Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 31.djvu/208

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Kirk
Kirk
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a type of the fine old English priest; methodical, dignified, devout.' There is a portrait of him, engraved by Deere, in the 'Catholic Directory' for 1853.

During his residence in Rome, end for upwards of forty years of his long life, he was diligently preparing materials for a continuation of Dodd's 'Church History of England.' With infinite labour he transcribed or collected, and methodically arranged, letters, tracts, annals, recorded, diaries, and innumerable miscellaneous papers, forming upwards of fifty volumes in folio and quarto. An account of all these materials, specifically arranged under distinct heads, woe published by him in a 'Letter to the Rev. Joseph Berington, respecting the Continuation of Dodd's Church History of England,' Lichfield, September 1826 (Catholic Miscellany, vi. 250, 328, 465). Finally he handed over the work to the Rev. Mark Aloysius Tierney [q. v.] of Arundel, who brought out a new edition of Dodd's 'History,' 5 vols. London, 1839-43. 8vo. This edition is incomplete, ending with the year 1625, and no portion of a projected continuation appeared. On Tierney death in 1862 the manuscript materials bequeathed to Dr. Thomas Grant, bishop of Southwark, and they are now in the possession of that prelate's successor, Dr. John Butt. Transcripts of some of Kirk's letters and manuscripts are preserved in the library of St. Francis Xavier's College at Liverpool (Foley, Records, vii. 20). Four small but closely written bundles of biographical collections by Kirk, mostly of a later date than Dodd, were in the possession of the late Cardinal Manning (Gillon, Dict. of the English Catholics, i. Pref p. xv).

About 1794 Kirk undertook the task of deciphering, copying, and preparing for publication the 'State Papers and Letters' of Sir Ralph Sadler, ambassador to Scotland in the time of Elizabeth. These were published in 3 vols. 1809, 4to, by Arthur Clifford, with a biographical sketch by Sir Walter Scott. The original papers were then in the possession of the Cliffords of Tixall, Staffordshire; they are now in the British Museum (Athenæum, 1 March 1890, p. 277).

Kirk wrote, in collaboration with the Rev. Joseph Berington, 'The Faith of Catholics confirmed by Scripture and attested by the Fathers of the first five centuries of the Church,' London, 1813 and 1830,. 8vo; 3rd edit, revised and greatly enlarged by the Rev. James Waterworth, 3 vols. London, 1846, 8vo. There is a Latin translation in Joseph Braun's 'Bibliotheca Regularum Fidei,' Bonn, 1844, 8vo, vol. i. The work was attacked by the Rev. John Graham, M.A., in a review printed at the end of his 'Annals of Ireland,' London, 1849, 8vo; and the Rev. Richard Thomas Pembroke Pope published 'Roman Misquotation; or, Certain Passages from the Fathers adduced in Kirk's was brought to the test of their originals,' London, 1840, 8vo, In consequence of some exceptions having been taken to the 'Propositions' which form the heading of 'The Faith of Catholics,' Kirk published 'Roman Catholic Principles in reference to God and the King. First published in the year 1680. To which is prefixed an Inquiry respecting the Editions and the Author of that valuable tract,' London, 1815, 8vo. He proved by circumstantial evidence that the 'Principles' were drawn up by the Benedictine father James Corker [q. v.]

[Catholic Directory, 1853, p. 129; Catholic Magazine and Review, vol. v. p. ci; Gent. Mag. new ser. xxxvii. 301, ccxii. 509; Rambler, ix. 244-9. 425; Smith's Brewood. 2nd edit. 1874, p. 51; Monsignor Weedall in Tablet, 24 Jan. 1853 p. 51. and 31 Jan. p. 71.]

T. C.

KIRK, ROBERT (1641?–1692), Gaelic scholar, was youngest son of James Kirk, minister at Aberfoyle, Perthshire, and was born presumably there about 1641. He studied at Edinburgh University (where he graduated M.A. in 1681), and afterwards at St. Andrews. In 1664 he became minister of Balquhidder, Perthshire, and in 1685 appointed to his father's old charge at Aberfoyle, where he continued until his death on 14 May 1692. He was buried near the east end of the church, and his grave is marked by a stone with the inscription, 'Robertus Kirk, A.M., Linguie Hiberniæ Lumen.' He is said to have had a benefice in England (Reid), but this is incorrect. He was twice married, and when his first wife died cut out with his own hands an epitaph for her (ib.), which is still to be seen at Balquhidden His eldest son, Colin, became a writer to the signet, and another, Robert, was appointed minister of Dornoch, Sutherlandshire.

Kirk was an admirable Gaelic scholar, and most of his literary work lay in this direction. He was the author of the first complete translation of the Scottish metrical psalms into Gaelic, published at Edinburgh in 1684 under the title of 'Psalms of Dbarbhidh an Meadrachd,' &c. ('Psalms of David Metre,' &c.) This version bears a grant of 'privilidge' from the lords of the privy council, forbidding any one to print it for eleven years. During its preparation Kirk learned that the synod of Argyle intended to bring out a rival version, and some curious stories are told of the expedients to which he resorted in order to keep himself awake while