Bishop Joseph Stock

Dame Street, Dublin 2015 DXR,_Dublin_20150808_1.jpg
Reading Room, Trinity College Dublin in 1937 KountKurly 2013,_Dublin).jpg
Round Tower Killala, Co. Mayo 2011 Erik Christensen,_County_Mayo.jpg
Lismore Castle, Co. Waterford 2007 Rául Correl,_Co._Waterford).jpg
Reginald's Tower, The Quay, Waterford City 2014 Valdrefjord,_The_Quay,_Waterford_City,_Ireland.JPG
Killala, Co. Mayo

Classical Scholar / Linguist / Bishop

Joseph Stock was born at No. I Dame Street, Dublin on 22nd December 1740.  His parents were Ann (Waters) & Luke Stock; he had three brothers; Stephen, Frederick & Samuel plus sisters, Elizabeth (Sutton) & Lydia (Homan.)  He was educated at Mr. Gast’s school plus Trinity College in Dublin.  He obtained a Scholarship during 1759.  He graduated with a B A during 1761 then gained a Fellowship in 1763.  He attended the collage of Corwell in the Diocese of Raphoe in Donegal.  [i]


Rev, Stock became prebendary of Lismire but resigned during 1795 when he became Head – Master of Portora Royal School. [ii]


Rev. Stock was ordained Bishop of Killala during January 1978.  On his first visit to his Castle he was taken as prisoner by General Jean Humbert following the landing of the French Forces in the support of the Irish within the County.  As a prisoner of the French he left a partial record in his private diary; dated August 23 to September 15, 1798, which is printed in the  ‘History of the Rebellion of 1798’ by William Hamilton Maxwell, plus in two letters to his brother Stephen, published in the ‘Auckland Correspondence’ (iv. 46–51).  [iii]


During 1776 he published anonymously a life of George Berkeley which was subsequently republished in the Biographia Britannica; in fact, at that time the only memoir on Berkeley based on contemporary information.).  In 1799 he published a more complete account of the French invasion in his ‘Narrative of what passed at Killala in the Summer of 1978, By an Eyewitness.’.  Bishop Stock wrote ‘The Book of the Prophet Isiah’ in both Hebrew & English, with Notes [Bath 1803] also ‘The Book of Job’ which was metrically arranged & newly translated into English with Notes. [Bath 1805]   He published school editions of ‘Tacitus’ also ‘Demosthenes.’  He was an active contributor to several Theological journals.  He also penned two Manuscript volumes of Correspondence which are preserved in Trinity College Library that include letters to his son Henry in Dublin from 1806 to 1813.  [iv]

Personal Life

He married twice: his first wife, Mrs. Palmer was a sister of Bishop William Newcome (Church of Ireland Primate of All – Ireland)  They had several children.  His second marriage during 1795 was just ten weeks following the death of his wife, which was to a widow named Mary Obins[v]


Bishop Stock was nominated on 12 April 1810 then appointed to Waterford & Lismore by letters patent on 1 May 1810.   He died while in Office aged seventy – two in Waterford City on 13th August 1813. [vi]


Bishop Joseph Stock’s home became the Headquarters of the insurgent army, he was well qualified to write of the colourful events.  [vii]

Author & Journalist Tim Pat Coogan will deliver the Bishop Stock’s Address on ‘The Prospects of Peace in the North.’  Twenty – five years exactly since the beginning of the present Troubles! – Coogan’s Talk – on Sunday – in Soldier’s Acres, Killala will be most topical in view of speculation about an IRA Ceasefire plus the Autumn Anglo – Irish Summit between Taoiseach Albert Reynolds with British Prime Minister John Major.  Since its inception during 1987 the Bishop Stock Address has been one of the main peace forums in Ireland.  Following the capture of his palace at the time of the landing of the French troops; Bishop Stock was an important intermediary between the troops & the local people.  He exercised a moderate influence in preventing sectarian tension. [viii]

‘My Illustrious predecessor Bishop Joseph Stock; held an intellectual importance of the Act of Remembrance in Healing & Reconciliation’ this tribute was shared by Right Rev. Richard Henderson the Church of Ireland Bishop of Tuam, Killala & Achonry at the Humbert Summer School in Killala. [ix]

Dr. Martin lauded a copy of Stock’s ‘Narratives of what passed at Killala’ with copies of previous Addresses commemorating the memory of the Classical scholar, Bishop Joseph Stock: He stated that ‘although Stock remained loyal to King George, he was an impressive Irishman.’  [x]

On Sunday John Hume spoke from the Pulpit of the historic Church of Ireland Cathedral of St. Patrick’s which had been the See of Bishop Joseph Stock (a fluent French speaker) during 1798 when General Humbert plus the French Army of over 1,000 soldiers arrived somewhat unexpectedly.  They immediately commandeered his residence, seized his cattle with all his worldly possessions, then helped themselves to his well-stocked wine cellar. ‘The Bishop made people listen to one another, he was a man of conciliation.’ (‘Beyond the Pale’ John Cooney.)   [xi]

The learned Anglican Bishop of Killala suddenly found himself at the centre of International Warfare on 22nd August 1789 when his palace was made Headquarters of General Jean Humbert’s Army of Ireland.’  As an important intermediary between the French and the local Protestant Class on one hand with the other belonging to the privileged Property Class which was to remain loyal to King George 111 and the impoverished pro – French Roman Catholic Populace. (John Cooney.)   [xii]

Bishop Stock’s promotion of peace in the violence – inflicted North as he intercepted General Humbert plus as an Interpreter between General Humbert’s rebellious Irish Allies with the Populace who remained loyal to King George 111 was mentioned by Bishop Henderson in an annual address dedicated to his memory.  [xiii]


An account of Bishop Stock is available to read on this site:

A Portrait of Rev. Stock may be viewed at this site:


[i] Birth of Joseph Stock ( [assessed 21st September 2019]

[ii] Birth of Joseph Stock ( [assessed 21st September 2019]

[iii] Birth of Joseph Stock ( ) [assessed 21st September 2019]

[iv] Birth of Joseph Stock ( [assessed 21st September 2019]

[v] Joseph Stock (Bishop) ( [assessed 21st September 2019]

[vi] Bishop of Waterford & Lismore ( ) [assessed 21st September 2019]

[vii] Western People 21st July 1982 page 28 [assessed 18th September 2019]

[viii] Western People 17th Aug 1994 page 34 [assessed 18th September 2019]

[ix] Western People 2nd Sept 1998 page 49 [assessed 18th September 2019]

[x] Western People 29th Aug 2006 page 114 [assessed 18th September 2019]

[xi] Western People 28th August 2007 page 114 [assessed 18th September 2019]

[xii] Western People 12th Aug 2008 [assessed 18th September 2019]

[xiii] Western People 24th August 2010 page 100 [assessed 18th September 2019]

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