Knight with the Fair Shield
Hero of Guillaume le Clerc’s Fergus. Raised as a peasant plowman by his father, Soumillet, in the coastal region of Pelande, Fergus’s noble blood (from his mother’s side) was stirred by the sight of Arthur’s knights returning from a hunt. Against the wishes of his parents, he departed for Arthur’s court, bearing rusty armor and weapons. At his request, he was knighted by Arthur. Kay sarcastically suggested that, as his first quest, he defeat the fearsome Black Knight, to whom many of Arthur’s knights had fallen.
Fergus assumed the quest against Arthur’s wishes. On the way to the Black Mountain, Fergus stayed at the Castle Lidel and fell in love with Lady Galiene of Lothian, the castellan’s niece. Promising to return to her, he set out again. Arriving at the Black Mountain, he defeated the Black Knight and won a magic horn and wimple. These he sent to Arthur, with the Black Knight as his prisoner. He returned to Lidel but found that Galiene had returned to Lothian.
Fergus enjoyed more adventures in Scotland, slaying robbers, a pirate crew, and a giant. His most significant quest led him to kill a hag and dragon at the castle Dunostre, thus winning a magical white shield (and later earning the nickname “the Knight with the Fair Shield”). Finally arriving in Lothian, he discovered that Lady Galiene was besieged in Castle Roucebourc. Galiene’s servant, Arundele, asked Fergus champion the castle against the invading king and his nephew, Arthofilaus. Fergus agreed, killed Arthofilaus, and sent the king to Arthur.
His enfances bear an obvious resemblance to the early stories of Perceval. His name may be adapted from the Welsh character Fercos.
Brown Rock | The Legend of King Arthur
Fergus | Guillaume le Clerc, 1200-1233
Ferguut | Mid- to late 13th century