Hugues "Vras" "Le Gros" "Lupus" d'Avranches, 1st Earl of Chester (1047 - 1101) MP

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Nicknames: "Vras/Lupus", "Vras", "Lupus", "Le Gros", "Vraz", "Hugh "Vras" "Le Gros" "Lupus" /D'Avranches/", "The Fat", "the Fat"
Birthplace: Halton, Cheshire, England OR Capelle-les-Grands, Eure, Upper Normandy, France OR, Avranches, Manche, Normandy, France
Death: Died in Chester, Cheshire, England
Occupation: Earl of Chester
Managed by: Michael Kevin Dolan, Sr.
Last Updated:

About Hugues "Vras" "Le Gros" "Lupus" d'Avranches, 1st Earl of Chester

Hugh "Lupus" d'Avranches, 1st Earl of Chester, Vicomte d'Avranches

Grandson of William the Conqueror.

B: abt 1047 Normandy, France D: 27 Jul 1101 St. Werburg's Abbey, Cheshire, England

Many members of his family died in the White Ship disaster.

Marriage(s)

  • Spouse: Ermentrude de Clermont
  • ??Spouse: Geva de Burci (Some online trees claim this but I have not yet found hard evidence; she may have been a mistress, but she also had several husbands and children by them--PW)
  • Various mistresses

Children:

Orderic Vitalis claimed that he had "a numerous progeny of sons and daughters by his concubines."

Hugh d'Avranches is credited as siring children to many mistresses. He married Ermentrude of Claremont, by whom he had a son, Richard, and a daughter, Matilda d'Avranches.

Other children credited to Hugh and Ermentrude include Maud d'Avranches, Robert FitzHugh I, Hugh (Lupus) d'Avranches II, Helga de Kevelioc, and Geva d'Avranches.

Allegedly illegitimate children include Robert d'Avranche, Otuel d'Avranches, and Giofu d'Avranches.Robert D'Avranche, possibly Fitzhugh, Baron Malpas.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_d'Avranches,_1st_Earl_of_Chester

Hugh d'Avranches

  • Born c. 1047[1][2]
  • Died 27 July 1101[2]
  • Resting place: St Werburgh's Abbey, Chester
  • Other names le Gros (the Fat)[1][2]; Lupus (Wolf)[2]
  • Ethnicity Norman French
  • Title Earl of Chester
  • Term 1071–1101
  • Predecessor Gherbod, born 1036 – d. 1071 A Flemish noble. Ist Norman Earl 1070-71.
  • Successor Richard d'Avranches, 2nd Earl of Chester
  • Spouse(s) Ermentrude of Claremont[1][2]

Hugh d'Avranches (born circa 1047 – died 27 July 1101), also known as le Gros (the fat[1]) and Lupus (Wolf[2]), was the second Norman Earl of Chester[1] (2nd creation) and one of the great magnates of early Norman England.

Early career

Hugh was the son of Richard le Goz, Viscount of Avranches and Emma de Conteville,[1][2] and inherited from his father a large estate, not just in the Avranchin but scattered throughout western Normandy. The Avranchin is located on the Contentin Peninsula of northern France, just east of Mont-Saint-Michel; it is among the areas (illegally) granted under the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte to Normandy by the Kingdom of France that had previously belonged to the Duchy of Brittany.

Hugh became an important councillor of William, Duke of Normandy. His father contributed sixty ships to the invasion of England, his presence on Senlac Hill in 1066 if not proved, was possible. His father remained in Normandy both to protect the duchy and because he was ill, so Hugh may have been his representative at Hastings.[1]

Earl of Chester

Hugh was given the command of Tutbury Castle in Staffordshire after Duke William became William I of England. In 1071, Gerbod the Fleming, the first Earl of Chester was taken prisoner at the Battle Of Cassel in France. Taking advantage of the circumstances, the king declared his title vacant, giving Hugh the Earldom (of the second creation).[2] The new Earl was also given palatine powers in view of Cheshire's strategic location on the Welsh Marches.[1][3][4] On Hugh's promotion, Tutbury and its surrounding lands were passed to the Norman Knight, Henry de Ferrers, who had also fought with William I at the Battle of Hastings.[5] In 1082, Hugh succeeded to the title of Vicomte d'Avranches.[1]

