Hugh of Lincoln, St.
HUGH OF LINCOLN, ST.
Carthusian bishop; b. Avalon, France 1140; d. London, Nov. 16, 1200. He was educated by the Austin Canons of Villarbenoit and was professed there at an early age. Soon he joined La Grande Chartreuse, where he became procurator some years later, In 1179 he came to the notice of henry ii, who made him prior of the languishing charterhouse at witham, which Henry had founded in partial expiation for the murder of Thomas becket. In a short time Hugh built a church and monastery, and the community's fervor attracted many recruits. Hugh became bishop of Lincoln in 1186, at the instigation of Henry II and under obedience to the prior of the Grand Chartreuse. At Lincoln he proved himself a firm and resourceful defender of the Church's liberties, a zealous pastor and incorruptible judge, a contemplative whose prayer bore fruit in tireless action and devotion to others. He won the affection and respect of Henry II, richard i, and john, even when he opposed and rebuked them. Moreover, his charity was extended toward lepers, children, the Jews, etc. He spent one month every year with his community of Witham. He rebuilt Lincoln Cathedral and established a notable clerical school there. On occasion he served as royal ambassador and papal judge-delegate. His funeral, at which three kings and three bishops carried his coffin, is depicted in contemporary stained glass in the Dean's Eye of Lincoln Cathedral. Hugh was the first of the carthusians to be canonized (1220), and Lincoln's principal saint throughout the Middle Ages. His most common iconographical attribute is his pet swan.
Feast: Nov. 17.
Bibliography: adam of eynsham, The Life of St. Hugh of Lincoln, eds. d. l. douie and d. h. farmer, 2 v. (New York 1961–62, repr. New York 1985). giraldus cambrensis, The life of St. Hugh of Avalon, Bishop of Lincoln, ed. and tr. r. m. loomis (New York 1985). The Metrical Life of Saint Hugh of Lincoln, tr. c. garton (Lincoln 1986), Latin and English. r. m. woolley, St. Hugh of Lincoln (London 1927). j. clayton, St. Hugh of Lincoln (New York 1932). d. knowles, The Monastic Order in England, 943–1216 (2d ed. Cambridge, Eng. 1962) 375–391. a. butler, The Lives of the Saints, ed. h. thurston and d. attwater, 4 v. (New York 1956) 4:370–374. d. h. farmer, "The Canonization of St. Hugh of Lincoln," Lincolnshire Archaeological Society of Reports and Papers 6 (1956) 86–117; Saint Hugh of Lincoln (London 1985). h. mayr-harting, ed., St Hugh of Lincoln (Oxford 1987), lectures delivered at Oxford and Lincoln to celebrate the eighth centenary of St Hugh's consecration as bishop of Lincoln.