Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

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Famous Usurpers and A Close Encounter…

June 29, 2013

Usurp – definition: to seize and hold a position, an office, or power by force, or without legal right

Most of us know the more famous usurpers, such as:

Napoleon Bonaparte

In the Coup d’état of 18 Brumaire, (9 November 1799) Napoleon overthrew the Constitution of the Year III and established his rule as First Consul, and five years later as Emperor.

William 1

When Edward the Confessor died Harold crowned himself Harold II so William then invaded England with his own army. William victored at the Battle of Hastings during which Harold II was killed. William then crowned himself King of England.

Louis Philippe

Louis Philippe took the throne in the aftermath of the July Revolution, which had resulted in the abdication of King Charles X in favor of his grandson, a young child.

I was fortunate to attend a school in England, where a battle between King Charles II and Oliver Cromwell actually took place. Our history room was a wooden paneled room.  A brass plaque on one side of the window protected a musket hole. It was thought the Roundheads tried to storm the house where the King was staying. If that doesn’t bring history to life, I don’t know what will.

shaw_house_wideThis is the school, Shaw House. As children we didn’t really appreciate the history of the building, apart from that musket hole! Luckily the building has been saved and is now a heritage site.

Just in case you would like to know more, here is a link :


  1. Sounds like there’s quite a bit of history at your school! That must’ve been a great place to learn about Cromwell and Charles II.

    It’s so fascinating to read about all the usurpers in history, though some are definitely more interesting than others.


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