Lydéric de Therouanne, Forrester van Harelbeke (c.622 - 676) MP

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Nicknames: "Lyderic", "Lideric", "Liderie", "Childeric", "van Buc", "Ardennen", "de Therouanne", "van Harlebeke", "Vlaanderen", "Flandre", "Flanders", "Flandern", "Flandres", "Harlebec"
Birthplace: In a forest named 'without mercy', Buc, Flanders
Death: Died in Flanders, Normandy, France
Managed by: Robert Johan Belien
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About Lydéric de Therouanne, Forrester van Harelbeke

According to a very popular legend, in the year 620, the prince of Dijon, Salvaert, made his way to the Kingdom of England with his pregnant wife, Ermengaert. While traveling through Flanders, they fell into a trap laid by the local lord, the giant Phinaert. Phinaert had the prince and his men killed. Ermengaert fled and found refuge in the forest, at a hermit's home,where she gave birth to a son. She then died, leaving the baby with the hermit, who gave him the name Lydéric.

Lydéric soon learnt the truth about his origins, and, as a youth, went in search of Phinaert. He found him at the court of Dagobert I at Soissons. Lydéric then killed Phinaert in a duel, thus avenging his parents' deaths. Phinaert's lands were then given to Lydéric, and the young man founded the city of Lille in the year 640.

Links

Alexandre Dumas: Adventures of Lydéric

Rootsweb - Lydéric

Wiki - Legend of Lydéric and Phinaert -------------------- Appointed Grand Forester and Governor of Flanders by Dagobert I, King of the Franks in 621. Married Dagobert’s sister, Richilda, Princess of Merovingia. His 2nd son, one of 15 children, was named Antoine Forester de Flanders.

Forester, the forerunner of all others who bear the name in its many variations across early Europe, and since then, the entire globe.

His name was Lydric, only son of Saluart, Prince of Dijon. He was granted both the government and the fiefdom of Flanders by Dagobert I, King of the Franks in the year 621.

The entry about him in the old Flemish chronicle I found is a follows: "Lydric the first Lord of the name called Buc, only son of Saluart, Prince of Dijon and Madame Emgarde, daughter of Girard (Gerald) Lord of Roussilon, having conquered and killed Phinart the tyrant, the Lord of Buc was appointed the First (or Grand) Forester of the country of Flanders, in the year 621, by Dagobert, the King of Austrasia and of the Franks, and carried the first arms that are blazoned as being ‘garonny or et azur (blue and gold) of ten pieces in the middle of an escutchon gules,’ He died in the year 692." This coat of arms was one of the earliest granted.

(The origin of the title "Grand Forester" is unknown, but it probably related to the high importance of those titled officials who had complete charge and oversight of the very heavily wooded lands in those times. These huge forests were the most valuable asset of their royal owners, the kings, being such an extremely vital source of both timber and meat for their realms! The same significance of forestry and sylviculture applied just as much in Europe then as it did in England and Scotland.)

“Lyderic Le Buck governed Flanders wisely and humanely, until his death. In A.D. 640, he completed a castle on the bank of the river, which, from its insolated position was called "l’Isle," since easily changed to Lille. In this castle, Lyderic’s descendants and successors, as Foresters and Counts of Flanders, resided for several centuries. Guicciardine says its ruins were extant in his time.

About this castle, in time, grew the since famous City of Lille, Capital of Flanders, which once vied in importance with Lancashire, England, in the extent and value of its manufactures. It is still [1889] "one mean city" and contains some of the most valuable works of art in all Europe. The celebrated Hotel de Ville, built by Jean Sans Peur in 1430, contains forty four of Raphael’s paintings. The portraits of Lyderic Le Buc and several of his descendants, hang in the Musee in Lille.”

By Richilda, his wife, Lyderic Le Buck had fifteen children. His descendants who for fourteen generations after his death governed Flanders.

Dagobert I, King of the Franks. Ruled: 620 – 637 in Francia.

His reign was to be the culminating point of the Merovingian dynasty. Under Dagobert I, the Franks attained a position of great power and prominence among the European nations. However, despite his name and title being famed from the river Weser to Bohemia and across to the Pyranees, at home his authority was ill-respected. He discovered that he was the king in name only. His predecessors had virtually assigned their direct oversight of their kingdoms to their vassal Counts and Lords - to such a degree that these now almost overruled their own royal masters! The rights of the Counts were irrevocable and hereditary and they exercised them to the full over their respective territories, appointing judges and tribunals as they wished, without consulting the king.

Dagobert decided to set matters straight. In 621, he divided his kingdom into several provinces and bestowed their government to his most trusted knights. Among these was one Lyderic, the son of Saluart, Prince of Dijon. Apart from his excellent virtues and qualities, Lyderic was also Dagobert’s brother-in-law, being married to his sister, Princess Richilda. Lyderic’s mother was also Emingarde, the daughter of Girard, the Signour de Roussilon, a princess herself of the royal blood, of whose descendants one would eventually become wife to the Emperor of all France! In addition to all this, for having killed the tyrant Phinart, King Dagobert I also invested Lyderic with the government and fiefdom of all Flanders, gave him the name of “Le Buc”, the title of Grand Forester and a coat of arms to match. In this manner the long dynasty of powerful Grand Counts of Flanders came into being.

There were, of course, still another eleven Kings of Francia to follow Dagobert I in what were now to become nominal royal “figurehead” roles. However, Dagobert had at least created a single line of loyal Counts as the executive governors over the royal territories instead of all the melange of various and sundry “Jacks-in-Office” who had gone before.

Although it is to these powerful semi-regal Counts that the interest of modern Forsters and Foresters is now directed - starting with Lyderic Le Buc - I will at least mention the remaining kings, (even though they were to become such in name only from hereon), as a matter of common courtesy! They are as shown below).

              Clovis II.  637 – 655.         Clothaire III.  655 - 668.      Childeric II.  668 – 674.  

Dagobert II. 674 - 678. Theuderic III. 678 - 691. Clovis III. 691 – 695.

Childbert II. 695 – 711. Dagobert III. 711–716. Chilperic. 716 –721.

Theuderic. 721 – 737. Childeric III. 737 – 751


From this point on the dynastic line changes from the Thuringian to the Carolingian dynasty with which we are not concerned in this genealogical exercise!

(See the following website for further data: http://britannia.com/history/resource/france.hlml

The legend of "Lydéric and Phinaert" puts the foundation of the city of "L'Isle" at 640. Although the first mention of the town appears in archives from the year 1066, some archeological digs seem to show the area as inhabited by as early as 2000 BC, most notably in the modern-day quartiers of Fives, Wazemmes, and Old Lille.

The name Lille comes from insula or l'Isla, since the area was at one time marshy. This name was used for the Counts of Flanders' castle, built on dry land in the middle of the marsh. The Count of Flanders controlled a number of old Roman cities (Boulogne, Arras, Cambrai) as well as some founded by the Carolingians (Valenciennes, Saint-Omer, Ghent, Bruges). The County of Flanders thus extended to the left bank of the Scheldt, one of the richest and most properous regions of Europe. The original inhabitants of this region were the Gauls, such as the Menapians, the Morins, the Atrebates, and the Nervians, who were followed by Germanic peoples, the Saxons and the Frisians, and the Franks later. From 830 until around 910, the Vikings invaded Flanders. After the destruction caused by Norman and Magyar invasion, the eastern part of the region fell under the eyes of the area's princes.

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