Posts Tagged ‘Charlemagne’

My last trip home to Chicago, I asked my parents about their genealogy research. On my dad’s side, the story I always heard was that theBartlettsmarried into the Carrolls; my grandfather and father were then given the name Bartlett Carroll. I ended up as Bart Carroll on my birth certificate, and later changed it to Bartlett Carroll, as it was always supposed to be (it was written, incorrectly, as Bart Carroll III).

Looking back through the Bartlettside of the family, I came across a reference to the Bartletots—a wonderfully old-school version of the family name, I thought—along with some connection to the court of Charlemagne.

One quick internet search later, and I came to the following:

The Bartlett family owes its beginning to King Pepin and Queen Bertha of France. The parents of King Charles I (aka Charlemagne) and his sister Bertha. Now Bertha married Milo, Duke of Aigiant and they are the parents of theBartlettline. Their son, christened by the name of Berthaelot (a diminutive of Bertha) became the favorite of his uncle (Charlemagne) who watched over him.

On one occasion, during the Festivale of Pentecost, at the Great Court and Tournament, an important event relating to the Bartlett Coat-of-Arms occurred.

It seems that a son of the Duke of Aymon, named Raynard, ventured into the chambers of the King demanding a payment in gold for the death of his uncle Bevis. Charlemagne, enraged by the insolence, removed the glove from his left hand and threw it into Raynard’s face, thus creating a challenge to which Raynard chose to withdraw. Berthelot retrieved the glove from the floor returning it to Charlemagne.

Among other things, Berthelot was a master of chess. History says that, Sir Gordon, known as the mischief-maker, coursed Barthelot to challenge Raynard in a game of chess. After playing six games, tempers rose and the meet erupted with words and blows upon which Raynard picked up the heavy gold chess board and brought it down on the head of Berthelot sending him to the floor. Where upon Raynard drew his sword and brought it down splitting Berthelot’s head leaving him dead on the ground. Charlemagne hearing of the death of his nephew decreed that the Berthelot family would be recognized by three left-handed gloves with gold tassels to be emblazoned upon its Coat-of-Arms.

So there you have it. A Bartlett in Charlemagne’s court. Killed after a blow by a golden chessboard.