Ralph Neville: Wikis

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Ralph Neville
Archbishop of Canterbury
Enthroned unknown
Reign ended 1232
Predecessor Richard le Grant
Successor John of Sittingbourne
Consecration never consecrated
Personal details
Birth name Ralph Neville
Died February 1244
London
Buried Chichester Cathedral

Ralph Neville (or Ralf Nevill)[1] (died 1244) served as Lord Chancellor of England (two separate terms) and Bishop of Chichester during the 13th century. He was also Archbishop of Canterbury elect from 1231 to 1232.

Contents

Biography

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Early life

He had at least three brothers: Nicholas de Neville, a canon at Chichester, William de Neville, treasurer of the see of Chichester, and Robert de Neville, holder of a prebend at Chichester.[2] Another likely sibling was Roger, who held land in Lincolnshire, and of the brother, at least Ralph was illegitimate.[3] He was also related to Hugh de Neville, the chief forester for King John of England.[2] Robert was later Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Nicholas was a baron of the Exchequer.[4] He was a royal clerk of King John in the spring of 1207, and in December of that year was at Marlborough Castle on royal business.[5] Ralph was Dean of Lichfield on 11 April 1214 and held a prebend in the diocese of London at that time.[6]

Royal service and Bishop of Chichester

Ralph was Keeper of the King's Seal under Henry III from about 6 November 1218.[7][8] He was also vice-chancellor of England, and with the retirement of Richard Marsh, the Chancellor, to Marsh's see of Durham to handle ecclesiastical affairs, Ralph in fact, if not in name, held the office of Chancellor itself.[9][5] He received a dispensation for illegitimacy on 25 January 1220. In late October he was named chancellor of the see of Chichester,[2] but was then elected as bishop of Chichester about 1 November 1222. He was given control of the temporalities of the bishopric on 3 November 1222, and was consecrated on 21 April 1224.[10]

Ralph was named Lord Chancellor of England on 17 May 1226.[7] That appointment was done by the great council during the minority of King Henry III, and Ralph obtained a grant of the office for life.[11] Unlike Hubert de Burgh, who lost his offices when Henry III attained his majority and took control of the government, Ralph remained in office with only slight disagreements until 1238.[9] Under Neville, the first signs that the chancery was becoming a department of state, rather than just a royal department begin to emerge.[12]

Letters from the precentor of Chichester Cathedral are still extant, begging the bishop to come to Chichester over Easter in order to celebrate the Easter Mass and to deal with pressing issues in the diocese. Ralph's duties as Chancellor kept him from attending to much of the business of his diocese.[13] Also still extant are the letters from his steward in Sussex, Simon of Senlis, which owe their survival to becoming part of the royal archives due to Neville being Chancellor.[1]

Ralph was elected Archbishop of Canterbury about 24 September 1231 by the monks of Canterbury, but his election to the archbishopric was quashed in early 1232 by the Pope Gregory IX.[14][5] The rejection was based on Neville being an illiteratus or illiterate, although he had been found to be literatus in 1214 when he was appointed dean. Literatus in this sense meant "learned" not "illiterate".[15] In 1238, the cathedral chapter of the see of Winchester elected first William de Raley in opposition to the king's choice of William of Valence, and when that election was quashed, they then selected Ralph instead of William bishop of Valence. However, this election to Winchester was quashed in 1239,[2] and it led to a quarrel with Henry III. Henry deprived Ralph of the actual custody of the great seal from 1238 until 1242, but Ralph retained the title of Chancellor until his death.[9]

Death and afterward

He died between 1 February and 4 February 1244[10] at the palace he had built in London on a what was then New Street, but was renamed Chancery Lane because of the palace he built. He was buried in Chichester Cathedral.[5]

Writings

His letters have been collected in Sussex Archaelological Collections volume 3, edited by W. H. Blaauw in 1850.[16]

Notes

  1. ^ a b Clanchy From Memory to Written Record p. 90
  2. ^ a b c d British History Online Bishops of Chichester accessed on September 11, 2007
  3. ^ Vincent "Origins of the Chancellorship of the Exchequer" English Historical Review p. 111-112
  4. ^ Vincent "Origins of the Chancellorship of the Exchequer" English Historical Review pp. 109–110
  5. ^ a b c d Cazel "Neville, Ralph de (d. 1244)" Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Online Edition accessed 8 November 2007
  6. ^ British History Online Prebends of Chichester accessed on September 11, 2007
  7. ^ a b Fryde Handbook of British Chronology p. 85
  8. ^ Powell The House of Lords in the Middle Ages p. 173
  9. ^ a b c Chrimes An Introduction to the Administrative History of England p. 109-114
  10. ^ a b Fryde Handbook of British Chronology p. 239
  11. ^ Chrimes An Introduction to the Administrative History of Mediaeval England p. 87
  12. ^ Pegues "Clericus in Legal Administration" English Historical Review p. 538
  13. ^ Moorman Church Life in England in the Thirteenth Century p. 164-165
  14. ^ Fryde Handbook of British Chronology p. 233
  15. ^ Clanchy From Memory to Written Record p. 229
  16. ^ Moorman Church Life in England in the Thirteenth Century p. xv

References

  • British History Online Bishops of Chichester accessed on September 11, 2007
  • Cazel, Jr., Fred A. "Neville, Ralph de (d. 1244)" Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Oxford University Press, 2004 Online Edition accessed 8 November 2007
  • Chrimes, S. B. An Introduction to the Administrative History of Mediaeval England Third Edition Oxford:Basil Blackwell 1966
  • Clanchy, C. T. (1993). From Memory to Written Record: England 1066–1307 (Second Edition ed.). Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 978-0-631-16857-7.  
  • Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I. (1996). Handbook of British Chronology (Third Edition, revised ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-56350-X.  
  • Moorman, John R. H. Church Life in England in the Thirteenth Century Revised Edition Cambridge:Cambridge University Press 1955
  • Pegues, Frank (October 1956). "The Clericus in the Legal Administration of Thirteenth-Century England". The English Historical Review 71 (281): 529–559.  
  • Powell, J. Enoch and Keith Wallis The House of Lords in the Middle Ages: A History of the English House of Lords to 1540
  • Vincent, Nicholas C. (1993). "The Origins of the Chancellorship of the Exchequer". The English Historical Review 108 (426): 105–121. doi:10.1093/ehr/CVIII.426.105.  
Political offices
Preceded by
Richard Marsh
Lord Chancellor
1226–1240
(Keeper of the Great Seal)
Succeeded by
Richard le Gras
Preceded by
Richard le Gras
(Keeper of the Great Seal)
Lord Chancellor
1242–1244
Succeeded by
Silvester de Everdon
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Ranulf of Wareham
Bishop of Chichester
1224–1244
Succeeded by
Robert Passelewe
Preceded by
Richard le Grant
Archbishop of Canterbury
election quashed

1231–1232
Succeeded by
John of Sittingbourne
Preceded by
Peter des Roches
Bishop of Winchester
election quashed

1238–1239
Succeeded by
William de Raley

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From LoveToKnow 1911

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