Ralph Bocking

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Ralph Bocking (died 1270), was an English Dominican.


Bocking is stated to have been a native of Chichester. He was the private confessor of Richard of Chichester, who held the see of Chichester from 1245 till his death in 1253. Ralph had a close relationship with the bishop, and on the latter's canonisation, early in 1262, was requested by Isabel, countess of Arundel, and Robert Kilwardby (chief of the Dominican order in England, and afterwards archbishop of Canterbury) to write a biography of St. Richard's life. Ralph readily agreed to write the biography, dedicating his work to the Lady Isabel. The style of writing he used in the biography is declamatory. He appears to use a combination of information shared with him by the bishop and events that he personally witnessed. Bocking's thirteenth-century manuscript containing Richard's biography is housed in the British Museum (MS. Sloane, 1772, ff. 25-70). It was printed in the Bollandists' 'Acta Sanctorum,' 1675. under 3 April. A popular abridgment of Ralph's life by John Elmer, manuscripts of which are extant in the British Museum, in the Bodleian, and at York, is printed in Capgrave's 'Nova Legenda Angliæ.' fol. 269 b. Bale attributes to Ralph a series of sermons, but nothing is known of these sermons.


 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain"Bocking, Ralph". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.