Mapes, Walter

, was a poet of some celebrity for his time, which was that of Henry II. of England, whose chaplain he was about 1190. After the death of that monarch he held the same office under prince John, and lived familiarly with him. He was then made a canon of Salisbury, afterwards precentor of Lincoln, and in the eighth year of Richard I. archdeacon of Oxford. He wrote in Latin; and some of his verses, which are in a light and satirical style, are still extant. There is in the Bodleian a work of his under the assumed name of Valerius, entitled “Valerius ad llufinum de non ducenda uxore,” with a large gloss. He perhaps adopted this name because one Valerius had written a treatise on the same subject in St. Jerom’s works. Warton thinks it probable that he translated from Latin into French the popular romance of Saint Graal, at the instance of Henry II. He was also celebrated for his wit and facetiousness in conversation. When he heard a natural son of Henry II. swear by his father’s royalty, he told him to remember also his mothers honesty. He wrote a “Compendium Topographioe,” and “Epitome Cambriae;” and is thought to have written a “Descriptio Norfolciae,” which, says Mr. Gough, if we could find it, would be a valuable curiosity. Mapes was often confounded with a contemporary poet, Golias, of a similar genius; and some have supposed that Golias was a name assumed by Mapes. But according to Warton’s information, they were different persons. 2

2

Leland. Tanner. Warton’s Hist, of Poetry. Cave, vol. II. Pabricii Bibl. Lat. Med.