Basic Biographical Details
|Name: ||George Penrose Kennedy |
|Designation: ||Architect |
|Born: ||1821 |
|Died: ||1898 |
|Bio Notes: ||George Penrose Kennedy was born in 1821, the son of Lewis Kennedy, subsequently factor of the Drummond Castle estates of Peter Robert Drummond Burrell, Lord Willoughby d'Eresby, who inherited the Grimsthrope, Gwydyr and Drummond estates in 1828. |
The Kennedys were an important family of landscape gardeners. Kennedy's great-grandfather Lewis Kennedy (1721-82) had set up the Vineyard Nurseries in Hammersmith c.1745. His son John Kennedy, the architect's grandfather, continued the business there. Of his twelve children, Lewis, the sixth child and the architect's father, was sent to Riga to make contacts for the business in 1804, and was in Paris supplying plants to the Empress Josephine in 1812 when he was taken prisoner. On 24 April 1817 he married Harriet Sewell Mitton, their address being 56 St James's Street, Kensington, by which date he had a career as a landscape gardener separately from the family nursery, notably at Dunkeld (1813) where he designed conservatories for the Duke of Atholl, and at Stow, Norfolk (1812), Oddington (1813), Chiswick House (1814), Trent Park (1815) and Buckhurst Park (1819). During the course of this work Peter Burrell, after 1828 Drummond Burrell, who had married the only surviving child of Lord Perth, invited Lewis to take over the management of the Drummond estates, initially from 5 Alexander Square, Brompton but with a Scottish base at Pitkellony House, Muthill, in or before 1822. There the Kennedys brought up six children, the sons being Lewis Drummond (1818-88) who became a Rector in the Lincolnshire estates, John Eugene (1819-1901), who succeeded his father as factor at Drummond Castle in 1868, George Penrose, and Archibald (1828-51) a civil engineer who died young.
Lewis Kennedy appears to have secured for his son George a place in the office of Sir Charles Barry then engaged in proposals for remodelling Drummond Castle as a neo-Norman pile. From the albums sold by Sotheby's in 1890 (to Weinreb from whom acquired by the Canadian Centre for Architecture) it appears that in addition to other major Barry projects, he was involved in the re-creation of the formal gardens at Drumlanrig in 1840; he probably began the restoration of those at Drummond Castle when still in Barry's employ and made the designs for the banqueting tent erected there for Queen Victoria's visit on 2 September 1842. Thereafter he assisted Francis Cranmer Penrose with his archaeological investigations in Athens, being there in March 1845, and by 1849 he was in practice on his own account at Sussex Chambers, St James's.
Sometime before 1855 Kennedy established an office at 119 Hope Street, Glasgow, perhaps initially only as a branch office, but by 1868 the Glasgow office, now at 160 Hope Street, had become his sole address with Robert Dalglish as partner there from at least 1861; his practice had not, however, been exclusively Scottish as the 'Architect's Engineer's and Building Trades' Directory' of that year refers to at least one residence in Liverpool and 'numerous churches, schools, factories, mills, hotels, &c in Scotland and Wales'. This same directory also lists unspecified 'country seats, residences and villas' at Paisley, Johnstone, Cambuslang, Govan, Coatbridge, Glasgow, Kintyre, Loch Katrine, Largs, Arrochar, Ayr, Dumbarton, Rutherglen, Kincardine and Crieff.
The Drummond Estate connection was lost when Kennedy's brother John was dismissed in 1877 and his family was required to leave Pitkillony. By that date Kennedy does not appear to have been a very active partner. It was perhaps a combination of the dismissal from the Drummond Estate and the sharp decline in business after the failure of the City of Glasgow Bank in the following year that led to the partnership with Dalglish being dissolved c.1879. Kennedy remained at 40 Union Street for a time but subsequently retired to Sunnyside, Lewisham, Kent, and died in 1898.
Private and Business Addresses
|The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:|
| ||Address||Type||Date from||Date to||Notes|
|8, Alexander Street, London, England||Business||1843|| || |
|68, St James's Street, London, England||Business||1846|| || |
|Sussex Chambers, St James's, London, England||Business||1849 *|| || |
|Sussex Chambers, St James's, London, England||Business||1851 *|| || |
|119, Hope Street, Glasgow, Scotland||Business||1855 *|| || |
|160, Hope Street, Glasgow, Scotland||Business||Before 1856||After 1868||With Dalglish after 1865|
|Yucca Lodge, Mount Vernon, by Tollcross, Glasgow, Scotland||Private||1862 *||1878||Given as 'Yercen Lodge, Old Monkland' in 1861 census.|
|43, Bath Street, Glasgow, Scotland||Business||1871 *||1872|| |
|40, Union Street, Glasgow, Scotland||Business||Before 1875||After 1876|| |
|Sunnyside, Lewisham, Kent, England||Private||After 1879||1898|| |
* earliest date known from documented sources.
Employment and Training
Employees or Pupils
Buildings and Designs
|The following books contain references to this architect:|
|Architects Engineers and Building Trades Directory||1868||Architect's, Engineer's and Building Trades' Directory|| ||London, Wyman|| |
|Post Office Directories|| || || || || |
|Wedgwood, Alexandra||1984||Rebuilding the Houses of Parliament: drawings from the Kennedy Albums|| ||House of Lords Record Office|| |
|Woudstra, Jan||1991||Lewis Kennedy Landscape Gardner and his Work at Buckhurst Park|| ||Apollo 1991|| |
|The following archives hold material relating to this architect:|
| ||Source||Archive Name||Source Catalogue No.||Notes|
|Courtesy of Nick Green||Information sent via website|| || |
|Lincoln Record Office||Scott Papers|| || |
|Professor David M Walker personal archive||Professor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material|| ||Information from R E Pearson, Derbyshire College, per Fiona Jamieson; additional research by Iain Paterson|