Martel, Charles. The illegitimate son of Pepin d'Heristal, Duke of Austrasia, was born about 690, and died 741. Martel was mayor of the palace during the reigns of Chilperic and Thierry IV, exercising the whole regal power. Defeated the Saracens at Poitiers in 732, in honor of which victory he was called Martel (the Hammer). On the death of Thierry in 737, Charles carried on the government as duke of the Franks. His son, Pepin, was founder of the Carlovingian line of monarchs, taking their name from Charles Martel.