||Hugh (Avranches) d'Avranches was a member of aristocracy in the British Isles.|
Join: British Royals and Aristocrats Project
Cawley notes that Hughes "Lupus" d'Avranches, was the son of Richard "le Goz" Vicomte d'Avranches and his wife. 
C. P. Lewis, writing in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, notes that Richard Goz was vicomte d'Avranches and seigneur de St Sever, and that Hugh's paternal family were aristocratic landowners of viking descent in the Cotentin. 
Cockayne states not only that Hugh d'Avranches was the son of Richard le Goz, Vicomte d'Avranches, but that his mother was Emma de Contville. 
Cawley observes that 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 and states that 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 made in other primary sources which supports the contention that Hugues was the son of a duke of Brittany. Cawley suggests therefore that both lines of his parentage have been romanticised in this document to improve Hughes' status and reputation. 
Reflecting this more recent thinking, C. P. Lewis, writing in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, refers to Hugh's mother as "an unknown mother formerly identified on the basis of unsatisfactory evidence as Emma, supposedly a half-sister of William the Conqueror.  Based on this, the link to Emma Conteville as the mother of Hugh d'Avranche has been disconnected.
One of Hughes' sisters married Richer de l'Aigle and another sister married William, count of Eu,  William d'Eu apparently ill-used his wife, Hugh's sister, and following his involvement in the baronial rebellions of 1095, Hughes characteristically settled the score by insisting that William d"Eu receive the full punishment for treason: blinding and castration.
C. P. Lewis notes that in 1066 Hugh was still a young man and his father was vicomte d'Avranches; Hugh was not the ‘Viscount Hugh’ of the Ship List and is unlikely to have fought at Hastings.  Cawley notes that The Brevis Relatio de Origine Willelmi Conquestoris records that "Hugone postea comite de Cestria" contributed 60 ships towards the invasion of England in 1066  and Cockayne and others note that in 1066 he contributed 60 ships to the invasion of England, but Lewis appears to be stating that this was another Hugh.
Cawley suggests that there could well have been a first marriage but that no direct evidence has been found for one. Since marriage was normal for a young man achieving majority, it would be surprising if Hughes, born in 1047 and aged 21 in 1068, had not been previously married by the time of his documented marriage to Ermentrude by 1093.
Keats-Rohan refers to Hugh as the "father of several known bastards", but their mothers are not named.
An unknown daughter of a man named Dedol is shown by some popular genealogies as one of his mistresses.
King William appointed Hughes Earl of Chester. William had first. after securing Chester about 1070, installed a Flemish ally, Gerbod, as the new ruler of Chester, formerly Mercia, but Gerbod had been unable to maintain his position against assaults by the sons of Aelfgar of Mercia and their Welsh allies, and returned to Flanders. 
Cockayne reports that as a result William the Conqueror created Hughes d"Avranches the first Earl of Chester [England] in 1071. C P Lewis states that Hughes' first military command was Tutbury Castle in still unpacified Mercia; but probably in 1070 the king instead gave him the much more important castle in the regional capital of Chester and made him an earl. It was a significant promotion, shared, among the Conqueror's other regional commanders in Mercia, only by Roger de Montgomery, an older man close to the king.  who became Earl of Shrewsbury.
From the first the lands of Hugh's honour were essentially northern, with scattered and not especially valuable outliers over much of the midlands and south. Cheshire was the heart of it, not for its value—a third or less of the total—but for the importance of Chester itself and the fact that the earl received every manor in the shire except the bishop's. 
One reason given for the lower value of Cheshire manors at the time of Domesday was the extent of destruction required to turn Saxon Mercia into Norman Cheshire.
Hugh d'Avranches worked closely with a half dozen men of his generation in pacifying Mercia. C P Lewis observes that because Earl Hugh did not control the family's Norman honour until his father died, there was no existing baronage awaiting rewards in England, and that Hugh instead attracted a following of knights from various parts of Normandy, probably mostly young men of his own generation. A dozen or so of these young men became the core of Hugh's honorial baronage, each with a stake, often a compact fied, in Cheshire. These were backed up by other manors, usually more valuable, elsewhere in the country..
The leader of this honorial baronage was Hughes' older cousin Robert de Tilleul, who was prominent, along with Robert fitz Hugh of Malpas, William Malbanc of Nantwich, William fitz Nigel of Halton, and Hugh fitz Norman of Mold. A good two dozen lesser knightly tenants were endowed either in or beyond Cheshire, but not both. 
