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choice, which gained him some ill-will, but he pleased the monks by persuading the king to allow Ernulf [q. v.] to succeed him at Rochester. The chapter sent Ralph's nephew, John (d. 1137), Ernulf's successor in the abbacy of Peterborough, and afterwards (1125) bishop of Rochester, to Rome, requesting Paschal II to send Ralph the pall, for he was suffering from gout, and could not fetch it in person. There was much hesitation at Rome as to their request, for the pope was displeased at the independent position adopted by the English church as evidenced specially by the translation of Ralph without his sanction, and the messengers of the chapter would probably have been met with a refusal had not their cause been taken up by Anselm, abbot of St. Sabas, nephew of the late archbishop. It was finally decided that the messengers should be sent home without the pall, and that Anselm should take it to England later as legate from the pope. On the return of the messengers Ralph, in accordance with the wish of the bishops, and with approval of the chapter of Christ Church, appointed his nephew John archdeacon of Canterbury. Anselm came with the pall, which was received with veneration at Canterbury on 15 May 1115. He stayed some time with the archbishop, but evidently received no satisfaction with reference to the complaints of the pope concerning the independent action of the national church. In September Ralph attended a council held by the king at Westminster, at which the legate presented a letter from Paschal complaining of the translation of bishops without his sanction, and referring, though not explicitly, to Ralph's translation. At this time Bernard, the queen's chaplain, then bishop-elect of St. David's, applied to Ralph for consecration, and the Count of Meulan [see Beaumont, Robert de, (d. 1118)] proposed that the ceremony should take place in the king's chapel. To which Ralph replied with spirit that he would not consecrate Bernard there or anywhere else save at Canterbury. The matter was of extreme importance both as regards the independence of the church of England in things spiritual, and the rights of Canterbury over Welsh bishops. The king bore Ralph out, telling the count that the archbishop was not to be dictated to on such a matter, and that it was for him to decide where he would consecrate the bishops of ‘Britain.’ Ralph proposed to hold the consecration at Lambeth, but to oblige the queen, who wished to be present, held it in Westminster Abbey on the 19th, receiving from Bernard a profession of obedience and subjection to the see of Canterbury (Gir. Camb. Opp. iii. 49). At the great council held at Salisbury on 19 March 1116, at which the magnates of the kingdom did homage to the king's son William, Ralph and the other prelates ppromised their homage in case William outlived his father.

At this council an attempt was made to end the dispute then in progress between Ralph and Thurstan, archbishop-elect of York [q. v.] Thurstan had been elected in 1114, and Ralph refused to consecrate him unless he professed obedience and the subjection of his see to Canterbury. This Thurstan refused to do. Henry upheld Ralph, and would not allow Thurstan to go to Rome for consecration. Thurstan appealed to the pope against Ralph, it is said with no effect (Eadmer), though the York historian (Hugh the Chantor, u.s. pp. 134, 138) declares that Paschal ordered Ralph to consecrate him at once without the profession, but says that Ralph did not get the letter. At Salisbury Henry ordered Thurstan to comply with Ralph's demand; he refused, and divested himself of his bishopric. All, the York writer says, were moved with pity, save Ralph only. Meanwhile Alexander I [q. v.] of Scotland wrote to Ralph asking his advice on the choice of a bishop for St. Andrews, and informing him that he wished that for the future the bishops of that see should, according to alleged ancient custom, be consecrated by the archbishop of Canterbury instead of by the archbishop of York. In August Anselm, who had returned to Rome, was again ordered to go to England as legate. On the news of his mission a council was held at London in the absence of the king, then in Normandy, and Ralph, with the approval of all, went to Henry to consult with him on the preservation of the ancient customs and liberties of the kingdom, and to suggest that he should go to Rome to represent them to the pope. Henry received him at Rouen with much honour, stopped Anselm from going to England, and sent the archbishop on to Rome. On his way Ralph fell sick with gout and a carbuncle in the face, was forced to keep his bed for a month at La Ferté, and was scarcely expected to recover. When convalescent he resumed his journey, accompanied by a splendid retinue, and was everywhere received with honour. He spent Christmas at Lyons with Anselm. On his arrival at Rome he found that the pope had been forced by the emperor Henry V to retire to Benevento, and partly because of the quarrel between the pope and the emperor, and partly on account of his own health, which was still weak, he re-