His parentage is recorded by Orderic Vitalis. Florence of Worcester calls Raoul the "son of King Edward's sister". "Droco comes Ambianensium" donated property to "Sancti Petri Gismoensis" by undated charter, signed by "Droconis comitis, Eotde comitissæ, Falconis fratris comitis, Rodulfi filiii comitis, Gualterii alterius filii…". Simeon of Durham names "earl Rodulph the son of king Eadward's sister Goda" in 1051.
He was created Earl of Hereford. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that “earl Ralph” rallied to the support of Edward "the Confessor" King of England “throughout his earldom” in Sep 1051 when Godwin Earl of Wessex and his sons were threatening force against the king, and “came to Gloucestershire to the king’s assistance...willing to attack Godwine’s levies if the king had wished it”. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records in 1052 that “the king and his council decided that ships should be sent out to Sandwich [as defence against the return of Earl Godwin], and earl Ralph and earl Odda were put in command”. Florence of Worcester records that he assembled an army to defend Hereford against Earl Ælfgar and Gruffydd Prince of South Wales but fled 24 Oct 1055, describing Ralph as “cowardly”. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records in 1055 that “earl Ælfgar son of earl Leofric...went to Ireland and to Wales and raised there a great force and marched on Hereford; but earl Ralph came against him with a great host, and after a brief encounter they were put to flight and many were slain in that rout”, manuscript C clarifying that “earl Ralph gathered great levies to oppose them at Hereford, and they came together there: but before a spear was thrown, the English fled, because they had been made to fight on horseback”, adding that “earl Harold had an earthwork built around the town [of Hereford]”. This last comment suggests that Earl Ralph was removed from the government of Hereford, although the later entry which records his death still accords him the comital title.
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records in 1057 that “on 21 December earl Ralph passed away and was buried at Peterborough”. 1