Walter of Lorraine (DNB00)

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WALTER of Lorraine (d. 1079), bishop of Hereford, a native of Lotharingia or Lorraine, was chaplain of Edith or Eadgyth (d. 1075) [q. v.], the Confessor's queen, and as a reward of his industry was appointed to the bishopric of Hereford at Christmas 1060 (Flor. Wig. sub an.; Codex Diplomaticus, No. 833). As the position of Archbishop Stigand [q. v.] was held to be uncanonical, he and Gisa [q. v.], bishop-designate of Wells, received leave from the Confessor to go to Rome for consecration, and were commissioned by him to obtain the pope's confirmation of privileges for St. Peter's Abbey, Westminster. He was consecrated with Gisa by Nicholas II at Rome on 15 April 1061, and set out to return home with Earl Tostig [q. v.] and others; was with them robbed on the way, and, owing to the earl's remonstrances, had his losses made up to him by the pope. He is said to have resisted the tyranny of the Conqueror, to have had his lands ravaged, to have been oppressed by the king and Lanfranc [q. v.], and to have been forced to take refuge in Wales (Gesta Abbatum S. Albani, ii. 45-6, 48-9; there is no doubt an element of truth in these statements). He was present at Lanfranc's councils of 1072 and 1075. According to a story, told as a report by William of Malmesbury, he had, when advanced in age, a violent passion for a seamstress of Hereford, attempted to violate her, and was killed by her. He died in 1079, was buried in his church, and was succeeded by Robert Losinga [q. v.], like himself a native of Lotharingia.

[Flor. Wig. ann. 1060-1; Æthelred, col. 738 (Decem Scriptt.); Eccles. Doc. p. 16 (Camden Soc.); Vita Eadw. p. 4 11, Will, of Malmesbury's Gesta Pontif. iv. c. 163 (Loth Rolls Ser.)]

W. H.