Venice
January 1631

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1919

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455-465

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'Venice: January 1631 ', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice: Volume 22, 1629-1632 (1919), pp. 455-465. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89279 Date accessed: 21 August 2014.


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January 1631

1631.
Jan. 2.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.
574. To the Ambassador at the Hague.
Difficulties have risen in Spain over the peace with England; as there are new confidential overtures between the Most Christian and the English kings, at a time when the Spaniards are trying by their arts to gain an advantage over the English it will not be astonishing if there is a change both in the substance of the negotiations and in those friendships also.
Ayes, 108.Noes, 1.Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
Jan. 2.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.
575. To the Ambassador in England.
We send herewith the entire course of events as forwarded to Holland. The negotiations of Montagu at the French Court and the pretensions of the Spaniards may bring about a considerable change. You will see your election as a Savio of Terra Ferma, due to your merits in successive embassies, from which we look for even greater services in the future.
Ayes, 108.Noes, 1.Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
Jan. 6.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives.
576. VICENZO GUSSONI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Application has been renewed to the King of England for the levy ... Colonel Synton ... to go to perform vigorous offices in London, while here the Ambassador Camerarius is labouring to get a new regiment from the States.
The Ambassador Ven has been here to take leave, with expressions of great esteem for the republic. I responded suitably.
Yesterday arrived (fn. 1) Before going to his quarters he had a secret audience of the prince, as there was no time to appear in the full assembly. I gather that the English have procured his mission in order to please the Spaniards with the object of renewing the dealings of England with these States to have the management of some composition brings very important accounts about Cottington's negotiations in Spain, and perhaps with more ample powers for the King of Great Britain to adjust their claims here and offer these Provinces more advantageous terms. This may receive further confirmation if it be true that Ven, before returning to London, has orders to proceed to Brussels to confer with the Infanta.
The Hague, the 6th January, 1630 [M.V.].
[Italian; deciphered.]
Jan. 10.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
577. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have the ducal missives of the 6th ult. with the copy of the letter to the Hague. Advices about the affairs of Italy arrive very frequently here by way of France, especially what concerns Casale. It is true there is never much about the Mantuan district, and recently, when advices arrived from France about the arrangement for the French to evacuate Casale and the Spaniards the Monferrat, the Ambassador Fontane could tell me nothing about the restitution of Mantua. He hinted, however, that the army of the Most Christian would not have crossed the Alps without a complete adjustment; although it seems, on the other hand, that 10,000 of the infantry who were in Italy have marched into Provence.
A few short sentences will suffice for the series of events here. They are devoting all their attention at present to the completion of the peace, in stopping hostilities and in giving some satisfaction for the disorders that arise on one side and the other on that respect. But there is nothing of consequence, because the chief point consists in the restitution of the Palatinate, and the Spaniards have taken the path of promises, which admits of delays and such slow progress as they well know how to devise. As regards the paper I reported the Spanish ambassador had presented to the king after the publication of the peace, I am told that it is a letter in the Catholic's own hand, as a guarantee of what he is about to perform in favour of the Palatine. In the meantime he offers a yearly pension for the relief of that prince.
Don Carlos continues here, and as yet no other minister has been nominated in his place. Neither have they devoted their minds to nominating any one here. Digby was suggested, as I wrote, but so many objections were raised that he did not obtain the support he expected. Cottington is returning, the ships to fetch him away having been sent already. He will leave his secretary (fn. 2) in Spain to make some show of official intercourse. When he arrives Colona may depart. They say that the son of Don Carlos will come in the name of the Infanta. It will be a complimentary embassy without any business, at least so far as one can see at present; but I will keep my eyes open. They have also been expecting for some time the young Count of Scarnafis, (fn. 3) who is coming as ambassador of the Duke of Savoy. This also is supposed to be a formal mission to impart the death of the duke and the prince's accession.
There is no news at Court. In fifteen or twenty days the king proposes to go to one of his pleasure resorts, sixty miles away. (fn. 4) He takes the queen with him, a decision that destroys the belief, current for five months, that she was pregnant, although the most intimate of those about her felt certain of it until now. Yet the youth and vigour of their Majesties affords unquenchable hopes of good fortune in the matter of the succession, in addition to the very handsome and lusty pledge which they hold of it already in his Highness the Prince of Wales.
The latest news from Holland states that Sir Henry Ven is about to return, having at length received a reply from the assembly to his original proposals. Here, to all appearance, they seem quite satisfied, considering it very respectful to the king, though they by no means liked the long time that the States took, or their apparent indifference to the treaties with the Spaniards. They consider this intentional, the more so as they profess not to have failed in any particular in the confidence and union they owed during the whole time that the affair has been in progress.
