The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Paston Letters, A.D. 1422-1509. Volume 4 (of 6)

This ebook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this ebook or online at If you are not located in the United States, you will have to check the laws of the country where you are located before using this eBook.

Title: The Paston Letters, A.D. 1422-1509. Volume 4 (of 6)

Editor: James Gairdner

Release date: October 16, 2012 [eBook #41081]
Most recently updated: August 17, 2013

Language: English


E-text prepared by Louise Hope, Chris Curnow,
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team
from page images generously made available by
Internet Archive/Canadian Libraries


Note: Images of the original pages are available through Internet Archive/Canadian Libraries. See

Project Gutenberg has the other volumes of this work.
Volume I: see
Volume II: see
Volume III: see
Volume V: see
Volume VI, Part 1 (Letters, Chronological Table): see
Volume VI, Part 2 (Index): see


This text uses UTF-8 (Unicode) file encoding. If the apostrophes and quotation marks in this paragraph appear as garbage, you may have an incompatible browser or unavailable fonts. First, make sure that your browser’s “character set” or “file encoding” is set to Unicode (UTF-8). You may also need to change the default font.

The Gairdner edition of the Paston Letters was printed in six volumes. Each volume is a separate e-text; Volume VI is further divided into two e-texts, Letters and Index. Volume I, the General Introduction, will be released after all other volumes, matching the original publication order.

All brackets are in the original, as are parenthetical question marks and (sic) notations. Series of dots representing damaged text are shown as printed. Note that the printed book used z to represent original yogh ȝ. This has not been changed for the e-text. The copy number (first page of each volume) is hand-written.

The year of each letter was printed in a sidenote at the top of the page; this has been merged with the sidenote at the beginning of each letter. Footnotes have their original numbering, with added page number to make them usable with the full Index. They are grouped at the end of each Letter or Abstract.

Text lightly shaded in violet indicates the site of a typographical error. Hover the cursor over the shaded text, and the explanation should appear. Typographical errors are listed again at the end of the Letter, after any footnotes. In the primary text, errors were only corrected if they are clearly editorial, such as missing italics, or mechanical, such as u-for-n misprints. Italic “d” misprinted as “a” was a recurring problem, especially in Volume IV. The word “invisible” means that there is an appropriately sized blank space, but the letter or punctuation mark itself is missing.

Some Specifics: The spelling “Jhon” is not an error. Gresham and Tresham are different people. Conversely, the inconsistent spelling of the name “Lipyate” or “Lipgate” in footnotes is unchanged. In Volume IV, the spelling “apostyle” for “apostille” is used consistently.

The Paston Letters: Edward IV
Contents of this Volume

If you are comfortable typing directly into your browser’s address bar, you can go straight to any page or letter. Simply add #pageN or #letterN to the end of the file name, where “N” is the number of the page or letter.



This edition, published by arrangement with Messrs. Archibald Constable and Company, Limited, is strictly limited to 650 copies for Great Britain and America, of which only 600 sets are for sale, and are numbered 1 to 600.

No.  .  . 44 .  .  .

A.D. 1422-1509


see end of text


Text of Title Page

Edinburgh: T. and A. Constable, Printers to His Majesty


Edward IV


A Lettre to J. Paston, Armig., from his wife, shewing his imprisonment in the Fleete.1.2

NOV. 2

Ryth worchepfull husbond, I recomand me to yow. Plesyt yow to wet that I receyvyd yowyr lettyr that ye sent me by John Holme on Wednysday last past, and also I receyvvd a nothyr lettyr on Fryday at nyt, 2 that ye sent me by Nycolas Newmanys man, of the whyche lettyrs I thanc yow; for I schold ellys a’ thowt that it had be wers with yow than it hathe be, or schal be, by the grace of Almyty God. And yet I kowd not be mery, sethyn I had the last lettyr tyll thys day that the Meyir sent to me, and sent me werd that he had knowlege for very trowthe that ye wer delyveryd owt of the Flet, and that Howard was comytyd to ward for dyvers gret compleynts that wer mad to the Kyng of hym. It was talkyd in Norwyche and in dyvers othyr plasys in the contre on Saterday last past, that ye wer comytyd to Flet, and in good feyth, as I herd sey, the pepyle was ryth sory ther of, bothe of Norwyche and in the contre. Ye ar ryth myche bownde to thank God, and all tho that love yow, that ye have so gret love of the pepyll as ye have. Ye ar myche behold to the Meyir2.1 and to Gylberd,2.2 and to dyvers othyr of the aldyrmen, for feythfully they owe yow good wyll to ther porys.

I have spoke with Syr Thomas Howys for swyche thyngys as ye wrot to me for, and he promysyd me that he schold labour it aftyr yowyr intent as fast as he kowd; and in good feyth, as my brodyr and Playter kan tell yow, as be hys seying to us, he is and wole be feythfull to yow. And as for Wylliam Wyrcestyr, he hathe be set so up on the hone, what by the parson and by othyr, as my brodyr and Playter schall telle yow, that they hope he wole do well i now. The parson seyd ryth well and pleynly to hym. The parson tolde me that he had spook with Syr Wylliam Chambyrleyn,2.3 and with hys wyfe, and he thynkyth that they wole do well i now aftyr yowyr intent, so that they be plesantly intretyd. The parson tolde me that he wyst well that Syr Wylliam Chambyrleyn cowd do more ese in swyche matyers as ye wrot of, towchyng my Lord of Bedford,2.4 than ony man kowd do that leveyth at 3 thys day. Also he tolde me that he felt by hem that they wold owe yow ryth good wyll, so that ye wold owe hem good wyll. The parson hopyth verily to make yow acordyd when he comyth to London.

Item, my brodyr and Playter wer with Calthorp3.1 to inquer of the mater that ye wrot to me of. What answer he gave hem, they schall tell yow. I sent the Parson of Heylysdon3.2 to Gurnay3.3 to spek to hym of the same mater, and he seyth feythefully ther was no swyche thyng desyiryd of hym, and thow it had be desyiryd, he wold nowthyr a’ seyd nor done a yens yow. He seyd he had ever fownde you lovyng and feythfull to hym, and so he seyd he wold be to yow to hys power, and desyiryng me that I wold not thynk hym the contrary. As for John Gros, he is at Slole; ther for he myth not be spok with.

I pray yow that ye wole send me word whedyr ye wole that I schall remeve frome hens, for it begynyth to wax a cold abydyng her. Syr Thomas Howys and John Rus schall make an end of all thyngys aftyr yowyr intent, as myche as they can do ther in this wek, and he purposyth to come forward to yow on the Monday next aftyr Seynt Leonardys Day.

My brodyr and Playter schold a be with yow er thys tym, but that they wold a byd tyl thys day wer past, be cause of the schyer. I spok to my brodyr Wylliam as ye bad me, and he told me, so God hym help, that he hyryd ij. horse ij. dayis be for that ye redyn, that he myth a’ ryde forthe with yow; and be cause that ye spak not to hym to ryde with yow, he seyd that he wend3.4 ye wold3.5 have had hym with yow.

Thomas Fastolfys modyr was her on the next day aftyr ye wer redyn, to have spoke with yow for hyr sone. Sche3.6 4 prayith yow, at the reverens of God, that ye wole be hys good mastyr, and to help hym in hys ryth, that he may have hom hys lyvelod owt of ther handys that have had it in hys nownage. Sche seyth that they wold mak hym a yer yonger than he is, but sche seyth that he is more thane xxj., and upon that sche dare take an othe.

And the Blyssyd Trynyte have yow in Hys kepyng, and send yow good sped in all yowyr matyrs, and send the vyctary of all yowyr enmyis.

Wretyn in hast, on Sowlemas Daye.4.1 By yowyrs, M. P.

1.1 [From Fenn, iv. 232.] This letter is ascribed by Fenn to the year 1465, in consequence of the allusion to John Paston’s imprisonment in the Fleet. But there were more occasions than one on which he was confined there. Fenn himself knew of two. Paston was committed to the Fleet, as we know from William Worcester, on Saturday, the 3rd November 1464. He was also confined there in August and September 1465, and may very possibly have been released by the beginning of November. But I am inclined to think this letter refers to an imprisonment prior to either of these. For, in the first place, the news of it seems only to have been recent. It had become general subject of conversation at Norwich, ‘on Saturday last,’ whereas in 1465 it must have been known two months earlier. Secondly, Sir William Chamberlain, whose influence Sir Thomas Howes hopes will be of service, must have died in the spring of 1462. According to Blomefield (Hist. of Norfolk, i. 321), his will was dated the 3rd March 1461 (which would be in the modern computation 1462), and was proved on the 21st April 1462. It may be presumed, therefore, that on receiving the letter from his brother Clement (No. 484), written on the 11th October 1461, John Paston hastened up to London and was immediately thrown into prison. By this letter, however, we find that he was soon afterwards released, and his great enemy Howard sent to prison in his stead.

1.2 There is no direction to the letter, but the words above inserted are written in an ancient hand upon the back of it.—F.

2.1 William Norwich was Mayor of Norwich in 1461.

2.2 John Gilbert was Mayor in 1459 and in 1464. He died in 1472.

2.3 Sir William Chamberlain of Gedding, Suffolk, a Knight of the Garter, who had served under the Regent Bedford in the French wars. He married Anne, daughter and heir of Sir Robert de Herling, who, though she long survived him, and had two husbands after him, the second of whom was John, Lord Scrope of Bolton, was buried by her own desire beside her first husband, in the chancel of Herling Church

2.4 John, Duke of Bedford, Regent of France, died at Paris in 1435.—F.

3.1 Query, if Sir William Calthorpe, Knight, High Sheriff of Norfolk, etc., in 1464, and died very old in 1494.—F.

3.2 Thomas Hert was instituted to the Rectory of Hellesdon in 1448.—F.

3.3 Thomas Gurney of Norwich, Esq., died in 1471.—F.

3.4 ‘Woud’ in Fenn in the original text, but this is evidently a misprint. The right-hand copy reads ‘wend,’ i.e. weened or thought, and the note immediately following shows that this was the reading intended.

3.5 The word ‘not’ seems here to have been omitted in the original letter.—F.

3.6 The word ‘He’ occurs in the text before ‘Sche,’ but is evidently a mistake.

4.1 All Souls’, otherwise Soulmas Day, 2nd of November.—F.

in the chancel of Herling Church.
final . missing or invisible


To my ryth worchepfull [hus]bond, John Paston, be thys delyveryd in hast.

NOV. 20

Ryth worchepfull husbond, I recomand me to yow. Plesyt yow to wet that I receyvyd yowyr lettyr that ye sent by the gold smyth, as thys day in the mornyng. As for Syr Thomas, he sent me word he schold to yow ward as on Twysday last past; if he fayle ony thyng that ye sent word he schold bryng with hym, it is not for no lak of remembrans, for I sent to hym thryis or fowyr tymys ther for, and that he schold hast hym ther in. As for Rychard Call, he was not at home thys fortnyth. When he comyth I schall do yowir erendys to hym; and as for all yowyr odyr erendys I schall do hem as well as I can. I sent yow a byll yestyrday by old Taverham, and a byll of Jone Gaynys mater, the whyche bylle I pray yow may be delyveryd to Thomas Playter. I spak to hym of the same mater or he yed hens, and I pray yow, if it plese yow, to geve hym yowyr avyse what ye thynk is best to do ther in. Sche seyth sche is ryth 5 sory, and if hyr old mastyr demene hym not well to yow sche prayith yow that ye wole be hyr good mastyr, and I that sche fare never the werse for hys defawtys. And also I pray yow that ye wele be John Lysterys good mastyr in hys mater. He spak to Playter ther of, and Playter seyd he hopyd to fynd a mene aftyr that he had spook with yow, that schold ese hym ther in. I thank yow hertly for yowyr lettyr, for it was to me gret comfort to her fro yow. God knowyth my modyr and I thowt ryth longe tyll we herd tydyngys fro yow. And the blyssyd Trinite have yow in Hys kepyng. Wretyn in hast on Seynt Edmundys Day the Kyng. By yowyr M. P.

The pepyll was nevyr bettyr dysposyd to yow than they be at this owyr. The byll that Howard hathe mad a yens yow and odyr hathe set the pepyll in thys contre a rore. God yeve grace it be no werse than it is yet.

4.2 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter seems to have been written in 1461, the year of John Paston’s great dispute with Howard.


To my reverent and most be trusted maister, John Paston, Esquyer, duelling in the Inner Temple, be this delyvered.

Year uncertain

Ryght reverent and most be trusted maister, I recommaunde me in the most lowly wise un to your good and prevyd maysterchep, and desiring many days to here of your welfare, whiche I be seche God encrese un to his plesauns and un to the prosperite and welfare of your person, and of all youres. And I be seche you of the good contynuaunce of your maysterchep at diverses tymes befor this writing shewed un to me; and, sir, ther is non man a lvye that I trust more to than I doo un to you, and I am your bedman, and so shall 6 remayn be the grace of God all the days of myn liff. And, sir, I suppose I shall never see you no more, nor non of myn frendes, whiche is to me the grettest lamentacion that myght come un to myn herte; for, sir, by the grace of God, I shall go to Rome and in to oder holy places, to spende myn dayes of this present liff in the servise of God. For I hadde lever liffe in gret tribulacion in the service of God in this present liff, than for to folowe the wretchednesse of this worlde.

And, syr, of on thing I be seche specially your good maysterchep that ye wolle shew your good maistershep un to my fader in tyme of his nede, and that ye wolle recomaunde me in the most lowly wise with all reverence un to his good faderhode, be sechyng hym that he wole yeff me every day, during the dayes of his liff, his paternall blissing. And I have marvayle san that I have writen so many letters un to hym be for this tyme, that I hadde never non letter ageyn, whiche is to me the grettest lamentacion that ever come to my hert; and nowe knowing that I shall never see hym more, nor you, nor non other of my frendes, marvayle ye not thow sorowe is imprended in myn hert.

But, reverent maister, myn singuler trust remayneth nowe in your person, for, sir, and it please you, I most nedes write un to your good maisterchep, in the whiche my most trust remayneth. For, syr, and it please you, as for myn inheritaunce and other things whiche shulde come to me after the deth of my fader, whoes liff God preserve to his long plesauns, knowing that I shall never com ther, I hadde lever that by your good a vise that ye wolde take it unto you, for I hadde lever that ye hadde it rather than any person in the worlde during my liff, with all the profites ther of; and if that ye wole make as good evidences for you in that partye as ye can, and I shall a seale hem. And as you semeth best, and in the most secret wise, rewle you in this mater.

And, sir, I be seche you to recomaunde me in the most lowly wise to myn reverent Maister William Lumnour, seyeng hym that I am and shall be his perpetuall bedman, and as ye thenk best, ye may telle hym of all these maters. And, syr, I be seche you to recomaunde me with all reverence un to my 7 masteras your wiff, and to all other maysters and frendes ther. And, sir, that ye wolle thank the bringer of this letter, whiche hathe ben in my gret tribulacion my good frende; and, sir, whan ye speke with my fader, recomaunde me un to hym with all reverence, and sey un to hym I shall send hym a letter in all hast possible.

And, syr, as for this mater, demene you as ye wolle, and I shall doo your plesauns as moche as in me is. And, reverent maister, remitte me summe letter by the bringer her of of all thes maters, for he duellith with my Lorde, and he is ryght moche be trusted, for I knowe wele he wole yef a tendaunce un to you for to have summe letter from you; for, syr, it shall not be longe or that I go to Rome, by the grace of God. And as sone as I have a letter from you at this tyme, I shall send you a noder ageyn.

No more at this tyme, but the Holy Trinite have you in His blissed keping. Wreten at Sarum, the Monday aftyr Mydsomer Day. And lete these maters be kept secrete by your best a vise. Be youre poure servaunt, Roger Taverham.

5.1 [From Fenn, iv. 252.] This letter and the next are placed here merely for convenience. The two are evidently some years apart in point of date, and nothing is quite clear about the date of either, except that the latter must have been written in the reign of Edward IV., and of course before the death of John Paston in 1466. This, which is several years earlier than the other, was almost certainly written in the reign of Henry VI. The writer was probably the ‘old Taverham’ mentioned by Margaret Paston in the last letter.


To my right wourshipful maister, John Paston, Esquyer, be this letter delyvered.


Right wourshipful maister, I recommaunde me un to your maistership, and I thank your maistership that hit pleased your maistership to sende me wourde a yen of my letter that I sende you by the brynger herof. Sir, as I am enfourmed, ye sent me wourde how that my fader was dede long tyme passed, and also ye desired to knowe my titylle of ryght. Sir, I am very heyre, by the disceas of my fader, to a 8 place called Keswyk, in Taverham, with all the apportenauncez, and that comyth by enherytaunce and discente to me, for I am the helder and heyre; and though my Lorde Cromwell8.1 hath taken Thomas Taverham, my yonger brother, as warde for the same enheritaunce, that maketh no mater to me, in so moche I am helder brother. Wher for I beseche you to sende me a letter of attournay made to you in my name in the strengest wise that ye can, for to entre in to the same lyvelode, and I shall asseal that, and than I shall do my service and feaute to the seid Lorde Cromwell in all thing as by the tenure of the same lyvelode of olde tyme aught to be done. And herin I kno well the King shal cause my Lorde Cromwel to do me bothe lawe and right; and also my Lorde Chaunceler, with oder Lordes diverse, shall do the same. And, sir, I beseche your maistership to do and to take possession in the saide place with the apportenaunce in short tyme, for losyng of the rent this yer passed.

And, sir, as for the place of Attylbrigge that my moder in lawe now duellith in, sir, your maistershep shal right not [naught] attempte ther now in; for my Lorde of Warwik8.2 hath seen how the same place was yeven me by testament by Sir Roger Dallyng after the disease of my fader, whiche is redy to be shewed. And therupon my Lorde of Warwik hath comaunded certeyn gentilmen to entre in the same place, and your maistership hadde be moved ther in or this, but for cause that ye love wel Lumpnour,8.3 and that my moder in lawe is his sister; but I knowe wel hit woul cost CCCli., but that she shal be dispossedded of that place in short tyme. And, maister, how ye woul be rewled in the seid place of Keswyk, I be seche you to sende me wourde, as my sengler trust is in you; for and ye woulde not take possession in the saide place, my Lorde Wenlok8.4 woulde have that ful fayne, for all the 9 contray knowith while that while I leve, I am heyr and non other. And therfor I beseche you in all hast sende me wourde by the bryngger herof in hast, quia mora trahit periculum. And, sir, I would come speke with you. I am seke, and may not goo; but telle the bryngger heroff all your entent. For my liff duryng I hadde lever that ye hadde that place for jd. than a nother man, thow he woulde yeff me meche mony, for your maistership ther shewed to me in my yong age. And God kepe you, &c. Your chapeleyn, Roger Taverham.

7.1 [From Fenn, iv. 258.] The mention of Lord Wenlock in this letter proves that it cannot be earlier than 1461; but if the writer be, as we have surmised, the ‘old Taverham’ mentioned by Margaret Paston in No. 489, it is most probably of that year.

8.1 Humphrey Bourchier, Lord Cromwell, so created in 1461.

8.2 Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick.

8.3 William Lumner, of Mannington, in Norfolk.—F.

8.4 John Wenlock was created Baron Wenlock in 1461 by Edward IV.; but he afterwards left the York party, and joined that of Lancaster. He was cleft down with a battle-axe by the Duke of Somerset for not coming up in time at the battle of Tewkesbury in 1471, whereby that battle was lost.—F.


Richard Calle to John Paston.

NOV. 20

Since I left you I have received at Cotton £4 : 2s., with which I have made purchases of linen shirts, &c. for you. Shall have more money before Christmas. Debenham, Jenney, nor none of his men ‘come not there sen’ that I was there.’ A letter of attorney is made for Nakton in your name to Sir John Heveningham, and a rental and fermal sent him. We kept a court this week at Calcotte but could get little money, not so much as I paid my Lady of Suffolk’s officers. Farmers will not occupy there till appointment be made between Paston and Debenham; nor Risynge till he hear from Paston. Can get no day for Mautby. They will not give a noble, nor even 6 shillings, for a cow. Dey occupies your lands there till you come home. Risynge would take them and the closes at Castre if he is not to have Calcotte. The prests shall be paid as soon as we get money, I hope this week. Wheat 12d. a comb, barley 8d., malt 9d. and 10d. No good price for malt, ‘saving, as we understand, it is good Flanders.’ John Russe and Robert Glover are sending a ship with corn over, and we have ventured with them 100 comb malt. You should make some bargain with your beer brewers. Can get no money from Aleynes, farmer of Gresham, since ye rode, but 40s. Has laid in sufficient beef for Paston’s household till ‘Fastegang’ (Lent). Sir Thomas Howys advises my mistress not to send Edmund Paston to Cambridge or elsewhere till after Christmas. Please ask Clement, your brother, to get a writ against Geoffrey Clerk of West Somerton for the 20s. that Belys gave him to pay Clement. Remember the letter I sent you last week.

Caister, St. Edmund’s Day.

[From what is here said of the levying of rents at Cotton, and from the mention of Debenham and Jenney in connection with it, we may presume this letter was written in 1461. With this supposition agrees the reference to John Paston’s brother, Clement, who, as we see by No. 484, was in London in October.]

9.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.]



To John Paston, at London, be this delyverd in hast.

DEC. 1

I grete you welle, and lete you wete that this day Berth’ Elys of Paston come to Norwych to me, and shewet me a rentall for the terme of Seynt Mich., the yer of Kyng H. vj. xxxixº; and in the ende of the seyd rentall, of Waryn Kynges hand is wretyn ‘Agnes Paston vijd. ob. [7½d.]. Item, the same Agnes for v. acre lond xxd.’ Item, Aleyn Bayfeld askyth the same rent for the yer last past at Mich. Item, I have knowlech be a trew man that whan Sharpe the reseyvor was at Gemyngham last, Waryn Herman was dyvers dayes with hym, and put hym in mynde that the mercyment for makynge of the walle chuld be askyd ageyn and be distreynyd ther for. Item, I sent you be Doctor Aleyns man the restew [residue] of Waryn Herman, and seche names as Cullynge and Sammys putt in of her owyn fre wylle befor John Northales, shereve of Norwyche,10.2 under her selis. God be with you and send you His blyssyng and myn. Wretyn at Norwych the Tuisday next after Seynt Andrew.

Item, the seyd Berth’ Elis seyth that the seyd reseyver wold not alowe the rent in Trunche nor the mercyments for my sute to the curt. Gonnor wold suffyr no man to answer for me. Be your moder, Agnes Paston.

10.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The year in which this letter was written is determined by the mention of John Northale as Sheriff of Norwich.

10.2 He was Sheriff of Norwich in the first year of Edward IV.


To myn ryght worchipffull cosyn, John Paston the elder, Esquyer, be this letter delivered in hast.

DEC. 12

Ryght worchipffull cosyn, I recomaunde me to you in as hertely wyse I can, desyryng ever to here off your welffare, whiche I beseche our Lord Jesu 11 to preserve to your hertes pleaser, &c. Sir, ye sent me a letter of atorney to reseyve and to ocupye in your name the maner called Burnevyles in Nakton. Sir, as for that ocupacion, I can litil skylle en, ne I wel not take up on me non suche ocupacionis; wherffor I beseche you holde me excused, for it is no werd [world] for me to take suche ocupacionis. I have as moche as I may to gader myn ownne lyfflode, and truli, cosyn, I can not gader that well. And therffor, cosyn, I pray you take it to non displeaser. Sir, that I may worchepfulli doo for you, ye shal fynde me redy be the grace of Jesu, whom I hertely beseche to have you in Hise mersyfull kepyng. Wretyn at Hevenyngham on Seynt Lucye Even. Be your cosyn, John Hevenyngham, knyght.

10.3 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter is evidently of the same year as No. 492. The contents, moreover, seem to show that the date cannot be far distant from that of Richard Calle’s letter of the 1st of February following.



Ryght worchefull master, I recommend me on to yow, &c. The cause of my wrytyng is this; I was at Blofeld on Sent Andruys Day11.2 wyt the person,11.3 and he understode non noder but that I cam to se is master chepe, for it was hese cheve day,11.4 and that I mevyd in to hym of the lond in Sochewerk, how I hard sey qwan I was in Sochefolk that Geney mad hys avaunt that he had zon [given] zow and hym a choppe of xx. pownd of lond. And in contynent he telde me al the mater beter than I cowde telle hym, and as I cowde understond in hym be my sympyl wyt, that he was of knoleche of alle the mater; for he seyd that Yelverton cam don fro the benche, and plete the mater, and for cause ye wer to laches, and cam not in tyme, the mater yede a mys. And so I understode be hym that he is dysposyd to excuse Yelverton in al materys rather than yow; but never de les make good cher to the person, as thow ye understode that he wer your frend, tyl tyme ye have your in tente. But be warr 12 and trost hym not, but make yow so strong in lorchepe and in the lawe, that ye reeke not meche qwder he be good or bad, &c.

Item, ye be meche be held on to Tomas Grene and Edmund Wydewel, broder to Heu à Fen, for thei reporte meche worchepe of your master chepe in al maters, and that cause the substans of the towne to howe yow servese, and be wel dysposyd on to yow masterchepe, and that understonde I hevery day. And yf that plese yow, qwan we partyt at Norwyche in yowr plase, ye seyd on to me ye wold som qat do be my sympyl a wyse; and this is myn a wyse that in ony wyse ye make Heu à Fen and Tomas Grene on your consel, yf ye can fyne in yow herte. For I dare sey, as I her and understonde, that thei how yow ryth good well and servyse, for a man may her be the halfe qwat the hole menyth, and therfor for Godds lowe remember yow wel in this mater; for and it stode on myn lyfe, I wold do as I awyse yow, &c.

Item, for howr Lords love, goo tharow with Wyll Weseter, and also plese Chrewys as ye thynke in yow hert best for to do; for it is a comon proverbe, ‘A man must sumtyme set a candel befor the Devyle’; and therfor thow it be not alder most mede and profytabyl, yet of ij. harmys the leste is to be take.

Item, ye xul oonderstonde that the parson telde me that dey wer somuned to cum for the probat of the testement at Convercyon of Sent Powle;12.1 and therfor I wolde avyse yow in ony wyse that ye xuld understond the mater wysely her ye com hom, for I sopose that Yelverton and he is confydett and acorde to geder.

Item, qwan I was at Blofeld with the parson, ther cam Robert Fyrass to hym, seyyng that he is compeld be the Kyngs Commycyoners to have harnes after is degre, and that the parson sent hym to my mastras that che xuld delyver hym harnes, and I understond che wylle not tylle ye com hom. But ye xul understond it is an halmes dede to do hym good, understondyng is nesessyte and nede that he stond in, and also understondyng that he was kynnyes man to my master, and it 13 is a comon proverbe, ‘A man xuld kepe fro the blynde and gevyt to is kyn’; and hevery man wyl sey wel ther of, the mor cause he is a gentylman, and of is kyne, and in gret penur. And therfor, for the love of God, remembyr seche maters.

No mor at this tyme, but God have yow in Hys kepyng, bothe body and sowle, and spede yow in yowr maters as wel as wel as I wolde ye xulde do.

11.1 [From Fenn, iv. 64.] The date of this letter is a little uncertain, but it seems to have been written at the beginning of the dispute between Paston and Yelverton, about Fastolf’s will, and the year 1461 appears to me on the whole most probable.

11.2 30th November.

11.3 Thomas Howes.

11.4 The day of his chief or patron saint. Blofield Church is dedicated to St. Andrew.

12.1 Jan. 25.

and spede yow in yowr maters as wel as wel as I wolde ye xulde do
text has “sqede yow”
printed “as wel / as wel as” at line break, but Fenn has the same at mid-line


To my right wurchepfull husband, John Paston.

DEC. [3]

Right wurchepfull husbond, I recomaund me to you. Please it you to wete that myn awnte is dissesid, whos sowle God assoyll. And if it please you to send word how ye wull that we do for the lifflode that she had at Walcote, wheder ye wull that any body take possession thir in your name or not. And if it like you to have with you my cosyn William her sone, I trow ye shuld fynde hym a necessary man to take hede to yowr howshold, and to bye all maner of stuffe nedefull therto, and to se to the rewle and gode gidyn therof. It hath be told me be for that he can gode skill of such thyngs; and if ye wull that I send for hym and speke with hym ther of, I shall do as ye send me word, for in feyth it is tyme to crone your old officers for diverse thyngs wher of I have know parte be Dawbeney, and more I shall telle you whan ye come hame.

Also it is thought be my cosyn Elizabeth Clere, and the viker13.2 and other that be your frends, that it is right necessary 14 for you to have Hew of Fen to be your frende in your maters; for he is callid right feythfull and trosty to his frends that trost hym, and it is reported her he may do myche with the Kyng and the Lords, and it is seid that he may do myche with hem that be your adversaryes: and therfor, Godds sake, if ye may have his gode wille, forsake it not. Also it is thought the more lerned men that ye have of your owyn contre of your councell, the more wurchepful it is to you.

Also if ye be at home this Cristmes, it wer wele do ye shuld do purvey a garnyssh or tweyn of powter vesshell, ij. basanes, and ij. hewers, and xij. candlestikes, for ye have to few of any of thes to serve this place. I am a ferd to purvey mych stuffe in this place till we be suerrer therof. The Blissid Trinyte have you in His blissid kepyng.

Wretyn the Thursday next after Sent Andrew. Be yowr M. P.

13.1 [From Fenn, iv. 106.] Except that it seems to be of the reign of Edward IV., the date of this letter is about as uncertain as that of the last; but as they are both written about the same time of year, and both recommend John Paston to use the counsel of Hugh Fenn, it is highly probable that they are of the same year. Perhaps the last letter may have been written by the vicar mentioned in this.

13.2 The vicar of Paston? Robert Williamson was vicar of Paston at this time.


To my ryth worchepful husbond, Jonhn Paston, be thys delyveryd in hast.

DEC. 29

Ryth worchepfull husbond, I recomande me to yow. Plesyt yow to wete that I receyvyd the lettyr that ye sent me by a man of Seynt Mychell parysche on Fryday next aftyr the Consepcion of owyr Ladi;14.2 and anon as I had it, I sent my modyr14.3 the lettyr because of swyche materys as longyd to hyr in that same lettyr. And sythyn that tyme I kowd gete no massanger to London but if I wold have sent by the Scheryfys men; and I knew nowthyr her mastyr nor them, not whedyr they wer well wyllyng to yow or not; and therfor methowt it had be no sendyng of no lettyr by hem.


And as for swyche materys as John Geney and Jamys Gresham spak to me, I sped hem as well as I kowd; and they bothe told me that ye schold veryly a ben at home before Crystmas, and that causyd me that I wrot not to yow now non answer. For if I had know that ye schold not have ben at home er thys tyme, I schold a sent some man to yow; for I thynk ryth longe tyll I have some god tydyngys fro yow. I fer me that it is not well with yow that ye be fro home at thys good tyme. And many of yowyr contre men thynk the same; but they be hertty inow to yow-ward, and full fayn wold her god tydyngys fro yow. The wer no byllys put to the Scherryf15.1 at hys beyng her, ner non opyn playnt mad that I  .  .  .  .  .  of no persone, be cawse they had so lyttyll knowlage of hys comeyng in to thys contre. He demenyd hym full  .  .  .  .  .  and indeferently, as it was told me, and Yelverton mad a fayir sermone at the Sesschyonys, and seyd  .  .  .  .  .  so that the Kyng was informyd that ther was a ryotows felawschep in thys contre, wer for the Kyng was gretly dysplesyd, and that the Kyng undyrstood well that it was not of ther owne mosyon, boot of cownselyng of one or ij. that ben evyll dysposyd folk. And also he seyd if ony man wold put up ony byllys of compleynts of ony extorcion or brybery don be ony men of thys contre to them, they wer redy to receyve them, and to make a-kord be twyx hem; and if they cowd not mak the acord, that than the schold tak the byllys to the Kyng, and he schold set hem thorow. And the Scheryfe seyd that he wold he  .  .  .  .  .  .  them that wold compleyne and dorste not for fer put up ther byllys.

And Yelverton preyid the Scheryfe that if he had for get onythyng that the Kyng seyd to hem at ther departtyng, that he wolde rehersyt [rehearse it] ther. And than the Scheryf seyd that he had seyd all that he remembryd, save only [that] the Kyng  .  .  .  .  to hem ij. personys, Syr Thomas Todenham and Heydon. And than Yelverton seyd, ‘A, that is trowthe, as th  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  that J[ohn of] Dame told me that he spak with the Scheryf aftyrward, and let hym h  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  the rewylle [and] demenyng of thys contre, and what cawsyd the 16 pepyll for to grwge ayens swyche folkys as had the reuyll be fortyme; and he was pleyne to hym in many thyngys, as he told me; and he fond the Scheryfe ryth pleyne ayen to hym, and well dysposyd in that that myth growe to the welfar of the schere. The Scheryfe seid he undyrstood by swyche informacion as he had, syns he came into thys contre, that they had not all gydyd hem well that had the rewyill of thys contre be for; and therfore he seyd feythfully, and swore by gret othys that he wold nowthyr spar for good, nor love, nor fer, but that he wold let the Kynge have knowlage of the trowthe, and that he wold do asmyche for thys contre as he cowd or myth do to the welfare therof, and seyd that he lekyd the contre ryth well. And John of Dame seyd if the contre had had knowlage of hys comyng, he schold have had byllys of compleyntes and knowlage of myche more thyng than he myth have knowlage of that tyme, or myth have because of schort abyng; and he seyd he wold not be longe owt of thys contre.

And also Yelverton seyd opynly in the Seschyons they to come downe for the same cause to set a rewyll in the contre. And yet he seyd he woste well that the Kynge myth full evyll have for bor ony of hem bothe; for as for a knyth ther was none in the Kyngys howse that myth werse a be for bore than the Scheryfe myth at that tyme. I have myche mor to wryt to yow of than I may have leyser at thys tyme; but I troste to God that ye schall be at home yowyr selfe in hast, and than ye schall knowe all. And but if ye come home in haste, I schall send to yow; and I pray yow hertly, but if ye come home, send me word in hast how ye do. And the blyssyd Trinyte have yow in hys kepyng. Wretyn in hast on Seynt Thomas day in Crystmas.16.1 By yowyr, Margaret Paston.

Here was an evyll rewlyd felawschep yestyrday at the schere, and ferd ryth fowle with the Undyr Scheryfe, and onresnably as I herd sey.

14.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The date of this letter will appear by comparison with No. 500. A few words in the margin of the original letter are illegible, the writing having been injured by damp.

14.2 The Conception of Our Lady was on the 8th December.

14.3 Margaret always speaks of Agnes Paston as her mother.

15.1 The Sheriff was Sir Thomas Montgomery.

16.1 The day of St. Thomas of Canterbury (Becket), 29th December.



To my right reverent and my moost wurschipful maystre, my Maystre John Paston.

DEC. 29

Right wurshipfull and my mooste reverent mastre, I recomaunde me unto your goode maystreship. Like you to witte that on Childremasse daye17.2 there were moche people at Norwich at the shire, be cauce it was noyced in the shire that the Undresheriff had a writte to make a newe aleccion; wherfore the people was greved be cauce they had labored so often, seying to the Sheriff that he had the writte, and pleynly he shulde not a wey unto the tyme the writte were redd. The Sheriff17.3 answerd, and seyd that he had no writte, nor west who had it. Heruppon the people peacyd, and stilled unto the tyme the shire was doone, and after that doone, the people called uppon hym, ‘Kylle hym! Heede [behead] hym!’ And so John Dam, with helpe of other, gate hym out of the schire-hows, and with moche labour brought hym unto Sporyer Rowe;17.4 and ther the people mett a yenst hym, and so they a voided hym unto an hows, and kept fast the dore unto the tyme the meyer was sent fore, and the Sherif, to strenght hym, and to convey hem a wey, or ell he had be slayne. Wherfor divers of the thrifty men came to me, desiryng that I shulde writte unto your maistreship to lete you have undrestandyng of the gidyng of the people, for they be full sory of this trowble; and that it plese you to sende hem your advice how they shal be gided and rwled, for they were purposed to a gathered an c. or cc. of the thriftyest men, and to have come up to the Kyng to lete the Kyng have undrestandyng of ther mokkyng. And also the people fere hem sore of you and Mastre Berney,17.5 be cauce ye come not home.


Plese you that ye remembr the bill I sent you at Hallowmesse for the place and londs at Boyton weche Cheseman had in his ferme for v. mark. Ther wol no man have it above xlvjs. viijd., for Alblastre and I have do as moche therto as we can, but we can not go a bove that. And yet we can not lete it so for this yere, with owte they have it for v. or vj. yere. I wrote to your mastreship herof, but I had non answre; wherfor I beseche you that I may have an answere of this be Tlwelthe, for and we have an answre of this be that tyme, we shall enfeffe hem with all, &c.

My right wurshipfull and my moost reverent maistre, Almyghty Jesu preserve you, and send you the victorye of your elmyes, as I truste to Almyghty Jesu ye shall. Wreten at Norwich on Seyn Thomas daye after Cristemasse daye. Your pore servant and bedman, R. Call.

17.1 [From Fenn, iii. 150.] The contents of this letter clearly refer to the matter alluded to in the postscript of the preceding letter of Margaret Paston, so that the date must be the same.

17.2 28th December.

17.3 Sir Thomas Montgomery.

17.4 Spurrier Row, as I am informed by Mr. L’Estrange, was what is now called London Street.

17.5 John Berney of Witchingham.


To my moost reverent and wurshipfful mastre, my Master John Paston of the Enner Temple, this be delyvered.

Plesith your maystership to undrestande that as for the ferme that Cheseman had in Boyton, that is to sey, xl. acre lond erable, j. medwe, and other smale parcell, payng yerly for it iiijli., weche I can not lete the xl. acre lond abowe xl. comb barly or xls., and ye to bere al charges of the reparaucion and fense aboute the place, weche shulde be gret cost. The lond is so out of tylthe that a nedes [uneath, i.e. scarcely] any man wol geve any thyng for it. Ther can no man lete it to the walwe that it was lete before, and that I reporte me to my master, Sir Thomas Howys, not be gret gold. Wherfore I wol not do therin unto the tyme that I have answere from your mastership, weche I beseche you it may be hast. And as for Spitlynges, I have lete som of the lond in smale parcell, because I cowde gete no fermor for it. And as for Sir T. H., in good feythe I fynde [him] weele disposed in all thynges, excepte for Sir W. Chamberleyn for Rees in Stratton. And so the blissid Trinite preserve and kepe you from all adversite. Wrete at Blofeld, the Thorsday next after Hallowmesday. Your pore servaunt and bedman, R. Calle.

18.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The date of this letter is uncertain. Its contents are mere matter of business, and as relating to the same farm mentioned in the last may be supposed to belong to the same year, especially as in the last Calle mentions having written to Paston on the subject ‘at Hallowmass.’ There is, however, a discrepancy in the value assigned for the farm.



To John Paston, the older, in hast, and if he be not at London, than to be delyvered to Clement Paston in hast.


Lyke your maisterchip wete that at the last cessyons Erpyngham hundred and other hundredys ther aboute were not warned, and the schreff excused hym be cause he cowde not knowe who was officer there. Item, Yelverton lete the pepoll understand that the Kyng wold have his lawes kept, and that he was dysplesed with the maner of ther gaderyng, and that he wold have it amendyd; for he conceyveth that the hole body of the shire is well dysposed and that the ille dysposed pepoll is but of a corner of the hole shire; and yet that ther mysdoyng growyth not of ther owyn dysposysyon but of the abbettement and steryng of sum ille dysposed persones whiche is understand and knowe to the Kynges hygthnesse. Item, he lete hem wete that the Kyng had commandyd hym to sey if ther were any man, pore or ryche, that had cause to complayne of any person that he schuld put up his bylle to the shref and hym, and they schuld set a reule be twyx hem; and if he wold not abyde ther reule they schuld delyver the sayd bylle of compleynt to the Kynges hignesse, and he schuld set the rewle and suche dyreccion that the party compleynaunt or defendaunt schuld be punysshed for his dysobeysauns of the said rewle if the case requyred; and also more over, if ther were ony person that put up ony suche bylle, and it mygth apere to them by ther examinacion or other wyse fals or untrewe, or elles be cause of malyce, that than suche compleynaunts schuld sharpely be punysshed. And than 20 whan he had sayd this and moche more, in dyscoragyng to the pepoll to put bylles, as after my conseyt, he reported hym to the schref ther present, that the Kyng thus comanded hem thus to sey, desyreng the said schref if ony thyng of the Kyngs comaunded were be hynd unspoken by hym self that he wold remembre and helpe forthe to telle it. And than the schref said, lyke as he rehersed the Kyng comanded, and more over that the Kyng named ij. men, by name Tudenham and Haydon, and if ony man wold put bylles a yens them, he said in feythfull wyse he wold help hem, and ferther the mater to the Kyng higthnesse. And for his demenyng ther every man thougth hym rigth wel dysposed; but Yelverton had for yeten to expresse the names of Tudham and Haydon.

Item, the schref desyred the jentylmen to go with [him] to Felbryg Halle, and specially he requyred Mr. John P., the younger; but he cowde no pepoll gete, and so he cam not there. Item, there was a bylle set up on the shirehous dore, and the content ther of was but of the favour to you ward, Barney, Knyvet and Felbrygge, and of the hatered of other; it was but of sum lewde dysposed person it semeth. Item, sir, at the last shire was moche pepoll and ille governed for they wold not be rewled be no body, they had almost a slayne the underschref, for they told hym wryttes of eleccion was sent doun and he kept it on syde to be gyle hem, and to make hem labour ayen, and ther for he that kepyth it is to blame, me thynketh. Item, sir, please you to telle Mr. Clement, we have goten a reles of al maner accions and appelles of Margret Clerk, made to Gymmyngham, on of the pryncypalles, and that he woll inquyre wheder it be suffycyant for alle, and send me word, and weder it dyvers fro trespas and dette, wher damages is to be recovered, for in this appell is no damages to be recovered, but only an execucion, whiche non of them may be contributory to other execucion as is in other cases. Nevertheles, I hope it be sufficiant for all, for sche is in the cas to have the lyf in stede of damages. Your Thomas Pl.

19.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The mention of Tuddenham and Heyden in this letter proves that it cannot be of later date than the year 1461, as the former was executed in February 1462. At the same time the reference to John Paston, Junior, could not be much earlier, and the message from the King to the people of Norfolk certainly could not have come from Henry VI. only a year or two before. The date must therefore be 1461 precisely.



To my right worchepfull Mastres Paston.


I  recomawnde me to your good mastreschep, besechyng yow in the weye of charyte, and as I maye be your bedeman and servaunt, that ye wyll lete me have wetyng hoghe I maye be rewelyd ageyns the next schyer. It is seyd that ther xal be mych more pepyll than was the last; and also if I be in my Ladys place, or in ony other in the town, I xall be takyn owte. Also, mastres, that my Maystyr Radclyffs xal take all my catell and all other pore good that I have, and so but I maye have helpe of my mayster and of yow, I am but lost. Also my servaunt Maryot wyll go fro my wyfe to my ryght gret hurte. Wherfore, mastres, I besech your help in all thes, and I xal content the costs as ye xall be plesyd, be the grace of God, hoo ever preserve yow, &c.

Also, mastres, I can not be with owte your contynuall help, but I must selle or lete to ferme all that I have.

Mastres, my Lady sent to Cawnbrygg for a doctour of fesyk. If ye wyll ony thyng with hym, he xal abyde this daye and to morwe. He is ryght a konnyng man and gentyll.

21.1 [From Fenn, iv. 104.] This letter appears to have been addressed to Margaret Paston at a period when her husband was a man of some influence, and perhaps the year 1461 is not far from the true date. It is not unlikely to have been written about the same time as No. 500, which also refers to a meeting at the shire or county court.



To my right worchipfull sir, and my right good neveu, John Paston, Squyer, be this lettre delyvered, &c.


Right worchipfull sir, and my right good neveu, I recomand me un to you with all myn herte. Plece it you to undyrstande the grete nessessyte of my wrytyng to you is this, that ther was made an exchaunge be the graunsyre of my hosbonds Mundeford, un hose sowle God have mercy, of the maner of Gressenale with the aunsetrys of Rows for the maner of Estlexham, the qwych is parte of my juntor, and my grauntfadyr Mundeford recoweryd the said maner of Estlexham be assyze22.2 a geyne the aunsetrys of Rows, and so madyt clere; and nowe have Edmund Rows22.3 claymyt the seyd maner of Estlexham be the verteu of a tayle [an entail], and hathe takyn possesseon, and made a feffement to my Lord of Warewyke,22.4 and Water Gorge,22.5 and to Curde.22.6 And un Fryday be for Seynt Walentyne is Day Water Gorge and Curde enteryd and toke possessyon for my seyd Lord of Warewyke, and so bothe the forseyd manerys were ontayled, and at the tyme of the exchaunge made, the tayles and evydens of bothe for seyd manerys were delyvered un to the partyes indeferently be the avyse of men lernyd. Qwerfor I beshech you that it plese you to take the grete labor upon you to 23 informe my Lordys good Lordchep of the trowthe in the forme a bowyn wreten, and that it plese you to undyrstand qwedyr that my Lord wyll a byde be the feffment made to hym or not; and that it shall plese my Lord that I may have right as lawe requeryt, for I trust to God be soche tyme as my Lord shall be informyd of the trowthe be you, that hese Lordchip wyll not supportt the forseyd Rows a geyne my right. And if I hadde very undyrstandyng that my Lord would take no parte in the mater a bowe seyd, I would trust to Godds mersy, and to you, and other of my good fryndes, to have possession a geyne in right hasty tyme, beshechyng you to pardon me of my symple wrytyng, for hadde no leyser. Right worchipfull and my right good neveu, I beshech the Blyssed Trenyte have you in Hese gracyous kepyng.

Wreten at Norwych in gret hast, the Tewysday aftyr Seynt Walentyne is Day. Youre ouyn, Elizabeth Mundeford.23.1

22.1 [From Fenn, iv. 108.] The date of this letter must lie between the years 1461 and 1466. The writer’s husband, who is spoken of as dead, was put to death in June 1460, and John Paston, the person addressed, died in May 1466.

22.2 Assize is a writ directed to the sheriff of the county for recovery of the possession of things immovable, whereof yourself or ancestors have been dispossessed.—F.

22.3 Edmund Rous was second son of Henry Rous, Esq. of Dennington, in Suffolk, the ancestor of the present Earl of Stradbroke.

22.4 Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick.

22.5 Walter Gorges, Esq., married Mary, the daughter and heir of Sir William Oldhall, and was at this time Lord of the Manor of Oldhall, in Great Fransham. He died in 1466. His son and heir, Sir Edmund Gorges, afterwards married a daughter of Sir John Howard, Knight, the first Duke of Norfolk of that family.—F.

22.6 John Curde was Lord of the Manor of Curde’s Hall, in Fransham.—F.

23.1 Elizabeth Mundeford was the widow of Osbert Mundeford, Esq. of Hockwold, in Norfolk, and was daughter of John Berney, Esq., by which means she was aunt to J. Paston.—F.


To my right reverent mastras, Agnes Paston, be this lettre delyveryd in haste.


Rygh wurchepful mastres, I recomaund me un to yow, thankyng yow of the gret chere that ze made me the last tyme that I was with zow. Mastres, in alle zour godys and ocupacyons that lyth in my simpil power to do in wurd, wil and dede, I have do my dylygens and my power therto, so I be savyd be fore God, and have owyn to your person ryght herty love; for the qwych I am ryght ille 24 aqwyt, and it be as I understande yt; for it is do me to wete that I am swid with mor of my paryshchons for a reskuse makyng up on the offycers of the shrewys [sheriff], and I take God to record that it is wrongfully do on to us. And the gret fray that the [they] mad in the tyme of masse it ravyched my witts and mad me ful hevyly dysposyd. I pray Jesu gef hem grace to repent hem therof that the [they] that caused it may stand out of perel of soule.

Maystras, at the reverens of God, and as evyr I may do servyce that may be plesyng on to yow, send me justyly wurd be the brynger of this bylle ho ze wil that I be gydyd; for it is told me that if I be take I may no other remedy havyn but streyth to prison. For the whiche I have sold away xxs. wurth of stuffe; and the reswd [residue] of my stuff, I have put it in swier hande, for trwly I wil not abyde the joparte of the swth,—I have levir to go as far as my fet may ber me. Nevir the less as ze komand me to do, so it be not to my gret hurt, I wil fulfille it. Nomor to zow at this tyme, but God send yow that grace that ze may kome to His blyss.

Wreten at Bromholm in gret haste, Be your Sir Robert Willyamson.

23.2 [From Fenn, iii. 48.] The writer of this letter was Vicar of Paston from 1460 to 1464, and as he dates from Bromholm, which is in the immediate neighbourhood of Paston, we may presume that it was written during the time he held that benefice.


To my ryth worchepfull husbond, John Paston, be thys delyveryd in hast.

JAN. 7

Ryth worchepfull husbond, I recomand me to yow. Plesyt yow to wet that I sent yow a lettyr by my cosyn Barneys man of Wychyngham wyche was wretyn on Seynt Thomas Day in Crystmas,24.2 and I had no tydyngys nor lettyr of yow sene the wek before Crystmas; 25 wher of I mervayle sore. I fere me it is not well with yow be cawse ye came not home or sent er thys tyme. I hopyd verily ye schold have ben at home by Twelthe at the ferthest. I pray yow hertly that ye wole wychesave to send me word how ye do as hastly as ye may, for my hert schall nevyr be in ese tyll I have tydyngys fro yow. Pepyll of this contre begynyth to wax wyld, and it is seyd her that my Lord of Clarans and the Dwek of Suthfolk and serteyn jwgys with hem schold come downe and syt on syche pepyll as be noysyd ryotous in thys contre. And also it is seyd here, that there is retornyd a newe rescwe up on that that was do at the scher. I suppose swyche talkynge comyth of false schrewys that wold mak a rwmor in this contre. The pepyll seyth here that they had levyr go up hole to the Kynge and compleyne of siche false screwys as they have be wrongyd by a fore, than they schold be compleynyd of with owt cause and be hangyd at ther owne dorys. In good feyth men fere sore here of a comone rysyng but if [i.e. unless] a bettyr remedy may be had to a pese the pepyll in hast, and that ther be sent swyche downe to tak a rewyll as the pepyll hathe a fantsy in, that wole be indeferent. They love not in no wyse the Dwke of Sowthfolk nor hys modyr. They sey that all the tretourys and extorsyonerys of thys contre be meynteynyd by them and by syche as they get to them with her goodys, to that intent to meynten suche extorsyon style as hathe be do by suche as hathe had the rewyll undyr them be fore tyme. Men wene, and the Dwke of Sowthfolk come ther scholl be a schrewd reuell but if [unless] ther come odyr that be bettyr belovyd than he is here. The pepyll feryth hem myche the more to be hurt, because that ye and my cosyn Barney come not home; they sey they wot welle it is not well with yow and if it be not well with yow, they sey they wot well, they that wole do yow wronge wole sone do them wronge, and that makyth them all most mad. God for Hys holy mersy geve grace that ther may be set a good rewyll and a sad in this contre in hast, for I herd nevyr sey of so myche robry and manslawter in thys contre as is now within a lytyll tyme. And as for gadyryng of mony, I sey nevyr a werse seson, for Rychard Calle seyth he can get 26 but lytyll in substans of that is owyng, nowthyr of yowyr lyvelod nor of Fastolfys th’eyr. And John Paston seyth, they that may pay best they pay werst; they fare as thow they hopyd to have a newe werd [world]. And the blyssyd Trinite have yow in Hys kepyng and send us good tydyngys of yow.

Yelverton is a good thredbare frend for yow and for odyr in thys contre, as it is told me.

Wretyn in hast on the Thorsday nex aftyr Twelthe. By yowyr Margaret Paston.

24.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The contents of this letter clearly show that it was written in January 1462, nine days after No. 497.

24.2 See No. 497.


JAN. 27

Ryth worchepfull husbond, I recomand me to yow. Plesyt yow to wet that Perse was delyveryd owt [of] preson by the generall pardon that the Kynge hathe grantyd, whyche was opynly proclamyd in the Gyld Hall. A none as he was delyveryd he cam hedyr to me, God wote in an evyll plyte, and he desyiryd me wepyng that I wold be hys good mastres and to be mene to yow to be hys good mastyr, and swore sore that he was nevyr defawty in that ye have thowte hym defawty in. He seyd that if ther wer ony coyne in the cofyr that was at Wylliam Tavernerys it was ther withowt hys knowlage, for hys mastyr wold nevyr lat hym se what was in that cofyr, and he told me that the keyis wer sent to Thomas Holler26.2 by mastyr John Smyth. What Holler leyd in or took owte he wot not as he sweryth. He offyrd me to be rewlyd as ye and I wold have hym, and if I wold comand hym, to go ageyn to preson, whedyr I wold to the Castyll or to the Gyld Hall, he wold obey my comandment. And seth that he came of hys owne fre wyll withowt ony comandment of ony man or desyir, 27 I seyd I wold not send hym ageyn to preson, so that he wold abyde yowyr rewyll when ye came home. And so he is here with me and schall be tyll ye send me word how ye wole that I do with hym. Where fore, I pray yow that ye wole lete me have knowlage in hast how ye wole that I do with hym.

Item, I have spok with John Dame and Playter for the lettyr testymonyall, and John Dame hathe promysyd to get it, and Playter schall bryng it to yow to London. Item, I have purveyd yow of a man that schall be here in Barsamys sted and ye wole, the wyche can bettyr cherysch yowyr wood, bothe in fellyng and fensyng there of than Barsam can; and he schall mak yow as many hyrdyllys as ye nede for yowyr fold, of yowyr owne wood at Drayton, and schall tak as lytyll to hys wagys as Barsam dothe; and he is holdyn a trew man. Item, Playter schall tell yow of a woman that compleynyd to the Dwk of Sowthefolk of yow, and the sey[d] Playter schall tell yow of the demenyng and answeryng of the scheryfe for yow, and also of the demenyng of the seyd Dwke, and of othir materys the wyche wer to longe mater to put in wryttyn. The pepyll of that kontre be ryth glad that the day yed [went] with yow on Monday as it ded. Ye wer nevyr so welcome in to Norfolk as ye schall be when ye come home, I trowe. And the blyssyd Trynyte have yow in Hys kepyng. Wretyn in hast on Wednysday next aftyr Seynt Augnet the Fyrst. By yowyr M. P.

Item, Ric. Calle told me that he hathe sent you a answer of all erands that ye wold shuld be do to Sir Thomas Howes. Sir Thomas Howes cam nowther to me nor sent syn that he cam home from London.

Will Worceter was at me in Cristemes at Heylysdon, and he told [me] that he spake with you dyvers tymys at London the last terme; and he told me that he hopyd that ye wolle be hys good master, and seyd he hopyd ye shuld have non other cause but for to be hys god maister. I hope and so do my moder and my cosyn Clere, that he wolle do well inowe, so that he be fayre fare with Dawbeney and Playter. Avise me to lete Peers go at large and to take a promys of hym to 28 com to me a mong unto your comyng hom, and in the mene while his demenyng may be knowyn and espyed in mo thyngs.

26.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter relates to the prisoner Piers mentioned in Nos. 423, 424, and 426. He seems to have been delivered by a general pardon issued at the commencement of the reign of Edward IV. The letter bears no address. It is endorsed, but in a much later hand:— ‘A lettre to J. Paston, Ar., from his wife.’

26.2 He was John Berney’s executor.


To the ryght reverent and worship sir, John Paston, sum tyme Lord of Gresham, and now fermour therof, as hit is seide.

Perys of Legh come to Lynne opon Cristynmesse Even in the fresshest wise, and there he dyned so as was; bot when my Lorde of Oxenforde herde hereof he with his feliship and suche as I and other your presoneres come rydyng unto Lynne, and even unto the Bysshop gaole where the seid Perys dyned with other of his feliship. My Lorde pulled hym oute of the seid gaole and made to kest hym opon an horse, and tyed an halter by his arme, and so ledde hym furth like hym selff. And even furthwith the seid Bysshop, the Mair, and other their feliship mette with my seide Lorde and your presoneres, and also the seide Perys tyed by an halter, the Bysshop havyng thies wordes unto my Lorde with his pillion28.2 in his handes, ‘My Lordes, this is a presoner, ye may knowe by his tepet and staff. What will ye do with hym?’ Therto my Lorde seide, ‘He is my presoner nowe.’ Wherto the Bysshop seid, ‘Where is youre warraunt or commission therto?’ My Lorde seide, ‘I have warraunt sufficiaunt to me.’ And thus they departed, the Mair and all the cominaltie of Lynne kepyng theire silence. Bot when we weren goon, and Perys of Legh fast in Rysyng Castell, then the yates of Lynne, by the Bysshop comaundement weren fast sperred [shut] and keped with men of armes. And then the 29 Bysshop and his squyers rebuked the Mair of Lynne and seid that he hade shamed both hym and his toun for ever, with muche other langage, &c.

The Bysshop shulde have keped his Cristenmesse at Gaywode, bot yet he come not oute of Lynne. In faith, my Lorde dyd quyte hym als curageousely as ever I wist man do. The Bysshop come to the toun with lx. persones the same tyme, and made to sper the yates after hym, bot when we mette, ther bode not with hym over xij. persones atte the most, with his serjaunt of armes; whiche serjaunt was fayn to lay doun his mase; and so atte the same yates we come in we went oute, and no blode drawen, God be thanked.

Yf ye will any thyng atte I may do, send me worde; hit shall be doon to my power, &c. Comaunde me to my maistresse your wyff, &c. And yf ye dar joperdie your suyrtie of C. marc I shall come and se you. And elles have me excused, for, &c. From your oune, John Douebiggyng.

28.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter is evidently earlier in date than the last, and may perhaps have been written at the close of the year 1460, but as it refers to the same prisoner as the preceding No. we place it here for convenience. It is printed in the fifth volume of Fenn’s edition as a letter of Henry VII.’s time owing to a misreading of the address, which might easily convey the impression that it was directed to ‘Sir John Paston.’

28.2 The hat worn by a Doctor of Divinity.

ye may knowe by his tepet and staff
text has “bv his” (misprint or damaged type)


To the ryght reverent and my mooste worschipful master, my Master John Paston, in the Inneer Tempyll.

FEB. 1

Plesith it your maisterschip to witte that I have been at Burnewyll in Nacton to receyve the rentes and fermys of the tenauntes. And I undrestande be them, and be Robert Goordon that Mastre Jenney whas there and helde a coorte on the Mondaye next aftre Tlwelthe, and warned the tenauntes that they 30 schulde pay no money to no man onto the tyme they had worde from hym, seyng that he whas on of the feffeys of the same maner, and that he whas feed with Sir John Fastolff, of weche fee he was be hynde for ij. yere; wherfore he desired the tenauntes that they schulde not be redy in payement onto the tyme they had word from hym, but that he myght be payed of his seide fee, lyke as the wylle of the deede was. Wherfore I can gete no money of them unto the tyme they have knowleche how it stond be twyx your maistership and Mr. Jenney; for withoute Jenney write to hem or come hom ward that wey, and have the tenauntes together and lete hem witte that ye ought to have the rentes and fermes of the seid maner, I can not see that ye be like to have but litell money there, withoute ye woll do distreyne throuout all the lordeschip. I have sette dayes to purvey but [their] money ayenst the first weke of cleene Lenton, and than they schul have an answere who shal receyve it. Wherfore that it please your maistership to remembre to speke to Mastre Jenney. The blissed Trinite preserve you and kepe you from all advercyte. Wreten at Yebbyshep30.1 the furst daye of Februare. Your pore servaunt and bedman, R. Calle.

Item, the maner of Stratton shuld paye of rente xxvjs. viijd., weche the fermour seythe my mastresse Brandon is acorded with you. He is be hynde for certeine yeres, &c.

29.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The manor of Burneviles in Nacton, near Ipswich, was part of the lands of Sir John Fastolf which Paston inherited by his will; but his claim was disputed by Jenney, one of the executors. As Jenney is here said to have complained that his fee was two years in arrear, we may presume that it was little over two years since Fastolf’s death when this letter was written. For further evidences of date compare No. 494. It may also be observed that we find undoubted evidence that John Paston was residing in the Inner Temple six weeks later (see No. 511), whereas in the preceding year he was in Norfolk, where his brother Clement wrote to him news from London (No. 430).

30.1 Ipswich?


FEB. 9

Right trusty and welbeloved, I grete yow hartily well, and will ye wite that where hit is so, that Sir John Fastolf, whom God assoyle, with other, was sum tyme by Sir Herry Inglose enfeffed of trust of his maner offe Pykewurthe in Rutlande, the which made his wille, proved, that the seid maner sholde by solde by Robert Inglose and Edmunde Wychingham his executours, to whom the seid Sir John hath 31 relesed, as his dute was to do; now it is so that for John Browne31.1 ther is shewed a dede under seall of armes berynge date byfore his reles made to the Duke of Norffoke, Henry Inglose and other, contrarie to the wille of the seid Sir Herry and the trust of the feoffement that the seid Sir John Fastolff was infeffed inne. And a letter of Attorney under the same seale of armes to yow, to deliver seison acordynge to the same feffement, to the gret disclaundre of the seid Sir John and all his, yef this be true. Wherfore I preie yow hertili that ye feithfully and truly rescribe to me in all the hast ye may what ye knowe in this mater such as ye wull stonde by with outen glose, and how ye can imagine that this crafte shulde be practised, and specially whether ye yourself delivered seison in Rutlond or noo. And this and what incedentes ye knowe, I preie yow by wrytinge certefie me in all hast, that I may be the more ripe to answer to this, to the wurship of the seid Sir John, that was your maister, so that thorowh your defaute your seid maisters soule ther for lie not in perell, but this disclaundre may be eesed and cesed as reson requireth, to the wurship of hym and all that longe to hym. And this I pray yow faile not offe as I truste yow. Wret at Londo[n] the ix. day of Februar. Yowr frend, Jon Paston.

30.2 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The MS. is a rough draft signed by John Paston the eldest, and corrected in his hand. It seems to have been written on the cover of a letter addressed to himself; for on the back is this direction in another hand:— ‘To my most reverent and worchepfull maister, John Paston the eldest, Esquier, be this deliveryd in hast.’

We have inserted this letter in the year 1462 as this was the first year after Fastolf’s death, when John Paston appears to have been residing in London in the beginning of February. The only other possible years are 1463, 1465, and 1466.

31.1 This name is substituted for ‘Herry Inglose,’ struck out.


To the ryght wurshipfull sir and meyster, myn Mayster John Paston, Squier.


Ryght worshipfull sire and mayster, I recomaunde me to yow. And please yow that the chirche of Drayton is or shal be resyngned in hast in to the Bysshopys hands by Sir John Bullok, desyryng yow hertly that ye lyke I 32 may have the presentacion of the next avoydaunce for a newew of myn, callyd Sir Reynold Spendlove, whiche I truste youre maystership wold agree to make in youre name and myn as was last, &c. And, sir, please yow also that I have hadde diverse communicacions with Worcestr sethe Crystmesse,32.1 and I fele by hym otterly that he wole not appoynt in other fourme than to have the londs of Feyrechildes and other londes in Drayton to the sume of x. marc of yow proprely, by syde that that he desyreth of myn mayster, whom God assoyle, whiche mater I remytte to your noble discrecion.

And as for answere of the bylles that I have, I have ben so sekelew seythe Crystmasse that I myght not yette don hem, but I shal in alle hast, wher inne ye may excuse yow by me if ye please tyl the next terme, at whiche tyme alle shal be aunswered, be Godds grace, who preserve yow and send yow th’ accomplyshement of youre desyres, &c.

Item, sere, please youre maystership hit was leten me wete in ryght secrete wyse that a pyssaunce is redy to aryve in thre parties of this londe, by the meane of Kyng Herry and the Quene that wes, and by the Dewk Somercete and others, of vi.xx. m.l. [120,000] men; and here day, if wynde and weder hadde servyd theym, shuld a’ ben here sone upon Candelmasse; at Trente to London werdes thei shuld a’ ben by Candelmasse or sone after, one parte of theym, and another parte comyng from Walys, and the thredde fro Yernessey and Garnesseye. Wher fore it is weel don ye enforme myn Lord Warwyk, that he may speke to the Kyng that good provy[s]ion be hadde for withstandyng there malicyous purpose and evyl wylle, whiche God graunt we may our come theym; and so we shuld, 33 I dought not, if we were alle on [one]. There ben many medelers, and they ben best cheryshed, whyche wold hurt moche if these come to, as God diffende, &c. T. Howys.

31.2 [From Fenn, iv. 68.] For evidence of the date of this letter, Fenn quotes the following extracts from the Institution Books in the Registry of the Bishop of Norwich:—


‘Reg. xi. 124. 29 January 1460-1. Johannes Bullock ad præsentationem Joh’is Paston arm. et Tho. Howys capellani.

‘Reg. xi. 131. 15 March 1461-2. Joh’es Flourdew ad præsentationem eorundem.’

It thus appears that the living was resigned by John Bullock in 1461-2, and on the 15th March John Flourdew was presented to it, not the person here recommended by Howes.

32.1 This word is indicated by Fenn as indistinct in the MS.


To my ryth worchepfull husbond, John Paston, be this delyveryd in hast.


Plesyth yow to wete that John Wellys and his brodyr told me thys nyth that the Kyng lay at Cambryge as yestyrsnyth to Sandwyche ward, for ther is gret dyvysyen be twyx the Lordys and the schypmen ther, that causyth hym to goo thedyr to se a remedye therfor.

I thank God that John Paston yed non erst [went no earlier] forthe, for I trust to God all schall be do er he comyth. And it is told me that Syr John Howard is lek to lese hys hed.

If it plese yow to send to the seyd Wellys, he schall send yow mor tydyngys than I may wryt at thys tyme. God have yow in Hys kepyng.

Wretyn in hast at Thetford, at xj. of the clok in the nyth, the same day I departyd fro yow.

I thank Pampyng of hys good wyll, and them that wer cause of changyng of my hors, for they ded me a bettyr torne than I wend they had do, and I schall aquyt them anothyr day, and I maye. By yor M. P.

33.1 [From Fenn, ii. 288.] It appears by the dates of the Privy Seal writs that Edward IV. was at Cambridge on the 2nd and 3rd March 1462, and this is probably the visit alluded to, although we do not find that the King went on to Sandwich afterwards.

To my ryth worchepfull husbond, John Paston
text has “husbona” (italic “a” for “d”)



To myn ryth reverent and worschypfull fader, John Paston, beyng in the Inder Temple.


Ryght reverent and wyrshypfull fader, I recomand me un to you, be sychyng you of your blessyng and gode faderhode. Pleasyt it you to understond the grete expens that I have dayly travelyng with the Kyng, as the berour here of can enfourme you; and howe long that I am lyke to tary here in thys country or I may speke with you a gayn, and howe I am chargyd to have myn hors and harnys redy, and in hasty wyse, besykyng you to consyder theys causes, and so to remembr me that I may have suche thynges as I may do my mayster servys with and pleasur, trusting in God it schall be to your wyrshyp and to myn and vayll [avail]. In especiall I besyche you, that I may be sur where to have mony somwhat be fore Estern, other of you, or by myn uncle Clement, when nede ys. Of othir causes the berour hereof can enfourme you. No more to you at thys tyme, but God have you in Hys kepyng.

Wryten at Stamford, the xiij. day of March. Be yowr sone and servant, John Paston, the Older.

34.1 [From Fenn, iv. 126.] It appears by the dates of the Privy Seal writs that Edward IV. was at Stamford, from the 9th to the 17th March, in the second year of his reign, i.e. in 1462. This letter belongs therefore to that year.



Memorandum. This is the confessyon of xvj. Frenshemen with the Mastyr, takyn at Sheryngam, the iij. wek of Lent.


Right worshipfull sir, I recomaund me to you, and lete you wytte, that I have be at Shiryngham, and examyned the Frenshmen to the nombre of xvj. with the maister. And thei telle that the Duke of Somerset is in to Scotland; and thei sey the Lord Hungyrforthe was on Monday last passed afore Sheryngham in to Scotland ward, in a kervyle [carvel] of Depe, no gret power with hym, ne with the seid Duk neyther. And thei sey that the Duk of Burgoyn35.2 is poysened, and not like to recovere. And as for powers to be gadered ayenst our weelfare; thei sey, there shulde come in to Seyne CC. gret forstages35.3 owt of Spayne, from the Kyng there;35.4 and CCC. shippes from the Duk of Bretayne35.5 with the navy of Fraunce, but thei be not yet assembled, ne vitayll there purveyd, as thei sey, ne men. And the Kyng of Fraunce35.6 is in to Spayne on pilgrymage with fewe hors as thei sey; what the purpose is thei can not telle certeyn, &c. In hast at Norwich.

The Kyng of Frauns hath comitted the rewle of Bordews on to the marchaunds of the toun, and the browd35.7 tha[t] be therin to be at ther wages; and like as Caleys is a Stapole of wolle here in England, so is that made staple of wyne.

John Fermer, presoner, seyth, on [one] John Gylys, a clerk that was with the Erle of Oxforthe, wych was some tym in Kyng Herrys hows, was a prevy secretary with the Erle of 36 Oxforthe; and if any wrytyng wer made by the seyd Erle, the seyd Gylys knew ther of in this gret matyeres.

35.1 [From Fenn, i. 250.] This letter evidently refers to the state of matters in the beginning of the year 1462, when Henry VI. and Margaret of Anjou were in Scotland, and when the Earl of Oxford had just been beheaded for conspiring against Edward IV. The date of Oxford’s execution was the 20th of February. This confession of the Frenchmen is dated in the third week of Lent, that is to say, between the 14th and the 20th of March.

35.2 Philip the Good.

35.3 Large ships with forestages or forecastles.

35.4 Henry IV., King of Castile.

35.5 Francis II., the last Duke.

35.6 Lewis XI.

35.7 This word, says Fenn, is imperfect in the original.


To my right singler maister, J. Paston, Squyer, in hast, &c.


After due recomendacion, please it your maistership to wyte Maister Yelverton, justice, seid in the Sessions that the Kyng shulde kepe his Estern at Bury, and from thens come unto this cuntre and se suyche riottes as have be in this cuntre punyshed in suche fourme as happely summe shulde hange by the nekke. And he tolde what thank he had of the Kyng at Cambrigg for cause he declarid so well the charge of extorcions doon by Shirefs and other officers, &c., for the whiche declaracion the Kyng tooke hym by the hand, and seid he cowde hym grett thanke, and prayed hym so to do in this cuntre, &c.

In hast, at Norwich, the Wednesseday next tofore th’Annunciacion, &c. Your povere, J. Gresham.

36.1 [From Fenn, iv. 76.] It does not appear that Edward IV. ever did spend an Easter at Bury, as here projected. He was, however, at Cambridge in the beginning of March 1462; from which he proceeded to Peterborough, Stamford, Newark, and Lincoln, and at Easter (18th April) he seems to have been at Leicester.


To my right trusti and welbelovid frend, John Paston, Esquier.


Right worshipfull, and myn enterly welbelovyd frend, I recomaund me un to you, hertely thankyng you of your gret present of fisch, and of the felyshipp that my cosyn your sonne shewid unto me att Norwiche, purposyng 37 be the grace of God to deserve it un to you in tyme to come, in such place as I may do for you.

Desiryng you specyally, wher as a tenaunt of myne of Lavenham, called John Fermour, is sesid and arestid with in the towne of Yermowth, be cause he dwellid with the Erle of Oxonfords son, and purposid to have passid the see withou[t] lycence, and stondyth out of the conceyte of much peple, I wold desyre you, that ye wold wryte to the Baylyffs of Yermouth to delyver the seid John Fermor to my servaunt John Brenerigg, brynger of this, with an officer of the seid Towne, to be caried unto the Kyngs Castell of Rysing at my cost; ther to be examynid of certeyne Artycules, which I may not disclose, til I have spoke with the Kyngs Highnes: praying you to wryte to the seid Bayliffs, that I shall be her suffisant discharge ayenst the Kynge. Desyryng yow to geve credence to the brynger herof, as my verray trust is in yow.

Wretyn at Lavenham, the xxvth. day of Marche.

Your trew and feithfull frend, havyng no blame for my gode wylle. John Wykes, Ussher of the Kyngs Chambre.

36.2 [From Fenn, i. 252.] As this letter relates to the arrest of a confederate of the Earl of Oxford and his son, who were executed in February 1462, for conspiring against Edward IV., the date must be referred to that year.


To the rigth reverent and worshipfull sir, and my right honourable maystyr, John Paston.


Right worshipfull sir, and my right honourable maistir, I recomaunde me to you in my most humble wise. And plese it youre good maistirshyp to wete that it is seyd here that my Lord Worcestre is lyk to be Tresorer, with 38 whom I truste ye stonde right wel in conseit, with whiche God contynwe. Wherfor I beseke youre maistirshipp that if my seid Lord have the seid office, that it lyke you to desyre the nomynacion of on of the officez, eythyr of the countroller or serchorship of Jernemuth, for a servaunt of yowrez, and I shuld so gyde me in the office as I truste shuld be most profit to my seyd Lord. And if youre maistirshyp lyked to gete graunt thereof, that than it plesyd you to lycense on of youre servaunts to take out the patent of the seyd office; and if it cost v. or vj. or viij. marke, I shal trewly contente it ageyn; and yeerly as longe as I myght have the officez, or any of hem, I shal geve my maister youre sone v. marke toward an haukeney.

It shuld be to me right a good mean to stondyn as well in the trust as in the conseyt amongs marchaunts, with whom and with alle men I calle myself a servaunt of yourez, and soo wil do, if it plese you, which boldyth me the more to calle upon youre right wurshipful maistyrshyp in this mater, where in I beseke you to forgeve me my boldneyse in thys behalve. And if I knew that my Lord shuld have the office in sertayn, than I wold wayte upon youre good maystyrshyp there to opteyne the patent, if it plesyd youre good maystirship to gete me the graunt, &c.

No more on to you, my right honourable maister, at thys tyme, but Jesu I beseke sende you a good conclucyon in all yore maters, and graunt you ever youre herts desyre. Yore contynwal servaunt and bedeman, John Russe.

37.1 [From Fenn, iv. 112.] This letter must have been written before the 14th of April 1462, on which day the Earl of Worcester was appointed Treasurer of the Exchequer (Patent Roll, 2 Edw. IV., p. 1, m. 19).



To myn ryght worshipfull and ryght singler good mayster, myn Mayster John Paston.


Myn ryght worshipfull mayster, I recomaunde me to yow in myn ryght homble wyse. And please your maystership that I have ben at Wetyng and there hald the court and lete on Hokmonday39.2 as hit hath bene of olde tyme accostomed; and the tenauntes have attorned and bene full gladde that myn lady shuld rejoyse hit and kepe here possession. The priour of Bromhill that was fermoure his terme is expired, and wole sewe to myn lady and hir councell to have a newe terme; but lete myn lady be ware, for, as I here seyn, he bydeth but a tyme that he myght gete a summe of money to geders of myn ladyes lyflode, and to gone ther with39.3 a love of his sojornyng as yette in Hokehold. She hath bene dreven fro town to town for his sake. Hit is wele done ye advertyse myn lady, if she be in that cas that she hath governaunce of hir owen londes, that she do no thyng to that lyflode ner non other in Norffolk, with ought advyse of theym that have vysyted and overseen theym; for there hath bene straunge rewle, bothe in woodsales and sale of londes helde at wylle for fre rent, as ye shal knowe here after. Thoresby, a man that was generall attorney for myn Lord Oxenford that was, told me that the Kynge hadde made Keche generall receyvoure by priveseale of alle londes that were the Erle of Oxenford and Dame Elyzabet, ecept tho that Howard hadde entered and Lanham and an other graunted to Wykes, and certeyn lyflode in Kent that was assigned to the tresorer of howshold of the Kynges hows; and she shuld have be Keches hande v.c. [500] mark, ij.c. and l. [250] mark to bene payed at this Estern and the remulant at Mihelmasse. And of the remulant the Kyng shuld be answered. Ye shal sone understande how it is; and if hit be so, hit [is]39.4 but foly to laboure any ferther. I wold fayn knowe, for the courtes for the half yere wold bene holde for nede. And our Lord be with youre maystership and sende yow th’accomplyshement of youre noble desyres. Wreten hastely at Norwyche, the iiijte day of May. Youre servaunt to his power, W. C.

