Ralph de Sudeley

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Ralph de Sudeley (died 1192) was an English baron in Gloucestershire. He was a benefactor of the Knights Templar as well as religious establishments. He was succeeded by his son Otuel.[1] From 1185 the family was based at Griff, Warwickshire, near land at Chilvers Coton given to Arbury Priory and the Templars.[2]

In fiction[edit]

It has been claimed that Sudeley was a leader of the Knights Templar c. 1180. In a novel The Essence Conspiracy he is mentioned as a crusader in 1190.[3]

Phillips theory on the Ark[edit]

Graham Phillips claimed Ralph de Sudeley may have found the Ark of the Covenant when he discovered the Maccabean treasure at Jebel al Madhbah.[4] Because Sudeley returned to Britain, it is theorised that he may have taken the Ark to Britain with him.

Upon his death, the Herdewyke preceptory had been bequeathed to the Templar order, and they were still in residence at the time of King Edward’s purge. At the time of the purge, any valuable possessions were seized by the Crown and dysfunctional buildings destroyed. So if the Ark was to have to taken this route, it was either destroyed or secretly obtained by King Edward.

In 2003, Phillips traced the route of the Ark of the Covenant through research using Biblical texts as being taken to Mount Sinai in the Valley of Edom by the Maccabees, along with other religious treasures.


  1. ^ Sudeley. "Sudeley family". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/66504.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. ^ John Ashdown-Hill (26 August 2011). Eleanor the Secret Queen: The Woman Who put Richard III on the Throne. History Press Limited. p. 79. ISBN 978-0-7524-6895-2. 
  3. ^ S. Eric Wachtel (March 2011). The Essene Conspiracy. S Eric Wachtel. p. 202. ISBN 978-0-615-42646-4. 
  4. ^ Vikas Khatri. World Famous Treasures Lost and Found. Pustak Mahal. p. 216. ISBN 978-81-223-1274-4.