During his lifetime, the Earl founded the Benedictine Abbeys of Saint-Sever, Normandy and St. Werburgh in Chester as well as giving land endowments to Whitby Abbey, North Yorkshire.[1][2]

Hugh remained loyal to King William II during the rebellion of 1088. He later served Henry I as one of his principal councillors at the royal court.[2]

Wales

Hugh spent much of his time fighting with his neighbours in Wales. Together with his cousin Robert of Rhuddlan he subdued a good part of northern Wales. Initially Robert of Rhuddlan held north-east Wales as a vassal of Hugh. However in 1081 Gruffudd ap Cynan King of Kingdom of Gwynedd was captured by treachery[citation needed] at a meeting near Corwen. Gruffudd was imprisoned by Earl Hugh in his castle at Chester, but it was Robert who took over his kingdom, holding it directly from the king. When Robert was killed by a Welsh raiding party in 1093 Hugh took over these lands, becoming ruler of most of North Wales, but he lost Anglesey and much of the rest of Gwynedd in the Welsh revolt of 1094, led by Gruffudd ap Cynan, who had escaped from captivity.

Norwegian invasion

In the summer of 1098 Hugh joined forces with Hugh of Montgomery, 2nd Earl of Shrewsbury, in an attempt to recover his losses in Gwynedd. Gruffudd ap Cynan retreated to Anglesey, but then was forced to flee to Ireland when a fleet he had hired from the Danish settlement in Ireland changed sides. The situation was changed by the arrival of a Norwegian fleet under the command of King Magnus III of Norway, also known as Magnus Barefoot, who attacked the Norman forces near the eastern end of the Menai Straits. Earl Hugh of Shrewsbury was killed by an arrow said to have been shot by Magnus himself. The Normans were obliged to evacuate Anglesey, and the following year Gruffydd returned from Ireland to take possession again. Hugh apparently made an agreement with him and did not again try to recover these lands.

Marriage and succession

Hugh due to his gluttony became so fat that he could hardly walk, earning him the nickname of le Gros (the Fat). He would also earn the nickname Lupus (Wolf) for his savage ferocity against the Welsh.[2] Hugh d'Avranches is credited as siring children to many mistresses.[2] He married Ermentrude of Claremont, by whom he had a son, Richard, and a daughter, Matilda d'Avranches.[1] Other children accredited to Hugh and Ermentrude include Maud d'Avranches, Robert FitzHugh I, Hugh (Lupus) d'Avranches II, Helga de Kevelioc, and Geva d'Avranches.[2]

Allegedly illegitimate children include Robert d'Avranche, Otuel d'Avranches, and Giofu d'Avranches.[1][2] Robert D'Avranche, possibly Fitzhugh, Baron Malpas. He received many of the local manors held by Edwin the last Saxon Earl of Mercia d1071. Edwin was the son of Leofric,Saxon Earl of Mercia. Leofric was the first holder of the title Earle of Chester.

On 23 July 1101, Hugh became a monk and died four days later, being buried in the cemetery of St. Werburgh. His body was later moved by earl Ranulf le Meschin and reburied in the Chapter House.[2] He was succeeded as Earl of Chester by his son Richard, who married Matilda of Blois, a granddaughter of William the Conqueror. Both Richard and Matilda died in the White Ship disaster (1120), and Hugh was then succeeded by his nephew Ranulph le Meschin, Earl of Chester.

Peerage of England Preceded by Created Earl of Chester 1071–1101 Succeeded by Richard d'Avranches

References

  1. The Peerage - Hugh d'Avranches
  2. Earl of Chester Hugh (le Gros) d'Avranches (see General notes for information from Burkes Peerage) http://familytrees.genopro.com/Azrael/dAvranches-Hugh-ind06869.htm
  3. Cunliffe, Barry W. (2001). The Penguin atlas of British & Irish history. Penguin. p. 72. ISBN 978-0-14-100915-5. Retrieved 30 December 2010.
  4. The New Encyclopaedia Britannica: Micropaedia. Encyclopaedia Britannica. 1995. p. 180. ISBN 978-0-85229-605-9. Retrieved 30 December 2010.
  5. C. P. Lewis, ‘Avranches, Hugh d', first earl of Chester (d. 1101)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 28 Oct 2007

_________________________________________________________________________________

Hugh d'Avranches was the son of a Norman lord, Richard le Goz, Viscount de Avranches and Emma de Conteville. Emma was the daughter of Herluin de Conteville a knight and Herleva, the Conqueror's mother, thus making Hugh William's half-nephew. Prior to his creation as Earl of Chester, Hugh held extensive estates in Normandy and had held Tutbury Castle for William.

