Foy, Nathaniel (1646–1707), Church of Ireland bishop, was baptised in All Saints Pavement in York, England, on 20 October 1646. His surname is also found as de Foix, and the family may have been of huguenot origin. Nothing is known of his mother, but he had at least two sisters. His father, John Foy, was a doctor, and after the family moved to Dublin, Nathaniel was educated at the Dublin Free School. He entered TCD on 21 March 1663 as a pensioner; he became a scholar and graduated MA in 1663, and was elected to fellowship in 1671. Ordained in the Church of Ireland 29 May 1670, he became a DD in 1684. In December 1678 he became rector of St Bride's, Dublin; in the later 1680s under James II (qv), when catholicism was in the ascendant, he preached each Sunday against the catholic doctrines promulgated the preceding week from the pulpit of St Patrick's cathedral. His behaviour was regarded as particularly flagrant when the king himself, during his stay in Dublin, was in the congregation in St Patrick's, and Foy suffered at the hands of the king's guard; he was also imprisoned briefly with other anglican clergymen. His support for the protestant church was rewarded by the new king, William III (qv), who made him bishop of Waterford and Lismore by letters patent of 13 July 1691.
Foy was one of the more active prelates of his generation, and interested in reforming the Church of Ireland to strengthen its hold on Irish life in opposition to catholicism; he advocated the provision of diocesan libraries, frequently catechised young people, and was again imprisoned, by the house of lords, for three days in September 1695, because he criticised that assembly's rejection of a bill to allow parishes to be divided or united for greater efficiency. Foy strongly opposed the use of the Irish language and the projected translation of the Bible into Irish; in 1704, with the help of Waterford corporation, he set up a charity school for protestants in Waterford. He provided further support in his will for this school, which survived as an independent entity into the 1960s. He also gave the huguenot refugees in Waterford a place of worship in an old friary, and spent over £800 to improve the bishop's palace. He died, unmarried, in Dublin 31 December 1707, and was buried in the cathedral at Waterford. His portrait hung in the hall of Bishop Foy's School.