THE VALTELLINE. (1603-39.)
By HORATIO F. BROWN, LL.D.
The Valtelline and its people .35
The Grey Leagues . 36
Their political constitution . 37
Political importance of the Valtelline . 38
The Passes into the Valtelline .39
The Valtelline and foreign Powers . 40
The Grisons, France, and Venice . 41
Fort Fuentes and the Spanish party . 42
Transit refused to Venetian troops . 43
Discord in the Grisons . 44
The Strafgericht of Ilanz . 44
Renewal of strife hetween the parties . 45
The Strafgericht of Thusis . 46
Reaction against Protestant policy . 47
The Catholic conspiracy . 48
The massacre in the Valtelline .49
The Grisons attempt to recover the Valtelline . 50
Efforts of the Protestant-Venetian party . 51
The Gutherzigen . 52
The Treaty of Madrid . 53
Failure of the second Bormio expedition . 54
Austro-Spanish attack. The Milan Articles . 55
The Treaty of Lindau. Success of the Austro-Spanish party . 56
French and Papal intervention .57
French occupation of the Valtelline . 58
The Treaty of Monzon . 59
Rohan in the Valtelline . 60
The Valtelline under French control . 61
The Valtelline settlement . 62
The "Perpetual Peace" . 63
THE VALTELLINE. (1603-39.)
THE Valtelline is, strictly speaking, that portion of the upper valley of the Adda, about sixty miles in length, which lies between Sondalo, at the southern end of the Serra di Bormio and an imaginary line drawn between the villages of Piantedo and Dubino, a few miles from the point where the Adda falls into the Lake of Como. The Valtelline proper is divided into four districts, the terzero di Sopra, with Tirano for its capital ; the terzero di Sotto, with Sondrio for its capital ; the so-called Squadre, with Morbegno as its capital ; and the independent district of Teglio. But intimately associated with the Valtelline, sharing its vicissitudes, and for historical purposes to be considered a part of it, we have the county of Bormio, commanding the Wormserjoch and the uppermost reaches of the Adda, and the county of Chiavenna, the key to those two important passes the Splugen and the Maloggia. The Valtelline proper runs nearly due east and west ; above Tirano it takes a more northern trend towards Bormio. Debouching as it does on the head of Como, it forms one of the " gates of Italy," and is a connecting link of great value between the Lombard plain and Tyrol, leading over the Wormserjoch by Santa Maria and the Vintschgau to Meran. At the period with which we are dealing, a private report to Venice placed the population at 80,000, and Padavino, secretary to the Council of Ten and the ablest Venetian envoy to the Grisons, gives the fighting forces of the whole district thus : the Grey League, 10,200 men ; the Gotteshaus, 10,600 ; the Zehngerichten, 5000; Valtelline and Bormio, 15,000; and Chiavenna, 2000 ; thus indicating that the Valtelline with the counties of Bormio and Chiavenna was the most populous part of the whole Graubünden. The people of the Valtelline were strictly, even bigotedly Catholic, while their masters, the Graubiindners, were partly Protestant, partly Catholic, and in both cases of a very deep dye.
The Valtelline, with Bormio and Chiavenna, came into the possession of the Grisons in the following manner. When Gian Galeazzo Visconti, after murdering his uncle Bernabô, seized the whole of the Milanese duchy, Bernabô's son Giammastino fled to Chur ; and in January, 1386, out of gratitude for the protection granted to him by Bishop Hartmann,
The Grisons or Graubünden, the Grey Leagues, was a federation of three Leagues: the Upper or Grey League proper seated in the valley of the Vorderrhein and its confluents, with Ilanz for its capital, the Gotteshaus or Cade with its capital at Chur, and the Zehngerichten or Ten Jurisdictions, with its principal seat at Davos. All had risen during the years 1424-34 on the ruins of the feudal aristocracy, the families of Vaz, Werdenberg, Toggenburg, Sax, and Belmont, and had been united in one common Bund or League, sworn at Vazerol in 1471. The Reformation affected them diversely. The Gotteshaus, centred at Chur under the eye of the Bishop, remained for the most part Catholic ; inspired by Zwingli and the direct action of Ulric Campell, Philipp Saluz, and Jakob Biveroni, the Zehngerichten with the Lower Engadine became deeply Protestant ; while the Grey League was divided, the people of Disentis and Lugnetz abiding by the old faith, the Oberaxeners and Waltensburgers embracing reform. The various communes of each of the Leagues enjoyed their own municipal laws and customs, and were independent in all that did not affect the commonweal of the whole Bund. Affairs of general concern to the federation were dealt with in an annual Diet, which met alternately at Ilanz, Chur, or Davos. The Diet consisted of sixty-three deputies and three chiefs. The Grey League sent twenty-seven, the Cade twenty-two, and the Ten Jurisdictions fourteen. The deputies
Such was the political constitution of the Grey Leagues which held the Valtelline as a vassal State. Without a clear understanding of what was taking place in the Grisons it is impossible to grasp the real purport of events in the Valtelline. For purposes of government the Grisons divided the valley into five districts-the Upper and Middle Terzen, Teglio, Morbegno or the Squadre, and Trahona. To each of these it sent a podestà. The podestà of the middle district residing at Sondrio was known as the Governor of the Valtelline ; he possessed a superior authority, and was also Captain-General of the militia. Each of these officers was appointed by the Grisons for a term of two years. Besides the podestà each district had, for purposes of civil and criminal jurisdiction, a Vicar, who must be a native of the Grisons;-three
The political development of Europe at the opening of the seventeenth century was about to raise the Valtelline to a point of the highest importance, for three reasons. First, the possession of the valley, or at least the dominant influence in it, was desired as it offered a recruiting ground for the States of northern Italy, especially for Venice. The Grisons encouraged recruiting; Padavino reporting home describes the whole country as a deposito di gente; Spain had raised 6000 men, France 10,000 men, the Pope 4000 men. In case of war in Italy any Italian State would have found it difficult to levy troops in any of its neighbour States. It was therefore of highest importance to have access to this deposito di gente. Secondly, there was the question of religion. It was always possible for the Pope, for the French, for Spain, to plead that it ran counter to their conscience to subject the Catholic Valtelliners to the Protestant tendencies of the Bündners. In the Valtelline and in the Bund the religious question was genuine enough ; the Valtelliners were sincerely Catholic, and Catholicism was bound up with their political hatred of their sovereign, the Grey Leagues. In the Bund the Protestant party was sincere in its faith and ready to sacrifice life, as in the case of the preacher, Blasius Alexander, or to risk the loss of the Valtelline rather than trifle with its conscience. But any study of the various treaties between the greater Powers, the Treaty of Madrid or the Treaty of Monzon, will lead us to the conclusion that the religious question was
It is essential to a proper understanding of the events which took place in the Valtelline that we should grasp the geography of the valley and of the Passes which lead into or out of It. Starting from Bormio we have, first of all, the Wörmserjoch leading down the valley of the Muranza to Santa Maria in the Münsterthal ; the Fraele Pass leading to Fuorn on the Ofenberg; a more difficult route leads by the Val Pedenos to Livigno, and thence over Casana to Scanfs in the Engadine ; these three Passes lead north, and connect the Valtelline with the territories of the Grisons. To the south, leading into Venetian territory, a pass runs up the Val Furva and under Monte Gavia to Ponte di Legno and the Val Camonica. Coming further down the valley to Grossotto, we reach the Mortirolo Pass, leading to Edolo at the head of the Val Camonica. But the point of highest strategical importance in the valley was Tirano, for there the great main roads intersect ; the road running east and west connecting Como with Tyrol, and the road running north and south connecting Venetian territory with the Grisons by Edolo, Aprica, Tirano, Poschiavo, Bernina, and Samaden. At Sondrio again we have a northern Pass, the Muretto, leading by Chiesa in Val Malenco over the col to Maloggia in the Engadine or to Casaccia in Val Bregaglia, the last of the northern Passes ; while at Morbegno, the last of the southern Passes, the Passo di San Marco, leads by the Val Brembana to Bergamo.
