First War of Musso, Graubünden (Grisons) against the Medeghin (Milan), 1525-1526

In the last decades, Graubünden (Grisons, Grigione, Grischun) had supported the Sforza Dukes of Milan in their struggle against France, and in the process, in 1512 had acquired the Valtellino (in German : Veltlin), Chiavenna and the three Pleves. Milanese Bailiff Gian Giacomo de Medici, called the Medeghin (owing his position to Emperor Charles V.), resided in Musso castle (in German : Müss, hence the German name of the war - Müsser Krieg). He was unwilling to accept Graubünden control over areas which, until recently, had been Milanese (the Valtellino, Chiavenna); he called himself Count of Valsassina, Valdanera, Valsolda and the three Pleves (Chiavenna and environs). As the Medeghin, a true Condottiere, was loyal to the Emperor rather than to Milan, the court at Milan distrusted him as well.
While 6,000 Graubünden soldiers fought in the Battle of Pavia, the Medeghin occupied Chiavenna and raided the Valtellino. Valtellino Captain Johann Travers (1523-1525) assembled a militia and expelled the Medeghin out of the Valtellino, but had to leave him in the possession of Chiavenna; a truce for three months was concluded. The Ducal court in Milan was unwilling to listed to complaints of Graubünden envoys; on their return, the envoys were taken prisoner and incarcerated at Musso, only to be relieved and humiliated one by one. Graubünden prepared for another war; the Medeghin raided the Adda Valley, and again was repelled; the Graubünden force retook Chiavenna. The Medeghin, trusting in the impregnability of his castle at Musso, despite a series of military defeats, rejected a peace offered. The Swiss Catholic Cantons declared only to be willing to mediate between the two belligerents in case the Graubünders would return to Catholicism.

The conflict has to be seen in the context of contemporary events such as the War between France and the Emperor 1521-1529, fought mainly in Italy over Milan, and the German Peasants' War 1524-1526.

In 1526 only a temporary solution had been found. In 1531 the Medeghin would invade Graubünden again, beginning the Second War of Musso.

La Storia di Gian Giacomo Medici detto il "Medeghino" (The Story of Gian Giacomo Medici called "il Medeghino"), from Cronologia, in Italian
Johann Travers, from Historisches Lexikon der Schweiz, in German
REFERENCE Friedrich Pieth, Bündnergeschichte (History of Graubünden), Chur : F. Schuler 1945, pp.127-128

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on March 20th 2004, last revised on November 18th 2004

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