Hugh Lupus Earl of ChesterHugh became engaged in fighting the Welsh, during which time he was given the nickname Lupus, meaning the Wolf, on account of his savage ferocity. He was aided by his cousin, Robert of Rhuddlan, in his campaigns and succeeded in subdueing part of North Wales. Hugh captured and imprisoned Gruffydd ap Cynan, King of Gwynedd. The Welsh prince was held prisoner at Chester Castle and his lands were granted to Hugh's kinsman Robert of Rhudlan. Robert himself was killed fighting the Welsh in 1088 whereupon Hugh took control of his lands, making him the virtual ruler of much of North Wales. Gruffydd of Gwynedd escaped and led a Welsh revolt against Norman rule in 1094, when Hugh lost Anglesey and much of the rest of Gwynedd.

In the summer of 1098 Hugh marched again into Wales, to recover his lands, aided by Hugh of Montgomery, Earl of Shrewsbury, known as 'the Red'. Gruffydd retreated to Anglesey and later fled to Ireland. King Magnus III of Norway, also known as Magnus Barefoot, in alliance with Gruffydd ap Cynan, attacked the Normans to the east of the Menai Straits. Hugh of Shrewsbury was killed in the fighting. A Norse poet relates that Hugh of Shrewsbury was so completely enveloped in armour that nothing could be seen but one eye. "King Magnus let fly an arrow at him, as also did a Heligoland man who stood beside the King. They both shot at once. The one shaft struck the nose-guard of the helmet, and bent it on one side, the other arrow hit the Earl in the eye and passed through his head, and this arrow was found to be the King's." The wheel of fortune having turned once again in his favour, Gruffydd returned from Ireland in 1099 to reclaim his lands.

Owing to excessive gluttony, Hugh earned a second, less flattering, nickname, 'le Gros', meaning the fat. He married the Norman Ermentrude of Claremont, by whom he had sons, Richard, Robert and Hugh and daughters, Matilda, Maud, Helga and Geva d'Avranches, he also produced many illegitimate offspring.

Hugh had regarded the saintly Anselm as his friend, and displayed great liberality to religious houses. He transformed the Chester Cathedral into a grand Benedictine monastery, assisted by Anselm, who later became Archbishop of Canterbury In July 1101, suffering from a fatal illness, he became a monk at the Abbey of St. Werburgh, and died there four days later on 27th July, 1101. http://www.cheshirenow.co.uk/norman_earls_chester.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Foundation for Medieval Genealogy (Charles Cawley):

(summary)

HUGUES d'Avranches "Lupus", son of RICHARD "le Goz" Vicomte d'Avranches & his wife Emma [de Conteville] ([1047]-St Werburg's Abbey, Chester 27 Jul 1101[17]).