As far as the question of vicinity went Venice was conterminous with the Valtelline for about sixty or seventy miles of its southern boundary, and could approach the valley by at least four Passes-Monte Gavia, Mortirolo, Aprica, and San Marco. But the Republic was past her prime ; her policy was to maintain peace in northern Italy and to safeguard her frontier. She lived in dread of an attack from the Spaniards in Milan, and did not aspire to possession but merely to influence in the valley. The Spaniards could reach the valley by its open mouth at the head of Como ; the Austrians could penetrate by the Wörmserjoch ; while the Grisons had access by Casana and Livigno, by the Bernina and the Muretto Passes. Vicinity counts for much in the history of the Valtelline, and the fiercest struggle for possession lay between the Grisons, supported by France and representing French interests, and the Spaniards in the province of Milan.
As to the political situation in Europe, the growth of Spanish-Austrian power in Italy was a standing menace to all the smaller Princes of the northern plain. The duchy of Milan, ruled by vigorous, ambitious and able governors, who paid little heed to instructions from Madrid, constituted a threat to Venice on the east and to Savoy on the west. The Spanish policy was to join hands with the Austrian possessions in Tyrol, and thus to surround Venice on the north, affecting
Outside Italy the struggle between the Reformed and the Catholic Church was dividing Europe into two great groups, France, England, the Dutch, and the Protestant Princes of the Union, against Spain, Austria, the Jesuits, and the Church. France and the Reform party welcomed the support they readily found in Italy from Venice and Savoy, and Henry IV calculated on the politico-religious situation in this quarter as a chief factor towards the success of his designs for the abasement of the House of Austria. In this connexion the possession of the Valtelline was of high significance, for as Plessen, the Elector Palatine's councillor, explained to Antonio Foscarini, Venetian ambassador in England, the Valtelline formed a connecting link between Francophil Venice, the anti-Spanish Grisons, the Protestant Princes of Germany, the Dutch, and the English. The question of its possession, therefore, was in a way similar in importance to the question of the possession of Jiilich and Cleves, which in the hands of the Catholics would have driven in a wedge between the several parts of the anti-Austrian federates.
The question of the Valtelline, accordingly, engaged the attention of Spain, Savoy, Milan, Venice, Austria, France, and is one of the dominating features of the early part of the Thirty Years' War. The smaller Powers were anxious to see the Valtelline preserved in the hands of the Grisons ; they did not aspire to possession themselves, but they were determined to do all they could to prevent the valley from falling into the hands of Spain or Austria. The three greater Powers, France, Spain, and Austria, though professing to desire the status quo, showed by their conduct that they were prepared to take possession if they could. Each, however, thwarted the other by the help of the Grisons and the Valtelliners themselves. These people and their country are the
The question of the Valtelline can hardly be said to have assumed European importance till the year 1620 ; down to that date it was rather a matter of private concern between the Grisons and their subject land the Valtelline ; but Venice, France, and Milan had, so early as 1602, alike begun to take an interest in the valley; therefore the circumstances which led up to the crisis of 1620 and the massacre of the Protestants call for attention.
In 1601, Mery de Vie, French ambassador to the Grisons, was negotiating for a renewal of the treaty of 1586 with the Bund. Henry IV, writing to him on December 16, 1601, said, " Above all I desire that you should obtain passage through their country for the troops I may wish to send into Italy, for that is the chief advantage I expect from the alliance." The King's agent met with vigorous opposition from Casati, the Spanish ambassador, and Giulio della Torre, Spanish agent, who freely lavished Spanish gold, while French money was scarce. He reports (December 18) that he has not only to bribe the seventy members of the Diet, but that "six hundred peasants, having nothing to do at home, have descended on Chur, where they live in the hostelries at the charges of the King of France. I find it impossible to buy them all." All the same, within eight days of writing this de Vie achieved his aim. The Grisons resolved to renew the alliance, "following the old treaty." De Vie had proposed a modification of the terms of that treaty as regards the Passes ; he suggested that they should be open to the King of France " and his friends," meaning the Venetians ; this was rejected, and France preserved freedom of passage, "pour elle seule" and not "pour elle et ses amis." This, no doubt, is one of the reasons why Venice was forced to seek a separate treaty in the following year. A tide of anti-Spanish feeling swept over the Grisons ; and Giulio della Torre escaped defenestration solely by the interposition of de Vie. The French treaty was solemnly sworn in Notre Dame in October, 1602. By that treaty the French secured the passage of the Bernardino, the Spliigen, the Bernina, and the Wörmserjoch. It was certain that the Spaniards in Milan under such a governor as Don Pedro Henriquez de Azevedo, Count of Fuentes, would not sit down quietly under a menace of that nature. The treaty of 1602 merely inaugurated the struggle for the Alps which preluded the Thirty Years1 War.
Venice, finding herself excluded by the clause "pour elle seule," was
But Fuentes, who had also been seeking an alliance with the Grisons, was exasperated by this fresh rebuff. He instantly closed all traffic between Milan and the Grisons, and began to build Fort Fuentes on a rocky hillock, called Monticchio, which rises in the middle of the swamps at the mouth of the Adda. " Munitissimam arcem scopulis felid conatu imposait "-as he boasts in an inscription which he dictated and dedicated to himself. And as a fact Fort Fuentes was a most serious menace to the Valtelline and the whole of the Grey Leagues. In it the governor of Milan could mass troops for an invasion, and, even more important still, by means of it he could completely cut off all trade with his neighbours, damaging not only private individuals by the loss of transport fees over the Passes, but the State as well by the cessation of customs dues, while the entire population was exposed to privation from the want of grain and salt, both of which they were accustomed to draw from the Milanese. Henry IV was not wrong when he exclaimed, " Fuentes veut du même nud ferrer la gorge de T Italie et les pieds aux Grisons.""
