This article is about Archie Kennedy, the character from the Hornblower TV series. Kennedy, the midshipman from Mr. Midshipman Hornblower was a minor character whose entire appearance occupied some half dozen sentences, and no first name for him was ever given.
Archie Kennedy served as Midshipman aboard HMS Justinian and Indefatigable, later as an acting Lieutenant, and as 4th lieutenant aboard HMS Renown. He also was one of the closest friends of young Horatio Hornblower. Kennedy was portrayed by Jamie Bamber.
HMS Justinian Edit
Archie Kennedy was one of those who suffered most under the tyrant of the midshipmen's berth, Jack Simpson. Kennedy's fear of Simpson went so far that he frequently experienced seizures.
HMS Indefatigable Edit
Fortunately for Kennedy, when the midshipmen were transferred to other ships, he escaped Simpson. During the time the Indefatigable was at sea, she came across a wreck of a British ship, and picked up one survivor: Jack Simpson.
With Simpson, the seizures returned, which proved nearly disastrous during a night action to capture the French ship Papillon. Kennedy almost gave the attackers away, but Horatio Hornblower had the presence of mind to knock him unconscious.The men were saved, but Simpson, seeing Kennedy unconscious in the boat, cut the boat loose and it drifted away. Simpson boasted that he had killed Kennedy, but he had not, and Kennedy was merely captured.
Found and imprisoned, Kennedy tried to escape several times, but was moved to a prison further from England each time. Eventaully, he ended up in a coastal Spanish prison - the same prison that Hornblower was brought to later. His seizures returned once again with the memories of Simpson Hornblower brought with him, and Kennedy thought himself useless. He tried to starve himself to death, but Hornblower got him help and eventually coaxed him back into health.
Acting Lieutenant - HMS Indefatigable Edit
Acting Lieutenant Kennedy participated in the Quiberon invasion attempt. He was in charge of defending the bridge to Muzillac and destroying it if necessary. Once the time came to do so, however, he was reluctant, fearing he might cut Hornblower off from the ship. Just after Matthews lit the fuse for him, Hornblower and Mariette returned from the village. Mariette was shot by pursuing Republican forces, and Kennedy had to coax his grieving friend across the bridge, which was destroyed even as they made their crossing.
Kennedy served as 4th lieutenant on HMS Renown. He soon grew to dislike Captain Sawyer for his erratic way of command. The captain was subject to a growing and unsupported paranoia. Sawyer saw conspiracies left and right, and continuously attacked Henry Wellard and Horatio Hornblower, having the former beaten unconscious at one point, and putting the latter on continuous watch for 72 hours.
Seeing that the captain was becoming mentally unstable, Lieutenants Buckland, Hornblower, Kennedy, and later Bush, as well as Mr. Midshipman Wellard, met secretly to discuss what should be done, that they were all agreed that the captain should declared unfit for command by Dr. Clive. How they should accomplish this, however, was left undecided when Sawyer was informed that the lieutenants were not at assigned posts and he had the ship searched for 'mutineers.' The four men scattered, rather than be caught together, and in the ensuing chaos, Sawyer fell into the hold, sustaining a severe concussion. At that point the extremely reluctant doctor declared the unconscious captain unfit and Buckland took command.
The Renown then took action on the island of Santo Domingo where Kennedy participated in the capture of the Spanish fort. He, Bush, and Hornblower set the final charges to blow the fort, and then the three men jumped from the cliff top to the sea rather than be left behind by Buckland who was then compelled to send a boat for them.
When the Spanish prisoners aboard the Renown escaped, Kennedy, Bush and Wellard were among those aware and prepared to fight. In the ensuing action, however, Kennedy was mortally wounded, but initially hid his injury from Hornblower.At Kingston, Jamaica, the officers of the Renown were tried for mutiny. Unexpectedly, Buckland blamed Hornblower for Sawyer's fall. Hobbs was called to testify, but wouldn't say anything about who may have pushed the captain. Fearing that Hornblower might be blamed, and knowing that, with his state worsening, he had nothing to lose, Kennedy decided to take the blame for Sawyer's fall himself. He testified that he, and he alone caused the captain to fall. So severe were his wounds, he nearly collapsed in the court before the testimony could be given, but in the end, he shouldered the blame to save his friends.
Hornblower visited Kennedy at his death bed and asked why he had done it, Kennedy said Hornblower had done as much for him any number of times - risked his life to save others. And as things stood, he had no fear of the gallows. He asked Hornblower to take what he had been given and say goodbye. Hornblower said he was honored to have served with Archie Kennedy. Kennedy died moments later.