StHugh&Swan.ArtInstChgo

St. Hugh and the Swan, which followed him around everywhere he went. Hugh grew up in the Grande Chartreuse monastery in France, motherhouse of the Carthusians, and was brought to England by Henry II to lead a Carthusian house as part of the king’s campaign of atonement for the murder of Thomas Becket. He built the Witham Charterhouse on a royal estate, and made the king compensate tenants who were displaced. Later he admonished the king about keeping bishoprics vacant so he could pocket their income. Henry finally convened a council to fill the vacancies and Hugh was elected Bishop of Lincoln, but he didn’t trust the outcome and demanded that the cathedral chapter be able to elect their own bishop; they too picked him. In office he was noted for protecting the sizable Jewish population from persecution at the beginning of Richard I’s reign. (Altarpiece at St.-Honoré Charterhouse, Thuison, France)

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