Kennedy, Walter

(1460?-1508?)
   One of the "Scottish Chaucerians," the third son of Gilbert, first lord Kennedy. The family was connected to King Robert III (reigned 1390-1406); Walter's uncle, James Kennedy, bishop of St. Andrews, was one of the regents during the minority of James III (1460-1488). The family held great estates in the west of Scotland, especially in Carrick, Ayrshire, one of the most important of the minor noble houses of Scotland. He graduated M.A. from Glasgow College in 1478. Kennedy and William Dunbar (see entry) were rivals in the Flyting [scolding or wrangling] of Dunbar and Kennedie (1508) in which the two poets alternate in heaping outrageous abuse on each another (though without rancor), a favorite sport of the 16th-century Scots poets. In Dunbar's eyes Kennedy was a half-barbarous Celt, who always wore highland dress, spoke the Gaelic dialect, and resembled a leper on account of his lean neck, shriveled throat, and dry yellow skin. Some of Kennedy's other poems: "Ane Agit Manis Invective against Mouth Thankless," "Ane Ballat in Praise of Our Lady," "Honour with Age," "Pious Counsale," "The Passioun of Christ."
   Sources: Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite DVD, 2006. English Poetry: Author Search. Chadwyck-Healey Ltd., 1995 (http://www.lib.utexas.edu:8080/search/epoetry/author.html). First Scottish Books (Chepman and Myller Prints)Digital Library (http://www.nls.uk/digitallibrary/chepman/page.htm). The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The Oxford Book of Scottish Verse, John MacQueen and Tom Scott, eds. Oxford University Press, 1966. The Oxford Companion to English Literature. 6th edition. Margaret Drabble, ed. Oxford University Press, 2000.

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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