Anglicanum, p. 47; Anglia Sacra, i. 638; Ann. Osney, p. 308; Ann. Dunstable, p. 326, say on 29 Sept.) Strict churchmen observed with disgust that the new bishop at once hurried back to the duties of the treasury (Ann. Dunst. p. 326). On 24 Dec. Kirkby was enthroned at Ely (Cont. Flor. Wig. ii. 237).
The continued absence of the king and his special need of large supplies (Madox, i. 357) imposed peculiar responsibilities upon the treasurer. In 1287 Kirkby was sent to South Wales, along with Earl Gilbert of Gloucester and the prior of St. John's, to put down the rebellion of Rhys ab Maredudd (Ann. Dunst. p. 338; cf. Ann. Osney, p. 310). Despite the remissness of Gloucester, Rhys was forced to flee to Ireland. In February 1289 the magnates were convoked at London, and Kirkby asked them to grant a general subsidy to defray the expenses incurred by the king in France. But the barons replied that they would pay nothing until the king came back. Thereupon Kirkby, as a last resource, began to tallage the cities, boroughs, and royal domains (Ann. Osney, p. 316). The crisis brought Edward home in August (ib. p. 323). He approved his treasurer's acts.
Early in the next year Kirkby was smitten by a sharp attack of fever (ib. p. 323), from which he recovered, but he died at Ely from a recurrence of the malady on Palm Sunday (26 March 1290) ‘about the hour of compline’ (Anglia Sacra, i. 638; Cotton, p. 174). He was buried in his cathedral, on the north side of the choir, before the altar of St. John the Baptist.
Kirkby was a liberal benefactor of his see. He gave an inn, called the Bell, opposite the convent of the Franciscans at London, to provide for celebrating his anniversary, and by will left his successors a house and nine cottages in Holborn. This house, called Ely Place, became the London residence of the bishops of Ely, and was given to Sir Christopher Hatton [q. v.] in 1577 (Bentham, Ely, 1771, pp. 151–2). A street formed out of the garden is still called Kirby Street. During his lifetime Kirkby had claimed a right to lodge at the Temple, but the master of the knights disputed his pretensions, and Kirkby seems to have made this bequest to avoid similar troubles in the future. In most respects Kirkby was a bad bishop, and a very unfavourable picture of him is drawn by the chroniclers, whose houses had suffered from his exactions. Cotton (p. 147) gives some Latin lines describing him as greedy, loquacious, self-assertive, and quarrelsome. But the Dunstable chronicler (p. 358) admits that he was just and truthful. His heir was his brother, William Kirkby, who was thirty years old at his death (Calendarium Genealogicum, p. 146). He had also four sisters—Margaret, Alice, Matilda, and Mabel—all married, and at the time of his death aged thirty-eight, thirty-six, thirty-four, and thirty-two respectively. Probably he was himself not an old man. He had some landed property, and in 1279 had inherited the estate of Amicia de Gorham in Northamptonshire.
[Monachus Eliensis in Anglia Sacra, i. 637–8; Calendarium Genealogicum, Excerpta e Rotulis Finium, Calendarium Lit. Patentium, Fœdera, vol. i., all in Record Commission; Annals of Dunstable, Winchester, Osney, and Wykes, in Annales Monastici; Peckham's Letters, Chronicles of Edward I and II, B. de Cotton, all in Rolls Ser.; Continuation of Florence of Worcester, in Engl. Hist. Soc.; Le Neve's Fasti; Liber Memorandorum de Bernwelle, p. 221; Bentham's History of Ely, 1771, pp. 151–2; Stubbs's Const. Hist. vol. ii.; Foss's Judges, iii. 110–12.]
KIRKBY, JOHN de (d. 1352), bishop of Carlisle, was an Augustinian canon at Carlisle, and afterwards prior of the house. He was elected bishop of Carlisle on 8 May 1332, the royal assent was given on 18 May, the temporalities were restored on 9 July, and on 19 July he was consecrated by William de Melton, archbishop of York, at South Burton, near Beverley (Stubbs, Reg. Sacr. Angl. p. 53). He was present at the installation of Richard de Bury as bishop of Durham on 5 June 1334, and when Edward Baliol did homage for Scotland at Newcastle a fortnight later. In September 1337, in company with Thomas Wake and other barons, he plundered Teviotdale and Nithsdale during twelve days. When in October the Scots retaliated by invading England, and burnt the suburbs of Carlisle, the Lords Percy and Neville came to the rescue, and the Scots were defeated (17 Oct.). At the beginning of November the Scots besieged the English in Edinburgh; Kirkby and Ralph Dacre collected the men of Westmoreland and Cumberland, and marching into Scotland raised the siege. In 1341 the treasury was ordered to pay Kirkby 200l., part of arrears of 529l. 4s. due to him for carrying on the war with the Scots. Next year he accompanied Henry of Lancaster, earl of Derby, in an expedition to raise the siege of Lochmaben Castle. In 1343 he was a commissioner with Richard de Bury to treat for peace with Scotland (Fœdera, ii. pt. ii. p. 1230), and next year was directed to assist Edward Baliol (ib. iii. pt. i. p. 21). In 1345 the Scots, under Sir William Douglas, made a raid into Cum-