Frédéric Gregory Forsyth de Fronsac.

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queathes his dictatorial authority in a definite manner. It
goes as a legacy, so that it shall fall to the Individual the best
born and not to the first discordant self, the meanest Barab-
bas, half-man of the crowd. What though the Individual who
inherits the power of Monarchy be not a genius, yet he repre-
sents the type of that government which genius has bestowed
as the most natural and orderly for human progress and hap-

The Monarchy, the government of the Individual, is the
only form of rulership wherein man prospers in his greatness.
Then the pride, the product and the hope of the race, are in
security. But so soon as the race is dissevered — breaking
from this, through a passing madness, like a rabid dog with
an hundred heads, whose brain has been turned by meaning-
less words and whose acts are already savored by the corrup-
tion of a dissolute society, or by some other ways — then
begins the abolition of the Individual. Every great man is a
Monarch in embryo, whom the race hastens to destroy, or
repulses to the pace of mediocres, in order that the embryo
shall not develop and the crown of human dignity be not
manifest on his brow.

The same servile bigotry and the desire for the drunken-
ness of license and disorder animated the crowd when tiic)-
demanded their Barabbas in their war against the Individual-

It is the difference of the Indivickial from the race thai
causes the race to be hostile to his endeavor and to desire to
destroy his Individuality. Yet it is the Individual alone, who
possesses the idea and knowledge of power and the ability of
leadership. It is the government of the Monarch alone, that


calls the great men of the state to surround the Throne by
their glory, and gives to each a place for his peculiar genius.
It is the government of the democracy — or that of the race
against the Individual — that crushes individual honor and
distinction, discourages glory before the rotting charms of
avarice and tramples the ambition of noble and high-minded
men beneath the feet of servile and contending factions.

It has been said, and truly, that the democracy is the gov-
ernment of races in a state of decay, and however it may be
brought about, or what might have been the excuse which
led to its introduction, the fact remains, that the flood-tides
of evil passion in the majority, by drowning each opposing
individuality, leaves the most abasing model of nonentity as
the fashion of mankind. With the government of such in
lead, the final disaster of the state approaches with a good


The Castle ForsatJi dc Fronsac, which gave a name to the
family, continued in the possession of the male line down to
the fourteenth century, when it was demolished in war, and
rebuilt. In 1344, at the time of which Froissart writes, it
had passed into the female line, the Cadet male line having
emigrated to Scotland, but of this later. (For Cadet line see
p. 5.) The castle was destroyed and rebuilt, but this time
as Chateau Fronsac. Several heirs and rivals for its posses-
sion, representing as many different families, all descended
from daughters of Forsath de Fronsac, carried on party feuds.
One of these occupied it against the wishes of the king, who
was the arbitrator of their dispute. He defied the king's
general, the Count Dunois, in 1442, to turn him out, beating-
back three desperate assaults of the king's army with great
slaughter before the castle was taken.

Odet d'Aydie, belonging to the prince!)' house of Foi.x,
then was recognized (1472) by the king as Mcouitc de Fronsac.
He was already llconitc dc Laittirc. At his death:

The Seigneur de Gie, Marshal of the Army (1491), was
the next Vicomte de T^ronsac. He was succeeded by liis
cousin :

Jacques d'Albket, of the princely family of Navarre. lb;
was also Marechal de St. Andre. The king, Henr\- II.
erected the title into Count dc /•'ronsirc in 1551. I lis relative :

Antoine de Lustkac; was made Mai'i/nis dc I'lvnsac \w

1555. The family of Lustrac was ancient and noble in Peri-

gord. They were Barons de Lias, and Seigneurs of Cana-

bazes, Cazarac, La Maritinie and Losse. Bernaixl de Lustrac



was Bishop of Rieux and President of the Estates of Langue-
docque in 1483. Jean de Lustrac married in 15 19 Antonia
Delhic and was grandsire of the above Marquis de Fronsac.

Previous to this, the family of Cainnoiit, whose descendant
was the Due de la Force, and a marshal of France, were
claiming the title of Comte de Fronsac. Through various
alliances the title passed next to a distant member of the
Ro}-al Family of France in the person of :

Francois u'Orleans-Loxgueville, Covitc dc St. Pol,
whose relative, Henry the Great, King of France, raised it to a
duchy in 1608. He died without issue in 163 i.

Arms of Lustrac : — Quarterly ist and 4th, gules three bars
argent ; 2d and 3d azure, a lion rampant or, crowned of the
same and armed and membered gules.

