Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 31.djvu/206

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Kirbye
Kirbye
200

the Zoological Society. In 1830 he began the Bridgewater treatise on ‘The Habits and Instincts of Animals,’ which was published in 1835. In his seventy-eighth year (1837) he completed the description of the insects brought home by Franklin's first two arctic expeditions. Kirby's descriptions formed the fourth part of ‘Fauna Boreali-Americana.’ In 1837 he was elected honorary president of the recently founded Entomological Society of London. He died of old age on 4 July 1850. His collection of insects was bequeathed to the Entomological Society. He married (1) in 1784 Sarah Ripper, who died in 1814, and (2) in 1816 Charlotte Rodwell, who died in 1844, but had no children.

Kirby was of middle height, broad-shouldered and strongly built, with broad forehead and small blue eyes, deeply set. His chief aim in life was to trace the benevolence and wisdom of the Creator in His works. Though no theological work of his, apart from sermons, was published, he wrote much on theology from the point of view of an orthodox anti-Calvinistic churchman. An excellent portrait of him by H. Howard, R.A., was painted about 1819, and an engraving of it was published by T. Lupton. Besides many papers in the Linnean and other transactions, Kirby wrote: 1. ‘Monographia Apium Angliæ,’ 2 vols. 8vo, Ipswich, 1802. 2. ‘Strepsiptera, a new order of Insects proposed,’ ‘Linnean Transactions,’ xi. 86–122. 3. ‘Introduction to Entomology,’ along with William Spence, 4 vols. 8vo, London, 1815–26; vols. i. and ii., 6th edit., with much additional matter, London, 1843; 7th edit. of vols. i. and ii. 8vo, 1856, with Spence's account of the origin and progress of the work. 4. ‘Seven Sermons on our Lord's Temptation,’ London, 1829. 5. ‘On the History, Habits, and Instincts of Animals, being the seventh Bridgewater Treatise,’ London, 1835, 8vo, 2 vols. 17 plates; another edition in 12mo, in Bohn's ‘Scientific Library,’ 1852, 2 vols., with notes by T. Rymer Jones. 6. ‘Fauna Boreali-Americana,’ pt. iv., the ‘Insects,’ 4to, Norwich, 1837.

[The Rev. J. Freeman's Life of Kirby, 1852.]

G. T. B.


KIRBYE, GEORGE (d. 1634), musician, was probably born either at Bury St. Edmunds or in its neighbourhood. The first mention of his name occurs in 1592. In that year Thomas East [q. v.] published his ‘Whole Book of Psalms,’ and Kirbye was employed among others to write new settings to the old psalm tunes for this work. In his preface East states that he had ‘intreated the help’ of such musicians as he knew to be ‘expert in the Arte,’ and as Kirbye contributed more to the book than any of the ten composers employed, except John Farmer, it may be assumed that he had made some reputation as a musician at the time. Some time before 1597 he entered the service of Sir Robert Jermyn of Rushbrooke, near Bury St. Edmunds, and it was while he was living at Rushbrooke that he composed and published what he calls the ‘first fruites of my poore knowledge in Musicke,’ namely ‘The first set of English Madrigalls to 4. 5. & 6. voyces. Made & newly published by George Kirbye. London, Printed by Thomas Este, dwelling in aldersgate street, 1597.’ The part-books contain twenty-four madrigals. Kirbye dedicated the work to ‘Mistris Anne & Mistris Frauncis Iermin, daughters to the right worshipfull Syr Robert Iermin, Knight (his very good Maister).’ In the same year (16 Feb. 1597–8) George Kyrby (sic) married Anne Saxye at Bradfield St. George, the neighbouring parish to Rushbrooke. His next publications were two madrigals composed for the ‘Triumphs of Oriana,’ 1601. In the copy of the ‘Triumphs’ belonging to the Music School, Oxford, Kirbye's contribution is a six-part madrigal, ‘With Angells face and brightnesse,’ not to be confounded with Norcome's five-part setting of the same words. In other copies this is replaced by a second six-part madrigal, ‘Bright Phœbus greetes most cleerely.’ The last named only is printed in Hawes's edition of the ‘Triumphs of Oriana.’

After this date Kirbye published nothing, though the dedication of the first set of madrigals implies that he intended to publish other works.

In 1626 he was living in St. Mary's parish in Bury St. Edmunds; probably he had already bought the house in Whiting Street which he occupied till his death. On 11 June 1626 the burial of his wife Anne is recorded in the register of St. Mary's, Bury St. Edmunds, and in 1627–8 his name twice appears with another's at the foot of the same register, probably as one of the churchwardens. He died in 1634, and was buried at St. Mary's on 6 Oct. of that year. The will of Kirbye, ‘musition,’ dated 10 March 1633, was proved 7 Oct. 1634. He left 10l. each to his brother, Walter Kirbye, and his sister, Alice Moore, widow; and all the rest of his property, including his house in Whiting Street and his personal estate (except a few small sums), to his servant Agnes Seaman, kinswoman to his late wife. He appears to have left no children.

A new edition of Kirbye's ‘First Set of Madrigals,’ edited by the present writer, was