Ralph (d.1123) (DNB00)

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RALPH, RADULF, RANULF, or RANDULF (d. 1123), chancellor, was a chaplain or clerk of Henry I, and became chancellor in 1107–8 (Monasticon, v. 192), from which date he appears frequently as holding that office until his death. For the last twenty years of his life he suffered much from bodily infirmity; but his mind was active, and he is described as crafty, prompt to work evil of every kind, oppressing the innocent, robbing men of their lands and possessions, and glorying in his wickedness and ill-gotten gains. In the first days of 1123 he rode with the king from Dunstable, where Henry had kept Christmas, escorting him to the castle of Berkhampstead, which belonged to the chancellor. As he came in sight of his castle his heart, it was believed, was puffed up with pride. At that moment be fell from his horse, and a monk of St. Albans, who had been despoiled of his possessions by him, rode over him. He died of his injuries a few days afterwards. He had a son, who joined him in some benefactions to Reading Abbey, and he also granted the manor of Tintinhull, Somerset, to Montacute Priory in that county (ib. p. 167).

[Henry of Huntingdon's Hist. Angl. and Ep. de Contemptu Mundi, pp. 244, 308; Rog. Hov. i. 180 (both Rolls Ser.); Rog. Wend. i. 202 (Engl. Hist. Soc.); Leland's Collect. i. 69 (ed. 1770); Foss's Judges, i. 130.]

W. H.