Hugh of Lincoln, Saint

Hugh of Lincoln, Saint, 1140–1200, bishop of Lincoln, b. Avalon, Burgundy, of a noble family. He was educated and made his profession at the priory of Augustinian canons at Villarbenoît. Hugh joined (c.1160) the Carthusians at age 25, rising to become procurator general. About 1176 he was, at the request of King Henry II, sent to England to become prior of the charterhouse founded by Henry at Witham, Somerset. In 1186 he was consecrated bishop of Lincoln. He opposed Henry's forest laws and his demands for the preferment of unworthy courtiers. In 1198 he was spokesman for the barons in their refusal of money to Richard I and was also in conflict with Richard's successor, John. But the bishop's high courage, devotion to religion and justice, and ready tact helped him to convert the angry royal brothers to his own views. He was noted for his charity, love of the poor and oppressed, and the holiness of his life. He partially rebuilt Lincoln Cathedral, where his shrine was a place of pilgrimage until the Reformation. He is also known as St. Hugh of Avalon. Feast: Nov. 17.

See D. H. Farmer, St. Hugh of Lincoln (1985).

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