These last days I have adroitly taken up the matter of the Scottish Company for the herring fishery. I found the ministers quite friendly, and they assured me that his Majesty was equally so, accordingly I think that matters will not turn out so badly as the Dutch ambassador imagined. Upon this occasion the Secretary of State told me that, notwithstanding the peace with Spain, the king had confirmed his friendship with the States, and that it will remain as cordial as before. The rumours of negotiations for a truce in that quarter seem to be dying away, and the league concluded by their High Mightinesses with the King of Sweden, by which they contribute 50,000 francs a month, affords some hope that they are not at present inclined to accept any treaty. The report published by Rusdorf, the agent of the Palatine, back from the diet, that but for the opposition of the electors the Infanta would have made war on them, has produced by no means a good impression. To tell the truth, that minister, in other respects very prudent, is always disposed to rush to desperate ideas through excess of zeal.
News arrived recently from Sweden that the king inflicted a great defeat on the Imperialists, capturing their guns and slaying more than 1,500 Croats. (fn. 5) This success has inflamed the king here, and there is some hope that he may assist him if he can find a way. The Marquis of Hamilton persists in his intention to go with the force reported, about which I wrote to your Excellencies, although no reply has reached me as yet. I know that he is eagerly awaiting it, and it may perhaps be advisable for me to give him one, in the way that your Excellencies see fit to direct.
On the 25th October I also submitted the wishes of the Duke of Soubise, and his request that I should advise your Serenity about them; but upon this also I have not received your wishes. Accordingly I enclose herewith copies of the particulars of both affairs. I also enclose the notes of credit for the money handled by me. I have had them made distinct and separate, to avoid confusion in the different kinds of money. I hope they will prove adequate, but if more clearness be required I will attend to the matter with all diligence, when I am informed.
London, the 10th January, 1630 [M.V.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 11.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.
578. To the Ambassador at the Hague.
The reply of the States to the English ambassador, about preserving their friendship with that Crown but not putting the great interests of Holland at its arbitrament in the adjustment with Spain, has been received by the republic with a high appreciation of the prudence and vigour of the States, as it will be by all princes who care for the common cause.
Ayes, 90.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Jan. 11.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.
579. To the Ambassador in England.
You will see about affairs from what we are writing to the Hague. You will be able to use it for our service. The generous ideas of his Majesty amid the coolness and trickery of Spain in adjusting the treaties with him merit the highest praise. The reply of the States to Ven might arouse the king to further reflection and a deeper consideration of those things which really befit the service and dignity of his Crown. The Abbot Scaglia was thinking of passing from Madrid to England in order to further Spanish interests and check those of others as far as possible. This will serve for more accurate observation when the time comes. The Ambassador Gussoni already advises us of the money you have remitted to him. You might send the remainder to Venice if you find that it will be to the advantage of the state.
Ayes, 90.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Jan. 11.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives.
580. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador has been here in the course of his visit to take leave. I responded. On both occasions conversation turned upon generalities. When I asked him about the terms he said there was nothing that was not included in the last peace between the crowns. On the point of one party not helping rebels against the other he said that his king did not consider the Dutch rebels, as they are recognised as free by every one through the sending of ambassadors. Yet I hear on good authority that Cottington has made an arrangement by commission of the English merchants for 500,000 ducats, to be paid in Flanders for the service of the King of Spain, and for this Bartolomew Spinola, his Majesty's agent, has sent orders to Seville to have the money consigned to the English, who are to take it to London by the ships which have come to Cadiz to fetch the ambassador. These are three well armed ships which will take back good money in exchange for the goods they have brought to this kingdom. (fn. 6) The ambassador and other English ministers will have secured no slight profits from this voyage and the negotiations. The Court has been easy to grant every favour and every facility, so the ambassador will return home with half a fleet. I think the benefit of all parties has facilitated the conclusion, but more than all this desire to intimidate the Dutch and make them agree to treat. From this I fancy that the convenience of the Spaniards will be less than their renown in these negotiations. It might turn out, indeed, that the English merchants do not entirely fall in with these. It is very clear that the ministers about the English king are most eager (appassionati) towards this quarter, and we shall see soon whether they will rest content with this peace, or if they will want more.
Madrid, the 11th January, 1630 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Jan. 13.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives.
