Hugh de Stafford, 2nd Earl of Stafford, KG was an English nobleman.
Hugh was born around 1344, the second and youngest son of Ralph Stafford, 1st Earl of Stafford and Margaret de Audley. His elder brother, Ralph, was intended to inherit the title and had been married to Maud Grosmont, daughter of Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster and Isabel de Beaumont in 1344, with the expectation that he would expand the Stafford estates by inheriting had the Lancastrian duchy. However, Ralph died early in 1347 and Hugh became heir. Around 1358, Hugh became the 3rd Lord Audley. Hugh joined his father in the French campaigns in 1359, being part of the retinue of Edward, Prince of Wales, spending time in Gascony and northern Spain.
He spent many years in military service, before returning to England and being summoned to Parliament in 1371 as Lord Stafford and later as Earl Stafford. On 31 August 1372, he inherited the title of 2nd Earl of Stafford. He was a member of a number of royal commissions, such as ones on Scottish affairs and on coastal defence. He was on the committee of nobles who conferred regularly with the Commons, being deemed suitable by that House to be part of the new 'continual council' of state. He did not always make the best decisions though and was admonished by his peers for censuring the John Philipot, the London MP and merchant who had mobilised a fleet to defend merchant shipping.
On or before 1 March 1350, Hugh de Stafford married Philippa de Beauchamp daughter of Thomas de Beauchamp, 11th Earl of Warwick and Katherine Mortimer. They had seven children.
1.Sir Ralph de Stafford (c. 1354 – 1385). Ralph was killed by King Richard II's half-brother, Sir John Holland in a feud during an expedition against the Scots in May 1385, over a retainer's death by one of Ralph's archers.
2.Margaret de Stafford, (c. 1364 – 9 June 1396), married Ralph de Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland.
3.Thomas de Stafford, 3rd Earl of Stafford (c. 1368 – 4 July 1392). Inherited at age of 18. Married Anne Plantagenet, daughter of Thomas of Woodstock, 1st Duke of Gloucester and Eleanor de Bohun. No issue, the marriage was reportedly never consummated.
4.William Stafford, 4th Earl of Stafford (21 September 1375 – 6 April 1395). Inherited from his brother at the age of 14. He was a ward of the Thomas of Woodstock, 1st Duke of Gloucester. He died at 19, no issue.
5.Katherine de Stafford (c. 1376 – 8 April 1419), married Michael de la Pole, 2nd Earl of Suffolk.
6.Edmund Stafford, 5th Earl of Stafford (2 March 1377 – 22 July 1403), inherited title from his brother at the age of 17. He married Anne of Gloucester, the widow of his elder brother Thomas. The two were father to Humphrey Stafford, 1st Duke of Buckingham.
7.Joan de Stafford (1378 – 1 October 1442), married Thomas Holland, 1st Duke of Surrey. No issue.
Hugh's wife Phillippa died on 6 April 1386, and it was probably this combined with the death of his son that pushed him to undertake a series of pilgrimages. He went first to Walsingham and then sailed for Jerusalem. He only got to Rhodes, where he died in the hospital the knights of St John in October of that year. His bones were returned to Stone Priory, Staffs, for burial next to his wife.
Philippa de Beauchamp de Stafford
Elizabeth Stafford Cobham
Katherine Stafford Sutton
Beatrice de Stafford de Burley
Joan De Stafford De Beke