Ralph (d.1160?) (DNB00)

RALPH (d. 1160?), theological writer, was almoner of Westminster and prior of Hurley, a dependent cell. He had a brother who served the brethren of the monastery in the secular habit, and upon this brother's sudden death by drowning, Ralph begged a monk of Durham to inform the hermit Godric [q. v.] of his misfortune. Godric recommended prayers to release the brother from purgatory, and these were ordered to be said by monks and nuns all over England (Vita Godrici, p. 360, Surtees Soc.) Ralph was a friend of Abbot Laurence (d. 1176), and wrote sermons at his request. He must be distinguished from Ralph Papilon [q. v.], abbot of Westminster.

Ralph's works were: 1. Twenty Latin homilies, dedicated to Abbot Laurence, beginning ‘Nunquid capies leviathan hamo,’ of which Leland saw copies in the hospital of Austin canons, Cambridge (Leland, Coll. iii. 15), and at Westminster (ib. p. 45). 2. ‘Conciones,’ begun at Laurence's request, dedicated to Walter, the next abbot, which begin ‘Ecce fratres delectissimi,’ of which Leland saw a copy at Westminster. 3. ‘Homeliæ in Epistolas,’ beginning ‘Ecce dies veniunt, dicit Dominus.’ 4. ‘Homeliæ in Evangelia,’ one book beginning ‘In illo tempore cum appropinquasset.’ 5. ‘De peccatore,’ one book beginning ‘Ego cum sim pulvis et cinis;’ there is a copy among the Royal MSS. in the British Museum. 6. ‘Postilla in dies dominicos et festos,’ in the Bodleian Library (Bernard's Catalogue, No. 3501).

[Widmore's Hist. of Westminster Abbey; Tanner's Bibliotheca Britannica; Pits, De illustribus Scriptoribus, p. 223; Bale's Scriptorum Illustrium Catalogus, ii. 89.]

M. B.