Sheldon, Ralph (1623 -1684)
Ralph Sheldon was the eldest son of William Sheldon, of Beoley in Worcester shire, and Elizabeth, daughter of William Petre, 2nd Lord Petre. A Roman Catholic he suffered considerable persecution for his faith. He married Henrietta Maria, daughter of Thomas Savage, 1st Earl Rivers. They had no children, and she died 13 June 1663. He was an ardent collector of antiquities, particularly of books and manuscripts, coins and medals, and a student of heraldry. He purchased the manuscripts of Augustine Vincent, Windsor Herald and bequeathed them to the College of Arms, and many of his own manuscripts are also in the College. In reward for the sufferings that he and his father had undergone in the Civil War, he was nominated by Charles II a member of the contemplated Order of the Royal Oak. “As he had no issue & his brother, the Benedictine, piously refused to intermeddle with secular affairs, he left his estate to Ralph Sheldon of Steeple Barton in Oxfordshire'”(Nash's History of Worcestershire i,67 (1781)). His library was dispersed 27 August 11 September 1781in there the sale of books belonging to William Sheldon conducted by Christie & Ansell “at the Mansion House of Weston”.