And whan ye comon with myn ryght worshipfull lady I beseche yow remembre myn pore maters in whiche is greet concyens, &c.

39.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The manor of Weeting, in Norfolk, came to John Vere, twelfth Earl of Oxford, by his marriage with Elizabeth, daughter and heir of John Howard, Esquire, son and heir of Sir John Howard, Knight. This Earl was beheaded in February 1462, for treason against Edward IV., and the present letter seems to have been written in May following.

39.2 Hock Monday was a fortnight after Easter Monday. In 1462 it fell on the 3rd May, the day before this letter was written.

39.3 With repeated in MS.

39.4 Omitted in MS.



To my ryght wurschipful maister, John Paston.

MAY 18

I  recomaunde me unto you. Plesith it you to witte that I have spoken with Furbuschour and other of the matre that ye spake to me off, and they have promysed me to be as feythefull in it as it where for hem selfe. Also I have spoken with my modre and seide to here as ye desired me to doo, and sche seide sche knewe the massache weele inowe before be other persones in like wice as ye comaunded hem to sey to her; and sche seide she wode fayne that ye dede weele what so ever ye sey and fille forthe in other talkyng. Me semethe che is displesed that ye came not to her or than ye roode foorthe. I schall telle you more whan that ye come home. Thomas Denys wyff whas at me, and desired me that I schulde sende to you and desire you that che myght have knowleche from you how ye woll that sche schall doo with her matre; sche seithe her brother and other of her frendes thynke that she schulde up to London and calle uppon her matre there, but she seithe pleynly sche woll nought doo therin withoute your advice. It whas toolde me that Bacon and Gonnor whas here to speke with me for the matre that Bacon spake to you of, and at that tyme I whas at Norweche and I herde no more of hem sethen. And as for my brother William, he is not purposed to come to London tyll aftre Pentecost; but my brother Clement is purposed to come forward on Monday or on Twesday next comyng at the 41 ferthest. No more at this tyme but the blissed Trinite preserve you. Wreten the xviij. day of May. Your Margaret Paston.

I prey yow that ye woll wete safe to remembre Johane Gayne matre, and that ye woll take John Paston that he remembre you of it, for Dawbeney and Pampyng woll sone for gete it.

40.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter is evidently not far removed in date from No. 489, in which ‘Joan Gayne’s matter’ is also mentioned. The year, however, cannot be 1461, as William Paston was in London that year as early as the 4th April. It seems also from this letter that John Paston had recently left home, which could not have been the case in 1461 if No. 453 be of that year. We have therefore little doubt that the true date is 1462, and that the substance of the letter relates to proceedings taken by the widow of Thomas Denys against her husband’s murderers.


To my ryght wurschipfull fadre, John Paston.


Plesit you to wete that I am at Leyn, and under stande be dyvers personys, as I am in formed, that the Mayster of Carbroke41.2 wold take a rewle in the Marè Talbot as for capteyn, and to yeve jaketes of his levery to dyvers personis qwych be waged be oder men, and nouth be hym, beyng in the said shep. Qwerfor in as moch as I have but few sowdeors in myn levery her, to strenketh me in that qwych is the Kynges commandement, I kepe with me yowr too men, Dawbenney and Calle, qwich I purpose shall seyle with me to Yermeth; for I have purveyed harneyse for hem. And ye shall well understande, be the grace of God, that the said Mayster of Carbroke shall have non rewle in the sheppes, as I had purposid he shuld have had, because of his besynesse, and for this is on of the specyall causes I kepe yowr said men with me, besechyng you ye takyt to non dysplesur of ther taryng 42 with me. Nat withstanding, ther herden42.1 at Wyggenalle shall be don this day be the grace of God, Whoo have you in kepyng.

Wreten at Leynn, the morow after my departyng from you.

Item, as far such tydynges as be here, Th. shall in forme you. John Paston.

41.1 [From Fenn, iv. 100.] On the 29th May 1462 a commission was granted to Sir John Howard and Sir Thomas Walgrave to arrest the ships, the Mary Talbot and the Mary Thomson, both of Lynn, and other vessels in Norfolk, Suffolk, and Essex, for a fleet which the King was fitting out (see Patent Roll, 2 Edw. IV., p. 1, m. 14, in dorso). Sir Thomas Walgrave may perhaps have been the person designated in this letter as the Master of Carbrooke. At all events, the date is clearly about this time.

41.2 At Carbrooke, in Norfolk, was a commandry formerly belonging to the Knights Templars, which, like most of the possessions of the order, when it was suppressed in Edward II.’s time, was given to the Knights of St. John.

42.1 I do not understand the meaning of the word ‘herden.’—F.



Inventory of household stuff remaining at Castre, 6 June 2 Edward IV., viz. of robes, jewels, arras, etc.

42.2 [From MS. Phillipps, 9735, No. 354.]



Among some MSS., which seem formerly to have belonged to the Paston Collection in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, is one endorsed— ‘A Pedigree showing how the manor of Caister was divided,’ tracing its descent from earlier owners to Sir John Fastolf.


To my most reverent and worchepfull maister, John Paston, dwellyng at Heylysdon, be this delyveryd.



Most reverent and worchepfull master, I recommaund me onto your god masterchep. Please you to have knowlage, on the Fryday at afternoon next after Seynt Peter, there was at the taveran in London old Debnam 43 and young Debnam, Thomas Edmonds, and I; and ther the seyd Thomas Edmonds fell in communicacion with old Debnam, and seyd that my Lord Tresorer43.1 had put hym to a gret charge for the vetelyng of Mary Talbot,43.2 seyyng to old Debnam that he hard sey that he had a C. bulloks to selle, the wyche the seyd Edmonds wolle bey so that they may a cord of the price. Than the seyd old Debnam answerd ageyn, and seyd he wold, so that he myght have good payment, or elles the seyd Edmonds to be bound in abligacion to pay hym at suche dayys as they myght a cord. And noon upon thys same langwage, yong Debnam spake to hys fader, ‘Sir, I pray you that ye wolle take avisment of this mater tille to morowe, for I trost to your good faderhod that ye wolle late me have a serteyn of your bulloks for the vetelyng of the Barge of Yermothe, and I shall fynd you sufficiant suerte for the payment therof for Edmonds. I wolle that ye knowe I have be ther, and spoke with the owner and with the maister of the seyd barge, and they knowyn myn oppoyntment.’

Than the seyd Edmonds answered to yong Debnam, and told hym that the sety of Norwic and Yermothe hathe grauntyd, and send wrytyng to the Kynge and to the Lords that they wolle manne and veteylle the seyd barge of her owne cost fro the tym of hyr goyng owt tylle hyr comyng home; and thus the seyd Edmonds told hym that my Lord Tresorer and all the Lords that be at London thynk they do ryght well her devyer, and be worthey moche thanke of the Kyng. ‘Well,’ quod yong Debnam, ‘I had in commaundment for to have the rewle of the seyd barge, and I wolle be at Yermothe as thys day iiij. dayys, and man hyr and bryng hyr downne to the Gylys of Hulle, for that ys my chype.’

Also he seyd mor, with out that he myght have the seyd barge, he wolle note goo to see but hym self and hys xxiiij. men. And thus, yf please your maisterchep, he departyd from the taveran; and at hys departyng, he told the seyd Thomas Edmonds, ‘Thys ys Paston labor.’ Than the seyd Edmonds answerd hym ageyn, and seyd playnly he was to 44 blame for to reporte so of your masterchep, for he knoythe veryly he seyd on trewly of you and of my master your son bothe, and ther on he wold take a hothe. And so, yf it please your good masterchep, late the cety of Norwic and Yermothe have knowlage of hys gret crakyng and bost, and let hym of hys purpose by the autorite that they have.

Item, my master your son wolle have to hys jakets murry44.1 and tany [tawny], and that it please yow sum of my felachep may spek to on of the drapers for to ordeyn yt ageyns hys comyng hom, for I trowe it shall be thys day sevenyght ar he comithe home.

Item, sir, if please you, Skrowpe hathe sent to you to London be Byngham for the mony that ye knowe of, zit I spake not with hym; but I shall telle hym that I suppose ye shall be here in the last end of the terme, and I shall send your masterchep word what answer I have of hym.

Item, sir, if pleese suche tydyngs as I her of, I send you word. My Lord of Warwek hathe be in Skotlond, an take a castell of the Skoots; and upon thys ther came the Quene of Skoots44.2 with other Lords of her contre, as ye shall her the namys, in basetry [embassy] to my seyd Lord of Werwek, and a trews is take betwyx thys and Seynt Bertylmew Day in Auguste. Thes is the last tydyngs that I knowe. No mor to your god masterchep at this tyme, but Jesu have [you] in kepyng. Wretyn on the Saturday next after Seynt Peter. By your por servaunt, J. Daubeney.

42.3 [From Fenn, iv. 138.] The date of this letter is shown by an entry on the Patent Roll, 2 Edw. IV., p. 1, m. 7, in dorso. On the 27th June 1462 a commission was given to Gilbert Debenham, Jun., Esquire, Walter Alderiche, master of the George of Yarmouth, and John Childe, to arrest for the King’s service a ship called The Barge of Yarmouth, alias The George, with victuals, masters, and mariners for the same.

43.1 John Tiptoft, Earl of Worcester. He was beheaded in October 1470.—F.

43.2 See Preliminary Note to No. 518, p. 41, Note 1.

44.1 Dark red or purple and yellowish colour.—F.

44.2 Mary, daughter of Arnold, Duke of Gelders, and mother to James III., King of Scotland.



To my maistre, John Paston the yonger, be this delyvered.


Sere, I have receyved your lettre, wherin I undrestand that my maistre desired that my maistre your brother myght have the gidyng and governaunce of the Barge of Yermouthe. As to that, and men of Yermouthe had knowen my maistre entend a fornyght a goo, he had ben swer of it, but nough it is so that Debenham hathe a comyscion of the Kyng expressed oonly for that schip named in hes comyscion; and he hathe ben here at Yermouthe, and spoken with the balyffs and with the owners of the seide schip, and takyn suche a direccion that they may graunted it ne man but hym. And moreover he hathe endented with the owners of the schip what daye it schulbe redy as well vetaylled as manned; and also he hathe brought downe letters from my Lord Tresorer to all priours and gentlemen in this contre to helpe hym and assiste hym to vetayle and manne the seide schip, and hes men is here dayle, and gothe abought and gathereth whete, malt, money, and what so ever any man woll geve, &c.

The blissed Trinyte preserve you. Wreten at Castre, the Friday next aftre I receyved your lettre.

Item, is talked here that my maistre your brother and Debenham were at words at London, and that Debenham shuld have streken hym, had nought Howard a’ beene, &c., wherof I am ryght sory, &c. Neverthelesse I trust to God all schul be weell. Your servaunt, Ric. Calle.

45.1 [From Fenn, iv. 144.] This and the next letter were evidently written not very long after the last.



To my maistre, John Paston.

Plesith your maisterschip to wit that I whas at Scole, and spake with Alblastre, John Sadeler, and with other good yomen of the contre to undrestonde how they were gided for the vetelyng of the Barge of Yermouth. And I undrestonde be them that there [their] hundred have payed; nevertheles it is but litell. Ther was gatherd in that hundred xviijs. and certein corn, and some other hundred vj. marc and corne, and so they have payed in all the hundreds and townys here a boute, that is to sey, Est Flegge and West Flegge and up to Blofeld, Tunsted and up to Stalom, I undrestand, be the comiscion that Debenham hath. It is more large thanne master John is, as ye schal undrestand, wherof I send you a copy, weche causeth me that I labour no ferther therin. Notwithstandyng your maisterschip schal have knowleche what every hundred geve, and Yermeth bothe.

Wreten at Wynterton, the morwe aftre I departed from your maisterschip. Youre poore bedman, Ric. Calle.

46.1 [From Fenn, iii. 430.]


Richard Calle to John Paston

[JULY 5]

Cannot inform him how much malt he has at Castre, ‘for the malters have not moten all up yet,’—probably 400 quarters new and 160 comb old malt of Castre and Mauteby, of which 40 quarters will be spent in the household by Hallowmas. At Yarmouth it is now 2s. 2d. a bushel—it was 2s. 6d. But London is a better market. Thinks the price will fall here, as the fields are 47 reasonably fair in Flegge, and so up to Norwich. The carriage from Yarmouth to London will be 6d. per quarter, ‘and I understand j. quartre of Yermothe mette makethe at London but vij. busschell.’

Norwich, Monday after St. Peter’s Day.

[As John Paston does not seem to have been in undisturbed possession of Caister before 1462, and we have evidence of Richard Calle having been there in that year about the time of year when this letter was written, we may with great probability refer it to that year.]

46.2 [From Paston MSS., B.M.]


To the right worshypful my right honourabyl mayster, John Paston.


Right worshipfull sir, and my right honourabill maister, I recomaund me to you in my most humble wyse, and please your maistirship to wete that her is on Thomas Chapman, an evyl disposyd man al wey ayens you, as I have informyd youre maistirship many tymes, and now he hathe labouryd to my Lord Tresorer to subplante me, and brought down wryghting from the Kyng and my Lord Tresorer; but or hise wryting cam, Wydwell fond the meanys, be the supportacion of Maistir Feen, that we had a discharge for hym out of the Chauncery; wherfor the seyd Chapman proposyth to be at London in all haste, and to avertise the Kyng and my Lord Tresorer ageyn me to the grettest hurt he can imagyne. Wherfor I beseke youre maystirship, consedryng is evyl disposecion to yow, and also the rather at my pore instaunce, that ye lyke that my Lord Tresorer myght undyrstonde that the seyd Chapman is of no reputacion, but evyl disposyd to brybory of straungers, and be colour of hise office of supervisor of the searche shal gretly hurte the port. The seyd Chapman supportors is Blakeney, clerk of the sygnet, and Avery Cornburght, yoman of the Kynges chaumbre. He hathe here of Avereyes xxiiij. tune wyn, whereof at the long wey he shal 48 make the seyd Averey a lewd rekenyng. The seyd Chapman lovyth not you, nor no man to yow wards, &c.

Sir, I prey God brynge you onys to regne amongs youre cuntre men in love, and to be dred. The lenger ye contynwe there the more hurt growyth to you. Men sey ye will neyther folwe the avyse of youre owyn kynred, nor of youre counsell, but contynwe your owyn wylfullnesse, whiche, but grace be, shal be youre distrucion. It is my part to enfourme youre maistirshyp as the comown voyse is, God betir it, and graunt yow onys herts ease; for it is half a deth to me to here the generall voyse of the pepyll, whiche dayli encreassyth, &c.

Sir, I beseke youre maistirshyp to remembre my maystresse for the lytil sylvir, whiche for serteyn thyngs delyverid to youre use is dewe to me. I have nede of it now. I have bought salt and other thyngs, whiche hathe brought me out of myche sylvir. I wold trust, and I nedyd to borwe xxli., your maistirshyp wold ease me for a tyme, but thys that I desyre is myn owyn dute. And Jesu graunt yow ever yowr herts desyre to youre worshyp and profyt, and preserve yow my right honourabyll maister from all adversyte.

Wretyn at Jernemuthe, the xv. day of July. Here is a kervyl [carvel] of Cane in Normandy, and he takyth Duchemen, and raunsumyth hem grevously. Yore servaunt and bedman, John Russe.

47.1 [From Fenn, iv. 120.] The precise year in which this letter was written is a little uncertain, but from the date and contents it would appear that Russe was now in possession of the office which in No. 515 he had asked Paston to procure for him; so that it cannot be earlier than 1462.


To myn wurchipfull broder, Jon Paston.


Ryththe wurchipfull broder, I recomand [me] to zow. Lekit it zow to wethe [wit], Jon of Dam is come to towne, and purposit hym to tary here a day ar ij. ar longar, I can thynk, and he be desyryd. Were fore I pray 49 zow, and as I have afore this tyme desiryd zow the same, that suche materis as hathe be comunyd now lathe be twyx myn moder, zow and hym, may take some good conclucyon be twyx owre selff here at hom. And in myn consayt, savyng zow better avyse, it were so most convenyent and wurchipfull for us all, and comforthe to all owre fryndis. And for this ententhe I wold tary here the lengar; for I wold be as glad as any man a lyve that suche an ende mythe be take be twix us that iche off us all schuld inyoy the wylleffar off odyr, qweche I trust with zowr good help schall be rythe wyll, and I dowthe nat myn mastyr Markam wyll be will plesyd thus.

I have tydynges from London, and a monge odyr tydynges I have knowlage that Cirstofre Hanson is passid to God on Saterday last past, at ij. of clok after mydnythe. It is good to take hede there to, &c.

Item, I sent to zow to have had zowre avyse qwat menys were best to make for the mater towchyng the Lord Scrop, qwere in I had an answer, but me thowthe it was not to the poynthe. I sopose, and I purposyd to make the labore that ze sent me word I schuld do towchyng me, I can thynk I schuld sone be answerid, meche sonar than he. I must send some answer to hym, were in I wold have zowr consayll; for he desirid the same, and I wold not he schold thynk that he were forgotyn be us. Be zowr pore broder, William Paston.

I can thynk and he were here he wold be a feythfull frynd to zow; but and so were that ze thowthe that it were for to labore for any oder man, me thynkit it were for zow to remembre myn nevew. That were somewat lykly, and there to wold I be glad to help and lene to the toder. For as for me, I know so moche that sche will none have but iff he have, ar be leke to have, meche more lond than I have; and iff I knewe the contrary, it schuld nat be left for the labore, but I wold not be in a folis paradyce, and ze be myn good brodir. I trust thow to do rythe will, &c.

48.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The reference to the death of Christopher Hanson proves this letter to have been written in July 1462, as the precise date of his death is given in Letter 528.

I have knowlage that Cirstofre Hanson is passid
text unchanged: error for “Cristofre”?



To my rigth good maister, John Paston the oldest, beyng at Heylesdon, besyde Norwiche, in hast.


Please your maistership wete that Christofer Hanson is ded and beryed; and as for executor or testament, he mad non.

As for tydyngs, the Erles of Warrewyk, of Essex, Lord Wenlok, Bysshop of Dereham, and other go in to Scotland of inbassat. And as for the sege of Kaleys, we here no mor ther of, blyssed be God, ho have you in His kepying.

Item, as for Christofers papers that longeth to your tenants, I have goten of William Worcester; and as for all the remnaunt of Christofer good, William Worcester hath the reule as hym semeth most convenient. Your, Thoms Playter.

50.1 [From Fenn, iv. 124.] This letter, like the last, is dated by the letter following.


To my maister, John Paston, at Heylesdon.


Item, plese you wete of other tytyngs. These Lords in your other letter,50.3 with Lord Hastyngs and other, ben to Karlyle to resseve in the Qwen of Scotts;50.4 and uppon this appoyntement, Erle Duglas50.5 is comaunded to come thens, and as a sorwefull and a sore rebuked man lyth in the Abbey 51 of Seynt Albons; and by the said appoyntement schall not be reputed, nor taken, but as an Englyssheman, and if he come in the daunger of Scotts, they to sle hym.

Item, Kyng Harry and his Aderents in Scotland schall be delyvered; and Lord Dakres of the Northe is wonne and yelden, and the seid Lord, Sir Richard Tunstall, and on Byllyngham in the said Castell ben taken and heded.

Item, the Qwen and Prince ben in Fraunce and ha mad moche weyes and gret peple to com to Scotland and ther trust to have socour, and thens to com in to Inglond: what schall falle I can not sey, but I herd that these appoyntements were take by the yong Lords of Scotland, but not by the old. Your, Plaiter.

Christofer dyed on the Satarday next be for Seynt Margret,51.1 Anno. E. ijdo.

50.2 [From Fenn, i. 270.] This letter seems to have been penned immediately after the last was sent off.

50.3 i.e. the other letter to you—meaning No. 527.

50.4 Mary of Gueldres, widow of James II.

50.5 James, Earl of Douglas, who had been banished from Scotland, but was made by Edward IV. a Knight of the Garter.

51.1 St. Margaret’s Day was the 20th July. The Saturday before it in 1462 was the 17th.

1462 / JULY
sidenote missing, but see first footnote


To my right honorabil and worshypfull maister, my Maister Paston.


Please it youre worshipfull maistyrshyp to wete, that it is informyd me thys day scretly, that there is dyrected out a commyssion to mayster Yelwyrton and maister Jenney, which shall tomorwyr syttyn be vertu of the same at Seynt Oleffes;51.3 and the substaunce of jentilmen and yemen of Lodyngland be assygned to be afore the seyd commesyoners; and it is supposed it is for my maisters londs, for as the seyd 52 persone informyd me, the seyd comesyoners have been at Cotton, and there entred, and holdyn a court. I can not informe youre maystyrship that it is thus in serteyn, but thus it was told me, and desyryd me to kepe it secret; but be cause I conseyve it is ageyn your maistyrship, it is my part to geve you relacion thereof.

I sende you a letter which cometh from Worcestyr52.1 to my maister youre brothyr. I wold ye undyrstod the intente of it, for as for Worcester, I knowe well he is not good. Sum men ar besy to make werre, for p’52.2 the absentyng of my maister, the parson comyth not of hyse owyn mocyon, but I wold youre maistyrship knewe be whom it is mevyd. I herd you never calle hym false pryst, be my trouth, nor other language that is rehersyd hym, but Gode sende a good accord, for of varyaunce comyth gret hurt of tyn tyme, and I beseche Jesu sende youre maistyrship youre herts desyre, and amende hem that wold the contrary.

Sir, yesterevyn a man came from London, and he seyth, the Kyng cam to London on Satyrday, and there dede make a proclamacion that all men that were be twyx lx. and xvj. shuld be redy to wayte upon hym whan so ever they were callyd; and it is seyd, that my Lord Warwyk had sent to the Kyng, and informyd hyse Hyghnesse that the Lord Summyrset had wretyn to hym to come to grace; but of the fleet of shyppis there is no tydings in serteyn at London on Monday last past. Youre bedman and servaunt, John Russe.

51.2 [From Fenn, i. 260.] This letter must have been written in the year 1462 before the Duke of Somerset was received into favour. Proclamations similar to those mentioned in this letter were issued on the 6th March 1461 and the 11th May 1464; but neither of these can be the case referred to. The coming of the King to London must have been in the beginning of September 1462. He was in London on the 14th of that month, and had been at Fotheringay on the 1st, as the dates of Privy Seals inform us.

51.3 St. Olave’s, in Suffolk.

52.1 William Worcester.

52.2 p’.—So in Fenn’s left-hand copy. The word seems to have been ambiguous in the original MS., and is rendered ‘by’ (in italics) in the modern version.




Shewyth and lowly compleynith on to your good Lordship John Paston, the older, Squier, that where Sir John Fastolf, Knyght, cosyn to your seid besecher, was seasid of diveris maners, londs, and tenements in Norfolk, Suffolk, and Norwich, the xxvij. yere of Kyng Herre that was, and therof infeffid diveris persones to execute and performe his will, and mad his will in especiall that a college of vij. monks shuld be stabilisshed, founded, and indewed withinne a plase late be the seid Sir John edified at Caster be the see in Norfolk, and certeyn livelode to be immortesid53.2 therto, to prey for his sowle, his faders and moders, in forme and maner as in his will mad at that tyme more pleynly specifyth; whech will and feffment continued till the xxxv. yere of the seid late Kyng. And aftir, upon divers communicacions had be divers personis with the seid Sir John Fastolff, and upon divers consideracions mevid to hym, the seid Sir John Fastolff conceyvid that such be monkys hym there to be indewed shuld not be of power to susteyne and kepe the seid plase edified, or the lond that shuld be immortesid ther to, acordyng to his seid entent and will; wherfore, and for good will that the seid Sir John Fastolff had to the proferryng of your seid besecher mevyd hym to have the seid plase and certeyn of his livelode of gretter valew than the charge of the seid college schuld drawe, and to found the seid college and to bere the reparacion and defens therof. Upon whech mocion the seid Sir John Fastolff and your seid besecher apoynted be word withowt writyng at that 54 tyme mad that your seid besecher shuld, aftir the decese of the seid Sir John Fastolff, have the seid plase in Caster, and all the maners that were the seid Sir John Fastolffs or any other to his use in Norfolk, Suffolk, and Norwich, up trust that the same John Paston shuld founde there a college of vij. monkes or prestes havyng a certeyn pension for her sustentacion payid clerly in mony withowt any charge, cost, reparacion, or joperde of defens of the seid plase or of any other livelode to be bore be the seyd collegians, and more over to paye a certeyn somme of mony of the revenews of the seid maners, londes and tenementes to be disposid yerly be certeyn yeres for the sowle of the seid Sir John Fastolff till the summe of [5000] mark were so disposed. Upon wech apoyntement it was acordyd be thwyx the seid Sir John and your seid besecher, for as moch as your seid besecher had non astate in the seid maners and londes and tenementes, that for his more suerte, and upon trust that the seid Sir John had to your seid besecher in this behalfe that a newe feffement shuld be mad of the seid plase and of the maner of Caster, and all the seid maners, londs and tenements to your seid besecher, and divers other personys to the use of the seid Sir54.1 John, terme of his lif, and aftir his decese to the use of your seid besecher. And moreover, for as moch as your seid besecher was in dowte whedir God wold send hym tyme of life to execute the seid apoyntement, intendyng that th’effect of the old purpose of the seid Sir John Fastolff schuld not be all voyded, thow it so fortuned your seid besecher cowd not performe the seid apoyntement, mevid the seid Sir John Fastolff that, not withstandyng the seid apoyntement, that he aftir the seid feffement mad shuld make his will for the seid college, to be mad in all maner wise as thow the seid Sir John Fastolff and your seid besecher shuld not make54.2 the seid apoyntement; and that aftir that, the seid apoyntement to be ingrosid and made so that the seid college shuld hold be the same apoyntement of your seid besecher, and ellis this seid will of the seid Sir John 55 Fastolff to stand in effect for executyng of his seid purpose. And sone aftir this comunicacion and apoyntement the seid feffement was mad acordynge, and season deliverid to your seid besecher at the seid plase edified in Caster, as well as at the seid maners, londs, and tenements, the seid Sir John Fastolff beyng present at delivery of season mad to your seid besecher of the seid plase and maner of Caster, where the seid Sir John, more largely expressyng the seid will and entent, deliverid your seid besecher possession with his owne hands, declaryng to notabill personys there the same feffement to be made to the use of the seid Sir John as for terme of his lif only, and aftir his decese to the use of your seid besecher and his heyrs; and divers tymes in divers yeres aftir declared his entent in like wise to divers personys. And aftir, be gret deliberacion and oft communicacion of the seid mater, the seid Sir John Fastolff and your seid besecher comenauntyd55.1 and apoynted be writyng thoroughly for the seid mater so that your seid besecher shuld have the seid plase and all the seid maners, londs, and tenements in Norfolk, Suffolk, and Norwich, to hym and to his heyrs; and that he shuld found a college of vij. monkes or prestes withinne the seid plase perpetually as is before seid, and to pay [4000] mark to be disposed in certeyn yers for the sowle of the seid Sir John Fastolff; the whech apoyntement declarid and red before the seid Sir John Fastolff, be good deliberacion was be the seid Sir John fully concludid, agreyd and stabilisshid for his last will in that behalve.

And also the seid comenauntes and apoyntementes eftsonis callid to remembraunce be the seid Sir John Fastolff, the same Sir John, for certeyn consideracions movyng hym, be his word, withowt writyng, dischargid your seid besecher of the seid somme of mark, desiryng hym so to ordeyne that ich of the seid monkes or prestes shull yerly have as the prestes of the chauntry of Heylesdon had, and that vij. pore men shull also be founde yerly in the seid plase inperpetuite to pray for the sowles above sayd.

[And aftir, that is to sey the Satirday, Sonday, and Monday 56 next before the decese of the seid Sir John, the same Sir John, remembryng divers maters and intents in his mynd necessary for the wele of his sowle, wheche were not expressid in the seid will and apoyntement, nowther in his testament, and that he wold have one will mad and wrete conteynyng the seid apoyntements, as well as the seid other maters not declarid in his intent and will acordyng, comaundid to have it so ingrosid and wrete.]56.1 And where your seid besecher hath don his part acordyng to the will and apoyntements of the seid Sir John, as well in fyndyng of the seid prestes and pore men as in all other thyngs that to hym belongyth to do in that behalfe; and, this not with standyng, William Yelverton, Knyght, and William Jenney, whech be infeffid joyntly with your seid besecher in divers of the seid maners, londs and tenements, have56.2 mad a sympill entre in all the seid maners in Suffolk, and chargid the baylifs, fermors, and tenaunts of all the seid maners to pay hem the profitez and revenews of the same maners, londs, and tenements; and thus, contrary to th’entent of the seid feffement, and contrary to the will of the seid Sir John Fastolff, thei trobill and lette your seid besecher to take the profitez of the seid maners, londs, and tenements; of whech your seid besecher hath no remedy at the comen lawe. Wherfore please your good and gracious Lordship to direct severall writts of subpena to the seid William and William, chargyng hem severally upon a peyne convenient to appere before your Lordship in the Chauncery at a certeyn day be your Lordship to be limityd, to answer to these premisses, and to do as right and consiens requirith. And your seid besecher shall pray God for yow.

The following article is added in the first copy with many corrections:

And aftir, late before the discese of the seid Sir John Fastolff, he wold and ordeynid that on wryting shuld be mad of the fundacion of the seid college aftir the forme of the seid apoyntement mad with your seid besecher, and of diverses othir articles conteynid in his seid former willes, not conserning the seyd colegge and also of divers maters wheche he remembrid necessary for the wele of his sowle, that were nevir expressid in writyng before, joyntly to geder expressyng his hole and inter and last will and intent in all.

53.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This is a draft bill in Chancery prepared by John Paston with a view to the commencement of a suit against Yelverton and Jenney for their entry into the manor of Cotton and other lands of Sir John Fastolf in Suffolk. The document may have been drawn up in the latter part of the year 1461; but from the contents of the preceding letter it is not unlikely to have been a year later. Two copies of this document exist, with the very same corrections and interlineations in both.

53.2 Amortized, or granted in mortmain.

54.1 ‘Sir.’—This word is omitted in the first copy.

54.2 ‘Shuld not make.’—These words are interlined in place of the word ‘left,’ which is erased.

55.1 So spelt in both copies.

56.1 The clause between brackets is cancelled in the first copy.

56.2 This word is interlined in the second copy only.



To my right honourabyl and worshypfull maister, my Maister John Paston.


Plese your worshypfull maistership to wette, here is a ship of Hith, wyche seith that John Cole cam from the west cost on Wednysday last past; and he seyth that the fleet of shippis of this londe met with lx. seile of Spanyards, Brettenys, and Frenshemen, and there tok of hem l. [50], wherof xij. shyppys were as gret as the Grace de Dewe; and there is slayn on thys partyes the Lords Clynton57.2 and Dakyr,57.3 and many jentilmen juve (?)57.4 and othyr, the nombre of [4000]; and the seid Spanyards were purposyd with marchaundise in to Flaundres. My Lord of Warwyks shyp, the Mary Grace and the Trenyte, hadde the grettest hurt, for they wer formost. God send grace, thys be trew. On Thursday last past at London was no tydings in serteyn where the flet was, nor what they had doon, and therfore I fere the tydings the more.

Item, sir, as for tydings at London, ther were arystyd be the tresorer xl. seyles lyeng in Temse, wherof many smale shyppis; and it is seyd it is to carye men to Caleyse in all haste, for feer of the Kyng of Fraunce for a sege. And it was told me secretly there were CC. in Caleyse sworn contrary to the Kyngs well, and for defaute of there wages; and that Qwen Marget was redy at Boleyn with myche sylver to paye the soudyers, in cas they wold geve here entresse. Many men be gretly aferd of thys mater, and so the tresorer hath mych to do for thys cause.


Item, sir, as for tydings out of Ireland, ther wer many men at London at the feyre of the contres next them of Ireland, and they sey thys iij. wyks came there neythyr shyp nor boot out of Irelond to bryng no tydings; and so it semyth there is myche to doo there be the Erle of Pembrook.58.1 And it is seyd that the Kyng shuld be at London as on Satyrday or Sonday last past, and men deme that he wold to Caleyse hym selfe; for the soudyors are so wyld there, that they wyll not lette in ony man but the Kynge or my Lord Warwyk.

Othyr tydings the were come to London, but they were not publyshyd; but John Wellys shal abyde a day the lenger to know what they are.

No mere un to you, my right honourable maister, at thys tyme, but Jesu send yow youre herts desyre, and amende hem that wold the contrary. Your bedman and conty[n]wal servaunt, John Russe.

57.1 [From Fenn, i. 262.] This letter was evidently written not very long after No. 529. The fleet mentioned here and in that letter is that referred to in the preliminary note to No. 518, p. 41, Note 1.

57.2 John, Lord Clinton. The rumour was false, as he was summoned to Parliament in 1463. Nicolas supposes he died about 1465.

57.3 Richard Fynes, Lord Dacre of the South, who was Lord Clinton’s father-in-law. He did not really die till 1484.

57.4 This word, Fenn says, is doubtful in the original MS.

58.1 Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke, half-brother to Henry VI.


To my ryth reverent and worchepfull fadyr, John Paston, be thys delyveryd in hast.

NOV. 1

Ryth reverent and worchepfull fadyr, I recomand me on to yow, beseechyng yow lowly of your blyssyng. Plesyt you to have knowlage that my Lord58.3 is purposyd to send for my Lady, and is lyke to kepe his Crystmas here in Walys, for the Kyng hathe desyered hym to do the same. Wherfor I beseche yow that [ye]58.4 wole wychesave to send me sume mony by the berer herof; for, in good feythe, as it is not on knowyng to yow that I had but ij. noblys in my purse, whyche that Rychard Call took me by your 59 comandement, when I departyd from yow owt of Norwyche. The berer herof schuld bye me a gowne with pert of the mony, if it plese yow to delyver hym as myche mony as he may bye it with; for I have but on gowne at Framyngham and an other here, and that is my levere gowne, and we must were hem every day for the mor part, and one gowne withowt change wyll sone be done.

As for tydyngs, my Lord of Warwyk yed forward in to Scotland as on Saterday59.1 last past with [20,000] men; and Syr Wylliam Tunstale is tak with the garyson of Bamborowth, and is lyke to be hedyd, and by the menys of Sir Rychard Tunstale59.2 is owne brodyr.

As sone as I here any more tydyngys, I schall send hem yow by the grace of God, who have yow in Hys kepyng. Wretyn in hast, at the Castle of the Holte,59.3 upon Halowmas Daye. Your sone and lowly servaunt, J. Paston, Junior.

58.2 [From Fenn, i. 266.] In the month of October 1462, as we learn from William Worcester, Margaret of Anjou came out of France, whither she had fled in spring, with a force of 2000 men, landed on the coast of Northumberland, and laid siege to Bamborough, which she took and placed in the keeping of the Duke of Somerset.

58.3 The Duke of Norfolk.

58.4 Omitted in original.

59.1 30th October.

59.2 Sir Richard Tunstal was on Queen Margaret’s side, while his brother William, it seems, was on that of King Edward.

59.3 In Denbighshire.


To my ryth worchepful brodyr John Paston, the elder, sone of John Paston, Esquyer, be thys delyveryd in hast.

DEC. 11

Ryth worchepfull brodedyr, I recomaunde me to yow. Plesyt yow to wet, that as thys day we had tydyngs here, that the Scottys wyll come in to Inglend with in vij. days aftyr the wrytyng of thys lettyr, for to rescue these iij. castellys, Alnewyk, Donsamborowe59.5 and Bameborowe, whyche castellys wer besegyd, as on yesterdaye. And at the 60 sege of Allnewyk lythe my Lord of Kent and the Lord Scalys; and at Donsameborow castyll lythe the Erle of Wyrcetyr [and] Syr Rafe Grey; and at the castyll of Bameborow lythe the Lord Montagwe and Lord Ogyll, and othyr dyvers Lordys and gentylmen that I knowe not; and ther is to hem owt of Newe Castyll ordynans inowe, bothe for the segys and for the feld, in cas that ther be ony feld takyn, as I trow there shall none be not yet, for the Scottys kepe no promes. My Lord of Warwyk lythe at the castyll of Warcorthe, but iij. myle owt of Alnewyk, and he rydyth dayly to all thes castelys for to overse the segys; and if they want vataylys, or any othyr thyng, he is redy to pervey it for them to hys power. The Kyng comandyd my Lord of Norfolk60.1 for to condyth vetaylys and the ordynans owt of New Castyll on to Warcorthe Castyll, to my Lord of Warwyk; and so my Lord of Norfolk comandyd Syr John Howard, Syr William Peche, Syr Robert Chamberlyen, Rafe Ascheton and me, Calthorp and Gorge, and othyr, for to go forthe with the vytalys and ordynans on to my Lord of Warwyk; and so we wer with my Lord of Warwyk with the ordynans and vytalys yesterdaye. The Kyng lythe at Durham, and my Lord of Norfolk at New Castyll. We have pepyll inow here. In cas we abyd here, I pray you purvey that I may have here more mony by Crystmas Evyn at the ferthest, for I may get leve for to send non of my wagyd men home ageyn; ne man can get no leve for to go home but if they stell a wey, and if they myth be knowe, they schuld be scharply ponyschyd. Mak as merry as ye can, for ther is no joperte toward not yet. And ther be any joperte, I schall sone send yow word, by the grase of God. I wot well ye have more tydyngys then we have here, but thes be true tydyngs.

Yelverton and Jeney ar lek for to be gretly ponyschyd, for because they came not hedyr to the Kyng. They ar morkyn [marked] well inowe, and so is John Bylyngforthe and Thomas Playter; wherefor I am ryth sory. I pray yow let them have wetyng therof, that they may purvey their excuse 61 in hast, so that the Kyng may have knowlage why that they come not to hym in ther one personys; let them come or send ther excuse to me in wrytyng, and I schall purvey that the Kyng schall have knowlage of ther excuse; for I am well aqueyntyd with my Lord Hastyngys, and my Lord Dakarys,61.1 whyche be now gretest abowt the Kyngys person; and also I am well aqueyntyd with the yonger Mortymere, Fererys, Hawte, Harpor, Crowmer, and Bosewell, of the Kyngys howse.

I pray yow let my grandam61.2 and my cosyn Clere61.3 have knowlage how that I desyryd you to let hem have knowlage of the tydyngys in thys letyr, for I promysyd for to send them tydyngs.

I pray yow let my modyr61.4 have cnowelage how that I, and my felawscep, and your servauntys ar, at the wrytyng of this lettyr, in good hell, blesyd be God.

I pray yow let my fadyr have knowlage of thys lettyr, and of the todyr lettyr that I sent to my modyr by Felbryggys man; and how that I pray bothe hym and my modyr lowly of her blyssyngys.

I pray yow that ye wole send me some lettyr how ye do, and of your tydyngys with yow, for I thynk longe that I here no word fro my modyr and yow.

I pray yow that thys bill may recomand me to my systyr Margery, and to my mastres Jone Gayne, and to all gode mastyrys and felawys within Castyr. I sent no lettyr to my fadyr, never syn I departyd fro yow, for I kowd get no man to London, and never sythe.

I pray yow in cas ye spake with my cosyn Margaret Clere, recomande me to hyr; and Almythy God have yow in Hys kepyng.

Wretyn at Newcastyll on Saterday next aftyr the Consepsion of owyr Lady. Your, John Paston, the Yongest.

I pray yow let Rychard Call se thys lettyr.

59.4 [From Fenn, i. 272.] The sieges mentioned in this letter took place, according to Warkworth, in December of the first year of Edward IV., i.e. 1461; but according to William Worcester in 1462. The dates of the Privy Seal writs prove that the latter is right, and that Edward IV. was at Durham in December 1462.

59.5 Dunstanborough.

60.1 John Mowbray, who succeeded his father in the dukedom of Norfolk in 1461. He was at this time only eighteen years of age.

61.1 See p. 57, Note 3.

61.2 Agnes Paston.

61.3 Elizabeth, widow of Robert Clere of Ormesby.

61.4 Margaret Paston.




That it please my lordis good grase to be good lord and supporter of Paston in his right and possession of the maner till his right can be lawfully or be trete dispreved by his adversaries, consideryng that the said Paston is my lordis homager and was nevir ayens his lordship and that my lord is not gretly behold to do for the seid Pastons adversaries as he understandith.

And in case my lord woll not supporte the seid Paston in his right but be indifferent athwyx bothe parties, that thanne it please my lorde to have consideracion to the right of the mater as folowyth in articles and ther upon to be remembird whedir it be resonably desired by William Jenney or by Debenham as his waged man or for his sake that Paston shuld leve the possession or the takyng of the profitez of the seid maner.

First to be remembird that the seid maner aswell as the maner of Nakton were Sir John Fastolffis, and that the seid Paston of the seid maners toke estatis at Cotton and attornement of the tenauntis viij. or ix. yere goo, in such wise as the tenauntes can reporte, and continued there in possession aswell in the live of the seid Sir John as sithen, and hath take the profitez therof sith the discese of the said Fastolff, except for the terme of Mighelmes a yere passed, whech tyme the tenauntes were compellid by fors of distresses to pay ayens ther willes part of the seid profitez.

And that also the title of the seid Paston to the seid maner is not all only by the seid feffement but aswell by a graunt and bargeyn made a thwyx the seid Fastolff and the 63 seid Paston as by the last will of the seid Fastolff, where by the seid Paston ought to take the hole profitez of the seid maner, and also it is lefull to the seid Paston to kepe the seid maner with fors, consideryng he hath be in possession iij. yere and more; hough be it, the seid Paston intendyth to kepe the seid maner pesibly and non otherwise. And that the pretense and cleyme of the seid Jenney is that he schuld be infeffed with the seid Paston in the seid maner; by whech pretense, if it were trewe, yet the seid Paston by reason shuld not be put out of the seid maner, for who som evir had titell therto by feffement or by executrie, Paston shuld be on that had title; hough be it, the seid Paston cleymyth not in that forme, but by the titell of his bargeyne and by the seid Fastolffis will.

Item, to be remembird, whech tyme as my lord had wretyn his lettirs and sent his servauntes for the eyde and supporte of the seid Paston to take the profitez of the seid maner of Nakton as of the maner of Cotton, desyryng the tenauntes to the seid Paston, the seid Jenney wold have no consideracion therto; hough be it, though he were a feffe he had no titell to take the seid profitez, consideryng he is non executor, but presumptuously, havyng no consideracion to my lordis lettir ner sendyng, compellid the tenauntis by distresses to pay hym more besely thanne any feffe or executor, and now at this same tyme hath be at Nakton and reseyvid as moch mony as he coud gader there.

Item, where at Mighelmesse the yere passed the seid Paston sent his sone, a servaunt of my Lordis, and also Richard Calle, servaunt to the seid Paston put to hym by my Lordis fader,63.1 to reseyve the profitez of the seid maner as thei had do many yeres before, the seid Jenney ded arest the seid Calle for a thef and as a thef caried hym to th’entent that the tenauntes shuld be discoraged to pay the seid Paston. Whech tyme, at the request of the said Calles kynred, it pleased my lord to write to the seid Jenney and Debenham 64 for the deliverauns of the seid Calle; to which letteris they nouther toke hede nor reputation, but by that sotilte reseyved the profitez of the seid maner, the seid Paston havyng non help by my seid Lordis writyng nor sendyng.

Wherfore please my Lordis good lordship to supporte the seid Paston in kepyng of his right and possession till it be dispreved or knowe onlawfull, and the seid Paston will applye to such meanes as it pleasith my Lord to take wherby the right of the mater may be undirstond and determined.

And also that it like my lord to remembir that it is not behofefull for any prinse lightly to geve trust or to applye to the desires of any persones that have geve hym cause of mistrust.

62.1 [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 182.] This petition must have been drawn up at the end of 1462 or in the beginning of 1463, which would be considered still 1462 in the old computation. It must have been fully three years after Fastolf’s death, which took place on the 5th November 1459, and the imprisonment of Richard Calle in 1461 (see No. 487) is referred to as having taken place ‘at Michaelmas the year past.’ The nobleman to whom the petition is addressed seems to be the Duke of Suffolk.

63.1 William de la Pole, the unfortunate Duke of Suffolk, murdered in 1450. It is a piece of information which we do not meet with elsewhere, that Richard Calle entered the service of the Pastons by this duke’s recommendation.


JAN. 14

I  recomand me to yow and have reseyvid your lettir, which causith me to write in the lettir that I send to yow, Daubeney and Richard Calle, certeyn articles touchyng the rewle of myn hows and myn livelode, as ye shall undirstand whanne ye see hem. Also, I send yow in the same lettir a bille of all the malt that remaynd at Mighelmes. I suppose ye have non such of it. Nevirthelesse it had be convenient it had be had amongis your servauntis and yow. Also I woll that ze warne both Daubeney and Richard Calle that thei disclose nat what malt I have, ne what I shall selle, ne that on marchant knowe nat what an other hath, for ther is gret spies leid her at London for ingrosers of malt to heyghne the prise; hough be it myne is not but of myn owne growyng and my tenauntis.


Also I lete zow wete, I faile mony here and must nedys have up mony at this tyme for sped of my maters, so that it may come up savely whanne James Gresham and other attornes come up at the begynnyng of this terme, with whom Richard Calle may come the same tyme. And peraventure some trusty carier  .  .  .  at this tyme; and with hym myght some mony come trussid in some fardell, not knowynge to the carier that it is no mony but some other clothe or vestement of silk or thyng of charge. Wherfore take avise of such as ye trust, and purvey that I may have up at this tyme j. c. li. of gold after the old coynage and xxli. in grotes.

Item, if I65.1 myght have sur cariage, I wold have heder all the gylt plate that Richard Calle leyd up, he can tell wer and I trowe ye know also; and ij. potell pottis and a resting iron of silver (?) lyth at the same place, for it shuld65.2 stand me in gret stoher if it mygth be do closly and suerly. Item, take trew men of yowr counsel.

Wret the morwe next after Sent Hillary.

Item leve a bill indorcid what ye take awey if ye take any. Your own, &c.

64.1 [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 183.] The MS. of this letter is a rough draft in John Paston’s hand, and there can be no doubt to whom it was addressed. As to the year in which it was written there is no positive evidence; but Daubeney and Calle were both with Margaret Paston in the beginning of 1463 (see No. 536), and the only thing against that date is that Margaret, writing to her husband (then in London) on the 19th, acknowledges only a letter of the 9th. This, however, might well be owing to the disturbed state of the country, or it may be that the present letter, which is only a draft, was not really despatched.

65.1 ‘Item, I I,’ MS.

65.2 ‘Shuld shul,’ MS.


To my right worchepful hosbond, John Paston, be this letter deliveryd in hast.

JAN. 19

Right worchepfull hosbond, I recommand me to you. Please you to wete that I received a letter frome you on the Sonday65.4 next after Twelfthe day, weche was sent be a prest of Seynt Gregorys paryche of Norwic; and wher as ye mervaylyd I sent you no wrytynggs of suche letters as ye sent me be for, I sent you a answer of the substauns of suche 66 maters as ye have wretyn of me be for (be Playter), the weche he told me a sent hem to you to London. And as towchyng the erands that ye sent to me for to do to Richard Calle, I have do as ye command me to do, and callyd upon hym therfor, bothe be for your writyng and sithyn; he thar have non excuse for defaute of leyser, for he hathe be but ryght litill her syn ye departyd hens. He is owght at this tyme, and whan that he comythe home I shall make hym make yow a cler bylle of the receyt of your lyvelod, and Fastolf bothe; and I shale send yow a cler bylle of my receyts, and also of my payments owght thereof ageyn; and as for suche erands that shuld be do to Sir Thomas Howys, I have shewyd Richard Calle your writyng, and told hym your entent, as for suche thyngs as ye wold he shuld sey to hym on hys none heed. Also I have do your erands to my moder and to my cosyn Cler66.1 after your writyng. Item, I have spoke to John Adam and to Playter of your entent of the last bylle that ye sent me, and they sey they wolle do after your entent as moche as they may, and ye shall have a answer therof in hast.

Item, Sir Robert Coniors dinid with me this day, and shuyd me a letter that came frome the Kyng to hym, desyryng hym that he shuld a wayt upon hys welle be lovyd broder the Duke of Suffolk, at Norwiche, on Monday next comyng, for to be at the alection of knyghts of the chyer [shire]; and he told me that every jentylman of Norffolk and Suffolk that arne of any repetacion hathe writyng from the Kyng in lyke wyse as he had. I felle hym be his seyyng that he ys right welle disposyd to you ward; he seythe ther shall no man make hym to be a geyns you in no mater. Skypwith shall telle you suche tydyngs as bethe in this contre, and of Thomas Gornay and of his man; hym self is clerk convicte, and hys man is hangyn; ye shall here her after what they and oder wer purposyd to a do to her master.

I thank you hertely of your writyng to me be for that John Paston came home, for God knowith I thowght right longe tyle I hard frome you; I shalle send word in writyng of suche tydings as we have her on Monday in hast. Daubeney 67 deseyryht to wet what tyme that it please you that he shuld come ageyn to you.

My moder and many other folkys makyth moche of your son John, the elder, and right glad of hys comyng hom, and lekyth reght welle hys demenyng. Heydon67.1 son hathe bor owght the syyd stowtly her this Critstemes, and whan that he rydyth, he hathe iiij. or v. men with hym in a clothyng; but he hathe but lytyl fafor in this contre but yf [unless] it be of the Bischop67.2 and of the Prior of Norwic.67.3 The seyd prior hathe grauntyd hym the stewerdchep that hys feder had  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  he hathe it under the Covent Seals, and Spylman,67.4 his tutor, to lerne hym howe he shuld be demenyd  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  it is seyd abowght Bakynstorp that Herry Heydon shuld a seyd that it wer welle do that men of the  .  .  .  .  .  .  shuld make redy her [their] bald batts67.5 and her clot shon67.6 and go feche hom her knygts of chyer [shire]  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  Barney; and it is promysyd hym that he shall be met with be cause of hys langage  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  us a good world and a pesybyll. I shall purvey for all thyngs that ye have sent to me for, so that I ween ye shal be pleasyd. The blyssyd Trinite have you in Hys kepyng. Wretyn in hast, the Wednysday next  .  .  .  .  Seynt Agnet. Your, M. P.

65.3 [From Fenn, iv. 150.] This letter refers to a coming election of knights of the shire, which seems to be for the Parliament which met on the 29th April 1463. No other general election of Edward IV.’s time will suit the date, and it is quite certain that it was written during Edward’s reign.

65.4 9th January.

66.1 Elizabeth, widow of Robert Clere of Ormesby.

67.1 This must be Henry, son of John Heydon, Esq., Recorder of Norwich.—F.

67.2 Walter Lyhert, Bishop from 1445 to 1472.—F.

67.3 John Molet or Mowth, Prior from 1453 to 1471.—F.

67.4 Henry Spilman, afterwards Recorder of Norwich; he was the founder of the Spilmans of Narborough, by marrying Ela, daughter and heir of William de Narborough.—F.

67.5 Bald batts seem to mean here ball bats, or bats to play at ball with.—F.

67.6 Clot shon, clouted shoes—shoes shod with thin plates of iron.—F.


Thomas Playter to John Paston


Please your maistership wete, that as for my Lord of Norwich cosyns deth, Thomas Gurneys man hath confessed that he slewe hym by commaundment of 68 his maister, and confessed over that the same dager he slewe hym with, he kest it in a sege [a jakes] whiche is founden and taken up al to-bowyd [bent together], for he cowde not breke it, and in prison is bothe he and his maister.

. . . . . . . .

Also on Thursday next after Cristemasse was a man slayn, by whom no man woot, nor what he is that was slayn no man knowe, his face is so mangled.

67.7 These extracts are quoted by Fenn from a letter now lost, in reference to what is said in the last letter about Thomas Gurney and his man.


To my ryght reverent and wurschip[full] mayster, my Mayster John Paston in the Ynner Temple at London.


Plesith your goode maystrechip to witte that ther comen doune to the undrescheryff of Norwiche, a writte to a tache Mr. John P. the yongere, wherof I sende you a copy closed herin, but they woll not a reeste hym within Norwich; but I undrestande ther is comen an other writte to the undrescheryff of Norfolk bothe for hym and me, and for all thoo that ben indyghted. Wherfore I purpose me to ride to Hoonyng to the scheryff thys day, to undrestande how he is disposed, and to desire hym to shewe favour to your pore tenaunts; and as I feele hym disposed I schall send your maystreship answer.

And as for tidyngs here in this contre, we have noon but that ther be many Frenchemen upon the see and do moche answer upon the coosts. Mr. Yelver[ton] knew of the comyng up of the teste within ij. dayes after they were goon, &c. My ryght reverent and wurschipful maystre, the blissed Trinite preserve and kepe and ferther you in all your maters.

Sir William Wyllugby whas at Risynge Castell, and yesterday he come home a yenne. On Tentale hathe entred in to a parte of Felbregge lyvelod, and a corte holden, and the tenaunts retorned. Item, as for the cort that Deben[ham] schuld holde at Calcot we here not of it.

Your pore servaunt and bedman, R. C.


Rex vi[ce]comitibus Norwici, salutem. Præcepimus vobis quod capiatis Johannem Paston juniorem, nuper de Norwico, armigerum, si inventus fuerit in balliva vestra, et eum salvo custodiatis, ita quod habeatis corpus ejus coram nobis a die Paschæ in unum mensem ubicunque tunc fuerimus in Anglia, ad respondendum nobis de quibusdam feloniis et transgressionibus unde in comitatu nostro Suffolchiæ indictatus est. Et si prædictus Johannes in balliva vestra inveniri non poterit, tunc ad duos comitatus in balliva vestra citra terminum prædictum proximo tenendos juxta formam statuti in hujusmodi casu provisi proclamari faciatis quod idem Johannes sit coram nobis ad præfatum terminum ad respondendum nobis de præmissis. Et habeatis ibi hoc breve. Teste Johanne Markham apud Westmonasterium, xxxjº die Januarii, anno regni nostri secundo. Croxton.

Rotulo xxvjº R. Per contr’ Anno secundo Regis Ed. iiijti r. xiij. Irrotulatur coram Rege de recordo, termino Hillarii anno secundo Regis Ed. iiijti, prout patet in rotulo infrascripto.69.1

68.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] As the writ, of which a copy is subjoined to this letter, is dated on the 31st January in the second year of Edward IV. (1463), the letter itself must have been written in February.

69.1 This note is to imply that the writ is enrolled among what are called the Records on the Coram Rege Roll of Hilary term, 2 Edw. IV., rot. 26, a former writ against John Paston, junior, being enrolled in the Controlment Roll, 2 Edw. IV., rot. 13.



Please you to wet that Will. Jeney and Debham cam to Calcote on Wednysday before none, and ther they spake with Rysyng and John Smythe, and haskyd hem rent and ferme, and they seydyn they had payed you, and so they myght not paye hem. Also, ferthermore, they told hem that ye had hold a corte ther syn that they enteryd there. Than Jenney answerd ageyn ‘Be cause he held a corte here we mad hym hold corte at London, and so shall we make the to hold a corte at Ipysweche withowt thow wolt pay us the rent and ferme.’ ‘Sir,’ quod Rysyng, ‘I toke the ferme of my master and of Sir Thomas Howys.’ Jenney seyd, ‘And as for Sir Thomas, he and we schall acord well i nowe.’ And so they hahte seled up the berne dore and woll dryve a wey the catell 70 bothe of the fermores and of the tenauntes, withowt the fermor and John Smythe woll fynd hem suerte to pay hem at Esterne, and Jenney and Debham woll [be] bownd ageyn to hem in a obligacion of xlli. to save hem harmelese ageyns you. And so as yet Rysyng standythe under award at Leystofte. So Rysyng hathe sent word to me that I shall knowe thys nyght or ellis to morowe what end they hathe mad.

Item, as towchyng the burges of Yermothe they wer chosyn on Wednysday. The Baly Wydwell ys on; and as for the todyr the Bischoppe sent to the towne for to have a man of hys owne, and so they be not acordyd yit of hym; en cas they may not acord, John Rus shall be the todyr.

Item, as towchyng Grene, a came not to Caster on Thursday, for he went to Norwich the same day, and so he is yet ther. Daubeney hathe spokyn with Watkyn Shypdam for to be at Beyton on Monday to kepe a corte ther; and so he woll be at Caster on Sonday and spek with you, for he seythe that Fastolfe70.1 hathe mad a cleyme ther to; that is the cause he wolle comon and speke with you ther of hym selff.

Item, I can not, ner Daubeney nowther, fynd your wyght boke; it is not in the trussyng cofyr, ner in the sprucheste nothyr. Jon Walsham toke me a quayer, I suppose it lo[n]gythe to the same boke, that same I send you, and the byllis of Walcote with ale sealyd. Wretyn this day. By your, M. P.

On the back are the following accounts, written, in a very careless hand, by Richard Calle:

Forene’ Recept’.

De Johanne Prentice de Castelaere ad festum Sanctæ Fidis per manus vicarii de Sporle,


De Roberto Wylley clerico post Nativitatem Domini,


De Willelmo Whyte, vigil’ Conversionis Sancti Pauli,

vjli. xiijs. iiijd.

De Edmundo Wynter, mason, de Bermynghem circa Conversionem Sancti Pauli,

vjs. viijd.

De Willelmo Elys de Wynterton ad Pascha,

vjs. viijd.

De Warino Herman ad Pascha,

xiijs. iiijd.

De Johanna Bakeney uxore Gerard,

xiijs. iiijd.
71 Item, de Johanne Russe.

Rec. de Willelmo Norwich et M. Johanne Smythe venditio jocalium Johannis Berney de Redham pro tant’ denar’ pro me pro debito ipsius Berney apud Redham solut’,

xxli. xvjs.
Recept’ de Tesauro.

Inprimis, pro viagio Johannis Paston, Jun. cum Rege et aliis causis (?) versus Annewyke de denariis receptis de debito prioris Norwicensis,


Item, de auro remanente de Coppes in eadem baga,


Item, de baga pecuniæ prestandæ eodem tempore,

viij. marc’.

Item, de remanent’ in forcerio tesaur’ li’berat’71.1 frater meus Will’ Yelv’n,

xs. iiijd.
Termino Michaelis.71.2

Item, de pecunia remanente cum Thoma Gresham apud London; termino Michaelis xxli., termino Hillarij, xxxiijs. iiijd.,

xxjli. xiijs. iiijd.

Item, de tesauro London termino Michaelis, l. marc’, termino Hillarij l. marc’, termino Paschæ l. marc’,


Item, de tesauro Norffolk cariat’ versus London termino Paschæ, ultra xlli. remanens (sic) apud terminum Trinitatis,

xl. marc’.

69.2 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter, though not addressed, seems to have been written by Margaret Paston to her husband. The election referred to must have been that for the Parliament of 1463. From one expression used it is clear that it was written some time before Easter, and the dispute with Jenney and Debenham about Calcote proves the date to a certainty. Compare Nos. 538 and 540.

70.1 Thomas Fastolf of Cowhawe.

71.1 The words ‘tesaur’ liberat’’ are interlined and apparently intended to be inserted here. I must leave the grammar of the sentence as it stands in the original. The word at the end, which I believe stands for ‘Yelverton,’ is very ambiguous from the careless writing.

71.2 These words are inserted between the lines, but whether they were intended for a heading is a little uncertain.


[John Paston] to John Pampyng, Richard Calle, and William Wykes.


Remember my instructions about bills and actions against Debenham by my tenants at Calcote. Make a ‘remembrance apart’ of the ground on which every trespass has been committed, whether it be in my lands or in those of my tenants, and whether the land was holden of me by Calcote Hall fee, or Freton Hall fee, lest Debenham justify [on the plea that] he took them elsewhere. As my tenants at Cotton have been compelled to pay much money to Jenney and Debenham against their wills, I would, as I have told John Paston the younger, that he should ride to Cotton with Richard Calle and such friendship as he can get, and demand my duties, except from those who had been compelled to pay the others. The latter to take actions next term against Debenham. Will respite them for this once all they have paid, till it may be recovered by law; 72 that is, provided they ask it: otherwise, will politicly put them in jeopardy of losing their farms. Desires Calle to make a roll of the tenants and when he comes to Cotton enter therein how much cattle has been distrained from each.

It appears by the last letter that a writ was issued, evidently at the suit of Debenham, against John Paston, junior, and the other agents of his father in Suffolk. From the present paper it would seem that John Paston also instituted a prosecution on behalf of his tenants against Debenham. We shall find by later letters that these suits were going on in 1463, and were not terminated in the beginning of the following year. The MS. from which the above abstract has been made is a draft with a heading in John Paston’s hand. On the back are notes of the Statutes of Westminster and of Richard II. touching scandalum magnatum, etc.

71.3 [From Paston MSS., B.M.]



To all tho to whom this present wrytyng shall come, Rauff Lampet, Squier, sendyth gretyng in our Lord. And forasmoch as it is meritory to bere witnesse of trought, and that I knowe and herd the disposicion and will of Ser John Fastolff, knyght, aftir the forme folowyng, and am requered to sey the trought, I record and testifie, and bere witnesse that Ser John Fastolff, knyght, abought the tyme of hervest was v. yere, that was the yere of our Lord Mlcccclvij. at Caster, fast by Mekyll Yarmouth, in the Shire of Norffolk, in presens of divers persones that tyme callid to by the seid Ser John, ded make estat and feffement and livery of seison of the maner of Caster aforeseid, and other maners, londs, and tenements in Norffolk to John Paston, Squier, and other. And at that livery of season thereof delivered, as well by the hands of the seid Ser John as be other, the seid Ser John Fastolff by his owne mouth declared his will and entent of that feffement and livery of season, mad to the use of the seid Ser John as for duryng his life only, and aftir his decese to the use of the seid John Paston and his heyrs. And also the seid Ser John seid and declared, that the seid John Paston was best frend, and helper, and supporter to the seid Ser John, and that it was his will that the seid John Paston shuld have and inherite the same 73 maners, londs, and tenements, and other, aftir his decese, and ther to dwelle and abide, and kepe howsold, seying that he knew well that the disposicion of the seid Paston was to do good in the contry, and be non oppressor of the pore pepill. And the seid Ser John desired me, and Daune William Bokenham, that tyme Prior of Yarmouth, beynge presente, to record as he had seid to us. And this I record and witnesse for trought be the feyght that I owe to God and all Seynts. In witnesse wherof to this my writyng I have set to my seall and signe manuell the xix. day of March, the third yer of the reigne of Kyng Edward the Fourth. R. Lampet.

72.1 [Tanner MS., 106, f. 35 b.]


Raff Lampet to his Cousin Daubeney

Date uncertain

Reminds him that he spoke to him at Redham, in the church, about certain lands ‘which John of Berney bought of me,’ and for which there is still owing him 13s. 4d., and a rent of 6d. four years in arrear. Begs him to speak to Master Paston to get him the money.

We place this letter immediately after another document signed by Ralph Lampet, the exact date being uncertain and immaterial. It is probably, however, about this period, as it may be surmised to be after the death of John Berney.

73.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.]



Testimony of Sir Roger Chamberlain, witnessed by Reginald Tylneye, prior of Ixworth, and Sir John Rose [a brother of the house], that he was with the Duke of Norfolk in September before Sir John Fastolf died, when my Lord urged Fastolf to sell him the reversion of Caister, or (as he wished to give it to the Abbey of St. Benet’s) to exchange it for a manor of my Lord’s in South Walsham, which lay more convenient for the Abbey. Sir John, however, begged him not to press it, as he had appointed with his cousin, John 74 Paston, to have Caister and all his other livelode in Norfolk and Suffolk in order to endow a college of seven priests and seven poor men. My Lord said, many thought Sir John would make Paston his heir; to which he replied that there was no man living that he would like better to be his heir, and begged my Lord to be his good lord if it so fortuned, which the Duke promised to do. Has heard the Duke since often acknowledge that Sir John had declared plainly he would make Paston his heir. Not having his own seal present, has sealed this with that of the prior of Ixworth, and requested him to put his seal to it besides. Ixworth, 6 April 1463.

73.2 [From MS. Phillipps, 9735, No. 280.]


To my rytz wurchepfull mayster, Jon Paston, in hast.


Ryt wurschipfull hosbond, I recommand me to zou, desyring hertyly to her of zour wellfar, praying zou to wete, that I [have] spoken with Strawngs wyf of the matter that ze spoken to me of; and sche seyth pleynly to me, be her feyth, that sche knew never non seche ne never herd of non scheche, and told to me in lyk wyse as sche had seyd to Jamys Gloys. And sche seyd to me if sche kowd inquier of any other that sche thinght xuld have knowleche of any seche, sche xuld wetyn of hem, and letyn me have knowleche therof; and if ze soppose that any other be in this contre that ye thync xuld have knowleche of this forseyd mater, yf ye wyll send me word ther of, I xall do my part ther in.

Also I have ben att Sweyngsthorp and spoken with Kokett, and he seyth that he woll don lyche as ye bad me that I xuld sey to hym for to don. And I have spokyn with the sexteyn, and seyd to hym as ye bad me that I xuld don, and he axid me ryt feythfully hw ye sped in zour materys.

I teld hym that ze haddyn fayr be hests, and I seyd I hopyd that ze xuld don rytz well therin; and he seyd that he 75 supposyd that D.75.1 wold don for zou; but he seyd he was no hasty laborer in non mater. He seyd be hys feyth he wost qher a man was that laboryd to hym for amater ryth along tym, and alwey he be hestyd that he wold labor itt effectualy, but qhyll he sewyd to hym that he kowd never have remedy of his mater; and than qhan he thowth that he xuld no remedy have to sew to hym, he spak with Fynys,75.2 that is now Speker of the Parlment, and prayid hym that he wold don for hym in hys mater, and zaf hym areward; and withinne ryth short tym after his mater was sped. And the seyd sexteyn75.3 and other folkys that ben yowr ryth wele willers have kownselyd me that I xuld kownsell zou to maken other menys than ye have made to other folks, that wold spede your materys better than they have don thatt ye have spoken to therof be for this tym. Sondery folks have seyd to me that they thynk veryly, but if [unless] ye have my Lord of Suffolks75.4 godelorchyp, qhyll the werd [world] is as itt is, ye kan never leven in pese with owth ye have his godelordschep; therfor I pray that with all myn herth, that ye wyll don yowr part to have his godelordschep and his love in ese of all the materis that ye have to don, and in esyng of myn hert also; for be my trowth I am afferd ellys bothen of these materys the qhyche ye have in hand now, and of other that ben not don to yett, but if he wyl don for zou and be your godelord. I pray yow hertylye send me werd how ze don, and how ye speden in zour materys; and I pray you as for seche thyngs as Jamys hath a byll of, that I may have hem as hastyly as ze may; and 76 that ze wyll vowchesave to bey apese of blak bukram for to lyn with a gown for me, I xuld bey me amurrey gown to gon in this somer, and leyn in the koler the satyn that ze zeve me for an hodde; and I kan gettyn non gode bokeram in this town to lyn it with. The Holy Trinyte have yow in His kepyng, and send zou helth and good spede in all yowr maters.

Wretyn att Norwyche, on ye Fryday nexst after Crowchemesse Day.76.1 Yours, M. P.

74.1 [From Fenn, iv. 188.] Our reason for believing this letter to have been written in the year 1463 will be seen in a footnote.

75.1 Possibly John Damme.

75.2 This looks like a mistake, for no Speaker of the name of Fynes is met with during this period. The expression, however, suggests that the letter was written about the beginning of a new Parliament, which could only have been that which met on the 29th April 1463. On the following day the Commons elected John Say as their Speaker, whose name Margaret Paston seems to have confounded with the family name of William Fenys, Lord Say, the trusty friend of Edward IV. who accompanied him into exile when he fled from his kingdom in 1470. It does not appear, however, that John Say, the Speaker, was related to that family.

75.3 The Sacrist or Sexton of the Priory of Norwich was the officer who had the care of Sacra, or Holy Things, as the Church Plate, Copes, etc.; he was likewise Secretary, Auditor, and Chancellor of the Convent, and had a Sub-sacrist or Deputy to perform the servile parts of his office. In 1444 Brother Richard de Walsham was appointed Sacrist.—F.

75.4 John de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk.—F.

76.1 Crouchmas Day, or the Invention of the Cross, was on the 3rd of May.—F.


To mygth rigth good and speciall maister, John Paston, dwellyng at Heylesdon be syde Norwich.


Rigth reverent, &c. Please your maisterchip wete that I resseived your letter whiche ye sent by Crome, and as for the examinacion of, &c. that I wrot to you of in my former letter to be taken on the Munday or on Tewysday, &c. this was the cause. Ye yaff me informacion at my last departyng fro you that the murdre was don uppon the day nexst after Seynt Petre. And for doute lesse ye had be ougth at the comyng of my seid letter, and for dowte that I supposed that my maistres, your wyf, had not be remembred of the day, it caused me, accordyng to your informacion, to wryte the uttermost day for her remembrans. Neverthelesse, if ye certifie that ye toke the examinacion with in the yere and day, and sette the day in certayn, your certificat is sufficiant in 77 lawe and shall bynd any of the parties to sey the contrary. And also the writte is that ye schuld certefie sine dilatione, and no day expresly yoven you whan to certifie it; wherfor ye may kepe uncertefiet tyl the nexst terme. And so do sir, for it schal do no hurt; but if ony questions or jangelyng schuld be mad when the examinacion was, let a sufficiant day with inne the yere be noysed, and if the teste be to schort we schal fynd the mene it schal be amendyd by hym that wrot it. For after the informacion that I had of Crome the Sunday was the uttermest day, and therefor it was happy that sche was examined thenne. And where that ye wold I schuld tak the advice of Maister Markham, &c., if all thyng were laufull, and elles not, it is full hard to my self to determine the certaynte of every circumstans of the mater, and it is not gretely to be comuned of with other, nor to comune of casez lyke; for whan the mater schuld come in revelysshon it wold cause prevy titlers and flaterers ougth of suche questions to ymagyn, and contryve mater of distourbans. Wherfor uppon the certeynte of myn determinacion I brak the mater to Master Markham, which called to hym Master Byngham, and so thei ij. meved Y.77.1; and after that mocion he kept not his owyn councell but brak to every man of it. Hou be it he was sore mevyd with it, I wote it well, and glad to take avyse and comfort of other personez than of Masters Markham and Byngham. Al circumstans were to long to wryte, but I hope to speke with you be tymes i nougth or ye schall nede to certefye, &c. And, sir, in conclucion, Masters Markham and Byngham thynk it sufficiant i nougth to take his promys and his othe with ougth obligacion that he schal mak amends if profe here after can be mad uppon hym. And to this Maister Markham prayed you to agre by the same token ye mevyd hym to sette an ende be twyx you and my masters your brethern. Neverthelesse if ye thynk this wey not sufficiant, ye may lete sum other handele the mater at hom to hym if that ye hope to gete good pref in the mater, for with ougth evydent proffe the mater schall be but noysefull to you, and cause men to thynk that it growyth of your ille wyll to hym 78 ward, &c.; for he noyseth and seyth, because of ille wyll ye have caused a mad woman to take apell a yens hym.

Item, sir, as for Leukenore he is not at London, but peraventure I schal make hym to be meved in the mater here after.

Item, I dede your erand to my maister your son.

Item, as for John Say,78.1 he recomendyth hym to you, bothe for your billes and for your labour, and prayeth you if ony land that lyth for the priour ease mygth be aspyed, that ye wold help to gete it hym and send hym word; and as for the morteysyng  .  .  .  .  .  .  and at his cost and labour.

Item, as for tydyngs, the Kyng and the counsell is at Northampton,78.2 and the Convocacion schall be  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  after Relyk Sunday. And ther be ij. marchaunts come fro Caleys, and they mygth no leve have to com[e]  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  schuld bere the Kyng certeyn lettres and juste tytyngs that sege is comyng to Caleys. And trew[s]  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  [ou]re Lady Day, as I herd sey.

Item, it is talked that Duchemen and Englysshemen ben at contraversie with in  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

76.2 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter seems to be in James Gresham’s handwriting. It is evident that it was written shortly after Midsummer. Rather more than a year and a day had elapsed since a murder committed on the morrow of St. Peter’s Day (i.e. on the 30th June), and it is mentioned that Convocation was to sit some little time after Relic Sunday, which always falls in the middle of July. Further, the King is said to be at Northampton, which he was in July 1463, and no other year appears to suit.

77.1 Yelverton.

78.1 Probably the Speaker of the Parliament of 1463, whom Margaret Paston named Fynes in Letter 544. See p. 75, Note 2.

78.2 According to the dates of the Privy Seals the King was at Northampton from the 8th to the 28th July 1463; also on the 2nd May 1464.

To mygth rigth good and speciall maister
text has “gooa” (italic “a” for “d”)


To my right wurshepfull mastres, my Mastres Margret Paston, at Caster.


Please it your good mastresship to wete that a fieri facias is come out of the Exchequir for Hue Fen to the Shireff of Norffolk to make levy of CC. mark of the propir goods and catels of my masters, as executor of Sir 79 John Fastolf; of whech fieri facias we sent my master word, whech sent us word ayen by Berney that we shuld lete the Shiref undirstand that my master nevir toke upon hym as executor, and so for that cause that writte was no warant to take my masters goods; and also that my master mad a dede of gift of all his goods and catels to Master Prewet and Clement Paston and other, so that my master hath no goods whereof he shuld make levy of the forseid summe; and if the Shireff wold not take this for non answere, that thanne my master wold he shuld be lettid in Master Prowetts and Clement Pastons name. Nevirthelesse we spak with the Shireff this day, and lete hym undirstand the causes aforeseid, and he agreid, so that he myght have suerte to safe hym harmeles, to mak such retorne as my master or his counsell coud devise. And because my master wrote by Berney that he wold not fynd the Shireff no suerte, we wold not apoynt with hym in that wyse; and so we toke avyse of Thomas Grene, and by cause the Undir-Shireff shall be on Monday at Hygham, by Bastewyk brygg, and he and we thought that it was best that Master Prowet shuld mete with the Shireff there, and require and charge hym that by colour of the foreseid fieri facias that he make no levy of any goods and catels of the seid Prowetts and Clement Pastons ayens the seid John Pastons, letyng hym vete that such goods as the seid Paston had, be now the seid Prowetts and Clement Pastons by vertu of a dede of gift mad to hem almost ij. yere agoo; and if the Shireff woll be besy aftir that to take any catell, that he be lettid in Master Prowetts name and Clement Pastons by Daubeney and other; whech besines of the Shireff shall be on Tuisday or Wednesday, and as we understand at Heylesdon. Wherfor ye must send thedir Daubeney with Pecok, and the may gete hym here more felasep by the avise of Master Sir John Paston. James Gresham.

78.3 [From Fenn, iv. 130.] John Paston’s eldest son appears to have been knighted in the course of the year 1463. The earliest notice which I find of him as knight is in a writ dated 11th July, 3 Edward IV., entered on the Coram Rege Roll of Trinity term, 3 Edward IV. This letter is not unlikely to have been written about that time, as it appears by a subsequent letter (No. 550) that Sir John Paston remained for some time at home in Norfolk, when the friends of the family thought he ought to be abroad in the world.



