The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Paston Letters, A.D. 1422-1509. Volume 5 (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 5 (of 6)

Editor: James Gairdner

Release date: March 1, 2013 [eBook #42239]
Most recently updated: August 17, 2013

Language: English

Credits: 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 (


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 IV: 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. 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
The Paston Letters: Henry VI (restored)
The Paston Letters: Edward IV (restored)
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.  .  . 47 .  . .

A.D. 1422-1509

see end of text


Text of Title Page

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


Edward IV


To my moost worshupfull maister, Sir John Paston, Knyght.


My moost woorshupfull and moost speciall maister, with all my servyce moost lowly I recomande unto your gode maistirship, besechyng you most tendirly to see me sumwhat rewardid for my labour in the Grete Booke1.2 which I wright unto your seide gode maistirship. I have often tymes writyn to Pampyng accordyng to your desire, to enforme you hou I have labourd in wrytyngs for you; and I see wele he speke not to your maistership of hit. And God knowith I ly in seint warye [sanctuary] at grete costs, and amongs right unresonable askers. I movid this mater to Sir Thomas1.3 late, and he tolde me he wolde move your maistirship 2 therein, which Sir Thomas desirid me to remembir wele what I have had in money at soondry tymes of hym.2.1

. . . . . . .

And in especiall I beseche you to sende me for almes oon of your olde gownes, which will countirvale much of the premysses I wote wele; and I shall be yours while I lyve, and at your comandement; I have grete myst of it, God knows, whom I beseche preserve you from all adversite. I am sumwhat acqueyntid with it. Your verry man, W. Ebsham.

Folowyng apperith, parcelly, dyvers and soondry maner of writyngs, which I William Ebesham have wreetyn for my gode and woorshupfull maistir, Sir John Paston, and what money I have resceyvid, and what is unpaide.

First, I did write to his maistership a litill booke of Pheesyk, for which I had paide by Sir Thomas Leevys2.2 in Westminster


Item, I had for the wrytyng of half the prevy seale of Pampyng


Item, for the wrytynge of the seid hole prevy seale of Sir Thomas


Item, I wrote viij. of the Witnessis in parchement, but aftir xiiijd. a peece, for which I was paide of Sir Thomas


Item, while my seide maister was over the see in Midsomerterme
Calle sett me a warke to wryte two tymes the prevy seale 3 in papir, and then after cleerely in parchement

iiijs. viijd.

And also wrote the same tyme oon mo of the lengist witnessis, and other dyvers and necessary wrytyngs, for which he promisid me xs. whereof I had of Calle but iiijs. viijd. car. vs. iiijd.

vs. iiijd.

I resceyvid of Sir Thomas at Westminster, penultimo die Oct., anno viij.

iijs. iiijd.

Item, I did write to quairs of papir of witnessis, every quair conteynyng xiiij. leves after ijd. a leff

iiijs. viijd.

Item, as to the Grete Booke—First, for wrytyng of the Coronacion, and other tretys of Knyghthode, in that quaire which conteyneth a xiij. levis and more, ijd. a lef

ijs. iid.

Item, for the tretys of Werre in iiij. books, which conteyneth lx. levis aftir ijd. a leaff


Item, for Othea3.1 pistill, which conteyneth xliij. leves

viis. ijd.

Item, for the Chalengs, and the Acts of Armes which is xxviijti lefs

iiijs. viijd.

Item, for De Regimine Principum, which conteyneth xlvti leves, aftir a peny a leef, which is right wele worth

iijs. ixd.

Item, for Rubrissheyng of all the booke

iiis. iiijd.

Summa rest’

xxijs. iiijd.

Summa non solut’

xljs. jd.,
unde pro magno4.1 libro scripto xxvijs cum diu’ chal.4.2

Summa Totalis

iijli. iijs. vd.  

William Ebesham.

In further illustration of the payments made in that age for writing, etc., Sir John Fenn gives the following extracts from an original quarto MS. then in his possession, containing—

The various expences of Sir John Howard, Knight, of Stoke by Neyland, in Suffolk (afterwards Duke of Norfolk), page 136.

Item, the vijth yere of Kynge Edward the iiijth, and the xxviij. day of July (1467). My master rekened with Thomas Lympnour of Bury, and my master peid hym—

For viij. hole vynets . . . prise the vynett, xiid.,


Item, for xxj. demi vynets . . . prise the demi vynett, iiijd.


Item, for Psalmes lettres xvc. and di’ . . . the prise of C. iiijd.

vs. ijd.

Item, for p’ms letters lxiijc. . . . prise of a C., jd.


Item, for wrytynge of a quare and demi . . . prise the quayr, xxd.

ijs. vjd.

Item, for wrytenge of a calender,


Item, for iij. quayres of velym, prise the quayr, xxd.


Item, for notynge of v. quayres and ij. leves, prise of the quayr, viij[d.]

iijs. vijd.

Item, for capital drawynge iijc. and di’, the prise,


Item, for floryshynge of capytalls, vc.


Item, for byndynge of the boke,

cs. ijd.

The wyche parcellis my master paid hym this day, and he is content.

This is an account of a limner or illuminator of manuscripts, who resided at Bury.

1.1 [From Fenn, ii. 10.] By the date of one item in the account subjoined to this letter it must have been written after the year 1468, probably in the year following.

1.2 This ‘great book’ has been identified, on evidence which at first sight seems conclusive, with MS. 285 in the Lansdowne library in the British Museum. But probably this latter is only another transcript by Ebesham of a very similar volume. See Account of this MS. in ‘Sailing Directions for the Circumnavigation of England,’ published by the Hakluyt Society in 1889.

1.3 Sir Thomas Lewis, a priest.

2.1 Here (according to Fenn) follows the account as stated more at large in the subjoined Bill.

2.2 Fenn’s modern transcript reads Lewis. Is ‘Leevys’ in the other a misprint for ‘Lewys’?

3.1 Othea means a treatise on Wisdom.—F. The name is derived from the Greek Ὠ θεὰ, but was used in the Middle Ages as a proper name. See a poem beginning

‘Othea of prudence named godesse,’

mentioned in the Third Report of the Historical MSS. Commission, p. 188.

4.1 magno, ‘mo’ in Fenn.

4.2 So in Fenn. Qu. cum diurnali challengiorum? Fenn omits the whole of this clause, unde . . . . chal’, but notices its occurrence in a footnote.

In this section, many italic “d”s were misprinted as “a”. They have not been individually noted.

... the Chalengs, and the Acts of Armes which is xxviijti lefs
text has “less”; corrected from Fenn (“lefs” with “f” misread as “leſs” with long “s”)

... prise the vynett, xiid.,
anomalous final comma in original

Item, for p’ms letters lxiijc. . . . prise of a C., jd.
v iijd.

s. after “v” missing



To the worshipfull, and with alle myn hert right entierly bilovyd Sir John Paston, Knyght, this lettre be delivered.

Th’Erle of Oxinford.

JAN. 7

Right hertly welbilovyd, I grete you wele. And where I am for trowth enformyd that the Duchesse of Suffolk wolle hold a court on Monday next commyng at Coton, to th’entent that she wolle fynde the maner of Thempnals holde of hir by knyghts service and they that ben possessioners of the same shulde payle certeine of the Parke of Weverston; and by cause this is nat performyd nor don, thoo that ben possessioners shall at the said court be amersid. And it is agreed that Sir William Yelverton, Sir Thomas Hoo, shalle be at the said court and wolle pay the amercyment, and to delyver the said Duchesse possession of the said service and palyng, and so by this meane to be come tenauntes to the said Duchesse. And what wolle be falle more herof I kan nat sey. Wherfor me thinkith it were welle don ye were at the said court with your councell, and to do therin as they wolle avise you. Also as ye come to the said court take your wey by the said Duchesse to th’entent that ye come to se hir welfare, &c. Do herin as your councell wolle avyse you. I wolde ye dud welle. And to my power I wolle help you. And our Lorde kepe yow. Writyn at Tatyngston the vij. day of Januer.

Endorsed: Th’Erle off Oxenfford.

5.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] It will be seen by No. 690, that in October 1468 the Duchess of Suffolk had a design of suddenly entering the manor of Cotton and dispossessing Sir John Paston. This letter, in which it is said she proposes to hold a court there, was probably written in the beginning of the following year.



JAN. 9

W. Coting to John Cook, draper of Norwich, ‘and that he deliver or send this bill to Richard Kalle in all goodly haste, for the matter is of substance.’

This day in the grey morning three men of my Lord of Norfolk with long spears carried off three good horses from John Poleyn, ‘one of your farmers at Tichewell,’ telling him to treat with my Lord of Norfolk. Wishes to know what to do, ‘for such an open wrong unremedied knew I never.’ Saturday after Epiphany.

‘Anno viijo’ is written below.

[The signature of this letter is written in an abbreviated form, ‘W. Cot.’ According to Blomefield, W. Cotyng was rector of Titchwell from 1450 to 1457, and he had been previously rector of Swainsthorp, to which he was presented by Judge Paston in 1444. This letter is twelve years later than the date at which his incumbency of Titchwell is said to have terminated; but doubtless he is the writer. He is referred to as living even in the year 1485, in a letter written by Dame Elizabeth Browne, who says that he and James Gresham were clerks to her father Judge Paston.]

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


To our trusty and welbeloved Sir John Paston, Knight.

By the Kinge.

JAN. 18

Trusty and welbeloved, we grete yow well. And how be it that we late addressed unto yow our letters, and commanded yow by the same, for the consideracions in them conteined, to have ceased of makinge any assemblye of our people for the matter of variance 7 dependinge betwixt yow on that one partie, and our right trustie and right entirely beloved cosin the Duke of Norffolk on that other, and to have appeared before the Lords of our Councell at our Palleys of Westminster at a certeine day in our said letters specified; yett nevertheless we understonde not as yet if ye have conformed yow to the performinge of our said commandement or not. We therefore eftsones write unto yow, willing and straitly charging yow to cease of the said ryotts and assemblies; and that incontinent upon the sight of these our letters that ye dispose yow personally to appear afore the said Lords of our Councell at our said Pallis, there to answere to such thinges as in that behalfe by them shall be laid and objected against yow, not failinge hereof, all excuses laid aparte, as ye will avoide our displeasure. Yeven under our signet at our citye of Salesbury, the xviij. day of January.

6.2 This letter is reprinted from the Paston Genealogy in the Norfolk Archæology, to which we have already several times referred (see Nos. 484, 641, 643, etc.). Edward IV. was at Salisbury in January 1469, one of his privy seals being dated there on the 16th of the month.


To the ryght worshypfull and hys best betrustyd Frende, Roger Townesende.

FEB. 12

Right worshipfull sir, I comaunde me to yow, praying yow hertly to remembre that by the award made bytwen yow and me by Roger Townesend for a tenement in Stratton in Norfolk callid Rees, I shuld delyver yow all the evydens apperteynyng to the said plase, and not from thens forth to chalenge nor interupte my lady your wife ner yow of the said tenement; And that for thes said causes ye shuld and therto were agreyd to geve me an horse and xli. to an harneys. And moreovir before Cristemasse in the kynges chambre ye ther ageyn promysed me that ye wold such tyme as I send to yow home to yowre plase by any servant of myne er any man 8 from me, that ye wold delyver it hym and send it to me by hym. My brothir John hath send me word that he remembird yow therof on my behalfe and that you answerid hym that ye wold gyfe hym or me a fayre harneys at your comyng to London. I deme in yow that ye thynke par case to bye a fayre harneys here for x. markz; but, cosyn, as God help me, I bowte an harneys syn that tyme for my self, which cost me xxli. But I con not desire of yow so moch. Wherfore, cosyn, with all myn hert I pray yow accordyng to yowre promyse that it like yow to send me by my servaunt, berer herof, the said somme of xli., as my trust is in yow, and as I wolde in like case have don to yow, and as in the premysses I delt feithfully with yow and evir so shall dele, with the grase of God, Who have yow in Hys kepyng. Wretyn at London the xii. day of Feveryer.—Youris, John Paston, k.

7.1 [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 186.] This letter was probably written after the death of John Paston, the writer’s father, but the precise year is uncertain.

John Paston, k.
printed with anomalous small “k.”


To my mastyr, Sir John Paston, knyght, in Flet stret.

1468-9 (?)

Syr, &c. It is so that, with owght ye have hasty reparacyon doon at Caster, ye be lyek to have doubyll cost in hast, for the reyn hathe so moystyd the wallys in many plasys that they may not tylle the howsys tyll the wallys be reparyd; or ellys ye shall have doubyll cost for to untylle your howsys ayen at syche tyme as ye shall amend the wallys. And if it be not do thys yer, many of the wallys wyll lye in the moot or longe to; ye knowe the febyllnesse of the utter coort of old. John Pampyng hathe had hame to Caster as good as xml. tylle fyr the plase at Yermeuthe, and it wer pete that the tyll wer lost; and the lenger that it lythe unleyd the wers it wyll be. I have thys day bespok as myche lyme as wyll serve for the tyll. Wherfor I prey yow 9 remembyr the cost of the werkmanschep and purvey the money by oo mean or othyr, what shefte so evyr ye make. And, for your owne profyte, remembyr to goo thorow with Hwghe of Fen; for by my trowthe ye wyll ellys repent yow er owght longe. For bothe ye shall loose hys good wyll and lett peraventure that avantage that he myght do yow in your lond recoveryng; wher as he may do yow harme and [if] he wyll and then, to late wyse. Item, that ye remembyr your relesys and gounys of my Lord of Norffolk er ye com hom. Item, I send yow by the berer herof a lettyr dyrect to yow that a man of my Lord of Oxenfortheys delyverd me; whych lettyr comyth fro the Kyng. Item, that ye remembyr in eny wyse to serche for the fyne in syche plasys as my modyr sent you woord of in a lettyr; for myn oncyll and my grauntdam report that they have serchyd in all plasys thar as it shold be, but they can not fynd no thyng of it. Also that ye look whedyr the fyne was reryd to eny feeffeys mor then to my grauntfadyr and my grauntdam and ther issu; for and ther wer eny feoffeys namyd in the fyn, it is the bettyr for yow. My Lady and my grauntdam be com to London for the same mater; wherfor it wer well do that the jwgys wer enformyd of your mater befor they spok with theym. I prey yow hye yow hom hastyly and se your owne profyte your sylf. Pampyng and I shall clowt up your howsys as we may with the money that we have tyll more come, but ye shold do bettyr your sylf. I prey red thys byll onys on a day tyll ye have sped thes maters wretyn her in; thowe it be to your peyne to labore theym, remembyr your profyt. Nomor, &c., but God kep yow thys Lent fro lollardy of fleshe. Wretyn at Norwyche the Twysday next aftyr that I departyd fro yow. J. P.

8.1 [Add. MS. 33,597, f. 4.] The year in which this letter was written is doubtful, but it was most probably either 1468 or 1469, at the beginning of Lent.



To Sir John Paston, knyght, be this delivered in hast.


I grete you wele and send you Goddes blyssyng and myn, desiryng you to recomaund me to my brother William, and to comune with hym and your councell in such materis as I wryght to you, that ther may be purveyd be some writyng fro the Kyng that my Lord of Norffolk and his councell seas [cease] of the wast that thei done in your lordsheps, and in especiall at Heynford; for thei have felled all the wood, and this weke thei wull carie it a wey, and lete renne the wateris and take all the fyssh. And Sir William Yelverton and his sone William, John Grey and Burgeys, William Yelvertons men, have ben at Guton and takyn distresses, and with ought that [unless] thei wull pay them thei shall not set ought no plow to till there lande; thei byd them lete there land lye on tilled but if [unless] thei pay them. So that if the tenauntes have no remedy that thei may pesibily, with ought assaught or distresse takyng, be the seid Yelverton or his men, or of any other in there names, at there liberte herye there landis, with in this vij. days there tylth in the feldis be lost for all this yere and thei shall be on doon; and though ye shuld kepe it here after pesibilly ye shuld lese the ferme of this yere, for thei may not pay you but if [unless] thei may occupie there landis; thei set not so sone a plow ought at ther gatis but ther is a felesship redy to take it. And thei ride with speris and launyegays, like men of werre, so that the seid tenauntis arn a ferd to kepe there owyn howses. Therfore purvey an redy remedy, or ellis ye lese the tenauntis hertis and ye gretly hurt; for it is gret pety to here the swemefull10.2 and petowse compleyntis of the pore tenauntis that come to me for comfort and socour sometime vi. or vij. 11 to geder. Therfore, for Goddis love, se that thei ben helpyn, and desire my brothere William to geve you good concell here.

Also it is told me that my Lady of Suffolk hath promysed you here good will, if your bargayn of the mariage11.1 holdyth, to do as largely as she shall be disired, or largelyer if there be any appoyntment takyn a twix you for any materes a twyx her and you. And [i.e. if] thei wuld avyse you to geve any money to here to make here refuse or disclayme here titill, me semyth ye may wele excuse you be the money that she had last, and be the wrongis that were don be here and here men in fellyng of wood and pullyng doune of your place and logge at Heylesdon, and takyn a wey of the shep and your faderis goodis, which were takyn a wey at the pullyn don of the seid place; wheche wele considered, she were wurthy to recompense you. And [if] the Kyng and the lordis were wele enformed thei wuld considere the redilyer your hurtis. It semyth this Sir William Yelverton hath comfort that he is so bold, for [he11.2] hath ryght prowde and fowle langage and ryght slaundrows to the tenauntis, as thei have reported to me. Therfor be ryght ware that ye bynde not your self nor mak non ensurance till ye be suer of a pesibill possession of your lande; for oftyn tyme rape rueth, and whan a man hath made such a covenante he must kepith it, he may not chese; there[fore11.2] be not to hasty till your londe be clere. And labore hastly a remedy for thes premysses, or ellis Sir John Fastolffis lyvelode, though ye entre it pesibilly, shall not be worth to ye a grote this yere with ought ye wull on do your tenauntis. I pray you remembre a kerchye of Cremyll for your suster Anne. Remembre to labore some remedy for your faderis will whill my Lord of Caunterbury11.3 lyvyth, for he is an old man and he is now frendly to you and if he happed to dye, how [who] shuld come after hym ye wote never; and if he wer a nedy man, in asmych as your fader was noysed of so greet valew he wull be the mor straunge to entrete. And lete this be not for gete; for [if] ther were on [one] that aught us no good wyll he myght calle us up to make accounte of his 12 goodis, and if we had not for to showe for us where by we have occupied, he myght send doun assentence to curse us in all the diosyse and to make us to delivere his goodis; which were to us a gret shame, and a rebuke. There fore purvey hastly and wyssely therfore whill he lyvyth, and do not as ye dede whill my Lord of York12.1 was Chanceller make delays, for if ye had labored in his tyme as ye have do sith, ye had be thurgh in your materis; be ware be that, and lete slauth nomor take you in such diffaught; thynk of after clappes and have provysion in all your work, and ye shall do the better. God kepe you. Wretyn on Myd Lent Sonday in hast. Be your moder, M. P.

10.1 [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 202.] This letter must have been written in 1469, after the Duke of Norfolk and Sir William Yelverton had taken possession of Fastolf’s lands.

10.2 swemeful, sorrowful.—Halliwell.

11.1 With Anne Haute.

11.2 Omitted in MS.

11.3 Cardinal Bourchier.

12.1 George Nevill, Archbishop of York. He surrendered the Great Seal on the 8th June 1467.

ride with speris and launyegays
text unchanged; expected form is “launzegays” (launȝegays)



To all cristen men to whom this present writyng shall come, Thomas, by the providence of God, Preeste Cardinall Archiebisshopp of Caunterbury, Primat of all Inglond and Legat of the Appostallic See, gretyng. Where now late Alice, Duchesse of Suffolk, come to us and desirid of us to dismysse us of oure estate and to enseall a deed of a relees of the maner of Haylysdon with the appurtenaunce in the counte of Norffolk; which we denyed, in as myche as wee stode infeoffyd in the seid maner with othirs to the use of Sir John Paston knyght, sone and heire to John Paston sqwyer; to the whiche the seid Duchesse replied, seying and affermyng that she was accordyd and agreed with the seid Sir John Paston by the meane of the ryght Reverent fader in God, George Archebysshop of York, and that the seid Sir John Paston was fully assented and agreed that the seid Duchesse shuld have the seid manere wyth th’appurtenaunce to hir, hir 13 heyris and assignes for ever more, and that all the feoffees enfeoffid and seisid in the seid manere wyth the appurtenaunce shuld relees and make astate to hir or such as shee wolde assigne of the seid manere wyth th’appurtenaunce; the wehych we answerde and seid upon condicion that the seid Sir John Paston weere so agreed we wold relees wyth a goodwyll, and els not; and yff so were that we cowde understand hereafter by the seid Right reverent Fadir in God, George Archebisshop of York, or by the seid Sir John Paston, that ther ware noon such accorde made by twex the seid Duchesse and the seid Sir John, that than oure deed and relees by us so ensealed off the seid maner wyth th’appurtenaunce shuld stond as voyd, and of no force nor effecte; to the wehyche the seid Duches agreed, and prayd us that we wold sealle hir a deed of the same maner, wyche shee had theere redy, uppon the same condicion and uppon noone other. And wee than, at hir specyall request upon the condicion aforeseyd rehersid, sealid the seyd deed and delyvered it; and the seid Duchesse at the same tyme promitted us that she wold use and kepe the seid writyng noo notherwise, nor to noon othir use but uppon the same condicion as is aforeseid. In witnesse whereoff, to this oure present writyng we have sette oure seall.

12.2 [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 127.] From what Margaret Paston writes to her son Sir John in the end of the last letter about his father’s will, and also from what she says a little later about the Duchess of Suffolk (see page 15), we may assign this document with great probability to the year 1469.


To myght’ well belovyd brother, John Paston, or to John Dawbeney, in his absence.


Ryght worschypful and well belovyd brother, I comand me to yow, letyng you wete that Sir Thomas Howes hadde a free chapell at Castr, wher of the gyfte longyth to me, whyche chapell, as I understande, scholde be in the olde tyme, er the place at Caster wer bylte, with in the motte, wherfor 14 I ame but the better pleased; and soo it is now that at the speciall request of the Qwen and other especiall good Lordes of myn, I have gevyn it to the berer her of, callyd Master John Yotton, a chapleyn of the Qwenys. Neverthelle[ss] in tyme passyd I proposyd that the master of the colegg scholde have hadd it, and so er longe to I hope he schall, wherfor I thynke he most take possession, and that is the cawse of hys comyng. Wherfor I pray yow make hym good cher. He is informyd that it scholde be worthe Cs. be yer, whyche I belyve not; I thynke it der jnow xls. by yeer. He most have it as it was hadde befor.

Item, thys daye I understonde that ther be comen letteris from my moder and yow, and Dawbeney, wherin I schall sende yow answer when I have seyn them.

No mor at this tyme, for within this iij. dayes I shall lette yow have kneleche of other maters.

Wretyn the xviij. day of Marche.

Whether he nedyth indoccion, or institucion, or non, I wot not; if it nede, brother, ye may seale any suche thynge as well as I. Master Stevyn kan tell all suche thynges. John Paston, K.

13.1 [From Fenn, iv. 308.] Sir Thomas Howes appears to have died in the latter part of the year 1468. Before the end of that year his living of Pulham was vacant, and his death is alluded to in a letter of Margaret Paston’s, written on the 30th September 1469, as having occurred ‘within this twelvemonth.’ It would appear by the following extract, quoted by Fenn, from the Institution Books of the Bishop of Norwich, that Sir John’s presentation referred to in this letter was not allowed, or was not made out in time, and that the Bishop presented by a lapse:—

‘Cantaria in Cayster-hall.

‘Lib. xi. p. 170, 21 March 1468. Mr. Joh’es Yetton, S.T.P. ad col. Ep’i. per laps’.’

[Sidenote] MARCH 17
printed as shown, but text of letter says “xviij” (18)


To Sir John Paston.


I grete you wele, and send you Godds blissyng and myn, thankyng you for my seall that ye sent me; but I am right sory that ye dede so grete cost ther up on, for on of xld. should have served me right wele. Send me ward 15 what it cost you, and I shall send you money therfor. I send you a letter be a man of Yarmoth; send me word if ye have it, for I marveyll ye sent me non answer ther of be Juddy.

I have non very knowleche of your ensuraunce [engagement], but if ye be ensured I pray God send you joy and wurchep to geder, and so I trost ye shull have, if it be as it is reported of her15.1; and a nemps God, ye arn as gretly bownd to her as ye were maried, and therfor I charge you up on my blissyng, that ye be as trew to her as she wer maried on to you in all degrees, and ye shall have the mor grace and the better spede in all other thyngs.

Also, I wuld that ye shuld not be to hasty to be maried til ye wer more suer of your lyvelode, for ye must remembr what charge ye shall have, and if ye have not to mayntene it, it wull be gret rebuke; and therfor labour that ye may have releses of the londs, and be in more suerte of your lond, or than ye be maried.

The Duchesse of Suffolk15.2 is at Ewhelm, in Oxford shir, and it is thought be your frends her that it is do that she myght be ferr and ought of the wey, and the rather feyne excuse be cause of age or sikenesse, and if that the Kyng wuld send for her for your maters.

Your elmyse [enemies] be as bold her as thei wer befor, wherfor I can not thynk but that thei have sume comfort. I sent to Cayster that thei shuld be war in kepyng of the place, as ye dede wright to me. Hast you to spede your maters as spedily ye can, that ye may have lesse felesshep at Cayster, for the expences and costs be grete, and ye have no nede therof and [if] ye remembre you wele what charges ye have beside, and how your liffelode is dispoyled and wasted by your adversaries.

Also I wuld ye shuld purvey for your suster15.3 to be with 16 my Lady of Oxford,16.1 or with my Lady of Bedford,16.2 or in sume other wurchepfull place, wher as ye thynk best, and I wull help to her fyndyng, for we be eyther of us werye of other. I shall tell you more whan I speke with you. I pray you do your devyr her in as ye wull my comfort and welefar, and your wurchep, for diverse causes which ye shall understand afterward, &c.

I spake with the Lord Skales at Norwich, and thanked hym for the good lordshep that he had shewed to you, and desired his Lordship to be your contynuall good lord; and he swore be his trought he wold do that he myght do for you; and he told me that Yelverton the Justice had spoke to hym in your maters, but he told me not what; but I trow, and ye desired hym to telle you, he wuld. Ye ar be holdyng to my Lord of his good report of you in this contre, for he reported better of you than I trow ye deserve. I felt be hym that ther hath be profered hym large proferes on your adversaries parte ageyn you.

Send me word as hastly as ye may after the begynnyng of the terme, how ye have sped in all your maters, for I shall thynk right long till I her sume good tidyngs.

Item, I pray you recomaund me to the good mayster16.3 that ye gaffe to the chapell of Cayster, and thank hym for the gret cost that he dede on me at Norwych; and if I wer a grette lady he shuld understand that he shuld far the better for me, for me semyth be his demenyng he shuld be right a good man.

Item, I send you the nowche16.4 with the dyamaunch, be the berer herof. I pray yow forgate not to send me a kersche16.5 of Cr’melle for nekkerchys for your syster Anne, for I am 17 schente of the good lady that sche is with, be cawse she hathe non, and I can non gette in all thys towne.

I xuld wrythe mor to yow but for lakke of leyser. God have yow in Hys kepyng, and send yow good spede in alle your maters. Wryten in haste on Eestern Munday. Be your Moder.

14.1 [From Fenn, iv. 312.] Allusion is made in this and the next letter to the expected visit of Edward IV. to Norfolk in 1469. Owing to the proposed marriage of Sir John Paston with his kinswoman, Anne Haute, Lord Scales appears at this time to have interested himself in Sir John’s behalf. On the back of this letter, as Fenn tells us, is a note: ‘The L. Scales is now frend to Sr. J. Paston.’ But the handwriting is not contemporaneous.

15.1 The lady here referred to is Anne Haute.

15.2 Alice, widow of William de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk.

15.3 This was most probably Margery Paston, with whom the whole family were, very soon after the writing of this letter, so much displeased for having without their consent contracted herself in marriage to Richard Calle.—F.

16.1 Elizabeth, the daughter of Sir John Howard, Knight, and widow of John de Vere, Earl of Oxford, who was beheaded in 1461-2.—F.

16.2 See vol. iv. p. 188, Note 3.

16.3 Dr. John Yotton. See No. 703.

16.4 An ouch is a collar of gold, formerly worn by women; a gold button, set with some jewel, is likewise so called, and that most probably was the ornament here mentioned to be sent to Sir John by his mother; we may suppose it was intended as a present to his betrothed bride.—F.

16.5 A kersche of Cr’melle, perhaps means a kerchief of Cremell, crewel or worsted, to be made into neck-handkerchiefs for her daughter Anne, who appears to have been for education and board with some lady of consequence.—F.


To Master Syr John Paston.


Syr, I pray yow recomand me to my Lord Scalys good lordshep, and to let hym weet that, in lyek wyse as hys Lordshep gave me in comandement, I have enqweryd what the gentyllmanys answer was that my Lord of Norffolk sent to to awayte up on hym at the Kyngs comyng in to thys contre. Hys answer was to my Lord of Norfolks messenger, that he had promysyd my Lord Scalys to awayte up on hym at the same seson, and in as myche as he had promysyd my Lord Scalys, he wold not false hys promesse for no man on lyve. I fond the menys that the seyd gentylemanys wyfe mevyd hyr husbend with the same mater as thow she had axyd hym of hyr awne hed, and he told hyr that he had gevyn thys answer. Thys gentylman is Sir William Calthorp;17.2 but I pray yow tell my Lord Scalys that ye undyrstand not who it is, for he preyid me to be secret ther in.

I pray with all my hart, hye yow hom in hast, for we thynk longe tyll ye coome. And I pray yow send me woord whedyr ye shall be mad a Crysten man or ye com home, or nowt; and if so be that ye send eny man hom hastly, I pray yow send me an hat and a bonet by the same man, and let hym bryng the hat upon hys hid for mysfacyonyng of it. I have 18 ned to bothe, for I may not ryd nor goo owt at the doorys with non that I have, they be so lewde [shabby]. A murry bonet, and a blak or a tawny hat. And God send yow your desyr. Wretyn at Caster, the viij. day of Apryll. Your J. Paston.

17.1 [From Fenn, iv. 318.] For the date of this letter see preliminary note to the last (p. 14, Note 1).

17.2 Sir William Calthorpe, Knight, had been High Sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk, both in this and the preceding reign, and died very old in 1494. His second wife was Elizabeth, daughter and co-heir of Sir Miles Stapleton, Knight, of Ingham.—F.

[Sidenote] APRIL 7
printed as shown, but text of letter says “viij” (8)




Wyrshypfull and my ryght gode frend, I comaund me to you. And where as I am enformed that my Lorde of Norffolk pretendeth title to serteyn londys of Sir John Pastons whych were late of Sir John Fastolf, it is sayd that by the comaundement and supportacyon of my sayd Lord, sertayn hys servaunts felleth wode, maketh grete wast, and destrayned the tenants of the seyd lands, to the grete damage of the seyd Sir John Paston and hys sayd tenants; and also that my sayd Lord entendyth to entre sertayn places of the same. And for asmoch as maryage ys fully concluded by twyx the seyd Sir John Paston and on of my nerrest kynneswomen, I dout not that your reason wele conceyveth that nature must compelle me the rather to shewe my gode wylle, assystens, and favour unto the seyd Sir John in such thyngs as concerne hys enherytans. And because I am on of my said Lordys councayll, and must and will tendre hys honour, I hertely pray you that it may lyke you to advertyse and avyse my sayd Lord and yourys, that all such entres, fellyng of wode, destraynyngs of tenants, and all such maters lyke touchyng the sayd londes or any part 19 of them, be cessyd unto such tyme as a resonabell meane may be founde by my sayd Lords counsayll, my Lord my faders19.1 and other cousyns and frendes of my seyd kynneswoman thys next terme, as may be to my sayd Lordys honour, and to the savyng of the ryght tytle of the seyd Sir John Paston.

Over thys I pray you that ye wille enforme my gode frend James Hobard of the premysses, that he may advertyse my seyd Lord in lyke wyse; and that ye will yeve credens unto William Paston, and I shal be welwilled to do that may be to your plesur, with Godds mercy.

Fro Westmynstre, the x. day of Apryll.

18.1 [From Fenn, iv. 322.] This and the following letter were printed by Fenn from contemporaneous copies, written on the same paper without signature or address. On the back, however, is the following memorandum:—‘Copea litērz Dñi de Scales;’ to which has been added in a later handwriting: ‘ad Conciliū Duc’ Norff’ et aliis (sic) in favore J. Paston mil. eo quod maritaret cognatā suam Annā Hawte.’ The date is clearly in the year 1469, when the Duke of Norfolk laid claim to Caister.

19.1 Richard Woodville, Earl Rivers.



Ryght trusty and welbelovyd, I grete you well. And for asmoch as a maryage ys fully concluded bytwyx Sir John Paston and my ryght nere kynneswoman Hawte, I will that ye and all other my servaunts and tenants understand that my Lord, my fader,19.3 and I must of nature and reason shewe unto hym our gode assystens and favour in such maters as he shall have a doo. Wherfor I pray you hertely that ye will take the labour to come to Norwych, to comen with William Paston, and to yeve credens unto hym in such maters as he shall enforme you of myne entent, and of sertayn persones with whom ye shall comen by th’avyse of the seyd William Paston, of such maters as touch the sayd Sir John Paston; prayng you to tendre thys mater as ye wolde do myne owne.

Fro Westmynstre, the x. day of Aprill.

19.2 [From Fenn, iv. 324.] See preliminary note to the last letter (p. 18, Note 1).

19.3 See Note 1, supra.

[Sidenote] 1469 / APRIL 10
sidenote missing in original: date supplied from body of letter




Citation by Thomas, Cardinal Archbishop of Canterbury, to William [Waynflete], Bishop of Winchester, and John Beauchamp, Knight, Lord Beauchamp, to appear before the Archbishop in fifteen days after being summoned, and take upon them the charge of the execution of Sir John Fastolf’s will, if they so will to do.

Lambeth, 5th May 1469, in the 15th year of the Archbishop’s translation.

[The MS. belongs to the Castle Combe Collection.]

20.1 [Add. Charter, 18,249, B.M.]


To my right trusty and welbeloved Sir John Paston.



Right trusty and welbeloved, I grete you hertely well, and sende you by Thomas your childe, prayng you to spare me as for eny more at this tyme, and to hold you content with thessame, as my singlr truste is in you; and I shalle within bref tyme ordeigne and purveye for you such as shalbe unto your pleasir, with the grace of Almightty God, who have you in His proteccion and keping.

Writen in the manoir of the Mor20.3 the vijth daye of Maye. G. Eborac.

20.2 [From Fenn, ii. 34.] This letter was almost certainly written between the years 1467 and 1469, and is not unlikely to be of the latter year, before the Nevills and the Archbishop had come to be regarded as open enemies of Edward IV.

20.3 The Moor in Hertfordshire, a seat of Archbishop Nevill.




Syr, plesyth it to undyrstand, that I conceyve, by your lettyr whyche that ye sent me by Jwde, that ye have herd of R. C.21.2 labor whyche he makyth by our ungracyous sustyrs21.3 assent; but wher as they wryet that they have my good wyll ther in, savyng your reverence, they falsly lye of it, for they never spake to me of that mater, ner non othyr body in ther name. Lovell axyd me onys a qwestyon whedyr that I undyrstood how it was betwyx R. C. and my suster. I can thynk that it was by Callys menys, for when I axyd hym whedyr C. desyird hym to meve me that qwestyon or not, he wold have gotyn it aweye by humys and by hays, but I wold not so be answeryd; wherfor at the lest he told me that hys oldest sone desyird hym to spere [inquire] whedyr that R. C. wes swyr of hyr or nowt, for he seyd that he knew a good maryage for hyr, but I wot he lyeyd, for he is hole with R. Cale in that mater. Wherfor to the entent that he nor they sholl pyck no comfort of me, I answerd hym, that and my fadyr, whom God asoyle, wer a lyve, and had consentyd ther to, and my modyr, and ye bothe, he shold never have my good wyll for to make my sustyr to selle kandyll and mustard in Framlyngham; and thus, wythe mor whyche wer to longe to wryet to you, we departyd.

And wher as it plesythe you in your lettyr to crye me mercy for that ye sent me not syche ger as I sent yow mony for, I crye yow mercy that I was so lewde [bold] to encomber yow with eny so sympyll a mater, consyderyng the grette maters and weyghty that ye have to doo; but need compellyd 22 me, for in thys contre is no syche stuffe as I sent to yow for.

Also, wher as it plesyth yow to send to Rychard Calle to delyver me monye, so God help me, I wyll non axe hym for my sylfe, nor non had I of hym, nor of non othyr man but of myne owne, syne ye depertyd; but that lytyll that I myght forbere of myne owne, I have delyveryd to Dawbeney for howsold, and pay it for yow in menys wagys; and ther for who ever sendys yow word that I have spent yow eny mony syne ye went hens, they must geve yow an othyr reknyng, savyng in met and drynk, for I eete lyek an horse, of purpose to eete yow owte at the dorys. But that nedythe not, for ye com not within them; wherfor, so God help me, the felaushep her thynkys that ye have forgetyn us alle. Wherfor and eny thyng be ille rewlyd when ye come home, wyet it [impute it to] your selfe for defawt of oversyght.

Also, I undyrstand for verry se[r]teyn, and it is sent me so woord owt of my Lordys howse, that thys Pentcost is my Lordys consell at Framlyngham, and they purpose thys week and the next to hold coortys her at Caster, and at all othyr maners that wer Sir John F.,22.1 and purchasyd of Yelverton and of Syr T. H.,22.2 whom God asoyle, and how that my demenyng sholbe, it is to late to send to yow for avyse; wherfor, and I do well I axe no thank, and if I do ille, I pray yow leythe the defawt on over lytyll wyte, but I purpose to use the fyrst poynt of hawkyng, to hold fast and I maye; but so God help me, and they myght pulle downe the howse on our hedys, I wyet [blame] hem not, whyche I trust to God to help hem from; for by God that bowght me, the best Erle in Inglond wold not dele so with my Lord and my Lady as ye do, withowt makyng of some menys to them; so God help me, whoso ever avyse yow to do so, he is not your frend. And I may, I trust to God to se yow abowght Mydsomer or befor, for in good feythe I wene ye purpose yow that it shall be Estern er ye come hom, for all your servants her wen [here ween] that ye purpose ne more to dele with them, but to leve hem her [here] in ostage to my Lord of Norfolk.


Also, syr, I pray yow purvey what Ine that my brodyr Edmund shall be in, for he losythe sore hys tyme her, I promyse yow; I pray yow send me word by the next messenger that comyth, and I shall eythyr send hym or bryng hym up with me to London.

Also, syr, we pore sanz deners of Castr have brook iij. or iiij. stelle bowys; wherfor we beseche yow, and ther be eny maker of steele bowys in London whyche is very kunnyng, that ye wyll send me woord, and I shall send yow the bowys that be broken, whyche be your owne greet bowe, and Roberd Jacksonys bowe, and Johon Pampyngs bowe; thes iij. have kast so many calvys, that they shall never cast qwarellys23.1 tyll they be new mad.

I praye yow fynd the menys that my Lord have some resonable meane profyrd, so that he and my Lady may undyrstand that ye desyr to have hys good lordshep. I promyse yow it shall do yow ease and your tenaunts bothe, and God preserve. J. P.

21.1 [From Fenn, iv. 344.] This letter appears by the contents to have been written a little before Whitsuntide after the death of Sir Thomas Howes, and when the Duke of Norfolk was preparing to make good a claim to the manor of Caister, which, as we shall see, he regularly besieged and took in September 1469. The date is therefore certain.

21.2 Richard Calle’s

21.3 Margery Paston.

22.1 Fastolf’s.

22.2 Sir Thomas Howes.

23.1 See vol. ii. p. 101, Note 3.

Footnote 21.2:
Richard Calle’s.
final . missing or invisible


To the right worshipful Sir John Paston knyght be this delivered.


Right worshipfull Sire, I recommaunde me to you, &c., certefying you for certeyn that the kyng sent a lettre unto my Lord of Norffolk for to contenue all maner of materes unto suche tyme as he sholl take a direction therin, as I am enformed by Master Haute, and by a messenger of his owne [it was sent23.3], &c. Acordyng to the same entent and 24 the rehersall by estimacion by cause the Secretary of his Clerkes was with the Kyng the Quene hath sent a24.1 lettre unto my Lady of Norffolk and a nother lettre unto my Lady of Suffolk the elder, desyeryng theym to common with my lordis that all such materis as the Kyng wrote unto them fore mabe kept so that no defaute be founden in them, as ye may understand by youre lettre sent frome the Quene, &c. Also Roger Ree the Shirereve of the Shire wilbe at Caster, as my Lord Tresourer told me, upon Tuesday or Wedynsday, to se that goode rule be kept. Also my Lord of York24.2 sendis you a lettre, &c. My Lord Scalez is with the Kyng, &c. I take unto the brynger herof xxs. that is sufficaunt as he wille telle you, also the secretarye, vjs. viijd. As for all othere materes for haste I contenue unto that I may have leyser to write to you. I pray you to recommaunde me to my mastres your moder. At London upon Sonday in hast. Robert Browne.

The letter is endorsed in another hand:—

‘The Counsell of my Lord of Suffolk, Robert Harlesdon. The Counsell of my Lord of Norffolk, Sir Thomas Walgrave, knyght [sergeant at] lawe and Richard Southwell and to everiche of them.’

23.2 [Add. MS. 33,889, f. 70.] The date of this letter is fixed by Roger Ree being Sheriff of Norfolk, which he was from November 1468 to November 1469. The time would seem to be April or May 1469, when the Duke of Norfolk was proposing to take forcible possession of Caister.

23.3 These words are interlined before ‘&c.,’ but possibly are intended to be read with the next sentence, which is difficult to construe, there being no punctuation in the MS.

24.1 Before the word ‘a’ ‘nothere’ is interlined, probably by inadvertence.

24.2 Archbishop Nevill.


Richard Calle to Sir John Paston

MAY 22

I would have been with you on Sunday before Ascension Day, had I received any command to that effect. Henry Wheler told me my day of the surety of peace was quindena Trinitatis, ‘and thereof he made me a bill. He is foully to blame to serve me so.’ I am much bound to you, nevertheless, for the safeguard of my sureties. Gives an account of monies disbursed since parting with Sir John at London. Repaid ‘my mistress’ 66s. 8d., part of 100s. she lent for Mariot’s matter. Paid Dawbeney for household since Midlent, 30s. Received from the farmer of the dairy, £11, 11s. 4d. 25 Delivered ‘to the master of the college onward for his hire,’ 50s. Has received of Paston’s ‘lifelode’ since he came from London but £18, 10s. Has spent £12, 10s. more than he received, and has borrowed of John Wellys and others. Could borrow nothing of Mr. William. ‘And of all this twelvemonth I have not had one penny for my wages. There is none of them that hath purveyed nor chevised have so much as I have done. Here is no man paid of their wages, but all spent in household.’ Cannot get a penny in all Suffolk or Flegge, of Paston’s ‘lifelode,’ nor in Boyton nor Heyneford. Can get money only at Gughton, which I must gather myself, for the bailiff will not come there. Much malt made, which had better be sold to pay the men’s wages, who complain grievously, ‘and the master of the college and Sir John Stille both.’ Will obtain for Dawbeney in ten days 6 or 7 marks more, which should keep the household for the next seven or eight weeks. The price of malt is but 20d. a quarter, but it would be better to sell some than that the men should be unpaid. Wonders he has no word from him about letting Spoorle. Cannot give Mariot an estate in Bekham as Paston directs, for Paston has the deed which James Andrewes sealed, but will talk with him and see how he is disposed; for it would be well that Paston were through with him. He is not trusty, but seeks pretexts for delay. Jekson’s crossbow is broken. Shall he send it to London to be mended?

Caster, Monday in Pentecost week.

[The mention of Jekson’s crossbow being broken proves this letter to be of the year 1469. Compare No. 710, p. 23.]

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



Myn owne lady and mastres, and be for God very trewe wyff, I with herte full sorowefull recomaunde me unto you, as he that can not be mery, nor nought shalbe tyll it be othewise with us then it is yet, for thys lyf that we lede nough is nowther plesur to Godde nor to the worlde, consederyng the gret bonde of matrymonye that is made be twix us, and also the greete love that hath be, and as I truste yet is be twix us, and as on my parte never gretter; wherfor I beseche Almyghty Godde comfort us as sone as it 26 plesyth Hym, for we that ought of very ryght to be moost to gether ar moost asondre; me semyth it is a mll. [thousand] yere a goo son that I speke with you. I had lever thenne all the goode in the worlde I myght be with you. Alas, alas! goode lady, full litell remembre they what they doo that kepe us thus asunder; iiij. tymes in the yere ar they a cursid that lette matrymonye; it causith many men to deme in hem they have large consyence in other maters as wele as herin. But what lady suffre as ye have do; and make you as mery as ye can, for I wys, lady, at the longe wey Godde woll of Hys ryght wysnes helpe Hys servants that meane truly, and wolde leve accordyng to Hes lawys, &c.

I undrestende, lady, ye have hadde asmoche sorwe for me as any gentelwoman hath hadde in the worlde, aswolde Godd all that sorwe that ye have hadde had rested upon me, so that ye hadde be discharged of it, for I wis, lady, it is to me a deethe to her that ye be entreted other wise thene ye ought to be. This is a peyneful lyfe that we lede. I can not leve thus withoute it be a gret displesure to Godde.

Also like you to wete that I had sent you a letter be my ladde from London, and he tolde me he myght not speeke with you, ther was made so gret awayte upon hym and upon you boothe. He told me John Threscher come to hym in your name, and seide that ye sent hym to my ladde for a letter or a token, weche I shulde have sent you, but he truste hym not; he wold not delyver hym noon. After that he brought hym a rynge, seyng that ye sent it hym, comaundyng hym that he schulde delyver the letter or token to hym, weche I conceyve sethen be my ladde it was not be your sendyng, it was be my mastres and Sir Jamys26.1 a vys. Alas, what meane they? I suppose they deeme we be not ensuryd to gether, and if they so doo I merveyll, for thene they ar not wele avised, remembryng the pleynes that I breke to my mastres at the begynnyng, and I suppose be you bothe, and ye dede as ye ought to do of very ryght; and if ye have do the contrare, as I have be enformed ye have do, ye dede nouther concyensly nor to the plesure of Godde, withoute ye dede it for feere, and 27 for the tyme to please suche as were at that tyme a boute you; and if ye so dede it for this service it was a resonable cause, consederyng the grete and importable callyng upon that ye hadde, and many an on trewe tale was made to you of me, weche God knowt I was never gylty of.

My ladde tolde me that my mastres your modre axyd hym if he hadde brought any letter to you, and many other thyngs she bare hym on hande,27.1 and a monge all other at the last she seide to hym that I wolde not make her prevy to the begynnyng, but she supposyd I wolde at the endyng; and as to that, God knowt sche knewe furst of me and non other. I wott not what her mastreschip meneth, for be my trowthe ther is no gentylwoman on lyve that my herte tendreth more then it dothe her, nor is lother to displese, savyng only your person, weche of very ryght I ought to tendre and love beste, for I am bounde therto be the lawe of Godde, and so wol do whyle that I leve, what so ever falle of it. I supose, and ye telle hem sadly the trouthe, they wold not dampne ther soules for us; though I telle hem the trouthe they woll not be leve me as weele as they woll do you; and ther for, goode lady, at the reverence of Godde be pleyne to hem and telle the trouthe, and if they woll in no wise agree therto, betwix God, the Deelf, and them be it, and that perell that we schuld be in, I beseche Godde it may lye upon them and not upon us. I am hevy and sory to remembre ther disposicion, God sende them grace to gyde all thyngs weele, as wele I wolde they dede; Godde be ther gide, and sende them peas and reste, &c.

I mervell moche that they schulde take this mater so heedely as I undrestonde they doo, remembryng it is in suche case as it can not be remedyed, and my desert upon every be halfe it is for to be thought ther shulde be non obstacle a yenst it; and also the worchipfull that is in them, is not in your mariage, it is in ther owne mariage, weche I beseche Godde sende hem suche as may be to ther worschip and plesur to Godde, and to ther herts ease, for ell[es] were it gret pety. Mastres, I am aferde to write to you, for I undrestonde ye have schewyd my letters that I have sent you be for this tyme; 28 but I prey you lete no creatur se this letter. As sone as ye have redde it lete it be brent, for I wolde no man schulde se it in no wise; ye had no wrytyng from me this ij. yere, nor I wolle not sende you no mor, therfor I remytte all this matre to your wysdom. Almyghty Jesu preserve, kepe, and [give] you your hertys desire, weche I wotte weele schulde be to Goods plesur, &c.

Thys letter was wreten with as greete peyne as ever wrote I thynge in my lyfe, for in goode feyth I have be ryght seke, and yet am not veryly weele at ease, God amend it, &c.

25.1 [From Fenn, iv. 350.] This letter was evidently written about the same period as No. 710. The original appears to have had no address, although Fenn prints one in the right-hand copy; but on the back was the following memorandum, evidently not quite contemporary: ‘Litera Ric’i Calle Margeriæ Paston filiæ Joh’is Paston ar’i quam postea duxit in uxorem.’

26.1 Sir James Gloys, a priest.

27.1 See vol. ii. p. 110, Note 1.

me semyth it is a mll. [thousand]
final italic “d” misprinted as “a”


To my worchypfull brother, Sir John Paston, be thys byll delyvered in hast.

MAY 22

Ryght worchipfull brother, I recomaund me onto you, lettyng you to wytte, that my Lorde Stafford28.2 was made Erle of Deveneschere apon Sonday; and as for the Kyng, as I understond, he departyt [departeth] to Walsynggame apon Fryday com vij. nygth, and the Quene also, yf God send hyr good hele.

And as for the Kyng [he] was apoyntyd to goo to Calys, and now hyt ys pute of. And also as for the goyng to the see, my Lord of Warwyke schyppys gothe to the see, as I understond. None other tydynggys I can none wryte unto you, but Jesu have you in Hys kepyng.

Wretyn at Wyndysore on Monday after Whytsonday, in hast, &c. By your brother, James Hawte.

28.1 [From Fenn, ii. 16.] The King’s visit to Norfolk and the creation of Lord Stafford as Earl of Devonshire both fix the date of this letter as 1469. The writer seems to be the brother of Anne Hawte, to whom Sir John Paston was engaged, and he accordingly calls him his brother.

28.2 Humphrey Stafford, Lord Stafford of Southwick, was created Earl of Devonshire on Sunday, 7th May 1469; so that the writer ought to have said, not ‘upon Sunday,’ but ‘upon Sunday fortnight.’



To my Modr, and to my brother, John Paston.


Brother, it is so that the Kyng schall come in to Norffolk in hast, and I wot nat whethyr that I may come with hym or nowt; if I come I most do make a livere of xxti gownes, whyche I most pyke owt by your advyse; and as for clothe for suche persones as be in that contre, if it myght be had ther at Norwyche, or not, I wot not; and what persones I am not remembryd.

If my modre be at Caster, as ther schall be no dowt for the kepyng of the place whyl the Kynge is in that contre, that I may have the most parte at Caster; and whether ye woll offre your selfe to wayte uppon the Lorde of Norfolk or not, I wolde ye dyde that best wer to do; I wolde do my Lorde plesur and servyse, and so I wolde ye dyde, if I wyst to be sur of hys gode lordeschyp in tyme to kome. He schall have CC. in a lyverye blewe and tawny, and blew on the leffte syde, and bothe darke colors.

I pray yow sende me worde, and your advyse by Judd of what men and what horse I cowde be purveyd off, if so be that I most nedys kome, and of your advyse in all thyngs be wryghtyng, and I schall send yow hastely other tydyngs. Late Sorell be well kept. John Paston, Kt.

29.1 [From Fenn, ii. 22.] This letter must have been written in the beginning of June 1469. Edward IV., as appears by the dates of his privy seals, was at Windsor on the 29th May and at Norwich on the 19th June in that year. Fenn says he was also in Norfolk in the year 1474, but I can find no evidence of the fact.




To begyn, God yeld yow for my hatys. The Kyng hathe ben in this contre, and worchepfully receyvyd in to Norwyche, and had ryght good cher and gret gyftys in thys contre, wherwythe he holdyth hym so well content that he wyll hastyly be her agayn, and the Qwen allso, with whom, by my power avyse, ye shall com, if so be that the terme be do by that tym that she com in to this contre. And as for yowr maters her, so God help me, I have don as myche as in me was, in laboryng of theym, as well to my Lord Revers30.2 as to my Lord Scalys,30.3 Syr John Wydwyll,30.4 Thomas Wyngfeld, and othyr abowt the Kyng. And as for the Lord Revers, he seyd to myn oncyll William, Fayrfax, and me, that he shold meve the Kyng to spek to the two Dukys of Norffolk and Suffolk, that they shold leve of ther tytyls of syche lond as wer Syr John Fastolfs. And if so be that they wold do nowt at the Kyngs reqwest, and then the Kyng shold comand theym to do no wasts, nor mak non assawtys nor frayis upon your tenants nor plasys, tyll syche tym as the lawe hathe determynd with yow or ayenst yow; this was seyd by hym the sam day in the mornyng that he depertyd at noon. Whedyr he meved the Kyng with it or nowt I can not sey, myn oncyll Wyllyam thynkys naye. And the same aftyr none folowyng I told my Lord Scalys that I had spokyn with my Lord hys fadyr, in lyek forme as I 31 have rehersyd, and axyd hym whedyr that my Lord hys fadyr had spokyn to the Kyng or nowt, and he gave me thys answer, that whedyr he had spokyn to the Kyng or nowt, that the mater shold do well inow.

Thomas Wygfeld told me, and swore on to me, that when Brandon meuvyd the Kyng, and besowght hym to shew my Lord favour in hys maters ayenst yow, that the Kyng seyd on to hym ayen, ‘Brandon, thow thou can begyll the Dwk of Norffolk, and bryng hym abow the thombe as thow lyst, I let the wet thow shalt not do me so; for I undyrstand thy fals delyng well inow.’ And he seyd on to hym, more over, that if my Lord of Norffolk left not of hys hold of that mater, that Brandon shold repent itt, every vayn in hys hert, for he told hym that he knew well inow that he myght reauyll [rule] my Lord of Norffolk as he wold; and if my Lord dyd eny thyng that wer contrary to hys lawys, the Kyng told hym he knew well inow that it was by no bodys menys but by hys; and thus he depertyd fro the Kyng.

Item, as by wordys, the Lord Scalys and Syr John Wydwyll tok tendyr your maters mor then the Lord Revers.

Item, Syr John Wydvyll told me, when he was on horsbak at the Kyngs depertyng, that the Kyng had comandyd Brandon of purpose to ryd forthe fro Norwych to Lyne, for to tak a conclusyon in your mater for yow; and he bad me that I shold cast no dowghtys but that ye shold have your entent, and so dyd the Lord Scalys also; and when that I preyd them at eny tyme to shew ther favor to your mater, they answered that it was ther mater as well as yours, consyderyng, the alyans31.1 betwyx yow. Comon with Jakys Hawt, and he shall tell yow what langage was spekyn betwen the Duk of Suffolks consell, and hym, and me; it is to long to wryght, but I promyse yow ye ar be held to Jakys, for he sparyd not to spek.

Item, the Kyng rod thorow Heylysdon Waren towads Walsyngham, and Thomas Wyngfeld promysyd me that he wold fynd the menys that my Lord of Glowsestyr31.2 and hym sylf bothe shold shew the Kyng the loge that was breke down, 32 and also that they wold tell hym of the brekyng down of the plase. Contrary to thys maters, and all the comfort that I had of my Lord Scalys, Sir John Wydvyll, and Thomas Wyngfeld, myn oncyll Wylliam sethe that the Kyng told hym hys owne mowthe, when he had redyn for by the loge in Heylysdon Waren, that he supposyd as well that it myght fall downe by the self as be plukyd downe, for if it had be plukyd down, he seyd that we myght have put in our byllys of it, wehn hys jugys sat on the oyeer determyner in Norwyche, he beyng ther. And then myn oncyll seythe how that he answered the Kyng, that ye trustyd to hys good grace that he shold set yow thorow with both the Dwkys, by mene of trete; and he seythe that the Kyng answerd hym that he wold neythyr tret nor spek for yow, but for to let the lawe proced, and so he seyth that they depertyd. And by my trowthe, and my Lord Tresorer encorage you not more than he dyd us her, ye shall have but esy [indifferent] help as on that party. Wherfor labor your maters effectually; for by my trowthe it is nedy[s], for, for all ther wordys of plesur, I cannot undyrstand what ther labor in thys contre hathe don good; wherfor be not ovyr swyft tyll ye be swyr of your lond, but labor sore the lawe, for by my trowthe tyll that be passyd with yow, ye get but esy help as I can undyrstand.

I had with me on day at dener in my modyrs plase, she beyng owt, the Lord Scalys, Sir John Wydvyll, Sir John Haward, Nicolas Haward, John of Par, Thomas Gornet, Foscwe, Cheyny, Trussell, the Knyghts son, Thomas Boleyn, qua propter, Brampton, Barnard, and Broun, Perse, Howse, W. Tonstale, Lewes Debretayll, and othyr, and mad hem good cher, so as they held them content.

Item, my Lord of Norffolk gave Bernard, Broom, nor me no gownys at thys seson, wherfor I awaytyd not on hym; notwithstandyng I ofyrd my servyse for that seson to my Lady, but it was refusyd, I wot by avyse; wherfor I purpose no more to do so. As for Bernard, Barney, Broom, and W. Calthorp, ar sworn my Lord of Glowsetyrs men, but I stand yet at large; not withstandyng my Lord Scalys spok to me to be with the Kyng, but I mad no promes so to be, for I 33 told hym that I was not woorthe a groote withowt yow, and therfor I wold mak no promes to nobody tyll they had your good wyll fyrst; and so we depertyd.

It was told me that ther was owt a preve seall for yow to attend upon the Kyng northeward; and if it be so, I thynk veryly it is do to have yow fro London be craft, that ye shold not labor your maters to a conclusyon thys terme, but put them [in] delaye. I pray yow purvey yow on it to be at hom as sone as the terme is doone, for be God I take gret hurt for myn absence in dyvers plasys, and the most part of your men at Caster wyll deperte withowt abod, and ye be not at hom within thys fortnyght. I pray yow bryng hom poynts and lasys of sylk for yow and me. J. P.

30.1 [From Fenn, iv. 334.] Edward IV. arrived at Norwich in the middle of the month of June 1469. There are privy seals dated at Bury on the 15th and 16th of the month, at Norwich on the 19th and 21st, at Walsingham on the 21st and 22nd, at Lynn on the 26th, and at Stamford on the 5th July. Edward did not return with the Queen as he intended, but she visited Norwich without him a little later. See a paper on the subject of her visit by Mr. Harrod, in the Norfolk Archæology, vol. v. p. 32.

30.2 Richard Woodville, Earl Rivers, father to the Queen, Lord Treasurer and Constable of England.

30.3 Anthony Woodville, Lord Scales, eldest son of the Earl Rivers.

30.4 A younger son of Earl Rivers.

31.1 This refers to the contract between Sir John Paston and Anne Hawte.—F.

31.2 Richard, Duke of Gloucester, afterwards King Richard III.—F.

tyll that be passyd with yow
text has ‘he’: corrected from Fenn


Richard Calle to Sir John Paston


Has arranged with Mariot’s debtors at Bekham, and discharged him of the debt of £16. Has thus taken an open estate in the manor, as Paston desired. Had much trouble to bring Mariot, and especially his wife, [to reason], but with fair words and money got her out of the house. Lord Scales has sent to-day to Mr. Roos and others for men to come to Middleton on Wednesday,—short warning enough; and we were in doubt ‘what purveyance ye had made at London.’ I believe my mistress and my master your brother have sent you word of the demeaning of the King and the Lords here.

Norwich, Monday after St. Peter’s day.

[The reference to the King’s being in Norfolk fixes the date of this letter to the year 1469.]

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



To the right reverent Sir Henry Spelman, Recordor of the Cite of Norwich, be this Letter delivered.


Right reverent sir, I recomaunde me to you. Plese it you to knowe, this same day com to me the Shirreve of Norffolk34.3 hymself, and tolde me that the Quene shall be at Norwich up on Tuysday34.4 cometh sevenyght suyrly. And I desired to have knowe of hym, by cause this shuld be hir first comyng hedir, how we shuld be rulyd, as well in hir resseyvyng, as in hir abidyng here. And he seide, he wold nat ocupie hym ther wyth, but he councelid us to wryte to you to London, to knowe of hem that ben of counsell of that cite, or wyth other wurshepfull men of the same cite, that ben knowyng in that behalf, and we to be ruled ther aftir, as were acordyng for us; for he lete me to wete that she woll desire to ben resseyved and attendid as wurshepfully as evir was Quene a forn hir. Wherefore, sir, I, be the assent of my Bretheren Aldermen, &c., prey you hertily to have this labour for this cite. And that it plese you, if it may be, that at that day ye be here in propre persone; and I trust in God, that outher in rewards, or ellys in thankynges, both of the Kyngs comyng, and in this, ye shall ben plesid as worthy is.

Wrete in hast at Norwich the vj. day of Juyll Anno ixo Regis E. quarti. By your weelwyller, John Aubry, &c.

34.1 Mayor of Norwich in 1469.

34.2 [From Fenn, ii. 18.]

34.3 Roger Ree was Sheriff of Norfolk this year.

34.4 18th July.

[Sidenote] JULY 9
printed as shown, but body of letter says “vj” (6)




These iij. letteres undirwreten, the Kyng of his own hand wrote unto my Lords Clarence, Warrewyke, and Archbishop of York. The credence wherof in substaunce was, that every of them shulde in suech pesibil wise, as thei have be accustumed to ryde, come unto his Highness.

R. E.

To our Brother of Clarence.

Brodir, we pray you to yeve feight [faith] and credence to our welbeloved Sir Thomas Montgomery and Morice Berkly, in that on our behalf thei shal declare to you. And we truste ye wole dispose you accordyng to our pleser and comaundement. And ye shal be to us right welcome. At Notyngham the ix. day of Jull.

To our Cosyn Th’erl of Warr’.

Cosyn, we grete you well, and pray you to yeve feight and credence to Sir Thomas Mongomery and Morice Berkley, &c. And we ne trust that ye shulde be of any suech disposicion towards us, as the rumour here renneth, consederyng the trust and affeccion we bere in yow. At Notyngham the ix. day of Jull. And, cosyn, ne thynk but ye shalbe to us welcome.

To our Cosyn Th’archbyshop of Yorke.

Cosyn, we pray you that ye wul, accordyng to the promyse ye made us, to come to us as sone as ye goodely may. And that [ye] yeve credence to Sir Thomas Mongomery and Morice Berkly, in that un our behalve thei 36 shal sey to you; and ye shalbe to us welcome. At Notyngham the ix. day of Jul.

