Hugh (d.1181) (DNB00)

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HUGH (d. 1181), called Hugh of Cyveiliog, palatine Earl of Chester, was the son of Ranulf II, earl of Chester [q.v.], and of his wife Matilda, daughter of Earl Robert of Gloucester, the illegitimate son of Henry I. He is sometimes called Hugh of Cyveiliog, because, according to a late writer, he was born in that district of Wales (Powel, Hist. of Cambria, p. 295). His father died on 16 Dec. 1153, whereupon, being probably still under age, he succeeded to his possessions on both sides of the Channel. These included the hereditary viscounties of Avranches and Bayeux. Hugh was present at the council of Clarendon in January 1164 which drew up the assize of Clarendon (Stubbs, Select Charters, p. 138). In 1171 he was in Normandy (Eyton, Itinerary of Henry II, p. 158).

Hugh joined the great feudal revolt against Henry II in 1173. Aided by Ralph of Fougères, he utilised his great influence on the north-eastern marches of Brittany to excite the Bretons to revolt. Henry II despatched an army of Brabant mercenaries against them. The rebels were defeated in a battle, and on 20 Aug. were shut up in the castle of Dol, which they had captured by fraud not long before. On 23 Aug. Henry II arrived to conduct the siege in person (Hovedun, ii. 51). Hugh and his comrades had no provisions (Jordan Fantosme in Howlett, Chron. of Stephen, Henry II, and Richard I, iii. 221). They were therefore forced to surrender on 26 Aug. on a promise that their lives and limbs would be saved (W. Newburgh in Howlett, i. 176). Fourscore knights surrendered with them (Diceto, i. 378). Hugh was treated very leniently by Henry, and was confined at Falaise, whither the Earl and Countess of Leicester were also soon brought as prisoners. When Henry II returned to England, he took the two earls with him. They were conveyed from Barfleur to Southampton on 8 July 1174. Hugh was probably afterwards imprisoned at Devizes (Eyton, p. 180). On 8 Aug., however, he was taken back from Portsmouth to Barfleur, when Henry II went back to Normandy. He was now imprisoned at Caen, whence he was removed to Falaise. He was admitted to terms with Henry before the general peace, and witnessed the peace of Falaise on 11 Oct. (Fœdera, i. 31).

Hugh seems to have remained some time longer without complete restoration. At last, at the council of Northampton on 13 Jan. 1177, he received grant of the lands on both sides of the sea which he had held fifteen years before the war broke out (Benedictus, i. 135; Hoveden, ii. 118). In March he witnessed the Spanish award. In May, at the council at Windsor, Henry II restored him his castles, and required him to go to Ireland, along with William Fitzaldhelm [q. v.] and others, to prepare the way for the king's son John (Benedictus, i. 161). But no great grants of Irish land were conferred on him, and he took no prominent part in the Irish campaigns. He died at Leek in Staffordshire on 30 June 1181 (ib. i. 277; Monasticon, iii. 218; Ormerod, Cheshire, i. 29). He was buried next his father on the south side of the chapter-house of St. Werburgh's, Chester, now the cathedral.

Hugh's liberality to the church was not so great as that of his predecessors. He granted some lands in Wirral to St. Werburgh's, and four charters of his, to Stanlaw, St. Mary's, Coventry, the nuns of Bullington and Greenfield, are printed by Ormerod (i. 27). He also confirmed his mother's grants to her foundation of Austin Canons at Calke, Derbyshire, and those of his father to his convent of the Benedictine nuns of St. Mary's, Chester (Monasticon, vi. 598, iv. 314). In 1171 he had confirmed the grants of Ranulf to the abbey of St. Stephen's in the diocese of Bayeux (Eyton, p. 158). More substantial were his grants of Bettesford Church to Trentham Priory, and of Combe in Gloucestershire to the abbey of Bordesley, Warwickshire (Monasticon, vi. 397, v. 407).

Hugh married before 1171 Bertrada, the daughter of Simon III, surnamed the Bald, count of Evreux and Montfort. He was therefore brother-in-law to Simon of Montfort, the conqueror of the Albigenses, and uncle of the Earl of Leicester. His only legitimate son, Ranulf III, succeeded him as Earl of Chester [see Blundevill, Randulf de]. He also left four daughters by his wife, who became, on their brother's death, co-heiresses of the Chester earldom. They were: (1) Maud, who married David, earl of Huntingdon, and became the mother of John the Scot, earl of Chester from 1232 to 1237, on whose death the line of Hugh of Avranches became extinct; (2) Mabel, who married William of Albini, earl of Arundel (d. 1221) [q.v.]; (3) Agnes, the wife of William, earl Ferrers of Derby; and (4) Hawise, who married Robert de Quincy, son of Saer de Quincy, earl of Winchester. Hugh was also the father of several bastards, including Pagan, lord of Milton; Roger; Amice, who married Ralph Mainwaring, justice of Chester; and another daughter who married R. Bacon, the founder of Roucester (Ormerod, i. 28). A great controversy was carried on between Sir Peter Leycester and Sir Thomas Mainwaring, Amice's reputed descendant, as to whether that lady was legitimate or not. Fifteen pamphlets and small treatises on the subject, published between 1673 and 1679, were reprinted in the publications of the Chetham Society, vols. lxxiii. lxxix. and lxxx. Mainwaring was the champion of her legitimacy, which Leycester had denied in his 'Historical Antiquities.' Dugdale believed that Amice was the daughter of a former wife of Hugh, of whose existence, however, there is no record. A fine seal of Earl Hugh's is engraved in Ormerod's 'Cheshire,' i. 32.

[Benedictus Abbas and Roger de Hoveden (both ed. Stubbs in Rolls Ser.); Howlett's Chronicles of Stephen, Henry II, and Richard I (Rolls Ser.); Eyton's Itinerary of Hen.II; Ormerod's Cheshire, i. 26-32; Dugdale's Baronage, i.40-1; Dugdale's Monasticon, ed. Ellis, Caley, and Bandinel; Doyle's Official Baronage, i. 364; Beamont's introduction to the Amicia Tracts, Chetham Soc.]

T. F. T.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.162
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

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