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Re: Succession by sword
User logged in as Robert
From time to time, there has also been "succession by sword". The one with the strongest army will win the throne.
That actually seems to have been the norm, in early European royal history, before laws evolved. If it came to that, most monarchies started off elective, becoming hereditary only by default and circumstance.
There was precedence for Stephen usurping the English throne: his maternal grandfather, William of Normandy, had acquired it through conquest. Later on, Henry VII Tudor also acquired it through conquest, not genealogical claim. His rivals had all killed one another off, during the War of the Roses. He emerged victorious on the battlefield, defeating King Richard III, proclaimed himself king, and was accepted as such by the nobles.
The Glorious Revolution was more bloodless; but it, too, was a case of acquiring a throne by conquest, rather than hereditary right. Of course, the new occupiers of the British throne (i.e. William and Mary) did have genealogical claims on it -- just not superior to the sovereign and his new heir apparent.
I don't need to mention again the thrones acquired through conquest by Napoleon ...
And in England, Henri VII didn't exactly inherit the throne.