35.1 [From Fenn, ii. 40.] The dates of Edward the Fourth’s privy seals show that he was at Nottingham in July 1469. He was not there in 1470, the year to which Fenn assigns these letters; and both Clarence and Warwick were then in France. It would appear, therefore, that these letters were written at the time of Robin of Redesdale’s rebellion, which the King was going northwards to suppress.


To Sir John Paston, be this delivered in hast.

AUG. 31

I grete you wele, and send you Godds blyssyng and myn, letyng you wete that Sir John Hevenyngham was at Norwich this day, and spake with me at my moders, but he wuld not that it shuld be understand, for my Lord hath mad hym on of the capteynes at Caystre of the pepill that shuld kepe the wetche abaught the place, that no mann shuld socour them, if my Lord departed. I desired hym to favour them, if any man shuld come to them fro me or you, and he wuld not graunte it, but he desired me to write to you to understand if that my Lord myght be mevyd to fynde suerte to recompense you all wrongs, and ye wuld suffre hym to entre pesibilly, and the lawe after his entre wuld deme it you. Be ye avysed what answer ye wuld yeve.

Item, sith that that I spake with hym, and the same day a feythfull frende of owrs came on to me and mevyd me if that my Lord myght be entreted to suffre endifferent men to kepe the place, and take the profites for bothe parties till the right be determyned be the lawe; and my Lord for his parte, and ye for your parte, to fynde sufficient suerte that you nowther shuld vex, lette, ner trobilled the seid endifferent men to kepe pesibiley the possession of the seid place, and to take the profights on to the tyme to be determyned be the lawe, to his behowe that the lawe demeth it. And the seid persones that so endifferently kepe possession befor ther entre into the seid place, to fynde also sufficient suerte to answer the parte that the lawe demeth it to, of the profits duryng ther possession, and to suffre hym pessibilly to entre, or any in his name, 37 whan so ever thei be required be the parte to whom the right is demyd of all thes premyses. Send werd how ye will be demened be as good advyse as ye can gete, and make no longer delay, for thei must neds have hasty socour that be in the place, for thei be sore hurt, and have non help. And if thei have hasty help it shall be the grettest wurchip that ever ye had, and if thei be not holpen it shall be to you a gret diswurchep; and loke never to have favour of your neybors and frends but if this spede wele; therfor pretend it in your mend, and purvey therfor in hast. How so ever ye do, God kepe you, and send yow the vittory of your elmyse, and geve yow and us al grace to leve in peas. Wretyn on Sent Gyles Evyn,37.1 at ix. of the belle at nyght.

Robyn came home yester evyn, and he brought me nowther writyng from you, ner good answer of this mater, which grevyth me right ill that I have sent you so many messangers, and have so febill answers ageyn. Be your Moder.

36.1 [From Fenn, iv. 366.] This letter was written after the Duke of Norfolk had begun to besiege Caister, which he did in the year 1469.

37.1 St. Giles’ Day is the 1st September; St. Giles’ Eve the 31st August.



I grete zow wel, and send zow Godds blyssyng and myn, letyng zow wete that on Thurysday last was my moder and I wer with my Lord of Norwych,37.3 and desyerd hym that he woold no mor do in the mater towscheyng zowr syster, tyl that ze and my brother and other that wern executors to zowr fader mythe beyn her to geder, for they had the rule of her as weel as I; and he sayde playnly that he had be requeryd so oftyn for to exameyn her, that he mythe not nor woold no longar delay yt, and schargyd me, in peyn of cursyng, that sche schuld not be deferred, but that she xuld a per beforn hym the 38 nexte day; and I sayd pleynly that I woold nowder bryng her nor send her; and than he sayd that he woold send for her hym sylfe, and schargyd that she schuld be at her lyberte to cume wan he sent for her; and he seyd be hys trowthe that he woold be as sory for her and [if] sche ded not welle, as he wold be and sche wer ryth ner of hys kyn, bothe for my moder ys sake and myn, and other of her frendds, for he woost welle that her demenyng had stekyd soor at our harts.

My moder and I in formyd hym that we kowd never onderstond be her sayyng, be no language that ever sche had to hym, that neyther of hem wer bownd to other, but that they myth schese bothe. Than he seyd that he woold sey to her as wele as he kowde, before that he exameynd her; and so that was told me be dyverse persones that he ded as welle and as pleynly as sche had be rythe ner to hym, wych wer to long to wrythe at thys tyme: her aftyr ye xalle wete, and hoo wer laberers ther in. The schanseler38.1 was not so gylty her in as I wend he had ben.

On Fryday the Bysschope he sent for her be Asschefeld and other that arn ryth sory of her demenyng. And the Bysschop seyd to her ryth pleynly, and put her in rememberawns how she was born, wat kyn and frendds that sche had, and xuld have mo yf sche wer rulyd and gydyd aftyr hem; and yf she ded not, wat rebuke, and schame, and los yt xuld be to her, yf sche wer not gydyd be them, and cause of forsakyng of her for any good, or helpe, or kownfort that sche xuld have of hem; and seyd that he had hard sey, that sche loved schecheon [such one] that her frend[es] wer not plesyd with that sche xuld have, and therfor he had her be ryth weel avysyd how sche ded, and seyd that he woold undyrstand the woords that sche had seyd to hym, wheyther that mad matrimony or not. And sche rehersyd wat sche had seyd, and seyd, yf thoo wordds mad yt not suher, she seyd boldly that sche wold make that suerher or than sche went thens, for sche seyd 39 sche thowgthe in her conschens sche was bownd, wat so ever the wordds wern. Thes leud wordds greveth me and her grandam as myche as alle the remnawnte. And than the Bysschop and the Schawnseler bothe seyd that ther was neyther I ner no frend of hers wold reseyve [her].

And than Calle was exameynd aparte be hym sylfe, that her wordds and hys acordyd, and the tyme, and wher yt xuld a be don. And than the Bysschop sayd that he supposyd that ther xuld be fownd other thynggs ageyns hym that mythe cause the lettyng ther of; and ther for he say he wold not be to hasty to geve sentens ther upon, and sayd that he wold geve overe day tyl the Wednsday or Thursday aftyr Mykylmes, and so yt tys delayyd. They woold an had her wyl performyd in haste, but the Bysschope seyd he woold non other wyse than he had seyd.

I was with my moder at her plase whan sche was exameynd, and wan I hard sey what her demenyng was, I schargyd my servaunts that sche xuld not be reseyved in my hows. I had zeve hir warnyng, sche mythe a be war a for, yf sche had a be grasyows; and I sent to on or ij. mor that they xuld not reseyve her yf sche cam; sche was browthe a geyn to my place for to a be reseyved, and Sir Jamys39.1 tolde them that browthe her that I had schargyd hem alle and sche xuld not be reseyved; and soo my Lord of Norwych hath set her at Roger Bests, to be ther tyle the day befor sayd, God knowyth fule evel ageyn hys wyle and hys wyvys, yf they durst do other wyse. I am sory that they arn a cumyrd with her, but zet I am better payed that sche isther for the whyle, that sche had ben in other place be cause of the sadnes and good dysposysion of hys sylfe and hys wyfe, for sche xal not be sou’d [suffered ?] ther to pleye the brethele.39.2 I pray zow and requer zow that ye take yt not pensyly, for I wot wele yt gothe ryth ner zowr hart, and so doth yt to myn and to other; but remembyr zow, and so do I, that we have lost of her but a brethele,39.2 and set yt the les to hart, for and sche had be good, wherso ever sche had be, yt xuld not aben as it is, for and he wer ded at thys owyr, she 40 xuld never be at myn hart as sche was. As for the devors [divorce] that ze write to me of, I supose wat ze ment, but I scharge zow upon my blyssyng that ze do not, ner cause non other to do, that xuld offend God and zour conschens, for and ze do, or cause for to be do, God wul take vengawns ther upon, [and] ye xuld put zour sylfe and other in gret joparte; for wettyt wele, sche xal ful sor repent her leudnes her aftyr, and I pray God sche mute soo. I pray zow for myn hard ys hese [heart’s ease], be ze of a good cownfort in alle thynggs; I trust God xal helpe ryth wele, and I pray God so do in alle our maters. I wuld ze toke hed yf ther weher any labor mad in the kort of Cawntrybery for the leud mater forsayd.

But yf [i.e. unless] the Duke40.1 be purveyd for, he and hys wyse kow[n]sel xalle lefe thys cuntre; yt is told me that he seythe that he wul not spar to do that he is purposyd, for no Duke in Ynglond. God helpe at nede.

37.2 [From Fenn, iv. 358.] This letter has reference to the contract of marriage between Richard Calle and Margery Paston in 1469. See No. 710, preceding. The last paragraph seems to have reference to the propositions mentioned in the preceding letter.

37.3 Walter Lyhert.

38.1 Fenn thinks this was Dr. John Saresson, otherwise Wigenhale, who, he tells us, was Chancellor to the Bishop from 1435 to 1471, and had other Church preferment in the Diocese. But I am a little doubtful whether he lived so long, as it does not appear that he kept any other of his preferments to so late a date. We know that Dr. William Pykenham was Chancellor in 1471.

39.1 Sir James Gloys.

39.2 Brethele or brethelyng signified a worthless person.

40.1 The Duke of Norfolk.


To Mastyr Wryttyll.


Master Wrytyll, I recomande me to yow, besechyng yow hertely, as myn holl trust is in yow, that ye doo yowr devoyr to contynew trews tyll Fryday or Saturday in the mornyng, by whych tyme I hope the massanger shall come, and that ye be not dryven to take an appoyntment if ye kan undrestand by any lyklyed that itt be able to be abydyn and recystyd, and that ye fele my brotherys dysposycion therin, as my trust is in yow, prayng yow to remembre that it restythe, as God helpe me, on all my well. For as God helpe me, I hadd levyr the place wer 41 brennyd, my brother and servants savyd, than the best appoyntment that evyr ye and I comonyd of scholde be my goode wyll be takyn, if this massage from the Kynge may reskwe it. And if it be so, that my Lorde be remevyd by the Kynges comandement, whyche restythe with hys honour, I may in tyme to kome do hym servyse, as schall recompence any grodge or dysplesur that he evyr had, or hathe to me or myn; and ye, if it the rather by your wysdam and polesye the moene above wryten may be hadd, schall be as sewr of the servyce of my trewe brother and servantys, and me, as ye kan devyse by my trowthe; for in goode feythe thys mater stykyth mor nyghe myn hart and me than I kan wryght on to yow, and to my brother and servaunts mor ner than as God knowyth they wot off. Wherfor, Master Wryttyll, all owre welfare restyth in yow, besechyng yow to remembre it. For thys mater is to all usse eyther makyng or marryng.

Item, asfor Arblaster or Lovell, I kan not thynke that they or any of them may be with yow. Wherfor in yow is all, and God have yow in kepyng.

Wretyn at London, the day next affor yowr departyng. I schall sende yow mor knowleche to morrow, with Godds grace. Yowrs, John Paston, K.

40.2 [From Fenn, iv. 370.] Master Writtill, to whom this and the next letter are addressed, is mentioned later as a servant of the Duke of Clarence, by whose means Sir John was endeavouring to arrange a suspension of hostilities with the Duke of Norfolk, who was now besieging Caister.


SEPT. 10

Ryght wershypfull syr, I recomaund me to you, thankyng you of your grete labour whych I have nozt as yet, but I shall deserve to my power; and ferthermore lyke yow to wyte that I have thoght ryght long after you; nevyrthelesse I remember well that ye delt wythe ryght delayous peple. My Lord Archbyshop and other of my Lords, and I, dempte by cawse of your long tarryng, that by youre sad dyscrescyon all hadde ben sett thorow. 42 Neverthelesse I understend by your wrytyng that my Lord of Norffolks concell thynketh that hys entent, whych ye sertefyed me by your wrytyng, sholde be more to hys wyrshep than the appoyntements and rewll made by the Lords of the Kyngs concell whych be to my seyd Lord of Norffolk ner kyne [near kin]; whych appoyntements sythen yourr departyng hath be largely remembryd amongs the seyd Lords here, thynkyng it in hem self so honorabyll to my Lord of Norffolk, that ther shuld non of my Lords concell well avysed mevyd to the contrary.

Jamys Hobard42.1 was sent fro my [Lord] of Norffolk heder, and spake with my Lord Archbyshop,42.2 and answer he had of my seyd Lord; and howe my Lord tendryd the mater yet and wyll I trowe he have told you, and yf he have not, the brynger her of schall informe you; and he broght thys same appoyntement from my Lord, that my Lord was well agryed that I shulde ocupye. For my parte, iff I shud take no other apoyntement but acordyng to your letter, it wer hard for me and for my tytell to putte my Lord in that possessyon; for ther ys thyngs in erthe [uneath, i.e. scarcely] to myn esse in your letter, gode for me in that appoyntement, savyng the suerty of my brothers lyffe and my servants, whych ye thynke dowtefull yf so be that thay lakke stuff, shotte, and vytayll; mervaylyng sore, and thynk it impossybell in thys shorte season, or in iiij. tyme the season heder towards, that thay shuld lakk other [either], with owte it soo be that my Lords men have enterd owght the place, and so had ther stuffe from hem, whych I cannot thynk. Also, sir, for [fore] the tyme of your comyng to my Lord of Norffolk, servaunts of [my Lords wer with]42.3 my moder at Norwych, mevyng to send to my brother hyr sone, to delyver the place under such a forme as youre lettere specefyeth, and so I cannot understand what regard my Lords concell takyth to my Lords letter, and to your labour in thys behalf, but that 43 they offeryd as largely afore. Ze wryteth in your letter that ye durst not passe your credens; please you to remember that seyd your credens affore the Lords was ryght large, and as large as myght well be in thys mater, both to my Lords concell of Norffolk to withdrawe the seege, with moor other mater as ye knowe; and to the Justice of the Peas and to the Shyryff and hys offycers, your awtoryte was grete inow to iche of them.

Wherfor, Mayster Wretell, I never for this, nere zet wyll, take appoyntement in thys mater, but as my Lords wyll and my Lord Archbyshop, whych, as well as I my self, have holy putte our tryst to youre dyscrete dyreccyon; and my seyd Lord sythen youre departer, zour zoyng,43.1 thynkyng you alls mete a man in executyng ther comaundement as cowde be chosyn. Neverthelesse for awnswer to you at thys season, my Lord Archbyshop ys north wards towards the Kyng; how be it, it ys seyd, uppon a metyng with my Lord of Clarens, my Lord shuld retourne a yen; and as zester evyn he send a servaunt of hys to me, wenyng to hys Lordship that Sir Humfray43.2 and ye wer in Caster as was appoynted, and ye shuld send to hys Lordshyp answer of the gydyng ther by wrytyng, comaundyng me that yff any such wrytyngs cam from you, yf hys Lordshyp wer not past xx. myle fr[om Lond]on,43.3 to com to hys Lordshyp with the same. Understandyng for sertayn that he ys nott yet so ferr, wherfor I will in althe hast possybell ryde nygt and day till I see hys Lordshyp, and after comunicacyon had with hys Lordshyp, as sone as ys possybell that a man may go be twext, ye shall have an answer of hys dysposicyon; for hys intres is such that, as I have wryten, I shall never do therin withoute hym, as my cosyn, brynger herof, more playnly shall enforme you; for I canne thynke ryght well, that as ze wryteth to me, my broder wyll not delyver the place to non erthly person, but yf he see wrytyng fro my Lord.

It semyt be yowr wrytyng that my Lord of Norffolk 44 conseyll intende not that my Lord Archbyshop shuld dele in thys mater, for he ys not named in your letter, wherof I mervayle; for it was movyd to you at your departyng hens, the Kyngs concell shuld have take dyreccyon in thys mater, or els my Lord Cardenall,44.1 my Lord of Clarens, my Lord Archbyshop, and my Lord of Essex,44.2 &c. Neverthelesse, Mayster Wryttyll, all profytht, maner, or lyflod, leyd apart, if it be so that thorow reklesnese my brother and servaunts be in such joperte as ye have wryten to me (whych shold be half impossybell in my mynd that thay shold myssuse so mech stuff in iiij. tymes the space), and that ye have evident knowlych by my seyd brother hym self therof, I woll praye yow to se hym and them in suerte of ther lyffys, what so ever shold fall of the lyfflode; how be it I wold not that my brother and servaunts shold gyff upp the place not for a mlli., yf thay myght in any wyse kepe it and save ther lyves. And therfor, at the reverens of God, sycht it ys so, that my Lord Archbyshop and my Lords all, and I, have putte our trust in you, that ye wyll do your devoyer to have the verrey knowlech of my brother hymself, and not of my Lords men, wheder he stante in such jopertye as your letter specefyeth or net, for I dowte not uppon the syzth of thys letter, and of the letter that ye had before, that my brother will put no mystrust in you, consyderyng that he knowyth that ye com from my Lords, and my Lord Archbyshop, and have my wrytyng; and as for my Lord Archbyshop wrytyng and aunswere, such as it shalbe, ye shall have it in all the haste possybell. But I thynke veryly that my Lord eschewyth to telle you any thyng without that he myght speke with you allone, and me thynketh veryly that thay ought not to lette [hinder] you to speke with hym allone, consyderyng that ye have auctoryte and wrytyng from the Lords so to do. And as for the justificacyon of entryng the place, and sege layng to [the same]44.3 and the comaundement of the Justice of the Pease and the Sherewe to assyste my Lord in thys gydyng, I wote 45 ye understond that the Lords knowe all that mater, and ye herd it comened, and how thay toke it in ther consayts.

Ther ys no more, Mayster Wryttell, but I commyth all thys wrytyng unto your dyscrescyon; and as ye thynk best acordyng to such menys desyre as have entretyd you therin, and for my moyst avayle, I pray you, sir, soo doo, and I shall se un to your besynes and labour, that ye shall have cause to do for me in tyme comyng, and as the brynger herof shall tell you. And I pray God have you in Hys kepyng.

Wryten at London, the x. day of Septembr. By your frend for ever, John Paston, K.

41.1 [From Fenn, iv. 372.] See preliminary note to last letter. We have adopted a different punctuation from that of Fenn in some parts of this letter.

42.1 This most probably was James Hobart, who, in 1478, was Lent-Reader at Lincoln’s Inn, and in 1487 Attorney-General.—F.

42.2 George Neville, Archbishop of York.

42.3 The original MS. was indistinct in these places.

43.1 The words ‘zour zoyng’ (your going) seem to be redundant.

43.2 Sir Humphrey Talbot was a Captain at this siege, under the Duke of Norfolk.—F.

43.3 The original MS. was indistinct in these places.

44.1 Thomas Bourchier, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Lord Cardinal.

44.2 Henry Bourchier, Earl of Essex.

44.3 Here the original MS. was indistinct.


SEPT. 12

I grete you wele, letyng you wete that your brother and his felesshep stand in grete joperte at Cayster, and lakke vetayll; and Dawbeney45.2 and Berney45.3 be dedde, and diverse other gretly hurt; and they fayll gunnepowder and arrowes, and the place sore brokyn with gonnes of the toder parte, so that, but thei have hasty help, thei be like to lese bothe ther lyfes and the place, to the grettest rebuke to you that ever came to any jentilman, for every man in this countre marvaylleth gretly that ye suffre them to be so longe in so gret joperte with ought help or other remedy.

The Duke hathe be more fervently set therup on, and more 46 cruell, sith that Wretyll, my Lord of Claraunce man, was ther, than he was befor, and he hath sent for all his tenaunts from every place, and other, to be ther at Cayster at Thorysday next comyng, that ther is than like to be the grettest multitude of pepill that came ther yet. And thei purpose them to make a gret assaught—for thei have sent for gannes [guns] to Lynne and other place be the seeys syde—that, with ther gret multitude of gannes, with other shoot and ordynaunce, ther shall no man dar appere in the place. Thei shall hold them so besy with ther gret pepill, that it shall not lye in their pore within to hold it ageyn them with ought God help them, or have hasty socour from you.

Therfor, as ye wull have my blyssyng, I charge you and require you that ye se your brother be holpyn in hast. And if ye can have nonmeane, rather desire writyng fro my Lord of Clarens, if he be at London, or ell[es] of my Lord Archebusshop of York, to the Duke of Norffolk, that he wull graunte them that be in the place her lyfes and ther goodes; and in eschewyng of insurreccions with other in convenyens that be like to growe within the shire of Norffolk, this trobelows werd [world], be cause of such conventicles and gaderyngs within the seid shire for cause of the seid place, thei shall suffre hym to entre up on such appoyntment, or other like takyn be the advyse of your councell ther at London, if ye thynk this be not good, till the law hath determyned otherwyse; and lete hym write a nother letter to your brother to deliver the place up on the same appoyntment. And if ye think, as I can suppose, that the Duke of Norffolk wull not aggre to this, be cause he graunted this aforn, and thei in the place wuld not accept it, than I wuld the seid massanger shuld with the seid letters bryng fro the seid Lord of Clarence, or ell[es] my Lord Archebusshop, to my Lord of Oxenford, other letters to rescue them forth with, thowghe the seid Erle of Oxenford shuld have the place duryng his lyfe for his labour. Spare not this to be don in hast, if ye wull have ther lyves, and be sett by in Norffolk, though ye shuld leys the best maner of all for the rescuse. I had lever ye last the lyffelode than ther lyfes. Ye 47 must gete a massanger of the Lords or sume other notabill man to bryng ther letters.

Do your devoir now, and lete me send you no mor massangers for this maters; but send me be the berer her of more certeyn comfort than ye have do be all other that I have sent be for. In any wyse, lete the letters that shall come to the Erle of Oxenford comyn with the letters that shall comyn to the Duke of Norffolk, that if he wull not aggree to the ton, that ye may have redy your rescuse that it nede no mor to send therfor. God kepe you.

Wretyn the Tuesday next befor Holy Rood Day, in hast. Be your Moder.

45.1 [From Fenn, iv. 382.] This and the other letters relating to the siege of Caister are all rendered certain in point of date by the documents touching its surrender on the 26th September.

45.2 John Dawbeney, Esq.

45.3 Osbert Berney, the other person here mentioned as dead, was not killed at the siege. He survived, and died without issue some years after, when he was buried in Bradeston Church in Norfolk, there being a brass plate in the chancel having the following inscription to his memory:—‘Hic jacet Osbertus filius Joh. Berney, Armig. de Redeham Dni. et de Brayston.’ He was the son of John Berney, Esq., by Catherine, daughter of Osbert Mundeford of Hockwell, Esq.—F.


SEPT. 15

Moodr, uppon Saterday last was, Dawbeney and Bernay wer on lyve and mery, and I suppose ther com no man owt of the place to yow syn that tyme that cowde have asserteynyd to yow of ther dethys. And as towchyng the fyrsenesse of the Duke or of hys peple schewyd syn that tyme that Wryttel departyd, I trowe it was concludyd that trews and abstynence of werre scholde be hadd er he departyd, whych shalle dewr tyl Monday next comyng; and by that tyme I trow that trews shall be takyn tyll that day vij. nyght aftr, by whych tyme I hope of a goode dyreccion schall be hadde.

And wher as ye wryght to me that I scholde sewe for letteris from my Lordys of Clarans and Yorke, they be not her, and if they wrot to hym as they have don ij. tymes, I trow it wolde nat advayle; and as for to labor thois letteris and the rescu to gedre, they ben ij. sendry thyngys, for when the rescu is redy, that the cost ther of is don. For if I be drevyn therto to rescu it er they com ther that scholde do it, it shall cost a ml. escuys, and as meche after, whyh wey wer 48 harde for me to take, whyll that I maye do it otherwise; but as to sey that they schall be rescuyd if all the lands that I have in Ingelond and frendys maye do it, they shall, and God be frendly, and that as schertly as it may goodlely and wele be brout abut. And the grettest defawt erthly is mony and som frendys and neyborys to helpe; wherfor I beseche yow to sende me comfort with what money ye coude fynde the menys to get or chevysche uppon suerte sufficient, er uppon lyflod to be inmorgage er yit solde, and what peple by lyklyed yowr frendys and myn kowde make uppon a schort warnyng, and to send me worde in all the hast as it is needfull. But, moodre, I fele by yowr wryghtyng that ye deme in me I scholde not do my devyr withowt ye wrot to me som hevye tydyngs; and, modre, if I had nede to be qwykynyd with a letter in thys nede, I wer of my selfe to slawe [too slow] a felaw; but, moodre, I ensur yow that I have herde x. tymes werse tydyngs syn the assege by gan than any letter that ye wrot to me, and somtyme I have herde ryght goode tydyngs both. But thys I ensure yow that they that be within have no werse reste than I have, ner castyth mor jupperte; but whethyr I had goode tydyngys er ill, I take Gode to wittnesse that I have don my devoyr as I wolde be don for in case lyke, and schall doo tyll ther be an ende of it.

I have sent to the Kynge to Yorke, and to the Lordys, and hope to have ansswer from them by Wednysday at the ferthest, and after that answer shall I be rewlyd, and than send yow word, for tyll that tyme kan I take non dyreccion. And to encomfort yow, dy[s]peyre yow not for lak of vytayle ner of gonne powder, ner be natt to hevy ner to mery therfor; for and hevynesse or sorow wolde have be the remedy ther of, I knew nevyr mater in my lyfe that I kowde have ben so hevy or sory for, and with Goddys grace it schall be remedyed well inow; for by my trowthe I hadde lever lose the maner of Caister than the symplest mannys lyfe therin, if that may be hys saveacion. Wherfor I beseche yow to sende me worde wat mony and men ye thynke that I am lyke to get in that contre; for the hasty purchace of mony and men schall be the 49 getyng and rescu of it, and the sauevacion of most mennys lyfys, if we take that weye.

Also thys daye I porpose to sende to Yorke to the Kyng for a thyng, whych same only maye by lyklyod be the savacion of all. Ye must remembre that the rescue of it is the last remedy of all, and how it is nat easy to get; and also ye sende me worde that I scholde nat kome hom withowt that I kome stronke. But if I had hadd on other stronge place in Norfolke to have comen to, thowe I have browt ryght fewe with me, I scholde, with Godds grace, have rescued it by thys tyme, er ellys he scholde have ben fayne to have besegyd bothe placys or yit, and the Duke had not kept Yarmoth owthe. But, mother, I beseche yow sende me som mony, for by my trowth I have but xs. I49.1 wot not wher to have mor, and moreovyr I have ben x. tymes in lyke case or werse within thys x. wekys. I sent to Rychard Call for mony, but he sendyth me non.

I beseche yow to gyde the evydence that Pekok can tell yow of, and to se it saffe; for it is tolde me that Richard Call hath hadd right large langage of them. I wolde nat they com in hys fyngrys. I have no worde from yow of them, ner whether ye have yit in yowr kepyng the evydence of Est Bekham owt of hys handys, ner whethyr ye have sent to my manerys that they schold not paye hym no mor mony or not. Also that it like yow to geve credence to Robyn in other thyngs.

Wret the Fryday next after Holy Roode Day. John Paston, K.

47.1 [From Fenn, iv. 386.] This letter was clearly written in reply to the last.

49.1 I. The right-hand copy in modern spelling reads ‘and.’



Sir John Hevyngham,50.2 Th. Wyngfeld,50.3 Gilbert Debenham,50.4 Wil. Brandon,50.5 and to everych of them severally in otheris absence.


Hit is so that accordyng to such direccion as was mevid to be desird of my Lords beyng heer, as for such as heere bee they marveil gretly therof, thynkyng and remembring in themself that such offre as was made by my credence to my Lorde,50.6 and to fore you reported, shuld have sownyd more to his pleasure and honour than this his desire. Nevirthelesse my Lords thenke where as they wrote and desirid joyntly that such credence as ye remembre myght be observyd and taken, and by you refusid, nowe yif they shuld assent to the desire of this direccion, hit is thought in them not so to doo; for it is so fortuned that dyvers of my Lords, from whome I brought both wrytyng and credence, be at the Kyngs high commaundement hastely departed unto his Highnesse, trustyng in God to have heeryng in brief tyme of their hasty ayen comyng, atte which tyme my Lords that heere be, and they that shal come ayen, shal comon and speke to gyder of this desire and direccion, and such answere as they geve and make shall be sent unto you than with haste possible. Ovir 51 this, me thenkith for your excuse of burden and charge such as I hier will be leid unto you concernyng the grete werks that dailly be and ar at the maner of Castre, yif ye thenk that God shuld have pleasir, and also the Kyng oure sovereign Lorde, and that my seide Lords shuld thenk in you gode avise or sad, and that ye entendid to avoide the sheddyng of Cristyn blode and the destruccion of the Kyngs liege people, that at your politik labour and wisedome ye myght bryng my Lord to th’abstynence of warre, and a trieux to be had and contynued unto tyme of the retourn of my seid Lords, or els knowlege of their entent; certifieng you for trouth that ther be messengers sent unto my seid Lords with lettrez of such answere as I had of you to your desire to gyder, knowyng certeinly that ther shal be hasty relacion of ther entents in the premisis, which answers ye shall have atte ferthist by Monday cometh sevenyght. Ferthirmore lettyng you wit that I understond for certein that my Lords that be heere eschewe, for such inconveniense that myght fall, to conclude any answere by them self, consideryng that my credence was geven by all the Lords; prayng you, as shal be doon to the continuaunce of this trieux aforesaid, that I may be acerteyned, or yif at this houre ye coude yit thenk my credence resonable and honourable to be accepted and taken, sendith me woorde in wrytyng from you by my servant, brynger of this, al delaies leid aparte. For I acertein you, as he that owe you service, I was and yit am gretly blamed for my long tarying with you, for, dyvers of my Lords taried heere for me, by th’assent of al my Lords, lenger than they wold have don, to know myn answere and guydyng from you.

And ovir this I certyfie you that ye cannot make my Lords heere to thenk that yif ther be inconvenient or myshief, murdre, or manslauter had or done, but and your wills and entents were to the contrarye, my Lord is notid so well disposid that, with oute your grete abettement, he neither will doo nor assent to non such thyng; prayng you therfor, as your frende, to remembre wele your self, and so to rule you, as my Lords may have in tyme to come knowlege of your more sadd disposicion than as yit I feele they thenk in you. 52 And how that my Lords note sum of you, James Hobert, beyng of my Lords counsel, can enforme you; wherefor for Godds sake remembr you, and delyver my servant, and yif ye thenk my first credence or this advertisement shal be taken to effect, than I pray you that my servaunt, brynger hereof, may have sure condyte to speke with John Paston, and to report to hym these direccions, and upon that to delyver hym a bill certifyng the same.

50.1 [From Fenn, iv. 404.] This letter is anonymous, but was evidently written by Writtill during his negotiations for a suspension of hostilities.

50.2 Sir John Heveningham, Knight and Banneret, was a descendant of an ancient family situated at the town of Heveningham, in Suffolk. His son Thomas became owner of the estate at Ketteringham, in Norfolk, where this family continued for several generations.—F.

50.3 Sir Thomas Wingfield was a younger son either of Sir Robert or Sir John Wingfield of Letheringham, in Suffolk.—F.

50.4 Sir Gilbert Debenham, Knight, was descended of an ancient and knightly family in the county of Suffolk.—F.

50.5 Sir William Brandon married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Robert Wingfield, and was ancestor to Charles Brandon, afterwards Duke of Suffolk.—F.

50.6 The Duke of Norfolk.



Mr. Wyngfeld, I recomande me to you. Please you to wit I have sent a lettre joyntly to you and to al my Lordes52.2 counsel; nevirtheles, for the special favor and service that I bere and owe to you, I write to you aparte, praying you to put your hasty devoir to the delyverans of my servaunt, with th’answere of the same; and ovir that for Goddis sake remember you hou that ye stond my Lordes nygh kynnesman, and by whom my Lordes wulle gretly be steerid, that ye eschewe and avoide to be non of those that my Lordes here thenk shuld set or cause my Lord to do thynges otherwise than accordith to the pleasir of my Lordes; for it is so that there be dyvers of my Lordes counsel stond in hevy report of my Lordes, of which I wold ye were non; certifieng you that I know so ferre that yif ye any thyng doo in this mater to the pleasir of my Lordes, it will neither be unremembrid ne unrecompensid, not doutyng but that hereafter to have a large thonk of you for this my counsel; praying you ferthermor to move Sir John Hevyngham, and such as ye knowe wele disposid, to assist you in this; and that this bille be kept secrete, as my trust is in you. Wreten at London.

52.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This and the letter following are corrected drafts upon the same paper, and both evidently written at the same time, and by the same writer, as the last letter.

52.2 The Duke of Norfolk’s.




Mr. Paston, it is so that sith tyme I spake with you I sent you a bill which concludith an abstinence of werre to be had unto Fryday last was, trustyng in that season that by the menes of my Lordes heere a conclusion shal be taken; lettyng you wit that before my comyng hider certein of my Lordes were departid hens towards the Kyng northwards. And for asmich as I cannot in this season have no hasty answere of such lettrez as were sent unto them concernyng this mater, I have wretyn by the meanes of my Lordes heere I have wretyn a lettre to my Lordes counsell a lettre,53.2 and amonges other thynges movid them in the seid lettre to advertise my Lord for abstynence of werre til Monday come sevenyght; and yif my Lordes and his counsell so agree, I have comaundid my servaunt, brynger hereof, to geve you knowlege of the same, avisyng you that contenuyng the seid seson to absteyne you from werre gevyng outward in like wise; and by that season I hope to have knowlege of my Lordes ententes.

53.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] See preliminary note to last letter.

53.2 So in the MS., the redundant words being left uncancelled.


To John Paston, and to non othyr.

SEPT. 18

I recomand me to yow, and promyse yow that I have and schall labore and fynde the meane that ye schall have honor of yowr delyng as ye have hyddr towards, as all Ingelond and every man reportythe; and moreover I am in weye for it by many dyverse weys, wherof ther schall be one exicutyd by thys day xiiij. nyght at the ferthest, and peraventur 54 within vij. dayes. And iff ye maye kepe it so longe, I wold be gladde, and aftr that iff ye have nott from me other wryghtyng, that than ye do ther in for yowr saffgarde and yowr felaschep only, and to yowr worschypys; and as for the place, no force therfor. Ye knowe thys hande, therfor nedythe no mencion from whem it comythe; and more ovyr, they that be abut yow be in obloquy of all men, and mor ovyr they have ben wretyn to by alse speciall wryghtyng as myght be, after the worlde that now is, and promyse yow that the Dukes concell wolde that they had nevyr be gon it; and more ovyr they be chargyd in payne of ther lyvys, that thow they gate the place, they scholde not hurt on of yow. Ther is nowther ye ner none with yow, but and he knewe what is generally reportyd of hym, he or ye, and God fortewne yow wele, may thynke hym iiij. tymes better in reputacion of all folk than evyr he was. Be war whom ye make a concell to thys mater.

Also I lete yow wete that I am in moche mor comfort of yow than I maye wryght, and they that be about yow have cawse to be mor ferde than ye have; and also bewar of spendyng of yowr stuffe of qwarellys, powdr, and stone, so that if they assaut yow er we come, that ye have stuffe to dyffende yow of over, and than of my lyfe ye get no mor, and that your felaschyp be evyr ocopyed in renewyng of your stuffe.

Wretyn the Mondaye next aftr Holy Roode Daye.

I trow, thow ye be not prevy ther to, ther is taken a trews new tyl thys day vij. nygh.

53.3 [From Fenn, iv. 394.] See preliminary note to No. 724.



The Duc of Norffolk.

SEPT. 26

Where John Paston, esquier, and other divers persones have, ageyn the peas, kepte the manoir of Caster with force, ageyne the wille and entent of us the Duc of Norffolk, to oure grete displeaser; whiche notwithstanding, at the contemplacion of the writing of the moost worshipfull and reverent Fader in God the Cardenall of England, and our moost trusty and entierly beloved Unkel the Archbisshop of Canterbury, the right noble Prince my Lord of Clarence, and other Lords of oure blood, and also at the grete labour and enstaunce of our moost dere and singler belovid wiffe, we be agreed that the seid John Paston and his seid fellaship, beyng in the seid maneur, shall depart and goo out of the seid maneur without delay, and make therof deliveraunce to suche persones as we will assigne, the seid fellaship havyng their lyves and goods, horsse, and harneys, and other goods beyng in the kepyng of the seid John Paston; except gonnes, crossebows, and quarells, and alle other hostelments, to the seid maneur annexed and belonginge. And to have xv. dayes respyte aftir their seid departing out, to goo in to what place shall like theim, without any accions or quarell to be taken or made by us, in our name to theim, or any of theim, within our fraunchise or without, duryng the seid tyme.

Yoven under our signet at Yermouth the xxvj. day of Septembr the ixte yere of King Edward the iiijth. Norff’. [LS]

55.1 [From Fenn, ii. 24.]

in the printed book, the letters “LS” (Locus Sigilli?) are shown in a circle after the signature:

see text



The Duc of Norff’.

SEPT. 26

John, Duke of Norffolk, Erle Marshall of Sussex, Surrey, and of Nottingham, Marshall of Inglonde, Lorde Mowbray of Segreve, Bromfelde, and Yalle, to al our frendes, servauntes, and othir Crystyne people, gretyng. Wher John Paston, esquier, and othre diverse persones forseble hath kepte the manoir of Castre, contrary to our will and pleaser, and aftirwarde by his lowly labour and gret meanese to us maade, the seide John Paston hathe maade deliveraunce of the seide manoir to such persons as we have assignede, and he and his seide felouship by our lycence to departe out of the same. Wherefore we pray, wil, and charge you and everysche of you, that ye ne vexce, trouble, manase, ne greve the forseid persones, nor eny of them, for the kepyng of the seide manere contrary to the Kynge our Sovereynge Lordes lawyes, for we have takyne them in our safe garde. Yevin undir our signet and signmanuell the xxvjti day of Septembre, the ixth yere of Kynge Edward iiijt. Norff’. [LS]

56.1 [From a MS. in the College of Arms.] The original of this document, signed and sealed by the Duke of Norfolk, is inserted in the MS. volume called Brooke’s Aspilogia, vol. i. p. 35.

see previous letter for [LS]


Caystr yelded.—J. P.


Ryght werchepfull sir, I recomand me on to yow. And as for the serteynte of the delyverance of Caster, John Chapman can tell yow how that we wer enforsyd therto, as wel as mysylf. As for John Chapman and his iij. 57 felaws, I have purveyd that they be payid ache of them xls., with the mony that they had of yow and Dawbeney; and that is inow for the seson that they have don yow servys. I pray yow geve them ther thank, for by my trowthe they have as well deservyd it as eny men that ever bare lyve; but as for mony, ye ned not to geve hem with owt ye wyll, for they be plesyd with ther wagys. Wryttyll promysyd me to send yow the serteynte of the apoyntement. We wer sor57.1 lak of vetayl, gonepowdyr, menys herts, lak of suerte of rescwe, drevyn therto to take apoyntement.

If ye wyll that I come to yow, send me woord, and I shall pervey me for to tery with yow a ij. or iij. dayis. By my trowthe, the rewardyng of syche folkys as hathe ben with me dwryng the sege hathe putt me in gret danger for the monye. God preserve yow, and I pray yow be of good cher tyll I spek with yow, and I trust to God to ese your hert in some thynggys. J. Paston.

56.2 [From Fenn, iv. 410.]

57.1 sor. So the word stands in Fenn, and ‘sore’ in the copy in modern spelling; but I suspect a misreading of ‘for.’


To Sir John Paston, in hast. A matre.

SEPT. 23-30.

I grete zow wele, and send zow Godds blyssyng and myn, letyng zow wete that me thynke be the letter that ze sent me be Robeyn, that ze thynke that I xuld wryte to zow fabyls and ymagynacyons; but I do not soo. I have wrytyn as yt have be enformed me, and wulle do. It was told me that bothe Daubeney and Berney wer dedee, but for serten Daubeney is dede, God asoyle hys sowle; wher of I am rythe sery, and yt had plesyd God that yt mythe abe other wysse.

Remembyr zow, ze have had ij. gret lossys withyne thys towylemonth, of hym and of Sir Thomas.57.3 God wysyth 58 [visiteth] zow as yt plesythe Hym in sundery wyses; He woole ze xuld know Hym, and serve Hym better than ze have do be for thys tyme, and than He wull send zow the mor grace to do wele in ale other thynggs. And for Godds love, remembyr yt rythe welle, and take yt pacyentely, and thanke God of Hys vysitacyon; and yf ony thyng have be a mysse ony other wyse than yt howte to have ben befor thys, owther in pryde or in laves expences, or in eny other thyng that have offendyd God, amend yt, and pray Hym of Hys grace and helpe, and entende welle to God, and to zour neybors; and thow zour poor heraftyr be to aquyte hem of her maleys, zet be mersyfulle to hem, and God xale send zow the mor grace to have your entente in other thynggs.

I remembyr thys clawsys, be cause of the last letter that ze sent me. I have sent to Hary Halman of Sporylle to helpe to gete as ze desyerd me, and he canne not gette passyd v. or viij. at the most, and zet yt wule not be but yf [unless] he cume that ze trust upon that xuld cume, for they long a parte to hym. And Ryschard Sharman hathe asayed on hys parte, and he cane not gette passyd v.; for thoo that long to us, thei long also to our adversarys, and they have be desyerd be them, and they woold nowte do for hem, and ther for they thynke to have magery of the toder parte.

As for the jantylman that ye desyerd me to speke with, I spake with hys wyfe, and sche told me he was not in thys cuntre, ner nowte woost wan he xuld be her; and as for the toder man, he hath bowthe [bought] hym a livery in Bromeholme Pryery, and have geve upe the woord [world], &c.

Item, as for mony, I kowde getee but xli. upon pledges, and that is spent for zour maters her, for payeng of zour men that wern at Caster, and other thynggs, and I woot not wer to gette non, nowther for suerte ner for pleggs; and as for myn owyn lyvelod, I am so sympely payed ther of that I fer me I xale be fayn to borow for my sylfe, or ell[es] to breke up howsold or bothe.

As for the zeddyng [yielding] of the place at Caster, I trowe Wretyll hathe told of the pawntements [appointments] how ytts delyvered. I woold that [it] had be so her [ere] thys tyme, 59 and zan [then] ther xuld not a ben do so mykyle herte as ther is in dyverse weyes; for many of our welewyllers arn putte to loosse for our saks, and I fer me that [it] xale be long her yt be recumpensyd ageyn, and that xale cause other to do the lesse for vus her aftyr.

I woold ze xuld [send] zour brother woord, and sum other that ze truste, to see to zour owyn lyelod to sette yt in a rule, and to gader ther of that may be had in haste, and also of Sir John Fastolf lyoeld that may be gadyrd in pesybyle wyse. For as for Ryschard Calle, he wulle no mor gadyr yt but yf ze comaund hym, and he woold fayn make hys . . acowntte, and have zour good maystyr schepe, as ytts told me, and delyvere the evydens of Bekkeham, and alle other thynggs that longyth to zow, that he trustythe that ze wylle be hys good mayster heraftyr. And he sethe he wylle not take non newe master tyle ze refuse hys servyse.

Remembyr that zowr lyvelod may be set in soche a rule that ye may knowe how ytts, and wat is owyn to zow; for be my feythe I have holpyn as mysche as I may and mor, savyng my sylfe, and therfor take hede er yt be weers.

Thys letter was begune on Fryday was vij. nythe, and enddyd thys day nexte afftyr Mychylmes Day. God kepe zow, and yeve zow grace to do as wele as I woold ze dede; and I scharge zow be war that ze sette no lond to morgage, for if eny avyse zow ther to, they arn not zowr frendds. Be war be tymes myn avyse, &c. I trow yowr brother wyll geve zow tydyngs in haste.

57.2 [From Fenn, iv. 396.] This is written, as will be seen, in reply to No. 725.

57.3 Sir Thomas Howes.


Inventory of household goods (including guns) left at Caister by Sir John Paston at the entry of my Lord of Norfolk.

59.1 [MS. Phillipps, 9735, No. 201.]



To my master, Sir John Paston, in Flett-Stret.

OCT. 5

Ryght worchepfull sir, I recomand on to you, praying yow that ye wyll in all hast send me word how that ye wyll that Sir John Style, John Pampyng, W. Mylsent, Nycolas Mondonet, T. Tomson shall be rwlyd, and whedyr that they shall sek hem newe servysys or not; and Mathewe Bedford also, for he hathe be with me this seson, and is fro my modyr. And if so be that ye wyll have thes to abyde with yow, or eny of them, send word whyche that they be; for betwyx thys and Halowmas my modyr is agreyd that they shall have met and drynk of hyr for syche a serteyn wekly as my modyr and yu and I can acord when we met. Notwithstandyng, if ye kowd get Barney or eny of thes seyd folkys, whyche that ye wyll not kepe, eny servyse in the mene seson, it wer more worchep for yow then to put them from yow lyek masterles hondys [hounds]; for by my trowthe they ar as good menys bodys as eny leve, and specyally Sir John Stylle and John Pampyng. And I wer of power to kepe them and all thes befor rehersyd, by trowthe they shold never depert fro me whyll I leveyd.

If ye send me word that I shall come to yow to London for to comon with yow of eny mater, so God help me, I have neythyr mony to com up with, nor for to tery with yow when I am ther but if [unless] ye send me some; for by my trowthe thes werkys have causyd me to ley owt for yow bettyr then x. or xijli., besyd that money that I had of my modyr, whyche is abowt on viijli. God amend defowts; but this I warant yow, with out that it be Mathew, whyche ye sent woord by John Thressher that ye wold have to awayt on yow, ther is no man 61 that was hyryd for the tyme of thys sege that wyll axe yow a peny.

Also I pray yow send downe acomandment to Stutvylle, or to some awdyter, to take acomptys of Dawbneys byllys; for hys executors ar sore callyd upon for to admynyster by the Byshop, or ellys he seythe that he wyle seqwester. Dawbeney set in hys dett that ye owt hym xijli. and xs. Whedyr it be so or nowt, hys byllys of hys owne hand wyll not lye, for he mad hys byllys clere or then the sege com abowt us.

As for the evydence of Bekham, my modyr sent to Calle for hem; and he sent hyr woord that he wold make hys acompts, and delyver the evydence and all to gedyr. My modyr hathe sent to hym ayen for hem thys day. If she sped, they shall be sent to yow in all hast, or ellys, and ye send for me, I shall bryng hem with me. Send my modyr and me word who ye wyll that have the rwyll of your lyvelod her in thys contre, and in what forme that it shall be delt with. I wyll not make me mastyrfast with my Lord of Norff., nor with non othyr, tyle I spek with yow; and ye thynk it be to be don, get me a mastyr.

Dell corteysly with the Qwen and that felawshep, and with Mastras Anne Hawte for Wappys,61.1 tyll I spek with zow. Wretyn on Seynt Feythys Evyn. J. Paston.

By Sent George, I and my felawshep stand in fer of my Lord of Norff. men, for we be thret sore, not withstandyng the save gardys61.2 that my felawshep have. As for me, I have non, nor non of your howsold men, nor non wyll have; it wer shame to take it.

60.1 [From Fenn, iv. 412.] This is a letter desiring instructions about the garrison of Caister after its surrender.

61.1 This expression ‘for Wappys’ I do not understand.—F. Perhaps Wappys may be a proper name.

61.2 Save gardys. This is printed ‘same gardys’ in Fenn, but is evidently a misreading; in the right-hand copy the word is ‘safeguards.’



To Mestresse Margret Paston, be thys delyveryd.


Ryght worchypfull Moodre, I comand me to yow, and beseche yow of yowr blyssyng and Gods. Thanke yow for yowr tendrenesse and helpe bothe to me, my brother, and servants.62.2

. . . . . . .

The Kynge is comyn to London, and ther came with hym, and roode ageyn hym, the Duke of Glowcestr, the Duke of Suffolke, the Erle of Aroundell, the Erle of Northumbreland, the Erle of Essex, the Lordes Harry and John of Bokyngham, the Lord Dakres, the Lorde Chambreleyn, the Lorde Montjoye, and many other Knyghtys and Sqwyers, the Meyr of London, xxij. Aldremen, in skarlett, and of the Crafftys men of the town to the nombre of CC., all in blewe. The Kynge come thorow Chepe, thowe it wer owt of hys weye, be cawse he wold not be seyn, and he was accompanyed in all peple with ml. horsse, som harneysyd and som nat. My Lorde Archebysshop62.3 com with hym from Yorke, and is at the Moor,62.4 and my Lorde of Oxenfford roode to have mett the Kyng, and he is with my Lorde Archebysshop at the Moor, and come nat to town with the Kynge; some sey that they wer yesterdaye iij. myle to the Kyng wards from the Moor, and that the Kyng sent them a massangr that they scholde com when that he sent for them. I wot not what to suppose 63 therin; the Kyng hymselffe hathe good langage of the Lords of Clarance, of Warwyk, and of my Lords of York [and] of Oxenford, seyng they be hys best frendys; but hys howselde men have other langage, so that what schall hastely falle I cannot seye.

My Lorde of Norffolke schall be her thys nyght. I schall sende yow mor when I knowe mor.

Item, iff Ebysham come not home with myn oncle W., that than ye sende me the ij. Frenshe bookys that he scholde have wretyn, that he may wryght them her, John Paston, Kt.

62.1 [From Fenn, i. 292.] The allusion in an unprinted passage in this letter to the approaching marriage of Richard Calle with Margery Paston proves it to be of the year 1469. In that year it appears by the dates of the privy seals that Edward IV. remained during the whole of September in Yorkshire, having been detained by Warwick at Middleham as a prisoner during the month of August; but he was in London as early as the 13th October.

62.2 Here, according to Fenn, follow passages touching ‘an account of monies, debts, &c., a dispute with his uncle William, and a desire to defer his sister Margery’s marriage with Richard Calle till Christmas.’

62.3 George Nevill, Archbishop of York.

62.4 See p. 20, Note 3.

... that he may wryght them her
text has “be”: corrected from Fenn


[John Paston] to [Sir John Paston]


Has reckoned with Maryot. Accounts of Bekham. Has not spoken with W. Bakton, but will before returning to Norwich. Means to visit Bekham on his way thither. Sends copy of the condition wherein ye be bound to John Maryot. As for Sir T. Mongomere’s man, etc.

Richard Calle says he has delivered to me all writings he had of you except an endenture for letting Saxthorp, which is but a jape. All but a rental of Snaylwell are but accounts, etc. He has delivered me four or five court rolls of Sir J. Fastolff’s lands, of his own hand. He has done reasonably well about showing me the arrears of your lifelode. ‘As for his abiding, it is in Blakborow nunnery, a little fro Lynn, and our unhappy sister’s also. And as for his service, there shall have no man have it before you, and ye will. I hear not speak of none other service, of no lord’s that he shall be in.’ Has not yet spoken with Daubney’s executors, but will on his way homewards. Sends copy of the inventory63.2 he [John Paston] made on leaving Caister. Means to be at Sporle to-morrow or Thursday, to see what may be made of the wood, and who will give most for it.  .  .  .  .  (MS. mutilated at the bottom.)

[This letter is in the handwriting of John Paston, but the signature is lost. It is quite certain that it was written in 1469 after the surrender of Caister. Allusion is also made to the unpleasant subject of the engagement of Richard Calle and Margery Paston, who seem to have retired to Blackborough nunnery prior to their marriage.]

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

63.2 See No. 734.



NOV. 6

Indenture between Sir John Paston, of the one part, and Roger Townsende, gent., of the other part, containing covenants for the sale of the manor of Est Beckham, and of all Paston’s other lands in Est Bekham, West Bekham, Bodham, Sherryngham, Beeston near the Sea, Runeton, Shipden, Felbrigg, Aylmerton, Sustede, and Gresham, which the said Sir John had of the gift of John Mariet the elder of Est Bekham, for 100 marks, of which he has received already £54, leaving £12, 13s. 4d. to be paid by the said Roger at the Feast of St. Luke next coming. Dated 6th Nov. 9 Edw. IV. Seal, with inscription, ‘Si Dieu vuet.’

64.1 [Add. Charter, 14,526, B.M.]


1469, 25 Nov. 9 Edw. IV. ‘In the priory of Saynt Marye Overy in Suthwarke.’ Acknowledgment (in English) by Will. Yelverton, Knt., Just. of K. B., of the receipt from Bishop Waynflete of £87, in full satisfaction of all claims on Sir J. Fastolf by Jaquet, Duchess of Bedford; solemnly promising also that he will not hereafter receive any sums, great or small, on account of Fastolf’s goods, debts, or possessions, without the assent of the Bishop, that he will at all times be ready to seal such grants, &c., as the Bishop may require to be sealed, and that he will not himself make or seal any grant, etc., without the Bishop’s will and agreement.

64.2 The following abstract is taken from Mr. Macray’s Report on the MSS. in Magdalen College, Oxford.



To Master Syr John Paston, Knyght.


Ryght worchepfull syr, I recomand me to you, &c. It is so that thys day ther cam a good felaw to me, whyche may not be dyscoveryd, and let me wet that my Lord of Norff. consayll hathe this Crystmas gotyn the two wydows, whows husbands wer slayn at the sege of Caster, and have hem bowndyn in a gret some that they shall swe a peel ayenst me and syche as wer ther with me within the plase, and they be bownd also that they shall relese no man within the apell namyd tyll syche tyme as my Lord of Norff. wyll lycence them.

Item, the cawse is thys, as it is told me by dyvers, that ye meke no more swte to my Lord for yourself than ye do, and therfor they do the wors to me for your sake.

Item, as for my comyng up to London, so God help me, and I may chese, I com not ther, for argent me fawlt, without apell or an inkyr [inquiry ?] of som specyall mater of your cawse it. Item, I pray yow remembyr Caleys, for I am put out of wagys in thys contre.

Item, I pray yow send me some tydyngs how the world gothe ad confortandum stomacum.

Item, ye must purvey anewe atorny in thys contre. As for me, for our maters and clamore is to gret, and our purse and wytte to slendyr, but I wyle rubbe on as long as I maye bothe with myn owne, and other menys that wyle do for me tyll better pese be.

Wretyn thys Saturdaye, at Norwcyche. J. P.

65.1 [From Fenn, iv. 416.] It appears by the contents that this letter was written about Christmas after the siege of Caister. An appeal of murder was a process sued by the nearest relative of a person killed. It was quite independent of any prosecution for murder by the Crown, and no royal pardon was of any avail against it; but the appeal had to be brought within a year and a day of the fact.

... at Norwcyche
text has “Norwcyche”: corrected from Fenn




Ryght worchepfull Syr, I recomand me to yow aftyr the old maner, sertyfyng yow that I have comonyd with my modyr for your coming hom, but I can not fynd by hyr that she wyll depert with eny sylvyr for your costis, for she and hyr cwrate66.2 alegge mor poverte then ever wasse. Item, as for your clok at Harcortis it wyll be nye Estern er it be redy, for ther is stolyn owt of hys chaumbyr some of the ger that belongyd therto, and that must have leyser to be mad ayen. Item, the caryer forgat your byll behynd hym, but it was delyveryd all to gedyr, but it shall be browght yow and the wyndas with the teles by the next caryer, as myn orangys shall com to me I tryst. Dame Elyzabet Calthorp is a fayir lady and longyth for orangis, thow she be not with chyld. Item, I pray yow that ye wyll make aqwetance on to the person of Mawtby66.3 and to John Seyne as executors to John Dawbeney, for they wyll take non admynystracyon of hys goodis tyll they be aqwetansyd of youre and my modyr. Ye maye do it well j nough, so God help me; for I wot well ye owt hym mony, and he nat yow, if so be that he wer trewe when he dyid, and I wot well we fond hym nevyr on trew in hys lyve; but hys frendys and othyr of the contre putt grett defawt in me that ther is no thyng don for hym, seying that he myght do no more for us but lose hys lyfe in your servyse and myn; and now he is half forgotyn among us. Wherfor I pray yow let thys be sped.

Item, as for Doctor Pykenham, J. Pampyng can tell yow he is not in Norwyche. When he comyth I shall spek with hym and send yow hys answer. Item, as for myn oncyll Wylliam, I have grant to have a byll of hym what every thyng lythe for; but all thyng is not yet in rest ayen that was 67 remevyd for the chyrchyng of my Lady Anne. As sonne as I have the byll I shall send it yow and hys answer, whyche he wyll fyrst have plegyd owght, and also whethyr he purposyth to do as he seyd by my graundamys lond.

Item, Gefrey Spyrlyng hathe ofte spokyn to me to send to yow for to undyrstand how ye will deell with hym for hys place in Norwyche, for he seythe that he had lever have your good mastyrship ther in then eny othyr manys good lordshep; for and ye wyll be hys good mastyr he wyll swe no ferther, or ellys he must.

Item, a for (sic) for myn old reknyng, I shall make it up in hast and send it yow for your bettyr remembrance, for as me thynkyth by your wrytyng ye have nye forgetyn it; but I am rype j now in it for myn owne dyscharge. Item, I pray yow, take in to your a ward a short murry jornade67.1 of myn whyche Jacobyn, Wykis woman, hathe lest that she be flyttyng and that it be exchetyd. Item, I pray yow send me swyr tydyngis of the world in hast.

As for the bysheop of Wynchestyr, W. Wyrceteyr told my modyr that he had takyn charge x. dayis or then Pampyng cam hom; but he wenyth that the bysshop wyll be a yenst yow, in so myche that [he67.2] avysyd my modyr to consell yow that ye sholl labor to my Lord Cardynall67.3 that the seyd byshop shold not be amytted to take admynystracyon. No mor, &c. Wretyn at Norwyche the fyrst daye off Marche. J. P.

I pray, get us a wyfe somwher, for Melius est nubere in Domino quam urere. (cao primo.)67.4

Noveritis universi per presentes me J. P. mylitem remisisse, &c. Roberto Cotteler personæ ecclesiæ de Mawtby in comitatu Norfolk et Johanni Seyne de Rollysby in eodem comitatu, executores testamenti et ultimæ voluntatis Johannis Dawbeney armygeri, nuper defuncti, omnimodas acciones, tam reales, &c. quos versus eundem Robertum sive Johannem Seyne habui, habeo, &c., racione alicujus debyti dicti Johannis Dawbeney, 68 jam defuncti, mychi dicto J. Paston debite (sic) a principio mundi usque in diem, &c. In cujus, &c. Datum, &c.

As for the yer of the Kyng, let it be set in, but as for the daye and the monyth let it be owt, for the day must be aftyr probate of the wyll and the admynystracyon takyng. I pray you, let thys be sped in all hast possybyll; and as for your obligacyon and syche ger as belongyth to yow, I shalbe swyr of it er they have the aqwetance.

Item, as for owyr afrayis her, J. Pampyng can tell yow; but and they get me, ye loose a brodyr, quod juratum est.

It is good to do by the comandment of your mastyr whyll I am so well boryn owte; thys my lord of Norffolk galantis send me woord dayly ad confortandum stomacum. Ye must spek with your mastyr and comon some remedye hastyly, or be God I enswyr yow, whyll owyr Dwk is thus cherysheid with the kyng, ye nor I shall not have a man unbetyn or slayn in thys contre, nor our sylfe nowthyr, as well ye as I, quod juratum est onys ayen. The Dwke, the Dwches and ther consell ar wrothe that ye make no meanys to them your sylfe.

Item, I send yow Townysendis endentwre by John Pampyng.

66.1 [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 192.] This letter may be dated 1470, by comparing the postscript with the beginning of No. 742, which seems to have been written in answer to it. John Daubeney was killed at the siege of Caister in 1469. See Nos. 725, 733.

66.2 James Gloys.

66.3 Robert Cutler or Cotteler. See next page.

67.1 Halliwell gives ‘jornet’ as ‘a kind of cloak’; ‘murrey’ was a dark red colour.

67.2 Omitted in MS.

67.3 Cardinal Bourchier.

67.4 The reference is as inaccurate as the quotation. The text referred to is 1 Cor. vii. 9: ‘Melius est enim nubere quam uri.’


To John Paston, Esquier, beyng at Norwyche, be thys letter delyveryd.


I comande me to yow, letyng yow wete, &c.68.2

. . . . . . .

Item, as for Mestresse Kateryn Dudle, I have many tymes recomandyd yow to hyr, and she is noo thynge displeasyd 69 with itt. She rekkythe not howe many gentylmen love hyr; she is full of love. I have betyn the mater for yow, your onknowleche, as I told hyr. She answerythe me, that sche woll noon thys ij. yer, and I beleve hyr; for I thynke sche hathe the lyffe that sche can holde hyr content with; I trowe she woll be a sore laboryng woman this ij. yer for mede of hyr sowle.

And Mestresse Gryseacresse is sure to Selenger, with my Lady of Exestre, a fowle losse.

Item, I praye yow speke with Harcort off the Abbeye, for a lytell clokke, whyche I sent hym by James Gressham to amend, and that ye woll get it off hym, and it be redy, and sende it me; and as for mony for hys labor, he hathe another cloke off myne, whyche Sir Thomas Lyndes, God have hys sowle! gave me; he may kepe that tyll I paye hym. Thys klok is my Lordys Archebysshopis, but late not hym wete off it, and that itt [be] easely caryed hyddre by yowr advyse.

Also as for orenges, I schall sende yow a serteyn by the next caryer. And as for tydynge the berer hereoff schall infforme yow; ye most geve credence to hym.

As for my goode spede, I hope well. I am offryd yit to have Mestresse Anne Haulte, and I schall have help i nowe, as some say.69.1

. . . . . . .

Item, it is soo that I am halffe in purpose to com home with in a monythe her afftr, or abowt Med Lente, or beffor Esterne, ondyr yowr coreccon, iff so be that ye deme that [my] modre wolde helpe me to my costys, x. mark or ther abowt; I praye feele hyr dysposicion and sende me worde.

Item, I cannot tell yow what woll falle off the worlde, for the Kyng verrely is dysposyd to goo in to Lyncoln schyr, and men wot not what wyll falle ther off, ner ther afftre; they wene my Lorde off Norffolke shall69.2 brynke men.

Item, ther is comen a newe litell Torke, whyche is a wele 70 vysagyd felawe, off the age off xl. yere; and he is lower than Manuell by a hanffull, and lower then my lytell Tom by the schorderys, and mor lytell above hys pappe; and he hathe, as he seyde to the Kynge hymselffe, iij. or iiij. sonys, chyldre, iche one off hem as hyghe and asse lykly as the Kynge hymselffe; and he is leggyd ryght i now, and it is reportyd that hys pyntell is as long as hys legge.

Item, I praye yow schewe, or rede to my moodre suche thynges as ye thynke is for her to know, afftre yowr dyscression; and to late hyr undrestond off the article off the trete between Syr Wylliam Yelverton and me.

Item, my Lorde of Warwyk, as it is supposyd, schall goo with the Kynge in to Lyncolne schyre; some men seye that hys goyng shall doo goode, and som seye that it dothe harme.

I praye yow evyr have an eyghe to Caster, to knowe the rewle ther, and sende me worde, and whyther my wyse Lorde and my Lady be yit as sottyt [? besotted] uppon it as they were; and whether my seyd Lorde resortythe thyddre as offte as he dyd or nott; and off the dysposycion off the Contre. J. P., K.

