William Kennish – A True Manxman
This book charts the life and career of an “illiterate Manx Peasant” (William’s own words) who rose in only seven years from seaman to master carpenter of the Mediterranean Fleet, eventually serving on three admirals flagships.
William Kennish received £100 from the Admiralty in London in 1828 for his Marine Theodolite which simplified the concentration of a broadside from a Ship of War. His Gun Commander system using bells, rope and a command of the helm using his theodolite put 16 shots through a 6ft square target at 500 yards, whilst moving at 3 knots.
Later developments included a diving machine to allow recovery of lost coinage in Brooklyn harbour, before he set out to discover a route to link the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. He discovered in 1854 a route requiring no locks and proved that linking the two great oceans would not, as believed at the time, risk draining one into the other.
This book reproduces for the first time the complete set of engravings referring to William’s method of concentrating a broadside, which are not available elsewhere.