Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Hugh (d.1098)

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HUGH (d. 1098), called of Montgomery, Earl of Shrewsbury and Arundel, second son of Roger of Montgomery [q.v.], by Mabel, daughter of William Talvas, lord of Bellême, and younger brother of Robert of Bellême [q.v.], held during his father's lifetime the manor of Worfield in Shropshire, and was distinguished as a leader against the Welsh, laying waste Ceredigion (Cardiganshire), and even Dyfed (Pembrokeshire), in 1071 and the following years. Being at Bures in Normandy when his mother was murdered there in the winter of 1082, he pursued her murderers with sixteen knights, but was unable to overtake them. In conjunction with his brothers Robert and Roger of Poitou, he joined the rebellion against Rufus in 1088, and helped to hold Rochester Castle against the king. He succeeded his father in England in 1094, becoming Earl of Shrewsbury and Arundel (for the Arundel title see under Roger of Montgomery and Second Peerage Report, pp. 406-26). He was suspected of being concerned in plots against Rufus in 1095, and after the king's triumph privately purchased his favour with a present of 3,000l. Constantly engaged in war with the Welsh, he was probably specially concerned in the invasion and occupation of Ceredigion and Dyfed in 1093. By the Welsh he was called the Red, by the Scandinavians apparently the Brave or the Proud. In 1094 the Welsh rose against him and the other Norman lords, and though he made war upon them in North Wales, and put several bands to flight, he was not able to repress their ravages; at Michaelmas 1095 they took Montgomery and slew all his men that were in the castle. Early in 1098 he joined forces with Hugh, earl of Chester [q.v.], and made war in Anglesey, for the Welsh had made an alliance with the Northmen of Ireland. The earls treated the Welsh with great cruelty [see under Hugh, Earl of Chester]. When the fleet of the Norwegian king, Magnus Barefoot, appeared, the two earls met at Dwyganwy on the mainland, Hugh of Shrewsbury being first on the spot and waiting some days for his ally. They crossed over into Anglesey, and when the fleet drew near Hugh of Shrewsbury rode along the shore, spurring his horse, for he was in haste to marshal his men lest the Northmen should land before they were drawn up in battle array. As he did so the ships came within bow-shot of him, and Magnus and one of his men both shot at his face, for the rest of him was covered with mail. The king's arrow pierced his eye and killed him. His body was buried in the cloister of Shrewsbury Abbey, which had been built by his father and finished by himself. His death was much lamented. He was a valiant warrior, and, save for his cruelties to the Welsh, was gentle in manner and amiable in disposition. He does not appear to have been married, and was succeeded by his brother Robert of Bellême.

[Orderic, pp. 578, 581, 708 (Duchesne); Ann. Cambr. p.26 (Rolls Ser.); Brut y Tywysogion, pp. 61, 63, 66 (Rolls Ser.); Anglo-Saxon Chron. ann. 1094, 1098 (Rolls Ser.);Florence,an.1098 (Engl.Hist. Soc.); Will. of Malmesbury's Gesta Regum, iv. 306; Powel's Caradoc, p.155; Laing's Heimskringla, iv. 93, ed. Anderson; Giraldus Cambr. Itin. Kambr. ii. 7, Op. vii. 128, 129 (Rolls Ser.); Dugdale's Baronage, p.26, Monasticon, iii. 520; Freeman's Norman Conq. v.113; Freeman's William Rufus,i. 57, 473, ii. 62,129-47.]

W. H.