68.1 [From Fenn, ii. 28.] From the reference to the King’s being about to go into Lincolnshire, and what is said of the Earl of Warwick, it may be clearly inferred that this letter was written on the outbreak of the insurrection of Sir Robert Welles in the beginning of March 1470.

68.2 Here (according to Fenn) follows an account of bills and receipts, etc.

69.1 Here (according to Fenn) follows an account of some disputes between Sir William Yelverton and Sir John Paston, his uncle William, etc., of no consequence.

69.2 shall. This word is not in Fenn’s left-hand or literal transcript, but is given as part of the text in the right-hand copy.


To my Cosyn, J. Paston.


The King camme to Grantham, and ther taried Thoresday all day; and ther was headed Sir Thomas Dalalaunde, and on John Neille, a greate capteyn; and upon the Monday next after that at Dancastr, and ther was headed Sir Robert Wellys, and a nothr greate capteyn; and than the King hadde warde that the Duk of Clarence and the Erle of Warwick was att Esterfeld [Chesterfield], xx. mile from Dancastre.


And upon the Tewesday att ix. of the bell, the King toke the feld, and mustered his people; and itt was seid that wer never seyn in Inglond so many goodly men, and so well arreiyed in a feld. And my Lord was whorsshupfully accompanyed, no lord ther so well; wherfor the King gaffe my Lord a greate thanke.

And than the Duk of Clarence and the Erle of Warwik harde that the King was comyng to them warde, in contynent they departed and wente to Manchestre in Lancasshire, hopyng to have hadde helpe and socour of the Lord Stanley, butt in conclucion ther they hadde litill favor, as itt was enformed the King, and so men sayn they wente westward, and sommen demen to London. And whan the King harde they wer departed and gon, he went to York, and came theder the Thoresday next aftr, and ther camme in to hym all the gentilmen of the shire; and uppon our Lady Day [he] made Percy Erle of Northumberland, and he that was Erle affore Markeys Muntakew. And [so]71.1 the King is purposed to come southwarde, God send hym god spede.

Writen the xxvij. day of March. For Trowyth.

70.1 [From Fenn, ii. 36.] This letter gives an account of the suppression of the rebellion in Lincolnshire in 1470.

71.1 This word is not in the text of Fenn’s literal transcript, but it is given without brackets in the transcript in modern spelling.


William Worcester to ——


Letter in English, on paper (signed W. W., but unaddressed), desiring some one to propose to ‘my Lord’ [the Bishop of Winchester?] the obtaining of a letter from Sir John Paston to the tenants of Titchwell that he will not claim any rents from them, and another from ‘my Lord,’ to the same effect, on behalf of Sir William Yelverton; and the sending a warrant to expend 4 or 6 marks upon making up the sea banks before the Titchwell pastures, because at 72 Spring the sea breaks in upon them. Desires to know whether Sir W. Yelverton’s advice shall be taken upon business matters. ‘Frere’ Geffrey Westvale is going to be created Doctor in Theology at Cambridge, at the Feast of St. John, who twenty years past, when at Yarmouth convent, belonged to ‘my Maister Fastolf’; and Sir Thomas Howys, a month before his decease, promised to help him on Mr. Fastolf’s order. He would have come now to ‘my Lord’ to ask his alms had not the writer letted him. Desires to be informed whether ‘my Lord’ will help him. ‘Maister Briston yn lykewyse Maister Spicer, and Maister Stevyns, trustyn appon me and dyvers others to speke to my Lord for a relyeve,’ and Thomas Fastolf and Milcent Fastolf, and many others, ‘that make me noyed and werye.’

71.2 [From MS. Titchwell, 120, in Magdalen College, Oxford.] From internal evidence it would seem that this letter must have been written shortly before that which follows it. The abstracts of these two letters have been kindly supplied to me by Mr. Macray.


MAY 17

Letter in English from W. Wyrcestre to Bishop Wayneflete.—Has been at Tychewell to endeavour to let the manor and farm, but none of the farmers there will take it without guarantees from Sir John Paston and Sir William Yelverton in writing against any distraint.  .  .  .  .  the younger, who owes £9, will come to the Bishop about the letting. The writer represents his own poor condition. Has been at charges ten years in London, and in riding on the infinite process of ‘my Maister Fastolf’s testament yn the court of audience.’ Is now obliged to retire from London to Cambridge in order to live cheaply. Had been promised 25 marks on Paston’s behalf, 20 marks for ever of Fastolf’s lands, 5 marks of fee for his life, and £15 worth of land for ever. Has not had clearly 8 marks.

72.1 [From MS. Titchwell, 199, in Magdalen College, Oxford.]


To Syr John Paston, Knyght, or to Thomas Stompys, to delyver to the seyd Syr John.


Ryght worchepfull syr, and my specyall good brodyr, I recomand me to yow; and for as myche as I can not send yow good tydyngs, ye shall have syche as I knowe.


It is so that on Wednysday last past ye and I, Pampyng, and Edmund Broom were endyttyd of felonye at the Sessyons her in Norwyche for shotyng of a gonne at Caster in August last past, whyche goone slowghe two men, I, Pampyng and Broom as pryncypall, and ye as accessary; notwithstandyng Townysend73.1 and Lomner held an oppynyon that the verdytt is voyd, for ther wer ij. of th’enqwest that wold not agre to th’endyttment. And in as myche as they ij. wer agreyd in othyr maters, and not in that, and that they two wer not dyschargyd fro the remnant at syche tym as that verdyth of yowyr endytment was govyn, ther oppynyon is that all the vordyght is voyde, as well of all othyr maters as of yowyr. Whedyr ther opynyon be good or not, I can not determyne, nor them sylf neythyr.

I pray yow let not thys mater be slept, for I can thynk that my Lord of Norff. consaylle wyll cawse the wedows to tak an apell, and to remeve it up in to the Kyngs Benche at the begynyng of this term. Townysend hathe promysyd me that he shall be at London on Twysday next comyng, and then ye may comon with hym in that mater, and take hys avyse.

Item, Townysend and Lomner thynk that and ye have good consayll, ye may justyfye the kepyng of the plase for the pesybyll possessyon that ye have had in it mor then iij. yeer; but in conclusyon, all thys is doo for nowght ellys but for to enforse yow to take a dyreccyon with my Lord of Norff.

I undyrstood by R. Sothewell—for he and I comonyd in thys mater ryght largely betwyx hem and me—in so myche he tellyth me that and I be at London in the wek next aftyr Seynt Petyr, at whych tyme he shall be ther hym sylf, he seyth that my Lady hathe promysyd me hyr good ladyshep, and sent me woord by hym, in as myche as he spak for me to hyr, that she wold remembyr myn old servyse, and for get the gret dysplesyr in syche wyse that I shall undyrstand that the swtte that I have mad to my Lord hyr husbond and hyr shall torne to your avantage and myn, more then we weene as yett or shall undyrstand tyll syche tyme as I have spokyn with hyr good grace. And upon thys promesse I 74 have promysyd Sothewell to meet with hym at London that same weeke next aftyr Seynt Petyr; wherfor I wold passyngly fayne that ye wer in London at that season, or nye abowght London, so that I myght undyrstand at your plase wher that I myght spek with yow or then I spek with my Lady.

I propose to go to Canterbery74.1 on foot thys next week, with Godds grace, and so to com to London fro thense. I pray yow se that I be safe for Parker and Henry Coletts mater.

Sothewell74.2 told me thys, that if so be that ye wyll your sylf, ye shall have bothe goode lordshep and ladyshep, and mony or lond, or both, and all your maters set cler. What that he menyth, I can not sey. As for all othyr maters in thys contre, I shall do as well as I may for fawt of monye tyll I spek with yow. I have many collars on, as I shall tell yow when I come.

No more, but God preserve yow and yours. Wretyn at Norwyche, Fryday next aftyr Corpus Christi Daye. J. P.

I ded as myche as I kowd to have lettyd th’endyttment, but it wold not be, as I shall enform you; and Townysend knowyth the same.

72.2 [From Fenn, iv. 428.] As this letter refers to an incident in the siege of Caister as having taken place ‘in August last,’ there can be no doubt about the date.

73.1 Probably Roger Townsend, afterwards Justice of the Common Pleas.

74.1 On pilgrimage to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket, I suppose.—F.

74.2 Richard Southwell, Esq. of Wood-Rising. He acquired this estate by marrying Amy, daughter and co-heir of Sir Edmund Wichingham, Knight.—F.


To Syr John Paston, Knyght, or to Thomas Stomppys, to delyver to the seyd Syr John.


As I sent yow woord by a lettyr that John Wymondham browght to London, J. Pampyng is endyghtyd of felony, and Edmund Broon as princypallys, and ye as axcessary, for schotyng of agonne in Awgust last past, whyche 75 gonne kyllyd ij. men; and I trowe that my Lord of Norff. consayll wyll make on of the wedows, or bothe, to swe an apell up on the same endyghtment thys terme. Wherfor I pray yow se well to thys mater, that when it is sertyfyid in to the Kyngys Benche, Broom and Pampyng may have warnyng that they may purvey for hem self, if ther com eny capyas owght for hem. Townysend can tell yow all the mater.

Also ye must in eny wyse be ware, for my grauntdam75.1 and myn Lady Anne75.2 and myn Oncyll Wyllam shall be at London within thes viij. or x. dayis, and I wot well it is for nowght ellys but to make myn Oncyll Wyllam swyr of hyr lond, notwithstandyng she hath reryd affyn of it be for Goodreed,75.3 the Justyse, in my grauntfadyrs dayis, and my modyr tellyth me that ye have the copye of the same fyne; I wold avyse yow to have it redy, what so evyr betyd. I trow they wyll be the more besy abowght the same mater, because they thynk that ye dar not com in London, nor at Westmenstyr to lett [stop] them; but if so be that ye have not the copy of the same fynne, look that ye spare for no cost to do serche for itt, for it wyll stand yow on hand, I feell by the werkyng.

Thys day sevennyght I trust to God to be forward to Caunterbery at the ferthest, and upon Saterday com sevennygh I tryst to God to be in London; wherfor I pray yow leve woord at yowr plase in Fleet Strett wher I shall fynd yow, for I purpose not to be seyn in London tyll I have spook with yow.

I pray yow remembyr thes maters, for all is doon to make yow to drawe to an ende with thes Lordys that have your lond fro yow. No more, but I pray God send yow your herttys desyir in thees maters and in all othyr.

Wretyn at Norwyche, the Monday next aftyr Seynt John Baptyst. J. P.

74.3 [From Fenn, iv. 434.] This letter, it will be seen, refers in the beginning to the same matter as the preceding.

75.1 Agnes Paston, widow of William Paston, the Judge.

75.2 Anne, daughter of Edmund Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, married William Paston, the uncle of Sir John Paston.—F.

75.3 William Goodrede was created a Serjeant-at-Law in 1425. In 1431 he was appointed King’s Serjeant, and in 1434 became a Justice of the King’s Bench.—F.




Indenture between Sir John Paston and Edmund Shaa, goldsmith, London, concerning 20 dishes and a saucer of silver pledged to the latter, 3rd July 10 Edw. IV.

76.1 [From Paston MSS.]



Indenture, dated London, 8th July 10 Edw. IV., whereby Sir John Paston places in pawn to Stephen Kelke, goldsmith, of London, 16 pottingers, weighing 22 lb. 10½ oz. Troy weight, for £40, till Whitsuntide following.

76.2 [From Add. Charter 17,249, B.M.]


Fastolf’s Lands


‘11. A triparted indenture betweene William Bishop of Winton and John Paston, Knight, and others, touching the intent of two feoffmentes of the Bishop of Wynton, the one of the mannors of Drayton and Tolthorp, in the county of Norfolk and the city of Norwich, which were somtymes Sir John Falstofs; the other of the mannors of Wynterton, cald Bregmiles (?), of Reppys in Bastwyke, the third part of the mannor of Rowneham, londes and tenementes cald Cutts in Haringby, and lands cald Buley in Stokesby, to Guy Fairfax, John Paston, Squier, et aliis. July 14, Edw. IV. 10.’

‘17. Relaxatio Johannis Paston, Georgii Arch. Cant. et aliorum Willielmo Waynflet totius juris de et in omnibus maneriis, terris, &c. quæ fuerunt Johannis Falstolf in comit’ Norf., exceptis manerio de Castre et Spensers in Haringby, ac 77 terris vocat’ Vaux, Redham, et Bosoms, et maner’ de Hayleydon, Drayton, et Tolthorp. Julii 14, Edw. IV. 10.’

‘28. An indenture contayning mutuall releases of the Bishop of Wynton to John Paston, Knight, et ca. July 14, Edw. IV. 10.’

‘29 and 61. An indenture containing the agreement betweene Wylliam Wainflet, Bishop of Wynton, and Sir John Paston, concerning Sir John Fastolfes landes and goods. July 14, Edw. IV. 10.’

This last document, of which there is another copy or draft, numbered 36 in the Index, is more fully described, as follows, by Mr. Macray, in the Fourth Report of the Historical MSS. Commission:—

1470, 14 July, 10 Edw. IV. Indenture tripartite (very long, in English) between Bishop Wayneflete and Sir John Paston, Knight, containing an agreement for the termination of disputes between the executors of the will of Sir John Fastolf, whereby the property of the latter has been much wasted; dividing the manors between the Bishop and Paston, and providing for the foundation of seven priests and seven poor scholars in Magdalene College; Paston to deliver up all deeds and muniments to the Priory of St. Mary Overy, in Southwark, to be put in a chest, locked with two locks and two keys, of which the Bishop to have one and Paston the other, and the Bishop to bring thither also all his deeds; one part of this indenture to remain with each of the parties, and the third with the Prior of St. Mary Overy.

76.3 The following entries are taken from the old index of deeds and writings relating to Norfolk and Suffolk, preserved in the tower of Magdalen College, Oxford.


To my most reverent and worshipfull master, Sir John Paston, Knyght.


Right worshipfull sir and my good master, I recomaund me unto yow in my moost lowly wise. And please yow to wete I have with the mony ye sent me by Judy rewardid my felaship as ye comaundid, wretyn in a bille closid herin; and as for William Milsent I lete hym wete hough ye undirstood he was disposed to goo hoom to his fadere, wherof ye were pleasid and wold he shuld do so. He 78 said he intendid not to be with his fadir, ner it was not in his power so to do; nevirthelesse he is home to his fadir and ther abidith, but what he purposith to do I wote not. Davy is at home and takyth heed to his lond. Homeworth is content and gooth to his labour. As for Stompis, I have be with the Abbot of Sen Benetts for hym as ye comaundid. And he recomaundith hym to yow, and said to me he was right glad that ye wold send to hym for any servaunt ye had, saying that if he coud do any thyng for yow, and for any servaunt of yours, he wold do it feithfully. And also he said he wold not fayle yow whill he levid in that he coud and myght do, trustyng heraftir to have your help and favour in that he shall have a do. And he told me and Stompis bothe, whanne so evir he come he shuld be welcome, and that he wold do as welle to hym as to fewe servauntes he had for yowr sake, and that he wold kepe hym for yow. As for my self my mastres saith she woll geve me mete and drynk for a season; nevirthelesse I am warnyd to be ware, for it is told me that ther is processe out upon the appele ayens me and other; wherfore I beseche yow that that mater may be take heed to as ye may, that we myght have knowlech of any processe ther be, that we may be ware, for I thynk verely, and I or any other come in ther hands this world, we shuld not escape without shame at the leest.

Item, as for the remnaunt of the mony biside this bille, ye owe to the parson of Sent Edmondes Caster for iiij. combe malt, and ij. combe whete, xs. whiche I promysid hym to pay; and Rob. Newton lymebrenner for lyme, xiijs. iiijd., calling upon me for it; and Robert Bery for shoyng, xs.; and if it please yow that I make payment herof there shall remayne in my handes xxiijs. iiijd. And what ye woll I do herin, I beseche yow to send me word. Judy hath be with Thom Fastolff, he can telle yow answer in that mater. As for the rewle at Caster, they selle and make mony of such stuffe as they fond there, and kepe other rewle that the contre is full sory and irk of, and of my lordes men resortyng to hem, and riden about the contry onknowen, and by berynges on hand78.1 take large 79 bribys. I pray God be your spede and send yow some good meane for your wele and ease to them that owe yow servise. Wretyn at Norwich the Monday next aftir Relik Sonday, Your pore servaunt, Pampyng.

77.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] Reference is made in this letter to the appeal which the two widows were to sue against Sir John Paston. See Nos. 746, 747.

78.1 See vol. ii. p. 110, Note 1.



I grete yow well and send yow Goddes blissyng and myne, letyng yow wete that your fermours have brought me a gret bille of reparacion, the which I send yow, with lxs. in mony. I wold have had the residue of the mony of them, and they said it was your agrement that this reparacion shuld be do and alowed now at this payment, and so I coud get no more mony of them. And they say that the parson79.2 was prevy to the reparacion. If ye were thus agreed and woll have the reparacion examined ye may send word; but I wold ye shuld purvey for your self as hastely as ye may, and come home and take heed to your owne and to myn therto, otherwise thanne ye have do bifore this, bothe for my profite and for yours, or ellis I shall purvey for my self otherwise in hast, so that I trust shall be more ease and avayle for me and non ease nor profite to yow in tyme to come. I have litell help nor comfort of non of yow yet, God geve me grase to have heraftir. I wold ye shuld assay whedir it be more profitable for yow to serve me thanne for to serve such masters as ye have servid afore this, and that ye fynde mooste profitable theraftir do in tyme to come. Ye have assayed the werld resonabilly, ye shall knowe your self the bettir heraftir. I pray God we may be in quyete and in rest with oure own from hens forth. My power is nat so good as I wold it were for your sake and other; and if it were, we shuld not longe be in 80 daungere. God brynge us oute of it; who have yow in His kepynge. Wretyn with onhertes ease the Monday next aftir Relike Sonday. By your Modir.

79.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter, although subscribed ‘By your mother,’ is neither signed nor addressed. It is, however, undoubtedly from Margaret Paston to her son Sir John. It is written in Pampyng’s hand, and seems to be of the same year as his own letter immediately preceding, which is dated on the same day.

79.2 Sir Thomas Howes.


. . . . . Paston, &c.

AUG. 5

Brother, I comand me to yow, &c. . . .80.2 Also telle John Pampyng that the mayde at the Bulle at Cludeys at Westminster sent me on a tyme by hym to the Moor a rynge of goolde to a tookne, whyche I hadde not off hym. Wherffor I wolle he scholde sende it hyedre, ffor sche most have itt ageyn, or ellys vs., ffor it was not hyrrys. Item, I praye yow be redye; the mater qwykennythe bothe ffor yowe and yowres as well as ffor us and howrys.

As ffor tydynges, my Lorde Erchebysshop80.3 is at the Moor, but ther is beleffte with hym dyverse off the Kynges servantes, and as I understond he hathe lysence to tarry ther tyll he be sente ffor. Ther be many ffolkes uppe in the northe, soo that Percy80.4 is not able to recyst them; and soo the Kynge hathe sente ffor hys ffeeodmen to koom to hym, for he woll goo to putt them downe. And soom seye that the Kynge sholde come ageyn to London, and that in haste, and as it is sayde Cortenayes be londyd in Devenschyr, and ther rewle.

Item, that the Lordes Clarance and Warwyk woll assaye to londe in Inglonde evyrye daye, as ffolkes ffeer.

I praye yow late not John Mylsent be longe ffrom me, with as moche as can be gaderyd: and also that ye wryght to me off all thynges that I have wretyn to yow ffor, so that I may 81 have answer off every thynge. Other thynges Bacheler Walter, berer heroff, schall informe yow

Wretyn at London, the Sondaye nexte beffor Seynt Lawrence Daye.81.1

Also my brother Edmonde is not yet remembryd. He hathe not to lyff with, thynk on hym, &c. John Paston, Kt.

80.1 [From Fenn, ii. 46.] This letter, as it will be seen from the contents, was written at the period just before the restoration of Henry VI.

80.2 Here follows an order about searching for some writings, etc.—F.

80.3 This must mean George Neville, Archbishop of York, and brother to the Earl of Warwick, who seems to have been suspected by the King, and left at the Moor as a kind of state prisoner.—F.

80.4 Henry Percy, who was restored to the Earldom of Northumberland this year on its surrender by John Nevill, Lord Montague. See No. 743.

81.1 St. Laurence’s day is the 10th of August.

... Bacheler Walter, berer heroff, schall informe yow.
final . missing or invisible


AUG. 7

Indenture, dated London, 7th Aug., 10 Edw. IV., whereby Sir John Paston puts in pawn to Ric. Rawlyn of London, grocer, 2 chargers and 4 potengers, weighing 11 lb. 1¾ oz. silver, for £20, till Whitsunday following.

81.2 [From Add. Charter 17,250, B.M.]

weighing 11 lb. 1¾ oz. silver
. in “oz.” missing



1470, 10 Aug., 10 Edw. IV., at Eshher. Undertaking in English by John Paston, Esq., son of John Paston, Esq., who was one of the feoffees and executors of Sir John Fastolf, that whereas Bishop Waynflete, also one of the feoffees, and now sole executor, has taken upon him to perform the will of the said Sir John, so far forth as it may be performed (it being in most substance not yet performed, and his property wasted and devoured), out of his manors and lands in Essex, Surrey, Norfolk, Suffolk, and the city of Norwich, he (the said John Paston) will do true and faithful service to the said Bishop, and will be aiding and assisting to him and Magdalen College, in order that the lands may be let to their greatest profit, he being rewarded by the Bishop, to show his very good will to the due performing of Fastolf’s will; and that before the Feast of All Saints next he will deliver up to the said Bishop all charters, deeds, evidences, rentals, accounts, etc., pertaining to any of the said manors, excepting such as concern solely the manor of Castre, which by covenant of the said Bishop with Sir John Paston, Knight, brother of the said John Paston, Squire, must remain with the same Sir John.

81.3 The following abstract, like some others preceding, is taken from Mr. Macray’s Report to the Historical MSS. Commission on the Records of Magdalen College, Oxford.

1470, 10 Aug., 10 Edw. IV., at Eshher.
spelling unchanged



Painter’s Work


1. Account of payments to Robert Spery, servant of Vyol, and others, for working at the Frerys82.2 in June and July; also for varnish, lead, earthen pans, yellow ochre, oil, bristles to make brushes, etc., for painter’s work.

Endorsed: ‘Vialles byll comprisid in the iij. rolles of stuff and werkmanship to A. P.82.3 place and the Freris, which, as Clargynet understondith, is paid to Viall.’

‘Memorandum: j. copy of this bill remayneth amonges the billes of werkmanship at the White Freres and Baretts place, and a noder among the billes of plate and Vialles plegis.’

2. ‘Bill indented,’ 15th Aug. 10 Edw. IV., between William Paston, Esq., and Thomas Vyall of Norwich, painter, relative to the pledging of certain coral beads and plate to the former, for £5.

3. Account of sums owing to one Vyall for certain persons ‘at the Freris,’ during August, September, and October. Total, 32s. 10d.

Endorsed: ‘Viall’s reckoning written in the roll of the Freris werke not paid, and must be allowed of the £5 that was lent to Viall not yet content again.’

‘Memorandum: one copy of this bill remaineth amongs the bills of workmanship at the White Freris and Baretts place, and another bill amongs the bills of plate and pledges.’

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

82.2 Apparently the White Friars at Norwich.

82.3 Agnes Paston’s?

not yet content again.’
close quote missing


Fastolf’s College82.4

AUG. 27

‘4. John Paston, Squier, bindes himself to doe true and faithfull service to the Bishop of Winton, and to be ayding to his college and other his officers and tenants, for the landes of Sir John Falstolf, and to deliver to him all deedes, evidences, etc., except such as concerne the manor of Castre. Aug. 27, Edw. IV. 10.’

82.4 This entry is from the same old index of deeds in Magdalen College, Oxford, referred to in previous Nos.



To oure welbelovid William Swan, Gentilman.

R. E.

By the King.


Trusty and welbeloved, we grete you well. And for soo muche as we be credibly acertayned that our auncient ennemyes of Fraunce and our outward rebells and traitors be drawe to gadre in acorde, and entende hastily to lande in our countre of Kent, or in the parties therof ner adjonyng, with grete might and power of Frenshemen, utterly to destroie us and our true subgietts, and to subverte the comon wele of the same our royalme: We straitly charge and commaunde you, upon the feyth and liegeaunce that ye bare unto us, that ye arredie you with alle the felaship ye can make, and as sone as ye may undrestonde that thay lande in our said countie or nerbye, that you draw thider, as we have comaunded othere our subgietts to doo, and put you in uttremost devoir with thaim to resiste the malice of our said ennemyes and traitours; and if thai and ye be not of power soo to doo, that thanne ye drawe you to our citie of London, by which tyme we trust to be there in our owne personne or nerby; and if we be not that, that thanne ye do farther all ye shal bee commaunded by our Counsail there, upon the payne above said.

Yeven undre oure signet at oure citie of York, the vij. day of Septembr.

83.1 [From Fenn, iv. 438.] This letter does not properly belong to the Paston correspondence. It was copied by Fenn from an original in the library of Brigg Price Fountaine, Esq. of Narford, in Norfolk, nephew and heir of the celebrated antiquary, Sir Andrew Fountaine. The MS. was contained in a volume of State Papers, some of them originals, and some copies, of various dates, which had belonged to Sir Edward Coke.

The date of the document is undoubtedly in September 1470, when Edward was at York, anticipating the invasion of Clarence and the Earl of Warwick, aided by the King of France.


Henry VI. Restored


To my ryght worchipfull Modyr, Margaret Paston, be thys delyuered.

OCT. 12

Aftyr humbyll and most dew recommendacyon, as lowly as I can, I beseche yow of yowr blyssyng. Plesyt yow to wet that, blyssyd be God, my brodyr and I be in good hele; and I tryst that we shall do ryght well in all owyr maters hastyly; ffor my Lady of Norff.84.2 hathe promyssyd to be rewlyd by my Lord of Oxynforthe84.3 in all syche maters as belonge to my brodyr and to me; and as for my Lord of Oxynforthe, he is bettyr Lord to me, by my trowthe, than I can wyshe hym in many maters; for he sente to my Lady of Norff. by John Bernard only for my mater, and for non othyr cause, my onwetyng [i.e. without my knowledge], or wythout eny preyer of me, for when he sente to hyr I was at London, and he at Colchestyr, and that is a lyeklyod he remembyrthe me.

The Dwk and the Dwchess swe to hym as humbylly as evyr 85 I dyd to them; in so myche that my Lord of Oxynforth shall have the rwyll of them and thers, by ther owne desyirs and gret meanys.

As for the ofyces that ye wrot to my brodyr for and to me, they be for no poore men; but I tryst we shall sped of othyr ofyseys metly for us, for my Mastyr the Erle of Oxynforthe bydeth me axe and have. I trow my brodyr Syr John shall have the Constabyllshep of Norwyche Castyll, with xxli. of ffee; all the Lordys be agreyd to it.

Tydyngs, the Erle of Wyrcestyr85.1 is lyek to dye this day, or to morow at the ferthest. John Pylkyngton, Mr. W. att Clyff, and Fowler ar takyn, and in the Castyll of Pomfrett, and ar lyek to dye hastyly, with owte they be dead. Sir T. Mongomere and Joudone be takyn; what shall falle of hem I can not sey.

The Qwen85.2 that was, and the Dwchess of Bedford,85.3 be in seyntuary at Westmestyr; the Bysheop of Ely85.4 with othyr Bysheopys ar in Seynt Martyns. When I here more, I shall send yow more. I prey God send yow all your desyrs. Wretyn at London on Seynt Edwards Evyn. Your sone and humbyll servant, J. P.

Modyr, I beseche yow that Brome may be spoken to, to gadyr up my syllvyr at Gwton in all hast possybyll, for I have no mony. Also that it lyek yow that John Mylsent may be spoken to, to kep well my grey horse, and he be alyve, and that he spare no met on hym, and that he have konnyng lechys to look to hym. As for my comyng hom, I knowe no serteynte, for I terry tyll my Lady of Norff. com to go thorow with the maters, and she shall not be here tyll Sonday.

84.1 [From Fenn, ii. 50.] The contents of this letter clearly refer to the state of matters on the restoration of Henry VI.

84.2 Elizabeth, daughter of John Talbot, first Earl of Shrewsbury, was the wife of John Mowbray, fifth Duke of Norfolk.

84.3 John de Vere, a staunch Lancastrian.

85.1 John Tiptoft, Lord Treasurer and Chief-Constable of England. He was beheaded on a charge of cruelty, 18th October 1470.

85.2 Elizabeth Woodville, Queen of Edward IV.

85.3 Jaquetta of Luxemburg, Duchess-Dowager of Bedford, widow of Sir Richard Woodville, the mother of Edward’s queen.

85.4 William Gray.



To the Baillies, Constables, and Chamberleyns of our Burgh of Eye, and to everch of them.

The Duke of Suff.

OCT. 22

For asmuche as Edmond Lee and John Barker, which were waged for your town to awaite upon us in the Kings service to Lincolne Feld, and from thens to Excestre and ayen, and for that season, as we be enfourmed, thei ar not yet fully contented and paied of their wages; wherfore upon the sighte herof we woll and charge that ye, with oute any lenger delay, paie them their hooll duties acording the covenants that ye made with them, and ye faille not herof as ye entende our pleaser.

Wreten at Wyngefeld, the xxijth day of Octobr. Suffolk.

86.1 [From Fenn, iv. 448.] The battle here referred to as ‘Lincoln Field’ is what is commonly called the battle of Stamford, in which the insurrection of Sir Robert Welles in Lincolnshire was completely defeated in March 1470. Just before the date of this document, Edward IV. had left the kingdom, and Henry VI. had been restored; but perhaps Suffolk was not aware of the situation, or did not recognise it.


OCT. 28

I grete you wele and send you Goddis blyssyng and myn, and I sende you be the berere herof all the sylver vessell that your graundam86.3 makyth so mych of, which she seid I had of myn husband, and myn husband shuld have had it of his fader. And wher as she seid that I shuld have had a garneys, I had ner see never more than I send you, that 87 is to say, ij. plateris, vj. dysshes and vj. sawceris. The ij. playteris weyn xliij. unces di., and the vj. dysshes weyn lxxiiij. unces di. and the sawcers weyn xvij. unces j. quarter. And I marvayll that ye sent me not word what an unce of sylver is werth at London; for it had be lesse joparte to have sold it here and have sent you the money than the plate. I myght have sold it her for iijs. an unce, sum xxli. iiijs. iijd. Be ware how that ye spend it, but in acquityng you ageyn such as ye be in daunger to, or abought the good speed of your materis; for, but if ye take odere heed to your expensis, ye shall do your self and your frendis gret diswurchep and enpoveryssh so them that non of us shall help other, to owr elmys [enemies’] grete comfort. It is understand ryght now in this countre be such as cleyme to be frendly to you in what grete daunger and nede ye stande in, bothe to diverse of your frendis and to your elmyse. And also it is noysed that I have departed so largely with you that I may nowthere help yow, my self nor none of my frendis; which is no wurchep, and causeth me to set the lesse be us; and at this tyme it compellith me to breke up howshold and to sogeorn; which I am right loth to have to do if I myght otherwyse have chosyn; for it caused gret clamour in this town87.1 that I shall do so; and it shuld not have neded if I had restreyned whan I myght. Therfore for Goddis sake take hede here to, and be ware from hens forth; for I have delivered and sent you bothyn my parte the dedis and yowris, and not restreyned nowthere for my self nor the dede. Where fore I thynk we spede and fare all the wers; for it is a fowle slaunder that he was so wurchepful beried and his qwethword not performed, and so litill do for hym sithen. And now though I wold do for hym, I have right not [naught] beside my lyffelode that I may make any chevysans with, with ought grete slaunder; and my lyffelode encreasith evill, for I am fayn to takyn Mautby in myn owyn hand, and to set up husbandry ther; and how it shall profite me God knowyth. The fermour owyth me lxxxli. and more. Whan I shall have it I wete never. Therfore be never the bolder in your expenses for any help ye trust to have of me. For I will fro 88 hens forth bryng my self ought of such daunger as I stand in for your sakes, and do for the dede and for them that I have my goodis of; for till I do so, I know for certeyn that I shall fayll grace and displeas God, How [who] have you in His kepyng. Wretyn on Sent Symondis day and Judes in hast.—Be your Moder.

Item, I send zow ij. sherte clothys, iche of iii. zardis of the fynest that is in thys towne. I xuld a dohem mad here88.1 but that xuld a be to long here [ere] ze xuld a had hem. Zour Awnte88.2 or sum other good woman wule do her almes up on zow for the makyng of them. I thank zow for the gowne that ye gave me Halowmesse day I hope [I88.3] xole be wurshuped ther with. At reverence of God, be ware and take hed to soche thynggis as is wretyn with ynne thys letter. Telle your brother that the mony is not zet cownyd that I xuld send hym for thersarsenet (sic) and damaske that I spake to hym foor. As for the damaske that may be forebore tylle the nexte terme, but as for the sarsenet I woold have yt and yt mythe be, for I goo in my rentis. Late zour brothere88.4 see thys letter. As fore your syster88.5 I can send zow no good tydyngges of her, God make her a good wooman.

86.2 [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 206.] This letter was written by Margaret Paston to one of her two sons, Sir John or John, at a time when they were both together. That was the case in October 1470, as appears by a letter of the younger brother, written on the 12th (No. 759), to the postscript of which this seems to be an answer.

86.3 Agnes Paston, the judge’s widow.

87.1 Norwich.

88.1 ‘I xuld a dohem mad here’ = I should have got them made here.

88.2 Elizabeth, widow of Robert Poynings.

88.3 Omitted in MS.

88.4 Sir John Paston, if this letter be to the younger brother.

88.5 Margery Paston, now probably married to Richard Calle.


To John Paston, Esquyere, in haste.

NOV. 15

Brother, I comand me to yow, praying yow that thys be yow guydyng, if other folkys wy[ll] agree to the same, that Mr. Roos, olde Knevett, ye, and the worshypfullest that wyll do for owr sake, as Arblaster, John 89 Gyneye, Wodhows, and al other gentelmen that at the daye wyll be in Norwyche, that ye all holl as on bodye come to geder, that my Lorde of Oxenforde maye ondrestande that som strenkethethe restyth ther by, whyche if it be well handely[d] and prove in the handely[ng], I trow Heydonnes parte woll be but an easy comparyson. Neverthelesse ye than most ye be war of on [one] payn, and that is thys: Heydon wyll of crafte sende amonge yow per case vj. or mor with harneyse for to sclandre yowr felawschep, with seyng that they be ryotous peple, and natt of substance. Requer the gentelmen above wretyn that if any men be in Norwyche of the contre that ber any suche harneyse, to do them leve it or any glysteryng byll.

The Meyr and siteseynes of Nowyche wher wonte to have asertayne89.1 in harneyse of men of the town to the nombr of ij. or iij. or v.c., whyche if they now do in lyke case, those wole owe better wyll to Mr. Roos and yow than to other folkys; and if it be so that the thowt nat to have non suche at thys tyme, I thynke the Meyr woll do it at the request of Mr. Roos and yow, if lak of tyme cawse it not.

Item, be well war of Clopton, for he hathe avysed my Lorde to be all to gydre rewled by Heydon, in so moche he hathe reportyd that all thyng and all materys of my Lordes, and in all the contre, scholde guydyd by Heydon. If Clopton or Hygham or Lowes John be besy, prese in to my Lorde byfor them, for the be no Suff.89.2 materys, and tell the raylyng; prayng them not to cawse my Lorde to owe hys favor for the pleser to som folkys ther present. For if my Lorde favoryd or theye owther, by lykelyed my Lorde and they myght lose vj. tyme as many frendes as he scholde wynn by ther meanes. Also if ye cowde fynde the meanes, Mr. R. and ye, to cawse [the] Meyr in my Lordes ere to telle hym, thow he scholde bynde my Lorde to concell, that the love of the contre and syte restyth on owr syde, and that other folkys be not belovyd, ner nevyr wer, thys wolde do 90 nonn harme, if it be soo that all thynge go olyver currant (?); with mor to remembre that ther is owt of that contre that be nat at Norw. besyde me, that be ryght worshypfull, and as worshypfull as few be lengyng to Norff., that woll and schall do my Lorde servyse the rather for my sake and Master Rossys, and the rather if my Lorde semyth nat moche thynge to Heydon guydyng.

Also, the godely menes wherby ye best can entrete my cosyn Sir W. Calthorpe at the seyde day, wse them to cawe hym, if itt wyll be, to come, ye in hys companye, and he in yow in cheff at yow cheff schew, and Mr. Roos and he in company, latyng my seyde cosyn wete that I tolde hym ones that I scholde meve hym of a thyng I trostyn scholde be encressyng bothe to hys honor and well.

I sende yow a lettyr, com to Norwyche by lyklyed to yow on Monday last past. It come some what the lattre, for I wende have dyed nat longe by foer it. Also I receyved on from yow by Mr. Blomvyle yister evyn. Tell my cosyn W. Yelverton that he may not appyr of a whylle in no wyse. I trow my cosyn hys fadr schall sende hym worde of the same. Do that ye can secretly that my Lorde be nat hevy Lorde on to hym. It is undrestande that itt is doon by the craffte of Heydon. He gate hym in to that offyce to have to be ageyn me, and nowe he sethe that he hathe don all that he can ageyn me, and now may doo no mor; nowe he wolde remeve hym. The daye is comen that he fastyd the evyn for, as an holye yonge monke fastyd mor than all the covent, aftr that for hys holynesse and fastyng hopyd to be abbott, whyche afterwarde was abbott; than lefte he hys abstynens, seyng, ‘The daye was come that he fast the evyn for.’

Brother, I pray yow recomand me to my Lord of Oxford gode Lordshyp. And wher as I told my Lord that I shuld have awayted uppon hys Lordsyp in Norff., I wold that I myght soo have don lever then a hundred li.; but in godefeth thos maters that I told my Lord trewed shold lette me war not fynyshed tyl yesterday. Wherfor yf that cause, and also syn Halowmasse every other day myst not hold uppe 91 myn heed, nor yet may, in semech that sythen the seyd day, in Westminster Halle and in other place, I have goon with a staffe as a goste, as men sayd, more lyke that I rose owte of the erth then owte of a fayr laydys bedd; and yet am in lyke case, savyng I am in gode hope to amende. Wherfor I beshyche hys Lordshyp to pardon me, and at a nother tyme I shall make dobell amends; for by my trouth a man cowyd not have hyred me for v. mark with so gode will to have ryden in to Norff. as to have at thys season ther to have awaytyd in hys Lordshyp, and also I wold have ben glad for my Lord shold have knowyn what servys that I myght have don hys Lordshyp in that contray.

Item, your geer ys send to you, as Thomas Stampes sayth, savyng Mylsents geer and the shafeson,91.1 whych I cannot entrete Thomas Stampes to goo therfor thys iij. or iiij. days, wherfor I knokkyd hym on the crowne, &c.

Item, loke that ye take hyde that the letter wer not broken or that it com to your hands, &c. Wryten at London, on Thursday next after Seynt Erkenwolds Day, &c. John Paston, K.

88.6 [From Fenn, iv. 450.] From what is said in this letter about the Earl of Oxford, it is impossible that it could have been written at any other time than during the brief restoration of Henry VI., which only lasted from October 1470 till April following.

89.1 A certain, i.e. a number.

89.2 I retain this word in the abbreviated form in which it is printed in Fenn’s literal transcript; the copy in modern spelling reads sufficient.

91.1 Chevron, a covering for a horse’s head, made of iron and leather.

if it be soo that all thynge go olyver currant (?)
text has “that that”: corrected from Fenn
“olyver currant” may be the Old French (avoir) l’olivier courant (to have a favorable wind)


DEC. 6

[1470] 6 Dec., on paper. Notice in English from the Duke of Norfolk to Philippe Cosard, William Dux, and other of his servants and tenants in the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk, to depart out of the manor of Castre, and all other manors and lands which he bought of Sir W. Yelverton and other executors of Sir J. Fastolf, as soon as they can conveniently remove all his stuff and their own which is therein, he having consented, at the desire of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Chancellor of England, and the Bishop of Winchester, to give up the said manor, etc. Signed by the Duke, ‘Norff.’ Small seal of arms, three lions passant, in chief, a label of three points, a straw round the seal.

91.2 The following abstract is taken from Mr. Macray’s Report on the Documents in Magdalen College, Oxford, already referred to.



DEC. 11

1470, 11 Dec., 49 Hen. VI., ‘and of the readepcion of his roiall power 1.’ Release (in English) from John, Duke of Norfolk, to Bishop Wayneflete, of the manors of Castre, Wyntertone, Baytone, Bastwik, and Tolthorpe, in Norfolk, and of Caldecote, Burneviles or Burnegyles, in Suffolk, which had been sold to him by Nicholas, Abbot of Langle, Will. Yelverton, Knight, Justice, Thomas Howes, clerk, and Will. Worcetre, and of which the said Yelverton, Howes, and Will. Jenney, as feoffees, with others, for Sir J. Fastolf, of the said manors, enfeoffed the said Duke and others by deed, dated 1st. Oct., 8 Edw. IV. [1468], the said Duke being informed by the Archbishops of York and Canterbury, and by the said Bishop of Winchester, that the said bargain was made contrary to the will of the said Sir John Fastolf. Covenants also to deliver up all evidences concerning the same, specially the said deed of feoffment and two papers, one with four seals specifying the said bargain, and another with three seals specifying a license to enter on all Fastolf’s manors till the bargain be performed. And for this reconveyance the said Bishop pays to the said Duke 500 marks.

92.1 This abstract is also taken from Mr. Macray’s Report on the Documents in Magdalen College.


DEC. 24

1470, 24 Dec., 49 Hen. VI., ‘and of the readepcione of his royall power, the first.’ Acknowledgment by ‘the highe and myghti Prynce, John, Duke of Norff.,’ of the receipt of 100 marks from the Bishop of Winchester, being part of 250 marks which the said Bishop has promised to pay upon knowledge of the delivery of the manor of Castre, and other lordships specified in a writing between the said parties, unto the feoffees of the said Bishop.

92.2 This abstract is from the same report as the two last.



To John Paston the yonger, be this delivered in hast.

DEC. [28]

I grete you wele, and send you Godds blyssyng and myn, latyng you wete that sith ye departed my Cosyn Calthorp sent me a letter, compleyning in his wrytyng that for asmych as he can not be payd of his tenaunts as he hat be befor this tyme, he purposith to lesse his howshold, and to leve the streytlyer. Wharfor he desireth me to purvey for your suster Anne; he seth she waxeth hygh, and it wer tyme to purvey her a mariage.

I marveyll what causeth hym to write so now; outher she hath displeased hym, or ell[es] he hath takyn her with diffaught. Therfor I pray you comune with my Cosyn Clere at London, and wete how he is dysposyd to her ward, and send me word, for I shall be fayn to send for her, and with me she shall but lese her tyme, and with ought she wull be the better occupied she shall oftyn tymes meve me, and put me in gret inquietenesse. Remembr what labour I had with your suster, therfor do your parte to help her forth, that may be to your wurchiep and myn.

Item, remembr the bill that I spake to you of, to gete of your brother of such money as he hath receyvid of me sith your faders disseas. Se your Unkyll Mautby, if ye may, and send me sume tydyngs as sonee as ye may. God kepe you.

Wretyn the Fryday next befor Sent Thomas of Caunterbury, in hast. By your Moder.

93.1 [From Fenn, iv. 288.] This letter was probably written in or about the year 1470. Anne Paston, the sister of John Paston, here mentioned, was married to William Yelverton, a grandson of the Judge, in 1474 (Itin. W. Wyrc. 369), and the match had been already determined (as will appear in a future letter) before June 1472. At the date of this letter she was still staying in Calthorpe’s household, into which, after the manner of the times, she had been sent for her education; and Calthorpe desiring to reduce his establishment, suggested, somewhat earlier than her mother anticipated, that it was time to provide a husband for her.



FEB. 12

Norfolk and Suffolk Deeds, No. 50. ‘John Paston, Knight, binds himself to performe all appoyntments made betweene him and W. Wanflet, Byshop of Winton, concerning certayne landes which were Sir John Fastolfes. Feb. 12, Hen. VI. 49.’

94.1 [From MS. Index in Magd. Coll., Oxford.]


FEB. 14

Release by John Beauchamp, Knight, Lord Beauchamp, to John Paston and Roger Townesend, Esqs., of his interest in the manors of Castre called Redhams, Vaus, and Bosoms; and in the manors of Begviles in Wyntirton, Spensers in Heryngby, Reppes in Bastwyk, and a third part of the manor of Runham; and in all lands called Billes in Stokesby, Cattes in Haringby, a messuage called Dengayns in Yarmouth, and all lands and tenements in the hundreds of East Flegge and West Flegge in Norfolk; which premises Lord Beauchamp lately had in conjunction with Thomas, Archbishop of Canterbury, William Yelverton, Justice, William Jenney, Serjeant-at-law, and William Paston, now surviving, and John Radclyff of Attylburgh, John Paston, Hen. Fylongley, Esqs., Thomas Howes, clerk, and Thomas Grene, now deceased, of the gift and feoffment of Ralph Boteler, Knight, Lord Sudeley, Sir William Oldhall, Ric. Waller, Esq., Thos. West, Esq., William Wangford, and Nich. Girlyngton.

Dated 14th Feb., 49 and 1 Hen. VI.

94.2 [From a MS. in the Bodleian Library.]


To my right dere and welbeloved brother, Thomas Veer.


Right dere and welbeloved brother, I command me hertly unto you; certyfying you that I have receyved your writing, directed now laste unto me, by my servant William Cooke, by which I understande the faithfull gwydyng 95 and disposicion of the cuntre, to my gret cumfote and pleaser; which I dowbte not shall redunde to the grethest presyng and worship that ever dide till eny cuntre; certyfying you ferdermore that by Nicheson of your other tydyngs laste send unto me; also thes by Robt. Porter. I have disposed me with all the power that I can make in Essex and Suffolk, Cambrygeshire, and other places, to be on Monday next comyng at Bury, which purpose I intende to observe, with Godds grace, towards you in to Norffolk, to the assistence of you and the cuntre, in case Edwarde with his companye had aryved ther, and yete I shall do the same noughtwithstandyng; for if he aryve northwarde, like as ye wete by likelyhode he shulde, I caste to folow and porsew hym. And where ye desire that I shulde send you woorde what disposicion shalbe take in the cuntre wher ye be, I desire you that ye, by theadvyse of the gentilmen which ben there, chese iij. or iiij., and send theym to me at Bury on Monday next; and than I and they, with my Counceyle, shall take a direccion for the suretie of all that cuntre, by Godds grace; by whome I shall send than to you relacion, wheder ye shall remayne still ther your selff, or resorte to me with all thos that be accompanyed with you. And Jhesu preserve you. At Hithingham [Hedingham], the xiiij. day of Marche. By your lovyng brothyr, Oxynford.

94.3 [From Fenn, ii. 54.] It is sufficiently apparent from the contents that this was written during the restoration of Henry VI., and in anticipation of the attempt by King Edward, which was very soon afterwards successful, to recover his throne. Edward in fact landed at Ravenspur the very day this letter was written.


To my right trusty and welbelovyd Henry Spilman, Thos. Seyve, John Seyve, James Radclif, John Brampton the older, and to eche of them.


Trusty and welbeloved, I comende me to you, lettyng you witte that I have credible tydyngs that the Kyngs gret enemys and rebellis, acompanyed with enemys estraungers, be nowe aryved, and landyd in the north parties 96 of this his land, to the utter destruction of his roiall persone, and subversion of all his realm, if they myght atayne; whom to encountre and resiste the Kings Highnesse hath comaunded and assigned me, under his seall, sufficient power and auctorite to call, reyse, gader, and assemble, fro tyme to tyme, all his liege people of the shire of Norff., and other places, to assiste, ayde, and strenght me in the same entent.

Wherfor, in the Kyngs name, and by auctorite aforesaid, I straitly charge and command you, and in my owne byhalf hertly desire and pray you, that, all excuses leid apart, ye, and eche of you in your owne persones defensibly araied, with asmony men as ye may goodly make, be on Fryday next comyng at Lynne, and so forth to Newark, where, with the leve of God, I shall not faile to be at that tyme; entendyng fro thence to goo foorth with the help of God, you, and my fryndes, to the recountr of the said enemyes; and that ye faill not hereof, as ye tendre the weele of our said sovereygne Lord, and all this his realme. Written at Bury, the xixth day of Marche. Oxynford.

95.1 [From Fenn, ii. 58.] This letter was evidently written five days after the last.


To the right worshipfull and speciall singler maister, Sir John Paston, Knyght, be this delyvered.


After due recomendacion hadde with all my service, &c.  .  .  .  .  .  .96.2

As for tydyngs, here in this cuntre be many tales, and non accorth with other. It is tolde me by the Undirshireve that my Lord of Clarence is goon to his brother, late Kyng; in so moche that his men have the Gorget96.3 on their 97 breests, and the Rose over it. And it is seid that the Lord Howard hath proclamed Kyng E. Kyng of Inglond in Suff., &c. Yours, and at your comandement, James Gresham.

96.1 [From Fenn, ii. 60.] The political news in this letter show that it was written after the landing of Edward IV. in Yorkshire.

96.2 ‘Here,’ according to Fenn, ‘follow copies of indictments and appeals procured against Sir John Paston and his servants; and likewise other law business.’ The indictments and appeals in question are doubtless those referred to in the next No.

96.3 A collar worn round the neck.—F.


A Register of Writs, etc., which was probably sent with the preceding letter. It is addressed on the back, ‘To Sir John Paston,’ and endorsed ‘James Gresham.’

Distringas against Sir John Paston, late of Castre, for his appearance in the King’s Bench, Easter, 8 Edw. IV. ‘Per Contr. de Anno viijo E. iiijti. Ro. xxviij.97.2 Vynter.’

Distringas against Sir John Paston and Ric. Calle, late of Castre, with capias against William Wykes, late of Castre; Edmund Brome, late of Redeham; and John Dawebeney, late of Castre; Thurstan Cokesson, alias Starky, late of Castre; John Pampyng, late of Castre; and Henry Swete, late of Castre, yeoman, for their appearance in the King’s Bench in Easter to answer for offences against the statute de ingressibus manu forti. ‘Per Contr’ de Anno viijo E. iiijti. Ro. xxviij. Vynter.’

‘Of these ij. writtes ar supersedeas delyvered to the Undirshirreve.’

Writ of exigent against John Pampyng, late of Castre, gent., and Edmund Brome of Castre, gent., ‘Oct’ Joh’is,’ appealed by Cecilia, widow of John Colman, as principals in the death of her husband. Ro. 67. ‘Breve istud deliberatur de recordo, Hill. xlix. Sonde.’

Another writ of exigent against Pampyng and Brome at the King’s suit for divers felonies and murders. ‘Ro. xvj. Per Contr’ de Anno xo E. iiijti. Ro. xijo Vynter.’

Distringas against Sir John Paston and Ric. Calle for their appearance in the King’s Bench in Easter term, on an indictment for forcible entry. ‘Per Contr’ de Anno viijo E. iiijti. Ro. xxix.’

Distringas against Sir John Paston and Ric. Calle, with capias against John Wykes, late of Castre, Edmund Brome, John Dawebeney, and Thurstan Cokesson, alias Starky, late of Castre, for their appearance in the King’s Bench in Easter term, on an indictment of forcible entry. ‘Per Contr’ de Anno viij. E. iiijti. Ro. xxviij. Vynter.’

Distringas against Sir John Paston and Ric. Calle, with capias against John 98 Wykes, Edmund Brome, John Dawebeney, and Thurstan, etc., for Easter. ‘Per Contr. de Anno viij. Ro. xxviij. Vynter.’

Capias against John Pampyng, late of Castre, Edmund Brome, late of Redeham, William Bedford and Edmund Mason, late of Bychamwelle, laborer, and Alex. Cok of Norwich, yeoman, ‘xv. Pasch.,’ appealed by Christiana, widow of Thos. Mylys, in Easter term, as principals in the death of her husband. Also capias against William Paston of Norwich and Ralph Lovell of Bychamwelle, gent., appealed as accessaries. Ro. lxix. Registrum Sonde.’

⁂ All the above writs are for the county of Norfolk.

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

97.2 The Controlment Roll 8 Edw. IV. is now missing.



‘30. Relaxatio Johannis Paston facta episc. Winton, et aliis totius juris in maneriis vocat. Akethorp in Leyestoft, Spitlings in Gorleston, Habland in Bradwell, etc., quæ quondam fuerunt Johannis Fastolf.—April 10, Edw. IV. 11.’

98.1 This is another entry from the old index of deeds in Magdalen College, Oxford. There is probably some slight error in the date, as Edward IV. was not acknowledged as King on the 10th April, in what would otherwise have been the eleventh year of his reign. He was so acknowledged a few days later—i.e. after the battle of Barnet, which was fought on the 14th April—so that if the date had been, say, April 20, instead of April 10, it would have been quite consistent. It is impossible, however, to say where the error lies, so we place the document under the date actually expressed in it.


Edward IV.


To my Moodre.


Moodre, I recomande me to yow, letyng yow wette that, blyssed be God, my brother John is a lyffe and farethe well, and in no perell off dethe. Never the lesse he is hurt with an arow on hys ryght arme, be nethe the elbow; and I have sent hym a serjon, whyche hathe dressid hym, and he tellythe me that he trustythe that he schall be all holl with in ryght schort tyme. It is so that John Mylsent is ded, God have mercy on hys sowle! and Wylliam Mylsent is on lyffe, and hys other servants all be askepyd by all lyklihod.

Item, as ffor me, I ame in good case, blyssyd be God; and in no joparte off my lyffe, as me lyst my self; for I am at my lyberte iff nede bee.

Item, my Lorde Archebysshop99.2 is in the Towr; neverthelesse I trust to God that he schall do well i noghe; he hathe a saffe garde for hym and me bothe. Neverthelesse we have ben 100 troblyd syns, but nowe I undrestande that he hathe a pardon; and so we hope well.

Ther was kyllyd uppon the ffelde, halffe a myle ffrom Bernett, on Esterne Daye, the Erle of Warwyk, the Marqweys Montacu, Sir William Terrell,100.1 Sir Lewes Johns, and dyverse other Esquiers off owr contre, Godmerston and Bothe.

And on the Kynge Edwardes partye, the Lord Cromwell,100.2 the Lord Saye,100.3 Sir Omffrey Bowghsher100.4 off owr contre, whyche is a sore moonyd man her, and other peple off bothe partyes to the nombre off mor then a ml.

As for other tythynges, is undrestande her that the Qwyen Margrett is verrely londyd and hyr sone in the west contre, and I trow that as to morow, or ellys the next daye, the Kynge Edwarde wyll depart ffrom hense to hyr warde, to dryve her owt ageyn.

Item, I beseche yow that I may be recomendyd to my cosyn Lomner, and to thanke hym ffor hys goode wyll to me wardes, iff I had hadde nede, as I undrestoode by the berer heroff; and I beseche you on my behalve to advyse hym to be well ware off hys delyng or langage as yit, ffor the worlde, I ensur yow, is ryght qwesye, as ye schall know with in thys monthe; the peple heer feerythe it soor.

God hathe schewyd Hym selffe marvelouslye lyke Hym that made all, and can undoo ageyn whan Hym lyst; and I kan thynke that by all lyklyod schall schewe Hym sylff as mervylous ageyn, and that in schort tyme; and, as I suppose, offter than onys in casis lyke.

Item, it is soo that my brother is on purveyed off monye. I have holpyn hym to my power and above. Wherffor as it pleasythe yow remembre hym, ffor kan not purveye ffor my selffe in the same case.

Wretyn at London the thorysdaye in Esterne weke. I hope hastely to see yow.


All thys bylle most be secrett. Be ye not adoghtyd off the worlde, ffor I trust all schall be well. Iff it thusse contenewe, I ame not all undon, nor noon off us; and iff otherwyse, then, &c. &c.

99.1 [From Fenn, ii. 62.] This letter, as shown by the contents, was written just four days after the battle of Barnet, by which Edward IV. recovered his throne. It is not signed, but the writer is Sir John Paston.

99.2 George Neville, Archbishop of York. It was from the custody of this prelate that Edward escaped, after having been surprised and taken prisoner by the Earl of Warwick, in 1470: perhaps the kind treatment of his then prisoner now procured his pardon.—F.

100.1 Sir William Tyrell was cousin to Sir James Tyrell, the afterwards supposed murderer of Edward V. and his brother the Duke of York.—F.

100.2 Humphrey Bourchier, third son of Henry, Earl of Essex, had summons to Parliament, in 1461, as Lord Cromwell, in right of his wife.—F.

100.3 William Fienes, Lord Say.

100.4 Son of John, Lord Berners.


To the ryght reverent and wyrchypfull Lady.101.2


Ryght reverent and wyrchypfull Lady, I recomande me to yow, lettyng yow wete that I am in gret hevynes at the makyng of thys letter; but thankyd be God, I am eschapyd my selfe, and sodenly departyd fro my men; for I undyrstand my chapleyn wold have detrayed me; and if he com in to the contre, let hym be mad seuer, &c. Also ye shall gyff credence to the brynger of thys letter, and I beseke yow to reward hym to hys costs; for I was not in power at the makyng of thys letter to gyff hym, but as I wass put in trest by favar of strange pepyll, &c.

Also ye shall send me in all hast all the redi money that ye can make, and asse mone of my men asse can com well horsyd; and that they cum in dyverse parcellys. Also that my horsse be sent, with my stele sadelles; and byd the yoman of the horse cover theym with ledder. Also ye shall send to my moder,101.3 and let hyr wete of thys letter, and pray hyr of hyr blessyng, and byd hyr send me my kasket, by thys tokyn; that she hathe the key theroff, but it is brokyn.

Also ye shall send to the Pryor of Thetford,101.4 and byd hym 102 send me the sum of gold that he seyd that I schuld have. Also sey to hym by thys token, that I schewyd hym the fyrst Prive Seale, &c. Also lete Pastun, Fylbryg, Brews, come to me. Also ye shall delyver the brynger of thys letter an horsse, sadell, and brydell. Also ye schallbe of gud cher, and take no thowght, for I schall brynge my purpose abowte now by the grace of God, Qwhome have yow in kepyng. O . . . d (?).

101.1 [From Fenn, ii. 68.] The signature of this letter is composed of flourishes which were probably devised on purpose to make it unintelligible. Fenn suggests that the first character may be taken for an O, and the last for a D; but to our thinking the resemblance is rather difficult to trace. There is, however, great probability in his conjecture that the writer was the Earl of Oxford, and the date just after the battle of Barnet.

101.2 Margaret, daughter of Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury, sister to the late Earl of Warwick, and wife of John de Vere, Earl of Oxford.—F.

101.3 Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Sir John Howard, Knight, who was the grandfather of John Howard, first Duke of Norfolk of that name. She was now the widow of John de Vere, late Earl of Oxford.

101.4 John Vescey, Prior of Thetford, from 1441 to 1479.—F.



Aftyr humbyll and most dew recomendacyon, in as humbyll wyse as I can, I beseche you of your blyssyng, preying God to reward you with as myche plesyer and hertys ease as I have latward causyd you to have trowbyll and thowght; and, with Godys grace, it shall not be longe to or then my wronges and othyr menys shall be redressyd, for the world was nevyr so lyek to be owyrs as it is now; werfor I prey you let Lomnor no be to besy as yet. Modyr, I beseche you, and ye may spare eny money, that ye wyll do your almesse on me and send me some in as hasty wyse as is possybyll; for by my trowthe my leche crafte and fesyk, and rewardys to them that have kept me and condyt me to London, hathe cost me sythe Estern Day102.2 more than vli., and now I haue neythyr met, drynk, clothys, lechecraft, ner money but up on borowyng; and I have asayid my frendys so ferre, that they be gyn to fayle now in my gretest ned that evyr I was in. Also, modyr, I beseche yow, and my horse that was at lechecraft at the Holt102.3 be not takyn up for the Kynges hawkys,102.4 that he 103 may be had hom and kept in your plase, and not to go owght to watyr, nor no whedyr ellys, but that the gat be shet, and he to be chasyd aftyr watyr within your plase, and that he have as myche met as he may ete; I have hey i new of myn owne, and as for otys, Dollys will purvey for hym, or who that dothe it I wyll paye. And I beseche yow that he have every wek iij. boshell of otys, and every day a penyworthe of bred; and if Botoner be not at Norwyche, and Syme kep hym, I shall geve hym well for hys labore. Also that Phelypp Loveday put the othyr horse to gresse ther, as he and I wer acordyd.

Item, that Botoner send me hyddyr the two shyrtys that wer in my casket, and that he send me hydyr xls. by the next messenger that comyth to London.

Item, that Mastress Broom send me hedyr iij. longe gownys and ij. doblettes, and a jaket of plonket chamlett, and a morey bonet out of my cofyr. Sir Jamys hathe the key, as I sent hyr werd be for thys.

Item, that syche othyr wryghtynges and stuff as was in my kasket be in your kepyng, and that no body look my wryghtynges.

Item, that the horse that Purdy hathe of myne be put to some good gresse in haste; and if it plese yow to have knowlage of our royal person, I thank God I am hole of my syknesse, and trust to be clene hole of all my hurttys within a sevennyght at the ferthest, by wyche tym I trust to have othyr tydynges; and those tydynges onys had, I trust not to be longe owght of Norffolk, with Godys grace, Whom I beseche preserve you and your for my part.

Wretyn the last day of Apryll. The berer herof can tell you tydynges, syche as be trew for very serteyn. Your humbylest servaunt, J. of Gelston.

102.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter was printed by Fenn in his fifth volume, of which the original MSS. are now recovered. It was evidently written in April 1471, when the writer was recovering from the wound he had received at the battle of Barnet (see No. 774). It is not addressed, but is endorsed in a later hand, ‘Litera Johannis Paston armigeri matri suæ.’

102.2 The battle of Barnet was fought on Easter Day, 14th April 1471.

102.3 A pasture so called, and means the groves, or lands full of wood.—F.

102.4 This may signify, in jocular language, if he be not dead.—F.

Footnote 102.1
... (see No. 774).
closing parenthesis missing




Ded in the Feld.

Edward that was called Prynce.

Lord John of Somerset.

Erle of Devenshire.

Lord Wenlok.

Sir William Vaus.

Sir Edmond Hamden.

Sir John Seymour.

Sir William Bermoth.

Water Barrow.

Mr. William Henmar.

Mr. Feldyng.104.2
Hervy, recorder.104.3

Mr. Herry, capteyn of Brystowe.

Sir Roberte Whetyngham.

Thes be men that were heveded.104.4

The Duke of Somerset.

The Lord of Sent Jones.104.5

Sir Jerveys Clyfton.

Humfrey Awdeley.

Lowes Miles.

Forey of Fraunce.

Sir John Delvys.104.6

Lord Foskew on lyffe.


Sir William Carre.

Sir Hew Courteney.

Sir Thomas Tressham.

Sir Herry Tressham.

Sir William Newbery.

Mr. Gower.105.1

Mr. Awdeley.105.2

Robert Clerke.

Lechefeld, mason of Westmynster.

