William Kennish was an inventor, engineer, explorer and poet. He said in the introduction to his book of poetry “Mona's Isle” published in 1844 that he took up poetry to while away the night watches he performed whilst serving on board ship after running out of money to pursue his inventions.
Kennish wrote about life in the place of his birth - the Isle of Man, which is located mid-way between England and Ireland in the Irish Sea. Passionate about the tradition and life on this unique location barely 33 miles long North-to-South and only 12 miles wide East-to-West, he wrote about traditions, superstitions and local characters, creating 40 poems of widely varying length and quality. The book also details previously unpublished poems located in family papers discovered in the USA in 2011, and describes the life shaping events including a brief spell of imprisonment for debt in 1845/6 which influenced his writing.
The Manx poet the Rev. T.E. Brown was the first person, as a boy aged 13, to review the draft of Mona's Isle when his father, the Rev. Robert Brown, was asked by Kennish’s lady sponsors in Castletown to proof-read it and Robert's failing eyesight caused him problems. In his later years, Rev T. E. Brown called William Kennish “A true poet and an honour to the island”.
The recently discovered Tramman Tree can be viewed here plus details of his own book of poetry Mona's Isle which was published early in 1844.
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