the said King.’ The earl married Isabel Campbell, second daughter of Archibald, second earl of Argyll, and by her, with two daughters, had seven sons, of whom the eldest, Gilbert, third Earl of Cassillis [q. v.], and the fourth, Quintin Kennedy [q. v.], are separately noticed.

[Historical Account of the Noble Family of Kennedy, privately printed at Edinburgh, 1849; Douglas's Peerage of Scotland, ed. Wood, i. 329; Letters and Papers of Henry VIII, II. i. 50, 1442, 2128, iv. passim.]

F. H. G.