Sir William Grymesby yet on lyffe.

Thes be the Knyghtes that the Kyng mad in the Feld.

Lord Cobham.

Sir George Nevel.

Sir Philip Courtenay.

Sir Herry Bemonde.

Sir Moreys of Barkley.

Sir Richard Hastynges.

Sir Roberte Haryngton.

Sir Thomas Gray.

Sir James Terell.

Sir John Feres.

Sir Herry Feres.

Sir Herry Purpeynt.

Sir John Parre.

Sir John Downe.

Sir Roger Kyngstone.

Sir John Crokere.

Sir —— Skerne.

Sir James Crowmere.

Sir William Sandalle.

Sir John Deverys.

Sir Herry Grey.

Sir Edward Wodehous.

Sir Richard Croft.

Sir John Pylkyngton.

Sir John Byngham.

Sir John Harley.

Sir John Boteler.

Sir Christofer Morysby.

Sir John Clay.

Sir Robert Wylleby.

Sir Robert Grene.

Sir Roger Ree.

Sir Richard Radclyffe.

Sir John Saundes.

Sir Thomas Strikelande.

Sir George Browne.

Sir William Motton.

Sir Tery Robsert.

Sir Thomas Cromewell.

Sir Robert Corbet.

Sir Nicholas Langford.

Sir John Seyntlowe.

Sir William Brandon.

104.1 [From MS. Phillipps 9735, No. 279.] This paper is in a contemporary handwriting, and undoubtedly refers to the battle of Tewkesbury.

104.2 Sir William Fielding, according to Warkworth’s Chronicle.

104.3 These words, ‘Hervy, recorder,’ are written over ‘Herry, capteyn,’ as a correction; but the latter are not erased. Warkworth mentions Sir Nicholas Hervy.

104.4 Beheaded.

104.5 Sir John Longstruther, Prior of St. John’s.

104.6 Originally written ‘Mr. Delvys,’ and corrected.

105.1 James Gower, according to Warkworth.

105.2 Sir Humphrey Audeley.




Most worchepfull and my ryght specyall good modyr, as humbylly as I can, I recomand me on to yow, besechyng yow of your blyssyng. Please it yow to undyrstand that thys day I spake with Batcheler Water, whiche let me have undyrstandyng of your welfare, wherof I thank God with all my hert. Also he leet me have knowlage that the Lord Scalys had grauntyd yow to be my good lord, wherof I am no thyng prowd, for he may do leest with the gret mastyr; but he wold depert ovyr the see, as hastyly as he may; and because he wenyth that I wold go with hym, as I had promyseyd evyr, and he had kept foorthe hys jornay at that tyme, thys is the cause that he wyll be my good lord and help to get my pardon. The Kyng is not best pleasyd with hym for that he desyerthe to depert, in so myche that the Kyng hathe seyd of hym, that wen evyr he hathe most to do, then the Lord Scalys wyll sonest axe leve to depert, and weenyth that it is most be cause of kowardyese. As for pardon, I can never get, withowght I schold paye to myche money for it, and I am not so purveyd. As for Herry Hallman, my brodyr wyll axe hym no sylver tyll ye be payeyd; therfor ye may send to hym and have it.

Item, I am sory that ye have fadyrd my hors that was at Caster to be my Brodyr Edmundys, for I had leveer that they 107 had hym style then owght ellys; wherfor thow they profyr hym yow from hense foorthe, let not my brodyr Edmund take hym, but let him sey whedyr they wyll let hym have hym or not, that I have promyseyd my brodyr Edmund a bettyr hors for hym, so that he wyll not cleyme the same for hys. As for tydyngs her be non but that the Scottys and Walyshe men be besy; what they meane I can not seye. My cosyn John Loveday can tell yow, and ther be eny odyr flyeyng talys, for he hathe walkyd in London, and so do not I. When I may I wyll come hom with Godys grace, whom I beseche to sende you your hertys desyeyr. Wretyn the v. daye of Julle. Be yowr humblest sone and servant, J. P.

106.1 [From Fenn, iv. 116.] From the mention of Lord Scales in this letter it might be supposed that it was written not later than the year 1469, when Anthony Woodville, the last Lord Scales, became Earl Rivers by the death of his father; but I believe the date to be 1471, and that the writer is simply speaking of Earl Rivers by his old title. In the first place there is no appearance of either of the John Pastons requiring a royal pardon before the year 1471; secondly, it is not probable that either of them would have spoken so slightingly of the value of Lord Scales’s intercession at an earlier period; and thirdly, it seems doubtful whether Edmund Paston could have been old enough to own a war-horse many years before. Finally, we find by Letter 780 following that John Paston, the youngest, succeeded in obtaining a pardon signed by the King on the 17th July 1471. If the reference to the autograph plate in Fenn is correct, this letter was in the hand of his elder brother, Sir John Paston, Knight; but as it is not signed, like most of his letters, ‘John Paston, K.,’ we are inclined to suspect that it was really written by the younger brother, like No. 780.



Norff. and Suff. Deeds, No. 5. ‘Relaxatio Johannis Paston militis, Davidi Husband et Will. Gyfford totius juris in maneriis de Saxthorp, Tichwell, Haineford, Essex in Hickling, etc., Calcote, Leystoft, Habland, Broweston, Gorleston alias Spitlings, quæ quondam fuerunt Johannis Fastolf mil., et quæ Will. Waynflet episcopus Winton’ habuit ex dono Rad. Boteler domini de Sudley, et prædicti David et Willielmus ex dono episc. prædicti, necnon de et in 25 markes redd. precipiend. de priori de Hickling. Julii 12, Edw. IV. 11. With a scedule annexed touching the same release.’

107.1 [From MS. Index in Magd. Coll., Oxford.]


To my most worchepfull Modyr, Margaret Paston, be thys delyveryd in hast.


Ryght worchepfull modyr, I recomand me to yow, and as lowly as I can, I beseche yow of yowr blyssyng. Please yow to undyrstand that thys Wednysday Sir Thomas Wyngffeld sent to me, and let me wet that the Kyng 108 had syngnyd my bylle of perdon, whyche the seid Sir Thomas delyveryd me; and so by Fryday, at the forthest, I tryst to have my perdon ensealyd by the Chanceler, and soone aftyr, so as I can fornyshe me, I tryst to se yow, if so be that eny of the Kynges hows com in to Norwyche. I wold fayne my gray horse wer kept in mewe for gnattys. Also, modyr, I beseche yow that Dollys and his felawe may be sent to, that I may have my money redy ayenst that I come home, whyche is dew to be payid, for thys mater hathe cost me the settyng over. Also that it may please yow that Purdy at Heylysdon maye be sent to for the horse that he hathe of myne, and that the horse may be kept well, and have as myche mete as he wyll eate be twyx thys and that I come home, and that Jakys nage have mete i now also. Also, and Syr Thomas Wyngfeld come to Norwyche, that he may have as good chere as it please yow to make on to that man that I am most behold to for hys gret kyndnesse and good wyll, for he takyth full my part ayenst my gretest enmyeys, Brandons and hys brodyr William; for at my fyrst comyng to Sir Thomas Wyngfeld, bothe William Wyngfeld and William Brandon the yonger wer with Sir Thomas, and had gret wordys to myn owne mowthe, and in cheff W. Wyngfeld; and wher so evyr he may met me on evyn grownd he wyll do myche; but and we met evynly, no fors, so I have yowr blyssyng. I prey yow, with owght it be to my Lady Calthorp, let ther be but fewe woordys of thys perdon. No more, but I prey God preserve yow and yours.

Wretyn the Wednysday next before Mary Mawdelen, By your humblest sone, J. P.

107.2 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter refers to a pardon granted by the King to John Paston the younger, for having taken part with the Lancastrians at the battle of Barnet. Though the ‘bill’ for this pardon was signed by the King on the 17th July, the pardon itself did not pass the Great Seal till the 7th February following, under which date it is enrolled on the Pardon Roll of 11 Edw. IV., memb. 9.



To Mestresse Margret Paston, or to John Paston, Esqier, hyr sone, in hast.

SEPT. 15

Ryght well belovyd brother, I comende me to yow, letyng yow wete that I am in wellffar, I thanke God, and have ben evyr syns that I spake last with yow; and mervayle for that ye sent never wryghtynge to me syns ye departyd; I herde nevyr synes that tyme any worde out off Norffolk; ye myght aft Bertlemai Feyr109.2 have had messengers i nowe to London, and iff ye had sent to Wykys, he scholde have conveyed it to me. I herde yisterdaye, that a Worsted man of Norffolk, that solde worstedys109.3 at Wynchester, seyde that my Lord of Norffolk and my Lady wer on pylgrymage at Our Lady109.4 on ffoot, and so they went to Caster; and that at Norwyche on scholde have had large langage to yow, and callyd yow traytor, and pyked many quarellys to yow. Sende me worde ther off; it wer well doo, that ye wer a lytell sewrer off yowr pardon than ye be: avyse you, I deme ye woll her afftr ellys repent yow.

I undrestonde that Bastarde Fauconbryge109.5 is owther hedyd or lyke to be, and hys brother bothe; some men seye he wolde have deservyd it, and som sey naye.

I purpose to be att London the ffyrst daye off the terme; send me worde whethyr ye schall be ther or nott.

Item, I wolde wete whether ye have spoken wyth my Lady off Norffolk or not, and off hyr disposicion and the howsoldys 110 to me and to yow wardes, and whether it be a possible to have Caster ageyn and ther goodewylles or not; and also I praye yow undrestande what ffelaschyp and guydyng is in Caster, and have a spye resortyng in and owt, so maye ye know the secretys among them. Ther is moche adoo in the Northe, as men seyn; I pray yow be ware off yowr guydyng, and in cheff off yowr langage, and so that ffro hense fforthe by yowr langage noo man perceyve that ye ffavor any person contrary to the Kynges plesur. I undrestonde that the Lord Ryvers hathe lycence off the Kynge to goo to Portyngale now within thys vij. nyght. I pray yow recomande me to my modre, and beseche hyr off hyr blyssyng on my be halve.110.1

Item, I praye yow sende me worde iff any off owr ffrendys or wellwyllers be dede, ffor I feer that ther is grete dethe in Norwyche, and in other Borowgh townese in Norffolk, ffor I ensur you it is the most unyversall dethe that evyr I wyst in Ingelonde; ffor by my trowthe, I kan not her by pylgrymes that passe the contre, nor noon other man that rydethe or gothe any contre, that any Borow town in Ingelonde is ffree ffrom that sykenesse; God sease it whan it pleasyt Hym. Wherffor, ffor Goddysake, let my moodre take heede to my yonge brytheren that they be not in noon place wher that sykenesse is regnyng, nor that they dysport not with noon other yonge peple whyche resortythe wher any sykenesse is, and iff ther be any off that sykenesse ded or enffect in Norwyche, ffor Goddes sake, lete hyr sende them to som ffrende off hyrse in to the contre, and do ye the same by myn advyce; late my moodre rather remeve hyr howsesolde in to the contre.

Even now Thyrston browt me word ffro London that it was Doctor Aleyn that cawsyd yowr troble that ye had at Norwych; and that John Pampyng roode ffor a dyscharge ffor yow, and that he hathe sped well, but howghe, that wot I nott; iff ye be cleer owt off Doctor Aleyn danger, kepe yow ther, and her afftr ye maye schoffe as well at hys carte. I praye yow sende me worde off all the fforme off hys delyng with yow.


I had almost spoke with Mestresse Ann Hault, but I dyd not; nevyrthelesse thys next terme I hope to take on weye with hyr or other; sche is agreyd to speke with me, and sche hopythe to doo me ease as sche saythe.

I praye yow sende me worde hoghe ye doo with my Lady Elysabeth Boghscher; ye have a lytell chaffyd it, but I can not tell howe; sende me worde whether ye be in better hope or werse. I her seye that the Erle off Oxenffordys bretheryn be goon owt off Sceyntewarye. Sir Thomas Fulfforthe111.1 is goon owt off Sceyntewarye, and a gret ffelaschyp ffettchyd hym, a iij.xx., and they sey that with in v. myle off London he was CC. men; and no man watethe wher he is become not yit.

The Lordes Hastyngs and Howerd be in Caleys, and have it pesebely; and Sir Walter Wrettesle and Sir Jeffrey Gate be comyn thense, and woll be at London thys daye as it is seyde.

Wretyn at Waltham besyd Winchester the daye nex Holy Roode Daye.111.2 J. P., K.

109.1 [From Fenn, ii. 72.] Apart from the reference to John Paston’s pardon, the date of this letter is fixed by what is said of the bastard Falconbridge.

109.2 Bartholomew Fair, in Smithfield.

109.3 Worsted, in Norfolk, a town formerly famous for the spinning of the fine thread with which the yarn called Worsted is made.—F.

109.4 Of Walsingham.

109.5 Thomas Nevill, a natural son of William, Lord Fauconberg. He was beheaded in 1471, and, as mentioned in Letter 782 following, his head was placed on London Bridge.

110.1 Here follow, says Fenn, some directions about payments of money.

111.1 Sir Thomas Fulford was son of Sir Baldwin Fulford, beheaded at Bristol in 1461; he likewise ended his life on the scaffold.

111.2 Holyrood Day, 14th of September.

I pray yow recomande me to my modre
text has “recomande mo”: corrected from Fenn


To hys well belovyd John Paston, Esquier, at Norwyche, or to Mestresse Margret, his Modre.

SEPT. 28

I comande me to yow, letyng yow weet that, &c.111.4

I wolde ffayne have the mesur wher my ffadre lythe at Bromholm; bothe the thyknesse and compase off the peler at hys hed, and ffrom that the space to the alter, and the 112 thyknesse off that alter, and imagery off tymbre werk; and what hyght the arche is to the grounde off the ilde, and how hye the grounde off the qwyr is hyer than the grownde off the ilde.

Item, I praye yowe late the mesur by pekthred be taken or elt mesured by yerde, how moche is ffrom the northe gate, ther the brygge was, at Gressham to the sowthewall, and in lyke fforme ffrom the este syde to the west, also the hyght off the estewall, and the hyght of the sowthest towr ffrom the grownde, iff ye maye easely. Also what bredde every towr is within the wall, and whych towr is moor then other within.

Alsso how manye ffote, or what brede eche towr takythe within iche corner off the quadrate112.1 ovyrthwert the dorys, and how many taylors yards is from the moote syde, wher the brygg was, to the hyghe weye, or to the heddge all a longe the entre, and what brede the entre is be twyen the dykys. I praye yow, iff ye have a leyser in any wyse, se thys doone yowrselffe iff ye maye; or ellys iff Pampyng do it, or who that ye thynke can doo it, I wolle spende xxd. or as ye seme to have the sertayn off every thyng her in. And as for my ffaders tombe, I charge yow se it yowr selffe, and when I speke with yow I woll tell yow the cawses why that I desyr thys to be doon.

As ffor tydyngs, the Kyng, and the Qwyen, and moche other pepell, ar ryden and goon to Canterbery, nevyr so moche peple seyn in Pylgrymage hertofor at ones, as men seye.

Alsso it is seyde that the Erle of Penbroke112.2 is taken on to Brettayn; and men saye that the Kynge schall have delyvere 113 off hym hastely, and som seye that the Kynge off France woll se hym saffe, and schall sett hym at lyberte ageyn.

Item, Thomas Fauconbrydge hys hed was yesterdaye sett uppon London Brydge, lokyng into Kent warde; and men seye that hys brother was sor hurte, and scope to seyntwarye [sanctuary] to Beverle.

Sir Thomas Fulfforthe escaped owt of Westminster with an C. sperys, as men seye, and is in to Devenshyr; and ther he hathe strekyn off Sir John Crokkers hed, and kylt an other knyght off the Corteneys, as men seye. I wolde ye hadd yowr verry pardon at onys; wherfor I praye yow ffayle not to be at London within iiij. daye afftr Seynt Feythe;113.1 ye schall do goode in many thynges, and I praye yow sende me worde heroff by the next massenger; and if it come to Mestresse Elysabeth Hyggens, at the Blak Swan, sche schall conveye it to me, ffor I woll not ffayle to be ther at London ageyn within thys vj. dayes.

Mestresse Elysabeth hathe a son, and was delyveryd within ij. dayes afftr Seynt Bertelmew;113.2 and hyr dowtr A. H. was the next daye afftr delyveryd off an other sone, as sche seythe, xj. weks er hyr tyme; it was crystened John, and is ded. God save all! No mor tyll I speke with yow.

Wretyn at London on Mychellmesse Evyn. J. P., K.

Item, I praye yow late some wytty felaw, or ellys yowrselff, goo to the townes ther as thes ij. women dwelle, and inquire whether they be maryed syns and ageyn or not, ffor I holde the hoorys weddyd; and iff they be, than the appelys wer abbatyd ther by. I remembr not ther names; ye knowe them better then I. Alsso in the Schreffvys bookys ther maye ye ffynde off them.

111.3 [From Fenn, ii. 80.] The evidences of date in this letter are the same as in the last.

111.4 Here follows an account that the Duchess of Suffolk and Duke of Norfolk intend again commencing appeals against Sir John Paston and his brother, etc., concerning Caister, etc.—F.

see text

112.1 A drawing is here given in the original letter, apparently designed as a plan of the quadrangle of Gresham, of which the subjoined is a facsimile.

112.2 Jasper Tudor.

113.1 5th of October.

113.2 24th of August.



To hys worshipful master, John Paston, Esquier.

OCT. 21

Ryght wurchupfull ser, I comaund me to your good maysterchepe, &c. Plese it you to understond that Redford desyryd me on your byhalfe that I chuld goo and comon with the woman that was the fullars wyfe of South Walsham, whech woman is now maryed to on Thom Styward, dwellyng in the parysch of Seynt Gyll in Norwych, whech woman seyd to me that che sewyd never the pele, but that she was by sotyle craft brought to the New In at Norwych, and ther was Maystir Southwell, and he entretyd hyr to be my Lords wewe [widow],114.2 by the space of an hole yer next folwyn, and therto he mad hyr to be bowne in an obligacyon. And whan that yer was past he desyred hyr to be my Lords wedow another yer; and than she seyd that she had lever lose that that she had do, than to lose that and meer; and therfor she seyd pleynly that she wold no mor of that mater. And so she toke hyr an husbond, whech is the seyd Thom Styward; and she seyth that it was full sor ageyn hyr wylle that ever the mater went so forforth, for she had never non avayle therof, butt it was sewyd to hyr gret labor and losse, for she had never of my Lords councell, but berely hyr costs to London. No mor, but God have you in Hys kepyng.

Wretyn at Norwych, the Monday next after the Fest of Seynt Luke. By your servant, R. L.

114.1 [From Fenn, iv. 440.] In the postscript to the preceding letter, Sir John Paston intimates his belief that the two widows who had appealed his brother of the murder of their husbands had married again, and that thereby the appeals were abated. It appears by the present letter that this intelligence was correct as regards one of them.

114.2 The widow of a tenant in chivalry was called the Lord’s widow.



OCT. 28

Ryght worchepfull m[other, as lowly as] I can I recomand me to yow, besechyng yow of your dayly blyssyng, praying yow to take thys key, and Sir Jam[ys] . . . . [m]y broder E., or J. Pampyng, and to ondo the kofyr that standith at my bedys feet, and ther in a ly[tyl sqw]are box ye shall fy[nd two de]dys, wher of the seallys be wownd in whyght paper; my brodyr E. sye [saw] when I wond them up. The tone [begy]nyth ‘Sciant, &c., quod ego Matilda Bigota’; and the todyr begynyth ‘Sciant, &c., quod ego Rogerus . . . . .’ [I pray y]ow lett [them be] sealyd and sent me by Radley with the deedes there in. Sir Jamys knowyth the . . . . . . . But [if so] be that ye fynd not thys box with thes two deedes in that cofyr, then I prey yow take the k[ey] . . . . . . . . teye of the same cofyr, and opyn the cofyr that standyth in the utter chambyr, and ther ye shall fynd . . . . . . . . . [d]edes. My brodyr, Sir John, recomandyth hym to yow, and besechyth yow of your blyssyng; and as for hys mater [there is yet no conclu]syon of no poynt, but I tryst ther shall be with in thes ij. dayeys. Jenney, W. trowbly[th] . . . . . . . [my] brodyrs servauntes with old accyons and all syche thynges as he can renew to stoppe the oblygacio[ns w]hyche he is bownd in on to my broder; but all shall be easeyd, I tryst. As for Mrs. A. Hawlt, the mater is mevyd [by div]ers of the Qwenys consayll, and of ferre by R. Hault, but he wold it shold be fyrst of our mocyon, and we wold [it] shold com of theym fyrst; our mater shold be the bettyr.


Tydynges, ther is a generall pardon mevyd whyche my brodyr J. trystyth to have the preve[lege] of as soone as it is grantyd, whyche shall bee a bowght All Halow tyed at the ferthest. I have spok with my L[ord Rive]rs and with all myn old aqweyntance, and have good cheer of theym, hold as it maye. When we be conclud[yd in] eny poynte of our maters, ye shall have knowlage ther howhe to put yow in [comfort] er we have eny . . . but in veyn when we have comfort ye shall have parte. Newe tydynges, datys s . . . [s]ugyr of Mr. Kwte (?) xd., and bettyr I tryst. No more, but I beseche God preserve yow and yours.

Wretyn on [Seint] Symondes Day and Jwde. Your humblest sone and servaunt, J. Paston.

115.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] There was a general pardon in the latter part of the year 1471, and both John Paston and his brother took advantage of it, as appears by the Pardon Roll, 11 Edw. IV., membranes 9 and 25. The date of this letter is also shown by the answer to it, written by Margaret Paston on the 5th November. Many of the words in this letter are lost by the mutilation of the original MS., which is full of holes, from having been exposed at one time to damp. The address is almost completely lost, but a portion of the word ‘[Ma]rgaret’ is visible, and a small fragment of an endorsement below in which the word ‘Paston’ is legible.

Footnote 115.1
footnote number printed 2 for 1


In the square trussyng coffre.

A boxe with evydence off my place in Fletstrett.

A lytell box with obligacions off the Archbisshop off York and W. Jennyes oblygacion.

A box with evydence of Tytlyshall.

A box with the letter of attorney off Fastolffes londes by Sir John Paston.

j. A box de actis inter episcopum Wynt’ et J. P. militem. Item endentur’ de argento mutuato termino Trinitatis anno xo, et testamentum W. Paston, Justic’.

Item, ij. pixides de novis cartis de terris Fastolffes.

Item, a litell box with the obligacion off T. Fastolff and one off James Gresham.

Item, a box with the dede off gyfft off J. P., and the byll assygnyd for the dyamant.

Item, the bagge de placitis in usu.

Item, the bagge with ger taken owt off my caskett.

Item, a bagge with the bondell where on was wreten ‘London.’

Item, a bagge with evydence off Est Bekham.

Item, a bondell de actis parlimenti et de excambia in Paston.


Item, a bondell de actis Cantuariensis.

Item, a bondell de fyrma Caster Berdolffis.

The endenture off Snaylwell by Wylleys.

A bondell of Gresham Moleyns.

A bondell off processe off th’eschekyr letter and byllys sirca (sic) festum Johannis anno ixo.

Item, th’endenture off W. Jeney. Item, a bondell off letteris and byllis anno xo.

A bondell with inquisicions not returnyd in to the Chanceri.

Copia voluntatis Fastolff ultima et probata.

Enventorium (sic) apud Caster per Episcopum Norwic’ et dominum de Scales et alia ad rediseisinam (?)

Apunctuamentum Regis et litera amici. Endentura de Fennes per patrem Hugonis Fenne.

The verray endenture off my mariage.

Item, a bondell off letteris from my brother John.

Item, iij. billis, the endenter of W. Jenney for Bacton, a byll of Wylleys and one off J. Owdin (?)

Item, a bondell with the names off them that had stoff from Heylesdon.

Item, a byll off Sweynesthorp. Item, a byll off Brok off Dedham off the purchace theroff, a quitance pro Scaccario.

A bonde towchyng the probatt off Fastolffes will, with mi olde testament.

A copie off a generalle releffe de terris Fastolffes.

116.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The following inventory is in the handwriting of Sir John Paston. The date at which it was drawn up must, from internal evidence, be later than the tenth year of Edward IV.; so perhaps it may be a list of the contents of the coffer mentioned by John Paston in Letter 784.

Item, th’endenture ...
Apunctuamentum Regis ...

Item, a byll ...
each section printed as shown, with two items in a paragraph


William Pekoc to Sir John Paston

NOV. 4

Has received Wheteley’s letter, but though he has spoken to Sir John’s tenants at Paston, Bakton, etc., has obtained no money to send him. They are better pleased to pay Sir John than Master ‘Will. P.,’ so they be saved harmless. Has put them in good comfort, and Sir John must take care that they be not sued this term. The fishing was never worse. No herring to be got under 13s. 4d. a barrel, and 8s. 4d. a cade. The swans were sent the week after your departure. John Osborn and Munde are merry. None dead at Caster and Mawteby since Michaelmas, but much mortality still at Fylby, Ormysby, and Scrowby.

Mawteby, 4 Nov.

[This letter most probably belongs to the year 1471, which it will be seen by the letter immediately following was a year of great mortality.]

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



NOV. 5

I grete you wele, and send you Goddes blyssyng and myn, letyng you wete that myn Cosyn Clere hathe sent to me for the C. marc that I borwed of her for your brother. It fortuned so that a frend of her of late hath loste better than CCC. marc, and he sent to her for money, and she had non that she myght comyn by, and ther for she sent to me for the seyd C. marc; and I know not how to do therfor, for by my trowth I have it not, nor I can not make shyft therfor, and I shuld go to preson; therfor comune with your brother her of, and send me word how that he wull make shyft ther for in hast. I must elles nedes sell all my woods, and that shall dysse avayll him better than a CC. marc, and I dey; and if I shuld selle them now, ther wull noman gewe so myche for them be ner an C. marc as they be worth, be cause ther be so many wood sales in Norfolke at thys tyme. Therfor lete hym make purvyaunce therfor in hast, as he wull have my good wyll, and wull that I save hym the seyd woods to the better a wayll, and send me word here of in hast if ye wull my welfare, for I shall never be in quiete tille I k[n]owe an ende in thys, for she hath therfor an obligacion of an Cli. And it is not kepte cloos, ther be many persones now k[n]owyn it, which me semyth a greet rebuke to me that I departyd so largely with yowr brother that I reservyd not to pay that I was endaungered for hym, and so have dyverse seyd to me which of late have k[n]owyn it; and whan I remembre it, it is to myn hart a very spere, consideryng that he never gave comforte therein, ner of all the money that hath be reseyvyd wull never make shyft therfor. And he had yet be for thys tyme have sent me l. marc thereof, yet I wuld have thought that he had had summe consideracion of myn daungers that I 119 have put me in for hym. Remembre hym how that I have excusyd hym of xxli. that the Prior of Bromholm had, which shuld elles have be in that daunger that it shuld have be to us a grete rebwke, with hought that he myght a ben holpyn wyth shuch money as he shuld have had of your fadyrs bequest; and I payd to the shereffe for hym also money. All thes shuld have holpe me wele therto, be syde other thynges that I have bor thys yeres that I speke not of; there fore lete hym helpe me now, or elles it shall dysawayll hym better than the trebyll the money, wheder that I leve or dey, with ought he hath better consideracion to the daungers that I stond in. Also I wulde ye shuld meve hym to take John Pampyng to hym, or elles to gete hym a servyce in the Chauncery, or in sume other place where as he myth be preferryd, for it ys pety that he lesyth hys tyme so her, and it is non a wayll to non of ws, and for diverse othyr thyngs whesch ye shall knowe her after, I wolde that I war hens in haste, for all maner of happys, constrw ye, &c. I can yw thanke for ywyr lettyr that ye sente me, and that ye have inquiryd of shwch thynges as ye thynk that shwld plese me. I send yow the boxe and the dedes that ye sente to me for, but as for the key of the cofyr in the wtter chambyr I can not fynd yt; yf the boxe had be ther in, ye cwdnat not have hadd yth but yf [unless] I had broke wp the cofyr; ther for remembre yw wer ye have do the key; I kep styll the key that ye sente me tyll that ye cwm home.

As for the tydynges here, ywr cosyn Barney of Wychshynggham ys passyd to Gode, hwm Gode asoyle. Veylys wife, and Lodonys wife, and Pycard the bacar of Twmlond, ben gone also; all thys hwlsold and thys parych ys as ye leftyd, blyssyd be Gode; we lewyn in fer, but we wut not qweder to fle, for to be better than we ben here. I send yw demi a riale for to by wyth swger119.1 and dates for me. I pray yw do as wel as ye can, and sende it me as hastely as ye may, and sende me word qwat price a li. of peppyr, clowys, masis, gingyr, and sinamun, almannys, ryse, ganyngal, 120 safrwn, reysonys of Corons, grenys,120.1 of ych of these sende me the pryce of ych of these,120.2 and yf that it be bettir shepe at London than it is here, I shal sende yw mony to bye wyth soch stwfe as I wull have. Remember that I spake to yw to spek to ywyr brother for the seyd C. marc wan ye departed hens. I trow ye had forgettyt, that ye sent me non answer ther of in ony wys. Lete me have an answer ther of in hast, and sende me woord how ywyr brother and ye spede in ywyr maters; and Goddes blissyng and myn mut ye have both, and send yw good sped in all ywyr maters.

Wretyn in hast on Sent Levnards Eve.120.3 By ywyr Moder.

118.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter is not addressed, and the MS. is in fact only a corrected draft, of which a fair copy has since been found. The fair copy is not addressed either. The letter was evidently written to John Paston in answer to No. 784. The date is ascertained by the fact that John Berney of Witchingham died in the year 1471.

119.1 In Fenn’s edition this is printed ‘swgar, feg, and dats.’ The word ‘feg’ is not in the MS. It seems to be a misreading of ‘swg’’ (sugar), which the transcriber forgot to cancel.

120.1 F. adds ‘and comfyts,’ but the words are not in the MS.

120.2 F. reads ‘the price of a li.,’ but this is not in the MS.

120.3 The following sentence is added in the fair copy: ‘I warn yw kepe this letter clos and lese yt not; rather brenyt.’


Termino Sancti Michaelis Anno xjo E. iiijti pro Ricardo Calle deff’ versus Willelmum Huggan q. in placito trans’.


In primis, for a copy of the bill,


Item, for makyng of the awnswer to Mr. Pygot, Mr. Fayrefax, and to Mr. Hosy,


Item, wyne and perys at tavern ij. tymes,


Item, for a copy of record in the Kynges Bench,

iijs. iiijd.

Item, for pledyng of the record in the Kynges Bench a yenst Wyll. Huggan,


Item, gyven to Hosey, the xxvij. day of the same moneth, for to enparle120.5 to the bill,

iijs. iiijd.

Item, the xxx. day of October, for the copy of the tytelyng of Huggans plee,


Item, for wyne at [the] Cardenall Hatte120.6 the same day,


Item, the iiij. day of November, gyven to Mr. Fayrfax and Mr. Hosey for puttyng yn of the replicacyon,

vjs. viijd.

Item, the x. day of November, gyven to Mr. Fayrfax, Mr. Pygotte, and Mr. Hosey, for the seyng of the paper, and comenyng of the issewe a yenst Wyll. Huggan,


Item, for the wyne at the Cardenall Hatte,


Item, for the entre of the aunswere a yenst Huggan by Ric. Calle, payd to Sandys,


Item, to Nedersole for makyng of the paper,

ijs. vjd.

Item, for the copy of the same,

ijs. vjd.

Summa totalis, lvjs. iiijd.

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

120.5 To imparl, a technical expression, meaning to obtain time to plead.

120.6 A tavern in Southwark. The name is still preserved in Cardinal Hat Alley.

121.1 N.B.—Under viijd. is written ‘46s. 4d.’ in a different hand.

... for makyng of the paper, ijs. vjd.
text has s, for s.


Tho my rytgh wurshepfull brother John Paston, in hast.

NOV. 18

Rygh wurshipful brother, I recumawnd me to zow, prayeng zow hartely that ze wyl remembyr soche maters as I wryth to zow. I send zow now be the brynggar her of mony, wycche mony I pray zow that [ye121.3] be stowe yt as I wryth to zow. I wend a don yt my sylf but consyderyng costis and other dyvers thyngis I may not bryng yt abowthe. Wher for I pray zow hartely to take the labour up on zow, and I trust to deservyt. I pray zow be stow thys mony thus: to Christofyr Hanyngton vs.: to the prynspall of Stapylin121.4 vs. in parte of payment. Also I pray zow to bye me iij. zerddis of porpyl schamlet, price the zerd iiijs., a bonet of depe murry, pryce ijs. iiijd., an hose clothe of zelow carsey of an ellyn, I trow yt wyl cost ijs.; a gyrdyl of plunkket ryban, price vjd.; iiij. lacis of sylke ij. of one color and ij. of ane other, price viijd.; iij. doseyn poynttis wythe red and zelow, price vjd.; iij. peyer of pateyns. I pray zow late 122 Wylliam Mylsant purvey for them. I was wonte to pay but ijd. ob. for a payer, but I pray zow late them not be lefte behyng thow I pay mor; they must be lowe pateyns; late them be long inow and brode up on the hele. Among all other I pray zow recumawnd me to Mastres Elyzabet Hygons. I may sey poverte partes feleschepe. Yf that I had ben so well purveyde as I wend I trowst to have ben with zow her thys; also I pray zow recumawnd me to my brother Sir John. I fer lasse he wyl take a dysplesur with me that I send hym no mony. I pray zow excuse me as ze can. I trust to send hym sum a bowth Candylmesse. I had a promyse of Masteres Elyzabeth of a typet of welvet; but and I myth have a hatlase I woold thynk me well. I pray zow sey thus myche on zour owyn hed, and yf ze can not sped of the hatlase I pray zow bye me one of xijd. or xvjd. Also Sir I send Parkar hys mony be the brynggar har of and I have desyered hym to lend me a gown of puke, and I have send hym a typet of welvet to boredyr yt [round 122.1] a bowthe; and I pray zow be at schesyng there of; and yf that he wyl not be cryst calkestowe over hys hed that is schoryle in Englysche, yt is a terme newe browthe up with my marschandis of Norwych. Sir John Pampyng recummawnd hym to zow and pray zow that ze wyl remembyr hys harnes, and yf that ze can get the mony he pray zow to delyver Parkar xs. that he howyth hym. Also, sir, my modyr gretis zow wel and send zow Goddis blyssyng and heres, and prays zow that ze wyl bye her a runlet of Malmesey owthe of the galey; and yf ze have no mony sche byd that ze schuld borow of my brother Sir John, or of sum other frend of zowers, and send [he]r122.1 woord as hastily as ze have it, and sche schale send zow mony; and yf that ze send it home sche byd that yt schuld be woond in a canivasse for brochyng of the caryars, for sche sethe that sche hath knowyn men served soo befor. Also I pray zow, if ze speke with Master Roger, tell hym that yf he cum in to thys cuntre thys crystemas, he schal have hys xs., and yf that he cum not I schal send yt hym be xij. day [Twelfth Day] at the fardest. I pray zow, hartely remembyr 123 my gere, and that ze wyl desyere Wylliam Mylsant on my be halve to purvey for the caryage in as hasty wyse as yt can. Also I pray zow that the welvet that levyt of my typet may be send hom a geyn, for I woold strype a dobelet ther with. As for Masteres Blakenye, I trowe sche in zour quarters. I woold I had the same entyrpryce up on hyr that John Bramppton of Atylborowe had up on master Byrston. Alle the Coorte recommawndes hem tow zow. I pray zow, and ze can get me any profytable servyce, a saye. My brother Sir John was meved of my hawnt Ponyngges to have ben with here. I woold have rytgh an hesy servyse tyl I were owthe of detis. God have zow in Hys kepyng. Wretyn at Norwyche, the Monday nex be fore Sen Edmond the Kyng. Edmond Paston.

On the back of the letter are the following memoranda:—

In primis, to the pryncypall of Stapyll In


Item, for iiij. lasys


Item, for iij. doseyn poyntes


Item, for a plonket ryban


121.2 [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 130, and Add. MS. 27,445, f. 52.] The MS. of this letter is in two fragments, from which it is now printed entire. The year in which it was written is shown by Margaret Paston’s letter to the writer’s brother John Paston, on the 29th November 1471 (No. 791), in which she apologises for not sending him money for a runlet of wine she had desired him to purchase for her, on account of the number of thieves stirring. It will be seen that she made the request by means of her son Edmund in this letter.

121.3 Omitted in MS.

121.4 Staple Inn.

122.1 Mutilated.

to boredyr yt [round 122.1]
unclear punctuation or flyspeck between editorial “round” and footnote marker


[Margaret Paston] to her Son [Sir John Paston]

NOV. 20

Wonders she has no answer to her letter by Ric. Raddeley. Wants him and his brother to get a discharge from my Lord of Canterbury, ‘for occupying of your father’s goods.’ If my Lord died before we got it, his successor might be ‘more hasty upon us than he hath been.’ My Lord knows the great charges we have had since he deceased, which have caused the goods to be spent. If any of us were to die, no one would take charge for us unless we have a discharge. Remember the spices and malmsey I have sent to you for.

St. Edmund’s Day the King.


[At the date of this letter, Sir John Paston and his brother John were together in London, and apparently the Archbishop of Canterbury was seriously ill. Of the latter fact we have no certain knowledge, but it appears by a subsequent letter that there was a report of his death in June 1472, and the two brothers were certainly in London together in November of the year preceding. It is probable therefore that the Archbishop was ill of the epidemic which prevailed in the latter part of 1471 and the spring of 1472. The two brothers were not together in November 1472.]

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



To John Paston, Esquier, be this delyverd in hast.

NOV. 29

I grete zow welle, and send zow Goddes blyssyng and myn, letyng zow wete that I have a letter from zour brother, wherby I undyrstand that he cannot, ner may, make no porveyans for the C. mark; the wyche causythe me to be rythgh hevy, and for other thynges that he wrytht to me of that he is in dawnger. For remembering wat we have had befor thys and ho symppylly yt hath be spente and to lytyl profythe to any of us, and now arn in soche casse that non of us may welle helpe other with owte that we schuld do that wer to gret a dysworschip for us to do, owther to selle wood or lond or soche stuffe that were nessessary for us to have in owr howsys; so mot I answer a for God, I wot not how to do for the seyde money, and for other thyngges that I have to do of scharge, and my worshup saved. Yt is a deth to me to thynk up on yt. Me thynkyth be zour brothers wrythtyng, that he thynkyth that I am informed be sume that be a bowthe me to do and to sey as I have be for thys, but be my trowthe he demyth a mysse; yt nedyth me not to be informed of no soche thengges. I construe in my owyn mend, and conseyve i now and to myche, and whan I have brokyn my conseyte to sume that in happe he deniythe yt too, they have put me in cownforth more than I kowde have be any imajynasyon in my owyn conseythe. He wrythetyth to me also, that he hath spend thys terme xlli. Yt is a gret thyng; me thynkyth be good dyscresyon ther mythe myche ther of aben sparyd. Zour fadyr, God blysse hys sowle, hathe had as gret maters to do as I trowe he hathe had thys terme, and hath not spend halfe the mony up on them in so lytyl tyme, and hath do ryth well. At the reverens of God, avyse hym zet to be war of hys expences and gydyng that yt be no schame to us alle. Yt is a schame 125 and a thyng that is myche spokyn of in thys contre that zour faders graveston is not mad. For Goddes love, late yt be remembyrd and porveyde for in hast. Ther hathe be mych mor spend in waste than schuld have mad that, me thynkyth be zour brother that he is wery to wrythe to me and there fore I wyl not a kumbyr hym with wrythtyng to hym. Ze may telle hym as I wryth to zow. Item, I woold ze schuld remembyr zour brother of Pekerngges mater, if he cum not hom hastely, that ze and Townesend and Lumnor may examyn and sette yt thorow. The pore man is almost on don ther by, and hys brother suethe hym and trobylyth hym sor zet; and also for the plesur of my koseyn Clere and the Lady Bolen, I woold yt were sette thorow.

As for my rowndlet of wyne, I schuld send zow mony there fore, but I dar not put yt in joperte, ther be so many theves stereng. John Lovedayes man was robbyd in to hys schyrte as he cam home ward. I trow, and ze assaye Towneshend or Playter, or sum other good kuntery man of owrys to lend yt zow for me tyl they cum hom, they wyl do so myche for me and I schal contente them a geyn. Item, Jamys Gressham hath ben passyng sekke and ys zet. Judy tellythe me that zour brother is avysed for to sue hym. For Goddes sake, late non onkyndnesse be schewed to hym, for that woold sone make an hend of hym. Remembyr ho keynd and true hartyd he hath ben to us to hys powre; and he had nevere take that offyce upon hym that he is in dawnger for, ne had be for owr sakkes. He hathe sold a gret parte of hys lond there for, as I suppose ze have knowlache of. Late yt be remembyrd, and ellys owr enmyes wyl rejoysyt, and ther wyl no wurshup be ther in at long way.

I schuld wryth mor but I have no leyser at thys tyme. I trow ze wyl sone kum hom, and there fore I wryth the lesse. God kepe zow and send zow good speede, &c. Wretyn the Fryday, Sen Andrue Ev. Be zour modyr.

The following note is written on the back of the Letter in Sir John Fenn’s hand:—‘This letter was fastened by threads brought through with a needle and made fast by the seal. The threads being cut on the directed side, the letter is opened without breaking the seal.’

124.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] St. Andrew’s Eve, the 29th November, fell on a Friday in 1471. It will also be seen that the beginning of this letter refers to the same subject as the beginning of Letter 787.



To John Paston, Esquyer, be this deliuered.

DEC. [1]

I grete you wele, and send you Goddis blyssyng and myn. Desyryng you to send me word how that your brother doth. It was told her that he shuld have be ded, which caused many folkis and me bothyn to be right hevy. Also it was told me this day that ye wer hurt be affray that was mad up on you be feles disgysed. Ther fore, in any wyse send me word in hast how your brother doth and ye bothyn; for I shall not ben wele at eas till I know how that ye do. And for Goddis love lete your brother and ye be ware how that ye walken, and with what felesshep ye etyn or drynkyn, and in what place, for it was seid here pleynly that your brothere was poysoned. And this weke was on of Drayton with me and told me that there were diverse of the tenauntis seid that thei wost not what to do if that your brothere came home; and ther was on of the Duk of Suffolkis men by, and bad them not feryn, for his wey shuld be shorted and [i.e. if] he shuld come there. Wherfore, in any wyse be ware of your self, for I can thynk thei geve no fors what to do to be wenged and to put you from your entent, that thei myght have her wyll in Ser John Fastolffis land. Thy[nke]126.2 what gret sor[ow]126.2 it [shu]ld126.2 be to me and any . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I had lever ye had never know the lond; remembre it was the distruccion of your fadre; trost not mych up on promyses of lordis now a days that ye shuld be the suerer of the favor of there men. For there was a man, and a lordis sone, seid but late, and toke it for an exampill that Sir Robert Harecourt had the good will of the lordis after ther comyng in, and yet within shorte tyme after here men kylled hym in hys 127 owyn place. A mannes deth is litill set by now a days. Therefore be ware of symulacion, for thei wull speke ryht fayr to you that wuld ye ferd [fared] right evyll. The blissid Trynyte have you in his kepyng. Wretyn in gret hast the Saterday next after Sent Andrewe.

Lete this letter be brent whan ye have understond it. Item, I pray you send me iiij. suger lofis, ich of them of iijli., and iiijli. of datis if thei be newe. I send you xs. be the berer hereof; if ye pay more I shall pay it you ageyn whan ye come home. And forgete not to send me word be the berere hereof how ye don; and remembre the bylles and remembrauns for the maner of Gresham that I wrote to your brother for. Be your moder.

126.1 [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 211.] This letter may be of the year 1471, when it would seem by No. 791 that the two brothers, Sir John and John, were both together (in London, no doubt) about St. Andrew’s Day. If so, it was written just two days after that letter, on the receipt of unpleasant news, which was evidently false.

126.2 Mutilated.



. . . . the very valew of Sporlewood passyth not C. mark of no manys mony that I can spek with, and to be payid by dayis as the byll that Jwde shall delyv[er] . . . rehers; and ther ayenst ye shold loose iijli. of the ferme of the maner yerly, whych standyth by undyr wood; and yet the fense must stand yow over on xij. mark by the lest wey; but, by God, and I wer as ye, I wold not sell it for C. mark more then it is woorthe. Syr John Styll recomandyth hym to your good mastyrsheppe, and seyth pleynly if ye wyll he wyll com up to yow and awayte on yow whersoever ye be, coort or othyr. By Seynt Mary, he is owyng more mony than I wend; for he is owyng for a twelmonthe and a quarter at thys Crystmas, savyng for hys boord, xijd. a wek for iij. quarters; and he seythe pleynly that ye and R. Calle both bad hym syng styll for Syr 128 John Fastolf as he dyd before; but I have bodyn hym that he shall get hym a servyse now at thys Crystmas; and so he shall, withowt that ye send hym othyr wyse woord, or ellys that ye or I may get hym som benefyse or fre chapell, or som othyr good servyse whych I praye yow enqwer for.

Item, and ye werk wysly your mater myght com in with othyr maters of the lordes in ther apoyntmentes with the Kyng, but it wold be labord to a porpose this Crystmas whyll ye have leyser to spek with your mastyr. Item, myn aqweyntans with the Lord Revers is none othyrwyse but as it hathe ben alweys; savyng and he go no to Portygall to be at a day upon the Serasyns, I porpose and have promysyd to be ther with hym; and that jorney don, as Wykys seythe, farwell he. He porposyth to go forward a bowt Lent, but Fortune with hyr smylyng contenans strange of all our porpose may mak a sodeyn change. I ensuer yow he thynkyth all the world gothe on ther syd ayen; and as for my comyng up at the begynnyng of thys next term, with owt ye send me othyrwyse woord that I myght do yow som good when I wer com, by my feyth I com not ther, for it shold put yow to a cost, and me to a labor and cost bothe; but [if] ye send for me I com streyght, thow I tery the lesse whyll ther, and so I shall withowt I may do yow som good. By my feythe I porpose to make up my byllys clere, and send yow the copyse as hastyly as I can. Yonge Wyseman othyrwye callyd Foole, told me that Sir W. Yelverton is abowt to make a bargayne with the Dwches of Suffolk or with my Lord of Norfolk, whyche he may get fyrst, for the maner of Gwton. I reseyve all yet, God hold it.

I praye yow recomand me to my brodyr Molyenewx, and all othyr good felaws. J. P.

127.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This seems to be only a portion of a letter, beginning in the middle of a sentence. Probably it was a second leaf added to a more lengthy epistle. It is written on one side of a slip of paper and is in the hand of John Paston the younger. It is endorsed ‘John Paston’ in that of his brother Sir John, to whom it was doubtless addressed. The date must be towards the end of the year 1471, as it appears by the letter immediately following that Lord Rivers embarked for Portugal that year on Christmas Eve.

Yonge Wyseman othyrwye callyd Foole
text unchanged: error for “othyrwyse”?




I grete you wele; letyng you wete that ther was told me a thyng in your absens that goth right nere myn hert, be a wurchepfull man and such an as ye wuld beleve and geffe credence to, and that owyth you right good wille; which if it had comyn to myn remembraunce at your departer I wuld have spoke to you of it most specially befor all other materis; but I am so trobilled in my mende with your materis that thei be so delayd and take no better conclusion, and with the ontrowth that is in servantis now a days but if the maysteris take better heed to ther handis, that such thyngis as I wuld rathest remembre I sonest for gete. It was told me that ye have sold Sporle wood of a right credebill and wurchepful man, and that was right hevy that ye shuld be know of such disposicion, consederyng how your fader, whos sowle God assoyl, cherysshed in every manor his woodis. And for the more preffe that this shuld be trought, the forseid person told me that it was told hym of on [one] that was toward Sir William Yelverton, to whom Richard Calle shuld have seid in thes termes, that Sporle Wood shuld be sold, and that it shuld comyn now in to Cristen mennes handis. Which if it were knowyn shuld cause bothyn your elmyse [enemies] and your frendis to thynk that ye dede it for right gret nede, or ellis that ye shuld be a wastour and wuld wast your lyvelod. If ye had do so in Sir John Fastolfes lyffelode, men shuld have supposid that ye had do it of good pollice, be cause of the onsuerte that it stoonit (?) in, to have takyn that ye had myght of it duryng your possession, to have boryn ought the daungere of it with the same; but for to do this of your owyn lyffelode, men shall thyng that ye do it for pure nede. And in asmych as it is so nere your most elmyse ere, it shall be to you the gretter vylney and shame to all your frendis, and the grettest 130 coragyng and plesere that can be to your elmyse. For if ye be thus disposid ye shall make them and all othere certeyn of that that befor this tyme thei haue ben in dought, and cause them to purpose the more cruelly agayn you. Where fore, in eschewyng of the greet slaundre and inconveniens that may grow ther of, I require you, and more over charge you upon my blissyng and as ye wull have my good will, that if any such sale or bargany be mad, be your assent or with ought, be Calle, or any othere in your name, that ye restreyn it; for I wuld not for a Ml marcs that it wer understond that ye were of that disposicion, ner that ye were comyn to so gret nede which shuld cause [y]ou to do so; for every [man130.1] shuld thynk that it were thurgh your owyn mysgovernaunce. Therefore I charge you, if any such bargayn be mad, that ye send a bill as hastly as ye can to Herry Halman, that he do all such as have mad or takyn that bargayn seasse and felle non of the wood, upon peyn that may falle ther of. And how [who] so ever wull councell you the contrary, do as I advyse you in this behalffe, or ellis trost never to have comfort of me; and if I may knowe ye be of such disposicion, and I leve ij. yer it shall disavayll you in my liffelode ccc. marcs. There fore, send me word be the berere here of wheder ye have assent to any such thyng or nought, and how that ye be disposid to do ther in, for I shall not be quiete in myn hert till I understand yow of the contrary disposicion. Be your more moder.

129.1 [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 116.] This letter would seem to have been written about the end of the year 1471 or the beginning of 1472, when we first hear of Sir John Paston’s design to sell Sporle Wood. See Nos. 793, 798.

130.1 Omitted in MS.


To my most honorabl and tendre modre, Margrete Paston, be thys letter delivered.

JAN. 8

Most worschypfull and kynde moodre, I comande me to yow, and beseche yow off yowr dayly blyssyng and remembraunce. Please it yow to wete thatt I have my pardon,130.3 as the berer heroff can informe yow, for 131 comffort wheroffe I have been the marier thys Crystmesse, and have been parte theroff with Sir George Browen,131.1 and with my Lady myn aunte, hys wyffe,131.2 and be ffor Twelthe131.3 I come to my Lorde Archebysshope,131.4 wher I have hadde as greete cheer, and ben as welkom as I cowde devyse; and iff I hadde ben in sewerte that Castr weer hadde ageyn, I wolde have comen homewards thys daye.131.5

. . . . . . .

And I beseche yow to remembr my brother to doo hys deveyr thatt I maye have agayn my stuffe, my bookes and vestments, and my beddyng, how so evyr he doo, thoghe I scholde gyffe xxti scutes by hys advyse to my Lady Brandon, or some other goode felawe.

As for any tydynges ther be noon heer, saffe that the Kyng hath kept a ryall Crystmesse; and now they seye that hastelye he woll northe, and some seye that he woll into Walys, and some seye that he woll into the West Contre. As ffor Qween Margrett, I understond that sche is remevyd from Wyndesor to Walyngfforthe, nyghe to Ewhelme, my Lady of Suffolk Place in Oxenforthe schyre.

And men seye that the Lorde Ryverse schyppyd on Crystmesse evyn in to Portyngale warde; I am not serteyn.

Also the schalle be a convocacion off the Clergye in all haste, whyche men deeme will avayle the Kynge a dyme and an halffe, some seye. I beseche God sende yow goode heele and greater joye in on year then ye have hadde thys vij.

Wretyn att the Moor the viij. daye off Janever, Ao E. iiij. xj. By yowr soone, John Paston, K.

130.2 [From Fenn, ii. 86.]

130.3 His pardon passed the Great Seal on the 21st December 1471. Pardon Roll 11 Edward IV., m. 25.

131.1 Sir George Browne, Knight, of Betchworth Castle, in Surrey.—F.

131.2 Elizabeth Paston, formerly married to Robert Poynings.

131.3 Twelfth day, 6th of January.—F.

131.4 George Neville, Archbishop of York.—F.

131.5 Here follow directions about Caister, and a hope that it might be had again by the latter end of the term, when he would come home, and put his lands and houses into order.—F.



To my ryght worchepfull brodyr, Syr John Paston, Knyght, be thys delyveryd.

JAN. 23

Ryght worchepfull syr, I recomand me to yow in my best wyse, lykeyth yow to wet132.2     that I have thys day delyveryd yowr mantyll, yowr ray gowne,132.3 and yowr crosbowys, wyth telers and wyndas, and yowr Normandy byll to Kerby to bryng wyth hym to London.

Item, in eny wyse, and [if] ye can axe the probate of my fadyrs wyll to be gevyn yow wyth the bargayn that ye make wyth my Lord of Canterbery, and I can thynk that ye may have it, and as soone as it is prevyd ye or I may have a lettyr of mynystracyon upon the same, and a qwetance of my Lord Cardinalle evyn foorthe wyth; and thys wer one of the best bargaynys that ye mad thys ij. yer I enswyr yow, and he may make yow aqwetance or get yow one of the Bysheop of Wynchestyr for Syr John Fastolfys goodes also, and in my reson thys wer lyght to be browght a bowght with the same bargayn. And ye purpose to bargayn with hym ye had need to hye yow, for it is tolde me that my Lord of Norffolk wyl entyr in to it hastyly, and if he so doo, it is the wers for yow, and it wyll cawse them to profyr the lesse sylvyr.

Item, I pray yow send me some secret tydyngs of the lyklyed of the world by the next messenger that comyth between, that I may be eyther myryer or ellys mor sory then I am, and also that I may gwyd me ther aftyr.

Item, as for Sir R. Wyngfeld, I can get no x. li. of hym, 133 but he seyth that I shall have the fayirest harneys that I can bye in London for sylvyr, but money can I non get. I can not yet make my pesse wyth my Lord of Norffolk nor my Lady by no meane, yet every man tellyth me that my Lady seyth passyngly well of me allweys notwithstandyng. I trowe that they wyll swe the apell133.1 thys term, yet ther is no man of us indytyd but if it wer doon a for the crowners er then we cam owt of the plase; ther is now but iij. men in it, and the brygges alwey drawyn. No mor, but God lant yow myn her.133.2

Wretyn the Twysday next aftyr Seynt Agnet the fyrst.133.3 J. P.

Item, yestyrday W. Gornay entryd in to Saxthorp and ther was he kepyng of a coort, and had the tenaunts attou[r]nyd to him, but er the coort was all doon, I cam thedyr with a man with me and no more, and ther, befor hym and all hys feluwschep, Gayne, Bomsted, &c., I chargyd the tenaunts that they shold proced no ferther in ther coort upon peyn that myght folle of it, and they lettyd for a seasen. But they sye that I was not abyll to make my partye good, and so they procedyd ferther; and I sye that, and set me downe by the stward and blottyd hys book wyth my fyngyr as he wrot, so that all tenaunts afermyd that the coort was enterupte by me as in yowr ryght, and I reqwered them to record that ther was no pesybyll coort kept, and so they seyd they wold.

132.1 [From Fenn, iv. 420.] It appears by a letter of the 17th February following (No. 798), that at the beginning of the year 1472 the Pastons were endeavouring to come to an understanding with the Duke of Norfolk by the intercession of the Duchess. For further evidence of date, see the next letter.

132.2 A blank occurs here in Fenn’s left-hand, or literal copy, which is not explained.

132.3 This means a gown made of cloth that was never either coloured or dyed.—F. But according to Halliwell ‘ray’ means striped cloth.

133.1 This must be the appeal of the two widows, though one of them is said to have married again. See No. 783.

133.2 This sentence I wish to have explained.—F.

133.3 The festival of St. Agnes, the first (and the most noted of the two), was kept on the 21st of January; her second festival was on the 28th of the same month, which it is to be observed was not the octave of the former, but a distinct feast upon a different occasion, and it is sometimes written ‘Agnetis Nativitas’; but it was on account of a miracle wrought at her tomb that this second feast was instituted.—F.

I can get no x. li.
anomalous spacing unchanged



To John Paston, Esquyer, be thys delivered.

FEB. 5

I grete you wele, and send you Godds blyssyng and myn, letyng you wete that the woman that sewyth the appell ageyn your brother and his men is comyn to London to call ther up on. And whan that she shuld come to London ther was delivered her C. s. for to sewe with, so that be that I here in this countre she wull not leve it, but that she shall calle ther up on such tyme as shall be to your most rebuke, but if [unless] ye ley the better wetch. She hath evill councell, and that wull see you gretely uttered, and that ye may understand be the money that was take her whan she came up, and ye shuld fynd it, I knowe it wele, if ther myght have you at avauntage; ther for, for Godds sake make diligent serge be the advyce of your councell, that ther be no necglicens in you in this mater ner other for diffaught of labour, and call upon your brother, and telle hym that I send hym Godds blyssyng and myn, and desire hym that he wull now a while, whill he hath the Lords at his entent, that he seke the meanes to make an ende of his maters, for his elmyses arn gretly coraged now of late; what is the cause I knowe not. Also, I pray you speke to Playter that ther may be fownd a meane that the shereffe or the gaderer of grene wax134.2 may be discharged of certeyn issues that renne up on Fastolf for Mariotts mater, for the balyfe was at hym this weke, and shuld have streyned hym, but that he promysed hym that he shuld with in this viij. days labore the meanes that he shuld be discharged 135 or ell[es] he must content hym, &c. Also, I send you be the berer her of, closed in this letter, v. s. of gold, and pray you to bey me a suger loyfe, and dates, and almaunds, and send it me hame, and if ye bewar [lay out] any mor money, whan ye came hame I shall pait you ageyn. The Holy Gost kepe you bothyn, and deliver you of your elmyse [enemies]. Wretyn on Sent Agas Day, in hast.

Item, I pray you speke to Mayster Roger135.1 for my sorepe, for I had never mor nede therof, and send it me as hastly as ye can. Be M. P.

134.1 [From Fenn, iv. 424.] As anticipated in the preceding letter we here find that steps are being taken by one of the two women whose husbands were killed at the siege of Caister, to prosecute the appeal against Sir John for her husband’s death. The other woman, as will be seen by Letter 783, had married again during the year 1471, and was thus disqualified from pursuing the same course.

134.2 Estreats delivered to the Sheriff out of the Exchequer, to be levied in his county under the Seal of that Court, made in green wax, were from thence called green wax.—F.

135.1 Master Roger was, I suppose, some leech famous for his syrups, etc.—F.

C. s. .... v. s.
anomalous spacing unchanged


A Johan Paston, Esquier, soit doné.

FEB. 17

Brother, I comande me to yow, and praye yow to loke uppe my Temple of Glasse,135.3 and send it me by the berer herof.

Item, as for tydyngs, I have spoken with Mestresse Anne Hault, at a praty leyser, and, blyssyd be God, we be as ffer fforthe as we weer toffoor, and so I hoope we schall contenew; and I promysed hyr, that at the next leyser that I kowd ffynde therto that I wolde come ageyn and see hyr; whyche wyll take a leyser as [I] deeme now; syn thys observance is over doon, I purpose nott to tempte God noo moor soo.

Yisterday the Kynge, the Qween, my Lordes of Claraunce and Glowcester, wente to Scheen to pardon; men sey, nott alle in cheryte; what wyll falle, men can nott seye.

The Kynge entretyth my Lorde off Clarance ffor my Lorde of Glowcester; and, as itt is seyde, he answerythe, 136 that he may weell have my Ladye hys suster in lawe, butt they schall parte no lyvelod, as he seythe; so what wyll falle can I nott seye.

Thys daye I purpose to see my Lady off Norffolk ageyn, in goode howr be it!

Ther is proferyd me marchaunts ffor Sporle woode. God sende me goode sale whan I be gynne; that poor woode is soor manashed and thrett.

Yitt woote I nott whether I come home beffoor Esterne or nott, I schall sende yow worde. No moor, &c.

Wretyn the ffyrst Tewesdaye off Lenton. John Paston, K.

135.2 [From Fenn, ii. 90.] After the death of Prince Edward, the son of Henry VI., who is said to have been murdered just after the Battle of Tewkesbury in May 1471, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, married his widow Anne, who was the daughter of Warwick the Kingmaker. The reference to the proposed sale of Sporle wood goes further to fix the date. See Letter 793, and Nos. 819 and 820 following.

135.3 A poem of Lydgate’s.



Norfolk and Suffolk Deeds, No. 38.—‘Relaxatio Johannis Paston facta Willielmo Wainflet et aliis totius juris in manerio vocat’ Pedham Hall in Beyton, etc., in omnibus terris, tenementis, redditibus, etc., in villis de Beyton, Akle, Birlingham, et Hykling, quæ quondam fuerunt Johannis Fastolf.—April 10, Edw. IV., 12.’—There is a similar deed of the same date including the manor of Titchwell, numbered ‘Titchwell, 5,’ in the collection.

136.1 [From MS. Index in Magd. Coll., Oxford.]


To Master John Paston, or to my mestresse, hys Modre, be this letter delyveryd in hast.


Brother, I comand me to yow136.3 . . . . . . . . . . .

By Juddy I sende yow a letter by Corby with in iiij. dayes byffor thys; and ther with ij. potts off oyle for saladys, 137 whyche oyle was goode as myght be when I delyveryd itt, and schall be goode at the reseyvynge, iff it be nott mysse handelyd, nor mysse karryd.

Item, as ffor tydyngs, the Erle of Northomberlonde is hoome in to the Northe, and my Lord off Glowcester schall afftr as to morow, men seye. Also thys daye Robert of Racclyff weddyd the Lady Dymmok at my place in Fleet-street, and my Ladye and yowrs, Dame Elizbeth Bowghcher,137.1 is weddyd to the Lorde Howards soon and heyr.137.2 Also Sir Thomas Walgrave is ded off the syknesse that reygnyth, on Tewesday, now [no] cheer ffor yowe. Also my Lorde Archebysshope137.3 was browt to the Towr on Saterday at nyght, and on Mondaye, at mydnyght, he was conveyd to a schyppe, and so in to the see, and as yitt I can nott undrestande whedyr he is sent, ner whatt is fallyn off hym; men seye, that he hathe offendyd, but as John Forter seythe, some men sey naye; but all hys meny ar dysparblyd [dispersed], every man hys weye; and som that ar greete klerkys, and famous doctors of hys, goo now ageyn to Cambrygge to scoolle. As ffor any other tydyngs I heer noon. The Cowntesse off Oxenfford137.4 is stylle in Seynt Martyns; I heer no word off hyr. The Qween hadde chylde, a dowghter, but late at Wyndesor; ther off I trow ye hadde worde. And as ffor me, I am in lyke case as I was. And as ffor my Lorde Chamberleyn,137.5 he is nott yitt comen to town; when he comythe than schall I weete what to doo. Sir John of Parr is yowr ffrende and myn, and I gaffe hym a ffayr armyng sworde within this iij. dayes. I harde somwhat by hym off a bakke ffreende off yowr; ye schall knowe moor her afftr.

