The life and interests of the Reverend Sir Richard Kaye, Bt, LLD, FRS, FSA, an eighteenth century pluralist


Richard Kaye, the sixth and last Baronet, was born in 1736, and educated at Oxford, where he was the first Vinerian Scholar. At the University he met the third Duke of Portland, through whose friendship and influence he progressed. Ordained in 1760 Kaye became Chaplain to the Duke in 1762, and toured the Continent in the following year. In 1765 Portland appointed him Rector of Kirkby in Ashfield, and he forthwith became a touter for ecclesiastical preferment. He was made a Chaplain to the King, and then, aided by the Archbishop of York, he collected prebends at York, Southwell, and Durham. He was also Sub-Almoner, Archdeacon of Nottingham, Dean and Prebendary of Lincoln, Minister of St. Marylebone, and Rector of Wirksworth and Clayworth . Kaye 's interests were not limited to ecclesiastical matters. He pursued a wide range of activities and hobbies. His determination to make a financial success of the 175 acres of glebe attached to his rectory at Kirkby laid the foundation of his interest in agriculture, and this interest led to his involvement in almost anything that concerned the Duke's affairs on the Welbeck and Marylebone estates and elsewhere. Kaye was a collector of books and coins, a lover of music and the arts. He gathered memoranda on ecclesiastical, antiquarian , botanical, and other subjects. At Marylebone he was deeply absorbed in Local Government. A Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and of the Royal Society, a member of several clubs and philanthropic organizations, and a Trustee of the British Museum, Kaye was a close friend of Sir Joseph Banks, the naturalist, and patron of Samuel Grimm, the topographical artist . He died in 1809 after having amassed considerable wealth by virtue of his own shrewd business instincts and marriage to an affluent widow.






Drinkall, John Thomas, “The life and interests of the Reverend Sir Richard Kaye, Bt, LLD, FRS, FSA, an eighteenth century pluralist,” Centre for Regional and Local History Theses and Papers, accessed June 13, 2024,