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Nevers and Auxerre; Le Quien's Oriens Christianus, iii. 1278; Röhricht's Syria Sacra ap. Zeitschrift des Deutscher Palaestina-Vereins, x. 24–5; Chevalier Lagenessière's Hist. de l'Evêché de Bethléem, pp. 36–41.]

C. L. K.

RALPH of St. Albans or RALPH of Dunstable (fl. 1180?), learned writer, was probably a native of Dunstable and monk of St. Albans. By some writers he is called Robert. At the request of another monk, William, he turned into verse, with some amplifications, William's Latin prose lives of St. Alban and St. Amphibalus, which William had dedicated to the abbot Simon (1166–1188). Copies of Ralph's work are in the Cotton. MSS. Julius D iii. ff. 125–58 b, and Claud. E. iv. 3, ff. 47–58 b, and in MS. Trinity College, Dublin, E. i. 40 (Leland, De Script. iii. 163). In the ‘History of St. Albans’ by Thomas of Walsingham, Ralph is compared to Virgil (J. Amundesham, Rolls Ser. ii. 296, 304).

A contemporary, Ralph Gobion or Gubiun (d. 1151), abbot of St. Albans, was an English secular priest of good lineage, chaplain and treasurer to Alexander [q. v.], bishop of Lincoln (1123–1147), who obtained for him admission as monk of St. Albans, with leave to continue with the bishop. Alexander also promised Ralph succession to the abbacy, and secured his election in 1146. Ralph had attended the lectures of a certain Master Odo, an Italian, and was remarkable for his love of learning and his large collection of books. He visited France, met Eugenius III at Auxerre, and from him procured a privilege for his monastery. He freed the abbey from debt, improved the estates and buildings, and gave vestments. According to the historian of the monastery, he unjustly deposed his prior, Alquinus, whom he disliked, on suspicion of counterfeiting the seal of the house. In 1150 he fell ill, and on 18 June made the prior his deputy. He died on 7 July, and was buried at the east front of the chapter-house. He is probably the Ralph of St. Albans who wrote a Latin prose history in five books of Philip and Alexander, kings of Macedon, extracted from Pompeius Trogus, Orosius, Josephus, Jerome, Solinus, Augustine, Beda, and Isidore. A copy is in the MS. 154, Caius College, Cambridge, ff. 1–136 (cf. Bodleian MS. Greaves, 60). Pits observes that some say Geoffrey or Walter Hemlington, monk of St. Albans, wrote on Alexander and dedicated his work to Ralph (Vossius, De Historicis Latinis, 1651).

[Diceto's Abbreviationes, ed. Stubbs (Rolls Ser.), i. 258; John Amundesham's Annales, ed. Riley i. 434, and Gesta Abbatum (both Rolls Ser.), i. 93, 106, 110, 149; Matt. Paris's Historia Anglorum, ed. Madden, i. 276; Hardy's Catalogue, i. 6, 11, 13; Leyser's Poet. Med. Æv. 1721, p. 417; Ward's Catalogue of Romances, i. 121; Leland's Collectanea, iii. 58, 163, and Bale, De Script. Brit.; Notices et Extraits des Manuscrits, xiii. Paris, 1838, pt. ii. pp. 190–1; Wright's Biogr. Lit. ii. 212–14.]

M. B.

RALPH de Diceto (d. 1202?), dean of Paul's. [See Diceto.]

RALPH of Coggeshall (fl. 1207), chronicler. [See Coggeshall.]

RALPH NIGER (fl. 1170), historian. [See Niger.]

RALPH or RANDULPH of Evesham (d. 1229), abbot of Evesham, was born at Evesham. He became a monk of Worcester, and was at the same time a monk of Evesham, having a seat in that chapter. He was elected bishop of Worcester, 2 Dec. 1213, but resigned in favour of the king's chancellor at the request of King John and his legate Nicholas. On 24 Dec. he was elected prior of Worcester, and on 20 Jan. following, at the legate's recommendation, the Evesham chapter chose him abbot. Contrary to precedent, he obtained from the archbishop of Canterbury confirmation of his election. On 9 March (or 23 Feb. Ann. Wigorn.) he was blessed by the legate in St. Mary's Abbey, York.

In 1215 he was in Rome with Thomas de Marleberge [q. v.], and in the Lateran council he got the constitutions of Evesham confirmed. The Evesham historian praises his mildness and gives examples of his economy, financial skill, and generosity. He improved the monastic buildings and estates, gave vestments, plate, gems, and a pastoral staff to the church. In 1219 William of Blois, bishop of Worcester, held a synod, in which Randulph was not allowed to wear his mitre or to occupy the place next in dignity to that of the bishop. Randulph appealed, with what result is not known. He died on 17 Dec. 1229.

[Chron. Abb. de Evesham (Rolls Ser.), passim; Dugdale's Monasticon Anglicanum; Wharton's Anglia Sacra, i. 484.]

M. B.

RALPH of Bristol (d. 1232), bishop of Kildare, was a native of Bristol, but settled in Dublin. He became a canon and treasurer of St. Patrick's, Dublin, and ‘Magistri Galfridus de Bristollia et Radulphus de Bristollia’ occur as witnesses to charters of Henry de Loundres [q. v.] (Chart. St. Mary, Dublin, i. 189–90, ii. 19; Reg. St. Thomas, Dublin, p. 306). Ralph was also a clerk of William de Payvo, bishop of Glendalough, from whom he received half the church of Salmonleap, with a pension of half a mark from Conephy (ib. p. 329). In 1223 he was consecrated bishop of Kildare, where he