Wretyn the last daye of Apryll.

136.2 [From Fenn, i. 288.] The date of this letter is ascertained by the fact that Sir Thomas Waldegrave died on the 28th April 1472.—See Inquisition post mortem, 12 Edw. IV., No. 4.

136.3 Here (according to Fenn) follows an order for making out an account and receiving some rents, etc.

137.1 Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of Sir Frederic Tilney, Knight, and widow of Sir Humphrey Bourchier, son of John, first Lord Berners. Her husband was slain at the battle of Barnet.

137.2 Thomas Howard, afterwards created Duke of Norfolk, by Henry VIII., for his victory over the Scots at Flodden. He was son and heir of John, Lord Howard.

137.3 George Nevill, Archbishop of York.

137.4 Margaret, wife of John de Vere, Earl of Oxford, daughter of Richard Nevill, Earl of Salisbury, and sister of Warwick the Kingmaker.

137.5 William, Lord Hastings.



To Mastyr Syr John Paston, Knyght, in hast.

MAY 14

Syr, I recomande me to yow, &c. W. Gorney and I ar apoyntyd that ther shall no mony be takyn at Saxthorp tyll thys terme be past, for he hathe promysyd me to spek with yow and your consell, and that ye shall tak a wey betwyx yow so that ye shall be bothe plesyd. He had warnyd a coort at Saxthorp and to have be kep upon Holy Rood Day last past, and ther he wold have gadyrd the half yere ferm, but it fortunyd me to be there ere the coort was half done, and I took syche a wey with hym that the qwest gave no verdyt, ner they procedyd no ferther in ther cort, nor gadyrd no mony ther, nor not shall do, tyll syche tym as ye spek to gedyr, and [if] ye be at London thys term; but and ye be not at London, I wold avyse yow to let Townysend tak a wey with hym, for it lyeth not in my power to keep werre with hym; for and I had not delt ryght corteysly up on Holy Rood Day I had drownk to myn oystyrs, for yowng Heydon had reysyd as many men as he kowd mak in harneys to have holp Gornay; but when Heydon sye [saw] that we delt so corteysly as we ded he withdrew hys men and mad hem to go hom a yen, notwithstandyng they wer redy, and ned had be. And also my Lord of Norffolks men wyll be with hym ayenst me I wet well as yet, tyl bettyr pesse be.

Item, as for myn ownkyll William, I have spook with hym, and he seyth that he wyll make a byll in all hast of iche percelle be twyxt yow and send yow word in wryghtyng how that he wooll dyell with yow; but I can not se that he besyth hym abowght it, notwithstandyng I calle upon hym dayly for it. As for mony, I can none get, neyther at Snaylewell nor at 139 Sporle tyll mydsomer, thow I wold dryve all the catell they have. I was bond to the shrevys for gren wax139.1 and for a fyeri facias that is awardyd owt of yowr lond, wyche drawyth in alle bettyr than v. mark, and I am fayn to borow the mony to pay it by that Lord I beleve on, for I cowd not gadyr a nobyll of areragys syn I was with yow at London of alle the lyvelod ye have. As for John Maryot, he is payid of hys anuyte in to a nobyll or xs. at the most, but as for all hys dettors I can not pay hem tyll I can gadyr more mony, so God help me. I pray yow send a byll to John Pampyng that he may ryed with me ovyr all your lyvelood, and tak a clere reknyng what is owyng and what that I have receyvyd, that ye may have a cler reknyng of all that ye owe in thys contre, and what your tenauntes owe yow. Item, I pray yow send me word as hastyly as ye can, how the world goethe. No more, but God lant yow lansmann,139.2 and rather then to stand in dowght, remembyr what peyn it is a man to loese lyberte. The Flet is a fayir preson, but ye had but smale lyberte ther in,139.3 for ye must nedys aper when ye wer callyd. Item, I have fownd Jamys Greshamys oblygacyon. Item, he comyth to Londonward thys day.

Wretyn the xiiij. day of Maye. J. P.

138.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] What is here said of the attempt of Gurney to collect the rents at Saxthorpe, seems to show that this letter is of the same year as No. 796. Also the mention of Maryot’s annuity and the green wax agrees very well with the previous allusion to these matters in No. 797.

139.1 See p. 134, Note 2.

139.2 So in MS. What does this mean? Compare similar expression at p. 133.

139.3 I have found no other mention of Sir John Paston having been imprisoned in the Fleet.


MAY 25

Ryght worchefull syr, I recomande me to yow, sertyfying yow that I was purposyd to have com to London to have made my pese with my Lady of Norffolk, but I undyrstand she is not in London; notwithstandyng that 140 is no cause of myn abydyng at hom, but thys is the cause, so God help me,—I can get no mony, neythyr of your lyvelod ner of myn, to pay for my costes, nor for to ease yow with at my comyng. Notwithstandyng I am promysyd som at Snaylewell, and if so be that John can take eny ther, he shall bryng it yow with this bylle. I send yow here ij. of my reknynges that I have receyved and payd syn I delt with yowr lyvelod, and by thes ij. and by that reknyng that I sent yow to London ye may know what is receyved by me, and what I have payid; and howgh and when so evyr ye wyll let your tenauntes and fermours at alle plasys be examynd, ye shalle fynd it non othyr wyse. So God help me, as your lyvelod is payid, it cannot paye your dettes in thys contre; for it drawyth up on a xli. that ye owe yet in thys contre, besyd the xiili. to Dawbney; and with in thes vij. dayis I shall send yow a clere byll what ye owe, for ther are axyid many thynges that I knewe not of when I was with yow.

Also I enswyr yow by my trowthe I saw my modyr nevyr sorer mevyd with no mater in hyr lyve then she was when she red the byll that ye gave me warnyng in that Perker had atainyd an axyon ayenst yow and me, for she supposyth veryly that it is doon by myn oncyll William meanys, to mak yow to sell your lond. But thys she comandyd me for to send yow word, that and ye sell eny lond, but paye your dettes with syche good as my Lord Archebyshopp owyth yow, and eny law in Inglond can put fro yow eny of hyr lond, she sweryth by that feyth that she owyth to God she wyll put fro yow dobyll as myche lond as ye selle. And therfor I wold avyse yow, calle sharply upon my Lord, the Archebyshop, for ye ar not bond to undo your sylf for hym.

Item, I pray yow se that I tak no hurt by Parker. As for myn oncyll W., I can not mak hym to send you the byll of syche stuff as he hathe of yowrs. He seyth he woll, but he comyth no of with it.140.1 He and I ar fowly fallyn owght thys same day for a mater betwyx Lovell and Johne Wallsam and hyr sustyr. Lovell hathe bowt Jone Walshamys part of hyr lyvelod, and maryd hyr to a knave, and myn oncyll W. hathe 141 oft spok with my modyr and me for to delyver Jone Walshamys evydence to Lovell, whyche I have in kepyng; and be cause I wyll not delyver Lovell the evydence therfor we fyll owt, in so myche that he seyth he wyll stryppe me fro the maner of Sweynsthorpe. Wherfor I pray yow in eny wyse send me by John Mylsend a copye of the deed that I sent yow to London. Ther is in the same deed Gresham and Snaylewell, and Sporle and Sweynsthorpe, alle to gedyr I trow. And I prey yow let the date and the feoffeys namys, and alle be set in. And I trust to God to mak yt so sewyr that he shall do me lytyll harm. Gefrey Spyrlyng callyth oft up on me to undyrstand how ye wyll delle with hym for hys plase in Norwyche. I pray you send me woord by John what answer I may geve hym; he delyth alwey ryght frendly with yow.

Item, I send yow here wyth Jamys Greshamys oblygacyon.

Item, I pray yow send serteyn woorde how the world gothe.

Wretyn the xxv. day of May. J. P.

Endorsed—John Paston.

139.4 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter seems to have been written in 1472, when, as before observed, the Pastons were endeavouring to make peace with the Duke of Norfolk by means of the Duchess. The date is confirmed by the reference to James Gresham’s obligation at the end. Compare last No. There is no address on the back.

140.1 So in MS.


To Sir John Paston, Knythe, be thys delyverid.


I gret zow welle, and send zow Godds blyssyng and myn, latyng zow wet that I spakke with frends of myn with yne thys fewe days that told me that I am leke to be trobyld for Sir John Fastolles goodes, the whyche were in zour fadyrs possessyon, and as for me I had never none of them. Where fore I pray zow send me a kopy of the dyssecharge 142 whyche ze have of my Lord of Wynchester that ze told me that ze had, bothe for my dyscharge and zowyrs wat sum ever that be callyd upon of eyther of us here after. Item, yt ys told me that Harry Heydon hat bowthe [bought] of the seyd Lord bothe Saxthorpe and Tychewelle, and hathe takke possessyon there in. We bette the busschysse and have the losse and the disworschuppe and ether men have the byrds. My Lord hathe falsse kownselle and sympylle, that avyseythe hym thereto; and as yt ys told me, Guton ys leke to goo the same wey in hast. And as for Heylysdon and Drayton, I trow yt is ther yt schalle be. Wat schalle falle of the remnaunt, God kowythe,—I trow as evelle or whersse. We have the losse among us. Yt owythe to be remembyrd, and they that be defawty to have konsyens there in. And so mot I thryve, yt was told me but latte that yt is seyd in kownselle of them that ben at Caster, that I am leke to have but lytylle good of Mauteby yf the Duke of Norfolke have possessyon stylle in Caster; and yf we lesse that, we lesse the fayereste flower of owr garlond. And ther for helpe that he may be owte of possessyon there of in haste be myn a vyse, wat so ever fortune here after. Item, yt is seyde here that my Lord Archebysschoppe is ded; and yf yt be so, calle up on hys sueretes for the mony that is owyng to us, in hast be myn avyse; and at reverens of God helpe that I mythe be dyschargyd of the C. mark that ze wet of, owder be that mene or sum other, for yt is to myche for me to bere, with other charges that I have besyd, that I am to hevy wan I thynk up on yt. As for your syster Anne, Master Godfrey and his wyffe and W. Grey of Martyn, arn up on a powntment with me and your brother John, so that ze wylle a gre there to and be her good brother; sche schalle have to joyntor hys modyrs lyvelod after the dyssese of her and her husbond, and I to pay xli. be zere to the fynddyng of her and her husbond tylle cli., be payed. And yf hys grawntsyers lyvelod falle to hym here after, he hathe promysed to amend her joyntyr. Master Godfrey hathe promysyd hym for hys parte xls. be zere, and than lakkythe but iiij. nobyls of xx. mark be zere, the wyche they hope ze wylle make upe for zour parte. Wylliam Grey told me 143 he schuld speke with zow here in wan he kam to London thys terme. God kepe zow.

Wretyn in hast on Fryday next after Sen Pernelle.143.1 Be your modyr.

141.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] It is evident that Henry Heydon’s purchase of Saxthorpe, mentioned in this letter, must have been subsequent to his support of Gurney in the possession of that manor, as mentioned in Letter 801. No doubt the year is the same. The letter is endorsed by Sir John ‘Per matrem.’

143.1 St. Petronilla the Virgin or St. Pernell. Her day was the 31st May.

God kowythe
text unchanged: error for “knowythe”?

tylle cli., be payed
punctuation unchanged


To my ryght worchepfull brodyr, Sir John Paston, Knyght.


Ryght worchepfull sir, I recomand me to yow.143.3

. . . . . . .

Item, Mastyr John Smythe tellyth me that Sir T. Lyneys goodys ar not abyll to paye a quarter of hys detts that be axyd hym; wherfor syche money as is be left it most be devydyd to every man a parte aftyr the quantyte, whyche dyvysyon is not yet mad, but when it is mad he hathe promyseyd me that your part shalbe worthe iij. the best, &c.

Item, as for J. of Barneys hors, whoso have leest need to hym he shall cost hym xx. marks, not a peny lesse.

Ye send me woord of the maryage of my Lady Jane; one maryage for an other on, Norse and Bedford were axed in the chyrche on Sonday last past. As for my syster Anne, my modyr wyll not remeve fro W. Yellverton for Bedyngfeld, for she hathe comend ferther in that mater, syn ye wer in this contre, as it aperyth in hyr lettyr that she sendyth yow by Thyrston.

Tydyngs her, my Lady of Norffolk is with chyld, she wenyth hyrsylf, and so do all the women abowght hyr, insomyche she waytys the qwyknyng with in thes vj. wekys at the ferthest. Also W. Gernay wenyth that Heydon is swyr of 144 Saxthorp, and that Lady Boleyn of Gwton. John Osberne avysythe yow to take brethe for your wodsale at Sporle, for he hathe cast it, that it is woorthe as good as Bewar of Montayn, for he may not pay yow so moche mony with hys ease.

I prey yow recomand me to Sir John Parre with all my servys, and tell hym by my trouthe I longyd never sorer to see my Lady than I do to se hys Mastershepe; and I prey God that he aryse never a mornyng fro my Lady hys wyff, with owght it be ageyn hyr wyll, tyll syche tyme as he bryng hyr to Our Lady of Walsyngham.

Also I prey yow to recomand me in my most humbyll wyse unto the good Lordshepe of the most corteys, gentylest, wysest, kyndest, most compenabyll, freest, largeest, most bowntesous knyght, my Lord the Erle of Arran,144.1 whych hathe maryed the Kyngs sustyr of Scotland. Herto he is one the lyghtest, delyverst, best spokyn, fayrest archer; devowghtest, most perfyghte, and trewest to hys lady of all the knyghtys that ever I was aqweyntyd with; so wold God, my Lady lyekyd me as well as I do hys person and most knyghtly condycyons, with whom I prey yow to be aqweyntyd, as yow semyth best; he is lodgyd at the George in Lombard Street. He hath a book of my syster Annys of the Sege of Thebes; when he hathe doon with it, he promysyd to delyver it yow. I prey lete Portland bryng the book hom with hym. Portland is loggyd at the George in Lombard Street also.

And thys I promyse yow, ye schall not be so longe ayen with ought a byll fro me, as ye have ben, thow I shold wryght how ofte the wynd changyth, for I se be your wryghtyng ye can be wrothe and ye wyll
crosse it.
· + · + · +
for lytyll.144.2
· + · + · +
Wretyn the v. day of June. J. Paston.

143.2 [From Fenn, ii. 92.] This letter, like the last, is dated by the reference to Gurney and Heydon. The date is confirmed by the allusion to the proposal to sell Sporle wood.

143.3 Here follows an account of some money transactions, etc.—F.

144.1 Thomas Boyd, Earl of Arran, in 1466, married Mary, daughter of James II. and sister of James III., Kings of Scotland. He was appointed Regent, but becoming unpopular, was banished, and died in exile before 1474.—F.

144.2 These two words are crossed as here represented, and over them is written, ‘crosse it.’

[Sidenote] JUNE 5
date supplied from body of letter

Page image (partial):

see text



To my ryght worchepfull brodyr, Sir John Paston, Knyght.


Ryght worchepfull sir, I recomand me to you, sertyfying yow that I have spokyn wyth Mastyr John Smyth145.2 for Sir T. Lyndys, and he hathe shewyd me your byll whyche ye axe to be content of. Your byll a lone drawyth iiij. mark and ode monye, for ye have set in your byll for wax a lone xxs., whyche to Mastyr John S. imagynacyon, and to all other ofycers of the coort, shold not drawe past xxd. at hys berying. The bylls that be put into the coorte of Syr Thomas Lynys dettes drawe xxxli. xviijs. vjd., and all the money that can be mad of hys house and goodes in this contrey drawyth but vli. Mastyr J. Smyth wold ye shold send hym into the coort an inventory of syche goodys as Syr T. had at London when he dyeid, and that inventory onys had, ye shall have as comyth to your part and more also. Ye must send the serteynte whedyr the wax be xxs. or xxd.; and as for the Freers, Master John wyll not alowe theym a peny, for he seyth wher the dettes may not be payeid, set the beqwestes at nowght. He is agreid to pay the potycarye aftyr that he have the inventory fro yow. Rysyng I trowe hathe be with yow.

Item, as for John Maryot, I have sent to hym for the xls. but I have non answer.

Item, I have spok with Barker, and he hathe no money, nor non can get tyll harvest, when he may dystreyn the cropp upon the grownd; he seyth there is not owyng past v. mark, and on Saturday next comyng he shall send me a vewe of hys 146 acompte whyche I shall send you as sone as I have it. As for Fastolffes v. mark, J. Wyndham hathe be spokyn to by me half a doseyn tymys to send to hym for it, and he seyth he hathe doon so.

Item, Sir John Styll hathe told Jwde when ye shall have the chalys; ax Jwde of your crwets allso.

Item, the prowd, pevyshe, and evyll disposyd prest to us all, Sir James, seyth that ye comandyd hym to delyver the book of vij. Sagys to my brodyr Water, and he hathe it.

Item, I send you the serteynte her with of as myche as can be enqweryd for myn oncyll W. cleym in Caster; thase artyclys that fayle, the tenaunts of Caster shall enqwer theym, and send theym to me hastyly; they have promysyd, and they com, ye shall have theym sent yow by the next messenger that comyth to London.

Item, my modyr sendyth you woord that she hathe neyther Master Robard Popyes oblygacyon nor the Byshopys.146.1

Item, my modyr wold ye shold in all haste gete hyr aqwetance of the Byshop146.2 of Wynchester for Sir John Fastolffes goodes; she preyid you to make it swyr by the avyse of your consayll, and she wyll pay for the costes.

Item, she preyith you to spek to the seyd Byshop for to get Master Clement Felmyngham the viij. mark be yer dwryng hys lyffe that Sir J. Fastolff be set hym; she preyid you to get hym an asygnement for it to som maner in Norfolk or in Lothynglond.

Item, she wold ye shold get yow an other house to ley in your stuff syche as cam fro Caster. She thynkyth on of the Freerys is a fayir house; she purposeyth to go in to the contre, and ther to sojorn onys ayen.146.3 Many qwarellys ar pyekyd to get my brodyr E. and me ought of hyr howse; we go not to bed unchedyn lyghtly, all that we do is ille doon, and all that Sir Jamys and Pekok dothe is well doon; Sir Jamys and I be tweyn. We fyll owght be for my modyr, 147 with ‘Thow prowd prest’ and ‘Thow prowd sqwyer,’ my modyr takyng hys part, so I have almost beshet the bote, as for my modyrs house; yet somer shal be don or I get me ony mastyr. My modyr proposeith hastyly to take estate in all hyr londys, and upon that estate to make hyr wyll of the seyd londys, parte to geve to my yonger brethyrn for term of ther lyvys, and aftyr to remayn to yow, pert to my syster Annys maryage,147.1 tyll on Cli. be payid, part for to make hyr ile at Mawtby, parte for a prest to syng for hyr and my fadyr, and ther ancestrys. And in thys aungyr betwen Sir Jamys and me, she hathe promyseid me that my parte shall be nowght; what your shal be, I can not sey. God sped the plowghe; i feythe ye must purvey for my brodyr E. to go over with you, or he is on don; he wyll bryng xx. noblys in hys purse. My modyr wyll nowthyr geve nor lend non of you bothe a peny forward. Purvey a meane to have Caster ayen or ye goo ovyr; my Lord and Lady (whyche for serteyn is gret with chyld), be wery ther of, and all the housold also. If ye wyll eny othyr thyn to be don in thys contre, send me woord, and I shall do as well as I can with Godes grace, Who preserve yow.

Wretyn the viij. day of Julle. I pray yow recomand me to my Lord of Aran,147.2 Sir John Par, Sir George Browne, Osbern Berney, R. Hyd, Jhoxson my cosyn, hys wyfe Kate, W. Wood, and all. I pray brenne thys by[ll] for losyng. Your, J. P.

145.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The references to the affairs of the deceased Sir Thomas Lynde, the Duchess of Norfolk’s pregnancy, and other subjects mentioned in the letter immediately preceding, prove clearly that this letter belongs to the same year.

145.2 Master John Smyth was, at this time, an officer in the Bishop’s Court; he became afterwards Chancellor of the Diocese of Norwich, and died about 1491.

146.1 Walter Lyhert, Bishop of Norwich, from 1445 to 1472.

146.2 William de Wainfleet, Bishop of Winchester from 1447 to 1486.

146.3 Fenn reads ‘onys a yer,’ which may have been intended; but I think the true reading is ‘ayen.’

147.1 She afterwards married William Yelverton, Esq.

147.2 See p. 144, Note 1.

my syster Annys maryage,147.1
text reads “my syster Annys,147.1 maryage,”



A paper endorsed ‘The copy of the request to the Bishop of Winchester by Sir John Paston, Knight.’

Complains of my Lord not making him an acquittance of 4000 marks which he has often claimed, etc.

[Sir John Paston is desired in Letters 796 and 805 to procure from the Bishop of Winchester an acquittance for Sir John Fastolf’s goods, and this paper may be presumed to be of the same year.]

147.3 [From MS. Phillipps 9735, No. 271.]



AUG. 12

Norf. and Suff. Deeds, No. 63.—‘Relaxatio Willielmi Paston Will. Wainflete et aliis totius juris in manerio de Caldecots in Freton, in Akethorp, in Lowestoft, Spitlings in Gorleston, tenementi vocat’ Habland in Bradwell, et tenementi vocat’ Broweston in eadem villa, et aliis terris infra hundred de Loddinglond Aug. 12, Edw. IV. 12.’

148.1 [From MS. Index in Magd. Coll., Oxford.]


To my ryght trusty ffrend John Carenton, Baylye of Maldon.

SEPT. 20

Ryght trusty frend, I comand me to yow, preying yow to call to your mynd that, lyek as ye and I comonyd of, it were necessary for my Lady and you all, hyr servaunts and tenaunts, to have thys Parlement as for one of the burgeys of the towne of Maldon, syche a man of worchep and of wytt as wer towardys my seyd Lady; and also syche on as is in favor of the Kyng and of the Lords of hys consayll nyghe abought hys persone. Sertyfying yow, that my seid Lady for hyr parte, and syche as be of hyr consayll be most agreeabyll, that bothe ye, and all syche as be hyr fermors and tenauntys, and wellwyllers, shold geve your voyse to a worchepfull knyght, and one of my Ladys consayll, Sir John Paston, whyche standys gretly in favore with my Lord Chamberleyn; and what my seyd Lord Chamberleyn may do with the Kyng and with all the Lordys of Inglond, I trowe it be not unknowyn to you most of eny on man alyve. Wherefor, by the meenys of the seyd Sir John Paston to my seyd 149 Lord Chamberleyn, bothe my Lady and ye of the towne kowd not have a meeter man to be for yow in the Perlement, to have your needys sped at all seasons. Wherfor, I prey yow labor all syche as be my Ladys servauntts, tenaunts, and wellwyllers, to geve ther voyseys to the seyd Sir John Paston, and that ye fayle not to sped my Ladys intent in thys mater, as ye entend to do hyr as gret a plesur, as if ye gave hyr an Cli. And God have yow in Hys keping.

Wretyn at Fysheley, the xx. day of Septembyr. J. Arblaster.

I prey yow be redy with all the acomptanttys belongyng to my Lady, at the ferthest within viij. dayes next aftyr Perdon Sonday, for then I shall be with yow with Gods Grace, Who have yow in keepyng.

148.2 [From Fenn, ii. 98.] The date of this letter is ascertained by the reference made to it in that which immediately follows it.


To my ryght worchepfull brodyr, Sir John Paston, Knyght.

SEPT. 21

Ryght worchepfull sir, I recomand me to yow, letyng yow wet that your desyer as for the Knyghts of the Shyer was an impossoybyl to be browght abowght; ffor my Lord of Norffolk and my Lord of Suffolk wer agreid i mor then a fortnyght go to have Sir Robert Wyngfeld, and Sir Rychard Harcort, and that knew I not tyll it was Fryday last past. I had sent or I rod to Framlynham, to warne as many of your frends to be at Norwyche as thys Monday, to serve your entent as I koud; but when I cam to Framlynham, and knew the apoyntment that was taken for the ij. knyghts, I sent warnyng ayen to as many I myght to tery at hom; and yet ther cam to Norwyche thys day as many as ther costs dreave to ixs. id. ob., payid and reknyd by Pekok and R. Capron, and yet they dyd but brak ther fest and depertyd. 150 And I thankyd hem in your name, and told them that ye wold have noo voyse as thys day, for ye supposyd not to be in Inglond when the Perlement shold be, and so they cam not at the sherhous [shire-house]; for if they had, it was thought by syche as be your frends here, that your adversarys wold have reportyd that ye had mad labor to have ben one, and that ye koud not bryng your purpose abowght.

I sent to Yermowthe, and they have promysyd also to Doctor Aleyn and John Russe to be mor then iij. wekys goo.

Jamys Arblaster hathe wretyn a lettyr to the Bayle of Maldon, in Essex, to have yow a bergeys ther; howe Jwde shall sped, let hym tell yow, when ye spek to gedyr.

Syr, I have ben twyis at Framlyngham sythe your departyng, but now, the last time the consayll was ther, I sye [saw] yow lettyr whyche was bettyr then well endyghtyd. R. C.150.1 was not at Framlyngham when the consayll was ther, but I took myn owne avyse, and delyvered it to the consayll with a propocysion ther with, as well as I kowd spek it, and my wordys wer well takyn, but your lett[yr] a thousand fold bettyr. When they had red it, they shewd it to my Lady.150.2 Aftyr that my Lady had sen it, I spok with my Lady offryng to my Lord and her your servyse, and besyd that, ye to do my Lord a plesur150.3 and hyr a bettyr, so as ye myght depert wyth ought eny some specyfyid. She wold not tell in that mater, but remyttyd me ayen to the consayll, for she seyd, and she speke in it, tyll my Lord and the consayll wer agreed, they wold ley the wyght [blame] of all the mater on hyr, whyche shold be reportyd to hyr shame; but thys she promyseid to be helpyng, so it wer fyrst mevyd by the consayll. Then I went to the consayll, and offyrd befor them your servyse to my Lord, and to do hym a plesure, for the haveing ayen of your place and londys in Caster, xlli. not spekyng of your stuff nor thyng ellys. So they answerd me your offyr was more then resonabyll; and if the mater wer thers, they seyd, they wyst what conscyence wold dryve hem to. They seyd they wold meve 151 my Lord with it, and so they dyd, but then the tempest aros, and he gave hem syche an answer that non of hem all wold tell it me; but when I axid an answer of them, they seyd, and [if] som Lordys or gretter men mevyd my Lord with it, the mater wer your (kepe consaile), and with thys answer I depertyd. But Syr W. Brandon, Sothewell, Tymperley, Herry Wentworthe, W. Gornay, and all other of consayll, undyrstand that ye have wronge, insomyche that they mevyd me that ye shold take a recompence of other lond to the valew; but they wold not avowe the offyr, for I anserd hem that if they had ryght they wold have ofred no recompence. Dyscovyr not thys, but in my reason, and [i.e. if] my Lord Chamberleyn151.1 wold send my Lady a letter with some privy tokyn betwyx theym, and allso to meve my Lord of Norffolk when he comyth to the Parlement, serteynly Caster is yours.

If ye mysse to be burgeys of Maldon, and my Lord Chamberleyn wyll, ye may be in a nother plase; ther be a doseyn townys in Inglond that chesse no bergeys, whyche ought to do, and ye may be set in for one of those townys, and ye be frendyd. Also in no wyse forget not in all hast to get some goodly ryng, pryse of xxs., or som praty flowyr of the same pryse, and not undyr, to geve to Jane Rodon, for she hathe ben the most specyall laborer in your mater, and hathe promysyd hyr good wyll foorthe, and she doeth all with hyr mastresse. And my Lord Chamberleyn wyll, he may cause my Lord of Norffolk to com up soner to the Parlement then he shold do, and then he may apoynt with hym for yow, or the ferm corn151.2 be gadryd. I profyrd but xlli., and if my Lord Chamberleyn profyr my Lady the remenaunt, I can thynk it shall be taken. My Lady must have somwhat to bye hyr kovercheff151.3 besyd my Lord. A soper that I payd for, wher all the consayll was at Framlyngham, ijs. iijd., and my costs at Framlyngham twyis lying ther by viii. dayis, with ixs. id. ob., for costs of the contre at Norwyche drawyth abowght xxs., I trowe more: by our Lady, if it be lesse, stand to your harmys, and sic remanet vli. xiijs. iiid.


I axe no more gods of you for all the servyse that I shall do yow whyll the world standyth, but a gosshawke,152.1 if eny of my Lord Chamberleyns men or yours goo to Kaleys, or if eny be to get in London; that is, a mewyd hawk, for she may make yow sporte when ye com into Inglond a doseyn yer hens, and to call upon yow owyrly, nyghtly, dayly, dyner, soper, for thys hawk. I pray noo more but my brother E., J. Pampyng, Thyrston, J. Myryel, W. Pytte, T. Plattyng, Jwde, lityll Jak, Mastyr Botoner, and W. Wood to boote, to whyche persons I prey yow to comand me; and if all thes lyst to spek to yow of thys mater when Sir George Browne, W. Knyvett, R. Hyd, or eny folk of worchepp and of my aqweyntanse be in your compeny, so that they may helpe forthe, for all is lytyll i nowe, and ye be not very well wyllyng, I shall so pervey for hem, and ever ye com to Norwyche, and they with yow, that they shall have as deynte vytayll and as gret plente therof for id. as they shall have of the tresorer of Caleys for xvd., and ye, peraventure, a pye of Wymondham to boote. Now thynk on me, good Lord, for if I have not an hawke, I shall wax fatt for default of labor, and ded for default of company by my trowthe. No more, but I pray God send you all your desyrs, and me my mwyd gosshawk in hast, or rather then fayle, a sowyr hawke. Ther is a grosser dwellyng ryght over ayenst the well with ij. boketts a lytyll fro Seynt Elens, hathe evyr hawkys to sell.

Wretyn at Norwyche the xxj. day of September, Anno E. iiijti xijo. J. P.

Rather then faylle, a tarsell provyd wyll occupy the tyme tyll I com to Caleys.

149.1 [From Fenn, ii. 102.]

150.1 Richard Calle.

150.2 Elizabeth, Duchess of Norfolk.

150.3 Make him a present.—F.

151.1 William, Lord Hastings.

151.2 Corn paid in part of rent.—F.

151.3 A head-dress, or handkerchief.—F.

152.1 From the anxiety here expressed for a hawk, we may judge of the attention which was paid to the diversion of hawking. Latham, in his book of Falconry, says that a goshawk is the first and most esteemed kind of hawk; that a sore hawk is from the first taking of her from the eyry till she hath mewed her feathers. The tassel, or tiercel, is the male of the goshawk, so called because it is a tierce or third less than the female; it appears here, that a ‘grosser,’ or dealer in foreign fruits, etc., sold hawks.—F.

by our Lady, if it be lesse
text reads “i it”: corrected from Fenn

T. Plattyng, Jwde
comma missing or invisible; there is no comma in Fenn, but the name “Plattyng” occurs several times



A Monsieur J. Paston, Chevaller.

OCT. 16

Ryght worchepfull sir, I comand me to yow, sertyfying yow that Pekok hath receyvyd of Sir John Stylle by a bylle all suche stuff as he had of your. And as for Kendallys mater, he hathe doon as myche in it as can be doon: but as for Richard Calle, he hathe gevyn hym a pleyn answer that he wyll not seale to the lease that ye have mad to Kendalle, for he seyth he wottyth not whether it be your wylle or not, notwithstandyng he sye yore sealle up on it. I wold be sory to delyver hym a subpena and ye sent it me.

I send you herwith the endenture betwyx yow and Townesend. My modyr hathe herd of that mater by the reporte of old Wayte, whyche rennyth on it with opyn mowthe in hys werst wyse. My modyr wepyth and takyth on mervaylously, for she seythe she wotyth well it shall never be pledgyd ought; wherfor she seythe that she wyll purvey for hyr lond that ye shall none selle of it, for she thynkys ye wold and it cam to yowr hand. As for hyr wyll and all syche maters as wer in hand at your last being here, they thynk that it shall not lye in all oure porys to let it in on poynt.

Sir Jamys is evyr choppyng at me, when my modyr is present, with syche wordys as he thynkys wrathe me, and also cause my modyr to be dyspleased with me, evyn as who seyth he wold I wyst that he settyth not by the best of us; and when he hathe most unfyttyng woordys to me, I smylle a lytyll and tell hym it is good heryng of thes old talys. Sir Jamys is parson of Stokysby by J. Bernays gyft. I trowe he beryth hym the hyeer.

Item, ye must sende in haste to W. Barker a warrant to 154 pay John Kook xxxs., and to the woman of Yermothe for otys xx., and Syr John Styll hys money, for they call dayly up on it.

Item, I prey yow send me some tydynges howgh the world gothe, and whether ye have sent eny of your folk to Caleys. Me thynkes it costyth yow to myche money for to kepe hem all in London at your charge.

Item, whethyr ye have eny thyng spokyn of my going to Caleys.

Item, as for a goshawk or a terssell, I wend to have had on of yours in kepyng or thys tyme, but fere [far] fro iee fer fro hert; by my trowthe I dye for defawlt of labore. And it may be by eny meane possybyll, for Godes sake let on be sent me in all hast; for if it be not had by Halowmess, the seson shall passe a non, Memento mei, and in feythe ye shall not loose on it. Nor yet myche wyne on it by God, Who preserve yow.

Wretyn on Seynt Mychell Day, in Monte Tomba.154.1 J. P.

153.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The date of this letter is shown by a contemporaneous endorsement ‘Anno E. iiijti xijo,’ as well as by the repetition of the writer’s request for a goshawk.

154.1 The feast of St. Michael in Monte Tumba was the 16th October.


To John Paston, esquyer.

OCT. [23]

I grete you wele; letyng you wete that on Saterday last past within nyght the felesshep at Cayster tokyn ought of Mawtby Cloos xvj. shep of diverse mennes that were put therein to pasture, and thei ledde them a wey, so that every man ferith to put any bestis or catell therin, to my grete hurt and discoragyng of my fermour that is now of late come theder. And the seid evill disposed persones affraid my seid fermour as 155 he came from Yarmoth this weke and shotte at hym that if he had not had a good hors he had belike to have ben in joparte of his lyfe; so that be thes rewle I am like to lese the profite of the lyfelode this yere but if there be purveyed the hastyere remedy. Thei threte so my men I dar send non theder to gader it. Thei stuffe and vetayll sore the place, and it is reported here that my Lady of Norffolk seth she wull not leas it in no wyse. And the Duchesse of Suffolkis men sey that she wull not departe from Heylesdon ner Drayton,—she wuld rather departe from money; but that shuld not be wurchepfull for you; for men shull not than set be you. There for I will avyse you to have rather the lyvelod than the money; ye shall mown excuse you be the College which must contynue perpetuall, and money is sone lost and spent whan that lyfelode abideth. Item, I lete you wete that Hastyngis hath entred ageyn in to his fee of the Constabyllshep of the Castell of Norwich be the vertu of his patent that he had of Kyng Harry; and I here sey he hath it graunted to hym and his heyeris. There was at his entres your unkill William and other jentilmen dwellyng in Norwich. This was do be fore that ye sent me the letter be Pers I had forgetyn to have sent you word ther of. God kepe you. Wretyn the Friday next after Sent Luke. Be your moder.

154.2 [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 108.] This letter was clearly written between the surrender of Caister in 1469 and its recovery by Sir John Paston after the death of the Duke of Norfolk in 1476. The year 1472 may be considered very probable from what Margaret Paston writes in June of that year (No. 803).


A Johan Paston, Esquyer, soit done.

NOV. 4

Worshypfull and weell belovyd brother, I recomand me to yow, letyng yow weet that I sente yow a letter and a rynge with a dyamond, in whyche letter ye myght well conceyve what I wold ye scholde do with the same rynge, with menye other tydyngs and thyngs whyche 156 I prayed yowe to have doon for me, whyche letter Botoner156.1 had the beryng off. It is so nowe that I undrestond that he is owther deed or ellys harde eskapyd, wheroff I am ryght hevye, and am not serteyn whethyr the seyd lettyr and rynge come to yowr handys or nott. I wolde nott that letter wer seyn with some folkys; wherffor I praye yow take good heede hoghe that letter comythe to yowr handys, hooll or brokyn, and in especiall I praye yow gete it, iff ye have it nott.

Also I praye yow feele my Lady off Norfolks dysposicion to me wards, and whethyr she toke any dysplesur at my langage, or mokkyd, or dysdeyned my words whyche I hadd to hyr at Yarmothe, be twyen the place wher I ffyrst mett with hyr and hyr lodgyng, ffor my Lady Brandon and Syr William156.2 also axhyd me what words I had had to hyr at that tyme. They seyd that my Lady seyde I gaff hyr ther off,156.3 and that I sholde have seyde that my Lady was worthye to have a Lords soon in hyr belye, ffor she cowde cheryshe itt, and dele warlye with it; in trowthe owther the same or words moche lyke I had to hyr, whyche wordys I ment as I seyde. They seye to that I seyde she toke hyr ease. Also I scholde have seyde that my Ladye was off satur [stature] goode, and had sydes longe and large, so that I was in goode hope she sholde ber a fayr chylde; he was nott lacyd nor bracyd ine to hys peyn, but that she left hym rome to pleye hym in. And they seye that I seyde my Lady was large and grete, and that itt sholde have rome inow to goo owt att; and thus whyther my Lady mokk me, or theye, I woote nott. I mente weell by my trowthe to hyr, and to that she is with, as any he that owythe heer best wyll in Ingelond.

Iff ye can by any meed weete whethyr my Ladye take it to dysplesur or nowt, or whether she thynke I mokkyd hyr, or iff she wyght it but lewdnesse off my selffe, I pray yow 157 sende me worde; ffor I weet nott whethyr I maye trust thys Lady Brandon or nott.

Item, as ffor tydyngs nowe, heer be but ffewe, saff that, as I undrestande, imbassators off Bretayne shall come to London to morawe, and men seye that the Lorde Ryverse157.1 and Scayls, shall hastelye come home; and men seye that ther is many off the sowders that went to hym into Bretayne been dede off the fflyxe, and other ipedemye [epidemics], and that the remenant sholde come hom with the Lorde Skalys. And som seye that thees imbassators come ffor moor men. And thys daye rennyth a tale that the Duke of Bretayne157.2 sholde be ded. I beleeff it not.

I sent yow worde off an hawke; I herde nott from yow syns; I do and shall doo that is possible in suche a neede.

Also I canne nott undrestand that my Lord off Norffolk shall come heer thys tyme; wherffor I am in a greet agonye howe is best ffor me to sue to hym ffor rehavyng off my place; that goode Lorde weet full lytell how moche harme he doothe me, and how lytell goode or worshyp it dothe hym. I praye yow sende me yowr advyce. No moor to yow at thys tyme, but God have yow in Hys kepyng.

Wretyn at London the iiij. daye off Novembre, anno E. iiijti xijo. I feer me that idelnesse ledyth yowr reyne; I praye yow rather remembre Sir Hughe Levernoys tyll yowr hauke come. John Paston, K.

155.1 [From Fenn, ii. 112.]

156.1 William Botoner, otherwise Worcester. He certainly was alive some years later than this.

156.2 Sir William Brandon, Knight, was standard-bearer to the Earl of Richmond, and was slain in Bosworth Field by Richard III. He was father to Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk.—F.

156.3 Meaning apparently, as Fenn suggests, ‘I paid her off, or treated her with unceremonious language.’

157.1 Anthony Woodville, Earl Rivers, etc., went to endeavour to obtain the possession of the Earls of Pembroke and Richmond, who were detained as prisoners by the Duke of Brittany.—F.

157.2 Francis II., the last Duke of Brittany, was born in 1435, and died in 1488.—F.



A John Paston, Esquyer, soyt done.

NOV. 8

Brother, I comend me to yow, letyng yow weet, &c.158.2

As for the delyverance off the rynge to Mestresse Jane Rothone, I dowt nott but it shall be doon in the best wyse, so that ye shall geet me a thank moor than the rynge and I ar worthe or deserve.

And wheer ye goo to my Laydy off Norffolk, and wyll be theer att the takyng off hyr chambre, I praye God spede yow, and our Ladye hyr, to hyr plesur, with as easye labor to overkome that she is abowt, as evyr had any lady or gentyllwoman, saff our Lady heer selffe, and soo I hope she shall to hyr greet joye, and all owres; and I prey God it maye be lyke hyr in worship, wytt, gentylnesse, and every thynge excepte the verry verry thynge.158.3

No moor to yow at [this] thyme, but I woll sleepe an howr the lenger to-morrow by cawse I wrote so longe and late to nyght.

Wretyn betwen the viij. and the jx. daye off Novembre anno xijo E. iiijti. J. P., K.

158.1 [From Fenn, ii. 118.]

158.2 The first part of this letter treats of some money transactions of no consequence, etc.—F.

158.3 Fenn, in his modernised text, makes this ‘except the sex.’

every thynge excepte the verry verry thynge.
text unchanged: duplication at line break, but Fenn has the same text at mid-line



To John Paston, Esquyer.

NOV. 19

I grete you wele and send you Goddes blyssyng and myn, letyng you wete that I have sent to Doctor Aleyn wyffe to have spoke with her as ye desired me, and she was so syke that she myght not comyn; but she sent her broder elaw to me, and I lete hym wete the cause why that I wuld have spoke with her as ye desired me. And he told me that he shuld have brought me wrytyng this day from her be vij. of the belle, how that she wull that ye shuld have labored or do for her; but he came no mor at me. Nevertherlesse she sent me an nother massenger, and lete me wete159.2 that her husband had sent her the same nyght from London that she shuld come up as fast as she cowde to labor to the Lordes there in her propre person; wherfor she myght geve me non answer, ner send you word how that ye shuld do till [that] she had spokyn with her husband, or had other writyng from hym.

Therfore I thynk t[hat s]he hath other councell that avyseth her to labour to other than to you. I wuld not that [you be] to besy in no such maters [ty]ll the werd [world] were mor suer, and in any wyse that w[hile my] Lord the Chaunceller is in [occu]pation, labore to have an ende of your grete materes and . . . macion, and abide not up [on] trost of an nother seson, for so shall ye be disseyved a[s ye hav]e ben befor this tyme. I have understand sith that ye departed that ther . . . . . mad to subplant you; therfore, for Goddes sake, in this onstabill werd [world] labore 160 er[nestly your] maters that thei may have summe good conclusion, and that shall make y[our enemies] fere you, and elles thei shall . . kepe you low and in trobill. And if any mater . . . . . be Act of Parlement and pro . . . . . lete your bill be mad redy, and lese not your [ma]teres for other mennes; for if your elmyse [enemies] may profight now at this tyme, ye shall be [in] wers case than ever ye were befor. All the cou[ntry] wenyth that ye shuld now overcomyn all your trobill, which if ye do not ye shall fall o[ug]ht of conceyte. I write as well this to your brother as to you; therfore lete no diffaught be in you nowther.

Item, it was lete me to wete syth ye departed of such as were your frendes and were conversaunte with the toder parte that ther was mad labor and like to be concluded, that the eleccion of the knyghtes of the shire shuld be chaunged, and new certificat mad and John Jenney set there in; ther for do your devoir to understond the trought as sone as ye can, for the seid Jenney this day rideth up to London ward, and I suppo[se be]cause of the same. I pray you remembre your brother to send me the evydence and remembrance towchyng the maner of Gresham, which that I wrote to hym be Juddy, and send them be sum suer man.

Item, take hede to the labour of your unkyll, for he hath had right straunge langage of your brother of late to right wurchepfull persones; therfor werk wysely and bewar wham that ye lete know your councell.

Item, remembre Lomnors mater as ye may do therin, and send me werd in hast. Mayster Roos shall be at London the next weke; therfore ye shall not nede to make my Lord to write, but whan that he comyth, if my Lord can make hym to put it in indifferent and wurchepfull men, than that it pleasith my Lord to write to them that thei shuld take it upon them to set a rewle therin, with ought better advyse, me semyth it wer wele do. The Holy Gost be your gyde and send yow good spede and councell, and delivere you ought of all trobill and disseas to his pleser.

Wretyn the Thursday next be for Sent Kateryn,160.1 in hast.


Recomaund me to my Mastres Kateryn, and send me werd how ye don, &c. Be your Moder.

Do my Lord161.1 on Sonday send for the shereffes debute [deputy] to wete how thei be disposid for certificate of the knyghtes, and I shall understand if thei be eschaunged; for on Sonday at nyght, or on Monday, it shall be put in, and [if i]t is put in, ther is no remedy. Geney seth he wull attempt the law therin.

159.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] From the time of year and other circumstances, it seems probable that the election here referred to was that of the year 1472. A circumstance which confirms this date will be found noticed in a footnote. The original letter is mutilated in the middle by the decay of the paper, in more than one place.

159.2 The words after ‘Neverthelesse’ originally stood ‘her seid brother-in-law told me that tyme that he was with me,’ but are crossed out.

160.1 St. Catherine’s Day is the 25th of November.

161.1 The Duke of Norfolk. It will be seen by the preceding letter that John Paston was going to Framlingham in the beginning of November 1472.

Footnote 159.2 and body text:
Nevertherlesse she sent me an nother massenger ...
The words after ‘Neverthelesse’ ...

mismatched spelling unchanged

... in this onstabill werd [world] labore
italic “d” misprinted as “a”


To Mestresse Margret Paston, or to John Paston, Esquier, or to Roose dwyllyng affor ther gate, to delyver to them.

NOV. 22

Please it yow to weete that I have opteyned letterys from the Kynge to my Lorde off Norffolke, to my Lady of Norffolk, and to ther concell, whyche letter to ther concell is nott superscrybyd, for cawse we wyst nott serteyn whyche of the councell sholde be present when the massenger cowme. I therffor thynke that thoos namys most be somwhatt by yowr advyce; and for get nott Gornaye, nor yitt Brome, iff ye thynke so best, nor Sowthewelle. I trust to my cosyn Gornaye, and on to Brome and Barnard in cheffe; and as to Bernarde, brother, I praye yow to take hys advyce, for I hope he is my welwyller, as ye know, and iffe he do me perffyght ease in thys mater, I thynke verrely in tyme to come to gyff him xx. scutys, and yit a goode turne whan so ever it lythe in my power.

The Kynge hathe specially doon for me in thys case, and 162 hathe pitte me, and so have the Lordys, in ryght greete comfort, that iff thys fayle, that I shalle have ondelayed justyce; and he hathe sente a man of worship and in greet favor with hym on thys massage, whyche hathe nott ofte ben seyne, whyche gentylman kan well do hys mastrys massage and brynge trywe reporte. I have gevyn hym vli. for hys costes: God sende hym and yow goode spede in thees werkes. I feer thatt he shall nott speke with my Lady, for that she hathe takyn hyr chambre. Iff she be my verry goode Ladye, as she hathe seyde hertoffor that she wolde be, I hope that she wolle speke with hym. Neverthelesse I praye yow by the meanes of Mestresse Jahne Rothen that [you]162.1 will have my Ladye mevyd for me, and wher that herr to fore I wolde have departyd with C. marke to have hadde hyr goode helpe and to be restoryd to my place; whyche nott acceptyd, I tolde my seyde Lady that I feeryd that my power sholde natt be ther aftre to gyff so large a plesyr, for at that tyme I was in hope that the Bysshop of Wynchester sholde have payd it, thoghe it hadde drawen a Cli. Yet for as moche as men may nott lure none hawkes with empty handys, I wolde yitt agre to gyffe my Lady xxli. for an horse and a sadell, so that I be restoryd to my place, and that doone, to have a relesse of my Lorde, and my gounes and bokes to be restoryd, iff it maye bee. Neverthelesse thys mony is nott yit redy with me. I remytte thys to yowr dyscressyons.

Item, iff it be soo that itt be thowte behovefull, I thynke that thoghe nowther Slyfelde, nor ye, brother John, maye come in to my Ladyes chambre, that my moodre, iff she weer at Norwyche, she myght speke with hyr, for that she is a woman and off worshyppe. I thynke that my moodre sholde meve my Lady moche. I thynke that ther most be some body for me, havyng auctoryte to conclude for me, or ellys knowyng myn entente, they myght make delaye, and seye they wolle at the Kynges enstance comon with me; never the lesse I was nott ther present. Wherffor, rather than fayle, yff neede be, I wolle with owte any abode, iff I heer from yow, come home; and Slyfelde is agreyd to tary the a vij. nyghte 163 for my sake, so that the mater take effecte. I praye yow make hym goode cheer, and iff it be so that he tarye, I most remembre hys costes; therffor iff I shall be sent for, and he tery at Norwyche ther whylys, it wer best to sette hys horse at the Maydes Hedde, and I shalle content for ther expences.

Item, ye maye largely sey on my behalve for suche servyse that I sholde do to my Lorde and Lady hereaffter, whyche by my trowthe I thynke to doo; neverthelesse to sey that I woll be hys sworyn man, I was never yitt Lordys sworyn man, yit have I doone goode servyce, and nott leffte any at hys most neede ner for feer. But as Gode helpe me, I thynke my Lady shalle have my servyce above any lady erthely, wheche she scholde weell have knowyn, had I been in suche case as I hadde nott been alweye the werse welkome; for that on of my herandes alweye was undrestande that it was for Caster, wnyche was nott acceptable, and I evyr the werse welkome.

Item, brother, I ame concludyd with my Lorde for yow, that ye shalle be at Caleys if ye list, and have iij. men in wages undre yow, wheroff my Lorde seythe that William Lovedaye most be on, tyll tyme that he have purveyed other rome for hym. Iff ye be dysposyd to goo, as I tolde hym that ye weer, yett wer it nott best that ye lete it be knowe tyll thys mater be doone, and then ye maye acordyng to yowr promyse lete my Ladye have knowleche ther off. Never the lesse my Lorde shalle be here with in xx. dayes or ther abowt; iff ye come thys weye ye maye speke with hym; neverthelesse ye shall nott lose no tyme, iff ye weer at Caleys at thys owr, for my Lorde promysed me that he wolde wryght to Elkenhed the tresorer at Caleys for yow by the next massenger thatt went.

Item, ther hathe Perauntes wyffe wryte to me that Bernaye servyth hyr onkyndely. He owythe hyr xxxijs. and she is in noon hope that evyr he will come ther ageyn; sende me worde iff he wyll. He shall nott lyf so weell and trywly to geedre, I trowe, but iffe he goo thyddre.

I hadde comen home, butt that I ame nott yitt verrely purveyd for payment for my oncle William the xxvj. daye of thys monythe, and he dothe me harme. He delythe so oncurteysly with Towneshende, for he wille nott yitt paye hym 164 the C. marke, payable at Halowmesse, whyche he hadde a monythe affore; wherffor I feer that Towneshende wille nott do for me ageyn. I shall doo as I kan.

Wretyn on Sondaye next Seynt Clement. John Paston, K.

161.2 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] In this letter, as in the last, allusion is made to the visit paid by John Paston to the Duchess of Norfolk in November 1472.

162.1 Omitted in MS.

Slyfelde is agreyd to tary the a vij. nyghte
text unchanged: error for “ther(e)”?

Footnote 162-1:
Omitted in MS.
final . missing or invisible


To John Paston, Esquyer, be this delivered.

NOV. 23

I grete you wele, letyng you wete that Doctor Aleyns wyffe hath be with me and desired me to write to you to desire you to be good mayster to her husband and to her in her materes, for she tellith me that her trost is full in you, and if she myght have walked she shuld have come to have spoke with you or than ye departed; therfor, I pray you do your devoir for her, for I conceyve that she feyneth not, notwithstandyng that I had her in suspecion as I have wretyn to you before, be cause that she came not, but I conceyve now the trought and that sikenesse caused thatt she absent her. Therfore I pray you help her, for, so God help me, I have right gret pete on her, and it is right grete almes to help her, and I trow she wull put her most trost and sewe specialle to you. Also I wuld ye shold desire your brother to be good mayster on to her, for I suppose be that tyme ye have herd her excuse in such materes as he shuld be displeased with her husband, ye shall hold you pleased. God kepe you and send you Hes blyssyng, with myn. Wretyn on Sent Clementes Day at nyght, in hast, Be your Moder.

164.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] It is evident that this letter was written in the same year as No. 814.



To Master Sir John Paston, Knyght.

NOV. 24

Ryght worchepfull syr, I recomand me to yow, thankyng yow most hertly of your dylygence and cost whyche ye had in gettyng of the hawk, whyche ye sent me, for well I wot your labore and trowbyll in that mater was as myche as thow she had ben the best of the world; but, so God help me, as ferforthe as the most conyng estragers [falconers] that ever I spak with can imagyn, she shall never serve but to ley eggys, for she is bothe a mwer de haye, and also she hathe ben so brooseid with cariage of fewle that she is as good as lame in boothe hyr leggys, as every man may se at iee. Wherfor all syche folk as have seen hyr avyse me to cast hyr in to some wood, wher as I wyll have hyr to eyer [lay eggs]; but I wyll do ther in as ye wyll, whedyr ye wyll I send hyr yow ayen, or cast hyr in Thorpe wood and a tarsell with hyr, for I weit wher on is. But now I dar no more put yow to the cost of an hawke, but, for Godes sake, and ther be eny tersell or good chep goshawk that myght be gotyn, that the berer herof may have hyr to bryng me, and I ensuer yow be my trowthe ye shall have Dollys and Browne bonde to paye yow at Kandyllmas the pryse of the hawke. Now, and ye have as many ladyse as ye wer wont to have, I reqwere yow for hyr sake that ye best love of theym all, onys trowbyll yowr syllf for me in thys mater, and be owght of my clamor.

Item, as for the ryng, it is delyverd, but I had as gret peyn to make hyr take it as ever I had in syche a mater; but I have promyseid yow to be hyr knyght, and she hathe promyseid me to be more at your comandment then at eny knyghtes in Inglond, my Lord reservyd; and that ye shall well undyrstand, 166 if ye have owght to do, wherin she may be an helper; for ther was never knyght dyd so myche cost on hyr as ye have doon.

I mervyall that I her no woord of the lettyrs that my Lord Chamberleyn shold send to my Lord and my Lady for Caster. It is best that my Lord Chamberleyn wryght to my Lady by som prevy tokyn betwyx theym, and let a man of hys com with the lettrys. My Lord Chamberleyn may speed with my Lady what maters he wyll, savyng the gret mater; and if ye inbyll me for a solysitor, I shal be a vouster comandment a touz jours.

Item, me thynkyth that ye do evyll that ye go not thorewgh with my Lady of Suffolk for Heylysdon and Drayton; for ther shold growe mony to you, whyche wold qwyte yow ayenst R. T. and all other, and set yow befor for ever.

I prey yow for your ease, and all others to you ward, plye thes maters. As for alle other thynges, I shall send yow an answer, when I com to Norwyche, whyche shall be on Thorsday, with Godes grace. I have teryd her at Framlyngham thys sevennyght, for [my] Lady took not hyr chambyr tyll yersterday. Adewe.

Wretyn on Seynt Kateryns Evyn. J. P.

166.1I sye the pye, and herd it spek; and, be God, it is not worthe a crowe; it is fer wers then ye wend; be God, it wer shame to kep it in a cage.

165.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] At the foot of this letter is written, in a different but contemporary hand, ‘Ao E. iiijti xijo.’ The date is besides abundantly evident from other circumstances.

166.1 This P.S. is written on the back of the letter.


NOV. 26

‘Soutwerk cum membris,’ No. 17a.—‘Literæ patentes concessæ a Rege ad petitionem Domini Fundatoris pro ponte fiendo in vico vocato le Bermoseystret. Dat. 26 Novembris anno regni Regis Ed. IV. 12o.’

166.2 [From MS. Index in Magd. Coll., Oxford.]



To the right worshepfull my master, Sir John Paston, Knyght.

Ao xij. E. R. quarti.


Please it your masterschep to knowe that Johon Shawe and I have goten a carpenter fro Walsyngham to Sporle to valewe your wod the167.2 the wheche carpenter hese costis there Sondaye at nyght next before the Assencion off owre Lord Jesu Cryst, Mondaye, Tewesdaye, Wednesdaye, Assencion Daye, Frydaye and Saterdaye, and for hese labor iijs. iiijd. And upon the syte of your seid wode he hath valewid the launde wythin the dykes xij. fote inward fro the cop of the dyke and wythowte at liiijli. vijs. xd. And wythin the wode xij. fote wythin alle the dykes vijs. viijd. the valewe of the dykes abowte the woode fro xij. fote fro wythin owtewardis arn prysid at xli. grete chepis the valew of the trees in the maner and in the closes azens the seid manor toward Swaffham xx. marc gret chepe; there off be ware and be not to hasty, &c., the cloos at the tow . . . toward Pykenham not valewid nor not spoken of, &c. The summa totall & xviijli. ijs. viijd.

And if ze shuld selle all this wode togedyr for redy sylver never lesse in the summa paste v. marc, if ze woll sell the wode . . . . . the lawnde wythin the dykes and the standardis thoo I shall wryte aftyr in this bille for to stande in any wyse less . . . . . . all the hole sum at the most paste xli. for who so ever shall by it he maye so leve and gete goode, &c.

The summa of your standardis for certeyn reconyd the Mondaye and the Tewsdaye whill I was at Sporle wyth in . . . . . and xij. fote wythin the dykes in forme above rehersid xjxx. And iche standarde a zard [yard] above the grownde . . . . . abowte an . . lesser till we come xij. inche and viij. inche besyde all odyr smale that arn of lesse mesure . . . . . . growe the wheche arn many and resonabely sufficient, &c., the nowmber off the standardis wythin your . . . . . cowntid and summe be estimacion of the mesures and formes above rehersid CCCCma xxxvjti.

As for your undyrwode I can not fynde the meane to valewid to your avayle, be cause it were necessary to knowe the purpose off your fellyng, where off beware, &c.

As for the fensyng of your dykes, and ze shuld felle your bordorys off your wode the Suthsyde, viz., toward Pykenham fro the Wonges to Walsyngham Weye is lxxx. rodde at leste, the price of the rodde iiijd., dyggyng, plashyng, and heggyng. Summa, xxvjs. viijd.

The Est syde toward Neyghton and Sparham vijxx. rodde at the leste,

Summa, xls.
168 The Northende toward Dunham lxxx. rodde, Summa, xxvjs. viijd.

The West syde toward Sporle be the Loyes vjxx. rodde,

Summa, xls.
Summa, vjli. xiijs. iiijd.

Where off sum is repayrid, sum maye be sperid, but at the lest it woll coste yow a vj. marc, &c.

If it please yow to take myn symple avyse in your wode sale, selle non in gret, but make fagottes and astell and lete alle your grete and goode tymber and trees stande, and ze shall make resonably mony to your worchep, and to your best avayle as John Shawe your servaunt shall telle yow, if I maye do zow any service in this c . . . . ze shall ffynde me redy, so that ze sende sufficient warant be the grace off Jesu, Who haue y[ow in His] kepyng. Wrete in hast, at Walsyngham, the Sundaye next aftyr the feest off the Assencion off owr [Lord] Jesu Cryste. Be your John Osbern.

I praye yow geff credens in alle these materes to Shawe, for he can telle yow more shortlyer then I shuld wryte, and I hold hym trewe to yow in hese menyng.

Endorsed—Per John Osbern, pro Sporl Wood.

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

167.2 Sic, qu. ‘there’?


To the ryght reverent and worshipffull my mastres, Margaret Paston, in haste.

NOV. 27

Plesith it you to wete that I have receyved your letter, wherin I conceyve ye wolde undrestonde how I do with the sale of Sporle Wode. It is so that I have begonne to felle asshe at the townes ende for to sette the contre on werke, and be that I shall undrestonde how the remnaunt wol doo. I have sette suche a classe [glass] before here ien [their eyes] ther, that they are madde upon it, so that I truste be Ester to make of money, what with the barke and with the asshe, at the leest l. marke for to retayle the wode our selfe, and be Cristemas next after that, other l. marke, and so yerely l. marke at Cristemesse as longe as the wode lasteth, to the some that I tolde you, and I truste more; and to this I durste be bound. Nevertheles, I am a bowte to selle it all a grete and to brynge it to all moste to as goode proffe as thowe we retayled it oure silffe, for it is so that ther is a man of Carbroke, they calle hym Saunders, I may have of hym for all the wode and barke that is in Sporle xjxx. marke, to paye at suche dayes a fore reherseyd, we to bere the costes of the fense and of the tithe; but we are not throw yet, nor nought shal be tille I have worde from you a yene, weche I 169 must have be Sonday come sevenyte at the fertheste, for on the Wednesdaye nexte after that we shal mete a yene at Sporle. Wherfore I beseche you sende me your avice how ye thynke herein, and I shal doo that in me is be Godes grace; if I can do better with hym I shall. It shal be harde werke, but if I haunse hym som what, for ther is moche money be twix us, and therfore spare not to sende my master, Sir John, worde to take suche dayes of payment as is a bove wreten, for it shalbe performed what wey som ever we take be Godes grace.

Item, mastres, as for your write [wright] ye may not have hym tille after Cristemas, for he had taken an howse to make while I was with you, it wolbe this iij. wekes yet or then he make an ende, &c.

Item, I mette with Robert at Heythe of Matelaske at Norwiche, when I come from you. I felle on hande with hym for Matelaske Kerre, I myght have had of hym for that vij. marke and xxd. Dele nogh as ye thynke.

Item, as for money of the fermour of Sporle, he telles me he is bounde to Tounesende to pay hym at this Candelmesse. And he seythe if he may be discharged a yenst hym your money shalbe redy at hys daye, be Godes grace, Who have you in His blissed kepyng.

Wreten at Sporle, the Friday next after Seint Edmund the Kynge. Your servaunt, R. Calle.

168.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] It is evident that this letter must have been written some time after the preceding, but very probably in the same year.


To Sir John Paston, Knyght.

NOV. or DEC.

Syme recomandyth hym to your good mastyrshep, and preyeth yow that ye wyll not forget, though he be a boye, to let hym were the same lyvere that your men do; and if it pleased yow to lete hys gowne clothe be sent hym home, that it myght be mad ayenst your comeing in to thys contre, he wold be as prowd as eny man ye have. Sir, as hertly as I can, I thank yow for the hatt, whyche is comyng, as I undyrstand by your wrytyng, sent by John, the Abottys man of Seynt Benet.

My modyr sendys you Godes blyssyng and hyrs, and preyes yow to get a new lycence of my Lord of Norwyche 170 that she may have the sacrement in hyr chapell. I gat a lycence of hym for a yere, and it is nyghe woryn ought. Ye may get it for the Byshoppys lyve, and ye wylle.

