Sunday, 22 August 2010

Thomas Kennedy

Thomas Kennedy was the third child of Angus and Isabella, born 24 August 1846 at 35 Cadogan Street, Glasgow.

The 1871 Census shows the family living at 99 Bath Street, a house of eleven rooms. Isabella, the widow of Angus is described as “proprietress” and Head of House. Thomas is described as “wright and joiner” and the other family member is the nineteen year old Isabella. This shows that Thomas had not been trained as an architect, which is how he described himself when he married Marion Millar Fergusson on 17 September 1871.

By this time his brother James had left home and had a flat at 42 Raglan Street, near St Georges Cross. James was an architect, presumably trained by his father and had been in partnership with him. From probably 1871, but certainly by 1873 Thomas was working with James at 65 West Regent Street. In 1875 they went into business with William McIlwraith and Robert Brown, the firm being named McIlwraith, Kennedy & Brown and the office was at 227 West George Street. The firm went downhill, because James went blind and William McIlwraith had mental problems, and by 1881 Thomas had moved to Greenock. The 1881 Census shows him living at 25 West Stewart Street, West Greenock with Marion and their surviving children Amelia, aged 7 and Alexander aged 5. Their first child Angus had died of tuberculosis aged 7 in 1879.

Thomas was based at 2 George Square, Greenock until about 1887, then at 37 West Blackhall Street there. By the time of the 1891 Census the family was living at 13 Willowbank Crescent Glasgow and he was described as a Clerk of Works. This suggests that he had been unable to make it as an architect in Greenock and taken employment back in Glasgow. By 1891 they had two more children, Isabella aged 7 and Marion aged 4.

Isabella Kennedy died on 28 December 1899 at 58 South Woodside Road, Glasgow.
On 16 February 1893 she had written a letter to her son-in-law Mr David Lamb of 219 Byres Road, Glasgow, (husband of her daughter Isabella) to be handed to her executors after her death, instructing them to ensure that any balance of a loan of £30 made by a Mr Fullerton to Thomas was repaid from his inheritance. This was duly handed over after she died, so clearly some or all of the loan had not been repaid.

Isabella left just over £700, mainly in investments (but no shareholding in the Barrow Shipbuilding Company). Her estate included a debt of £250 due by A McCracken & Co of St Vincent Place and one of £30 by David Lamb

The 1901 Census shows the family living at 18 Willowbank Street and Thomas is described as an architect and employer, so he was back in business. This is confirmed by the Dictionary of Scottish Architects, which states that a Thomas Kennedy was working in 1904 at 147 West Regent Street.

Thomas died at 235 West Regent Street, Glasgow on 5 January 1913 aged 66.

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