Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Stock, Joseph

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STOCK, JOSEPH (1740–1813), bishop of Killala and afterwards of Waterford and Lismore, was the son of Luke Stock, a hosier, in Dublin, and Ann, his wife, and was born at 1 Dame Street, Dublin, on 22 Dec. 1740. He was educated at Mr. Gast's school in his native city and at Trinity College, Dublin, where his career was a distinguished one. He obtained a scholarship in 1759, graduated B.A. in 1761, and gained a fellowship in 1763. In 1776 he published anonymously a life of George Berkeley [q. v.] —subsequently republished in the ‘Biographia Britannica’—a work of some value as the only memoir of its subject based on contemporary information. Having taken orders, Stock retired on the college living of Conwall in the diocese of Raphoe. In 1793 he was collated prebendary of Lismore, but resigned this preferment in 1795, on his appointment to the head-mastership of Portera Royal school. In January 1798 he succeeded John Porter as bishop of Killala. Shortly after his consecration, and while holding his first visitation at the castle of Killala, the bishop became a prisoner of the French army under General Humbert (cf. Lever, Maurice Tiernay). Of his experiences at this time he has left a partial record in his private diary—23 Aug. to 15 Sept. 1798—which has been printed in Maxwell's ‘History of the Rebellion of 1798,’ and in two letters to his brother Stephen, published in the ‘Auckland Correspondence’ (iv. 46–51). In 1799 he published a more complete account of the French invasion of Mayo in his ‘Narrative of what passed at Killala in the Summer of 1798. By an Eyewitness.’ This little work is the most authentic record extant of the episode it describes, and is written with a rare impartiality. Its liberality is said to have been a bar to the bishop's advancement (Holland, Memoirs of the Whig Party). In 1810 Stock was translated to the diocese of Waterford and Lismore, and died at Waterford on 13 Aug. 1813. He was twice married. By his first wife, Mrs. Palmer, a sister of William Newcome [q. v.], he had several children. He married, secondly, in 1795, only ten weeks after his first wife's death, a widow named Mary Obins. Portraits of the bishop passed into the possession of two of his descendants, Mr. St. George Stock of Oxford, and the Rev. Henry Palmer, of Killiney, co. Dublin.

Stock was an accomplished classical scholar, an excellent linguist, and a man of much general culture. Besides the works mentioned he wrote: 1. ‘The Book of the Prophet Isaiah in Hebrew and English, with Notes,’ Bath, 1803. 2. ‘The Book of Job metrically arranged and newly translated into English, with Notes,’ Bath, 1805. He also published school editions of Tacitus and Demosthenes, and was an active contributor to the controversial theology of his day. He left two manuscript volumes of correspondence which are preserved in the library of Trinity College, Dublin. They consist chiefly of letters written from Killala and Waterford between 1806 and 1813 to his son Henry in Dublin, and give interesting glimpses of life in an episcopal palace in a remote part of Ireland at the beginning of the nineteenth century. A manuscript autobiography belongs to the family of the bishop's second wife.

[Berkeley's Works, vol. i. 1784; Cotton's Fasti Eccles. Hib. i. 134, 191, iv. 77; Mant's Hist. of the Church of Ireland, ii. 472; Ballina Herald, 4 Nov. 1897; Gilbert's Hist. of Dublin, ii. 308; Taylor's Hist. of the University of Dublin, p. 429; Lecky's Hist. of Ireland, v. 42–68; Public Characters, 1807; Stubbs's Hist. of Dublin University.]

C. L. F.