Stack, Richard (d. 1812), Church of Ireland clergyman and author, was the son of Edward Stack, a farmer in Co. Cork, and his wife Sarah (née Ball). He entered TCD as a sizar on 27 May 1766, becoming a scholar (1769), BA (1770), MA and fellow (1779), BD (1783), and DD (1786). After ordination in the established church (1774), he was appointed curate of St Nicholas, Cork (1775), and curate at Killaspugmullane, Co. Cork (1777), and served as prebendary and vicar of Timoleague (1778–9). When the RIA was formed in 1785 he was admitted immediately, became vice-president, and contributed the first paper of all (‘Essay on the sublimity of writing’) to the literary section of its Transactions (1787). He resigned his fellowship at TCD (1 September 1791) upon being appointed to the livings of Drumragh (better known as Omagh), Co. Tyrone, and Killyleagh, Co. Down, both Trinity advowsons. During this time he published An introduction to the study of chemistry (Dublin, 1802), Lectures on the Acts of the Apostles (2nd ed., Dublin, 1804; new ed., Philadelphia, 1815), and Lectures on the epistle of Saint Paul to the Romans (Dublin, 1806). Later he exchanged Drumragh for Cappagh, Co. Tyrone (1807). His politics can be presumed from his election to the Whig Club (19 August 1789). He died 25 April 1812. With his wife Mary, daughter of John Baldwin of Dysert, Queen's Co., he had six sons and four daughters. The youngest son, Joseph Stack (1799?–1838), was also ordained and was a fellow of TCD.
Richard's younger brother John Stack (1759/60–1813), Church of Ireland clergyman and author, entered TCD aged seventeen (3 November 1777), becoming a scholar (1780), BA (1782), fellow (1784), and later, long after ordination, BD and DD (1803). He made his name as the author of a pioneering work intended for students, A short system of optics (Dublin, 1787). He was elected a member of the Royal Irish Academy (22 October 1787), read a paper on visual defects (5 January 1788) published in its Transactions (1788), and was appointed secretary (March 1789). He was also an active member of the small political club formed in 1790 by Theobald Wolfe Tone (qv). Very probably he was the clergyman named Stack who in February 1791 gave evidence to the Irish house of commons committee of inquiry into an improved loom for linen and cotton weaving.
John Stack resigned the secretaryship of the RIA (April or May 1791) and his fellowship (8 June 1791) on being appointed to the rural parish of Derryvullan in Co. Fermanagh (a Trinity advowson). There he took up farming and received visits from Thomas Russell (qv) whom he had known in Dublin. In November 1801 he exchanged Derryvullan for the prebendary of Kilskeery. A second edition (‘altered and enlarged’) of his Short system of optics, already reprinted in 1793, appeared in 1811 and a third edition posthumously in 1820. John Stack died in 1813 aged fifty-two. He married (1792) Elizabeth Barker of Timolin and with her had six sons and two daughters. One son, Sir Maurice Stack (1796–1880), was a general in India. Another son, Thomas Stack (1813–96), was a clergyman and fellow of TCD, becoming professor of Greek (1855–66), bursar (1870–72), and registrar (1876–87).