Ancestral Forsyths in Scotland
Clan Forsyth Society
New Zealand
In the seventh generation from Grimwald Forsyth and descending from his disinherited son, came Osbert de Forsyth. At that time he was the only descendant in the male line in the family, since the other male members had perished in the civil war of France. Osbert’s relatives in the female line, who had held the castle and the Fronsac estates for several generations, had divided the estates so that Osbert inherited very little. This led Osbert to leave France and go to Scotland, the land of his forefathers. At the time, Eleanor of Provence went to England to marry Henry III. Osbert, accompanied the princess, and had the opportunity to visit England. On such occasions, it was the custom to make up a convoy of ships. Eleanor was attended on this journey by all the chivalry of the south of France. There was a stately train of nobles, ladies and minstrels. Eleanor was treated with peculiar honors while on her way by Thibaut, the poet, King of Navarre, who feasted her and her company for five days and guarded them in person with his knights and nobles to the French frontier. She then embarked with her company, sailing from Bordeaux. They landed at Dover, and after a short stay in England, Osbert then crossed over to Armondale in Scotland. He bore the shield with the emblems of Fronsac and Angoulene beneath the demi-griffin crest of the Forsyths.

Between 1246 and 1250, Osbert is found established in Armondale, Peebles county, Scotland, where he bore the family name and emblems of Forsyth in Scotland. His place in Armondale was destroyed in the Bruce war after the battle of Bannockburn. The family also had a manor called Polmaise Merischall in Salkilh County, Stirling.

The journey of Osbert deserves special emphasis, since it was the turning point for life or extinction for the Forsyths. It might have been extinction had he not decided to leave the land torn by constant warfare where so many of his own blood had been killed. The Forsyths in every nation who have inherited the name are descended from Osbert.

Osbert had a son whose name was Wilhelm, who is recognized in the Chronicles of Scottish history as a feudal lord of County Peebles, who signed the Ragman Roll of Scotland in 1296. The Ragman Roll was an agreement to submit to the arbitrators of King Edward the claims of the thirteen competitors for the crown of Scotland, so that civil war between them might be avoided.

Wilhelm’s son, Robert I, who also signed the Ragman Roll, moved into Stirlingshire while Robert Bruce was fighting for his crown against King Edward. Robert and his son, Osbert II, became partners of Bruce. They took a prominent part in the battle of Bannockburn. After Bruce’s victory in this struggle he became king of Scotland. In gratitude to Osbert for the valuable service rendered in this most notable battle of all Scottish history, Bruce gave him a feudal grant of land in County Stirling.