- "I'm reliving the life of Bernard Kenway, sheep farmer. Yeah. I'm literally shoveling virtual shit all day."
- ―Philippe Chartrand on his Sample 17 subject, 2013.[src]
Bernard Kenway (unknown – December 1717) was an English sheep farmer from Manchester, the husband of Linette Kenway, the father of Edward Kenway, the grandfather of Haytham Kenway and the great-grandfather of Ratonhnhaké:ton; as such, he is an ancestor of Desmond Miles.
Hailing from Manchester, Bernard fell in love with a Welshwoman, Linette Hopkins, whom he married. The pair settled in Swansea and had a daughter together, though she died during infancy. In 1693, they had another child, a boy, who they named Edward.
In 1703, Bernard and his family moved to Hatherton, a village near Bristol, where they ran a small holding keeping sheep. Although the Welsh accent of the Kenways marked them as different, the true love of Bernard for his wife, and his fairness in commercial matters earned him the respect of the surrounding tradesmen. In 1711, Bernard left the sales part of the farm to Edward; however, Edward's dissatisfaction with the farmer life caused him to frequently forgo his duties and spend time at the taverns instead.
At one point, in the Auld Shillelagh, Edward provoked the anger of Tom Cobleigh, his son and their associate when he fought them to keep Tom from raping Rose, the drunken maidservant of Caroline Scott. Two days later, the group slaughtered two of Bernard's sheep and placed the carcasses in front of the Kenway house in order to provoke Edward. Bernard refused to let him retaliate, explaining that the Cobleighs and many merchants of Bristol had joined the Trade Organisation, an association of tradesmen protected by "powerful men". An organisation that he himself had refused to join when he was approached.
When Edward won the heart of an already engaged Caroline Scott, Bernard and Linette were present at their wedding and witnessed Emmett Scott disowning his own daughter for this misalliance. They gave shelter to the young couple at their home, but Edward's ambitions would continue causing tension. Eventually, Caroline, disappointed in her husband's plans of becoming a privateer, left the Kenway farmstead for her father's house. This caused pain to Bernard and his wife who had became fond of the young woman, having learned how to read from her.
In late 1712, a group of hooded men sent by Scott burned down the Kenway farmstead while Bernard and Linette were sleeping inside and while Edward was in Bristol, embarking on his life as a privateer. Coming back to Hatherton due to his departure being delayed, Edward tried to stop them, but the group pinned him to the ground, beating him and subsequently left. Edward subsequently alerted his parents to the fire. After the fire had killed all the livestock, Bernard blamed his son for the attack. He told Edward that he was poison to his family, and ordered him to leave and never return again. Bernard also never saw his son's wife again nor his granddaughter, Jennifer, that was born after the departure of Edward.
Later life and death
Following the attack on their farm, Bernard and Linette descended into poverty, forcing Bernard's wife to work in the Auld Shillelagh. In December 1717, Bernard died of pleurisy. A month later, Edward, then a pirate of the West Indies, received a letter from his mother informing him of Bernard's death.