English cleric and statesman. After studying law at the University of Bologna he served first under Henry II and then went with Richard I on the Third Crusade. On his return in 1193 he was made Archbishop of Canterbury and Justiciar, or Regent, of England. He was appointed papal legate in 1195. Walter's legal and administrative skills were recognized by both Richard I (whose £100,000 ransom he organized) and John (whose accession he secured) who made him Chancellor. During Richard's frequent absences abroad he was virtually the ruler of England. Extensive financial and judicial reforms were made, including improvements to the enforcement of law and order (1195). He was Lord Chancellor from 1199.
Subjects: History — Christianity.