Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Ridel, Geoffrey (d.1120)

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RIDEL, GEOFFREY (d. 1120), judge, was in 1106 sent as a commissioner, with Ralf Basset and other leading men, to settle a controversy as to the right of sanctuary at Ripon (Mon. Angl. ii. 133). He also witnessed a charter of Henry I at Cornbury (Abingdon Cart. ii. 114) and one of the Count of Meulan, which must be previous to 1112 (ib. ii. 103). He was one of the assessors in a trial held before the queen at Winchester (ib. ii. 116) between 1108 and 1113 (Antiquary, July 1887, p. 9), and a witness to a charter granted by Henry I before his departure from England in 1116 (Ramsey Cart. i. 245). Drowned in the ‘White Ship’ disaster in 1120 (Ord. Vit. iv. 419), he is referred to by Henry of Huntingdon (p. 318), in his ‘De Contemptu Mundi,’ as ‘justiciarium totius Angliæ’ (but one of the texts omits the words).

His wife was Geva, stated by Dugdale to have been a legitimate daughter of Hugh, earl of Chester (Baronage, i. 34, 36, 555), but her legitimacy is not probable. In her widowhood, during the reign of Stephen, she founded Canwell Priory, Staffordshire (Mon. Angl. iv. 104–6), speaking in her charter of Randulf, earl of Chester, as her kinsman. By her Geoffrey left a daughter and heir, Maud, 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.