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Tyrol and its People By Clive Holland Characters: 35717

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:02

During the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) between the Catholics and Protestants of Germany, which was renowned for the victories of Wallenstein and Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden, Tyrol did not altogether escape its influence though playing no very important part in the struggle. One result was, however, of considerable importance to a family of great note in Tyrol. It brought about the ruin of the Fuggers, whose financial assistance to various rulers of Tyrol and Eastern Europe had been generally forthcoming when required. Owing to their possession of the two famous castle-fortresses of Tratzberg and Matzen their prosperity or otherwise was of considerable importance to Tyrol.

From the date (1665) when the country became completely incorporated as a part of the Austrian Empire it did homage to the Emperor Leopold I., sole heir of the joint Austro-German possessions. It was during his reign and on account of this circumstance that Tyrol became deeply involved in the War of the Spanish Succession, and was the object of attack on the part of both French and Bavarians, Leopold being the Austrian claimant to the Spanish throne, and Philip of Anjou, grandson of Louis XIV., the French aspirant.

In 1703 the French troops, under General Vendome, entered Tyrol from the South and unsuccessfully besieged Trent on their way northward to Austria; and at the same time the Bavarians overran the country by routes which they had traversed from almost time immemorial when making their periodic raids upon the Tyrolese. For a considerable period the invaders were successful, and many villages and castles of the Unter-Innthal and contiguous districts were destroyed. The capture of the capital was the cause of the uprising of the Landsturm, or general levy of the peasants; and during 1703 a number of fierce engagements were fought between these ill-armed but brave Tyrolese and the Bavarian and French troops. One of the most noted battles was that which took place immediately after the Tyrolese had destroyed the Pontlatz Bridge which spanned the River Inn, by which the Bavarians were about to cross. In this engagement the latter, under the leadership of the Elector Maximilian Emmanuel, were utterly routed by a much inferior force of the Landsturm, and driven back from North Tyrol. Following up this success the Tyrolese concentrated their energies upon the French force under General Vendome which they compelled to retire into Italy.

The Emperor Leopold I., not wishing to reside for any length of time at Innsbruck, had created the office of Statthalter or Governor of Tyrol and Vorarlberg, an office which has been filled ever since till the present day, with the exception of the period of the French and Bavarian wars with Austria in the early part of the last century.

The Emperor did not live to see the ultimate triumph of his forces. He died in 1705, and was succeeded by his sons Joseph I. and Charles VI. On the death of the latter in 1740, owing to the fact that with him the Austrian male line became extinct, the Empress Maria Theresa ruled in his stead. During her long reign the Vorarlberg became an integral part of Tyrol owing to the fact that it was an Imperial fief which reverted to the Crown by natural process on the extinction of the line of feoffees. Maria Theresa and her husband the Emperor Francis I. came to Innsbruck in 1765 for the wedding of their son Leopold, Grand Duke of Tuscany (afterwards the Emperor Leopold II.), with Maria Ludovica, daughter of Charles III., King of Spain. The Tyrolese and the Innsbruckers gave a warm welcome to their sovereigns, and the festivities were upon a most magnificent scale. The gaiety was destined, however, to be clouded and put an end to by the sudden death of the Emperor (husband of Maria Theresa), who expired at the palace immediately after his return from the Italian Opera. It was he, Francis Stephen of Lorraine, also Grand Duke of Tuscany, who founded the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, which still rules over the Austro-Hungarian Empire.


On the death of Maria Theresa in 1780 she was succeeded by her son Joseph II., upon whose accession many innovations were introduced in Tyrol as well as other portions of his wide empire. His salutary and liberally conceived reforms, more especially as regarded the Church, were brought about by a desire to adjust political and religious affairs and do away with anomalies.

Inasmuch as Joseph's scheme embraced the suppression or abolition of numerous priories, monasteries, churches, and other religious institutions, it is little to be wondered at that his action met with the most strenuous opposition from the Church whose property was threatened. One act, the closing of the University of Innsbruck, which had been founded by Leopold I. in 1677, it is not easy for any one at the present day to understand. The Emperor Joseph II.'s scheme of reform was not successful, although it had arisen from honourable motives and a sincere desire to redress some very crying grievances.

