Ralph de Greystoke, 1st Baron Greystoke

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Arms of Greystoke: Barry argent and azure three chaplets of roses gules
Ruins of Newminster Abbey in Northumberland. Ralph de Greystoke was buried here after his death in 1323..[1][2]

Ralph de Greystoke, 1st Baron Greystoke, (15 August 1299 – 14 July 1323) was an English peer and landowner.[2]


Greystoke was the son of Robert fitz Ralph, the second son of Ralph Fitzwilliam.[3] William, Robert's elder brother, predeceased their father, and Robert succeeded as Ralph Fitzwilliam's heir, when Fitzwilliam died between November 1316 and February 1317.[3]

Little is known of Ralph de Greystoke's life.[2] On 15 May 1321, he was summoned to parliament,[2][4] taking the surname of his paternal great-grandmother (Ralph Fitzwilliam's mother),[3] and became the 1st Baron Greystoke.[2] In March 1322, he fought in the Battle of Boroughbridge, on the side of Edward II, against Thomas, 2nd Earl of Lancaster.[2] He was also 'a principal' in the arrest of Sir Gilbert de Middleton for treason, at Mitford Castle, in Northumberland.[5]

He obtained dispensation from Pope John XXII to marry Alice Audley (b. 1300 d. 1358), daughter of Hugh Audley 1st lord Audley of Stratton Audley & Isolt le rous,[2] by whom he was related 'within the third and fourth degrees' of consanguinity.[5] His son and heir, William Greystoke, was born at the family home in Grimthorpe, on 6 January 1321.[2] Ralph de Greystoke died, of a possible poisoning arranged by Sir Gilbert de Middleton,[5] on 14 July 1323, at Gateshead, County Durham.[2] He was buried at Newminster Abbey, Northumberland.[1]

Greystoke's widow, Alice, remarried to Ralph Neville, 2nd Baron Neville de Raby, who held guardianship of the Greystoke estates for William, Ralph Greystoke's heir, who was a child when his father died.[6]


  1. ^ a b Samuel Jefferson (1840). The history and antiquities of Leath Ward: in the county of Cumberland: with biographical notices and memoirs. S. Jefferson. p. 342.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Dockray, Keith (2004). "Greystoke family (per. 1321–1487)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/61294. Retrieved 2013-12-19. (Subscription required (help)).
  3. ^ a b c Tout, T. F.; Hamilton, J. S. (2004). "Fitzwilliam, Sir Ralph (c.1256–1316/17)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/9659. Retrieved 2013-12-19. (Subscription required (help)).
  4. ^ Charles Clay; Diana E. Greenway (18 April 2013). Early Yorkshire Families. Cambridge University Press. p. 39. ISBN 978-1-108-05837-7.
  5. ^ a b c John Burke (1831). A general and heraldic dictionary of the peerages of England, Ireland, and Scotland, extinct, dormant, and in abeyance. England. p. 244.
  6. ^ Tuck, Anthony (2004). "Neville, Ralph, fourth Lord Neville (c.1291–1367)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/19950. Retrieved 2013-12-19. (Subscription required (help)).
Peerage of England
New creation Baron Greystock
Succeeded by
William de Greystoke