Name: Count Hugh D'AVRANCHES
Burial: Chester Cathedral, Chester, Cheshire, England
Title: 1st Earl of Chester
Birth: 1055 in Avranches, Manche, Basse-Normandie, France
LONG: W1.3667 1
Death: 27 JUL 1101 in St Werburgs Abbey, Chester, Cheshire, England 1
Hugh d'Avranches (died 27 July 1101), called the Fat or the Wolf (Lati n: Lupus, Welsh: Flaidd), was the first Earl of Chester and one of th e great magnates of early Norman England.
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Title: 01 Nobility
Hugh was the son of Richard Goz, Viscount of Avranches, in the far sou thwest of Normandy, and inherited from his father a large estate, no t just in the Avranchin but scattered throughout western Normandy.
Hugh became an important councillor of William, Duke of Normandy. He c ontributed sixty ships to the invasion of England, but did not fight a t Hastings, instead being one of those trusted to stay behind and gove rn Normandy.
 Earl of Chester
After William became king of England, Hugh was given the command of Tu tbury Castle in Staffordshire, but in 1071 he was promoted to become E arl of Chester, with palatine powers in view of Cheshire's situa tion on the Welsh border. Tutbury with its surrounding lands was passe d to Henry de Ferrers.
Hugh spent much of his time fighting savagely with his neighbours in W ales. Together with his cousin Robert of Rhuddlan he subdued a good pa rt of northern Wales. Initially Robert of Rhuddlan held north-east Wal es as a vassal of Hugh. However in 1081 Gruffydd ap Cynan King of King dom of Gwynedd was captured by treachery at a meeting near Corwen. Gru ffydd was imprisoned by Earl Hugh in his castle at Chester, but it wa s Robert who took over his kingdom, holding it directly from the king . When Robert was killed by a Welsh raiding party in 1088 Hugh took ov er these lands, becoming ruler of most of North Wales, but he lost Ang lesey and much of the rest of Gwynedd in the Welsh revolt of 1094, le d by Gruffydd ap Cynan, who had escaped from captivity.
In time Hugh became so fat he could hardly walk; he is often referre d to as "the Fat". The Welsh, for his brutality, called him Flaidd ("t he Wolf").
 Norwegian invasion
Plaque commemorating Hugh d'Avranches in Avranches
In the summer of 1098 Hugh joined with Hugh of Montgomery, 2nd Earl o f Shrewsbury in an attempt to recover his losses in Gwynedd. Gruffyd d ap Cynan retreated to Anglesey, but then was forced to flee to Irela nd when a fleet he had hired from the Danish settlement in Ireland cha nged sides. The situation was changed by the arrival of a Norwegian fl eet under the command of King Magnus III of Norway, also known as Magn us Barefoot, who attacked the Norman forces near the eastern end of th e Menai Straits. Earl Hugh of Shrewsbury was killed by an arrow said t o have been shot by Magnus himself. The Normans were obliged to evacua te Anglesey, and the following year Gruffydd returned from Ireland t o take possession again. Hugh apparently made an agreement with him an d did not again try to recover these lands.
 Marriage and succession
Hugh married Ermentrude of Claremont, by whom he had one son, Richard , who succeeded him. Richard married Matilda of Blois, daughter of Ste phen, Count of Blois and Adela, a daughter of William the Conqueror. B oth Richard and Matilda died in the White Ship disaster (1120), and Hu gh was then succeeded by his nephew Ranulph le Meschin, Earl of Cheste r. Hugh was buried beneath the stained glass windows in the Chapter Ho use of Chester Cathedral.
Father: Viscount Richard D'AVRANCHES b: 13 OCT 1025 in Avranches, Manche, Basse-Normandie, France
Mother: Viscountess Emma DE CONTEVILLE b: 30 APR 1039 in Conteville, Calvados, Basse-Normandie, France
Countess Ermentrude of CLAREMONT b: AFT 1055
- Baroness Maud D'AVRANCHES b: 1052 in Sudeley, Gloucestershire, England