tioned Henry I for an exemption from taxes in order to restore the damage (Will. Malm. De Gestis Pont. Angl. p. 206), and several charters attest the good will of the king (Dugdale, Mon. Angl. vi. 1168). Ralph completed the organisation of the chapter by the definition of the offices of dean, precentor, chancellor, and treasurer. He greatly raised the dignity of his see, increased the number of his clergy, and enriched the church with gifts. Thrice each year he went through the diocese, preaching and rebuking, but receiving only voluntary offerings. With the famous abbey of Battle he was on friendly terms, and was present at the consecration of the church in 1094 (ib. iii. 246).
Of bold and determined character (De Gest. Pont. p. 205), Ralph resisted William Rufus in his quarrel with Anselm [q. v.], whom he helped to consecrate as archbishop in 1093, and is said to have offered to surrender his staff and ring rather than yield to the king (ib.) He likewise opposed Henry I in his efforts to tax the clergy, and even suspended divine offices throughout his diocese until the king relaxed his claim (ib.) At the election, in 1109, of Thomas (d. 1114) [q. v.] to the archbishopric of York, he was one of the bishops who insisted upon the submission of York to Canterbury (Eadmer, Historia, pp. 208 seq. Rolls Ser.)
Ralph died on 24 Dec. 1123 (Ann. Monast. i. 11), and a tomb inscribed with his name in Chichester Cathedral, at the entrance to St. Mary's chapel, is said to be his. But this tomb is of small dimensions, and Ralph was traditionally reputed to be of great stature (De Gest. Pont. p. 205).
[See in addition to the authorities cited in the text, Symeon of Durham, ii. 235, &c. (Rolls Ser.); Twysden's Decem Script. p. 2369; Ord. Vital. ap. Migne's Patrologia, vol. 188, p. 721; Flor. Wig. ii. 51 (Engl. Hist. Soc.); Wharton's Anglia Sacra, i. 69; Stubbs's Regist. Sacr. Angl. p. 23; Le Neve's Fasti Eccl. Angl. i. 238, ed. Hardy.]
RALPH (d. 1144?), bishop of Orkney, whose name usually appears as Ralph Nowell, was a native of York, where he became a priest (‘Actus Pont. Ebor.’ in Historians of the Church of York, ii. 372, Rolls Ser.; Hugh the Chantor, ii. 127). York writers assert that, apparently about 1110, Ralph was elected (by men of the Orkneys) to the bishopric of the islands in the church of St. Peter at York. He was consecrated before 1114 by Thomas, archbishop of York, to whom he made his formal profession (Act. Pont. Ebor. l.c.). The primate of Trondhjem, however, claimed ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the Orkneys, and Ralph, as the nominee of the archbishop of York, was ignored by prince, clergy, and people of the Orkneys (Flor. Wig. ii. 89, Engl. Hist. Soc.) He never went into residence, and the bishopric was filled by the archbishop of Trondhjem. But Ralph's position was upheld by Calixtus II and Honorius II, who successively addressed letters to the kings of Norway directing his restoration, and describing him as the ‘canonically elected and consecrated bishop’ (Dugdale, Mon. Angl. vi. 1186). Ralph, however, did not waste his life in litigation, but spent it usefully as a suffragan of York and Durham.
Ralph staunchly supported Thurstan [q. v.], archbishop-elect of York, in his struggle for the independence of the see of York against the claims of Canterbury. He visited Thurstan during his exile in France, and in October 1119 was at Rheims just before the opening of the council, when Thurstan was consecrated to the archbishopric of York, 19 Oct. 1119 (Hugh the Chantor, l.c., p. 164). Next day, upon the opening of the council, Ralph alone of the English and Norman bishops dared to take his seat beside the metropolitan (ib. p. 166). On his return to England he had to face the anger of Henry I. Ralph, however, declared that he and the archdeacon who had accompanied him had not gone to Rheims for the purpose of being present at Thurstan's consecration (ib. p. 172).
In 1138 Ralph represented the aged archbishop at the Battle of the Standard. Some writers improbably ascribe to him the well-known exhortation to the English army (Rog. Hov. i. 193, Rolls Ser.; Hemingburgh, i. 59, sq., Engl. Hist. Soc.; Brompton, Ap. x. Scriptt. col. 1026), which Ailred of Rievaulx [see Ethelred] assigns to Walter Espec [q. v.] Ralph was certainly conspicuous in exhorting and absolving the English host (John of Hexham, ib. col. 262, and Richard of Hexham, ib., col. 321).
In 1143 Ralph acted as suffragan of William of St. Barbe, bishop of Durham. In that year he, with two others, represented the latter at the consecration of William FitzHerbert [q. v.], archbishop of York, at Winchester (John of Hexham, l.c., col. 273). This is the last trustworthy mention we have of him.
[In addition to the authorities quoted in the text, see Sym. Dunelm. ii. 293, 315; Hen. Hunt. 262 sq. (Rolls Ser.); Torffæus Orcades, pp. 158–9, ed. 1697; Keith's Scottish Bishops, pp. 219–20; Stubbs's Registrum Sacrum Anglicanum, p. 25; Freeman's Norman Conquest, v. pp. 214, 268; Raine's Lives of the Archbishops of York, pp. 168, 182–5, 223.]