The family of Richelieu succeeded to the title and their
arms are: — Quarterly ist and 4th, or, three boars' heads
sable for Vignerot ; 2d and 3d, argent, three cheveronells
gules for Duplessis de Richelieu.

Arm AND Jeax Duplessis, Due de Richelieu, Prime Min-
ister of France and Cardinal, succeeded to the title of de
Fronsac in 1634. He was the son of Frangois Duplessis,
Seigneur de Richelieu, and of Susanne de la Porte, born at
Paris, September 5, 1585, and was descended from the Seign-
eurs Du Plessis of Poitou, tracing to Lord William Du Plessis
of 1 20 1. He had two sisters, who married, the first, Rene de
Vignerot, Lord of Pont-Couiiay, the second. Urban de Maille,
Marquis de Breze, Admiral and Marshal of France. Armand
de Richelieu was intended for the military profession, but he
was persuaded to renounce it and become Bishop of Lugon in
1607. In the assembly of the States General of 16 14 he was
Deputy for the Clergy of Poitou. He became next, confessor
of the Queen Dowager, and in 16 16 he became Secretary of
State for War and Foreign Affairs. He was made Cardinal
in 1622, and he was named a member of the King's Council
in 1624 which he dominated from the time he entered it until


his death eighteen years after, as absohite master of the des-
tinies of France. That country he raised from tlie third
power of Europe to the first place. He could say, as he is
made to say in Bulwer's Richelieu :

" I found France rent with heracies and bristling
With rebelHon ... I have recreated France and
From the ashes of the decrepit, feudal carcass, civilization
Soars on luminous wings to Jove ..."

He was a great general as his campaigns before LaRochelle
and in Italy testify, and although he was a Cardinal of the
Church of Rome, he was so liberal to the Protestants and
"heretics" that his enemies called him "Pontiff of the Cal-
vinists," and "Cardinal of atheists." His maxim was that if
a man is a good citizen and performs his civil duties that is all
that can be required of him. He appointed the Prince de
Rohan, a Protestant, to be general of the armies of P" ranee,
and he sent troops and money to aid Gustavus Adolphus, King
of Sweden and chief of the Protestants, in his fight against
Catholic Austria because the political interest of France re-
quired the humiliation of Spain and Austria, then her most
powerful enemies. No minister of France has left so great a
name as Richelieu, and when he died, December 4, 1 642, he
bequeathed the powers of monarchy consolidated for the ad-
ministration of King Louis XIV, one of the glories of whose
reign in literature and art may be traced to Richelieu's creation
of the French Academy — that protector of French genius.

Rene de Vignekot, Dug de Richelieu, Dl'g de
F"konsac, etc., succeeded the Cardinal, being adopted as his
heir and successor, he having married Richelieu's elder sister.
But as they had no cliildren the title j^assed, at his death, to
the family of :

Louis de Bourbon, Prince de Conde, who had married, in
1641, Claire Clemence de Maille-Breze, niece of the Cardinal
Minister, the Due de Richelieu and de h'ronsac. The I'rince



of Conde, surnamed the Great, was born in 1621. He was
General-in-Chief of the armies of France. His campaigns are
among the most glorious in the annals of Europe. He con-
quered Germany, Spain and Austria. Wherever he went he
bore the standard of victory. He was also the patron of
Corneille and Racine. The history of his life would make
volumes, and of his race, a library. His grandfather was the
Prince de Conde, the Huguenot, and cousin of King Henry IV".
He died December 11, 1689.

Armand Jean de Vignerot-Duplessis, Due de Riche-
lieu, Due DE Fronsac, General of the Galleys of France,
succeeded the Prince and Princess de Conde in the titles of
Richelieu and P'ronsac, being nephew of the Princess de
Conde, Duchess de P'ronsac, and her heir. He married Anne
Marguerite d'Acigne. His eldest son was :

