Saturday, November 16, 2013

Hugh of Lincoln (1135 - 1200 )

 Hugh was suited to the monastic life, becoming a deacon at the age of nineteen. About 1159 he was sent to be prior of the nearby monastery at saint Maximus, presumably already a priest. From that community, he left the Benedictine Order and entered the Grande Chatruse then at the height of its reputation for the rigid austerity of its rules and the earnest piety of its members. There he rose to become Proctor of his new Order, in which office he served until he was sent in 1179 to become prior of the Witham Charterhouse in Somerset, the first Carthusian house in England.

Hugh was consecrated Bishop of Lincoln on 21 September 1186 at Wesminster Almost immediately he established his independence of the King, excommunicating a royal forester and refusing to seat one of Henry's courtly nominees as a prebendary of Lincoln, but softened the king's anger by his diplomatic address and tactful charm. As a bishop he was exemplary, constantly in residence or traveling within his diocese, generous with his charity, scrupulous in the appointments he made. He raised the quality of education at the cathedral school. Hugh was also prominent in trying to protect the Jews, great numbers of whom lived in Lincoln, in the persecution they suffered at the beginning of Richard I's reign, and he put down popular violence against them in several place

he began a restoration project at the gothic style Lincoln Cathedralhowever, he only lived to see the choir well begun. In 1194, he expanded the St Mary Magdalen Church in Oxford.

As one of the premier bishops of the Kingdom of England Hugh more than once accepted the role of diplomat to France for Richard and then for King John in 1199, a trip that ruined his health. He consecrated St Giles Church Oxford , in 1200. There is a cross consisting of interlaced circles cut into the western column of the tower that is believed to commemorate this. Also in commemoration of the consecration,  St Giles Fair was established and continues to this day each September.  

While attending a national council in London, he was stricken with an unnamed ailment, and died two months later on 16 November 1200. He was buried in Lincoln Cathedral.

compiled from several sources

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