Portrait bust, Joseph Higgins (1885-1925), ‘W. F. P. Stockley’

9 Mar 2020

Bronze: ‘W. F. P. Stockley’, 1948, bust, 50 H.

Ref: UCCHS.1948.003 © University College Cork

Maker: Joseph Higgins (1885-1925), Irish. Plaster cast by Higgins; cast in bronze after the sculptor's death by Séamus Murphy ARHA 

Date: (bronze) 1948; plaster (1925) 

Provenance: "gift to the College subscribed by a large number of Professor Stockley's friends", D. G. [Denis Gwynn], "Bronze bust of late Professor Stockley", Cork University Record No. 14 (1948), p4 and photo facing p.17.


Prof. William Frederick Paul Stockley (1859-1943), MA DLitt
Professor of English, UCC, 1905-1931

Born on 29 June 1959 in Templeogue, Co. Dublin, son of John Surtees Stockley and Alicia Diana Catherine Gabbett of High Park, Caherconlish, Co. Limerick. Educated at Rathmines School. In 1893, he graduated from Trinity College, Dublin. Among his classmates were Douglas Hyde and Louis Claude Purser. Following his degree he took a senior moderatorship in modern English literature. From 1896 to 1903 he was professor of English and French at the University of New Brunswick and of English at the University of Ottawa. In 1905, he was appointed professor of English at University College, Cork [‘Two vacant chairs filled’, Cork Examiner, 18/08/1905]. He occupied the chair until his retirement in 1931.

He was president of the Cork Literary and Scientific Society from 1913 to 1915 and President of the Cork Library Society from 1913 to 1930. He joined the Sinn Féin party and was alderman of Cork Corporation, 1920-25. Stockley became the object of an unsuccessful assassination attempt by Crown agents in 1920. In the 1921 election, he was elected a Sinn Féin member to the Second Dáil for the National University of Ireland constituency. He voted against the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 and refused to accept the legitimacy of the Irish Free State. He retained his seat, as an Anti-Treaty Sinn Féin candidate, in the 1922 general election. Along with others, he maintained that the Irish Republic continued to exist and that the rump Second Dáil, composed of anti-Treaty TDs who refused to take their seats in the Free State parliament, was the only legitimate governmental authority in Ireland. He was defeated in the 1923 general election and subsequent 3 November 1923 by-election.

In 1892, Stockley married Violet Osborne, daughter of William Osborne, RHA, of Dublin. She died in 1893, leaving a daughter, named Violet Anne Alice (1893-1970) (later member of staff at Cheltenham Ladies' College). Prof. Stockley converted to Roman Catholicism in about 1894. In 1908 at Munich, he married Marie Germaine Kolb, daughter of Max Kolb, of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Munich. Stockley and his second wife had a daughter, Sophia, who married James (Séamus) L. Mallin of Dublin. Stockley’s brother was the Very Rev. Canon Joseph John Gabbett Stockley of Lichfield Cathedral.

Stockley, who was residing at the time of his death at Arundel, Ballintemple, Cork, died on 22 July 1943 aged 84. He is buried in St Finbarr's Cemetery, Cork. Germaine Stockley died in Blackrock, Co. Dublin, on 18 November 1949 and is buried with her husband.



'Mr Joseph Higgins', Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851-1951, University of Glasgow History of Art and HATII, online database 2011 (accessed 21/7/2021)

'Joseph Higgins (1885-1925)', Seamus Murphy RHA, 1907-1975, website (accessed 21/7/2021)

‘Obituary: Prof W. F. P. Stockley’, Irish Independent, 24/07/1943, p.3; Irish Press, 24/07/1943, p.1.


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