Tracing the disparate ancestries of four great families


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David Kennedy - a troubled history

David Kennedy – a troubled history 1809-1900 , Guelph, Scotland, Channel Islands

 David Kennedy was born in 1809 in Barony, Glasgow, Scotland to Robert Kennedy and Robina Henderson. His father was a merchant in Glasgow, born in Kirkudbrightshire, Scotland who was connected with his brother John's company called McConnel and Kennedy of Manchester, in the textile industry. David lived in Peking for several years and came to Guelph, Ontario, Canada. His sister Catherine and her husband Hugh MacDonald were apparently the first to come over. Hugh was a cashier with McConnel and Kennedy.

During a visit in 1871 to the Saunders' retirement home of "Summer Hill" in Guelph, Ontario, David met Elinor Saunders Sutherland, a widow with two children, Lucy and Elinor. She and David married quickly after meeting and returned to his native Scotland to visit his family in Balgregan Castle [Galloway, Ireland]. Unfortunately, Elinor soon found David to be "cruel, selfish, overbearing, mean" according to a biography written of her daughter Elinor Glyn. David's family was surprised he married as they had regarded him as a bachelor for life. The biography describes Balgregan as having "great rooms, its liveried footmen, its suites of grand bedrooms, its strange staircases and turrets, it was like the castle of every fairy story. It had, in fact, been a centre of Jacobite plotting, and there were several romantic legends about the place". Peter Kennedy was described as "genial" where his brother David was "curmudgeonly". There were "powder boxes on the dressing table, the pink satin peignoir, the quilted slippers".

The family soon left Balgregan and stayed with other Kennedy relations in Yorkshire* where unfortunately David was taken ill with bronchitis from which he had suffered for some time. The Kennedys soon left for the Channel Island of Jersey where they hoped David's bronchitis would be bearable. They reached St Helier in 1874, Mrs. Kennedy "terrified" and the children quite "disillusioned". David liked the island and rented a furnished house called Richelieu outside St. Helier. Mr. Kennedy's health began to deteriorate, he spent much time in bed, his investments were not prospering and when the lease at Richelieu expired, the family moved into St. Helier to 55 Colomberie, a "pleasant stone house with oak panelling". In 1889 David Kennedy died and Elinor's "long years of servitude were over at last. She sold 55 Columberie and moved to London, where she took a little house in Davies Street, Mayfair".

The children [by Elinor’s previous marriage]

-- Elinor, born Oct. 17, 1864 in St. Helier and died Sep. 23, 1943 born Elinor Sutherland, a British novelist and scriptwriter worked in Hollywood with Gloria Swanson, Rudolph Valentino and Clara Bow.

-- Lucy became Lady Duff-Gordon born 13 June 1863 in London, England and died 20 April 1935 was a British fashion designer known as 'Lucile' opened couture houses in Paris, New York and Chicago and London. In 1900 she married Sir Cosmo Duff Gordon. She and her husband were survivors of the Titanic.

*Carol Whalley 2012: The fact that David Kennedy, Elinor and the two kids stayed "with other Kennedy relations in Yorkshire". means they stayed in Meanwood Towers as they were the only living Yorkshire relatives in 1871. It means that I can safely say they stayed in my home.

Owner/Source M L Struthers
Linked toDavid Kennedy; Elinor Saunders; Elinor "Nellie" Sutherland; Lucy Christiana Sutherland

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