Ralph St Leger

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Monumental brass in Ulcombe Church, Kent, to Ralph St Leger (died 1470) and his wife "Anne"
Arms of St Leger: Azure fretty argent, a chief or [1]
Crest atop helm of Ralph St Leger, showing a griffin passant. Detail from his monumental brass, Ulcombe Church

Ralph St Leger (died 1470) (alias Randolf, etc.) of Ulcombe in Kent was Sheriff of Kent in 1467/8[2] and was constable of Leeds Castle[3] in Kent. He was a member of the St Leger family.


He was the eldest son and heir of Sir John St Leger (c. 1404 – 1441) of Ulcombe, Sheriff of Kent in 1430[4] by his wife Margery Donet, daughter and heiress of James Donet (died 1409) of Silham in the parish of Rainham, Kent. Two of Ralph's younger brothers married prominent wives: Sir Thomas St Leger (c. 1440 – 1483) married Anne of York (1439–1476), elder sister of Kings Edward IV and Richard III, and Sir James St Leger (c.1441 – post 1509), who married Anne Butler, a daughter of Thomas Butler, 7th Earl of Ormond, great-aunt of Queen Anne Boleyn.

Marriage and children[edit]

Ralph married Anne Prophett, daughter of John Prophett.[5] By his wife Ralph had children including:

Death and burial[edit]

He died in 1470 and was buried in Ulcombe Church, where his monumental brass survives showing figures of himself and his wife. It is now affixed to a wall within the St Leger Chapel in the north aisle, but was originally affixed to his ledger stone, now lost. It depicts Ralph prone with hands together in prayer and dressed in full armour, his bare head resting on his helm atop which is the crest of St Leger, a griffin passant. His wife Anne lies to his left, and wears an elaborate head-dress. Both persons feet rest on dogs. The Latin inscription beneath is as follows (expanded from abbreviated text):

Orate pro animabus Radulphi Sentleger Armigeri et Anne uxoris suae qui quidam Radulphus obiit undecimo die Novembriis anno domini millencimo CCCCLXX. Quorum animabus propicietur Deus Amen ("Pray ye for the souls of Ralph Saint Leger, Esquire, and Anne his wife, the which Ralph died on the eleventh day of the month of November in the year of our Lord one thousand four hundred and seventieth. On the souls of whom may God look with favour. Amen")


  1. ^ Debrett's Peerage, 1968, p.365 (Viscount Doneraile)
  2. ^ Kilburne, Richard. A topographie or survey of the county of Kent, London, 1659
  3. ^ Hasted
  4. ^ Cleveland, Battle Abbey Roll
  5. ^ Richardson III 2011, pp. 481.
  6. ^ Hasted, regnal year 18 Henry VII
  7. ^ Richardson III 2011, pp. 216–17, 481.
  8. ^ Robertson 1893–95, pp. 70–1.
  9. ^ Hasted, Edward, History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 5, 1798, pp. 385–396 [1]: Ralph St. Leger, esq. of Ulcomb, the eldest son was sheriff anno 8 Edward IV. and constable of Leeds castle. He died soon afterwards, anno 1470, and was buried in this church. Ralph St. Leger, his son, lived at Ulcomb, where he kept his shrievalty in the 18th year of Henry VII (i.e.1502) whose eldest son, Anthony St. Leger, succeeded his father in this manor, and by the acts of 31 Henry VIII. and 2 and 3 Edward VI. procured his lands in this county to be disgavelled. He was a gentleman, who from his singular merit and eminent services, proved himself an ornament to his country and his family, being high in the esteem of Henry VIII. who made him of his privy chamber, and in the 31st of his reign, sheriff of this county, being then seated at his paternal seat in this parish. The next year he was made lord deputy of Ireland, and in 1543 elected a knight of the garter.
  10. ^ Vivian, Lt.Col. J.L., (Ed.) The Visitations of the County of Devon: Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564 & 1620, Exeter, 1895, p.353, pedigree of Fortescue (erroneously states Ralph to have been seated at Annery in Devon, which was in fact the inheritance by marriage of his brother Sir James St Ledger (d.post 1509))


  • Hasted, Edward, History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 5, 1798, pp.385–396, Manor of Ulcombe
  • Catherine Stanhope,The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages, 3 vols., London, 1889, "Sent Legere"
  • Richardson, Douglas (2011). Everingham, Kimball G. (ed.). Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families. Vol. III (2nd ed.). Salt Lake City. pp. 216–17, 481. ISBN 978-1449966393.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  • Robertson, Herbert (1893–95). Stemmata Robertson et Durdin. London: Mitchell and Hughes. pp. 70–1. ISBN 978-1-84383-614-8. Retrieved 29 July 2013.