Sir Richard Kaye, 6th Baronet

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The Very Reverend
Sir Richard Kaye
Dean of Lincoln
Grave of Sir Richard Kaye.jpg
Grave of Rev. Sir Richard Kaye, Dean of Lincoln, in the east end of Lincoln Cathedral.
Church Church of England
Diocese Diocese of Lincoln
Elected 1783
Term ended 1809 (death)
Predecessor Richard Cust
Successor George Gordon
Other posts Archdeacon of Nottingham
Personal details
Born 1736-7
Died 25 December 1809(1809-12-25)
Buried Lincoln Cathedral
Nationality British
Denomination Anglican
Profession Anglican Clergyman - Fellow of the Royal Society
Alma mater Brasenose College, Oxford

Sir Richard Kaye, 6th Baronet, FRS (1736–25 December 1809) was an English churchman and scientist. He was Dean of Lincoln from 1783, and inherited the baronetcy from his elder brother Sir John Lister Kaye, 5th Baronet in 1789.


He was educated at Brasenose College, Oxford graduating BCL in 1761. He was a patron of the artists Samuel Hieronymus Grimm, whom he commissioned for two decades to draw "everything curious",[1][2][3] and Tilly Kettle. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1765 as an experimentalist in the field of electricity.(Bennet & Kaye 1792) He was a friend of Joseph Banks whom he proposed for the Royal Society,(O'Brian 1997, p. 33) and also Captain James Cook: Cook named after him the island now called Kayak Island.[4] He brought the young Reginald Spofforth as organist to Lincoln Cathedral.[5] He was also a Trustee of the British Museum.(Drinkall 1965) He married Ellen Fenton, daughter of William Fenton of Rothwell, West Yorkshire and widow of Thomas Mainwaring. In 1789 he was to inherit a baronetcy. He left no children, and the baronetcy came to an end with him.(Howard & Crisp 1896, p. 53)(Wilson 1971, p. 243)

Clerical career[edit]

Kaye was noted both for his piety but also as a great pluralist holding many rich livings in the Church of England at the same time.(Chadwick 1992, p. 83) Following graduation, in 1762 he was appointed chaplain to the Duke of Portland. Then in 1765 he became rector of Kirkby in Ashfield in 1765,[6] a position he owed to the Dowager Duchess of Portland, and which he retained until his death.(Walkerdine & Buxton 1907) In this parish dissenters and methodists following John Wesley made up the greatest part of the population, but Kaye was able to bring most of the population to return to worshiping at the parish church. His notebook recording life in the parish is now in British Library.[7] After about 1770 Grimm was to portray life in the parish with pictures of harvest devotions and the village schoolchildren attending a church service. Only a year after moving to Kirby he was appointed in 1766, a Chaplain in Ordinary within the Royal Household and in 1768 he became a Sub-Almoner. His next move forward was in 1780 when he was appointed Archdeacon of Nottingham. He had already been appointed Vicar of Clayworth.

Lincoln Deanery by Hieronymus Grimm about 1784

In 1788 he became curate of Marylebone in 1788.(Lysons 1795, pp. 242–279) He had a prebend as a residential canon at Lincoln from 1783 for life,(Horn & Smith 1999) at Durham, from 1777 to 1784 (leading Grimm to sketch in the north-east),[8](Horn, Smith & Mussett 2004, pp. 102–103) and one at Southwell.(Brown 1896) He held all these positions together with being Dean of Lincoln from 1783-1809 and he resided at the Deanery in Lincoln, which was drawn by Hieronymus Grimm.


  • Bennet, A.; Kaye, Richard (1792). "A New Suspension of the Magnetic Needle, Intended for the Discovery of Minute Quantities of Magnetic Attraction: Also an Air Vane of Great Sensibility; With New Experiments on the Magnetism of Iron Filings and Brass. By the Rev. A. Bennet, F. R. S. Communicated by the Rev. Sir Richard Kaye, Bart. F. R. S.". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. 82: 81–98. doi:10.1098/rstl.1792.0008. ISSN 0261-0523. JSTOR 106777 – via Jstor. (subscription required (help)). 


  1. ^ Manco, Jean (15 December 2013). "Topographical Drawings of Samuel Hieronymous Grimm". Retrieved 2016-06-04. 
  2. ^ Mullan, John (24 September 2007). "Introducing the first Time Team". the Guardian. Retrieved 2016-06-04. 
  3. ^ Church drawings provide rich pickings for researchers at the Wayback Machine (archived September 18, 2007)
  4. ^ "Captain James Cook > 225 Years Ago: April - June 1778". Retrieved 2015-12-18. 
  5. ^ REGINALD SPOFFORTH. at the Wayback Machine (archived April 20, 2008)
  6. ^ "Rev. Dr. Richard Kaye". Retrieved 2015-12-18. 
  7. ^ British Library Additional MS. 18552
  8. ^ "Grimm's Northumberland sketchbooks". 2003-11-30. Retrieved 2015-12-18. 


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