Lords Kennedy (1457)


1st Lord Kennedy, Gilbert Kennedy, b.c.1406, a.1457, d.1478-1479


The Kennedy Clan were descended from Sir Gilbert de Carrick, a feudal inferior to the earls of Carrick. His son John obtained the lands of Castlys, or Cassillis, and he changed his surname to Kennedy, which sounded more Gaelic. Each generation extended the family’s holdings, and John’s grandson Sir James Kennedy of Dunure (b.?, d.1408) married Lady Mary Stewart (b.?, d.c.1458), daughter of Robert III of Scotland and widow of George Douglas, 1st Earl of Angus. Their son Gilbert was elevated to the peerage as 1st Lord Kennedy, while another son, James, became Bishop of St Andrews. On the death of James II, he became one the six Regents of Scotland.


2nd Lord Kennedy, John Kennedy, b.1454, a.c.1479, d.1508-1509


Son of the 1st Lord and Catherine Maxwell, daughter of Herbert Maxwell, 1st Lord Maxwell. He was a Privy Counsellor to James III.


3rd Lord Kennedy, David Kennedy, b.b.1478, a.c.1509, d.1513


Son of the 2nd Lord and Elizabeth Montgomerie, daughter of Alexander Montgomerie, 1st Lord Montgomerie (for whom see the earls of Eglinton). He was a Privy Counsellor to James IV, and was created 1st Earl of Cassillis in 1509. He died at Flodden.



Earls of Cassillis (1509)


1st Earl of Cassillis, David Kennedy, as above


2nd Earl of Cassillis, Gilbert Kennedy, b.b.1500, a.1513, d.1527


Son of the 1st Earl and Agnes Borthwick, daughter of Sir William Borthwick, 2nd Lord Borthwick. He was a Privy Counsellor to James V. In 1525, he was tried for murder but acquitted. He was briefly held prisoner by the Douglases after having joined the Earl of Arran in an attempt to rescue James V from the custody of Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus.


3rd Earl of Cassillis, Gilbert Kennedy, b.1515, a.1527, d.1558


Son of the 2nd Earl and Lady Isabel Campbell, daughter of Archibald Campbell, 2nd Earl of Argyll. He was captured at the Battle of Solway Moss in 1542, and induced into becoming a Protestant by Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury. He was released after agreeing to support Henry VIII’s plan to marry his son Prince Edward to Scotland’s Queen Mary, and on supplying hostages for his good conduct in the shape of his younger brothers. He returned to Scotland to join the English party against the Catholics. However, their plans were discovered and under threat of forfeiture he agreed to be bound to support the Queen. In 1545, now fully discharged by Henry, Cassillis now acted openly as his envoy in Scotland, only to fail to achieve the required aims. In 1546 he rejected Henry, only to be on the losing side again at the Battle of Pinkie in 1547. He was a Lord of Session from 1546 to 1558 and High Treasurer of Scotland in 1554. In 1558, he was one of a group of Commissioners present at the marriage of Queen Mary to the Dauphin of France. It has been suggested that his death, and the death of at least two other of the members of the Commission, was as a result of poison, the Commission having rejected a French proposal for the Dauphin to be declared King of Scotland.


4th Earl of Cassillis, Gilbert Kennedy, b.c.1541, a.1558, d.1576


Son of the 3rd Earl and Margaret Kennedy (b.?, d.c.1596). He was a Privy Counsellor to Queen Mary, and fought on her side at the Battle of Langside. He was known as an intensely greedy man and was unscrupulous in his efforts to extend his wealth. The abbey of Crossraguel lay close to his lands, and in 1570 he kidnapped and tortured Allan Stewart, Commendator of the abbey, having him roasted over an open fire in order to force him to sign over the abbey lands. Having gained the necessary signature shortly before the poor man’s death, he was let of lightly by the Regent and the Council with merely a fine. This episode instigated a feud with the Hamilton’s of Bargeny. Later that year he joined several other high profile member’s of the Queen’s party to make his peace with the King under the auspiced of the Regent, Morton. Shortly before he died, he converted to Protestantism at the behest of his wife.


