Gilbert Kennedy, 3rd Earl of Cassilis

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Gilbert Kennedy, 3rd Earl of Cassilis (/ˈkæslz/ KASS-lz) (12 May 1515 – 15 November 1558) was Scottish landowner, soldier, politician and judge. He served as Treasurer of Scotland.

The son of Gilbert Kennedy, 2nd Earl of Cassilis, he succeeded to the titles of 5th Lord Kennedy and 3rd Earl of Cassillis in August 1527. On 6 February 1540/41 he had a charter of the Fief of Cassilis.

Gilbert Kennedy was taken prisoner at the Battle of Solway Moss. Sir Thomas Wharton, Warden of the English West March, wrote to the Privy Council of King Henry VIII, on the tenth of December 1542, regarding ransoms for prisoners taken at the battle, including the Earl of Cassillis, who was taken by Batill Routlege. Credit was also given to John Musgrave who "claimeth a part for the loan of his horse to the said Routlege." [1] Kennedy was committed to the custody of Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, and was, by the instructions of that venerable martyr, induced to embrace the reformed religion. He became a Protestant, and went over to the English Party. He was released in February 1545, and held the office of Treasurer of Scotland in 1554, of Extraordinary Lord of Session between 1546 and 1558. Gilbert Kennedy fought in the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh on 10 September 1547.

In 1558 he was present, as one of the eight Commissioners appointed by the Scottish Parliament, at the marriage of Mary, Queen of Scots, to the Dauphin of France, to whom the Scottish deputies unanimously refused the Crown matrimonial. The Court of France appeared deeply mortified by this disappointment, and the Earl of Cassilis, with two others of the Commissioners, dying in one night, on 28 November 1558, at Dieppe, a report was raised that they had been poisoned, which was further countenanced by the death of a fourth Commissioner, Lord Fleming, at Paris, on 16 December 1558.

Henry II of France had appointed Gilbert as Gentleman in Ordinary of his Chamber on 4 May 1558, and this honour was transferred to his heir, Gilbert, 4th Earl of Cassilis on 10 February 1559.[2]


The Earl married Margaret Wallace in 1540 and they had four children.

  • Katherine Kennedy
  • Gilbert Kennedy, 4th Earl of Cassilis (c. 1541–1576)
  • Sir Thomas Kennedy, Master of Cassilis (b. between 1543–1558, d. 1602)
  • Lady Janet Kennedy Stewart, (bef. 1558–c.1598), married Robert Stewart, 1st Earl of Orkney
  • Lady Isobel Kennedy b. 24 July 1542 d. 12 Jan 1598 married Sir Patrick Mc Elwain of Thomaston Castle and had descendants


  1. Nicolson, Joseph. The History and Antiquities of the Counties of Westmorland and Cumberland (W Strahan, London 1777)
  2. Historic account of the family of Kennedy, Ailsa, Cassilis, (1849), appendix, pp.1-6
Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by
Gilbert Kennedy
Earl of Cassilis
Succeeded by
Gilbert Kennedy