History of Walter de Coutances

Coat of arms of Coutances (Normandy) drawn by ...

Coat of arms of Coutances (Normandy) drawn by Aroche for Blazon Project of French-speaking Wikipedia, with Inkscape. Source: own drawing – Blazon: unspecified (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Walter de Coutances was a medieval Anglo-Norman Bishop of Lincoln and Archbishop of Rouen.

He began his royal service in the government of Henry II, serving as a vice-chancellor. He also accumulated a number of ecclesiastical offices, becoming successively canon of Rouen Cathedral (pictured), treasurer of Rouen, and Archdeacon of Oxford. King Henry sent him on a number of diplomatic missions, and finally rewarded him with the Bishopric of Lincoln in 1183. He did not remain there long, for he was translated to the archbishopric of Rouen in late 1184.

When Richard I, King Henry’s son, became king in 1189, Coutances absolved Richard for his rebellion against his father and invested him as Duke of Normandy. He then accompanied Richard to Sicily as the king began the Third Crusade, but events in England prompted Richard to send the archbishop back to England to mediate between William Longchamps, the justiciar whom Richard had left in charge of the kingdom, and Prince John, Richard’s younger brother. Coutances succeeded in securing a peace between Longchamps and John, but further actions by Longchamps led to the Justiciar’s expulsion from England. Coutances died in November 1207 and was buried in his cathedral.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_de_Coutances>

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