581. VICENZO GUSSONI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
England, having made so many efforts to induce these Provinces to join in the peace with Spain, does not cease even now to move every stone with the same object in view. The proposals of Ven were recently dismissed with a generous reply which the French have approved. They are now trying the same by Joachim's secretary, who is unable to hide the reasons for his mission, founded upon very advantageous offers with which the English, at the instigation of the Spaniards, have imbued the mind of Joachim. But those of the right party assure me in confidence that opposition to these delusions has already been offered in the assembly, because these proposals are only made by England in order to obtain advantages for the Palatine. The ministers here have stated freely of late that the Catholic ambassador recently handed two papers to the King of Great Britain, one for the affairs of the Palatine and the other for the accommodation with these States. It is not yet clear what the issue of the secretary's negotiations will be, but I know this much, that Ven, who announced his certain departure many weeks ago, has mysteriously deferred it, so far, not only until the secretary's arrival here. He admitted to me that the secretary would go back to England with him and muttered something about having to postpone his going for a few days. He said nothing about the reason for his stay and seemed to repent having gone so far, changing the subject, so I could get no more out of him. I hear it whispered that Ven and the secretary may go to Brussels, with the idea that after so many offices the government here may at last be disposed to make some declaration. I learn on good authority that the States have come to the conclusion that the Spaniards think of making the peace of Italy a fleeting one, and their aims are directed thither rather than to Flanders. To break down all these machinations of the English this countermine of France would be the true and adequate instrument, as I have suggested to the Ambassador Bosi.
The Hague, the 13th January, 1630 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Jan. 14.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
582. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The King of England has sent letters for the king and queens advising them of the peace with Spain. He directs his agent to present them only to the Secretary Bottiglier, hoping in this way to conceal as much as possible the shame of that treaty.
Paris, the 14th January, 1631.
[Italian.]
Jan. 16.
Senato, Mar. Venetian Archives.
583. That in response to the petition of the English and Flemish merchants trading in salt fish here, the decisions of this Council of the 25th Sept. and 21st Nov., 1626, about that trade be extended for five years, and they may pay this import duty after three months, upon giving security, as it is seen by experience that the quantity of salt fish brought is increased by these facilities and is diverted from other marts, to the advantage of our state.
Ayes, 108.Noes, 7.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
Jan. 18.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.
584. To the Ambassador in England.
We are sending you as usual what we are writing to the Hague this week, for your instruction. You will see that England wishes the republic to be nominated in the peace. If the final adjustment of the articles is confirmed you will try to find out the particulars about our nomination, the place and the manner. For the rest of the offices, you will act according to the demonstrations made at the Court and follow the example of the other ministers, as when we have from his Majesty an official communication of the circumstance, as will give you more precise orders, more in correspondence with our ancient affection and esteem for his Majesty.
Ayes, 94.Noes, 0.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
Jan. 18.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.
585. To the Ambassador in Spain.
You answered very ably the English ambassador's communication about the peace between his master and the Catholic. That peace has been published in England, but we have heard nothing about the nomination of the republic. With respect to Italy the Spaniards may pretend to be the auxiliaries of the emperor, but no one will believe that it is an advantage for Spain for Germans to be at Mantua and the French at Pinarolo and elsewhere in Piedmont.
The ratification of the peace with England should be reported soon. The Dutch, alarmed at this and at what may happen in Italy, speak on the one hand of a truce, and on the other of raising money for war.
Ayes, 112.Noes, 0.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
Jan. 18.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives.
586. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They neglect no means of rendering the union with England more intimate, and of binding them to give satisfaction here. Not only have they conceded to Cottington substantially all the favours and benefits he asks, but public favours attaching to his office and his master. He had a sumptuous banquet at the palace, the Count and the grandees being present, and there was a rich profusion of gold and silver vessels. After this ceremony they despatched the gentleman, who is to leave after the swearing of the peace. So far the Spaniards have not responded badly, it being understood that the Dunkirkers are assisted by the English against the Dutch ships. The English seem determined to support any ignominy and go any lengths in breaking their word. I suspected as much of this minister at an early date and sent word in good time.
Madrid, the 18th January, 1630 [M.V.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 20.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives.
587. VICENZO GUSSONI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Prince of Orange favoured this house with a special visit to-day and had a long colloquy with me after dinner. He remarked, the English want to persuade us to peace and the French to commit us to war, not for our interests but for their own, the English for the sake of the Palatinate. The offices of both agree in asking us to help the King of Sweden.
The Hague, the 20th January, 1630 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Jan. 20.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Ceffalonia. Venetian Archives.
