Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 48.djvu/281

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


whose hand the king bestowed on Richard, son and heir of Ralf Basset, with her father's lands (Sloane Cart. xxxi. 4, No. 26), at the request of Earl Randulf (ib.; cf. Rot. Pip. 31 Hen. I, p. 81). These lands lay largely in Leicestershire, where Richard and his wife founded the priory of Laund (Mon. Angl. v. 187).

A brother of Geoffrey, Mathew, was abbot of Peterborough in 1103 for about a year (Anglia Sacra, ii. 701). Geoffrey Ridel (d. 1189) [q. v.], bishop of Ely, was probably his great-nephew.

[Abingdon Cartulary and Ramsey Cartulary (Rolls Ser.); Monasticon Anglicanum; Dugdale's Baronage; Ordericus Vitalis (Société de l'Histoire de France); Sloane Charters (Brit. Mus.); Henry of Huntingdon (Rolls Ser.); Wharton's Anglia Sacra: Hunter's Magnus Rotulus (Record Commission).]

J. H. R.

RIDEL, GEOFFREY (d. 1189), bishop of Ely, was probably a great-nephew of Geoffrey Ridel (d. 1120) [q. v.] He was a clerk in the service of Thomas the chancellor, and his name follows that of the chancellor as witness to a charter of Henry II, dated between 1156 and 1162 (Du Monstier, Neustria Pia, p. 638). In 1161 he was presented by the king to the living of Woolpit in Suffolk (Joc. Brakelond, p. 36, for date cf. p. 126). Early in 1163 he succeeded Thomas in the archdeaconry of Canterbury (Materials, iii. 120; Rog. Wend. i. 24). Throughout the next eight years Geoffrey was occupied, less with archidiaconal functions than with the affairs of the king, and in active opposition to Thomas as primate. He began, indeed, by thrusting himself uninvited into the royal council-chamber and giving his advice unasked upon a lawsuit which was proceeding there (Gesta Abb. i. 153). In February 1164 Henry sent him, with John of Oxford [q. v.], to the pope at Sens to request the grant of a legatine commission for Thomas's rival, the archbishop of York [see Roger of Pont l'Eveque] (Mat. iv. 38). At the council of Northampton (October) he was, or boasted of being, the confidant of Henry's plans for the humiliation of his metropolitan (Gerv. Cant.. i. 185). In September 1165 he was sitting as a baron of the exchequer at Westminster (Madox, Form. p. xix). In July 1166 he was trying to get the king's leave to go abroad in order to avoid a citation from Thomas which he knew to be on its way (Materials, v. 421, cf. vi. 34); in August he was in Normandy, and there, on the 15th, he appealed to the pope against the primate (ib. vi. 77). In November Henry withdrew the custody of the great seal from Walter de Lisle and gave it to the archdeacon of Canterbury (ib. vi. 10, 77). Eyton thought that Geoffrey had been keeper of the seal ever since Thomas resigned it in 1162, and that Walter was merely his deputy (Itin. pp. 100, 174 n. 1); but the authorities do not fully establish this point.

On Palm Sunday, 13 April 1169, Thomas cited Geoffrey again, and threatened to excommunicate him on Ascension Day if the summons were not obeyed (Materials, vi. 558–9, 572). Instead of obeying it, ‘our archdevil,’ as Thomas thenceforth called his contumacious archdeacon (ib. vii. 20, 59), undertook, in conjunction with the bishop of Séez, a mission from Henry to Louis of France to demand the expulsion of the primate from French territory (ib. p. 27). On Ascension Day Thomas fulfilled his threat (ib. vi. 594). The excommunication was disregarded by the king and by Geoffrey himself. On 1 Sept., at Bures, he and two other excommunicate persons were conditionally absolved by papal legates, and he was one of the commissioners sent by the king to treat with the legates at Caen, a week later, about the terms of the archbishop's restoration (ib. vii. 70, 74, 80). To Geoffrey and to the bishop of London Thomas attributed the failure of the negotiations (ib. pp. 130–2); and, as this failure involved the non-fulfilment of the conditions on which Geoffrey had been absolved, he was in October replaced under excommunication (ib. pp. 113, 115–16). He was one of the three justiciars to whom Henry shortly afterwards addressed ten ordinances for preventing the delivery of papal letters in England (ib. p. 147). About the same time he was made custos of the vacant see of Ely (Pipe Roll, 16 Hen. II, p. 95). His insolent interference at the meeting of Henry and Thomas at Fréteval, on 22 July 1170, would have prevented their reconciliation had it not been for the tact of Henry himself (Materials, vii. 336). The letter in which Henry announced the reconciliation to the English bishops was witnessed by Geoffrey (ib. p. 344). In September he was reported to be ‘raging more than ever against his mother the Church,’ and the pope handed him over unreservedly to the discretion of Thomas (ib. pp. 358–9). On 5 Oct. he was at Westminster with the ‘young king,’ and conveyed a discouraging message from him to some clerks of Thomas, who came to arrange about the restitution of the archiepiscopal property (ib. pp. 389–90). Geoffrey was himself occupying the archbishop's living of Otford, and had no mind to give it up (ib. pp. 402, 404). On 1 Dec., when Thomas reached Canterbury, Geoffrey was there with the archbishop of York and the bishops of London and Salisbury,