Walter de Lucy, 5th Abbott of Battle

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Walter de Lucy (de Luci)

Also Known As: "de Luci"
Birthplace: Luce, Near Maine, Normandy, France
Death: 1171 (79-81)
Immediate Family:

Son of Adrian de Lucy and Aveline de Lucy
Brother of Emma Maunsell; Lucy de Lucy; Richard de Lucy "The Loyal" , Justiciar of England; Robert de Lucy and Reginald de Lucy

Occupation: a Benedictine monk at Lonlay Abbey in Normandy, before being elected Abbot of Battle Abbey in Sussex, England- governed wisely and energetically for thirty-three years., Monk
Managed by: Douglas John Nimmo
Last Updated:

About Walter de Lucy, 5th Abbott of Battle

See attached document, Abbotts of Battle. It lists Walter as the 6th Abbott, not 5th.

Walter de Luci []

Walter de Luci (also Walter de Lucy), Abbot of Battle Abbey, was the brother of Richard de Luci, who was Chief Justiciar of England.

Walter de Luci (or de Lucy) was a Benedictine monk at Lonlay-l'Abbaye in Normandy, before being elected Abbot of Battle Abbey in Sussex, England. He was elected on 8 January 1139. He died while still abbot on 21 June 1171.[1] While abbot, he became involved in a dispute with Hilary, bishop of Chichester, who was the bishop who held jurisdiction over Battle Abbey.[2] Battle had never received a papal exemption, and instead relied on its status as a royal foundation by King William I of England and its status as an eigenkirche.[3] Hilary obtained from both Pope Eugene III and Pope Hadrian IV orders to obey the bishop, but in 1157, Walter brought the case before King Henry II of England at a council held at Colchester.[2] The foundation charter of William I and the confirmation by King Henry I of England, who was Henry II's grandfather, were produced by Walter, and were admitted as genuine. Both documents freed the abbey from ecclesiastical oversight, and Henry II had at his coronation confirmed all his grandfather's charters.[3] However, Hilary argued that only a papal privilege could exempt a monastery from episcopal oversight, and that Battle had no such privilege. Henry was not impressed by this argument, for it impinged on his royal rights.[2] Thomas Becket, then Henry's chancellor, was one of the main opponents of Hilary at this council.[4]


  1. Knowles, David; Brooke C. N. L.; and London, Vera C. M. The Heads of Religious Houses: England and Wales 940–1216 Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1972 ISBN 0-521-08367-2 p. 29
  2. Knowles, Dom David. The Monastic Order in England: From the Times of St. Dunstan to the Fourth Lateran Council, 2nd Ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976 reprint ISBN 0-521-05479-6 p. 589
  3. Warren, W. L. Henry II Berkeley: University of California Press 1973 ISBN 0-520-03494-5 p. 429-432
  4. Powell, J. Enoch and Keith Wallis The House of Lords in the Middle Ages: A History of the English House of Lords to 1540 London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson 1968 p. 79 and footnote 45

"With great pity towards the poor, he allayed their hunger with food, and covered their nakedness with raiment;" and like St. Elizabeth of Hungary, tended and cherished the loathsome lepers—shunned by all else—for whom he founded a lazar house at Battle. He annually provided his monks with a little treat, consisting of one gallon of white wine, a "pepper-cake" (gingerbread is still so called in Germany) and two good dishes in addition to their ordinary fare, "one of which, if circumstances will possibly admit, shall be of fresh salmon." This "benefaction" was to be continued on every anniversary of his death, and lest any of his successors should neglect it, he put on his stole, took a lighted candle, and went with all his priests and deacons to the chapter-house, there solemnly to pronounce a "perpetual and inexorable anathema upon all who should violate this institution." []

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Walter de Lucy, 5th Abbott of Battle's Timeline

Luce, Near Maine, Normandy, France
Age 80