His parentage is said by some to be unclear, but G. W. S. Barrow, in his Anglo-Norman era states: "it seems probable that the father of William, and the first Hugh de Morville, was the Richard de Morville who witnessed charters by Richard de Redvers for Montebourg and the church of St. Mary in the castle of Néhou in the early twelfth century.
Hugh came from Morville in the Cotentin Peninsula, territory controlled by David since it had been given to him by King Henry I of England some time after 1106. It must have been sometime soon after 1106 that Hugh joined David's small French household followers and military retinue. In 1113 David became Earl of Huntingdon-Northampton (by marriage) and Prince of the Cumbrians, after forcing his brother Alexander, King of Scots, to hand over territory in southern "Scotland". David achieved this with his French followers
David endowed Hugh with the estates of Bozeat and Whissendine from his Huntingdon earldom, and the baronies of Lauderdale and (perhaps later) Cunningham in Scotland. During David's take-over of northern England after 1136, Hugh was also given the lordship of Appleby - essentially northern Westmorland. After the death of Edward, Constable of Scotland, almost certainly in 1138 at the Battle of the Standard, Hugh was given this position.
In 1150 Hugh made a further mark on the history of southern Scotland by founding Dryburgh Abbey for Premonstratensian canons regular. Hugh eventually retired there as a canon, soon before his death in 1162. An ancient memorial to him in the South wall is said to mark his burial-place.
Hugh married Beatrice, the heiress of Houghton Conquest, and daughter of Robert de Beauchamp, a son of Hugh de Beauchamp of Bedford. They had at least two sons and two daughters, including his successor, Richard de Morville. Another son, Hugh de Morville, Lord of Westmorland, was a principal player in the assassination of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury. He subsequently fell out of favour with the king and was forfeited (1174) when the Lordship of Westmorland (which he had inherited from his father who had received it from David I) was granted to his sister, Maud. Hugh II's other sister, Joan (d.1247), married Richard, a younger son of Ralph Gernon of Bakewell, Derbyshire.