AUG. 15

Deed poll whereby Elizabeth, widow of John Vere, Earl of Oxford, Lady of the manor of Knapton, Norfolk, grants to Agnes, widow of William Paston, the right of removing obstructions in two watercourses belonging to the mill called Wodmyll in Bacton; the first of which watercourses flows out of Knapton Fen, and the second from the mill of the Abbot of St. Benet’s of Holme.

Stratford of the Bowe, 15th Aug. 1463, 3 Edward IV.

Fine Seal.

80.1 [From Add. Charter 14,514, B.M., D. Turner’s Coll.]


To oure right trusty and entierly welbelovid servaunt, John Paston, th’elder.

The Duc of Norff.

AUG. 31

Right trusty and entierly welbelovid servaunt, we grete you hertily well, and specially praying you that ye will be with us at Framlyngham on Sonday next comyng, that we may comon with you there, and have youre sadde advise in suche matiers as concernyth gretly to oure weel, whiche shall be mynestred unto you at youre comyng. Prayng you that ye fayle not herof, as our speciall trust is in you. And our Lord preserve you in His keping.

Written at Framlyngham the xxxj. day of August. Norff.

80.2 [From Fenn, iv. 250.] John Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, the writer of this letter, succeeded his father in the dukedom in November 1461, being at the time only seventeen years of age. A year afterwards, in November 1462, we find him living at his castle of Holt in Denbighshire, where he proposed to spend Christmas (see No. 532), but before that season came he was sent for by the King to serve against the Scots (No. 533). I am inclined to think this letter was written in the August of 1463; for although the Duke was again living at Holt in March following, it seems probable that he would have visited his chief family seat at Framlingham in the meanwhile. John Paston, the youngest, who was attached to his household, was certainly at home with his family in the latter part of this year (see No. 560).



To the ryght worcheppful Sere John Paston, Knyght, be this delyvered.


Ryght worchepful ser, and tendyrly belovyd in our Lord God, I comend me to you, sendyng you knowyng that I dede your erand to my brother, the persoon of Blofeeld, on Wednysdaye was sevenyght, after the undyrstandyng that I had of you and from you be this brynger; whech man I felte ryght wele and favorabelye dysposyd to you ward, and more favorable wole be than to ony other jentylman levand, the wylle of the dede performyd, and his conscyens savyd; and more thinges seyd favorabely for yow which I entytelyd in a scrowe to a’ certyfyed to your servaunt Calle, yf he had come, as ye sent me woord he sculd ado, and xuld, as ye behestyd me, abrowte me our ferme for Heylesdon, which not don, causeth me to wryte, prayng your jantylnesse that I send no more therfore, for it is unpayed for the zeer afore the Halwemesse that my Mayster Fastolf deyed, and for the same zer that he deyed in, and sythen for ij. zer, and vs. unpayed of a zer, and come Myhelmesse nexte xal be another zer unpayed. Thus is iiij. zer unpayed and vs., and at Myhelmesse next xal be v. zer and vs.

This thus kepte from Holy Chirche that is Holy Chirchez good, may not be withoute grete parelle of soule; wher the parelle is God knoweth, I pray God amend it, and geve hem grace that have his goods so to dyspose them, that thei and the dede both may be oute of parelle. And the Trynyte have you in His mercyful kepyng. Wretyn at Langle, on Soneday, at evyn late, next after Seynt Johne Daye Decollacion.81.2 Be your welewylland, Abbot of Langeleye.

81.1 [From Fenn, iv. 146.] The date of this letter is clear, from the statement it contains as to the length of time which has elapsed since the decease of Sir John Fastolf.

81.2 The Decollation of St. John the Baptist was observed on the 29th August.



To my worcheppefull master, Master Paston the heldest.


Ryth worchepfull master, I recommend me on to zowr masterchepe. And of on mater at reverens of God take hede, for in trowth I her meche talkyng therof, and that is both in Norffolk, Suffolk, and Norwyche, among halle men of worchepe, as welle that love zow as oder, and that is of my master, your son, Syr Jon, causse he is so at home, and no noderwyse set for. Summe sey that ze and he both stond howth of the Kyngs good gras, and summe sey that ze kepe hym at home for negard chepe, and wyll no thyng ware [spend] up on hym; and so heche man sey is avyse as it plese hem to talke. And I have hanqwerryd [inquired], and seyd the most cause is inparty for cause ze har so meche howte, that he is the rather at home for the save gard of the costs. But at the referens of God, excheuyng of common langage, se that he may worchepfull be set for, heyder in the Kyngs servyse, or in maryache; for as towchyng the Lady Chaberlen82.2 that mater is don, for I spake with the parson therof, and I hard be hym that that mater wyll not pre [proceed ?].

No more, but God spede zow as well in all maters, as I wold ze xuld do, I be seche zow that this leter be kept secrete. Be zow[r] bede man, R. C. V. C.

82.1 [From Fenn, iv. 128.] In the preceding letter Sir John Paston seems to have been at home; in Letter 552, we find that he had left home without leave. It is very probable, therefore, that the present letter was written in the interval between them, seeing that the writer complains of Sir John being kept at home.

82.2 This Lady Chamberlayne was Anne, daughter and sole heir of Sir Robert Herling, Knight, by Jane, daughter and heir of John Gonvile, Esq. Her first husband was Sir William Chamberlayne, Knight of the Garter, a renowned and valiant soldier, who died in 1462. She was at this time his widow, and inherited from her father a very considerable fortune.

She afterwards married Sir Robert Wingfield, and after his decease she became the wife of John, Lord Scroop of Bolton.

By the name of Lady Scroop she founded and endowed a Fellowship in the College of Gonville and Caius at Cambridge, originally founded by an ancestor of her Ladyship’s.

She was born in 1426, and was alive in 1502.

At the time this letter was written she must have been nearly forty years old, when Sir John Paston could not have been much above twenty.—F.

she founded and endowed a Fellowship in the College of Gonville and Caius at Cambridge
editor’s error for “Gonville” alone (John Caius was born in 1510)



To my ryght worchipfull hosbond, John Paston, be thys letter delyveryd in hast.

NOV. 13

Riht worchepfull husbond, I recommand me to you. Please you to wete that I was at Norwic this wek to purvey suche thyngs as nedythe me ageyns thys wynter; and I was at my modder, and wille I was ther, ther cam in on Wrothe, a kynnysman of Elysabet Clers, and he sey your dowter, and preysyd hyr to my moder, and seyd that she was a goodly yong woman; and my moder prayd hym for to gett for hyr on good mariage yf he knewe any; and he seyd he knewe on shuld be of a CCC. mark be yer, the wyche is Sir John Cley son, that is Chamberleyn with my Lady of York,83.2 and he ys of age of xviij. yer old. Zyf ye thynk it be for to be spok of, my moder thynkyth that it shuld be get for lesse mony nowe in thys world than it shuld be her after, owthyr that j. [one], or sum other good mariage.


Item, I spake with Master John Estgate for Pekerynes mater after your entent of the mater of the letter that ye sent home, and he seyd to me he shuld write to yow howe he had don ther in; and so he sent you a letter, the wyche was sent you be John Wodows84.1 man with other letters.

As for answer [of] other mater, Daubeney tellythe me he wret to you. I be seche Alle myghty God have you in Hys kepyng. Wretyn at Caster, the Sonday next after Seynt Marteyne. Be your M. Paston.

83.1 [From Fenn, iv. 88.] I have found no letters of Margaret Paston dated from Caister before the year 1463; but I am inclined to think that this and the letter following both belong to that year. The latter, being addressed to Sir John Paston, at least cannot be earlier, and my reasons for believing it to be of that very year will be seen in the note to it (p. 84, Note 2). It is just possible that this letter may be of a different date, but considering that both were written in November, and both of them certainly between the 12th and the 19th, and that in both Margaret Paston not only dates from Caister, but speaks of Daubeney as being with her, the presumption, I think, is pretty strong that they are of the same year.

83.2 Cecily, Duchess of York, widow of Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, and mother of Edward IV. She died in an advanced age, at her castle of Berkhamstead, in May 1495, and was buried near her husband, in the Choir of the Collegiate Church of Fotheringhay, in Northamptonshire.—F.

84.1 John Wodehouse, Esq. of Kimberley, son of the renowned John Wodehouse, Esq., who gained so much honour at the battle of Agincourt; he died in 1465, and lies buried in Kimberley Chancel.—F.


To my welbelovyd son, Sir John Paston, be this deliveryd in hast.

NOV. 15

I  gret yow welle, and send yow Godds blissyng and myn, latyng yow wet that I have receyved a letter from you, the wyche ye deliveryd to Master Roger at Lynne, wherby I conseyve that ye thynke ye ded not well that ye departyd hens withowt my knowlage. Wherfor I late yow wett I was ryght evyll payed with yow. Your fader thowght, and thynkyth yet, that I was asentyd to your departyng, and that hathe causyd me to have gret hevinesse. I hope he wolle 85 be your good fader hereafter, yf ye demene you welle, and do as ye owe to do to hym; and I charge you upon my blyssyng that in any thyng towchyng your fader that shuld be hys worchep, profyte, or avayle, that ye do your devoyr and dylygent labor to the fortherans therin, as ye wulle have my good wille, and that shall cause your fader to be better fader to you.

It was told me ye sent hym a letter to London. What the entent therof was I wot not, but thowge he take it but lyghtly, I wold ye shuld not spar to write to hym ageyn as lowly as ye cane, besechyng hym to be your good fader; and send hym suche tydyngs as be in the contre thir ye bethe in, and that ye war [beware] of your expence bettyr and ye have be befor thys tyme, and be your owne purse berer, I trowe ye shall fyndyt most profytable to you.

I wold ye shuld send me word howghe ye doo, and howghe ye have schevyfte for yourself syn ye departyd hens, be som trosty man, and that your fader have no knowlage therof. I durste not late hym knowe of the laste letter that ye wrot to me, be cause he was so sor dyspleasyd with me at that tyme.

Item, I wold ye shuld speke with Wekis, and knowe hys dysposysion to Jane Walsham. She hathe seyd, syn he departyd hens, but [unless] she myght have hym, she wold never maryd, hyr hert ys sor set on hym; she told me that he seyd to hyr that ther was no woman in the world he lovyd so welle. I wold not he shuld jape hyr, for she menythe good feythe; and yf he wolle not have hyr, late me wete in hast, and I shall purvey for hyr in othyr wysse.

As for your harneys and ger that ye left here, it ys in Daubeneys kepyng; it was never remevyd syn your departyng, be cause that he had not the keyes. I trowe it shall apeyer [get injured], but if it be take hed hate [unless it be taken heed at, or to] be tymys. Your fader knowythe not wher it is.

I sent your grey hors to Ruston to the ferror, and he seythe he shull never be nowght to rood, nowthyr ryght good to plowe nor to carte; he seyth he was splayyd, and hys shulder rent from the body. I wot not what to do with hym.

Your grandam wold fayne here sum tydyngs from yow. 86 It wer welle do that ye sent a letter to hyr howe ye do, as astely as ye may. And God have you in Hys kepyng, and make yow a good man, and zyf yow grace to do as well as I wold ye shuld do.

Wretyn at Caster, ye Tewisday next befor Seynt Edmund the Kynge. Your moder, M. Paston.

I wold ye shuld make mech of the parson [of] Fylby, the berer herof, and make hym good cher yf ye may.

84.2 [From Fenn, iv. 168.] As Sir John Paston was knighted in the year 1463, and his father died in May 1466, the date of this letter must lie between the years 1463 and 1465. I think the first of these years is probably the true date. Sir John Paston, it seems, had left home without letting his mother know of his intention. Whither had he gone? Not to London, because he addressed a letter to his father there; besides he had passed by Lynn. One would naturally suppose, therefore, that he had gone to wait upon the King, at a time when Edward was at a distance from the capital. And in this view we are confirmed by the passage in which Margaret desires her son to speak with Wykes, who, as we know by Letter 514, was an usher of the King’s Chamber. Now Edward IV. was in Yorkshire, staying, for the most part, at Pomfret, during October and November 1463, while about the same time of year in 1464 he was at Reading, and in 1465 at Greenwich. Sir John would naturally have passed through Lynn on his road to the North.

wherby I conseyve that ye thynke ye ded not well
text has “thar”: corrected from Fenn


To my ryth worchepfull husbond, Jon Paston, be thys lettyr delyveryd in haste.


Ryth worchepfull husbond, I recomand me to yow. Plesyth it yow to wet that Jon Jeney was here with me thys daye and told me that ye desyiryd that I shold do make a dyche at Heylysdon, and the seson is not for to do make no new dechys, nor to repare non old tyll it be aftyr Crystmas, as it is told me, and so I sent yow word in a lettyr more thane a monythe goo; I wot not whedyr ye had the lettyr or not, for I had non answer ther of fro yow. Jone Dyngayne recomandyth hyr to yow, and prayith yow for Goddys sake that ye wole be hyr good mastyr, and that ye wole wychesave to spek to Hwe of Fen for hyr, for it is so that serteyn lyvelod whyche hyr husbond had in Engham was cast in the kyngys hand in hyr husbandys lyve, and, as she undyrstandyth, it was do in hys fadyrys lyve; of the whyche 87 hyr husband spok to Hwe of Fen ther of in hys lyve to helpe that he myth be dyschargyd ther of, and Hwe of Fen promysyd hym verily that he had mad an ende ther in and dyschargyd hym, and that he shold never be hurt nor trublyd ther for; and now the laste wek Barnard the undyr scheryfe sent downe a warant to sese the lond for the Kynge, and so, but [unless] he have xxs. for a fyne within shorte tyme he wol not suffyr her to have the avayle of the londys. Wher fore she prayith yow, for Goddys sak, that ye wole purvey a mene that Hwe of Fen may save hyr harmles, in as myche as he promysyd hyr husbond to purvey ther fore in hys lyve; and if it plese not yow to spek to hym ther of, that it plese yow to do John Paston or Thomas Playter or sume othyr, that ye thynk that cane undyrstande the mater, for to spek to the seyd Hwe of Fen ther of in hyr name, and to serge the kyngys bokys ther fore, if ye thynk that it be for to do, and sche woll ber the cost ther of. As for the mater that ze wold I schold spek to Wylliam Worcester of towchyng the false forgyd evydens, I can not spek with hym yet; hys wyfe seyth allwe that he is oute when that I send for hym. Yowyr fermore of Sweynysthorpe hathe fownde suerte for yowyr dute, as Rychard Calle tellyth me, so that ye scholl be plesyd when ye come home. And the blyssyd Trinite have yow in Hys kepyng. Wretyn in hast on the Monday next aftyr Seynt Andrew. By yowyr, M. P.

86.1 [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 198.] This letter must lie between the years 1459, when Sir John Fastolf died (as Hellesden belonged to him), and 1465, as John Paston died in May 1466. The most probable year is either 1462 or 1463, for it is mentioned here that Paston’s farmer at Swainsthorpe had found security for the payment of his rent, and Richard Calle had levied four marks rent of him in February 1464. See No. 558.


DEC. 10

Indenture, 10th Dec. 3 Edward IV., between Robert Wodlark, Provost of the College of St. Mary and St. Nicholas, Cambridge, and John Paston, Esq., witnessing a loan by Paston to the college of 100 marks till the octaves of St. Hilary, 1464 [i.e. 1464-5], upon certain plate.87.2

Note below in a different hand:— ‘Memorandum quod Mr. Alexander Lye erit apud Norwicum in die Martis pro[ximo] post diem Carniprivii.’

87.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.]

87.2 The plate specified in this document is the same as that contained in the second list in No. 561, at p. 98.



To my right worshipfull mayster, John Paston, at Castre, in Norfolk.

JAN. 26

After due recomendacion hadde, please it your maistership to wytte that this day the plee by twene Ogan and yow was sore argued in the Kynggs Bench by your counsell, in lettyng of the jugement, and to morwe have they day to argue ageyn. And for lak of copies of the plee, I am fayn to sewe for newe copies therof for your counsell. Your counsell hopeth to do weel therin. These argued for yow, Maisters Grenefeld,88.2 Catesby,88.3 Pygot,88.4 Notyngham,88.5 and Starky,88.6 &c. And yesterday was the matier by twene Debenham and yow called by Geney88.7 for an answer. I have spoken onto Catesby, and delyvered hym your enfromacion, and to be advysed, and to commune with Maister Grenefeld, &c.

The two Chefe Juges88.8 and Maister Lyttleton88.9 arn awaytyng up on the Kyng, for the Kyng is purposed in to Gloucestreshire, &c.


It is seid that my Lord Chaunceller89.1 shull be here on Saterday or on Moneday next comyng, as the maisteres of the Chauncerye sayn. I write to yow this by cause ye seid to me if ye wyst that my Lord Chaunceller shuld be here, thanne wolde ye come hidder, and ell[es] wolde ye not come here this terme.

As touchyng Rysyng, he hath his day, Utas89.2 Purificationis, but I have that weye that his presence is recondet for al this terme.

Maister Clement89.3 tellyth me that Wysseter hath put excepcion on to your wyttenesseres,89.4 &c.

It is seid that the Kyng wold ride Sussex, Kent, Essex, Suffolk, and Norffolk, and so to the Parlement, for he hath sent for alle his feed men to awayte up on hym in their best aray in al hast.

Wretyn at London, the Thursday in the morwe after Seynt Poule. Your owen poure man, Jams Gresham.

88.1 [From Fenn, iv. 156.] The date of this letter is abundantly evident, first from the circumstance that the 26th of January (the morrow of St. Paul) was a Thursday, and secondly, from the mention of the King’s going into Gloucestershire. In January 1464 Edward IV. was at Northampton, and on the 9th of February he was at Gloucester.

88.2 John Greenfield. He and the two next named were made serjeants-at-law in November 1463.

88.3 John Catesby. He was appointed Judge of the Common Pleas in 1481.

88.4 Richard Pygot.

88.5 William Nottingham. He was appointed Chief Baron of the Exchequer in 1479.

88.6 Humphrey Starkey. He was made a serjeant in 1478.

88.7 William Jenney was made a serjeant in 1463, and a Justice of the King’s Bench in 1481.

88.8 John Markham, Chief Justice of the King’s Bench, and Robert Danby, Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, both appointed in 1461.

88.9 Thomas Lyttelton, the famous lawyer, was created a serjeant in 1453, and appointed a Judge of the Common Pleas in 1466. He died in 1481, aged seventy-nine, as Fenn here tells us in a footnote; but Foss, in his Judges of England, says nothing of his age.

89.1 George Neville, now Bishop of Exeter, but soon after the writing of this letter translated to York.

89.2 The Utas or Octave of a feast is the seventh day after it.

89.3 Clement Paston, brother to John Paston.

89.4 This relates to the disputes concerning Sir John Fastolf’s will.

on Saterday or on Moneday next comyng
text has “on on”: corrected from Fenn


To my Rygth worsschipful cosyn, John Paston, Squyer, be this Letter delyveryd, &c.

JAN. 28

Ryght worsschypfull and reverent cosyn, I recomaunde me on to you wyth al myn hert, as your feythful kynnesman and oratour, desyrynge to here of the goode prosperite and welfare of your worsschipfull modyr 90 my Lady and cosyn, wyth your wyff, Sir John Paston, your brethern Wylliam and Clement, with all your sonys and doughters, to whom I beseche you hertely that I may be recomaundyd. God of His hyghe mercy preserve you all un to Hys mercy and grace, and save you from all adversite.

Worsschipfull cosyn, my speciall writynge and hertys desire afore rehersyd, nature naturaly so me compellyth,

Watt thou I be putt fer ought of conceyte and syght,

I have you all in remembrance both day and nyght;

besechynge you, gentyll cosyn, to tender my writynge. I take God to my wyttnesse, I wold as fayn do that myght be un to your honor, worsschippe, and profit as any herthly man can thynke.

Worfor now late deyde the Abbot of our Monastery, and lefte us in grete ded [debt]; the brynger heroff is my speciall frende: the holdyst brother in our place never hard nor saw our chirche in that mysere that is now; we have cast the perellys amongys us, and there is nowne other helpe, butt every brother that hath any worsschipfull kynne or frendys, every man to do his part to the well fare, socour, and releve of our monasteri; therfor, worsschipfull cosyn, I, a brother of that worsschipfull monastery, wer inne begoon the feyth of all thys lond, mekely besechyth you in the reverence of Allmygty God to render help, and socour us in our grete necessite; for in London lyth to wedde many ryche jowells of ouris, with other grete detts, wych my brother wyll enforme you of.

Plesyth your goodnesse, for Godys sake, and all the Seyntts of evyn, and att my sympyll request, to have compassion upon us, ye havynge dooe swerte [due surety] both in obligacions and pleggs; in the reverens of All myghti God, do your allmesse and charite; hitt schall cause you to be prayed for, and all your kynne as long as the chirche stantt; and be this menys, I trust to All myghty God, to se my cosyn William, or Clement, to be stward of our londys, and so to have an intresse in Kentt, to the worsschippe of God and you all, wych ever have you in His kepynge. Amen.

Writyn at Caunterbiry in hast the xxviijti day of Januare.


Also I beseche you, schew the brynger of this letter sum humanite and worsschipe, that when he comyth home, he may reporte as he fyndeth.

91.1[This is the cause every wele thi putt my kynne in my berd, seyinge, I am come of lordys, knygtes, and ladys. I wold they wer in your daunger a ml. merke, that they mygte know you, &c.] Be your cosyn and bedman, Henry Berry.

89.5 [From Fenn, i. 278.] By the mention of Sir John Paston it is evident that this letter was written after 1463, but of course the date cannot be later than 1466, in which year John Paston the father died, to whom the letter is addressed. It appears also to have been written shortly after the death of James Sevenoke, Abbot of St. Augustine’s, Canterbury, which Fenn, I know not on what authority, says occurred in 1463. Even the new edition of Dugdale does not give the date; but Fenn’s date is in all probability right.

91.1 This last paragraph is crossed out in the original MS.


To hys rythe worchyfull broder, John Paston thelder, Sqwyer be this delyveryd.

FEB. 15

Broder, I recomawnde me to zowe. After all dew recommendacions, &c. Az for Hew Fennys obligacion, Zelverton knowlacheyd it to be Sir John Fastolfe is dede opynly in the Escheker, and ther he hadde is jugement to receive the mony and xli. for domages. And they report here that they have a schreve after her entent that wyll mak hem execucion, or ellis return that ye have wastyd the godis of the dede; so that they wyll have execucion of zowr own goodis, or ellys a wryt to tak zowr body. Thus ze may se they zeve no fors wat they doo, thow they xwld lesse and stroy all the goodis of the dede; And ther for, for savacion of goodis of the dede, better it wer to suffer tak sum trete than to suffer the goodis thus to be lost. Also Zelverton hathe ben at all the tenauntis of Sowthewerk and chargid hem to pay no mony but to hym. Also the kyng hathe ben in Glowcetescher and pwnyssede hys rebellious a zens the lawe, and so he entendithe to doo in Norfolk, and after that in oder contreez. God zeve grasse and good spede in hys jornay. No more but I 92 pray Gode have zow in hys kepyng. Wretyn on Hasse Wednysday in haste.

Also I pray zou, send me xls. that I tok James Gressam and John Pampyng for zowr materis. Also ther is no man that hathe contentyd ony thyng in the Kyngis Benche of all thys term for zour materis, and that makythe the clerkis and zowr Aturnay wery. I trow I xall be fayn to contente hem or ellys they xall be unpayyd. Zowr broder, Clement Paston.

91.2 [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 2.] For the date of this letter and the King’s going to Gloucestershire, see preliminary note to No. 555, p. 88, Note 1.


To my mooste reverent and wurchipfull mastre, my Mastre John Paston, be this delyverd.

FEB. 27

Plesith it your goode mastreschip to undrestande that I have receyved a byll of John Boteler, weche speketh of your heygh at Heylesdn, and of your barly in other places, but I undrestand not what ye wold I schulde do therin; nevertheles I schal do make it redy. And as for your heygh I schull tell you whan I come hume; and as for money at Heylesdon I can non gete, and at Sueynesthorp I have take iiij. marc.

Item, as for tidyngs the Sescions schal be at Thetford on Wednesday next comyng, where I undrestande Mr. Berney wol be with moche people, be cauce ther is come to hym a 93 Prevy Seale that he schuld be with the Kyng within vj. dayes that the Prevy Seale whas delyverd hym, weche he can not doo, for the vj. day is to morwe. Ther is on comen to Felbrigge, to William Yelverton on other, and to Robert Rough an other, and non of them wol goo to the Kyng; and the Undrescherif tolde me that ther is comen a comyscion doun to hes maistre, that in cas they come not up to the Kyng be ther Prevy Seales, that than he rere the contre and take hem and bryng hem to the Kyng wher so ever he be.

Item, Jamys Gresham tellethe me the same, and as for tidyngs fro London we here non, but that John Colman telleth me that if Berney or Robert Rough come up they are like to die.

Ther be come to London Embasetors from the Duke of Burgundy, weche cauced the Kyng to spede hym the rather to London.

Item, as for any newe assises at Thetford ther is non but that hathe hanged this v. yere, as the Scherif tellethe me.

I whas purposed to be at home this nyght tell I had your bille, weche cauceth me to ride on to Drayton for divers thyngs, &c. Almyghty Jesu preserve you.

Wreten at Norwiche, the ij. Munday of clene Lente. Your pore beedeman and servaunt, Ric. Calle.

92.1 [From Fenn, iv. 72.] This letter and the next both mention assizes at Thetford. The latter, which is dated on Wednesday, the last (29th) day of February, and which was certainly written in the year 1464, mention them as being held on that very day. The present letter, dated on the second Monday in Lent, says they are to be held on Wednesday following. Now the second Monday in Lent 1464 fell on the 27th of February, that is to say just two days before that particular Wednesday on which we know that the assizes really were held. This alone seems almost sufficient evidence of the date of the letter. As for the King’s going up to London, it appears by the dates of the Privy Seals that on the 9th February he was at Gloucester, on the 16th and 17th at Kimbolton; and it is stated in the next letter that he was at Waltham on the 27th, which shows that he really was moving towards the capital. This was not the case in 1462, the year to which Fenn assigns the letter; nor do I know his authority for stating that there was a Burgundian Embassy in the beginning of that year.


To my right worshipfull master, John Paston, the elder, Squier.

FEB. 29

Please your mastership to wete that the Assise holde this day at Thetford; and as for any newe Assise, that ye spak of, ther is non, ner non other savyng on for a man a bought Brunham.


I spak with Herward, and I askyd hym if ther was any gret day at Bury, and he seid ther was but a small day, and as for any assises ther wer non but old; and he told me that Debenham and the Undershireff were falle ought. Debenham bare the Shireff on hand94.1 that he had do indited an hundred men son he cam in to his office, and the Shireff told hym that the Kyngs bokkes apperid whedir it was so or nought; and he told Debenham that he coud indite an hundred at on tyme whan ye wer indited, and named yow the cause of ther brekyng.

Ther was a man kyllid now late in Suffolk, and he that ded it was on of Debenhams men; and Herward told me that the Shireff seid to hym he wold do Debenham a shrewd turne and he coud.

Item, it was told me at Norwich that Master Berney shuld have be here with a gret felaship, and it is not so, ner no man heryth of hys comyng, ner her is but litell pepill nowther, ther wer not so few this iij. yer, as men say.

Item, Herward askyd me where John Gayn was, and I askyd why, and he seid ther is a capias ought ayens hym upon the condempnaceon,94.2 and the Shireff hath it, he bad me geve hym warnyng; it is retarnabill xv. Pasch.94.3

Item, thei sey here that the Kyng was on Monday at Waltham.

Item, Nicholas Colman hath brought home your fardell; it is at Norwich.

Item, ther be no more Juges here but Sir Pers Ardeyn.94.4

Wretyn at Thetford, the Wednesday the last day of Februar.


Item, Wymondham95.1 is here, and was at the shirehows this day, and the Kyngs livery abaught his nekke, and ther stood be the Juge, whill a lettir of the Kyngs was red. The effect was, as it was told me, that the Kyng will that justice be had, and that all risers ayens the pees, and oppressers of the pepill, be chasteised, letyng hem weet95.2 that he was late in Cambrigge Shire, and there such as had offendid askyd grace, whech thei had, savyng such as wer rewlers, whom he woll somwhat bee punyshid, purposyng to be in this contry abought Estern, &c. Your servaunt, &c., John Pampynge.

93.1 [From Fenn, iv. 158.] The circumstance of the last day of February falling on a Wednesday fixes the date of this letter to the year 1464. There is no evidence in the dates of Privy Seals that the King was at Waltham in the end of February, or that he had previously visited Cambridgeshire, in any year during the period when this letter must have been written; but it is quite possible that he was at Waltham on the 27th February 1464, and if so, that he had passed through Cambridgeshire on his way from Kimbolton, where he had been on the 17th.

94.1 i.e. accused him. See vol. ii. p. 110, Note 1.

94.2 Query, as to this word, it being not perfect in the original.—F.

94.3 Quindena Paschæ, the fifteenth day after Easter.

94.4 Sir Peter Ardern, Knight, was appointed Chief Baron of the Exchequer, and also a Justice of the Common Pleas, in 1448; but in 1462 a new Chief Baron was appointed, and Ardern retained only the judgeship in the Common Pleas. He died in 1467.

95.1 John Wymondham, Esq., the purchaser of Felbrigg; he died there in 1475, and was buried in the Augustine Friars at Norwich.—F.

95.2 The word ‘weet’ is omitted in Fenn’s original text, but occurs in the modern copy.


To my rygte reverent and worchepfull fadyr, John Paston, dwellyng in Castyr, be thys delyveryd.


Ryth reverent and worchepfull fadyr, I recomand me on to yow, besechyng yow lowly of your blyssyng, desyryng to here of yowyr wellfar and prosperyte, the whyche I pray God preserve on to Hys plesans, and to yowyr hertys desyir; besechyng yow to have me excusyd that ye had no wrytyng fro me syth that I departyd frome yow; for so God me helpe, I send yow a lettyr to London anon aftyr Kandylmas, by a man of my Lordys; and he forgat to delyver yt to yow, and so he browt to me the lettyr ayen; and sythe that tyme I kowd get no messenger tyll now.


As for tydyngs, syche as we have here I send yow. My Lord and my Lady96.1 ar in good hele, blyssyd be God, and my Lord hathe gret labore and cost here in Walys for to take dyvers gentyllmen here whyche wer consentyng and helpyng on to the Duke of Somersettys goyng; and they were apelyd of othyr se[r]teyn poyntys of treson, and thys mater. And bycause the Kyng sent my Lord woord to keep thys contre, is cause that my Lord terythe here thus longe. And now the Kyng hathe geve my Lord power, whedyr he wole do execusyon upon thes gentyllmen, or pardon hem, whedyr that hym lyst; and as fertheforthe as I kan undyrstand yet, they shall have grase. And as sone as thes men be come in, my Lord is perposyd to come to London, whyche I supose schall be within thys fortnyght. The menys namys that be apechyd ar thes, John Hanmer, and Wylliam hys sone, Roger Pulyston, and Edward of Madok; these be men of worchepe that schall come in.

The Comenys in Lancasher and Chescher wer up to the nombyr of a x. ml. [10,000] or more, but now they be downe ayen; and one or ij. of hem was hedyd in Chestyr as on Saterday last past.

Thomas Danyell96.2 is here in Chesscher, but I wot not in what plase, he hathe sent iij. or iiij. letyrys to Syr John Howard, syne my Lord come hedyr.

And othyr tydynggs her we none here, but that I supose ye have herd before; I supose veryly that it schall be so nye Esterne96.3 er ever my Lord come to London, that I schal not move [q. mowe? i.e. be able] come home to yow before Estern; wherfor I besech yow, that ye wole wyche save [vouchsafe] that one of your men may send a byll to myne oncyll Clement, or to som othyr man, who that ye wole, in youyr name, that they may delyver me the mony that I am 97 behynd of this quarter syn Crystmas, and for the next quarter, in parte of that some that it plesid yow to grant me by yer; for by my trowthe, the felawchep have not so myche mony as we wend to have had be ryth myche; for my Lord hath had gret costs syn he came hedyr. Wherfore I besech yow, that I may have this mony at Estern, for I have borowyd mony that I must paye ayen after Estern: and I pray to Allmyty God have yow in kepyng.

Wretyn in the Castyll of the Holte, in Walys, the fyrst day of Marche. Your sone and lowly servant, John Paston, the yongest.

95.3 [From Fenn, i. 284.] ‘The Duke of Somerset’s going’ here referred to cannot well be his flight to Scotland in 1462 (see No. 512), though the time of year at which this letter is dated would agree very well with that supposition; for it appears by Letter 511 that John Paston, the father, was at that time residing in the Temple and not at Caister; nor indeed have we distinct evidence of his being at the latter place before 1464. Moreover, in the beginning of 1463, Somerset had just made his peace with King Edward and been received into favour, but early in 1464 he rebelled again. There can be little doubt, therefore, that this year is the true date.

96.1 John Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, and Elizabeth, his wife.

96.2 This gentleman had a reversionary grant of the constableship of Rising Castle in 1448, 27 Hen. VI. He married Margaret, daughter of Sir Robert Howard, and sister of Sir John, afterwards Duke of Norfolk. He is said to have been attainted in the 1 Edw. IV., but fully restored both in blood and possessions in the 14th of the same King. He was esquire of the body to Henry VI.—F.

96.3 In 1464 Easter Day fell on the 1st of April.



Copy of an indenture bearing date 11th April, 4 Edward IV., witnessing the delivery to Richard Calle, servant of John Paston, Esquire, by John, prior of the monastery of Holy Trinity, Norwich, by virtue of the King’s writ, of a red box containing seventeen bundles of evidences, with £40 of silver in groats, and 80 nobles of gold, in a bag, and other valuables.

An inventory of the articles referred to in the foregoing indenture is contained in a separate paper mutilated in the right-hand margin, which we give verbatim as follows:—

This is the parcell be endenture received by Richard Calle of  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  day of Aprile the forthe yere  .  .  .  .  .  .  as it apperit by the copye that the seyde Richard sendeth me by John Threcher.

Unam cistam rubeam cum xvij. bundellis evidenciarum in eadem cista contentis.

Quadraginta libras argenti in grossis et iiijxx. nobil.

Duo turribula97.2 argenti et deaurata.

Unam pixidem argenti et deauratam.

I left no cruet in the cofer.97.3

Unum osculatorium cum imagine Sancti Jacobi et  .  .  .  .

Unum cruett argenti et deauratum.

Unum crismatorium rotundum. Md.97.3

I left non soch in the cofer but chalis of gold.97.3

Unum calicem argenti et deauratum.

Unum alium calicem cum imagine Sanctæ Trinitatis.


This is the copy of a bille drawin in Englyche that I sent home [of all] manner of suche stuff as was in myne coffre in the abb[ey]  .  .  .  .  .  .  by a letter sent with the same bylle that he chowlde take hede that  .  .  .  yf he fonde aney more, well be it, as it aperit in the seyd lett[er]  .  .  .  woulle be lokyd [locked] uppe.

Thes to chalis after the unc’ xx. s. ar worth xliij. li.98.2

Unum calicem de auro playne ponderis duas li[bras].

Unum alium calicem de auro cum scriptura ‘Cal[icem salutaris accipiam,’98.1 ponderis xix. unc’].

This is worth xiij. li. xv. s.98.2

Unam tabulam de auro cum imagine Sancti J[acobi positam cum lapidis pretiosis,] ponderis xiij. unc’ et iij. quarteria.

Thes be worth, after xxx. d. the unch xxviij. li. xiij s. ix. d.98.2

Unum par turribulorum argenti et deaurat’ cum scriptura, viz., in prima parte ‘Dat’ est eis,’ &c.; et in secunda parte ‘Ascendit fumus,’ pond’ xiij. lb. et [x. unc’].

Unam pixidem argenti pro sacramento deaurat’ cum cruce [in summitate ac chased cum] liliis, pond’ v. lb. et iij. unc’ di’.

Unam ampullam argenti deaurat’ pond’ i. lb.98.3

98.4All this was put in a paner togyddre and  .  .  .  .  for to berit in to the coffre.

Item, xl. mark in noblis and xl. li. in gro[tis].

Item, evydens.

97.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.]

97.2 Thuribula, censers, from thus.

97.3 These marginal notes are in John Paston’s hand.

98.1 Psalm cxv. [cxvi.] 13.

98.2 See Note 3 on last page.

98.3 The plate in this list is the same as that described in No. 554, by which the words lost in this MS. have been supplied.

98.4 Added in John Paston’s hand.

This is worth xiij. li. xv. s.
Thes be worth, after xxx. d. the unch xxviij. li. xiij s. ix. d.

all currencies (“li.”, “s.”, “d.”) printed in roman (non-italic) type


This is the plate that was in my cofir at Norwich.


A chaleys of goold playne, weyng ij. pound.

Item, a nother chaleys of goold, with this writynge ‘Calicem salutaris98.6 accipiam,’ weyng xix. unces.

Item, one table of gold, with an image of Sen James set with precious stonys, weyng xiij. unce iij. quarter.

Item, one peyre of sensers of silver and gilt, with scripture, 99 viz., in the first part, ‘Dat’ est eis,’ &c., and in the second parte, ‘Ascendit fumus,’ &c., weyng xiijli. et x. unc’.

Item, one box of silver and gilt for the sacrement, with a crosse in the heyght, and chased with liliis, weying vli. iij. unc’ di.

Item, one potte callid a crismatorie to put in holy creme and oyle, of silver and gilt, weying jli.

98.5 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This list of articles is in the handwriting of Richard Calle, writing, I presume, as John Paston’s secretary, and in his name. It will be seen that it corresponds with a Latin list contained in No. 561, and must therefore be the ‘bill drawn in English’ there referred to.

98.6 Salutularis, MS.


An image off Owr Lady with ij. awngellis sensyng, gilthe, viijxx. unc’, viz., xiiili. et. iiij. unc’.

Item, a crosse with a fott, lx. unc’, gilthe in to cassys and gilt, viijxx. & xvij. unc’, viz., xiiijli. & ix. unc’.

Item, an image of Sent Jon Vangelist, gilthe, weyng vijxx.x. unc’, viz., xijli. vj. unc’.

Item, an image of Sent Jon Baptist, gilthe, with the Lamb, lviij. unc’, viz., iiijli. x. unnc’.

Item, an image off Sent Jamis with his staff, gilthe, weyng xxxvj. unc’, viz., iijli.

Item, an image off Our Lady, gilthe, with a crowne and a lely, weyng iijxx.vj. unnc’, viz., vli. vj. unc’.

Item, an image of Sent Denys, gilthe, weyng l. unc’, viz., iiijli. ij. unc’.

Item, an image off owr Savyowr, gilt, with His crosse, His diademe, and His fane, vxx.xj. unc’, viz., ixli. iij. unc’.

Summa unciarum xlxx.viij. unc’.
Summa lxvij. lib. iiij. unc’.
Sum in markis Cj. mark ij. unc’, di.

Memorandum, j. lib. continet xij. unc’; j. marc continet viij. unc’.

Endorsed—Episcopus Cantuariensis.

99.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This list is likewise in the handwriting of Richard Calle, and was perhaps drawn up about the same time as the preceding one.



To my rygth worchepful broder John Paston Sqwyer.


Ryght worshypfull brothyr, I recomawnde me to zow. After all dew recomendacions, &c., plesse it zow to wett that after that I had harde say that the person of Blowfelde100.2 wasse com to town I went to hym to his in, and he bade the mesenger say that he wasse not within, and I bad hym say a gayn that I come thyder to hym for hys own worchep and avayle and that I wasse sory that I com so fer for hym; and after that he sent for me and he cowde not fynde me, and I harde say ther of. And than I wrott a letter, resytyng how that he wasse sworn yesterday for to say the trowthe of al maner of materis consernyng Sir John Fastolfe, avysyd hym to remember qwat hys wytnesse hadde sayd for hys sake, and wat schame it xwlde be to hym to say the contrary; And also, if he sayde the contrary, ze wold herafter prove the trowthe and contrary to hys sayyng, and prove hym in a perjuri. And also I badde hym remember with wat maner of men he delt wythe; and I rehersyd how untrwly they hadde don. And not with standyng thys, after I met with hym in the strett and spak with hym, and I fownde hym passyng strawngely disposyd and sor mevyd with consiens that ze xwld have the lond and fownd the colage but with an C. marcs, not with stondyng he myth fynde in hys consiens by the well that the colage xwld be fowndyd in a noder plasse but with an C. marcs, and the reminaunt of the lylode sold so that he myth pwroe the mony; so I felt by hym that all hys strawngenes from zow is for he demythe that ze wold parte from no thyng; and I told hym the contrary ther of to be 101 trwe, az this day he is exaymined up on a bok to sey the trowthe of all thynges as the juge will101.1 aske hym, for the jugeis informacion; wych I trowe wyll not be good. Also they have pwt in testes azens zow iijxx or iiijxx men. Mayster Robard Kent wold sayn that ze xwle gett zow ij. lycens of the prioris of zowre wytnes, Mayster Clement and the monke, with an A101.2 datt beryng before the comyng up; for that must ye nedis have. Also he wold sayn that ze xwld com to thys towne. Me thowte by Sir Thomas that they have aswerte in maner that ze xall have no lycens for zour fundacion. And [i.e. if] they be abowte to gett a lycens to fownde the colage in a noder place, me thynkythe that wold hurte; her colour is for cause ze can gett no lycens to fownde it at Caster; werfor thow zour wyll wer trwe, they myth lawfully fownde it in a noder place. My Lord Chawnceler101.3 is gone to Zork and wyll not be her of all thys term. Wrytyn on Wednisday nexst be for Saynt George.

The Kyng hathe ben in Kent and ther ben endityd many for Isleis dethe; and he wyll com to town this day azen and he wyl not tary her but forthe to Zork straytt. By Clement Paston.

100.1 [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 7.] This letter was written in April 1464, when witnesses began to be examined about Fastolf’s will. See No. 565. The Privy Seals of Edward IV. show that he was in Kent (at Dartford) on the 15th and 18th of that month, and he immediately after started for York.

100.2 Thomas Howes.

101.1 ‘will.’ In MS. ‘wt,’ which ought to read ‘with’; evidently a slip of the pen.

101.2 Apparently meaning an ante date.

101.3 George Nevill, Bishop of Exeter, afterwards Archbishop of York.


Depositions touching Sir J. Fastolf’s Will


‘Primum testes reprobatorii producti per Yelverton, contra testes Paston principaliter productos &c.

‘Facta fuit sequens examinatio testium subscriptorum secrete et singillatim, 102 videlicet, Domini Johannis Davy capellani vicesimo octavo die mensis Aprilis, Thomæ Upton quinto, Johannis Bockyng duodecimo, Nicholai Newman xvjto diebus mensis Maii; Johannis Loer, Willelmi Eton quarto, Roberti Lynne quinto, diebus mensis Junii; Bartholomei Elys tercio, magistri Roberti Wylly sexto, Johannis Marshall, Johannis Davy terciodecimo et Willelmi Lyne ultimo, diebus mensis Julii; Anno Domini millesimo quadringentesimo sexagesimo quarto, Indictione duodecima, pontificatus Sanctissimi in Christo patris et domini nostri, domini Pii Divina prudencia Papæ Secundi anno sexto, In Domo Thesaurarii ecclesiæ Cathedralis Sancti Pauli, London, infra parochiam Sancti Gregorii civitatis London situat’, per venerabilem virum magistrum Johannem Druell, utriusque juris doctorem, examinatorem et commissarium ad infra scripta specialiter deputatum. In præsentia mei Nicholai Parker notarii auctoritate Apostolica, publici scribæ in hac parte de et super exceptionibus infra scriptis, par partem domini Willelmi Yelverton et Willelmi Worceter productorum.’

1. John Davy chaplain, staying at the University of Cambridge, liberæ conditionis, 30 years old and more, examined super exceptionibus infrascriptis of which the tenors are quoted, viz., on the part of Yelverton and Worceter against John Russe, Robert Cutteler clk., Master Clement Felmyngham, Rob. Boteler, Ralph Lampet, Brother Will. Bokyngham, and Master Robert Popy, witnesses on the opposite side, whose testimony is discredited ‘eo quod parte sua non præsenti juraverunt et super non juratis deposuerunt, ac in depositionibus suis fuerint et sint varii, contrarii, singulares negativam asserentes, causas dictorum suorum minime reddentes, unumque et eundem præmeditatum sermonem proferentes, a testatore non vocati aut rogati perhibere testimonium, nec sufficienter probantes in hac parte, prout ex inspectione depositionum suarum liquere poterit intuenti.’ Further, John Russe was illiterate, and did not understand Latin when he made his deposition, and he contradicted the other witnesses on his own side: viz., to the 9th interrogatory he said, Sir J. Fastolf’s will was not written before his death, which Clement Felmyngham and Robt. Cutteler in their reply to the 3d said it was. Moreover he expected advantage to himself from his testimony, and was discharged by Howys of £300 that he owed Fastolf. He had also secretly abstracted certain muniments and charters of the testator, which were in the custody of Will. Worceter, in the house of John Tovy, at Castir, Norwich dioc., in Nov. 1459. Moreover he was supravisor et locator of the testator’s lands called Akethorpe, yearly value 9 marks, appointed by Paston or Howys, who promised to sell them to him much under value for his testimony. Further, his statement that he was present in quadam bassa camera at Caister between 8 and 9 A.M. on the Saturday before Sir J. Fastolf’s death, was a perjury, for he was really all that time in other places a long way off. His declaration that he was no servant or tenant of those who brought him forward was untrue: he had hired a house of Howys in the town of Yarmouth, value 40s. a year. He was inconsistent in his testimony about the hour Sir J. declared his will. He also pretended never to have seen Fastolf’s will before his death, although he wrote the said pretended will with his own hand with the date at the head, which at the beginning of this suit he caused to be cut off from the writing and hidden.


Also the said Rob. Cutteler chaplain, when he made his deposition, was ‘levis opinionis, malæ conscientiæ et de mensa Joh’is Paston ac tenens ipsius, prout ad primum interrogatorium examinationis suæ primæ et secundæ respondebat.’ Also he was perjured; because in April 1457 in par. of Holy Trin., Castir, he beat and maimed one Jo. Flemyng, and boasted of it (ac sic factum nomine suo ratum habuit), but being taken before Sir J. Fastolf, justice of the peace, he swore he had not done so.—Proofs that he was not disinterested.

Exceptions to Rob. Popy: He was a tenant of Paston’s, &c. &c.

Davy says John Rus was at Yarmouth on the Saturday in question, as he usually was on Saturdays, to buy victuals for Fastolf’s house, &c. (Proof declared insufficient in the margin). Sir J. Fastolf was so ill, that, as Davy had heard he was unable to speak from 22d Oct. ‘Quæ quidem infirmitas vocabatur judicio medicorum, sincope, quæ ipsum vexabat singulis horis et ipsum deduxit ad extasim de scientia istius jurati, qui continue conversabatur cum eo usque ad ipsius mortem.’

2. Thos. Upton, one of the clerks of the King’s kitchen, literatus, ‘liberæ conditionis,’ forty years old and over; 2d. witness.

Mentions that W. Worceter gave Jo. Rus a casket to keep containing certain documents, which Rus delivered to Howys after Fastolf’s death. Was clerk of the kitchen to Fastolf when Rus used to go on Saturday to Yarmouth, &c.

9 May. Jo. Bokkyng produced by Jo. Naseby, proctor of Yelverton and Worceter, before Master Tho. Wynterton, LL.D., auditor of Thomas Archbishop of Canterbury, at his house in the parish of St. Martin, in presence of Robert Kent, proctor of John Paston.—Examination committed to John Druell, LL.D. who on the 12th May examines him secretly in the house of the treasurer of St. Paul’s.

‘Dicit quod Johannes Tovy quædam munimenta et evidencias103.1 in certis bagis et pixidibus contenta quæ Willelmus Worceter eidem Johanni Tovy liberavit custodienda.’ Rus was and is Howys’ tenant for the house he lives in. After Fastolf’s death Upton delivered to Clement Felmyngham a signet or gold ring, ‘ad signandum sigilla dicti domini Johannis Fastolf,’ in a little bag, which was to be returned ‘post signacionem hujusmodi,’ but afterwards he said he had lost it. Touchyng brother W. Bukyngham, it was publicly noised at Yarmouth that Robert Brown, a chaplain of that town, had killed one Seman Burton, that Bukyngham knowingly received him, and that by his advice he fled. To the last exception he says he believes Fastolf did not release Paston from the payment of the said 4000 marks, ‘quia iste juratus non intellixit in tota vita sua tantam liberalitatem in dicto domino Johanne Fastolf.’ Fastolf had such difficulty in breathing for five or six days before his death that he could hardly speak.

Interrogatories proposed on the part of Paston and Howys, and administered to witnesses.

‘In primis, interrogetur quilibet testis hujusmodi cujus sit conditionis et an 104 sit famulus, 104.1serviens aut tenens partis eum producentis, et cui parti magis favet partium prædictarum.’ Secondly, whether he be in the pay of any one. There are six interrogatories in all, and they are numbered.

Then follow answers of some one, whose name does not appear, to each of these six interrogatories; and other answers by—

1. Nich. Newman, Usher of the Chamber to Lady Catherine, Duchess of Norfolk.

2. John Loer, servant of the Abbot of Langley.

3. Will. Eton.

4. Rob. Lynne of Bucklande.

5. Barth. Elys of Yarmouth, ‘literatus liberæ conditionis,’ fifty years old and more (proves Rus’s absence, but his testimony is declared in the margin to be improbable, and not to agree with Davy’s).

6 July. Naseby produces Rob. Wylly on the part of Yelverton and Worcester. Examined on the 9th.—Says he was required by Paston and Howys to see Fastolf’s will, and ‘ad impediendum [impendendum] consilium suum:’—that on a Sunday in the summer after Fastolf’s death, John Paston showed him, at Fastolf’s house in Southwark, Sir John’s will written on paper, in presence of Clement Felmyngham and John Bracley, and asked his opinion if it was valid. Thought it insufficient to overthrow any previous will. A clause mentioning Tudenham and Heydon as executors was cancelled by this deponent’s advice, ‘eo quod erat contra caritatem.’

13 July at Bow Church. Naseby produces John Marshall and John Davy, whose examinations follow.

19 Oct. 1464. Druell examines Hen. Wenstall at the treasurer’s house of St. Paul’s.

15 Nov. 1464. Druell examines Rob. Hert.

1 Dec. Naseby produces Rob. Fyztrauf, whose production Kent opposes; who tries to prove Rus’s absence (insufficiently, as remarked in the margin), because he was constantly with Fastolf, except half an hour that morning, and held the basin while Henry Barbour lathered the beard (lavit barbam) of the said Sir John Fastolf.

‘Responsiones personaliter factæ per dominum Thomam Howys unum executorum domini Joh’is Fastolf, ultimo die mensis Aprilis Aº Dni 1464,’ &c., ‘coram Ven. viro Mag’ro Thoma Wynterbourne, LL.D.,’ &c., ‘in camera ejusdem infra manerium Revmi patris apud Lamehith, Winton dioc’ situat’, in præsenncia mei Nicholai Parker,’ &c.

Howys says he did not see Coteler or Rus in Fastolf’s chamber that Saturday before he went to dinner. On Saturday and Sunday before his death Fastolf spoke so low he could hardly be heard by any one, and Howys heard him only by putting his ear close to his mouth. Fastolf’s mind was clear.

101.4 [From MS. Phillipps, 9309.] These depositions, of which we shall only attempt to give some of the principal points, were produced in the Spiritual Court by Sir William Yelverton and William Worcester in opposition to the claim of John Paston and Thomas Howes to be Sir John Fastolf’s executors. The examinations were taken at intervals during the years 1464, 1465, and 1466, and the suit was not terminated when John Paston died. The MS. volume here referred to contains three distinct bundles of these depositions bound up in a wrong order. A volume containing similar matter among the Paston MSS. in the British Museum will be found entered in the year 1465.

103.1 There is no verb in the MS. to govern munimenta et evidencias.

104.1 The text is continued here at another part of the volume, the leaves being misplaced.



MAY 12

Power of attorney by Roger Fidyon, clerk, and William Bondys to Richard Lynstede, John Holme, and John Brikkes, to enter and take possession of the manor of Hornynghall, in Castre, by Yarmouth, with appurtenances in Castre, Maudeby, Ormesby, Filby, and Scroudeby, or elsewhere in the hundred of East Flegge, Norfolk, which the said Roger and William have of the gift of Edmund Clere; and thereafter to deliver seisin therein to Agnes Paston, William Paston, Elizabeth, Countess of Oxford, John Veer, Earl of Oxford, John Scroop, Knight, Lord Scroop, Sir William Yelverton, Elizabeth Cleere; William Jennay, John Grenefeld, John Catesby, Serjeants-at-Law; John Hastynges, John Clopton, John Calthorp, Hugh Fen, Thomas Cornewaleys, Thomas Howes, clerk, Roger Marchall of London, Henry Spilman, William Lomnour, Bartholomew Whyte, William Whyte, John Applyerd, James Arblaster, William Wurcetyr, and Richard Maryot, according to a charter granted to them by the said Roger and William.

Castre, 12th May, 4 Edward IV.

105.1 [From MS. in the Bodleian Library.]


To myn ryght worshypful hosbond, John Paston, be thys delyveryd in haste.


Ryght worshypful hosbond, rekomaund me on to you. Pleasyth you to wete that I sent yisterday Loveday to Norwyche to speke wyth the Vykyr of Derham105.3 for the mater betwen Master Constantyn and hym; and he seyth that as for that mater, Master Constantyn sewyd hym for 106 feyth and trowth brekyng, and he sewed Master Constantyn in the Temporall Curte uppon an obligacion of xli.; and ther was made appoyntment be twen hem by the advyce of bothe ther Conceylis, be for Master Robert Popy, that eche of hem shuld relece othyr, and so they dede, and the sewtys wer wythdrawyn on bothe partyes, and iche of hem aquytauncyd othyr; and as for any copy of the plee, he had never non, ner he ner Master John Estegate, that was hys atornay, remembryth nat that it was regestryd; and Master John Estegate seythe, if it schuld be scergyd in the regester it wold take a fortenyght werk, and yit peraventur never be the nerer.

Syr Thomas Howes hathe ben ryght besy thys weke at Blofeld, in wrytyng and lokyng uppe of ger, and John Russe hathe ben with hym ther the moste parte of alle thys weke, and thys day was Robert Lynne ther with hym; what they have do I wote nat, but I schal wete if I may.

It was told me that Syr Thomas desyryd of John Russe to make hym a new inventory of Syr John Fastolffs goods. John Russe myght not be spoke with yit, for the letter that he shuld a wretyn, whych ye sente me word of.

Item, it is tolde that the Dwke of Suffolk106.1 is kome home, and owthyr he is ded, or ellys ryght seke, and not lyke to eskape; and Syr John Howard is kome hom; and it is seyd that the Lord Skalys106.2 and he have a comyssyon to enquer whye they of this contre that were sent for kame not hastylar uppe afftyr they wer sent for. It is reportyd that the Kyng is gretly dyspleasyd ther with. At the reverence of God, arme yowr selve as myghtyly as ye kan ageyn yowr enmyes, for I know verrayly that they wyl do ageyn yow as myghtyly as they kan with all ther power.

It is told me that Syr Thomas shal kom uppe in haste, and othyr, suche as he kan make for hys partye.

Also for Goddys sake be war what medesyns ye take of any fysissyans of London; I schal never trust to hem be cause of your fadr and myn onkyl, whoys sowlys God assoyle.

The blissyd Trynyte have yow in Hys kepyng, and sende 107 yow helthe and good spede in all yowr materis. Wretyn in haste, on the Fryday next befor Sceynt Bernabye. By yowrs, M. P.

Alle the jentylmen of thys contre that went uppe to the Kyng ar contrmaundyd, and ar com hom ageyn. It is told me that Rowse of Suffolk107.1 is ded. If John Gayn myght have any releese of his sone, if it myght do hym ese, it wer a good torne for hym.

105.2 [From Fenn, iv. 176.] The commission to Lord Scales and Sir John Howard mentioned in this letter seems to have reference to a proclamation dated the 11th May 1464, by which all men between the ages of sixty and sixteen were ordered to attend the King. The date is confirmed by the reference in the postscript to the death of ‘Rous of Suffolk,’ for Reginald Rous of Denington died in 1464. (See Weever’s Funeral Monuments, p. 782.)

105.3 Constantine Dalby was instituted to the Vicarage of East Dereham in 1451, and was succeeded in 1458 by Robert Sheringham.

106.1 John de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk.

106.2 Anthony Widville was created Lord Scales in 1461.—F.

107.1 Reginald Rous, Esq. of Denington, in Suffolk, died in 1464. He was the ancestor of the present Earl of Stradbroke.


To my ryght wurschipfull my mastre, John Paston, be this delyverd in haste.


Plesith it youre goode maisterchippe to witte that I have be with my Mastre Calthorppe for the matre ye wrote to hym fore, wherin I have founde hym ryght weele disposed and favorabley; nevertheles he tolde me that William Jenney hath bene hes goode frende and have ben of hes councell this ij. yere in all hes matres towchyng the lawe, but he seide lever he hadde lose the lesser frende than the greete frende, and so he hathe graunted favour accordyng to youre desire, and wrote a lettre to the undrescheryff of Norfolk that he schuld take suerte sufficient to save hym harmeles, and that done to write a letter to the undrescheryff of Suffolk and lete hym witte that he hath taken suerte that ye schall appere in the crastino Animarum upon the exigents returnable, or elles 108 to bryng a super sedias108.1 lauful before that daye, chargyng hym that he do sece [cause to cease] the callyng of the writts, and to retorne that ye appered the furst day. Weche suerte is taken, and a letter wreten to the undrescheryff of Suffolk acordynge herto.

Item, as for Sir Thomas Howes, he lythe most at Norwiche. I can thynke he come not up to London tyll Michelmes.

Item, I rode over to Techewelle whan that I whas at Mastre Calthorppes for to have money of the fermours, and Yelverton and Sir Thomas hathe sent to hem that they schol pay to you no more money, for that they had payed to you they schulde payed [pay it] ayene to them; and so I gane [can] gete no money of hem. Wherfore I went for to distreyne hem; and so they seide that I myght not distreyne hem, for I come before the daye, for her [their] day is at Midsomer. Nevertheles I wold not lette, for that Simond Miller and other promysed to Mr. William Cotyng and to me that I schuld have the money aftre Midsomer, so that I brought with me a quetaunce of suche money as ye have receyved of hem, or elles a generall quetaunce; and the tone I purposed to do in haste be the advice of the seide Mastre W. Cotynge. For, and I torned, I can thynke it schuld hurte. I am purposed to lete it in youre name to other folks or to them ayen, and suerte founde to you, &c. And Almyghty God preserve and kepe you. Wreten at Norwiche on Sen Petres Even. Your pore servaunt and bedman, Ric. Calle.

107.2 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter refers to the suit brought by Jenney against Paston in 1464, in which, as will be seen hereafter, Paston failed to appear at four successive county courts held at Ipswich, and was at last outlawed in Michaelmas term. See No. 572.

108.1 Super sedias. So spelt in MS.



To the Kyng, our Liege Lord.


Besechyth lowly your humble servaunt, John Paston the older, squier, that it please youre good grace, for such a fyne as your highnes hath apoynted your seid besecher to content yow, wherof ye be put in suerte, to graunt on to your seid besecher your gratious lettirs patentes of licence to found, stabilissh, and endewe in the gret mancion of Caster in Flegge in Norffolk, that late was John Fastolffs, knyght, cosyn to your seid besecher, a college of vij. prestes, wherof one to be master, and of vij. porefolk, to pray for your noble astate and for the soule of the seid John Fastolff and such other as he was behold to inperpetuite, aftir ordinauns by your seid besecher in that behalff to be made; and to inmortese, geve and graunt to the seid prestes and to ther successours, for the sustentacion of hem and of the seid porefolk CXX. mark of annuite and rent charge, or annuites and rentes charge, yerly goyng out of the maners callid Redhams, Vaux, and Bosomes, in Caster forseid, Begviles in Wynterton, Reppis in Bastewyk, Spencers in Heryngby, Loundhall in Saxthorp, Heylesdon, Drayton, Heynesford, Guton in Brandeston, Beyton, Techewell, and of the thrid part of the maner of Runham with th’apportenauns in the shire of Norffolk, and of the maners of Hemnales in Cotton, Burneviles in Nakton, Akthorp in Leystoft, Calcotes, Havelound, Spitlyngges, with th’apportenauns in the shire of Suffolk, and out of any part of 110 the seid maners, with a clause of distresse for defaut of payment of the seid rente, and vj. acres of lond in the seid towne of Caster, and the avowsons of the chirches of the same town, and the fourth part of the seid mancion, or any part therof for the habitacion of the seid prestes and porefolk, to be reparid at the costs of your seid besecher, and his heires or assignes for evir. And also by your seid lettirs patentes to graunt the same prestes to be one body incorperate and to have succession perpetuall, and a comon seall, and to be persones abill to plede and to be impletid, and to purchase and alienyn all maner londes, goodes and catell, by the name of the master and his brethyrn of the college of Sen John Baptist of Castre aforeseid. And also by your seid lettirs patentes to licence the seid prestes to take and reseyve, and to hold to them and to ther successours the seid annuite, rent charge, vj. acres of lond, avousons, and the seid ———110.1 part of the seid mancion, for evir. And to geve your Chaunceler of Inglond for the tyme beyng, comaundement, power, and auctorite that where as in this petision is not comprehendid the certeynte of termes, maters, clauses, and other circumstaunces convenient and requisite after forme of lawe for licens of the seid fundacion, that your seid Chaunceler, that notwithstandyng, do make your seid lettirs patentes in forme of lawe effectuall and sufficient in that behalf after the very entent aforeseid, not excedyng the valew and somme before specifyd, without any fyne or fee other thanne is afore specifyd to be payd for the seid lettirs patentes, licens, or grauntes, by your seid besecher or by the seid prestes; and thei shall pray hertly to God for yow.

Endorsed in a later hand:—Supplicatio Jo. Paston [pro] fundacione Collegii apud Caistor [secundum] formam testamenti Jo. Fastolf, mil.

109.1 [From MSS. in the Bodleian Library.] This, and the alternative petition which follows, seem to have been drawn up in the year 1464, as one or other of them must have been the subject of the agreement of the 10th September in that year (No. 571). The two are printed from two parchment MSS. in the Bodleian Library. There is also, among the Paston MSS. in the British Museum, a third copy, fair written on parchment like the other two, of which the text corresponds in the beginning to the second petition, and in the latter part to the first.

110.1 A blank on an erasure.



To the Kyng, our Sovereyn Lord.


Please it yowr highnes to graunte unto yowr humble servant John Paston the older, Squier, yowr gracious lettres patents of licence to fownde, stabelysh, and endewe in the gret mancion of Castre be Mekyll Yermowth in Norffolk, that late was John Fastolffs, knyght, cosyn to yowr seyd besecher, a colage of vij. prystes wheroff on to be master, and vij. pourmen, to praye for your noble astate, and for the sowle of the said Fastolff and suche othir as he was be holde to inperpetuite, and to inmortese and gyve to the seyd prystes, and to ther successours for the sustentacion of hem, and of the seyd pourmen C. marke of annunite and rent charge, yerly goyng owt of all maneres, londes, and tenementz that were the seyd Fastolffs within the Shyres of Norffolk and Suffolk, and vj. acres of londe in the sayd town of Castre, and the iiij. parte of the sayd mancion for the habitacion of the sayd prystes and pourmen, to be repared at the costes of your seyd besecher and hys heyres and assignes for ever, as suerly and lawfully as your seyd besecher can devise. And also be your letters patentz to graunt the same prystes to be one bodie incorperate, and to have succession perpetuall, and a comon seall, and to be persones abyll to plede and be impletid, and to purchase and alienyn all maner londs, tenements, godes, and catell, be the name of the master and hys brethyrn of the collage of Saynt John Baptiste of Castre aforsayd. And also be your letters patentz to licence the sayd prystes to take and receyve, and to holde to theym and to ther successours the sayd annaunite, rente charge, vj. acres of lond, avowsons, and the seyd iiij. parte of the said mancion for ever, with owte eny ffyne or fe to be payde for the sayd lettres patentz, licens or grauntes be your sayd besecher, or be the said pristes. And thei shall pray hertly to God for you.

Endorsed in a later hand:—Peticio Joh’is Paston Arm’ ad Regem pro collegio in Caister.



Maister Rothewell, please you to remembre, as for the mater that John Paston and Sir Thomas Howys comownyd with you of, in whiche they desyred specialy the good lordship, support and helpe of my Lordis of Wynchestre and Beauchamp for acomplishement of the will 112 of here testatour112.1 and in esshewynge of costis. And where as ye meovyd to knowe the materys that were contraryed be otherys, we undirstonde and have knowlege of late tyme it112.2 stondeth in these materys folwyng.

Fyrst, the seyd Testatour be hise testament namyd the seyd Lordys and the seyd John Paston and Thomas Howys and othyr executorys, and wolde as for the admynistracion, kepyng and execucion of his goodis shuld be takyn and doo be the seyd Paston and Howys duryng here lyves, if they will take admynistracion; and if ony of hem too desese or refuce the admynistracion, the tothyr to chese to hym on of the remnaunt of the executorys to execute, &c. And if bothe deye, noon chosyn, thanne tweyne to be chosyn be the executorys levyng, or the more part of hem, to admynistre in lyk wise. And they too that do occupye to have recourse to my seyd lordis and the othyr executorys in takyng here good avyse chargeable and requysit materys. And this is oon matere that othyr namyd in the Testament gruche with. Notwithstandyng, as for ony avauntage that we cleyme to have by it, we wyll be agreable to ony mean resonable that oure seyd lordis wyll ordeyne to the good disposecion of the goodys accordyng to oure testatorys intent, or to ony meane that may concyensly or lawefully be meovyd.

Item, as for hise wyll touchyng hese goodis on mevable, as hese londis and tenamentis, the seyd testatour hathe at all tymes this xx. yeer, in all wyllis that he hathe made, ordeynid that a gret part of hyse seyd londis shuld goo to the fundacion of a collage at Castre of vij. monkys or pristis and vij. pore folke; and he by hyse last wyll ordeynid that the seyd John Paston shuld have all the londis and tenementis in Norffolke, Suffolke and Norwyche; and that the seyd Paston shuld at hese cost inmorteyse and indewe the seyd Collage and paye iiijml mark to be dysposed for the testatouris soule, as is declaryd in the seyd wyll more pleynerly. And as for the remnaunt of the lyflode to be sold, and the mony thereof comynge to be disposed be thoo personys that he hathe ordeynid to have the execucion of hise wyll and testament.


And as for thys matere of the Collage, there shall, be the mene hereof, more mony growe to the handis of the mynistrorys, what soo ever they bee, and also lesse labour thanne shuld have doo and thys hadde not bee, in cas the seyd mynistroris wolde intende to parforme ony will that the seyd Testatour made thys xx. yeer. And also it shalbe well provyd that the seyd Testatour was dysposed to have doo more largely to the seyd Paston thanne is conteynid in the seyd wyll if he hadde levyd the tyme to have expressyd and parformyd hise wyll and entent.

Wherfor, plese my seyd lordis to take suche a direccion that the may undirstonde the trouthe of these materys, and to shewe here good lordshepys and favour accordyng to the trouthe in parformyng of the Testatourys wyll, and in sesynge of voyd costis of hese goodis. And that they will geve noo credence to suche as wyll upon here owyn imagynacionys for maleyse or invye intendyng to contrarye the dedys wyll or mys spende hese goodis  .  .  .

Endorsed by another hand:

A letter to Rothwell or Worcester or of Watkyn Schyddam.

111.1 [Add. MS. 33,597, f. 6.] This letter would seem to be of about the same date as No. 569.

112.1 Sir John Fastolf.

112.2 it. MS. reads ‘in.’


Apunctuament’ Regis pro fundacione Collegij apud Caistre, &c.

SEPT. 10

The Kyng, for the soume of CCC. mark of lawfull mony of Inglond, or of silver plate to the valew therof, grauntith to John Paston the older, Squier, to have licens, lawfully mad, to make and found a College of vij. prests and vij. pore folk at Caster, in Flegge in Norffolk, for the soule of Sir John Falstolf, Knyght; thei to be indued with certeyn rent, and otherwise aftir the intent and effect as is specifijd in a bille therof, signed by the Kyng; and that he 114 shall showe his good grase, favour, and assistance to have the said fundacon inacted and auctorised in the parlement next holden, and discharge the seid John Paston and the seid prests of any other fyne or fee to be mad in the Chauncerie for the seid fundacion; and that the Kyng shall signe and graunt warants for seid licens, and shewe his good grace and favour in the expedision therof, what tyme he be sued to therfore by the seid John Paston.

Also, the Kyng grauntith to be good and favorabill Lord to the seid John Paston, and inespeciall in all thyngs touchyng the execucion of the will of the seid Sir John Fastolf, and also to be good and favorabill Lord to the seid John Paston, in supportyng and helpyng hym, in that the Kyngs Highnesse may lawfulle do, in such maters as are in debate athwyx the seid John Paston and William Yelverton, or William Jenney, or any other, concernyng the londs and tenements, goods or cattell, that were the seid Sir John Fastolfs. Also the Kyng grauntith to help and support the seid John Paston to opteyne and have to the use of the seid Sir John Fastolf such goods as were the seid Fastolfs deseitfully aloyned out of the possession and knowlech of the seid John Paston; and that the Kyng shall graunt the seid John Paston such lawfull writynggs and lettirs from the Kyng, directed to such persones as shall be behovefull for the same, what tyme the seid John Paston suyth to the Kyngs Highnesse therfore.

Also where Yelverton, or Jenney, or any Justise of the Peas of the Shire of Suffolk hath recorded any riot, trespas, or offenses to be do ayens the Kyngs peas, by the seid John Paston, his servaunts, or tenaunts, or frends; or where any inditement or presentment is found ayens them, or any of them, before any of the seid Justises, for any such riot, offenses, trespas, or for any other mater remaynyng of record in the Kyngs Benche, or in any other plase, the Kyng grauntith to the seid John Paston, and all other persones named in the seid records or inditements, or in any of hem, and to alle her boroughs [sureties] and plegges, and to ich of hem that woll sue it, a pardon of all riotes, trespas, offenses, felonys, forfetures doon ayens the Kyngs peas, and of fynes therefore 115 dempt [adjudged], or to be dempt, and of all other thyngs generally, treason except, and that the Kyng shall signe warants lawfull of the seid pardons, what tyme his Highnesse be requerid by the seid John Paston or his attornys.

And also that his Highnesse shall do inquere and examinacion be mad whedir the seid record of the seid Justises and presentments, and other informacions or compleynts mad ayens the seid John Paston, were do trewly and lawfully or nought; and if it be found that thei were do otherwise thanne trought, lawe, or consiens woll, thanne the Kyng grauntyth to cause the doers therof to recompense the seid John Paston and the seid other persones, as far as lawe and good consiens woll in that behalf.

And that if it fortune any compleynt to be mad ayens the seid John Paston, by any persone in tyme comyng, to the Kyng, that he shall take no displeasir to the seid John Paston till the tyme he come to his answer, and be found in defaut.

And that the Kyng shall receyve an Cli. of the seid CCC. mark, what tyme he send for it, and the remnaunt as sone as the seid fundacion take effect; and also that his Highnesse shall gete the assent of the reverent fader in God, the Archebisshop of Caunterbury, in such apoyntments as is mad athwyx the Kyng and the seid John Paston, of such goods as were the seid Sir John Fastolfs, for the delivere therof; and that if the seid John Paston refuse the administracion of the goods and catell that were the seid Sir John Fastolfs, sufferyng other to take it opon hem, the Kyng, at the instauns of the seid John Paston, grauntith to be good and favorabill Lord to such other as the coors of the lawe, and assent of the seid John Paston, shall take the seid administracion in execucion of the seid Fastolfs will, touchyng the administracion of the goods and catell forseid, acordyng to the same wyll; and that the Kyng shall not cleyme nor desire any of the londs or tenements, goods or catell, that were the seid Sir John Fastolf, ayens the seid John Paston, or any other executor, administror, or feffe of the seid Sir John Fastolf, nor support or favour any other persone in cleymyng any of the seid londs or tenements, goods or catell, ayens any the seid administers, executores, or feffes.


And the Kyng grauntith that where as this bille is not sufficiently mad in clauses and termes according to th’entent therof, that his Highnesse woll take and execute the very entent therof, notwithstandyng the insufficiens of any such termes and clauses in thes bille. Wretyn at Marleburgh, the Monday next after the Nativite of oure Lady, the fourthe yere of the reigne of the Kyng.

113.1 [From Fenn, iv. 182.]


Outlawry of John Paston.

NOV. 20

The following writs and copies of writs stood originally on a file in the order in which they are here noticed.

I. Edward IV. to the Prior of Norwich.—Orders him to deliver to the bearer all goods in his hands belonging to John Paston, Esq., who is outlawed. Reading, 20 Nov.

II. Writ to Edmund Clyre, Escheator of Norfolk, touching the above outlawry.—John Paston is here called ‘the elder.’ Dated 20 Nov.

III. Supersedeas addressed to the Escheator of Cos. Cambridge and Hunts to stay confiscation of the goods of John Paston, who has been outlawed, first for trespass against William Jenney, and secondly for trespass against William Hogan; of which he was convicted in Suffolk on Monday, 10 Sept., 4 Edw. IV. Both cases are removed by writs of error into the King’s Bench.—Teste J. Markham apud Westin., 28 Nov., 4 Edw. IV.

IV. Copy of supersedeas on the exigent issued at Jenney’s suit to the Sheriff of Suffolk.—Teste J. Markham apud Sekbrok, 24 Aug., 4 Edw. IV. With the return on the writ of exigent, notifying Paston’s non-appearance when proclaimed at the county courts held at Ipswich on Monday 21 May, Monday 18 June, Monday 16 July, and Monday 13 Aug., 4 Edw. IV. The supersedeas was delivered to the sheriff by Richard Calle in Paston’s name on the 29 Aug.

V. Edward IV. to Sir John Markham, Chief Justice of the King’s Bench.—Commands 117 him to make supersedeas upon the exigents. For, as the King understands, Jenney obtained judgment against Paston for £23 : 10s., and William Hogan by the support of Jenney took another action, and obtained a judgment of £16 : 13 : 4 ‘against conscience and law, as we be informed.’ If Paston has delivered to the sheriff any writs of error to send the actions to our court of parliament, he is to comply, according to the usual course in such cases.—Fotheringay, 3 Aug.

VI. Edward IV. to Thomas Croxton, Clerk of the Crown.—Commanding him to search the records and see that the processes of outlawry against John Paston have been well and sufficiently made out.—Reading, 3 Oct.

Memorandum subjoined, ‘that William Jenney’s counsel hath openly vaunted in Westminster Hall that the King hath sent another letter to the sheriff, commanding him to certify John Paston outlawed.’

⁂ V. and VI. are copies on the same paper.

116.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.]


To the Prior of Norwich.

NOV. 27

Reverend fader in God, I recomaunde me to you. And for so muche the Kyngs hyghnesse is advertysed ye shuld have in  .  .  .  .117.2 certayn goodes of John Pastons to the value of vij. or viij. ml mark wherin the Kyng is entytilled by such processe of owtlawry as is awarded ayenst the said Paston; Wherefor in the Kynges name I charge you that if any such good be in your governance117.3 or within your monastery, ye suffer noon of thayme to passe oute of your garde, but suerle to kepe thaym unto the Kynges behouffe, unto ye tyme ye have otherwise in comaundment, as ye will answer at your perille and in eschewing his gret displeasur and 118 such jeopardies as by the lawe myght ensue to youre over gret damage, which I ne wold. And of your disposicion herin it like you I may be certified in writing by the berour herof. And Oure Lord have you in his keping. Wryten at London the xxvij. day of Novembre anno lxiiijto. By the Tresorer of Ingland, Syr Water Blount.

