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Hugh "Lupus" d'Avranches
2nd Earl of Chester, Viscount of Avranches. Hugh was one of William the Conqueror's chief councillors and contributed 60 ships for the invasion of England in 1066. He was rewarded with vast estates. When Gerbod, earl of Chester, left England in 1071, the Conqueror bestowed his earldom on Hugh. The earldom was granted as a palatinate, giving Hugh powers greater than the norm under the feudal system. William's purpose in giving Hugh such strength was to allow him to function as the main bulwark against his Welsh adversaries. "Extravagant without being liberal he loved show, was always ready for war, and kept an army rather than a household. An inordinate craving for sport lead him to lay waste his own lands that he might have more space for hunting and hawking. He was gluttonous and sensual, becoming so unwieldy that he could scarcely walk, and was generally styled ÔHugh the Fat;Õ he had many children by different mistresses. His wars with the Welsh were carried on with a savage ferocity, which made the name 'Wolf" [Lupus] bestowed on him in later days an appropriate designation. At the same time he was a wise counsellor, a loyal subject. . ." In the rebellion of 1088, he remained faithful to William Rufus. In 1098, he and Hugh [son of Roger of Montgomery], earl of Shrewsbury, completed the conquest of Anglessy and subdued the larger part of northern Wales. Between the death of King Rufus in 1100 and his own death in 1101, Hugh was one of the principal councillors of the new King Henry I. Having founded the abbeys of St. Sever in Normandy and St. Werburg at Chester, besides largely endowing that of Whitby, Yorkshire, he became a monk on July 23, 1101, and died four days later. CP notes that Òhis career was chiefly notorious for gluttony, prodigality and profligacy.Ó He was buried in the cemetery of St. Werberg, but his body was later removed to the Chapter House by earl Ranulph le Meschin.
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