Man or Myth—Swiss Hero William Tell
Heretic, Rebel, a Thing to Flout: Man or Myth—Swiss Hero William Tell. On November 18, 1307 Wilhelm Tell, who may or may not have existed, allegedly shot an apple off of the head of his trembling son with his trusty crossbow on the orders of a tyrannical local Austrian official or Bailiff who may, or may not, have existed. Subsequently Tell may, or may not, have assassinated the villain and led a rebellion that led to the creation of the Old Swiss Confederacy.
William Tell is a folk hero of Switzerland. His legend is recorded in a late 15th-century Swiss illustrated chronicles. It is set in the time of the original foundation of the Old Swiss Confederacy in the early 14th century. According to the legend, Tell—an expert marksman with the crossbow—assassinated Gessler, a tyrannical reeve of Habsburg Austria positioned in Altdorf, Uri.