117.1 [MS. in Pembroke College, Cambridge.]

117.2 A word or two illegible.

117.3 So the word seems to have been originally, but the writing is faded, and a modern hand has attempted to restore the beginning as ‘no  .  .  .’


To my ryght worshipfull maister and brother, John Paston, this letter be taken.

DEC. 3

Ryght worshipfull and reverend mayster and brother, with alle my service I recommaunde me on to yow. Please hit onto your grete wysedom to have yn your descrete remembrauns the streite Ordre on which we ben professid, and on which ze er bownden to kepe your residens, 119 and specially on this tyme of Crystmas amonggis your confrerys of this holy Ordre, the Temple of Syon; for ynlesse than ze kepe dewly the poynts of your holy Religion, owr Maister Thomas Babyngton, maister and soverayn of owr Order of th’assent of his brythryn ben avysed to awarde azenste yow ryght sharp and hasty proces to do calle yow to do your obcervauns, and to obeye the poynts of your Religion, which wer on to me grete hevynesse. Wherfore I, as he that hath most grettest cause, and ys most bownden on to your grete gentylnesse, and also whom nature and kynde most specially byfore every of alle owr breth[r]yn bynden me to owe and wilne yow goode wylle and trewe hert, consyderyng the grete tyme of penawns that ze havyn ben yn fro sone upon Mighelmas hederto, that ys to say, yn relevyng and sustenawns of your evyn Crysten,119.1 and also yn the charytable and meritory dede of almyssdoyng, that ys to say yn plenteous and liberall zeftis, which ys more precyusseur than goolde er sylver, which hath nat be at alle tymys to your grete ease, neyther hertis plesauns, but rather to your grete desese and yntollerable peyne. And wher Godds lawe and manys lawe acorden that hit shall nat be lawful to non erthely man to be so lyberall and plenteous of that that God sendith hym, that he sholde so despose hit so that he sholde nowgch have to lyve by; and forasmych as I have perfite knowlich of your freel119.2 [frail] and naturall disposiseon so set on to theym that ben nedy and hunggery that of your selfe ze have no myght, neyther power to absteyne and rewle yourself, but also long as God sendith and zevyth yow whereof to dispose and help your evyn Crysten ze most nedis despose hit forth a monggus your evyn Cristen, I conseile yow that yn also hasty and goodely tyme as ze kan to come on to your holy brytheryn that ben of that devowt and clos conversacion, to th’entent that ze myght ben advertysid and lernyd by theym the goode rewle and messur that ze owght and sholde have yn the despociscion and delyng of your almys.


And also, sethnys ze haven chosen zow a place yn this seson of Avent, yn which ze have had a resonable leysour and space to do your penauns yn, which drawith fast to a ende; which hath been a convenyent place as for the ceson of the yer; and now hit drawith fast on to Cristmas, on which tyme every trewe Crysten man sholde be mery, jocunde, and glad. And sethnys ther is no place which by lyklyhod of reason ze shulde fynde yn your hert to be so gladde and yocunde yn as ze sholde be yn the place of your profession a mounggis your holy brytheryn; yn which place yn this ceson of the yer hit ys a custumyd to be alle maner of desport, lyke as hit is nat unknowe to your wisse descrescion; wherfore, as my symple reason ledith me your grete descrescion sholde rewle you that ze sholde approche nygh the plase of your holy relegion yn also hasty tyme as ze code er myght, of whos comyng alle your saide bretheryn wolde be glade and fayn, and yn especiall I, your servaunt and brother, lyke as I am most syngguler bownden to th’encresse of your prosperite and welfar, which I shall ever desir with Godds mersy, which have yow undir His blessid and favorable proteccion. Wrytten yn the Temple of Syon, iijd. day of December, yn grete hast. By your Servaunt and brother, signature: T and symbol

Enlarged View

118.1 [From Fenn, iii. 418.] It is difficult to assign with confidence either a date or a meaning to this strangely worded epistle. The signature itself is a mystery. The order of the Temple of Sion is unknown to archæologists, and the place from which the letter is dated cannot be identified. From the peculiar device used as a signature, resembling what in heraldry represents a fountain, Fenn threw out a suggestion that Fountaine was the writer’s name, remarking that a family of that name resided at Salle, in Norfolk, and might have been related to Paston as the writer claimed to be. But there seems to be an air of irony about the whole communication which forbids us to construe any of its statements seriously; nor do we find the slightest allusion to this letter or its contents in all the rest of the correspondence. For my part, I am inclined to think it was a mocking letter addressed to John Paston by one of the prisoners in the Fleet, where Paston had himself been confined in 1464. His imprisonment on that occasion was probably of short duration, but I cannot tell the precise date of his release. He was committed to the Fleet, as we are informed by William Worcester (Itinerary, p. 366), on Saturday the 3d November. If I am right in my conjecture about this letter, he had, perhaps, been already liberated; but some of his late fellow-prisoners, probably members of the Inner or Middle Temple like himself, who had formed themselves into a fancy ‘Order of the Temple of Sion,’ amused themselves by speculating on the probability that he was not yet quite clear of the toils of the law, and that he would be obliged to come back and spend Christmas in gaol, among the jolly companions whom he had recently deserted. I may remark that the name of Thomas Babington occurs in Dugdale’s Origines Juridiciales, p. 163, as having been elected a reader in the Inner Temple in 22 Hen. VII., when he seems to have been an old man; for, owing to his sight failing, he was excused from reading, and John Port, who was afterwards Attorney General, and, later still, Justice of the King’s Bench, read in his place.

119.1 i.e. your fellow-Christians.

119.2 Fenn interprets this word free will, which I cannot think to be the meaning intended.



To my mastres Margrete Paston, and to my welbelovid Frendis, John Daubeney and Richard Calle.

JAN. 15

I  pray yow, see to the god governaunce of my housold and guydynge of other thynges touchyng my profite, and that ye, with Daubeney and Richard Calle, and with other such of my frendis and servauntis as can avise yow aftir the mater requireth, wekely take a sad comunecacion of such thynges as be for to do, or oftenner and nede be, takyng avise of the master, and of the viker121.2 and Sir Jamis,121.3 that is for to say, as well for provision of stuffe for myn howsold as for the gaderyng of the revenew of my livelode or greynes, or for setting awerk of my servauntis, and for the more poletik meane of sellyng and carryng of my malt, and for all other thynges necessari for to be do; and that whanne I come home I have not an excuse, seying that ye spoke to my servauntis and that Daubeney and Calle exkuse them that thei wer so besy thei myght not attende; for I woll have my mater so guided that if on man may not attende a nother shall be comaunded to do it; and if my servauntis faile I had lever wage some other man, for a jorny or a season, thanne my mater should be on sped.

As for my livelode, I left with Daubeney a bille of many of my dettis, wherby ye alle myght have be indused whedir ye shulde have sent for silver.


It liketh me evill to here that my prestis and pore men be onpaiid, and that no mony sent to me more thanne x. markis be Berney of alle this season, and yet therof telle Richard Calle he sent me viii. nobils in goold for v. markis, and that as longe as gold was better payment thanne silver I had nevir so moche gold of hym at onys; and telle hym that I wolle nat that he shall kepe that use, for I trowe my tenauntis have but litell gold to pay.

Also remembir yow in any housold, felaship or cumpany that will be of good rewle, purvyauns must be had that every persone of it be helpyng and furtheryng aftir his discrecion and powyr, and he that woll not do so without he be kept of almes shuld be put out of the houshold or felachep.

Item, where ye desire me that I shuld take your sone122.1 to grase, I woll for your sake do the better, and will ye knowe he shall not be so oute of my favour that I will suffir hym to mischefe without be eftsones his owne defaut. And hough be it that in his presumptuouse and ondiscrete demenyng he gaf bothe me and yow cause of displeasir, and to other of my servauntis ille exaumple, and that also guided hym to alle mennes undirstandyng that he was wery of bidyng in myn hows, and he not insurid of help in any other place; yet that greveth nat me so evill as doth that I nevir coud fele nor undirstand hym poletyk ne diligent in helpyng hym self, but as a drane amongis bees which labour for gaderyng hony in the feldis and the drane doth nought but takyth his part of it. And if this myght make hym to knowe the better hym self and put hym in remembrauns what tyme he hath lost, and hough he hath leved in idelnes, and that he coud for this eschewe to do so heraftir, it myght fortune for his best. But I here yet nevir from no plase that he hath be in of any poletyk demenyng or occupacion of hym. And in the kynges hows he coud put hym self foorth to be in favour or trust with any men of substauns that myght forther hym; neverthelesse as for your house and myne I purpose not he shall come there, ner be my will non othir but if [i.e. unless] he can do more thanne loke foorth and make a fase and countenauns.


Item, send me word whedir my glasier hath do at Bromholm and at the friers of the South Towne,123.1 and whedir he be paiid such mony as I sent home word he shuld be paiid, and if he have do all he must have more mony, but I remembir not certeynly what, till I come home, for I remember nat what his bargeyn was for the work at the Southtowne. I trowe Mr. Clement can telle, and also fele hym self and send me word. Also that ye and Richard Calle and Daubeney see that Mr. Clement and Mr. Braklee123.2 which hath grete nede I wote well, and my prestis and pore men be paiid and also all othir men. And that ye see that I be not callid on for that is my dewte. Also that ye see amongis yow that that is owynge me be not lost ne forborn for lewdnes, for that shall bothe hurt me and do my tenauntis harme. Lete Richard Calle remembir that my fermour of Sweynesthorp is falle in gret dette for defaut of callyng upon but be on [one] yere; And I deme that bothe John Willeys and my new fermour of Snaylewell arn like to be in the same case, and peraventure Aleyn of Gresham and other.

Item, remembir yow or evir I had a doo with Fastolffis livelode, whill I toke hede to my livelode my self, it both served myn expenses at home and at London and all other charges, and ye leid up mony in my cofirs every yere, as ye knowe. And I wote well that the payment of my prestis and other charges that I have for Fastolffis livelode is not so gret as the livelode is, thow part therof be in trobill. And thanne consider that I had nought of my livelode for myn expenses at London this twol monyth day; ye may verely undirstand that it is not guided wittely nor discretly; and therfore I pray yow hertly put alle your wittes to gedir and see for the reformation of it. And ye may remembre be this how ye shuld do if this wer yowris alone, and so do now.

And that ye woll remembir I have sent yow all many lettirs touchyng many maters, and also a bille now last by Pecok of erandis, desiryng yow to see hem alle to gedir and send me an answere articlerly; and such as ye can not spede at this tyme, 124 lete hem be sped as sone as ye may, that ye se over my seyd lettirs oft tymes til they be sped.

Item, I remembir that myn heygh at Heylisdon the last yere was spent and wasted fwll recklesly and colored under my shep.124.1 I pray yow see that I be not servid soo this yere.

Item, Pecok told me of a fermour that wold have had Mautby Mersh, paying xij. markis as it went afore; and Richard Calle told me of on [one] that wold pay more. Burgeys paiid me first xij. markis vjs. viijd., and I had the reed and the rushis, and he found the shepherdis hyre in shakke tyme for my fold; and sithen he brigged awey the shepherdis hyre and thanne the nobill, and I trowe he occupyth ne lenger hym self. And I remembir he told me vij. yere goo that my merssh shuld alwey apeyr [impair] till the prime were past the nombre of xix., and thanne it shuld amend a ix. or x. yers, promittyng me he wold thanne amend my ferme. I praye yowe help to lete it aswell as ye can, rather to hym thanne a nother man if he woll do aswell, and that ye comon with Pecok.

Item, as for the mater that I wrote of to the viker and other goode felaws, desire hem that thei be not to excessive hasty in the mater for non nede, but to do that the may do therin [goodly]124.2 and wittely as sone as thei may; And as for the respite of the mater here, lete hem not care therfore. I shall do well ineugh, telle hem; for certeyn, the mater is in as good case as any such mater was this xx. wynter, as my counsell tellyth me; but I will be sure of all weyes that I may have, and specially of the declaracion of the trought of my mater and of my frendis.

Item, as for the mater athwyx the parson of Mautby, Constantine124.3 and the viker of Derham,124.4 whedir it were smalle mater or gret I care not, but I am sure that too witnesse which I knowe were apposed therin before a juge spirituall, whech as 125 I suppose was Master Robert Popy or some other; the viker of Derham can telle, and as I trowe can John Wynter of Mautby, or othir parysshons telle, where the sute was athwyx hem, and I can think it was in the chapitell; if ye can easely gette me what the witnesse seid, I wold nomore; but do no gret cost over it.

Item, recomaund me to Master Robert Popy, and telle hym, as for any thyng seid ayens hym in my mater then myn adversaris ment ontrewly, they proved nought but that he is a good man and a worshipfull and a trewe.

Item, if I have any otis beside my stuffe, or may any bye aftir xiiijd., spare not, and take good mesure of bartirre for some other chafers, and send me word hough moch ye may bye.

Item, it is told me ye make no wood, nowther at Caster nor Mautby, wherof I merveyle; remembir yow we must brenne wood a nodir yere.

Item, I send yow a titelyng that I mad whill I was at home, what malt I had by estimacion set at the lest; wherfore see that Brigge make a reknyng of his malt, and cast ye my book and loke what ye can amend it; and apeyre [impair] it shall not if alle folkis have do trewly; but I suppose fewe of you have take any heed at it as moch as I ded.

Item, I may selle here for vjs. viijd. a quarter clene fyed after Royston mesure, whech is lesse thanne the water mesure of London. Cambrigge shire malt is here at xs. Cast ye what I may selle of new and old, savyng stuffe for myn hows. Item, to remember that Guton malt must be shipped at Blakeney. Item, Lynstedis malt at Wolcote may be shipped there; therfore cast amongis yow what malt may best be sold.

Item, if on [one] man may not attende to gader silver, sende a nother, and send me word what hath be reseyved and spent.

Item, that I have an answer of alle my lettirs and of every article in hem.

Item, but if ye make such purvyauns that my prestis be paiid and pore men, beside other charges, and purvey 126 mony for me beside; owther ye gadir shrewdly or ellis ye spend lewdly.

Item, I sent a lettir by Rauff Greneakyr to James Gresham and to yow, which he promised me shuld be at Norwich on Wednesday aftir Thwelth day, and therin wer divers maters; and in especiall of a mater that shuld be in communication on Teusday last past bethwyx Yelverton and Robert Wyngfeld, as in the seid lettir is specifiid. It is so that the seid Robard shall be here within this ij. dayes; if any thyng ye have aspied of it send me word. Item, yonge Knevet tellith me that he is my good frend, and he is come ridyng homeward on Friday last was. I pray yow, ley wetche whedir ye here any thyng that he medillyth hym at that mater, and send me word; for I wold understand whedir he wer just and trew or nought, and that do [done] it shall not ligh in his power to hurt me. But take ye hed and inquere and knowe other mennes purpos, and kepe your intent as close as ye can; and what some evir boost be mad, werk ye wisely and set not by it but send me word what ye here.

Item, Calle sendyth me word that Sir Thomas Howes is seke and not like to askape it, and Berney tellyth me the contrary; wherfore I pray yow take hed therat, and lete me have knowleche, for though I be not behold to hym I wold not he were ded for more thanne he is worth.

Item, take the viker the bille that I send yow herwyth.

Item, that ye, if ye can fynd the meane, to aspie what goodis Edmond Clere eschetith of any mannes.126.1

Item, remember well to tak heed at your gatis on nyghtis and dayes, for theves, for thei ride in divers contres with gret felaship like lordis, and ride out of on [one] shire in to a nother. Wretyn at London, the Tuisday next aftir Sent Hillary.

Item, that Richard Calle bryng me up mony, so that my prestis [i.e. borrowings] be paiid, and that he come up suerly with other men and attornis.

Endorsed in a later hand:— ‘Some speciall lettres towching John Paston’s trowbells and sute for Fastolfs landis by the Duke of Suffolk.’

121.1 [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 15.] The contents of this letter show it to be of the year 1465, when Daubeney and Calle, as we know, were with Margaret Paston (see No. 576). Reference is made to the displeasure Sir John Paston had given to both his parents in 1463 (see No. 552), and what his mother writes about his return home in May of this year (No. 579) goes to confirm the date. Further proof will be found in the footnote at p. 126.

121.2 If this be the vicar of Paston, it was William Warner, who succeeded Robert Williamson in 1464.

121.3 James Gloys, the priest.

122.1 Sir John Paston.

123.1 South Town, Yarmouth, where there was a house of Austin Friars.

123.2 Dr. John Brackley, the Grey Friar.

124.1 Meaning, that the waste was attributed to his sheep.

124.2 This word ‘goodly’ has been lined out, and a very illegible word inserted above it.

124.3 Constantine Dalby had been rector of Mautby from 1453 to 1460, and appears also to have held the vicarage of East Dereham from 1451 to 1458. He was succeeded at Mautby by Thomas Howes from 1460 to 1465, and then by Robert Cutler or Cotteler, who must be the ‘parson of Mautby’ spoken of just before.

124.4 Robert Sheringham was vicar of East Dereham from 1458 to 1467.

126.1 Edmund Clere, as appears by evidences in the Record Office, was escheator of Norfolk and Suffolk from November 1464 to November 1465.

Item, I may selle here for vjs. viijd. a quarter
text has “viija.” (italic “a” for “d”)



Unto my maystres, Margageret Paston, be thys letter delyveryd in hast, &c.

FEB. 7

Ryght wyrshypfull maystres, I recomaund me un to your gode maystresshyp. Please it you to wyte that my mayster your hosbond, my maystres youre moder, my mayster Sir John, Mr. Wyllyam, Mr. Clement, and all ther men, wer in gode helth, whon thys letter was wryten, thankyd be Jesu, and also ther maters be in a gode wey, for my Lord Chaunseler ys ther syngeler gode Lord in thys mater at thys tyme; and that it provyth, for he was yesterday in the Escheker, and ther he had a foren hym alle the Juges, all the Barons of the Escheker, and all the Shurgents, and ther argued wher that the Barons of the Escheker shold award any such Comyssyon or not, and uppon that the seyd Comyssyon shull be broght uppon Fryday unto the Chaunsery, and ther to be provyd, wher it be lafull or not, &c.

Item, and yf it please it you to gyve Daveney127.2 knowlych that ther ys jugement gyven uppon the condempnacion a yenst Hall,127.3 that he claymed for hys bond man, and the jugement ys gyven a yenst Daveney, Ric. Call, and Thomas 128 Bon, and ther ys comen owte proces for to take ther bodys thys same day, and if thay or any of them be taken thay shull never gon oute of prison on to the tyme that they have satesfyed the party of viijxx marc, and ther for lete them be ware. And the Holy Trinyte have you in Hys kypyng. Wryten at London, uppon Thursday next after the Purificacion of our Lady, &c. By your Servaunt, John Wyks.

127.1 [From Fenn, iv. 134.] This letter must be later than the year 1463, as Sir John Paston does not appear to have been knighted so early as February in that year. But as John Paston, the father, was at Caister and not at London in the early part of the year 1464, it cannot be that year. Neither can we assign it to 1466, the last year of John Paston’s life, as it appears by a letter written on the 17th February in that year that although John Paston was in London, his son Sir John could not have been there for some time before. We are therefore shut up to the year 1465 as the only possible date for this letter.

127.2 So in Fenn, but the name ought certainly to be Daubeney, perhaps spelt Dabeney.

127.3 Robert Hall. I find that he brought an action in Trinity term, 3 Edward IV., against John Daubeney of Norwich, gentleman, and Thomas Boon and Richard Call of Norwich, yeomen, for having, in conjunction with William Daubeney of Sharyngton, Norfolk, Esq., unlawfully imprisoned him at Norwich for three hours on the 20th February, 39 Hen. VI. (1461), until he gave them a bond of £100 for his ransom.

Unto my maystres, Margageret Paston
text unchanged



Please your maistershyp to wete that aftyr recomendacion that I sende Thomas More to myne oncle the parson128.2 wyth certeyn credence to hafe aunsuer uppon by hym for myn acquytaille another day, yff onye thyng falle sinistrely only yn theyr deffaut, as God defend, not be my wille, for I hafe as feythfulle demesned me seth I rode to London thys terme, and hedertoo as anye maner creatur yn reson coude desyre me; and hafe demened me at London accordyng to the message sent me by the baylly of Drayton, and I vele but littille that my gode wille ys allowed.128.3 I hafe also, seth I came to Norwiche, enformed hym whate proffyt ease and avaylle I may help stand hem both yn my maister godes and yn hys lyvelode; yff he or hys frendys set littlle by it, I may nat do wyth all. And the blessed Trinite be with yow, because ye wolle the wellfare off my maister, whoos soule God hafe pytie on and bryng hym owte of peyn, as the wellfare of the parties it meovyth me wryte to yow the rathyr. I enformyd yow for trouth, and as I wille prefe, that I was the 129 principall doer and cause that both Maister Paston and myne oncle came fyrst yn the testament viij. yeer goon, to a gode entent; and yff they wold wyrke ayenst me to minussh my power, theyr disposicion woll be construed ferther than they wille it were, and they not so avaylled as they weene yn all thynges. The blessed Trinete be wyth yow. Wryt on Passyon Sonday. Your W. Wyrcestre.

Memorandum to Thomas More that because ye myzt foryete myne erand to Maister Bernay, I pray you rede hym my bille, and that he wille take it to a gode entent; for how so evyr I wryte I meene well, and so shall.

128.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] In this letter reference is made to a ‘testament’ drawn up by Sir John Fastolf eight years previously. This, however, cannot be his last will, as that would carry the date to a year after John Paston’s death, who seems to be here spoken of as living. The settlement referred to is doubtless the testamentary declaration of 1457 mentioned in No. 541.

128.2 Sir Thomas Howes.

128.3 i.e. Little credit is given me for my good will.


To my ryght worchepfull hosbond, Jon Paston, be this deliveryd in hast.


Right worchepfull hosbond, I recomand me to you. Please you to wet that I send you a copy of the deed that Jon Edmonds of Taveram sent to me, be the menys of Dorlet. He told Dorlet that he had suche a deed as he supposyd, that wold don ease in prevyng of the tytyll that the Duk of Suffolk cleymythe in Drayton; Carte Drayton. for the same deed that he sent me, the seale of armys is lyke onto the copy that I send you, and noo thyng leke to the Duk of Suffolks auncesters.


Item, the seyd Edmond seythe, yf he may fynd any other thyng that may do yow ease in that mater he wolle do hys part therin.

Item, Jon Russe sent me word that Barker and Herry Porter told hym in councell that the Duk of Suffolk hathe bowght one Brytyeff ryghte, Heylisdon, Brythyeve, Barker, Porter. the wyche makythe a cleyme on to Heylysdon, and the seyd Duke is proposyd to entere within shorte tyme after Esterne, for in so moche the seyd Russe felle be the seyd Barber and Porter that all the feffees wolle make a relees on to the Duk and helpe hym that they can in to her power, for to have hys good lorchep.


Item, yf it please you, me thynkythe it war ryght nessessary that ye send word howe that ye wolle your old malte be purveyed for; for and any hote weder come affter that it hathe leyne this wynter season, it shall be but lost but yf [unless] it be sold be tymys, for as for the pryse [price] here, it is sore falle. I have sold a C. comb of malt that came fro Guton, to Jamys Golbeter, clenefyed, and strek met, and non inmet (?), for ijs. ijd., the comb, and to be payed at Mydsomer and Lammes.

Sirpi pro reparatione de Mautby.

Item, ther be dyvers of your tenantrys at Mauteby that had gret ned for to be reparyd, at [? but] the tenaunts be so por that they ar not a power to repare hem; wherfor yf leke you, I wold that the marche that Bryge had myght be kept in your owne hand this yer, that the tenaunts myght have ruschis to repare with her howsys. And also ther is wynfall wod at the maner that is of noo gret valewe, that myght helpe hem with toward toward the reparacion, yf it leke you to late hem have it that hathe most need therof. Burgoys, Mareshs, Mauteby. I have spoke with Borges that he shuld heyne [raise] the price of the mershe, or ellis I told hym that he shuld no lenger have it, for ye myght [have]130.1 other fermors therto that wold geve therfor as it was late befor, and yf he wold geve therfor as moche as another man wold, ye wold that he shuld have it befor any other man; and he seyd he shuld geve me answer be a fortenyght after Esterne. I can get non other fermor therto yet.

Item, I understand be Jon Pampyng that ye wolle not that 131 your sone be take in to your hows, nor holpe be you, tylle suche tyme of yere as he was put owt therof, the wiche shall be abowght Seynt Thomas messe.131.1 Pro recupera­tione Johannis Paston. For Gods sake, sir, a pety on hym; remembre yow it hathe bed a long season syn he had owt of yow to helpe hym with, and he hathe obeyed hym to yow and wolle do at all tymis, and wolle do that he can or may to have your good faderood. And at the reverence of God be ye hys good fader, and have a faderly hert to hym; and I hope he shall ever knowe hymselff the better here after, and be the more ware to exchewe suche thyngs as shuld dysplease you, and for to take hed at that shuld please you. Pecoke shalle telle you be mothe of more thyngs than I may write to you at this tyme. The blyssyd Trinite have you in Hys kepyng. Wretyn at Caster in hast, the Monday next after Palme Sonday. Your M. P.

129.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The claims laid by the Duke of Suffolk to Drayton and Hellesden occupy a prominent place in this correspondence during the year 1465, and I do not find them alluded to in any letter of an earlier date. Moreover, the purchase by virtue of which the Duke laid claim to the latter manor, which is reported here as a secret, is mentioned again as a piece of news in a letter undoubtedly written on the 10th May 1465. There can be little doubt therefore that this letter is of the same year. The apostyle, or set of marginal notes appended, is in the handwriting of John Paston.

130.1 Omitted in MS.

131.1 This might be the translation of St. Thomas the Martyr, 7th July, or St. Thomas Apostle’s Day, 21st December; but most probably it means the day of St. Thomas à Becket, 29th December.

for ijs. ijd., the comb,
“s.” and “d.” printed in roman (non-italic) type

that myght helpe hem with toward toward the reparacion
text unchanged


To my ryght wyrshypfull husband, John Paston, be thys delyveryd in hast.


Ryght wyrshipful husbond, I recomaunde me unto you. Drayton tenaunts bony, perter ij. Pleasyd you to wyte that I have spokyn thys wyke with dyvers of youre tennaunts of Drayton and put hem in comfort that all shalbe well hereafter by the grace 132 of God; and I fyle well by hem that they wylbe ryght glad to have ayen there olde mayster, and so wold they all except j. or ij. that be fals shrewys. And thys next wyke I purpose on Wensday or Thursday to be at Haylesdon, and to a byde ther a wyke or ij., and send oure men aboute to gedere money at Drayton and Haylesdon; and yf ye wyll I woll do kepe a corte at Drayton or I com thens. I pray yow send me word how ye wyll that I doo there in. Malt, barly. I recevyd ij. letters from you of Nicholl Tolman yesterday, werin ye desyre that we shuld purvey for your malte and barley; and soo shall we doo as well as we cann, and send you word howe that we may doo therewith in hast.

Item, yesterday Master Phylyp132.1 toke Dorlets hors uppon Drayton lond as they went to the plowe for the hole yere ferm; and as it ys told me the tenaunts of Drayton tolde hym that he dyde hym wrong to make hym pay for the hole yere, Dorlat et verba M.P. for non of the tenaunts had payd hym but for the di’ [half] yere and he say thohg they had not payd but for the di’ yere, Paston shuld pay for the other di’ yere, and for moo yers also yf he lyvyd. But I trow to gyte Dorlet ayen hys hors or els Mr. Phylyp ys lyke to be unhorssyd ons, and we lyve all. Your son132.2 shall com hom to moryn, as I trowe, and as he demenyth hym hyr after I shall lete you have knowlych; J. P., sen. and I pray you thynk not in me that I wyll supporte hym ne favour hym in no lewdnesse, for I wyl not. As I fynd hym hereafter, soo I wyll lete you have knowlych. I have put your evydens that com owte of the abbay132.3 in a seck and enseylyd hem under Ric. Call ys seall that he shal not say but they eryn as he left hem; Rotuli prioris (?) but as for the place where they ern kypt he hath no knowlych  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  As for the gentylwoman that ye wrote to me for yn youre lettere, I  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  there, yf it lykyd all folks as well as it shold doo me, I trow  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  a bowte yf her frends were as well a gryed therto, and as they  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  parte, 133 yf ye wyll that it be movyd of more hereafter I wyll  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  wyll make a newe parson, at Drayton. Also it ys sayd that  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  there, by cause it hath stond so long voyd; yet and any sh.  .  .  .  .  .  .  had lever that he com in by the Byshop then by a  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  doo therein yf ye wyll send hom any presentacion selyd  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  we shall a say to gyte som gode priste and sette hym  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  Wryten in haste at Caster on Holy Rode Day &c.

As  .  .  .  .  .  .  . doo therein as well as I cann. I have gyte a replevyn  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  CC shype, and yf they may not be hadde ayen, then he grau[nteth]  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  Data obliga­cione (?) pro ovibus. We fynd hym ryght gode in that we desyre of him for you, and therfore yf it lyke you I wold he were th  .  .  .  .  .  .

131.2 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] Holy Rood Day, on which this letter is dated, commonly means the 14th of September (feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross). Here I suspect it is the 3rd May (Invention of the Holy Cross), as the contents of the letter suit that date in the year 1465. It will be seen that Margaret Paston dates from Caister, and proposes next week to be at Hellesden. Her next letter, dated the 10th May, is from Hellesden, and shows that she carried out the intention here expressed of sending men to collect money at Drayton, and had left her eldest son at Caister to keep the place. There is also a close agreement between that letter and this, in what is said about the demeanour of the tenants and Mr. Philip’s conduct. The apostyle of this letter, as of the preceding, is in the hand of John Paston, very ill written, and occasionally ambiguous.

132.1 Philip Lipgate, the Duke of Suffolk’s bailiff.

132.2 Sir John Paston.

132.3 See No. 561.


To the right worshypfull sir, my right honourabyll maister, John Paston, at London.


Right worshipfull sir and my right honorabyll maister, I recomaund me to you in the most humble wise. And please youre maistir ship to wete that my maistresse hathe dyverse tymes spokyn to me to helpe to purvey a merchaunt for sum of youre malt; but in good feyth I can gete no man that wyll geve at the most more than xxijd. for a quarter, for soo men selle dayli at the moste, and sumtyme xxd. a combe. My maistresse is right hevy therfor, but I can not remedy it; if ony good marchaunt were there, after my sympil conseyt it were good to take hym, for the yeer passith faste and the [feldes]133.2 be right plesaunt to wards, &c. Sir, at 134 the reverence of Jesu, laboure the meanys to have peas; for be my trowth the contynwaunce [of this] trobill shall short the dayez of my maistresse, and it shall cause you to gret losse, for serteyn she is in gre[t hevi]nesse as it apperith at  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  ll covertly she consederith the gret decay of youre lyflode, the gret detts that hange in detours hands and h  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  [she speaket]h not thus to me, but I conceyfe this is cause of here gret hevynesse; me semyth of ij. hurts the leste is mos[t]  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  well the dayli contynewyng maleyse of youre insessiabyll enemyes, how they contryve and seke occacions to  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  informyd, more wyll doo every foot of grownd withinne fewe dayez, and rather to geve it awey for nowght tha[n]  .  .  .  .  .  .  it. Where as they many tymes have meovyd a trety and never it taketh to noo conclucion, and as they have seyd in youre d  .  .  .  .  .  .  Sir, after my sympyll conseyt it were well doon to agree to a trety, and be that ye shuld knowe ther desyre and the uttir  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  the lond were dubyll the valwe that it is. Worsestyr shewyth hem presedents what every maner cost at the fyrst byeng, and ther  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  rekne the bargeyne shuld avayle you foure tymes mor than it shall; and in thys they be gretly blyndyd; my maister the parson hathe  .  .  .  .  to rellesse in serteyn londs whiche he refus[eth to] doo, but I conseyve, and ye drawe not to a conclucion thys terme that he wyll be as redy to rellesse  .  .  .  .  men, truste ye thys for serteyn; and soo he [told] me serteynly. He hathe be meovyd to revoke Maister Roberd Kente and to take the avoket or proctor [that] Maister Yelwirton hathe. What it myght hurtyn if he soo dede I knowe not, but they have made gret labour to hym therfor. He gaf me a gret reb[uke]  .  .  .  .  the bill that was put in ayens Elyse Davy and otheris, to whiche I answeryd hym as me thowght and soo in maner made my peas, &c. Maister  .  .  .  .  was here and in presence of men of the most substance in Jeremuth he be havyd hym to you wards in full goodly termys, soo God helpe  .  .  .  .  and after my conseyt he wyll not be redy to relesse in ony of 135 the londs. A man of hyse teld me secretly that Maister Yelwyrton and otheres blamyd hym and seyd  .  .  .  .  to hym be cause he was so redy be hym self to agree to trete and make hyse peas with yow, neyther he seyd to me to trete nor the contrary nor had but langwage to me as he had to othyr. I askyd my maister the parson if he undyrstod that Maister Yelwyrton yaf ony favour to my Lord of Suffolk in Drayton, and he seyd he supposyd Maister Yelwyrton was not cler of that mater, but Mayster Jenney was in nowyse pleasyd with all, &c. Sir, as for the wytnesse that were desyred to be redy whan nede requirith in thys mater, R. Calle can avertise youre maistirshyp. Sir, at the reverence of Jesu consedre how many yeers it is past that my good lord and maister deseasyd and how lytill is doon for  .  .  .  .  of the grete substaunce that he hade it is hevy to remembre; ye sey the defaute is not in yow after your conseyt, but I can here no  .  .  .  .  in that of youre openyon, for thys I knowe for serteyn and it had pleasyd you to have endyd be the meanys of trety, ye had ma[de]  .  .  .  peas to the gret well of the dede with the forthe part of the mony that hathe be spent, and as men sey only of very wylful[nesse of your] owyn person. For the mercy of God remembre the onstabylnesse of thys wold hou it is not a menut space in comparyson to ever  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  leve wylfullnesse whyche men sey ye occupye to excessifly. Blyssyd be God ye had a fayre day laste whiche is noysyd cost yow  .  .  .  .  to iiij. lords, but a newe mater anewe cost and many smale growe to a gret summe, and summe mater on recurabyll, formen seyd  .  .  .  .  is lyk to stonden in a perplextif if ye take not a conclucion in haste, and if it were doo it were hard to have recovery; but as my [maister] the parson seyd, thys terme they wyll prove if ye wyll agree to trete, and if ye refuse they all wyll do the uttirmest. I conseyve well [your] maistirshyp hathe a conseyt that if a man of good will meove yow or remembre you to trete, that that man, what soo ever he be, shuld be meovyd be youre adversaryez to meove you in that mater, and soo in that it hertyth you gretly that they shuld seke to you for peas. Be my trowth, sir, there was nor is no man, savyng onys, as 136 I teld you, Maister Jenney spake to me, that ever I knewe wold seke or feythefully desyre to have peas with yow, savyng because of the exspence of the good so onprofitably in the lawe, and that is the prynsypal cause of meovyng of ther peas, &c. I wold well God helpe me soo it grevyth me to here that ye stonde in no favour with jentylmen nor in no gret awe with the comowns. Ye truste the jury of Suffolk; remembre what promyse Daubeney hade of the jury and what it avaylid; it is a dethe to m[e] to remembre in what prosperite and in what degre ye myght stonde in Norfolk and Suffolk and ye had peas and were in herts ease, and what worship my maisters your sones and my maistresse youre douters myght have be preferryd to if ye had be in reste. A day lost in idyll can never be recoveryd, &c. Sir, I beseke youre maistershyp for yeve me that I wryte thus boldly and homly to you; me thynkyth my hert  .  .  .  .  not be in ease but if I soo doo, for ther was, nor never shal be, no mater that ever was soo ner myn herte, that knowy[th God,] whom I beseke for Hese infenyt mercy preserve you and my maistresse and all youres from all adversyte and graunt yow  .  .  .  .  herts desyre. Wretyn at Jernemuthe the vj. day of may. Your contynw[al bedesman]
and servaunt, John [Russe].

133.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] As this letter refers to the Duke of Suffolk’s claim to the manor of Drayton, the date must be 1465. The original MS. is mutilated to some extent in both margins.

133.2 The tops of the letters f, l, d visible.


To my mayster, John Paston the oldest be thys delyveryd in hast.

MAY 10

Ryght wyrshypfull husbond I recomaund me unto you. Pleysed you to wyte that on Wensday last passyd Dabeney, Naunton, Wykes and John Love werr at Drayton for to speke with your tenaunts ther to put hem in 137 comfort and for to aske money of hem also. Distr’ Petr’. Warin. And Pyrs Waryn, otherwyse callyd Pyrs at Sloth, whych ys a flykeryng felowe and a besy with Mr. Phylyp and the Bayly of Cosshay, he had a plowe goyng in your lond in Drayton, and ther your seyd servaunts at that tyme toke hys plowe ware, that ys to say ij. marys, and broght hem to Heylysdon, and ther they be yet. And on the next mornyng after Mr. Phylyp and the Baylly of Cosshay com to Haylysdon with a grete nomber of pepell, that ys to say viij.xx. men and mor in harnysse, and ther toke from the persons plowe ij. hors, pris iiij. marc and ij. hors of Thomas Stermyns plowe, pris xls., Distr’ Sturmyn et rectoris de Heylisdon. saying to hem that ther was taken a playnt ayenst hem in the hunderd by the seyd Pyrs for takyng of the forseyd plowarre at Drayton, and but they wold be bond to com to Drayton on Tewysday next comyng to awnswer to such maters as shalbe sayd to them ther they shold not have ther bests ayens; whych they refusyd to do on to the tyme that they had an awnswer from you; and so they led the bestes forth to Drayton, and from Drayton forth to Cosshay. And the same after none folwyng the parson of Haylesdon send hys man to Drayton with Stermyn for to speke with Mr. Phylyp to know a way yf they shuld have ayen ther cattell or not; and Master Phylyp awnsweryd them yf that they wold bryng home ther destresse ayen that was taken of Pyrs Waryn, that then he wold dylyver hem thers, or els not; Crak. and he lete hem playnly wyte that yf ye or any of your servaunts toke any dystresse in Drayton that were but the valew of an hen, they wold com to Haylesdon and take ther the valew of an ox therefore, and yf they cannot take the valew therof there, that then they wyll do breke your tenaunts howsys in Haylesdon, and take as moch as they cowd fynd therein; and yf they be lettyd therof, wych shall never lye in your power for to do, for the Duck of Suffolk ys abyll to kepe dayly in hys hows more men then Dabeney hadde herys on hys hede, yf hym lyst; and as for Dabeney he ys a lewde felowe, and so he shalbe servyd herafter, and I wold he were here. And therfore yf ye take uppon you to lette them so for to do, that then they wold goo in to any lyflode that ye had in Norfolk or Suffolk, and to take a destresse in lykewysse 138 as they wold do at Haylysdon. And other awnswerr cowde they non gyte, and so they departyd. Accio rectoris et Sturmyn. Ric. Calle axid the parson and Stermyn yf they wold take an accyon for ther catell, and the parson138.1 seyd he was agyd and syklow, and he wold not be trobelyd herafter; he sayd he had lever lose hys catell, for he wyst well yf he dyde so he shold be endytyd, and so vexid with hem that he shold never have rest by hem. As for Stermyn, he sayd at that tyme he durst not take no sute ayenst hem nother; but after that Ric. was rydyn, I spake with hym, and he sayd he wold be rulyd as ye wold have hym, and I fond hym ryght herty and wel dysposyd in that mater; and he is bownde to you an obligacyon of xli. sengyll with outen condycyon that he shall abyde by such accyons as shalbe takyn by your advyse in hys name; wherfore I have send you a tytelyng therof in a byll closyd herin. I axyd Thomas Gryne avyse when they had take the dystresse hyre, and he avysyd me that herre destresse shold be delyveryd a yen to them so that we myzt have ayen ours; and me thoght it was non awnswer after myn entent, and wold not therof but axyd avyse of Skypwith what hym thoght that were best to doo there in, and most wyrshypfull. He seyd by hys avyse that I shold send to you in al the hast that I cowde, and that ye shuld fynde a mene therfore above, by the avyse of youre lernyd counsell to have a wrytte from above for to delyver yt of lesse then the undershyrff werre other wysse dysposyd to you then we fynde hym, for it symyth that he ys made of the other party. And as for the replevyn for the CC. shype ys not yet servyd. Replevin. Skypwyth thynkyth that ye myzt have a wrytte both for the shype and the destresse now taken at Haylysdon, I pray you that ye wyll send word in hast how [ye] woll that we doo in thys maters. Episcopus Norwic’. Skypwith went with me to the Byshop of Norwych, and I lyte hym have knowlych of the ryotous and evyll dysposicyon of Master Phylyp, desyryng hys Lordshyp that he wold see a mene tha[t] a correccyon myzt be 139 hadde, in as moch as he was chef Justic of the Peas and hys ordynare, and inasmoch as he was a prest139.1 and under hys correccyon that he shold have understondyng of hys dysposicyon; and I made Dabeney to tell hym all the mater howt it was; and he seyd he wold send for hym and speke with hym. And he told me of dyvers thyngs of the demenyng of hym, wherby I understode he lykyd not by hys dysposicyon nor demenyng in thys mater nor in no nothyr; for it symyd he had provyd hym what he ys in other maters. Episcopus Norwic’. My lord seyd to me that he wold ryght fayn that ye had a gode conclusyon in your maters, and seyd by hys trouth, that he ought you ryght gode wyll, and wold ryght fayn that ye wer com home, and seyd to me that it shold be a grete comfort to your frends and neghbors, and that your presens shold do more amongs hem, than a C. of your men shold do in your absens, and more, your enmys wold ferr to do ayens you yf ye myght be at home, and steryng amonges hem, and seyd full playnly in meny other thyngs it wer to long to wryte at thys tyme, as Skypwith shall tell you when he comyzt to you. Skipwith. I pray you thanke Skypwith of hys gode wyll, for he was ryght well wyllyd to go with me and yeve me hys avyse, me thynkyth he ys ryzt well wyllyd to you.

Per’ Heyl’d.139.2

Item, I pray you send hastely word how that ye wyll that we be gydyd with thys place, for as it ys told me, it ys lyke to stond in as grete jupardy in hast as othere don. On Thursday al day there were kept in Draton logge in to lx. persons, and yet as it ys told me, ther be within dayly and nyztly in to a xvj. or xx. persons.


Item, it ys told me that Thomas Elys of Norwych, whych nowe ys chosyn Mayer, seyd at Drayton that yf my Lord of Suffolk nede a C. men he wold purvey hym therof, and yf any men of the town wold go to Paston he wold do lay hem faste in prison. Super­sedeas. I wold youre men mygh have a supersedias139.3 owte of the chauncere, and be owte of the danger of ther men here; Naunton. and I pray you let not Wyll Naunton be foryete therin. Ric. 140 Calle and other can tell you of hys demenyng; and I pray you that ye be not dysplesyd for his abydyng with me, for in gode feth he hath ben a grete comfort to me syn ye departyd hens, as I wyll lete you wyte hereafter. I pray you yf hys brother com to you for a relesse of hys londe, lette him non have on to the tyme that ye see hys faderes wyll, the whych I wote wher it ys, and that it like you to desyre hym to be gode brother to him.

J. Paston at Castre.
M. P. at Heylisdon.

Item, I have left John Paston the older at Caster, to kype the place there, as Ric. can tell you; for I had lever, and it pleasyd you, to be captensse here then at Caster; yet I was nothyng purposyd to abyde here when [I] come from home but for a day or ij., but I shall abyde here tyll I here tydyngs from you.


Item, it ys told me that the Duck of Suffolk hath boght or shal by in hast the ryzt that on Bryghtylhed hath in Haylesdon, &c.


Item, as for the evydens that Watkyn Shypdam hadd, he delivered to hys wyffe a box enselyd with hys owyn seall by hys lyffe for to be delyveryd to you, whych box she delyveryd to Ric. Call under the same seall after hys dessesse. Ric. can tell you of the gydyng of the cofere with other boks that were at Shypdams. Evidens.
And as for all your other evydens ye ther not feer as for the syzt of hem, for ther hath nor shall no man sen hem tyll ye com hom. I can not fynd that ye send to me fore to have oute of the rolle.


Item, I here no word of Colte of New Castell, nor of no nother from you that shold have your malte, but I have spoken to the Viker, John Rus and Robert Boteler, to help for to sell your malte, and as we can do therein, we shall send you word. Præpositus de [Cantab].140.1 The Provest of Cambrygge ys com into thys contry and Dabeney shall receve of hym that longyth to you on Monday or Tewysday, and he shall have hys delyveryd accordyng to your wrytyng.


Item, my moder told me that she thynkyth ryght strange that she may not have the profects of Clyre ys place in peasabyll wyse for you, she seyt it ys hers and she hath payd most therfore 141 yet, and she sayth she wyll have the profects therof, or ells she wyll make more folk to speke therof. She seyth she knowyt not what ryght ne titell that ye have therin but yf ye luste to trobell with herre, and that shold be no wyrshep to you; and she sayth she wylbe ther thys somer and repayre the housyng ther. In gode feyth I hyre moch langage of the demenyng betwene you and herre. I wold ryght fayn, and so wold many moo of youre frendes, that it were otherwyse bytwene you then it ys, and yf it were I hope ye shold have the beter spyde in all other maters. I pray God be your gode spyde in all your maters, and yef yow grace to have a gode conclusyon of hem in haste for thys ys to wyry a lyffe to a byde for you and all youre. Wryten in haste at Haylysdon the x. day of May.

The cause that I send to you this hastely ys to have an awnswer in haste from you. Your M. P.

136.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The date of this letter is rendered certain by the mention of Thomas Ellis as having been elected Mayor of Norwich. He was so elected for the second time in 1465. He had been Mayor before in 1460-61, and was again after this in 1474-75; but neither of these latter dates will suit the other contents of this letter. Like some others of this year, this letter is apostyled by John Paston.

138.1 Thomas Hert, perhaps a relation of the Bishop of Norwich, was presented to the rectory of Hellesden by Sir John Fastolf in 1448, but how long he held it is uncertain, as the list of rectors is very defective, and the next name that appears on it is George Gardiner in 1579.

139.1 Philip Lepeyate was presented to the rectory of Salle in Norfolk, in 1460, by Thomas Brewse, Esq., afterwards father-in-law of John Paston, the youngest.

139.2 i.e. Periculum Heylesdon.

139.3 So in MS.

140.1 This word is left blank by Paston.

be thys delyveryd in hast
text has superfluous . after “delyveryd”

for to speke with your tenaunts ther to put hem in comfort
text has “iu comfort”


To my ryght wyrshypfull mayster, John Paston the oldest, be this delyveryd in haste.

MAY 13

I  recomaund me, &c.

Yf it pleasyd you, I wold ryght fayn that John Jenney werre putte oute of the Comyssyon of the Peas, and that my brother Wyll. Lumner wer set yn hys stede, for me thynkyth it wer ryght necessere that ther were such a man 142 in that county that oght you gode wyll, and I knowe verely he owyth you ryght gode wyll; he was with me at Caster but late. Yf ther be made any labour for Doctour Alyn to be Justice of the Peas, I pray you for Gods sake let it be lettyd yf ye may, for he wyll take to moch upon hym yf he werr. I wold not that he wer remembyrd of your parte but yf [unless] he be spokyn of of other parts: he ys ryght grete with Master Phylyp Lypzate and the Baylyf of Coshay.

Yf it please yow to wyte that Wyks dyde a reste one Wyll. Dylmyn of Norwych, as Pampyng can enforme you of, for sertyn harnys wych he delyveryd hym at New Castell for to cary to Yarmoth by water, and ther to delyver it to hym ayen; whych harnys he kypt styll, and may not be delyveryd; and now ther ys com down an habeas corpus for hym, and most appyr at the Comyn Place [Common Pleas] on Fryday next comyng. Wherfor yf it pleased you that ther myght be taken an accyon in Wyks name of trespas under such forme as ther may be a capias a wardyd a yenst hys comyng; for after that he was arestyd he dyde Daubeney to be arestyd for mayntenyng; and as for the harnys Wyks delyveryd it to hym the x. day of Januar, the ij. yer of Kyng E.142.1 in Pylgryme strete, at New Castell: Inprimis, a peyr brygandyrs, a salet, a boresper, a bawe, xviij. arwys, ij. payr polronds [shoulder pieces], a standard of mayle, a payr slyvys of plate, to the valew of v. marc. And at the reverens of God, slowth not your maters nowe, and make any end of hem, other purvey you to make hym or to marre hem in haste, for thys ys to orybyll a coste and trobell that ye have and have had, for to endur any whyle, and it ys grete hevenys to your frends and welwyllers, and grete joy and comfort to your ennemyes. My Lord of Norwych seyd to me that he wold noth abyde the sorow and trobell that ye have abyden, to wyn all Sir John Fastolf ys gode. And God be your spede in all yor maters. Wryten at Haylesdon the xiij. day of May.

I thynk ryght long to hyr tydyngs tyll I have tydyngs from you. Your M. P.

141.1 [From Fenn, iv. 164.] There can be little doubt this letter was written in the year 1465, when Margaret was troubled by Mr. Philip Lipgate and the Duke of Suffolk’s bailiff of Cossey. It may be observed also that Margaret here dates from Hellesden, and speaks of having been recently at Caister. Compare Nos. 579 and 581. Further, the name of John Jenney is found on the Commission of the Peace for Norfolk, dated the 1st April 1465 (Patent, 5 Edward IV., p. 1, m. 32), but it is not on the commission issued on the 20th February following (ib., m. 27); so that John Paston seems to have acted on his wife’s suggestion and been successful in getting him removed.

142.1 A.D. 1463. This was at the time the King was in the north, when Alnwick Castle surrendered to him.



To my ryght wyrshypfull husbond, John Paston, by thys delyvery[d] in hast.

MAY 20

Please it you to wyte that on Satourday last your servaunts Naunton, Wyks, and other, wer at Drayton, and ther toke a dystresse for the rent and ferm that was to pay, to the nomber of lxxvij. nete, and so broght them hom to Hayllesdon, and put them in the Pynfold, and so kept hem styll ther from the seyd Satour day mornyng un to Monday,143.2 at iij. at clok at after non. Fyrst on the same Satour day the tenants folwyd uppon, and desyryd to have ther catell ayen; and I awunsweryd hem, yf they wold do pay such dewts as they oght for to pay to you, that then they shold have ther catell delyveryd ayen; or els yf they wer not a power to pay redy money, that then they to fynd suffycyant suerty to pay the money at such a day as they mygh agrye with me, and therto to be bonden to you by obligacyon; and that they seyd they durst not for to take uppon hem for to be bonden, and as for money they had non for to pay at that tyme, and therfor I kept stylle the bestys.

Harleston was at Norwych, and send for the tenants the seyd Satour day at after non, and ther, by the menys of the Bayllyf of Coshay, put the tenants in such feer, sayng that yf they wold pay such dewts, or els for to be bonden to pay, that then they wold put hem owte of such londs as they huld bondly of the Lordshyp, and so to dystrayn hem and trobell hem, that they shuld be wery of ther part; and that put hem [in] such feer that they drust nother pay nor be bonden.

And on the same day at evyn-song time Harleston com to 144 me to Haylesdon, desyryng me that I wold delyver a yen the seyd dystresse; and as for such dystressys as they had taken here of your tenants shold be delyveryd a yen in lyke forme; and I seyd I wold not delyver hem soo, and I told hem that I wold delyver hem as ys wryten a fore and other wyse not, and other wyse I wold not delyver hem but by the form of lawe. And other comynycacyon was had by twene us at that tyme of dyvers maters whych wer to long to wryte at thys tyme, but ye shall have knowlych therof in hast.

And on Monday next after at ix. at clok ther com Pynchemor to Haylesdon with a replevyn,144.1 whych was made in Harleston ys name as Understewerd of the Duche [Duchy], sayng that the bests were taken uppon the Duche Fee, wherfor he desyryd me to mak hym levery of the seyd bests so taken; and I seyd I wold not delyver hem on to the tyme that I had examenyd the tenants of the trough [truth]. And so I send theder Wyks with Pynchemor to understond what they wold say; and the tenants seyd that ther was taken non uppon the Duche at ther knowlych, save only Pyrs Warryn the yonger. And Paynter seyd that ther catell was taken uppon the Duche, whych they connot prove by non record, save only by ther awyn sayng; and so we wold not a bey that replevyn, and so they departyd. And at iij. at clock at after non Pynchemor come to Haylysdon a yen with ij. men, whych broght with hem a replevyn from the Shyryff, whos namys be John Whytherley and Robert Ranson, whych requyryd me by the same replevyn to make them delyvery of the seyd bestys taken at Drayton; and so I, syyng the Shyryffs replevyn and under hys seale, bade my men delyver hem, and soo they wer delyveryd.

And as for all other maters that ye have wretyn to [me] of, I wyll spede me to send you a awnswer as hastely as I may, for I may no leysor have to wryte no more to you thys tyme. The blyssyd Trynyte have you in His kepyng. Wryten at Haylesdon, the xx. day of May. By yours, M. P.

143.1 [From Fenn, iv. 200.] A comparison of this letter with No. 581 will leave no doubt that they were both written in the same year.

143.2 This was the day the letter was written.

144.1 This is a writ for restitution of cattle that have been distrained or impounded. It was commonly granted by the sheriff on security being given that the party would bring the matter to an issue at law.



To my ryght wyrshypfull husbond, John Paston, be thys delyveryd in haste.

MAY 27

Ryght wyrshypfull husbonde, I recomaunde me to you. Please it you to wyte that I have send to Master John Smyth and to Master Stephyn to have a vyse for the church of Drayton; and they send me word that ther moste be had a comyssion from the Byshop to calle in the person Flowredew,145.2 and that most be proclaymyd in the church of Drayton iij. tymes by a Deen,145.3 and after that yff he appyre not with in vj. monthys after the fyrst proclamacion, that then he for to be depryvyd, and the patron to present whom he luste, and ells your presentacyon ys not sufficyant. And I have so purveyd that a comyssyon ys hadde, and shal be servyd as hastely as it may be.

As for John Rysyng, I have sent to hym to wyte the cause that he ys not broght up to London, and he sayth that he callyd uppon the Shyrff that he myght be had up for [to] com to hys awnswer, and the Shyrff told hym that he wold not bryng hym up at hys owyn coste; and John Andres seyd that he wold not have hym up, and so he ys styll in prison at Ipswych; and so shall he be but yf ye canne fynde the beter mene for to have hym oute. I have sent to hym xiijs. iiijd. to help hym sylf ther with; he payth for hys borde wykely xxd. And Hopton and Smyth be ther styll allso, and they have money ynogh, wher som ever that they have it. Rysyng 146 dymeth that they have confort of the other party; and I send you a copy of the warant that they wer a restyd by, &c.

I spake not with my moder syn Rychard Calle broght me the letter from you tochyng her mater, for I myght have no lesor. While I speke with her at leysure I wyll remember her in that mater, acordyng to your wrytyng. And as for your tenants of Drayton, as I canne understond by hem, they be ryght gode and trew hertyd to you to ther powers, and full fayn wold that ye had it a yen in peasse, for they had as leffe al most be tenants to the Devell as to the Duke, except Wyll. Herne, Pers at Sloth, and on Knott of the same towne, for they be not gode.

All your tenants at Haylesdon and Drayton, except thes iij., be ryght glad that we err ther a mongs hem, and so be many other of our olde nebers and frends; and but yf [unless] ye com hom by Wensday or Thursday146.1 in Wytson wyke, I purpose me to ssee you in secrete wyse by Trynyte Sonday,146.2 but yf [unless] ye send to me contrary comaundement er that tyme; and I pray you send me yeur avyse how ye wyll that we doo a yenst the next shyr, whych shulbe the Monday next after Trynyte Sonday, as for callyng uppon the replevyn that the bests of Drayton wer delyveryd by.

Item, Richard Calle told me that ye desyryd to have Master Phylyp ys name, and hys name ys Phylyp Lypzeate, and I send you a letter146.3 by Henre Wylton ys man, wherin I wrote Master Phylyp ys name; and in the same letter I wrote to you for Wyll. Lumnor. I pray you send me word yf ye have it. And the Blysshyd Trynyte have you in Hys kypyng. Wryten the Monday next after Assencyon Day.146.4 By yours, M. P.

145.1 [From Fenn, iv. 206.] What is said here about the tenants of Hellesden and Drayton, and about Master Philip Lipyate, leaves no doubt that this letter was written in 1465. It contains, moreover, a distinct reference to Letter 582.

145.2 John Flowerdew was instituted to the Rectory of Drayton on the 15th of March 1461, on the presentation of John Paston, Esq., and Thomas Howes, Clerk.—F.

145.3 This means the Rural Dean, who had a district of ten churches in the country, wherein he exercised a jurisdiction of great advantage to ecclesiastical discipline, and the sentences of superior Ecclesiastical Courts were to be executed by him.—F.

146.1 5th or 6th of June.

146.2 9th of June.

146.3 No. 582.

146.4 23rd of May.



To my ryght wyrshypfull husbond, John Paston, be thys letter delyveryd.


Ryght wyrshypfull husband, I recomaunde me unto you. Please it you to wyte that I recevyd letters from you on Wensday laste passyd, the were wryten the Monday next before, wherof I thanke you of the letter that ye send to me. I wolde fayn doo well yf I cowde, and as I canne I wol doo to youre pleasure and profet; and in such thyngs as I cannot skyle of, I wyll take a vyse of such as I know that be youre frendes and doo as well as I canne. Wher as ye wrote to me that Lydham told you that I told hym that the Ducks men werre not so besy as they had be by fore, no more thay were not at that tyme, but sythen thay have be bysyer. What confort that thay have I canne not have no knowlych as yet, but I suppose and all your felshyp were gode, thay shold not have so grete confort as they have, or ells they wold not be so besy as thay have be. Grete bost thay make that the Duck shold have Drayton in peas, and after thys Haylesdon, and that with in short tyme; thay er moch the bolder, I suppose, by cause that ye be wher as ye be. At the reverens of God, yf ye may by any wyrshypfull or resonabell mene, com oute therof as sone as ye may and come home amonges your frends and tennaunts, and that shold be to hem the grettyst confort that thay myzt have and the contrary to your enmys.

It ys sayd here that the Duck of Suffolk shall com to Coshay in haste and logge ther for a season; I fyle well by your tenaunts that yf ye were peaseabyly possessyd and your cort holden in peaseabyll wyse, and that they myzt be in pease 148 a yenst the other many, than they wold take accyons a yenste hem for such wrongs as have be don to hem, and ells they say that they thernot [dare not] take it uppon hem, for they dwelle so ney to the other many that thay knowe well thay shold never be in ease yf thay dyde soo whyle that thay dele amongs hem. On Thursday last John Doket, the bayly ys son y lawe, and Thomas Ponte, with other, erly in the mornyng, an owre by fore the sonne rose, com to your fold, and drove away the flock at Drayton, both Colyet and other, in to Coshay fee, or ever that the shipherd myght have knowlych therof and then he fowlyd one and desyryd to have hem a yen, and thay wold not suffer hym to have them no more but the Colyet and ther were c. and j. of yours and tho had thay forth with hem to Coshay, and the same day we had a replevyn for the cc. shype and replevyn for the hors that wer taken at Haylesdon, and how that thay were obbeyd Ric. Calle shall enforme you, and of other maters also, the whych I may not wryte to you of at thys tyme.

Item, I have spoke with [John] Strange of the mater that ye wrote to me of, and in gode feyth I148.1 fynd hym, as me symyth, ryght well disposyd to you wards; and he hath, acordyng to your desyre, spoken with Yelverton yesterday to fyle his dysposicion in that mater, and Yelverton, as it symyth by hym, roght not gretely thogh the mater brake, so that he myght have any resonabell colour to breke, he ys so callyd uppon by Wayte and other of the Duck of Suffolk ys counsell that he ote [wot] not where to hold hym, and he ys put in so gret confort, as I am enformyd, to receve money for the lond, and that temptyth hym ryght sore; for with money he wold fayn be in handelyng, as ye know he hath nede therof. He told John Straunge that it ys informyd hym that ye have up an enquest to depreve ther wytnesse and ther with ys he sore movyd  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  that yf any thyngs be don in temporall maters other in spyryt[uall]  .  .  .  .  .  .  maters tochyng executors or feoffeys or wyttnes tyll the day of  .  .  .  .  .  .  trety be passyd, he wyll not abyde no trety therin, but do as  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  thynkyth best 149 for to do therein. I told John Straunge that I kn[ew]  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  thogh it were soo that shold passe any such enquest it shol n  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  of them in provyng of her trothys, the whych shold be no hurt  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  for John Straunge desyryd me that I shuld send to you in al haste that  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  any such folks that thay shold not doo in the mater till the day of  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  may have knowlych howe he and other wold doo in such maters as sh  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  he wold be loth that he shold have any colour to breke for any thyng  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  and Yelverton sayth it shall not breke thorf his defaute yf ye wyll n[ot]  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  be ryght glad to have your gode wyll and to goo thorgh in all maner mate[rs]  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  eschewyng of wastfull expens of the dede ys godes and that the godes myzt be dyspendyd to the welle of the dede. Straunge desyryd to knowe what appoyntements he desyryth to have in the trety, and he sayd he wold not let that be understond tyll the tyme of trety cam. Me symyth, save your beter avyse, it were wel do that thay that be com up for you myzt be kypt in som secryte place and not do [naught done ?] in the mater tyll the tyme of the trety were passyd. The cost there of shall not be grete to that it myzt hurte yf the trety were broken by that meane and then ye may have hem nyer; and yf ye thynk it be to doo ye may have hem to go to ther mater after the seyd tyme, for of ij. hurtes the grettyst ys best to be eschewyd.

Item, as for youre houshold at Caster, savyng your beter avyse, me thynkyth that v. or vj. of your folkes, such as ye wyll assyngne, were [enough to?]149.1 kype the place, and they for to go to bord with the prustes, and ye not to kype no houshold ther yet; and that ye shall fynd more profettabyll than for to doo as we do nogh; for ther expens, as I understond, have not be moch the lesse by fore Wytsontyde than it shold be thogh I had be at home by cause of resortyng of pepell theder; and yf the houshold were broke thay myzt have a gode excuse in that, whosome ever come. Ric. Call shall enforme you of thys maters, and mo other, more playnly than I may do wryte 150 at thys tyme. It is necessary that possessyon be kypt hyre yett tyll ye be more ferther forth in other maters. The Blessyd Trynyte have you [in] Hys kypyng, and send you gode spyde in all your maters, and send you grace to have a gode conclusyon in hem in haste. Wryten on the Tewysday nex before Corpus Christi. By your faynt houswyff at thys tyme, M. P.

147.1 [From Paston MSS.] This letter, in which it is anticipated that the Duke of Suffolk will obtain possession, first of Drayton, and then of Hellesden, is evidently a little later in date than Nos. 578 and 581, and can only be of the year 1465.

148.1 The MS. has ‘in’ instead of ‘I,’ evidently by mistake.

149.1 Paper decayed.



Ryth reverent and worchepfull fadyr, I recomand me on to yow, beschyng yow lowly of your blyssyng. Plesit yow to have knowlage how that I have be in Sowthefolk for syche materys as my cosyn Dawbeney took my modyr a byll of, towchyng the materys be twyx yow and Jenney. And of all the jentylmen that ye wold my modyr schold send to for thys mater ther ar no more at home bot John Alyngton; and I schewyd hym the byll of the namys of the Inqwest and knew no more of hem all bot thes, John Depden, Thomas Wodborne, John Donemowe, Herry Chesten, and Adam Wrene. And to all them Alyngton sent a man of hys for to fele hem how they wer dysposyd. Thys was the answer of John Depden and Thomas Wodborne, they sayd the last tyme they wer at London iche of ther costys stood hem on xs., and they seyd they wold no mor come at London bot if150.2 they knew who schod pay for ther costis; but me thowt by Alyngtonys man that they wold have had a brybe of yow be syd the paying for ther costys for to have bedyn at home, for they have non othyr levyng but brybys. As for John Donemow and Herry Chesten, so that ther issuys may be payd they wyll not come ther; nor in trowthe they scholl not 151 come ther. Wher for Alyngton prayith yow that ther issuys may be payid. Adam Wrene was not spoke to, for he is Jenneys baly or hys fermour. As for the quest they ar not yet somoned to aper, and but if151.1 they be somonyd ther scholl non of hem all aper. The most part of the todyr dwell a bowt Ippyswyche and they be Debnamys tenauntys and Brewsys, and I knowd get no man to spek with hem but if151.1 I schold have spok with hem my selve; and my spekyng with hem schold rather aperyd [have impaired] the mater than a mendyd it. And also I hyid me the faster home a geyn, for I lay at my cosyn Lovedays on Corpus Christi Day at nyth; and he told me that the Duches of Sofokys consell wold entre in to Calcot Hall, and they wold kep it tyll the Duches knew who schold be her tenaunt, owthyr ye or Debnam. Thus told one of the men of the seyd cowncell to Loveday; whyche man schold ryd thedyr with hem. And thys schold be do as to morow at aftyr non; bot I trow they wole but tak a distres for the servys of the maner, whych is dwe; but I have sent word to Rysyng and to the tenauntis that they schold dryve a wey ther catell. And as for the maner, my brodyr and I scholl kepe it so that they schall not entyr as that daye, by the grase of God, nor aftyr nowthyr and [i.e. if] we may knowe of it, but if151.1 ye send us othyr wys word. As for the namys that ye wold have for to pase upon the mater betwyx yow and Hogan, I spok to Alyngton and Loveday therof, and Loveday seyd he knew non that wold pas up on ony inquest for hym, for he medylyd with no syche men; and Alyngton seyd that he kowd assyne me none men for serteyn, not tyll he had spok with some, whyche he seyd wold aske gret leyser, for he knew bot fewe in Sofolk; if it had be in Cambrygge schyre he kowd have get you j now. My modyr spak with old Banyard of Sibton Abbey for the same mater, and he knew none that wold pase upon the mater at his desyer, but he asygnyd dyvers men that love not Jeney, whyche he kowd thynk wold pase upon it at yowr desyer if ye spok with hem your selve; or at the lest iche of hem kowd get yow ij. or iij. men that wold sey as they wold in cas ye spok with hem your selve, whoys 152 namys I send you in a byll by Loveday. Item, as for the gape at Nakton Rychard Calle seyth that it was a thorn busche was leyd in with owt a stake betwyx ij. thornys that grew; and as for Jeneys netes, ther was not one lost her calfe that I can inquer of. And I pray God farther yow in all youyr materys to Hys plesans and to youer hertys desyir. Wretyn in hast at Hallysworthe the Saterday next aftyr Trinite Sonday.

My cosyn Hevenyngham is at London, and he kowd asygne you men that wold say as he wold mor than Syr John Wyngfeld, Alyngton, and all. Your sone and lowly servant, John Paston the Yongest.

150.1 [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 190.] This letter refers to the dispute with Jenney in 1464-5, and seems to belong to the latter year.

150.2 ‘But if,’ the old familiar expression for ‘unless,’ occurs in this letter with peculiar frequency.

151.1 See footnote 2 on preceding page.

and I knowd get no man to spek with hem
text unchanged: error for “kowd get”?


To my ryght reverent and worschippfull master, Sir John Paston, Knyght.


Plesith it your gode masterschip to wete that as for the examynacion of Master Robert Popy, his examinacion was wreten in a longe bille of parchemyn accordyng to the deposicion in the Spirituall Coorte. And Master Robert come into the Chauncery, and was sworne that all that was wreten in the seide bille was trewe, and so delyverd the same bille to the Mastre of the Rolles; and he bare it forthe with hym in his hande, for it was delyverd hym at the risyng of the Coorte. Tounesende was by and I bothe, &c. And as for delyveryng of money to Dawbeney, I do that I may do, and more thenne I may weele doo, for I have put my selfe in gret daunger for that I have borwyd, &c. Almyghty God spede you in all your maters, &c. Wreten the Saterday next after Corpus Christi Daye. Your servaunt R. C.

152.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter seems to have reference to the depositions touching Sir John Fastolf’s will in the suit brought by Sir William Yelverton and William Worcester against John Paston and Thomas Howes. Robert Popy seems to have been examined in the spring of 1464 (see No. 565); but the suit was still going on in 1465, and in a letter of Margaret Paston’s, of the 24th June following, Richard Calle is mentioned as having recently left her and gone to her husband in London.



Onto my ryght reverent and worchipfull maister, John Paston, Esquyer, be this letter delyvered.


Ryght reverent and worchipfull sir, I recomende me onto your good maisterchip in the moste lowly wise that I can or may, letyng your masterchippe understonde howe that John Smyth, of Freton, and John Hopton, of Freton, and I were attached and led onto Gippeswich, and there putte into the Kynges pryson by cawse of the fyn which was sessed upon the forsaid John Smyth, John Hopton, and me, as your maisterchippe knowith well. And as for John Smyth and John Hopton, they had labored the meanes onto Master Jenney, that they were delyvered owt of pryson or than the massenger come ageyn to theym which they sent onto yow; and I remayne stille in pryson, and I can not knowe but that they labour the meanes to make me to paye the money for theym. And so I can not se non other meane but that I shall ly stille in pryson, and been ondo for ever withoute your good masterchippe shewed to me at this tyme; for as I am enformed that Jenney hath promysed theym that I shall paye the fyne for theym, and also alle the costes that haith be spent ther upon, and shall be spent, for thei say that I am sufficient to bere the hole daunger. And my keper yafe me licence to goon home, and thei had hevyed the peple that dwelle ther, and that gretly, and said playnly how that ye myght not beere the dawnger a geyns Jenney for your self; therfor the seiden that ye myght not helpe them owt of dawnger when thatte ye myght not helpe your self. Wherfor I pray your masterchippe to lete me have word in as hasty tyme as ye may, to knowe whether that I shall abyde her stylle or not, and if I myght do yow any 154 good at London, I pray your mastershippe that ye will sende for me, and I will come up to yow. And if ther be non other remedy but that the money most nedys be paid, I pray your masterchippe that ye will make such purveyaunce therfor that it may be to myn delyveraunce at the reverence of God, and in the weye of charite as myn hole truste is in your masterchippe, for I can not seke to no man, nor will not but only to yow. Wherfor I pray yow that ye will tenderly understond this letter, as I may pray for yow onto God, who have yow in His kepyng. Wretyn at Gippeswich the xviij. day of June.

These ar the names of theym that have parte of my catell, Gilbert Nicoll, of Sprowton, William Merssh and John Woode of Gippeswich, bocher. By your man and feithfull servant, John Rysyng.

153.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The imprisonment of John Rysing is referred to in Margaret Paston’s letter of the 27th May 1465 (No. 584), and in another of the 24th June following (No. 590). There can be no doubt this letter is of the same year.



Examinations taken at the house of the treasurer of St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, of the following witnesses in the matter Sir John Fastolf’s will, viz.:— of Thomas Torald and Robert Lawe on the 18th; of William Waterman on the 19th; of John Osbern and John Heydon on the 20th; of William Pykeryng, John Symmys and John Shawe on the 21st day of June 1465.

154.1 [From MS. Phillipps, 9309.]

William Pykeryng, John Symmys and John Shawe on the 21st day of June 1465.
text has “days”


To my ryght wyrshipfull husband, John Paston, be thys delyveryd in hast.


Ryght wyrshypfull hosbond, I recomaund me to you. Please it you to wyte that the same Wensday that Ric. Call departyd hens I send Ric. Charlys to speke with the undershryf, requyryng hym that he shold serve the replevyn 155 for the shype and hors that were take, &c.; and the shryf sayd playnly that he wol not, nor derst not serve it, not thogh I wold yeve hym xx li. to serve it. And Ric. Charlys axhyd the cause why, and he sayd, for he wold not have to doo with that felshyp, and so it ys yet unservyd. I supyose that Ric. Calle hath told you what revell ther was by the Bayllyf of Coshay and his felaw uppon your men that shold have servyd the replevyn.

Item, the same Wensday that Ric. Call rode from hens the were indytyd v. of men by the enquest of Fourhoo hunder, as Crome can enforme you, and on Fryday last paste John Paston, the yonger, Wykes and Thomas Honewerth were endytyd at Dyram, by what menys the berour herof Crome shall [en]forme you. I send theder Ric. Charlys, John Seve, and iij. or iiij. other gode felows, for to have don other folks as gode atorne; but it wold not be, for the Juge ys soo parcyall with the other party that I trowe ther shalbe sped no maters before hym for you, nor for non of yours tyl it be otherwyse by twene you than it ys. Crome shall tell you of hys demenyng at the last sessyons at Dyrham. I send you a copy of both the endytements. Your son John Paston the yonger, I hope shal be with you thys wyke and enforme you of mo thyngys, and howe myn hors and hys sadell and harnys ys prysoner at Coshaye Halle and have ben ever syn Wensday last.

Item, I recevyd a letter from you on Satorday last, whych was wryten on Monday next before and I have sent to Sir Thomas Howys the same day for such maters as ye wrote to me of, and he sent me word that Wyllyam Worceter had a boke of remembraunce of recaytys that hath be recevyd by Sir John Fastolf or any of hys sythen the iiij.te. yere Kyng Harry, both of hys owyn lyflode or of any other mannys that he had to doo wyth all. He sayd, yf ye wold send to Wyll. Worceter to loke therfore he sayd he wyst well he wold lete you have knowlych yf any such thyng may be founde, and also he sayd that he wold send to the seyd Wyll. to serche therfore, and as for such bokys as he hath hyre at hom he wol doo loke yf any remembraunce canne be founde therof, and ye shall have knowlych ther of, as he hath promysyd, by Satourday next comyng. 156 And as for the woman that made the clayme that ye wrote of he ys wellwyllyd that she shold be seyn to in the way of almys. And as I here say, it symyth by hym that in any thyng that he canne doo tochyng the savacyon of the dedys gode,156.1 other in lyflode, other in other godys, he sayth that he wyll doo. I canne not have no knowlych that Haydon mellyth in the mater of Drayton; yf he do oght therin, he doyth it closely, as he ys wont to doo, and wayshyth hys hondys ther of as Pylate dyde. It shalnot be long to or that I send to yow; of such tythynges as we have I shall lete you have knowlych ther of. I fynd Crome ryght welwyllyng to you in such thyngys as lyth in hym for to do. I pray you lete hym be thankynd therfor, and that shall cause hym to be the beter wylled; he hath not be rewardyd as yet but by Ric. Call, as he canne tell you. The Blyssyd Trynyte have you in His kepyng and send you gode spyde in all your maters. Wryten in hast on Mydsomer day.

As for Rysyng, but yf [unless] ye purvey for hym he canne no helpe have at home. By yours, M. P.

154.2 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] As this letter refers to Paston’s disputes with the Duke of Suffolk and his officers, the date must be 1465.

156.1 i.e., the dead man’s goods.

To my ryght wyrshipfull husband, John Paston
text has “husbana” (italic “a” for “d”)


To my cosyn Margret Paston and to John Dawbeney and Richard Calle.