It is true that Fuentes' instructions were to avoid a war in Italy, and an attack on the Valtelline would have compelled Venice to take the field ; but the governor trusted that, with the help of Fort Fuentes, he could raise the spirits of the Spanish party and starve the Grisons into a more compliant attitude. The alarm in Graubünden was great. The people of the Valtelline were with difficulty restrained by the Grisons from attacking the workmen at the fort ; and embassies were sent both to France and to Venice in search of aid. But no active support was
The Grisons, finding themselves unsupported by either of their allies and alarmed at the attitude of Fuentes, appointed a Secret Council to " deal with all that might be for the service of the Fatherland," and sent an important mission to Milan. Fuentes declared that he had no hostile intentions, that the fort was merely a defence for the Milanese against French or Venetian troops, those to whom the Bund had permitted free passage. He offered to remove the commercial embargo on condition that French troops were not allowed free transit without informing the governor of Milan and obtaining his leave. As to razing Fort Fuentes he would not hear of it. Though the envoys agreed to these terms the communes refused ratification when they were laid before them. Inside the Bund the struggle between the French party under the envoy Paschal and the Spanish party became sharper and sharper. Fuentes receiving no definite reply to his request that the Passes should be closed to troops hostile to Milan continued to build and strengthen Fort Fuentes. On the other hand the Franco-Venetian Protestant party, in view of Spanish threats, secured the reswearing of the oath of Federation, garrisoned the Valtelline with troops paid by France, and set aside every Friday as a day of prayer and humiliation. Matters came to a crisis in 1607. Most disquieting news had been received from Milan as to Fuentes' military preparations, and the Grisons had appointed a Secret Council of fifteen members to take steps for the " safety of the State." Venice was at that moment in dread of being forced into war with the Pope over the affair of Paolo Sarpi, and was anxious to raise troops. She had levied 6000 soldiers in Lorraine and sent Padavino to ask for free transit down the Valtelline in terms of the treaty of 1603. The Spanish party instantly objected. They pictured the Lorrainers as a horde of barbarians who would pillage and burn all along their line of march. They raised the question as to the exact terms of the treaty ; was transit granted " armed " or " unarmed," in "detail" or in "mass"? They declared that the treaty had never been submitted to the whole body of communes, and had been voted by a majority bought with Venetian gold. The fire was quickly lighted and fanned to a blaze. In March the Catholic districts of Belfort, Churwalden, and Schanfig "raised their standards," and marched on Chur. They called for the production of the original document, and appointed a committee to report whether the copy and the original were identical, and whether the treaty had been voted by a legal majority. On April 3 they assembled, in the open air, on the Rossboden at Chur, to hear the report, and, on learning that both copy
This high-handed act of the Spanish faction, carried out by the Spanish-Catholic communes of Belfort and Churwalden, in the Spanish-Catholic city of Chur, marks the strength of the Spanish reaction against the Franco-Venetian party. On April 10 the victorious faction in a Strafgericht of purely Spanish leanings published an Artikelbrief or decree by which the Passes were closed; pensions and presents were declared to be the property of the Bund; the clergy (Pradïkanteri) were forbidden to meddle with politics ; and the levies raised by Venice were debarred from entering her service. The three Chiefs of the Leagues refused to attach the seals to this illegal decree ; whereupon the seals were taken from them by force.
This violence provoked an inevitable counteraction on the part of the Franco-Venetian Protestants. The leading spirits on the Spanish side had been George Beeli of Belfort and Gaspar Baselga. News was now sent through from Chiavenna that both were deeply implicated in treasonable correspondence with Fuentes. In the actual tension of parties and the universal suspicion, the charge was readily believed. Meanwhile Paschal, the French envoy, had been raising the Protestants of the Engadine and Prätigau. With nine Fähnleins, that is about 2700 men, they marched on Chur, stormed the Bishop's palace in which Beeli and Baselga were confined, and carried them off to the Rathhaus. Then they locked up the judge and proceeded to try the prisoners themselves in a Strafgericht of purely Franco-Venetian complexion. A mission from the Swiss Confederation urging moderation and the liberation of Beeli and Baselga was dismissed without an answer. The prisoners were tortured, and the Court found that both had had dealings with Fuentes, and had been bribed to vote for the closing of the Passes against Venice and France. Both were condemned to death. Baselga was beheaded on July 4. He had begged leave to be executed in the courtyard of the Bishop's palace ; but the Engadiners would not hear of any concession and carried their victim off by force to the common execution place in the town. Beeli suffered on July 6. In a speech of much dignity he defended himself from the charge of treason to his country, and declared that only by a good understanding with Milan could the Grisons find peace and quiet. He died with the word " fatherland " on his lips. The victorious Franco-Venetian Strafgericht proceeded to tear up the Spanish Artikelbrief of April 10 and substituted the following declaration : The French and Venetian treaties shall hold good ; private persons shall not receive pensions nor presents, nor may they take service with foreign sovereigns without leave ; the Secret Council is abolished ; an impartial Strafgericht is erected at Ilanz to revise the operations of both the Spanish and the French Strafgericht in Chur
The Court at Ilanz was a compromise between the two parties. It laid, for a while, the storm of popular passion ; the waves of " rustica dementia" calmed down. But the events of the year 1607 laid bare the real situation. France, Venice, and Spain were all struggling for possession of the Passes and were prepared to go any lengths in compelling or inducing the Grisons to grant it. Among the Bündners themselves the chief cause of the "dementia,'1'' of internal discord, was the discovery that they had a property to sell to eager bidders. Each party was fighting for the sole power to sell the goods. The conflict was inflamed by two genuine passions, religion and freedom, but both were intimately connected with and virtually subsidiary to the question of the Passes. It would at the same time be difficult to prove that any of the leaders were traitors to their country, though this charge was urged against them by their opponents.
