A History of Milan under the Sforza

By Cecilia M. Ady; Edward Armstrong | Go to book overview

CHAPTER V (1466-1476)
GALEAZZO MARIA SFORZA

AT the time of Francesco's death, the heir to the Duchy of Milan was still in France. Galeazzo was making preparations to leave his winter quarters in Dauphinê in order to visit the French Court, when news came which forced him to turn his steps with all speed towards Milan. Bianca wrote herself to say that the Duke was dangerously ill, and that it was necessary to be prepared for the worst. "Therefore," she continued, "we wish you immediately on receipt of this letter to mount horse . . . bringing with you Count Gasparro . . . and to come away post-haste without any delay."1Francesco's death must have occurred almost before this missive reached Galeazzo, and with the throne already vacant, he could by no means reckon upon a favourable reception in the Duchy. The loss of a powerful Duke would naturally give rise to attempts to overthrow the dynasty, and Galeazzo had the remembrance of the general unsettlement at the time of his father's illness to show him what might be expected now. Hence the new Duke thought it prudent to set out for his dominions disguised as the servant of a Milanese merchant who was travelling from Lyons. In spite of this precaution he was attacked by some Piedmontese peasants, who besieged him for three days in the church to which he fled for safety. At length the Council of Turin came to his rescue, and on 17th March Galeazzo entered Novara escorted by the members of the Council and other Piedmontese nobles.2 The leader of this attack was a certain Agostino, Abbot of Casanova, who, reckoning on the appearance

____________________
1
Pasolini, Caterina Sforza, vol. iii., Doct. 8.
2
Op. cit., Doct. 9.

-92-

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