Rot. Claus. i. 40). According to a legend preserved in the ‘Book of Howth’ (p. 112), Hugh now banished the traitors who had betrayed John de Courci, and on their return through stress of weather had them all hanged. In 1206 he led an army into Tyrone, where he burnt many churches, but could exact no pledge from Hugh O'Neill. His power, however, was already making him obnoxious to the English king, and on 30 Aug. 1206 he was ordered to render obedience to Meiler FitzHenry the justiciar (Cal. Rot. Pat. i. 67). But next year found him at open war with Meiler, whose people were in consequence nearly ruined. In May 1207 King John wrote to the De Lacys and other barons of Leinster in consequence of their opposition to the justiciar, and bade them to desist from their attempt to create a new assize (ib. i. 72). The war, however, still went on, and in 1208 Hugh and Walter de Lacy captured the castle of Ardnurcher after a siege of five weeks, and also took the territory of Fircal (in King's County), compelling Meiler to leave the country (Four Masters, iii. 157; Loch Cé, i. 233, 239, gives date of siege as 1207). During 1208 Hugh was also engaged in warfare in Ulster, where he burnt several churches. Partly owing to the turbulence of the De Lacys during these years, and partly owing to the protection they afforded to William de Braose [q. v.], King John landed at Waterford in the latter part of June 1210. After expelling Walter de Lacy from Meath he marched into Ulster. Hugh retreated to Carrickfergus, and thence, before the king could arrive, fled in a small boat to Scotland (Annales Cambriæ, pp. 66–7 and note, Rolls Ser.) According to some accounts, the expulsion of the De Lacys from Ireland was due to their having treacherously slain Sir John de Courci of Rathenny (Grace, Annals, p. 25; Ann. Hib. in Chart. St. Mary, Dublin, ii. 311).
After a short stay in Scotland at St. Andrews, Hugh crossed over to France, where, according to a later legend, he and his brother Walter worked at the monastery of St. Taurin, Normandy, in the most menial offices. At length the abbot recognised them, and interceded with the king for their pardon (ib.) In point of fact, Hugh was not pardoned till long after his brother, and it seems probable that he was the Hugh de Lacy who took part in the crusade against the Albigensians; for the ‘Dunstable Annals’ allude expressly to him in this connection (Annales Monastici, iii. 75). However, William of Tudela's statement, that he was with Simon de Montfort in 1209, is clearly inaccurate; but there is no other obstacle to the identification. In 1211 he advised Simon to take the offensive against the Count of Toulouse, and in 1214 he appears as lord of Castelnaudry and Laurac. In 1216 he was with Simon at Beaucaire, and accompanied him to the siege of Toulouse, where he served during the next two years, and was present at the crusading leader's death on 25 June 1218. In 1219 he took part in the fight at Baziège (Chanson de la Croisade contre les Albigeois, Soc. de l'Hist. de France, see index; Recueil des Historiens de la France, xix. 181; Garland, De Triumphis Ecclesiæ, p. 86, Roxburghe Club). On 17 Sept. 1221 Hugh de Lacy had a safe-conduct to come to England (Sweetman, i. 1012), and accordingly returned soon after; the ‘Dunstable Annals’ add that he had been expelled by the Albigensians. On his arrival in England Hugh petitioned for the restoration of his lands. This was refused, but a pension of three hundred marks was granted for his support. In April 1215 Hugh had been informed that his brother had paid a fine on his behalf, but that his lands would be retained by the king on account of his neglect to seek pardon, ‘although we have been near to you’ (no doubt an allusion to John's French campaign in 1214). In July 1215 Matthew de Tuit, one of Hugh's knights, had leave to come to England to treat for his lord. The negotiation, however, seems to have failed; for in August Walter de Lacy received charge of some of his brother's lands (Cal. Rot. Pat. i. 134, 150). In November 1216 Hugh was again offered restitution if he would return to his fealty (Fœdera, i. 145, Record edit.)
After the refusal of his petition for restitution Hugh went over to Ireland without the king's consent, and in the summer of 1222 Cathal Crobhderg wrote to the king in complaint of Hugh's conduct (Shirley, i. 183). Hugh de Lacy had allied himself with Hugh O'Neill, destroyed the castle of Coleraine, and ravaged Meath and Leinster. Nevertheless, a scheme was proposed for the conditional return of Hugh's lands; but the intended sureties would not accept the responsibility, and it consequently fell through (Cal. Rot. Claus. i. 501, 527 b, 549 b). In 1223 Hugh went over to Wales, and joined Llewellyn ap Iorwerth [q. v.] in his warfare with William Marshal (Matt. Paris, iii. 82). Llewellyn was defeated, and Hugh then formed a fresh scheme for the invasion of Ireland, whither he returned by stealth early next year. He arranged for assistance to come from Norway in the summer (Shirley, i. 219), and rejoining Hugh O'Neill took up arms against the English and their Irish ally,