He was succeeded in 1790 by his brother, the Emperor Leopold II., who reopened the University, and undid much of the work his predecessor had accomplished with regard to the suppression of religious houses. He, however, reigned but two years, and was followed by his son Francis II. of Germany and Francis I. of Austria. This ruler came to the throne at a great and unhappy crisis in European history. The French Revolution was at its height and the ensuing period of the "blood lustful" Napoleonic Wars made of Europe a vast camp and battle ground. It was also a period destined, as events proved, to make Tyrol famous for all time, to develop the best instincts of her people, and to exhibit the race in a heroic and romantic light.

To understand the position of Tyrol at this epoch it is necessary to briefly sketch the events which led up to the struggle as it affected the "land in the Mountains." Mantua, an Austro-Italian possession, fell before Napoleon in 1797, and immediately the young general sent an army under Joubert into Tyrol, the routes into the country being left almost undefended by the retreat of the Austrian forces towards Carinthia, after their defeat at Lodi on May 10, 1796.


Once more the Landsturm was raised in South Tyrol, and again the peasant forces (to whom the name of "ragged coats" had been contemptuously given) engaged in a terrific struggle for their beloved land with the not only better armed but more numerous detachments of French and Bavarian invaders. Even the well-tried legions of Napoleon were destined, however, to find them as redoubtable as had formerly Maximilian.

Under the gallant von Worndle the Inn Valley Landsturm was led down into the Pusterthal, where it was joined by the Austrian forces under Generals Laudon and Kerpen. Napoleon's troops, although well led, and possessing all the advantages that experience and a knowledge of strategy could give them, nevertheless could not withstand the terrific onslaught and heroic bravery shown by the Tyrolese. A fierce and bloody engagement was fought at Spinges which resulted in the triumph of the peasant forces and the utter rout of the invaders, who were compelled to evacuate the country. About the same time another smaller engagement took place near Bozen, where a mere handful of peasants engaged a much superior force and defeated it. This otherwise comparatively unimportant event has gained fame and significance from the fact that this small body of Passeyer peasantry was led by a tall, broad-shouldered man with a long brown beard, named Andreas Hofer, who was destined afterwards to play so great and remarkable a part in the history of his beloved country.



After the Battle of Spinges hostilities were ended for a time by the Treaty of Campo Formio, October 17, 1797.

During this preliminary struggle against the French it is estimated by several authorities that upwards of 100,000 peasants took up arms in defence of their country, amongst whom were many women and young maidens. The total population of Tyrol at that period did not probably much exceed three quarters of a million.

The peace secured by the Treaty of Campo Formio did not, however, endure very long, for early in 1799 the war broke out again, and the French under General Massena entered Tyrol, on this occasion by way of Switzerland through the mountain passes, the Bavarians supporting the invaders by incursions over the frontier in the direction of Salzburg. In an engagement near Feldkirch in Vorarlberg General Massena was defeated; and upon making a fresh attack the French, hearing all the church bells of the district ringing on Easter Eve and mistaking them for the alarm bells summoning the Landsturm, hastily abandoned their intentions and retreated across the frontier into Swiss territory. The victories of Marengo and Hohenlinden on June 14 and December 3 of the next year, brought about the Treaty of Luneville on February 9, 1801, by which the Bishoprics of Brixen and Trent (already in a sense belonging to Tyrol) were made integral parts of the country.

Hostilities were continued, however, in other parts of Europe, and the long war dragged on, Napoleon over-running the Continent and more especially South-Eastern Europe almost unchecked, till Ulm, where the Austrians were defeated October 17-20, 1805. The French army under Marshal Ney afterwards entered and occupied Innsbruck. Then came the disastrous Battle of Austerlitz on December 2, where Napoleon defeated the combined Russian and Austrian forces. The power of the latter was shattered, and by the Treaty of Pressburg, December 26, 1805, Tyrol, which now for upwards of four hundred years had been one of the chief possessions of the house of Habsburg, was ceded to the victors. The Bavarians took the northern, and the French the southern portion. Not only was the country for a time lost to Austria, but even its name was taken from it. The new owners promptly divided it into three departments known by the names of the three chief rivers-the Inn, Eisack, and Adige.