Louis P^rancois-Armand de Vignerot-Duplessis, Due
de Richelieu, Due de F'ronsac and Marshal of P^rance. He
was baptized as the Due de Fronsac in 1699, being held in
the arms of the King and Duchess of Burgundy. He
entered the army as a musketeer and served so well at the
Battle of Denain, that he was named aide-de-camp to Marshal
V^illars. In Dumas' novels the story of Richelieu's implica-
tion in the conspiracy of Cellamare has the romantic flavor
of trying to release P" ranee from the odious ministry of that
Dubois, who had come into power with the regency which
succeeded the death of King Louis XIV, — and Dubois has
been well-painted by Dumas, especially in his book, "La Fille
(in Regiment!' On account of the elegance of Richelieu's mind
and talent his admirers had him elected to the P'rench Acad-
emy. In 1720 he was received in Parliament as a peer of
P" ranee. After the death of Dubois, he was relieved from the
jealousy of that minister. He was named in 1727 ambassa-
dor to Vienna. His success as a diplomat in defeating the
designs of Spain at the Austrian court established his reputa-
tion for wisdom and tact. In the wars of Germany which


succeeded he passed rapidly to promotions by his distinguished
bravery and military talents, being brigadier in 1733 and
Manxhal dc Cavip in 1738. He raised, armed and equipped,
at his own expense for the king, a regiment of dragoons called
Scptimcnic, of which his son, the young Due de Fronsac,
then (1744) but nine years of age, was named colonel by the
king, while the father was made lieutenant-general. But his
greatest success was the victory of Fontenoy, which his tact
and skill won from the English, after Marshal de Saxe and
King Louis XV had abandoned all hope of the day, and the
English were advancing to drive the French into the river.
The story of this is told in the Due de Eroglie's " Diplomatic
Contemporaine," published a few years ago in the Rev 11 c dcs
Deux Mondcs, at Paris. In 1748, sent with an inferior
French force, he was able to deli\-er Genoa from the English
and was proclaimed Liberator by that government and was
made marshal of France. It was at this time that Madame
de Pompadour was holding "high carniwal at the court of
F" ranee " as mistress of the king. She thought to do herself
honor by proposing to marry a daughter whom she had had
by Lenormand d'Etioles to the Due de Fronsac, son of the
Marshal de Richelieu. He gave his refusal in the following
manner : "That it would surely be too great an honor, but
that as his son through his mother belonged to the House of
Lorraine, it would be necessary for her to ask permission
of the head of that house, who was the empress-queen."
For this reply, Madame de Pompadour never forgave

In the campaign against England of 1756 he chased her
armies from Fort Mahon and in 1757 cont|uered Hanover
and captured the entire Britisli army of the Duke of Cumber-
land. He married three times : I'irst, a daugliter of the Due
de Noailles, secondly. Mile, de (luise, Princess tic Lorraine
of the imperial family of Austria (by whom lie had two sons,
the Due de Fronsac, and a daughter who married the Comte



d'Egmont), and thirdly, in 1780, Madame de Rothe. He
was called "the man of his century." He died August 8,

Armand de ViCxNerot du Plessis, Dug de Fronsac,
eldest son of the above, by the Princess of Lorraine, married
first Mile. d'Hautefort, secondly, Mile, de Galifet. His son
was :

Armand Emmanuel de ViciXEROx-DuPLEssis, Due de
Richelieu, Due de Fronsac, Minister of State under Louis
XVHL He commenced, by a brilliant course of studies at
Du Plessis College, one of the noble foundations of Cardinal
Richelieu. Without neglecting literature, he became a great
linguist, speaking with easy fluency German, English, Italian
and Russian. He was married very young to Mile, de
Rochechouart, but had no children. In order to learn the
service of arms he entered the Russian army as commander
of battalion under Marshal Souvarow in the Turkish cam-
paign, in which for merit and bravery he received a golden
sword from the limpress Catherine. This was during the
French Revolution, when the royalty and nobility of France
were scattered in foreign parts. The Emperor Alexander
appointed him in 1803 governor of Southern Russia, and
Odessa, which he found a miserable village without a street,
became under his management the most beautiful and pros-
perous city of eastern Europe, gaining 80,000 inhabitants
during the eleven years of his administration. His new
government he protected by military skill from the inroads
of Turks, Bulgarians and Circassians. He founded more
than I GO villages in this part of Russia and proved himself
by his humanity and justice a most able ruler. After the
Bourbons were restored in France in 18 15, Richelieu returned
and was named Minister of F"oreign Affairs and President of
the Council. In this capacity he was to negotiate the particu-
lars of a treaty which had been imposed on France by the
different Powers, which would have deprived France of strong


places, territory and population. By his personal influence
with Alexander of Russia, he won over that Power, and
obtained a great amelioration of the hardships which the
others had imposed on France. For his great services to
the State when he retired from his office of minister of
state, the king and parliament accorded him an immense
indemnity which he employed in founding a hospital in
Bordeaux. When King George IV ascended the throne of
England, the Due de Richelieu and de Fronsac was sent to
represent the King of France. Again in 1820, he was called
to be President of the Council of Ministers, which office he
resigned the next year. He died in Paris, May 17, 1822.



