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The Swiss and their Neighbours, 1460-1560Between Accommodation and Aggression$
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Tom Scott

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198725275

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198725275.001.0001

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The Year of the French

The Year of the French

(p.133) 24 The Year of the French
The Swiss and their Neighbours, 1460-1560

Tom Scott

Oxford University Press

Bern remained reluctant to offer Geneva active support, a city which, apart from its Protestantism, lay beyond Bern’s geographical orbit. It feared reprisals from the Catholic cantons, and wished to remain on good terms with Fribourg. Above all, it feared France’s designs upon Savoy, including Geneva, which stretched back to the 1510s. French spies were scouting Geneva’s hinterland from early 1535. In November a small army under François Verey attempted to relieve Geneva, almost certainly under French instructions: Verey promised Geneva the French king’s protection. The most Bern did was to threaten to cancel its long-standing Burgrecht with Savoy. But there was popular support in Bern for intervention. The death of the duke of Milan in November rekindled French ambitions in Italy, imperilling Savoy.

Keywords:   Bern’s reluctance to aid Geneva, long-standing French designs on Savoy, Verey, cancellation of Savoy Burgrecht, popular support in Bern for intervention, death of duke of Milan as trigger

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