Published in November 2011, “William Kennish Manninagh Dooie - True Manxman” details for the first time the complete life story and all of the writings of this great Manxman. The text and images of William’s 1837 “Concentrating a Broadside...” book are accurately reproduced together with all of his poetry including “Mona's Isle “ and copies of the patents William received.

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 – a challenge even for a 21st century gunner!

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. His discovery in 1854 of a route requiring no locks and proof that linking the two great oceans would not, as believed at the time, risk draining one into the other have set this Manxman head and shoulders above his contemporaries.

His son supervised the construction of the plinth supporting the statue of liberty, and volunteered with his brother as part of Serrell’s Engineers in the American Civil War. All the more remarkable is the revelation that the inventions of both father and son from the Victorian era are still cited as relevant ‘prior art’ in modern patents of invention.

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 admiral’s flagships. Download sample pages here  (opens a PDF File).  Now out of print there ma be some copies stocked at £26.00 + p&p, for remaining stockists see here.


2022 NOTE: The author holds a few remaining copies - if you cannot get one from a bookshop please use the enquries address shown here.


He is one of the most intelligent and best men I have ever met in his line of life’ – Captain Robert Maunsell, HMS Alfred, Malta, 28th March 1832

Yet was Kennish a true poet and an honour to the Island’ – Rev T. E. Brown 1894

A limited edition of ten signed  copies was created following the visit to the Isle of Man by two of William Kennish’s great-great grandsons in November 2014 for the opening of the William Kennish Engineering Centre.

The copies are signed by two American Kennish family members plus the great-great grand-nephew, Manxman and TT Commentator Mr Roy Moore and the author.

The author wishes to gratefully acknowledge that this book has been published with the assistance of Culture Vannin, formerly the Manx Heritage Foundation, through Administrator Mr Charles Guard,

and with the close cooperation and substantial input of 

Lily Publications of Ramsey, Isle of Man, Director Mr Miles Cowsill.


Site Copyright Statement          © 2011-2022 Robert W Stimpson