Wallenstein Assassinated in Cheb
In December Wallenstein retired with his army to Bohemia, around Pilsen.
Vienna soon definitely convinced itself of his treachery, a secret court found him guilty, and the Emperor sought for serious means of getting rid of him (a successor-in-command, the later emperor Ferdinand III, was already waiting). Wallenstein was aware of the plan to replace him, but felt confident that when the army came to decide between him and the Emperor the decision would be in his favour.
On January 24, 1634 the Emperor signed a secret patent (opened only to certain of Wallenstein's officers) removing him from his command. Finally an open patent charging Wallenstein with high treason was signed on February 18, and published in Prague. Losing the support of his army, Wallenstein now realized the extent of his peril, and on February 23 with a company of some hundred men, he went from Pilsen to Eger (Cheb), hoping to meet the Swedes under Duke Bernhard. After having arrived at Eger, however, certain senior Scottish and Irish officers in his force assassinated him on the night of February 25.
The Killing of Wallenstein
To carry out the assassination, dragoons under the command of the Irish general Walter Butler and the Scots colonels Walter Leslie and John Gordon first rushed upon Wallenstein's trusted officers Terzky, Kinsky, Illo and Neumann whilst the latter banqueted at Cheb Castle (which had come under the command of John Gordon himself), and massacred them. Terzky alone managed to fight his way out into the courtyard, only to be shot down by a group of muskeeters.
A few hours later, an English captain, Walter Devereux, together with a few companions, broke into the burgomaster's house at the main square, where Wallenstein had his lodgings (again courtesy of John Gordon), and kicked open the bedroom door, whereupon Devereux ran his halberd through the unarmed Wallenstein, who, roused from sleep, is said to have asked in vain for quarter.
The Holy Roman Emperor may not have commanded the murder, nor may he definitely desired it; but he had given free rein to the party who he knew wished "to bring in Wallenstein, alive or dead." After the assassination, he rewarded the murderers with honour and riches.
Wallenstein was buried at Jičín (Jitschin).
By the end of 1633, Wallenstein was distrusted by everyone, most of all his Imperial master. The generalissimo plotted with everyone against everyone else, and kept faith with no-one. The Emperor himself began to regret the plenary powers he had granted Wallenstein in the panic after Breitenfeld. The over-mighty vassal held the right to command all forces within the Empire, the right of supreme command over those forces and the right to make war and peace as he saw fit.