About Richardus Forestarius, (Ficticious)
Richard's genealogy and history were fabricated and if he existed, he was certainly not the son of Baldwin of Flanders. I am disconnecting him from Baldwin.
knighted after the battle of Hastings. He was sixteen years old in 1066 when he joined William the Conqueror, passing from Flanders to England after the decisive Battle of Hastings.
Sir Richard is popularly known as the son of BALDWIN V Count of Flanders, descended from the first Forester, Anarcher Great Forester, of Flanders, died A. D. 837. [See ANARCHER’s page for details of his life and the Counts of Flanders in the 9th – 11th Centuries]
However, histories of Baldwin V don’t show a child named Richard. While it is possible that a Richard Forster was knighted by William the Conqueror at age 16, he was probably not a son of Baldwin V, or a brother to Baldwin’s daughter Matilda who married William. My guess is his royal parentage was the invention of Frederick Clifton Pierce in his 1899 tome Foster genealogy, Part 1.
Perhaps Richard did come to England as a yeoman soldier or possibly a squire to one of William’s knights and was knighted for bravery after the battle of Hastings. However, his origins are obscure. Richard might have been from one of the Germanic provinces with Forster (with an umlaut over the ‘o’) as his place of origin, probably a well-known forest. Not many had true surnames in this time period and were known by occupational or place names. He may even have been the son of a forester.
It was after they had reached England that Richard was knighted for his service to William in the Battle of Hastings, and became Sir Richard. William gave him land on the Anglo-Scottish border in Nothumberland and Berwick Counties. Being on the border of England and Scotland, Northumberland has been the site of many battles. Our Forester ancestors participated in nine major battles between 1066 and 1415. Here’s a fun review of Medieval English Knights from a Forester (Foster) point of view. Characters from Shakespeare, the Lion in Winter, The Pillars of the Earth and Sharon Kay Penman‘s novels come alive.
In 1072, Sir Richard married and had one son, Sir Hugo. Sir Richard may have had other children, but they are unknown to history. Sir Richard stayed as a tried and true friend of the monarchy of England, and was a leader of men, usually into battle. Sir Richard’s heirs went on to become a large part of the history of England, whose lands resided mainly in Northumberland, England, and owned the castles in Etherstone, Bamborough, and several abbeys.
Richardus Forestarius, (Ficticious)'s Timeline
Vlaanderen, Flanders (modern day Belgium)