The Assembly at Ilanz brought peace for a while. In 1613 the Venetian alliance reached its term of ten years and in spite of every effort on the part of the Republic the Grisons refused to renew it. The memory of the " madness " of 1607 was too vividly impressed upon their minds. But the Republic was in straits for troops to face the Uskoks, secretly supported by the Archduke Ferdinand. In 1616 Padavino was despatched on a mission to renew the alliance if possible on the promise of large sums to each of the three Leagues, or at least to raise levies. His efforts, however, were thwarted by Gueffier, the French agent who had succeeded Paschal. He like his predecessor Paschal, when thwarting Venice and favouring Spain, was acting in obedience to the change of policy which followed on the death of Henry, whose anti-Spanish schemes were succeeded by the philo-Spanish policy of Villeroy and the Queen-Mother. This rebuff to the Venetians encouraged Casati, the Spanish agent, to apply for a treaty. He proposed that neither of the contracting parties should grant passage to troops hostile to either ; promised that Fort Fuentes should be demolished; and asked that the Passes should be absolutely closed to Venice and be absolutely free for the passage of Milanese troops at the rate of 200 a day; the French treaty was to hold good. These were Casati's main offers, and they were favourable, especially on the point of money, which he promised in abundance. But they instantly brought to the front the latent schism inside the Bund. The Venetian Protestant party, headed by the Preachers, opposed any dealings with Spain on the ground of religion. They pointed out that Spain might at any moment declare the Grisons heretical and announce that faith need not be kept with them. Moreover both Bern and Zurich earnestly dissuaded the Bund from accepting the Spanish alliance. On the other hand the Spanish party was strongly supported by Rudolf and Pompeius
Though Padavino had failed to secure an alliance, Venetian gold tempted many Bündners to the service of the Republic, in spite of the prohibitions published by the Strafgericht in Chur. The Plantas now raised a cry against the disobedient levies. The Preachers retaliated by declaring that the Plantas were intriguing with Austria and Spain against the Bund and the Reformed faith. They alleged as proof Rudolf von Planta's secret interview with Maximilian Mohr, Casati's secretary, at Zernez, the presence of Jesuits in Planta's fortress of Wildenberg, and the fact that the governor of Milan had again closed trade communications on the rejection of Casati's proposals. In April, 1618, the Preachers summoned a Synod at Bergiin ; it was entirely of their colour, Protestant and anti-Spanish. There "Hispanismus" was declared to be treason. Planta was summoned to appear before the Synod, and on his refusal the Preachers under George Jenatsch, the soldier preacher who now assumed the leadership of his party, marched over the Albula down to Zernez to seize him in his castle of Wildenberg. They found the castle, however, garrisoned and fortified with 400 men under Planta's command, and it was not till they had called up the Engadiners, 1300 strong, that Planta fled over the Ofen Pass to his possessions in Tyrol. The Preachers, in pursuit of their campaign against " Hispanismus," now divided their forces. One body marched over the Maloggia into Val Bregaglia and seized Johann Baptist Prévost, called Zambra, in Vicosoprano ; the other marched over the Muretto Pass into the Valtelline to secure the person of Nicholas Rusca, the Archpriest of Sondrio, head of the Catholic-Spanish party in the valley. The whole Valtelline, strongly Catholic in sentiment, was devoted to the Archpriest. It was he who had withstood the efforts to impose the Reformed teaching on the valley and had rendered inoperative the Protestant school founded in Sondrio. He was, therefore, especially odious to the Preachers. On the night of July 18, 1618, the Bündners swept down on Sondrio, seized Rusca in his bed, and hurried him round by Chiavenna to join the division which had captured Zambra in the Bregaglia. In Sondrio the bells were rung and the Catholics rose to attempt a rescue, but they were told that Rusca's life depended on their remaining quiet. With their prisoners the Preachers arrived at Chur, but found the town closed against them. They passed on to Thusis and there erected a Strafgericht of the most violently Protestant complexion, entirely dominated by nine of the hottest pulpiters. They proceeded to work and issued a decree, forbidding pensions and decorations, and any dealing with foreign sovereigns, disabling anyone who had taken an oath to a foreign
The ruthless and high-handed proceedings of the Thusis Strafgericht brought the inevitable reaction. The Catholic communes of Bregaglia, Lugnetz, Disentis, Oberhalbstein, marched on Chur to demand revision; while the Protestants of the Upper Engadine, Davos, and Prätigau, ranged themselves in support of the Preachers. The outlaws also had appealed to the Swiss Confederation to secure them safe conduct and a fair hearing. It seemed as if civil war were on the point of breaking out under the walls of Chur. But a compromise was effected by which, in October, 1619, a new Strafgericht was erected at Davos, and all the outlaws of the Thusis assembly, with the exception of the eight most important personages, were granted safe conduct and a fresh hearing. This was, however, only a partial reparation. It left out of account the powerful outlaws, the Plantas, who were resolved to recover their property and their status, and it ignored the growing hostility in the Valtelline, caused by the murder of their Archpriest. It is to the Valtelline that our attention must now be turned.
Since the triumph of the Protestant party at Bergün, Thusis, and Davos, the Valtelline had been even more harshly governed in Protestant interests than heretofore. The blood of Rusca was unavenged, and religious sentiment and patriotic aspirations combined to tempt the Valtelliners to throw off the yoke of the Grisons. The situation seemed favourable. The Bund was torn in two by the violence of the Thusis Strafgericht ; the exiles, the Plantas and their followers, were ready with 500 men at Landeck, only waiting an opportunity to regain their possessions and their status. In Milan was a Spanish governor, the Duke of
Feria, eager to assist in crushing the Franco-Venetian party. France was still incensed at the expulsion of her envoy, Gueffier, and would not move ; Venice, threatened by Austria on the one side and Milan on the other, dared not move. It seemed that the moment had come. The nobles of the Valtelline, the Schenardi, Venosta, Guicciardi, Paravicini-all of whom except the Guicciardi had suffered under the Thusis and Davos Courts-headed by Robustelli of Grossotto, who, though not a noble, was rich, vigorous, and related by marriage to the Plantas-entered into a conspiracy against their Grisons lords. Guicciardi, accompanied by priests, undertook a mission to gain the support of Feria. The priests easily persuaded the Cardinal Archbishop of Milan, Federigo Borromeo, to second their efforts ; while Guicciardi found an ally in Gueffier, the French envoy, who, by letter, urged Feria to embrace the enterprise. Feria's instructions were to keep the peace in Italy, and an armed intervention in the Valtelline would hardly achieve that. He hoped, however, to support the Valtelliners without being obliged to draw the sword. The Bund was divided, France engaged with the Huguenots, Venice isolated. Guicciardi's mission succeeded, and he returned to the Valtelline with money and promises of support. With this encouragement the plot ripened quickly. It embraced not merely the murder of all Protestants in the valley but also a concerted attack on the Grisons. Planta, with Austrian troops under Baldiron, was to invade the Münsterthal, establish connexion with the Valtelline by the Wörm-serjoch, and to threaten the Lower Engadine by the Ofen Pass. Simultaneously an attack was to be delivered on the Rheinwald by troops raised in Milan and Lugano, under Giöri, with a view to effecting a junction with the Catholic communes of the Upper or Grey League, thus threatening Chur, which was to be menaced by Austrian soldiers massed at Feldkirch. Giovanni Maria Paravicini was charged with the closing of the valley against help from the Grisons garrison of Chiavenna, thus allowing the massacre to take place undisturbed. The plans were skilfully laid and the promoter was Gueffier, acting in concert with Casati and Rudolf von Planta against the Venetians, who alone stood with the Protestant party in the Grisons. He lived to regret his conduct when he found that he had placed the Valtelline entirely in the hands of Spain.