In the beginning of the year following the Treaty the Bavarians took formal possession of their new territory. During a period of some three years the Tyrolese fretted under the rule of their conquerors. But the time was not spent merely in idle murmurings or in servile acceptance of the conqueror's yoke. The peasants who had fought so bravely for their land and liberty in ancient times, and in 1797 and 1799, were eager once more to take the field to recover their lost freedom, and to drive the usurpers of their beautiful Tyrol for ever beyond its frontiers.


Day by day, week by week, month by month a general rising of the community was being gradually organized by three men more particularly, who were each of them destined to become famous, and to go down to posterity as the saviours of their country. Of these Andreas Hofer, born of Inn-keeping parents at Sandyland in the Passeyer Valley in 1765, was destined to outshine both in his life and death his two companions, named Speckbacher, born at Rinn, and Haspinger, the tall, red-bearded Capucin monk, known respectively as "the fire-devil" and "the red beard."

The task that Hofer and his companions set themselves was no easy one. The country swarmed not only with the soldiers of the Bavarian occupation force, but with spies who seem always to spring up whenever the price of treachery is worth earning. The punishment for men taking part in any such schemes as that in which Hofer, Speckbacher, and Haspinger and their faithful companions were engaged in was death. Death not only for the principals, but death for the humblest participant. Nevertheless the plan prospered. It is interesting to remember the very large and important part which was played in the organization of the peasants' uprising by the Tyrolese innkeepers, or wirthe, who were very dissimilar to the ordinary conception which English people have of men of their class. They were usually the most wealthy as well as the most solid members of the village communities in which they dwelt and kept their Wirthshaus, around which, indeed, much of the social as well as the municipal life of the village centred. They were better informed than many of their neighbours, for whatever travellers came to the villages found their way to their hospitable roofs; and what echoes of the outer world ever reached the secluded villages filtered its way, as it were, through them. It was in these men that Hofer found his greatest allies and ablest assistants. During the three years which succeeded the Bavarian occupation and the peasant rising, the innkeepers of Tyrol were busy gathering round them small bodies of trusted men, who, fired by a common desire to free their country, would, indeed, have suffered death rather than betray a single word of the secret arrangements of which they gradually became cognizant.

When many of the preparations were completed Andreas Hofer commenced a correspondence with the Government in Vienna-which seemed so incapable and unwilling to assist the brave people it had seemingly abandoned in their struggle for freedom-in the person of the Archduke John. But although Hofer and his companions do not seem to have received very much definite or material encouragement from the Emperor or his advisers, they proceeded to Vienna, had several interviews with the Archduke, who appeared to be most favourably inclined to their scheme, and at these interviews the plan of campaign was definitely formulated. In the end Hofer returned to St. Leonard raised to the dignity of Commander-in-Chief of the national forces, and with full powers to do what he deemed best in the interests of the country.

What he did not, however, secure was any support from Vienna in the form of arms or disciplined troops with which to leaven his "ragged coats." The courage of the men who entered upon a campaign against trained and tried soldiers armed with the most up-to-date weapons of those times can scarcely be estimated just as it most certainly cannot be over-praised. Owing to the rigorous search for arms which the Bavarians and French had instituted in almost every dwelling in the land, during the two or three years which intervened between the Treaty of Pressburg and the uprising of the peasants under Hofer, it was not possible to obtain and store new weapons in any quantity even if to do so had not been rendered difficult from the hosts of spies which overran Tyrol and seemed to lurk beneath almost every rock. Thus it was that out-of-date weapons-most of which had seen service in the war of a century before-billhooks, scythes, clubs and pitchforks, with whatever other arms their own ingenuity could devise or the village blacksmiths make, were pitted against the arms of some precision of the French and Bavarian troops. All that the peasant forces had to sustain them in the struggle against well-armed and disciplined veterans, superior as regards knowledge of warfare, was dauntless courage and a greater acquaintance with the country and of hill fighting.


Upon Hofer's return with his companions from Vienna his Inn became the resort-more or less secretly-of all who were truly desirous of joining the popular movement and of freeing the country. Many, we are told, blamed him for trusting so implicitly all who came. But to objectors he made the same answer: "There are no traitors amongst my countrymen." That his confidence was not misplaced was abundantly shown by the fact that the secret of a conspiracy so vast that it may be said to have extended north, south, east, and west almost throughout Tyrol was unrevealed until the ever-memorable night of April 10, 1809, when the time fixed for the uprising arrived.


