William Kennedy Lawrie or Laurie

???? - 28th Jan 1811


In his will proved in 1811, William Kennedy Laurie left extensive property in Scotland in trust to his natural son William Baillie Kennedy Laurie by the deceased Jenet Crawford late of the island of Jamaica, presently an officer in the military service of the Hon. East India Company and his heirs. He appears to have left his Jamaica property to his natural son Walter Laurie by Agnes McCartney deceased late in Dalbeaty. The will mentions his beloved wife (named as a trustee) but that he has no legitimate children. There is some confusion over who owned Woodhall after the death of William Kennedy Laurie. T71/994 gives the original claim by Turner and Forsyth as attorneys to Walter Kennedy Lawrie; T71/867 shows the compensation awarded to Walker Kennedy Laurie, St Thomas-in-the-East, owner (almost certainly the same man); in the Jamaica Almanacs (between 1811 and 1833) the estate is registered to William Kennedy Laurie, but this might refer to the original owner who died in 1811.

  1. Inherited Redcastle and Bargattan in Scotland on the death of his cousin Walter Sloan Lawrie in 1801. William Kennedy Laurie, Esquire, of Redcastle, married Miss William Cockburn, youngest daughter of Alexander Cockburn Esquire of St George's in Grenada, in Edinburgh 12/09/1805. Mrs Kennedy Lawrie, relict of William Kennedy Lawrie Esquire of Redcastle, died at Woodhall in 1814 "in the prime of her life". Memorial inscription in Bath Abbey: "In memory of William Kennedy Lawrie Esquire. of Red Castle Galloway. late of St Thomas in the East Jamaica: Obt. January the 28th, 1811, Aged 62. Also in memory of his amiable widow Mrs Lawrie who died the 5th December 1814."

  2. William Baillie Kennedy Laurie, the natural son of the man of this entry, married Antonia Robinson or Robertson 11/08/1819. He is given as William B. Kennedy Laurie of Woodhall at the baptisms of his children William Kennedy Laurie (1820), Elizabeth Kennedy Laurie (1822), James Walker Laurie (1824) and Walter Dunlop Kennedy Laurie (1832), all in Balmaghie, Kirkudbrightshire, although the eldest was born in St Bernard's Crescent, Edinburgh. No death has been found for William Baillie Kennedy Laurie, but he appears to have died before the compensation process.

  3. Elizabeth Kennedy Laurie (b. c. 1822) was the mother of William Kennedy Laurie Dickson, who has an entry in the ODNB as 'electrical engineer and film-maker.'


William Kennedy Laurie of Bath, Somerset, PROB 11/1520/397 and William Kennedy Laurie of Redcastle, SC13/3/1 Kirkcudbright Commissary Court.

  1. Scottish Jurist (1832) vol. 4 p. 565; Scots Magazine vol. 67 p. 803 (October 1805); Cumberland Pacquet, and Ware's Whitehaven Advertiser 13/12/1814; Vere Langford Oliver, Caribbeana being miscellaneous papers relating to the history, genealogy, topography, and antiquities of the British West Indies (6 vols., London, Mitchell, Hughes and Clarke, 1910-1919) vol. 1 p. 29.

  2. The Kilmarnock Mirror and Literary Gleaner No. 12 Vol. II No. 4 Sept. 1819 p. 153 shows 'Aug. 11th At Maybole W.B. Kennedy Lawrie of Woodhall esq. to Antonia, daughter of Arthur Robertson of Woodford Dale, in the island of Trinidad.'

  3. Paul C. Spehr, ‘Dickson, William Kennedy Laurie (1860–1935)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2011 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/46453, accessed 3 Nov 2017]. In 2015 Alvy Ray Smith published online a detailed study, 'William Kennedy Laurie Dickson, A Genealogical Investigation of a Cinema Pioneer', which draws out the slavery connections of Dickson's family and shows naming practices reproducing for example the forenames of Raynes Waite into the 20th century, http://alvyray.com/Dickson/WilliamKLDickson_v2.22.pdf [accessed 03/11/2017].

We are grateful to Susan Young for her assistance with this entry.

Further Information

Miss William Cockburn
[illeg. with Jenet Crawford] William Baillie Kennedy Laurie; [illeg. with Agnes McCartney] Walter Laurie

Associated Estates (2)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
- 1811 [EY] → Owner
1817 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Previous owner

Relationships (4)

Son-in-law → Father-in-law
Father → Natural Son
Father → Natural Son
Other relatives
Notes →
Arthur Robertson's daughter Antonia married William Kennedy Lawrie's natural son William Baillie Kennedy Lawrie in 1819, after William Kennedy Lawrie's...

Addresses (2)

Bath, Somerset, South-west England, England
Woodhall (now Laurieston Hall), Laurieston, Galloway, Southern Scotland, Scotland