I  recomande me to yow, and have received a letter from yow and a nother for Richard Calle be John Colman, and  .  .  be Roos; and I have received of Colman the plate and mony acording Richard Callis letteris. Item, I con yow thonk ye send me word the prise of corn. 157 Item, as for yowr sone,157.1 I lete yow wete I wold he dede wel, but I understand in hym no disposicion of policy, ne of governans as man of the werle owt to do, but only levith and ever hath as man disolut with owt any provision, ne that he besiith hym nothinge to understand swhech materis as a man of lyvelode must nedis understond; ne I understond nothing of what disposicion he porposith to be, but only I kan thynk he wold dwell ayeyn in yowr hows and myn, and ther ete and drinke and slepe.157.2 Therfor I lete yow wete, I wold know hym or he know myn entent, and how wel he hath ocupiid his tym now he hath had leyser. Every pore man that hath browt up his chylder to the age of xij. yer waytyth than to be holp and profited be hes chylder, and every gentilman that hath discrecion waytith that his ken and servantis that levith be hym and at his coste shuld help hym forthward. As for yowr sone, ye knowe well he never stode yow ne me in profite, ese or help, to valew of on grote, savyng at Calkot Hall whane [he157.3] and hes brothir keptid on day ayeyns Debenham, and yet was it at iii. [times157.3] the coste that that ever Debenham sones put hym to. For be her police [by their policy] they kepe Cotton at my cost and with the157.4 profitis of the same. Wherfor geff hem no favor tyle ye feel what he is and will be.

Item, Calle sendith me word that Master Phylip157.5 hat entrid in Drayton in my Lord of Suffolk’s name, and hat odir purpose to entre in Heylisdon, and he askith my avyse; whech is that ye confort my tenantis and help hem til I com hom, and lete hem wet I shall not lese it, and that the Dowk of Suffolk that last diid wold have bouth it of Fastolff, and, for he mygth not have it so, he claymyd the maner, seying it was on Polis [one Pole’s], and, for his name was Poole, he claymed to be eyr. He was ansueryed that he com nothing of that stok, and how somever157.6 wer kyn to the Polis that owth157.7 it it 158 hurt not, for it was laufully bowth and sold, and he never kleymid it after. Item, I am in purpose to tak assise ageynse hem at this tyme, and elles I wold have sent thedir streyt be a letter of attorney to entre in my name; never the les ye be a gentilwoman, and it is worshep for you to confort yowr tennauntis; wherfor I wold ye myth ryd to Heylisdon and Drayton and Sparham, and tari at Drayton and speke with hem, and byd hem hold with ther old master til I com, and that ye have sent me word but late, wherfore ye may have none answer yet, and informe hem as I ha (sic) wrete to ye within; and sey oupinly it is a shame that any man shuld set anny lord on so ontrwe a mater, and speciall a preste; and lete hem wete, as sone as I am com hom I shall see hem. Item, that as for distreyn for rent of ferm, thow the Dewk had tytill, as he hath not, he may non ask til the next rent day after his entre, that is Michelmes, and seye that ye will be paiid everi peni and asken hem it. And make mech of men of Cossey, becawse they wer owr welwillers when we wer neyboris ther; and lete hem wete that the begyningis of shech mater had never worchip nor profite of me, ne shall, and desyr god will of yowr neyboris, &c., and suyn all othir menes that ye kan to plese the pepill. And lete yowr tenaunts wete that the Dewke may never be lawe compel hem to torn from me; and do all so well as ye can, and if any entyr be made in Heylisdon shuff him owt and set sum man to kepe the place, if ned be, not withstandyng it longith not to the manere. Item, I wold fayn have sum man to be bayle of Heylisdon and Drayton, &c., that myth go amongis the tenauntis. And elles I wold han Richard Chyllins (?) to go amond [q. among?] hem tyl I com hom and also Richard Calle whan home. Item, he sent me word that the tenauntis of Drayton wold not come to the Dewkis cort and that they will be stefast to me and kepe hem straunge and froward from the Dewkis cowncell; all this mater shall turne to a jape and not hurt hem; ner, and if ye be wavering it shall hurt hem. Item, I let yow wete this is do to cause me to loose my labor ayens hym for Dedham, which I wil not for it. God kepe yow. Wret the Thursday befor Sent Petres day.


Item, tel Richard Calle to have wittenses redy. I wol spede this mater spirituall befor Estern.

156.2 [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 9.] This letter, which is in the handwriting of John Paston, refers to the proceedings of the Duke of Suffolk to enforce his claim to Drayton and Hellesden, and was clearly written in the summer of 1465 on Thursday before St. Peter’s Day, i.e. before the feast of SS. Peter and Paul (29th June).

157.1 Sir John Paston.

157.2 A later hand has here written in the margin: ‘Hic postea fuit Sir John Paston senior, miles.’ But the postea is wrong.

157.3 These words omitted in MS.

157.4 the repeated in MS.

157.5 Philip Lipgate, the Duke of Suffolk’s bailiff.

157.6 ‘How somever’ for ‘whosomever,’ or ‘whoever.’

157.7 ‘Owth’ for ‘ought,’ i.e. owned.


JULY 6 (?)

I  grete yow wele, letyng yow wetyn that I am informyd for certeyn the Duc of Suffolk reysyth grete pepyl bothe in Norffolk and Suffolk to comyn doune with hym to putte us to a rebeuc and thei may; querfor I wold in ony wyse that ze make yow as strong as ze can wyth inne [in the] place, for I and other moo suppose that zyff they fynd zow not here they wyl seke yow there ze arn. I wold John Paston the zonger schuld ryde azyn to my Lady of Norffolk and be wyth hyr stylle tyl we haff other tydyngs, and ther may he do sum good, after that he heryth tydyngs, in goyng forth to hys fadyr or in to sum other place quere we may hafe remedy; for yt [is] told me that there ar come to Cossay onward more than ij. hundred, and ther ys comyng, as yt ys seyd, more than a thowsand. I wold that ze sende hyder Lytyl John that I mygth sende hym abowte on myn errandys. Sende me worde how that ze doo by summe of the tenantes that be not knowyn.

Item, byd Richard Calle send me word in a bylle, of how many materys that he hath sent myn husbond an answere of, the quych he sendt hom in divers letters for to be sped here and of the fermours of Tychwelle.

Item, zyf Sir Jamys Gloys may come to Norwych to Adam Taylours how I wold he come on Munday bytymys, and I schal sende to hym thyder. God kepe yow alle. Wretyn in hast on Satyrday. By your Modyr.


Item, yt ys told me that zong Heydon reysyth mych pepyl in the sokyn and in other place.

Item, I wold ze schuld do Rychard Calle hye hym of makeng of alle the acountes and, zyf nede, lete hym gete help and kepe Thomas Hunnworth stille wyth yow, and be war of of Pykyng [Pickering ?]

159.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter is not addressed on the back, nor is the handwriting that of Margaret Paston, but from the subscription it would appear to have been written by her to one of her sons; and as John Paston the younger is mentioned in the body of the letter, the person addressed was evidently his elder brother. The letter seems to have been written shortly before the Duke of Suffolk’s attempt on Hellesden mentioned in the next No., probably on the Saturday preceding it.


To my mastre, John Paston, in hast.


Plesith it youre maysterschip to witte of the rwle and disposicion of the Master Philip and the Balyf of Cossey, with others of my Lorde of Suffolkes men. On Monday last past, at aftrenoon, [they] wer at Heylesdon, with the nombre of CCC. men, for to have entred, notwithstandyng they seyde they come not for to entre; but withoute dought, and they had been strong inough for us, they wolde have entred, and that we undrestonde nough, but we knowyng of ther comyng and purveyed so for hem, that we wer strong j nough. We had lx. men withinne the place, and gonnes, and suche ordynauns, so that if they had satte uppon us, they had be distroyed. And ther my mastres was withine, and my mastre, Sir John, and hathe gate hym as grete worschip for that day as any gentleman myght doo, and so is it reported of the partye and in all Norwiche. And my Lorde of Norwiche sent theder Master John Salett and Master John Bulleman for to trete, and so they ded; and the Duc men seide they had a warant for to attache John Dawbeney, Wyks, Calle, Hunewrthe, and Bliclyng and other, weche they wuld have; and my master, Sir John, answerd them, and seide that they were not withine, and though we had ben, they shuld not have had hem; and so they desired oon of our men. And so 161 Naunton stede by my mastres and haxed hem whom they wold have, and seyde if they wold have hem he wold go with hem, and so he ded. And on the next day they caryed hym forthe to my Lord of Suffolk to Claxton, through Norwich; and ther we had founde a remedy for hym for to heve lette hym; and he wold not, but nedys go forthe with hem; but like a jentelman he was entreated amongs hem. And Harleston desyred at Heylesdon to speke with my mastre, Sir John, and so he ded, and seyde to hym it were ryght weele don that he rode to my Lord of Suffolk and desired hym in any wice that he schulde do so, and seyde that it was hes dwte so for to do, in asmoche as my Lorde was come to contre, and that he wolde ryde with hym, and brynge hym to my Lorde; and he answerd and seide to hym, whan that he undrestode that my Lord were hes fathers goode Lord and hes, that thanne he wolde se hes Lordship, and [ell]es he had non aronde to hym; and so they departed. And thanne appoyntement was taken that they shull sende home ther men, and we schuld send home oure. And nough my Lord of Suffolks men come from Claxton to Norwich, and face us and fray uppon us, this dayly. Ther fylle uppon me befor Sevayne dore xij. of hes men, viij. of them in harneys, and ther they wold have myscheved me and the Scheryf letted hem and other, and they make ther awaunte were that I may be goten I schul dye; and so they lye in a wayte for to myscheve me, Dawbeney, and Wyks; and so I dare not ryde out alone withoute a man with me. And I undrestonde ther is comyn an Heyre Determyner161.1 to enquer of all ryots, and my Lord of Suffolk and Yelverton be Comyscioners; and so they sey as money of us as can be taken shal be endyted and hanged forth with; and so the people here are dysmayed with ther rwle. Wherfore that it like you to sende werd how my mastres schal do at Heylesdon, and we in all other maters; and wether ye wol that we feche a yene the flok of Heylesdon, for they are nough dreven to Causton, and there go they on the heyth; and my Lord of Suffolk wolbe at Drayton on Lames Daye, and kepe the Coort ther; wherefor ye must seke an remedy for it, or ell[es] it woll not do weele.


If my Lord of Norffolk wold come, he schulde make all weele, for they feere hym above all thyngs, for it is noyced here that my Lord of Norffolk hathe taken partye in thes mater, and all the cuntre is cladde of it, seyng that if he come they wooll hooly go with hym.

And me senethe it were wele don to meve my Lord in it, though ye schuld geve hym the profyghts of Heylesdon and Drayton for the kepyng, and som money be side; for ye must seke som other remedy than ye do, or ell[es] in my conseyte it schull go to the Divell, and be distroyed, and that in ryght schort tyme. And therfore at the reverence of God take som appoyntement with Master Yelverton, suche as ye thynke schuld most hurt.

I beseche you to pardon me of my writyng, for I have pitte to se the trybulacion that my mastres hathe here, and all your frends, &c.

Almyghty Jesu preserve and kepe you. Wreten the Wednesday next Seint Thomas Daye. Your pore servaunt and bedman, Ric. Calle.

160.1 [From Fenn, iv. 212.] From what has been already said about the Duke of Suffolk’s claim to the manor of Hellesden, it is clear that this letter is of the year 1465. Later it cannot be, as John Paston was dead before July 1466.

161.1 An Oyer and Terminer, or Special Commission.


To my right worschipfull husbond, John Paston, in hast.


Ryght worshypful husbond, I recomaund me to yow, preyeng you hertyly that ye wyl seke a meen that yowr servauntys may be in pees, for they be dayly in fer of ther lyvys. The Duke Suffolks men thretyn dayly Dawbeney, Wykys, and Richard Calle, that wher so ever they may gete them they schold dye; and affrayes have ben made on Rychard Calle this weke, so that he was in gret jupperte at Norwych among them; and gret affrayes have ben made uppon me and my felashep her on Monday last passyd, of 163 whych Rychard Calle tellyth me that he hath sent yow word of in wryghtyng, mor pleynly than I may doo at thys tyme, but I shal informe yow mor pleynly heraftyr.

I suppose ther shal be gret labor ageyn yow and yowr servaunts at the Assysis and Cescions her; wherfor me semyth, savyng your better advyce, it wer wele do that ye shold speke with the Justicys or they com her; and yf ye wol that I compleyn to them or to any other, if Good fortune me lyfe and helth, I wol do as ye advyse me to do, for in good feyth I have ben symply intretid among them; and what with syknesse, and troble that I have had, I am browte ryght lowe and weyke, but to my power I wyl do as I can or may in your maters.

The Duk of Suffolk and both the Duchessys shal com to Claxton thys day, as I am informyd, and thys next weke he shal be at Cossey; whether he wol com ferther hyddyr ward or not, I wot not yit. It is seyd that he schold com hyddyr, and yet hys men seyd her on Monday that he cleymyd no tytyl to thys place; they seyd ther comyng was but to take out such ryotus peple as was her within thys place, and suche as wer the Kyngys felonys, and indytyd and outlawyd men. Neverthe lesse they wold schew no warauntys wherby to take non such, thow ther had suche her; I suppose if they myght have com in pesably, they wold have made an other cause of ther comyng.

Whan alle was doo and they scholde departe, Harlyston and other desyryd me that I schold com and se myn olde Lady, and sewe to my Lorde, and if any thyng wer amysse it schold be amendyd. I said if I scholde sewe for any remedye, that I scholde sewe ferther, and lete the Kynge and alle the Lordys of thys lond to have knowlech what hathe be don to us, if so wer that the Deuk wolde meynten that hathe be don to us by hys servauntys, if ye wolde geve me leve.

I pray yow sende me worde if ye wyl that I make any compleynt to the Duke or the Duchesse; for as it is tolde me, they know not the pleynesse that hathe ben don in such thyngys as hathe ben don in her [their] namys.


I schold wryght muche mor to yow but for lak of leyser.

I comaundyd my Mayster Tom thys day to have com ageyn by me from Norwych, when he had spokyn with Rychard Calle, but he cam not. I wolde he wer qwyte of hys indytments, so that he wer qwyte of yowr servyce; for by my trowthe, I holde the place the mor ongracyous that he is in, for hys dysposycion in dyverce thyngys, the whych ye schal be informed of her after.

The Trynyte have yow in kepyng. Wretyn the Fryday next after Seynt Thomas. By yowr, M. P.

162.1 [From Fenn, iv. 218.] It is needless to point out that this letter must have been written in the same year as the last.

thys day, as I am informyd
text has “an”: corrected from Fenn


To my cosyn, Margaret Paston.


I  recummand me to yow, I thank of yow of yowr labour and besynes with the unruly felechep that cam befor yow on Monday last past, wherof I herd report be John Hobbis. And in god feyth ye aquyt yow rygth wel and discretly and hertyly to yowr wurchep and myn, and to the shame of your adversarijs, and I am wel content that ye avowid that ye kept possession at Drayton and so wold doo. Wherfor I pray yow, make yowr word god if ye may, and at the lest, let myn adversarijs not have it in pees if ye may. Jon Hobbys tellith me that ye be seekly, whech me lekith not to here; praying yow hartyly that ye take what may do yowr eese and spar not, and in any wyse take no thowth no to moch labor for thes maters, ne set it not so to yowr hert that ye fare the wers for it. And as for the mater, so they overcome yow not with fors ne bosting, I shall have the maner sewrlyer to me and myn, than the Dewk shall have Cossey, dowt ye not. And in cas I come not home within thre wekis, 165 I pray you com to me, and Wykes hath promisid to kepe the plase in yowr absens. Nevertheles whan ye come set it in seche rewle as ye seme best and most suer, bothe for Castre and Heylisdon if the werr hold. In cas ye have pees send me word.

As for that it is desyrid I shuld show my tytill and evydens to the Dewk, me thynkyth he had evyll cowncell to entre in opon me, trusting I shuld shew hym evydens. And [if] ye seme it may do yow god or eese, lete my Lord of Norwich wet that the maner of Drayton was a marchants of London callid Jon Heylisdon longe er any of the Polis that the seyd Dewk comyth of wer borne to any lond in Norfolk or Suffolk; and if they wer at that tyme born to no lond, how may the seyd Dewk klaym Drayton be that pedegre? As for the seyd John Heylisdon, he was a por man born, and from hym the seyd maner dessended to Alice his dowtyr, hos estat I have, and I soppose the seyd Dewk comyth not of hem.

Item, as for the pedegre of the seyd Dewk, he is sone to William Pool, Dewk of Suffolk, sone to Mychell Pool, Erl of Suffolk, sone to Mychel Pool, the furst Erl of Suffolk of the Polis, mad be King Richard seth my fader was born; and the seyd furst Mychell was sone to on William Pool of Hull, whech was a wurchepfull man grow be fortwne of the werld. And he was furst a marchant, and after a knygth, and after he was mad baneret; and if any of thees hadde the maner of Drayton I will los Cli. so that any persone for the Dewk will be bond in as moch to prove the contrary; and I wot weel the seyd Dewkis Cowncell wil not claym the seyd maner be the tytill of the fader of the seyd William Pool. And what the fader of the seyd William was, as be the pedegre mad in the seyd last Dewkis fadirs daijs I know rygt weell; wherof I informyd Herry Boteler to tell my old Lady of Suffolk, becawse he is of her cowncell; and more will I not tell in thes mater, but if [unless] I be desyrid or compellid.

Item, let my Lord of Norwich wete that it is not profitabe ner the comen well of gentilmen that any jentilman shuld be compellid be an entre of a lord to shew his evidens or tytill to his lond, ner I wil not begine that example ne thralldam of 166 gentilmen ner of other; it is god a lord take sad cowncell, or he begyne any sech mater.

And as for the Pools that owth Drayton, if ther wer C. of hem levyng, as ther is non, yet have they no tytill to the seyd maner. God kepe yow. Wret the Satirday, &c. Yowr Jon Paston.

I pray yow be as mery with yowr felachep as ye kan.

Item, I send hom writt and prasens for yowr servaunts and myn.

Item, I may sell you woll for xld. the ston, redi mony, as Arblaster can tell yow, and malt for iiijs. the quarter at days xxj. for xx. delivered of Yermouth mesur. If ye fayle mony ye most make it of yowr wole or malt.

I send you hom writts of replevin for the shep and the horses that wer take, and avise yow lete the writtis be delivered be fore my Lord of Norwich, and god rekord; and if ye may make men with fors to take the catell agey[n] be waran of replevyn, spar not rather than fayle.

On the back of the letter is the following memorandum in a different hand:—

Md. there lefte behynde of Heylesdon folde of my mastre schepe xlj. modreschep. Item of lambes xxxiiij. Item of my mastres xij. modreschep. Item of her lambes xij.

164.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] As this letter is dated on a Saturday, and refers to the Duke of Suffolk’s attempt on Hellesden as having been made on the Monday preceding, there can be no difficulty in fixing the precise date, both of day and year.



Right worchepful hosbond, I recommand me to yow, and pray yow hertely at the reverence of God that ye be of good comfort, and trost veryly be the grase of God that ye shall overcome your enemys and your trobelows maters ryght welle, yf ye wolle be of good comfort, and not take your maters to hevely that ye apeyr not your self, and 167 thynk veryly that ye be strong inowe for alle your enemys be the grace of God. My moder is your good moder, and takyth your maters ryght hertely. And zif ye thynnk that I may do good in your maters yf I come up to you, after I have knowlage of your entent it shall not be longe or I be with you be the grace of God. And as for any othyr thyngs of sharge that be in this contre, I hope I shall so ordeyn therfore that it shall be safe. I have delyveryd your older sonne xx. mark that I have received of Ric. Calle, and I kowd no more of hym syn ye departyd. [And I send yow another bage of mony that was in your square cofyr.167.1] And I pray God hertely send us good tydyngs of yow, and send the victory of your enemys. Wretyn in hast on Saterday. Your M. P.

Item, I take your sonne of your faders oode mony, that was in the lytyll trussyng cofyr x. mark, for my broder Clement seythe that xx. mark was to lytyll for hym.

166.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] Margaret Paston, as will be seen by subsequent letters, was in London with her husband in September 1465. This letter seems to have been written not long before, when she first entertained the thought of going thither.

167.1 This sentence is struck out.



Cosyn, I recommaunde me to yow, letyng yow wete that I am informid that the parson of Brandeston is take be yowr sowdiors and led forth with hem, and they have ryfelid his godis, and summe of myne husbondes also, and of his ballyes, weche were left with the seyd parson to kepe. Wherfore I avyse yow, and praye that he maye be lete go agayn, and to have ower godes as were take fro hym; for and yowr sowdioris be of sweche disposicion that they wyll take that they may gete, it shall no wurchip be to you, nor profite in tyme to come; and therof wolde I be sory. And if the seyd parson be othirwyse disposid thanne he owth to be, I wyll helpe that he shall be 168 chaysteysid as conciens and lawe requerith. I wolde ye shulde remembre that ye have bore blame for sweche thynges before this tyme that hath be do othirwise thanne lawe hath requerid. And God have yow in His kepyng. Wrete at Norwiche.

167.2 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The MS. of this letter seems to be a draft in a hand like that of James Gresham. It is anonymous and without address. Even the writer is very uncertain. But it may not unlikely be a draft letter from Margaret Paston to some neighbour who, while the Duke of Suffolk was laying claim to Hellesden and Drayton, was not too mindful of John Paston’s rights. Brandeston is about eleven miles from Norwich, eight miles beyond Drayton. Thomas Hoop was parson of Brandeston from 1448 to 1475. He was presented to the living by Sir John Fastolf.


To my ryght wyrshypfull mayster, Sir John Paston, be thys letter delyveryd.


Please it your maistershyp to wyte, uppon Satourday last, Mayster Wyll. Paston and I werre with my Lord the Byshoppe of York, and enformyd hys Lordshyp of the entre that was made at Haylesdon in the Duk of Suffolks name. And my Lord asked of ous whether the C. marc wer payd or not, and we awnswered that it was payd many day a goon. And than he sayd, ‘I dar swer uppon a boke that the Duchesse of Suffolk hath no knowlych therof.’ And so he comaundyd ous to a wayte uppon hym, for he wold be at London a yen uppon Tewysday next; and soo we have non awnswer as yet.

Item, I have spoken with Mayster Robert Kent for your maters, and byddeth that ye shold not dowte therof; and as for the neglygens of your wytnes, Mayster Robert sayth it ys but a jape, and shall be no hurt. And the copys therof wer deliveryd or than I cam hom from Parker ys hands, and that causyd me to spake no word to hym therof.

Item, the Lord Scales sayd at a soper wher as he soped within thys iiij. nyztys that he wold ryde home and enter in ij. fayre maners in hys contray, and desyred Stanhope that shall wed Gernyngham ys suster to ryde with hym. I suppose it be to entre in to Caster and Cotton; wherfor maketh gode wache be tyme, for it ys mery to plede in possession, &c.


Item, I have send you an unce of myvers (?) by the beror of thys letter, and thay cost me iiijs. iiijd.

Item, your gesseren169.1 and gaunteletts shall be send hom by the next caryours, for ther be non hyre yete, &c. No more to you at thys tyme. The Holy Trynyte have you in Hys kypyng. Wryten at London uppon Tewysday next after Seynt Anne. By youre servaunt, John Wyke.

168.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The date of this letter is sufficiently apparent from the reference in the beginning to ‘the entry made at Hellesden in the Duke of Suffolk’s name.’

169.1 A sleeveless coat of mail.


To my ryght worschipful husband, John Paston, be this delyverd in hast.

AUG. 7

Right wurchepfull husbond, I recomaund me to you. Please it you to wete that I sent on Lammesse day169.3 to Drayton, Thomas Bonde and Sir James Gloys to hold the court in your name, and to clayme your tytill; for I cowde gete none other body to kepe the court, ner that wuld go theder but the seide Thomas Bonde, be cause I suppose thei were a ferd of the pepill that shuld be there of the Duke of Suffolks parte. The said Thomas and James, as the Duke of Suffolks men, that is to sey, Harlesdon, the parson of Salle, Mayster Phillip and William Yelverton, the which was styward, with a lx. persones or more be estymacion, and the tenauntes of the same town, sum of hem havyng rusty pollexis and byllys, comyn in to the maner yard to kepe the courte, met with them, and told them that thei were comyn to kepe the court in your name, and to clayme your titill. Wherfore the seid Harlesdon, with ought any mor words or occasion yovyn of your men, comytted the seid Thomas Bonde to the kepyng 170 of the new Baly of Drayton, William Dokett, seyng that he shuld go to my lord and do his herand hym self, notwithstandyng that Sir James dede the erands to them, and had the words; wherfor thei toke the seid Thomas with ought occasion. Thei wuld have mad the seid Thomas to have had the words, and the seid James told hem that had hem, because he was the more pesibill man, whan afterward thei bade avoyde, and sithen led forth Thomas Bonde to Cossey, and bownde his armes be hynde hym with whippe cord like a theffe, and shuld have led hym forth to the Duke of Suffolk, ner had be that I had spokyn with the juges in the morwyn or thei yede to the shirehous and enformed hem of such ryottes and assaugthis as thei had mad up on me and my men; the baly of Cossey and all the Duke of Suffolks councell beyng ther present, and all the lerned men of Norffolk, and William Jenney and my[che] pepill of the contre; the juge callyng the baly of Cossey befor them all, and yaffe hym a gret rebuke, comaundyng the shereffe to se what pepill thei had gadred at Drayton; which came after to Helesdon to se the pepill ther, with weche [pe]pill he held hym wele content; and fro thens he rode to Drayton to se ther pepill, which wer avoyded or he came. And ther he desired to have delivered the seid Thom. Bonde to hym; and thei excusid hem and seid thei had send hym to the Duke of Suffolk. Notwithstandyng, afterward thei sent hym to Norwhich to hym, desiryng hym that he shuld delivere hym not withought he mad a fyne, be cause he trobilled the Kynges lete; for which thei mad l  .  .  .  .  to juges. But after that I understod it, I sent Danyell of Mershlond and Thomas Bonde170.1 to enforme the juges how the seide Thomas was entreted amonges hem, and so he ded. And the juges were gretly  .  .  .  .  .  with the Dukes men, and forwith comaunded the sheryf to delyver the seide Bone withoute any fyne m[aking], seyng that he out non to make. And in goode feythe I founde the juges ryght gentell and forborable to me 171 in my matres, notwithstandyng the Duckes councell had made her compleynt to them or I come in ther werst wice, noysyng us of gret gatheryng of peopell and many riotes thynges don be me and your men. And after I enformed the juges of ther untrouthe and of ther gidyng, and of our gidyng in like wice. And after the juges undrestod the trouthe he gave the baly of Cossey befor me and many other a passyng gret rebuke, seyng without he amended hes condicion and governaunce, thei wuld enforme the Kynge and helpe that he schuld be punyschet. And wher as ye avyced me  .  .  .  .  .  a felaschip to kepe the coorte at Drayton with easy cost, it was thought be your councell it wer better otherwise, and not to gather no people, for it was told me that the Dukes men had to the nombre of v. C. men, and your councel avised me to gete a felischip to kepe my place at Heylesdon, for it was told me that they schuld come and pulle me out of the place, weche cauced me to kepe the place the strenger at that tyme. And as for kepyng of any coort for you at Drayton, I can not wete how it cowde be brought a boute withoute helpe of other but if there schuld growe gret inconvenyence of it. And at the ass[izes]  .  .  .  .  made gret labor to endite your men, notwithstandyng it was letted. And as for the writtes of replevyn, they were delyverd openly be for the juges to the scheryf, and also other writtes wech Jamys Gresham brought; and aftre that Ric. Calle spake with the high scheref for the servyng of hem. And so he promysed to serve it and to send men of hes owne to serve it; and so he sent ij. of his men with Ric. Lynsted, and with ij. of Scheperdes to Cossey for the schepe. And ther they wer answer that Yelverton cleymeth the properte, and so wer they answerd in all other places wher as any catell was. And so they departed and come to the scheryf and enformed hym; and I undrestande the scheryf taketh it for an answere; notwithstandyng I send hym word withoute that Yelverton had ben ther in hes owne persone he myte not cleyme the properte, and aviced hym to be ware what retorne he made that he were not hurte by it. And so he hathe made no retorne yet. What he wul doo I wat ner. He is stylle in this contre yet and schal be this iiij. or v. dayes, but 172 your councell thynketh it were well don that ye gete an allias172.1 and a pluries that it myght be sent don to the scheryf and than he can mak non excuse but nedys  .  .  .  .  .172.2 it well (?) to make a retorne as he wol abide by. I can not wete how the catell woll be goten ayen withoute other processe be had more than we have yet.

Item, on Tuesday next comyng schal the sescions of the pees be at Wolsyngham. What schal be do ther I wot not yet; for as for any indytementes that we schuld labor a yenst them it is but wast werk; for the scheryf ner the jerrours wol no thyng do ayenst them.

Item, wher as ye desire to knowe what gentelmen wolde do for you at this tyme, in goode feythe I founde Herry Greye, Lomnor, Alblastre, Wer  .  .  .  .  (?), Berney of Redham, Skyppewith, and Danyell of Merchelond, ryght weele disposed to you ward at this tyme in helpyng and in zevyng ther goode avice to me for suche maters as I had to doo. Ye schal have more pleyne undrestondyng of all thynges her after than I may write to you at this tyme.

Item, the supersedias172.3 and the supplicavit172.3 is delyverd to Alblastre and to Wechyngham, and they have mad out bothe warantes and supersedias;172.4 nevertheles ther is non servyd yet.

Item, I received the box with the writt and the letter that Berney sent to me on Friday last and non er [no earlier].

Item, as for the pris of malte it is fallen here sore, for it is worthe but ijs. viijd. j. quarter at Yermoth.

Item, as for your wolle, I may selle a stoone for xld., so that I wol geve halfe yere day of payment. I prey you sende me word how I shal do in this matre and in all other, &c. And God kepe you. Wreten in haste the Wednesday next aftre Lammes daye. Your M. Paston.

169.2 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This is another of the series of letters relating to Paston’s dispute with the Duke of Suffolk about Drayton and Hellesdon in 1465.

169.3 August 1.

170.1 At this point the letter is continued in a different ink upon a new sheet of paper, which was formerly stitched to the first sheet. A line which was formerly covered by the sewing shows that Margaret Paston intended at first to have written: ‘to the justice, and he  .  .  .  .  .  (five words illegible, the paper being cut) thei toke the seid Thomas with ought warant, afftre trobillyng of the lete.’

172.1 So in MS.

172.2 A word illegible.

172.3 So in MS.

172.4 Supersedeas is a writ to stay certain proceedings; supplicavit a writ for taking surety of the peace when violence is threatened by any one.

as for your wolle, I may selle a stoone for xld.,
“d.” printed in roman (non-italic) type



To my cosyn, Margaret Paston, at Heylisdonn.

AUG. 7

I  recomaund me to you. And as for the letter that I send yow touchyng John Russe, I will that ye and your counsell see it openly; and kepe this bille to your self or to some secret frend of yours. And I pray yow remembir ij. thynges; on, if ye fynd hym in any maner wise disposed to leve his bargeyn, take it at his offer, and take ayen the writyng that he hath of that bargeyn, or a writyng of his owne hand of relesyng his bargeyn to me; for peraventure at this tyme he woll be glad to leve his bargeyn, as I undirstand, and whanne he sethe that I have peas he wolle calle theron ayen. Wherfore I pray yow werk wisely herin, for he may in no maner wise aske the money of me and kepe his bargeyn, for he hathe divers tymes desired me to have take of hym more masse (?) therfore. Another, as sone as ye may, or ye breke this mater with John Russe, make due serche with the fermours at Akthorp what mony Russe hath reseyved ther in my tyme, that is to sey, for Mighelmes the first, the ij., iij., iiij. yeres of Kyng E., of whech he hath reseyved ij. payments, that is xijli. at the lest, or er the maner was trobelid by Jenney or Yelverton. And I deme that he hath reseyvid some sithen, but that he kepith counsell.

Item, for as moch as Sir Thomas Howes gaderid for the xxxix. yere of Kyng Herry, the seid John Russe woll, under colour of that surmytte, that he reseyvid in my tyme was therfore, wherfore ye must make a serche what he hath reseyvid sith Sir John Fastolff dyed, and what tyme; and therupon ye shall undirstand what he hath reseyvid for me, and what for hym; and in case he hathe reseyvid xiili., and Richard hath payd hym his dute as he promised, thanne growyth nat to John 174 Russe past iiij. or vli.; notwithstanding fare fayre with hym and resonabilly, so that he leve his bargeyn, and lend hym the remnaunt of the xxli. upon suerte for xxli. He desireth to have outher his dewte or borowyng at this tyme.

Item, he that shall speke with the fermours of Akthorp, whos name is Langham, he must inquere generally what mony he hath payd to all men sith Sir John Fastolff dyed, and see his billes of payment, and take therof a titelyng. Ric. Calle hath a bille of parcellis of every mannes ferme, and he can serche this best, in case he be not to favorabill to John Russe, wherfore I remitte this to your discrecion; but I suppose John Russe woll telle yow what he hath reseyvid for hand bifore this tyme wretyn by his seying what he had reseyvid, and I suppose and he remembird that he seid to me, he wold not aske his mony in this forme; nevirthelesse it shall do good, so he leve his bargeyn by this meane.

I mervyll that I here no tidyngges from yow hough ye have do at the assisses. The berer of this letter is a comon carier, and was at Norwich on Satirday, and brought me lettirs from other men, but your servaunts inquere nat diligently after the comyng of cariers and other men. Wretyn at London the Wednesday next after Lammes day.

Ye shall have lettirs of me this weke. John Paston.

173.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] It is sufficiently clear from the reference to accounts of the 4th year of Edward IV., that this letter cannot be earlier than 1465, which is the last year of the writer’s life.


To my mastresse, Margret Paston, James Gresham and Ric. Calle.

I  recomaund me to yow, and have reseyvid ij. lettirs from John Russe, wherin he remembirth me that I shuld owe hym xixli., or therupon, for divers parcelles whech he seith he shuld have deliverid in to myn hows, wherof he seith 175 xiiijli. was deliverid in to myn howse ij. yere g[oon], and that I had a bille deliverid me therof, and the remnaunt sithen, and desireth of me payment of the seid xixli. Wherfore I certi[fye] yow as I undirstand in the mater; ye may lete John Russe come to yow and take such a direccion in the mater as reason and trought woll. I lete yow wete that abought ij. yer goo the seid John Russe deliverid me first a bille of the seid xiiij. [li.], and I examined the parcelles; and as I remembir xjli. was my dewte, wherof the certeyn somme is writen in my blak book of foreyn reseytes that yere, and the remnaunt was Ric. Calles dewte, wherof he was allowed, savyng apart was Elys dewte. And as for the seid xjli., I offerid the seid John Russe payment in hand at that tyme, and desired hym he shuld no more send in to myn howse, and warnyd yow and Richard that ye shuld no more stuffe take in to myn hows without ye peyd in hand, nowther of hym ner of non other. And the seid John Russe prayd me to remembir that I had grauntyd hym the maner of Akthorp in Leystoft, at a certeyn prise, as it apperyd by writyng undir my seall, and desired me that I wold take the seid somme in party of payment. And I told hym that as for such mony that shuld com from hym for that lond, I wold take it of hym and ley it up by the self, that I myght purchase other lond therwith, bicause I wold lesse Fastolffs lyvelode for the college, but I wold pay hym his dewte without any stoppage. And he thanne desired me to take that same xjli., and ley it up to the same use, seying to me that it was as good to do so as I for to take it hym, and he to take it me ayen. And thus he and I agreed, and departed, and thanne he prayd me to take more chafar of hym, whech I denyed. And nough I merveyll what shuld cause hym to aske mony for that dewte; neverthelesse I deme he supposith that he coud not opteyne his bargeyn by me, bicause of the trobill that it standyth in; and for that or for some other cause he repentyth his bargeyn and woll nomore of it. Wherfore send for hym, and take James Gresham or some of your frends and Richard Calle, and fele what he menyth; and if ye can fynd hym disposed to leve his bargeyn yet, though I myght kepe stille the seid mony I wold he shuld 176 not lese therby. Nevirthelesse if he woll refuse his bargeyn, thanne take ayen the writyng that he hath of that bargeyn and a writyng of his hand that he dischargyth me of the graunt that I mad hym of that same bargeyn. And thanne loke that ye enquere what mony he hath reseyvid of the seid maner in my tyme, wherof the ferme is vjli. yerly whech I suffird hym to occupie to his owne use by fors of the seid bargeyn all my tyme; and aftir the parcellis cast what I have had of hym; abbate therof the mony that he hath reseyvid of the seid maner, and also as moch of the xiiijli. as the seid Ric. Calle and Elys owen, wher of he is alowid; and thanne see that the seid John Russe be content of the remnaunt of his parcellis that is dew by me, but loke ye pay non other mennes dewtes.

Also the seid John Russe writyth in his lettir that rather thanne he shuld fayle this mony that I wold lend hym asmoch to pay ayen at Cristemasse; wherfore, if he leve his bargeyn I woll ye lend hym asmoch mony over his dewte as shall make up xxli., takyng of hym suerte to pay ayen at Cristemasse, as he writyth; in case be that he will kepe stille his bargeyn, thanne ye may answere hym it is no reason that he shuld aske me any part of that mony ayen, for he owyth that and moch more.

Item, the seyd John Rus sent me heder a man for this mater only with in thes ij. daijs. Wherfor let him know an ansue letyng (?) for I fel well (?) he hath mad agret bargen but late, wherfor he hath mor nede of mony now, and I wol do for hym that I may resonably. Nevertheles his wryting merveylith me that he askith thes mony as dewte, wheche he toke me for parte of my payment. I deme it comith not all of his owne disposicion. Inquier ye that ye can what it menith. God kepe yow. Wret the Wednisday nex Lammes. Yowr John Paston.

In cas ye han Drayton in any quiete take sewertie of yowr tenants for paiment as I have wret befor.

174.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This is evidently the letter referred to in the beginning of the last.




Ser, ze sent to me a letter conteynyng the substaunce of the processe off Mr. Robert Ippyswell for the mater off the codicill of Nicholas Pykeryng, &c. Me mervelyt gretly off the certificat off Mr. Robert in that be halve, for this is the truthe as forth forth as I kan remembre me. The codicill had nether day nor place lymyte, qwer or qwan it xuld a ben mad; qwerfor to a reprovyd that that nether was qualifyid with day nor place it had be gret foly, &c. Therfor I askyd off the juge hys accounts, and specyally the deposicionys and attestacionys off the wytteness that wer swor in the seyd codicill, &c.; by the qwyche it mowth appere clerly qwan and qwere this codicill xuld a be made and wrete. And this sen I mad protestacion to for the seyde Mr. Robert that I wolde impugne the mater as lawe requiryd. The qwych peticion I made diverse tyme to fore moche recorde, judicialy syttyng the seyde M. R.,177.2 &c. The qwyche peticion he wold not her, but seyde expresse that nether Will. Pykeryng nor non other man xuld sen his accounts nor knowe qwat the deposicion wer in that parte; this mater was comownyd to for Mr. John Selet and my mayster and yours diverse tymys, and ever he seyde we xuld not sen the seyde deposicions. And so qwat sum ever he hath certyfyid, this is the truthe, God to wetenesse and all Seynts, qwo preserve zow evermore.

And I pray zow to declare this to my mayster and zours; and comende me hertly to hys good maysterchep. And God sende hym victorye off all hys elmyes, and so pray all hys well wyllers at Norwich. John Estgate.

177.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The writer of this letter is reported to be dead in No. 604, which was written on the 18th August 1465. We have little doubt, however, that this belongs to the same year, as the names of Robert Ippeswell and John Salet occur in the correspondence more than once about this time.

177.2 Master of the Rolls.




To alle trewe Cristen pepill the wiche these present letteres schall se or here, Roberd Banyngham, confessour to Nicholas Pekeryng of Filby, Alson the wyfe of the seide Nicholas, Roger Silveryn, John Herte of Cowteshall, Robarde Yoxsale, Richarde Hawe, Robarde Manufrac (?), John Case, servaunt of the forseid Nicholas, and Henry Becham, servaunt of the seide Nicholas, and Thomas Page of Beston, sende gretyng in oure Lorde. Where it is merytory nedefull to bere wytenesse of troughthe, alle ye mot knowe us that we herde the forseide Nicholas Pekeryng seyn, lying on his dede bedde, these wordes folwyng, as we willen answere before God, that whanne William Pekeryng, sone of the seide Nicholas rekenyd with his fadir for xx. quarteres barly that the seid William cleymed of his faderys yifte to his mariage; and for vij. dayes cariage of corne in hervest, and for als a thousande waltyle that his fadir had fro ye seide Williams wyfes place, the wiche reknyng greved the seide Nicholas his fadir, and seide, ‘Thou comyst in with many bak rekenyngges. Remembre the that thou hast be the costlyest childe that evere I hadde, and how that I yaf ye x. acres of fre londe, and178.2 a place in mariage, and many othir thyngges that is muche better than all thi bak rekinyngges. And I have now yove ye other x. acres of fre londe aftir my discesse; and me thynketh be the thou heldest the not lowest, but woldest have all. But on thyng I shall sey to the; if thou trouble John, thy brother, or ony of myn executores, or cleyme ony more londes or goodys that evere were myne, I shal yeve ye Goddys curse and myn, for thou hast be ever frowarde to me.’ In witnesse and recorde herof we have sette oure sealys.

To alle trewe Cristen pepill the qwiche these presente letters shal see or here, John Herte of Couteshale, Roberd Yoxhale, Roger Silveryn, Thomas Dawes, and Thomas Drye, sende gretyng in oure Lorde. Where it is merytory, nedefull and medefull to bere witnesse of trought, all ye mot knowe us, that we herde William Pekeryng, sone of Nicholas Pekeryng, seyn that his fadir wolde he shulde have but x. acres of fre londe aftir his decesse be syde other x. acres of fre londe that he yaf hym in maryage. In wittenesse and recorde heer of we have setto oure seales.

Endorsed: A Testymonyall.

178.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] From the contents of the preceding letter it is probable that this document was drawn up in 1465. Blomefield, indeed, states (vol. ii. p. 221) that Nicholas Pickering was buried in the steeple of Filby church in 1466. But the date may be an error, for he certainly seems to have been dead in or before 1465.

178.2 and repeated in MS.



To my ryght wyrshypfull mayster, John Paston, be thys letter delyveryd in haste.

AUG. 18

Ryght wyrshypfull husbond, I recomaund me to you. Please it you to wyte that the cause that I wrote to you non er [earlier] than I dyde after the sessyons was by cause that Yelverton held sessyons at Dyrham and Walsyngham the next wyke after the assyses, and to have knowlech what labour that was made ther, and to have send yow werd therof. Ther was grete labours made by the bayly of Coshay and other for to have endytyd your men both at Dyrham and at Walsyngham, but I purvayd a mene that her [their] purpose was lettyd at thos ij. tymes.

Hugh a Fen ys in Flegge. Richard Call spake with hym thys wyke, and he sayd to Richard that he and his wyff wold be with me here thys wyke toward a place of hys that he hath purchasyd of Godehreds. Yf he come I shall make hym gode chyre, for it ys told me of dyvers folks that have spoke with hym sythen he com in to Norffolk as thay fele by hys sayng that he awyth you ryght gode wyle.

Item, as for my comyng to you, yf it please you that I come, y hope I shull purvey so for al thyngs or I com that it shull be sayff y nogh by the grace of God tyll I com ayen; but at the reverens of God, yf ye may purvey a mene that ye may com hom your sylf; for that shall be most profortabell to you, for men cut large thongs here of other mens lether. I shull wryte to you ayen as hastely as I may. God have you in 180 Hys kypyng. Wryten in haste at Haylesdon, the Sonday next after the Assumpsyon of our Lady.

Item, my cosyn Elysabeth Clere ys at Ormesby and your moder purposyth to be at her place at Caster thys wyke, for the pestylens ys so fervent in Norwych that thay ther [dare ?] no lenger abyde ther, so God help; me thynkyth by my moder that she wold ryght fayn that ye dyde well and that ye myght spyde ryght well in your mater. And me thynkyth by my cosyn Clere that she wold fayn have youre gode wyll, and that she hath sworyn ryght faythfully to me that ther shall no defaute be founde in her, nor noght hath be yf the trogh myght be understond, as she hopyth it shull be herafter. She sayth ther ys no man a lyff that she hath put her truste in so moch as she hath doon in you. She sayth she wote well such langage as hath be reportyd to you of her other wyse then she hath deservyd causyth you to be other wyse to her then ye shuld be. She had to me thys langage wypyng, and told me of dyvers other thyngs the whych ye shall have knowlych of herafter.

As for the hygh shyrf [sheriff] he demenyd hym ryght well her to me, and he sayd to me, as for replevyns he wold aske counseyll of lernyd men what he mygt doo therin, and as largely as he mygt do ther in, or in any other mater touchyng you, savyng hymsylf harmlys, he wold doo for you and for yours that he mygt do.

Item, I have do layd in [caused to be laid in] the presentacyon of Drayton, and have presentyd Sir Thomas Hakon, parson of Felthorp, the whych is hold ryght a gode man and wel dysposyd, and the Duck of Suffolk hath layd in a nother; and ther shall be take an inquisicyon ther uppon, and Mr. Styven ys your a voked [your advocate] therin. Mr. John Estgade ys passyd to God on Thursday last passyd, whos sawle God assoyle! Wherof in gode feyth I am ryght sory, for I fynd hym ryght fayth full to you. They deyy ryght sore in Norwych.

John Rus sayth the profets that hath be take of the maner of Caister syn Sir John Fastolf deyd hath be take by Sir Thomas Howys and Jenney. By yours, M. P.


I mervayll that ye had no tythyngs from me at that tyme that your letter was wryten, for I send you a letter by Chytockys son that ys prenteys in London, and the seyd letter was of the demenyng at the assyes at Norwych and of divers other maters. I pray you send me word yf ye have it. As for the replevyns Richard Calle sayth he hath send you a awnswere of hem, and also the copys of them.

179.1 [From Fenn, iii. 370.] That this letter was written in the year 1465 appears clearly by the reference to the Assizes held at Walsingham (see No. 599), and the intention which the writer intimates of visiting her husband in London. Moreover, the first sentence of the letter, and also the postscript, are evidently written in answer to her husband’s complaint in No. 600, that she had not written to him what she had done at the Assizes.


In the Introduction in Volume I., will be found a document entitled ‘A remembrance of the worshipful kin and ancestry of Paston, born in Paston in Gemyngham Soken.’ This paper, which was printed in the preface to vol. v. of the original edition, p. xliv., appears to have been composed during the lifetime of John Paston by some one who owed the family no good will, not unlikely by Sir William Yelverton. The contents agree very well with the imputation made on John Paston, for which he was imprisoned in 1465, that he was a bondman to the King. The original of this document I have not met with.


Examinations Touching Fastolf’s Will


John Paston examined by a commission of Thomas, Archbishop of Canterbury, addressed to John Druell, LL.D., in the cause between Sir William Yelverton, Knight, and William Worcester, pretensed executors of Sir John Fastolf, and John Paston, Esq., and Thomas Howys, executors, as is said, dated 8 July 1465.


1. Whether Sir John Fastolf made his will, dated 14 June 1459, in English, and sealed by him with his seal of arms? Answer. He made a note of articles in his will, deponent thinks in Latin, probably on that day, but it was not then sealed, and no executor was named.

2. Whether before the will was fair copied an original note of it was made on paper, and corrected and interlined by Paston? And whether that note fair copied was the true will which was sealed by Fastolf?—There was such a note, which being made, Paston went to London and waited some time, when William Worcester informed him it had been fair copied in the beginning of July. Had seen an old will long before, in which some of the articles were the same, but Fastolf altered them from time to time in consultations held with this deponent. Does not know if he did interline, but the note will show, which was then in the keeping of William Worcester, Fastolf’s clerk; nor does he know if the will was drawn up from it, as he was not present at the engrossing or sealing, but hears there were several things altered.

3. Where the will is, in whose custody, and whether he have power to execute it?—The parchment sealed by Fastolf, which Worcester says was his will, was kept some time after his death at Caister, and afterwards produced in audience of the Archbishop, and there remains.

28 Aug. Examined in the Fleet.—Said he was a prisoner, wished first to speak with his counsel, and desired another notary joined with Nicholas Parker, who was not indifferent.

10, 11, 12 Dec. Appeared before the commissary in the treasurer’s house of St. Paul’s Cathedral, London. Examination continued.

4. Whether the said will was kept in the tower called the treasury of Sir John Fastolf at Caister till his death, and whether Paston and Howys afterwards entered and took it, and what was then done with it? Whether, since Fastolf’s death it was exemplified in Latin, and sealed with Fastolf’s seal, and by whom? And whether the Latin contained more or less than the English? Who exhibited the English will in audience of Canterbury? Was it the true will, or was it written and sealed after Fastolf’s death?—Soon after Fastolf’s death the said parchment was exhibited to Paston by Howes and Worcester. It afterwards remained in the keeping of Howes and Paston, and has since been exhibited in the audience of Canterbury. It was not translated into Latin after Fastolf’s death, nor sealed, to Paston’s knowledge. Does not know any will, Latin or English, to have been sealed after Fastolf’s death.

5. Whether Paston exhibited any English will sealed in the audience of Canterbury?—The note made in June contained an article relative to Fastolf’s college, and lands in Norfolk and Suffolk granted conditionally on their being refused by Paston. When Paston went to London, and after a time Worcester came to him, Worcester told him this note was put in parchment and sealed, with the other articles, by advice of Master John Brakley, about the beginning of July. William Bukman, now Abbot of Wymondham, then Prior of Yarmouth, was present when it was sealed, and named as a witness. He and Thomas Ingham reported that Fastolf told them at the time it was his will that Paston should have those things he had granted at the time of the seisin of the said feoffment delivered, whatever was written in the parchment. The said 183 parchment (English) remains in the court. As to the Latin, Fastolf made on paper a schedule of executors for the Latin parchment, and told Paston and Howys that he did not mean all the executors to have administration of his goods. He also told Paston, Bracley, and Clement Felmyngham, after Paston returned from London, that he was informed the Latin will gave equal powers to all the executors, which he never intended. Fastolf made his last will in November, not altogether the same.

6. Who kept Fastolf’s seal of arms and signet after his death, how long did it remain whole, and how many writings did Paston seal with them?—At Fastolf’s death his seal was in a purse sealed with his signet, and placed in a chest. The signet was on his finger at death, but was afterwards placed in the chest in presence of deponent and Thomas Howys, Master John Bracley, Master Clement Felmyngham, and three servants of Fastolf’s chamber, and sealed with the seals of deponent, Howys, and others. The chest remained in Fastolf’s chamber, sometimes in custody of his servants, and sometimes in that of Howys. Afterwards the seals were placed in a white box sealed in the presence of divers men in the hall of the manor, which box was delivered along with certain rings to John Stokys, who opened the box, and after inspecting the seals and rings, sealed it up again and delivered it to Roger Malmesbury, in whose custody they now remain. This deponent sealed nothing with them.

7. Whether, after Fastolf’s death, Paston or any other wrote on a schedule of paper a certain grant or bargain, viz., that Paston should have Fastolf’s lands and tenements in Norfolk, Suffolk, and Norwich, for 4000 marks, and that Paston and Howys should have sole administration of his goods so long as Paston was alive; and whether after Fastolf’s death it was so recently written that Paston, to dry the writing, scattered ashes over it? And if he say it was written during Fastolf’s life, by whom was it written? By himself, or John Russe, or Friar Brakley, or whom? And how long before Fastolf’s death, and in whose presence? And whether that sum was specified in the schedule or a blank left for it? And whether the contents of this schedule were extracted and put in a new one? and by whom was that written? Whether by J. Russe? And what time elapsed between the two writings? And whether the second schedule contained more than the first, and what the additional matter was, and by whom added? And whether this asserted will of Fastolf, made, as Paston pretends, on Saturday, 3 Nov. 1459, was extracted or imagined from the contents of the said bills, or either of them? And what was the matter in the said will added to the matters in the schedules? And how long it was before the said pretended will could be formed to the satisfaction of John Paston?

For two years before his death Fastolf had granted that Paston should have the above lands after his death, without any condition, but for the purpose that he should found a college at Caister of seven monks or priests, and pay 5000 marks to be distributed for the soul of Sir John Fastolf; and about that time he enfeoffed Paston and others in the said lands, declaring that that enfeoffment was to the use of the said Sir John for life, and afterwards of Paston. After this, viz., in the said month of June, Fastolf made the said articles in certain paper notes in Latin and English. Master John Brakley kept copies, which 184 he showed to Paston after his return to London. After that, viz., in September and October, Fastolf several times requested Paston to engross the agreements made between them about the college, saying he would remit to him 1000 marks of the said 5000 marks. And in October and November he recited in certain writings that in order that he might not be disquieted with worldly affairs he had bargained with this deponent that he should have the control of all his lands from which any profit might be derived in England, and of the households and foreign expenses belonging to him, so that he should put aside as much of his dues as he could spare for the college; and that he should have all his lands in Norfolk, Suffolk, and Norwich, for 4000 marks, which he was to pay on certain stated days to Fastolf’s executors for the benefit of his soul. Two paper writings were made of the premises, one by the hand of Paston and the other by Mr. John Brakley, which are severally remaining with them. This agreement Brakley, by Fastolf’s order, got written out in parchment indented, and read to Fastolf, who sealed it in his presence as Brakley reported to Paston. Afterwards, another of the said writings was read to Fastolf in the presence of Paston, Brakley, Mr. Clement Felmyngham, and others, several times in October and November. Comments were made on the reading of it by Fastolf on one occasion, when he said a certain clause was not consistent with his intention, which was that Paston and Howys should be sole administrators of his goods, and that as to his lands in Norfolk, Suffolk, and Norwich, and the college to be founded, he would dispose of them according to his agreement with Paston,—the master to have a stipend of £10, and each of the fellows of 10 marks, and that seven poor men should be found with 40s. a year each, as stated in the will. Fastolf desired his will dated in June to be corrected in these particulars, and written anew by Walter Shipdam, for whom he frequently sent on this business. Meanwhile Brakley and Paston wrote another paper in English as a memorial of Fastolf’s intention, of which deponent delivered a copy under his own hand in Court. The last two lines this deponent wrote and dried with ashes in presence of Thomas Howys. The will of 14 June and that exhibited by Paston and Howys differ little or nothing in effect, except in these articles touching the college, and the sole administration given to Paston and Howys.

As to new writings after Fastolf’s death. Brakley translated those words about the sole administration from English into Latin, partly before his death and partly after. After Fastolf’s death Paston, Howys, and Brakley caused the said Walter Shipdam to put into form (fecerunt dictum W. S. formare) the last will and testament of the said Fastolf, both of the said college and of the said single administration (de dicta singulari administratione), and of other things in the will of June not contrary to his last will and declaration, of which several writings were drawn by Shipdam, first in paper and afterwards in parchment. As to the writing of the agreements, Brakley kept it during Fastolf’s whole life, and a year after, and a copy remained with this deponent after Fastolf’s death; at which time deponent and Howys were sitting in the hall of the manor of Caister at supper when William Worcester came into the hall, and Paston and Howys, rising from supper, had a talk with Clement Felmyngham, John Brakley, and William Worcester, immediately after Fastolf’s death. At 185 that time, by the advice of Brakley, a copy of the agreement was delivered to William Worcester, at his request, folded up and sealed that night by Brakley, Clement Felmyngham, and Howys. It remained in Worcester’s keeping till he rode to London, and then he left it with the said Master John Brakley, Clement Felmyngham, and Thomas Howys. Its tenor was transcribed on parchment by Shipdam shortly afterwards.

181.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] Among the Paston MSS. in the British Museum is a small volume (Addit. MS. 27,450) of 132 pages, with a contemporary parchment cover, consisting entirely of examinations of witnesses touching Sir John Fastolf’s Will. It is in two parts, separated by a blank page, the first containing the depositions of John Paston, taken in 1465, and the second those of the witnesses brought forward by Yelverton and Worcester, which were taken in 1466. We give here the substance of Part I. only. An abstract of Part II. will be found under its proper date.

enfeoffment was to the use of the said Sir John for life, and afterwards of Paston.
final . invisible


To my mastras, Margaret Paston, be this deliveryd in hast, at London.

SEPT. 14

Aftyr all humbyll and most dwe recomendacion, as lowly as I can, I beseche yow of your blyssyng. Plesyt yow to wet that I have sent to my fadyr to have an answer of syche maters as I have sent to hym for in hast, of whyche matyrs the grettest of substans is for the maner of Cotton, besechyng yow to remembyr hym of the same mater, that I may have an answer in the most hasty wyse.

Also I pray yow that myn Ante Poonyngys185.2 may be desyiryd to send me an answer of syche materys as sche wotyth of, by hym that schall brynge me an answer of the mater of Cotton.

Also, modyr, I beseche yow that ther may be purveyd some meane that I myth have sent me home by the same mesenger ij. peyir hose, j. peyir blak and an othyr payir roset, whyche be redy made for me at the hosers with the crokyd bak, next to the Blak Freyrs Gate, within Ludgate; John Pampyng knowyth hym well jnow I suppose. And [if] the blak hose be payid for he wyll send me the roset un payd 186 for. I beseche yow that this ger be not forget, for I have not an hole hose for to doon; I trowe they schall cost both payr viijs.

My brodyr186.1 and my sustyr Anne,186.2 and all the garyson of Heylysdon fare well, blyssyd be God, and recomand hem to yow everychon.

I pray yow voysyt the Rood of Northedor186.3 and Seynt Savyour, at Barmonsey,186.4 amonge whyll ye abyd in London, and lat my sustyr Margery186.5 goo with yow to pray to them that sche may have a good hosbond or sche com hom ayen; and now I pray yow send us some tydyngys as ye wer wonte to comand me; and the Holy Trinyte have yow in kepyng, and my fayir mastras of the Fleet. Wretyn at Norwyche on Holy Rood Daye. Your sone and lowly servaunt, J. Paston the youngest.

185.1 [From Fenn, iv. 224.] It appears by Letter 610 following that Margaret Paston was in London in September 1465. This letter must therefore have been written in that year.

185.2 Elizabeth Paston, now widow of Robert Poynings; afterwards married to Sir George Brown of Betchworth Castle, Surrey.

186.1 Sir John Paston.—F.

186.2 Anne Paston, afterwards the wife of William Yelverton.—F.

186.3 The Cross at the north door of St. Paul’s.

186.4 The Abbey of Saint Saviour at Bermondsey, in Surrey, was founded in 1081, 15th William the Conqueror, by Alwin Child of London; it was surrendered in 1539, 31 Hen. VIII., when it was pulled down, and a Fair House built on the site by Sir Thomas Pope, Knight.—F.

186.5 Margery Paston; she afterwards married Richard Calle.—F.


To my mestresse, Margaret Paston by thys letter delivered.

SEPT. (?)

Please your good mastreschep to have knowlage that as thys day was Master Stevyn of Norwich at Caster, and ther he told me he was yesterday at Hoxhon with the Byschop of Norwych; and ther he seythe that ther is gret labor mad be Master Phylyp186.7 and be the baly of Cossey; in 187 so moche ther is mad a comission on to Master John Salet and Master Robert Ipyswell for an inquerry that the parson187.1 that my master187.2 mad last at Drayton ys deed, as they sey, and in so moche they purpose to put in the parson of Felthorp, as he hard sey, for the Duk of Suffolk. And thes he thynkyth it were a gret urt to my master tytyll. And also another inquerry howe [who] ys patorne of the seyd chyrche; and thys is leke to come in revelicion but yf [unless] ther be gret labore mad to morowe be tymys and that ye have a man at Hoxhon in all hast for a newe comicion; and in that commysion Master Stevyn wold that ye shuld have Master Jon Salet, Master Symond Thornaham, Master Nicholl Stanton. And that it be mad be the avice of Master Jon Bulman; for he told Master Stevyn he wold do for you that he may, in so moche Master Stevyn hathe promyssyd hym a nobyll; and so the seyd Master Stevyn wold ye shuld send hym a letter and late hym have knolage that Master Stevyn shall reward hym that he shall hold hym pleasyd.

Item, a told me that a sent a letter to Sir William Maryys of all this mater yesterday, weder ye have er not he can not sey, but in noo wyse that ye dyskure not Master Stevyn, for he wold not for an Cli. that it ware knowe that ye knewe ther of by hym, for he seythe gold gothe gret plenty at Hoxhon on ther part. And yf it be labord be tymys it may be remevyd to Caunterbury. Also yet it is good to send to Norwich to the seyd Sir William for the letter ar the massanger goth, &c.

186.6 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter was probably written about or before the beginning of September 1465, as the proceedings of Salet and Ipyswell on the commission of inquiry here referred to are alluded to in a letter of Margaret Paston to her husband on the 27th of that month.

186.7 Doubtless Philip Lipgate.

187.1 This must be John Flowerdew, presented by John Paston and Thomas Howes in 1461.

187.2 John Paston.



To my Cosyn Margret Paston.

SEPT. [21]

Myn owne dere sovereyn lady, I recomaund me to yow, and thank yow of the gret chere that ye mad me here to my gret cost and charge and labour. No more at thys tyme, but that I pray yow ye woll send me hedir ij. clue of worsted188.2 for dobletts, to happe me thys cold wynter; and that ye inquere where William Paston bought his tepet of fyne worsted, whech is almost like silk, and if that be mech fyner thanne that he shuld bye me after vij. or viij.s., thanne by me a quarter and the nayle therof for colers, thow it be derer thanne the tother, for I wold make my doblet all worsted for worship of Norffolk, rather thanne like Gonnores doblet.

Item, as for the mater of the askyd by my Lady of Bedford188.3 for the maner of Westthirrok, where as Sir Thomas Howes saith that he hath no wrytyng therof, but that Sir John Fastolf purchased the seid maner, and payd serteyn money in ernest, and aftirward graunted his bargeyn to the Duc of 189 Bedford, and so the money that he toke was for the mony that he had payd. Peraventure Sir Thomas hath writyng therof, and knowyth it not; for if ther be any such mony payd upon any bargeyn he shall fynd it in Kyrtlyngs bocks that was Sir John Fastolfs reseyver, and it was abought such tyme as the Duc of Bedford was last in Inglond, whech, as it is told me, was the viij. yere of Kyng Herry the fift, or the viij. yere of Kyng Herry the sext, and the somme that he payd for the seid bargeyn was CCC. marks. Also he shall fynd, the xxij. yere of Kyng Herry or ther abought, in the acompts of on of Fastolfs Reseyvors at London, that ther was take of Sir Thomas Tyrell, and of the Duchesse of Excestre,189.1 that was wif to Sir Lowes John, fermours of the seid maner, serteyn mony for repayment of part of the seid CCC. marks. Also he shall fynd in yeres after that, or in that yere, or ther aboutes, that Sir John Fastolf reseyved mony of my Lord Revers189.2 that now is, by the name of Richard Wydevile, for his owne dette dew to Sir John Fastolf; wherfore, if Sir Thomas be trewe to his master, lete hym do his devoir to make that Worseter, whech is uphold be hym with the deds goods, to be trewe to his master, or ellis it is tyme for Sir Thomas to forsake hym, and helpe to punyssh hym, or men mast sey that Sir Thomas is not trewe; and more over lete 190 Sir Thomas examine what he can fynd in this mater that I sent hym werd of, whech mater he shall fynd in the seid Reseyvours bocks, if he list to seke it.

Item, on the day after your departyng, I reseyved letters by Will. Ros from your sones to me, and to yow, and to Ric. Calle, &c.

Item, I shall telle you a tale,

Pampyng and I have picked your male190.1

And taken out pesis190.2 v.,

For upon trust of Calles promise, we may soon onthryve;

And, if Calle bryng us hedir xxli.,

Ye shall have your peses ayen, good and round;

Or ellis, if he woll not pay yow the valew of the peses, there

To the post do nayle his ere;

Or ellis do hym some other wrongs,

For I will no nore in his defaut borough;

And but if the reseyvyng of my livelod be better plyed

He shall Crists ours and mine clene tryed;190.3

And loke ye be mery and take no thought,

For thys ryme is cunnyngly wrought.

My Lord Persy190.4 and all this house

Recomaund them to yow, dogge, catte, and mowse,

And wysshe ye had be here stille,

For the sey ye are a good gille.190.5

No more to you at this tyme,

But God hym save that mad this ryme.

Wret the       of Sent Mathe,190.6

Be yowr trew and trustie husband, J. P.

188.1 [From Fenn, iv. 90.] From the mention of ‘this cold winter’ at the beginning of this letter we might naturally suppose that the feast ‘of Sent Mathe,’ on or about which it was written, was that of St. Matthias, which occurs on the 24th of February. But we believe the day of St. Matthew to have been intended, so that the expression must have had reference to some unusually cold weather in September. It is clear from the contents of the letter that Margaret Paston had recently been with her husband in London, and had just left him in company with Richard Calle on her return towards Norfolk. Letters for her and Richard Calle had arrived from her two sons since they departed. Now the only time, so far as I can find, that Margaret Paston ever visited her husband in London—at all events when her sons were grown up—was in September 1465; and on that occasion Calle was with her, and everything else agrees. Indeed, no one can doubt that the latter portion of the letter immediately following was written in answer to this letter.

188.2 Worsted is a small market-town in the most east part of the county of Norfolk, formerly famous for the manufacture of those stuffs which still bear its name, and of which, for the worship of Norfolk, J. Paston desired his doublet to be made.—F.

188.3 Jaquetta, daughter of Peter of Luxembourg, Earl of Saint Pol, was the second wife of John, Duke of Bedford, the Regent of France during Henry VI.’s minority. She was married to him in 1433, and after his decease, in 1435, she became the wife of Sir Richard Wydvile, and died in 1472.

189.1 Anne, eldest daughter of John Montacute, third Earl of Salisbury, married, 1st, Sir Richard Hankford, Knight; 2ndly, Sir Lewis John, Knight (whose will was proved in 1442); and 3rdly, John Holland, who was created Duke of Exeter 6th January 1443, and died in 1446. Fenn erroneously supposed the lady to have been the widow of Thomas Beaufort, a previous Duke of Exeter, who died in 1426. This Beaufort, Duke of Exeter, married Margaret, daughter and heir of Sir Thomas Nevill, but his wife did not survive him, as Fenn supposed, for at his death he was found to have been tenant of her lands for life by the law of England. Fenn’s note on this passage is, however, so interesting that we must quote a part of it. Beaufort, Duke of Exeter, was buried in the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds. ‘On digging,’ he says, ‘amongst the ruins of this Abbey, the body of the Duke was found, on the 20th of February 1772, wrapt in lead, and entire. The face, hair, and every part were perfect, and the flesh solid, but being exposed to the air, the body soon became offensive  .  .  .  .  .  I procured some of the hair, which was of a fine brown colour, and very flexible.’

189.2 Sir Richard Wydvile, in 1448, was created Baron Rivers of Grafton, in Northamptonshire, and elected a Knight of the Garter. His daughter Elizabeth afterwards became the Queen of Edward IV., who then advanced her father to the dignity of Earl Rivers. He was seized by the Lancaster mutineers, and beheaded at Banbury in 1469.—F.

190.1 Male, or Mail, is a trunk or portmanteau. It is to be observed that in the original letter the verses do not finish the line but are written as prose.—F.

190.2 Pieces of money.

190.3 I do not understand this line.—F. Surely ‘ours’ must be a misreading of ‘curs’ (curse)?

190.4 Henry, Lord Percy, son and heir of Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, who was killed at the Battle of Towton in 1461, by Eleanor, granddaughter and heir of Robert, Lord Poynings.

His father having been attainted, he continued to be called Lord Percy; but he was afterwards fully restored both in blood and title.

190.5 An agreeable companion.—F.

190.6 St. Matthew’s Day is the 21st September.



SEPT. 27

Ryght wourchipful husbonde, I recomaunde me to yow, dyssyryng hertely to here of yowr welfare, thankyng yow of yowr grett chere that ye made me, and of the coste that ye dede on me. Ye dede more cost thanne my wylle was that ye choulde do, but that it plesyd yow to do so, God gyf me grase to do that may plese yow. Plesyt yow to wet that on Fryday after myn departyng frome yow I was at Sudbury and spake with the schreve, and Ric. Calle toke hym the ij. writts, and he brake them, and Ric. hathe the copes of them; Vic. Norfolk pro ovibus. and he seyde he wolde send the writts to hys undre-schryf and a leter therwyth, chargyng hym that he schowlde do ther ine as largely as he owt to do. Answer of the writts and of the replevyn. And I and Ric. informyd hym of the demenyng of hys undrchryf, how parciall he hade be with the other partye, bothe in that mater, and also for the accionnys beyng in the scher; and he was nothyng wel plesyd of the demenyng of hys undreschef, and he hat wretyn to hym that he choulde be indeferent for bothe partyes acordyng to the lawe, bothe for that materys and for alle other. What the undreschryf wylle do therin I wot ner, for he is not yet spokyn with.

Item, as for Cotton, I entryd in to the plase as on Sunday last was, and ther I abode tyll un Wednysday last pasyd. Margareta Paston intravit manerium Cotton die Dominica proxima ante festum Michaelis. I have left ther John Paston the yonger, Wykes, and other xij. men for to receive the profyttes of the maner; and ayenst the day of kepyng of the corte, I hope ther shall be more to streynkyth them, yf it nede. John Paston hath be with my lorde of Norfolk seyth [since] we entryd, and dyssyryd his 192 good lorchyp to streynth hym with hys howsolde men and other yf nede be; and he hath promysyd he would do so. I thank yow of your demenyng at Cotton. And I sent Ric. Calle on Tusday to Knevett, dysyryng hym that he woulde sende to hys baley and tenaunts at Mendlesham, that thei choulde be redy to come to John Paston whan he sent for them; and he sent a man of his forthwith, chargyng them in aney wyse that they choulde do so. Remembir Nakton. And he sent me wourde be Ric. and hys sonne also, yf wee were not stronge inough, that owther he or hys sonne, or bothe yf nede were, would come with suche feleschipp as they coude gett abowt them, and that thei woulde do as feythfully as they kowde for yow, bothe in that mater and in alle other.

Item, on Saterday last was, Jenney ded warne a corte at Calcotte to be holde ther in hys name as on Tusday last was, and Debenham de[d] charge another court ther the Sunday next after to be holde ther the same Tusday in hys name. And Daubeney had knowleche ther of, and he dede send on Sunday at nyght to yowr elder sonne, for to have some men fro thens; and so he sent Wykes and Bernay to hym on Monday in the mornyng. Mokenge of Jenney and Debenham at Calcotes the Tuisday next bifore Sen Migchell. And assone as thei were come to Castre thei sent for men ther in the contre, and so they gett them in to a iij.xx. men; and Daubeney and Wekes and Bernay rod to Calcott the same Munday at nyght with ther felechyp, and ther kept them prevye in the pl[a]se, so that non of alle the tenaunts kneue them ther, saf Rysyngs wyff and her howsolde, tylle the Theusday at x. of the cloke. Now your cost is doon, consideryng your frends be corayges and your enemyes discoraged, gadir up the profits in all goodly hast, and that I may see acompt for this trobill tyme. And than Sir Thomas Brews, Debunham the fadre,192.1 and the knyt hys sonne,192.2 Jenney, Mykelfylde younger, Jermyn, and younge Jernyngham, and the Baley of Motforde, with other to the noumbre of a iij.xx. persones, coum fro the sessionnys at Becklys, the whech thei hade keppt ther on the day byfor, coume to Seynt Olevys, and ther thei teryed and dynyd. And whan thei had dynyd, Sir Gylberde Debenham came to Calcott with xx. hors for to wett what felechipp ther was in the plase. And than Wekes aspyed them commyng; and he and Bernay and ij. with them rode owt to a’ spoke with them. And whan Sir Gilberd aspyd them comyng, he and his felechipp flede and rode ayen to Seynt 193 Olovys. And than they sent young Jernyngham and the Baley of Mottforde to yowr men lettyng hem wete that the Justice of the Pese wer coum doune with Debunham and Jenney, to se that the pese choulde be kepte, and that thei choulde entre and kepe the courte in pesible wyse. And yowr men answeryd and seyd that they knewe no man was possessyd ther in, ner hade no ryght therin but ye, and so in your name, and in your ryght they seyd they woulde kepyt. And so they yede ayen with thys answer, and wer put fromme ther purp[o]se that day. And all the tenaunts bestes wer put fro Calcalcott193.1 fee, and challe be tylle other remedy maye be hadde. Yowr men woulde not kepe ther a cort that daye by cause it was warnyd by the tother parte, but we wyl do warne a corte and kepyt, I hope in hast. Ye wyll laugh for to here alle the processe of the demenyng ther, wheche wer to longe to writt at thys tyme. Veneat (sic) Barney. Bernay challe telle yow whane he come; but he challe not come to yow tylle after Seynt Feythesmesse,193.2 that he maye bryng yow answeres of other materys. Cessiones Norwici et Dunwici Martis proximo post festum Michelis. It is tolde me the sessionys choulle be her at Norwiche on Tusday next comyng, and in Suffolk the Sessionys challe be the same Tusday owther at Dounwyche or at Ypswyche. I suppose ther challe be labowr ayenst soume of our folks ther, but we cholle assay to lete ther pourpose yf we maye. De prudencia custodiendi Heylesdon. It is tolde me yf ther hade no folks a’ be left here in thys plase whyll I have be owt, they choulde a’ be neue masters her by thys tyme; therfor it is not good to leve it alone yett.

Tenentes comitis Oxoniæ pro custodia Cotton.

Item, Arblaster hathe sent a letter to myn Lorde of Oxenefords tenaunts that be nerrest abowt Cotton to help John Paston yf they be sent to, &c.

Episcopus Norwici pro ecclesia de Drayton.

Item, I was thys daye with myn Lorde of Norwyche at Thorppe, and informyd hym of the demenyng of the mater for Drayton chyrche, and of alle the demenyng and parcialte of Master John Solatt and Ypswell; and also I informyd what disposission that they were of that were upon the quest. Lete yowr counsell comone with hym, but thei may sey they knowe not myn evidens nor titell, ner have no mor to do by my writynge that I sent yow thanne to avyse hough I shall take myn accion, and that in that accion I have as good titell as my Lord of Norwich hath to the chirch of Thorp. And in good feyth me thynkyth by hym that he is ryght ille plesyd that the mater was so gydyt. He seyde to me ryght 194 pleynly that the Jugis dede not therin as thei owght to do, and he seyd thowe I hadde hade noo councell, the he howght of ryght to have assyngyd me councell suche as I hadde dyssyrid; but he seyde he wyst well he dede in that mater as he have do in other materys byfor. Me thynkyth by suche thynges I harde ther that the seyd Master John ner the tother is not grettly in conseyt at thys tyme; and so tolde me Aschefylde in councell. What the cause was he myght have no leyser to telle me. I mevyd my lorde in the mater acordyng to the intent of yowr wrytyng yf aney axcion wer take; and he seyd feythefully yf it myght prevayle yow, he woulde with ryght good wylle that it choulde be doo; and ellys he woulde not in noo wyse that it choulde be doo. And he dyssyryde me to sende to hym suche as be of yowr councell lernyd, that they myght comune with hym therin, for he seyd he woulde not ye choulde take non axcion therin withowt it myght provayle. He was well payed that I tolde hym that ye woulde not do therin withowt hys knowleche and assent; and he seyd he woulde do therin as he woulde do yf the mater wer hys owne. Be avyse of yowr councell, I purpose to sende Loumnowr and Playter to commone with hym therin. He seyd he woulde feyne that ye wer owt of troble; and he seyd, yf he myght doo owght to helppe yow forwarde in aney of yowr materys, he swore by heys feythe he wode do hys parte feythfully therin. Episcopus apud London. He purp[o]syd to be at London thys terme, and thanne he seyd he woulde speke with yow of maney thyngs; he wycheyd herteley that he myght have spoke with yow on owr. He mevyd to me of a mater of a jentyllman of Cornale. Cornwayle He seyd he woulde speke with yow therof her after; yf it myght be browt to, it myght do meche good in maney thyngis. I harde yow onys speke of the same; ye tolde me ye hade be mevyd to therof by other.

