Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 40.djvu/277

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

claring that he knew none so fit. Arden adds that Gregory said he had no knowledge of Neville (Shirley, i. 339).

On 28 Sept. 1232 Neville received a grant of the Irish chancery for life (Cal. Documents relating to Ireland, i. 1988). This was after the fall of Hubert de Burgh; but though Neville had not yet lost the royal favour, he was faithful to his old colleague, and dissuaded the London mob from their intended attack on Hubert. Neville was with the king at Grosmont on 11 Nov. 1233, when the royal camp was surprised by the followers of Richard Marshal, third earl of Pembroke [q. v.] He had not, however, supported the machinations of the court party against the earl, and he was not privy to the use which was made of the royal seal for the purpose of effecting Marshal's ruin in Ireland (Matt. Paris, iii. 253, 266). Neville's own sympathies were undoubtedly with Hubert and Marshal; and when in 1236 the influence of the royal favourites revived, Henry called on him to resign the seal. This Neville refused to do, declaring that, as he had received his office by the assent of the council, so he could only lay it down by the same authority. On 21 Nov. 1238 he took part in the consecration of Richard de Wendene as bishop of Rochester at Canterbury, and was asked to mediate in the quarrel between Archbishop Edmund and his monks, and in the next year endeavoured to effect a reconciliation (Gervase, ii. 159–60). On the death of Peter des Roches in 1238 the monks of Winchester chose Neville for bishop. The king, who desired the see for his brother-in-law, William de Valence, refused his assent, and deprived Neville by force of the custody of the seal, but left him the emoluments. Afterwards Henry wished the bishop to resume his office, but Neville, preferring the profit to the toil of the chancellorship, and remembering his wrongful exclusion from Winchester, refused (Matt. Paris, iii. 495, 530). At last, in 1242, Neville was restored to the exercise of his office, and retained it till his death. This took place on 1 Feb. 1244, in his palace ‘in the street opposite the new Temple.’ This street, now called Chancery Lane, owes its name to the chancellor's residence there. Afterwards the palace became the property of Henry de Lacy, earl of Lincoln [q. v.], and eventually was transferred as Lincoln's Inn to the students of the law.

Neville is praised by Paris as ‘a stedfast pillar of loyalty and truth in state affairs’ (iii. 90, iv. 287). He was one of the worthiest supporters of the statesmen who preserved Henry's throne in his minority, and was not deterred by royal ingratitude from his loyalty to the interests of king and country. In his office he rendered equal justice to all, and especially to the poor. He was a benefactor of his church and see, expending much on the repair of the cathedral, and increasing the endowments of the dean and chapter. To his successors he bequeathed his palace and estate in London, the memory of which is preserved in Chichester Rents. He also bequeathed a dole of bread to the poor at Chichester. Many letters to and from Neville on public and private affairs are printed in Shirley's ‘Royal and Historical Letters.’

[Matthew Paris, Annales Monastici, Shirley's Royal and Historical Letters, Gervase of Canterbury (all these are in the Rolls Ser.); Foss's Judges of England, ii. 423–8; Sussex Archæol. Coll. iii. 35–76 (a collection of Neville's letters, annotated by W. H. Blaauw), cf. vols. v. ix. xv. xvii. and xxiv.; authorities quoted.]

C. L. K.

NEVILLE, RALPH, de, fourth Baron Neville of Raby (1291?–1367), was the second son and eventual heir of Ralph Neville, third baron (d. 1331), by his first wife, Euphemia, daughter and heiress of Sir John de Clavering of Warkworth, in Northumberland, and Clavering, in western Essex. His grandfather, Robert de Neville, who died during his father's lifetime [see Neville, Robert de, d. 1282], made one of those fortunate marriages which became traditional with this family, acquiring the lordship of Middleham, in Wensleydale, with the side valley of Coverdale, and the patronage of the abbey of Coverham, by his marriage with Mary, the heiress of the FitzRanulphs. His father, who, like his grandfather, bore none the best of reputations, did not die until 18 April 1331. Robert, the elder son, called the ‘Peacock of the North,’ whose monument may still be seen in Brancepeth Church, had been slain in a border fray by the Earl of Douglas in 1318; and his brother Ralph, who now became the heir of the Neville name, was carried off captive, but after a time was ransomed (Swallow, p. 11).

Before his father's death Neville had served the king both on the Scottish borders and at court, where he was seneschal of the household (Dugdale, i. 292; Fœdera, iv. 256, 448). In June 1329 he had been joined with the chancellor to treat with Philip VI of France for marriages between the two royal houses (ib. iv. 392); and he had entered into an undertaking to serve Henry, lord Percy (d. 1352) [q. v.], for life in peace and war, with twenty men at arms against all men except the king (Dugdale, u.s., who gives the full terms). He tried to induce the prior and convent of Durham, to whom he had to do fealty for his Raby lands, to recognise the