Merton, Walter an English prelate noted for his philanthropy, flourished in the 13th century. He was surnamed from the place of his birth, a village in Surrey. His education he received at a neighboring convent, and was there influenced to enter the ecclesiastic life. After filling various important offices in the Church, he was in 1258 advanced to the post of chancellor of England; but he held this position only a very short time. In 1264 he founded a college at Oxford, which still bears his name. In 1274 he was advanced to the see of Rochester. He died before the expiration of 1277.