On the evening of that day the peasants of the Passeyer and other valleys were called to arms by means of great fires which blazed out in the darkness of the clear April sky in long, ruddy banners of flame. Every hill crest in the vicinity of the Passeyer Valley had its signal fire, and these were answered by others on the mountains overshadowing the distant valleys. On the morrow Andreas Hofer found himself at daybreak at the head of nearly 5000 men who had one and all "confessed" and received the Sacrament ere taking up arms in their sacred cause of liberty.

The Bavarians were at once hotly attacked and routed; and on the 12th, soon after dawn, upwards of 15,000 peasants had rallied to Hofer's standard and appeared before Innsbruck. With indomitable bravery they captured the bridge over the Inn, carried the heights by assault, and entering the town engaged in a fierce hand-to-hand conflict with the troops of General Bisson (who was in command of the joint French and Bavarian forces) and compelled him to surrender.

In the deadly conflict of the streets, which ran red with blood, and into whose mire peasants, French and Bavarian soldiers and officers alike were trampled by the on-press of the Tyrolese, the ruder weapons of the latter, consisting of heavily butted fire-locks, broad knives used in husbandry, scythe blades attached to staves, and bludgeons cut from the thickets of the mountain side, were as deadly and even perhaps more so than the weapons of their enemies.

Down the ancient streets, overshadowed by the everlasting snow-clad mountains; into the narrow byways and courtyards of the ancient town; along under the arcades of the old-time Herzog Freidrich Strasse, swept the Tyrolese, slaying as they went, until the invaders, driven from cranny to cranny, struck down in the open, compelled many of them to retreat along th

e Inn banks till they fell back into the swiftly flowing river, cried for quarter and surrendered.

At Wilten, on the outskirts of Innsbruck itself, the fiery Speckbacher surrounded a Bavarian force of nearly 5000 men and took them prisoners of war. Thus after less than four days' fighting the Tyrolese had defeated the Bavarians, captured Innsbruck, and compelled the French commander to sue for quarter. And in their hands they held two generals, 132 officers, nearly 6000 men, three standards, five pieces of cannon, and 800 horses.

By the end of April, Tyrol was again free of invaders with the sole exception that the Bavarians still held the castle of Kufstein.

It was now that the Government in Vienna made one of the many serious mistakes which throughout its dealings marked the policy pursued in relation to Tyrol's struggle for freedom. General Chasteler, of whom it was said that "he always came too late and went too soon," was given the supreme command. And from that moment the advantages gained by Hofer, his brave companions-in-arms Speckbacher and Haspinger, and the peasant troops, were lost. In an almost incredibly short space of time Chasteler succeeded in losing all that had been won. At length his failure to hold what had been committed to his charge became so obvious that he retreated beyond the Brenner, leaving Andreas Hofer to do the best he could in defence of the portion of Tyrol not then reconquered by the enemy. In little more than a month from the time the French and Bavarians had been driven from Innsbruck they entered it again in triumph; and thus, on the 20th of May, Tyrol was once more to all intents and purposes conquered.

The brave leader of the peasants, however, was determined to make one more supreme effort to free his country from the French and Bavarian yoke, and after summoning to his standard all who were capable of bearing arms, he had the satisfaction of once more driving the invaders from Innsbruck, and freeing for the second time the country he loved so well.


This triumph was not, however, destined to endure, for the Austrian forces under the Archduke Charles suffered a crushing defeat from Napoleon's troops at Wagram on July 5 and 6, 1809, and were forced to sue for peace or at least an armistice at Znaim, in which Tyrol was ignored. Amongst other things, by the subsequent Treaty, Austria ceded all her sea coast to France, as well as considerable territory to Saxony and Bavaria. But it was not until the French, Bavarian, and Saxon troops, straight from their victory at Wagram, to the number of some 50,000 men, entered Tyrol under the command of Marshal Lefèbre, and the Austrian army marched away out of Innsbruck in full retreat before the advancing enemy, that Hofer realized that he and his cause once more were abandoned by the Emperor and his advisers.

