Ralph Boteler, 1st Baron Sudeley

Ralph Boteler, 1st Baron Sudeley and 6th Baron Sudeley KG (c. 1394 2 May 1473) was an English baron and aristocrat. He was the Captain of Calais and Treasurer of England (from 7 July 1443).


Ralph Boteler was the youngest surviving son of Thomas Boteler of Sudeley Castle, Gloucestershire and Alice Beauchamp (d. 1443), daughter of Sir John Beauchamp of Powick, Worcestershire.


Sudeley married twice. About 1418 he married commercial wealth, in the person of Elizabeth, widow of John Hende (d. 1418), late Mayor of London. She died in 1462, and in the following year he married Alice (d. 1474), daughter of John, Baron Deyncourt, and widow of William, Baron Lovel of Titchmarsh, Northamptonshire, who survived him.

Lord Sudeley

The Boteler's elevation to the aristocracy arose from the marriage of Ralph's grandfather, William le Boteler of Wem, to heiress Joan de Sudeley, which later led to Ralph's father succeeding to the title of Lord of Sudeley. The Barony of Sudeley was conferred upon his father by Letters Patent. The title then passed to both Ralph's elder brothers, John who died unmarried and childless in 1410, and William, who also died childless seven years later, despite being married. William's widow, Alice, would later be appointed governess of King Henry VI of England in 1424.[1]

Ralph Boteler is thought to have served with King Henry V of England in France, as he was awarded grants of land there between 1420-21. He was captain of Arques and Crotoy in 1423, and took muster in Calais in 1425.[2]

When Ralph was created Baron Sudeley by King Henry VI, he inherited Sudeley Castle, which he rebuilt in 1442, using what he had earned from fighting in the Hundred Years' War.[3] Unfortunately, he failed to gain royal permission to crenellate it, and had to seek King Henry's pardon.[4] He would eventually lose it later in 1469, when King Edward IV of England confiscated the castle from him, due to his support for the Lancastrian cause. From 1443 to 1446, Ralph served as Lord High Treasurer of England.


Sudeley left no surviving male heir from either marriage, for his son Thomas predeceased him, also without a male heir. Thomas's widow, Eleanor, was the Lady Eleanor Butler (known as the Holy Harlot), whose alleged precontract of marriage to Edward IV of England was claimed to have invalidated Edward's marriage to Elizabeth Woodville and so legitimized the usurpation of Richard III of England. The Sodrés, Portuguese corruption of "Sudley", were a well connected Portuguese family of English origin, said to have been descended from Frederick Sudley, of Gloucestershire, who accompanied the Earl of Cambridge to Portugal in 1381 and subsequently settled down there.[5]


  1. John Ashdown-Hill, "Eleanor The Secret Queen", Page 50 The History Press, 2009 ISBN 978-0-7524-5669-0
  2. John Ashdown-Hill, "Eleanor The Secret Queen", Page 52 The History Press, 2009 ISBN 978-0-7524-5669-0
  3. http://tudorhistory.org/places/sudeley/
  4. John Ashdown-Hill, "Eleanor The Secret Queen", Page 51 The History Press, 2009 ISBN 978-0-7524-5669-0
  5. (Subrahmanyam 1997: p.61)
Political offices
Preceded by
Ralph de Cromwell
Lord High Treasurer
Succeeded by
Marmaduke Lumley
Preceded by
Lord Bardolf
Lord Chamberlain
Succeeded by
Lord Saye and Sele
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