The conspiracy advanced rapidly; though not without arousing the suspicion of the Protestants in the Valtelline, who sent warnings to the Strafgericht at Davos and asked for a garrison. They were assured that there was no danger, the Valtelliners were unarmed, the keys of the arsenals were in the hands of the Grisons podestàs; nevertheless, as a precaution and to allay the alarm, a thousand men of the Valtelline militia would be called out to man the trenches at Mantello, as the only conceivable danger was an attack from Milan in favour of the Thusis exiles. A more disastrous step could not have been taken, for it
Feria now declared the Valtelline under Spanish protection. There was no doubt as to his main intention ; under the plea of protecting the Catholic faith he meant to seize one of the gates of Italy and to secure the Passes for the Spanish-Austrian combination. The whole aspect of the Valtelline question was hereby changed. What had hitherto been to a large extent a private affair of the Grey Leagues now assumed European importance, when one of the competitors for free transit was no longer a suppliant, along with other Powers, to the Bund for favours, but was
When the news of the massacre reached the Grisons the Davos Strafgericht was dissolved as incapable of managing so difficult a situation, which had now assumed a European character. The Bund appealed at once to Bern and Zurich for help to crush the " rebel " Valtelliners and to recover the valley. Venice was seriously alarmed at the Spanish threat to its northern frontier, and when the Grisons' appeal for help arrived the Republic was inclined to send overt armed support. But Feria declared that he would consider any advance of Venetian troops as a casus belli. Venice was compelled to limit her assistance to money and ammunition, and artillery was pushed forward towards the Mortirolo Pass so as to be ready to support the Grisons in an attack on Bormio and the head of the valley ; Girolamo Priuli was also despatched on a special mission to France. But France was in no position to move. She was occupied with the internal question of the Huguenots, and, though deeply interested in the fate of the Valtelline, was unable to take any military measures for the enforcement of her treaty rights. Moreover the trend of her policy was still philo-Spanish. Richelieu had not yet assumed the reins, nor renewed the anti-Austrian policy of Henry IV. Diplomacy was her only available weapon, and, as we shall presently see, she was meditating Bassompierre's embassy to Madrid.
The sole support, therefore, which the Grisons found in their projected attempt to recover the Valtelline was the 3200 men furnished by Bern and Zurich, and the money and munitions which Venice promised. With these forces and 1200 men of their own they resolved to deliver the attack. But instead of choosing the Bernina as their route and as their objective Tirano, where they would have been within easier reach of Venetian supports, and would have cut the valley in two at its most important strategical point, they resolved to make for Bormio, over the more difficult route of Casana and Livigno and down the Val Pedenos. The Spaniards expected the attack from Poschiavo, and their strongest divisions were holding Tirano, but they had left 1600 men well entrenched at the mouth of Pedenos to protect Bormio. The Grisons under Guler and their allies under Mülinen delivered a vigorous attack on the trenches ; the mountain-bred soldiers scaled the overhanging rocks on either side and soon turned the position. The Spaniards retired with considerable loss, and the Bündners entered Bormio; whence Hercules von Salis was despatched to Venice to implore instant help towards the common object, the expulsion of the Spaniards from the Valtelline. But before his mission could produce any effect came the news of the unhappy end of the whole expedition, and Salis, who was ill, died of grief. Against Guler's advice the attacking army wasted eight days
A grave peril overhung the three Leagues. The Catholics of the Grey or Upper League, the communes of Disentis and Lugnetz, Spanish in sentiment and encouraged by the success of their fellow-believers in the Valtelline, supported by Giöri from Misox and the Catholics of the five cantons (Uri, Unterwaiden, Schwyz, Zug, and Luzern), and urged on by Gueffier and Casati, determined to take advantage of the absence of the Protestant army in the Valtelline, to crush if possible the Preachers' party in the Grisons. These Catholic Bündners had refused to share in the Bormio expedition and were pursuing a selfish policy of their own, by which, on the strength of their religion, they hoped to induce Feria to restore the Valtelline to them alone. With that object in view they had already approached the governor of Milan. On February 6, 1621, Feria and the envoys of the Upper or Grey League signed a convention as to the Valtelline on the following conditions. There was to be free transit for all royal troops ; a Spanish garrison was to be placed in the valley for eight years; the demolition of Fort Fuentes was to be considered ; the Valtelline and Bormio to be restored to the Grey League, but only the Catholic cult permitted ; a general pardon was to be granted, the King of Spain guaranteeing security ; a Spanish agent was to reside in the Valtelline. This treaty was considered as an act of treachery against the Bund by all but the Catholic-Spanish party of the Upper League. The Protestant communes of that League refused to ratify it except under pressure. The Protestant-Venetian party was exasperated. Even the Valtelliners resented an arrangement which placed them once more under a part of the hated Grisons. They indulged in hopes and visions of a quasi-independence under the tutelage of Spain. The spirit of freedom was stirring in their veins. Their historians began to use the word "Putrid,""; they themselves despatched to the Courts of Milan, Rome, Madrid missions which were recognised and dealt with as independent. It looked as though civil war were inevitable. The Oberlanders, supported by the men of Uri, Schwyz, Unterwaiden, Zug, and Luzern, in whose presence we see the hand of Gueffier and Casati, marched down to Reichenau, at the junction of the " Vorder" and "Hinter" Rhine, and occupied Räzüns, Cäzis, and Thusis opposite to Domleschg, the smiling,
This deed accomplished, the Gutherzigen, under Jenatsch, not venturing to march past Catholic Chur to attack the Catholic Oberlanders at Reichenau, passed up the Prätigau, over the Fluela into the Engadine, and thence over the Albula down upon Domleschg by the Schyn. They attacked and routed the Catholics at Thusis, drove them down to Räzüns, plundered that Austrian fortress, and chased the enemy by Valendas, where they made a fruitless stand, passed Ilanz up the Vorderrheinthal and over the Oberalp, thus clearing the Grisons of the Catholic-Swiss invasion and establishing the supremacy of the Protestant-Venetian party.
But while these events were taking place inside the Grisons, the question of the Valtelline and the Passes was receiving more decisive attention in the wider field of European politics. The failure of the Grisons to recover the Valtelline, the convention between Feria and the
Upper League, and the obvious anarchy of the whole country, convinced both France and Venice that steps must be taken unless they intended to leave the Valtelline in the hands of Spain and Austria. Had the Grisons recovered the Valtelline, the treaty of 1602 would have remained in force and France need have taken no steps to keep the Passes open. But such was not the case. Marshal Bassompierre was accordingly sent to Madrid to negotiate a treaty which should settle the question of the Valtelline by an agreement between the two great Powers. Philip III was ill and dying,-his last injunctions to his son, who succeeded him while Bassompierre was still in Madrid, were to lend an ear to papal advice. At first Spain suggested that if France would guarantee the protection of religion in the Valtelline and exclude Venice, Spain would withdraw on receiving compensation for outlay. Bassompierre declined. Free transit for Spanish troops was then proposed as an equivalent for compensation. But this offer too clearly revealed the true intentions of Spain, and again Bassompierre declined. Venice meantime was endeavouring to influence the conference at Madrid through the Court of Rome. Its envoy terrified Gregory XV by visions of Spanish supremacy throughout Italy, and the Pope threw his great influence into the French scale throughout the negotiations at Madrid. A further scheme was submitted by Baldassare de Zuniga, by which the Grisons were to receive 50,000 crowns and the Valtelline was to be ceded to the Pope. Bassompierre replied that his mission was to recover, not to sell, the Valtelline. Other plans were laid before the conference. It was proposed to erect the Valtelline into a fourth Bund ; but that would have implied an abdication of rights on the part of the Three Leagues as well as the creation of a new Ultra-Catholic League, which would have entirely upset the existing balance. It was even suggested that the Valtelline might be constituted a fourteenth canton of the Swiss Confederation. But none of these proposals really met the intention of the Powers. Bassompierre remained firm by his instructions ; Spain gave way, and the Treaty of Madrid was signed on April 26, 1621. Its terms, so far as the Valtelline was concerned, included restoration to the Bund ; amnesty ; the status of 1617 as regards religion, that is to say, permission for the exercise of the Reformed faith ; the King of France and the Swiss Confederation to act as guarantors. The pliant spirit which Bassompierre found in the Spanish ministers has been explained by a deep design on the part of Spain to free Louis from foreign embarrassments, so that he might commit himself fully to an internal struggle with the Huguenots which would keep France weak.