Item, I received at letter frome yow yesterday, wherof I thanke yow hertely, and I praye yow that I maye be as ye writt. And as for suche materys as Sir Thomas Howys choulde be spoke to for194.1 I sent Ric. Calle this day to speke with hym, but he myght not speke with hym; but as hastely 195 as I may I challe do myn parte to spede the erands and other. Ecclesia de Mautby. It is tolde me that Sir Thomas wyll ressyng Mautby chyrche, and yf it plesyd yow to geve it to on Sir Thomas Lyndis, I truste verely that ye choulde leke hym ryght well, for he is rit a prystly man and vertusly dysposyd. I have knowe hym this xx. yer and mor; he was brother to the goode parsone of Seynt Michellys that ye lovyd ryght well; and yf he myght havyt he woulde kepe an howsolde therupon and bylde (?) well the plase (?); and therof have it grete nede, for it is now rit evyll reparyd, and I wott well he woll be rulyd and gydyt as ye wyll have hym. Wursted. I praye yow, yf it plese yow that he have it, that it lekyth yow to sende me an answer by the berrer herof.

Item, I have do spoke for yowr worstede195.1 but ye may not have it tylle Halowmesse; and thane I am promysyd ye challe have as fyne as maye be made. Ric. Calle challe bryng it up with hym.

Wretyn the Fryday next before Michelmas day.

191.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter is apostyled in the handwriting of John Paston, and numbered ‘IIII.’ at the head, showing that it is of the same sequence as the next, which is numbered ‘V.’ and dated on the very same day. In fact, the latter is clearly nothing but a postscript to this, and bears the address upon the back, which this does not.

192.1 Gilbert Debenham, senior, Esq.

192.2 Sir Gilbert Debenham.

193.1 So in MS.

193.2 6th October.

194.1 See No. 609.

195.1 See No. 609, p. 188, Note 2.


To my ryght worschipfull husbond, John Paston, in haste.

To get a copy [of] that he hath  .  .  hed; notwith­standyng [I] wote well thei have found non such evidens as ye wene.

Item, it was tolde me thys day that Master John Salatt hathe made a serge in the regestre this monethe aftre the wylles and testements or suche as hought the maners of Heylesdon and Drayton this c. yere, and be that hathe they founde suche evidence as schal be gret strenghthyng to the Duks tittle, as it is seide. I undrestonde verely that Mastre John Salet is all on that partye, and no thyng with you.


Item, as for the bill that ye sent to Sir Thomas Howys touchyng on Edmond Carvyll and on Fraunces, I wote ner whether he had hem or nought, for he is not spoken with yett in the maters. As wee spede owr materys, we chall sende yow answers of them as hastely as we maye. At the reverense of God, spede ye yowr materys that ye maye come owte of that loggyng that ye ar in as hastely as ye maye, for I have non fansey with some of the felechipp. I tolde yow, as me thowth, I praye yow be ware, &c.

I praye yow yf it plese yow that I may be recommaundyd to my Lorde Percy, and to myn mastres, and to my Lorde Abott. And I pray God bryng yow and them owt of troble, and send yow good spede in alle yowr materys. Wretyn in hast, the Fryday next afor Michellmes. Be yowr, M. P.

Yf it plese yow to send aney thyng by the berer herof, he is trusty inough.

195.2 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter is apostyled in the handwriting of John Paston, and numbered ‘V’ at the head. As it refers to Paston’s dispute with the Duke of Suffolk about the manors of Hellesden and Drayton, it must belong to the year 1465. The reader will also perceive that it contains an allusion to John Paston’s imprisonment in the Fleet, and to my Lord Percy, who is mentioned in Letter 609, and who must have been a fellow-prisoner of Paston’s.


[To] his ryght worschypful [fa]dre John Paston, beyng [in t]he Flete at London, be thys delyvered.

Ryght Worschypful Syr, in the most lowly wyse I recomand me to you. Pleasyth it you to wet that I sente you a letter but late agoo, in whych letter I lete you have understondyng that if it pleasyd yow to grante and assente therto, Syr Thomas Howes wolde resyngne the benefyse of Mawteby to a ful prestly man of Norwych callyd Sir Thomas Lyndys, whom I suppose ye have knolech of. Neverthelesse I wote wele he hath not ben grettly aquentyd with you. But I and he have ben moch aquentyd to geder, and I 197 understond and knowe hys vertews levyng and dysposicion ryght wele; whyche heraffter, I wote wele, sholde please you ryght wele. And that letter whyche I sente you as I understode syns Nycholas Calman the berer ther of came not owte of Norwych iiij. or v. dayes after that the bylle was delyveryd hym; wherefor I am in dowte whyther it is come to your handes.

Whych causyth me to wryght to you ageyn in thys wyse, besechyng yow, if it plese yow that the seyd Sir Thōs Lyndys schal be of your promotynge in the wyse above wretyn that there it lyke you that I may have answer by the berer herof; whych schal tary at London a day or ij., and not passynge. No more to yow at thys tyme, but Alle myghty God have yow in guydynge. Wretyn at Heylesdon the Fryday next byfore Seynt Mychell. By yowr older sone, John Paston.

196.1 [MS. in Pembroke College, Cambridge.] This letter, as will be seen, was written in 1465 on the same day as Margaret Paston’s two letters, Nos. 610, 611.

tary at London a day or ij., and not passynge.
final . invisible


To my ryth reverrend and worchepfull fadre, John Paston, be thys delyveryd.

OCT. 3

Aftyr all humbyll and most due recomendacion, as lowly as I can, I beseche yow of your blyssyng. Plesyt yow to have knowlege that as on Sonday next be for Myhelmas Day, as my modyr came fro London ward, sche cam homward by Cotton, and sche sent for me to Heylysdon to come to hyr thedyr, and so I have ben in the plase ever sethyn. And as sone as Myhelmas Day was past, I begane to dystreyne the tenants, and gadryd some syllvyr, as myche, I trowe, as wyll pay for our costs; and yet I cepe here ryth a good felawschep, and mor wer promysyd me, whyche 198 that came not to me, wherby I was ner deseyvyd. For when Debnam herd sey how that I began to gadyr sylvyr, he reysyd many men with in j. daye and an halfe, to the nombyr of iijc. men, as I was credebly assartaynyed by a yeman of the chambyr of my Lordys198.1 that owythe me good wyll, whech yeman, as sone as he had sene ther felauschep, rod streyth to my Lord and informyd hym of it; and also he informyd my Lord how that I had gadryd a nothyr gret felashschep, whyche felawschep he namyd more than we wer by jc. and an halfe and yett more. And he seyd on to my Lord and my Lady, and to their consell, that with owt that my Lord took a dyrectyon in the mater, that ther wer leek to be do gret harme on bothe oure pertyes, wheche wer a gret dysworchep to my Lord, consederyng how that he takyth us bothe for hys men, and so we be knowyn well inow. Upon whyche informacion, and dysworchep to my Lord, that tweyn of hys men schold debat so ner hym, contrary to the Kyngs pese, consedryd of my Lord and my Lady and ther cownsell, my Lord sent for me and Syr Gylberd Debnam to come to hym to Framlyngham bothe, and as it fortunyd well my modyr come to me to Cotton not half an owyr be for that the mesenger came to me fro my Lord, wheche was late upon Twysday last past at nyth; and the next day on the mornyng I rod to my Lord to Framlyngham, and so ded Syr Gylberd also. And as sone as we wer come, we wer sent for to come to my Lord, and when we come to my Lord, he desiyryd of us bothe that we schold neythyrthyr gadyr no felawschep, but syche men as we had gadryd that we schold send hem home a yen, and that the coort schold be contenuyd in to the tyme that my Lord, or suche as he wold asyngne, had spok bothe with yow and Yelverton and Jenney, and that on indeferent man chosyn by us bothe schold be assynyd to kepe the plase in to the tyme that ye and they wer spook with.

And then I answed my Lord, and seyd how that at that tyme I had my maistyr within the maner of Cotton, whyche was my modyr, and in to the tyme that I had spook with hyr I cowd geve none answer; and so my Lord sent Rychord Fulmerston, berer hereof, to my modyr thys day for an 199 answer, whyche answer he schold bryng to my Lord to London, for my Lord rod to Londons word as yesterday, and the soner be cause he trustyd to have a good end of this mater and alle othyr be twyx yow, whyche he takyth for a gret worchep to hym, and a gret avantage bothe, and he cowd bryng this mater abowt, for then he wold trust to have your servyse, alle whyche wer to hym gret tresour and avantage.

And this was the answer that my modyr and I gave hym, that at the instans of my Lord and my Ladye we wold do thus myche as for to put the coort in contenuans, and no more to receyve of the profyts of the maner than we had, and had dystresid for tyll in to the tym that sche and I had werd ayen fro my Lord and yow, if so wer that they wold neythyr mak entreys nor dystreyn the tenantys, nor chepe no coort mor then we wold do. And we told Rychord Fulmerston that thys my modyr and I ded at the instans and gret request of my Lord, be cause my Lord intendyd pes, whyche resonably we wold not be ayenst, and yet we seyd we knew well that we schold have no thank of yow when ye knew of it, with owt it wer be cause we ded it at my Lordys instans. But be for thys answer we had receyvyd as myche sylvyr full ner as Rychord Calle sent us bokys of for to gadyryt bye; and as for the possessyon of the plase, we told hym that we wold kepe it, and Syr Gylberd agreyd, so that Yelverton and Jeney would do the same; for it was tyme for hym to sey so, for my Lord told hym that he wold hym fast by the feet ellys, to be suyr of hym, that he schold make non insurreccions in to the tyme that my Lord came ayen fro London.

I wene, and so dothe my modyr bothe, that thys appoyntment was mad in good tyme; for I was deseyvyd of bettyr than an C. men and an halfe that I had promyse of to have come to me when I sent for hem. Thys promes had I befor that I sent to yow the last lettyr the daye aftyr Seynt Myhell. Jenney herd seye that I cepyd Cotton, and he rod to Nacton, and ther held a cort and receyvyd the profytys of the maner.

I beseche yow that I may have knowlage in hast fro yow ye wyll that I be demenyd in thys mater and in al othyr, and 200 I schal aplye me to fulfyll your intent in them to my power by the grace of God, whom I beseche have yow in guydyng, and sende yow yowyr herts desyir. Wretyn at Hemnalle Halle, in Cotton, the Thursday next befor Seynt Feythe.

My modyr recomandyth her to yow, and preyith yow to hold hyr excusyd that sche wrytyth not to yow at thys tyme, for sche may have no leyser. The berer her of schall informe yow whedyr Jeney wyll agre to thys appoyntment or not. I thynk he dar do non othyr wyse. Your sone and lowly servaunt, John Paston.

197.1 [From Fenn, iv. 80.] The signature of this letter, according to the fac-simile referred to by Fenn, is that of Sir John Paston, the eldest son of the person addressed. The date is undoubtedly 1465, as it will be seen by Letter 610 that Margaret Paston entered Cotton on Sunday before Michaelmas in that year.

198.1 The Duke of Norfolk.


To owr trusty and enterly beloved servaunt, John Paston, Esquyr.

The Deuke of Norff.

OCT. 12

Ryght welbeloved servaunt, y grete yow hertly welle, sertefyng that we shulle be at fulle age on Fryday nexst comyng. Wherfor, wele consayled be the Lordes of owr Consayle and oder of owr Consayle, that ye, on of owr servaunts of howsholde, with oder, be with us at London on Fryday or Saterday nexst comyng at the ffurdest, too a companye us thann too owr worshyp, for we shull have thann levery of owr landes and offyces; and that ye ffayle us 201 not, as ye woll have owr good Lordeshyp in tyme comyng; and also that ye doo warne owr ffeede men201.1 and servaunts, suche as be nye too yow, that they be ther thann in owr leverey. Y wreton the xij. day of October. Norff.

200.1 [From Fenn, iv. 62.] John Mowbray, third Duke of Norfolk, died on the 6th November 1461. It appears by the Inquisitions post mortem, 1 Edward IV., No. 46, that John, his son and successor in the title, was seventeen years old on St. Luke’s Day (18th October) in that year. He must therefore have been born on the 18th October 1444, and would have been of full age on Friday, 18th October 1465. The John Paston, Esq., to whom this letter was addressed, must have been the youngest of that name, who, as we have seen already, had been serving in the Duke’s household. His father was at this time a prisoner in the Fleet, so that the letter could not have been intended for him.

201.1 Those who held lands of the Duke as their superior.


OCT. 14

Thys be the parcell underwryten of such godys as were taken and beren away at Haylesdon, of John Pastons, hys sones and hys servaunts by the Duk of Suffolk servaunts and tenaunts the xiiij. day of October the v. yere of Kyng E. the iiijte, the whych day the place of Haylesdon was broken and pullyd dowyn, &c.

In primis, ther was lost of John Pastons ther at that tyme in beddyng ij. ffeder bedds with ij. bolsters, iiij. materas, with iiij. bolsters; a grete seler with the testor, and iij. corteyns of whyte lynen cloth, and a coverlyte of whyte werstede longyng therto.

Item, a selere with a testore, and iij. corteyns of blewe bokeram with a coveryng of blew werstede longyng therto; v. pylowys of dowyn, vj. coverlyts of werk of dyvers colors, vj. payr blankettys, ij. payr shytes of iij. webbys, ij. hedshytes of ij. webbys, vj. payre shytes of ij. webbys, ij. basons of pewter, and iij. candelstykks of latyn for the chamber.

The Botere.

Item, in primis, vj. bord clothys, vj. towellys, xij. napkyns, vj. candelstykks of laton, ij. saltsalers of sylver, ij. saltsalers of pewter, ij. basons of pewter with ij. ewers, a barell of vyneger, a barell of vergyous, xij. ale stondys, ij. pantre knyves, a pyce of sylver, a pype for brede, a ale stole, xij. spones of sylver, &c.

The Browhern.

Item, a grete lede to brew v. comb malte with one plawyng, a mayshsate, ij. kylyng sates, vj. kylers, ij. clensyng sates, a taptrogh, a temps to clense, with a scyppe to bere malte, a syff to syft malte, a bultyng pype, ij. knedyng satys, a moldyng bord.

The Kychyn.

Item, ij. dosyn pewter vessell, iiij. grete bras pannes, iij. potts of bras, j. greddyron, ij. broches, j. dressyng knyff, j. morter of marbell with a pestell, j. litell panne of bras of di. galon, ij. pothoks, ij. rakks of yron, ij. brendeletts, a almary to kepe in mete, j. axe to clyve wode, ij. saltyng satys to salte in fflesh.

Gere taken owt of the Chyrch.

Item, in the stepell, ix. sheffe arwys, ix. bawys, ij. handgonnes, iiij. chambers for gonnys, ij. mallys of lede, ij. jakks.

Item, in the church, a purs and iij. gold ryngs, a coler of sylver of the Kyngs lyvery and a nobyll of viijs. iiijd. the whych was Wykys.

Item, a syde gowne of blewe of Wyks.

Item, a stokke gonne with iij. chambers.

Gere taken owte of the Chaumber of Ric. Calle.

Item, a syde morrey gowne, a dobelet of blak satyn, a payre hosyn, a jakks, the polronds of a payr bryganders of rede sateyn ffugr.

Item, a payr of large tabelles of box, pris vjs. viijd.

Item, a staffe, pris iijs. iiijd.

Item, boke of Frensh, pris iijs. iiijd.

Gere taken away of Margeret Pastons.

Item, an unce of gold of Venyse, di. pype of gold damask, di. unc’ of gold of Gene, an unc’ of sylk, a li. of threde, a close glasse of yvery, a grete combe of yvere, a fyne kerchy of fyne Holond cloth, a quarter of blak velwet.

Gere of Johanne Gayns.

Item, a ryng of gold with a dyamonics, a typet of sarsenet, a nobyll of xs., a nobyll viijs. iiijd.

Gere of John Wyks.

Item, a dobelet of blak fusteyn, a hers harnys, vjs. a gray hers, pris xls., ij. shertys, pris iiijs.

Will. Bedford.

Item, a Normandy byll and a bawe, pris of them both vjs.

John Boteler.

Item, a payr botys, a payr sporys, a shert, a cappe, a hatte, a dobelet, a payr hosyn, a brydell, ij. crepers, v. ston of wall, xxx. welfellys, a spere staff.


Item, taken away uppon Draytun grounde at on tyme by the baylly of Cossey and others, CC. shepe callyd hoggys.

Item, at a nother tyme, uppon the same ground, iiijxx. hoggys and xl. theyves.

Item, at a nother tyme, at Haylesdon, by the baylly of Cossey and Bottesford and other, viijcc. moder shype and CCCC. lambes.

Memorandum, a gowne of Richard Calle, pris ixs., j. peyr hosen, iijs., j. swerd, iijs., ij. bonets, ijs.  .  .  .  .  j. jakk, xxvjs. viijd., j. schert, iijs. iiijd.

Memorandum, the pullyng downe of the place at Heylesden, to the hurts and skathes of ——

Item, the pullyng downe of the logge of Heylesden.

Item, the distroyng of the waryne at Heylesdon.

Item,  .  .  .  .  the maner and the warreyn.

Item, memorandum, the rydyngs and costs off suthe.


Memorandum, the assaw made uppon Marg. Paston, Sir John Paston, at Heylysdon beeffor the place was  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

Memorandum, the imprisonment off Sir John Paston in the Flet and in the Kyngs Benche.

201.2 [From a Bodl. MS.]

Item, boke of Frensh, pris iijs. iiijd.
text has “iiija.” (italic “a” for “d”)


OCT. 17

On Tuesday in the morwyn whas John Botiller, otherwyse callid John Palmer, and Davy Arnald your cook, and William Malthows of Aylsham, takyn at Heylesdon be the balyf of Ey callid Bottisforth, and led for to Cossey, and ther thei kepe hem yet with ought any warant or autoryte of Justice of Peas. And thei saye thei will carie hem forth to Ey preson, and as many as thei may gete more of your men and tenaunts, that thei may know that owe yow good wyll or hath be to you ward, thei be thret to be slayn or presoned. The Duke came to Norwich204.2 on Tuesday at x. of clok with the nombre of v. hundred men. And he sent after the Meyr and Alderman with the Sherefs desiryng hem in the Kyngs name that thei shuld take an enqueraunce of the constablys of every ward with in the cyte what men shuld a go on your party to have holpyn or socowryd your men at any tyme of thes gaderyngs, and if any thei cowde fynde, that thei shuld take and arest hym and correct hym, and also certifie hym the names on Wyndenesse day [Wednesday] be viij. of clok. Which the Meyr dede, and wull do anythyng that he may for hym and his. And her up on the Meyr hath arestid on that was with me callid Roberd Lovegold, braser, and threte hym that he shall be hanged be the nek; wherfor I wuld that ther 205 myght come down a writ to remeve hym if ye thynk it be to do. He was not with me not save that Harleston and other mad the assaught up on me and Lammesse; he is right good and feythfull on to you, and therfore I wuld he had help. I have non man at this tyme to avayte upon me that dare be avowyd but Litill John. William Nawton is here with me, but he dare not ben avowyd, for he is sore thret. It is told me the old Lady and the Duke is set fervently ageyn us be the enformacion of Harlesdon, the Bayly of Cossey and Andrewys and Doget the balys sone, and suych other fals shrewys the which wuld have thes mater born ought for ther owyn pleser; the which causith an205.1 evyll noyse in this contre and other places. And as for Sir John Hevenyngham, Sir John Wyndefeld and other wurchepfull men ben mad but her doggeboldes;205.2 the whiche I suppose wull turne hem to diswurchep here after. I spake with Sir John Hevenyngham and enformed hym with the trough of the mater, and of all owyr demenyng at Drayton, and he seid he wuld that all thyng wer wele, and that he wuld enforme my lord as I seid to hym, but Harleston had all the words and the rewle with the Duke here, and after his avyse and Doctor Aleynes he was avysed here at this tyme.

The logge and the remenaunte of your place was betyn down on Tuesday and Wednesday, and the Duke rode on Wednysday to Drayton and so for to Cossey whille the logge at Heylesdon was in the betyng down. And this nyght at mydnyght Thomas Sleyforth, Grene Porter, and Joh. Botesforth the Baly of Eye, and other, had a cart and fetched awey fetherbeddes, and all the stuffe that was left at the parsones, and Thom Wateres hows to be kept of owrs. I shall send you billes er after, as ner as I may, what stuffe we have forborn. I pray you send me word how ye will that I be demened, wheder ye wull that [I]205.3 abide at Cayster or 206 come to you to London. I have no leyser to write more. God have yow in His kepyng. Wretyn at Norwich on Sent Lukes Evyn. M. P.

204.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter is not addressed, but seems undoubtedly to have been intended for the writer’s husband. The attack upon the lodge at Hellesden here referred to was in 1465, as appears by the letter immediately following.

204.2 ‘Norwich.’—This word is interlined, the writer having originally written ‘this town,’ and afterwards struck out the word ‘town.’

205.1 an—&, MS.

205.2 The old word ‘dogbolt’ seems to have meant a servile follower, or one bound to wait the commands of another. Thus in Lilly’s Tragicall Comedie of Alexander and Campaspe, where Manes complains that he serves a master whose house is a tub, Granichus remarks ‘That Diogenes that dog should have Manes that dogbolt it grieveth nature and spiteth art.’

205.3 Omitted in MS.


To my ryght wyrshypfull hosbond, John Paston, be thys delyveryd in hast.

OCT. 27

Ryght wyrshypfull hosbond, I recomand me to you. Please it you to wyte that I was at Haylesden uppon Thersday laste passyd, and sey the place ther, and in gode feyth ther wyll no cryatur thynke how fowle and orubelly it ys arayed but yf they sey it. Ther comyth moch pepyll dayly to wonder ther uppon, both of Norwych and of other placys, and they speke shamfully therof. The Duck had be beter then a that it had never be don; and ye have the more gode wyll of the pepyll that it ys so foylle don. And they made youre tenauntys of Haylesdon and Drayton, with other, to help to breke down the wallys of the place and the logge both,—God knowyth full evyll ayenst ther wyllys, but that they derst no notherwysse don for ferre. I have spoken with your tenauntys of Haylesdon and Drayton both, and putte hem in comfort as well as I canne. The Duck ys men rensackyd the church, and bare a way all the gode that was lefte ther, both of ours and of the tenaunts, and lefte not so moch but that they stode uppon the hey awter, and ransackyd the images, and toke a way such as they myght fynd, and put a way the parson owte of the church till they had don, and ransackyd every mans hous in the towne v. or vj. tymys. And the chyff maysters of robbyng was the Baylly of Ey, the Baylly of Stradbroke, Thomas Slyford, and Porter; and Slyford was the chyff robber of the cherch, and he hath 207 most of the robbery next the Baylly of Ey. And as for lede, bras, pewter, yren, dorys, gatys, and other stuffe of the hous, men of Coshay and Causton have it, and that thay myght not cary, thay have hewen it a sonder in the most dysspytuose wyse. Yf it myght be, I wold som men of wyrshop myght be send from the Kyng to see how it ys both ther and at the logge, or than any snowys207.1 com, that they may make report of the troth, ellys it shall not mo be seyn so playnly as it may now.

And at the reverens of God, spyde your maters nowe, for it ys to orybell a cost and trobell that we have now dayly, and most have tyll it be other wyse; and your men dar not goo abowte to geder uppe your lyfflode, and we kype here dayly more than xxx. persons for savacyon of us and the place, for, in very trowght, and the place had not be kypyd strong, the Duck had come hether. Arblaster thynketh verely that Hugh a Fen may do moch in your maters, and he thynkyth that he wole do for you faythfully, yf ye wyll, &c.

At the reverens of God, yf any wyrshypfull and profetabile mene may be take yn your maters, for sake it not in eschuyng of our trobell and gret costs and charges that we have, and may growe here after. It ys thoght here that yf my Lord of Norffolk wolld take uppon hym for you, and that he may have a comyssyon for to enquer of such ryotts and robberyes as hath be don to you and other in thys contray, that then all the contray wyll a wayte uppon hym, and serve your entent; for the pepyll lovyth and dredyth hym more then any other lord except the Kyng and my Lord of Warwyk, &c.

God have you in Hys kypyng, and send ous gode tydyngs from you. Wryten in haste, uppon the Sonday Seynt Symon and Jude ys Evyn. By yours, M. P.

206.1 [From Fenn, iv. 226.] The Eve of St. Simon and Jude is the 27th October. It fell on Sunday in the year 1465.

207.1 Fenn remarks that if we may judge from the mention of snow in this place, the winters began earlier in those days than they do now. But perhaps Margaret was only urging the necessity of timely action, taking into consideration the ordinary delays of suitors. We have seen, however, from Letter 609 that in the year 1465 there must have been unusually cold weather even in the beginning of September.



This is the Instruccion for the Messenger.

That ye grete well Sir William Yelverton, letyng hym wete in our behalf we be informed that certeyn persones, in the name of the right worshipfull our cosyn the Duc of Suffolk, have enterid in the manoir of Drayton that was Fastolffes, and have dreven from the seid manoir and other xiijc. shep and other bestes pastured upon the seid manoir. Notwithstandyng, we merveyle gretly that the seid Sir William, his sones and servauntes, as it is seid, assiste and comfort the seid persones so entryng and withdrawyng the seid catell, seying that he is named both feffe and executour. And all be it so that there is variaunce bithwene hym and our welbelovid John Paston in our coort, consernyng as well the seid manoirs as other goodes that were Sir John Fastolffes, whom God assoyle, yit it may not acorde with worship and consiens for the seid Sir William to assiste the distruccion of the seid manoirs and goodes in the meane tyme. Wherfore we desire hym that he woll do his devoir effectually to help to save the seid manoirs from all such pretense of titell, and to cause the seid catels to be restored to the manoirs aforeseid, and not to be withdrawen and distroyed as they be; and that he do his feithfull part in this behalf acordyng to the trust that he was put in, as we may do for hym in tyme to come.

208.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This appears to be a message from the King rebuking Judge Yelverton for partizanship in assisting the Duke of Suffolk against Paston in his entry into the manor of Drayton. The date is therefore 1465. The MS., however, is only a corrected draft, and it is not certain that such a message was actually sent.

yit it may not acorde with worship and consiens
text has “is may not”



To my worchipful cosyn, John Paston.

NOV. 10

Rygth worchipful cosyn, I comaunde me to yow. And forasmoch as ther was a child ded at Asteles, and on other lik to be ded in the same place, what tyme that I rode oute aboute my litil livelod, my lady and I bothe thoughte pite on my mastres your wif to se her abide ther, and desirid here to com to my pore hous on to soch tyme as ye shuld a be othirwise avised, wyche, if it plese yow, I am right wel apaied.

Sythen, I undirstande be my lady that ye desire to knowe whedyr that I shulde abide here stille or nowe [or no]. As to that, I have non other place that I wold abide at, and my lady seith how she is avised to ende hir lif here. Also she seith how ye desire to have a stabil with inne my plas; and as to that, afeith, sir, I have none, but that must nedis serve for my wode. As for a chambre, ye shall have on for your men al redy, and as touching a stabil, Sir John Sparham and I have gote yow on ther [where] your hors stode the last tyme ye 210 were in this town, and an hows to ley inne hey and straw, and cost yow not but making of a rak and a mangeour, and more to your ease there than here; and yf ye wyl that it be made redy for yow, send werd be the bringer of this letter. And, cosyn, as towching to paiment, I can not sey how ye shal be pleasid with my pore fare, but aftir that ye arn com home, and arn aqweintid there with, we shal so acorde as shal be plesir to us bothe, with the grace of God, which have [you] in His blissid governaunce, and send yow your moderis blissing.

Wreten at Norwich, on Seint Martyn is Even. Your poer cosyn and ffrend, J. Wymondham.

And how that ever ye do, hold up your manship.

209.1 [From Fenn, iv. 240.] As to the date of this letter, we can only reproduce what is said of it by Sir John Fenn: ‘John Wymondham, Esq., the writer of this letter, married Margery, the daughter of Sir Robert Clifton, Knight, of Denver, in Norfolk, and widow of Sir Edward Hastings, of Elsing, Knight. He therefore calls her “My Lady.” He died in 1475.

‘He purchased the manor and estate at Felbrigg, of the trustees of Sir Simon Felbrigg, where he had resided; but once in his absence Sir John Felbrigg made a forcible entry, and dragging out his Lady by the hair of her head, who had locked herself up in a chamber to keep possession, got into possession, and retained it till Wymondham obtained the King’s order to Thomas Montgomery, Esq., High Sheriff of the county, to put him again into possession. The dispute was then settled with Sir John Felbrigg, and upon Wymondham’s paying to him 200 marks [£133 : 6 : 8] he released his claims, &c.

‘This letter seems to have been written during the time that he was dispossessed of Felbrigg, and which must have been either before the year 1461 or 1466, those being the years in which Sir Thomas Montgomery was Sheriff of Norfolk, and as J. Paston at this time seems to have been under misfortunes, it was probably near the latter year. I have therefore ventured, though doubtfully, to date the letter in 1465.’


To my Rightwurshipfull hosbond, John Paston, be this delyveryd in hast.


Riht worchipfull hosbond, I recomand me to yow, praying yow to wete that I have receyvid the mony that Mayster Brakle had of yow, wherof he hath ageyn v. marc. uppon pledgis of the too basonys that ye had of hym tyll ye come hom. As for cloth for my gowne, I can non gete in this town better than that is that I send yow an exsample of, whiche me thynkith to symple bothe of colour and of cloth. Wherfor I pray yow that ye woll vouchesauf to do bey for me iij. yerdis and j. quarter of seche as it pleasith yow that I shuld have, and what colour that pleaset yow, for in gode feyth I have do sowte all the draperis schopis in this town, and her is right febill cheys. Also I pray yow that ye woll do bey a loff of gode sugour and di. j. lb. [half one pound] of holl synamun, for ther is non gode in this town; 211 and as for mony, ther is non of your tenantis ne fermouris bryngith non as yett. As for tydyngis in this countre, Herry Ingloses men have slayn ij. men of Tonsted on Thursday last past, as it is seyd, and all that countre is sore trobelid therwith; and if he had abedyn at home he had be lyke to have be fechid owte of his owyn hows, for the peple ther abowght is sor meved with hym. And on Saterday last past he come ryding thorow this town toward Framyngham; and if he had abedyn in this town he shuld have ben arestyd; for men of Tonsted and of the countre pusewid after hym in to this town, and made agrett noyse of hym, and required the mayre and sheryves that he ne his men shuld not pas the town, but that they shuld do as it longed to here parte to do, and told hem the cause why; and as it is seyd the sergeantis were fals, and lete hym have knowleche ther of, and he hythid hym hens in hast, &c. The blyssyd Trynyte have yow in His keping. Wreten att Norwyche on the Weddenesday next after Seynt Martyn. Be yowris, M. P.

210.1 [Add. MS. 33,597, f. 2.] The year in which this letter was written is altogether uncertain.


The letter of John Payn to John Paston (No. 126 in vol. ii.), which, on account of the circumstances to which it refers, we have placed in the year 1450, was written, as appears by the contents, fifteen years later, i.e. in 1465. We therefore call the reader’s attention to it in this place.



This wrytenge, made at Stokeneylond the vth yer of Kynge Edward the iiiith and the morowe next affter Sowlemesse day, wytnesseth that this day and yer a bove said my lady, dame Kateren Howard, departed to God, 212 and my master spent uppon her at this day a bove wreten at her beryinge, and also at her vijth day, more than xxli.

Also my master spent uppon her at her xxxti day, in almesse and in odre costes, in primis to v.Ml. and ccc. of pore folke every pece takenge id. Summa

xxijli. vs.

Item, my master gaff to vixxix. prestes and clerkes every pece vjd. Summa

iijli. iiijs. vjd.

Item, my master gaff to lxviii. cheldren in the quere every pece iid. Summa

xs. iiijd.

Item, my master paid for blakke cloth for gownes for his men vijxx yerdes prise of every yerde iiis. iiiid. Summa


Item, my master bout as myche waxe for torches and taprys as cost hym

viij. markis. iijs. ijd.

Item, my master paid for xiij. pore mennes gownes for the clothe and for the makengs


Item, my master spent in all maner of spyces as myche as drew

liijs. xjd.

Item, my master spent in wyne at the said day

iij. pypes.

Item, my master spent in maltt for brewenge

viij. seme.

Item, my master spent in bere at the same day

xxxij. barelles.

Item, my master spent in whete to make brede and odre bakenge

xiij. seme.

Item, my master spent at the said day in brawne

ij. gret bores.

Item, in beff

xij. gret oxsen.

Item, in moton

xl. shepe.

Item, in porke

xij. hogges.

Item, in pygges


Item, in swannes


Item, in geese


Item, in conyis

c. cowple.

Item, in capons


Item, in chekens


Item, in venyson

xxx. dois.

Item, in pertryches

iiij. doseyn.

Item, in fesauntis


Item, in pekokkes


Item, in mallardes

iij. doseyn.

Item, in plovers

iij. doseyn.

Item, in eggis

viij. C.

Item, in mylke

xxx. galons.

Item, in hony

iij. galons.

211.1 [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 38.] ‘Soulmas,’ or All Souls’ Day, is the 2nd November, and it appears that Lady Katharine died on the morrow of that day in 1465. As these expenses run into December, we place them at the end of the year.


To John Paston the younger.

Before 1466

I  grete you wele, letyng you wete that as for213.2 your sustrys213.3 beyng with my Lady, if your fader wull aggrey therto I hold me right wele pleasyd; for I wuld be right clad that she shuld do her servyse be for any other, if she cowde do that shuld pleas my ladyes good grace. Wherfor I wuld that ye shuld speke to your fader therof and lete hym wete that I am pleasid that she shuld be ther if he wuld, for I wuld be right glad and she myght be preferrid by mariage or be servyce, so that it myght be to her wurchep and profight in dischargyng of her frendis; and I pray you do your parte therin for your owyn wurchep and herys. And assone as ye may with ought daunger, purvey that I may have ageyn the vj. marks that ye wote of, for I wuld not that your fader wust it. Item, if ye pas London, send me ageyn my chene and the litill chene that I lent you be for, be sum trusty person; and if ye wull have my good wille, eschewe such thyngis as I spake to you of last 214 in owr parisch chirch. I pray God make you as good a man as ever was any of your kynne, and Goddis blissyng mote ye have and myn, so that ye do wele, &c. Wretyn the Sonday next after your departyng.

And I pray you, send me sum tydyngis as sone as ye may after that ye be comyn to London, how your fader spedyth and your brother in here materes. Be your moder.

213.1 [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 208.] This letter was written at a time when John Paston, the writer’s husband, and one of his sons, was in London, while the other, to whom this letter is addressed, was going thither. The date must therefore be before May 1466, but what particular year or month it is impossible to say.

213.2 ‘affor,’ MS.

213.3 This may be either Anne or Margery Paston. Who ‘my lady’ was does not appear.


To my ryght trusty and welbelovyd Frend, John Paston.

Rygth trusty and welbelovid, I cummaund me un to zow, lattyng zow wytte that there ys a tenawnt off Thyrnyng, on [one] Wyllyam Rust, whos dur ys selyd be a offycer off zowrys. Wherffor I pray zow that ze wyll se that the forsay tenawnt be not hurt; and yff there be oni thyng that ys dw for to pay, I wyll se that hyt schall be content. And therfore I pray zow that hyt may be repytyd un tyll the tyme that I speke with zow. No more at thys tyme, but the Hole Trinite hawe zow in kepyng. Wretyn at Attylburgth the xvij. day off Dyssembyre. John Radclyff De Attylburgth.

214.1 [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 223.] The principal lordship in the manor of Thurning belonged to the Radcliff, or Ratcliff, family, afterwards Earls of Sussex; but it seems there was another lordship which belonged to John de Mauteby in the ninth year of Edward II. From this very likely Margaret Paston derived some claims, and John Paston through his wife. See No. 634. The year of this letter, however, cannot be ascertained.



To my Cosyn Paston, be thys letter delyverd yn haste.

JAN. [20]

Ryght reverent and worshyppeful cosyn, y comawnd me on to you, desyryng to her off your welfare, the whyche Almyghty Jesu preserve to Hys plesawns, and to your own herts desyres. Forthermore and yff yt please your gentylnesse to be my trusty frend, as my ful truste ys yn you, as for swyche materys as the brynger off this lettre shall enforme you, and beth effectualy my frend, and brynge yt abowte, and by my trowthe y shall geve you an C. marke for your labowr. For yn trowthe y am aferde that Roberd Radclyff hathe deseyvyd me, for he laboryd to me dayly by my Lords comawndement off Warwyk, and brought with hym Yllyngworthe and oder off my Lords cownsel, and seen my evydens; and so we stoden uppon apoyntement, and y for to have had an unswere sent to Felbrygge Halle, and yff ne had be for ffendyng off my Lords lordschyppe, y myght have had my money for my ryght or y cam owt off London, as my man schall enforme you. For yn trowthe y muste now make an schiffte, for Wyndham hathe sold hys ryght, and rathere than yt schuld go that way to, y had lever my Lord had yt ij. C. marke with yn the pryse that y grawnt yt laste, and therfor y be scheche you to labowr to my Lord that y may have an unswer. And thies many townes longithe thereto, Felbrygge, Aylinton, Ronton, Colby, Bannyngham, Ingworthe, Styrston, besyde hamelets.

No mor to you at this tyme, but the Holy Trinyte have 216 you yn His kepyng. Wryten at Felbrygg, the Monday affor Seynt Augnetes Day.216.1 By your cosyn, John Felbrygge.

215.1 [From Fenn, iv. 242.] The date of this letter cannot be ascertained with very great precision; but as it belongs most probably to about the same period as Letter 619, which we have referred to November 1465, we may assign this to the January following.

216.1 The modern version in Fenn reads ‘the Monday after Saint Agnes’s Day,’ and the date subjoined at the bottom of the page is in accordance with this reading. But it is more likely the text as printed in the old spelling is correct. St. Agnes’ Day is the 21st January. The Monday before it would have been the 20th in 1466.


Un to the ryght wyrshypfull mayster, Sir John Paston, Knygt, be thys letter delyveryd.

FEB. 17

Ryght wyrshypfull and my especyall gode mayster, I recomaund me unto your gode maystershyp, letyng you wyte that the berour herof told me that ye had grete mervyll that I send to you no word ne letter of awnswer of the letters that ye had send to me to London. As for on letter ye send to me by Rychard Playtorys man, and therof I send you an awnswer in a letter by a man of the Prior of Bromholm; and as for other letters, ther com no more to me but that on.

Item, Mayster Flemmyng lokyth dayly for hys hors, and at every tyme that I mete with hym, he askyth of me when hys hors shuld com, and when I here any word from you. Wherfore I pray you send me word in a letter how he shall be awnswerd, and yf the hors shall com, lette me knowe when; for and he had not trustyd theruppon, he wold have purveyd hym in a nother place, &c.

Item, John Oter ys not yet payd, but as I suppose it shall 217 not be long to tyll he have it, for he hath spoken to my mayster your fader a yer therfor; and as for Gylmyn, he hath not spoken to my mayster as yet, &c.

Item, I truste he wylbe your gode fader, for John Say hath told hym playnly of hys demenyng ayenst you, and told hym that he had the lasse favour for your sake, &c.

Item, the Erle of Arundell ys217.1 son hath weddyd the Quyne ys suster.

Item, the Lord Lovell ys son217.2 hath weddyd my Lady Fytzhugh ys doghter, &c.

Item, Jenney desyryth a trety with my mayster, and spake to my mayster therof hym sylf in Westminster Hall.

Item, all felaws in the Kyngs hows fareid well, and wold have you ther.

No more to you at thys tyme, but the Holy Trynyte have you [in] kepyng. Wryten at London, the Monday next after Seynt Volentyn. Your servant, John Wykys.

216.2 [From Fenn, iv. 246.] As this letter was written after Edward IV.’s marriage, and before the death of John Paston the father, the date must be either 1465 or 1466. Fenn assigns it to the latter year, and I think he is right, though he does not state his reasons. I find that John, Lord Lovel, died on the 9th January 1465, leaving his son and heir, Francis, only nine years old, so that even if we date this letter 1466, the young lad was married at the early age of ten. This was probably owing to his wardship having been obtained by Lord Fitzhugh, or some person interested; but as the inquisition on his father’s death (Inq. p. m., 4 Edw. IV., No. 27) was not taken till October 1465, there seems no ground for believing that he could have been forced into wedlock a month after he was left an orphan.

217.1 Thomas Fitz Alan, Lord Maltravers, eldest son of William Fitz Alan, Earl of Arundel, married Margaret, second daughter of Richard Widville, Earl Rivers, and sister to Elizabeth, Queen of Edward IV. He succeeded his father as Earl of Arundel in 1487, 3 Hen. VII., and died in 1524, 16 Hen. VIII.—F.

217.2 Francis Lovel, son and heir to John, Lord Lovel, married Anne, daughter of Henry, Lord Fitz Hugh. It is curious that she is here called ‘Lady Fitz Hugh’s daughter,’ when her father was alive.

be thys letter delyveryd.
text has “delyverya” (italic “a” for “d”)


To hys rythe worchypfwll mayster, John Paston, Sqwyer.


Rythe worchypfwll broder, I recomawnde me to zow. And as for zour letter to my Lorde Chawnceler I have not delyveryd it; for I askyd avysse there in, and I was aunsweryd there in that sythen he was takyn to baylle, the Chawncelerer217.4 cowde not compelle the swertes to bryng hym in 218 befor hys day. Also me thowte zour letter was not most plesauntly wrytyn to take to swyche a lorde. And as for the tresorer, hys name is Sir John Fooge, but he is not in London nor wythe the Kyng, so I kan [not] have the letter sent hym but if I hyeryd a man to bere it. And as for zour question of the patentes, Grenfeld and Catesby and Sterkey holdyn it a good question, for the statute is, Patentes dez tenements dount null titill est trouve pur le roy de recorde sount voydez, anno xviij. H. VI. ca. vj. But I trowe in zour cas that be ther opiniounis the Acte of the Parlement is a tytyll of recorde. It is said to the contrary intent, thow the londs be forfetyd of record, yet ther is no certificacion of recorde qwat londes they be, nor wer [where] nor in qwat place they lye; but and thys clawse be in the patents, Non obstante quod nulla inquisicio pro nobis inde est inventa, by Grenfelde is consayle the patents xwld be clerly goode. But me semythe that amendyt not the mater, for be for the makyng of the statute above sayde, patents graunttyd of londs be fore inquisicion were goode and effectuell and the statute is generall:—Patents dount null tytill, &c. sount voydez. Thanne it folowyt well if the Acte of Parlement be no tytyll for the Kyng thann is ther no tytyll for the Kyng of recorde, for that clawse in the patente is no tytyll; than if ther [be] no tytyll, ergo the patents voyde.

My suster218.1 standythe in the same casse with my Lord of Kent.

Broder, I pray zow send mor mony for my nevew John, for he mwst ellys com hom azen; for the Kyng gothe into Scotlonde, and he is nowther horsyd nor harneysyd, for his grett hors is lykly to dye; and if ze wyll sende it to me or to Christofyr Hanyngton it xall be save for hym. I send zow a letter from hym closyde herin. And I pray spek to my moder that my hors faylle not on Passyon Swnday,218.2 for thann xall I be redy and thanne xall ower redyng be don. Wrytyn on Twesday nexst after Seynt Gregory is Day. Zowr broder, Clement Paston.

On the back.—The man wold not tak my letter but I wass fayen to gyve hym ijd. for the beryng.

217.3 [From Paston Letters, B.M.] The reference to the dispute between Elizabeth Poynings and the Earl of Kent, which is alluded to in a subsequent letter, proves this letter to have been written in the year 1466. The earl in question was only so created on the 3rd of May 1465, and John Paston, to whom the letter is addressed, died in May 1466.

217.4 So in MS.

218.1 Elizabeth, widow of Robert Poynings.

218.2 23rd March.

I wass fayen to gyve hym ijd. for the beryng.
“d.” printed in roman (non-italic) type



To my worchepful mayster, John Paston the holdest, be this letter delyveryd in hast.

MAY 12

Ryth reverent and worchepful sire, I hartyly recomende me on to your reverens, thankyng yow for the gret cher and comfortabyll words that ye yovyn on to me wat tyme that I was last yn yowr presens; desyryng ful specyaly of Almity God, owt of al your wordly tribulacyonys and adversyte, gracyowus delyverans, and yn al vertuows prosperite, good encres and contynuans. If yt like your maysterchep to know the cause of this wrytyng, it ys thys; it is nowth unknow219.2 on to yow that Mayster Brakle (Cryst rest hys sowle!), delyveryd to Wyllam Paston, your broder, certayn oblygacyonys, of the weche the dute xuld grow to my convent yn Norwyche. I have spoke on to Wyllam Paston her of, and he excuseth hym and seyth on this wyse; that be the wyl of Mayster Brakle, wat tyme that Sire Tomas Todenham,219.3 Knyth, xuld be put on to hys deth, he delyveryd hem on to hys confessor; the weche, as he seth, xuld a be Grey fryer, hows name he knowyth nowt; also he seyth that after the deth of the forseyd Knyt, he spake with the Fryer, confessor on to the Knyth, and hasked hym aftyr the forseyd oblygacyonys, and as he seyth, the Fryer seyd on to hym that he had delyveryd hem on to [the] Knyth Marchall. Werfor I beseche you, as specyaly as I may, that, now wyl your broder is at London, that ye of your grace wyl know the trowthe in this mater, for the comfort of the dede, and profyth of my 220 convent. Nomor at this tyme, but that I be seche Almyty God in Trinyte conserve your, and kepe yow in all vertuows prosperite. Amen.

Wretyn at Heylysdon in gret hast, the xij. day of May, in your maner aftyr mete. The cause wy the mayster delyveryd hem to hym mor than to yow, was, as he seyd on to me, for as meche as ye had so many maters yn hand for yowr self, and also for the dede, that he durst not attempt yow with all; and al so be cause he had lesse for to do hys hope was that he xuld asped yt mor redyly.

Fr[e]re Willam Thorp dwellyng at Salisbury. By yowr pore orator and bedman, Frier Jan Mowth.

219.1 [From Fenn, i. 256.] Friar Brackley, who is here mentioned as dead, is spoken of in John Paston’s deposition of December 1465, without any indication that he was at that time deceased (see No. 606). We may presume, therefore, that he died between that time and May 1466, in which month and year died John Paston, to whom this letter is addressed.

219.2 Nowth unknow. I believe this to be the true reading of the original MS. Fenn prints it ‘nowthn know.’

219.3 He was beheaded on Tower Hill in February 1462.


NOV. 13 (?)

I  grete you wele and send you Goddis blissyng and myn; letyng you wete that I send you be the berer herof xlli. of Ryall which I have chevysshed and borwed for you, be cause I wuld not take that was leyd ought for you at Norwich; for, as I am enformed be Mayster John Smyth, the Chaunceller, and other that we ben all a cursed that we have thus mynystred the dedis godes with ought licence or auctorite, and I wene we spede all the wers there fore. At the reverence of God, gete you a licens of my Lord of Caunterbery in dyschargyng of my conscyens and yowris, to mynystre a certeyn summe of iij. or iiijc marcs, enfourmyng hym how that your lyffelod hath stond this ij. yer in such trobill that ye myght right nought have of it, ner yet can take of it with ought ye shuld hurt your tenauntis, thei have so ben vexid be on trew meanes before this tymes, And ye have many grete 221 materis on hand and may not have to bere them ought, ner to save your ryght, withaught ye myght for a tyme takyn of your faderis godes. And this I hope shall discharge owr conscyens of that we have mynystred and spend be fore. For we have nomor to acquite this xlli. and bere all other charges but the xlviili. that your unkyll and ye is privy to, that was leyd up at Norwich. I wuld ye were ware of large theftis and rewardis gevyng, as otheris folkis avyse you to do, for though ye have nede thei wull not be right redy to help you of ther owyn; and that ye may understand be that that thei have taken a wey from you be for this tyme. I wuld not in no wyse ye shuld put your self in no daunger to hym but as litill as ye may; for if ye do, it shall be right wele remembred you her after. And be ware how ye ben bownd in any obligacion to any creature but if it be leyd in endifferent handis and trosty for yowr part. And remembre to gete the obligacion that ye mad to the Duchesse of Suffolk; for though it be in my Lord Chancelleris hande it is jepartows, be cause of perell of deth. Item, understand wele the poyntis that ben in my cosyn Arblasteris letter that arn wretyn in yowrs, and purvey redily ther for for your owyn a vayll. Item, send me home answeris of sueche materis as arn now sent you bethen (sic) mowth and wrytyng at this tyme as hastly as ye can, or ells it shall hurt yow mor than ye or I can yet understand. Item, me semyth, if ye shall not comyn home this Crystmesse, or if ye shuld be at my Lady of Suffolk, it [were221.1] necessary to have Playter there with you if ye shuld engroos any appoyntementis with here at that tyme. For she is sotill and hath sotill councell with here; and therfore it were wele do ye shuld have summe with you that shuld be of your councell. If John Paston be with you at London desire hym to take hede to yowris materis and in what case thei ben left at your departyng, that if nede be he may help you to labore for such causes as Wykes shall telle yow be mowth; and if he be not with yow, and ye wull I shall send hym to you. Item, spare of221.2 the xlli. as mych as ye may that ye may perfourme by the mony that the Duchesse of Suffolk shuld have, in cas that it may not be gadered of the 222 lyvelode. Send home Wykes a sone as ye can, and how ye will that I do in your materis and lyvelode at home. God have you in His kepyng. Wretyn the Thursday next Sent Martyn. Be your Moder.

220.1 [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 99.] This letter was written before administration had been obtained of John Paston’s will; presumably therefore in the year in which he died, 1466. It may be observed, likewise, that in 1467 ‘my lord of Canterbury’ would probably have been called ‘my lord Cardinal.’

221.1 Omitted in MS.

221.2 of repeated in MS.


To my right wurchipfull husbond, John Paston, be this deliverd in hast.

Year uncertain

Ryth worchepfull husbonde, I recomande me to yow. Plesyth yow to weet that Thomas Grene was with me as on Saterday last paste, and let me have knowlage that the scherre schold be as thys day at the Gyld Hall in Norwyche, and he desyiryd me that the swte that ye have ageyns Thomas Jeryng and othyr myth be sesyd as for thys schere; and I seyd that I durste do ryth not there in. And he tolde me that Thomas Jeryng was with yow in Flegge the laste tyme that ye wer ther, and ye seyd to hym that he scholde not be hurte by the swte. And Thomas Grene told me that if the seyd Jeryng and othyrs in the same wryte mad not an end with yow by the nexte schere, the whyche schall be thys day monyth, that he the seyd Thomas Grene wole purchese a new wryte of hys owne coste ayens that daye. 223 I woste not that the scher shuld be so sone when I wrote to yow yowyr laste lettyr. And he remembyryd the trobulus werd [world] that is nowe, and also that they wer nowtye felawys that ye suyd, and ther fore he thowte that it war best to let it be respyte at thys tyme, and so they schall be respyth at thys tyme. I have sent to Jaferay Spyrlyng for the bokys that ye sent to me fore, and he seyth that he hathe none there of, for he seyth he lefte hem with yow when he was with yow in the Northe contre; for he seyth ye left hym behynd yow at Lynkcolne. He supposyth they be at Kaster.

Item, my cosyn Crane recomandyth hyr to yow, and prayith yow that ye wole wychesave to spek to Jamys Gresham for to swe ferthe the mater betwyx Dame Margaret Spurdans and hyr; and sche prayith yow at the reverens of God that ye wole tendyr that mater well, for all hyr troste is in yow.

Item, the tenauntys at Sweynysthorp prayid me for to wryte to yow for to pray yow for Goddys sake that ye wole help for to get hem a good baly of the hundyryd that they be in; for they sey that they have be gretly hurte by swyche offyserys as they have had ther be fore tyme. Folk wold fayne in thys contre that Heydon scholde be purveyd for, that he goo not so at large as he dothe, for he is in thys towne nere every wek, and hathe be ever syne ye yd hens. And also it is seyd in thys towne that ye have be good maister thys terme to Yatys, and many be ryth sory ther of, and that he dothe so well as it [is] seyd here that he dothe. It is seyd that he is scapyd all dangerys, and he hathe tak new accionys ageyns hys neyborys, as it is seyd. Othyr tydyngys have we none here but that ye have more pleynly there. And the Blyssyd Trinyte have yow in Hys kepyng, and send yow good sped in all yowyr materys. Wretyn in haste at Norwyche the Monday next be fore Seynt Edmunde the Kynge. Be yowyr, M. P.

My modyr wold ryth fayne know how that ye and my brodyr Wyllam wer acordyd, sche wold ryth fayne that all wer well betwene yow.

222.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] I find no very satisfactory evidence touching the date of this letter. Allusion is made to John Paston having been at Lincoln. The occasion referred to might have been in 1458, when, as we know by No. 373, he went into the North as far as Doncaster; or it may have been in the spring of 1461. (See Nos. 452 and 458.) It is not probable, however, that this letter was earlier than the latter date, as there is no appearance at that time of any dispute having arisen between John Paston and his brother William. On the contrary, William Paston is in correspondence with his brother in April 1461 (No. 450). On the other hand, if the occasion referred to when John Paston was at Lincoln was in the spring of 1461, this letter could hardly have been written in the same year; for it cannot be supposed that he left books at Caister on his return south, when Caister was in the possession of the Duke of Norfolk. The date, however, being so uncertain, I prefer to place this letter at the end of John Paston’s correspondence rather than assign it doubtfully to any particular year.

and he desyiryd me that the swte that ye have
text has “be desyiryd me”



Be this delyvered to Mastyr John Paston.

I  recomaunde me unto you as unknowyn. And as for the wryting I send unto you, the cause why yt was nate endossed was, for the berer ther of knew yow wel i now. And as for youre Cossyn Mary, she ys no longer with us, as a pon Seynt Mathewys Evyn she departyd from me, and went to Awdry Croxeston, and she told me that ye wold pay for her borde ther. But on thyng I let you know; she hathe demenyd her ful symply bothe for youre worship and also for her awne. Ther ys but few within oure plasse but they know how yt is with her, and al by her awne bessynes of her tunge. And I had knowyn as myche at the begynnyng as I have don sythe, I wold not have delt in the mater nat for xl. pound; for I wys she ys no thyng so sadde as I wold she wer.

No more to you at thys tyme, but the Holy Gost have you in His kepyng, and send you youre hertys esse. I pray you hertly that I may sp[e]ke with you. B. D. M. S.

224.1 [From Fenn, iv. 262.] There is no evidence of the date either of this or of the four following letters beyond the fact that this and the two next are addressed to John Paston, while the two last are addressed to Margaret Paston during her husband’s life. None of them, therefore, can be later than 1466.


Richard Suthwell to John Paston, Esquire.

Thanks him for speaking to the Mayor and Recorder for the appearance of certain persons at this last session, as he wrote from Walsingham. Thomas Wolvesby and Colyns make great labor for the poor men’s undoing. Begs him to move the Mayor to have pity, considering their trouble at Walsingham, when they were prisoners.

Thetford, Shere-Thursday.

224.2 [From Paston MSS., B.M.]



John Paston, Junior, to his Father, John Paston

Has spoken ‘with Warwyk and Stwkle’ for the place and lands in Arleham. Declined their offer of 6d. an acre, they keeping the place in repair; but Stwkle has promised all the lands shall be purveyed for, as for this year. Warwyk this day offered my mother 7d. an acre for the lands in Arleham, but I counselled her to hold out for a longer term. Kook will no longer hold the place for 7d. or 8d. an acre, and will only give 6d., if he is to keep it in repair. Has spoken with Dame Alice Weche and Geoffrey Spyrlyng, who have agreed to set a tenant to occupy the lands in dispute till Paston comes home.

St. Martin’s Even.

225.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.]


Thomas Gnatyshale to Mrs. Paston

I hope the young man I sent will please ‘my master and you.’ I hope you will not receive him at this time, and when my master comes home refuse him. As for your lands at Sparham, there are not many lands to let. Has inquired at Salle. Master Edward225.3 is clearly answered of £18 a year and 7s. or 8s. more. Bryston, Thyrnyng, and Owleton are let, which belong to the manor of Salle. So he is clearly answered twice a year at London, besides the fees, viz., of the receiver 26s. 8d., of the steward 20d., and of the bailliff 26s. 8d.

Sparham, Wednesday before Ascension.

225.2 Ibid.

225.3 Probably Edward, son of Robert Mauteby. He was Margaret Paston’s uncle.


T. Gnatyshale to Mrs. Paston

James and Robert Radclef mean to take away my goods, and I shall be taken if I be at Norwich at next shire. Pray let my master know. I suppose 226 it was by their commandment that my two neat were taken on Saturday last at Lyng, ‘for one that is under bailly of Richmond took hem.’ John Everyton will tell you more. The receipts of the manor of Sparham with costs are £10, 3s. 11½d. If any man of yours come to Norwich please send me your advice. (Signed) ‘T. Gnat.

225.4 [From Paston MSS., B.M.]


James Arblaster to John Paston, [Squire]226.2

John à Berney of Wychyngham wishes to disinherit him of his liberty of faldage in Colyette. Desires the help of one of Paston’s men. As for my Lady of Oxford, ‘I have get you a trusty man against Tuesday or Wednesday next.’

[There is no distinct evidence of the date of this letter, except that it is probably not later than 1466, when John Paston died, though it may have been addressed to his younger son John. Compare Nos. 232, 233, and 234, in vol. ii.]

226.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.]

226.2 This designation is added on the address, but is struck out.


Expences paid by Gloys at Norwich the day the Cors was ther and befor.


Fyrste. The iiii. orders of fryers, viiil. Item, almesse, iis. viid. Item, to xxiii. susters of Normandys,226.4 with the gardian eche of them, iiiid., and the gardian, viiid.—viiis. Item, in offering on Pentecost Tuesday226.5 for my master, id.; for the herse, xls. For xxiiii. yerdes of brod wythtys for gowns, xxviis. viiid.; for dyeng of the same, iiiis. 227 For settyng on the tents, vid. For xxii. yerdes and iii. quarters of brod wythts, xxxiiiis. iiid. For grownedyng, iiis. iiiid. For dyeng, iiiis. To xxxviii. prests at the dyryge at Norwyche, when the cors lay ther, xiis. viiid. To xxxix. schyldern with surplyces within the schurche and without, iiis. iiiid. To xxvi. clerks with iiii. kepers of the torches, eche of them iid., iiis. iiiid. To the clerks of St. Peters and St. Stevens for the ryngers ageyn the cors, iis. To the iiii. orders of fryers that rede ageyn the cors——. To the Prioress of Carow, vis. viiid. To a maide that came with her, xxd. To the ancors [anchoress ?] xld. In almesse, xvs. To a woman that came from London with the cors to Norwyche, vis. viii[d].

Payments be Gloys and Calle at Bromholme.

Fyrste. To the Prior, be my masters bequest, xls. To ix. monks, eche of them vis. viiid., iiil. To an other monke, who was of the same place, xxd. For brinnyng of the Abbes with the torches, xxd. To the Priors boteler for bred, iis. xd. For wasshyng of napry, xiid. To the boteler for hys reward, xxd. To the baker for cccx. eggs, xixd. To hym for hys reward, iiis. iiiid. To xxviii. bedds with —— of clothys, and wasshyng of the same, vs. To ii. men that fyllyd the grave, viiid. To brueng of v. kome malte, xxd. For ix. pownd candyl, xid. To the clerks of Bromholm, viiid. For viii. peces of peuter lost of the Priors, xxd. Geven among the men of the bakhouse, xxd. To the parisshe schyrche of Bromholm, xs. To xii. schyrchys, ls. viiid. To the prest that cam with the cors from London, iiis. iiiid. To servytors that awaytyd upon hym by the komawndment of W. Paston, xxid. To Playters for hys offering, iiiid. To the vyker of Upton, iis. To the sexton of Bromholm for xxii. crossys geven to Marget and Modeley, per John Paston, iiiis. vid. To xiiii. rynggars, viis. To xxiiii. servertors, eche of them iiiid., viiis. To lxx. servertors, eche of them iiid., xviis. vid. Paid to Dawbeny for servertors, viis. For fyshh the day after the enterment, vis. xd. For vi. barells bere, xiis. For a roundlet of red wine of xv. gallonys, &c., xiis. xid. To 228 a hors hyer for iii. days for Sir James, xiid. For a quarter malte, vs. For iiii. bushels wete, xxxiid. For a quarter of otys, iis. viiid. For x. kombe malte brueng, xld. For the boord of Rychard Hermer, wrythe, iii. days, and for hys hyer the sayde tyme, xiiid. ob. For William Yonge, barbor, v. days mete and drynke, and hys hyer the sayde tyme, xvid. For vi. pownd candyl, viid. ob. To xii. pore men beryng torches from London to Norfolk be vi. day, is., takyng eche of them on the day iiiid., and for iii. dayes in goyng homerward, takynge every day vid. Geven to Martyn Savage and Denschers awaytyng upon my master at London be vii. dayes before that he was caryed, iis. xd. For bred bowthe, xxiiiis. For vii. barels bere, xviis. vid. For a barel of the grettest assyse, iiis. iiiid. For iiii. barells of alee, xiiis. iiiid. For bred and alee for xii. men that bare torches, xiiid. ob. To a dole at Bromholm, vl. xiiis. iiiid. To William Colens, one of the botelers at Bromholm, xiid. To Wate Webster, another boteler, xiid. To Greg. Worsteler, one of the porters at Bromholm, iiiid. The parson at Mauteby,228.1 and Sir Thomas Lynes, to the prestes at the deryge at Bromholm, xliiis. In almesse, xlviis. vid.; more, xxs. To the glaser for takyn owte of ii. panys of the wyndows of the schyrche for to late owte the reke of the torches at the deryge, and sowderyng new of the same, xxd. [This part of the roll, according to Blomefield, or his continuator, seemed to be written by Gloys, above mentioned, in an indifferent hand. The remainder is in a very neat and curious old hand, which was supposed to be that of Margaret Paston.]

Vittelles bought by Richard Charles.

First. For xxvii. gees, xviis. For xxvii. frankyd gees, vis. viiid. lxx. caponnes, xviis. viid. For xxix.228.2      xvii. chekons, xvis. vid. For x. chekons, xd. For xli. pygges, xiiis. xd. For xlix. calvys, iiiil. xiiis. iiiid. For xxxiiii. 229 lambys, xxviis. iid. For xxii. shep, xxxviis. vd. x. nete, iiiil. xvis. id. For ii. napronnes to Richard Lynstede, xd. For claretts and fawcetts, vid. MCCC. eggs, vis. vid. For xx. galons milk, xxd. For viii. galons creme, iis. viiid. For iiii. pints of butter, iiiid. For i. quarter and ii. bushels of whete mele, viis. xd. To the parson of Crostweyt for i. quarter of whete, vis. For xiiii. galons of ale, iis. To a labourer for iii. days, xiid. To xxiiii. galons of ale, iiiis. For xiii. salt fysshe, iiiis. iiiid. For the purveying of bred, ale, and fysshe, iiis. iiiid. To William Reynolds for lodgyng of Master Prowet, the Prior of the White Freres, the parson of Mautby, Sir Thomas Lynds, and other, by ii. nyghtis, vid. For bred, ale, and possets to the same persons, vid. To Herman, fleying bests by iii. days, iis., and to John Foke, by iii. days, xxd. For purveying of all the velys, lambes, x. beefins, certain piggs and polaly [poultry], xld.

Bill of the Prior of Bromholm.

Memorandum. The Prior toke to bord diverse persons laboryng abought the enterment, begynnyng the Thursday in Pentecost weke, the vi. yere of Kyng Edward the iiiith.

On Thursday I229.1 find 3 persons who had xiid. for their board and hire; on Friday 5 who had xvd.; on Saturday 8 who had xxiiid. On Monday all were employed; and on the day after I find 4 to be allowed for their board iiiid. ob., and for their hires vd.,—ixd. ob. Delivered by the Prior to Richard Charles:—Fyrst, v. quarters of otes, xiiis. iiiid.; v. swyne, xiis. vid.; ii. bushel of mestlyn, xvd.; v. pownd of candell, vd.; xx. quarters of malte, xiiis. iiiid., and with gryndyng and brewyng, xviiis. For a cartfull of hey, iiis. iiiid. For ii. swyne, vs. For ii. bushel otes, viiid. For a quarter of herryng, vid. For half a quarter makerell, viid. ob. To the parson of St. Peters for his fee of the wax abought the coors, beside ii. candels of i. lb. and i. hert candel of a pound, xxd. At my masters xxx. day for offeryng, id. Geven to churches and in almes by Gresham, toward Bromholm, v. 230 marks. To the clerk of St. Peters of Hungate230.1 his felaship for ryngyng when the coors was in the church, xiid. To Dawbeney for bests and other stuffe for the enterment, xxl. To him in gold for to chaunge into small mony for the dole, xll. To W. Pecok, in iii. bags to bere to Bromholm, in copper, the 20th day, xxvi. marks. To Medeley for his reward, iiii. marks, and the same to Maryot. To Maryot for costs he bare by the way to Bromholm, iiil. xiid. More to Medeley for mony paid by him, xlis. xd. To the keper of the inne where myne husband dyed, for his reward, xxs. To Paston chirch, xs. To Bakton chirch, vis. viiid. To Gresham the London carrier, in full payment for the Chaundeler of London, vl. xixs. iiiid. More in almes mony, vis. viiid. More for wyne and bere, vii. marks. To the parson of St. Peters, vis. viiid. For wyne for the seingers when the coors was at Norwich, xxs. To Skolehouse in part of his bille for torches and wax made at Bromholm, for to brenne upon the grave, iiii. marks. For x. yerds of narow blak for the viker of Dallynge and Robert Gallawey, and for iii. yerds and quarter of brod cloth for Illee, xxs. xd. To Freton chirch, vis. viiid. For a cope called a frogge of worsted for the Prior of Bromholm, xxvis. viiid. For bred at the enterment, ixs. In almes, viiis. iiiid. In wyne and spices, ls. To Dom. John Loveday for cloth for a ridyng cope for himself, xiiiis. iid. To the makyng of Redham Stepill, viiis. iiiid. To John Orford, wax chandeler, for xii. torches and one candell of i. lb., lvs. iid. ob. To John Dewe for grey lynen cloth and sylk frenge for the hers, vil. xvis. iid. Given to the Austeners at the chapter at the  .  .  .  .  .  .  of Yarmouth, lxxvs. To Daubeney for to kepe the yere day at Bromholm the first yere after his dethe, viiil. iis. iiiid. Given at Castor to xxv. howsholders, every houshold iiid. the said tyme, vis. iiid. To viii. pore men the said tyme, xviiid. To the master of the College the said tyme, vis. viiid. To Master Clement Felmyngham the said tyme, vis. viiid. To viii. prests at Castor the said tyme, iis. 231 viiid. To childern in surplices and other pore folk at the said tyme, xiiid. To the parson of Hungate, vis. viiid. To the said parson for a certeyn231.1 unto Mighelmesse next after the said yere day, viiis. viiid. To Skolous, wax chandeler, for makyng of the hers at Bromholm, xxiil. ixs. viiid. To Philip Curson, draper, for cloths, ixl. iiis. ob. To Aubrey, draper, xxxiiiis. For a quarter of makerell, xiid. To the Prior of Bromholm for malte spent at the enterment, xls. For light kept on the grave, xs. Geven at Cristemasse next after the said yereday, to eche of the iiii. orders of friers, xs.,—xls. To the vyker of Dallyng for bryngyng home of a pardon from Rome, to pray for alle our frends sowles, viiis. iiiid. For a black gowne to the said viker, viiis.

226.3 [From Blomefield’s Norfolk, vi. 483. Folio edition, iii. 692.] The original of this document was probably among the Paston MSS. when Blomefield composed his History of Norfolk, but where it is at present cannot be ascertained. It is cited by Blomefield, or perhaps by his continuator, Mr. Parkin, as ‘a very long but narrow roll,’ then in his possession. The text, however, does not seem to be printed entire, as the Editor only professes to give ‘several particulars therein.’

226.4 At Norwich.

226.5 27th May 1466.

228.1 Robert Coteler, who was presented to the living by John Paston in 1465, on the resignation of Thomas Howys.

228.2 A short blank occurs in Blomefield after ‘xxix.’ and before ‘xvii.’

229.1 Blomefield or his continuator here speaks in his own person.

230.1 A church in Norwich, rebuilt by John Paston in 1460, the advowson having been acquired by him and Margaret, his wife, in 1458. The date of the rebuilding is engraved in stone on a buttress by the north door.

231.1 Masses called ‘certeynes’ are referred to in No. 53 (vol. ii. p. 64).

To Master Clement Felmyngham the said tyme
text has “Mastkr”: corrected from Blomefield



Declaracio bonorum mobilium Johannis Fastolf militis ad manus Johannis Paston armigeri deveniencium et possidencium tam ex liberacione Thomæ Howys, Rectoris de Pulham, unius executoris dicti militis, quam ex Rapto aliorum hominum serviencium et tenencium suorum. Ac valorem in possessione dominiorum maneriorum terrarum et tenementorum suorum in eorum prima perquisicione per dictum militem solutorum et per heredem dicti Paston clameatorum pro nichilo solvendo, cum custubus edifficacionis eorundem. Et pro quibus omnibus supra specificatis executores dicti militis petiunt de heredibus et executoribus dicti Johannis Paston, solucionem restitucionem ac satisfacionem de dampnis occasione hujusmodi retencionis.

In primis.

Die octava mensis Novembris anno xxxviij. Regni Regis Henrici Sexti, videlicet tercio die post obitum Johannis Fastolf 232 militis, Thomas Howys clericus, co-executor dicti Johannis Fastolf, deliberavit Johanni Paston armigero de bonis dicti Johannis Fastolf existentibus ad tunc sub salva custodia in abbathia Sancti Benedicti de Hulmo de parte majoris summe in auro, videlicet in nobilibus antiquis boni et justi ponderis ijml. cccc. nobilia, precii nobile viijs. iiijd., faciunt mlli., et alia vice in moneta argenti xxiiijli. xvijs. ijd.; unde summa ml.xxiiijli. xvijs. ijd.

Item, idem Thomas liberavit Johanni Paston dicto mense Novembris apud Norwicum, de vasis argenti diversarum specierum ad tunc habitarum extra thesauraium dicti militis manerij de Castre, iiijml. xxiij. unciarum ponderis Troie, precium uncie ijs. xd., faciunt vc.lxixli. xviijs. vjd. Et eidem Johanni apud Norwicum alia vice, de vasis argenti, ponderis lvij. unciarum, precium uncie ut supra, vijli. iiijs. xd. Et eidem Johanni alia vice apud dictum Castre liberantur de vasis argenti Cxij. unciarum precium ut supra xvli. xvijs. iiijd.; unde summa vc.iiijxx.viijli. viijd.

Item, idem Thomas liberavit eidem Johanni Paston apud Norwicum dicto mense Novembris, in cyphis et vasis auri triati et finati, iijxx.xv. unciarum ponderis Troie, precium uncie xls. Clli.

Item, idem Thomas liberavit dicto Johanni ad faciendum certum prestitum comiti de Salysberye de bonis dicti Johannis Fastolf, unde idem Johannes Paston habet sufficientem securitatem et obligacionem Episcopi Norwicensis xxxiijli. vjs. viijd. Et consimili modo liberavit dicto Johanni ad faciendum certum prestitum      domino de Fitzwater, unde idem Johannes habet sufficientes securitates, xxxiijli. vjs. viijd. lxvjli. xiijs. iiijd.

Item, dictus Johannes Paston cepit de bonis dicti militis existentibus sub custodia Willelmi Worcetyr, contra agreamentum suum, et tradita per ipsum ad salvo custodiendum Thome Plummer de London scryvaner et Johanni Gressham de eadem capper, videlicet in vasis argenti diversarum specierum ml.viijc.iiijxx.x. unciarum, precium uncie ut supra, CClxviijli. vs. Et consimiliter cepit cyphum coopertum de 233 puro auro ponderis Troie xxiij. unc’, j. quart. di., precium uncie xls., xlvjli. xvs. Et similiter cepit unam cathenam auri puri, ponderis Troie xxiij. unc’ et dimidii, precium unc’ ut supra xlvijli. CCClxijli.

Item, idem Johannes Paston cepit consimili modo de bonis dicti militis traditis Willelmo Worcetyr ad custodiendum, dicto mense Novembris, videlicet London, apud domum dicti Thome Plummer, ultra Cxlli. per dictum Worcestre solutas pro panno nigro pro liberatis togarum datis erga funeralia dicti militis, et pro serico pro baneretis pictis cum armis, necnon pro vino et speciebus, videlicet viijc.j. nobilia antiqua boni et justi ponderis, precium nobile viijs. iiijd., iijc.xxxiijli. xvs. Et liberantur dicto Johanni Paston per manus dicti Thome Howys, London, de moneta tradita in custodia dicti Thome Plummer lxijli. xjs. iiijd.; pro toto CCCiiijxx.xvjli. vjs. iiijd.

Item, dictus Johannes Paston cepit consimili modo de Willelmo Worcestre certa notabilia monilia et jocalia auri cum lapidibus preciosis garnizata, videlicet unum monile ditissimum vocata Anglice a White Rose nuper domini ducis Eborum233.1 cum magno precioso lapide vocato a poynted dyamant, qui in prima empcione constabat, ut dicitur iiijor ml. marcarum, ac alia duo jocalia nuper dicti domini ducis tradita in plegio quando dictus Johannes Fastolf obligatus fuit pro dicto duce in tribus milibus libris executoribus cardinalis Anglie233.2 super certis denariis prestitis dicto duci, et unde idem, dominus dux debebat dicto Johanni Fastolf in denariis prestitis CCCClxvjli. xiijs. iiijd. Et pro aliis justis causis CClxvjli. xiijs. iiijd. Et predicta tria jocalia per assensum dicti domini ducis sub sigillo armorum in scriptis tradita assignata fuerunt dicto Johanni Fastolf ut bona sua propria ad vendendum et disponendum in recompensacione debiti sui et aliis magnis laboribus et vexacionibus dicti militis pro dicto duce sustentatis et habitis dum modo locum tenens pro Rege fuit in Francia, ac postea in Anglia vijc.xxxiijli. vjs. viijd.


Item, predictus Johannes Paston recepit exitus et proficua omnium maneriorum, terrarum et tenementorum dicti militis in comitatibus Norffolk, Suffolk, Essex et Surrie per manus ministrorum et servorum sine consensu executorum dicti militis, diversis annis ex quo obiit, per propinquam estimacionem ml.vjc.lxvjli. xiijs. iiijd.

Item, dictus Johannes Paston recepit diversa alia catalla et bestias dicti militis, videlicet equos et palefridos principales suos valoris xxxli. ac oves et animalia minuta cubancia in pasturis de Castre et aliis maneriis, videlicet ijm.iiijc.lvj. oves diversorum generum precium capitis xiiijd. Cxliijli. vs. iiijd. Et in precio xiij. magnarum bestiarum vjli. Et in valore vjm. cuniculorum apud Warennam de Haylysdon anno quo dictus miles obiit per Warennarios ibidem per propinquam estimacionem assessatos precium ml. xvs., xlvli. Similiter in precio vellerum lane ovium de stauro suo apud Haylysdon ante obitum suum remanencium, xxvjli. xiijs. iiijd. per ipsum recept’ CClli. xviijs. viijd.