As for the lettyrs that Slyfeld shold get newe of the Kyng, whyche ye shold bryng to my Lord of Norffolk, it is myn avyse that ye shall come home your sylff as hasty ly as ye maye, so that ye may be at the crystenyng of the chyld that my Lady is with; it shall cause yow gret thank, and a gret fordell [advantage] in your mater. And as for the lettres, leve a man of yowr to awayte on Slyfeld to bryng theym after yow; of whyche lettres I avyse yow to have one dyrect fro the Kyng to yow, comandyng yow to be the messenger and brynger of the other lettres to my Lord, my Lady, and ther consayll, for your owne mater; and thys me thynkyth shall do well, for then shall the man shewe to my Lordes consayll the lettre dyrect to yow that ye have awtoryte to be your owne solycytour, and also it shall be thought that the Kyng tendryth yow and your mater, when he wryghtyth to your sylf for it.

My Lady wayteth hyr tyme with in viij. dayes at the ferthest.

169.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The date of this letter is shown by the reference to the situation of the Duchess of Norfolk. Compare Letter 817. There is an old, and nearly contemporary, endorsement, ‘Anno xvo, mens. Novemb.,’ but this is clearly erroneous.


DEC. 7

1472, 7 Dec.—‘Vigill of Concepcion of oure Lady,’ 12 Edw. IV. Indenture of agreement (in English) between Bp. Waynflete and William Worceter, by which the latter undertakes to deliver to the Bishop all deeds, charters, rolls of courts, and accounts, and all other muniments which are in his hands relating to the manors and lands of the late Sir John Fastolf, excepting lands, etc. in Norfolk, called Fairchilds, and two tenements and two gardens called Walles, in Suthwerk, of which he himself is seised; and also, as executor of the will of Sir Thomas Howes, to deliver up all money and goods of Fastolf, and obligations for property, etc., sold by the said Thomas, which he can recover, over the sum of £40 due to him, the said William Worceter, for his marriage, and also to assist the said Bishop and his College at Oxford in all matters relating to Fastolf’s lands; in return for which the Bishop covenants to pay him £100, and also an allowance upon all sums of money recovered by him.

170.1 This abstract is taken from Mr. Macray’s account of the MSS. in Magdalen College, Oxford, printed in the Fourth Report of the Historical MSS. Commission.



To my Mastyr, Sir John Paston, Knyght, be thys delyveryd.

DEC. 18

Ryght worchepfull Syr, I recomand me to yow, thankyng yow most hertly of your gret cost, whyche ye dyd on me at my last being with yow at London; whyche to my power I wyll recompence yow with the best servyse that lythe in me to do for your plesure, whyll my wytts be my owne.

Syr, as for the mater of Caster, it hathe be mevyd to my Ladys good grace by the Byshope of Wynchester, as well as he kowd imagyn to sey it, consederyng the lytyll leyser that he had with hyr; and he told me that he had ryght an agreabyll answer of hyr, but what hys answer was, he wold not tell me. Then I axyd hym what answer I should send yow, in as myche as ye mad me a solysyter to hys Lordship for that mater; then he bad me that undyr consayll I shold send you woord that hyr answer was more to your plesure than to the contrary, whych ye shall have more pleyn knowlage of thys next terme, att whyche tyme bothe my Lord and she shall be at London.

The Byshop cam to Framlyngham on Wednysday at nyght, and on Thursday by x. of the clok befor noon, my yong Lady was krystend, and namyd Anne. The Byshop crystend it and was godfader bothe, and with in ij. owyrs and lesse aftyr the crystenyng was do, my Lord of Wynchester departyd towards Waltham.171.2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . And I let you pleynly weet, I am not the man I was, ffor I was 172 never so roughe in my mastyrs conseyt as I am now, and that he told me hymselff before Rychard Sothewell, Tymperley, Sir W. Brandon, and twenty more, so that they that lowryd, nowgh172.1 laughe upon me; no moor, but god look.

Wretyn at Framlyngham, the Fryday next aftyr that I depertyd fro yow. Thys day my Lord is towardys Walsyngham, and comandyd me to overtake hym to morow at the ferthest. J. P.

171.1 [From Fenn, ii. 42.] Fenn informs us that this letter is dated on the back in a contemporaneous handwriting, ‘Anno xo.,’ which seems to mean 10 Edw. IV. This date however, is certainly erroneous; for in the inquisitions taken on the death of the Duke of Norfolk, Anne, Lady Mowbray, his daughter and heir, was found to have been four years old on the 10th December 1476. She was born, therefore, on the 10th December 1472.

171.2 Then follows the substance of a conversation between the Lady of Norfolk and Thomas Davers, wherein she promises to be a friend to Sir John Paston concerning Caister; but J. Davers swore J. Paston not to mention her goodwill to any person, except to Sir John.—F.

172.1 In the modern version Fenn reads, ‘so that they that loved not, laugh upon me.’


To the right hyghe and myghty Prince, and my right good and gracious Lord, my Lord the Dwke of Norffolk.


Mekly besechyth your hyghness, your poore and trew contynuall servaunt and oratour, John Paston, the yonger, that it myght please your good grace to call on to your most discret and notabyll remembrance that lateward, at the cost and charge of my brodyr, John Paston, Knyght, whyche most entendith to do that myght please your hyghness, the ryght nobyll Lord, the Bysshop of Wynchester entretyd so, and compouned with your Lordshepp, that it liekyd the same to be so good and gracious Lord to my seyd brodyr, that by forsse of serteyn dedys, relessis, and lettrys of attorney selyd with the sealys of your good grace, and of other serteyn personys infeoffyd to your use in the maner of Caster, late John Fastolffes, Knyght, in the conte of Norffolk, my seyd brodyr and I, with other enfeoffyd to my seyd brodyrs use in the seyd maner, wer peasably possessyd of and in the same tyll syche tyme as serteyn personys, servaunts on to your good grace, entred in to the seyd maner, and therof have takyn the 173 issuses and profitys in the name of your seyd hyghnesse by the space of thre yer and more, to the gret hurt of my seyd brodyr and me your seyd servuantes and oratour: wherfor, as I have oft tymys befor thys, I beseche your good grace, at the reverence of God, and in the wey of charyte, that my seyd brodyr may by your hyghness be ayen restoryd in to the possessyon of the sey[d] maner, acordyng to the lawe and good conscyence; and wee shall prey to God for the preservacyon of your most nobyll estate.

172.2 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This petition is shown by internal evidence to have been drawn up towards the end of the year 1472, as it sets forth that the Duke had been more than three years in possession of Caister, which was surrendered to him in September 1469. There can be no doubt therefore that it was presented or prepared for presentation at the time of John Paston’s visit to Framlingham.


JAN. 18

I recomaund me to you, and thanke you hertyly of your letteris, and delygente labour that ye have had in thoes materis that ye have wretyn to me of, and in all other, to my profette and worschep, and in esspeciall atte this sesons towchyng the mater that I sent you the indenture of. Ye have lyghtyd myne hert therin by a pound, for I was in fere that it wold not have bene doo so hastyly with oute danger. And as for the letters that Thom Holler son schuld have brought me, I see nother hym ne the letters that he schuld have brought; wherefor, I pray you hertely, yeve it be no dysese to you, that ye will take the labour to bryng Walter theyr he schuld be, and to purvaye for hym that he may be sette in good and sad rewle. For I were loth to lese hym, for I trust to have more joye of hym than I have of them that bene owlder; though it be more coste to me to send you forth with hym, I hold me plesed, for I wote wele ye schall best purvaye for hym, and for suche thynges as is necessar to 174 hym, than another shuld doo, after myne intent. And as for ane hors to lede hys gere, me thynke it were best porvaye one atte Camberage, lesse than [unless] ye canne gytte onye carreours from thens to Oxynforth more hastyly; and I mervell that the letters come not to me, and whether I may laye the defaute to the fauder or to the son therof. And I wold Water schuld be copilet with a better than Holler son is, there as he schalbe; howe be it I wold not that he schuld make never the lesse of hym, by cause he is his contre man and neghbour. And also I pray you wryte a letter in my name to Watere, after that ye have knowne myne entent by fore this to hym ward; so that he doo welle, lerne well, and be of good rewle and disposycion, ther shall nothyng faylle hym that I may helpe with, so that it be nessessare to hym; and bydde hym that he be not to hasty of takyng of orderes that schuld bynd hym, till that he be of xxiiij. yeere of agee or more, thoff he be consaled the contrare, for oftyn rape [haste] rewith. I will love hym better to be a good secular man than to be a lewit prest.

And I am sore that my cosyn Bernay is seke, and I pray you yeff me white wine, or ony of my wateris, or ony other thyng that I have that is in your awarde, may doo hym ony comforth. I lette hym have it; for I wold be right sory yf ony thyng schuld come to hym botte good. And for Godsake advise hym to doo make hys will, yeve it be not doo, and to doo well to my cosyn, his wiff, and els it were pete; and I pray you to recomaunde me to hyr, and to my nawnte, and to all the gentill men and gentil women there. And as for John Daye, and he be dede I wold be sory, for I know not howe to come by my mony that he oweith me; and I porpose that Pacoke schall have les to doo for me another yeres than he haith had, if I may be better porvayed with your helpe, for he is for hym self, bott not for me.

And as for ony marchandes to my corn, I can gytte none here; therfor I pray you, doo ye als wele therein as ye canne; also I send you by the bereer hereof the bill of myne resaytes. And yef ye go forth with Walter, I pray you come to me als sone as ye may after ye be commyn home; and me lyketh 175 myne abydyng and the contre here175.1 right well, and I trust whan sommer comith and fayre wether, I schall lyke it better, for I am cherysed here botte to wel.

And I constrew your letter in other materis well i nough, whereof I thanke you; and if it nede not to send forth Walter hastyly, I wald ye myght come to me, thowe ye schuld com opon one day and goo agayne on the next day, than schuld I comon with you in all materis; and I hold best if ye have not the letteris that Holler son schuld have brough me, that ye send Sym over for them this nyght that I may have them to morowe, and yif ye may combe your self, I wold be the better playsed.

And I remember that water of mynte or water of millefole were good for my cosyn Bernay to drynke, for to make hym to browke,175.2 and yeve thei send to Dame Elesebeth Callethorppe ther ye shall not fayill of the tone or of both, sche haith other wateris to make folkis to browke. God kepe you.

Wrytyn on the Monday next after Sent Hiller.

I have no longer leyser atte this tyme.

173.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The allusion by the writer to her cousin Berney’s sickness makes it probable that this letter was written in 1473, when the Monday after St. Hilary would be the 18th of January. John Berney of Reedham died on the 20th January in that year (Inquis. post mortem, 13 Edw. IV., No. 17). The letter has neither signature nor address, but was probably written by Margaret Paston to her priest, Sir James Gloys, who died in the course of this year.

175.1 I think this must have been written at Maltby, where Margaret Paston certainly lived during her later years, and where she was doubtless staying when she desired a license of the Bishop to have the Sacrament in her private chapel. See No. 821.

175.2 i.e. to enable him to retain food in his stomach.


To John Paston, Esquyer, or to Mestresse Margret Paston, hys Modre be thys letter delyveryd.

FEB. 3

Weell belovyd Brother.175.4 . . . . . . . . .

As ffor tydyngs heer, ther bee but fewe, saff that the Duke of Borgoyen175.5 and my Lady, hys wyffe farethe well. I was with them on thorysdaye last past 176 at Gawnt.176.1 Peter Metteney ffarethe weell, and Mestresse Gretkyn bothe and Rabekyn recomend hyr to yow; she hathe ben verry seke, but it hathe doon hyr goode, ffor she is ffayrer and slenderer than she was, and she cowde make me no cheer but alwey my sawse was ‘How ffaret Master John, yowr brother?’ wher with I was wrothe, and spake a jalous worde or too, dysdeynyng that she sholde care so moche ffor yow, when that I was present.

Sende me worde to Hoxons in wrygtyng, what goode the Bysshop ded ffor me at Framynham, and howe my Lorde, my Ladye, and all the cort or [are] dysposyd to me wards.

I here also seye that my Ladye and yowrs, Dame Margret Veer176.2 is ded, God have hyr sowle; iff I weer not sorye ffor herr, I trowe ye have been.

No moor to yow at thys tyme, but All myghty Good have yow in kepyng.

Wretyn at Caleys the iij. daye of Februarye Anno R. R. E. iiij. xijo. J. P., K.

175.3 [From Fenn, ii. 120.]

175.4 Here follows an account of letters sent to him from Calais—of farme barly in Fledge, and of olde stuffe at Norwich, etc.—F.

175.5 Charles the Bold, and Margaret, sister to Edward IV.

176.1 Ghent, in the Netherlands.

176.2 Daughter and heir of Sir William Stafford, and wife to Sir George Vere. Their son, John Vere, was afterwards Earl of Oxford.—F.


FEB. 10

In Blomefield’s History of Norfolk, vol. xi. p. 208, it is stated that ‘on February 10 in the 13th of Edward IV., an indenture was made between Sir William Yelverton, William Jenney, serjeant-at-law, and William Worcester, executors of Sir John [Fastolf] on one part, and Thomas Cager and Robert Kyrton on the other, whereby the said Robert was appointed surveyor of the lands and tenements in Southwark and other places in Surrey, late Sir John’s, to perform his last will; and also receiver of rents; who was to have 6 marks per ann., and to be allowed besides all reasonable costs that he shall do in the defence and keeping out John Paston, Esq., and of all others claiming by him.’



‘J. P.’ [John Paston] to Sir John Paston


As I promised in the letter that Playter sent, Playter and I have been with my mother to get her to make chevesance for the £100, but she bade us send you word, you need look for no other comfort from her. Jwde can tell you Barker’s answer. As for John Kook you promised him payment yourself and to Sir John Styll 5 marks in part payment. My mother has sold her barley for 14d. I never meet John Smyth but I speak of it to him. He keeps his courts here at Norwich all the week. As for Fastolf, I can only speak to Wymondham his father-in-law, which I do as often as I see him. Would be sorry the great matter which requires hasty answer ‘lest the kok be in perayle’ should be delayed by his negligence. Thinks Edmund Fastolf ‘was a reasonable man to Robert of Lyne. Wherefore, let my brother Edmund sue for the same, for one wife may serve for us both till better peace be. So God help me ye may allege a plain excuse that these dyrk wars have so hindered me that her lyvelode and mine both should be too little to live at our ease till I were further before the hand than I could be this two year, and she found after her honor and my poor appetite.’ Would rather forbear what he would have than bring them in pain. ‘Say better for me, for ye can and ye will. This matter must be honestly handled, for I wot well my young lady of Oxenforthe shall hear of it. We have here no tidings, but a few Frenchmen be whyrlyng on the coasts, so that there dare no fishers go out but under safe conducts. I pray you, and ye have any more oranges than ye occupy, that poor men may have part for a great bellied lady.’ First Monday of Clean Lent, 13 Edw. IV.

Addressed—‘A Mysr John Paston, schevaller, soyt done.’ Endorsed—‘Mens’ Marcii Anno xiijo.’

177.1 [From MS. Phillipps 9735, No. 257.]


To my Master, Sir John Paston, Knyght, be thys delyverd in hast.


As I was wryghtyng this bylle, Mastresse Jane Harsset comandyd me streyghtly that I shold recomand hyr to yow in hyr best wyse, and she sendyth yow word she wold be as fayne to here fro yow as an other poore body.


Syr, it is so that my cosyn John Blenerhasset178.1 is enformyd that for verry serteyn he is chosyn to be on of the colectours of the taske in Norffolk, wher in verry trowthe he hathe not a foot of lond with in the shyer; wherfor I beseche yow that, as hastyly as ye may aftyr the syght of thys bylle, that it may please yow to take the labore to comon with Sir Rychard Harrecorte, and to let hym have knowlage that thys gentyllman hathe nowght with in the shyer, and that ye tweyne may fynd the meane to get hym owght of that thanklesse offyce, for I promyse yow it encomberthe hym evyll, and my mastresse hys wyffe, and alle us hys frendys here; and if so be that ye and Sir R. Harcorte may not fynd the meane betwyx yow, that then it may please yow to meve my Lord Chamberleyn with thys mater, and so Master Harsset prayithe yow, and Mastresse Jane, hys wyff also, for she lyekyth no thyng by the ofyce.

It is thowght her amonge us that Heydons be the causers that he was set in. I prey yow enqwer of Sir R. Harcort who was the cause, and that it may be wyst in the next byll that ye send me; for if they wer the causers, it lythe in my cosyn Harsettes power to qwytte theym.

We have no tydynges to send, but that our Frenshemen178.2 whyche kepte our costs her ar home into France, for lake of vytayll, we saye.

Hogan178.3 is put in the Gyld Halle in Norwyche, and shalbe browght up to London for reportyng of hys old talys. He varythe not. No more, but I prey God send yow the Holy Gost amonge yow in the Parlement Howse, and rather the Devyll, we sey, then ye shold grante eny more taskys.

Wretyn the day next aftyr our Lady Day, the Anuncyacyon, Anno xiij. E. iiijti.

Yong Heydon laborythe alle that he can to mary on 179 of hys doughtyr to yonge John Barney179.1 by the mean of W. Calthorpp. J. P.

177.2 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter is endorsed with what appears to have been the date of its receipt—‘xxviijo die Marcii Ao xiijo E. iiijti.’

178.1 John Blennerhasset, Bleverhasset, and (for shortness) often called Harsset, of Frens, married first Jane, daughter of Thomas Higham, Esq., and secondly Jane, daughter of Sir Thomas Tindal of Hockwold, Knight. He died in 1510, aged 87.—F.

178.2 The French vessels that infested the coast, as mentioned in the preceding letter.

178.3 Hogan pretended to foretell commotions and rebellions, etc.—F.

179.1 This marriage never took effect.—F.


A son trescher & bon ame Freer, John de Paston, Esquier.


Weell belovyd brother, I recomand me to yow, letyng yow wete that at the request of Mestresse Jane Hassett and yow, I have laboryd the knyghtys off the sheer off Norffolk, and the knyghtys off the shyre of Suffolk. I understond ther had ben made labor that suche a thing shulde have ben as ye wrotte to me off, but now it is saff.

Raff Blaundrehasset wer a name to styrte an hare. I warrant ther shall come no suche name in owr bokys, ner in owr house; it myght per case styrt xxti harys at onys; ware that jd. perse.179.3 I redde ther in the bille off Norffolk, off one John Tendall, Esquier, but I suppose it be not ment by owr Tendall, and iff it be, he shall not rest theer, iffe I maye helpe it.

As for tydyngs, the werst that I herde was that my moodre wyll not doo so moche ffor me as she put me in comffort off.

Other tydyngs, I herd sey ffor serteyn that the Lady Fitzwater is ded, and that Master Fytzwater shall have CCCC. mrke a yer more than he had. I am not sory therffor.

As ffor the worlde I woot nott what it menyth, men seye heer, as weell as Hogan, that we shall have adoo in hast; I know no lyklyhod but that suche a rumor ther is.

Men sey the Qwyen with the Prynce shall come owt off Walys, and kepe thys Esterne with the Kyng at Leycetr, and some seye nowther off them shall com ther.

Item, off beyond the see, it is seyd that the Frense Kyngs 180 host hathe kyllyd the Erle of Armenak180.1 and all hys myry mene; some seye undre appoyntment, and some seye they wer besegyd, and gotyn by pleyn assault.

Ferthermoor men seye that the Frenshe Kynge is with hys ost uppon the water off Some a lx. myle froo Caleys; I leve them wheer I ffond them.

I made yowr answer to the ffrends off Mestresse Jane Godnoston accordyng to yowr instrucions. As for me, I am nott serteyn whether I shall to Caleys, to Leysetr, or come home into Norffolk, but I shall hastely send yow worde, &c.

Wretyn the ij. daye of Aprill, Anno E. iiij. xiijo.

179.2 [From Fenn, ii. 122.]

179.3 ‘Ware that penny purse’—qu. that penurious fellow?

180.1 John, Count of Armagnac, assassinated on the 6th March 1473.


To John Paston, Esquier.


Best belovyd brother, I recomend me on to yow, letyng yow weet that I receyvyd on Wednysday last past yow angery lettre towchyng the troble that Sandre Kok is in, wherein I have largely comonyd with John Russe, and advysed hym to take a curteys weye with Sandre, for yowre sake and myn. He seythe he wold not dysplease yow by hys wyll, and that he purposythe to entrete yow and wolde deserve it to yowe. He undrestod that ye had large langage to the jurye that passyd again Saundre. I lete hym weete that ye weer wrothe, and that he shall nowther please yowe ner me, but iff he dele curteyslye with Saundre. I tolde hym as for the condempnacion uppon the accion off trespasse I thoght it nowther good ner worshypfull. Also I have wretyn to the person of Maultby to dele curteyslye with Saundre, iff he woll please yow or me.


Item, I sende yow herwythe the supercedyas for Saundre; so that iff ye fynde any meane for the condempnacions that than ye maye ease therwith the suerte off pease. John Russe, as I suppose, is att home thys daye.

Item, as for tydynges heer, the Kynge rydeth fresselye thys daye to Northamton warde, there to be thys Esterne, and after Esterne he purposythe to be moche at Leysettre, and in Leysettre shyre. Every man seythe that we shall have a doo or Maye passe. Hogan the prophet is in the Tower; he wolde fayne speke with the Kyng, but the Kynge seythe he shall not avaunt that evyr he spake with hym.

Item, as for me, I most nedys to Caleyse warde to morowe. I shall be heer ageyn, if I maye, thys next terme. John Myryell, Thyrston, and W. Woode be goon from me, I shrewe them.

My modre dothe me moor harme than good; I wende she wolde have doon for me. Playter wroot to me that she wolde have leyde owt for me Cli., and receyvyd it ageyn in v. yer of the maner of Sporle, wherto I trustyd, whyche if she had performyd, I had nott ben in no juperte of the maner of Sporle. Neverthelesse I shall do whatt I kan yitt. I preye yow calle uppon hyr for the same, remembre hyr of that promyse.

Item, I preye yow remembre hyr for my fadrys tombe at Bromholme. She dothe ryght nott [naught]; I am afferde of hyr that she shall nott doo weell. Bedyngfelde shall mary Sir John Skottes doghtre, as I suppose.

Item, Janore Lovedaye shall be weddyd to one Denyse, a ffuattyd (?) gentylman, with Sir G. Brown, nowther to weell ner to ylle.

Item, as for me, iff I had hadd vj. dayes leyser more than I hadd, and other also, I wolde have hopyd to have ben delyveryd of Mestresse Anne Hault. Hyr frendes, the Quyen and Attclif agreyd to comon and conclude with me, if I can fynde the meanes to dyscharge hyr concyence, whyche I trust to God to doo.

i. Item, I praye yow that ye take a leyser thys Estern halydayes to ryde to Sporle and sende for John Osberne, and 182 I wolde ye sholde conclude a bergayn with one Bocher, a woode byer, whyche Mendham that was my fermor ther can fecche hym to yow.

ii. And thys is myn entent. I wolde have the dykes to stonde stylle, acordyng as John Osberne and I comonyd, I trow xij. foothe with in the dyke.

iij. Item, that the standardes off suche mesur as he and I comonyd off maye also be reservyd. I suppose it was xxx. inche, abowt a yerde from the grownde.

iiij. Item, that it be surely fencyd at the cost off the woode byer in any wyse with a sure hedge, bothe hyghe and stronge.

v. Item, that ther be a weye taken with the fermores for the undrewood, so that I lesse not the ferme therffore yerly. Item, John Osbern can telle yow the meanys howe to entrete the fermores, for Herry Halman hath pleyed the false shrowe and fellyd my woode uppon a tenement off myn to the valew off xx. marke, as it is tolde me. I praye yow enquire that matre and sende me worde and dele with hym ther afftre.

vj. Item, iff the seyde wood clere above alle charges excep as is above, be made any better than CC. marke, I wolle seye that ye be a good huswyff. John Osberne seythe that he woll do me a frendes turne ther in and yitt gete hym self an hakeneye.

vij. Memorandum, that he have nott past iij. or iiij. yere off untraunce at the ferthest.

viij. Item, thatt I have payement off the holl as shortly as ye kan, halffe in hande, the remenaunt at halffe yeer, or ellys at ij. tymes with in one yere at the ferthest by mydsomer xij. monyth.

ix. And that ye make no ferther bergayn than Sporle woode and the lawnde, not delyng with noon other woode, nowther in the maner, nor ellys wher in none other tenement.

x. Item, that ye have sufficient sewerte for the monye, with penaltes iff nede be, some other men bonden with hym for the payement.

xj. Item, I wolle well be bownde to waraunt it to hym.

Item, I sende yow herwith a warant to yow and John 183 Osberne joyntlye to bergayn. Comone and conclude that bergayn.

xij. Item, I suppose he woll, iff he conclude with yow, desyre to felle thys Maye, and I to have mony soon afftre. I reke not thowe he fellyd not tyll thys wynter; but iff he woll nedes begyn thys Maye, therffor I wryght yow thus hastely entrete hym, iff ye can, that he felle not tyll wynter.

xiij. Item, be ware how ye bergeyn, so that he felle nott butt in sesonable tyme and sesonable wood, for he maye felle no undrewood thys Maye, as I trowe

Item, as for yowr costes late th  .  .  .  .  .  .  . newe fynde yow mete, and I woll allow it there, or ellys make me a bylle what it dra[weth to]  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . yow.

Item, I praye yow iff ye g  .  .  .  .  . for me as ye can. I made my Lady heer but easy cheer, neverthelesse I gaff hyr .  .  .  .  .  ys.

I promysed hyr to purveye hyr  .  .  .  .  weselys, but I was deseyvyd; yit I wend to have had one.

My Lord of Norffolk hathe ben mevyd for Caster by my Lord Cardenall and the Bysshop of Wynchester, but it woll take non effecte  .  .  .  my Lady come. God gyff grace that she brynge auctoryte when she comythe thys next terme to common ther in and conclude, and so I prey yow advyse hyr. Itt may haply paye for hyr costes.

No mor to yow, but wretyn at London, the xij. daye of Apryll, Anno E. iiijti xiijo.

I sende yow her with ij. letteris from John Osbern to me, wherby and by hys billes ye may undrestond the verry valewe off the wood.

I praye yow sende me wryghtyng ageyn by the Mondaye vij. nyght afftre Ester; iff Hoxon or the goode man off the Goot have it, they shall conveye it welle.

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

... Maye, as I trowe.
final period (full stop) missing



To John Paston, Esqer, in Norffolk.


Wyrsshypfull and ryght hertyly belowyd brother, I recomande me on to yow, letyng yow wete that on Wednysdaye last past I wrote yow a letter, wheroff John Carbalde had the beryng, promyttyng me that ye shold have it at Norwyche thys daye, or ellys to morowe in the mornyng, wherin I praye yowe to take a labor accordyng afftr the tenur off the same, and that I maye have an answer at London to Hoxon, iff any massenger come, as ene I maye doo ffor yow.

As ffor tydyngs, ther was a truse taken at Brussellys about the xxvj. daye off Marche last past, be twyn the Duke off Borgoyn and the Frense Kyngs imbassators and Master William At Clyff ffor the Kyng heer, whyche is a pese be londe and water tyll the ffyrst daye off Apryll nowe next comyng, betweyn Fraunce and Ingelond, and also the Dukys londes. God holde it ffor ever and grace be.

Item, the Erle of Oxenfford was on Saterdaye at Depe, and is purposyd into Skotlond with a xij. schyppys. I mystrust that werke.

Item, ther be in London many fflyeng talys, seying that ther shold be a werke, and yit they wot not howe.

Item, my Lorde Chamberleyn184.2 sendyth now at thys tyme to Caleys the yonge Lorde Sowche184.3 and Sir Thomas Hongreffords dowtre and heyr,184.4 and some seye the yonge 185 Lady Haryngton, thes be iij. grett jowelles, Caleys is a mery town, they shall dwell ther I wott not whylghe [how long].

No mor, but I have ben, and ame troblyd with myn over large and curteys delyng with my servants, and now with ther onkynd nesse; Plattyng, yowr men wolde thys daye byd me ffar well to to morow at Dover, notwithstandyng Thryston yowr other man is ffrom me, and John Myryell, and W. Woode whyche promysed yow and Dawbeney, God have hys sowle, at Castre, that iff ye wolde take hym in to be ageyn with me, that then he wold never goo ffro me, and ther uppon I have kepyd hym thys iij. yer to pleye Seynt Jorge and Robyn Hod and the Shryff off Notyngham, and now when I wolde have good horse he is goon into Bernysdale, and I withowt a keeper.

Wretyn at Canterburye, to Caleys warde on Tewesday and happe be, uppon Good Frydaye the xvj. daye off Apryll, Anno E. iiijti xiijo. Yowr, J. P., K.

Item, the most parte off the sowdyors that went over with Sir Robert Green have leeff, and be comyn hom, the hyghe weye ffull; my cariage was behynd me ij. hours longer than I lokyd afftr, but I wysse I wende that I myght have etyn my parte on Good Frydaye all my garees [finery] and pryde had ben goon, but all was saffe. I pray yow iff W. Mylsent go ffroo yow, that he myght come to me at Caleys, I will have hym.

184.1 [From Fenn, ii. 130.]

184.2 William, Lord Hastings.—F.

184.3 John, Lord Zouch of Harringworth; he was attainted in the first year of Henry VII.—F.

184.4 Mary, daughter and heir of Sir Thomas Hungerford; she afterwards married Edward, son and heir to William, Lord Hastings, who in her right became Lord Hungerford, her uncle’s attainder being reversed.—F.



To John Paston, Esquyer, in Norwich.

MAY 18

Ryght wershypfull brother, I recomand me to yow, &c.186.2 . . . . . . . . . .

As for tydyngs, the Erle of Wylshyr186.3 and the Lord Sudele186.4 be ded, and it was seyd that Sir W. Stanle was deed, but nowe it is seyd naye, &c.

Item, as ffor your goyng to Seyn James,186.5 I beleve it but atwyen ij., &c.

I herd seye that a man was thys daye examyned, and he confessed that he knewe greet tresor was sende to the Erle off Oxenfford, wheroff a mle li. [£1000] sholde be conveyd by a Monke off Westminster, and some seye by a Monke off Chartrehows.

Item, that the same man schulde acuse C. gentylmen in Norffolk and Suffolk that have agreyd to assyst the seyd Erle at hys comynge thyder, whyche as itt is seyd, sholde be within viij. dayes afftr Seynt Donston, iff wynde and weddyr serffe hym—fflyeng tales. No mor at thys tyme, but God have yow in kepyng.

Wretyn at London on Seynt Donstones daye, xviij. daye of Maye, Anno E. iiijti xiijo. John Paston, K.

186.1 [From Fenn, ii. 136.]

186.2 Then follow some orders concerning servants, debts, securities, etc.—F.

186.3 John Stafford was created Earl of Wiltshire in 1470. He was uncle to Henry, Duke of Buckingham.

186.4 . . . . . Butler, Lord Sudley.—F.

186.5 Apparently John Paston had talked of making a pilgrimage to the shrine of St. James of Compostella in Spain.

xviij. daye of Maye, Anno E. iiijti
text reads “Maye, Anno, E.”



To John Paston, Esqer, be thys delyveryd.


Ryght wyrshypfull brother, I comand me to yow, letyng yow weet that thys daye I was in very purpose to Caleys ward, all redy to have goon to the barge, saff I teryed ffor a yonge man that I thoght to have had with me thyddr, on that was with Rows, whyche is in the cowntre; and because I cowde not geet hym, and that I have no mor heer with me butt Pampyng, Edward, and Jak, therffor Pampyng remembryd me, that at Caleys he tolde me that he purposed to be with the Duchesse off Norffolk, my Lady and yowrs. And Edward is syke and semythe nott abydyng; he wolde see what shold falle off thys worlde; and so I am as he that seythe ‘Come hyddr John, my man.’ And as happe was yisterday, Juddy went affor to Caleysward; wherffor I am nowe ille purveyd, whyche ffor owte that I knowe yit is lyke to kepe me heer thys Wytsontyd.187.2 Wherffor iff ye knowe any lykly men, and ffayr condycioned, and good archers, sende them to me, thowe it be iiij. and I wyll have them, and they shall have iiij. mrks by yer, and my levere [livery].

He maye com to me hyddr to the Gott [Goat], or yit to Caleys with a riall187.3 iff he be wyse, whyche iff nede bee, I wolde that Berker toke hym to come uppe with, iff it be suche one as ye tryst.

Item, I suppose bothe Pytte and Kothye Plattyng shall goo ffrom me in hast; I wyll never cherysshe knaves soo as I have don, ffor ther sakys.

Item, I praye yow sende me a newe vestment off whyght damaske ffor a dekyne, whyche is among myn other geer at Norwiche, ffor he shall ther too as ye woot off: I wyll make 188 an armyng doblett off it, thow I sholde an other tyme gyff a longe gown of velvett ffor another vestment, and send it in all hast to Hoxon to send me.

I hopyd to have been verry mery at Caleys thys Whytsontyde, and am weell apparayled and apoyntyd, saff that thes ffolks ffayle me soo, and I have mater ther to make off ryght excellent. Som man wolde have hastyd hym to Caleys thowe he had hadd no better erand, and som men thynke it wysdom and profyght to be theer now weell owt off the weye.

Item, as ffor the Bysshop188.1 and I, we bee nerrer to a poynt than we weer, so that my part is nowe all the londes in Flegge Holly, the maner off Heylesdon, Tolthorpe, and tenements in Norwyche and Erlham, excepte Fayrechylds, but ffarweell Drayton; the Devyll do ytt them.

Item, large and fferr comynycacion hathe ben bytwyen Sir John Fogge, Ric. Haulte, ffor ther suster and me, byffor Doctor Wyntborne and ellys wher, so that I am in better hope than I was, by Seynt Lawrens188.2 that I shall have a delyveraunce.

Item, as ffor tydyngs heer, I trow ye have herde yowr parte, howe that the Erle off Oxenfford landyd by Seynt Osyes in Essexe, the xxviij. daye off Maye, saff he teryed nott longe, ffor iff he had, the Erle of Essexe188.3 rod to hym wardys, and the Lords Denham and Durasse, and other mor, whyche by lyklyod sholde have dystrussyd hym; but yit hys comyng savyd Hogan hys hed, and hys profesye is the mor belevyd ffor he seyde that thys troble sholde begyn in Maye, and that the Kynge sholde northwards, and that the Scotts sholde make us werke and hym batayle.

Men loke afftr they wot not what, but men by harneys ffast; the Kyngs menyall men and the Duke off Claraunces, ar many in thys town; the Lord Ryverse188.4 com to daye, men seye to purveye in lyke wyse.

Item, how that the Cowntesse off Warwyk188.5 is now owt 189 off Beweley Seyntwarye, and Sir James Tyrell conveyth hyr northwarde, men seye by the Kynges assent, wherto som men seye that the Duke off Clarance is not agreyd.

Item, men seye that the Erle off Oxenfford is abowt the Ilde off Tenett hoveryng, som seye wyth grett companye, and som seye, with ffewe.

No mor, but God kepe yow.

Wretyn at London the iij. daye off June, Anno E. iiijti xiijo. John Paston, K.

187.1 [From Fenn, ii. 138.]

187.2 Whitsunday fell on the 6th June in 1473.

187.3 A royal, a gold coin of 10s. value.

188.1 Waynflete, Bishop of Winchester.

188.2 10th of August.

188.3 Henry Bourchier, Earl of Essex, Lord Treasurer.

188.4 Anthony Woodville, Earl Rivers, beheaded at Pontefract, 1483.

188.5 Anne, widow of Richard Neville, the great Earl of Warwick, sister and heir to Henry Beauchamp, Duke of Warwick, and mother of Isabel, the wife of George, Duke of Clarence.



Norf. and Suff. Deeds, No. 67. ‘Relaxatio Willielmi Paston facta Will. Wainflet et aliis de toto jure suo in manerio vocat’ Caldecots, Akethorp, Spitlings, Habland, Broweston, etc. Jun. 13, Edw. IV. 13.’

189.1 [From MS. Index in Magd. Coll., Oxford.]


A Edmond Paston, Esquyer, a Caleys soyt donne.


Brother Edmond, I grete yow weell, letyng yow weete that abowt thys daye vij. nyght I sende yow a letter by Nycholas Bardeslee a sowdyer, whyche is wont woute189.3 to be at border [brother] Perauntys,189.4 and also an hoseclothe189.5 off blak ffor yow. I wende that ye sholde have hadde itt within ij. dayes, but I am afferde that he deseyved me.

Item, I lete yow weet that Plattyng is comen hyddr, and he seythe that ye gaffe hym leve to ffetche hys geer and Pittys, and that is hys erande hyddr and noon other, ner he thowt never to goo ffro me, ner he wyll nott goo ffro me as he seythe, 190 wherffor, I praye yow sende me worde off hys condycions, and whyghe ye thynke that he sholde never do me worshypp.

He seythe also that he and Pytte weer at the takyng off the Esterlyngs, and that he was in the Pakker, and Pytte in the Crystoffre. I praye yow sende me worde howe bothe he and Pytte quytte them, by the report off some indyfferent trewe man that was ther, iff they quytte them weell, I wolde love them the better, wherffor the next daye afftr the syte of thys letter, I praye yow wryght ageyn, and sende it by the next passage.

Item, I sende a lytell praty boxe herwith, whyche I wolde that Juddy sholde delyver to the woman that he wetyth off, and praye hyr to take it to the man that she wetyth off; that is to seye, as moche as ye knowe all well i now, but ye maye nott make yow wyse in no wyse.

Item, I praye yow sende me worde as ye wer wont to do off heer wellffar, and whether I weer owt and other inne or nott; and whether she shall fforsake Caleys as sone as ye sende me worde off or nott.

By God I wolde be with yow as ffayne as yowr selff, and shall be in hast with Godds grace.

Item, as ffor my brother John, I hope within thys monyth to see hym in Caleys, ffor by lyklyhod to morowe or ellys the next daye he takyth shyppe at Yarmothe, and goothe to Seynt James190.1 warde, and he hathe wretyn to me that he wyll come homwarde by Caleys.

Item, I suppose that James Songer shall come with me to Caleys, the rather ffor yowr sake.

Item, Mestresse Elysabett ffareth well, but as yit Songer knoweth nott so perffytly all that ye wolde weet, that he woll nott wryght to yow off thees ij. dayes tyll he knowe moor, but iff she hadde ben bolde, and durst have abydyn styll at hyr gate, and spoken with me, so God helpe me, she had hadd thys same that I sende nowe wher ye woot off, whyche ye shall see woryn heer afftr, itt is a praty ryban with praty agletts190.2 and goodlye.


Make yow not wyse to Juddy, nowther not that ye wolde weet any thynge, ffor I maye sey to yowe at hys comyng ovr, he browt goodly geer reasonablye.

Item, as ffor my byll191.1 that is gylt, I wolde it weer taken head too; ther is one in the town, that can glaser weell i nowe, as I herde seye. Also, ther is on comythe every markett daye ffro Seynt Omerys to Caleys and he bryngethe dagers, and ffetchyth also, he may have it with hym, and brynge it ageyn the next markett daye ffor xijd. or xvjd. at the most, and ellys late it be weel oylyd and kepte tyll I come. No more.

Wretyn at London the v. daye of Julle, Anno E. iiijti xiijo

189.2 [From Fenn, ii. 146.]

189.3 So in Fenn.

189.4 Fenn suggests a fanciful explanation of the expression ‘border Perauntys,’ presuming the latter word not to be a proper name; but see page 163.

189.5 Cloth for hosen.

190.1 See page 186, Note. 5.

190.2 Pendant ornaments of metal, like tags or points, etc.—F.

191.1 A warlike instrument of offence.—F.

Footnote 190.1:
Note 5.
text has “Note. 5.”


To my ryght wyrshypful moodre, Margret Paston.


Ryght wyrshypfull and my ryght tendre modre, I recommaunde me to yow, besechyng yow of yowr dayly blessyng. Please it yow to weet that I herde not from yow off longe tyme, whyche cawsythe me to be ryght hevye; ner at the last tyme that I sende to yow in wryghtyng I hadde from yowr selffe noo wryghtyng ner answer ageyne, saff by Playter one tyme and by my brother one other tyme; whyche answer off Playter was noo thyng acordyng but contraryaunt to other wryghtyng more comfortable that he hadde sent me nott longe byffore that on yowr behalve, as he wrott, whyche God amende. Neverthelesse to my more hevynesse, I herde seye that ye sholde have been passhyng hevy for my sake, and in cheffe for that I was lyke to late goo the maner off Sporle, wherin I was pytte in comfort 192 to have had relyffe by the meanes off yow; and syns it was tolde me that iff I leete it goo that ye wold therfore dysavauntage me more lond in tyme to come, off syche as by poscybylyte myght come to mee of yowris. Uppon whyche corage my grauntdame192.1 and myn oncle192.2 togedre gaffe me an answer on hyr part moche lyke, and so my fadre, God have hys sowle, leffte me scant xlli. londe in reste, and ye leffe me as pleasythe yow, and my grauntdame at hyr plesur; thus may I have lyttel hope off the worlde. Neverthelesse I beseche yow to be my good moodre, how so ever ye do with yowr londe; for I feell weell that iff I have one losse I am lyffe [q. like?] therfor to have three. But as for Sporle, it shall nott goo iff I maye, ner by my wyll; and iff ther hadde been performed me as largelye as was promysed me by Playter, I were sewre it sholde nott have goon, nor yit sholde nat goo. Neverthelesse iff ye and all my frendys and yowris in Norffolk myght have lende me so moche monye and to have takyn it uppe in v. yere, I suppose they sholde peraventure have ben payed ageyn in a yer or ij. iff I had solde any woode. Neverthelesse, plese yow to weet that I have provyd my fadres wyll and testement, wherin I maye nowt dele on to the tyme that all the executoris have reffused; wherffor ther most be sende sitatacions (sic) to yow and alle other that weer namyd my fadris executoris. Wherin iff ye list not to take admynystracion, as I woot well ye woll nott off olde, ye most than make a proctor that must, on yowr behalve, byffor my Lorde of Canterbury, with a sufficiaunt warant and autoryte, undre a notarys syngne ther in the corte, reffuse to take admynestracion. And this instrument and aultoryte I beseche yow maye be redy and att London by the fyrst daye of the terme; and iff yow be not aqueynted with none suche at London, iff it please yowe to take and avowe for your proctor and sende hym auctoryte, on [one] Master John Halsnothe whyche was a clerke off Master Robert Centis192.3 and was so trusty to my fadre, God have hys sowle, and to sende me a letter off yowre 193 wylle ther in, I undertake that he shall not do but as ye sende me worde. Plese it yow to gyff credence to Juddy herin. No more to you att thys tyme, but Jhesu have yow in Hys kepyng. Wretyn att Caleys, the last daye saff one off Julle.—Yowr sone, J. P., K.

191.2 [Add. 34,889, f. 125.] This letter appears to be of the year 1473, as in that year Sir John Paston writes on the 5th July that he hopes to be in Calais within a month (No. 836). Later in the year (22 Nov.) he writes that the citations here referred to were not ready (No. 842, p. 199). The date is further confirmed by what is said of the manor of Sporle (comp. pp. 181, 182).

192.1 Agnes Paston.

192.2 William Paston.

192.3 Robert Kent, who had been John Paston the father’s proctor in the Court of Archers. See vol. iv. pp. 243, 244.


Monseigneur Jehan Paston, chevalier d’ Engleterre.

AUG. 28

Mon treschier et honnore seigneur, je me recomande a vous outant que je puis ne scay. Et vous plaise savoir que je ay oy novelles de vous par ung de vo marchans de Calais touchant unne armura de unna sella que je vous doy, et de una barbuta, laquelle est en diferansce entre vous et moy, de laquelle je vous ay aultre foix dist que je estoie contant de fere toute rexon [raison], et en quore le vous dige prexentement que je suis prest de fer tout chou qu’il apartient en tout rexon, set [c’est] asavoir de la barbute et de l’armura de sella. D’aultre chiox ne vous suis en riens tenut, forque en toute les chiox que me seroint posible de faire pour l’amour de vous a vostre honneur et a vostre profit, je suis tout jour prest a vostre comendement.

Item, en houltre, je ay entendut que vous voulles avoir unng harnax complet. Com je prins vostra mexure dernierement quant vous fustes en ceste ville de Bruges, saichies que je ay en quor vostre mexure de toutes lez piesces; pour quoy, se il vous plaist que je la vous fasa, je la vous faray de bon ceur, et tout cella que il vous plaira avoir fait; et au regard du pris, je faray tellement que vous seres content de moy pour tant quant il vous plaira lesiem savoir queles piesses que vous voles avoir, et la faisson et le jour que vous la voles avoir par quelcun aqui je puis in chauder en nom de vous, et qui me ballia argant de sus, je feray si bien que se Dieu plaist vous vous loeres de moy. Aultre chiox ne vous say que 194 mander pour le prexent, senon que je prie a Dieu que il vous doint ce que vostre ceur desir.

Escript a Bruges, le xxviij. jour de Ahoust, l’an lxxiij. Le tout vostre serviteur,
Martin Rondelle,
Armurier de Monsire le
Bastart de Bourgogne.

Endorsed—Par Martyne Rowndell, armorer de Bruggys. Anno E. iiijti xiijo.

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


To my right hertily beloved frends and felaws, Sir John of Middelton, and Sir John Paston, Knights.

SEPT. 16

After herty recommendacion, I thank you of the gode attendance that ye yeve unto the Kings counsail at Calais; and the gode and effectuelle devoires that ye putte you in to assiste my depute Sir John Scot, in alle suche things as mowe concerne the saufgarde of my charge there. Leting you wite, that if ther be any thing that I can and may do for you, I shal with right gode wil performe it to my power.

And I preye you to recommaunde me to my Lady Howard,194.2 my Lady Bourgchier,194.3 and all othre ladies and gentilwomen of the saide towne. And in likewise to the Mayre, Lieutenant, and felaship of the staple; my felaws the souldeours, and all othre suche as ye shal seme gode. And oure Lord sende you your desirs.


Writen at Notyngham, the xvj. day of Septembre.

Sir Joh Paston, I pray you to yeve credens to suche thing as my depute shall shew you fro me, and conforme you to the same. Your felaw, Hastyngs.

194.1 [From Fenn, ii. 152.] This letter, Fenn tells us, is endorsed in a hand of the time, ‘E. (?) Hastyngs, Anno xiijo.,’ showing that it was written in the thirteenth year of Edward IV.

194.2 Margaret, wife of Sir John Howard, Lord Howard, and afterwards Duke of Norfolk. She was daughter of Sir John Chedworth, Knight, and died in 1490, 5 Hen. VII.

194.3 Lady Bourchier was probably the wife of a son of Sir John Bourchier, Lord Berners.


NOV. 1

On the Close Roll 13 Edw. IV. m. 5, is an indenture tripartite bearing date 1 Nov., 13 Edw. IV., between Thomas Byllyng, Chief-Justice, and others, including William Paston on the one part; Jane Ingaldesthorp, late wife of Edmund Ingaldesthorp, Knight, William Norys, Knt., and Isabel, Marquesse Montague, his wife, of the second part; and William Parker, citizen and tailor, London, of the third part.


To John Paston, Esquier, at Norwych, be thys delyvered.

NOV. 6

Wyrshypfull and well belovyd brother, I comand me to yow, letyng yow weet that the worlde semyth qweysye heer; ffor the most part that be abowt the Kyng have sende hyddr ffor ther harneys, and it [is] seyd ffor serteyn, that the Duke off Clarance makyth hym bygge in that he kan, schewyng as he wolde but dele with the Duke of Glowcester; but the Kyng ententyth, in eschyewying all inconvenyents, to be as bygge as they bothe, and to be a styffeler atweyn them; and som men thynke that undre thys ther sholde be som other thynge entendyd, and som treason conspyred; so what shall falle, can I nott seye.

Item, it is seyde that yisterdaye ij. passagers off Dovr wer takyn; I ffer that iff Juddy had noon hasty passage, so that iff he passyd nott on Sondaye or Mondaye, that he is taken, and som geer off myn, that I wolde not for xxli.


I hope and purpose to goo to Caleys warde on Sondaye or Mondaye or nyghe bye, ffor I am nott accompanyed to do any servyse heer; wherffor it wer better ffor me to be owt off syght.196.1

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Item, Sprynge, that wayten on my ffadre when he was in Jowel hous [gaol house], whom my ffadre at hys dyeng besett xls. he cryethe evyr on me ffor it, and in weye off almess, and he wolde be easyd, thow it wer but xxs. or xs.; wherffor he hathe wretyn to my modr, and most have an answer ageyn; I wolde that my moodr sende hym, as thoghe she lende hym som whatt, and he woll be pleasyd, and ellys he can seye as shrewdely as any man in Ingelonde.

Item, the Kynge hathe sent ffor hys Great Seall; some seye we shall have a newe Chauncelor, but som thynke that the Kynge dothe as he dyde at the last ffeldys, he wyll have the Seall with hym; but thys daye Doctor Morton, Master off the Rollys, rydethe to the Kynge, and berythe the Sease [Seals] with hym.

Item, I had never mor nede off mony than now; wherffor Fastolffes v. mrks and the mony off Master John Smythe wolde make me holl, &c.

Wretyn on Seynt Lenards Daye, Anno R. R. E. iiijti xiijo.

Item, sende me my vestment acordyng to the letter I sent yow by Symond Dam, in all hast. J. P., K.

195.1 [From Fenn, ii. 126.] This letter is misdated in Fenn as of the 15th April. St. Leonard’s Day is the 6th November.

196.1 Here follow some money transactions relative to a Doctor Pykenham, his mother, and others.


To John Paston, Esquyer, be thys delyvered.

NOV. 22

Ryght wyrshypfull and hertyly belovyd brother, I comand me to yow, letyng you wet that I receyvyd a letter that come from yow, wretyn circa viij. Mychaelys,196.3 wherin ye leet me weet off the decesse off 197 Syr James, and that my moodre is in purpose to be at Norwyche, and I am ryght glad that sche wyll now doo somwhat by yowr advyce; wherffor be war fro hense forthe that noo suche felawe crepe in be twyen hyr and yow, and iff ye lyst to take a lytell labore, ye may lyff ryght well, and she pleasyd. It is as good that ye ryde with a cople off horse at hyr cost as Syr James or Richard Calle.

Ye sende me worde also that she in noo wyse wyll purveye thyr Cli. for the redemyng off Sporle. Late it goo. As towchyng that mater, John Osbern tolde me that he comonyd with yow at Sporle of that mater; ferr he devysed that Kokett, or suche an other man, sholde, to have it the better cheppe, leye owt the valewe off vj. yere for to have it vij. yere, wherto I wolde agre; and for Goddys sake, if thatt maye be browt abowt, late it be doon. As ye woot of, it is laten for xxijli. be yere, yit the fermor graunt but xxj.; but to Kokett it wolde be worthe xxvli., yea and better. Neverthelesse, if Kokett wyll delyver, I wolde he had it for vij. yeer, with thys that my moodre be agreable to the same, by cawse of th’entresse that she hathe for my brother William, whyche shall nott be off age thys vij. yeer; neverthelesse, as ye know myn olde entent, I purpose to purvey for hym in an other plase better than theer; whyche graunte off my moodre I praye yow to be my solycytor in, whyche [and] it be browt abowt, Sporle shall be in as goode case as evyr he was.

John Osbern willyd me to make yow a sufficiaunt waraunt to selle and felle wood at Sporle, whyche I remembre ye have in as ample forme as can be; neverthelesse iff thys meane above wretyn off letyng to ferme maye be hadde, it shall, I hope, nat nede to felle ner selle moche. But I remytte that geer to yowr dyscrescion, but iff ye have suche comforte, I praye yow sende me worde. I maye seye to yow, John Osbern flateryd me, for he wolde have borowyd mony off me.

Item, in retaylyng of woode theer, it weer harde to tryst hym; he is nedye. If Kokett, or whoo so evyr had that maner to ferme for vij. yere, and payd therffor but, he sholde, to lete it ageyn, wynne xxxvjli., whyche we[re] moche; wherffor, iff it myght bee, yt wer more resenable vjxx. vijli. to 198 be reseyvyd, and yit is ther lost xxixli., or ellys iff ye take lesse mony and fewer yerys, so it be aftre the rate, so ther be purveyd Cli. at the lest; send worde.

Item, ye wroot that lyke a trewe man ye sende me xviijs. by Richarde Radle. Ye weer to trewe; but he semys to be a false shrewe, for he browt me noon yitt. Whethyr he be owt of town or nott, kan I nott seye.

Ye prayed me also to sende yow tydynges how I spedde in my materis, and in cheff of Mestresse Anne Hault. I have answer ageyn fro Roome that there is the welle of grace and salve sufficiaunt for suche a soore, and that I may be dyspencyd with; neverthelesse my proctore there axith a ml. docatys, as he demythe. But Master Lacy, another Rome renner heer, whyche knowyth my seyde proctor theer, as he seythe, as weell as Bernard knewe hys sheeld, seythe that he menyth but an C. docates or CC. at the most; wherffor afftre thys comythe moor. He wrote to me also, quod Papa hoc facit hodiernis diebus multociens.

Item, as towchyng Caster, I tryst to God that ye shall be in it to myn use or Crystmesse be past.

Item, yowr ost Brygham recomand hym to yow, and when he and I rekenyd, I gave hym ij. noblis for yowr borde, whyll ye weer theer in hys absence; but in feythe he wolde, for nowth that I kowde doo, take jd. Wherffor ye most thanke hym or charge me to thanke hym on yowr behalve in some nexte epystyll that ye wryght to me to Caleys. He leete me weet that he wolde do moor for yow than soo.

Item, my Lady Bowgcher was almost deed, but she ys amendyd. I trowe they come in to Norffolk.

Item, as for W. Berker, I heer no worde from hym. I praye yow comon with Berney ther in, he knoweth myn conceyt; and also I praye yow hast Berney ageyn. I wold not that he played the fooll, ner wastyd hys tyme ner hys sylver.

Item, as for the brace of growndes [greyhounds], or one verry goode, or in especiall the blak of Germynes, I can nott seye but ye be a trewe man, but William Mylsent isse a false shrewe, so mote I thee, and I trow hys master ys too.


Item, I most have myn instrumentes hydder, whyche are in the chyst in my chambre at Norwyche, whyche I praye yow and Berney to gedre joyntly, but natt severally, to trusse in a pedde,199.1 and sende them me hyddre in hast, and a byll ther in how many peces. Thys most be had to avoyde idelnesse at Caleys.

Item, I preye yow take heed among thatt my stuffe take noon harme, ner that myn evydence, wher ye wott of, be owt of joperte.

Item, I praye yow doo for Berneye as ye kan, so that he maye be in sewerte for hys annywyte, and that it be nott costious fro hense forthe to hym any mor to come, or sende for it. I pray yow wynne yowr sporys in hys mater.

Item, I purposed to have sent heer with the testament off my fadre and the scytacions to my moodre to yow and Arblaster; but they be nott redy. Within ij. dayes aftre the comyng of thys, I suppose they shall be with yow, and than I shall wryght mor to yow.

As for other tydynges, I trust to God thatt the ij. Dukes of Clarans and Glowcester shall be sette att one by the adward off the Kyng.

Item, I hope by the means of the Duke of Glowcester that my Lord Archebyshop199.2 shall come home.

Item, as towchyng my sustre Anne,199.3 I undrestand she hathe bene passyng seek; but I wende that she had ben weddyd. As for Yelverton, he seyde but late that he wold have hyr, iff she had hyr mony, and ellis nott; wherffor me thynkyth that they be nott verry sewre. But, amonge alle other thynges, I praye yow be ware that the olde love of Pampyng renewe natt. He is nowe fro me; I wott nat what he woll doo.

No more. Wretyn at London, the xxij. daye of Novembre Anno R. R. E. iiijti xiijo. John Paston, Kt.

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

196.3 i.e. circa octabas Michaelis—about the Octaves of Michaelmas, or 6th October.

199.1 A kind of basket.

199.2 George Neville, Archbishop of York, though formerly pardoned, had been accused of holding correspondence with the Earl of Oxford, for which he was imprisoned at Guines.

199.3 Anne Paston married William Yelverton, grandson of Sir William Yelverton, the Judge.



To John Paston, Esquier.

NOV. 25

Ryght wyrshypfull and well belovyd brother, I recomaund me to yow, letyng yow weet that I sende yow her with j. sitacion, where in ben my moodre and yee, wheroff I praye yow that I maye have hasty answeer. The effecte theroff is no moor, but ye bothe most sende answer, and make yow a proctor heer, and that most come hyddre ondre a notaryes syngne, affermyng that ye make suche a man, Master John Halsnothe, or ellis, yf ye will do the cost, to sende some other hyddre; yowr proctor to take admynystracion or to reffuse, and what so he dothe, ye to holde it for ferme and stable. Than most my moodre and ye wryght a lettre, undre my moodre seall and yowr syngne manuell, to me and Master John Halsnothe in thys forme:—‘We gret yow well, letyng yow weet that we have made yow, Master John Halsnothe, our proctor in the testament of John Paston, husband and fadre to yow, wherin we wyll that on owr behalff ye refuse the admynestracion of the seyde testament. And thys wryghtyng is to yow warantt and dyscharge, and also the verry wyll of usse.’ Thys most we have for owr dyscharge.

Item, I pray yow take good hedde to my soster Anne, lesse the old love atwyen hyr and Pampyng renewe.

Item, I pray yow sende me worde howe my moodre is dysposyd to hyr wardes, and iffe so weer that a good mariage myght be had, what she wolde depart with.

Item, I praye yow that ye remembre hyr for the tombe off my fadr at Bromholme, and also the chapell at Mauteby, and sende me worde how she is dysposyd her in.


Item, iff I have Caster ageyn, whethyr she wolle dwelle ther or nott, and I wyll fynde hyr a prest towardes at my charge, and geve hyr the dovehowse and other comodytes ther; and if any horsekeper on myn lye ther, I wolle paye for hys borde also, as weell as for the prestes.

Item, iff my modre sholde have a new prest, I thynk that my brother Syr J. Goos weer a metly man to be ther. He wolde also doo, as ye wolde have hym nowe, ber the cuppe evyn, as What-calle-ye-hymseyde to Aslake.

Be war of Myneres fro hense forthe, and sende me worde how ye trist Doctor Pykenham. I wolde, if he wolde doo owght for my moodre, that he hastyd the soner to paye me the Cli., so that I myght pledge owt Sporle.

Item, as for other tydynges, the Erle of Oxenforthe is stille besegyd. Neverthelesse, onys he issued owt, and toke a jentylman, and hant [dragged] hym within; but now off late he was besye, and one espyed hym, and shott at hym and strake in the verry fase with an arowe. I sye thys daye the same man, and theere I leef hym.

Iff Arblaster come to yow, ye maye see hys letter sente to hym by me, wherin I have wretyn that he scholde take yowr advyce; but I praye you, above all thynges, that me make hast so that I heer from yow ageyn by thys day vij. nyght.

At London, the xxv. daye of Novembre. John Paston, K.

200.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The year in which this letter was written is clearly shown, partly by the allusions made in it to several matters mentioned in previous letters, and more especially by what is said of the Earl of Oxford. That nobleman was besieged in St. Michael’s Mount, Cornwall, by Sir Henry Bodrugan during October and November 1473.

...and hant [dragged] hym within
final italic “d” misprinted as “a”


To oure specyall good lord and mayster, Syr John Paston, Knyght, be this delivered in hast.

Date uncertain

Right worchepfull and oure specyall good mayster and loord, after our dewe recomendacion with owre servyce. Please it yow to knowe that we arn grevously troubled, and not lyke to kepe oure tenourys, the whiche we holde of 202 you, but yf ye helpe us; for we wer bete at the boordourys syde, and afterwarde our servauntes wer bete at the plowe in Spoorle felde, and somme of them be lyke to dey. And we redyn to Maister Shereve and to Mayster Southwell for remedye, and thei advysed us to ryde to Mayster Wyngfeld; and thenne we understode that Mayster Wyngfeld was reden to London, &c. And so we stonden withoute remedye, and in grete doute of our lyves, and losse of our goodys. Wherfor we beseche you to socoure us accordyng to your right and owres. And ellys we kan nott abyde it, &c. Cryst kepe your good lordshep. Be your poore tenauntes of Spoorle.

201.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The date of this letter is very uncertain, but as a good deal is said about this time of the manor and wood of Sporle, we insert it here for convenience.


FEB. 9

It appears by the Early Chancery Proceedings printed by the Record Commission (vol. i. p. xc.), that a decree was given in Chancery in Hilary term, 13 Edw. IV. compelling William Paston and other trustees to fulfil a covenant between Richard, Duke of Gloucester and Elizabeth, Countess of Oxford. On the Close Roll, 13 Edw. IV. memb. 1, is a release by William, Bishop of Ely, Sir Thomas Montgomery, John Wentworth, clk., William Paston, Esq., Roger Townesend and Jas. Arblaster to Richard, Duke of Gloucester, of all their right in Ocle Magna and Parva, etc., in Essex, which they have by enfeoffment of Eliz., Countess of Oxford, and in other manors in Norfolk and Suffolk which they lately had of the gift of the same. This release is dated 9th Feb. 13 Edw. IV., and was acknowledged in Chancery on the 11th Feb. Below it are enrolled three other deeds by the Countess and her feoffees to the Duke, dated 9th June, 12 Edw. IV., and acknowledged in Chancery, 25th June, 14 Edw. IV.



Mestresse Margrett Paston, at Norwyche.

FEB. 20

Ryght honorable and most tendr good moodr, I recomand me to yowe, besechyng yow to have, as my tryst is that I have, yowr dayly blessyng; and thanke yow off yowr good moderhood, kyndenesse, cheer, charge, and costes, whyche I had, and putte yow to, att my last beyng with yow, whyche God gyffe me grace her afftr to deserve!

Please it yow to weet, that I thynge longe that I heer nott ffrom yow or ffrom Pekok yowr servaunt, ffor the knowlege howe he hathe doon in the sale off my fferme barlye, ner whatt is made theroff; wherffor I beseche yowe, if it be not answeryd by that tyme that thys bylle cormythe to yowe, to hast hym and itt hyddre wards; ffor iff that had nott taryed me, I deme I had been at Caleys by thys daye; ffor it is soo, as men seye, that the Frense Kynge with a gret hoste is at Amyans, but iijxx. myle from Caleys; and iff he, or hys, roode byffor Caleys, and I nott theer, I wolde be sorye.

Item, men seye that the Erle of Oxenfford hathe ben constreynyd to sewe ffor hys pardon only off hys lyffe; and hys body, goodes, londes, with all the remenaunt, at the Kynges wyll, and soo sholde in all haste nowe come in to the Kyng; and some men seye that he is goon owt off the Mounte,203.2 men wot not to what plase, and yit lefte a greet garnyson theer, weell ffornysshyd in vytayll, and all other thynge.

Item, as ffor the havyng ageyn off Castre, I trust to have good tydyngs theroff hastelye.

Item, my brother John ffarethe weell, and hathe doon ryght delygentlye in my cosyn Elizabet Berneys mater, wheroff hastely I trust he shall sende hyr tydyngs that schall please hyr; and as to morow he purposyth to take hys jurneye to Walys warde to the Lorde Ryverse. No mor at thys tyme, but Jeswe have yow in Hys kepyng.


Wretyn at London the xx. daye off Feverer, Anno E. iiijti xiijo. Yowr sone, J. Paston, K.

203.1 [From Fenn, ii. 154.]