5th Earl of Cassillis, John Kennedy, b.1575, a.1576, a.1615


Son of the 4th Earl and Margaret Lyon (b.?, d.1625), daughter of John Lyon, 7th Lord Glamis. (She later married John Hamilton, 1st Marquess of Hamilton). He was briefly Lord High Treasurer in 1598/99, having paid handsomely to obtain that position. He died without issue.


6th Earl of Cassillis, John Kennedy, b.b.1606, a.1615, d.1668


Nephew of the 5th Earl and son of Hew Kennedy (b.1576-1577, d.1607) and Katherine McDowall. He was heavily involved in the negotiations between the Scots, Cromwell and the exiled Charles II and became a member of Cromwell’s unofficial House of Lords. At the Restoration he was made a Privy Counsellor and an Extraordinary Lord of Session but was removed after refusing to take the oath of allegiance.


7th Earl of Cassillis, John Kennedy, b.1653, a.1668, d.1701


Son of the 6th Earl and Margaret Hay (b.?, d.1695), daughter of William Hay, 10th Earl of Erroll. Although a product of the previous earl’s second marriage, he succeeded to the title as the first heir died young. He was a committed Protestant and took a stand against the Duke of Lauderdale, being declared outlaw, although he attempted to negotiate, on behalf of the King, with the Covenanters in order to prevent bloodshed. He supported the Revolution when it came, and was made a Privy Counsellor to William II in 1689 and Lord of the Treasury of Scotland from 1689 to 1695.


8th Earl of Cassillis, John Kennedy, b.1700, a.1701, d.1759


Grandson of the 7th Earl and Lady Susannah Hamilton (b.b.1638, d.?), daughter of James Hamilton, 1st Duke of Hamilton, and son of John Kennedy (b.c.1672, d.1700) and Elizabeth Huchinson (b.c.1677, d.1733-1734). He led a quiet life. However, on his death, competition arose as to the title, between William Douglas, 2nd Earl of March and Ruglen (who was married to the 7th Earl’s grand-daughter Anne, who herself had become 2nd Countess of Ruglen) and Thomas, 4th Baronet Kennedy, a direct descendant of the 3rd Earl. The House of Lords ruled for the latter in 1762.



Baronets Kennedy of Culzean (1682)


1st Baronet Kennedy, Archibald Kennedy, b.?, a.1682, d.1711


The 4th Earl’s younger brother, Sir Thomas Kennedy (b.1543-1558, d.1602), married Elizabeth Makgill (b.?, d.1622). Their son Sir Alexander Kennedy (b.?, d.1652) married Agnes Kennedy. Their son Sir John Kennedy (b.?, d.1665) married Margaret Hamilton, daughter of John Hamilton, 1st Lord Bargany. Their son was created 1st Baronet Kennedy of Culzean.


2nd Baronet Kennedy, John Kennedy, b.?, a.1711, d.c.1743


Son of the 1st Baronet and Elizabeth Leslie, daughter of David Leslie, 1st Lord Newark.


3rd Baronet Kennedy, John Kennedy, b.?, a.1743, d.1744


Son of the 2nd Baronet and Jean Douglas.


4th Baronet Kennedy, Thomas Kennedy, b.b.1733, a.1744, d.1775


Younger brother of the 3rd Baronet. He was an officer in the British Army and fought in Flanders. In 1760 he put forward his claim for the earldom, which was accepted by the House of Lords in 1762.



Earls of Cassillis (1509, continued)


9th Earl of Cassillis, Thomas Kennedy, b.b.1733, a.1762, d.1775


After obtaining the earldom, he served as a Representative Peer from 1774 to 1775.


