My sister Serena has suggested that one answer to our Kirby ancestry riddle would be to explore those the Kirby’s who were goldsmiths by profession, the early bankers. The reason for this is that our great great great grandfather was George Goldsmith Kirby (1806-1868). He ran the Life Assurance Company Life Assurance Company. He was baptised in Holborn, and according to the Grays Inn records his father was a gent called George from Kensall Green, and we think his mother might have been called Mary.
My sister has found a John Kirby who was a Goldsmith listed in the Handbook of bankers, a fascinating book full of illustrious names:
m1584 ST. MARY WOOLXOTH. Marriages.
June 29. John Kirby, of the Parish of St. Fayth’s under Powles, Goldsmith, and Ose Burton, of this Parish, Ivydowe, by lycence. St Fayths under Powles is St Faiths under St Pauls Cathedral.
There is also a Kirby who was a Goldsmith and trumpet maker written about
in the Goldsmith Trumpet Makers but you have to pay $10 to read about it.
Another Goldsmith called Kirby is recorded as follows:
KIRBY, Michael, Southwark Saint saviour, citizen and goldsmith
Level of description:
London Metropolitan Archives
Dates of Creation:
She doesn’t think the 1584 John Kirby can be the same as the one who built a house in Bethnal Green in 1570, which beggared him, and is the origin of the poem the beggar of Bethnal green. The house eventually became a lunatic asylum – commonly known as Bedlam. Sounds like home!