THOMAS FRANCIS KENNEDY (1788-1879), Scottish politician, was born near Ayr in 1788.
During the wars of Scottish independence the possession of Ayr and its castle was an object of importance to both the contending parties, and the town was the scene of many of Wallace's exploits.
Nothing is known of the history of Ayr till the close of the 12th century, when it was made a royal residence, and soon afterwards a royal burgh, by William the Lion.
Having been elected M.P. for the Ayr burghs in 1818, he devoted the greater part of his life to the promotion of Liberal reforms. In 1820 he married the only daughter of Sir Samuel Romilly.
With Ayr, Campbeltown, Inveraray and Irvine (the Ayr burghs), it unites to send one member to parliament.
Through the favour of Lord Bute, he was returned to parliament for the Ayr burghs in 1761.
North of Ayr is Prestwick, a popular watering-place and the headquarters of one of the most flourishing golf clubs in Scotland.
The counties in which the manufacture is now most largely carried on are Forfar, Perth, Fife and Aberdeen, but Renfrew, Lanark, Edinburgh and Ayr are also extensively associated with it.
Feudal law required that the king should take seisin of the earldom before regranting it and receiving the homage, and the sheriff of Ayr was directed to take it on Baliol's behalf.
When Scotland was overrun by Cromwell, Ayr was selected as the site of one of the forts which he built to command the country.