But neither the Grisons nor the Valtelline had been consulted in the Treaty of Madrid. It remained to be seen how they would take it. The Grisons, naturally, were satisfied. They had recovered their sovereignty and secured toleration for the Reformed faith. Two of their leading aspirations, patriotism and religion, received fulfilment by the treaty.
Throughout their subsequent history they take their stand on the terms of Madrid. Only three communes objected to the amnesty clause which allowed Robustelli and his assassins to go free; while the Catholics of the Upper League had hankerings after their treaty with Feria, which restored the Valtelline to them alone. The Valtelliners, on the other hand, were violently opposed. They had tasted the sweets of independence and refused to be placed once again under the tyranny of the Grisons, especially with a clause which exposed them to all the difficulties of a religious conflict. They protested, by envoys, at Milan, Madrid, Rome, and Paris. Feria, again, was opposed, as he desired to maintain his treaty with the Upper League, and the policy which had made Spain master of the Valtelline and the Passes. There was a party at Madrid which supported Feria. The Catholic cantons of the Swiss Confederation disliked the religious clause, and it was round them that the opposition to the Treaty of Madrid was concentrated, for by that treaty the Swiss Confederation was to act as guarantor in conjunction with France. A Diet was summoned at Luzern to accept the obligation. The Catholic cantons, being the majority, declined in spite of the efforts of Gueffier, Montholon, and Miron, aided by the ambassador of Venice and the envoys from the Grisons.
The Bündners soon found that they were not to reap the fruits of the Treaty of Madrid. Under the influence of the Preachers, headed, as always, by George Jenatsch, they determined to recover the Valtelline by themselves, and the second expedition to Bormio was planned. Jenatsch, aware that the Upper League would not willingly join him, and mindful of their treacherous action during the first expedition, went up to Flims, and on the first signs of recalcitrancy shot Josef von Capaul. Passidg on to Ilanz, he threatened a like fate for any who opposed the determination of the Bund. Cowed by his violence, the Oberlanders reluctantly joined the forces in the Engadine. They were 600 men strong, but without commissariat and without a siege train. On October 11,1621, they marched over Casana to Livigno, and down the Val Pedenos. The inhabitants had fled to the mountains, taking with them all provisions, and the Spaniards had burned the town so as to deprive the enemy of shelter. Bormio was garrisoned by 800 men who were driven in from their outworks and retired to the fort. But the want of guns rendered any attack hopeless. The troops were absolutely without food. Moreover, news was received that Feria was marching up the valley, while Baldiron, with Austrian troops in the Münsterthal, was threatening the Engadine. To crown all came a letter from Montholon declaring that unless the forces retired at once he would not guarantee the fulfilment of the Madrid Convention. On October 14 the Grisons abandoned the enterprise.
The second Bormio expedition proved even more disastrous than the first, for it brought into active hostility the Austrian power in the Tyrol.
Both Feria and Archduke Leopold declared that the expedition was an act of war on them, not a legitimate attempt to subdue a rebellious province. The Archduke had been exasperated by the sack of his castle at Räzüns, in March of this year. He now determined to revive and make good his claim on the Lower Engadine and eight of the Zehngerichte, his title to which was based on purchase from the House of Toggenburg. In conjunction with Feria he prepared a triple attack on the Grisons. The three Leagues torn by internal dissensions, unsupported by France, which was still engaged in the Huguenot war, or by Venice which dared not move under threat of attack from Milan and from Austria, were powerless to resist invasion. Feria marched on Chiavenna and subdued the Val Bregaglia, The Archduke's troops under Baldiron seized the Lower Engadine, and at the same time made a raid upon the Prätigau from Montafon over the Schlapina Pass, which debouches at Klosters. Baldiron swept over the Fluela, disarmed Davos, compelled the people of the Prätigau to beg for pardon on their knees and to deposit their arms in Castels, to renounce all treaties with other members of the Grisons and with France, and to acknowledge Austrian sovereignty. He then marched down on Mayenfeld, garrisoned it, and proceeded to Chur, thus establishing a junction with the Austrian forces at Feldkirch, and with him was the Thusis outlaw, Rudolf von Planta. This meant the complete defeat of the Preachers and their allies, the Venetian party. More than one thousand five hundred Biindners fled. Jenatsch, Toutsch, Alexander, and Vulpius endeavoured to escape over the Panixer Pass into Glarus. It was November, and a furious snowstorm was raging. The Oberlanders, embittered against them by the murder of Capaul in Flims, were on their track. Toutsch was killed, Alexander captured and sent to Innsbruck, where he was beheaded a year later. Vulpius and Jenatsch escaped.
The three Leagues were at the lowest ebb. They had lost the Val-telline, Chiavenna, Val Bregaglia, Bormio, Münsterthal, Lower Engadine, and eight of the Ten Jurisdictions. One of the three Leagues, the Zehngerichten, indeed, existed no more. The structure of the Grisons as a State lay in ruins. The chief causes of this disaster were the violent religious and political schism inside their own body, the vicinity of Austria and Milan, the weakness of Venice, the distance of France. By the close of 1621 the entire Grisons were in the hands of Austria and Spain. That situation was made quite clear by the terms of the Milan Artikel, a double agreement with Feria and Leopold, signed at Milan in January, 1622. The Valtelline and Bormio were renounced by the Grisons for an annual payment of 25,000 gulden (175,000 francs) guaranteed by Spain. Chiavenna was restored, but the Reformed faith was excluded. All Protestants in the Valtelline were obliged to sell their property within six years. By the terms settled with Leopold, the eight Jurisdictions, the Lower Engadine, and the Münsterthal were
But the spirit of the Bündners was not quite broken yet. The intolerable persecutions of the Austrian garrison and the presence, under its protection, of a body of Capuchins drove the Prätigau into a revolt which, for a time, forced Baldiron into flight. The Bündners had been disarmed ; but secretly, by night, in the upper forests of their valley, they furnished themselves with formidable clubs, ten feet long, shod with iron and studded with nails. On April 24, 1622, they swept down upon Luzern, killed or drove out the Austrians; pressed them through the gorge at Felzenbach; attacked Baldiron's trenches and drove him into Chur, exclaiming, "Die Püntner sind nit Menschen, sonder Teufel."" Chur was besieged, and Baldiron was compelled to ask for terms, and to retire. But by July, Baldiron and Alvig von Sulz were in the Engadine with 10,000 men. Salis, the general of the Leagues, had only 2000 men at his command. The Prätigau was soon reduced, and in September, 1622, the Treaty of Lindau seemed to rivet the Austrian yoke upon the Grisons and the Valtelline. Its terms were an amplification of the Milan Artikel. Austria dealt only with the Grey League and the Gotteshaus, the eight Jurisdictions and the Lower Engadine were treated as already Austrian subjects. The two remaining Leagues pledged themselves to make no treaties without the consent of Austria; to grant free transit and free recruiting for Austria and Spain ; to receive an Austrian garrison in Chur and Mayenfeld ; and to do justice to the Plantas and those who had suffered in the past commotions.
