Born near Dublin, William Kennedy was the son of an Ayrshire manufacturer who studied at Belfast College. He edited the Tory Paisley Advertiser and in William Motherwell's Paisley Magazine, later working as a journalist in Hull and in London (with the poet Leitch Ritchie). In 1838 he went to Canada as secretary to the governor-general, and traveled in America, where Kennedy was British Consul to Texas (1841-47). Upon his return he lived on his pension and produced translations before his death at Paris.
Fitful fancies. 1827.
The arrow and the rose, and other poems. 1830.
The continental annual and romantic cabinet for 1832. 1831.
The siege of Antwerp, an historical play. 1838.
The rise, progress, and prospects of the Republic of Texas. 2 vols, 1841.