Alcock, Deborah (1835–1913), author, was born in June 1835 in Waterford, second daughter of John Alcock, archdeacon of Waterford, and his wife Jane Innes. Her father's brother was Benjamin Alcock (qv). Her mother died when she was three months old, and her sister died aged 3; Deborah was brought up by her father, who did not remarry until 1849, and who worked in parishes in the Isle of Man, Cork, and Dublin. The family lived according to the precepts of the evangelical movement, and at first discouraged Deborah's story-writing. Deborah's first stories were published anonymously when she was 28. Thereafter she wrote a number of historical novels and religious works, and also a memoir of her father, Walking with God: a memoir of the Venerable John Alcock (1887). She regarded her novels as an extension of her lifelong work as a Sunday-school teacher, and is only remembered for her very successful novel The Spanish brothers (first published as a book 1871; reprinted 1900, 1903, 1927). She wrote a novel, By far Euphrates (1897), to publicise the plight of Armenian Christians, and was involved with Armenian and other charities. She died 15 January 1913 at St Leonards, England, but was buried beside her father in John's Hill cemetery, Waterford. She never married.
IBL, iv (1913), 143, 150; Elisabeth Boyd Bayly, The author of The Spanish brothers (Deborah Alcock): her life and works (1914) (photo); Ronan O'Rahilly, Benjamin Alcock: the first professor of anatomy and physiology in Queen's College, Cork (1948); Rolf Loeber, Bibliography of Irish fiction (2006)