St Hugh of Lincoln
Hugh of Lincoln was born in Avalon, in Burgundy, France in 1135. His father was William, the noble Lord Avalon, who withdrew to a monastery after the death of his wife. Hugh became a Carthusian priest, eventually working as procurator until 1180. Henry II then requested his talents to set up a priory at Witham in Somerset, before moving to become Bishop of Lincoln in September 1181. While he was bishop, St Hugh became famous for his unbounded charity to the poor and to those suffering from diseases, such as leprosy. He worked tirelessly against injustice, and fought against racism towards the many Jews in Lincoln at that time. He was also a mighty builder, rebuilding Lincoln Cathedral, including the four bays of the choir which still exist today. St Hugh's emblem is a white swan, which is said to have developed a lasting friendship with the bishop, even guarding him while he slept.