  • He is named as son of Richard "le Goz" by Orderic Vitalis[18].
  • A manuscript relating to St Werburgh´s Chester records that “Hugo Lupus filius ducis Britanniæ et nepos Gulielmi magni ex sorore” transformed the foundation into a monastery[19]. This suggests that the mother of Hugues may have been a uterine sister of King William, and therefore daughter of Herluin de Conteville. However, no indication has been in other primary sources which supports the contention that Hugues was the son of a duke of Brittany. It is assumed therefore that both lines of his parentage have been romanticised in this document to improve his status and reputation.
  • Robert of Torigny's De Immutatione Ordinis Monachorum records that "Hugo vicecomitis Abrincatensis postea…comes Cestrensis" founded "abbatiam Sancti Severi in Constantinensi episcopatu"[20]. The Brevis Relatio de Origine Willelmi Conquestoris records that "Hugone postea comite de Cestria" contributed 60 ships towards the invasion of England in 1066[21].
  • Orderic Vitalis records that William I King of England granted Hugues the whole of the county palatine of Chester[22] in 1071, whereby he is considered to have become Earl [of Chester] (as shown below, some primary sources do indicate the territorial attribution although it is unclear whether any of these documents were strictly contemporary).
  • He succeeded his father in [1082] as Vicomte d'Avranches.
  • An undated charter records the grant of pasturage rights "ad castrum Claromontis, Credulii, Gornaci, Lusarchiarum" to Saint-Leu d´Esserant by "Hugo comes Cestrensis" and "Hugo Claromontensis et Margarita uxor eius", later confirmed by "Rainaldus comes" with the consent of "uxore eius Clementia et filiis eius Guidone et Rainaldo"[23].
  • Florence of Worcester records that, in 1098, he and Hugh de Montgommery Earl of Shrewsbury led troops into Anglesey where they mutilated or massacred many of the inhabitants of the island[24].
  • "…Hugonis comitis…" subscribed a charter dated 14 Sep 1101 under which Henry I King of England donated property to Bath St Peter[25].
  • He founded the abbeys of Saint-Sever in Normandy and St Werburg in Chester, becoming a monk at the latter four days before he died[26].
  • Orderic Vitalis states that Hugues was "a slave to gluttony, he staggered under a mountain of fat" and was "given over to carnal lusts and had a numerous progeny of sons and daughters by his concubines"[27].
  • The Annales Cambriæ record the death in 1101 of "Hugo comes Crassus urbis Legionum"[28].
  • A manuscript narrating the descent of Hugh Earl of Chester to Alice Ctss of Lincoln records the death “VI Kal Aug” of “Hugo primus comes Cestriæ”[29].

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From FMG Medlands:

http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/ENGLISH%20NOBILITY%20MEDIEVAL.htm#_Toc321390465

HUGUES d'Avranches "Lupus", son of RICHARD "le Goz" Vicomte d'Avranches & his wife Emma [de Conteville] ([1047]-St Werburg's Abbey, Chester 27 Jul 1101[18]). He is named as son of Richard "le Goz" by Orderic Vitalis[19]. A manuscript relating to St Werburgh´s Chester records that “Hugo Lupus filius ducis Britanniæ et nepos Gulielmi magni ex sorore” transformed the foundation into a monastery[20]. This suggests that the mother of Hugues may have been a uterine sister of King William, and therefore daughter of Herluin de Conteville. However, no indication has been in other primary sources which supports the contention that Hugues was the son of a duke of Brittany. It is assumed therefore that both lines of his parentage have been romanticised in this document to improve his status and reputation. Robert of Torigny's De Immutatione Ordinis Monachorum records that "Hugo vicecomitis Abrincatensis postea…comes Cestrensis" founded "abbatiam Sancti Severi in Constantinensi episcopatu"[21]. The Brevis Relatio de Origine Willelmi Conquestoris records that "Hugone postea comite de Cestria" contributed 60 ships towards the invasion of England in 1066[22]. Orderic Vitalis records that William I King of England granted Hugues the whole of the county palatine of Chester[23] in 1071, whereby he is considered to have become Earl [of Chester] (as shown below, some primary sources do indicate the territorial attribution although it is unclear whether any of these documents were strictly contemporary). He succeeded his father in [1082] as Vicomte d'Avranches. An undated charter records the grant of pasturage rights "ad castrum Claromontis, Credulii, Gornaci, Lusarchiarum" to Saint-Leu d´Esserant by "Hugo comes Cestrensis" and "Hugo Claromontensis et Margarita uxor eius", later confirmed by "Rainaldus comes" with the consent of "uxore eius Clementia et filiis eius Guidone et Rainaldo"[24]. Domesday Book records that “Earl Hugh” held Bickton in Fordinbridge Hundred in Hampshire; Drayton in Sutton Hundred and Buscot in Wyfold hundred in Berkshire; his land-holdings in Dorset; and in numerous other counties[25]. Florence of Worcester records that, in 1098, he and Hugh de Montgommery Earl of Shrewsbury led troops into Anglesey where they mutilated or massacred many of the inhabitants of the island[26]. "…Hugonis comitis…" subscribed a charter dated 14 Sep 1101 under which Henry I King of England donated property to Bath St Peter[27]. He founded the abbeys of Saint-Sever in Normandy and St Werburg in Chester, becoming a monk at the latter four days before he died[28]. Orderic Vitalis states that Hugues was "a slave to gluttony, he staggered under a mountain of fat" and was "given over to carnal lusts and had a numerous progeny of sons and daughters by his concubines"[29]. The Annales Cambriæ record the death in 1101 of "Hugo comes Crassus urbis Legionum"[30]. A manuscript narrating the descent of Hugh Earl of Chester to Alice Ctss of Lincoln records the death “VI Kal Aug” of “Hugo primus comes Cestriæ”[31].