Again Hofer came to the rescue; and, though in a measure a fugitive, in one of the little-known gorges, he managed to send forth from valley to valley his summons to the people to gather once more round his standard. That none should certainly know from these summonses where he lay concealed it was his wont to sign them "Andreas Hofer, from where I am "; whilst in return those communicating with him addressed theirs "To Andreas Hofer wherever he may be."

He once more succeeded in inspiring his fellow-countrymen with his own undying, unyielding patriotism. Gathering his forces together in a gorge of the Mittewald he awaited the enemy's advance. We cannot do better than draw in part, for a description of what followed, from the stirring and vivid narrative of Albert Wolff. The vanguard of Marshal Lefèbre under the command of General Rouyer advanced to Sterzing; and then a column of Saxon troops to the number of about 4000 was thrown out beyond the village towards the gorge of Stilfes with orders to sweep away the insurgents. The idea that the untrained, ill-armed, and heterogeneous peasant forces could successfully resist the victors of Wagram appeared ridiculous to the Marshal and his officers, even if the Tyrolese were so foolhardy as to make the attempt. For some distance the Saxons advanced without either meeting with opposition or discovering an enemy; and then, when the whole column, had fully entered the defile from the mountain sides above them there resounded a sudden, terrifying cry of "To the attack, and no quarter."

The cry was followed by a starting up of thousands of peasants, men, women, and children, the aged and the young, from behind the boulders on the hillside, from out the hollows. Down the steep mountain gorge crashed rocks, tree trunks, baulks of timber, earth and stones loosed from the restraining ropes by the Tyrolese, sweeping every obstruction before them, and falling upon the penned-up Saxons like an avalanche. Then, as the latter were vainly and fiercely struggling to extricate themselves from the debris and entanglements, the peasants rushed down the mountain side and hurled themselves upon their bewildered foes, shouting Hofer's battlecry, "For God and our Country."

The enemy, utterly routed, turned and fled-what remained of them-towards Innsbruck, pursued by the Tyrolese led by Hofer, Speckbacher, and by the red-bearded Capuchin Haspinger, who held in one hand a crucifix, and in the other a bloodstained sword. Upon the Saxons the Tyrolese had no mercy, and hundreds were cut down as they fled along the road back to Innsbruck.


In little more than a week Hofer, by a vigorous following up of his victory in the Pass of Stilfes, had once more repulsed the invader, retaken the position on Berg Isel, and established his headquarters at Sch?nberg. These historic eight days of fighting and victory are known in Tyrolese history as "the great week."

Innsbruck still, however, remained in the occupation of the enemy. To take the town was a task that might have given pause to any less brave and venturous a commander than Hofer. But he was not the man to hold back from a complete freeing of his beloved land from those who had invaded it. The plans were laid, the day fixed, and the advance ordered. On the morning of the attack, at five o'clock, Haspinger the militant Capuchin, a commanding figure upon whom the light of early dawn threw an almost uncanny refulgence, celebrated Mass before the assembled peasant host, who knelt in serried ranks, ragged, unkempt, but inspired to great deeds by memories of their past victories. After this solemn observance Haspinger once more became a captain of troops rather than a priest; and springing into his saddle he drew his sword and led on the left wing. Andreas Hofer himself was in the centre, and led the attack there, marching right on to Innsbruck.

A contemporary account describes the hero as being "transfigured with a grandeur scarcely earthly, as, burning with patriotism, he urged his horse forward into battle." With his long beard, which had gained him the nickname of General Barbonne amongst the French, flowing in the wind, and his war cry of "Onward for your country and your Emperor! God will protect the right!" he led his forces so irresistibly that the troops of Marshal Lefèbre gave way and evacuated the town. On the following day, August 15th, which was the fête of the Blessed Virgin, Hofer, at the head of his victorious peasants, made his third entry as victor into the capital.

