Hubert Walter was an influential royal adviser in the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries. He served as Chief Justiciar of England, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Lord Chancellor. Walter was not noted for his holiness in life or learning, but historians have judged him one of the most outstanding government ministers in English history. He was elected Bishop of Salisbury shortly after the accession of Richard I to the throne of England.
About Hubert Walter in brief
Hubert Walter was an influential royal adviser in the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries. He served as Chief Justiciar of England, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Lord Chancellor. Walter was not noted for his holiness in life or learning, but historians have judged him one of the most outstanding government ministers in English history. Walter owed his early advancement to his uncle Ranulf de Glanvill, who helped him become a clerk of the Exchequer. He was elected Bishop of Salisbury shortly after the accession of Henry’s son Richard I to the throne of England. Walter accompanied Richard on the Third Crusade, and was involved in raising Richard’s ransom after the king was captured in Germany on his return from the Holy Land. Walter set up a system that was the precursor for the modern justices of the peace, based on selecting four knights in each hundred to administer justice. He revived his predecessor’s dispute over setting up a church to rival Christ Church Priory in Canterbury, which was only settled when the pope ordered him to abandon the plan. After Richard’s death in 1199, Walter helped assure the elevation of Richard’s brother John. Walter also served John as a diplomat, undertaking several missions to France. The archbishopric of York had been vacant since 1181, so it was Walter’s job to administer the diocese of York. At the same time he was administering York, Walter founded a Premonstratensian house at West Dereham, Norfolk.
His family can also be found on property at Premonstatian House, Norfolk, which can be purchased on 1188 for £1,000. Walter’s father and paternal grandfather held lands in Suffolk and Norfolk, and were inherited by Theobald. A younger brother, Osbert, became a royal justice and died in 1206. His brother, Roger, Hamo and Bartholomew only appear as witnesses to charters. The oldest of Walter’s brothers was a justice, but he was not educated at a university. Walter first appears in a charter that has been dated to 1178, although as it is undated it may have been written as late as 1180. The eldest brother, Theobaldo Walter, and Walter himself, were helped in their careers by their uncle, Ranulf Glan Vill. Walter is one of six brothers. The other brothers are: Roger,Hamo, Hami, Hamolomew, and Barthoomew, who only appear in charters as witnesses. The younger brother Osbert was a royal Justice and died in 1205. The youngest brother, Richard, was born in 1180, and he was also a justice. Walter and his uncle were both involved in the administration of the exchequer during the reign of King Henry II of England in 1184–1185. The king employed him on several tasks, including as a negotiator, a justice and as a royal royal secretary. He also served as Dean of York by order of Henry II about July86.
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