Nicolas Denys, Vicomte de Fronsac, Governor and
Viceroy of Acadia, Gaspasia and Newfoundland (for pedigree
see p. 43). He was born in the city of Tours in 1598 ; son
of Jacques Denys, Sieur de la Thibaudiere, Captain of the
Royal Guard, and Mile. Cosnier de Besseau whose brother,
Emilien Cosnier, was one of the " Hundred Gentlemen of the
King." Nicolas and his brother Simon were the chosen
heirs of Captain Jehan Denys and his wife. Marguerite
Forsyth de Fronsac of Honfleur, to claims which Capt.
Jehan Denys had in America, deriving through their common
ancestor, Captain Jehan Denys, the great explorer of 1506.
In 1632 he obtained the favor of his relative, the Cardinal
Richelieu, who gave him a commission in the military suite of
the admiral, Isaac de Launoy, Comte de Razilli, who was
ready to sail to America as Governor of the Maritime
Provinces of Canada. In addition, Denys was named lord
proprietor and governor of Cape Breton. In this new field
he established the towns of Chedebuctoo (Guysborough) and
St. Pierre, and founded the fort at Canso and another, which
was his chief residence, at Nipisiguit. He brought over
colonists from P'rance, instituted the culture of cereals and
promoted the fisheries and fur trade. He chased the English
out of the islands of Brion and La Madeleine. The prosperity
he was building up excited the cupidity and envy of rivals
(after the death of de Razilli) all the more because he, as a
man of education, was liberal in religious views. De Razilli
had named Denys as his successor in the government, but the
cabal of rivals planned to deprive him of that office and of
his lands as well. One Giraudiere, recognized by the others


as governor, took ship and sailed for Cape Breton for this
purpose. Denys was employing his men about commercial
labors when the enemy appeared with an armed ship. Girau-
diere attempted to terrorize Denys' men by declaring himself
to be the king's governor, that Denys was under arrest, and
that those who defied the king's authority would be guilty of
high treason. But Denys was not to be intimidated. He
persuaded some of his men to man the fort, and training his
guns on Giraudiere's ship he threatened to sink it if Girau-
diere approached nearer. At the same time, to quiet the
fears of his men, he offered to go to France with Giraudiere
and let the king decide between them. To this Giraudiere
agreed. And the king not only confirmed Denys in the gov-
ernorship of Acadia, Gaspasie and Newfoundland, etc., by
commission of January 30, 1654, but made him viceroy, with
power to make treaties of trade and war or peace for the
protection of the king's dominion and with the privilege of
granting honors for the advancement of merit. All officers
of the king coming from over sea in Denys' government were
ordered to obey Denys as they would the king. But a great
calamity came on Denys which paralyzed his further efforts
for the country. By a conflagration at St. Pierre his ships and
store-houses were burned. Then he retired to his chateau al
Nipisiguit and wrote his history of North America with a
natural history of the country — the first history of America
in the l^'rench language, which was published at Paris in 1672,
on one of the visits which he made to his wife and daughter
who were at Honfleur. Me was recommended by Talon, the
intendant of New France, to be recognized as succeeding to
the title of de Fronsac, which title, as a seigneurie, was
awarded him in the Seigneurial Order of New France b)' tlie
king, Louis XIV. The historian Charlevoix declares Denys
de l''ronsac to ha\e been one of llie best instructed and most
useful governors of New h" ranee. That Dcuns saw in Canada
a place of future i)ower, wealth and empire, the e.xcjuisitely


written preface of the history addressed to the king is brought
in evidence : " Sire, — The effects of Your Royal protection
make themselves so efficacious wherever navigation and com-
merce extend, that if my duty and inclination had not led me
to inscribe this work to you, I would have been obliged to do
it by the weight of reason. Canada has commenced to
breathe only since the attentifjn of Your Majesty has gi\-en
fresh vitality to this wavering colony. Truly, Acadia would
have been in the hands of our neighbors had not the same
care watched for what would enrich your subjects through
maritime commerce ; but. Sire, since the country of which I
take the libert^' to present you with a description, forms the
principal part of New France, the most useful and the easiest
peopled, I dare to hope that Your Majesty might make to it
some application of that uni\-ersal means by which we see
every day abundance brought out of what was formerly
unfruitful. Thirty-five or forty years of frequentation and
dwelling in this part of America where, for the last fifteen years,
I ha\-e had the honor to command fur Your Majesty, have given
me a knowledge of its fertility. I have had leisure to examine
and be con\'inced of the ad\antages offered for na\'al archi-
tecture, and of the means for establishing permanent fisheries
with an almost incredible gain in economy. . . . Sire, this
country, such and better yet than I can represent it, in order
to become profitable, has need of those fortunate influences
which Your Majesty may see among his neighbors. The
treasures with which Spain is enriched might, perhaps, be )et
in America, but for the encouragement given to Christopher
Columbus by Ferdinand and Isabella.