Around him thronged the citizens, overcome with transports of joy, pressing him so closely that many were trampled beneath his horse's feet. In the enthusiasm, relief, and triumph of victory, Hofer was named with one voice dictator of Tyrol. But there was that strange analogy which links Hofer's attitude in the hour of triumph so closely (notwithstanding the differentiations of sex) with that of Joan of Arc and with Cromwell. Turning to the thronging multitude, which filled the narrow streets to overflowing, he cried out, with a gentle and almost pitiful glance at their upturned faces, "Do not shout in triumph; but offer thanks to God and pray." At the door of the church of the Franciscans he dismounted, and entered the building to return thanks to God, and remained there in prayer, unmoved by the cheers and "Hochs" of the great assembly of his troopers and fellow-countrymen outside, the sounds of which, as they came in through the constantly open doors of the church at that hour, bore no personal significance to him.

On leaving the building he was waited upon by the chief citizens, who expressed their undying gratitude to their deliverer. But in response he said, "By my beard and St. George, God himself and not I has been the Saviour of our country."

Andreas Hofer was destined to show that he was not only a warrior, but also an administrator, actuated by the most lofty desires for his country's good. In every act of his government could be detected the truly religious and patriotic character of the man. And during the short time that he reigned in the palace at Innsbruck, waiting anxiously for the approval and the help from his Emperor in Vienna, his conduct was marked by dignity, kindliness, and strength. But alas, his triumph was but brief. In less than two months after the retaking of Innsbruck, a fresh Bavarian army was entering Tyrol by way of the Unter-Innthal, and taking Speckbacher unawares the invaders gained a partial victory; and ere the disaster of October 10th could be retrieved, the Treaty of Vienna was agreed upon (October 14, 1809), by which the hand of one of the Habsburg princesses was promised to Napoleon as the price of peace.

Tyrol by this new arrangement remained Bavarian, and the Archduke John himself called upon Andreas Hofer to lay down his arms. The latter did not obey. He persuaded himself that the Treaty of Vienna was without substance, or merely a trick to enable the invaders to make good their fresh hold upon the country, and he decided to continue the struggle. His followers, however, were discouraged by the callous way in which the Austrian Government had invariably left them to fight their own battles alone.

Speckbacher, too, was deserted by all save a mere handful of men, and after remaining in hiding for some time and escaping capture by a miracle he succeeded in getting to Vienna. The Capuchin Haspinger afterwards joined him there, and was ultimately made curate of Hietzing, near Sch?nbrunn. It then became clear to Hofer that to continue the struggle for freedom just then was useless and, indeed, impossible; so he dispersed his own handful of faithful friends and supporters, telling them, "We shall meet again before long, for Tyrol will not perish."


With these prophetic words, which were destined never to be realized so far as the meeting with his faithful comrades in arms was concerned, Hofer took farewell of his companions and fled a fugitive into the mountains of the Passeyer Valley.

A price was put upon his head by the Bavarians and French, who recognized that their peaceful occupation of the conquered and ceded territory depended very greatly upon the capture and imprisonment or death of Hofer, who, as a popular hero, held so high a place in the hearts of his countrymen; and that for him to remain at large would constitute a perpetual menace.

For a long while Hofer was able to elude the vigilance and discovery of his would-be captors. Technically, and owing to his abandonment by the Austrian Government, he was a rebel on account of his refusal to lay down his arms when commanded by the Archduke John to do so. In the end, as so often happens, there was one found base and treacherous enough to betray the fugitive for blood money. Guided by such an one, named Raffl, some Italian gendarmes, supported by a small detachment of French soldiers, made their way amid the intricate mountain paths to the chalet where-near St. Leonard, but far from other habitations-Andreas Hofer had for some months lived with his family, now broken down by despair for his country, anxiety and privation.

He made no resistance, and was immediately taken to Mantua, escorted (such was his fame and the fear lest he should escape or be rescued) by four French officers, a battalion of infantry, and a detachment of cavalry. No effort appears to have been made by the Austrian authorities to save the hero to whom they owed so much, and Hofer was tried by court-martial under the presidency of General Bisson, and condemned to be shot.


On the morning of February 20th, 1810, Andreas Hofer, who lay in prison but a short time after condemnation, was awakened early and led forth to die. At the gates were gathered a handful of his friends and companions in arms who had been captured and brought to Mantua, or had followed him there, and these knelt and entreated his blessing as he passed by them; this he gave calmly, remaining far less outwardly moved than they who received it.

