Hubert Walter

Walter, Hubert, d. 1205, English archbishop and statesman. He was clerk to his uncle, Ranulf de Glanvill, and in 1186 he was made dean of York. In 1189 he was appointed bishop of Salisbury, and he accompanied Richard I on crusade in 1190. He returned to England in 1193 to be made archbishop of Canterbury and justiciar of the realm at the instigation of the now captive Richard. He was responsible for raising Richard's ransom and forestalling a rebellion planned by John (later King John). After Richard again departed (1194), Hubert was virtual ruler of England. Despite his manifest avarice, he was responsible for tax reforms and important administrative reforms in town and county government. In 1196, Walter caused the Church of St. Mary-le-Bow to be set afire in order to drive out the leader of the revolting London artisans, William FitzOsbert, who had taken sanctuary there. This and other unclerical actions led the pope to demand Walter's resignation from secular office in 1198. However, upon the accession (1199) of John he became chancellor and continued to wield enormous influence. He died shortly after frustrating the king's plan for another French campaign.

See biography by C. R. Young (1968).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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