"Although they w^ere but quasi-conjectures of the country
which he proposed to discover, and the riches thereof, now
real, were but in imagination, his constancy triumphed over
the refusals which he had received from others and a favoring
audience gained for the king of Spain that which the prede-
cessors of Your Majesty had treated as a chimera. Sire, I


do not propose the discovery of an unknown land or promise
mines of gold. There may be such in New France. I offer
only the experience I have gained after so many years. I
hope that these will procure an audience, which will give me
the means of explaining to Your Majesty those things which
I cannot make public. In awaiting this grace, find it well.
Sire, that with my work, I consecrate what yet remains of life
to the service of Your Majesty, and that this offers an occa-
sion of testifying, with how much zeal, respect and submission
I am Your Majesty's very humble, very obedient and very
faithful subject and serviteur. Den vs."

He married, in Tours, Marguerite de la Faye, who remained
in France. He died about 1687 at Nipisiguit. He had one
son and a daughter who married her cousin, Capt. James
Forsaith. He was succeeded by his only son :

Richard Denys, Vicomte de Fronsac, Governor of
Gaspasie and Seigneur of Miramichi. The seigneurie, named
de Fronsac from his father's title, which he inherited in New
Brunswick, embraced 390,600 acres and is marked in the map
of the Acadian period of New Brunswick in the Transactions of
the Royal Society of Canada for 1900. The Strait between
Cape Breton and the main land had been named de Fronsac,
also in honor of his father, but under the English administra-
tion these souvenirs of the founder of Cape Breton have been
assiduously removed. Richard was born in Tours. He
married first, Anne Parabego, second, Francjoise, daughter of
Jacques Cailteau, Sieur de Chami)ficury. He was drowned
by the vessel in which he was sailing at the time being tlc-
stroyed in a storm. He was succeeded by his son :

Nicolas Denys, Vicomte de Fronsac, whose entire
family with himself perished in an epidemic in the year 1732.
The next heir was :

The Hon. Matthew l^\)KSArni (for ])edigree see p. 16),
descended from Capt. James r\)rsaith and Marguerite Denys
de Fronsac, daughter of the Gov. Nicolas Denys, Vicomte de



Fronsac, etc. Matthew was born in County Ayr, Scotland,
in 1699. He was endowed by nature and favored by educa-
tion. His father's immediate family were friendly to the cause
of the Stuarts, whom they regarded as the legitimate sovereigns
of the country, and they were said to have been implicated in
the Earl of Marr's uprising of 171 5. At any rate, suspicions
of the partisans of the House of Hanover were so strong
ao-ainst them that thev were obliged to leave Scotland. In


Engraving courtesy of Plant S. S. Co.

escaping, it is said that Matthew wounded one of the Whig
officers with his sword. He sought safet}' for a time in
Ireland, where his royalist convictions were much strengthened
b}' beholding the injurious effects of parliamentary go\ern-
ment there. He married Esther, daughter of Robert Graham
of County Fermanagh, whose wife, Janet Hume, belonged to
the noble family of Hume of Castle Hume and Hume
Wood, whose estates have passed to the present Lord Loftus,
Marquis of Ely. The Grahams had settled in Ireland since


1620 (one of whom was Sir Hector Graham of Lea Castle).
They were from the Cumberland border and were descended
from the Earls of Menteath. The Grahams persuaded him
to go to America with them and a number of other families
who were desirous of escaping from the parliamentary abuses
which were heaped on the country. They landed at Boston
— Matthew, his wife and sons — about 1740, and moved to
the Presbyterian colony at Chester, New Hampshire. He
had brought with him much wealth in money and family
plate, and he purchased to begin with the Worthen Mill, and

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Online LibraryFrédéric Gregory Forsyth de FronsacMemorial of the family of Forsyth de Fronsac → online text (page 4 of 6)