The progress of the Reformation attracted the attention of all Switzerland, but there was a strong opposition to it, especially in the five Forest Cantons: Lucerne, Zug, Schwyz, Uri and Unterwalden; and the Zurichers felt it necessary to form a league in its defence.
According to him the men of Schwyz and of Unterwalden were the first to rise, those of Uri following suit much later But neither Justinger nor Hemmerli makes any allusion to Tell or his feat.
In the final recension of Tschudi's Chronicle (1734-36), which, however, differs in many particulars from the original draft still preserved at Zurich, we are told how Albert of Austria, with the view of depriving the Forest lands of their ancient freedom, sent bailiffs (among them Gessler) to Uri and Schwyz, who committed many tyrannical acts, so that finally on 8th November 1307, at the Riitli, Werner von Stauffacher of Schwyz, Walter Fiirst of Uri, Arnold von Melchthal in Unterwalden, each with ten companions, among whom was William Tell, resolved on a rising to expel the oppressors, which was fixed for New Year's Day 1308.
Unterwalden - in den Jahren1212-1315(Zurich, 1858); Alf.
In 1503 the French king ceded it to Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden, which henceforth ruled it very harshly through their bailiffs till 1798.