Alcock, Benjamin (1801–p.1859), anatomist, was born in Kilkenny in May 1801, youngest of five known children of Nathaniel Alcock, doctor and mayor of the city, and his wife Deborah Prim. Benjamin, after studying at Kilkenny College, entered TCD (4 November 1816) to study medicine. He obtained a scholarship in 1819, and the same year was indentured to Abraham Colles (qv), a distinguished professor of anatomy in TCD. Alcock graduated BA (1821), MB (1827), and subsequently MD; in 1827 he became a member of the RCSI. He taught anatomy at several of the private medical schools in Dublin (1825–49); in 1849 he was appointed first professor of anatomy in the newly formed QCC. His best-known contribution to anatomical knowledge was his original description in The cyclopædia of anatomy and physiology (1835–59) of the pudendal canal, also known as Alcock's canal; credit for its discovery has sometimes been given mistakenly to Thomas Alcock, an Englishman. Alcock's other publications were minor, and he is remembered rather for the disputes in which he was involved than for anatomical skill. He had various bad-tempered altercations with the council and president of QCC, colleagues, and college servants; but after he disagreed with the college about the arrangements required by the anatomy act of 1832, Alcock's resignation was requested (December 1853) by the lord lieutenant, the earl of St Germans (qv). He resigned the following year, but unsuccessfully petitioned the queen (28 April 1855). He was finally dismissed in July 1855, and despite pleas for fairer treatment (outlined in a pamphlet of 1856) received no redress, and is believed to have emigrated to America, unmarried, in 1859. His niece was Deborah Alcock (qv).
Ronan O'Rahilly, Benjamin Alcock: the first professor of anatomy and physiology in Queen's College, Cork (1948); John A. Murphy, The College: a history of Queen's/ University College Cork, 1845–1995 (1995), 67–70