Many details are given of the oppressions of the bailiffs: we hear of Gessler, of the meeting of Stoupacher of Schwyz, Furst of Uri, and a man of.
TELL The story of William Tell's skill in shooting at and striking the apple which had been placed on the head of his little son by order of Gessler, the tyrannical Austrian bailiff of Uri, is so closely bound up with the legendary history of the origin of the Swiss Confederation that they must be considered together.
Now Gessler is the name of a real family, the history of which from 1250 to 1513 has been worked out by Rochholz, who shows in detail that no member ever played the part attributed to the bailiff in the legend, or could have done so, and that the Gesslers could not have owned or dwelt at the castle of Kiissnacht; nor could they have been called Von B runeck.
Later writers added a few more particulars, - that Tell lived at Burglen and fought at Morgarten (1598), that he was the son-in-law of Furst and had two sons (early 18th century), &c. Johannes von Muller (1780) gave a vivid description of the oath at the Ruth by the three (Tell not being counted in), and threw Tschudi's version into a literary form, adding one or two names and adopting that of Hermann for Gessler, calling him of "Bruneck."
Vischer (1867) has carefully traced out the successive steps in the growth of the legend, and Rochholz (1877) has worked out the real history of Gessler as shown in authentic documents.