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Hubert Walter
(Died 1205)

Bishop of Salisbury
Archbishop of Canterbury
Died: 1205


Hubert was the son of Norman parents who had settled in East Anglia. He grew up in the household of Ranulf de Glanville, his uncle, the Chief Justiciar of England, and held various offices under the Crown, besides the Deanery of York, before his consecration as Bishop of Salisbury in 1189. In the following year, he accompanied King Richard I to the Holy Land.

On his return from the Crusade, he took an active part in collecting the ransom demanded for Richard and was elected, at the instance of the King, to the vacant See of Canterbury (1193). The same year, he became Justiciar, and, during Richard's prolonged absence, the chief responsibility of government devolved upon him. It was no easy task to keep Prince John in check, to provide for the national defence and to adjust the taxation, yet Hubert, whilst ruling the State with diligence and prudence, was not unmindful of his ecclesiastical duties. He resigned the Justiciarship in 1198 but, the following year, accepted the office of Chancellor. How great an influence he continued to exercise in the State is shown by the words which King John is said to have uttered when tidings were brought to him, in 1205, of the death of

the Archbishop: "Now, for the first time, am I truly King of England."

Edited from G.M. Bevan's "Portraits of the Archbishops of Canterbury" (1908).

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