588. NICOLO ERIZZO, Proveditore of Cephalonia, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I recently had information that 40 barrels of oil from Zante were on board the ship Peter Buonaventura, Captain William Driver, an Englishman, then at Argostoli to lade currants. At the same time the farmers of the new impost represented that a quantity of currants had been smuggled on board that ship without paying the duty. I at once sent to make enquiry. The captain, without any regard to your Serenity's port, went on board his ship and flew his battle flag, menacing the port and despising the armed barques in the channel there. When I heard of this I was greatly incensed, and at once sent to order the captain to submit to justice and permit a search. He replied through a merchant that he would permit a search, though he contrived to gain as much time as possible in order to conceal his smuggled goods. The ministers went to the ship accompanied by the customers. Seeing manifest signs of smuggling they asked the sailors to help them move some casks (carratelli) of currants in the prow, where the oil was deposited, perhaps in the hope that they would not get so far. This was absolutely refused, and as they would not allow labourers to be brought for the purpose, the ministers had to withdraw without results. At the news of this fresh disobedience, I sent again, following the course taken by the Most Illustrious Angelo Giustinian in a similar case against the same Driver. He, seeing himself discovered, set sail, going towards the mouth of the channel, though he could not then proceed further. As I knew that Navagiero, captain of the galeasses, was at Zante, I sent word to him to come and humble the pride of this captain. For some reason he did not do so, and the captain was left free to continue in his audacity. After remaining in the same place for six days, he weighed anchor, and with drums beating and flags flying he returned to Zante and proceeded to the West unmolested, to the notable detriment of the customers and my mortification, at seeing the state thus contemned by a person banished from Leghorn for similar excesses, and who last year did a great amount of smuggling in this very port, so the customers tell me. I send word to your Excellencies so that you may inform his king and get him the punishment he deserves.
Cephalonia, the 20th January, 1631.
[Italian.]
Jan. 21.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Costantinopoli. Venetian Archives.
589. GIOVANNI CAPPELLO, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador, when paying his respects, sent me word by my secretary that he has express orders from his king to exact the cottimo on all goods loaded on his ships, no matter for whom, or from what place they are brought here, and he will do this adducing the custom observed with other nations. He justifies this in the case of your Serenity's subjects not only for goods laded for them on the king's ships outside Venice, at Leghorn and other places, but even for those sailing from Venice. If I chance to meet him I will point out what has been the uninterrupted custom hitherto and the wishes of the state; but I see no way out if he persists, as I fear. I am writing about it to the consul at Aleppo.
The Vigne of Pera, the 21st January, 1630 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Jan. 24.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.
590. To the Ambassador in England.
We send what we are writing to the Hague. We are completely satisfied with your advices. With respect to the peace which the king has sworn to and the nation does not approve, we must wait to see how the promises are fulfilled and the rivalry of claims and interests. The negotiations about the differences with France are now very curious. It would not be astonishing if the later management of these served to upset the anterior settlement of the others. We commend your acquiescence to the Dutch ambassador's request to join with him so that the Dutch may not be excluded from the fisheries, and we know that you will perform such offices as you deem necessary.
Ayes, 121.Noes, 3.Neutral, 7.
[Italian.]
Jan. 24.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
591. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
For three weeks I have been without despatches. The last which reached me were of the 6th ult. I have informed your Serenity of this so that you may give the necessary orders in case there has been a mistake. Two days ago the king left with all the Court for Newmarket. He may stay there for three weeks in the pleasures of the chase. These, in addition to his Majesty's special leaning that way, may take the place of greater affairs, in this time of universal quiet and peace now enjoyed by this kingdom. Thus occasions for sending reports become more and more rare, since they do nothing here except to observe events in other places, and their preoccupation is to avoid calls upon them and expenditure. We must therefore consider this kingdom as a cipher at the present time, where the will rather than the power may perhaps be said to be lacking. This is worthy of the more consideration, especially as this nullity will continue for a long time, at least so far as present appearances indicate.