10th Earl of Cassillis, David Kennedy, b.b.1734, a.1775, d.1792


Younger brother of the 9th Earl. He was an MP for Ayrshire, and then a Representative Peer. Both his brother and he died without issue, and the baronetcy became extinct.


11th Earl of Cassillis, Archibald Kennedy, b.b.1736, a.1792, d.1794


Sir Alexander Kennedy (b.?, d.1652), grandfather of the 1st Baronet Kennedy and his wife Agnes Kennedy, both mentioned above, had a younger son, also Alexander Kennedy (b.?, d.c.1698). He married Anna Crawford. Their son, Archibald Kennedy (b.c.1685, d.1763) married an American woman surnamed Massam, and their son became 11th Earl. He had previously gained the rank of Captain in the Royal Navy.


12th Earl of Cassillis, Archibald Kennedy, b.1770, a.1794, d.1846


Son of the 11th Earl and Anne Watts (b.?, d.1793). He was a Representative Peer from 1796 to 1806, when he was created 1st Baron Ailsa in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, which gave him an automatic seat in the House of Lords. In 1819, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society and in 1821 was made a Knight of the Thistle. He was created 1st Marquess of Ailsa in 1831.



Marquesses of Ailsa (1831)


1st Marquess of Ailsa, Archibald Kennedy, as above


2nd Marquess of Ailsa, Archibald Kennedy, b.1816, a.1846, d.1870


Grandson of the 1st Marquess and Margaret Erskine (b.c.1772, d.1848), and son of Archibald Kennedy (b.1794, d.1832) and Eleanor Allardyce (b.c.1796, d.1832). He reached the rank of Captain in the 17th Lancers, having previously served in the Rifle Brigade. He was made a Knight of the Thistle in 1859 and Lord-Lieutenant of Ayrshire in 1861.


3rd Marquess of Ailsa, Archibald Kennedy, b,1847, a.1870, d.1938


Son of the 2nd Marquess and Julia Jephson (b.?, d.1899), daughter of Sir Richard Mountenay Jephson, 1st Baronet. He reached the rank of Captain in the Coldstream Guards, and was later a Lieutenant-Commander in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve. He was Lord-Lieutenant of Ayrshire from 1919 to 1937.


4th Marquess of Ailsa, Archibald Kennedy, b.1872, a.1938, d.1943


Son of the 3rd Marquess and Evelyn Stuart (b.1848, d.1888), daughter of Charles Stuart, 12th Lord Blantyre. Educated at Eton and Trinity College Cambridge, he was admitted as an Advocate in 1897. He fought in the Boer War, winning several decorations, and eventually reached the rank of Major in the Royal Scots Fusiliers. In 1930, he was made Honorary Colonel of the 4th/5th Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers. He was also a Fellow of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society. He died without issue.


5th Marquess of Ailsa, Charles Kennedy, b.1875, a.1943, d.1956


Younger brother of the 4th Marquess. He reached the rank of Captain in the Ayrshire Yeomanry and then the Prince of Wales Light Horse, and fought in the Boer War. Although he was twice-married, he also died without issue.


6th Marquess of Ailsa, Angus Kennedy, b.1882, a.1956, d.1957


Younger brother of the 4th and 5th Marquesses. He reached the rank of Captain in the Royal Air Force.


7th Marquess of Ailsa, Archibald David Kennedy, b.1925, a.1957, d.1994


Son of the 6th Marquess and Gertrude Millicent Cooper (b.?, d.1957). He served in the Scots Guards, and later reached the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the Royal Scots Fusiliers Territorial Army. He received an OBE in 1968.


8th Marquess of Ailsa, Archibald Angus Charles Kennedy, b.1956, a.1994


Son of the 7th Marquess and Mary Burn (b.c.1916, d.2007). He holds the titles of 8th Marquess of Ailsa, 19th Earl of Cassilis, 21st Lord Kennedy and 8th Baron Ailsa.



The courtesy title of the heir is Earl of Cassillis.