203.2 St. Michael’s Mount in Cornwall.


To my right trusty and welbeloved servaunt, John Paston, Squier.


John Paston, I recommaunde me unto you. And whereas I appointed and desired you to goo over unto Guysnes to yeve youre attendaunce and assistaunce upon my brother Sir Rauf Hastings in all suche things as concerne the suretie and defense of the Castell of Guysnes during his infirmyties; it is shewed unto me that ye have full truely and diligently acquyted you unto my saide brother, in all his besynesses sithe your comyng thider. Whereof I thanke you hertly. And as I conceive to my grete comfort and gladnesse, my saide brother is wele recovered and amended, thanked be God. And soo I truste he may nowe spare you. Wherupon I have writen unto him, if he may soo doo, to licence you to come over unto me ayen. Wherefore I woll and desire you, th’assent of my saide brother had, to dispose you to come over in all goodly haste, as well for suche grete maters, as I fele by youre ffrends, ye have to doo here, as to yeve youre attendaunce upon me. And your retourne ye shall be to my welcome.

From London, the xxvj. day of Avrill.

204.2I pray you in no wise to depart as yet without my brother Roaf asent and agrement; and recommaund me to my syster, all my nieces, to the constabyll, and to all Ryves [reeves]. Your tru frend, Hastynges.

204.1 [From Fenn, ii. 296.] I cannot discover in what year John Paston could have been staying at Guisnes during the month of April at the request of Lord Hastings, unless it was in the year 1474. There seems no other probable year in which we have not distinct evidence of his being elsewhere.

204.2 This postscript is in the writer’s own hand, the preceding part of the letter being in that of a clerk. A fac-simile of the postscript is given by Fenn.



To my feithful lovyng gode cousyn, Johan Paston.


Cousyn Paston, I recommaunde me to you in as speciall wise as I cane. And like you to witte, on Sondaye at even last I hadde writing and evedence frome my lorde by Punche of tidyngis and have understonde them wel al a longe. And on Monday erly in the mornyng I came to Calais to have spoken with you, but I came to late. Praying you to advertise my lord205.2 to se wel to him self, etc. And at my comyng home the same nyght I felle doune syke, and have ever sith kept my bedde and yitte do. And, as you knowe wel, the Connestable sykened with you in his goyng to Calais, of whome I doubt me, and so I do of my self bothe. So that here amongis us nowe is no man to stirre about and see quykly to alle thingis as ther aught to be and is nede to be, which hevieth me gretly; and though I were up and might somwhat stire myself, yitte I am not seure so to contynue ij. daies to-geder, etc. As for moo men, my Lord hathe praied me and advised me to holde me content with thoo that I have, and that I shulde make as litel coste in reparacions as I maye, because he cannot se wel howe the monney cane be goten to content them. Cousyn, as for moo men ye knowe right wel thoo that we have are to fewe, and we have nede; notwithstonding I shal do as wel as I may with thoo that I have. But as [for]205.3 eny ferther reparacions, might I ones for oure seurte have this fournisshed that I am about, I kepe not to make moo, for I doubt me that this we are about, that parte therof wil reste in my nekke, because we cane not be seure of oure assignement. I pray you, cousyn, brekes to my Lord all suche maters that ye cane remembre and thinke205.4 may be for the wele of us and the seurte of 206 this place, as my ful speciall truste and alle othir mennes here is in you. I hadde thought to have writton to my lord to have sente some othir seure man hidre to have assisted and holpen us during oure infirmitees, but I fele by Punche that my Lord saith I write always so plainly to him that hit fereth him, and therfore I dar not but shal forbere to write any more so; howe be hit, it were ful necessarye and behofful so to do, that knoweth God, Who ever preserve you. Writton at Guysnes, the ixe daye of May.

I praye you to sende us some of your tidingis by this berer as oft as ye may. And if ther be anything I may do to your plesir, I shal do it with as good hart as ye cane desire. Your tru luffuyng coussen, Rauff Hastyngis.

205.1 [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 122.] This letter was clearly written in the same year as No. 847, which was apparently 1474.

205.2 Lord Hastings.

205.3 Omitted in MS.

205.4 ‘thinke’ repeated in MS.



Letters patent, dated at Westminster, 24 July, 14 Edw. IV., for levying a subsidy in the county of Norfolk for a war against France.

206.1 [Add. Charter 14,973, B.M.]


To Sir John Paston, Knyght, or to hys brodyr Edmund in hys absence, lodgyd at the George by Powlys Wharff, in London.


Ryght worchepfull sir, I recomand me to yow, preying yow to remembyr, or ye depert ought of London, to spek with Herry Ebertonys wyf, draper, and to enforme hyr that I am profyrd a maryage in London, whyche is worth vjc. [600] mark and bettyr; with whom I preyid yow 207 to comone, in as myche as I myght not tery in London myself, alweys reservyng that if so be that Mastresse Eberton wyll dele with me, that ye shold not conclud in the other place, thow so wer that Eberton wold not geve so moche with Mastress Elyzabet, hys dowghtyr, as I myght have with the other, for syche fantazy as I have in the seyd Mastress Elyzabet Eberton. And that it lyek yow to sey to Ebertons wyff that syche as I spak to hyr of shalbe bettyrd rather then enpeyred as for my part; and if it lyek hyr to deale with me, I wylbe at London for that cawse only with in xiiij. dayis aftyr the wryghtyng of thys byll, with Godes grace, Who preserve yow and yours

Wretyn at Norwyche, on Seynt Jamys Day.

Also, sir, I prey yow that ye wyll, as I desyerd yow, comon with John Lee or hys wyf, or bothe, and to undyrstond how the mater at the Blak Freerys dothe, and that ye wylle see and spek with the thyng your sylf, and with hyr fadyr and modyr, or ye depert; and that it lyek yow to desyer John Lee is wyff to send me a byll in all hast possybyll, how fer forthe the mater is, and whedyr it shalbe necessary for me to come up to London hastyly or not, or ellys to kast all at the Kok.

Also, sir, I prey yow that Pytt may trusse in a male, whyche I left in your chambyr at London, my tawny gowne furyd with blak, and the doblet of porpyll sateyn, and the doblet of blak sateyn, and my wryghtyng box of syprese, and my book of the Metyng of the Dwke and of the Emperour, and when all thys gere is trussyd in the male, to delyver it to the berer herof, to brynge me to Norwyche.

Item, I send you herwith the pylyon for the male, and xs. for the hyer, whyche is usery, I tak God to rekord.

Also, that it lyek yow to spek with your apotycary, whyche was som tyme the Erle of Warwykes apotycary, and to weet of hym what the wedow of the Blak Freiris is woorthe, and what hyr husbondes name was. He can tell all, for he is executore to the wedous husbond. I prey yow forget me not, no more then I do yow. I have spokyn thys day with Jamys Hubberd and Herry Smyth, and to morow I shall have an answer of theym.


Also, my modyr wyll labore thys mater with effect, that the CC. mark may be had for the wood.

Also, brodyr Edmund, I prey yow, and my brodyr Sir John be not in London, that ye wyll labore all thys maters with effect, as my trust is in yow in every poynt as is above wretyn.

Also, I assartayn yow that I was with Ferrour thys day, and he had no leyser to comon with me; but I wyll be with hym ayen to morow by apoyntment betwyx hym and me, and so as I speed I shall send yow woord by the next man that comyth to London.

Also, I sent John Lee is wyff a lettyr by on Crawethorn dwellyng in Wood street, or ellys in Sylver street at the end of Wood street. I prey yow weet whedyr she had it or nought; and she had it not, brodyr Edmund, I prey yow go to the same Crawethorn, and tak the lettyr of hym, and delyver it hyr in all hast. J. Paston.208.1

206.2 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter is endorsed in a contemporaneous hand ‘Anno xiiijo,’ showing that it was written in 1474, the 14th year of Edward IV. We also find Sir John writing to his brother in November following that his brother Edmund had heard nothing more of Eberton’s daughter.

208.1 This signature stands in the middle of the postscript.

... Who preserve yow and yours
final . missing or invisible


OCT. 24

‘Bill’ dated 24 Oct., 14 Edw. IV., relative to the pledging of certain parcels of plate by William Paston, Esq., to Elizabeth Clere of Ormesby. The parcels amount in all to 250 oz. 4 dwt., and are pledged for £40. Sealed.

ii. Fair copy of the preceding.

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


The Vicar of Paston to Margaret Paston

NOV. 3

When my master Sir John’s baily was at Paston he scared your tenants, bidding them pay no rents to Mr. William Paston. On which Harry Warns wrote to Mr. William, who bade him warn them not to pay money to any one else; otherwise he would meet them at London ‘as the law would,’ or at some market or fair, and make them pay arrears to Midsummer. Beware of Warns, 209 for he made Master William privy to all the examinations of the tenants by my master your son. He also charged the tenants not to sell as my master desired, else Master William would undo them. ‘Ideo, putte no trost in hym, quia duobus dominis nemo potest servire.’ Pastun, 3 Nov.

[This and the letter following both appear to have been written at the time of Sir John Paston’s dispute with his uncle William, at the end of the year 1474.]

208.3 Ibid.


[The Vicar of Paston] to Mrs. [Margaret Paston]


John Qwale, farmer of Paston, is distressed by things that Herry Warns has done and said against him. Warns carried home ‘an esse’ [ash] blown down by the wind, and says it is your will, because Master John Paston has given him power over all that he has in Paston. ‘More awre he stondes in grete dowte to ery or to sawe’ [to harrow or to sow], for John of Bactun says he shall have no land, unless he find surety, ‘and it were no resun that he suld somerlay and compace hys londes to a noder mans hand.’ Warns says if Qwale put out any cattle at the gates, he will take it for the grain that Master William delivered to him. He says Mrs. Margaret Paston209.2 has no rule there, and shall have none; also that John Qwale shall not have Gyns close nor the Chyrche close, as he has taken them to farm. ‘Qwere fore, bott ze gyfe hym oderwas power, he wyll gefe up all.’

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

209.2 Mrs. Margaret Paston is here spoken of by name and in the third person, but the letter can hardly be addressed to any one else.


[To] my right worshipfull neview [Sir J]ohn Paston, Knyghte, be [this] lettre delivered in hast.

About 1474(?)

[Right] worshipful neview, I recommaund me to you. And, sir, I pray you . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . that ther was none 210 obstacle ner lettinge that ye found in me to . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . save me harmeles; at whiche tyme it was thought aswel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Johns by obligacioun was not inow to save me harm[eles] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [i]n the meane seasoune; for as your reasoun will give . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ght fell of yow but goode. And if the caas so fill that . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ys will take it on them, than I to bere the losse. Wherupp[on] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [b]ound to me to save me harmeles. And for as muche . . . . . . . . . . . . . m by obligacioun of statute merchaunt for you the . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . in myne oune kepinge for my discharge, and after a . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [r]estorid me ageyn at this Michelmas. And m . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . shuld hange still till Candilmas, and me thinke it is by con . . . . . . . . obligacions paiable at . . . . . [Candle]mas I did at the begynny[ng] . . . . . will kepe still the . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . or sufficient and that . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . as wold pay at th. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . with me than thus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . indenture wherby . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . for be cause that ye w . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . experyens.

Also I wold avyse you . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . my Lord of Norfolk.

Also, nevew, there is onne Fr . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . but hym silf and his wif and . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . wherfore I have writin to . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . in this matier; and I trust l . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . And I pray yow that may ha . . . . . . . . . . . .

209.3 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] Of this letter only two fragments remain, giving, as will be seen, a very mutilated text. Little more can be said about the contents than that they refer to money matters between William Paston and his nephew Sir John, which are probably those referred to in succeeding letters. The handwriting is that of William Paston. A mutilated endorsement, apparently in the handwriting of John Paston the younger, shows merely the words ‘ . . . . . to Sir J. P. for . . . . .


Date uncertain

Fragment of a draft deed by which Sir John Paston and John Paston, Esq., mortgage certain premises not named to the use of Master John Morton, William Paston, Thomas Playter, and Thomas Lovell, for £114.

[Nothing is clear about the date of this document, but we place it here, as bearing, like the last, on money matters between Sir John Paston and his uncle William.]

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



To Mestresse Margrett Paston at Norwyche, or to J. Paston in hyr absence.


Ryght wyrshypfull and my moste kynde and tendre moodre, I recomaund me to yow, thankyng yow off the grete cost and off the greet chere that ye dyd to me and myn at my last beyng wyth yowe; whyche cheer also hath made me perfyghtly hooll, I thanke God and yow, in so moche that where as I feeryd me that for weykenesse, and so green recuveryd off my syknesse, that I scholde have apeyryd by the weye; but, God thanke yow, I toke so my crommys whyls I was wyth yow, that I felyd my sylfe by the weye that God and ye had made me stronger than I wenyd that I had ben, in so myche that I feell my selffe every daye holler than other.

It was soo that I mett wyth myn onkle William by the weye, and there in the felde I payed hym the iiijli. whyche I had borowyd off hym; and he was passyng inquisytyff howe that I was purveyd for recompensyng off Towneshend. I tolde hym I hopyd weell; he tolde me that he undrestood that I had the Cli. of the Bysshopys executores, and he had herde seye that I had also borowyd another Cli. of a marchaunt, and so I lakyd but an C. marke. I deme he herde thys of T. Lovell, for I tolde hym that I was in hope to fynde suche a freende that wolde lende me Cli. He axed me, who was that? I answeryd hym, an olde marchaunt, a freende of myn, but myn oncle thowte that shold be by weye of chevyshanse [usury], and to myn horte; wherffor I was pleyne to hym, and tolde hym that ye wer sewerte therffor, and purveyed it off suche as wolde doo for yowe. And as for the forte [fourth] C. mark, he seyde to me that as for that he 212 wolde, rather than joperte sholde be, purvey it by weye off chevyshaunce at London, in so moche that, er he come fro London, he had for my sake leyde v. C. markes worthe of plate with Hewghe Fenne. The place at Warwykes Inne is large, and my grawntdame is agyd; it had ben jopertous to leve moche plate wyth hyr, thoghe halffe were hyr owne. But if I maye do other wyse, I purpose nott to chevyshe any mony by hys meane.

Item, I have delyveryd yowre botell to Courbye the caryer thys same daye, and he promysed me to be with yow on Mondaye nyghte, or ellys on Touesday tymely. He hathe also xld. to paye for the thryd hyryd horse, and he bryngythe the iij. horse wyth hym, and is contente for hys labor and for the mete largely. They be delyveryd hym in as good, and rather better plyght, than whan I had them forthe, and not gallyd nor hurte. He hate also ij. sadelys, one of my brotheres, and one other hyred, as ye woot off.

Item, he hathe a peyre botys off Edmond Reedes, the shomaker, whyche Saundre borowyd off hym. I beseche yowe that William Mylsent or Symme maye se that every man have hys owne.

Item, as for my brother Edmond, blyssyd be God, he is weell amendyd.

Item, as for Hankyn owr dogge, I am a fferde never to see hym, but if [unless] yowr good helpe bee.

Item, as for the bookes that weer Sir James, iff it lyke yow that I maye have them, I ame not able to by them; but somwhat wolde I gyffe, and the remenaunt with a goode devowte herte, by my trowthe, I wyll prey for hys sowle. Wherffor iff it lyke yow by the next messenger or karyer to sende hem in a daye, I shall have them dressyd heer; and iff any off them be claymyd here aftre, in feythe I wyll restoor it.

Wretyn on Saterdaye. John Paston, K.

211.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] It is evident from the contents that this letter must have been written shortly before that which follows.



To Mestresse Margrete Paston, or to Roose, dwellyng byffore hyr gate at Norwyche.

NOV. 20

Aftre dew recomendacion, my most tendre and kynde moodre, I beseche yow off yowr dayly blessyng. Please it yow to weete that I reseyvyd a lettre thhat come from yowe, wretyn the xxvj. daye of Octobre, none erst but213.2 on Wednysday last past, wherby I conceyvyd that, at the wryghtyng off that letter, ye weer nott serteyn of the delyng betwyn Towneshende and me. It was so that, God thanke yow, I receyvyd the xxli. broght by Syme, and also the mony browght by my brother, with whyche mony, and with moor that I had my selff, I redemyd the maner of Sporle, and payed Towneshend bothe the CCCC. marke ther ffor, and also xli. that I owte hym besyde, and have off hym aqwytaunce off all bargaynes and off all other dettes. Neverthelesse, I assayed hym iff he wolde, iff nede hadde ben, gyvyn me a xij. monyth lenger respyght, whyche he grauntyd to do; but in conclusyon I can nott entrete hym, but that he woll have the uttremest of hys bargayn, and thys xxli. payeable at Candelmesse and Esterne. I kan entrete hym noon other wyse as yit; wherffor I thynke, iff I had passyd my daye, it had ben harde to have trustyd to hys cortesye, in so moche I ffynde hym also ryght loose in the tonge. For Bekham, he spekyth no thyng comfortably ther in; what he wyll doo, can I nott seye.

Item, as for Castre, it nedyth nott to spore nor prykke me to doo owghte ther in. I doo that I can with goode wyll, and somwhat I hope to doo hastely ther in that shall doo goode.

Item, as for the bokes that weer Syr James, God have hys sowle, whyche it lykethe yow that I shall have them, I beseche yow that I maye have them hyder by the next massenger, and 214 iff I be goon, yit that they be delyveryd to myn ostesse at the George, at Powlys Wharffe, whyche wolle kepe them saffe, and that it lyke yow to wryght to me whatt my peyne or payment shall be for them.

Item, it lyked yow to weet of myn heelle. I thanke God nowe that I am nott greetly syke ner soore, but in myn heele, wherin alle men know nott whatt peyne I feele. And wher ye advysed me to hast me owt of thys towne, I wolde full fayne be hense. I spende dayly mor than I sholde doo, if I wer hense, and I am nott well purveyed.

Item, blessyd be Good, my grauntdam is amendyd by suche tyme as myn oncle W. come hyddre. But my yongest cosyn Margret, hys doghtre, is ded and beryed er he come home.

I am as moche afferde off thys londe that is in hys hande as I was off that that was in Towneshendes hande. I hope to wryght yow moor serteynte within iiij. or v. dayes. No more, &c.

Wretyn the xx. daye of Novembre, anno E. iiij. xiiijo. Yowr Sone, J. Paston, K.

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

213.2 No earlier than.

I reseyvyd a lettre thhat come from yowe
spelling unchanged


To John Paston, Esquyer, at Norwyche, or to Roose, dwellyng affor Mestresse Pastonys gate, in Norwych.

NOV. 20

Ryght wyrshypful and weell belovyd brother, I recomaunde me to yow, letyng yow weet that I have comonyd with yowr ffreende Dawnson, and have receyvyd yowr rynge off hym, and he hathe by myn advyce spoken with hyr214.2 ij. tymes; he tellythe me off hyr delyng and answers, whyche iff they wer acordyng to hys seyng, a 215 ffeynter lover than ye wolde, and weell aghte to, take therin greet comffort, so that he myght haply slepe the werse iij. nyghtys afftr. And suche delyng in parte as was bytwyen my Lady W. and yowr ffreende Danson he wrote me a bylle theroff, whyche I sende yow herwith; and that that longythe to me to doo therin, it [I ?] shall nott ffayle to leeve all other bysynesse a parte. Neverthelesse within iij. dayes, I hope so to deele herin, that I suppose to sette yow in serteynte hoghe that ye shall fynde hyr ffor evyr her afftr. It is so, as I undrestande, that ye be as besy on yowr syde ffor yowr ffreende Dawnson, wheer as ye be, I praye God sende yow bothe goode spede in thees werkys, whyche iff they be browte abowte iche off yowe is moche beholden to other; yit were it pyte that suche crafty wowers, as ye be bothe, scholde speede weell, but iff ye love trewly.

Item, as ffor Stoctons doghtr, she shall be weddyd in haste to Skeerne, as she tolde hyrselffe to my sylke-mayde,215.1 whyche makyth perte off suche as she shall weer, to whom she brake hyr harte, and tolde hyr that she sholde have hadde Master Paston, and my mayde wende it had been I that she speke off; and with moor that the same Mester Paston kome wher she was with xx. men, and wolde have taken hyr aweye. I tolde my mayde that she lyed off me, and that I never spake with hyr in my lyff, ner that I wolde not wedde hyr to have with hyr iijml. marke.

Item, as for Ebortons dowghtr, my brother Edmonde seythe, that he herde never moor speche theroff syns yowr departyng, and that ye wolde that he sholde nott breke, nor doo no thynge therin, but iff it come off theer begynnyng.

Item, I had answer ffrom my Lorde215.2 that he is my speciall goode lorde, and that by wryghtyng; and as ffor Bernaye he sette hym in hys owne wages ffor my sake, and that whan so ever I come to Caleys, I shall ffynde all thyng ther as woll have it, and rather better than it was heretoffor.


Item, the Kyng come to this towne on Wednysdaye; as ffor the Frenshe Embassate that is heer, they come nott in the Kynges presence, by lykehod, ffor men seye that the chyeff off them is he that poysonyd bothe the Duke off Berry216.1 and the Duke off Calabr.216.2

Item, ther was never mor lyklyhod that the Kyng shall goo ovyr thys next yer than was nowe.

I praye yow remembre that I maye have the pewter vessell heddr by the next karyer by the lattr ende off thys weke.

Item, I praye yow remembr so that I may have the bokys by the same tyme, whyche my moodr seyde she wolde sende me by the next carier.

Wretyn at London, the Sondaye the xx. daye off Novembr, anno E. iiijti xiiijo. John Paston, K.

214.1 [From Fenn, ii. 164.]

214.2 Apparently Lady Walgrave, hereafter referred to. She was the widow of Sir Richard Walgrave, Knight.

215.1 A person who made gowns of silk, etc., for both men and women, as appears from the manner in which she is here mentioned.—F.

215.2 I am not certain whether the Duke of Norfolk is here meant, or Lord Hastyngs, the then Governor of Calais.—F.

216.1 Charles, Duke of Berry and of Guienne, who was supposed to have been poisoned by order of his brother Lewis XI. in May 1472.

216.2 Nicholas of Anjou, Duke of Calabria and Lorraine, who died about the same time as the Duke of Guienne.

dwellyng affor Mestresse Pastonys gate
italic “d” misprinted as “a”

[Sidenote] NOV. 20
date supplied from body of letter


NOV. 29

Norfolk and Suffolk Deeds, No. 33. ‘The agreement and accord between the Bishop of Winton and John Paston, Knight, touching the building of the College at Castre of seven priests and seven poor men, translated by dispensation of the Pope to seven priests and seven poor scholars in Magdalene College, and touching the lands of Sir John Fastolf. November 29, Edw. IV. 14.’

216.3 [From MS. Index in Magd. Coll., Oxford.]


To John Paston, Esquier.

DEC. 11

Brother, I recomaunde me to yow, letyng yow weete that I have, lyke as I promysyd yowe, I have doon my devoyr to know my Lady Walgraves stomacke, whyche, as God helpe me, and to be pleyn to yowe, I ffynde 217 in hyr no mater nor cawse, that I myght tak comfort off. Sche will in nowyse receyve, ner kepe yowr rynge with hyr, and yit I tolde hyr that sche scholde not be any thynge bownde therby; but that I knew by yowr herte off olde that I wyst weel ye wolde be glad to fforber the lesvest [dearest] thynge that ye had in the worlde, whyche myght be dayly in her presence, that sholde cawse hyr onys on a daye to remembr yow, but itt wolde not be. She wolde nott therby, as she seyde, putte yow ner kepe yow in any comffort therby. And mor ovyr, she preyed me, that I sholde never take labor moor heer in, ffor she wolde holde hyr to suche answer as she hadd geven yow to ffoor, wherwith she thowght bothe ye and I wolde have holde us contente, had nott been the words off hyr suster Geneffyeff.

When I undrestood all thys, and that over nyght she bad hyr that weent bytwyen hyr and me byd me brynge with me hyr muskeball217.1 which, &c., than I aftr all thys axid iff she weer dyspleasyd with me ffor it, and she seyde, naye.

Than I tolde hyr, that I had nott sent it yowe, ffor synne off my sowle; and so I tolde hyr all, how I had wretyn to yow why that I wold nott sende it yow, by cawse I wyst weell ye sholde have slepyd the werse; but nowe, I tolde hyr, as God helpe me, that I wolde sende it yow, and gyffe yow myn advyse nott to hope ovyr moche on hyr, whyche is ovyr harde an hertyd lady ffor a yonge man to tryst on to; whyche I thowght that ffor all my words, ye cowde nott ner wolde nott do ffor all myn advyce.

Yitt ageynwards she is nott dyspleasyd, nor fforbad me nott but that ye sholde have the kepyng off hyr muskball; wherffor de ye with itt as ye lyke. I wolde it hadd doon weel; by Good, I spake ffor yow soo, that in ffeythe I trowe I kowde nott seye so weel ageyn.

Wherffor I sende yow herwith yowr rynge, and the onhappy muskeball. Also make ye mater off it herafftr as ye kan, I am nott happy to wow nowther ffor my selff ner noon 218 other. I tolde hyr all the processe off the Lorde Howarde and off yowr grewnds [greyhounds] as I kowde; all helpys nott.218.1

. . . . . . .

I her no worde off my vessell, ner off my boks; I mervayll. No mor.

Wretyn at London, the xj. daye of Decembr, anno E. iiij.ti xiiijo. J. P., K.

216.4 [From Fenn, ii. 170.]

217.1 This muskball, or ball of perfume, seems to have been taken from Lady Walgrave by Sir John Paston in a jesting manner, to send to his brother as a present from her.—F.

218.1 ‘Here follows,’ says Fenn, ‘some displeasure at his uncle William’s proceedings in matters between them, etc., of no consequence.’

wherffor de ye with itt
text unchanged: error for “do”?


To the ryght worshypfull John Paston, Esquier, at Norwych, or to hys modr, Margreet Paston, in hys absence, in haste.

JAN. 17

I recomande me to yow, praying yow hertely, that I maye have weetyng when that my Lorde and Lady of Norffolk shalle be at London, and howgh longe they shall tery theer, and in especiall my Lorde of Norffolk; ffor uppon ther comyng to London wer it ffor me to be guydyd. Neverthelesse I wolde be soory to come theer but iff I neds most. I thynke it wolde be to yow ovyr erksom a labor to solycyte the maters atwyen them and me, but iff I weer theer myselffe; wherffor, iff ye thynke it be convenyent that I com thyddr, I praye yow sende me worde as hastely as ye maye, and by what tyme ye thynke most convenyent, that I sholde be theer; and off all suche coumfforte as ye ffynde or heer off the towardnesse theroff, and when also that ye shall be theer yowr selffe. For it is so that as to morow I purpose to ryde in to Flaundrys to purveye me off horse and herneys, and percase I shall see the assege at Nwse218.3 er I come ageyn, iff I have tyme; wherffor, iff I so doo, by lyklyhod it woll be a 219 xiiij. dayes er I be heer ageyn; and afftr, as I heer ffrom yowe and other ther uppon, that at the next passage, and God woll, I purpose to come to London warde: God sende me goode spede; in cheff ffor the mater above wretyn; and secondly, ffor to appoynt with the Kyng and my Lorde, ffor suche retynwe as I sholde have now in thees werrys in to Frawnce; wherffor I praye yow, in Norffolk and other places, comon with suche as ye thynke lykly ffor yow and me, that ar dysposyd to take wages in gentylmenns howsys and ellys wher, so that we maye be the moor redy, when that nede is; neverthelesse at thys owr, I wolde be gladde to have with me deyly iij. or iiij. mor than I have, suche as weer lykly; ffor I lakke off my retynwe, that I have neer so many. I praye yow sende me som tydyngs, suche as ye heer, and howghe that my brother Edmonde dothe.

For as ffor tydyngs heer, ther be but ffewe, saffe that the assege lastyth stylle by the Duke off Burgoyn affoor Nuse, and the Emperor219.1 hathe besegyd also, not fferr from these, a castell, and an other town in lyke wyse, wher in the Dukys men ben. And also, the Frenshe Kynge, men seye, is comyn ryght to the water off Somme with iiijml. [4000] spers; and som men trowe that he woll, at the daye off brekyng off trewse, or ellys byffoor, sette uppon the Duks contreys heer. When I heer moor, I shall sende yowe moor tydyngs.

The Kyngs inbassators, Sir Thomas Mongomere and the Master off the Rolls219.2 be comyng homwards ffrom Nuse; and as ffor me, I thynke that I sholde be sek but iff I see it.

Syr John off Parre and William Berkeley com thys weye to Flaundrs ward to by them horse and herneys, and [I] made Sir J. Parr goode cheer as I cowde ffor yowr sake; and he tolde me, that ye made hym haulte cheer, &c. at Norwyche. No moor.

Wretyn at Caleys, the xvij. daye off Janever, anno Edwardi iiijti xiiijo.

218.2 [From Fenn, ii. 174.] ‘Though this letter,’ says Fenn, ‘has no signature, yet it is written by Sir John Paston, Knight.’

218.3 Neuss, not far from Düsseldorf, in the territory of Cologne, at this time besieged by Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy.

219.1 Frederick III. of Austria, Emperor of Germany.

219.2 Dr. John Morton, afterwards Bishop of Ely, Lord Chancellor, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Cardinal.



To John Paston, Sqwyer, be thys delyveryd in hast.


JAN. 29

I gret yow well, and send yow Goddes blyssyng and myn, letyng yow wet that my cosyn Robard Clere was her with me thys weke, and told me that he was nowt payd of the mony that ye know that was borowd of hys modyr and of hym, but The xxli. that my plegges ly for ys on payd. He seyd that he was desyryd to delyvere my plegges, and to have be payd the xxli.; but he wold not, tyll he had spokyn with me, because of the promys that he had mad to me befor that he shuld not delyver them to non withowt my assent. I seyd to hym that I suppose veryly that yowyr brodyr hys a greyd with yowyr hunkyll that he shuld paye all the hole, for I suppose he hath a swerte for ale that and more. I wold undyrstond how yt ys, and how that my seyd cosyn shall be content, for I war loth to lese my plegges; I wot yt well, yowyr good hunkyll wold ben in possessyon with good well, but I wol not soo. I wold that ye shuld speke with yowyr hunkyll ther in, and send me word in hast what he seet [saith].

I marvyll, be my trowth, that I had no wrytyng fro yowyr brodyr, er he departyd fro London, as he promysyd in the last lettyr that he sent me, the wych was wretyn be for the Kynges comyng to Norwych; I went [expected] veryly to have hard from hym ar [ere] thys tyme. I wold ye shuld send hym word of yowyr hunkyles delyng in thys seyd mater, and send me an ansswer ther off.

Recomaund me to yowyr grauntdam. I wold she war her in Norffolk, as well at es as evyr I sy hyr, and as lytyll rewlyd 221 be hyr son as evyr she was, and than I wold hope that we alle shuld far the bettyr for hyr. Yt ys told me that yowyr hunkyll hath mad gret menys and larg profyrs to John Bakton to make a relesse to hym of Oxinhed. Whedyr that be don or nowt, I wot nowt yet, but I shall wot in hast, yf I may.

I wold ye shuld spekyn with my Lord of Norwych, and a say to get a lysen of hym to that I may have the sacrement her in the chapell, because yt ys far to the chyrche, and I am sekly, and the parson ys oftyn owt. For all maner of casweltes of me and myn, I wold havyt grauntyd, yf I myth.

Send me word yf ye her ony tydynges from yowyr brodyr how he doth of hys seknes, and in odyr thynges, as farforth as ye know, as astely as ye may. I thynk long tyll I her from hym for dyvers causys. God kepe yow.

Wretyn in hast at Mawdby, on the Satyrday next be for Candelmes Day.

Send me an ansswer of thys lettyr in hast, and odyr tydynges, &c. Be yowyr modyr.

My cosyn Robard told me that ther was mor than vijli. of the mony that was payd hym that was ryght on rysty, and he cowd nowt havyt chaungyd. He was on goodly servyd ther in.

220.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter was evidently written on the same day as that immediately following.

220.2 This is the customary contraction of the name Jesus, which was frequently written at the head of a letter.

to have hard from hym ar [ere] thys tyme
printed without space between “ar” and brackets


To Ser John Paston, Knyght, be thys delyveryd in hast.



Ryght welbelovyd son, I gret yow well, and send yow Goddes blyssyng and myn, letyng yow wete that I marveyle that I have had no wrytyng from yow sethyn ye sent me the lettyr that ye sent me be for the Kynges comyng 222 to Norwych; in the whyche lettyr ye wrot to me that ye shuld a wretyn azeyn to me or ye shuld de part owt of London. It ys so that yowyr hunkyll William hath do payd to my cosyn Robard Clere but of the Cli. and he wol no mor pay but yf [unless] he hath delyveraunc of my plegges, the wych was leyd to plegg for xxtili.; the wych ben bettyr. I wot well, be cause of the good well that he owyt to me, as ye know, he wold ben in possessyon therof. My cosyn, Robard Cler, was her with me thys weke, and told me, that yf he wold a delyveryd them, he myth an had the seyd xxli.; but he seyd he wold nowt, tyll he had spokyn with me; be my trowth I fynd hym ryght kyndly dysposyd to yow, and to me bothe; and so I have desyryd hym to kepe styll the plegge in hys possessyon, tyll I have word from yow how ye ar agreyd with yowyr hunkyll for the payment of the seyd mony: I wen veryly that ye have fownd hym swerte for alle, and yff ye have soo do, I wold ye shuld wryt to yowyr hunkyll therfor, that I myth have my plegges ageyn, for I war loth that they shuld com in hys fyngyers.

Item, as for Sporyl wood, be ffor the Kynges comyng into Norffolk, I myth an had chapmen to abowtyd [have bought it] a gret [in whole] for xijxx. [twelve score] mark, and now ther wol no man by yt a gret, bycause of the gret good that the pepyll ys leyd to for the Kyng; werfor we ar a bowth to retaylyt as well as we may, and as well as yt can be browth too; and I send yow word how we shall do as astely as I may. As for yowyr barly in thys cuntre, yt cannot be sold above xd. or xjd.; that ys the gretest prys of barly her, and but yt be at a bettyr prys, I purpose for to do yt malt. And as for mony, I cowd not get yet of Pecok but iijli.; and he seth that be than that the owt chargys be boryn, and the repracion of the myll at Wyntyrton, we ar lyke to have but lytyll mor mony besyd the barly. Malt ys sold her but for xiijd. and whet ijs. or xxvjd. at thys time, and otys xijd. Ther ys non owtlod suffyrd to goo owth of thys cuntre as yet; the Kyng hath comaundyd that ther shuld non gon owth of thys lond. I fer me that we shall have ryth a straung ward [world]; God a mendyd, whan Hys wyll ys. I thank yow for the flakons 223 that ye sent me; they be ryght good, and plesyth me ryght well: I shall be as good an huswyff for yow as I can, and as I wold be for myselff. Send me word how ye doo of yowyr syknes that ye had on yowyr hey [eye] and yowyr lege; and yff God wol nowt suffyr yow to have helth, thank Hym therof, and takyt passhently, and com hom a geyn to me, and we shall lyve to geddyr, as God woll geve us grase to do; and as I have seyd to yow beffor thys, I wold ye war delyveryd of my mastres A. H.,223.1 and than I wold trost that ye shuld do the bettyr.

As for the bokys that ye desyryd to have of Syr Jamys,223.2 the best of alle and the fayrest ys cleymyd; ner yt ys not in hys inventory. I shall a say to get yt for yow, and I may; the prys of the todyr bokys, besyd that, ys xxs. vjd. the wych I send yow a byll of. Yf ye lyk be the prys of them, and ye wol have them, send me word. And also I pray yow send me an ansswere of thys lettyr, be cause I thynk long seth I hard from yow. God have yow in Hys kepyng.

Wretyn at Mawdby, on the Sattyrday nex be forn the Purificacion of owyr Lady, the xiiij. yer of Kyng Edward the iiijt. Yowyr Modyr.

Endorsed—Anno xiiijo.

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

221.2 See p. 220, Note 2.

223.1 Anne Haulte.

223.2 Sir James Gloys.

he hath delyveraunc of my plegges
spelling unchanged


To hys brother John Paston, or to hy[s] oncle William Paston, in Werwyk Lane, or to Edmond Paston, at the George, at Powlys Wharfe, to deliver any of them.

FEB. 5

Ryght worshypffull, I recomaunde me on to yow, letyng yow weete that I thynke longe that I heer nott from yow syns Crystmesse, ner have no serteyn knowleche whether that Towneshend hathe performyd hys promysse or nott, ner off my brother Johnys beyng at London, ner off 224 my Lord or Lady off Norfolkes comyng to London, at whoys comyng sholde be the cheffe labor and sewte that I or or any for me sholde labor. It was soo, God thanke you bothe, that iche off yow, at my last beyng with yow, grauntyd me to take labor uppon yow; and iche off yow, for the havyng ageyn off my place in Castre. Now is it soo, that wher my verry purpose was to have comyn to London now with the Master of the Rollys224.1 and Sir Thomas Mongomere, demyng to fynde the Kyng at the Parlement; and also that my Lorde and Lady off Norfolk sholde nott by lyklyhod fayle to be theer also: wherffor me thoght the tyme was convenyent; but it happyd so that suche tydynges come hyddre off the Frenshe Kynges hasty comyng in to thees marchys of Pykardye, whyche cawsyd my Lordes Depute and Cownsell heer to desyr and charge me soo streyghtly, that in noo wyse I maye, tyll I heer other tydynges, departe from hense. Notwithstondyng the Marchall and Counsell heer have wretyne to my Lorde Lywe tenant for me, and moor over desyryd bothe the Master of the Rollys and Sir T. Mongomere to remembre my materes bothe to the Kynge and to my lorde, in so moche that, iff the season be convenyent, both the seyd Master and Syr T. Mongomere wille labore bothe the Kynge and my lorde to entrete my Lorde off Norffolk, my lady hys wyff, and ther consell, to do for me all that reason wyll; of whoys good willes and labor her in I ame better ensuryd off, than I kan for lakke of leyser at thys tyme wryght yowe wetyng off; wherffor I praye yow and iche of yow, iff the season be convenyent, to take the labor, that theese jentyllmen maye do for me, and to my proffyght, like as I feelle them dysposyd to doo; and moore over I have somwhatt informyd them bothe ther in; and also that I maye hastyly heer from yow, and iff it come to that any mony most be gevyn to my Lorde or Lady off Norffolk ffor a plesyr herffor, I woll, uppon as I heer from yow, come to yow in alle hast possible, all thynges leyde a parte.

Item, iff any letter be requesyth to be hadde, in lyke forme as oonys ther was from the Kyng to my Lorde off 225 Norffolk, Sir T. Montgomere will by your advyces opteyne yow suche one off yowr entents to my proffyghte in the premyssys, and by thys my wryghtyng I bynde me to repaye yowe, iff any suche letter or wryghtyng be opteynyd, what so ever it coste. No more for lakke off leysor.

Wretyn at Caleys, the v. day of Feverer, Anno E. iiij. xiiijo.

As for tydynges heer, my masteris th’embassatores, Sir T. Mongomere, and the Master of the Rollys, kom streyght from the Duke at hys assege at Nywysse, whyche wyll nott yitt be wone. Yowr John Paston, K.

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

224.1 John Morton, afterwards Bishop of Ely.

labor and sewte that I or or any for me
text unchanged: printed at mid-line


To Mestresse Margret Paston, at Norwyche, be thys delyveryd.

FEB. 22

Please it yow to weete that I receyvyd a letter from yow, wretyn the Saterdaye next byffor Candelmesse; for answer wheroff, lyke it yow to weete, that as for the bokys that weer Sir James (God have hys sowle!), I thynke best that they be styll with yow, tyll that I speke with yow my selffe. My mynde is now nott most uppon bokes.

Item, as for xxli. that ye sey that yowr plate lythe for, it is so, that I fownde my oncle William no sewerte therffor, as Playter and my brother John bothe cowde enfforme yow; it was never desyryd of me, ner the tolde me nott that any suche pledge laye for it, but that ye hadd dyschargyd me of xxli. and chevysshyd it, and that ye sholde repaye it in hast; wherin I woll do as ye woll, and as it pleasyth yow to sende me wetyng.

Item, I ame sory that ye be no better payd off the xxli. that I had off yowe, whyche ye sholde have receyvyd ageyn off my londes in Flegge. Iff the markett be nott goode yit, I hope it shall be better; never the lesse my wylle is that ye 226 sholde have yowr holl xxli. ageyn, and not lose jd. Wherffor if it be so that ye be mysse servyd ther, I beseche yow off pacyence tyll the begynnyng of the next yeer, and iff aught be behynd, ye shall receyve uppe the remenaunt then, for, as God helpe me, I wolde be sory that ye lost moor for me; I have pytte yow to cost, charge, and losse i nowge, God thanke yow of it, thoughe ye lose no more. Wherffor iff Sporle woode sprynge any sylver or golde, it is my wyll that fyrst of alle ye be yowr owne payer off all that is be hynde; and next thatt, to paye myn oncle William vijxxvjli. xiijs. iiijd. and besyd that, xvjli. lost uppon the chevysshaunce of; and so I owe viijxx.ijli. xiijs. iiijd. Wherffor I beseche yow to make hast in repayment heroff as fast as it wolle growe, as my trust is in yowe.

Item, wher it pleasyd yow to weete of myn heele and amendyng; I thanke Godde I ame in goode case, and as goode a full hooll, bothe off the fevre, agwe off myn ie, myn legge, and myn heele, saff that I ame tendre off all theese; and were nott goode rewle, full like to feell off iche off them ryght soone; neverthelesse, God thanke yow off yowr large profre, wheroff I wolde be ryght gladde iff I myght, for trobles and other labor that I have takyn on me nowe in to Fraunce warde; for the goode spede off me, and that jorneye, I beseche yow of yowr preyeres and remembrance; and thatt jorney, with Goddes grace, ones doon, I purpose verrely, with Goddes grace, therafftre to daunce atendaunce most abowt yowr plesure and ease: and with Goddes grace, soone uppon Esterne, er evyr I goo forthe, I hope to se yow, and fecche your blessynge. No moor at thys tyme, but Jesus have yow in Hys kepyng.

Wretyn at Caleys, the xxij. daye of Feverer, anno E. iiijti xiiijo. Yowr Sone, John Paston, K.

On the back of the preceding letter is written in another hand, as follows:—

Memorandum, that Syr John Paston owthe to William Paston, acordyng to the endenture made be twex them,— viijxxijli. xiijs. iiijd.

Wheroff payable the firste day of Octobre for Townsend, C. marke.

Item, the xxvj. day off Novembre,— iiijxx.xvjli.

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

Item, the xxvj. day off Novembre,— iiijxx.xvjli.
final . missing or invisible




John Paston, I send yow Godds blyssyng and myn, letyng yow wete, that I hadd non er thys lettyr than on Sent Matheus Evyn; yf I myth a had an massenger or thys tym I had sent yt yow. I con yow thank for the lettyr that ye sent to my cosyn Calthorpp and me of the tydyngs; I wold ye shuld do soo mor. As ye may remembyr that I spak to yow for the xxtili. for my cosyn Clere, spek to yowr hunkyll therof, and send me an answer therof in hast. And for the lycens that I spak to yow for, to have the Sacrement in my Chapell, yf ye cannot getyt of the Busshop of Norwych, getyt of the Busshop of Caunterbery, for that ys most swyr for all plase. God kepe yow.

Wretyn on Mydlent Sunday.

227.1 [From Fenn, ii. 178.] This letter was written on the back of Letter 861.


To the right worshippfull, and my right feithfull gode cosin, John Paston, Esquier.


Right worshippfull and my right feithfull gode cosin, I recomaunde me unto you, and, as hertily as I can, thanke you of your right gentill and kynde remembraunce, that I consceyve well by your late writyng that ye have to me wardes, undeserved in dede, but not in will, so God helpe me, as ye shuld weell knowe, if my power might accorde with my will. And, cosin, in the mater that it liked you to remembre me in, bothe to my worshipp and pleaser, I 228 feere me that nouther my pouere doughter nor pouere purs can nor may be to his pleaser; wold God outher might; and I shuld take me right neere to his pleaser, savyng myself, I ensure you by my trouth. And howe to understand his pleaser and disposicion therin, I see no mean as thus advised, but if [unless] it might please you by your wisdam to attempte it forther, as ye seme moste conveniente, and theruppon I to be guyded by your gode advise, as the cas shall require; wherin ye shall bynde me herefter to do that may be to your pleaser to my power, and yette with no better will than I have had, so God help me, Who have you ever in His kepinge, and sende you your hertes desire to His pleaser; and if it pleas you to remembre further in the premisses, I trust ye shall leese no labour on my pouere parte; howe be it I fere me sore, as I be gan, bothe of my pouere doughter and purs.

Writon at Woderysyng, the morn efter Our Lady Day, in haste.

I require you this bill may be secrete. By your trewe cosin, Ric. Suthwell.

227.2 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] Fenn thinks the gentleman here referred to was John Berney of Reedham, Esquire, who married Alice, daughter of Richard Southwell, Esquire, of Wood Rising, the writer of this letter. He accordingly dates it about the year 1475, and I see no reason to question his opinion.


To my ryght worchepfull modyr, Margaret Paston, at Mawtby.

[MAR. 29]

Ryght worchepfull modyr, aftyr all humbyll recomendacyons, as lowely as I can I beseche yow of your blyssyng. Pleasyt yow to wete that late yester nyght I cam to Norwyche, purposeing to have been as thys day with yow at Mawtby, but it is so that I may not hold my purpose, for he that shall pay me my quarter wagys for me and my retenew, is in Norwyche, and waytyth ourly when hys 229 money shall com to hym. It is oon Edmund Bowen of the Cheker, a specyall frend of myn, and he avysyth me to tery tyll the money be com, lest that I be unpayed, for who comyth fyrst to the mylle, fyrst must grynd.

And as I was wryghtyng thys byll, on of the gromys of my lords chambyr cam to me, and told me, that my lady wyll be here in Norwyche to morow at nyght towards Walsyngham, whyche shall, I wot well, be a nother lett to me; but I had more need to be other wyse ocupyed then to awayte on ladyse, for ther is as yett, I trowe, no sperre that shall go over the see, so evyll horsyd as I am. But it is told me that Rychard Call hathe a good horse to sell, and on John Becher of Oxborough hathe an other; and if it myght please yow to geve Syme leve to ryd in to that contre at my cost, and in your name, seying that ye wyll geve on of your sonys an horse, desyryng hym that he wyll geve yow a penyworthe for a peny, and he shall, and the pryse be resonabyll, hold hym pleasyd with your payment ought of my purse, thow he knowe it not or hys horse depert fro hys lands. Modyr, I bese[che] yow, and it may please yow to geve Syme leve to ryde on thys message in your name, that he may be here with me to morow in the mornyng be tymys, for wer I onys horsyd, I trowe I wer as ferforthe redy as some of my neyghborows. I herd a lytyll word that ye purposeid to be here in Norwyche thys next week. I prey God it be thys week. Modyr, beseche yow that I may have an answer to morow at the ferthest of thys mater, and of eny other servyse that it please yow to comand me, whyche I wyll [be] at all seasons redy to acomplyshe with Gods grace, Whom I beseche to preserve yow and yours.

Wretyn at Norwyche, thys Wednysday in Estern Week. By your sone and servaunt, J. P.

228.1 [From Fenn, iv. 444.] This letter was evidently written in 1475, when John Paston and one or more of his younger brothers were about to go over to France with the King’s army.—See Letter 871. Margaret Paston was at that time continually resident at Mautby.



To my right worshupfull sistir, Margaret Paston.


Right worshupfull sustir, I recomaunde me to you, praying you to undirstonde, the priour of Bromeholme hath sent ayen to me for xxli.; and my cosyn William Whyte desired me to wryte to you for the rewarde that was offird hym to his churche and xxli. of my brothirs goodys to be lent hym upon sufficient suertee, and by a yeeris ende payd ayen; he hath and may doo for you and for my nevewe, Sir John, in many thynges, and is his kynnesman, and it were a gode frendely dede and no jopardy nor hurt. The Abbot of Wymondham hath sent to me too tymes. Frendship may not hang by the wynde, nor for faire eyne, but causis must be shewid; men wene that I hadd your coffers and my brothirs and maistir Fastolffes in myne awarde, and that ye wote wele, &c. Send your avise to my nevewe, Sir John, by the next messynger. Ye sent to me oonys for the same mater, but I may not leene my money to defende othir men is causis; your discrecion (?) thenkith that it were no reason. I have tolde them your saying; and as it is s[o] that ye may nat come to the coffers but all be togedir. Therfor ye must sende to my nevewe and to Arblastir how ye will have this answerd; for the Abbot will be heere on Monday at the sene, and labour must bee desired the next terme. Hit nedis nat to put you in remembrance of my mater touchyng my Fadirs soule, my modir and me, and God kepe you. Wreton at Norwich the vijth day of Aprill.

I have tolde thes folkis, as ye have seid to me all weys, that your will is gode, but that ye may not come theretoo withoute th’assent of all your felowes.


Item, I pray you remembre the obligacion that Wix hath, and that I may have my money of the parsone of Maudeby. By your brothir, William Paston.

230.1 [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 215.] As Margaret Paston, at the date of this letter, is not at Norwich and her son Sir John seems to be there, we may infer that it was written in the year 1475. See No. 868 (preliminary note).


To John Paston, Esquyer.

[MAY 13]

Syr, I recummawnd me to zow. Please yt zow to wette that my modyr hathe causyd me to putte Gregory owte of my servyse, as, God help, I wrythe to zow the very cause why. Yt happyd hym to have a knavys loste, in pleyn termes to swhyve a quene, and so dyd in the Konyneclosse. Yt fortunyd hym to be a spyed be ij. plowemen of my modyrs, whyche werne as fayne as he of that mater, and desyerd hym to have parte, and as kompany requeryd, seyd not nay; in so myche that the plowemen had her alle a nythe in ther stabylle, and Gregory was clere delyvered of her, and as he swherys had not a do with her within my modyrs place. Not with standdyng my modyr thynkks that he was grownd of that matier; wherfor ther is no remedy but he moste a voyde. And in so myche that at the laste tyme that ze wer her, [ye] desyerd hym of me, yf that he schuld departe from me, I send zow the very cawse of hys departyng, as my modyr sethe; but I am in serteyn the contrary is true. Yt is nomor but that he can not plese all partys. But that jantylman231.2 is hys woords Lord, he hathe seyd that he woold lyfte them whom that hym plese, and as that scheweyt welle, he lyftyd 232 on [one] xiiij. myle in a mornyng, and nowe he hath ben caw sar of hys lyfte, I wot not how far, but yf that ze be hys better master; but and we a mong us geve not hym a lyfte, I pray God that we never thryve. And that is hys intente, I trowe, to bryng us to; wherfor I requer zow, yf that yt plese zow to have hym, that ze wylle be the better master to hym for my sake, for I am he that is as sory to departe from hym as any man on lyve from hys servant, and be my trowthe, as farforthe as I knowe, he is as true as any on lyve.

I troste my fortune schale be better than ever to leve thus her; but yf I wer hens wards, I ensuer zow I wold not schange for none that I knowe. He is profytabylle on dyvers thynggs as ze knowe welle.

Ther has ben a gret breke be twyx Calle and me, as I schal enforme zow at my coming, wyche schalle be on Wedynsday next be the grace of God, who preserve zow.

Wretyn at Mawteby, on Wyteson eve. Edmond Paston.

231.1 [From Fenn, iii. 426.] This letter was wrongly attributed by Fenn to Edmund Paston, son of the Judge. It is in the hand of the Judge’s grandson, also named Edmund, and was written at a time when his mother Margaret was living at Mautby, where he, the writer, was also at the time, though he expected to join his brother John, to whom he writes, in the following week. These circumstances strongly suggest that it was written in 1475, when Margaret Paston certainly was residing at Mautby, as we find Edmund Paston with his brother John in London a month later preparing to go over to Calais. See No. 873. Whitsun Eve in 1475 would be the 13th May.

231.2 Fenn supposes the person alluded to to be the priest, James Gloys.


Un to Syr John Paston, be this delyvered in hast.

MAY 23

Ryght welbelovyd son, I grete you well, and send you Cristes blissyng and myne, desyringe to know how ye faire. I mervaile that I have herd no tydynges from you sythe ye sent me the lettyr of an answere of the xxli. the which I have layde pleages for to my cosyn Cleere, the which letter was wryten the xxijty day of Februar; and as for that money, I can not gete no lenger day therof than Mydsomer, or fourte nyght after; and towardys that money, and the xxtyli. that I send yow by syde to London by Sym, I have 233 receyved no mor money of yowres, but as moch as I send yow wryten in this letter. And as for any discharge that I promysed at the boroeng off the xxtili. when I leyde the pleages ther fore, I thought not but that your uncle shuld a boroed them owte, and I to have had my pleages, as well as he his; never the less I shall be the warer how I shall dele here aftyr. By my trowth, I wote not how to do ther fore; the Kyng goth so nere us in this cuntre, both to pooer and ryche, that I wote not how we shall lyff, but yff [unless] the world amend. God amend it, whan His wyll is. We233.1 can nother sell corne ner catell to no good preve. Malt is here but at xd. a comb; wheete, a comb xxviijd.; ootes, a comb xd.; and ther of is but lytell to geet here at thys tyme. William Pecok shall send you a byll what he hath payde for yow for ij. taskes at this tyme; and how he hath purveyde for the remnaunte of your corne; and also off other thynges that be necessary that shuld be purveyd for in your absence. Send me word also whome ye wyll desyre to do for yow in this contre, or ellys where in your absence; and wryte to them to do for yow, and they wyll be the better wylled to do for yow; and I wyll do my devyr for yow also, as well as I can.

The somma off money that I have receyvyd off Wylliam Pecok:—First, xls. off Runnham. Item, off Bastwyk, xxs. Item, off Runnham, xxs. Item, off him for barly at Runnham, xxs. Item, off the fyschynge at Bastwyke, xiijs. iiijd. Item, for barely sold at Runnham, viijs. Summa totalis, vjli. xvjd.

Item, I have receyvyd of Ric. Calle, of Sporle wodd, xxvjs. viijd., and more shall I hope here aftyr within short tyme; as I receyve for yow, I hope to yeff yow a trew acownt; and this is all that I have receyvyd for yow zytt, sen ye departyd hens. God bryng yow well ageyn to this contre, to His pleasans, and to your wurshyp and profyzt.

Wryten at Mawteby, the xxiijty day of May, and the Tewsday next afftyr Trinyte Sonday.

For Goddes love, and your brether go over the see, avyse them as ye thynk best for her [their] save garde. For some 234 of them be but yonge sawgeres, and wote full lytyll what yt meneth to be as a sauger, nor for to endure to do as a sawger shuld do. God save yow all, and send me good tythynges of yow all. And send ye me word in hast how ye doo, for I thynk longe to I here off yow. Be youre Modyr.

Item, I wold not in no wyse that ye shuld nother sell nor sett to pleage that ye have in Runnham, what som ever fortune of the remnaund; for yt is a praty thyng, and resonable well payde, and nere thys towne. I wold be ryght sory that ye shuld for bere that; I had lever ye for bore that your uncle hath to morgage than that.

232.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter is endorsed ‘Mens’ Maii, anno xvo.’ The date is confirmed by the fact that in 1475 the Tuesday after Trinity Sunday was the 23rd of May.

233.1 We. Originally written I, and corrected.

the xxtyli. that I send yow by syde
spelling unchanged


Norfolk and Suffolk Deeds, No. 13.

MAY 28

‘Johannes Paston miles relaxat Willielmo Wynton’ episc. et aliis totum jus de et in manerio de Tichwell, Essex in Hickling, Guton, Beyton, Newton, Calcotes in Fretton, Leyestoft, Habeland, Brodeston, et Gorleston. Maii 28, Edw. IV. 15.’

No. 32.

‘Charta Johannis Paston militis de terris Johannis Fastolf pert. prædict. Johanni, et continens concessionem quarundam evidentiarum episcopo Winton’, et relaxationem orationum, actionum, et demandarum versus prædictum episcopum. Maii 28, Edw. IV. 15.’

234.1 [From MS. Index in Magd. Coll., Oxford.]

Footnote 234.1:
... Magd. Coll., Oxford.]
text has “Oxford].”



To John Paston, or to hys brother Edmond Paston, at the George, at Powles Wharf.


Brother Edmonde, it is soo that I heer telle that ye be in hope to come hyddre, and to be in suche wages as ye schall come lyve lyke a jentylman, wheroff I wolde be gladde. Wherffor, for yowr better speede, I lete you weete that Heugh Beamond is deed; wherffor I wolde ye had hys roome nowe or never, iff ye can brynge it abowt; ellys iff ye dispose yowe to abyde in Inglonde, syns it is so that the Bysshop of Lynkolne235.2 is Chaunceler, hys servyse is the meter for yow; he is next neyghbour to Norfolk off any astate. God sende yow some good warde of hys.

I praye you, iff yowr leyser be ther aftre to remembre Towneshende, that he, with the advyse and assystence of my Master of the Rollys,235.3 have one daye off marche with the slawe Bysshop of Wynchester, that he maye kepe me hys promyse, that is to seye, to entrete the Duke and Duchesse of Norffolk for Caster. He promysed to doo it, and to ley owt an Cli. for the same.

Item, I praye yow sende me some tydynges within v. dayes aftre that ye see thys bylle.

Wretyn at Caleys, the xiij. daye off June. John Paston, K.

235.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter must have been written in the year 1475, when, as will be seen by No. 871, some of Sir John Paston’s brothers, among whom doubtless were both John and Edmund, to whom this letter is addressed, were going over to Calais. The Bishop of Lincoln (Rotherham) was Chancellor in 1475. It is true the Great Seal was taken from him on the 27th April, and given to Alcock, Bishop of Rochester, until the 28th September, when it was restored to Rotherham. But it is certain this letter could not have been written in a later year, as the Duke of Norfolk died in January 1476.

235.2 Thomas Rotherham.

235.3 See p. 219, Note 2.

text unchanged: apparent error for “SIR JOHN”



To the right worshipffull Sir John Paston, Knyght, in haste.

AUG. 10

Right welbeloved sone, &c. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .236.2

As for tidyngs here in this contre, we have non, but that the contry is bareyn of money; and that my Lady of Yorke236.3 and all her howsold is here at Sent Benetts,236.4 and purposed to abide there stille, til the Kynge come from be yonde the see, and lenger if she like the eyre ther, as it is seide.

I thynke ryght longe tille I here some tidyngs for [quære, from?] you and from your brethren. I prey God sende you and al your company goode spede in your journeys, to His plesure, and to your worshippes and profights.

Wreten at Mauteby, on Sen Lawrens Even, the xv. yere of the regne of Kyng E. the iiijth. Be yor Moder.

236.1 [From Fenn, ii. 180.]

236.2 The chief part of this letter relates to Sir John Paston’s private affairs, his rents and lands, and informs him that William Jenney had entered into Holme Halle, in Filby, ‘in the ryght and titell of his douterlawe, weche was Boys doughter,’ etc.—F.

236.3 Cecily, Duchess of York, daughter of Ralph Neville, Earl of Westmoreland, was the widow of Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, and mother of King Edward IV., etc. She died in 1495, and was buried near her husband in the college of Fotheringay.—F.

236.4 The Abbey of St. Bennet at Holm.



To Mestresse Margret Paston, at Norwyche.

SEPT. 11

Ryght reverend and my most tendre and kynde moodre, I recomaunde me to yow. Please it yow to weete that, blessyd be God, thys wyage of the Kynges is fynysshyd for thys tyme, and alle the Kynges ost is comen to Caleys as on Mondaye last past, that is to seye, the iiij. daye of Septembre; and at thys daye many of hys host be passyd the see in to Inglond ageyn, and in especiall my Lorde off Norffolk and my bretheryn.

Item, I was in goode hope to have hadde Caster ageyn. The Kynge spake to my Lorde off Norffolk for it, and it was full lyke to have comyn; but in conclusyon it is delayed tyll this next terme, by whyche tyme the Kynge hat comaundyd hym to take advyce off hys councell, and to be sywer that hys tytle be goode, or ellys the Kyng hathe asserteynyd hym that for any favor he most do me ryght and justyce, &c.

And iff Caster hadde comen, by my feythe I had comyn streyhte home. Notwithstondyng, iff I may do yow servyce or eese, as ye and I have comonyd heer to foor, aftre as I heer from yow, as God helpe me, I purpose to leeffe alle heer, and come home to yow, and be yowr hosbonde and balyff; wher in I spake to my brother John to telle yow myn advyce.

I also mysselyke somwhat the heyr heer; for by my trowte I was in goode heele whan I come hyddre, and all hooll, and to my wetyng I hadde never a better stomake in my lyffe, and now with in viij. dayes I am crasyd ageyn. I suppose that I most be at London at Mychelmesse, and ther to purveye for payment for myn oncle William, by whyche tyme I praye yow that I may heer from yow and off yowr advyce and helpe, iff any thynge be growyn off Sporle woode. For had nott yit 238 that danger have been, I mygh yit have ben at home with yow at thys daye, or with in vij. dayes aftre. No more, but I beseche Jesus have yow in kepyng.

Wretyn at Caleys, the xj. daye of Septembre. John Paston, K.

237.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] It is evident that this letter was written after the return of King Edward IV. from France in 1475.


To the ryght worchepfull Sir John Paston, Knyght, lodgyd at the George, by Powlys Wherf, in London.

OCT. 10

Ryght werchepfull sir, I recomand me to yow, sertyfying yow that I have comonyd with Barnard and other your wellwyllers with my Lord of Norffolk, whyche avise me that ye shold, for your nyghest meane to get Caster a yen, labore to get a lettre fro the Kyng dyrect to R. Sothewell, Jamys Hubbard, and other of my lordys consayll being, and to iche of theym; and in the seyd letter to lete theym have knowlage that the Kyng mevyd to my lord of the seyd mater beyond the see, and hough my lord answerd the Kyng that at hys comyng in to Inglond he wold meve to hys seyd consayll of the seyd mater, and geve the Kyng an answer. Wherfor the Kyng in the seyd lettyr must streyghtly charge theym, and iche of theym, to comon with my lord in the seyd mater in syche wyse that the Kyng may be sertyfyed of an answer fro my lord and theym at the ferthest by crastino Animarum;238.2 for Suthewell nor Jamys Hubbard shall not be at London befor Halowmass, and thys is the best wey that ye may take, as we thynke here.

My lady sweryth, and so dothe Barnard on hyr behalff, that she wold as fayne ye had it as eny body; notwithstandyng she seyd not so to me, sythe I cam hom, for I spak not with hyr but onys sythe I sye yow last. Yet she lythe in Norwyche, and shall do tyll she be delyverd; but I have be seek ever sythe I cam on thys syd the see, but I trust hastyly to amend for all my seknesse that I had at Caleys, and sythe I cam over also, 239 cam but of cold. But I was never so well armyd for the werre as I have now armyd me for cold; wherfor I avyse yow, take exampyll by me, if it happyn yow to be seek, as ye wer when I was at Caleys, in eny wyse kepe yow warme. I weene Herry Woodhous nor Jamys Arblaster ware never at onys so many cotys, hose, and botewx as I doo, or ellys by God we had gone therfor. What we shall yet I can not sey, but I bere me bold on ij. dayes amendyng.