Item, idem Johannes Paston recepit apud Castre predictam stuffuram et ordinacionem pro defensione patrie in artilleria, videlicet colubrinas librillas234.1 diversorum magnitudinum cum cameris in decem carectis oneratis ac in curassys, brigandinis jakkis, salectis, basnetes, habourjonnys, lanceis, crossebowes de calibe [chalybe], longbowes, arcubus, sagittis, gonnepowder, gonnestonys, et cetera hujusmodi defensibilia valoris Clli.

Item, recepit apud Castre per supervisum dicti Thome Howys in valore librorum pertinencium capelle ac in utenciliis garderobe dicti militis ibidem, videlicet in costeris et lectis de pluma et coopertoria de arras et tapestria ac penulis de martys cum togis necnon utencilia aule camerarum coquine et cetera hujusmodi, ut per billam de particulis patet, Cxxjli. vijs. iiijd. Et simili modo de utenciliis Warderobe et camerarum remanencium apud manerium suum in Suthwerk, valoris xxli., Cxljli. vijs. iiijd.

Item, dictus Johannes recepit per manus dicti Thome Howys, Willelmi Paston, Thome Playter, Thome Plummer 235 de London, scryvaner, Christofori Hansson armigeri et Luce Nantron ad diversas vices tam Londoniis quam in Suthwerk, ut patet per billam de parcellis, Ciiijli. xjs. viijd.

Item, idem Willelmus Worcestre mense Julii anno vto regni Regis Edwardi quarti solvit uxori dicti Thome Plumer pro debito dicti Johannis Paston ut pro panno nigro ac prestita facta et liberaciones argenti fact’ suo mandato diversis personis, xxxijli.

Item, idem Johannes recepit in valore et precio panni lanei nigri coloris per ipsum dati diversis hominibus de affinitate sua propria, ultra Clijli. ut in precio panni lanei nigri coloris provisi et dati amicis et servientibus dicti Johannis Fastolf erga funeralia sua tenenda, xlli. Et similiter idem Johannes Paston fecit prefatum Thomam Howys exponere et tradere diversis hominibus in regardis et solucionibus circa propria negocia dicti Paston expedienda London’ et alibi xxxli. xvjs. jd. Et consimiliter idem Johannes fecit dictum Thomam exponere et solvere in expensis victualium hospicii tenti apud Castre anno primo quo idem miles obiit, tam circa extraneos et notos supervenientes de affinitate et amicicia sua sine causa apud Castre Maner trahentes ibidem moram inutilem, ad summam iiijxx.xli., prout evidenter patebit per certam declaracionem, Clxli. xvjs. jd.

Item, ultra predicta bona sic sibi applicata, prefatus Johannes Paston pretendebat habere et possidere, sine racione et scripto autentiquo, omnia dominia, terras et tenementa dicti militis in comitatibus, Norffolk, Suffolk et Norwico, ac sine solucione alicujus summe que constabant dicto militi in prima empcione ultra edifficaciones et repparaciones dictorum maneriorum,

Item, considerandum est quod, ultra dictas perquisiciones, edifficacio manerii de Castre velut fortalicium defensionis patrie constabat in triginta annis Et edifficacio manerii de Haylysdon, cum clausura bosci et warenne, ac edifficacione duarum domorum vocatarum lez logges apud Haylysdon et Drayton, vc.xlviijli. xiijs. iiijd. Et custus imparcacionis parci in Cotton cum repparacione manerii 236 Et repparacio principalis mesuagii sui in villa de Jernemouth CCli. Edifficacio et repparacio tenementorum suorum in civitate Norwici CCxlli. vijml.CCCiiijxx.viijli. xiijs. iiijd.

Item, ultra ista, prefatus Johannes Paston retinet in custodia sua principales evidencias maneriorum dicti militis vocatorum Dedham Netherhall et Dedham Overhall in comitatu Essex; que quidem maneria, in defectu dictarum evidenciarum per ipsum non prosequutorum a tempore obitus dicti militis pro recuperacione eorundem, et hucusque, existunt extra possessionem, in maximum prejudicium defuncti, pro eo quod dictum manerium vocatum Dedham Netherhall constabat dicto militi in prima empcione, et predictum manerium vocatum Dedham Overhall Clxli. Et exitus et proficua dictorum maneriorum que ad manus executorum dicti militis medio tempore non devenerunt secundum ratam xlli. per annum ascendunt ad Sic in toto, ml.iiijc. xlli.

231.2 [From a MS. in the Tower of Magd. College, Oxford.] This is a paper drawn up by William Worcester after John Paston’s death in 1466. The errors in grammar are characteristic of the writer.

233.1 Richard, Duke of York, father of Edward IV.

233.2 Probably Cardinal Beaufort; but it may be Cardinal Kemp.

234.1 colubrinas librillas, i.e. culverins.

Item, predictus Johannes Paston ... ml.vjc.lxvjli. xiijs. iiijd.
“c.” (100) printed as subscript


Examinations Touching Sir John Fastolf’s Will


A.D. 1466. The following witnesses were examined secretly and apart on behalf of Sir William Yelverton, ‘deceased,’236.2 in the house of the treasurer of St. Paul’s Cathedral by John Druell, LL.D.:—

May 17. John Monke alias Smyth.
19. John Dawson and John Gyrdyng.

William Boswell, Robert Inglys, Ric. Horne, and Thos. Pykeryng.

237 21.

Henry Clerke, John Tovy, Thos. Hert, William Shawe, and Nich. Cherche.


Thos. Newton, Th. Spycer, and Thos. Neve.


John Rugge, John Clerke, and Rob. Bunche.

June 10. Stephen Scrope.
11. Ric. Fastolf.

I. John Monke, a smith of the parish of St. James, Pokethorpe, in Norwich, illiterate, of free condition, thirty-two years old and over, alleges bribery of witnesses by Paston and Howys, who offered to sell John Russe lands at Leystofte at little more than half their value. Howes made Russe a present of salt, barley, and malt to the value of £20, and promised him a full discharge of his account for goods of the testator in his custody to the value of £200 and over. He paid Robert Cutteler, vicar of Caster, ‘colore cujusdam ultimi vale dicti testatoris prius non debite’ (sic), money and corn to the value of 20 marks, and promised to present him to the living of Mawdeby whenever Thomas Howse resigned it. They gave Felmyngham an annuity of 8 marks, and 40s. to a boy who is his servant. They gave Robert Boteler a fee (feodum) of 5 marks [a year] for life, and the farm of a close called Mawdeby close, besides some other gifts which are specified. Hence the said John Russe, Rob. Cutteler, Clement Felmyngham, and Rob. Butteler, falsely deposed in answer to the second interrogatory that on the Saturday before the testator’s death they were present in a certain low room (bassa camera) in the manor of Caister, where the testator was principally between the hours of 8 and 11 A.M., and that with them were the said John Paston and John Brakley, and no others; for in reality there were present in the chamber with the testator on that day, and especially during those hours, the said Rob. Fitzrauf, Nich. Newman, and John Loer continually, and the said Dan John Davye, Dan Thomas Howys, Friar John Bernard, physician, and Henry Barbour, and several others [at intervals]. Moreover, Cutteler, Felmyngham, and Butteler, said Russe was present on that occasion, whereas both he and Cutteler were in other places. Moreover, bribes were given by Paston and Howes in various forms during the months of January, February, and March 1462[-3], and at other times in the parishes of Caister and Yarmouth, and in the city of London, to Ralph Lampet, brother William Bukenham, and the said Rob. Cutteler. Paston promised to promote Bukenham to the priory of Yarmouth, and also, as a reward for his testimony, to give him 13 acres of the testator’s land in Scroudby and Caister called Isabell, to the use of the prior and convent of Norwich. Hence the testimony of these witnesses was false, that Fastolf, about the beginning of Autumn five years ago, had made to John Paston estate and feoffment and livery of seisin of his manor of Caister, and other lands in Cos. Norf. and Suff., and the city of Norwich, to the use of the said testator while he lived, and afterwards to that of the said John Paston and his heirs; for if any such thing was done (which is not admitted) it was on the 16th October 1457, in the 36th year of Henry VI., after the Autumn of the said year, and not to the use of Paston and his heirs, but to the use of Fastolf himself, and for the accomplishment of his will. Further, the testimony of Russe, Cutteler, Bukenham, Felmyngham, and Butteler was untrue as to the alleged will of Fastolf that John 238 Paston should obtain the King’s license for the foundation of a college at Caister. It was in truth Fastolf’s will that the executors should obtain the King’s license to found a college there of seven Benedictine monks of the same profession as the monastery of St. Benet at Hulme, of whom one should be prior, and of seven poor men, and that they should be endowed out of his lands to the extent of 300 marks a year, all charges deducted, to pray for the soul of Lady Milicent, his wife, his parents and benefactors; and if the executors were unable to obtain this license, they were to give the abbot and convent of St. Benet’s lands and money for the maintenance of six new monks and seven poor men in that monastery with a like object. Further, it is not true as alleged that on Saturday before his death, viz., 3rd Nov., between eight and eleven A.M., the testator openly declared his will with a clear voice in the hearing of bystanders, for he was so ill and weak from want of breath that he was unable to speak distinctly at any time that whole day, especially during the hours above mentioned.

Moreover, bribes were offered by Paston and Howes in May and June 1465, in the parishes of Caister and Yarmouth, and in the city of London, to Thomas Thorald, Robert Lawes, Will. Waterman, John Osbern, John Heydon, Will. Pykeryng, John Symmys, and John Shawe, for their testimony in this matter, viz. that they should have 20s. besides travelling expenses and divers other sums which were offered to them in Paston’s name by Cutteler, vicar of Caister, and Ric. Calle; and John Paston promised the said William Pykeryng that he should recover certain lands in the tenure of his brother John Pykeryng, in Fylby, to the value of 40s. Influenced by these bribes, Thos. Thorald deposed that on the Saturday before Fastolf’s death, Bartholomew Elys and John Davys came to his house in Belton, two miles and more from Yarmouth, about eight A.M., when he was in his grange, and asked him to come with them to divers manors of the said Sir John, to receive certain grain from his farmers; after which they drank in Thorald’s house, and he went with them to Freton, and to the manor called Calcote hall, and other places in Lothynlond until midday. Robert Lawes also deposed that on Friday before Fastolf’s death he went to Becclys, and next day, viz. Saturday, returning homeward (rediens domorsum), met on the way the said Bartholomew Elis, John Davy, and Thomas Thorald going to Freton, when Davy called him and bade him tell Thomas Howys or John Rus that on Monday or Tuesday next he would go to Caister and give an account of his stewardship. Afterwards, about two P.M., Lawes came to Caister and told John Rus his business in the absence of Howys. But the said William Waterman, being bribed as aforesaid, falsely declares that on the Saturday before Fastolf’s death Barth. Elys and John Davy came to his house at Gorlyston about seven A.M., and that he went with them to Thorald’s house, and that they went and spoke with Thorald at the grange while he waited for them at the gate. Afterwards they all entered the hall of Thomas Thorald and drank beer together, and all four went together to Calcote-halle and waited there till ten A.M., when Watyrman left the other three and returned home. And about two P.M. Elys and Davy returned and drank beer at Watyrman’s house. But the truth is that Elys and Davy were at Yarmouth that day from seven till past eleven A.M.


Further, John Osberne, Will. Pykerynge, and John Heydon were corrupt witnesses. John Osberne said that on Saturday before the Feast of St. Leonard, when Fastolf was ill of his last illness, the said Osberne, Pykerynge, and Heydon came to Caister to receive certain monies of John Rus for barley sold to him by Osberne; that about eight A.M. they entered the hall of the manor and found Robert Hert and others, servants of Fastolf, sitting at breakfast; and that John Russe immediately came to Osberne and talked to him about the payment. At last Russe took them into the claustrum, and leaving them, entered Fastolf’s chamber; then, after remaining two hours and more, returned into the claustrum and delivered the money to Osbern. This testimony was confirmed by Heydon and Pykeryng; but the truth is that Russe that Saturday, from seven till near twelve o’clock (a principio horæ septimæ usque ad finem horæ undecimæ), and Robert Hert from seven to ten A.M., were at Yarmouth, three miles off.

Further, John Symmys and John Shawe were corrupt witnesses, the former saying that Robert Hert was present in the said manor-house of Caister at eight A.M. on the said day, and even at nine o’clock at dinner-time (tempore prandii), and that he saw the said Robert Hert sitting among Fastolf’s other servants at breakfast (jentaculum); and that he (Symmys) and Henry Wynstall, Fastolf’s barber, were occupied together in shoeing horses in the said manor from breakfast-time aforesaid to dinner-time, and that at dinner-time Symmys saw the said Henry sitting in the hall with others; and that on the said Saturday, about eight A.M., and even at noon, Symmys saw John Rus in the hall of the said manor. Also John Shawe deposed that on the Saturday before Fastolf’s death he saw John Rus and Henry Wynstall in the hall of the said manor, both at eight A.M. at breakfast and at dinner at midday, and he also saw Robert Hert, porter at the gate of the manor, at those hours; and that between breakfast and dinner Shawe and Wynstall were occupied along with John Symmys in shoeing Sir John’s horses. But the truth is that both Rus and Hert were absent as above-mentioned, and Wynstall was with Fastolf in his chamber from nine A.M. to half-past ten. Also Symmys, William Pykeryng, Heydon, Osberne, and Lawes were all absent the whole of that Saturday, and certainly between eight and eleven A.M. And notwithstanding that the contrary is alleged against them, John Davy, Barth. Elys, John Bokkyng, John Davy, chaplain, Thos. Upton, Nich. Newman, John Loer, Wm. Eton, Robert Lynne, John Marshall, Wm. Lynne, Henry Wynstall, Robert Hert, and Robert Fitzrauff, gave honest testimony in behalf of Yelverton and Worceter, being men of good repute, sufficiently rich, and well worthy of credit.

Additional exceptions on the part of Yelverton and Worcester to the testimony of John Rus and Clement Felmyngham, showing that Paston had offered to let to the former a tenement in Yarmouth for less than its true value, and had promised the latter 100 marks for the Austin Friars at South-Town,239.1 which was not bequeathed in Fastolf’s will; also that he had given Master Robert Popy, besides his expenses, 20 marks for his testimony, and remitted to him 10s. of the rent of a fishery which was five years in arrear, and that he had 240 also released to him 40 marks of a penalty of 100 marks due by Popy upon a bond; in consequence of which Popy deposed that on the 30th October three years previously,240.1 John Paston had reported to him at Caister that he had made an agreement with Fastolf by which he was to have all Fastolf’s lands in Norfolk, Suffolk, and the city of Norwich, after his death, paying for the same 4000 marks, and was to found a college in the manor, etc.; on hearing which Popy returned to Fastolf, and related to him what Paston had said to him, and Sir John confirmed it, requesting him to show the same goodwill towards Paston, as he had done to himself. But in truth Fastolf never asserted or confirmed any such thing.

Answers to interrogatories by the same deponent, viz.—1. As to his knowledge of the parties and witnesses.

2. As to the alleged instances of bribery, and the absence of Rus on the day referred to. The latter fact deponent says he knows, because he and Rus lay together in the chamber of Thomas Howys, and on Friday before Fastolf’s death Rus went to Yarmouth to buy victuals, and left with him the key of the chamber, Howys being then at Blowfeld; and Rus remained at Yarmouth all that Friday and the Saturday following, and returned on Sunday.

4. As to the condition of Fastolf on the Saturday before his death. He was so weak for want of breath that he could not speak distinctly; those about him could not hear what he said without inclining their ears to his mouth, and even then they could hardly understand him. And this deponent says he knows, because on Friday and Saturday before his death he was frequently in Sir John’s chamber, and when people spoke to him to comfort him in his illness he only answered by sighs, so that deponent and others could not tell what he meant. Moreover, Sir John was accustomed when in health daily to say certain prayers with his chaplain, but on that day the chaplain said the service alone, while Fastolf lay on his bed and said nothing.

6. As to Russe and Hert being at Yarmouth, he says he heard Thomas Howys that Saturday morning order the latter to take horse and ride thither to get provisions for the household, and he saw him ride out of the manor accordingly about seven A.M., and also saw him return with the provisions about ten A.M. [In the margin here is written ‘Nititur deponere de absencia Hert, sed non probat.’]

7. Knows that Henry Wynstall was absent from the hall of the manor from about nine to half-past ten, for he saw him enter the chamber with his instruments to shave Sir John, and wait there an hour and a half, and he could not have left without deponent seeing him. Moreover, John Symmys did not shoe horses in the manor that Saturday, for deponent had the custody of the forge and kept the keys.

Answers to another set of interrogatories proposed on behalf of Paston and Howes, and here quoted at length, to the following effect, viz.: 1. Where each witness has lived since he was born, and whether he be in the service of the party producing him? 2. As to his knowledge of the witnesses on the 241 other side? 3. What particulars he can give as to any bribery he imputes to them, and what was its special object? 4. By what means he knew it, and by whom he has been asked to give testimony, and whether he has conferred with his fellow-witnesses; whether they have received instructions what to depose; how often he has come up to London to give evidence and returned without being called; and how much he was promised for coming? 5. Each witness is to declare how he knows the facts, and to be charged not to reveal to the others on what subjects he was questioned.

The only point of interest in these replies is that deponent was asked by William Worcester in the city of Norwich on Sunday eight days to give his testimony in the cause. He denies all communication with his fellow-witnesses, &c.

Note.—The evidence of this first witness runs to five or six times the length of any other, and we have noted all the material points in it. Of the depositions of the others we shall not give any summary, but mention briefly any new statements that seem to be of interest:—

II. John Dawson, husbandman (agricultor), of Blowfeld, where he has been for four years, having formerly lived five years in the manor of Caister, and before that in Cambridge three years, literatus, liberæ conditionis, about thirty years old.

His testimony generally agrees with that of Monke, and he says the covenant of Akethorpe was made in the February before Fastolf’s death. Between Christmas and Easter after his death deponent heard Howes in the manor of Caister say to Robert Cutteler the vicar that he should have 6 marks for his labour in giving evidence about Fastolf’s will; and afterwards Howes in his chamber in the said manor paid him 6 marks. Paston also promised him a benefice worth 40 marks. He says, about a month before Fastolf’s death, he heard Howes and Paston frequently repeat publicly in the household the tenor of Sir John Fastolf’s will. About St. John Baptist’s day last he was at Yarmouth, and heard John Symmys and John Shawe say they were hired by Paston and Howes to give evidence in the proving of Fastolf’s will.

III. John Gyrdynge of Fretenham, where he has lived four years; before which time he lived with the Prior of St. Faith’s two years, before that in the manor of Caster four years, before that with John Emeryngale of Wroxham two years, and before that in Norwich as an apprentice with Henry Toke five years; a cook, illiterate and of free condition, thirty-two years old and over.241.1 Agrees with the evidence of corruption against Rus and others. Was present in Fastolf’s room that Saturday forenoon, and saw the two chaplains celebrating mass. H. Wynstall the barber was present till ten A.M.

IV. William Boswell of Thetford, who was four years with Friar Bracley, &c., literatus, of free condition, thirty years old and more. Heard Howys, Paston, and Rus frequently confer at Caister about the sale of a house in Yarmouth, 242 which Howys, at the request of Paston, at length granted to Rus at £20 less than its value, to the end that Rus might bear witness in their favour and in the proving of Fastolf’s will. [Here occurs a marginal note by another hand, ‘Male sonat. Quod alius consensit non probatur.’ At the head of this deposition also it is said that this witness has been proved corrupt.]

V. Robert Inglys of Lodon, gentleman, who has lived there two years, and before that in the parish of Hopton three years, before that with Henry None, Esq., for more than a year, before that with Sir John Fastolf two years, before that with the Abbot of Langley two years, and before that in Hopton with his father; illiterate, and of free condition, thirty years old and more.

VI. Richard Horne of Brundall, Norwich diocese, husbandman (agricultor), who has lived there four years, and before that with Thomas Howys six years, and before that in the parish of St. George, Southwark, three years; illiterate, of free condition, twenty-six years old.

VII. Thomas Pykeryng of Wroxham, Norwich diocese, who has been a schoolmaster at Norwich and Aylesham, and is now clerk to Robert Norwich, steward of the Abbot of St. Benet’s, Hulme.

VIII. Henry Clerke of Blowfeld, husbandman (agricultor), once in the service of Sir John Fastolf, illiterate, twenty-eight years old, of free condition. Says that on the Saturday before Fastolf’s death Howys sent him and John Shawe to Yarmouth about seven A.M., with a cart-load of malt to one named Chirche; that they arrived about eight, and were spoken to by John Rus and Robert Cutteler in the market-place; that they waited with their cart till two P.M., when deponent took leave of Russ and Cutteler in the street, having repeatedly seen them there in the interval. Also that at eight and nine A.M. he saw Robert Hert in Yarmouth, who soon after his arrival delivered him a sack containing meat, bought, as he said, by Rus for Fastolf’s household. He says also that between eight and nine he spoke with the said John Symmys, William Pykeryng, and John Osbern in Yarmouth.

Marginal notes are appended to the above statements, affirming that bribery had been proved against this witness by four others, and that he stood alone in his testimony.

IX. John Tovy of Caister, where he has lived ever since he was born, agricultor, literatus, of free condition, twenty-four years old and more; cannot depose of his own knowledge to the bribery of John Rus and the others. He says John Rus was not present in the manor on the said Saturday, having to be at Yarmouth to provide victuals for the household. About eight A.M. witness conveyed to the said manor some linen, which his mother had washed, for she was Sir John’s washerwoman, and waited there, sometimes in the hall and sometimes in Sir John’s chamber, till after midday, but did not see John Rus or any of the others named, as he would have done if they had been present.

X. Thomas Hert of Caister, agricultor, who has lived there from his birth, illiterate, of free condition, twenty-three years old. Cannot depose to bribery except from hearsay. Was sent to Caister by his father on the Saturday before Fastolf’s death with capons to be sold to John Rus, purveyor of victuals for the household, but on inquiring for him, found he was absent, and delivered the 243 capons to Sir Thomas Howes. Waited till nine A.M. and saw neither Rus, Cutteler, Boteler, nor Robert Hert, but was told Rus was at Yarmouth, and Boteler sick in his chamber. John Symmys had nothing to do with the shoeing of Sir John’s horses that day. Was asked to bear witness in this cause a fortnight ago by Sir William Yelverton’s servant at Caister.

XI. William Shave, roper of Yarmouth, illiterate, of free condition, fifty-eight years old. On the Saturday before Fastolf’s death, was at the house of John Balle, at the sign of the Cock, in Yarmouth, in a parlour near the public street, when Sir Thomas Howes informed John Rus, there present, that he had been desired by John Paston to remit to him £20 of the price of a house sold to Rus by the said Thomas, and thereupon he remitted to him the said £20 and 5 marks, in which he was bound to Sir John Fastolf. He also promised him the lands of Akethorp Hall for 40 marks less than any other, provided he would favour the intention of Howes and Paston. [It is remarked in the margin that witness does not say what intention.] William Lynde, a servant of Sir John Fastolf, was present, besides others. He saw Russ and Cutteler that Saturday at Yarmouth, between nine and twelve A.M., and spoke with them and drank in the house of Thomas Lounde. As to Thomas Torald, witness was at Yarmouth one Saturday, when he heard Robert Cutteler and Torald conversing; and the former told the latter that Sir Thomas Howes loved him well, and that John Paston could do him much good, and in the name of Paston and Howes he promised Torald 20s. for his labour, besides expenses, if he would depose for them. Knows that on the Saturday before Fastolf’s death Bartholomew Elys was in Yarmouth from half-past eight to eleven A.M., for he and witness bought fish called roches together, sold some, and divided others in Elys’s house. That day he saw John Rus in Yarmouth several times every hour from seven to eleven A.M., for he was in the market-place all that time on his business, and at vespers he saw John Rus in the parish church of the said town. Next day, Sunday, he also saw him there at matins and at mass.

XII. Nicholas Chirche of Yarmouth, merchant, literatus, of free condition, forty years old and more. Testifies concerning a conversation held in John Balle’s parlour at the Cock in Yarmouth after the Christmas following Fastolf’s death, with Sir Thomas Howes, John Paston, John Rus, Friar Clement Felmyngham, Dan Robert Cutteler, Robert Boteler, Thomas Neve, and others, when Howes remitted to John Rus £20 of the price of a house he had sold him, and 5 marks of the arrears of his accounts. He also testifies to other acts of the same nature on that occasion, and to the absence of Rus and Cutteler at Yarmouth on the Saturday above referred to, &c.

[In the margin it is remarked that this witness has been proved corrupt by three others.]

On the 22d May John Naseby, proctor for Yelverton and Howes, produced as a witness one John Rugge, in presence of Master Robert Kent, Paston’s proctor.

XIII. Thomas Newton of Burgh, agricultor, illiterate, of free condition, fifty years old and more.

XIV. Thomas Spycer of Southtown, by Yarmouth, tailor, illiterate, of free condition, fifty years old and more.


XV. Thomas Neve of Jernemuth [Yarmouth], merchant, literatus, of free condition, forty years old and more.

XVI. John Rugge, mariner, of Yarmouth, illiterate, of free condition, fifty years old.

XVII. John Clerke of Gorlaston, agricultor, illiterate, of free condition, fifty years old. Heard Clement Felmyngham report to him at the Austin Friars in Southtown that Paston and Howes had given him a pension of 8 marks a year for life, and 40s. for his servant, to say masses for the soul of Sir John Fastolf. Cannot witness of bribery otherwise. A little after Michaelmas, two years before Fastolf’s death, William Worceter in Fastolf’s name delivered possession of six of his manors in Lodylond, viz. Spytlyng in Gorlaston, Bradwell Hall in Bradwell, Hadlounde in Bradwell, Calcotes in Freton, Beytons in Belton, and Akethorpe in Leystoft, to Sir Thomas Howes and others, his co-feoffees named in a charter of enfeoffment, to the use of Sir John during his life, and to execute his will afterwards. This he knows, because he rode with Howes to the said manors when he took possession, and saw and heard Worceter deliver possession thereof. Thomas Torald reported to witness in Lent last that Paston and Howes had promised and paid him 20s., besides his expenses, to give evidence in the proving of Fastolf’s will, and had given each of his fellow-witnesses as much.

XVIII. Robert Bunche of Yarmouth, mariner, literatus, of free condition, fifty years old. Swears to having seen John Rus that Saturday at Yarmouth between seven and eight. [A marginal note says that being afterwards produced as a witness by Paston, he admitted having been suborned, and having deposed falsely.]

On the 22d July Yelverton’s proctor, Naseby, produced in presence of Paston’s proctor, Kent, two witnesses, viz.—Stephen Scrope, Esq., and Richard Fastolf.

XIX. Stephen Scrope, Esq., of free condition, seventy years old or about. Says he was several times with Sir John Fastolf in his manor of Caister within the two years before his death, when Sir John told him he had made his will, and had ordered his executors to erect a college of six or seven monks and seven poor men at Caister, and that they should have lands and goods to the value of 300 marks a year, if a license could be obtained from the King to that effect; otherwise that the number of monks at St. Benet’s should be increased, and seven poor men supported in the monastery. [In the margin it is remarked that this witness proves nothing against the accused witnesses, but only endeavours to depose concerning the will of the deceased.]

XX. Richard Fastolfe, of the parish of St. Mary Eldermary, in London, tailor, where he has lived for two years, and before that in the parish of St. Michael, Crokydlane, London, for a quarter of a year, formerly with the Duke of York, literatus, of free condition, thirty-two years old. Went to Caister about the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross preceding Fastolf’s death, along with one Thomas Plummer, scriptor, of London, now deceased. Found Sir John walking about his chamber led by two servants, when Plummer petitioned him to help deponent with goods that he might marry, as he was one of Sir John’s relations. To this Sir John made answer that he had within a 245 few [days] preceding made his will, which he would not alter, and that he had made mention of deponent therein. He also said to Plummer that if he had come in good time, he should have written his will.

[Throughout all the above depositions will be found marginal comments in another hand, a few of which we have noticed incidentally, tending to show that the testimony given is insufficient to prove the bribery of Paston’s witnesses, or to invalidate their statements.]

‘Responsiones personaliter factæ per Johannem Paston, armigerum, xxixº die mensis Julii anno Domini MºCCCClxvto, Indictione xiijma, pontificatus sanctissimi in Christo patris et domini nostri, domini Pauli Divina providencia Papæ Secundi anno primo, in domo habitationis venerabilis mulieris Elisabethæ Venor in le Flete vulgariter nuncupat’ infra parochiam Sanctæ Brigidæ Virginis in suburbeis civitatis London’ situata, [et] x., xj., et xijmo diebus mensis Decembris anno Domini supradicto, Indictione xiiijma, pontificatus dicti sanctissimi patris domini Pauli Papæ Secundi anno secundo, in domo thesaurarii ecclesiæ Cathedralis Sancti Pauli London’ in parochia Sancti Gregorii civitatis London’ situata, coram venerabili viro Magistro Johanne Druell, utriusque juris doctore, commissario et examinatore in hac parte specialiter deputato, in præsentia mei, Nicholai Parker, notarii publici, scribæ in ea parte assumpti et deputati, de et super interrogatoriis per partem venerabilis viri domini Willelmi Yelverton militis et Willelmi Worceter, executorum testamenti domini Johannis Fastolf militis ministratis, productum.’

236.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The following examinations are contained in the same volume as the depositions of John Paston of which an abstract will be found in No. 606. They begin at page 21, immediately after Paston’s depositions, a single blank page intervening.

236.2 By a singular mistake in the record, Sir William Yelverton is here spoken of as deceased instead of John Paston:— ‘per partem venerabilis viri domini Willelmi Yelverton militis defuncti contra testes Johannis Paston armigeri et domini Thomæ Howys.’ Yelverton certainly lived for some years after this, and was continued as judge by Henry VI. on his restoration (see Foss), but John Paston died on the 26th May 1466.

239.1 South-Town, Yarmouth, sometimes called Little Yarmouth.

240.1 ‘Quod dictis Johannes Paston apud Castre penultimo die Octobris ultimo præterito ad tres annos proxime elapsos sibi retulit.’ It would seem by this that Popy’s testimony must have been given within three years of Fastolf’s death.

241.1 The residences of every one of the witnesses are given from the time of his birth; but we have given these details only in one or two cases as specimens.

before that in the manor of Caster four years
text unchanged: Gairdner’s usual spelling is “Caister”


Extract from ‘An Index to Deeds and Writings in the Tower, Magdalen College, Oxford’

‘34. The testimony of Th. Howes concerning the testament of Sir John Fastolf, touching which controversies arose between John Paston the elder, and Thos. Howes of the one party, and William Yelverton, Knight, and William Worcetyr on the other.’



By the Kinge (Edward the Fourth)246.2


Trusty and welbeloved, we greet yow well, letting yow wete that our trusty and welbeloved knight Sir John Paston, our welbeloved William Paston, and Clement Paston, with other, have been before us and our councell worshipfully declared of the surmise of great charge that was laid on our behalfe unto John Paston deceased and them, jointly and severally; so that we hold them and every of them sufficiently declared in that matter, and take and repute them as gentlemen descended lineally of worshipfull blood sithen the Conquest hither; and over that, have commanded that plenare restitution of the manner of Castor, and of all other lands and tenements, with goods and cattell, that the said John Paston deceased had of the gift and purchase of Sir John Fastolfe, Knight, shall wholly be restored unto our said Knight Sir John Paston, like as the said John Paston deceased had in any time of his daies. Wherefore, in as much as our said Knight intendeth to make his abideing in Castor, we desire and pray yow that, for our sake and contemplation, ye will be friendly and neighbours unto him in his right; and such other things as may be to his profitt and ease, wherein ye shall do unto us full and good pleasure. Yeaven under our signet in our Castle at Windsore the xvijth day of July.

Subjoined to the above in Sandford’s Genealogy is ‘the coppie of a warrant sent 247 from Kinge Edward the Fourth to restore Sir John Paston to the lands and possessions which he purchased of Sir John Fastolfe, whereof the originall remaineth in the custody of Edw. Paston, Esq.’ It is addressed ‘To all tenaunts, fermors, or occupiers of all the lands and tenements, and of every part of them, that late were John Paston’s, Esq., now deceased, by way of inheritance, or Agnes Paston, Margaret Paston, William Paston, and Clement Paston, or any of them, and to all such persons what so they be, now being in the manner or place of Castor, or in any lifelode that was the said John Paston, Esq., by way of gifte or purchase of late Sir John Fastolfe, or of any other, within our counties of Norff., Suff., and Norwich, and to all the tenants, fermors, baylies, or occupiers of the same, and of every part thereof; and to all mayers, shreves, eschetors, bayliffs, and other our officers, as well within franchise as without our counties aforesaid, hereing or seeing these our letters.’ The King mentions in this warrant that ‘great part of the said lands, tenements, and manors had been seized into our hands’; and the tenants, farmers, bailiffs, and occupiers of the said lands are charged thenceforth to pay the whole issues and profits thereof to Sir John Paston; and the mayors, sheriffs, escheators, and others the King’s officers are charged to be ‘assisting, helping, and strengthening.’ The warrant is ‘Yeven under our signet at Windsore, the xxvjth day of July, the sixth yeare of our reigne.’

246.1 This letter is reprinted from the Norfolk Archæology, where it was first published by Mr. Worship from a transcript made by Sandford in his MS. Genealogy of the Paston family, compiled in 1674. Sandford states that ‘the originall under the King’s seale remaineth in the custody of Edward Paston, Esq.’ The date is rendered certain by the warrant subjoined.

246.2 We have placed the words ‘Edward the Fourth’ in parentheses, though they are not so printed by Mr. Worship, and are probably not so written in Sandford’s MS., because we suspect that they were not in the text of the original document, but were added by Sandford by way of explanation.



Latter clause of a writ of supersedeas to an escheator directing him not to make inquisition post mortem on the lands of John ——, until further notice.

Westminster, 20 July.

[From the time of year at which this writ is dated, it may have been issued after the death of John Paston, who died in May 1466, the inquisition on his lands not having been taken till October following. But it may possibly have applied to the lands of Sir John Fastolf, who died in November 1459, the inquisition after his death not having been taken till October 1460.]

247.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.]


The following document is derived from a transcript made by Sandford in the Genealogy mentioned in No. 641, and some previous papers, and is likewise reprinted from Mr. Worship’s article. Prefixed to it in Sandford’s MS. are these words:— ‘The Briefe followinge was delivered to Edward Paston, Esq., amonge other evidence, by his uncle Clement Paston, and it is written in an old hand.’ It would appear, however, from the wording, not to be a ‘brief’ or abstract, as Sandford considered it, 248 but an extract from some certificate made in the King’s name in behalf of Sir John Paston, setting forth what had been proved on examination as to the gentility of his ancestry.

They shewed divers great evidences and court rolles, how that they and their ancetors had been possessed of a court and seniory in the town of Paston, and of many and sundry bondmen, sithen the time that no mind is to the contrary; and how that Agnes Paston, wife to the said William Paston, father to the said John, William, and Clement, in title of her dower, is in possession of bondholders, and also of bondmen, whose ancetors have been bondmen to the ancetors of the said John Paston sithen the time that no minde is to the contrary. And they shewed divers fines, some leavyed in the time of the begining of the reigne of our noble progenitor, Edward the First, son of Kinge Henry, son of King John, of liveloude whereof they and theire ancetors have been possessed ever since to this day.

Also they shewed divers inquests which is matters of record. Also they shewed divers deeds and grants before time of mind, how that their ancetors had licence to have a chaplen and have divine service within them. And that divers of their ancetors had given lyvelyhood to houses of religion to be prayed for, and confirmacions under the Great Seale of our noble ancestor Kinge Henry the Third, son of Kinge John, confirming the same grants.

Also they shewed divers old deeds, some without date, insealed under autenticke seales, of divers particular purchases in the town of Paston, reciting in the said deeds that the land was holden of the ancetors of the said  .  .  .  .  .  Paston, as of the chiefe lord of the fee, and by homage, and had ward, marriage and reliefe. Also they shewed how their ancestors were infeoffed in divers men’s mannors and lands in trust. Also they shewed a great multitude of old deeds, without date and with date, wherein their ancetors were alwaies sett first in witness, and before all other gentlemen. Also they shewed how their ancetors had, in old time and of late time, married with worshipfull gentlemen; and proved, by deeds of marriage and by other deeds, how their ancetors had indowed 249 their wives, and by discents of livelyhood, and by testaments and wills of their ancestors under seale; and made open by evident proofe, how they and their ancetors came lineally descended of right noble and worshipfull blood, and of great lords, sometime liveing in this our realme of Ingland. And also they made open proofe how they were nere of kin and blood to many of the worshipfullest of the country, and also nere to many and sundry great estates and lords of this realme, and was openly proved and affirmed, without contradiction or proofe to the contrary.

They shewed how they had kept pl’ce with divers  .  .  .  .  and with Plays that had wedded the Earle Warren’s daughter, the third yeare of Edward the First. They shewed a lineall discent, how their first ancetor, Wulstan, came out of France, and Sir William Glanvile together, his kinsman, that after founded the pryory of Bromholme by the towne of Paston and the towne of Bentley; and how Wulstan had issue Wulstan, which bare armes gould flowret azure; and how he had issue, Raffe and Robert; which Raffe, senior, bare armes as his father, and Robert the younger bare silver flowret azure. And Robert had issue Edmund and Walter; which Edmund the elder bare as his father; and his brother, because he married Glanvile’s daughter, a cheife indented gold, the field silver, flowret azure; and how their ancetors after bare with lesse number; and how Sir John Paston was heire to all those, for they died sans issue. And this was shewed by writinge of olde hand, and by old testaments and evidences.


SEPT. 16

To all to whom this present writting xal come, I, Agnes Paston, late the wife of William Paston, Justice, send greting in God everlasting, lating hem know that I, the forseid Agnes, of goode and hole mende, the xvj. day of 250 Septembre, the vj. yere of the reigne of Kyng E. the iiijth and the yere of our Lord a MlCCCClxvj., make and ordeyne my last will in al the maners, londes, tenementes, rentes, services, mesuages, and places, that ony person or persones bene seased of to myn use and behof with in Norwiche, Norffolk, Suffolk, Essex, Hertfordshere, or in any other shere with in Englond, praying and desiring al the personez so feffed to myn use, after this my will, writtyn and inceled under my seale, be shewed unto them, that they wol make astate to the persones lemited in my seid will according.

And inasmoche as myn husbond, whos soule God assoile, dyverse tymes, and specialy among other the day of the moneth, rehersed to me that the lyvelod whiche he had assigned to his ij. yongest, William and Clement, by his will in writting, was so littill that they mizt not leve thereon, withouzt they shuld hold the plowe to the tayle; and ferthermore, seying that he had dyvers oder maners, that is to say, the maner of Sporle, Sweynsthorp, and Bekham; which maner of Bekham he was purposed to chaunge with the maner of Pagrave; and if he myzt bring it abouzt, then xuld on of his ij. yongest sones have the seid maners of Sporle and Bekham, and no more, and the other yongest sone xuld have al the remenaunt. And he that had the maner of Sweynsthorp xuld be bound in a gret some to the prior of the Abbey of Norwiche, to paie dayly for ever to the monke that for that day singeth the masse of the Holy Goste in our Lady Chapell in Norwiche, where he purposed to leye his body, every day iiijd., to sing and pray for his sowle and myn, and al the sowles that he and I have hade any goode of or be beholdyn to pray for. And after that the ——250.1 day of ————250.1 next folowing my seid husbond lying seke in his bed, in the presens of John Paston, his sone and myn, John Bakton, John Dame, and of me, declared his will towching certein of his children and me, at whiche tyme he assigned to the seid John Paston the maner of Gressham in honde, and the revercion of suche lyvelode as he zave me after my decesse, askyng hym the question wheder he held hym not content so, seying to him in these termes, ‘Sir, and 251 thow do not I doo, for I will not geve so mekyll to on that the remenaunt xal have to littill to leve on. At the whiche251.1  .  .

249.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.]

250.1 Blanks in MS.

251.1 Here the fragment ends at the bottom of a leaf written only on one side.


B.—And after that the —— day of the monethe my seyd husbond lyyng seke on hys bede sent for me, John Paston, Bakton, and John a Dame, to here hiis wyll rede; and in owr presens all he began to reede hiis wylle, and spak fyst of me, and assynyid to me the maners of Paston, Latymer, and Schypden and Ropers, in Crowmer, for terme of my lyffe, and the manerys of Merlyngforthe, Stonsted, and Horwelbury, whyche wasse myn owne enheritans, and Oxned, whyche wasse my jontor, and [prayd me to hold me contente so, for]251.3 hadde do to lityll to ony it wasse to me, for somme he faryd the better, and so devedede (?) he ded for not of hem all, but he hadde more to care for, wyche myn as well as hys. And than he red John parte, and assynyd to hym and to hys wyffe the maner of Gressam, and after my desesse the maner of Oxned; and he, thynkyng by John Pastons demenyng that he wasse not plesyd because  .  .  .  .

C.—Swynne of slowyth that hiis wyll wasse not made up, but wot swm ever cwm of me, Dame, I wyll ze know my wyll, and seyd that swyche lond as he hadde not wrytyn in hiis wyll wott xwlde he do with all, he wold his ij. yongest sonnys, Wyllam and Clement, xwlde have, and owte of Sweynthorpe to have hiis perpetuell masse. And of thys prayd me to reporte recorde and berre wyttnesse; in qwyche disposicion and intent he continuyd in on to the day of hiis dethe, and I 252 darre rytgh largely deposse that that same wasse hiis last wyll the tyme of hiis dethe; qwyche wyll immediatly after my husbondes decesse I hopynd and declaryd to John Paston and al the other executores of my husbond, desyeryng hem to have performyd it. And the seyd John Paston wold in no wysse agree ther to, seyying that by the lawe the seyd manerys xulde be hiis, in as moche as my husbonde made no wyll of hem in wrytyn, and gatte the dedis owte of my possession and estat of the feffees in the seyde manerys, myn unknowyng.

And after that swyche tresowre of my husbons as wasse leyde in the Abbey of Norwyche by the seyd John Paston, John Bakton, John Dam, and me, to delyvere azen to us all, the seyde John Paston owte of the seyde Abbey unknowyn to the priour or ony oder person of the seyde Abbey, and withowte my wetyn[g] and assente, or ony of owre felawys, toke and bare awey all, and kepyng it styll azens my wyll and all the tother executores wyllys, nothere restoryng the seid Wyllam and Clement to the forseyd land, nother recompensyng them of my husbonds tresor, and ordeynyng for my husbonds sowle in havyng of hiis perpetuell masse acordyng to his wyll. Werfor, in as moche as I know and understonde verrely that it wasse my husbonds wyll the tyme of hys dethe, that the seyd Wyllam and Clement xwlde have the seyd manerys of Sporle, Sweynsthorp, and Bekham, and the annuyte for hys perpetuell masse to be going owte of the seyde maner of Sweynthorp, and that the possessioners of the seyd manerys at thys day wyll in no wysse by any fayer menez or spekyng tender my seyd husbonds sowle and myn, ner perform the wyll of my seyd husbond, I wyll have and xall by the gras[e] of swyche lyvelode as I have in my possession, that is for to sey, the maners of Stonsted, Marlyngforthe, and Horwellbury, that swm tym wasse my faders and my moders, and cwm on to me by them as myn enheritance. And after my decesse if I wolde soffer it to desend, xwld goo to the wronge possessioners of the seyd manerys of Sporle, Sweynsthorp, and Bekham, qwyche xall not be lettyd for me, but if it be thorow her owne defaute, make, sta[b]lesse and ordeyn myn husbonds perpetuell masse and myn, and of the remenaunt, as swerly as 253 can be made by the lawe, I wyll the seyd Wyllam and Clement be recompensyd to the valew of the seyde manerys of Sporle, Sweynthorpe, and Bekkam, zerly [yearly], on to the tyme that they be restoryd to the forseyd manerys of Sporle, Sweynthorp, and Bekkam, in lik forme, and lyke astat as xall be afterwards lymytyd in thys my last253.1 [will; chargyng and requiryng the seyd Wyllam and Clement that after that they be restoryd to the manerys of Sporle, Sweynsthorp, and Bekam, they restore myn heyres to Marlyngforthe, Stons[ted], and Orwelbury.]

251.2 [From Paston MSS.] The following appear to be three separate fragments of an original draft of Agnes Paston’s will, written on two sides of a small scrap of paper. Two of these fragments have the letters B and D prefixed to them, showing that they were intended as insertions in a part of the text now lost.

251.3 These words are struck through with the pen.

253.1 The word ‘will’ is omitted in the MS., and the words ‘my last’ repeated. What follows is crossed out.


In the Paston Genealogy drawn up by Sandford, to which we have several times before alluded, occurs another extract from the will of Agnes Paston, as follows:—

‘Also I bequeath to the Whight Fryers of the said city of Norwich, for I am there a suster, to helpe to pay hir [their] debts, xxli., which I will be gathered of the arrerage of my lyvelode. Also I bequeath to the auter of Gracion of the said House, whereas mine husband and I have a perpetuall masse, a vestment which they have for a prist to judge in or [of ?] rede satern. Also to the mendinge of the chappell of our Ladie within the said place, whereas Sir Thomas Gerbrege, my grandfather, and Dame Elizabeth his wife, and Sir Edmond Berrye my father, and Dame Alice his wife, be buried, and Clement Paston my sonn.’


On the Thurseday at nyght before Our Ladys Day the Assumpcion,253.3 betwixt xj. and xij. of the clokk, in the yer of Our Lord God MCCCC. and xliiij., the Sondays lettre on the D., died my husbond, God assoyle his 254 sowle. And on the Fryday after I sent for John Paston, John Dam, &c. And on the Wedynysday after cam John Paston, &c. And on the Fryday John Paston, John Dam and I yede into the chambre, and they desyred of me to see the wyll. I lete them see it. And John Dam redde it; and when he had redde it, John Paston walkyd up and down in the chambere. John Dam and I knelyd at the beddys fete.

253.2 [From Fenn, iii. 15.] The following memorandum relative to the death of her husband was written by Agnes Paston, probably about the time she made her will.

253.3 The Assumption of Our Lady was the 15th August.


Roll of paper containing a draft in English of part of the inquisition on the death of John Paston, relating more especially to the foundation of Fastolf’s college. In the latter part the jury find that John Paston died on the 22nd May254.2 last, and that Sir John Paston, Knight, is his son and next heir, and is of the age of 24 years and more.

⁂ Copies of the original inquisition, as returned into Chancery, and of that on the death of Sir John Fastolf, exist among the Paston MSS. in the Bodleian Library.

254.1 [Addit. Roll, 17,258, B.M.]

254.2 The date in the inquisition returned into Chancery (6 Edw. IV., No. 44) is 21st May.


To my ryght wyrshypfull mayster, Sir John Paston, Knyzt, be thys letter delyveryd in hast.

OCT. 29

I  grytte you well, and send you God ys blessyng and myn, desyryng you to send me werd how that ye spede in youre maters, for I thynk ryght leng tyll I here tydyngys from you; and in alwyse I avyse you for to be ware that ye kepe wysly your wrytyngys that ben of charge, that it com not in her [their] handys that may hurt you herafter. Your fader, wham God assole, in hys trobyll seson set more 255 by hys wrytyngys and evydens than he dede by any of hys moveabell godys. Remember that yf the wer had from you, ye kowd never gyte no moo such as the be for your parte, &c.

Item, I wold ye shold take hyde that yf any processe com owte a yenst me, or a yenst any of tho that wer endyted a fore the coroner, that I myght have knowlych therof, and to purvey a remedy therfor.

Item, as for your fader ys wyll, I wold ye shold take ryght gode counsell therin, as I am enformyd it may be prevyd, thogh no man take no charge thys twelfmonth. Ye may have a letter of mynystracyon to such as ye wyll, and mynyster the godys and take no charge. I avyse you that ye in no wyse take no charge therof tyll ye know more than ye doo yet; for ye may verely knowe by that your unkell Will. seyd to you and to me, that thay wyll lay the charge uppon you and me for moo thyngys then ys exprest in your fader ys wyll, the whych shud be to grete for you or me to bere; but as for me, I will not be to hesty to take it uppon me, I ensure you.

And at the reverens of God, spede your maters so thys terme, that we may be in rest herafter, and lette not for no labour for the season, and remember the grete cost and charge that we have had hedyr toward, and thynk verely it may not lenge endur. Ye know what ye left when ye wer last at hom, and wyte it verely ther ys no mor in thys countray to bere owte no charge with. I awyse you enquer wysely yf ye canne gyte any more ther as ye be, for els by my feth I feer els it will not be well with ous; and send me word in hast hough ye doo, and whether ye have your laste dedys that ye fayled, for playnly they er not in thys contrey. It ys told me in consell that Ric. Calle hath nyer conqueryd your uncle Will. with fayre promyse twochyng hys lyflode and other thyngs, the whych shold prevayll hym gretly, as he sayth. Be ware of hym and of hys felowe be myn avyse. God sende you gode spede in all your maters.

Wryten at Caster, the moreu next after Symon and Jude, wher as I wold not be at thys tyme but for your sake, so mot I ches. By your Moder.

254.3 [From Fenn, iv. 272.] The date of this letter is shown by the contents to be shortly after John Paston the father’s death, probably in the same year.



Sir James Gloys to Sir John Paston

NOV. 10

Was at Snaylwell on Sunday, but could get no money. Most of the tenants away at Canterbury or elsewhere. The rest said when you were there last you had given them till Candlemas, ‘so that thei myght malt ther corn and brynge it to the best preffe.’ Warned them to be ready by Tuesday before St. Edmond the King, when Richard Calle would visit them. A thrifty man beside Bery is willing to take the farm; but every one says the last farmer was undone by it. Advises Paston not to overcharge his farms. I have seen Catelyn’s corn, and your tenants say it is sufficient to content you. Your shepherd wishes to know if you will continue him, for no one has spoken to him since my master your father died. Men of Fordham have occupied your ground these two years that my master has been in trouble. I think you should speak to my Lord of Worcester, as he and Woodhous are lords of the town. I have bid the farmers at Snaylwell sow some wheat land, and have warned the tenants at Sporle, Pagrave, and Cressingham to be ready to pay. Advises him to keep up his place at Langham’s. If ‘my master’ had lived he would have exchanged it for the parsonage. Supped on Monday night at a place of the Duke of Suffolk’s with the parson of Causton, a chaplain of the Duchess, ‘and they talked sore of my Lady’s bargain, and were right sorry that she should forsake it.’ The parson asserted that the feoffees had put her in possession of the manors. Talk over this with your counsel; for if the feoffees be compelled to release in Chancery it will be nought, because of the estate they made before; so when you expect to be most quiet you will be most troubled. There was also the parson of Brampston, and he said W. Yelverton had sent a letter to the bailiff he has set at Guton, but what it meant I could not find out. W. Yelverton has put the parson of Heynford out of his farm. I did not speak with your mother before writing this, as she was at Caister.

Norwich, St. Martin’s Even.

From the mention of John Paston the father as dead, and the trouble he had been in for two years, it would appear that this letter must have been written in 1466, the year of his death. The letter is endorsed in a contemporary hand: ‘Literæ anno vj. et vij. Edwardi iiijti.

256.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.]



Thomas Grene to William Yelverton, Esq.

DEC. 22

Desires his favour for Frere John Chesteyn and John Russe of Yarmouth, who are suspected by Lord Scales of having treasures or jewels of my Master Paston’s. He never trusted them with any, knowing they were familiar with William Jenney and Sir Thomas Howes. Is sure he put no treasure into any place in that town, religious or other, for he often said he wondered any thrifty man would live in it, ‘there were so much riotous people therein.’ Begs his favour for my mistress Paston, ‘which is now under your governance.’ Hopes to see her hereafter ‘as worshipful and well at ease as ever she was, and a great deal better when these troubles be passed; for I am sekir whan God woll that she be passed them she would not suffer them again for right great riches.’

Norwich, morrow of St. Thomas Apostle.

[This letter has a great appearance of having been written shortly after John Paston’s death. We place it therefore in the year in which he died.]

257.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.]


To Mestresse Margrete Paston, be thys delyveryd.

Date uncertain

Please it yow to weete that I sende yow by Barker, the berer heroff, iij. tracle pottes of Geane [Genoa] as my potecarie swerytht on to me, and mooreovyr that they weer never ondoo syns that they come from Geane. Wheroff ye shalle take as many as pleasyth yow; neverthe lesse my brother John sente to me for ij., therfor I most beseche yow that he maye have at the lest on. Ther is on potte that is morkyn ondre the bottome ij. tymes with thyes letteris M. P., whyche potte I have best truste on too, and nexte hym to the wryghe potte; and I mystruste moost the potte that hathe a 258 krotte abovyn in the toppe, lesse that he hathe ben ondoone. And also the other ij. pottys be prentyd with that marchauntys marke too tymes on the coveryng, and that other pott is butt onys morkyn but with on prente, notwithstondyng I hadde lyke othe and promyse for on as well as for alle.258.1

257.2 [From Fenn, iv. 264.] This and the two letters following are without any certain date, but they are all addressed to Margaret Paston, most probably after her husband’s death.

258.1 The signature of this letter, Fenn says, is torn off the original MS.


Edward Mawdby to his Niece Margaret Paston

Has a tenant, a widow in Sall, building a house on his ground. She has been threatened with having it pulled down. Send for Aleyn Roos, my receiver, and take his counsel what is to be done.

London, 24 Nov. Signed ‘By your nevew Edward Mawdby’; although addressed ‘my most trusty and well beloved niece.’

258.2 [From Paston MSS., B.M.]


E. Clere258.4 to Margaret Paston

My little cousin your son258.5 is a fair child. Wishes certain evidences of Frethorp, which she delivered to Margaret Paston’s husband to make award between her and Rammesbury, a paper book of the customs of Ormesby and a roll called ‘domysday,’ &c. Your father-in-law258.6 was of counsel both with my mother258.7 and with my mother-in-law.258.8 Supposes there may be other evidences, as of Tacolneston, Therston, Reynthorp, Rusteynes in Wymondham, Kesewik, and Stratton. Sends back some rolls brought by a man from Norwich, which belong to Margaret Paston and not to the writer.

258.3 [From Paston MSS., B.M.]

258.4 Elizabeth, widow of Robert Clere of Ormesby. She died in 1492.

258.5 This must be one of the younger sons of John and Margaret Paston.

258.6 William Paston, Justice.

258.7 Margaret, wife of Thos. Owydale or Dovedale, of Tacolneston, daughter and heir of William Reeves.

258.8 Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Philip Branch, and wife of John Clere, Esq. of Ormesby; after whose death she married again Sir John Rothenhale. See No. 15 in vol. ii.




Item, Arb[l]aster must mak a proctyr by yowr advyce, and iff he lyst to make the seyd Master John Halfnothe he maye, elles he must sende uppe an other; and he most also make a letter of waraunt to the seyde Master John Halfnothe undre hys selle by yowre advyce in thys forme:—

Master John, &c. I recomande me, &c., letyng yow weet that I have made yow my proctor towchyng the testement off John Paston, Esquier; wherffor I praye yow that ye on my behalve reffuce the admynystracion of hys seyde testamen, fur I woll nowt have ado ther with. Wherffo[r] loke that ye on my behalve reffuce all admynestracion, entresse or besynesse, that I myght have there by. And thys shewys yow my wyll here in, and shall be to yow a dyscharge att any tyme. No moor, &c. Yowr frend, James Arblaster.

I wolde nat that myn oncle William scholde cawse hym to take on hym as hys felawe, for iff myn oncle William doo thus moche in the corte I suppose it may here afftre doo ease. For as God helpe me I cannot sey verrely iff my fadre (God have hys sowle!) agreyd that he shold be one, but in my sowle he never thowt that he sholde be, for he never namyd no moor butt my modre and me, and afftre, yow, whan I rehessyd myn oncle Clement, yow and Arblaster, and than he chase yow, seyng he thoght that ye were good and trewe. Kepe thys secrett. Iff myn oncle be noon executor, it maye happely brynge ageyn a trussyng coffre with CC. old peyse noblis, whyche he toke from me as executor.

259.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The MS. from which this letter is printed is a draft in the handwriting of Sir John Paston. There can be little doubt it was addressed to his brother John, and as it refers to the administration of their father’s will, we place it in the year of his death.



To the worshypfull and my right honorabyll maistresse, Maistresse Marget Paston.

After 1466

Right worshipfull and myn right honourable and good maistresse, I recomaund me to you in my most humble wyse, besekynge youre maistresshyp to take no dyspleasure of the longe forberyng of youre mony, whiche is ixli. xvjs. viijd. now. Be my trouthe, Maister Fen had of me l. marke at hyse beyng here fore custum, wherof a gret part is owyng me tyl I may be leysere260.2 gather it up. I thynke of every day a wyke tyl ye be content, and I thanke God I owe not al the world so myche as I do you. In as goodly haste as I can, youre maistresship shal have it with ever my servise and preyer, for ye do a meritory dede; it hathe savyd my pore honestie and gretly avayled me; wher as if it had leyn in youre coferys, as, I doute not, a Mlli. more dothe, no profit shuld have growe to any man; it is a meritory dede to helpe them that mene trewly, whiche, for Godis sake, maistresse consedre. I truste I am of that substans that, what soever caswelte fortunyd, yourre maistresship shuld not lese on pene of yourre dute. Every ourre (?) may be distreynid of myn the value of C. marke in shyppis and literys, and owe not but to you Cs., I dare afferme. Also, maystresse, ye have an obligacion of me of xlli. a byll of xxli., and abil of xxli., and a byll of xli.; for Godis sake, maistresse, spare me for a tyme, the rather for the affeccion that my maister260.3 had to me, whos soule Jhesu assoyle. Hyse maistirshyp grauntyd me many tymez to have lent me of the dedys goodis xlli., to have payd hym ageyn in v. yeer; and so I doute not but I shuld have had if hyse maistirshyp had levyd. I lost a gret losse of hese departyng; for hyse sake, 261 maystresse, shewe me the more favour. I intende not to debarre you of oon peny, so Jhesu helpe me, but in as goodly haste as I can to contente you; be my trouthe, at thys seasun I have not in my pocession x. marke which is right litil, what casewelte that ever fortune. I am deseyvid of many men; be my trouthe there is owyng me in thys town xl. marke of iij. yeer passyd, that thow I shuld go to prison I knowe not to have xxs. of ony of hem. Right worshypfull and my right honourable maistresse, I beseke Almyghti Jhesu, ever preserve you from adversite. Maistresse, for the servise that to my pore powyr I aught my maister youre husbonde I am the werse by xxli. and more sylvir; for Godis sake therfor, maistresse, yit favour me a season; I aske not ellys. Yourre bedeman and servaunt, John Russe.

260.1 [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 226.] This letter must have been written some time after John Paston’s death, but probably not many years later. Compare No. 651.

260.2 Sic.

260.3 John Paston.


To my rith worchipfull and good master, Ser John Paston, Knyght.

Between 1467-9

Ryth worchupful ser, after dewe recomendacion, plesyt zow to understond the cause of my wrytyng ys for a maryage for my Masterys Nargery, zowr suster. For my nevyewe, John Straunge, wold make her sur of xlli. joynture and CC. marke be zer of inherytaunce; and yf zee and zour frendes wole agreve herto, I trost to God that xall take a conclusion to the plesur of God, and worchup to both partyes.

Moreover, and yt plesyth zow to wete, I am sore troblyd with Bedston, as wele be the wey of tachements owte of the Chauncer as oderwyse. I must beseche zow of zowr good mastershepe and help in secrete maner as the Ser Thomas 262 Lynes, the brynger of thys, shall enforme zow. I xall be att London in the begynnyng of thys terme, be the grace of God, qwych preserve zowe.

Wretyn att Norwych in hast, the Monday after Twelthe Day. By yowr, J. Strange.

261.1 [From Fenn, iv. 286.] This letter being addressed to Sir John Paston touching a proposal of marriage for his sister, must have been after the death of his father in 1466, and, of course, before the actual marriage of Margery Paston to Richard Call, which seems to have taken place towards the close of 1469.

a maryage for my Masterys Nargery, zowr suster
text unchanged


JAN. 22

This wrytenge made at London the vjte yer of Kynge Edward the iiij. and the xxij. day of Jenever wytnesseth what stoffe my master Sir John Howard hath delyverd to my Lady his wyfe in this monyth of Jenever.

Ferst ij. rynges of goolde set with good dyamawntes, the wyche the quene yaff my master.

Item, a rynge of goolde with a fyne rubye.

Item, a nowche of goolde set with a fyne safyre, a grete balyse and v. perles.

Item, my master yaff here a fyne pece of holand clothe as good as Reynes conteynenge in length xl. yerdes, the yerde was wele worth iiijs.

Item, my master gaff her a noder pece of holand clothe, corser, conteynenge in lengthe more than xl. yerdes, the yerde was worthe ijs. iiijd.

Item, my master gaff her a longe gowne of fyne cremysen velvet furred with menyver and purfeled with ermynes.

Item, my master gaff her a longe gowne of fyne grene velvet furred with menyver and purfeled with ermynes.

Item, my master gaff her vijxx scynnes of fyne ermynes.

Item, my master gaff her vij. yerdes and di. of fyne grene velvet.

Item, my master gaff here vij. yerdes of cremyson velvet.


Item, my master gaff here a devyse of goolde with xiiij. lynkes and the ton halffe of the lynkes enamyled set with iiij. Rubyis iij. dyamawntes and vij. perles.

Item, my master gaff her an nothe devyse of goolde of the same fassyon with odre xiiij. lynkes, and theryn vij. Rubyis and vij. perles.

Item, my master gaff her a gyrdyll of clothe of goolde and the harneys of goolde.

Item, my master gaff her a gyrdyll of grene damaske and the harneys of sylver and gylte.

Item, my master gaff her iij. edges of blak velvet set with lviij. perles.

Item, my master gaff here a longe gowne of blak velvet furred with martrys and purfeled with marteres.

Item, my master gaff her a longe gowne of murrey furred with menever and purfeled with ermynes.

Item, my master gaff here a coler of goolde with xxxiiij. roses and sonnes set on a corse of blak sylke with an hanger of goolde garnyshed with a saphyre.

Item, my master gaff her iiij. owches of goolde garnyshed with iij. rubyis, a saphyre, an amytes, an emerawde and xv. perles.

Item, my master gaff here a peyr of bedes for a gentylwomannes nekke gawdeid with viij. gawdeid of goolde and viij. perles.

Item, a rynge with a grete saphyre.

Item, my master gaff her a nother ryng with an amytes.

Item, my master gaff her iij. Agnus Dei of goolde.

Item, my master gaff her a gret sygnnet of goolde with the vernycle.

Item, my master gaff her v. odre ryngis of goolde withowt stones.

Item, my master gaff her a cheyne of goolde with a lokke of goolde gernyshed with a rubye.

Item, my master gaff her a lytell gerdyll of sylke and goolde called a demysent and the harneys of goolde.

Item, my master gaff her a longe of vyolet engreyned furred with martres and purfeled with martres.


Item, the xviij. day of Feverer my master delyverid to my Lady to have to Braye a bed of cremysen damaske embrowdered with Cyle counterpoynte and testour all affter one.

Item, the same day my master delyverid my Lady a bede, a cyle, a counterpeynt and a testor of Aras with out goolde.

Item, a pece of Aras for hangenge conteynenge in length xj. yerdes and iij. quarters.

Item, a nother pece of Aras conteynenge in length viij. yerdis and iii. quarters.

Item, a nother pece conteynenge vij. yerdis a quarter and di. in length.

Item, a nother pece of Aras conteyneng v. yerdes and iij. quarteres in length.

Item, delyverd to my said Lady iiij. peces of new Aras wyche cam late fro Caleys wereof on is a covertore fore a bedde and the todde [sic] iij. ar tapettes conteynenge all iiij. peces in flemesh elles square C iiijxx xij.

Item, my master left at London at his departynge to Braye in his place in Bathe Rowe the xx. day of feverer ij. brede clothes of Blewe.

Item, the vijth yer of Kynge Edward the iiiith and the xvj. day of March, my master sent to my Lady to Bray a longe coshon of cremesen velvet and iij. schorte coshones of cremesen velvet. Item, a longe coshon of grene velvet and ij. short cushones of grene velvet.

Item, the same tyme my master delyverd her a cheyne of goold of the olde facyon prise iiij. markis.

Item, the yere above said and the xvj. day of Apryll, my master delyverd to my Lady v. sylver spones.

Added in Sir John Howard’s own hand:—And the vij. zere of the kenge and in the monithe of Janever I delyvered my wyffe a pote of selver to pote in grene genger that the kenge gaffe.

On the back of this MS. is the following unfinished memorandum:—

‘Md that I John Legge hawe bownde mey self to John Osberne yn an oblygacyon——’

262.1 [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 51.] The date is taken from the head of the document, but there are additions of later dates to January 1468.

a peyr of bedes for a gentylwomannes nekke gawdeid with viij. gawdeid of goolde
text unchanged: error for “gawdeis of goolde”?

my master gaff her a longe of vyolet
text unchanged: missing word “gowne” or similar?



To my mastyr, Sir John Paston, logyng in Fletstret, be thys delyveryd.

JAN. 27

Syr, lyekyth it yow to wet that thys day my modyr sent me your lettyrs, wer by I undystand, blessyd be God, all thyng standyth in good wey. Also I undyrstand by your lettyr sent to my modyr and me that ye wold have your lyvelod gadyrd as hastyly as we myght do it. Syr, as to that, and othyr folk do no wers ther dever [devoir] in gaderyng of othyr manerys then we have don in Caster, I tryst to God that ye schall not be long unpayid; for thys day we had in the last comb of barly that eny man had owyth in Caster towne, not with standyng Hew Awstyn and hys men hathe crakyd many a gret woord in the tym that it hathe ben in gaderyng. And twenty comb Hew Awstyns man had doun cartyd redy for to have led it to Yarmowth. And when I herd ther of I let slype a sertyn of whelpys that gave the cart and the barly syche a torn that it was fayn to tak covert in your bakhous systern at Caster halle, and it was wet within an owyr aftyr that it cam hom, and is nye redy to mak of good malt all, ho ho! William Yelverton hathe ben at Gwton and hathe set in a new bayly ther and hathe dystreynyd the tenauntis, and hathe geve hem day till Candyllmas to pay syche mony as he axyth of hem. Also the seyd Yellverton hathe ben at Saxthorpe, and hathe dystreynyd the fermour ther and takyn of hym swerte to paye hym. And thys day the seyd Yelverton and viij. men with hym, with jakys and trossyng dobletis all the felawshep of hem, wer redy to ryd; and one of the same felawschep told to a man that sye hem all redy 266 that they shuld ryd to tak a dystres in sertayn maners that wer Syr John Fastolffys; wherfor I suppose veryly that they be to Gwton and Saxthorp. Wher for to morrow I purpose to send Dawbeney thedyr to wet what they do, and to comand the266.1 tenauntis and fermors that they pay no mony to nobody bot to yow. John Grey, othyrwyse callyd John Delesbay, and John Burgeys they be Yelvertons kapteyns, and they ryd and go dayly, as well in Norwych as in othyr plasys of yours and othyr menys, in the contre in ther trossyng dowblettis with bombardys and kanonys and chafeveleyns, and do what so ever they wyll in the contre; ther dar no pore man dysplese theym, for what so evyr they do with ther swordys they make it lawe; and they tak dystressys out of mens howsys, hors or catell, or what they wyll, thow it be not on that for that they ask the dwte for. Wher for, me thynkys with esy menys ye myth get a prevy seall of the Kyng to be dyrectyd to the meyer of Norwyche, as for the towne of Norwyche, and for the countre a nothyr prive seall, dyrect to me and to som othyr good felaw, Syr William Calthorp, for he hatyth Grey,266.2 for to arest the seyd felaws for syche ryot and to bryng hem to the next prison, ther to abyed with out bayle tyll syche tym as the Kyng sendyth othyrwyse woord, and they that the prive sale shall be dyrect to, to be chargyd vpon peyne of ther alegeans to execut the Kyngis comandement; and, this done, I warant your lyvelod that my lord delys not with shall be gadyrd pesybylly. As to that lyvelod that my lord clemys I shall do my dever, our logyng kep, to tak as myche profyt of it as I may by the grase of God, Whom I pray send you the acomplyshement of your hertys desyir, and other por folys thers. All my felawshep ar mery and well at ease, blyssyd be God, and recomandyth hem all on to yow. Wretyn the Twesday next befor Kandylmas. Your brodyr, J. P.

265.1 [Add. MS. 33,597, f. 3.] This letter appears to have been written in the year 1467, like No. 661, which bears date eleven days later. Besides what is said here of Yelverton, note the reference to John Grey and John Burgeys, whose names appear in the other letter also.

266.1 ‘the’ repeated in MS.

266.2 ‘Syr William—Grey’ is an interlineation.



To my right good mayter, Sir John Paston, Knyght.

JAN. 29

My right especiall good mayster, I recomand me to yow, thankyng you right hertely of your gentell letter late send to me. And as to Pynchester mater, &c., I wulde I were youre nygh kynnesman, yef hit plesed God, and than shuld I know yef hit shuld greve your herte asmeche as hit dothe other of my kynne and frendes to see me thus cowardly hurte and maimed267.2 by Pynchester, causeles; and of myn entente in that mater, Wylliam Rabbes shall telle you more. All so I beseche yow to recomand me to my Lordes good grace, as to hym whom of erthely estates, next my dewte, I moste love and drede, and that shuld he well knowe and hit lay in my power, praying you hertely to declare his Lordship such mater as Wylliam Rabbes shall enfourme yow, and to send me my Lordes answere.

All so in asmoche as I understode by yow that money shuld cause you conclusion in your mater this next terme, and ye wull be at London on Monday at nyght or Tewsday by none, I truste that I have studyed such a mene that, up on surete as ye may make, to gete yow an Cli. or CC. mark to be lante un to yow for an halfe yere, with oute any chevysshaunce or losse of good by yow, as Wylliam Rabbes shall telle you more, &c.


And as to Ovyde ‘De Arte Amandi,’ I shall send hym you this next weke, for I have hyt not now redy; but me thenkeyth Ovide ‘De Remedio’ were more mete for yow, but yef [unless] ye purposid to falle hastely in my Lady Anne P.268.1 lappe, as white as whales bon, &c. Ye be the best cheser of a gentell woman that I knowe, &c. And I pray you to recomaunde me to my Lord of Oxford,268.2 and to my goods Maysters Nedeham, Richemond, Chyppenham, Stavely, Bloxham, Stuard, and Ingulton in speciall, and all other good masters and frendes in generall, &c. And, sir, Maystres Gaydade recomand me [? her] to yow and said bessyng fare for charite, and she said me she wuld fayne have a new felet, &c.

Wreten at London, this xxix. day in Janyver. With herte and servyse your, T. D.268.3

267.1 [From Fenn, iv. 172.] The precise date of this letter is by no means certain. Fenn dates it merely between 1463 and 1469; but if it be ‘my Lady of Oxford,’ and not ‘my Lord,’ who is spoken of near the end (see page 268, footnote 2), it may be many years later. The Earl of Oxford was committed to the Tower in the latter part of the year 1468. In 1470 he took part in the brief restoration of Henry VI., and on the return of Edward IV. he was obliged to quit the country. If the Earl, therefore, is alluded to as living in England, the date cannot well be later than 1468. Probably it is about the year 1467. In that year the 29th January fell on a Thursday, which would allow a reasonable time for the writer to suggest to Sir John Paston the expediency of his being in London on Monday or Tuesday following.

267.2 The words ‘and maimed’ are inserted from the right-hand copy in Fenn. They are not in the left-hand copy, having been overlooked, apparently, by the transcriber.

268.1 Who my Lady Anne P. was I cannot tell. The expression ‘as white as whale’s bone’ is rather a strange one.

268.2 The modern version in Fenn reads ‘my Lady of Oxford,’ but ‘my Lord of Oxford’ is right.

268.3 Fenn says this subscription is explained by ‘T. Daverse’ being written under the direction, as he believes, in the hand of the receiver.


FEB. 7

Syr, it is so that thys Saterday John Rus sent me word by Robert Botler, that William Yelverton hathe ben thys iij. dayis in Yermothe for to get new wytnessys up to London; and, as it is thowt by the seid John Rus and Robert Botler, ther wytnessyng is for to prove that it was Sir John Fastolfs wyll that ther schold be morteysyd iij.c. mark by yer to the colage, and also that syche astat as my fadyr took 269 her at Caster at Lames next befor that Sir John Fastolf dyid, was delyveryd to my fadyr to the intent for to perform the seyd wyll.

Bartholomew Elys, John Appylby, and John Clerk ar the wytnessys; and as for Barthew Elys, he is owtlawyd, and also men say in Yermowthe that he is bawde betwyx a clerk of Yermowthe and hys owne wyfe; and as for John Appylby, he is half frentyk, and so take in the towne, notwithstandyng he is an attorny, as Barthew Elys is, in the Baylys Coort of Yermowthe; and as for John Clerk of Gorleston, he is owtlawyd at Sir John Fastolfys swte, and at dyvers othyr menys, notwithstandyng he is thorow with Sir T. Howys269.1 for Sir John Fastolf, for thys cause, that the seyd Clerk was on of Sir T. Howys269.1 last wytnessys befor thys.

I trow John Loer shall be anothyr wyttnesse. As for Barthew Elys and John Appylby, they lye thys nyht at Blyborowgh onward on her wey to Londonward. Make good weche on hem.

I pray yow send us some good tydyngs. Wretyn the Saterday, lat at nyght, next aftyr Kandylmas Day.

I pray yow remembyr John Grey and John Burgeys. We have hom the most part of your barly, save fro Wynterton, and that I trost to have this next wek, or ellys we wyll strat [distrain ?] for it by the grace of God, whom I beseche mak yow good.

I thynk ther comyng up is for to dysprove your wyttnessys that he had in to the Chancery. J. P.269.2

268.4 [From Fenn, iv. 276.] This letter must have been written in February 1467. It was evidently after Sir John Paston had succeeded to his father’s estates, but before any arrangement had been come to between him and Yelverton. It will be found hereafter that on the 11th January 1468 Sir John Fastolf’s executors, including Yelverton, released their rights in Caister and other manors to Sir John Paston. On the back of this letter, Fenn says, is written in an ancient hand, ‘Testes idonei ad negandum veritatem, ut patet infra.’

269.1 Fenn has ‘Sir Thowys’ in his left-hand copy, which we cannot help thinking a misreading of ‘Sir T. Howys.’

269.2 Fenn says this letter ‘has neither subscription nor date’; nevertheless these initials stand at the foot of the text as he has printed it.



To my brother, John Paston.


Ryght worschypful and verrely welbelovyd brother, I hertely comande me to yow, thankyng yow of yowr labor and dyligence that ye have in kepyng of my place at Castr so sewerly, both with yowr hert and mynde, to yowr gret bisynesse and troble; and I ageyn warde have hadde so lytell leyser that I have not spedde bot fewe of yowr erendys, ner kannot befor thys tyme.

As for my Lady Boleynes270.2 dysposicion to yow werds, I kannot in no wyse fynde hyr a greable that ye scholde have her dowter, for all the prevy meanes that I kowde make, inso moche I hadde so lytell comfor by all the meanes that I kowde make, that I dysdeyned in myn own p[e]rson to comon with hyr ther in. Neverthelesse, I undrestande that sche seythe, ‘What if he and sche kan agre I wyll not lette it, but I will never advyse hyr therto in no wyse.’ And uppon Tewesday last past, sche rood hom in to Norfolke. Wherfor as ye thynke ye may fynde the meane to speke with hyr yowr selfe, for with owt that, in myn conceyt, it wyl not be.

