LRCS Edin 1833; MRCS Eng 1835; LSA 1834.
The son of a wealthy manufacturer, Kirkman was born in 1811 and attended Manchester Grammar School. He served five years apprenticeship with J.A. Ransome then studied in Edinburgh, St Bartholomew's and Paris. In 1837 Kirkman settled in general practice at Ardwick Green, Manchester and continued in this practice for thirty years. He was also in charge of the parish for 15 years as surgeon under the poor law. He was actively engaged during the cholera epidemic of 1847 and gave a report into the sanitary condition of Ardwick in about 1849. From 1860 to 1872 Kirkmand was surgeon to the 33rd Lancashire Rifle Volunteers.