beautified and repaired the cathedral. He died in 1232. Ralph wrote a life of St. Laurence O'Toole, archbishop of Dublin, which appears to be that preserved in Trinity College, Dublin, MS. 652 (792) ii. It is said to be identical with the life given by Laurentius Surius in his ‘De Probatis Sanctorum Historiis’ (1570–5).
[Chartulary of St. Mary, Dublin, Register of St. Thomas, Dublin (both in Rolls Ser.); Ware's Works, ii. 354–5, ed. Harris; Tanner's Bibl. Brit.-Hib. p. 127; Cotton's Fasti Ecclesiæ Hibernicæ, ii. 172, 227; Hardy's Descriptive Catalogue of British History, ii. 426, iii. 70.]
RALPH of Maidstone (d. 1246), bishop of Hereford, is mentioned as archdeacon of Shropshire in 1215 and 1221, and as treasurer of Lichfield in 1215 and 1229. He was afterwards archdeacon of Chester, and appears to have taught in the schools at Oxford. Later on he migrated to Paris, and Matthew Paris mentions that he was one of the scholars who left that university in consequence of the riots of 1229 (iii. 168). After his return to England he was made dean of Hereford on 22 Sept. 1231. Three years later he was elected bishop of Hereford, the royal assent being given and the temporalities restored on 30 Sept. 1234. He was consecrated by Archbishop Edmund at Canterbury on 12 Nov. following. He baptised Henry, son of Richard of Cornwall, in 1235, and in the same year was sent to Provence to escort Eleanor, the intended queen of Henry III, to England. He was a witness to the confirmation of the charters in 1236, and in 1237 was employed to mediate with Llywelyn ab Iorwerth [q. v.] Ralph was injured by a fall from a rock in 1238, and the ‘Dunstable Annals’ seem to imply that this was the reason of his resignation of his bishopric in the following year (Ann. Mon. iii. 148, 156). The ordinary accounts, however, state that Ralph entered the Franciscan order in pursuance of a vow that he had made as the result of a vision when archdeacon of Chester. He resigned his bishopric and was received into the Franciscan order by Haymo of Feversham, the English provincial at Oxford, on 17 Dec. 1239 (Monumenta Franciscana, i. 58). Bartholomew of Pisa (Liber Conformitatum, f. 79b) says that Ralph worked with his own hands on the building of the Franciscan church at Oxford. Afterwards he retired to the house of his order at Gloucester, and, dying there on 8 Jan. 1246, was buried ‘in choro fratrum in presbyterario.’ Ralph is described by several writers as a man of great learning and repute as a theologian. While still archdeacon of Chester he wrote ‘Super Sententias’ (cf. Gray's Inn MS. 14, ff. 28–32). Royal MS. 3 C. xi. anciently belonged to the Franciscan house at Canterbury ‘Ex dono fratris Radulphi de Maydenstane quondam episcopi Herefordensis.’ Matthew Paris (Chronica Majora, iv. 163, Hist. Anglorum, ii. 374) erroneously states that Ralph became a Dominican.
[Matthew Paris, Annales Monastici, Flores Historiarum, Monumenta Franciscana (all these in Rolls Ser.); Le Neve's Fasti Ecclesiæ Anglicanæ, i. 458–9, 475, 565, 573, 581; Tanner's Bibl. Brit.-Hib. pp. 638–9; Godwin, De Præsulibus, p. 536; Little's Greyfriars at Oxford, pp. 3, 182 (Oxf. Hist. Soc.); there are also some unimportant references in the Cartularium S. Petri Gloucestriæ (Rolls Ser.).]
RALPH BOCKING (d. 1270), Dominican. [See Bocking.]
RALPH of Shrewsbury (d. 1363), bishop of Bath and Wells, a doctor of theology and canon law (Geoffrey le Baker, p. 45), and keeper of the king's wardrobe, received, it is doubtfully said, a prebend of Salisbury in 1297 (Wharton), and was also a canon of Wells (Bath Chartularies, pt. ii. p. 72). In 1328 he was chancellor of the university of Oxford (Annales Paulini, p. 332, n. 2). On 2 June 1329 he was elected bishop of Bath and Wells by both chapters, being himself one of the delegates chosen by the Wells chapter for the election. On the 12th, however, Edward III wrote to John XXII requesting that Robert de Wyville, canon of Lichfield (afterwards bishop of Salisbury), might have the see (Fœdera, II. ii. 765), but Ralph received the temporalities and was consecrated on 3 Sept. The pope was very angry, for he had reserved the see for his own appointment, and Ralph had much difficulty in appeasing him. Letters on his behalf were written by his two chapters, the university of Oxford, Roger Mortimer (IV), earl of March [q. v.], and others. On 8 Feb. 1330 he offered the pope two thousand florins, and at the same time sent letters to eleven of the cardinals, asking their help and declaring that the reservation was not known in England. In other letters to the pope he complained of the misrepresentations of his enemies (Manuscript Register, ff. 30, 36, 38, 39, 43, 47). He at last succeeded in making his peace, after having spent a large sum of money (Murimuth, p. 61), which seems to have kept him poor for some years. His expenses must have been heavy when the king held his court at Wells at Christmas 1331–2, and