And as for Crosseby, I undrestand not that ther is no maryage concluded betwen them, neverthelesse ther is gret langage that it is lyke to be. Ye be personable, and peraventure yowr beyng ones in the syght of the mayde, and a lytele descuveryng of your good wyl to her, byndyng hyr to kepe it secret, and that ye kan fynde in yowr hert, with som comfort of hyr, to fynde the meane to brynge suche a mater abowt as schall be hyr pleasur and yowrs, but that thys ye 271 kannot do with owt som comfort of hyr in no wyse; and ber yor selfe as lowly to the moder as ye lyst, but to the mayde not to lowly, ner that ye be to gladde to spede, ner to sory to fayle. And I alweys schall be your herault bothe her, if sche com hydder, and at home when I kome hom, whych I hope hastly with in xl. dayes at the ferthest. My modre hathe a letter, whych can tell you mor, and ye may lat Dawebeney se it. John Paston, K.

I suppose and ye kall welle upon R. Calle, he schall purvey yow mony. I have wretyn to hym inow.

270.1 [From Fenn, iv. 326.] This letter is evidently of the same year as No. 666 following, and a little earlier in point of date.

270.2 Anne, widow of Sir Geoffrey Boleyn. She was daughter of Thomas, Lord Hoo and Hastings. Sir Geoffrey had by her three daughters, of whom the youngest, Alice, is here referred to. This Alice was afterwards married to Sir John Fortescue.


To my ryght reverent and worschipfull mayster, Sir John Paston, Knight.


Plesith it you to wete that I have spoken with Henre Inglouse, and I fynde hym disposid weele; hough be it he hath be labored to nough of late be divers, nevertheles he woll not come withoute he have a suppena, and if he come up be suppena, he can sey nor nought woll sey, any thynge that schulde be prejudice or hurte to your mater, and so he hathe tolde them that hath labored to hym for it, weche hym thynkyth causith them to have no grete hast to have hym up. He tellith me that the Abbot of Langley schal come up and Wichyngham. Thes have her writtes of suppena delyverd unto them. Also ther cometh up Doctor Vergraunt and Frier Bernard. And as for Robert Inglouse, I have spoken with hym, and I fynde hym no thyng so weele disposid as his brother is; he hath be sore labored be the meanes of my Lord 272 of Norffolk and of my Lord of Suffolk; he seyth largely that he knoweth moche of this mater, seyng to me that if he schulde be examyned be for a juge, he wolde my master your uncle272.1 wer his juge, for he knoweth the mater as weele as any man. He seith if he be sworn be fore my Lorde Chaunceler, he woll desire of my Lord that Maister William schulde be sworn as weele as he; nevertheles I have so mevyd hym that withoute ther come a suppena for hym he woll not come, as he seth it is hard to truste hym. It were weele doo if ther were no suppena out for hym to cauce that ther schulde non come, nouther to hym nor to hes brother, &c. I can not undrestonde of no moo that schulde come up yet, but I schal enquere, and sende you word as hastely as I can. I have not spoken with John Maryot yet, but I schall speke with hym within this iij. dayes and sende you worde. &c.

Ferthermore, sir, like you to remembre the lees of the maner of Sporle; your fermours goth out at Michelmes next comyng. Henry Halman wolde have it for his sones, and if be schulde have it he wolde wete at this tyme, be cauce he wolde somerlay272.2 and tylle the londe, otherwise then it is; it were tyme to lete it, wo so ever schulde have it. Henry woll geve for it but xxli.; wherfor, if ye wol that he have it, plese you to sende word how we schal do with all, &c. Almyghty Godde spede you in all youre maters, and sende you hastely a goode ende in hem. Wreten at Castre on Friday next after Esterne Day. Your own Servaunt, Ric. C.

271.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter seems to relate to the summoning of witnesses to London for the probate of Fastolf’s will, and being addressed to Sir John Paston, we may presume that it was written in the year after his father’s death, and before the final settlement of the dispute.

272.1 William Paston.

272.2 Halliwell gives the expression ‘to summerland a ground’ which is used in Suffolk, meaning to lay it fallow a year. For this he refers to Ray.



To my right worshipfull nevew, Sir John Paston, knyght.


Myne suster,273.2 Arblaster273.3 and I have apoyntyd that we chall kepe no howsold this terme,273.4 but go to borde; wer for we avyse zow to purvay for us a logyng ner a bowt my lord Chanseler that be honest, for Arblaster will non oder.

Item, as for zow, we avyse zow in any wyse gete zowr chamer assynyd with in my Lordis place, and gete chamer a lone iff ze may, that Arblaster and I may have a bed ther in ziff it fortune us to be late ther with zow.

Item, take hed to get suyrtees for the pore men that come up and that they may be sent hom a zen forthe with with owt taryyng, and take avyse so that the proses may so go forthe that they may be qwett at the next assyssys; take avyse of Townysend.

As for Yelverton, fynd the menys that he speke not with my Lord till we come.

Iff any labore be mad to my Lord to asyne men to here the mater indefferently, make labore to my Lord that the men be nat namyd till we come, for we can inffurme hym soche as be parciall be ther dedis here affore, qweche peraventure my Lord wold thynk wer indefferent i now till he be infurmyd; it may be answerid be my Lord that he will nat prosede no 274 ferther in the mater till Arblasters comyng and myn for we can best infurme the mater.

Item, send a letter to Richard Kalle and to Sir Jamys Gloys to come up to London in any wyse. For ther is no man can do in dyvers materis that they can do in answeryng suche mater as Zelverton wyll ley a zen zow. And also they can best mak the bill that ze schuld put a zens hem; and ther for remembre.

Item, wrythe a letter to myn suster for the C. marcs for my Lady Soffolk, for we have no verry dyrect answer of her weder sche wyll send it ar nat.

Item, speke to zowr atorney in the Kyngis benche that he take hed to all maner indytamentis both old and new and to all oder materis that hangyng ther.

Item, do Pampyng comyn with owr sperituall concell suche mater as nedyn ther. And have newe wretyn the attestacion that lakkyn. The same man that wrott the oder may wrythe that. For Zelverton mad gret avawnt that ye schuld be hyndrid in that.

Wrythe a letter to myn nevew John zonger to come up to prove the wyll.

Speke with Sir Gilberd Debenham qwill he is in cownt to leve uper Cotton.

Item, Zelverton, Howys and Worceter make meche that we have put them owt off possescyon of the lond; qweche they sey is contrary to my Lord Chanseler comandement, and in trowth Sir Jamys and Calle meche spokyn to the tenantis in my lordys name; For Zelverton thynketh that he may now breke the trete. Qwer for, take a vyse her in off Mr Tresham and of Master Staneley, and informe my Lord how my broder274.1 qwas all way in possescion till he was put owt for the mater of bondage, and how ze fynd the colage, and qwat an hurt it wer to zow in noyse off contre iff any oder man schuld now receyve any proffitis off the londis. They will labor that indefferent men schuld receyve, and that wer nat good. My Lord may say that he will end the mater, but as for the possescyon, he will nat put zow owt. Labor this in all hast posible.


I pray yow send me an answer of all such thyngis as requirith an answere in this contre, for Arblaster purposeth to be with yow on Sonday sevenygth and I purpose to be with yow ij. dayes afore.

273.1 [Add. MS. 33,597, f. 8.] This is not a formal letter but a set of memoranda on a long slip of paper. It is in the handwriting of William Paston, son of the judge, and addressed to his nephew, Sir John. The date may be about April 1467. See No. 663.

273.2 This must be his brother John’s widow, Margaret, who was in London in the spring of 1467. See No. 662, p. 271.

273.3 James Arblaster, a confidential friend of the family.

273.4 Easter term began on the 15th April in 1467.

274.1 John Paston, son of the judge. Dead in 1466.



My hand was hurte at the torney at Eltham upon Wednesday last. I would that you had been there and seen it, for it was the goodliest sight that was sene in Inglande this forty yeares of so fewe men. There was upon the one side, within, the Kinge, my Lord Scalles, myselfe, and Sellenger; and without, my Lord Chamberlyn, Sir John Woodvyle, Sir Thomas Mountgomery, and John Aparre, &c. By your brother, John Paston, Mil.

275.1 This extract from a letter of Sir John Paston to his brother is quoted in Sandford’s MS. Genealogy of the Paston family, and is here reprinted from Mr. Worship’s article on that genealogy in the Norfolk Archæology. The original letter I have not been able to find. The tournament here referred to probably took place shortly after Easter. The next letter is evidently written in reply to this.



Syr, plesyth yow to weet that my modyr and I comonyd this day with Freyr Mowght to undyrstand what hys seying shall be in the coort when he cometh up to London, wheche is in this wyse:— He seyth at syche tyme as he had shrevyn Master Brakley, and howsyllyd hym bothe, he let hym wet that he was enformyd by dyvers personys that the seyd Master Brakley owt for to be in gret consyens for syche thyngys as he had doone and seyd, and causyd my fadyr, whom God asoyle, for to do and seye also, in proving of Sir 276 John Fastolfys wyll. To whom the seyd Mastyr Brakley answerd thus agayne: ‘I am ryght glad that it comyth to yow in mynd for to meve me with thys mater in dyschargyng of my consyens ayenst God,’ seying ferther mor to the seyd Freyr Mowght, be the wey that hys sowle shold to, that the wyll that my fadyr put into the coort was as veryly Syr John Fastolfys wyll as it was trew that he shold onys deye. This was seyd on the Sonday when the seyd Brakley wend to have deyid then. On the Monday he revyvyd a yen, and was well amendyd tyll on the Wednysday, and on the Wednysday he sekyned a yen, supposyng to have dyeyd forthe with. And in hys syknes he callyd Freyr Mowght, whyche was confessor on to hym, of hys owne mosyon, seyng on to hym in thys wyse:— ‘Syr, wher as of your owne mosyon ye mevyd me the last day to tell you aftyr my consyens of Sir John Fastolfys wyll lyek wyse as I knew, and now of myn owne mocyon, and in dischargyng of my sowle, for I know well that I may not askape, but that I must dye in hast, wharfor I desyr you that wyll report after my dethe, that I took it upon my sowle at my dying that that wyll that John Paston put in to be provyd was Syr John Fastolfys wyll.’ And the seyd Brakley dyid the same Wednesdaye.

And wher as ye wold have had Rychard Calle to yow as on Sonday last past, it was thys Twyisday or I had your lettyr; and wher as it plesyth yow for to wyshe me at Eltam, at the tornay, for the good syth that was ther, by trowththe I had lever se yow onys in Caster Hall then to se as many Kyngs tornay as myght be betwyx Eltam and London.

And, syr, whar as it lyekyth yow to desyir to have knowlage how that I have don with the Lady Boleyn,276.1 by my feythe I have don nor spokyn nowght in that mater, nor not wyll do tyll tyme that ye com hom, and ye com not thys vij. yer. Not withstandyng, the Lady Boleyn was in Norwyche in the week aftyr Estern, fro the Saterday tyll the Wednysday, and Heydons wyfe276.2 and Mastras Alys276.3 bothe, and I was at Caster, and wyst not of it. Hyr men seyd that she had non othyr 277 erend to the towne but for to sport hyr; bot so God help me, I suppose that she wend I wold have ben in Norwyche for to have sen hyr dowghter. I beseche yow with all my hart hye yow hom, thow ye shold tery but a day; for I promyse yow your folk thynk that ye have forgetyn hem, and the most part of them must depart at Whytsontyd at the ferthest, they wyll no lenger abyd. And as for R. Calle, we can not get half a quarter the mony that we pay for the bare housold, besyd menys wagys. Daube nor I may no mor with owt coynage. Your, J. Paston.

275.2 [From Fenn, iv. 330.] This letter appears by the contents to have been written more than a week after Easter. The year must be 1467, as the dispute with Yelverton touching Sir John Fastolf’s will seems to have come to an end before the January following (see No. 680). In 1467 Easter Day fell on 29th March.

276.1 See Note 2, p. 270.

276.2 Anne, second daughter of Sir Geoffrey Boleyn.

276.3 Third daughter of Sir Geoffrey Boleyn.



‘Bill indented’ 1 May, 7 Edw. IV., between Sir John Paston and Thomas Lomnor, whereby the latter sells to the former an ambling horse ‘upon this condition, that if the marriage betwixt the Lord Charles, son and heir to the Duke of Burgon, and the Lady Margaret, sister to our Sovereign Lord the King’ take effect within two years, Sir John agrees to pay 6 marks for the horse on the day of the marriage; but if it do not take effect within that period he will pay only 40 shillings.

[There is a modern copy of this document in the Heralds’ College, in the collection called Brooke’s Aspilogia, vol. i. f. 47, where a drawing is given of Sir John Paston’s seal, which seems to have been attached to it when the transcript was made. It has been since removed at some time or other.]

277.1 [From MS. Phillipps, 9735, No. 192.]


The Duc Of Norffolk.

MAY 18

Rygth trusty and enteerly beloved cousyn I comaunde me to you with all myn herte. And lyke it you to wete that God hath vyset me with grete infirmite and dissease, wherthurgh I neyther can nor may at this season and 278 comynge of the Bastard of Burgoyne attende to th’execucion off myn offyce, as my wyll and duete were to, in myn owne persone. Wherfor of verray necessite I must depute suche a person in all goodly hast to ocupye as my deputee and to have my full power undere me at that season as is bothe of byrthe honorable and one all other wyse lykly. How be it that of long tyme contynnuynge I have ben enured of your stedfaste and preved feythful good cosyngnage and tendyrnesse to me shewed unfeyned to my gret refute278.1 and hertes ease at all seasons. Wiche emboldeth me to call uppon you now; and also remembrynge the honour of the offyce doynge and the neighnesse of blode that ye be of to me, I thenke no person so convenable to ocupye in myn absence as you. For myn excuse, therfore, I specyally pray you, as my feythfull truste is holy in you, to take the labour uppon you and to do theryn be your discrecion to the most honour of the kynge, the realme, and be lyke as I am asured that ye can and wyll, puttynge you in surete that I wull become tributary to your costes and charges in that behalve. And as for all suche duteis as schall belonge to me at that tyme by reason of myn offyce, I gyff theme you for parcell of your said costes; and at such tyme as ye and I and myn counsell mete next ye schal not fayle to be agreid with, to your pleasure for the residue, by Goddis grace, Wiche ever preserve you. And, cousyn, I sende you be the berer herof the double of this lettre, praying that ye will subscribe it with your owne hande and send it me a geyn be hym. Wryten under my signet the xviij. day of May.

To my rigth trusty and rigth enteerly belovyd cousyn, Sir John Howard, knygth.

And this letter is assigned with my lordes own hande.

277.2 [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 59.] The famous tournament between Lord Scales and the Bastard of Burgundy took place at Smithfield on the 11th and 12th June 1467. See Excerpta Historica, 176. This paper is evidently a copy of the original letter.

278.1 Sic in MS.

See Excerpta Historica, 176.
final . missing




This wrytenge made at London the vijth yer of kyng Edward the iiijth and the ——279.2 day of June wytnessyth what Jakettes my master Sir John Howard geveth at the fytenge betwyx my Lord Scales and the Bastard of Burgoyne.

John Alpherde


William Noryse

Herry Straunge

Robert Cumberton


John Fowler

John Nyter

Thomas Moleyns

John Waleys

Robart Thorppe

John Bleaunt

Thomas Thorppe

Davy Horell

Robert Cooke

Robart Clerke

John Hobbes


John Wady

William Fernwale

Raff Barlyscose

Thomas Seynclew



John de Spayn

Jenyn Saunpere

John Kyngton

Lytell Edmond

John Coles

Thomas Mershe

Rechard Leder

John Gylder

Rechard Waleys


Thomas a Chambre

Thomas Whytenge

Thomas Grymston

Roger Jewell


John Squyre279.3


William West279.4

John Dykynson

Thomas Bowden

William Denny

John Starkeweder

George Hardwyn

Thomas Caunterbury



Robart Messeden

John Mynshe

Richard Pulton

John Wakeleyn

Nicholas Shakerley

Hew Flynte

Thomas Newton

William Clerke

Robart Nosbet

Herry Nudygate

William Yngram

John Brodebryge

Aleyn Cowper

Rechard Roger

Herry Cooke

Edward Holman

Rechard Halbroke280.1

Robart Sleper

John Cheynour

John Hylle

279.1 [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 61.]

279.2 Blank in MS.

279.3 These two names, John Squyre and Scarlett, are bracketed together, and the name ‘Alford’ written opposite.

279.4 Opposite this name is written ‘Wal’ in the margin.

280.1 Opposite this name is written ‘chad’ in the margin.


To my worshipfull cosyn, Symond Damme, [at] Lyncoln Inne, at London, [be] this delyvered.


Right worshipfull sir, and as in my trost my veray speciall good maister, I recomande me to you with al the servyce I can and may. Lyke it you to wytte that I have do my bysynes to enquere for suyche dedes as ye wrot for on to me, and, so God me helpe, I can not wytte where I shuld spede to have ony suyche dedes. I spak to a persone that is your good lover, the whiche tolde me that ther was a gret plee bytwene my Lord of Suffolk and Sir John Fastolf for the maner of Drayton, for whiche matier William Wysetre was sent to enquere for evydencez touchyng the Pooles lyvelond in suyche places as thei were lords of in their 281 dayes. And the seid Wysetre fonde evydencez that touched a maner called Mundham maner, sum tyme longyng to the Pooles that were owenners of Drayton, the whiche evydences eased meche Sir John Fastolf; but the seid persone that enfourmed me of this can not telle the armes, ne what evydencez tho shuld be in certeyn, savyng he thynkyth indoubted that William Worcetre shuld not be unremembred of this. Wherfore it is thought to the same persone that enfourmed me of this and by me also, that it shuld be expedyent for you to comune of this matier by your wysdam with the same William Wysetre, now beyng at London, for he by lyklyhod can telle you a certeynte. And as touchyng my maister, Sir Thomas Mongomery, I trost veryly that he nothyr hath ne shall have cause of grudger by my defaut, for I can not understond ony cause of grudger; for ever whanne my cosyn Damme281.1 hath spoken with my seid maisters attourne to have knowelage by writyng of what thyng shuld be the cause of callyng on you, he answerith that my maister, W. Paston, hath a bille therof, but my cosyn can non gete. Wherfor I deme that the seid attourne meneth not weel. I entende noon other but in als meche as in me is to se your indempnyte with the grace of God, who ever mote be your guyde and protector. Wretyn at Norwich the ij. day of Juylle.

Your servaunt in that he can and may to his powar, I, James Gresham.

Cosyn, an noon after this was wretyn, had I knowelage of the massageris comyng to London berar of this, and I had thought to have wretyn the letter above wretyn newe, by cause of the foule wrytyng and interlynyeng, but now I lakke leyser. Wherfor I pray you understond the pyth of my seid wrytyng, and enfourme my seid maister Sir John P. of the same, for I wold fayne do that shulde please hym, &c. And the 282 persone that enfourmed me dar not be a knowe of his name, ne he wold not it shuld be understond to them that be of counsell ageyn my maister. It was the parson of Heylesdon, &c. More over, as I have wretyn to you of late, Palmer, undershireve of Norffolk, hath sent his letter to his depute to acomplyssh our entent for Chyldes matier as ye and I were accordet. This told Wykes me for verray certeyn, &c., the ij. day of Juylle.

On the back of this letter are some scribblings in another hand, viz.:—First, a partial copy of the address; second, the name ‘John Dode’; third, the following inscription, ‘Orate pro anima Johnnes (sic) de Boys armenger de Londonn.’

280.2 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] As this letter has reference to the disputes between the Duke of Suffolk and the Paston family about Drayton, it might be supposed to have been written about the year 1464, but that the entire absence of any mention of John Paston the father makes it probable that the true date is after his death. It is therefore not unlikely to be of the same year as No. 671, in which Margaret Paston mentions the probability of Hellesdon being taken again out of their hands, and also desires an answer to a letter that she had sent to her son, Sir John, ‘by James Gresham’s man.’

281.1 As it appears by the postscript that this letter was hurriedly despatched, we may perhaps presume that it was intended in the first instance for Sir John Paston, but that as ‘my cousin Damme’ required to be informed of the same particulars, it was afterwards addressed to him, with instructions to communicate the contents to Sir John.


To Sir John Paston, Knyght, be this delivered in hast.


I  grete you wele, and send you Godds blissyng and myn, letyng you wete that Blykklyng of Heylesdon came fro London this weke, and he is right mery, and maketh his bost that with in this fourtnyght at Heylesdon shuld be bothe new lords and new officers. And also this day was brought me word fro Caystr that Rysyng of Freton shuld have herd seid in diverse places, ther as he was in Suffolk, that Fastolf of Coughawe maketh all the strenght that he may, and proposith hym to assaught Caystr, and to entre ther if he may, in samych that it is seyd that he hath a v. score men redy, and sendyth dayly aspies to understand what felesshep kepe the place. Be whos power, or favour, or supportacion that he wull do this, I knowe not; but ye wote wele that I have ben 283 affrayd ther befor this tyme, whan that I had other comfort than I have now, and I can not wele gide ner rewle sodyours, and also thei set not be a woman as thei shuld set be a man. Therfor I wold ye shuld send home your brothers, or ell[es] Dawbenye, to have a rewle, and to takyn in such men as wer necessary for the saffegard of the place; for if I wer ther withought I had the mor sadder or wurchepfull persones abought me, and ther comyn a meny of knavys, and prevaylled in ther entent, it shuld be to me but a vylney. And I have ben abought my liffelode to set a rewle ther in, as I have wretyn to you, which is not yet all performed after myn desyre, and I wuld not goo to Caystr till I had don. I wull no mor days make ther abowtyn if I may; therfor in any wyse send sume body home to kepe the place, and whan that I have do and performed that I have be gunne, I shall purpose me thederward if I shuld do ther any good, and ell[es] I had lever be thens.

I have sent to Nicholas, and such as kepe the place, that thei shuld takyn in sume feles [fellows] to assiste and strengh them till ye send hame sume other word, or sume other man to governe them that ben therin, &c.

I marvayll gretly that ye send me no word how that ye do, for your elmyse [enemies] begynne to wax right bold, and that puttith your frends bothyn in grete fere and dought. Therfor purvey that thei may have sume comfort, that thei be no more discoraged; for if we lese our frends, it shall hard in this troubelous werd [world] to kete them ageyn.

The blissid Trynyte spede you in your mater, and send you the victory of your elmyse, to your herts eas and ther confusyon. Wretyn at Norwich, the Saterday next befor Relyke Sonday,283.1 in hast.

I pray you remembre wele the maters that I wrote to you for in the letter that ye had be James Greshames man, and send me an answer ther of be the next man that comyth, &c. Be your moder, M. P.

282.1 [From Fenn, iv. 294.] This letter must have been written some time after Sir John Paston had obtained possession of Caister by virtue of the King’s warrant of the 17th July 1466 (No. 641), and before the Duke of Norfolk laid claim to it again in 1469. Thus the date is certainly either 1467 or 1468. But in the latter year Sir John Paston and his brother were both in Flanders at the marriage of the Princess Margaret to the Duke of Burgundy; and Daubeney could not have been with them, as he was when this letter was written, for John Paston the younger says he had sent him five shillings by Calle’s man. Thus 1467 appears to be the only year possible.

283.1 Relic Sunday (the third Sunday after Midsummer Day) was the 12th July in 1467.




Be it knowen to all men that this present wrytyng shall rede, see, or hyre. Forasmoche as I understande nowe late ther ys a newe contryved processe concernyng the variaunce uppon my maister Sir John Fastolf is testament and last will, whos soule God assoyle, made by Sir John Paston, Knyght, and his counsell in the seyd Pastons name and myne, ayenste Sir William Yelverton, Knyght, and William Worcetter, that is exhibited and putte in my lordys courte of Audience be fore his auditoure, me unwetyng or assentyng, in the vigille of Seint John Baptiste; in wheche processe ys surmyttyd and made mencion that William Worcetter in his owne persone, and by others in his name, hathe promysed and gevyn money to corupte certayne wytnesse to depose untreuly in a processe exhibit in John Pastons lyf tyme by Sir William Yelverton, Knyght, the sayd William Wissetter ayenste John Paston decesed and me; and wheche witnesse were Stephan Scrope, Squier, Richard Fastolf, gentilman, Thomas Neve, gentilman, William Boswell, clerk, John Monke, Nicholas Churche, John Rugge, John Daunson, Richard Horne, Thomas Pykeryng, Harry Clerk, John Tobye, Thomas Hart, Thomas Neuton, John Gyrdyng, Thomas Spycer, and others, frome the moneth of August into the moneth of March, the yere of Cryst Mil.CCCClxv., yn Yermouthe, Castre, Fretenham, Bloofeld, Thetford, Brundale, Wroxham, Borough, Southetoune, Yermouthe, Gorleston, Suthewerk, Norwych, and London; so they to be corupted in all the forseyd named tounes wyth prayer, price, and money to hem promised and gevyn, be syd har expences, her costs, and her labours, to be conducted to depose with Sir William Yelverton and William Worcetter partye ayenste the seyd John Paston and mee: I the sayd Thomas Howys so made partye, and unwetyng and assentyng, a yenste the [said]284.2 Sir William Yelverton and William 285 Worcestre, sey and afferme for trouth in this matyer to be knowen, that for declaracion of trouth in this processe and mater, and for the discharge of my conscience and the trewe acquietall to my sayd Master Fastolf that putte me in grettyst charge of hys testament, and for grete remorse I have in my soule of the untrewe forgyng and contryvyng certayne testamentes and last wyll by naked wordes in my sayd Maister Fastolf name aftyr he was desesyd; y, in the name of the seyd Sir William Yelverton and William Worcetter, required and prayed the sayd above named witnesse and alle other wytnesse produced in Sir William Yelverton and William Wyssetter name before that tyme, excepte the forsayd Stephan Scrope, Esquier, and Richard Fastolf, to come to London, and appere in my lords house of audience before his auditour, and there to say, depose, and witnesse the trouthe as they knewe in especiall, in the absense of John Russe, Sir Robert Cotiler, late vycar of Castre, Robert Botyler beyng oute of the chamber of Sir John Fastolf, Knyght, there he lay seke in his maner of Castre, the Saterdaye next before the seid Sir John Fastolf discesyd, namely, from viij. tylle xj. atte belle affore mydday, and present in other placez, where diverse of the sayd named wytnesse and diverse other witnesse sawe ham. And the sayd Worcestre nother promysed ne yave hem gode, money, nother reward, neyther relessed no debtes, not soo nought payed not for har costes, nother dispenses by the wey comyng to London, taryeng, ne returnyng a yen, that lawe and reson wold understonde the sayd witnesse ought have for har costes and labours, weche was payed by my handes, I beyng present dayly and tymely diverse tymes most conversaunt at Jermuth wyth hem; and in especiall whan they taryed more than xxiiij. dayes in London or they coude be examyned; and I knowe well the sayd Sir William Yelverton, nouther the seyd William Worcestre promysed ne payed no maner money ne godes worth, nouther relessyng har dutes, yf any they axed they knowe yt not, as the seyd named witnesse wylle sey and certyfye the trouth. And as for ij. witnesse called Bunch and Shave, lete hem be examynyd, yf the seyd Sir William or William Worcestre fyrst procured, moved, or excited hem 286 at Yermouth, or any other place, to come to London to depose in the said maters, or promysed or payed hem ony money, or any man for ham promysed or payed; and yf they be of trewe disposicion, they woll discharge the seyd Sir William Yelverton and William Worcestre, for ther was none in especiall but I, that labored hem alle to come to London to my lordis audience yn the seyd Yelvertons and Worcestre names; but I pryncipally required them to depose treuly as they knewe, be the owte promyse, mede, rewarde, or money, yn the discharge of my conscience, and for the trouthe of the mater to be knowen to all the worlde, as I am redy to preve, whyle God lendeth me lyffe, and yn the same quarell to dye. And I evyr seth that I understode the seyd John Paston is untrewe demenyng in the contryvynge of my Maister Fastolf testament and last wille, and was compellyd to appere before my lord ys auditour at Lambyth, to be sworn atte my ffree will to declar the trouth of my seyd maister trewe testament and last wyll befor my seyd Lord of Canturbury is auditur of his courte of audience, I nevyr varyed ne held aftyr wyth John Paston, but alwey have ben stedfast wyth the processe that I have enfourmed my Lord of Canterbury, and divers others astates also in like wyse have declared to the sayd Sir William Yelverton and William Worcestre to precede, and soo evyr woll be stedfaste. And in witness for trouth, I sele this declaracion wyth my signet, and subscrybe it wyth my hand and name, in presence of Maister John Prentyse, Sir Edmond Hall, John Smyth, John Robynson, Thomas Hoore, John Bullok, and Richard Batilmewe, the xxjth day of Jule the yer of Crist Mil.CCCCmo lxvijº. T. Howys.

284.1 [From a MS. in the tower of Magd. Coll., Oxford.]

284.2 Omitted in MS.




Ryght worchepfull modyr, I recomand me onto you, lowly besechyng yow of your blyssyng. Plesyt yow to we [sic] that my brodyr and I be in good hele, blyssyd be God, and all our felawshep; and as for me I tryst to God to  .  .  .  yow by Halowmes or within iiij. dayes aftyr at the ferthest; at whyche tyme I tryst to fynd the menys  .  .  .  dyscharge yow of syche folk as ye kepe of my brodyrs, and that must I do by myn owne menys; for as for my brodyr, by my trowthe he is not of power to do it; for this I ensure yow, so God help me, he hathe at thys season not a peny in hys purs, nor wotys not wher to get eny. And as for Bekham I warant, and ye wyll send the plate whych ye and I comond of for to helpe to paye hys dettis, and for to swe forthe for hys jwgement thys terme, it sholl neythyr be morgagyd nor sold. Wherfor, modyr, I and he bothe beseche yow that ye wyll send hym the plate by Jwde; or ellys, so God help me, I wot not how he shall do; for by the feythe that I ow to God he lokyth every day to be arestyd, and so I wene he sholl, so God helpe me. Jwde had ned to be sped hastyly lest syche arestys falle in the tyme. And as for my Lord of Norffolk, it is promysed me to have hys good lordshep, but I must tery a whylle, as my Lady told yow, for the maners sake. And as for tydynges her, so God help, neythyr the Kyng nor the Lordis can as yet undyrstand no serteynte, whedyr they shall go togedyr ayen by the werre or not. When I here the serteynte I shall send yow word. Ye may send mony by Jwde for my sustyr Annys hood and for the tepet of sersenet, viijs. a yerd of damask and vs. for sarsenet; 288 hyr hood wyll take iij. quarters. No mor for lak of leyser, but I pray God send yow your hertis desyir and othyr pore folys thers. Your sone and humbyll servant, J. Paston.

287.1 [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 196.] The date of this letter is difficult to fix, but from the two brothers being together (which was rather a rare occurrence), and both in good health, the summer of 1467 seems not improbable. (See No. 671.) The date must at least be earlier than Nov. 1469, when Sir John Paston, as we shall hereafter find, actually executed an indenture for the sale of East Beckham. It seems quite impossible, moreover, that this letter can be of the year 1469.


To the Lord Bechampe288.2

And forasmuch as I am credibly enformed that my lord of Winchestre hath sent to you desiring that ye shold ensele dyvers writinges of graunt and relesse of your estat in alle such maners, londes and tenementes as late wer of J. Fastolf knyght, and wheryn ye togider with other be jointly enfeffed to th’ use of the seid J. Fastolf, I, considering the honorable disposition and great sadnesse of my seid lord of Winchestre which288.3 hath now taken upon [him]288.4 th’ administracion of testament of the seid J. F., trusting veryly that my seid lord wol as conscience requireth consider my title and interest in that behalf, praie you right hertely that not withstonding any labour or mocion on my part or for me in tyme passed made to you to ensele any writyng of graunt or relesse of your seid estat to me or to myn use, that ye wol now ensele and perfourme the entent and desir of my seid lord of Winchestre now made unto you. Sir John Paston, k.

Indorsed: Dominus de Bewchamp.

288.1 [Add. MS. 35,251, f. 25, B.M.] This letter apparently was written in 1467, probably in August, just before No. 675. The original is a corrected draft.

288.2 This address is written in the margin, with a note a little way below: ‘To myn oncle Wylliam in lyke forme.’

288.3 Here occurs an interlineation of an incomplete clause: ‘is feffe of the seid—— (word crossed out) and also therein and——.’

288.4 Omitted in MS.



The following is an extract from ‘An Index to Deeds and Writings in the Tower, Magdalen College, Oxford’:—

Documents relating to Norf. and Suffolk, No. 47.

AUG. 28

‘Thomas Archiep. Cant., Willielmus Episcopus Winton., et Johannes Beauchamp dominus de Beauchamp, juxta formam barganiæ et effectum ultimæ voluntatis Johannis Fastolf in curia Audientiæ, &c., concedunt Johanni Paston militi totum jus in maneriis de Castre vocatis Vaux, Bosoms, et Redhams, Spensers in Heringby, Reggisley, Reps, cum aliis terris in diversis villis; necnon in manerio de Guton cum advocatione ecclesiæ de Heinford in Saxthorp vocat. Loundhall, cum aliis terris in diversis villis, et in manerio de Caldecots et Akethorp, Spitlings, Habeland, &c., habit, ex feoffamento Rad. dom. de Sudley et aliorum.

Aug. 28. Edw. IV. 7.’


AUG. 31

A small slip of paper close written on both sides with accounts of wages. In the margin on one side is the name John Braham, with the memorandum, ‘Thys wrytynge, made the iiijth yere of Kynge Edward the iiijth, and in the monyth of Novembre, wytnessez of the wagez that my master payith to his men.’ A blank seems to have been left below this at first, but it was afterwards filled up in a different hand: ‘Memorandum that the ve yer of Kyng Edward the iiije I rekenyd wyth my master at Stoke; and on the v. day of Aprylle for the yerys that I have be wyth my mastyr, whesche shal be at Hocke Monday next cumyng ve yer and an halfe; for the whesche yerys I have reseyvyd at sondery tymeys vli. and iiijs., and thys seyd v. day I reseyvyd of my master v. marcs.’

On the other side, in the first hand, is an account extending from the 11th April, 5 Edw. IV. (1465) to the last day of August, 7 Edw. IV. (1467), of payments to a female named Rose,289.2 for wages by ‘my master,’ Braham and Thorpe. These sums vary from 3s. 4d. to 8s. 4d., at a time; but there are also two items for presents made to her, viz. for 4 ells of Holland cloth at 8½d. the ell, 2s. 10½d., and for a pair of hosen, 12d. On the 7th Oct. 6 Edw. IV. (1466) it is said, ‘My master toke her for wages at Stoke, 5s.

289.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.]

289.2 It appears by other letters that she was a servant ‘dwelling before Mrs. Paston’s gate.’



The following is another extract from the Index referred to in No. 675:—

OCT. 2

‘12. Concessio Joh. Paston militis Johanni Duci Norfolk et aliis manerii sui vocati Hemnales in Cotton in Com.’ Suff., ac manerii sui de Haynford, et advocationis ecclesiæ ejusdem in Com.’ Norff., habit’ ex dono Th. Archiepisc. Cant. et Willielmi Episc. Wynton., cum littera attor. ad deliberandum seisinam. Oct. 2. Edw. IV. 7.’


Petition of John Herlyng of Basyngham to ‘Lady’ Paston

1467 or later

Requests ‘her Highness’ to confirm some grants of her late husband to him of land at Basyngham. William Swan claims, and has taken from him 2 perches of ground in breadth near his (Swan’s) gate, which has always been parcel of Herlyng’s tenement of Greyve’s during his and his father’s time. John Pykerell, too, has made mean to the Abbot of St. Benet’s to remove a boundary stone which has stood there sixty years. Pykerell also took the writer’s horse and used it in his field without leave, on Friday before the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, 6 Edw. IV., which made the beast unserviceable till Fastegong next following. Pykerell has also done him other injuries.

[As this petition refers to the ‘Fastegong’ or Shrovetide after Holy-Rood Day 6 Edw. IV. as a past date, it cannot have been drawn up earlier than the year 1467. The manor of Basingham, in Norfolk, belonged to the Mauteby family, and came to John Paston by marriage. This paper, therefore, was addressed to his widow Margaret.]

290.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.]



To the right worshipfull, and with my faithful hert and service full entyerly beloved gode maister, Sir John Paston.

NOV. 3

Right worshipfull Sir, and with my faithfull herte and service full entierly beloved gode maister, in my moste humble wyse I recommaund me unto your goode maistreship. Pleace it the same to wite that I thenke right longe to I have veerey knolege of your welfare, the which undrestande wil be to me right grete comfort. And that causeth me to write unto you as nowe. And also to late you wite that I herde reperte ye shuld be wedded unto a Doughter of the Duchez of Somerset, which mater, and I spake with you, I couth enforme your maistership that were to longe to write as nowe. But I shal and do pray God dayly to sende you such one unto your worldes make that wil drede and faithfully unfeyned love you above alle othir erthely creatures. For that is most excellent richesse in this worlde, as I suppose. For erthely goodes bene transsitory, and wedding contynues for terme of lyfe, which with some folke is a full long terme. And therfore, Sir, savyng your displeasir, me semez wedding wolde have goode avysement. Moreover, Sir, like it your maistership to undirstond that wynter and colde weders draweth negh, and I have but fewe clothez but of your gift, God thanke you. Wherefore, Sir, and it like you, I besech your gode maisterschip that ye will vouchsafe to remembre me your servaunte with some lyverey, such as pleaseth you, ayens this wynter, to make me a gown to kepe me from the colde wedders. And that I myght have it and such answare as ye pleace in the premisses sente unto me be the bringer herof. And I schal contynuwe your oratrix and pore servaunte and 292 hertely pray to God for your prosperite, Whom I besech have you, Right worshipful Sir, and with my faithful herte and service full entierly beloved gode maister, in His blessed governaunce. Writen at Hellowe the iiide. Day of Novembre. Cecile Daune.

291.1 [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 166.] This letter is of course not earlier than 1463, when Sir John Paston received his knighthood, but probably belongs to a period before his flirtations with Anne Haute, who first appears on the scene in the summer of 1468.


JAN. 11

Release by William, Bishop of Winchester, John, Lord Beauchamp, Sir John Howard, Sir William Yelverton, Justice of the King’s Bench, Thomas Lytelton, Justice of the Common Pleas, William Jenney, Serjeant-at-Law, William Paston, Esq., Thomas Howys, clerk, and William Grene, to Sir John Paston, Knight, of the manors of Castre, in Flegge, called Vaux and Bosoms, and the lands in Castre called Redham, the manors or tenements in Heryngby called Spensers and Fennes, a third part of the manor of Runham, the manor of Wynterton, called Begvyles, with a windmill, the manor of Reppes in Bastewyk, and messuages, &c., in Yarmouth; the lands called Billes in Stokesby and Cattes in Heryngby, &c.; the manors of Guton in Brandeston, Heynford, the manor of Saxthorp, called Loundhalle, with a watermill, the manor of Lincolnhalle, in Boyton, &c., in Norfolk; and the manor called Caldecotes in Freton, Suff.; the manors of Akethorp in Lowestoft and Spitlyngges in Gorleston, and lands called Havelound in Bradwell, &c.; also in the manor of Tichewell, &c., in the hundred of Smethedon, Norf.; and the manor of Hempnales in Cotton, and Burnevyles in Naketon, Suff.; all which the said Bishop and the others had, inter alia, of the gift of Ralph, Lord Sudeley, Sir William Oldhall, Richard Waller, Esq., Thomas West, Esq., William Wangford, and Nicholas Girlyngton.

Dated 11th Jan. 7 Edw. IV.

292.1 [MS. in Bodleian Library.]



To my ryght worshypfull maistras, Margyt Paston, wedowe.


Ryght worchypfull maistras, aftyr dew recomendacion, please your gode maistrasshyp to wete that I comyned late wyth your entier welbelovyd son, Sir John Paston, of the fundacion of my Maister Fastolf Collage myght ben at Cambrygge, yn case hyt shall nat bee at Castre, nether at Seynt Benetts, because that Universyte lyeth neere the cuntree of Norffolk and Suffolk; for albe it my Lord of Wynchestr ys disposed to found a Collage yn Oxford for my seyd maister to be prayd for, yhyt wyth moch lesse cost he myght make som othyr memorialle also yn Cambrygge, and yt weere of ij. clerkys, iij. or iiij. scolers, founded at leest wyth the value of gode benefices and ryche parsonages, that myght be purschased the advowsons, wyth moch lesse goodes then lordshyppes or maners may; and I fonde your son well disposed to meofe and excyte my seyd Lord. Also now the Cristmasse weke next before the feest att London, my Lord Wynchester called me to hym yn presence of Sir John, and desyrid hym effectually to be my gode wyller; and maister wold hafe no wordes rehersed on my behalf, and he seyd full welle. Wold Jesu, Maistras, that my gode maister that was som tyme your husbond, yn my seyd Maister Fastolf lyfe dayes, as he shewed to me, their coude hafe founded yn hys hert to hafe trusted and lovyd me as my Maister Fastolf dyd, and that he wold not hafe geven credence to the malyciouse contryved talys that Frere Brakley, W. Barker, and othyrs ymagyned ontruly, savyng your reverence, 294 of me. And now ye may opynly ondrestand the sothe, and your son Sir John also; and yhyt for all that I put nevyr my Maister Fastolf lyfelode yn trouble, for alle the unkyndnesse and covetuse that was shewed me, as I hafe declared to the berer heroff, that I know ye trust welle, to whom yn thys ye may gefe credence at thys tyme.

God amend J. Russe. I wold he had ben at Irland for one day ys sake. Your, W. W.

And I thank you hertly for my pore woman, she shuld com to you at your commaundment late or rathe, but for gelosye and mysdemyng of peple that hafe me yn greete awayt; and ye know welle, maistras, better ys afrende unknow then knowen; the world ys to mysdemyng and redy to make dyvysyon and debate that comyth of an envyouse disposicion. And I am ryght glad that Castr ys and shall be at your comaundment, and yowres yn especialle. A ryche juelle yt ys at neede for all the cuntre yn tyme of werre; and my Maister F. wold rather he had nevyr bylded yt then hyt shuld be yn the gouvernaunce of eny sovereyn that wole oppresse the cuntree. And I fynde the relygyoux of Seynt Benetts full unkynde toke away a chambre, the elder Abbot had put me yn possessyon for my solace, when I myzt com thedr and desport me, and toke that chambre to Maister John Smyth, that Sir Thomas Howys seyd to me, was none holsom counceller yn the reformacion of the last testament made but ij. executors to hafe the rule allone. I wold he had nevyr medled of yt, that councell made moch trouble. I pray you kepe thys letter close to your sylf, as I trust you and Sir Jamys, and also yn R. Toly that I undrestand hym close and just.

I had no tyme to speke withyn now late, when I was but one day at Norwych. W. Barker sclaundred me yn certeyn maters of gode to the some of vc. mark that Reynold Harneys shuld kepe and take me half. Wold Jesu B[a]rker had seyd true, hyt myzt hafe do me moch gode! And, Maistras, as I dar desyre you, I pray you recomaund me to my best maistras, your moder Agnes, for she favorued me and dyd me grete 295 cherytee, to be the better disposed to hyr son, Maister John, and by my soule yt made me the hertyer to safe the lyfelode fro trouble or from claymes, as I support me to alle the world, I put nevyr maner ne lyfelode of my Maister Fastolf yn trouble, ne entitled no crettur to na place, and ye may speke wyth hyr herof when ye be allone.

293.1 [From Fenn, iv. 280.] It seems probable that this letter was written about the beginning of the year 1468. As to the time of year, we may judge by one expression that it was not very long after Christmas; and as the writer congratulates Margaret Paston that Caister is to be at her command, we may with great probability suppose the date to be about the same as that of the preceding document.


To the right worchepfull Sir John Paston, Knyght.

[APRIL 12]

Right worchepfull sir, I recommand me to you. Like you wete a distresse was take in Caster by Thomas Pekok, I trowe your servant, a besy man, called of a full true sowle, John Hadynet of Haryngby, a pore man his plow hath loyn ever sith, he seith; I understonde it is for Catts landes. I sent my clerk to my mastresse, your moder, and the seid John with hym therfor; and my mastresse wold hym come ageyn a nother day, for Pecok was not thanne at home; so he ded, and can not have it, as he seith, but that ye wold I shuld speke with you at Castr therof, and of other maters he tolde me this day. And by cause of my moders yereday holden this day, God have hir sowle, and to morwe shal be a good day, I wol by Goddes grace dispose me to His mercy ageyns Thursday, as I have used; therfor I pray you pardon my comyng. In the weke after Ester, I entend to se you and my seid mastresse certeynly; it is loong seth I sy hir, me semeth. And if ye be not thanne at Castr, I pray you send me worde that I may come soner to you to comon with you in this mater, and in all other what ye wil, and sone departe to London fro thens; and therfor I wil abide with you a good while.


Sir, as to Catts ye be remembred what I seid to you at London at ij. tymes. I am the same man; I have sith I cam geten th’evidences in to myn handes, and I am redy to shewe them what lerned man her that ye wol assigne. The mater is cler to my thynkyng. Titleshale that solde it to Sir J. Fastolf myght as wele a solde hym your lande or myn; and if the sale be lawfull, I shal leve my hands at the first as I said at London. The distresse to be kept for that, I wisse it nede not, and it was unlawfully taken. Like it you to do delyvere the pore man his goods ageyn, I am redy to answer you for elde and new as right wol. I shal breke no day to be assigned, for to leve all other thyngs.

By the blissed Lady I beleve that ye wol dispose you wele, and so I pray God ye do, and have you in His blissed governaunce. Wretyn at the hede town of Norffolk this Tuysday. Your owen, H. atte Fenne.

295.1 [From Fenn, iv. 290.] This letter was written on the Tuesday before Easter, probably in the year 1468, i.e. after the other executors of Fastolf had released to Sir John Paston. The date could hardly be later than 1469, when Sir John was driven out of Caister by the Duke of Norfolk; and in 1469 he does not seem to have been residing there about Easter.


To our trusty and welbeloved Sir John Paston, Knight.

By the King.


Trusty and welbeloved, we greet yow well. And where it is accorded betwixt us and our cozen the Duke of Burgundye that he shall wedde our derrest sister, Margaret, and that in shorte while we intende to sende her into the parts of Flanders for the accomplishment and solempnizacion of the marriage so concluded; at the which time it behoveth her to be accompanied with great nobility of this realme, for the honour thereof, of us and our said sister: We therefore, wele understanding and remembering the good 297 affection ye bere towards us all, our pleasure is, and our said sister, whereupon we greatly trust, desire and pray yow right effectuously that, every excuse or delaye laide aparte, ye will dispose yourselfe to the saide intent and purpose against the first day of June next cominge, according to your honour and degree, and that ye faile not so to doe, as we singularly trust yow, and as ye intend to do us justys, pleass.297.1 Yeven under our signet at our mannor of Greenwich, the xviij. day of Aprill.

296.1 This letter is reprinted from Mr. Worship’s article on Sandford’s genealogy of the Paston family in the Norfolk Archæology. The original was transcribed by Sandford, but is not now to be found. Margaret, sister of Edward IV., was married to Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, at Bruges, on the 3rd July 1468.

297.1 So, as printed in the Norfolk Archæology.


To my ryght reverend and worchepfull modyr, Margaret Paston, dwellyng at Caster, be thys delyveryed in hast.


Ryth reverend and worchepfull modyr, I recomaund me on to you as humbylly as I can thynk, desyryng most hertly to her of your welfare and herts ese, whyche I pray God send yow as hastyly as my hert can thynk. Ples yt yow to wete, that at the makyng of thys byll, my brodyr and I, and all our felawshep, wer in good helle, blyssyd be God. As for the gydyng her in thys contre, it is as worchepfull as all the world can devyse it, and ther wer never Englyshe men had so good cher owt of Inglong that ever I herd of.

As for tydyngs her, but if it be of the fest, I can non send yow; savyng my Lady Margaret297.3 was maryd on Sonday297.4 last past, at a towne that is callyd the Dame, iij. myle owt of Brugys, at v. of the clok in the mornyng; and sche was browt the same day to Bruggys to hyr dener; and ther sche was 298 receyvyd as worchepfully as all the world cowd devyse, as with presession with ladys and lordys, best beseyn of eny pepyll, that ever I sye or herd of. Many pagentys wer pleyed in hyr wey in Bryggys to hyr welcomyng, the best that ever I sye. And the same Sonday my Lord the Bastard,298.1 took upon hym to answere xxiiij. knyts and gentylmen, with in viij. dayes at jostys of pese; and when that they wer answeryd, they xxiiij. and hym selve schold torney with othyr xxv. the next day aftyr, whyche is on Monday next comyng; and they that have jostyd with hym into thys day, have ben as rychely beseyn, and hymselve also, as clothe of gold, and sylk and sylvyr, and goldsmyths werk, myght mak hem; for of syche ger, and gold, and perle, and stanys, they of the Dwkys coort, neythyr gentylmen nor gentylwomen, they want non; for with owt that they have it by wyshys, by my trowthe, I herd nevyr of so gret plente as ther is.

Thys day my Lord Scalys298.2 justyd with a Lord of thys contre, but not with the Bastard; for they mad promyse at London that non of them bothe shold never dele with othyr in armys; but the Bastard was one of the Lords that browt the Lord Scalys in to the feld, and of mysfortwne an horse strake my Lord Bastard on the lege, and hathe hurt hym so sore, that I can thynk he shalbe of no power to acomplyshe up hys armys; and that is gret pete, for by my trowthe I trow God mad never a mor worchepfull knyt.

And as for the Dwkys coort, as of lords, ladys and gentylwomen, knyts, sqwyers, and gentylmen, I hert never of non lyek to it, save Kyng Artourys cort. And by my trowthe, I have no wyt nor remembrans to wryte to yow, half the worchep that is her; but that lakyth, as it comyth to mynd I shall tell yow when I come home, whyche I tryst to God shal not be long to; for we depart owt of Brygys homward on Twysday next comyng, and all folk that cam with my Lady of Burgoyn owt of Inglond, except syche as shall abyd her styll with hyr, whyche I wot well shall be but fewe.


We depart the soner, for the Dwk299.1 hathe word that the Frenshe Kyng299.2 is purposyd to mak wer upon hym hastyly, and that he is with in iiij. or v. dayis jorney of Brugys, and the Dwk rydyth on Twysday next comyng, forward to met with hym; God geve hym good sped, and all hys; for by my trowthe they are the goodlyest felawshep the ever I cam among, and best can behave them, and most lyek gentylmen.

Othyr tydyngs have we non her, but that the Dwke of Somerset,299.3 and all hys bands depertyd welbeseyn owt of Brugys a day befor that my Lady the Dwches cam thedyr, and they sey her, that he is to Qwen Margaret that was, and shal no more come her ayen, nor be holpyn by the Dwk. No more; but I beseche yow of your blyssyng as lowly as I can, whyche I beseche yow forget not to geve me ever day onys. And, modyr, I beseche yow that ye wolbe good mastras to my lytyll man, and to se that he go to scole.

I sent my cosyn Dawbeney vs. by Callys man, for to bye for hym syche ger as he nedyth; and, modyr, I pray yow thys byll may recomend me to my sustyrs bothe, and to the mastyr, my cosyn Dawbeney, Syr Jamys,299.4 Syr John Stylle, and to pray hym to be good mastyr to lytyll Jak, and to lerne hym well; and I pray yow that thys byll may recomand me to all your folkys, and my wellwyllers. And I pray God send yow your herts desyr.

Wretyn at Bruggys the Fryday next aftyr Seynt Thomas. Your sone and humbyll servaunt, J. Paston, the yonger.

297.2 [From Fenn, ii. 2.] As this letter gives an account of the marriage of the Princess Margaret to Charles, Duke of Burgundy, there is no doubt of the year in which it was written.

297.3 Margaret, sister of King Edward IV.

297.4 3rd July.

298.1 Anthony, Count de la Roche, commonly called the Bastard of Burgundy, a natural son of Duke Philip the Good.

298.2 Anthony Woodville, Lord Scales, afterwards Earl Rivers.

299.1 Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy.

299.2 Lewis XI.

299.3 Edmund Beaufort, Duke of Somerset.

299.4 Sir James Gloys, a priest.



General pardon to William Paston, son of the judge, for offences committed before the 15th April last. The grantee is described by different aliases, as William Paston of London, of Caster, of Norwich, and of Wymondham, gentleman. Westminster, 16th July, 8 Edw. IV. Great Seal attached.

299.5 [From Add. Charter 17,248, B.M.]



To Sir John Paston, Knyght.


Right worshipfull, and my especiall true hertid frende, I commaunde me un to you, preying you to ordeyne me iij. horsse harneys as godely as ye and Genyn kan devyse, as it were for yourselfe; and that I may have thyme in all hast, ordere. Also Skerne saith ye wolde ordeyne ij. standarde stavys; this I pray you to remembre, and my wife shalle deliver you silver,—and yit she most borowed it; vj. or vijli. I wold be stowe on a horsse harneys, and so Skerne tolde me I might have. The Lord Hastings had for the same price, but I wolde not myne were lik his; and I trust to God we shalle do right welle, who preserve you. Wreten at Canterbury in hast, the xviij. day of Juyll. Oxynford.

300.1 [From Fenn, ii. 26.] The writer of this letter was committed to the Tower in November 1468, and though afterwards released, it was not long before he became a declared enemy of Edward IV.; so that, after the brief restoration of Henry VI. in 1470, he was obliged to leave the kingdom. The date of this letter, therefore, is not likely to be later than the present year, but it may be a year or two earlier.


To Mastresse Annes.


Rythe it is so that I may not, as oft as I wold, be ther as [i.e. where] I might do my message myselff, myn owne fayir Mastresse Annes, I prey yow to accept thys byll for my messanger to recomand me to yow in my 301 most feythfull wyse, as he that faynest of all other desyreth to knowe of yowr welfare, whyche I prey God encresse to your most plesure.

And, mastresse, thow so be that I as yet have govyn yow bot easy [i.e. little] cause to remembyr me for leke of aqweyntacion, yet I beseche yow, let me not be forgotyn when ye rekyn up all yowr servaunts, to be sett in the nombyr with other.

And I prey yow, Mastresse Annes, for that servyse that I owe yow, that in as short tyme as ye goodly may that I myght be assarteynyd of yowr entent and of your best frends in syche maters as I have brokyn to yow of, whyche bothe your and myn ryght trusty frends John Lee, or ellys my mastresse hys wyff, promysyd befor yow and me at our fyrst and last being togedyr, that as sone as they or eyther of theym knewe your entent and your frendys that they shold send me woord. And if they so do, I tryst sone aftyr to se yow.

And now farewell, myn owne fayir lady, and God geve yow good rest, for in feythe I trow ye be in bed.

Wretyn in my wey homward on Mary Maudeleyn Day at mydnyght. Your owne, John Paston.

Mastresse Annes, I am prowd that ye can reed Inglyshe; wherfor I prey yow aqweynt yow with thys my lewd [uncouth] hand, for my purpose is that ye shalbe more aqweyntyd with it, or ellys it shalbe ayenst my wyll; but yet, and when ye have red thys byll, I prey yow brenne it or kepe it secret to yoursylff, as my feythefull trust is in yow.

300.2 [From Fenn, ii. 294.] The Mrs. Anne to whom this letter was addressed seems to have been a Mrs. Anne Haute, to whom Sir John was for a long time engaged. That it was written before the year 1469 will appear probable on referring to Margaret Paston’s letter written on Easter Monday (3rd April) in that year, in which she wishes to know for certain if he be engaged; and we have therefore little difficulty in referring it to the year 1468, when Sir John was over in Flanders at the marriage of the Princess Margaret to Charles of Burgundy. Mrs. Anne appears to have been a lady of English extraction, who was either born abroad or had passed most of her life on the Continent. She was, moreover, related to Lord Scales, and is therefore not unlikely to have been the daughter of one William Haute of Kent, who married at Calais, in 1429, the daughter of a certain Richard Wydeville. (See Excerpta Historica, p. 249.) But she could speak and even read English; and Sir John, who was now returning homewards to England, designed in this letter to open a correspondence with her. He appears, however, not to have despatched it, as the original remained among the papers of the Paston family; or else perhaps it was returned to him on the breaking off of the engagement.



To my moste honorabyl Lord Cadenall, and Archibushop of Caunterbury.

OCT. 10

Moste reverent and my ryght good Lord, I recomaund me to your gracyous Lordshyp yn my moste humble wyse. Please your Lordshyp to wete that my Lord Norffolk councell hath now late mevyd Sir Wylliam Yelverton, Knyght, and me to be preferryd for to purchasse the maner of Castre, and certeyn other lordshypps that wer my Maystyr Fastolf, whom God pardon, owt excepted the maner of Gunton that yowr Lordshyp desyryth to purchasse, and othyr certeyn maners that my Mastyr Fastolf frendys hafe desyred to be preferryd. And be cause the pretens bargayn that John Paston yn hys lyffe surmytted, bye colour of which he entended to hafe all my Mastyr Fastolf londes in Norffolk and Suffolk for nought, savyng the hygh reverence of your astate, was not juste ne trew; and be cause that I wyth othyr of my Master Fastolf executors may have wher of to dyspospose yn cheryte full dedys to do for hys sowle; I have condescended the rather that my seide Lord of Norffolk shall be preferryd to the purchasse of the seyde maner of Castre, and othyr maners that may be sparyd to th’encresse of hys lyfelode yn thys land; and thys covenantys to be engroced upp wythynne shorth tyme, as by all Halowaunce, in case yowr Lordshyp be agreed and plesyd wyth all; wher uppon I wold beseche yowr nobyll Lordshyp to lete me wete your good plesur and avice yn thys behalfe.

And be cause my seyd Lord Norffolk ys so nere of blode to yowr hyghnesse knyghted, that meevyd me to be the more wyllyng to condescend to the forseyd purchasse, and so trustyng 303 your Lordshyp wold be ryght well pleased wyth alle. Wretyn at Norwich the x. day of Octobyr, anno viij. R. E. iiijti. Yowr pore chapleyn, T. Howys.

302.1 [From Fenn, iv. 298.]

anno viij. R. E. iiijti.
text has “iiijt” alone, without punctuation: corrected from Fenn


[Circa 1468.] Long declaration in English (on a paper roll) by Thomas Howes, ‘for the discharge of his conscience,’ impugning the authenticity of the will nuncupative, said to have been made by Sir J. Fastolf on the day of his death, and propounded by John Paston and the said Thomas in opposition to an earlier will propounded by Sir W. Yelverton and W. Worcetyr; containing details intended to prove that the alleged will was fabricated by Paston. Amongst other things, Howes says that at Paston’s desire he did, a year before Fastolf’s death, move Fastolf that Paston might buy three of his manors and live in his college, ‘and the seyd Fastolf, mevyd and passyoned gretely in his soule, seyd and swar by Cryst ys sides, “And I knewe that Paston woolde by ony of my londes or my godes he shulde nevyr be my feffe, nother myn executor.” Albeyt he seyde that he wolde suffer that the said Paston for terme of hys lyf shall have a loggyng yn a convenyent place yn the seyd maner of Castre withoute denyance of ony havyng intrest yn the seyd maner.

303.1 [From a MS. in Magdalen College, Oxford.] This Abstract is derived from Mr. Macray’s Report on the Muniments of Magdalen College, printed in the Fourth Report of the Historical MSS. Commission.


To Maistyr Syr John Paston, Knyght, at London, with my Lorde the Archebisshop of Yorke, be this letter delyverid.

OCT. 28

I  recommand me unto you. It is tolde me that the man that ye wote of cam ridyng by my Lady Suthfolk and by Cotton, which is in gret decay; and Barnay tolde him that Edward Dale tolde hem he durst no lenger serve him of 304 ale, for it was warnid hym that my Lady Suffolk304.1 wolde entyr, and whan she shulde enter few men shulde knowe, it shulde be do so sodenly. She taryeth but of tythynges fro London. He spak nat with hyr. I pray you speke to my Lorde of Zorke304.2 for the subpena in the Chanceri ayen William Paston that he take noon hurte. He desyrith to write to yow for it. My Lorde of Northfolk men have warnid the tenantis to pay you no mony, and thai speke alle in the Kynges name. Ye may tell my Lorde of Yorke that it is open in every mannys mouth in this contre the language that my Lorde of Yorke and my Lord of Warwik had to my Lorde of Norfolk in the Kings chambre, and that my Lorde of Yorke saide, rathir than the londe shulde go so, he wolde com dwell ther hym sliff. Ye wolde mervaile what harts my Lords hath goten, and how this language put peeple in comforte. My Lorde of Norffolk answerde that he wolde speke to my Lady his wiff, and entret hir. And your adversarys reherce that my Lorde shall never be Chanceleer til this mateer be spede,304.3 for ther bargans ar made condicionall, to holde and nat holde as afftir my Lorde be Chaunceler and nat. Sothwell is all the doar, and he hath saide that my Lorde of Zorke licensid hym to labour in the mateer. My Lorde of Norwich shuld by xl. marke of the same lond. Thai entende to have a man of my Lady of Suthfolks sheryve, and specially Harcort. My Lorde coude nat bileve it but if [i.e. unless] he harde it, how it is rejoysshid in som place that he is nat Chaunceleer. Ther cam oo man into the contre with a newe patent, saying that my Lorde was Chanceler, and at that was the first patent that was sealid sithen he was officeer. The tythandes did goode pro tempore. Ther are witnes labourid, as it is said, to witnes and swere ageyn you of men of cli. a yeer, and many oder men, som that knew never of the mateer nor never harde Sir John Faskolff speke; ye know what jure is in this contre in maters that ar favoured by them that ar now ageyn you. It is harde whan a mateer restid by jure in this contre, som of the 305 same quest that founde you bondeman shall witnesse ayens you. Syr Thomas Howys comyth to London, and if my Lorde of Zorke wolde entret frendely my Lorde of Ely,305.1 and get feithfully his promyse that my Lorde of Ely sende for Hawys, he shulde make Hawys to go home ageyn and leve all his fellowis post allon; and that my Lorde wolde entret my Lorde Tresaurer, my Lord Penbrok,305.2 my Lady Bedford,305.3 and remembre the bargan is not yit made, it may be better lettid affor than afftyr; and if the mateer spede my Lorde getith gret worshipp and gret thanke. I doute not he undirstondyth it, for it is well undirstonde what he hath saide. And pray his Lordeshipp to remembre a shereve this yeer, for ther is mych to be undirstonde in the shereve. And sende me worde if my Lorde Penbrok be go, and if my Lorde be Chaunceler. Et memorandum, Sir William Terell your testimoniall. Et memorandum, my Lorde Cardynall to sende answer to Sir Thomas Howys; and though my Lorde Cardynall be nat ther now, yit lat Townysende make it redy ageyns my Lords commyng. If Sir Thomas Howys wer handelyd by Maister Tressam and made byleve and put in hope of the moone shone in the water and I wot nat what, that such labor wer made that eythir he shulde be a pope or els in dyspeyr to be depryved de omni beneficio ecclesiastico for symony, lechory, perjory, and doubble variable pevyshnesse, and for admynystryng without auctoryte; and how he promisid bi his feith to my Lord t’obey his rewle and brak it, and what he hath saide to my lords in this mateer; and if ye recur in the courte, he shall be undo, and this mateer tolde hym by my Lorde of Ely and Maister Tresham, halff in game and halff in ernest, it shulde make hym to departe, for Yelvyrton and he ar halff at variance now. And entret my Lords servaunts to speke in your maters to all such persones as nede is. And I shall be hastyly with you by the grace of God, whom have yow in kepyng. Writen on Seynt Simonde Day and Jude. By your owne.

303.2 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The reference to the Earl of Pembroke, who was only so created in 1468, and who was beheaded in July 1469, fixes the date of this letter to the former year.

304.1 Alice, widow of William de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk.

304.2 George Nevill, Archbishop of York.

304.3 The Great Seal was taken from Archbishop Nevill on the 8th June 1467. Apparently in 1468 he was hoping to be made Chancellor again.

305.1 William Grey, Bishop of Ely.

305.2 William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke.

305.3 See page 188, Note 3.

with my Lorde the Archebisshop of Yorke
text has “Lorae” (italic “a” for “d”)



To my ryght welbelovyd brother, John Paston, Esqer, beyng at Caster, or to John Dawbeney there, be this letter delyvered.

NOV. 9

Ryght welbelovyd brother, I comand me to yow, letyng yow wete that I have wagyd for to helpe yow and Dawbeney to kepe the place at Castr, iiij. wel assuryd and trew men to do al maner of thyng what that they be desyryd to do, in save gard or enforcyng of the seyd place; and mor ovyr they be provyd men, and connyng in the werr, and in fetys of armys, and they kan wele schote bothe gonnys and crossebowes, and amende and strynge them, and devyse bolwerkys, or any thyngs that scholde be a strenkthe to the place; and they wol, as nede is, kepe wecche and warde. They be sadde and wel advysed men, savyng on of them, whyche is ballyd, and callyd Wylliam Peny, whyche is as goode a man as gothe on the erthe, savyng a lytyll he wol, as I understand, be a lytel copschotyn [high-crested], but yit he is no brawler, but ful of cortesye, meche uppon James Halman; the other iij. be named Peryn Sale, John Chapman, Robert Jakys Son, savyng that as yit they have non harneyse comyn, but when it komyth it schall be sent to yow, and in the meane whyle I pray yow and Dawbeney to purvey them some.

Also a cople of beddys they most nedys have, whyche I pray yow by the help of my modre to purvey for them, tyl that I com home to yow. Ye schall fynde them gentylmanly, comfortable felawes, and that they wol and dare abyde be ther takelyng; and if ye undrestond that any assawte schold be towardys, I sende yow thes men, becawse that men of the 307 contre ther about yow scholde be frayed for fer of losse of ther goods; wherfor if ther wer any suche thyng towards, I wolde ye take of men of the contre but few, and that they wer well assuryd men, for ellys they myght discorage alle the remenant.

And asfor any wryghtyng fro the Kyng, he hathe promysyd that there schall come non; and if ther do his unwarys [without his knowledge], yowr answer may be thys, how the Kyng hathe seyd, and so to delay them tyll I may have worde, and I schall sone purvey a remedy.

I understond that ye have ben with my Lorde of Norfolke now of late. What ze have done I wete not; we se that he shal be her ageyn thys daye. Mor ovyr, I trow John Alforde schall not longe abyde with my Lorde; I schall sende yow tydyng of other thyngys in haste, with the grace of God, who, &c. Wretyn on Wednysday nexte befor Seynt Martyn. John Paston.

I fer that Dawbeney is not alther best storyd to contenew howsold longe; lete hym send me worde in hast, and I wyll releve hym to my power, and or longe to I hope to be with yow.

Roger Ree is scheryff of Norfolke, and he schall be good jnow. Th’excheter I am not yit assertaynyd of.

Also, that thes men be at the begynnyng entretyd as corteysly as ye can.

Also, I pray yow to sende me my flowr307.1 be the next massanger that comyth.

Also, as for my Lorde Fytz Waters oblygacion, I know non suche in myn adward as yit.

Also, the obligacion of the Bisshop of Norwychys oblygacion, I never sye it that I remembre; wherfor I wolde and prey my modre to loke it up.

Also, as for the Byble307.2 that the master hath, I wend the 308 uttermost pryse had not passyd v. mark, and so I trowe he wyl geve it: wet, I pray yow.

Also, as for Syr Wylliam Barber and Syr Wylliam Falyate, I wolde, if they kan purvey for them selfe, folfayne be dyschargyd of them.

306.1 [From Fenn, iv. 302.] The original of this letter, Fenn informs us, was written upon a whole sheet of paper, of which a quarter was cut away before the letter was finished, so that the bottom part of it was only half the width of the upper. Roger Ree was made Sheriff of Norfolk in 1468, which fixes the date.

307.1 This may mean flour for household use; or it may signify his flower, his device or cognisance.—F.

307.2 This must mean some MS. copy, for at this time there was only one printed edition of the Bible, which would have sold even then for a much greater sum than is here mentioned. I mean ‘Biblia Latina Mogunt. per J. Fust et P. Schoiffer, 1462.’—F.


To the worshipful Sir John Paston, Knyght, be thys delveryd in hast.

DEC. 15

Worshipfull and with all myn hert interly wilbeloved nevoue, I recomaunde me to yow, desyryng to here of your prosperite and wilefayr, which I pray All mighti God maynteyn and encres to His plesour and your herts desir, thankyng God of your amendyng and helth; furthermore, certefying yow that Sir Robert Fenys hath doon grete hurte in the lyvelode whiche perteyned to my husbond and me in the Shire of Kent, wherein William Kene and other persones arn enfeffid, and gretly troubleth hit, and receyveth the issuez and profitez of gret part of theym. And as of my seid husbonds lyvelode, aswell in the same shire as in other 309 shirez, besyde myn jounter, my seid husbond, whan he departyd towarde the feld of Saint Albons, made and ordeyned his wille, that I shuld have the rewell of all his lyvelode, and of Edwarde his soon and myn, and to take the issuez and profitez of the seid lyvelode, to the fyndyng of his and myn seid son, to paie his dettez, and to kepe the right and title of the same lyvelode, which I myght nat accordyng occupie for Sir Edwarde Ponyngs, myn seid husbonds brother; and so sith myn seid husbonds departyng, I assigned that the seid Sir Edwarde for certeyn yereez shuld have and take the revenuez of the maners of Westwode, Estwell, Levelond, Horsmonden, Totyndon, Eccles, Staundon, and Combesdon, parcell of the seid lyvelode, which arn clerely yerely worth lxxvjli. xiijs. iiijd., to the entent that the seid Sir Edwarde shuld paye myn husbonds dettez, for he wold not suffer me to be in rest without that he myght have a rewell in the lyvelode; and after the seid assignement made, the seid Robert Fenes, contrary to trowth, and withoute cause of right, interupted me and the seid Sir Edwarde, aswell of and in the seid maners as of other maners undirwretyn; wher uppon the same Sir Edwarde suet unto the Kyngs Highnesse, and hade the Kyngez honorable lettres undir his signet, directed to the said Sir Robert Fenys, the tenour wherof I send unto yow herin inclosid; and as for residue of the lyvelode of myn seid husbonds and myn, within the same shire of Kent, wherin the said William Kene and other arn enfeffed, that is to say, the maner of Tyrlyngham, Wolverton, Halton, Newyngton, Bastram, Rokesley, and Northcray, with th’appurtenauncez, I of them, by myn seid husbonds wille, shuld have residue, and take the issuez and profitez of theym, contrarye to right and conciens, takyng away my ryght, and brekyng my said husbonds wille, the seid Robert Fenys hath doon gret wast and hurte ther, and long tym hath take upe the revenuez and profitez of the same, wher thorough I have not my ryght, and the seid wille may not be performed.

Wherfor I hertely pray yow that ze will labour unto the Kynges Highnes, at yt lyketh hym addres his honorable lettres to be directed to the seid Robert Fenys, dischargyng hym 310 utterly of the menuraunce, occupacion, and receyt of the revenuez of the said maners of Tyrlyngham and other, accordyng to the tenour of the lettres labored by Sir Edwarde, for the maners assigned to hym from the Kyngs Highnes, directyd to the same Robert Fynes, or strayter if hit may be, and that I and myn assignez may peasseble rejoie theym; and if eny person wold attempt to do the contrarye, that a comaundement, yf it ples the Kyngs Hignes, by hym myght be yevyn to my Lorde Chaunceller to seall writtyngs sufficiaunt with his gret seall, in eydyng and assisting me and myn assignez in this same.

And as for the maners of Esthall, Faukham, Asslie, and Chelsfeld, with th’appurtenauntez in the seid schire of Kent, whereof my hysbond at his departur was seassed, and my son sethens, unto the tyme that the Erle of Kent310.1 without eny inquission or title of right for the Kyng, by colour of the Kynges lettres patentes, entret into theym, and hym therof put owte, and now my Lorde of Essex310.2 occupieth them in lyke maner and forme; yf eny remedy therin wilbe hade, I pray yow attempt hit.

Also, forther more, I hertely pray yow that if eny generall pardon be grauntyd, that I may have on for John Dane my servaunt, whom the said Robert Fenys of gret malice hath endyted of felonye, and that ze secretly labour this, and send me an aunswer in writtyng in as godly hast as ze may. As soon as that may ples yow to send me passels of costes and expences ze bere and pay for the said causez, I will truely content yow hit of the same, and over that rewarde yow to your plessour by the grace of Jesu, quo have yow in His blessed keping. Wrettyn in Suthwerk the xvth daie of Decembyr. Be your awnt, Elizabeth Ponyngs.

308.1 [From Fenn, iv. 266.] Elizabeth Paston, as we have seen (No. 374), had married Robert Poynings by the beginning of January 1459. We must, however, correct a slight inaccuracy in the preliminary note to that letter, where it is said that by the year 1470 they must have been married several years. Their union, in fact, lasted little more than two years; for Robert Poynings was slain at the second battle of St. Albans on the 17th February 1461. The inquisition post mortem, taken some years afterwards (9 and 10 Edw. IV., No. 49), gives that day as the date of his death. His son and heir, Edward, named in this letter (who was afterwards Lord-Deputy of Ireland in the reign of Henry VII.), was probably born towards the close of the year 1459, for he is mentioned at the date of the inquisition (31st Jan. 49 and 1 Hen. VI., i.e. 1471) as eleven years old and over. Elizabeth Poynings must have remained a widow some years; but before 1472 she had married Sir George Browne of Betchworth, Surrey. This letter is certainly of later date than No. 627, for the lands which she was then endeavouring to recover from the Earl of Kent were now occupied by the Earl of Essex. It may perhaps have been a year or two after 1466, but it was probably not later than 1469, as in 1470 Henry VI. was restored, and Essex, being a Yorkist, would not have been so powerful. The year 1468 must be a tolerable approximation to the true date.

310.1 Edmund Grey, Lord Grey of Ruthin, and Baron Hastings, who was created Earl of Kent in 1465.

310.2 Henry, Viscount Bourchier, created Earl of Essex in 1461.



The King to Sir Robert Fynys


Commanding him not to levy the rents of Westwode, Estwell, Levelond, Horsmonden, Totyngdon, Eccles, Stondon, and Comebesdane in Kent.

[This was evidently the copy of the writ obtained by Sir Edward Poynings referred to in the preceding letter. Below is written, ‘The copie of the lettre myssyve endossid by the Kynges awn handes.’]

311.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.]


To my trusty and welbelowyd cosyn, Jhon Paston, Esquyer, in haste.

Date uncertain

Loyawlte Ayme. Be zowr howne G. Browne.

Hyt schal newyr cum howt for me.

311.2 [From Fenn, iv. 100.] The writer of this brief and enigmatical letter was the second husband of Elizabeth Paston, as mentioned in the preliminary note to No. 692 preceding. If the John Paston, Esquire, to whom it is addressed be the first of that name, that is to say, Elizabeth Paston’s brother, the date is not later than 1466; but as it was certainly some years later before the writer became connected with the Pastons by marriage, the person addressed is more probably John Paston the youngest, brother of Sir John. The date of this communication, however, is unimportant. Its purport, of which Fenn has suggested rather a complicated explanation, appears to me simply a promise of secrecy on some subject: ‘Loyauté, aimé (i.e. Honour bright, my dear friend). It shall never come out for me.’



Printed by T. and A. Constable, Printers to His Majesty
at the Edinburgh University Press

Contents of Volume IV
(added by transcriber)

Year Letter
1461 488
1462 504
1463 535
1464 555
1465 575
1466 625
1467 658
1468 680

Title Page



A.D. 1422–1509