By 1086, Lewis notes, and probably long before, Hugh had arranged his estates in a clear and distinctive pattern, demonstrating a calculating liberality towards his men. He gave all the southern manors to his knights and kept some fifteen large northern and midland manors in demesne, not all in Cheshire but spaced around the honour, so that it was possible to travel in stages from Macclesfield to Leek, Repton, and Barrow (in Leicestershire), and then either north to the Lincolnshire estates or south to Coventry and Chipping Campden. All were market towns and the centres of large and productive manors.
Other notables in Hugh's honour included Roger (I) Bigod, William de Percy, and sheriffs Robert (I) d'Oilly and Edward of Salisbury. 
Chester was also the base for the conquest of north Wales, in which Earl Hugh was initially an equal partner with Robert of Rhuddlan. By 1086 Hughes had taken into his own hands Bistre and Iâl along the English border. Co-operating closely with the Normans of Shropshire, the earl had raided the distant Lly^n peninsula perhaps as early as the mid-1070s, and in 1081 he first laid a successful trap for one of the north Welsh princes, Gruffudd ap Cynan, and then invaded Gwynedd in force.
Noting Hugh's key companions, Orderic Vitalis records that “Hugonis de Abrincis filio Ricardi cognomento Goz...cum Rodberto de Rodelento et Rodberto de Malopassu” [Robert de Rhuddlan and Robert de Malpas] shed “multum Guallorum sanguinem” . 
Lewis notes that this represented a diversion of the earl's responsibilities in Chester. Lewis also notes that change may have been the occasion for Hughs' marriage. 
Cawley notes that 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". 
Hugh was the only lay tenant-in-chief in Cheshire. All other landlords were under him, except for two clerical ones.
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. 
Hugh's honour extended to the Cotentin in Normandy. William complicated Hugh's life by placing this honour under the authority of William's younger brother, the future Henry I. Earl Hugh was often in Henry's company but maintained an overriding loyalty to the king, acting as a brake on both when their disagreements threatened to become overheated. In 1091, for example, he detached himself from Henry when open war between the brothers looked likely, and thus helped to prevent its happening; and later he was instrumental in Henry's return to favour. 
Orderic Vitalis names “Hugonem comitem et Ricardum de Radveriis...Rodbertum de Molbraio” as the main supporters of “Henricus clito” who governed “Abrincas et Cæsarisburgum et Constantiam atque Guabreium” [Avranches, Cherbourg, Coutances, Gavray], dated to . 
Hughes was also frequently at William II's side, at his courts, and campaigning with him against the Scots in 1091 and on the Norman frontier in 1097–8. 
Robert of Rhuddlan's death at Welsh hands in 1093 left Hugh with prime responsibility for north Wales at the moment when a serious rebellion was breaking out. Hugh did not regain the initiative until 1098, when he and Hugh de Montgomery, earl of Shrewsbury, led a determined assault on Anglesey. 
Florence of Worcester records that, in 1098, Hughes and Hugh de Montgommery Earl of Shrewsbury led troops into Anglesey where they mutilated or massacred many of the inhabitants of the island. 
Despite Hugh of Shrewsbury's death, Hugh of Chester came away with booty and prisoners, and in the following year was able to install Gruffudd ap Cynan as the client ruler of the island of Anglesey.
Before 1093 Hughes married Ermentrude de Clermont, daughter of Hughes de Clermont [en-Beauvaisis] & his wife Marguerite de Roucy [Montdidier]. She died after 13 May 1106.  Orderic Vitalis records that “Hugonis de Abrincis filio Ricardi cognomento Goz” married “Ermentrudem filiam Hugonis de Claromonte Belvacensi”.  The Genealogiæ Scriptoris Fusniacensis refers to a sister of "comes Rainaldus" as husband of "comiti Hugoni de Cestre".  Ermentrude de Clermont was daughter of Hugues, Comte de Clermont and Marguerite de Montdidier
C P Lewis suggests was motivated perhaps to further Norman ambitions beyond the eastern frontier.
Ermentrude was still living in 1106 after her husband's death
As Keats-Rohan describes it, Hugh "was the subject of hostile treatment from Orderic Vitalis". 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". 
Lewis wrote that "The earl revelled in his wealth and status, indulging himself to excess in hunting, war, women, mountains of food, reckless expense, and lavish generosity to the knights and clerks of his household. He fathered many bastards, grew grotesquely fat, and fought the Welsh with a ferocity which embedded him in their memory as Hugh the Wolf. At the same time he was at least conventionally mindful of the perils to his immortal soul, and steadfastly and conspicuously loyal to successive kings."
