Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 31.djvu/204

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Kirby
Kirby
198

1881 on a pension of his full salary, but died at Chelsea on 14 Jan. 1882. He had an excellent knowledge of plants, especially those of Australia, and twice has a genus been dedicated to him as Kippistia, but in both cases they have been merged in older genera.

[Proc. Linn. Soc. 1881-2, pp. 64-5.]

B. D. J.

KIRBY, ELIZABETH (1823–1873), writer for the young, youngest child of John Kirby, manufacturer, of Leicester, by his wife, Sarah Bentley, was born in Southgate Street, Leicester, on 15 Dec. 1823. She displayed at an early age a faculty for storytelling and a taste for literary composition both in verse and prose. In 1854 she published, under the title of 'The Discontented Children,' a story which she had frequently told to small audiences. She removed from Leicester to Norwich in 1855, and the new society and surroundings stimulated her literary zeal. After a few years her younger sister, Mary, married the Rev. Henry Gregg, rector of Brooksby, Leicestershire, and Miss Kirby settled in Melton Mowbray, to share for the rest of her life Mrs. Gregg's home. With her sister she wrote a long series of books for children. Twenty-four volumes under the joint authorship are in the British Museum Library. They are homely and unpretentious little works, written in a style specially calculated to interest children. Among the best are 'The Italian Goldsmiths, a Story of Cellini,' 1861, 16mo; 'Chapters on Trees,' 1873, 8vo; 'Stories about Birds of Land and Water,' 1873, 4to. Two little books on insects, 'Caterpillars, Butterflies, and Moths,' 1857, 18mo, and 'Sketches of Insect Life,' London, 1874, 8vo, embody much original observation. The sisters also published a number of serial tales, including 'The Desboroughs' and 'Deepdale Vicarage,' in various magazines. Miss Kirby's last work, a little story, entitled 'Hold fast by your Sundays,' was published in 1872. She died at Melton Mowbray in June 1873. 'Her literary talents,' says the 'Athenæum,' were at all times exercised for the good, intellectual and moral, of her readers.'

[Information kindly supplied by Mrs. Gregg and the latter's Leaflets from my Life (1887); Athenæum, 12 July 1873; Allibone, Supplement, ii. 956; Miss Kirby's Works.]

T. S.

KIRBY, JOHN (1690–1753), Suffolk topographer, born in 1690 at Halesworth, Suffolk, was originally a schoolmaster at Orford in that county, and afterwards occupied a mill at Wickham Market. In 1735 he published at Ipswich, in duodecimo, 'The Suffolk Traveller; or, a Journey through Suffolk,' a road-book with antiquarian notices, from an actual survey which he made of the whole county in 1732, 1733, and 1734. Prefixed is a small map of the county. A new edition was published by subscription, with 'many alterations and large additions by several hands,' in 1764, 8vo, London, under the editorship of the Rev. Richard Canning, of which a reprint was issued from Woodbridge about 1800, containing some trifling additions, and a fourth edition, with additions, appeared as 'A Topographical . . . Description of the County of Suffolk,' 8vo, Woodbridge, 1829, with Ebden's map in place of Kirby's. A 'Supplement to the Suffolk Traveller' was published in 1844 by Augustine Page (cf. his Introduction, p. vi). In 1736 Kirby issued 'A Map of the County of Suffolk,' illustrated with coats of arms and views. An improved edition, engraved by John Ryland, was published on a larger scale in 1766 by his sons John Joshua and William Kirby (Nichols, Lit. Anecd. vi. 541-4). Kirby died on 13 Dec. 1753, at Ipswich, and was buried in the churchyard of St. Mary at Tower, Ipswich. His portrait, by Thomas Gainsborough, R.A., was in 1868 in the possession of the Rev. Kirby Trimmer. He married in 1714 Alice Brown; his eldest son, John Joshua Kirby, is separately noticed.

[Life of Mrs. Trimmer, i. 5; Cat. of the Third Exhibition of Portraits at South Kensington, 1868, No. 752.]

G. G.

KIRBY, JOHN JOSHUA (1716–1774), clerk of the works at Kew Palace, born in 1716 at Wickham Market, Suffolk, was the eldest son of John Kirby [q. v.] (Page, Supplement to the Suffolk Traveller, pp. 189-90). About 1738 he settled at Ipswich as a coach and house painter. An early friendship with Gainsborough induced him to attempt landscape-painting. He made a number of drawings of monasteries, castles, churches, and monuments in Suffolk for a projected county history, and of these he published twelve, with an 'Historical Account,' 8vo, Ipswich, 1748, the plates etched by himself, followed by a series engraved by J. Wood. He also studied linear perspective, upon which he lectured at the St. Martin's Lane Academy, London. In 1754 he printed at Ipswich, in quarto, 'Dr. Brook Taylors Method of Perspective made easy, both in Theory and Practice,' 2 pts., founded upon Taylor's two treatises on linear perspective, published respectively in 1715 and 1719. The book is illustrated with a curious frontispiece by Hogarth, and fifty copperplates, mostly engraved by Kirby himself. It was reissued