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William Kennedy

(1813-1890), Sailor

Early Victorian Portraits Catalogue Entry

Sitter in 2 portraits
Born in Saskatchewan and educated in Scotland, Kennedy returned to Canada to work for the Hudson Bay Company for eight years. In 1851, Kennedy led an expedition, privately financed by Lady Franklin, in search of her husband, Sir John Franklin. At Batty Bay he left the ship, Prince Albert, and travelled for 97 days, covering 1100 miles with dogs and sledges. Kennedy returned to Aberdeen at the end of 1852 and, although he was unsuccessful in his search for Franklin and his crew, he found new routes to crossing the Arctic and made precise charts of the whole area. In 1853 Kennedy published his experiences in A short narrative of the second voyage of the Prince Albert, in search of Sir John Franklin.

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Brian Borgford

04 April 2020, 22:58

My grandfather worked for Captain Kennedy upon his immigration from Iceland in 1886 as a twelve-year-old boy. He lived at Maplegrove with the Captain and the Duchess and was with Kennedy at the time of his death in 1890. My grandfather documented some of his time with Kennedy in his memoir written in the mid-1940s. He had some interesting anecdotes. I have written a biography of my grandfather and included his time with the Kennedys. They are available on Amazon. My Grandfather was Thorsteinn Borgford (known as Thomas). He was the vice-president and minor shareholder of the J McDiarmid Co. which built many major structures in Canada in the early 1900s, including the Manitoba legislature.

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