|“||For a long time, when I was small, I pretended to myself that I was the bastard of some great man. All orphans do this, I think. It makes life easier to bear, to pretend that it will not always be as it is, that someone will come and restore you to your rightful place in the world. Then I grew older, and knew this was not true. No one would come to rescue me. But then I grew older still, and discovered that, after all, it was true. I am the son of a great man. I wish for nothing more.||”|
— Fergus, An Echo in the Bone
Fergus Fraser, formerly known as Claudel, is a French emigrant to the American colonies via Scotland. Born in Paris, he grew up in a brothel, not knowing who his true parents were or if they still lived. In 1744, while Jamie and Claire Fraser lived in Paris, Jamie hired him as a pickpocket and gave him his new Scottish name.
Fergus was born "Claudel" in Madame Elise's brothel in Paris, to one of the prostitutes – he never knew which one, and had no idea who his father was. Madame Elise let him sleep in a closet under the stairs, and he was allowed to come out in the early hours of the morning, when business was winding down, and the ladies of the brothel would sometimes share breakfast with him. He would also brush their hair and "help them with their underthings", of which he was quite proud.
It is revealed later in Dragonfly in Amber that he was molested from time to time by male customers with "certain tastes" – a fact that leads Jamie to challenge Jack Randall to a duel after catching him molesting Fergus.
Despite spending most of his life on a farm in Scotland, Fergus retains his "Frenchness" to such a marked degree that no one would mistake him for a Highlander upon meeting him. His haughtiness belies his humble beginnings as a juvenile pickpocket living on the streets of Paris, yet there is something inherently aristocratic about his mannerisms.
As a boy of ten, Fergus is small for his age with black hair, pale, sallow skin, big, long-lashed dark eyes, and large, perfect front teeth that are "square as a squirrel's". His slightly beaked nose and long mouth lend him an aristocratic look, and Jamie notes that the bones of the boy's face suggest he will be a handsome man when he is grown. Jamie's prediction proves a prescient one, as Claire notes upon her return to the past that Fergus has become a very handsome man after twenty years.
At age fifteen, while delivering a cask of ale to Jamie in the cave near Lallybroch, Fergus encounters redcoats that try to steal the cask from him, and Fergus foolishly taunts them and tries to get away. In a small scuffle, one of the soldiers draws his sword and brings it down on Fergus's wrist, severing his hand clean off. As an adult, Fergus customarily wears a hook in place of the missing left hand, or a filled glove when wanting to avoid undue notice.
Fergus's relationship with Jamie begins as one of an employer and employee, but over the years Jamie becomes a father figure to him. In 1767, Jamie formally gives Fergus his family name when he marries Marsali.
Fergus reveals that he is in love with Marsali when he is thirty, and she is fifteen. The two of them conspire to bring Marsali aboard the Artemis, which has set sail for the West Indies as Jamie and Claire set out in search of Young Ian.
- Fergus is the anglicized version of the name Fearghas, which means "man of vigour".
- Claudel is a diminutive version of the name Claude, which is derived from the ancient Roman name Claudius, from Latin claudus meaning "lame, crippled".
- Fraser may be derived from Fredarius, Fresel or Freseau. Another suggestion is that the Frasers were a tribe in Roman Gaul, whose badge was a strawberry plant.
- Fergus wears a battered greenish medal of St. Dismas around his neck. St. Dismas is the patron saint of thieves and traitors. He was the good thief who was crucified with Christ at Calvary.
- Main article: Outlander (TV series)
Season Two (Romann Berrux)
- ↑ Age as of the end of Written in My Own Heart's Blood.
- ↑ Physical description refers to the character of the books. The actor who plays young Fergus in Season Two has light brown hair and blue eyes.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Percy Beauchamp tells Lord John Grey that he thinks Fergus is the son of Amelie Beauchamp and Comte St. Germain (An Echo in the Bone, Chapter 58)
- ↑ Dragonfly in Amber, chapter 12.
- ↑ Behind the Name: Fergus – Accessed 19 April 2015.
- ↑ Behind the Name: Fearghas – Accessed 19 April 2015.
- ↑ Behind the Name: Claude – Accessed 19 April 2015.
- ↑ Behind the Name: Claudius – Accessed 19 April 2015.
- ↑ Way, George and Squire, Romily. Collins Scottish Clan & Family Encyclopedia. (Foreword by The Rt Hon. The Earl of Elgin KT, Convenor, The Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs). Published in 1994. Pages 142 - 143.
- ↑ Voyager, chapter 6
- ↑ Diana Gabaldon – Official Facebook – 10 June 2015
- ↑ Outlander exclusive: Meet Fergus as an adult – September, 29 2016