1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Hugh, St

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HUGH, ST. St Hugh or Avalon (c. 1140-1200), bishop of Lincoln. who must be distinguished from Hugh of Wells, and also from St Hugh of Lincoln (see below), was born of a noble family at Avalon in Burgundy At the age of eight he entered along with his widowed father the neighbouring priory of canons regular at Villard-Benoit, where he was ordained deacon at nineteen. Appointed not long after prior of a dependent cell, Hugh ww as attracted from that position by the holy reputation of the monks of the Grande Chartreuse, whose house he finally entered despite an oath to the contrary which he had given his superior There he remained about ten years, receiving priest's orders, and rising to the important office of procurator, which brought him into contact with the outer world. The wide reputation for energy and tact which Hugh speedily attained penetrated to the ears of Henry II. of England, and induced that monarch to request the procurator's assistance in establishing at Witham in Somersetshire the first English Carthusian monastery Hugh reluctantly consented to go to England, where in a short time he succeeded in overcoming every obstacle, and in erecting and organizing the convent, of which he was appointed first prior. He speedily became prime favourite with Henry, who in 1186 procured his election to the see of Lincoln. He took little part in political matters, maintaining as one of his chief principles that a churchman should hold no secular office. A sturdy upholder of what he believed to be right, he let neither royal nor ecclesiastical influence interfere with his conduct, but fearlessly resisted whatever seemed to him an infringement of the rights of his church or diocese. But with all his bluff firmness Hugh had a calm judgment and a ready tact, which almost invariably left him a better friend than before of those whom he opposed; and the astute Henry, the impetuous Richard, and the cunning John, so different in other points, agreed in respecting the bishop of Lincoln. Hugh's manners were a little rigid and harsh; but, though an ascetic to himself, he was distinguished by a broad kindliness to others, so that even the Jews of Lincoln wept at his funeral. He had great skill in taming birds, and for some years had a pet swan, which occupies a prominent place in all histories and representations of the saint. In 1200 Bishop Hugh revisited his native country and his first convents, and on the return journey was seized with an illness, of which he died at London on the 16th of November 1200. He was canonized by Honorius III. on the 17th of February 1220. His feast day is kept on the 17th of November in the Roman Cliurch.

The chief life of St Hugh, the Magna vrta S. Hugoms, probably written by Adam, afterwards abbot of Eynsham, the b1shop's chaplain, was edited by ]. F. Dimoek in Rer. Brztan. med. aevr scnpt, No. xxxvli. (London, 1864). MSS. of this are in the Bodleian Library (Digby, 165 of the 13th century) and in Paris (Bzb Nat. 5575, Fonds Latin); the Paris MS. fortunately makes good the portions lacking in the Oxford one. Mr Dlnmock also edited a Metrzcal Life of St Hugh of Avalon (London, 1860), from two MSS. in the British Museum and the Bodleian Library. The best modern source for information as to St Hugh and his time is the Vze de St Hugues, éoe%e de Lznooln (1140-1200) par un relzgzeux de la Grande Chartreuse(ontreuil, 1890), Eng. trans. edited by H. Thurston, S.]., with valuable appendices and notes (London, 1898). A complete bibliography is given in U. Chevalier, Bro-Inblrographre (Paris, 1905, 2206-2207); see also A. Potthast, Bzblzotheca med. ae-u., 1380.

HUGH OF WELLS, one of King John's officials and councillors, became bishop of Lincoln in 1209. He soon fell into disfavour with ]ol1n, and the earlier years of his bishopric' were mainly spent abroad, while the king seized the revenues of his see. However, he was one of John's supporters when Magna Carta was signed, and after the accession of Henry III. he was able to turn his attention to his episcopal duties. His chief work was the establishment of vicarages in his diocese, thus rendering the parish priest more independent of the monastic houses; this policy, and consequently Hugh himself, was heartily disliked by Matthew Paris ard other monastic writers. The bishop, vtho d1d some building at Lincoln and also at Wells, d1ed on the 7th of February 1235.

ST HUGH OF LINCOLN, a native of Lincoln, was a child about ten years old when he was found dead on premises belonging to a ]ew. It was said, and the story was generally believed, that the boy had been scourged and crucified in imitation ot the death of Jesus Christ. Great and general indignation was aroused, and a number of Tews were hanged or punished in other ways. The incident is referred to by Chaucer in the Prroresses Tale and by Marlowe in the Jew of Malta.