Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Charles Martel

Charles Martel (about 688-741), natural son of Pepin d'Heristal, Duke of Austrasia and Mayor of the Palace to the Merovingian kings of France, was chosen by the Austrasians as their duke in spite of Pepin's disposal of the mayoralty to a grandson. He passed his life in fighting, subduing the Neustrians and making himself mayor of the palace, forcing the Duke of Aquitaine to do homage to the French crown, driving back the German tribes, and forcing the Frisians to embrace Christianity, and finally, in 737, not taking the trouble to nominate another king upon the last king's death, he became real King of France, without, however, taking the title. But he is most noted for the victory he won in 732 at Tours over the Saracens, a victory which gained for him the name "Martel" - the hammer, and by checking the northward march of the Saracens probably changed the whole future history of Europe. At his death he divided his dominions between his two sons, Pepin and Carloman, and at the death of the latter, Pepin succeeded to the whole, and took the title of king, which power and title he handed on to Charlemagne (q.v.).