Geoffrey Ridel

Geoffrey Ridel

Infobox bishopbiog
name =Geoffrey Ridel

religion =Catholic
See =Diocese of Ely
Title = Bishop of Ely
Period = 1173–1189
Predecessor = Nigel
Successor =William Longchamp
ordination =
bishops =
post =Archdeacon of Canterbury
date of birth =
place of birth =
date of death =August 21 1189
place of death =

Geoffrey Ridel (died 1189) was the nineteenth Lord Chancellor of England, from 1162 to 1173.Fryde "Handbook of British Chronology" p. 84]

He was probably the great-nephew of Geoffrey Ridel, who died in 1120 and was a royal justice. He was a royal clerk by about 1156, when he first starts witnessing charters.Duggan "Ridel, Geoffrey (d. 1189)" "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography"] He was a king's clerk before he was Archdeacon of Canterbury, which office he held by March 1163. [ British History Online Archdeacons of Canterbury] accessed on October 25, 2007] He performed the duties of the chancellor's office after Thomas Becket's resignation of the office, but no documents explicitly name him to the office.Warren "Henry II" p. 307] He also served as a royal judge.Barlow "The English Church 1066-1154" p. 256] By 1165, Ridel was a baron of the Exchequer.

During the controversy between King Henry II of England and Archbishop Thomas Becket, Geoffrey supported the king.Bartlett "England Under the Norman and Angevin Kings" p. 401] Ridel was one of the persons whom the Constitutions of Clarendon were addressed to, along with Richard de Lucy and Richard of Ilchester.Knowles, et. al. "Henry II's Supplement" "English Historical Review" p. 759] Ridel went to Rome in 1164 to represent the king before the papal curia, and in 1166 opposed Becket once more. By 1169 he was urging King Louis VII of France to no longer give refuge to Becket. Becket's supporters called Ridel the "archidiabolus",Warren "Henry II" p. 535] or "our archdevil", a play on the office of archdeacon which Ridel held. Ridel also urged King Henry's son, Henry the Young King, to refuse to see the archbishop in 1170, telling the prince that Becket wished to disinherit the prince.

After the controversy was resolved, he was rewarded with a bishopric.Poole "Domesday Book to Magna Carta" p. 220] He was elected to the see of Ely in late April of 1173 and consecrated on October 6 1174Fryde "Handbook of British Chronology" p. 244] at Canterbury. For a number of years previous to his election he had been the custodian of the see, and had received the episcopal revenues. He resigned the chancellorship when he became a bishop.Huscroft "Ruling England" p. 191] He continued to be involved in governmental affairs, attending councils and escorting King Henry II's daughter Joanna to Provence when the princess was sent to Sicily to marry King William II of Sicily. He also continued to hold the office of baron of the exchequer at least as late as 1185.

He died on either August 21 1189 or August 20. [ British History Online Bishops of Ely] accessed on October 25, 2007] After his death, King Richard I of England confiscated his personal property,Poole "Domesday Book to Magna Carta" p. 190 footnote3] because Geoffrey had died without a will.Turner "Religious Patronage" "Albion" p. 10] The bishop's estate at his death included over 3000 marks in coins, as well as agricultural supplies and gold and silver plate.Gillingham "Richard I" p. 115] He was buired in Ely Cathedral. During his time as bishop, he built much of the western transept of Ely Cathedral.



* [ British History Online Archdeacons of Canterbury] accessed on October 25, 2007
* [ British History Online Bishops of Ely] accessed on October 25, 2007

NAME= Ridel, Geoffrey
SHORT DESCRIPTION=Bishop of Ely; Lord Chancellor of England
DATE OF DEATH=August 1189

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