Saint Seveur Abbey in Cotentin
Robert of Torigny's De Immutatione Ordinis Monachorum records that "Hugo vicecomitis Abrincatensis postea…comes Cestrensis" founded "abbatiam Sancti Severi in Constantinensi episcopatu".  m mDespite his enduring interests in the Cotentin, however, Earl Hugh owed his significance to the earldom and honour of Chester
Saint Werburg at Chester
Hugh founded the Abbey of St. Werburg at Chester and had apparently been laying plans for his own house at an early date, perhaps after 1075 when his minster church of St Werburgh was challenged in Chester by the relocation into the city's other major church, St John's, of the cathedral seat of the bishop of Lichfield. A crucial stage in the refoundation of St Werburgh's as a Benedictine monastery came in 1092, when Earl Hugh enticed to Chester no less a person than Abbot Anselm of Bec, who brought with him the monks who were to form the basis of the new monastic chapter. A lavish building programme may already have been under way, and the earl shortly endowed Chester Abbey with extensive possessions and encouraged a great many of his barons to give something too.
Hugh fell ill, probably in the autumn of 1100 or the following winter.
"…Hugonis comitis…" subscribed a charter dated 14 Sep 1101 under which Henry I King of England donated property to Bath St Peter. 
On 23 July 1101 he became a monk. 
In his last days Hugh took monastic vows at Chester and died in the abbey on 27 July 1101. 
The Annales Cestrienses record the death in 1101 of “Hugone comite Cestrensi”. The Annales Cambriæ record the death in 1101 of "Hugo comes Crassus urbis Legionum". 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”. 
Hugh d'Avranches died 27 July 1101. 
He died on 27 July 1101 at St. Werburg's, Chester, Cheshire, England. <ef name="note2"/> He was buried at St. Werburg's, Chester, Cheshire, EnglandG. 
He was buried in the abbey churchyard, but his body was later moved by his nephew Earl Ranulph I to the chapter-house. 
Earl Hugh was succeeded by his son Richard, who died in the wreck of the White Ship in 1120.
Earl Hugh had one confirmed legitimate son by his wife, and several illegitimate children by unknown mistresses. Keats-Rohan wrote that Hugo, Comes de Cestrie was the father of several known bastards including Robert, abbot of Bury and Otuer fitzCount; Geva, wife of Geoffrey Ridel was probably another of them.  Both Cawley and Keat-Rohan list the following:
Other Children with some Documentation
This child is not mentioned in any reliable source and has been disconnected as a daughter of Hugh Lupus.
Frauds and Children with No Documentation
These children have been disconnected.
Wolcott integrates into Earl Hugh's narrative some persons believed by Wolcott to be his relatives, but the relationship is not confirmed by others. Sir William de Malpas is one in particular:
Conquest: Sir William of Malpas serves new Lord
Wolcott notes that Sir William of Malpas was already in Cheshire when the Normans replaced the Saxon rulers. William was then about 40 years old and had 3 sons yet minors; we suggest he continued to serve his new Norman lord just as he had served the Saxon Earls and now held Malpas as a tenant of Earl Hugh.
1085 Lordship of Malpas to Hugh's Son
Wolcott states that about 1085, Earl Hugh settled the Lordship of Malpas (mostly a landlord's income stream, not actual possession of land) on his base son Robert-fitz-Hugh. For Wolcott, the base son, who became a monk and abbot, is the same person as Robert fitz Hugh who was a military companion of Hugh.
1085 Hugh's daughter Tanglust given to William of Malpas
Wolcott states that to mitigate the intrusion on the Baron of Malpas (giving property to Robert FitzHugh), Hugh gave one of his base daughters (Tanglust) as wife to William II, the eldest son of Sir William ap Gruffydd of Malpas. Wolcott adds that the two families (Robert fitz Hugh and the son of Sir William) continued their cordial relationship into the next generation, when a daughter (Mabel) of Robert married William III of Malpas
Tanglust's mother, a supposed mistress of Earl Hugh, is linked as Unknown Dedol . Dedol's birth was shown as 1078, but assuming Tanglust was at least 17, born 1068, when she was given to William in 1085, Dedol should be assumed to have been at least 17, born 1051, when she became Tanglust's mother.
Have you taken a DNA test for genealogy? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.
On 14 Nov 2017 at 16:29 GMT Jack Day wrote:
On 20 Apr 2017 at 16:21 GMT Steve Selbrede wrote:
On 21 Sep 2011 at 19:12 GMT Aran Stubbs wrote:
On 3 Mar 2011 at 14:34 GMT Krissi (Hubbard) Love wrote: