Little St. Hugh of Lincoln was an eight-year-old boy, a widow's son, who disappeared on 31 July, 1255. His body was found in a well nearly a month later, on 25 or 27 August. Because the well was on property owned by Jews, a canon was able to allege ritual murder. Under torture, one Jew allegedly "confessed" that it was customary to kill a Christian child yearly. Nearly 100 Jews were arrested, and 19 were hanged. This story is the basis of Chaucer's "The Prioress's Tale" and of Child ballad 155 ("Little Sir Hugh"). This "Saint" Hugh has never been canonized, and he must not be confused with the bishop St. Hugh of Lincoln, who was staunchly opposed to anti-Semitism and who died in 1200.
The Prioress's Tale is not wholly original: it is an even more bloodthirsty retelling of the story of Little Hugh of Lincoln.
Hugh the Little
Profile. Says that his cultus has been suppressed.
Little Sir Hugh (Child #155)
Ballad based on the story of "Little St. Hugh."
The mystery of St Hugh's Well, Lincoln
R.W. Morrell bought a 1910 postcard which allegedly depicted the well where Hugh's body was found. The building still stands, but the well shown on the postcard was a hoax.
Of the cruel treatment of the Jews for having crucified a boy
The story of Young Hugh of Lincoln, as told in Matthew Paris's Chronica Majora.
Article on Little St. Hugh of Lincoln, from the Catholic Encyclopedia.
Last update:August 17, 2015 at 19:07:14 UTC