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Celebrating Hampshire's Historians

Kirby, Thomas Frederick

1836 - 1910

Kirby was educated at Eton 1848-1855 and then at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he stayed on as a fellow and assistant tutor 1861-1864. He then moved to London and was called to the Bar in 1866. He worked as a conveyancer and equity draftsman at Lincolns Inn, and acted as a reporter in the Rolls Court for The Times and the Law Journal. He helped to set up and run the New University Club from 1864.

He came to Winchester College as bursar in 1877 and stayed until 1910, overseeing the college’s estates as steward of the College Manors from 1882 to 1910. Mayor of Winchester 1888 and original member and Alderman of Hampshire County Council, JP, Fellow of the Royal Society of Antiquaries (and secretary for Hampshire) and frequent contributor to its journal, Archaeologia, about historical matters relating to Winchester College.

He edited an edition of the College’s Register of Scholars, and wrote the first proper history of the school.


  • Winchester College Register 1884-1934, ed MS Leigh (Winchester, 1940)

  • Kirby’s application papers as bursar, WCM K12/2 and K12/12

  • The Kirby’s of the Isle of Thanet, Mayfield, Baughurst and Winchester, by RB Merton, 2010 (copy at Winchester College, WCM K12/1)


Thomas Kirby

Winchester College Archives

Contribution to county’s history

Extensive research and writing on all aspects of the history and development of Winchester College, its estates and its pupils, staff and tenants

Relevant published works

  • Kirby, T. F. (1888) Winchester Scholars (London and Winchester, 1888)

  • Kirby, T. F. (1892) Annals of Winchester College (Winchester, 1892)

  • Kirby, T. F. (1896/9) Wykeham's Register (London, 1896 and 1899)

  • Numerous articles:
    • Deeds and seals relating to Hyde Abbey (1883); 
    • A specimen of an index to the charters and other documents in the muniment room of Winchester College (1927);
    • Waterwork panels recently discovered in Winchester College (1886);
    • Charters of the manor of Meonstoke (1901);
    • The alien priory of St Andrew, Hamble, and its transfer to Winchester College (1887);
    • The ancient charters of the city of Winchester (1885);
    • The charters of the manor of Ropley, Hants (1902)

Critical Comments

Other Comments


Suzanne Foster, archivist at Winchester College, Oct 2021

Key Words

Winchester College, Hyde Abbey, Meonstoke, Priory of St Andrew, Winchester, Ropley

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