Ralph d'Escures

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Ralph (d. 1122), Archbishop of Canterbury, called Ralph de Turbine, or Ralph d'Escures from his father's estate of Escures, near Séez in Normandy, entered the abbey of St Martin at Séez in 1079, and ten years later became abbot of this house.

Soon afterwards he paid a visit to England, where his half-brother, Seifrid Pelochin, was Bishop of Chichester, and in 1100 he took refuge in England from the violence of Robert of Belesme, passing some time with his friends Saint Anselm and Gundulf. In March 1108 he succeeded Gundulf as Bishop of Rochester. After Anselm's death in April 1109 Ralph acted as administrator of the see of Canterbury until April 1114, when he himself was chosen Archbishop at Windsor.

In this capacity he was very assertive of the rights of the Archbishop of Canterbury and of the liberties of the English church. He claimed authority in Wales and Scotland, and he refused to consecrate Thurstan as Archbishop of York because the latter prelate declined to profess obedience to the Archbishop of Canterbury. This step involved him in a quarrel with the Papacy, and he visited Rome, but was unable to obtain an interview with Pope Paschal II, who had left the city. In spite of peremptory orders from Paschalís successors, Gelasius II and Calixtus II, the archbishop still refused to consecrate Thurstan, and the dispute was unsettled when he died on October 20, 1122.



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