This meant the complete success of the Austrian-Spanish party; and as far as the Grisons and the Valtelline were concerned it seemed that the question of the Passes, the question of religion and the question of patriotism were at an end. For, under the impulse of the Thirty Years' War, armaments were increasing rapidly ; Feria was able to place 8000 men in the county of Chiavenna, and Baldiron to lead 10,000 men over the Passes of the Engadine. It was out of the question for the Bund to dream of opposing such forces. The Grisons, moreover, were exhausted by five years of internal dissension and conflict, and a year and a half of Austrian tyranny and commandeering.
But within à month and a half of the conclusions at Lindau the Peace of Montpellier was signed in France (October 19, 1622). The Huguenot difficulty was dispelled for a time. France acquired a free hand, and the whole situation assumed another aspect.
Richelieu was rising rapidly to power ; though he did not assume the reins till a year later, he had the ear of the Queen-Mother and spoke through her. The general lines of his foreign policy were those laid down by Henry IV and Sully, the abasement of the Austrian-Spanish power. But in order to carry out his policy it was absolutely essential
As with Henry IV, so with Richelieu the question of the Valtelline and the Passes played a large part in the general design against Spain and Austria, and the keynote of his policy was restitution of the Valtelline in the terms of the Treaty of Madrid. Accordingly, when Venice and Savoy, in alarm at the decisive success of Leopold and Feria, and the absolute subjection of the Grisons and the Valtelline by the Treaty of Lindau, implored the French Court to break up a situation so menacing to the whole of northern Italy, they found a ready hearing, and in February, 1623, the Treaty of Paris was concluded. France, Venice, and Savoy, pledged themselves to the restitution of the Valtelline.
The policy of the Court of Madrid was peace in Italy. The Pope too felt the gravest alarm at the prospect of a conflagration ; and so, to avoid a war over the Valtelline, he proposed the sequestration-the "depositum" as it was called-of that valley into his own hands. Some of the Cardinals, notably Mafieo Barberini, afterwards Urban VIII, were opposed to a policy which would probably entangle the Papacy in the mesh of temporal politics; but he was overridden by the Cardinal-nephew, Ludovisi, who cherished chimerical designs for erecting the Valtelline into a papal State. France agreed to the depositum on the conditions that the forts should be razed and that the sequestration should last four months only. France never intended to abandon her policy of restitution in the terms of the Treaty of Madrid.
The papal troops, under the Marchese di Bagno, entered the Valtelline and took possession of the strong places. But in July, 1623, Pope Gregory XV died and was succeeded by MafFeo Barberini, the Cardinal who had opposed the depositum. The new Pope was anti-Spanish in sentiment. Pasquino touched the situation in the epigram " E forse Cattolico U Papa ? " to which comes the answer " Tad, taci, è Christian-issimo."" He disliked the cost of the Valtelline to the papal treasury, and gave di Bagno hardly more than 1000 men. But the Spanish party dissuaded him from fulfilling his obligation to end the depositum in four months. The presence of the papal troops in the Valtelline seemed to them a guarantee that France would not venture to attack the valley ; while, in the Pope's hands, the valley afforded them all the benefits of
By November, 1624, the Marquis de Coeuvres was at Gr lisch, in the Prätigau, the late head-quarters of the Venetian-Protestant party. He had 4000 Swiss and 3000 French infantry, and 500 horse. The people of the Prätigau and Davos welcomed him rapturously. They took an oath of loyalty to France ; the Federation oath was resworn in all three Leagues; and the Milan Artikel and the Treaty of Lindau were cancelled. Leaving 2000 men to hold the St Luziussteig, the pass between Vaduz and Mayenfeld, de Coeuvres marched into the Engadine, detached a regiment to hold the pass by Martinsbruck and Zernez against a possible Austrian attack on his rear or his flank, and marched over the Bernina to Tirano, there to join the Venetian supports, which in the terms of the Treaty of February, 1623, were being pushed forward to the Valtelline. De Coeuvres met with a purely formal resistance from the papal troops under di Bagno, the Pope was quite unprepared for the suddenness of the attack. De Coeuvres had no orders to deal severely with the papal forces and had no desire to rouse the strong Catholic sentiment of the Valtelline against his expedition. Di Bagno was allowed to march out of Tirano with the honours of war, and with him went the famous Robustelli, leader in the Protestant massacre, a fact which roused the first suspicions in de Coeuvres' Grisons allies. This leniency, however, secured him Bonnio and Sondrio without a blow. By the close of the year the whole valley was in the hands of the French. The mouth of the valley, however, and the strong post of Riva on the uppermost reaches of Como, barring the road to Chiavenna, were strongly held by Serbelloni with Spanish troops, and cost de Coeuvres a year's indecisive campaigning. But the French being now masters in the Valtelline the Grisons demanded restitution in the terms of Madrid. Their suspicions first aroused by the treatment of Robustelli now received confirmation. Instead of restoring Bormio, the Valtelline, and Chiavenna, which he did not yet hold, de Coeuvres invited deputies from the three Leagues to meet him at Sondrio, and there laid before them terms on which he would consent to carry out the Treaty of Madrid. The Valtelliners were to enjoy civil and criminal jurisdiction by judges elected by themselves; for this privilege they would pay 25,000 crowns yearly ; only the Catholic faith would be permitted in the valley. No doubt de Coeuvres was acting on instructions from Richelieu, who was anxious-now that he and not Spain held the Valtelline and the Passes-to pacify the Pope for the
Events, however, were taking place in France which cut across Richelieu's designs and ended by rendering the whole of de Coeuvres' government abortive. The French had failed to destroy Fort Louis, near La Rochelle, as they had promised to do at Montpellier. The consequence was a Huguenot rising supported by Spanish money, which compelled Richelieu hastily to come to terms with Spain on the question of the Valtelline. Ignoring his allies, Venice and Savoy, on May 5, 1626, his envoy, du Fargis, signed the Treaty of Monzon between France and Spain. By the terms of that treaty only the Catholic faith was permitted in the Valtelline, Bormio, and Chiavenna; all three had a right to elect their own officials, who were to be approved, but could not be rejected, by the Bundners ; no appeal was to lie from the Valtelline Courts ; an amnesty was granted for all past acts ; an annual tribute of 25,000 florins was to be paid to the Leagues; the Grisons were not to employ arms against the Valtelline ; if they did they were to lose all rights ; the forts were to be placed in the hands of the Pope, who was to be arbiter in all religious matters ; Spain and France undertook to guarantee the treaty.
