GEN-MEDIEVAL-L ArchivesArchiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2006-09 > 1159107413
From: "Diana Gale Matthiesen" <>
Subject: RE: use of word, "pretender"
Date: Sun, 24 Sep 2006 10:16:53 -0400
Helps very much, David. Now that I have a better understanding of "pretender,"
it looks like I'll be using "usurper," instead.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: David Teague [mailto:]
> Sent: Sunday, September 24, 2006 12:19 AM
> To: ;
> Subject: RE: use of word, "pretender"
> >From: "Diana Gale Matthiesen" <>
> >Subject: RE: use of word, "pretender"
> >Date: Sat, 23 Sep 2006 10:19:23 -0400
> < major snipping>
> What about someone who has no blood-right to being king
> vanquishing the
> rightful king and taking his place claiming to be the
> rightful king? He's
> not the one out of power, he's the one in power, but
> shouldn't be. Is he a
> No; he's a usurper, not a pretender.
> I know I'm picking this to death, but I don't want to mis-use
> the word.
> Basically, what it boils down to is this: "pretender" is one
> of those words
> -- like "usurper," for that matter -- which pretty much
> always carries a
> value judgment. If the speaker/writer wishes to pass no
> judgment on the
> situation, the term with which I am most familiar is "claimant."
> To use period examples:
> Henry Tudor (pre-Bosworth) was the Lancastrian claimant.
> Richard III is often (though hardly universally) refered to
> as a usurper --
> except by his partisans and defenders (then and now).
> Perkin Warbeck and Lambert Simnel were either imposters, or
> pretenders, or
> both, depending on your point of view.
> And, of course -- as mentioned earlier in this thread -- the
> Stuarts were known as the Old Pretender and Young Pretender,
> Hope this helps.
> David Teague