Before the king left he gave a very sumptuous banquet, attended by all the nobility. The Spanish ambassador when speaking to the king of other matters, told him he had heard of the preparations for this festivity, and hinted that he would like to be present, thus inviting himself. The king did not definitely commit himself at the time, though he seemed to consent. When the French ambassador heard of this he told the queen that he also would attend, as at a public function, and if the Spanish ambassador was there he would take his place. Yet he asked her to speak about it to the king. When his Majesty heard of the difficulty he seemed disposed to favour the Spaniards, taking into consideration that the Spanish ambassador was extraordinary, that the peace was newly sworn to and that it was customary on such occasions to extend a more cordial welcome than to the ordinary ones. The queen steadily met each of these considerations and told him frankly that none of those reasons was sufficient to justify this slight to the king, her brother. The ambassador also, being informed of the king's leanings, and alarmed, spoke to all the ministers who are of his side, with the warmth required by such an affair. He came to tell me about it, and I advised him to persist. I remarked that the Spanish ambassador would hardly have performed this office with the king, which was unusual and hardly decent, unless he had some intention of obtaining a declaration of precedence in his favour. In response to the confidence which he had shown me, I offered him my assistance wherever I could help his interests. In my opinion this would be by acting as mediator with adequate offices, in case the king should persist. The king seemed annoyed at the French ambassador making so much fuss. He told the queen that he seemed to wish to be invited by force. However, through the offices and influence of the queen, who is passionately devoted to the interests of France, especially, as she told the king, where Frenchmen are concerned, the king decided to send the Master of the Ceremonies to all the ambassadors to beg them not to take it ill if they were not invited, because the festivity was a private one, given for the special pleasure of the queen. So the affair terminated in this way, to the disgust of the French, because where they claimed to find favour they could clearly see the king's propensity against them. I am not surprised, because, as I have frequently reported, that nation is detested here, and they seek every opportunity to show their dislike. (fn. 7)
Montagu is to return from France very soon, after having tried every way to get himself established as ambassador, chiefly with the support of the Garde des Sceaux, who gave him all the help he could, because he belongs to the party opposed to the treasurer, who has had no great difficulty in upsetting every cabal. It certainly would not be a bad thing to procure his fall, but it is a very great mistake to attempt it without good prospects of success, because he takes advantage of his influence with the king to strengthen his position. When Castelnovo was here he thought to obtain his intent by getting the queen to declare herself and to speak to the king against him. This did no good and only served to impair her influence somewhat, so that if some really serious occasion arose she might be able to do very little. The Ambassador Fontane, although incensed from having been very badly treated by the Garde des Sceaux, conducts himself very straightforwardly and prudently, being led by reason rather than by passion; but the influence of Castelnovo prevails in France, and what one builds the other destroys.
The Spanish ambassador, taking advantage of the peace, is in treaty to hire twelve ships for the service of his king. I fancy they would like to prevent him here, indirectly, but they are doubtful about the way. Many similar incidents will arise, which will all serve to show more clearly the prejudice of the peace. The levies for the Infanta's service are not yet begun, but with the approach of the spring the colonels who have the matter in hand, will make every effort to obtain them.
Sir Henry Ven has crossed the sea. He reached this island yesterday and should arrive in London to-day. The younger Carleton will have remained as agent for anything that may occur. Their High Mightinesses have become suspicious and are dissatisfied with them here, while here they are by no means pleased with them, so an ambassador with right views is required to keep these wavering affections steady. But here, in addition to the dispute about entering the Council of State, which is special to that place, they are in general cutting down expenses of that kind, and now, besides Wake, who is to go to France, and Anstruther, who is ambassador errant in Germany, they have no one with other princes. Nothing is said about Spain as yet. They are expecting Cottington, and I fancy that they will be in no hurry to send an ambassador to that Court.
The Secretary of State, Dorchester, handed me the enclosed packet for Rowlandson, his Majesty's agent with your Serenity. He told me that it contained a letter for your Serenity in which his Majesty informs you of the conclusion of the peace. They have thus made good where they seem to have been wanting, because they have not spoken to any minister about it here. The articles have been printed in England. They show the friendly princes included by one side and the other, and the most serene republic is mentioned by both. From the beginning I was repeatedly assured that if they could not include the Palatine, England would not have any one else included.
London, the 24th January, 1630 [M.V.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]

Footnotes

1 The document is very much dilapidated. The person referred to is Joachim's secretary.
2 Arthur Hopton.
3 Presumably son of Antonio Count Ponte di Scarnafiggi who had been Savoyard ambassador in England in 1614, 1617 and 1621.
4 The king and queen set out for Newmarket on the 22nd January. Birch: Court and Times of Charles I, vol. ii, page 91.
5 This must refer to the victory won by Gustavus Adolphus between Greifenhagen and Garz on Christmas day, 1630.
6 Capt. Richard Plumleigh was sent to fetch Cottington, with the Convertive and the tenth Lion's Whelp. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1629–31, page 377.
7 Soranzo makes no allusion to his own share in the festivity. In spite of the intimation sent out by the king, Soranzo decided to go incognito, creating no small scandal; "quale di Venezia, non ostante che lui ancora havesse havuto la medesima notificatione, volse nondimeno andarvi incognito, di che ne è generalmente molto biasimato." Salvetti, newsletter of 24th January. Brit, Mus. Add. MSS. 27962F.