m ([1093]) ERMENTRUDE de Clermont, daughter of HUGUES de Clermont [en-Beauvaisis] dit de Mouchy & his wife Marguerite de Roucy [Montdidier]. She is named as the wife of Hugues by Orderic Vitalis, who also records her parentage[32]. The Genealogiæ Scriptoris Fusniacensis refers to a sister of "comes Rainaldus" as husband of "comiti Hugoni de Cestre"[33].

Earl Hugh & his wife had one child:

1. RICHARD d'Avranches ([1093]-drowned off Barfleur, Normandy 25 Nov 1120). A manuscript narrating the descent of Hugh Earl of Chester to Alice Ctss of Lincoln records that “Richardus filius eius” was “puer septem annorum” when he succeeded “Hugo primus comes Cestriæ”[34]. He is named as the only son and heir of Hugues and Ermentrude by Orderic Vitalis[35]. He succeeded his father in 1101 as Earl of Chester and Vicomte d'Avranches. William of Malmesbury records that Richard drowned with his wife following the sinking of the “Blanche Nef [White Ship]”[36]. The Continuator of Florence of Worcester names "…Ricardus comes Cestrensis, Otthuel frater eius…" among those drowned in the sinking of the White Ship[37]. m (1115) MATHILDE de Blois, daughter of ETIENNE II Comte de Blois & his wife Adela de Normandie (-drowned off Barfleur, Normandy 25 Nov 1120). Her parentage and marriage are recorded by Orderic Vitalis[38]. William of Malmesbury records that she drowned with her husband following the sinking of the “Blanche Nef [White Ship]”[39]. The Continuator of Florence of Worcester names "…neptis regis Comitissa de Cestria" among those drowned in the sinking of the White Ship[40].

Earl Hugh had three illegitimate children by unknown mistresses:

2. OTTIWELL [Otuel] (-drowned off Barfleur, Normandy 25 Nov 1120). He was tutor to the children of Henry I King of England. "…Otuero filio comitis…" witnessed the charter dated 1114 under which Henry I King of England granted the land of Roger de Worcester to Walter de Beauchamp[41]. His parentage is confirmed more precisely by the Continuator of Florence of Worcester who names "…Ricardus comes Cestrensis, Otthuel frater eius…" among those drowned in the sinking of the White Ship[42]. [m ([1116/19], as her second husband, MARGUERITE, widow of WILLIAM de Mandeville, daughter and heiress of EUDO de Rie, dapifer, of Colchester, Essex & his wife Rohese ---. The Genealogia Fundatoris of Tintern Abbey, Monmouthshire names “Margareta” as daughter of “Eudoni dapifero Regis Normanniæ”, adding that she married “Willielmo de Mandavill” by whom she was mother of “Gaufridi filii comitis Essexiæ et iure matris Normanniæ dapifer”[43]. According to the Complete Peerage, this genealogy is “probably erroneous” but it does not explain the basis for the doubts[44]. Her second marriage is suggested by a charter dated [1141/42], under which Empress Matilda made various grants of property including a grant to "Willelmo filio Otuel fratri…Comitis Gaufredi" (identified as Geoffrey de Mandeville Earl of Essex)[45]. The only contemporary "Otuel" so far identified is the illegitimate son of Hugh Earl of Chester.] Otuel & his wife had [one] child:

