Ralph of Evesham (DNB00)

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RALPH or RANDULPH of Evesham (d. 1229), abbot of Evesham, was born at Evesham. He became a monk of Worcester, and was at the same time a monk of Evesham, having a seat in that chapter. He was elected bishop of Worcester, 2 Dec. 1213, but resigned in favour of the king's chancellor at the request of King John and his legate Nicholas. On 24 Dec. he was elected prior of Worcester, and on 20 Jan. following, at the legate's recommendation, the Evesham chapter chose him abbot. Contrary to precedent, he obtained from the archbishop of Canterbury confirmation of his election. On 9 March (or 23 Feb. Ann. Wigorn.) he was blessed by the legate in St. Mary's Abbey, York.

In 1215 he was in Rome with Thomas de Marleberge [q. v.], and in the Lateran council he got the constitutions of Evesham confirmed. The Evesham historian praises his mildness and gives examples of his economy, financial skill, and generosity. He improved the monastic buildings and estates, gave vestments, plate, gems, and a pastoral staff to the church. In 1219 William of Blois, bishop of Worcester, held a synod, in which Randulph was not allowed to wear his mitre or to occupy the place next in dignity to that of the bishop. Randulph appealed, with what result is not known. He died on 17 Dec. 1229.

[Chron. Abb. de Evesham (Rolls Ser.), passim; Dugdale's Monasticon Anglicanum; Wharton's Anglia Sacra, i. 484.]

M. B.