Hugh Bigod, 3rd Earl of Norfolk

Hugh Bigod (c.1182 18 February 1225) was a member of the powerful early Norman Bigod family and was for a short time the 3rd Earl of Norfolk.

Hugh Bigod
Arms of Bigod (dropped post-1269 by Roger Bigod, 5th Earl of Norfolk): Or, a cross gules
Died18 February 1225
Title3rd Earl of Norfolk
Spouse(s)Maud Marshal
ParentsRoger Bigod, 2nd Earl of Norfolk
Ida de Tosny


He was born c. 1182, the eldest son of Roger Bigod, 2nd Earl of Norfolk by his wife Ida de Tosny.


In 1215 he was one of the twenty-five sureties of Magna Carta of King John. He succeeded to his father’s estates (including Framlingham Castle) in 1221.

Marriage & progeny

In late 1206 or early 1207, Hugh married Maud Marshal (1192 - 27 March 1248), daughter of William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke (1147–1219), Marshal of England, by his wife Isabel de Clare, 4th Countess of Pembroke. They had four, or possibly five, children:

Contrary to the assertion of Frederick Lewis Weis, Ancestral Roots, there is no evidence for a fourth son called Simon Bigod. A man of that name appears as a witness to one of Earl Hugh's charters (Morris, HBII 2), but as the eighteenth name in a list of twenty, suggesting no close connection to the main branch of the family. He is also named among the knights who surrendered to King John at Framlingham Castle in 1216. He was a probably a descendant of Hugh or William Bigod, half-brothers to Earl Roger II Bigod.

Simon le Bigot is recognized as the third son of Hugh Bigod in Francis Blomefield, 'North Erpingham Hundred: Felbrigg', in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 8 (London, 1808), pp. 107-119. British History Online [accessed 2 June 2019]. He is also recognized by Gary Boyd Roberts in The Royal Descents of 600 Immigrants to the American Colonies or the United States Vol 1 p528.


Hugh died on 18 February 1225. Very soon after Hugh's death, his widow Maud remarried William de Warenne, 5th Earl of Surrey.

Hugh Bigod in fiction

Hugh Bigod and his wife [Mahelt] are the main characters in Elizabeth Chadwick's To Defy a King. They also appear as secondary characters in novels chronicling their parents such as The Time of Singing (UK: Sphere, 2008) published in the USA as For the King's Favor; The Greatest Knight; and The Scarlet Lion.



    • M. Morris, The Bigod Earls of Norfolk in the Thirteenth Century (Woodbridge, 2005)
    • Cawley, Charles, Medieval Lands on Hugh Bigod, 3rd Earl of Norfolk, Medieval Lands database, Foundation for Medieval Genealogy
    • Cawley, Charles, Medieval Lands on Isabel Bigod, Medieval Lands database, Foundation for Medieval Genealogy
    Hugh Bigod, 3rd Earl of Norfolk
    Born: c.1182 Died: 1225
    Preceded by
    Roger Bigod
    Earl of Norfolk
    Succeeded by
    Roger Bigod

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