Thomas Francis Kennedy was born in Ayrshire in 1788.
Though he studied law, but took no degree Kennedy was called to the bar in 1811. In 1818 he represented the Whigs in Parliament as MP for Ayr burghs. Kennedy supported many reforms and was a vocal supporter of the Whigs.
When Earl Grey came to power in 1832 he was made Clerk of the Ordnance and then promoted to junior lordship of the Treasury in 1833. However, Kennedy was forced to retire from political life in 1834 as he assumed responsibility for his father’s debts. Nevertheless, he returned in 1837 taking the post of Paymaster of the Civil Services in Ireland. He remained in this position until 1850 when he transferred to Woods and Forests. Conflicts within this new department led to his dismissal without pension in 1854.
Thomas Francis Kennedy died at his home, Dalquaharran Castle, in 1879.