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November or December 1191. In spite of the sentence, Earl John spent Christmas with the bishop of Durham at Howden. On 2 Feb. 1192 Geoffrey repeated his sentence, and rejected the offer of arbitration which Hugh made in the following month. Shortly afterwards the excommunication of Hugh was annulled by a papal letter, and delegates were appointed to deal with the dispute. After several adjournments the matter was at length decided in October 1192, and Hugh was ordered to make his submission (ib. iii. 171–2; Will. Newb. i. 371; Gerv. Cant. i. 513; Hist. Dunelm. Script. tres, App. p. lxiii).

In February 1192 Hugh had been sent to France by Queen Eleanor to mediate with the legates whom the pope had sent to decide the dispute between Longchamp and Walter de Coutances, but his intervention was attended with little success (Gesta Ricardi, ii. 246–50). Hugh was summoned by Walter de Coutances to the council held at Oxford on 28 Feb. 1193 to consider the measures rendered necessary by the king's captivity, and in April joined Archbishop Geoffrey in besieging John's castle of Tickhill. It was with reluctance that Hugh abandoned the siege on the conclusion of a truce, and when the war broke out again in February 1194 he collected a fresh force, and in the following month captured the castle ({{sc|Rog. Hov.} iii. 196–197, 208, 238). On 27 March he met Richard at Nottingham, and was favourably received; three days later he was present at the great council. On 11 April Hugh was appointed to provide for the escort of William the Lion to the court. Next day he went to his manor of Brackley, and there quarrelled with the king of Scots, who complained of his conduct to Richard. On 17 April Hugh attended the coronation at Winchester, and a week later was still with Richard at Portsmouth (Ancient Charters, p. 102, Pipe Rolls Soc.) Richard appears to have rebuked him sharply for his conduct at Brackley, and Hugh, observing the change in the king's disposition, thought fit to surrender his earldom of Northumberland, which was promptly bestowed on Hugh Bardulf (Rog. Hov. iii. 245–7; Vita S. Godrici, p. 178; Will. Newb. ii. 416). Almost immediately afterwards Bishop Hugh offered two thousand marks for a renewal of his grant, and refused to give Bardulf possession. Richard agreed to Hugh's request if security were given for the payment. Bardulf then cheated Hugh by a trick, and deceived the king, who ordered the bishop to be deprived not only of his county and castles, but of the two thousand marks and manor of Sadberge as well ({{sc|Rog. Hov.} iii. 260–1). On 29 Sept. Hugh came to York under a papal commission, and declared Archbishop Geoffrey's sentences against his opponents null and void (ib. iii. 273). He was still endeavouring to recover his position, and Geoffrey of Coldingham (p. 15) says that the king was appeased and Sadberge restored on payment of two thousand marks. According to William of Newburgh, Hugh wished to repurchase the earldom, and Richard, though he gave an evasive reply, offered, if Hugh would bring the money to London, to associate him in office with Hubert Walter. Hugh accepted gladly, and started southwards. On Shrove Tuesday (15 Feb.) he was at Craike, and on the following day came to York. From York he rode to Doncaster, where he was taken so ill that he had to proceed to Howden by boat. He reached Howden on 20 Feb., and, growing steadily worse, died there on 3 March. His body was taken back to Durham and buried in the chapter-house. Both Geoffrey of Coldingham and William of Newburgh assert that Hugh's death was due to his having partaken too freely of the Shrovetide feast at Craike. St. Godric was said to have prophesied that Hugh would be blind for seven years before his death, and the bishop, deceived by his unimpaired vigour, thought he had still long to live. After his death men interpreted the prophecy as referring to the moral blindness which immersed him for the last years of his life in political affairs (Will. Newb. ii. 439–40; Geoffrey of Coldingham, p. 15; {{sc|Rog. Hov.} iii. 284–5).

Hugh de Puiset was in many respects one of the most remarkable men of his time. In person he was tall and handsome, and preserved his remarkable bodily vigour till the end of his life. In public affairs he was keen and energetic, eloquent in speech, affable in manners, and prudent in action. His secular ambition and thirst for riches made him selfish, but he was nevertheless lavish and splendid in the use that he made of his power and wealth. His position as a bishop was unique in England; as earl-palatine of Durham he was a secular as well as an ecclesiastical potentate, and his secular authority extended over much of the present county of Northumberland, the whole of which lay within his ecclesiastical jurisdiction. Thus the duty of keeping the marchland between England and Scotland devolved naturally upon him. In Hugh's own case the importance of this position was enhanced by his long tenure of office, by the vacancy of the metropolitan see of York after 1181, and by his acquisition for a time of the earldom of Northumberland. Had he realised his ambitions to the full, he would have filled a place more exactly resembling that held by the