Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Roger of Waltham

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Roger Waltham in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

ROGER of Waltham (d. 1336), author, was a clerk in the service of Antony Bek (d. 1310) [q. v.], bishop of Durham (Reg. Pal. Dunelm. i. 530; Cal. Close Rolls, Edward II, i. 257). On 30 April 1304, being then rector of Langnewton, Durham, he obtained license to hold another benefice together with his prebend of Sakynton at Darlington (Bliss, Cal. Pap. Reg. i. 613). On 23 March 1314 he was rector of Eggescliffe, and held canonries or prebends at Loddon, Darlington, Auckland (East Marle), and Chester-le-Street (Reg. Pal. Dunelm. i. 523, iii. 102–4). In 1316 he occurs as prebendary of Cadington Minor at St. Paul's, London, and is said to have been also precentor. He was keeper of the king's wardrobe from 1 May 1322 to 19 Oct. 1323, for which period he delivered his account at the exchequer on 22 May 1329 (Bernard, Cat. MSS. Angliæ, s.v. Bodl. MS. 4177; Cal. Close Rolls, Edw. II, iii. 626, 634; Cal. Pat. Rolls, Edw. III, i. 131). In 1322 he was nominated to the archdeaconry of Buckingham, but the appointment was cancelled (Cal. Close Rolls, Edw. II, iii. 602). One Roger de Waltham was keeper of rebels' lands in Stafford in 1322 (ib. iii. 572–3, 576–579, &c.). On 1 Feb. 1325 the canon was present at St. Paul's for the translation of the remains of St. Erkenwald. During the next two years he commenced to provide for a chantry with two priests at St. Paul's; the ordinance was finally completed in 1329 (Dugdale, St. Paul's, pp. 21, 26, 382, 383; (Hist. MSS. Comm. 9th Rep. pp. 28 b, 40 a, 45 a). Roger was alive in 1332 (ib. p. 2 a), but probably died before 1337, when Thomas Bradwardine held Cadington Minor, and certainly before 20 Oct. 1341, when his successor was appointed at Auckland. His ‘obit’ was kept at St. Paul's on 12 Oct. (Simpson, pp. 71, 98).

Roger was author of: 1. ‘Compendium Moralis Philosophiæ,’ which is extant in Laud. Misc. MS. 616, and Bodleian 2664, both in the Bodleian Library; there was anciently a copy at Durham Cathedral (Cat. Vet. Script. Dunelm. p. 137, in Surtees Soc.) Roger's ‘Compendium’ was used by Sir John Fortescue (1394?–1476?) [q. v.] in his ‘Governance of England.’ It is not really a treatise of moral philosophy, but a series of moral disquisitions on the virtues and duties of princes. It is largely derived from Seneca among classical, and Helinand of Froidmont among mediæval writers. 2. ‘Imagines Oratorum,’ of which Leland says that he had seen a copy at St. Paul's. 3. ‘A manuscript at St. Paul's marked ‘W. D. 5,’ contains on folios 56–60 a list of pittances of the church of St. Paul, drawn up by Roger of Waltham (Hist. MSS. Comm. 9th Rep. p. 69 a).

A table to Roger of Waltham's ‘Compendium Morale,’ compiled by Thomas Graunt (d. 1474), is in Fairfax MS. 4 in the Bodleian Library.

[Registrum Palatinum Dunelmense (Rolls Ser.); Hist. Dunelm. Script. Tres, p. cvii (Surtees Soc.); Simpson's Documents illustrative of the History of St. Paul's (Camd. Soc.); Leland's Comment. de Script. Brit. pp. 264–5; Bale's Centuriæ, iv. 16; Tanner's Bibl. Brit.-Hib. p. 340; Plummer's edition of Fortescue's Governance of England; Kingsford's Song of Lewes (in the latter two there are a few citations from the Compendium); other authorities quoted.]

C. L. K.