Name: Gilbert Kennedy
Prefix: Rev 1
Birth: 1706 in Belfast, Antrim, Ireland 2
Birth: BEF 1722 in London 1
Death: 12 MAY 1773 in Belfast, Antrim, Ireland 3
Burial: Clifton Street cemetery, Belfast 4
Education: Glasgow University, MA 1724
Note: 5 3 4|
Change Date: 27 JUN 2011
Troubled times came upon the congregation [of Lisburn] during the vacancy created by the death of the Rev. McCracken. At that period there was a party in every congregation, whom the recent prolonged and acrimonious discussions carried on in the Synod in connection with subscribing the Confession of Faith had awakened the fact that many of the younger ministers and probationers were inclined to be non-subscribers in their religious belief. The subscribing party was ever on the watch for those who were suspected of heresy and was ready to oppose the settlement of such in any vacancy which might occur.
In Lisburn, what might be called the moderate party predominated and called Mr. Gilbert Kennedy, whom the subscribing party suspected as unsound in the faith, although at his subsequent ordination he subscribed the Westminster Confession of Faith. He was ordained on 7th June, 1732, at the age of 26 years, a son of the Manse, his father being the Rev. Gilbert Kennedy of Tullylish. Many of his kinsmen were ministers of the Presbyterian Church, his uncle, the Rev. Wm. Tennant of Neshaniny, Pennsylvania, being the founder of the famous Log College, the home of Presbyterianism in the United States of America. One of the first colleges established in the new country, it did a great work and helped to lay the foundations of American intellectual life. As the demands of the country multiplied, the college was moved to a better locality, and developed into the "College of New Jersey," which afterwards became Princeton University.
Two weeks after his ordination a petition was presented to the Synod by the large Minority opposed to him requesting that they should be erected into a distinct congregation. The Synod appointed a small Commission to take this subject into consideration and report on it. Evidently they found the minority so numerous and determined that they decided it best to advise the Synod to appoint a larger Commission to meet in October and hear both sides.
Apparently the opposition to the Rev. Kennedy was so formidable and harmful to the congregation that he thought it advisable to seek another field of labour. In the beginning of 1733, he received a call to Killyleagh which he accepted and so cleared the field for further strife. He remained in his new charge till 1744, when he accepted a call to 2nd Belfast, becoming Moderator of the Synod in 1763. It is interesting to note that his grand-daughter married His Grace the Rev. Dr. G. Beresford, Primate of All Ireland, and it is possible that the Rev. Wm. Traill, Rector of the Cathedral, 1781/96, was a kinsman. His sermon as the outgoing Moderator and other sermons have been published and it can be inferred from them that his religious views were " New Light " in doctrine. Certainly they were very different from those of his father who openly advocated subscription, and also those of his paternal grandfather who-was ejected from his congregation at Girvan and compered to flee from Scotland owing to his Puritanism.
It seems it was possibly his sister Katherine who married Rev William Tennant, making him Gilbert?s bro in law not uncle?
Gilbert Kennedy b 1717 Belfast, son of Gilbert Kennedy & Elizabeth Lang. 1717 could be a good (but wrong) guess of his birth date based upon his marriage date?
Belfast Newsletter 14 May 1773: "Yesterday morning died the Revd. Gilbert Kennedy, dissenting minister of the New Meeting House in this town near thirty years. The universal regret and concern expressed of all ranks and denominations here on this melancholy
event, especially by those who were under his pastoral care, is a better and
more honourable testimony to his aimiable character and virtues, than any
other could be given"
Belfast Newsletter 2-6 July 1773: "The character and future reward of the wise, and of those who turn many to righteousness?, a sermon , preached in the New Meeting House in Belfast, May 23, 1773. On occasion of the death of the late Reverend Gilbert Kennedy, pastor of that congregation, who departed this life May 12, 1773, by James Mackay."
LDS says he was born in London.
It seems maybe his mother died 1767? See Belfast Newsletter 11 Dec. 1767.
Gilbert KENNEDY: son of Rev. Gilbert Kennedy, Tullylish; born 1706; educ. Glasgow, MA 1724; licensed Armagh Presbytery 1728; ordained Lisburn 7 June 1732; resigned 1733; installed Killyleagh 1733; married 1742, daughter of Jas. Trail, Marybrook, Drummatticonnor; resigned 1744; installed 2nd Belfast (All Souls) 1744; Moderator of the General Synod 1763; died 12 May 1773; interred Clifton Street.
Wm. Trail Kennedy, merchant, Belfast was a son, and His Grace, Rev. Dr. G. Beresford, Primate of all Ireland, married the only daughter of Wm. Trail Kennedy.
Father: Gilbert Kennedy b: 1678 in Dundonald, co Down
Mother: Elizabeth Lang
Elizabeth Traill b: 2 OCT 1712 in Marybrook, nr Ballynahinch, Co Down, Ireland
24 DEC 1742
in Killyleagh First Presbyterian, Killyleagh, Down, Ireland 1
- Mary or Margaret Kennedy b: ABT 1753 in Belfast, Dublin, Ireland (sic)
- Text: IGI
- Text: Elsie Ritchie
- Type: Newspaper
Title: The Belfast Newsletter
- Text: Presbyterian Historical Society
- Type: Book
Periodical: First Lisburn Presbyterian Church
Author: W I Craig