- TELL, WILLIAM
- Swiss hero and patriot, a peasant, native of the canton of Uri, who flourished in the beginning of the 14th century; resisted the oppression of the Austrian governor Gessler, and was taken prisoner, but was promised his liberty if with his bow and arrow he could hit an apple on the head of his son, a feat he accomplished with one arrow, with the second arrow in his belt, which he told Gessler he had kept to shoot him with if he had failed. This so incensed the governor that he bound him to carry off to his castle; but as they crossed the lake a storm arose, and Tell had to be unbound to save them, when he leapt upon a rock and made off, to lie in ambush, whence he shot the oppressor through the heart as he passed him; a rising followed, which ended only with the emancipation of Switzerland from the yoke of Austria.
The Nuttall Encyclopaedia. James Wood. 1907.
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Tell, William — German Wilhelm Tell. Swiss national hero whose historical existence is disputed. According to tradition, in the 13th or early 14th century he defied Austrian authority and was forced to shoot an apple from his son s head with a crossbow at a… … Universalium
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