Forsyths of the Castle of Fronsac
Clan Forsyth Society
New Zealand
In the meantime Carloman had entered a monastery and handed over his ducal rights to his brother, Pepin, who became the sole duke of the Franks. Pepin recruited his army from great warriors of the North to fight the Saxons and Lombards. Among these warriors was Fionnlock (Fion of the Lake), whose name is preserved in Fionne, an island off the coast of Denmark. Fionnlock was a royal Scottish chieftain who had gone to France to aid Martel. He was a relative of King Achaisus of Scotland, and one of the Scottish Auxiliaries among the Franks at this time. He was with the army that Pepin sent under two generals to intercept the army of the Lombards that Grippo had joined. He also bore the demi-griffin crest of his race

The encounter between the two armies took place at Maurienne. Fionnlock was a friend of Grippo, and in the conflict, he saw the Grippo’s griffin symbol and tried to rescue him from his enemies. The numbers were against Fionnlock and Grippo was killed. Other ties bound these two men. Fionnlock’s young daughter had married Grippo, whose death now left the widow with two little children in poverty and distress.

When Pepin died in 768 he left two sons, Charles and Carloman. Carloman survived his father by three years. Following Carloman’s death, Charles became sole king of the Franks. The reign of Charlemagne, the great Frankish lord, who in fact and legend filled the world, now begins. One of his first acts was to appoint councils to inquire into the condition of his people--nobles, clergy, merchants and peasants. News came to him of Grippo’s princely family. He learned of the courage and honor of Fionnlock, and of his daughter, Grippo’s widow, and of her two promising sons. His heart was touched and he took them under his care, adopting them as his nephews. They were often called his sons, but it would have prejudiced his own sons’ claims to divisions of the empire had he adopted them as sons. It was a stroke of policy since it excluded their claims on the empire that might have been derived from descent from their father, Prince Roderic (Grippo). The elder son, Roland or Ronald, became the greatest of the emperor’s paladins, and duke of the marshes of Brittany. He bore the demi-griffin crest. In the annals of chivalry, he was called the flower of ancient chivalry, and his exploits were painted by the poets. The second son, whose name was Forsyth, was born in 753. He was named from the Gothic prince Forsite, from whom he was descended. Forsyth became a count of the empire, and he and Roland both bore the griffin inherited from their father, Grippo, and as paladins and counts of the empire, they also bore the double eagle symbols of imperial office. Roland married a niece of Charlemagne, while Forsyth married a daughter of the Duke of Aquitania in 810.