The Family Motto - Instaurator Ruinae
Clan Forsyth Society
This same Robert Forsyth became feudal Baron of Dykes, the first lord of Castle Dykes, which was in Lanark County, Scotland. Robert, who gained a victory over the English at the Dykes, built this castle around 1350. When the English invaded Scotland and were going to destroy the walls of Dykes, the king called for some one to stop the raid until he had time to mass his forces. Robert Forsyth volunteered to do this. How Robert stopped the English with less than four hundred men has been described in the following poem written by Frederic Gregory Forsyth of Canada, the present Vicomte de Fronsac:
From the hills we see them coming
In their stout array;
Insolent the English
Think the land their prey;
They have broken down the Dykes
In this their strong foray.
Who will be the one so valiant
As their course to stay?
Out spake one who falters ne’er
In council or in war--
He who bore a demi-griffin
On his crest afar.
Through the Dykes he’d chase the English with his clansmen true,
And with sword, Forsyth advancing pierced the arrow through.
When the King of Scotland saw
The chieftain straight and tall,
Who had stood with all his clan
A wall where stood the wall,
Hailed Forsyth to be the lord,
The baron of the Dykes.
The motto Instaurator Ruinae (Restorer of the Ruins) was approved and granted to the Forsyths of Scotland for their invaluable services at the battle of Dykes.
Dykes Castle adjoined Halhill, near Strathavon. Halhill was a manor belonging to the Forsyths of Dykes in County Lanark. The Forsyths moved from Dykes in the early part of the seventeenth century, after occupying it for two and three-quarter centuries. In 1628 the castle was in ruins. A part of the foundation remained until 1828 when it was entirely removed.