Then onwards to the Ceresa Gate, where the firing party halted. Hofer declined to have his eyes bandaged; neither would he kneel. But standing erect with unwavering courage he faced the file of soldiers, who with loaded muskets were to do him to death. Giving his last remaining piece of money to the corporal, he said to him, "Aim straight." Then he calmly gave the signal to fire.

The muskets rang out, the bullets sped to their mark, and one of the noblest of patriots Europe had ever seen fell without a groan.

At his own last request his body was buried at Mantua in the garden of his friend and father confessor, Manifesti. There it lay for fifteen years, until one night three officers of a Tyrol Chasseur regiment stealthily removed the remains, distressed that the hero of Tyrol should lie buried in foreign soil. The body was first taken to Bozen, and shortly afterwards to the Abbey of Wilten.

When later a funeral worthy of his fame was accorded him, deputations came from all parts of Tyrol to pay their tribute to the greatest hero in its history; and amid a throng which was perhaps never before equalled in the streets of Innsbruck, the remains of Andreas Hofer were with great appropriateness borne to their last resting-place in the church of the Franciscans by twelve innkeepers. On the coffin lay his hat, sword, and decorations, and upon it were the armorial bearings of his family, which had been ennobled by the Emperor Francis I. in 1819. And thus, in a tomb cut from the marble of the Tyrol he loved, his body was laid to rest.

In the same year that Hofer died, Tyrol was divided into three parts. Italy took the southern, Bavaria retained the northern, and Illyria the south-eastern or Pusterthal district. So it remained for three years, until 1813, when the power of Napoleon was once and for ever broken in eastern Europe, when he was defeated at the fierce battle of Leipsic on October 16-18, by the allied forces of Austria, Russia and Prussia. In this battle (known as "the battle of the nations") upwards of 400,000 men were engaged; a fifth of the number were slain. The allies were helped at a critical point of the fighting by the defection from Napoleon of a large force of Saxons.

In the following year Tyrol was reunited to Austria with the addition of the Ziller and Brixen valleys and Windisch-Matrei. On May 27, 1816, the Emperor Francis I. (who in 1806 had resigned the title of Emperor of Germany, retaining only that of Austria) entered Innsbruck to receive the allegiance of the people. His reception was most enthusiastic, the people rejoicing unrestrainedly at once more gaining their freedom, and being reunited to the Austrian Empire.

During the revolutionary excitement which pervaded Europe in 1848 the then Emperor of Austria, Ferdinand, and his Empress took refuge in Tyrol; and in the Austro-Italian War of 1848 the Tyrolese greatly distinguished themselves by their bravery and good marksmanship.

There remains little more to add concerning Tyrol's history. On December 2, 1848, the Emperor Francis Joseph I. succeeded his uncle Ferdinand, who abdicated after ruling the country for thirteen years under the guidance of the powerful Prince Metternich whose reactionary policy provoked the Revolution of 1848.

In 1859 the Austro-Italian provinces, with the exception of Venice, were absorbed by the Kingdom of Sardinia, previous to the formation of the Kingdom of Italy. In consequence Tyrol became the frontier of Austria to Italy, and of increased importance. In 1866, during the war between Austria and Prussia, the latter supported the Italians in a scheme to seize Southern Tyrol. The Tyrolese Jager and Schutzen forces took a prominent part in the campaign, and were engaged with great credit at the Battle of Custozza, where the Austrians with 70,000 men defeated the army of Victor Emmanuel, nearly twice as strong. Afterwards, when the Prussians defeated the Austrians at the Battle of Sadowa or Koniggratz on July 3, 1866, and a fresh attempt was made to seize South Tyrol, the inhabitants once more showed that their old-time courage and resource was not diminished.


Since then Tyrol has been happily both peaceful and prosperous; advancing in the arts, and with a system of education which is bearing good fruit.

What the future of this favoured and beautiful land may be, who can tell? Perhaps the secret is already locked up in the chancelleries of Eastern Europe.

But the wise and beneficent ruler who now guards the destinies of the many-sided Austrian Empire is old, and when the end comes it does not need the keen observer to possess much gift of anticipating events to predict that Tyrol may be the scene of yet further struggles when Germany's desire for a seaport on the Mediterranean via the Adriatic has possibilities of accomplishment.

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