The result of this treaty was virtually to erect the Valtelline, Bormio, and Chiavenna into an independent State under the protection of France and Spain. Nothing was said about transit or the Passes, but the Valtelline was not solely Spanish, and in his present straits this was the most Richelieu could look for. His allies, Savoy and Venice, were of course indignant at the " treachery " which led him to conclude a treaty behind their backs, and in truth Venice has little more to do with the Valtelline from this time onward. But Richelieu was justified. The prosecution of this great anti-Austrian scheme, which was of high importance for both his allies, imperatively demanded that the Huguenot question should be settled. If he had informed Savoy and Venice of his intention they would have protested and perhaps thwarted him; on the other hand, they were too weak to be of material assistance in holding Spain and Austria in check while the Cardinal crushed the Huguenots.
The Valtelliners of course accepted the treaty with delight. Under the wing of Milan they were freed from the dreaded restitution threatened by the Treaty of Madrid ; their liberties were secured in their Courts of justice ; their religion was purged of the Protestant contagion ; to secure that point their Landeshauptmann Robustelli had spared no efforts. But the indignation in the Grisons was intense : their privileges had been bartered away without consultation, and that by their most powerful ally. Instead of restitution, they were asked to accept a purely formal and illusory sovereignty indicated by an annual tribute
Meantime, in February, 1627, the surrender of the forts into the Pope's hands took place, and de Coeuvres quitted the Valtelline, leaving behind him Mesmin with instructions to carry out the hopeless task of inducing the Grisons to accept the Treaty of Monzon. For the present Richelieu's policy in the Valtelline was virtually broken ; in respect both of religion and of politics the valley was under Spanish influence. It was Spain that had saved it from the hated restitution; it was Spain that guaranteed its independence under the Treaty of Monzon. The Passes were at the disposal of Spain and Austria. Their importance was demonstrated during the War of the Mantuan Succession in 1629, when Colalto descended through the Grisons upon the Italian plain; in the summer of that year it is calculated that not less than 30,000 troops crossed the Passes, bringing with them terror, rapine, plague for the unfortunate inhabitants of the Valtelline-plague, which in 1631, swept off at least a quarter of the whole population of Graubünden. Richelieu had not got what he wanted by the Treaty of Monzon. His enemy the Austrian was being constantly fed with troops by way of the Valtelline, to keep alive the Imperial party in the Thirty Years' War. In 1633, Feria passed through with 9000 men, and in the next year the Infante Ferdinand with 12,000 men helped to win the decisive battle of Nördlingen. Richelieu resolved to put a stop to this, and made his last effort to secure French ascendancy in the Valtelline in pursuit of his north-Italian policy which had led him to seize Pinerolo as a menace to the Spanish position in Milan. If he held the passes of the Grisons and the Valtelline as well as Pinerolo, which virtually commanded the mouth of the Cenis, he secured a dominant position in northern Italy.
For the execution of his designs Richelieu chose with great insight Henry de Rohan, the soul of the Huguenot party, the man whom he had learned to appreciate during his long struggle with the Reformed faith. Rohan was not only a brilliant soldier, he had the further recommendation of his creed, which would certainly assist him in dealing with the Protestant element in the three Leagues. His campaign of 1635 in the Valtelline, as it was the last, so it was the most brilliant of all the military operations in that district. Rohan seems to have understood the people and to have revelled in the geographical difficulties of the country. The rapidity of his marches over dangerous passes delighted his allies and confounded his foes. There is almost a touch of pathos in the failure of his mission for reasons which were beyond his control.
Ever since the Peace of Cherasco in 1631, under whose terms the Imperial troops evacuated the Grisons, Richelieu had been preparing the
Neither Austria nor Spain, however, intended to let the Valtelline, which was of such supreme importance to them, slip from their hands as long as the Thirty Years' War lasted. Ten thousand men were massed in Tyrol, and on July 13 attacked the Grisons garrison at Bormio. Fernamond was in command of the Imperial troops and was acting in concert with Serbelloni who was to deliver an attack on the Lower Valtelline from the Milanese. Fernamond drove the Bündner troops out of Bormio ; but, instead of pursuing them down the valley, he turned aside up the Val Pedenos, to crush the French regiment at Livigno. He was afraid to leave his rear exposed if he pushed on at once to join hands with Serbelloni. The French retired over Casana into the Enga-dine, leaving open to Fernamond that pass by which he was enabled to threaten Rohan from Val Bregaglia. There was a danger that Rohan might be caught between Fernamond's troops in the rear and Serbelloni's on his front. He grasped the situation at once and resolved to strike before Fernamond could cross Casana. He left Chiavenna, picked up his Livigno regiment in the Engadine, and on the night of June 27 pushed over Casana without a halt. Fernamond's troops, under Colonel Brisighello, never dreaming that Rohan was upon them, lay scattered about among the cottages of the village. In the grey of the morning Rohan swooped down and seized the central point, the churchyard, under shelter of whose walls his troops could open fire. The churchyard commanded the bridge, and the Imperial troops were picked off one by one as they hurriedly formed up on the opposite meadows. The action was over in a short time, and the Austrians in full retreat on Bormio. Though it lasted so short a time the engagement at Livigno was decisive for the campaign. Rohan did not pursue the enemy, but leaving a force to hold Livigno he pushed right up that valley and over the pass at its head on to the Bernina route at La Rosa, and thence down on Tirano, the chief strategical point in the Valtelline, to prevent the junction of Fernamond and Serbelloni. From Tirano he advanced
The Valtelline was now entirely in the hands of the French, and both Valtelliners and Bündners began to ask what Hohan meant to do with it. Both suspected that the French intended to keep it. Rohan summoned the Valtelline nobles to meet him at Morbegno. He endeavoured to compel them to renounce their allegiance to the Spaniards ; they refused to abandon the position secured to them by the Treaty of Monzon ; while the Grisons were demanding the terms obtained at Madrid, and the complete restitution of the valley. After long pressure and negotiations Rohan succeeded in wringing from both a statement that they placed themselves in the hands of His Most Christian Majesty. With this declaration in his possession, Rohan promulgated his settlement; the terms of which were a return to the status quo ante 1617, except as regards religion and justice; with these exceptions all "sovereignty" belonged to the three Leagues. Disputes between the Leagues and their subjects were to be settled by a Court of four, presided over by the French ambassador. This settlement completed the disillusionment of the Graubundners. This was not the Treaty of Madrid, but that of Monzon in a modified form. The reservation of religion and justice rendered their " sovereignty " an empty phrase. From this moment the Bund resolved to break with Rohan and the French. Jenatsch put himself at the head of the movement. There were other causes of complaint against the French. Rohan was left in pressing need of money by Richelieu, and the Bündner troops ceased to receive their pay. Moreover at this juncture Spain let it be known that if the Grisons would join with her to expel the French she would guarantee the unconditional restitution of the Valtelline.
On September 24, 1636, the leaders of the three Leagues met at Silvaplana and took an oath to abandon the French service. Jenatsch, Schorch, and Buol were sent to Innsbruck to come to an understanding