Rivaulx, Peter de (DNB00)

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RIVAULX or RIVALLIS, PETER de (d. 1258?), favourite of Henry III, a Poitevin by birth, is said by Roger Wendover (iii. 48) to have been a son, and by Matthew Paris to have been a son or nephew, of Peter des Roches [q. v.] In 1204, being then apparently a minor, he was granted various churches in Lincolnshire (Rot. Lit. Pat. Record edit. p. 43). In 1218 he appears as one of the king's chamberlains and a clerk in the wardrobe, and in 1223 he was chancellor of Poitou (Shirley, Letters of Henry III). On the fall of Hubert de Burgh in June 1232, the Poitevins became all-powerful. Rivaulx was made custos of escheats and wards and treasurer, in place of Hubert's friend, Ranulf Brito [q. v.] He was also granted the custody of many of the most important castles in England, the royal purveyorship at fairs, the chamberlainship of the exchequer in Ireland, custody of the Jewry, and of many ports and vacant sees (ib. passim). According to Matthew Paris, the king at this time put no trust in any one except Rivaulx, ‘cujus Anglia tota dispositionibus subjacebat.’ In 1232 he was sent to demand Hubert de Burgh's treasure; in the following year he took an active part in the proceedings against Richard Marshal [q. v.], and received custody of the lands of the earl's two chief supporters, Gilbert Basset and Richard Siward. In November he was present at Grosmont, and lost his property in the retreat which followed Marshal's defeat of the king's forces.

Meanwhile a strong reaction set in against the Poitevin favourites. Robert Bacun told the king there would be no peace until Rivaulx was removed, and the bishops threatened to excommunicate him. At length, in April 1234, Henry was forced to yield to the clamour; Peter was deprived of all his offices, and fled to Winchester for sanctuary. Thence he was summoned in July to appear before the king, who reproached him with his evil counsel, and sent him to the Tower. A few days later he was released, on the intervention of Edmund Rich, archbishop of Canterbury, and allowed to retire to Winchester. In 1236 he was once more restored to favour and made keeper of the wardrobe; in 1249 he had temporary charge of the great seal, and in the same year was sent to receive the tallage of the city of London. On 16 July 1255 he was constituted a baron of the exchequer; in the following year he was dean of Brug and rector of Claverley in Shropshire (Eyton, Shropshire, iii. 75). In 1257 he was again appointed treasurer, and in the same year was sent on an embassy to France to renew the truce (Matt. Paris, Chron. Maj. v. 611, 620). On 20 May 1258 he was granted some land at Winchester; but his name does not appear again, and he probably died in the same year.

[Matthew Paris, Roger Wendover, Matthew of Westminster, Annales Monastici, and Shirley's Letters of Henry III (Rolls Ser.), passim; Roberts's Excerpt. e Rot. Fin.; Madox's Hist. of the Exchequer; Devon's Issue Rolls, pp. 39, 40; Rotuli Litt. Patent. 1204–16, p. 43; Cal. Rot. Pat. passim; Cal. Rot. Chart. pp. 49, 50; Rymer's Fœdera (Record edit.), I. i. 370; Rôles Gascons, ed. Michel; Sussex Archæol. Coll. v. 144, 152, 153, xviii. 142, xxiii. 25; Dupont's Pierre des Roches; Foss's Judges of England.]

A. F. P.