Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Kirk, John (1724?-1778?)

KIRK, JOHN (1724?–1778?), medallist, was probably born about 1724 (cf. Hawkins, Med. Illustr. ii. 559-60), He became (about 1740?) the pupil of James Anthony Dassier [q. v.], and from about 1740 till 1776 produced a large number of medals signed kirk or i. kirk. He was a medallist of moderate ability. In 1745 Kirk was living in St. Paul's Churchyard, London (ib. ii. 603). In 1762 and 1763 he received premiums from the Society of Arts. He was a member of the Incorporated Society of Artists, and exhibited medals of the royal family, &c., in 1773-5-6. Redgrave states that Kirk died in London on 27 Nov. 1776; but several medals in the British Museum (cf. Numistic Chronicle, 1890, p. 54, No. 7) signed by Kirk bear the date 1778, and are almost conclusive evidence that he was Mill alive in that year. Kirk's principal medals are:

  1. Bust of George II (no reverse), signed 'I. Kirk F. ætate 18.' 1740(?)
  2. Sir John Barnard, circ. 1744.
  3. Recapture of Prague, 1744.
  4. Loyal Association Medal, 1745.
  5. Medals relating to the Rebellion of '45, 1745-6.
  6. Tuesday Club of Annapolis, 1746.
  7. Counters with heads of the Royal Family, 1746.
  8. William, Prince of Orange, 1746.
  9. Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, 1749.
  10. Free British Fishery Society, 1751.
  11. Louisburg taken (from design by Cipriani), 1758.
  12. Battle of Minden, 1759.
  13. Lord-chancellor Camden, 1766.
  14. Series of thirteen medalets given away to subscribers to the 'Sentimental Magarine,' 1773-5 (Gent. Mag. 1797, pp. 469, 471).
  15. Duke of Athol, 1774.
  16. Lord Balhurst (Six Clerks Office), 1776.
  17. Death of Lord Chatham, 1778.
  18. Lord Chesterfield, 1778.

Certain medals of 1745 and 1746 were made and signed by John Kirk in conjunction with A. Kirk (Hawkins, ii. 606, 608, 613; cf. 614). The editors of the 'Medallic Illustrations' conjecture (ii. 729) that this A. Kirk was a brother of John, and suppose that he died in 1761, apparently assuming that he was identical with the 'Mr. Kirk, senr.,' whose death in St. Paul's Churchyard is recorded in the 'Gentleman's Magazine' (1761, p. 539) as having taken place on 19 Nov. 1761.

(Hawkins's Medalic Illustrations, ed. Franks and Groeber, ii. 729; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists of Engl. School; Kirk's Medals in Brit. Mus.]

W. W.