GIAN GALEAZZO, DUKE -- LODOVICO SFORZA'S RISE TO POWER (1476-1492)
ON the very day of Galeazzo's murder, the Secret Council met in the Castello to proclaim young Gian Galeazzo Duke in his father's stead, under the guardianship of Bona of Savoy. Yet the real ruler of the Duchy was not the sickly boy of seven, nor the woman whose character Philippe de Commines summed up in the one trenchant phrase, dame de petit sens. It was rather Francesco Sforza's former secretary, Cecco Simonetta, whose experience of the methods of government during the two preceding reigns made him alone capable of steering the bark of State through the troubled waters of a Regency. The death of a Duke always produced a certain amount of agitation in Milan, and the tragic circumstances of Galeazzo's end might well be expected to intensify the disturbance. In order to tide over the difficult moment, Simonetta arranged that the new reign should be inaugurated by a series of conciliatory measures. The detested inquinto was declared to be permanently removed from the taxes. Prisoners for debts and for minor offences were released. Galeazzo's creditors received promises of payment. Owing to the scarcity of bread in Milan, caused apparently by a bad harvest, the grist tax was suspended, and free importation of flour was permitted until the danger of famine should be averted. Thanks to these measures, ran a document of the day, "all would be filled with goodwill towards their rulers and would pray for their long life and happiness". Not content with conciliation, Bona wrote to Sixtus IV. imploring his help and protection should any disturbance occur in Milan. New fortifications
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Publication information: Book title: A History of Milan under the Sforza. Contributors: Cecilia M. Ady - Editor, Edward Armstrong - Editor. Publisher: Methuen & Co.. Place of publication: London. Publication year: 1907. Page number: 115.