Ralph Neville

Religious Leader

– 1244


Who was Ralph Neville?

Ralph Neville was a medieval clergyman and politician who served as Bishop of Chichester and Lord Chancellor of England. Neville first appears in the historical record in 1207 in the service of King John of England, and remained in royal service throughout the rest of his life. By 1213 Neville had custody of the Great Seal of England, although he was not named chancellor, the office responsible for the seal, until 1226. He was rewarded with the bishopric of Chichester in 1222. Although he was also briefly Archbishop-elect of Canterbury and Bishop-elect of Winchester, both elections were set aside, or quashed, and he held neither office.

As keeper of the seal, and subsequently as chancellor, Neville was noted for his impartiality, and he oversaw a number of changes in the way the chancery operated. Neville was deprived of the Great Seal in 1238 after quarrelling with the king, but continued to hold the title of chancellor until his death. He died in his London palace, built on a street later renamed Chancery Lane owing to his connection with the chancery.

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Feb 1, 1244
City of London

on July 23, 2013


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