Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Papilon, Ralph

PAPILON or PAPYLION, RALPH, called de Arundel (d. 1223), abbot of Westminster, was a native of London (Ralph de Diceto, ii. 172), and became a monk of Westminster. In 1200 he was chosen by the monks as their abbot at Northampton in the presence of the king (ib.) He received benediction in St. Paul's, London, from William de Sancta Maria, bishop of London (Nichols, Leicestershire, ii. 708). In 1201 he was summoned to Normandy by King John (Ralph de Diceto, p. 173). At his instance the feasts of St. Laurence, St. Vincent, and St. Michael, and of the translation of St. Benedict were celebrated in copes with extra wine and pittances, and, to defray the expense, he gave the abbey the manor of Benfleet. In 1213 the house was visited by Nicholas, bishop of Tusculum and legate, and Ralph was deposed on charges of incontinency and neglect of the fabric, and his seal was broken in the chapter-house. He received the manors of Teddington and Sudbury to support himself, and died on 12 Aug. 1223 (Ann. Dunst. i. 170). He was the first abbot buried in the nave of Westminster (Widmore). He must be distinguished from Ralph (d. 1160?) [q. v.], theological writer and almoner of Westminster.

[Authorities cited.]

M. B.