Exeter, Walter of (DNB00)

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Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 18
Exeter, Walter of

by Reginald Lane-Poole
The ODNB calls him a "supposed writer".

EXETER, WALTER of (fl. 1301), Cluniac monk, is stated to have written, at the instance of one Baldwin, a citizen of Exeter, a life of Guy, earl of Warwick, in 1301, when living at St. Caroc in Cornwall. Bale, to whom we owe this notice, conjectures that he was a Dominican friar, and he has also been described as a Franciscan; but St. Caroc (St. Karroc or St. Syriac), near Lostwithiel, was a cell to the Cluniac house at Montacute in Somerset (Dugdale, Monasticon, v. 172, ed. 1825). As for the work with which Walter of Exeter is credited, if the date be correct, it cannot be a life of his contemporary Guy, earl of Warwick, who only became earl in 1298, but must be a form or version of the well-known romance, ‘Guy of Warwick’ (on which see H. L. D. Ward, Catalogue of Romances in the Department of Manuscripts, British Museum, 1883, i. 471–84); but of Walter's book no trace has passed down to us. Sir Harris Nicolas (Siege of Carlaverock, 1828, pref. iv–vi) suggested that he was the author of the famous poem on the siege of Carlaverock; but this hypothesis has been clearly disproved by T. Wright (Roll of Arms of the Siege of Carlaverock, 1864, p. vii).

[Bale MS. Selden, supra, 64, f. 43; Scriptt. Brit. Cat. x. 78 (pt. ii. 44); Prince's Worthies of Devon (Exeter, 1701), pp. 278 seq.]

R. L. P.