a) [WILLIAM FitzOtuel ([1120]-after [1166/75]). Empress Matilda made various grants of property including a grant to "Willelmo filio Otuel fratri…Comitis Gaufredi" (identified as Geoffrey de Mandeville Earl of Essex)[46]. It is not certain that "Otuel" was the same person as the illegitimate son of Earl Hugh, although as noted above no other person of this name has yet been identified. The co-identification appears confirmed by the following two charters. "Hugo comes Cestrie" confirmed a donation of land in Thoresby donated by "Willelmus filius Othuer" to Greenfield priory, Lincolnshire, for the soul of "patris mei Randulfi", by charter dated to [1155] witnessed by "Matilla matre sua…"[47]. "Willelmus comes de Essex" confirmed a donation of land in Aby and South Thoresby donated by "Willelmus filius Otueli avunculus meus" to Greenfield priory, Lincolnshire by charter dated to [1166/75] witnessed by "Simone de Bello Campo…"[48]. "…Willelmo filio Otueri, Rannulfo de Seis, Ingeramo Bagot…" witnessed the charter dated to the reign of King Henry II under which "Matildis de Stafford" granted land in Theddlethorpe, Lincolnshire to "Matildi filie Roberti filii Gilberti filiole mee", with the consent of "Johannis filii mei et Radulfi nepotis mei"[49].]

3. ROBERT (-after 1102). He was recorded as the son of Hugh Earl of Chester by Orderic Vitalis, who specifies that he was a monk at the abbey of Saint-Evroul , Normandy[50]. He was appointed Abbot of Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk in 1100 by Henry I King of England, but deposed in 1102 by Anselm Archbishop of Canterbury at the Council of London[51].

4. GEVA (-after 1120). “Geva, filia Hugonis comitis Cestriæ, uxor Galfridi Ridelli” founded Canwell priory, with the consent of “Ranulfi comitis Cestriæ cognate mei…hæredum meorum…Gaufridi Ridelli et Radulfi Basset”, by undated charter[52]. "Radulphus comes Cestriæ, Willelmo Constabulario et Roberto dapifero" confirmed the grant of "Draitune…in libero conjugio" to "Gevæ Ridel, filiæ comitis Hughes" by charter dated to [1120][53]. m GEOFFREY Ridel, son of --- (-drowned off Barfleur, Normandy 25 Nov 1120). He was granted Drayton Basset in Staffordshire.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Grand Pr De Carentan Smith Smythe and also http://www.trinity-aloha.org/smith/ gives the following outline:

>ECCEARD (ECCARD) SMYTH of Durham, circa 975
>> (28) Sir MICHAEL of CARRINGTON (SMYTHE), b. d. 
>>> (27) Sir WILLIAM of CARRINGTON (SMYTHE)
>>>>(26) Sir WILLIAM of CARRINGTON (SMYTHE) (1) Ann Farnell     (2) ?Coventree

Parents Marquis Lord Carent De Carenton Smith Smythe 1010 -- -

Spouses Marriage 1073 France, Auvergne, Allier, Beauvais

Sir Hamo Lupas of Carrington Smith Smythe Birth 1045 England, Cheshire, Carrington Death 1088 England, Cheshire, Carrington

Aged: 43 years Marquis de Carenton Lord Carenton of Normandy

= = = = = = = 

Grand Pr Sir Hamo Lupas of Carrington Smith Smythe

Parents Sir William of Carrington Smyth 1075 -- 1110

Child:

Sir Jordan of Carrington Smith Smy Birth 1095 England, Cheshire, Carrington Death 1135 England, Cheshire, Carrington

view all 33

Hugh "Lupus" d'Avranches, 1st Earl of Chester's Timeline

1047
1047
Avranches, Manche, Normandy, France
1060
1060
Age 13
1073
1073
Age 26
Chester
1073
Age 26
Malpas, Cheshire, Whitechurch, England
1073
Age 26
United Kingdom
1074
March 4, 1074
Age 27
Kevelioc, Monmouthshire, Wales
1075
1075
Age 28
1076
1076
Age 29
Chestershire, England
1078
1078
Age 31
Malpas, Cheshire, England
1094
1094
Age 47