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 Walter of Coutances

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Melisende
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PostSubject: Walter of Coutances   Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:54 pm

Walter of Coutances

Walter began his career as a Clerk in the Chancery of Henry II of England. He was appointed Vice Chancellor of England (1173), in addition to Treasurer of Rouen Cathedral. Following his appointment as Archdeacon of Oxford (1175), Walter was elected Bishop of Lincoln (1183). The following year saw Walter, with the aid of the King, being elevated as Archbishop of Rouen (1184).

Walter was employed as a diplomat by both Kings Henry II and Richard I. Walter was Ambassador to France (till 1191).

Walter accompanied King Richard I of England on the Third Crusade, however, was to return to England to investigate charges brought against Chancellor Longchamps by the English Barons. With the support of Richard's brother, Prince John, Walter succeeded in having his rival, Longchamps, removed from the Regency of England but also from candidacy for the Archbishopric of Canterbury.

Walter was recognised as Justiciar of England (1191 - 1194) by the Great Council and remained in control as Regent of England until he was replaced by Hubert Walter.

Walter was amongst those who, with Dowager Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, negotiated for the release of Richard from his German captivity. However, Walter soon quarreled with Richard I, and placed Normandy under Interdict. This was in response to the building of Chateau-Gaillard being built on his lands without his express permission.

Following the death of Richard I, Walter was forced to recognise John's position as heir to Normandy and consecrated him Duke. However, Walter personally supported John's nephew, Arthur of Brittany.

However, following the French conquest of Normandy (1204), Walter seems to vanish from the political scene. It is assumed that he died soon after (c.1207).

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