Richard Kaye became Rector of Kirkby in 1765 and remained there until his death. He was one of the most interesting personalities of Kirkby.
Born in 1736 at Kirkheaton, Yorks, he was the youngest son of Sir John Lister Kaye. He ended his academic studies by obtaining Doctor of Common Law in 1770. He was great friends with the third Duke of Portland, whom he had studied with at Oxford.
Once established at Kirkby, Kaye started by renovating the church. He replaced the seats and built a new chancel. He also provided himself with a new pulpit.
In 1765 he seemed to be popular in the parish, and many families who were Methodists and Anabaptists came back to the church at this time. Between 1765 and 1774 he noted that the number of "Dissenters" had dropped from 78 to 24, and the number of children in school had risen from 21 to 109.
In May 1776, Small Pox hit Kirkby, brought from a colliery village in Derbyshire. Kaye offered every family - regardless of sect - the chance of innoculation at his expense.
Richard Kaye succeeded the baronacy on the death of his half-brother Sir John Lister Kaye (jnr) in 1789. In 1791, aged 55, he married Helen Mainwaring, widow of Thomas, and he died in the Deanery at Lincoln in 1809.