Victor de Waal

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Victor Alexander de Waal (born 2 February 1929)[1] is a British Anglican priest. He was the Dean of Canterbury from 1976 to 1986.

Life and work[edit]

Victor de Waal was born in Amsterdam, the son of Hendrik de Waal, a Dutch businessman, and Elisabeth, of the Ephrussi family. His mother was born to a well-known Jewish family at the Ephrussi Palace in Vienna; she converted to Christianity, which would not have protected her from the murderous Racial policy of Nazi Germany. Before the outbreak of World War II, the family moved to Britain and stayed there after the war, though retaining for many years their Dutch citizenship.

The family came to live in Tunbridge Wells when he was a boy and he was educated at Tonbridge School and Pembroke College, Cambridge. He served as chaplain of King's College, Cambridge from 1959 to 1963 and Nottingham University from 1963 to 1969,[2] and chancellor of Lincoln Cathedral. He married Esther Aline Lowndes-Moir, author (as Esther de Waal) of books on spirituality, especially Celtic. Among their sons are John de Waal, a barrister; Alex de Waal, a writer on Africa; Edmund de Waal, a ceramic artist; and Thomas de Waal, a writer.

De Waal is an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Birmingham.

He helped with the research into his family history by his son, Edmund de Waal, which culminated in the book The Hare with Amber Eyes.


  • What is the Church, 1969, SCM Press.
  • The Politics of Reconciliation - Zimbabwe's first decade, 1990


External links[edit]