But Maximilian was regarded with suspicion by the states of Netherlands, and after suppressing a rising in Gelderland his position was further weakened by the death of his wife on the 27th of March 1482.
In 1494 he was again in the Netherlands, where he led an expedition against the rebels of Gelderland, assisted Perkin Warbeck to make a descent upon England, and formally handed over the government of the Low Countries to Philip. His attention was next turned to Italy, and, alarmed at the progress of Charles VIII.
The three succeeding years were mainly occupied with quarrels with the diet, with two invasions of France, and a war in Gelderland against Charles, count of Egmont, who claimed that duchy, and was supported by French troops.
The strip of coast from the mouth of the Scheldt to that of the Ems remained, however, in the hands of the free Frisians (q.v.), in alliance with whom against the Franks were the Saxons, who, pressing forward from the east, had occupied a portion of the districts known later as Gelderland, Overyssel and Drente.
Chief among these states were the duchy of Brabant, the counties of Flanders, Hainault, Holland, Gelderland, Limburg and Luxemburg, and the bishoprics of Utrecht and Liege.