By AE, Nov 17 2020 09:35PM
November 17th is the day on which the Anglican Church celebrates St Hugh of Lincoln and Avalon, Bishop. Hugh was born in Avalon, France, in around 1135, the son of a soldier. His mother died when he was eight years old, and six years later his grieving father entered a Benedictine monastery, taking his son with him.
At the age of nineteen Hugh moved to a Carthusian community at Grande Chartreuse, becoming a priest and a renowned man of God.
Henry II of England sent for Hugh in 1179 to take charge of establishing Witham Charterhouse, the first Carthusian house in England, and in fulfilment of Henry's penance after the murder of Thomas a Beckett.
Hugh found the the monks there in a sad state, and building work stalled, but he prevailed upon the king to supply materials, and the monastery was soon thriving.
In 1186 Hugh was elected Bishop of Lincoln, and had to immediately set about another building project, as the cathedral there had been badly damaged by an earthquake the previous year. Hugh is usually depicted with a white swan, in acknowledgment of the bond he had with a wild swan that lived in his garden at Lincoln. The swan accompanied him everywhere, but would let no one else near.