Thomas Stock

Last updated

Thomas Stock
Memorial to Thomas Stock in Gloucester Cathedral.jpg
Memorial to Revd Thomas Stock in Gloucester Cathedral

Thomas Stock (1750–1803) established the first Sunday school in the United Kingdom.

Sunday school Christian educational institution

A Sunday school is an educational institution, usually Christian in character. They were first set up in the 1780s in England to provide education to working children. Today, Sunday school has become the generic name for many different types of religious education pursued and conducted on Sundays by various denominations.


Early life and education

Thomas was the son of Thomas Stock, gentleman of Gloucester. The young Thomas joined Pembroke College, Oxford from John Roysse's Free School in Abingdon-on-Thames (now Abingdon School). [1]

Gloucester City and Non-metropolitan district in England

Gloucester is a city and district in Gloucestershire, in the South West of England, of which it is the county town. Gloucester lies close to the Welsh border, on the River Severn, between the Cotswolds to the east and the Forest of Dean to the southwest.

Pembroke College, Oxford constituent college of the University of Oxford

Pembroke College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England, located in Pembroke Square. The college was founded in 1624 by King James I of England / VI of Scotland, using in part the endowment of merchant Thomas Tesdale, and was named after William Herbert, 3rd Earl of Pembroke, Lord Chamberlain and then-Chancellor of the University.

John Roysse English merchant

John Roysse (1500/01–1571) was an English Mercer and benefactor of Abingdon School in Abingdon, Oxfordshire.


Entering Holy Orders, Stock was curate at Ashbury in Berkshire (now Oxfordshire), where he formed the first Sunday school in the country in 1777. Stock became rector of St Aldate's and then of St John Baptist's, Gloucester and headmaster of Gloucester Free School. He was also vicar of Glasbury-on-Wye. At Gloucester, jointly with Robert Raikes, proprietor of the Gloucester Journal, Stock became co-founder of the Sunday School movement. [2] [3]

Ashbury, Oxfordshire village and civil parish in Vale of White Horse, Oxfordshire, England

Ashbury is a village and large civil parish at the upper end (west) of the Vale of White Horse. It was part of Berkshire until the 1974 boundary changes transferred it to Oxfordshire. The village is centred 7 miles (11 km) east of Swindon in neighbouring Wiltshire. The parish includes the hamlets of Idstone and Kingstone Winslow. The 2011 Census recorded the parish's population as 506.

Oxfordshire County of England

Oxfordshire is a county in South East England. The ceremonial county borders Warwickshire to the north-west, Northamptonshire to the north-east, Buckinghamshire to the east, Berkshire to the south, Wiltshire to the south-west and Gloucestershire to the west.

Robert Raikes was an English philanthropist and Anglican layman, noted for his promotion of Sunday schools. Pre-dating state schooling and by 1831 schooling 1,250,000 children, they are seen as the first precursor schools of the English state school system.

There are memorials to Stock at Ashbury parish church and in the nave of Gloucester Cathedral. He was author of A Compendious Grammar of the Greek Language (1780). There is also a residential cul-de-sac, Thomas Stock Gardens, built in 1994/5 in the Abbeymead area of Gloucester on the western outskirts of Gloucester.

Church of England parish church church which acts as the religious centre for the people within the smallest and most basic Church of England administrative region

A parish church in the Church of England is the church which acts as the religious centre for the people within the smallest and most basic Church of England administrative region, the parish – since the 19th century called the ecclesiastical parish to avoid confusion with the civil parish which many towns and villages have.

Gloucester Cathedral Church in Gloucestershire, United Kingdom

Gloucester Cathedral, formally the Cathedral Church of St Peter and the Holy and Indivisible Trinity, in Gloucester, England, stands in the north of the city near the River Severn. It originated in 678 or 679 with the foundation of an abbey dedicated to Saint Peter.

See also

Related Research Articles

The Crypt School

The Crypt School is a grammar school with academy status for boys and girls located in the city of Gloucester. The school was founded in 1539 by Joan Cooke with money inherited from her husband John.

Thomas Dudley Fosbroke British antiquarian

The Rev. Thomas Dudley Fosbroke was an English antiquary.

Matthew Panting British academic

Matthew Panting (1682–1738) was a clergyman and Master of Pembroke College, Oxford.

Thomas Raikes British merchant and banker

Thomas Raikes was a British merchant particularly trading from London with Russia, a banker and newspaper proprietor. Notably, he was Governor of the Bank of England during the 1797 currency crisis, when the Bank was prohibited by the British Government from paying out in gold.

Robert Raikes the Elder was a British printer and newspaper proprietor. He is noted as a pioneer of the press who was instrumental in bringing printing out of London and to the provinces.

George William Hall academic administrator

Rev. George William Hall D.D. (1770–1843) was Master of Pembroke College, Oxford (1809–1843) and Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University (1820–1824).

Samuel Ralph Townshend Mayer (1841–1880), founder of the Free and Open Church Association and writer.

Hannah Ball (1734–1792) was an English Wesleyan methodist and pioneer of the Sunday school.

St Mary de Crypt Church, Gloucester Grade I listed church in the United Kingdom

St Mary de Crypt Church, Southgate Street, Gloucester GL1, is an Anglican Church, which was first recorded in 1140 as The Church of the Blessed Mary within Southgate. It is in the Diocese of Gloucester and is located adjacent to the ruins of Greyfriars. It has also been known as Christ Church and St. Mary in the South. St Mary de Crypt is a Grade I listed building with English Heritage, reference number 1245611.

Ladybellegate House Grade I listed house in the United Kingdom

Ladybellegate House, 20 Longsmith Street, Gloucester GL1 2HT, is a Grade I listed building with English Heritage, reference number 1245726.

Macclesfield Sunday School

Macclesfield Sunday School is in Roe Street, Macclesfield, Cheshire, England. It started in 1796 as a non-denominational Sunday School in Pickford Street, which catered for 40 children. It was founded by John Whitaker whose objective was "to lessen the sum of human wretchedness by diffusing religious knowledge and useful learning among the lower classes of society". Though chapels set up their denominational schools, the Sunday School committee in 1812 elected to erect a purpose-built school on Roe Street. The Big Sunday School had 1,127 boys and 1,324 girls on its books when it opened. The building is now known as The Old Sunday School and is part of Macclesfield Museums.

Statue of Robert Raikes, London statue in London, England

A statue of Robert Raikes, often regarded as being the founder of Sunday schools, executed by the sculptor Thomas Brock, stands in Victoria Embankment Gardens, London, United Kingdom. It was unveiled by the Earl of Shaftesbury on 3 July 1880 and marked the centenary of the opening of the first Sunday school. The critic Edmund Gosse considered the statue to be "as good as anything of the kind we possess in England". In 1958 it was designated a Grade II-listed building.

Robert Raikes House

Robert Raikes' House is an historic 16th century timber-framed town house at 36-38 Southgate Street, Gloucester. It is now used as a public house called the Robert Raikes Inn.

Colwell Brickenden

Colwell Brickenden was a Clergyman and Master of Pembroke College, Oxford.

John Ratcliffe (Master of Pembroke)

John Ratcliffe or possibly Radcliffe was Master of Pembroke College, Oxford.

John Smyth (Master of Pembroke)

John Smyth or Smith was a clergyman and Master of Pembroke College, Oxford.


  1. "Object 6: Portrait of Thomas Tesdale". Abingdon School.
  2. "Robert Raikes and how we got Sunday School".
  3. "Robert Raikes founder of the Sunday Schools". Visit Gloucestershire.