Little is now known of his birth nor of his early years. He had some connection with the Channel Islands, and resided for some time in Jersey. 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 treasurer of England, adding the deanery of York to his numerous other benefices. In 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 says, "in the dust and under feet of men."
In 1405, through Arundel's influence, he was elected Bishop of London, and he died at Much Hadham in Hertfordshire on January 6 1406. An Historia Mundi, the manuscript of which is in the British Museum, is sometimes regarded as the work of Walden; but this was doubtless written by an earlier writer.
See JH Wylie, History of England under Henry IV vol. iii. (1896).
This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.