Roger Walden

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Roger Walden

Roger Walden was at one time Rector of St Helier and went on to become Archbishop of Canterbury

A recent history suggests that Walden's role in the Channel Islands was more administrative than clerical and that he served on commissions and was a lieutentant to Warden of the Isles Hugh Calvilegh.


Little is now known of his birth nor of his early years. He was Rector of St Helier from 1371 to 1378. He then held livings in Yorkshire and in Leicestershire before he became archdeacon of Winchester in 1387. His days, however, were by no means fully occupied with his ecclesiastical duties, and in 1387 also he was appointed treasurer of Calais, holding about the same time other positions in this neighbourhood.

In 1395, after having served Richard II as secretary, Walden became Lord Treasurer of England, adding the deanery of York to his numerous other benefices. On 8 November 1397 he was chosen Archbishop of Canterbury in succession to Thomas Arundel, who had just been banished from the realm, but he lost this position when the new King Henry IV restored Arundel in 1399, and after a short imprisonment he passed into retirement, being, as he himself said: "in the dust and under feet of men".

On 10 December 1405, through Arundel's influence, he was elected Bishop of London, and he died at Much Hadham in Hertfordshire on 6 January 1406. An Historia Mundi, the manuscript of which is in the British Museum, is sometimes regarded as the work of Walden; but was probably written by an earlier writer.

Military and administration

Tim Thornton, in his 2012 book The Channel Islands 1370-1640 suggests that Roger Walden was 'more noted for his military and administrative achievements than his education and spirituality. He agrees that Walden was in Jersey in 1371, but suggests that he had returned to England by 1376, to return in 1378 and the following year with Hugh Calvilegh.

"In 1382 he was given custody of the lands of Sir Reginald de Carteret and a year or so later was being formally referred to as a lieutenant in the islaes


  • Wylie, HJ History of England under Henry IV vol. iii. (1896).
  • Fryde, EB; Greenway, DE; Porter,S; Roy,I; Handbook of British Chronology, Third Edition, revised. Publisher Cambridge University Press 1996 isbn=0-521-56350-X
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