My modyr sendyth yow Godes blyssing and hers, and she wold fayne have yow at home with hyr; and if ye be onys mette, she tellyth me ye shall not lyghtly depart tyll dethe depart yow.

As I was wryghtyng thys lettyr, on told me that the Kyng shold be at Walsyngham thys next.239.1 If it be so, it wer best for yow to awayte on the Kyng all the wey, and if ye have not men and horse i nowghe I shall send yow. Do as ye thynk best; and as ye wyll have me to do, send me your avyse, and I shall accomplyshe it to my power, with Godes grace, Who preserve yow.

Wretyn at Norwyche, the x. day of October, anno xvo E. iiijti. P. J.239.2

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

238.2 The Morrow of All Souls, i.e. 3rd November.

239.1 So in MS. Qu., the word ‘week’ omitted?

239.2 It is curious that John Paston has here reversed his initials.


To Sir John Paston, Knyght, lodgyd at the George, by Powlys Wherff, in London.

OCT. 23

Aftyr all dwtes of recomendacyon, please it yow to undyrstand that I have spoken with my lady239.4 sythe I wrot to yow last; and she told me that the Kyng had no syche woordys to my lord for Caster, as ye told me; but she seyth that the Kyng axid my lord at hys departyng fro Caleys, how he wold deele with Caster, and my lord answerd nevyr a woord.


Sir W. Brandon240.1 stood by, and the Kyng axid hym what my lord wold do in that mater; seying that he had comandyd hym befor tyme to meve my lord with that mater, and Sir W. Brandon gave the Kyng to answer that he had doone so; then the Kyng axid Sir W. B. what my lordys answer was to hym, and Sir W. B. told the Kyng that my lords answer was that the Kyng shold as soone have hys lyff as that place; and then the Kyng axid my lord whedyr he seyd so or nought, and my lord seyd, yee. And the Kyng seyd not a woord ayen, but tornyd hys bak, and went hys wey; but my lady told me, and the Kyng had spokyn any woord in the world aftyr that to my lord, my lord wold not have seyd hym nay. And I have gevyn my lady warnyng that I wyll do my lord no more serveys; but er we partyd, she mad me to make hyr promess that I shold let hyr have knowlege er I fastonyd myselff in eny other servysse; and so I departyd, and sye hyr not syness, nor nought purpose to doo, tyll I spek with yow.

I prey yow bryng home some hattys with yow, or and ye come not hastyly, send me on, &c., and I shall pay yow for it a comb otys240.2 when ye come home.

My modyr wold fayn have yow at Mawtby; she rode thydyr ought of Norwyche on Saturday last past, to purvey your lodgyng redy ayenst your comyng.

I have been ryght seek ayen sythe I wroote to yow last, and thys same day have I ben pessyng seek; it wyll not ought of my stomak by no mean. I am undon. I may not ete halff i nough, when I have most hungyr, I am so well dyettyd, and yet it wyll not be. God send yow heele, for [I] have non iij. dayes to gedyr, do the best I can.

Wretyn at Norwyche, the Monday next be for Seynt Simone and Jude,240.3 anno E. iiij. xvo. J. P.

239.3 [From Fenn, ii. 182.]

239.4 The Duchess of Norfolk.

240.1 Sir William Brandon was the grandfather of Henry VIII.’s favourite, Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk. Footnote 2 on p. 156, taken from Fenn, is wrong. Charles Brandon’s father, who was slain at Bosworth, was another Sir William, knighted by the Earl of Richmond before the battle.

240.2 In 1475 a comb of oats sold for 11d.; we have therefore the value of a hat in this reign.—F. In No. 871 the price of oats is given as 10d. a comb, but the markets are considered to be bad.

240.3 28th of October.




Aftyr all dewtes of recomendacyon, in as humbyll wyse as I can, I beseche yow of your blyssyng. The cheff cause that I wryght to yow for at thys season is, for that I undyrstand that my lady241.2 wold be ryght glad to have yow a bought hyr at hyr labore; in so myche that she hathe axyd the questyon of dyvers gentyllwomen whedyr they thought that ye wold awayte on hyr at that season or nought, and they answerd that they durst sey that ye wold, with ryght good wyll, awayte on hyr at that tyme, and at all other seasons that she wold comand yow. And so I thynk that my lady wyll send for yow; and if it wer your ease to be here, I wold be ryght glad that ye myght be here, for I thynk your being here shold do gret good to my brodyrs maters that he hathe to sped with hyr. Wherfor, for Godes sake, have your horse and all your gere redy with yow, whersoever ye be, ought or at home, and as for men, ye shall nott need many, for I wyll come for yow, and awayte on yow my sylf, and on or ij. with me; but I had need to undyrstand wher to fynd yow, or ellys I shall happyly seeke yow at Mautby, when ye be at Freton, and my lady myght then fortune to be ferforthe on hyr jorney or ye cam, if she wer as swyfte as ye wer onys on Good Fryday.

And as for the mater in the latter end of my brodyr Sir Johnys lettyr, me thynk he takyth a wronge wey, if he go so to werk; for as for the peopyll here, I undyrstand non other but that all folkys here be ryght well dysposyd towardes that mater, fro the hyghest degre to the lowest, except Robart Brandon and John Colvyll; and it is a grete lyklyhod that the grettest body is well dysposyd towardes that mater, in as myche as they wold put yow to the labore above wretyn, and if they wer not, I thynk they wold not put yow to that labore.


Also here was here with me yesterday a man fro the Priour of Bromholme to lete me have knowlage of the ille speche whyche is in the contre now of new, that the tombe is not mad; and also he seythe that the clothe that lythe over the grave is all toryn and rotyn, and is not worth ijd., and he seythe he hathe pachyd it onys or twyis. Wherfor the Pryour hathe sent to yow at the leest to send thedyr a newe clothe a yenst Estern.

Also Mastyr Sloley prayith yow, for Godes sake, and ye wyll do non almess of tylle [tile] that he myght borow some of yow tyll he may bye some, and pay yow ayen; for on [one] the fayrist chambyrs of the Fryers, standyth half oncoverd for defaulte of tylle, for her is yett non to get for no money. And the Holy Trynyte have yow in kepyng.

At Norwyche, thys Twysday. Your sone and humbyll servaunt, J. Paston.

241.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter seems to have been written shortly before the confinement of the Duchess of Norfolk in December 1475.

241.2 The Duchess of Norfolk.


[To the King] our souverain Lord.


[Sheweth] unto your highnesse your feythful liegeman and servaunt, John Paston, Knight, that wher Sir William Yelverton, William Jenney, and Thomas Howes were infeffed in certain . . . . . [to the] use of your said suppliaunt, they of grat malice confetered with oon or ij. of the counsell of my lord the Duc of Norffolk, caused the same Duc to clayme tytle unto [the mano]ir of Caster and other lands of your said suppliant, wherinne the said Yelverton and his coofeffees wer 243 infeffed, contrary to th’entent and wille that thei wer enfeffed for; upon whiche title the said Duc with great force asseyed and entred the said manoir of Castre and other lands of your said suppliant, putting hym from the lawful possession and estate that he had in the same, and also take from him vjc. shepe and xxx. nete, and the same, with other stuf and ordinaunces longing to the same manoir, of the value of Cli. toke and caryed awey, and the said manoir diffaced, hurt, and appeired, so that it coude not be repaired with CC. marc. Also the revenues of the said lands by the space of iij. yeres, to the value of, the same my lord the Duke receyved, and the owtrents of the same never payed, whiche great trouble was like to be the undoing of your said suppliant; wherfor he was fayn to sue to the said Duc and lord by the meanes of his godsip the Bisshop of Wynchestre, whiche was in his special favour; at whos contemplacion, and for vc. [500] marc whiche the same your suppliant payed unto the same Duc, he graunted him to have agen his said manoir and lands, and to restor him to the possession of the same, whiche was so doen. And your said suppliant being in peasible possession, my said lord the Duc and his cofeffees, Sir William Brandon, Thomas Hoo, Rauf Ashton, and other, at the desir of my said lord, relessed their estate and interesse, as wel under my said lordes sele as under their own sele. Wherupon your said besecher continued in possession but half a yer; at whiche time he was chargid in reparacions to the somme of C. marc, and payed the owt rents dewe by the space of the said iij. yer to the some of xlli. That doon, my said lord, by sinistre motive and advice, with force agen entred the said manoir and other lands aforsaid with alle stuf of howshold being in the same manoir to the value of C. marc, and so long time hath kept and rejoysed the revenues of the said lands, and in chief the said manoir, to the value of by the space of iiij. yer and mor; for redresse wherof yor said suppliant hath this said space of iiij. yer sued to my said lord and his counsell, and of alle that time the same my lord wold never suffre him to come in his presence, ne here him, ne noon other for him to declair or shewe his grief. And furthermor whanne your said besecher 244 hath sued to the counsel of my said lord, and desired them to move his lordship therinne, and to answer him resonably and according to right, they answered that thei have shewed my said lord his request, and that he was, and is alwey, so moved and displesed with them, that thei dar nomor move him therinne. And thus yor said suppliant hath loste alle his coste and labour, to his charge by his feyth this iiij. yer in his sute, the somme of vc. marc, and now is owt of remedye, without your habundant grace be shewed in that behalve, in somoche as he is not of power t’attempt your lawes ayenst so mighty and noble estate, nor t’abide the disples of him. Wherfor please it your moost noble grace, at the reverence of God, to move my said lord to withdrawe the affeccion whiche he so hath to the said manoir and lands, and to suffre your said besecher to have and enjoye the possession of the same according to right; and he at your commandment shal relesse unto my said lord alle the damages above wretyn, whiche amount to the somme of ml.ccc.liijli. vjs. viijd., and in time to come, with Goddes grace, be the mor hable to do you service, and also specially preye to God for the conservacion of your moost noble persone and estate royall.

Endorsed in a later hand . . . . Paston mil. Regi pro . . . . . . . . . Norff. in . . . . . de Caister.

242.1 [From a MS. in the Bodleian Library.] The Castle of Caister was surrendered to the Duke of Norfolk in September 1469, but he must have been taking the rents of the manor for a year or two before. From what is stated in this petition, the Duke must have given it up again in the end of the year 1470, i.e. during the restoration of Henry VI.; but he entered again after half a year, and the date of this second entry is given by William Worcester as the 23rd June 1471. After this, the petition says, he kept possession for four years and more, so that the date of the document must be towards the close of the year 1475. The Duke died on the 17th January 1476.


Robert Whynbergh to Sir John Paston

Has ridden 100 miles to get out the obligation of Craksheld and Salter. Has been opposed by Mr. Lovell, as they are his tenants. Understands it is in my lord’s closet, and the tenants are warned to pay no money without it. They keep from him the farm of the Priors Maner as well as Strehalle.244.2 Desires him to write to Mr. William Paston to inform my lord of a wrongful 245 distress taken by John Markham at Strehall in Cressingham, which is held of the King’s manor of Necton. They took cattle in lambing time in March, in the 14th year of this King, ‘and put Craksheld and Salter in such fear of losing of their cattle that they were bound to my lord by obligation, and Craksheld is dead for thought.’ Will take the letter to Mr. William though it cost him fourteen days’ labor. Was five weeks riding ‘to Canterbury, and again I will no longer drive, for in winter I may not ride,’ etc.

[From the reference to ‘the 14th year of this King,’ it is evident that this letter was written after 1474, the 14th year of Edward IV. It may, perhaps, be of the reign of Henry VII.; in which case it was addressed to the younger John Paston, who was then a knight, his brother being dead, about the year 1500.]

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

244.2 Street-Hall or Straw Hall, in Great Cressingham, was one of the manors which belonged to Judge Paston. In 1451, Blomefield tells us that Walter Paston, clerk, gave it to his brother John. In the reign of Henry VIII. Sir William Paston sold it to Dame Elizabeth Fitzwilliams.—Blomefield, vi. 99.


JAN. 17

Lyke it yow to weete, that not in the most happy season ffor me, it is so ffortunyd, that wher as my Lorde off Norffolke, yisterdaye beying in goode heele, thys nyght dyed abowte mydnyght, wherffor it is ffor alle that lovyd hym to doo and helpe nowe that, that maye be to hys honoure, and weell to hys sowele. And it is soo, that thys contre is nott weell purveyd off clothe off golde ffor the coveryng ffor hys bodye and herse; wherffor every man helpyng to hys power, I putte the cowncell off my lorde in cowmffort, that I hoped to gete one ffor that daye, if it weer so that it be nott broken, or putt to other use.

Wherffor please it yow to sende me worde iff it be so, that ye have, or kan kom by the clothe off tyssywe that I bowte ffor our ffaders tombe, and I undretake it shall be saffyd ageyn ffor yowe on hurt at my perell; I deeme herby to gete greet thanke, and greet assystence in tyme to come; and that owther Syme or Mother Brown maye deliver it me to morow by vij. off the clokke.


Item, as ffor other means, I have sente my servaunt Richard Toring to London, whyche I hope shall brynge me goode tydyngs ageyn, and with in iiij. dayes I hope to see yowe.

Wretyn on Wednysdaye, xvij. daye off Janyver, anno E. iiijti xvo. John Paston, K.

245.1 [From Fenn, ii. 186.] This letter is not addressed, but must have been intended for the writer’s brother John, or else, as Fenn suggests, for his mother, Margaret. Sir John, however, ends by saying, ‘Within four days I hope to see you’; and it appears by next letter that he was actually with his brother at Norwich within three days, whereas he paid no visit to his mother, who seems to have been living, as she had done for some time, at Mautby. This letter must have been written from Framlingham, whither Sir John had doubtless gone to petition the Duke of Norfolk about Caister.


To my ryght worchepful modyr, Margaret Paston.

JAN. 21

Aftyr all dewtes of recomendacyon, pleasyt yow to weet that as yesterday att noon my brodyr Sir John departyd fro Norwyche towardes London; for as now all the sped is with the Kyng for the swerte of the maner of Caster, consyderyng the dyeing seasyd of my Lord of Norffolk. He trustyth to be in thys contre ayen with in x. or xij. dayes. And at hys departyng he seyd to me that ye sent hym woord to selle the clothe of gold, if he myght selle it well, whyche clothe I thynke may be sold, iff ye wyll agre; not withstandyng I wylle make no bargayn for it, tyll ye send me woord of the serteyn some what ye wyll have for it, or ellys ye to have it ayen. Sir Robard Wyngfeld offyrd me yesterday xx. mark for it, but I wot well ye shall have more for it, if ye wyll sell it; wher for, as ye wyll deele in this mater, I prey yow send me woord to morew be tymys, for if thys bargayn be forsakyn, I trow it wyll be longe er ye kan get an other bargayn to selle it eny thyng aftyr that is woorthe.

Modyr, in as humbyll wyse as I can, I beseche yow of your blyssyng. I trust fro hense foorthe that we shall have our chyldyr in rest with ought rebwkyng for ther pleying wanton; for it is told me your ostass at Freton hathe gotyn hyr syche a 247 thyng to pley with, that our other chyldyr shall have leve to sporte theym. God send hyr joye of it.

Wretyn at Norwyche, thys Sonday. Your sone and humbyll servaunt, John Paston.

246.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter is shown by internal evidence to have been written shortly after the Duke of Norfolk’s death, which, as we have seen, took place on the 17th January 1476. It was written on a Sunday, and states that Sir John Paston had left Norwich the day before. The letter following, which is of the 23rd January, is dated by John Paston, ‘Tuesday next after your (Sir John’s) departing,’ so that the Sunday on which this was written must certainly have been the 21st.


To Sir John Paston, Knyght, at the George, at Powlys Wharffe.

JAN. 23

Aftyr all dewtes of recomendacyon, lyeketh yow to weet that I ensuer yow your sendyng to Caster is evyll takyn among my lordes folkes, in so myche that some sey that ye tendryd lytyll my lordes dethe, in as myche as ye wold so sone entre upon hym aftyr hys dyssease, with ought avyse and assent of my lordes consayll; wherfor it is thought here by syche as be your frendes in my lordes house that if my lady have onys the graunt of the wardshepp of the chyld,247.2 that she wyll ocupye Caster with other londes, and ley the defaute on your unkynd hastyness of entre with ought hyr assent. Wherfor in eny wyse get yow a patent of the Kyng ensealyd be for hyrs, and ye may by eny meane possybyll.

Also I prey yow comon with my Lord Chamberleyn for me, and weet hough that he wyll have me demeanyd.

It iss told me for serteyn that ther is none hey to gete at Caleys; wherfor if I mygh be pardond for eny kepyng of horse at Caleys till Myd somer, it wer a good torne.

The berer herof shall come home ayen fro London with in a day aftyr that he comyth thedyr, if ye wyll ought comand hym. I prey yow send me woord by hym hough ye do with your maters, and I prey yow in eny wyse lete me undyrstand, 248 by the berer heroff, hough Bowen of the Cheker wyll dele with me; vjxx. and xli. it is nough, and I wold have and xli. and I to plege it ought in iiij. or v. yer, or ellys to forfet the maner.

Wretyn at Norwyche, the Twysday next aftyr your departyng thens, xxiij. die Januarii, anno E. iiijti xvo. John Paston.

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

247.2 This child was Ann, who soon after was betrothed to Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, the second son of King Edward. She died very young, and the Duke was, as it is supposed, smothered in the Tower by the command of his uncle Richard III.—F.


To John Paston, Esquier, at Norwyche, be thys delyveryd.

JAN. 27

I recomaunde me to yow, letyng yow weete that I was infformyd by Ric. Radle, that on Scarlett, that was undrescheryff to Hastyngs,248.2 wolde sywe to me on yowr behalff, ffor that ye weer dyspleasyd with a returne off Nichill248.3 uppon yow in the seyde Hastyngs tyme; wherffor Ric. Radle thoghte that the seyde Scarlett wolde be gladde to gyff yow a noble or a riall ffor a sadell to amends, so that ye wolde sease and stoppe the bylle, whyche ye entende to putt into the corte ageyn hys Master Hastyngs.

Wherffor the seyde Scarlett com to me, and prayed me to helpe in the same, and so I have don my devoir to ffeele off hym the most that he can ffynde in hys stomake to depart with to please yow; and in conclusyon I trowe, he shall gyff yow a doblett clothe off sylke, price xxs. or therabout; whyche uppon suche answeer as I heer ffrom yowe, I deme that Bysshop the atornye shall, iff I conclude with hym on yowr behalve, paye in mony or otherwyse, to whom that ye woll assynge heer.


I shall by the means of Raddele weet at whoys sywte it was takyn owte; I deme it som thynge doon by craffte, by the means off them that have entresse in your lond, to th’entent to noyse itt therys, or to make yow past shame off the sellyng theroff.

Item, I have receyvyd a letter ffrom yowe wretyn on Tywesdaye last.

Item, wher that som towards my Lady of Norffolk noyse that I dyd onkyndely to sende so hastely to Caster as I dyd; there is no dyscrete person that so thynkyth, ffor iff my lorde hade ben as kynde to me as he myght have ben, and acordyng to suche hert and servyce as my grauntffadr, my ffadr, yowr selff, and I, have owght and doon to my Lords of Norffolk that ded ben, and yitt iff I hadde weddyd hys dowghtr, yitt most I have doon as I dydde.

And moor ovyr, iff I had hadde any demyng off my lordys dethe iiij. howrs or he dyed, I most neds, but iff I wolde be knowyn a ffoole, have entryd it the howr byffor hys dycesse; but in effecte, theygh that in that mater have alweys ment onkyndely to me, they ffeyne that rumor ageyn me; but ther is noon that ment truly to hym that dede is, that wolde be sory that I hadde itt, and in especiall suche as love hys sowle.

Item, wher it is demyd that my lady wolde herafftr be the rather myn hevy lady ffor that delyng, I thynke that she is to resonable so to be, ffor I did it nott onwyst to hyr cowncell; there was no man thoght that I sholde doo otherwysse; an as to seye, that I myght have hadde my ladyes advyce or lyve [leave], I myght have teryed yitt, or I cowde have speken with hyr, or yitt have hadde any body to have mevyd hyr there on my behalve, as ye wote I dydde what I cowde. Moreovyr I taryed by the advyce off Sir Robert Wyngffelde iij. dayes there, ffor that he putte me in comffirt that the Lord Howard,249.1 and hys brother Sir John, sholde have comen to Norwyche, att whoys comyng he dowtyd nott but that I sholde have a goode dyrection takyn ffor me in that mater, they leyhe to me onkyndenesse ffor ovyrkyndenesse.


Item, as ffor my mater heer, itt was thys daye beffoor alle the lordes off the cowncelle, and amonge them all, it was nott thowght, that in my sendyng off Whetley thyddr, in mediately afftr the dycesse off the Duke, that I dalt onkyndly or onfyttyngly, but that I was moor onresonably dalte with; wherffor, late men deme what they wylle, grettest clerkys are nott alweye wysest men; but I hope hastely to have on weye in it or other.

Item, I wende [expected] to have ffownde a gowne off myn heer, but it come home the same daye that I come owte, browght by Herry Berker, loder [carrier]. I wolde in alle hast possible have that same gowne off puke ffurryd with whyght lambe.

Item, I wolde have my longe russett gowne off the Frenshe russett in alle hast, ffor I have no gowne to goo in here.

Item, I praye yow recomande me to my moodr, and lat us alle prey God sende my Lady off Norffolk a soone, for uppon that restythe moche mater; ffor if the Kyngys soone250.1 mary my lords dowghtr, the Kynge wolde that hys soone sholde have a ffayr place in Norffolk, thowhe he sholde gyffe me ij. tymes the valywe in other londe, as I am doon to weete. I praye yow sende me worde off my ladyes spede as soone as ye kan.

Item, as ffor Bowen I shall ffele hym, and sholde have doon, thowghe ye hadde nott sente.

Item, ther is offryd me a goode marriage for my suster Anne Skypwithys sone and heyr off Lynkolneshyre, a man v. or vj. mrke by year. No mor.

Wretyn at London, the xxvij. daye off Janyver, anno E. iiijti xvo.

Item, my Lady off Excester250.2 is ded, and it was seyde 251 that bothe the olde Dywchesse off Norffolk,251.1 and the Cowntesse off Oxenfforde251.2 weer ded, but it is nott soo yitt.

Item, I shall remembr Caleyse bothe for horse and alle, &c.

248.1 [From Fenn, ii. 190.]

248.2 John Hastyngs was Sheriff of Norfolk the preceding year.—F.

248.3 Nihils, or Nichils, are issues which the sheriff that is apposed in the Exchequer says are nothing worth and illeviable, through the insufficiency of the parties from whom due.—F.

249.1 Afterwards Duke of Norfolk.—F.

250.1 Richard, Duke of York, second son of King Edward IV., in or before January 1478, married Anne, sole daughter and heir of John Mowbray, late Duke of Norfolk.—Rolls of Parliament, vi. 168. She was at that time only in her sixth year, and she died early.

250.2 Anne, daughter of Richard, Duke of York, sister of Edward IV., and widow of Henry Holland, the last Duke of Exeter, her first husband; she died 14th of January 1475, and lies buried with Sir Thomas Saint Leger, Knight, her second husband, in a private chapel at Windsor.—F.

251.1 Ellenor, only daughter of William Bourchier, Earl of Ewe, in Normandy, and widow of John Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk.—F.

251.2 Margaret, daughter of Richard Nevile, Earl of Salisbury, and wife of John de Vere, Earl of Oxford, now a prisoner in the Castle of Hammes, in Picardy; or it may refer to Elizabeth, widow of the late Earl of Oxford, and daughter and heir of Sir John Howard, Knight.—F.


To Sir John Paston, Knyght, at the George, by Powlys Wharf, in London.

FEB. 3

Aftyr all dwtes of recomendacyon, lyeketh yow to wete, that with in thys owyr past, I receyd your letter wretyn the xxvij. day of Januar, by whyche I undyrstand that Scarlet wold have an end with me; but lesse then xls. is to lytyll, for iff I wold do the uttermost to hym, I shold recover by the statwte, I trow xlli. or more, but lesse then xxxiijs. iiijd. I wyll in no wyse; and ye may sey that ye of your owne hed wyll geve hym the ode nobyll of xls., and if ye have the v. noblys I prey yow let Parker of Flett stret have therof xxxs. and lete Pytte and Rychard and Edward drynk the xld. As for your gownys, they shalbe sent yow in as hasty wyse as is possybyll. Thys must be consayll:—It is promysyd my lady by my Lord Chamberleyn that the diem clausit extremum for my lord shall not be delyverd tyll she be of power to labore hyr sylff her most avauntage in that mater, wherfor ye ned not to dele over largely with thexchetoures. Also consayll:—Robard Brandon and Colevyle have by meanys enformyd my lady that ye wold have gotyn Caster fro hyr by stronge hand, now thys frost whyll the mote is frosyn, in so myche that she was porposed to have 252 sent thedyr R. Brandon and other to have kept the place tyll syche tyme as she made axe me the questyon whedyr ye entendet that wey or not, and I avysed hyr that she shold rather sofyr R. Brandon and hys retenew to lye in Norwyche of hys owne cost then to lye at the taverne at Yermouthe on hyr cost, for I lete hyr have knowlage that ye never entendyd non entre in to that place, but by hyr assent and knowlage I wast well. Syr, for Godes sake, in as hasty wyse as is possybyll, send me woord how ye feele my Lord Chamberleyn and Bowen dysposed to me wardes, for I shall never be in hertes ease tyll I undyrstand ther tweys dysposysyon. Also, I prey yow, let Symond Dame have knowlage as soone as ye have red thys lettyr that I wold in eny wyse that he swe forthe the axions a yenst Darby and other for Byskley, notwithstandyng the bylle that I sent hym to the contrary by Edmund Jeney, for Darby and I are brokyn of, of our entrete whyche was apoyntyd at Thettford. God sped yow in thes maters, and in all other. Ye send me woord of a good maryage for my syster Anne. I prey yow aspye some old thryffty draff wyff in London for me. Thomas Brampton at the Blak Fryers in London wyth syche other as he and I apoyntyd wyll helpe yow to aspye on for me on ther part. I prey yow that I may be recomandyd to hym, and prey hym that he wyll, in as hasty wyse as he can, comforte me with on letter fro hym, and fro the other persone that he and I comond of, and I prey yow as ye se hym at the parvyse252.1 and ellys where, calle on hym for the same letter and telle hym that ye most nedys have on to me, and when ye have it breke it and ye lyst or ye send it me.

Endorsed—iij. Februarij, anno xvo.

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

252.1 The church porch. In London it commonly meant the portico of St. Paul’s Cathedral, which is doubtless the place here intended.

ye ned not to dele over largely
“e” in “over” invisible



To my Lord.


My most doughtyd and singular good lord, aftyr most humble and dew recomendacyon, please it your good lordshepp to have knowlage that, accordyng to your comandement, in my wey homeward, I remembred me of a persone whyche to my thynkyng is meetly to be clerk of your kechyn, whyche persone is now in servyse with Master Fitzwater, and was befor that with Whethyll at Gwynes, and purveyor for hys house, and at syche tyme as the Kynges grace was ther last in hys vyage towardes France. Thys man is meane of stature, yonge inough, well wittyd, well manerd, a goodly yong man on horse and foote. He is well spokyn in Inglyshe, metly well in Frenshe, and verry perfite in Flemyshe. He can wryght and reed. Hys name is Rychard Stratton; hys modyr is Mastress Grame of Caleys. And when I had shewyd hym myn intent, he was agreable and verry glad if that it myght please your lordshepp to accept hym in to your servyse; wherto I promysed hym my poore helpe, as ferforthe as I durst meve your good lordshepp for hym, trustyng that I shold have knowelage of your plesure her in, or I departed towardes your lordshep ought of this contrey. Wherfor I advysed hym to be redy with in xiiij. dayes of Marche at the ferthest, that if it pleasyd your lordsheppe to accept hym or to have a syght of hym be for your departyng to Caleys, that ther shold be no slaughthe in hym.

He desyred me to meve Master Fitzwater to be good mastyr to hym in thys behalve, and so I dyd; and he was verry glad and agreable ther to, seying if hys sone had ben of 254 age, and all the servauntis he hathe myght be in eny wyse acceptabell to your lordshepp, that they all, and hym silff in lyek wyse, shall be at your comandment, whyll he leveth.

And at my comyng home to my poore house, I sent for Robart Bernard, and shewid on to hym that I had mevyd your lordshepp for hym; and he in lyek forme is agreable to be redy by the xiiij. day of Marche to awayte on your lordshepp, be it to Caleys or ellys where, and fro that day so foorthe for ever, whyll hys lyff wyll last, with ought grugeing or contraying your comandement and plesure, in eny wyse that is in hym possibyll t’accomplishe.

I shewed on to hym that I had preyed Master Talbot to be a mean to your good lordshepp for hym, and if so wer that Mastyr Talbot thought that your lordshepp wer content to take hys servyse, then that it wold please Mr. Talbot to meve my Lady of Norffolkes grace to wryght or send to Bernard, puttyng hym in knowlage that hyr grace is content that he shall become your menyall servaunt. Wherof he was passyng well pleasyd; but, that notwithstandyng, as I enformed your lordshepp, he is not so reteyned, neyther by fee nor promess, but that he may let hym sylff loose to do your lordsheppe servyse when ye wyll receyve hym, and so wyll he do; but, your lordshepe so pleasid, leve wer bettyr. Rychard Stratton told me that whyll he was in servyse with Whethyll, John Redwe mocyond hym onys myche aftyr thys intent, but at that tyme Whethyll wold not be so good mastyr to hym as to meve your lordshepe for hym.

My lord, I trust that your lordshepe shall lyek bothe ther persones and ther condicyons; and as for ther trowthes, if it may please your good lordshepe to accept my poore woord with thers, I wyll depose largely for that. And as it pleasyth your good lordshepe to comand me in thes maters, and all other, if it may please your lordshepe to shewe the same to my brodyr Nessfeld, he knowith who shall sonest be with me to putt me in knowlage of your plesure, whyche I shall be at all seasons redy t’accomplyshe to my poore power, with Godes grace, Whom I beseche longe to contenue the prosperous astate of your good lordshepp.


Fro Norwyche, the seconde daye of Marche, with the hand of your most humble servaunt and beedman, John Paston.

253.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] Although the lord to whom this letter was addressed is not named, it was undoubtedly intended for Lord Hastings, Lieutenant of Calais, who, as will be seen hereafter, was preparing to go over to Calais in March 1476.—See No. 888.



Mastresse, thow so be that I, unaqweyntyd with yow as yet, tak up on me to be thus bold as to wryght on to yow with ought your knowlage and leve, yet, mastress, for syche pore servyse as I now in my mynd owe yow, purposyng, ye not dyspleasyd, duryng my lyff to contenu the same, I beseche yow to pardon my boldness, and not to dysdeyn, but to accepte thys sympyll byll to recomand me to yow in syche wyse as I best can or may imagyn to your most plesure. And, mastress, for sych report as I have herd of yow by many and dyverse persones, and specyally by my ryght trusty frend, Rychard Stratton, berer her of, to whom I beseche yow to geve credence in syche maters as he shall on my behalve comon with yow of, if it lyke you to lystyn hym, and that report causythe me to be the more bold to wryght on to yow, so as I do; for I have herd oft tymys Rychard Stratton sey that ye can and wyll take every thyng well that is well ment, whom I beleve and trust as myche as fewe men leveing, I ensuer yow by my trowthe. And, mastress, I beseche yow to thynk non other wyse in me but that I wyll and shall at all seasons be redy wythe Godes grace to accomplyshe all syche thynges as I have enformyd and desyerd the seyd Rychard on my behalve to geve yow knowlage of, but if [unless] it so be that a geyn my wyll it come of yow that I be cast off fro yowr servyse and not wyllyngly by my desert, and that I am and wylbe yours and at your comandmen in every 256 wyse dwryng my lyff. Her I send yow thys bylle wretyn with my lewd hand and sealyd with my sygnet to remayn with yow for a wyttnesse ayenste me, and to my shame and dyshonour if I contrary it. And, mastress, I beseche yow, in easyng of the poore hert that somtyme was at my rewle, whyche now is at yours, that in as short tyme as can be that I may have knowlage of your entent and hough ye wyll have me demeanyd in thys mater, and I wylbe at all seasons redy to performe in thys mater and all others your plesure, as ferforth as lythe in my poore power to do or in all thers that ought wyll do for me, with Godes grace, Whom I beseche to send yow the accomplyshement of your most worchepfull desyers, myn owne fayer lady, for I wyll no ferther labore but to yow, on to the tyme ye geve me leve, and tyll I be suer that ye shall take no dysplesur with my ferther labore.

255.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter is printed from a draft in the hand of John Paston the younger. I suppose it must have been written about the year 1476, and intended for Margery Brews, whom he afterwards married. It will be seen that Richard Stratton, whom in his last letter he recommended to Lord Hastings, is here the bearer of a confidential message to the lady.


To John Paston, Esquier, or to Mestresse Margrett Paston, hys moodre, in Norfolk.


I recomande me to yow, letyng yow wete that, blessyd be God, uppon Saterdaye last past my lorde256.2 and wee toke the see, and come to Caleyes the same daye, and as thys daye my lorde come to Guynesse, and theer was receyvyd honourablye with owt any obstaklys; wheer as I fownde Master Fytzwalter and othre, whyche wer ryght hevye for the dethe of the noble man thatt was theer to foor, itt happyd soo that my seyd Master Fytzwalter axid me ryght hertely for yow, and I lete hym weete that I demyd ye wolde be heer in haste, wheroffe he seyde he was ryght soory, for soo moche that he entendyth to come in to Englonde, and as I conceyve he wyll come to Attylborogh, and brynge my mestresse hys wyffe with hym, and theer to stablysshe hys howse 257 contynuall. Wherffor he thynketh that he sholde have as grete a lakke off yow as off any one man in that contre, willyng me to wryght on to yowe, and to late yow weete off hys comynge. He also hathe tolde me moche off hys stomake and tendre faver that he owythe to yow; wherffor I asserteyn yow that he is your verry especiall goode master, and iffe ye weer abydynge in thatt contre, whylse he weer theer, he is dysposyd to doo largely for yowe in dyverse wyse, whyche weer to longe to wryght, in so moche that I feele by hym that he thynkyth that itt sholde be longe er he scholde be wery of yowr expences of horse or man. Now I remytte alle thynge to your dyscresion; ye woote best what is for yow.

As for my lorde, I undrestande nott yitt whethyr he wylle in to Ingelonde the weke to foor Esterne, or ellys aftre.

I pray yow recomande me to my moodre. I wolde have wretyn to hyr, but in trowthe I ame somewhatt crased, what with the see and what wythe thys dyet heer.

No moor to yow, but wretyn at Gynes, the xij. daye off Marche, anno E. xvj. By John Paston, K.

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

256.2 Hastings.


To Mestresse Margrete Paston, at Norwyche, or hyr sone, John Paston, Esquyer, and to everych off them.


I recomande me to yowe. Like it yow to weete that I am nott sertayne yitt whether my lorde257.2 and I shall come into Ingelonde the weke byffoor Est[er]ne, or ellys the weke afftr Est[er]ne; wherffor, moodr, I beseche yow to take noo dysplesyr with me ffor my longe tarynge, ffor I most doo noon otherwyse ffor dysplesyng off my lorde. I was noo thynge gladde off thys jornaye, iff I myght goodely have chosen; neverthelesse, savyng that ye have cawse to be dyspleasyd with me ffor the mater off Kokett, I am ellys 258 ryght gladde, ffor I hope that I ame fferre moor in ffavor with my lorde then I was to ffoor.

Item, I sende yow, brother John, a letter herwith, whyche was browte hyddr to Caleys, ffrom the George at Powles Wharff; I deme it comethe ffrom my brother Water.

Item, iff ye entende hyddrewarde, itt weer weell doon that ye hygthed yowe, ffor I suppose that my lorde wille take the vywe off alle hys retynywe heer, nowe byffoor hys departyng; and I thynke that he woolde be better contente with yowr comyng nowe, than an other tyme; doo as ye thynke best, and as ye maye.

Item, wher Master Fytzwalter made me to wryght to yowe to advyse yow to tarye, I remytte thatt to yowr dyscretion.

As ffor tydyngs heer, we her ffrom alle the worlde; ffyrst, the Lorde Ryverse was at Roome right weell and honorably, and other Lords off Ynglonde, as the Lord Hurmonde,258.1 and the Lord Scrope,258.2 and at ther departyng xij. myle on thyse-halff Roome, the Lorde Ryverse was robbyd off alle hys jowelles and plate, whyche was worthe mle. marke or better, and is retornyd to Rome ffor a remedy.

Item, the Duke of Burgoyne hath conqueryd Loreyn, and Quene Margreet shall nott nowe be lykelyhod have it; wherffor the Frenshe Kynge cheryssheth hyr butt easelye; but afftr thys conquest off Loreyn, the Duke toke grete corage to goo uppon the londe off the Swechys [Swiss] to conquer them, butt the [they] berded hym att an onsett place, and hathe dystrussyd hym, and hathe slayne the most parte off hys vanwarde, and wonne all hys ordynaunce and artylrye, and mor ovyr all stuffe thatt he hade in hys ost with hym; exceppte men and horse ffledde nott, but they roode that nyght xx. myle; and so the ryche saletts,258.3 heulmetts, garters, nowchys258.4 gelt, and alle is goone, with tents, pavylons, and alle, and soo men deme hys pryde is abatyd. Men tolde hym that they weer ffrowarde karlys, butte he wolde nott beleve it, and yitt men seye, that he woll to them ageyn. Gode spede them bothe.


Item, Sir John Mydelton toke leve off the Duke to sporte hym, but he is sett in pryson att Brussellys.

I praye yowe sende me som worde iff ye thynke likly that I may entr Caster when I woll, by the next messenger.

Wretyn at Caleys, in resonable helthe off bodye and sowle, I thanke Good, the xxj. daye off Marche, anno E. iiijti xvjo. J. P., K.

257.1 [From Fenn, ii. 198.]

257.2 Hastings.

258.1 John, sixth Earl of Ormond.

258.2 John, Lord Scrope of Bolton.

258.3 Light head-pieces.—F.

258.4 Embossed ornaments, chains, buckles, etc.—F.

departyng xij. myle on thyse-halff Roome
printed with ambiguous hyphen at line break


To the ryght worchepfull Sir John Paston, Knyght, lodgyd at the George, by Powlys Wharf, in London.


Aftyr all dewtes of recomendacyon, lyeketh yow to wet, that to my power ye be welcom ayen in to Inglond. And as for the Castell of Shene, ther is no mor in it but Colle and hys mak, and a goose may get it; but in no wyse I wold not that wey, and my modyr thynkyth the same. Take not that wey, if ther be eny other.

I undyrstand that Mastres Fytzwater hathe a syster, a mayd, to mary. I trow, and ye entretyd hym, she myght come into Crysten menys handys. I prey yow spek with Mastyr Fytzwater of that mater for me, and ye may telle hym, synse that he wyll have my servyse, it wer as good, and syche a bargayn myght be mad, that bothe she and I awaytyd on hym and my mastress hys wyff at oure owne cost, as I a lone to awayt on hym at hys cost; for then he shold be swer that I shold not be flyttyng, and I had syche a qwarell to kepe me at home. And I have hys good wylle, it is non inpossybyll to bryng a bowght.

I thynk to be at London with in a xiiij. dayes at the ferthest, and peraventure my mastress also, in consayll be it clatryd. God kepe yow and yours.

At Norwyche, the vj. day of May, anno E. iiijti xvjo. J. P.

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



To Mestresse Margret Paston, in Norwyche, or to hyr sone John Paston, Knyght.

MAY 27

Please it yow to weete that as for my materes, and theye appeyre nott,260.2 the doo, blessyd be Godde, as weell as I wolde they dyd, saffe that it shalle cost me grett mony, and it hathe cost me moche laboor. It is soo that the Kynge most have C. marke, and other costes will drawe xl. marke. And my mater is examynyd by the Kynges Cowncell, and declaryd affoor alle the Lordes, and now lakkythe noo thynge but [the Pry]vy Seals, and wryghtyng to Master Colv[ill]260.3 to avoide; for the260.3 [Kyng hath p]romysed me as moche as I wolde he sholde fullefille, and alle the Lordes, Juges, Serjauntes, have affermyd my title goode. Nott withstandyng Sowthewell, James Hubberde, and Sir W. Braundon, where at ther owne desyrs, offryd to afferme and advowe my tytell for goode, and that my Lorde off Norffolk that ded is had noo tytell, thatt they knywe, they tolde my tale as ille as they cowde, and yitt a lye or too to helpe it, and yit it servyth them nott, they be knowen as they ar (in Cowncell be it seyde, and so most all thys letter be).

I have moche payne to gete so moche mony. Neverthelesse, but iff myne oncle schewe hym selfe werse than ever he was, I shalle nott fayle, if he kepe me promyse, and thatt is but as he dyde last, that is butt to be my sywerte, and I to make hym sywerte ageyn.

The Kynge departythe thys daye, and wille nott be heer tyll Frydaye, whyche lettyth me, or ellys by thatt daye I wolde 261 have hopyd to have comen homeward, and erst per aventure. No moor, but Jesus have yow in kepyng.

Wretyn at London, the xxvj. daye of Maye, the Mondaye next Holy Thurrysdaye, the Assencion.

The Kynge wold have bowte it, but he was enfformyd off the trowthe, and that it was nott for a prynce, and off the greet pryse that I wolde selle it att; for that I myght nott for bere it, for he scholde have payed marke or moor, iff he hadde hadde it. Your sone, J. Paston, K.

260.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter relates to Sir John Paston’s claim to Caister after the Duke of Norfolk’s death, which claim he succeeded in establishing in June 1476, as appears by the letter following. The date 26th May at the end of the letter is an error. The ‘Monday next Holy Thursday’ was the 27th.

260.2 i.e. if they do not get worse.

260.3 Paper decayed.

[Salutation] or to hyr sone John Paston, Knyght.
printed as shown: misreading of Fenn’s header?
To Mestresse Margret Paston,
  in Norwyche or to hyr Sone
  John Paston Kt


To John Paston, Esquier, beyng at the Syngne of the George, at Powles Wharffe.


I recomaunde me to yow, letyng yow weete that I hav receyvyd yowr letter, wretyn the next daye aftre Mydsomer; for answer wheroff I thynke that to be bownde in vc. [500] marke, I thynke it is to moche, where as I felt by yow ye sholde have with the gentylwoman but iiijc [400]; neverthelesse I agree. But ye shall undrestande that I wyll not be bownde for yow that ye shall make hyr joyntour past xxli. by yer, within a sertayne daye lymyted; be it j. yere or ij., that is the largest that ye maye performe. For as for the maner of Sparham, my moodre and ye acorde notte in yowr saynges; she wyll nowght graunte yow ther in, whylse she levyth, saff, as she seythe to me, she hathe grauntyd yow x. marke by yeer tyll xlli. be payed, that is but vj. yeer; and aftre hyr dyscease she woll agree with goode will, so that it maye be yowr proferment, that ye sholde have that maner in joynture with yowr wyffe to the lenger lyver off yow bothe, payng x. marke by yeer, soo or th . . . as she wyll that it shall be. Therfore, as for l. marke joynture, I pray yow 262 bynde me in no suche clawse, butt iff it be for xxli. by a resonable daye, and xx. marke aftre the dyssease off my moodre. Take example at Derby.

Item, ye make yow sywerer than I deme yow bee, for I deme that her frendes wyll nott be content with Bedyngfeldes sywerte, nor yowres. I deme thys mater will ocopy lenger leyser than ye deme for.

Item, I remembre thatt thys mony that she sholde have is nott redy, but in the handes of marchauntes of the Estaple, whyche at a prove ye shall fynde per case so slakke payeres, that ye myght be deseyvyd ther by. I knowe dyverse have lost mony er they cowde gete ther dywtes owte off the Staple. God spede yow, and sende yow that ye wolde have.

I sende yow the obligacion here with acordyng to yowr desyr, and a letter to Bedyngfelde, thankyng hym for yow, and more over letyng hym know of myn entent. Opyn it, and close it ageyn, if ye lyst.

Item, where I tolde yow that the gowne clothe off olde chamlott, I wolde have it hoome for my suster Anne; ye for gate it. I praye yow sende it home by the next massenger, and a letter with it of suche tydynges as ye knowe.

Item, blissed be God, I have Castre at my will. God holde it better than it doone her to foore.

No moore, but wretyn the next daye aftre Seynt Petre, anno E. iiijti xvjo. J. Paston, K.

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


To Mestresse Margret Paston.

[AUG. 30]

Please it yow to wete that I was uppon Tywesdaye, the daye that I departyd froo yowe, with my brother John at Atelborow by viij. of the clokke at evyn, and founde hym in suche case as iff ye had seyn hym than ye wolde have 263 be as gladde of hym osse off a nywe sone. I wenyd nott that he sholde nott have levyd tyll the mornyng; in so moche that by my trowthe I dare seye that iff it had nott fortunyd us to have comyn to hym, he had not been on lyve on Wednysdaye. For syns Saterday slepyd he nott iiij. howris, and yitt iij. of them was syns I come thydyr, on to thys nyght; and thys nyght, blessyd be God, he hathe slepyd well, and with Goddys grace I dowte not but thatt he shall do weell. For his agywe is goone, and alle that laye in hys stomak and undre hys syde it weryth aweye, and within a daye or ij. I hope he shall be so stronge that I maye come frome hym; and he hopyth to see yowe with in fewe days affter, as he seyth. On Wednysdaye I wysshed to hym that he and I hadde been at Norwyche; wheruppon he harpyd all that nyght, and for cawe (sic) he hadde not so goode rest as he wolde, it fylle in hys brayne to come to Norwyche; and he in an angyr wolde nedys to horse. He wolde non horsse litter, he was so stronge. Neverthelesse we wenyd nott that he sholde have been able to have redyn a myle, and wenyd that it had nott been possible to have passid Wyndham; bott whan he was uppe for that, we seyde he roode so welle he ledde uss a dawnce faster than alle we cowde weell folowe. He was at Wyndham, by my trowthe, in lesse than an howr by a large quarter, and ther restyd hym an howre, and to horse ageyne and was heer in lesse than an howr and one halffe. And now he dowteth nott to slepe weell, for he seyth that he never ffaylyd to slepe weel in that bedde that he hathe chosyn now at Frenshys, and thusse I hope he be sauffe. And I am in dowte whethyr I shall within ij. dayes owther come home to yow or ellis to goo forthe as ye woote off. No moore, &c. Wretyn on Frydaye next the Decollacion of Seynt John Baptyst.

Item, I have the wrythynges off Richard Calle. Your sone, J. Paston, K.

262.1 [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 188.] Strangely enough there is no mention elsewhere of the serious illness of young John Paston mentioned in this letter, by which we might fix the year when it was written. But perhaps we may surmise that it was 1476, after he had been at Calais, where he was expected in the spring. The fact that he was ill at Attleborough agrees with this supposition, for that was the seat of the Fitzwalter family, and ‘Master Fitzwalter’ is mentioned in No. 888 as at Calais showing much interest in the Paston family. It may be observed also that in 1476, Friday ‘next’ the Decollation of St. John Baptist (29th August) would be the very next day.



To my wurschypfull cosyn, John Paston, be thys bill delyvered, &c.


Ryght wurschypfull cosyn, I recommande me un to yowe, thankyng zowe hertely for the grette chere that ze made me the last tyme that ze were with me at Norwych, &c.

And, cosyn, as for the mater that was put in my nowncle Hastynges and Henry Heydon, I ondyrstand be myn uncle, that ther was made non ende therin, whech I am ryght sory for. Cosyn, ze be remembred what ze promysed me that, and so were that myn uncle and Herry Heydon made none ende therin, that ze wold put the mater in me; and if it please zowe so for to do, in good faith, cosyn, I schall goo as wele and as ryghtfully and consciensly as I can for both the partyes. And, cosyn, if it please zowe to com to Topcroft, and poynt ze what dey when ze will com, I schall sende for my cosyn to be ther the same day. And, cosyn, I pray zowe to sende me worde agayn be the brynger of thys letter, howe ze will do, &c.

And Almyghty Jesus hafe zowe in kepyng, &c. Be zour cosyn, Dame Elizabeth Brews.

264.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This is the first of a series of letters, some of which were certainly written in February 1477, relating to the engagement of John Paston to Margery Brews. How early they began it is not easy to say precisely. On the back of this letter is written, apparently in the hand of John Paston, to whom it is addressed, ‘Letræ dominæ Elyzabethæ Brews et Margariæ filæ (sic) ejus.’



Un to my ryght wurschypffull cosyn, John Paston, be thys lettur delyvered, &c.

Ryght wurschypfull cosyn, I recommande me un [to] yowe, &c. And I send my husbonde a bill of the mater that ze knowe of, and he wrote an other bill to me agayn towchyng the same mater; and he wold that ze schuld go un to my maistresse yowr modur, and asaye if ze myght gete the hole xxli. in to zowr handes, and then he wolde be more gladd to marye with zowe, and will gyffe zowe an Cli. And, cosyn, that day that sche is maryed, my fadur will gyffe hyr l. merk. But and we acorde, I schall gyffe yowe a grettere tresur, that is, a wytty gentylwoman, and if I sey it, bothe good and vertuos; for if I schuld take money for hyr, I wold not gyffe hyr for a mli. But, cosyn, I trust zowe so meche that I wold thynke her wele besett on zowe, and ze were worthe meche more. And, cosyn, a lytyll after that ze were gone, come a man fro my cosyn Derby, and broght me wurde that suche a chance fell that he myght not come at the day that was set, as I schall let zowe undyrstond more pleynly, when I speke with zowe, &c. But, cosyn, and it wold please zowe to come agayn what dey that ze will set, I dare undyrtake that they schall kepe the same daye; for I wold be glad that, and myn husbond and ze myght acorde in thys maryage, that it myght be my fortune to make and ende in thys mater betwene my cosyns and zowe, that yche of zowe myght love other in frendely wyse, &c. And, cosyn, if thys byll please not zowr entent, I pray zowe that it may be brent, &c.

No more unto yowe at thys tyme, but Almyghty Jesus preserve zowe, &c. By zowr cosyn, Dame Elizabeth Brews.

265.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] See preliminary note to last letter.



To my wurschypfull cosyne, John Paston, be this bill delyveryd, &c.


Cosyn, I recomande me un to yowe, thankyng yowe hertely for the grette chere that ye made me and all my folkys, the last tyme that I was at Norwych; and ye promysyd me, that ye wold never breke the mater to Margery unto suche tyme as ye and I were at a point. But ye hafe made hyr suche advokett for yowe, that I may never hafe rest nyght ner day, for callyng and cryeng uppon to brynge the saide mater to effecte, &c.

And, cosyn, uppon Fryday is Sent Volentynes Day, and every brydde chesyth hym a make [mate]; and yf it lyke yowe to come one Thursday at nyght, and so purvey yowe, that ye may abyde there tyll Monday, I trusty to God, that ye schall so speke to myn husband; and I schall prey that we schall bryng the mater to a conclusyon, &c. For, cosyn,

It is but a sympill oke,

That [is] cut down at the first stroke.

For ye will be resonabill, I trust to God, Whech hafe yowe ever in Hys mercyfull kepyng, &c. Be yowr cosyn, Dame Elizabeth Brews,
otherwes schall be called be Godds grace.

266.1 [From Fenn, ii. 208.] It is clear from internal evidence that this letter was written between the 7th and the 12th of February, and the fact that St. Valentine’s Day (the 14th) fell on Friday, proves the year to have been 1477. Besides which, we have distinct references to the matter further on in the dated correspondence.



Unto my ryght welebelovyd Voluntyn, John Paston, Squyer, be this bill delyvered, &c.


Ryght reverent and wurschypfull, and my ryght welebeloved Voluntyne, I recomande me unto yowe, ffull hertely desyring to here of yowr welefare, whech I beseche Almyghty God long for to preserve un to Hys plesur, and yowr herts desyre. And yf it please yowe to here of my welefar, I am not in good heele of body, nor of herte, nor schall be tyll I her ffrom yowe;

For there wottys no creature what peyn that I endure,

And for to be deede, I dare it not dyscure [discover].

And my lady my moder hath labored the mater to my ffadur full delygently, but sche can no mor gete then ye knowe of, for the whech God knowyth I am full sory. But yf that ye loffe me, as I tryste verely that ye do, ye will not leffe me therefor; for if that ye hade not halfe the lyvelode that ye hafe, for to do the grettest labur that any woman on lyve myght, I wold not forsake yowe.

And yf ye commande me to kepe me true wherever I go,

I wyse I will do all my myght yowe to love and never no mo.

And yf my freends say, that I do amys,

Thei schal not me let so for to do,

Myne herte me bydds ever more to love yowe

Truly over all erthely thing,

And yf thei be never so wroth,

I tryst it schall be better in tyme commyng.

No more to yowe at this tyme, but the Holy Trinite hafe yowe in kepyng. And I besech yowe that this bill be not seyn of none erthely creatur safe only your selffe, &c.

And thys letter was indyte at Topcroft, with full hevy herte, &c. By your own, Margery Brews.

267.1 [From Fenn, ii. 210.]



To my ryght welebelovyd cosyn, John Paston, Swyer, be this letter delyveryd, &c.


Ryght wurschypfull and welebelovyd Volentyne, in my moste umble wyse, I recommande me un to yowe, &c. And hertely I thanke yowe for the lettur whech that ye sende me be John Bekarton, wherby I undyrstonde and knowe, that ye be purposyd to come to Topcroft in schorte tyme, and withowte any erand or mater, but only to hafe a conclusyon of the mater betwyx my fader and yowe; I wolde be most glad of any creatur on lyve, so that the mater myght growe to effect. And ther as ye say, and ye come and fynde the mater no more towards you then ye dyd afortyme, ye wold no more put my fader and my lady my moder to no cost ner besenesse, for that cause, a good wyle aftur, wech causyth myne herte to be full hevy; and yf that ye come, and the mater take to none effecte, then schuld I be meche mor sory and full of hevynesse.

And as for my selfe, I hafe done and undyrstond in the mater that I can or may, as Good knowyth; and I let yowe pleynly undyrstond, that my fader wyll no mor money parte with all in that behalfe, but an Cli. and l. marke, whech is ryght far fro the acomplyshment of yowr desyre.

Wherfore, yf that ye cowde be content with that good, and my por persone, I wold be the meryest mayden on grounde; and yf ye thynke not yowr selffe so satysfyed, or that ye myght hafe mech mor good, as I hafe undyrstonde be yowe afor; good, trewe, and lovyng volentyne, that ye take no such labur uppon yowe, as to come more for that mater, but let is [it ?] passe, and never more to be spokyn of, as I may be yowr trewe lover and bedewoman duryng my lyfe.


No more un to yowe at thys tyme, but Almyghty Jesus preserve yowe, bothe body and sowle, &c. Be your Voluntyne, Margery Brews.

268.1 [From Fenn, ii. 214.]


Un to my ryght wurschypfull maister, John Paston, Swhyer, be this bill delivered, &c.


Ryght wurschypfull sir, I recomande me un to yowe, lettyng yowe knowe, as for the yonge gentylwoman, sche owyth yowe hyr good herte and love, as I knowe be the comynicacion that I hafe hade with hyr for the same.

And, sir, ye knowe what my maister and my lady hath profered with hyr CC. merke. And I dar sey, that hyr chambr and areyment schall be worthe C. merk. And I harde my lady sey, that and the case required, both ye and sche schuld hafe yowr borde with my lady iij. yer aftr.

And I understand by my lady, that sche wold that ye schuld labur the mater to my maister, for it schuld be the bettr.

And I harde my lady sey,

That it was a febill oke,

That was kit down at the first stroke.

And ye be beholdyng un to my lady for hyr good wurde, for sche hath never preysyd yowe to mech.

Sir, lyke as I promysyd yowe, I am yowr man, and my good will ye schall hafe in worde and dede, &c.

And Jesus hafe yowe in Hys mercyfull kepyng, &c. Be yor man, Thomas Kela.

269.1 [From Fenn, ii. 216.]



To John Paston, Esquyer, at Norwyche, in hast.

FEB. 14

I recomaunde me to yow, letyng yow weete, that yisterdaye beganne the grete cowncell, to whyche alle the astats off the londe shall com to, butt if it be ffor gret and reasonable excusis; and I suppose the cheffe cawse off thys assemble is, to comon what is best to doo, now uppon the greet change by the dethe off the Duke of Burgoyne, and ffor the kepyng off Caleys and the Marchys, and ffor the preservacion off the amyteys taken late, as weell with Fraunce as now with the Membrys off Flaundres; wher to I dowt nott ther shall be in all hast bothe the Duks off Clarance and Glowcestre, wheroff I wolde that my brother E.270.2 wyst.

Item, I ffeele butt litell effecte in the labor off W. Alyngton; neverthelesse I deme it is nott for yow. She shall not passe CC. mark, as fferr as I can undrestand aparte.

Item, I will nott fforget yow otherwyse.

Itt is so that thys daye I heer grett liklyhood, that my Lorde Hastyngs shall hastely goo to Caleys with greet company; iff I thynke it be for yow to be on [one], I shall nott fforgeet yow.

Item, thys daye the mater by twyen Mestresse Anne Haulte and me hathe been soor broken bothe to the Cardinall,270.3 to my Lorde Chamberleyn,270.4 and to my selffe, and I am in goode hope. When I heer and knowe moor, I shall sende yow worde.

It semythe that the worlde is alle qwaveryng; it will reboyle somwher, so that I deme yonge men shall be cherysshyd; take yowr hert to yow. I ffeer that I can nott be excusyd, but that I shall fforthe with my Lorde Hastyngs ovyr the see, but I shall sende yow worde in hast, and iff I goo, I hope nott to tary longe.


Item, to my brother Edmond. I am like to speke to Mestresse Dyxon in hast, and som deme that ther shall be condyssendyd, that iff E. P. come to London that hys costs shall be payed ffor.

I shall hastely sende yow worde off moor thyngs.

Wretyn at London, the xiiij. day off Feverer, anno E. iiijti xvj. the Fryday a for Fastyngong. John Paston, K.

270.1 [From Fenn, ii. 204.]

270.2 Edmund Paston, who was in the garrison of Calais.

270.3 Thomas Bourchier, Archbishop of Canterbury.—F.

270.4 William, Lord Hastyngs.—F.


To my ryght worchepfull modyr, Margaret Paston.


Ryght worschepfull modyr, aftyr all dwtes of recommendacyon, in as humble wyse as I can, I beseche yow of your dayly blyssyng. Modyr, please yt yow to wett, that the cause that Dame Elizabeth Brews desyreth to mete with yow at Norwyche, and not at Langley, as I apoyntyd with yow at my last being at Mawtby, is by my meanys, for my brodyr Thomas Jermyn, whyche knowyth nought of the mate [match], telyth me, that the causey or ye can comme to Bokenham Fery is so over flowyn that ther is no man that may on ethe passe it, though he be ryght well horsyd; whyche is no mete wey for yow to passe over, God defend it. But, all thyngs rekynyd, it shalbe lesse cost to yow to be at Norwyche, as for a day or tweyn, and passe not, then to mete at Langly, wher every thyng is dere; and your horse may be sent home ayen the same Wednysday.

Modyr, I beseche yow for dyvers causys, that my syster Anne may come with yow to Norwyche; modyr, the mater is in a resonable good wey, and I trust with Gods mercy, and with your good help, that it shall take effect bettyr to myn avauntage then I told yow of at Mawtby; for I trow ther is 272 not a kynder woman leveing then I shall have to my modyr in lawe, if the mater take, nor yet a kynder fadyr in lawe then I shall have, though be he hard to me as yett. All the cyrcumstancys of the mater, whyche I trust to tell yow at your comyng to Norwyche, cowd not be wretyn in iij. levys of paper, and ye know my lewd hed well i nough, I may not wryght longe, wherffor I ffery over all thyngs tyll I may awayte on yow my selff. I shall do tonnen272.1 in to your place a doseyn ale, and bred acordyng, ayenst Wednysday. If Syme myght be forborn it wer well done, that he war at Norwyche on Wednysday in the mornyng at markett.

Dame Elizabeth Brewse shall lye at Jon Cookys; if it myght please yow, I wold be glad that she myght dyne in your howse on Thursday, for ther shold ye have most secret talkyng. And modyr, at the reverence of God, beware that ye be so purveyd for, that ye take no cold by the wey towards Norwyche, for it is the most peraylous marche that ever was seyn by eny manys dayes that now lyveth; and I prey to Jesu preserve yow and yours.

Wretyn at Topcroft, the viij. day of Marche. Your sone and humbyll servaunt, J. P.

271.1 [From Fenn, ii. 220.] This letter evidently refers to a meeting arranged between Margaret Paston and Dame Elizabeth Brews on the subject of John Paston’s approaching marriage, which took place in the latter part of the year 1477.

272.1 i.e. cause to be tunned.


To my ryght wurschypfull cosyn, Syr Jhon Paston, Knyght, be this letter delivered, &c.


Ryght wurschypfull, and my hertely welebelovyd cosyn, I recommande me unto yowe, desyring to here of yowr welefar, whech I pray God may be as contynuall good as I wolde hafe myn own. And, cosyn, the cause of my wryting un to yow, at thys tyme, is, I fele wele be my cosyn John yowr broder, that ye hafe undyrstondyng of a mater, 273 whech is in comynicacyon tochyng a maryage, with Godds grace, to be concluded betwyx my saide cosyn yowr broder, and my doghter Margery, wheche is far commonyd, and not yyt concluded, ner noght schall ner may be tyll I hafe answer from yowe agayn of yowr good will and asent to the seid mater; and also of the obligacyon weche that I sende yowe herewith; for, cosyn, I wold be sory to se owther my cosyn yowr broder, or my doghtr, dryvyn to leve so meane a lyff as thei schuld do yf the [£120], schuld be payde of ther maryage money.

And cosyn, I hafe takyn my selfe so nere in levyng of this, that wher as I hade layde upp an Cli. for the maryage of a yonger doghter of myn, I hafe nowe lent the saide Cli. and xxli. over that, to my cosyn yowr broder, to be paide ageyn be suche esy days as the obligacyon, weche I sende yowe herwyth, specyfyes. And, cosyn, I were ryght lothe to be stowe so mech uppon one doghter, that the other her susters schuld far the wars; wherfor, cosyn, yf ye wyll that thys mater schall take effect undyr suche forme as my cosyn yowr broder hath wretyn unto yowe, I pray yowe put therto yowr good wylle, and sum of yowr coste, as I hafe done of myn more largely then ever I purpose to do to any tweyn of hyr susters, as God knowyth myn entent, Whom I besech to send yowe yowr levest herts desyr.

Wretyn at Topcroft, the viij. day of March, &c. Be your cosyn, Thomas Brews, Knight.

272.2 [From Fenn, ii. 224.] The date of this letter, as of the last, is fixed by the subject.


To John Paston, Esquyer, in haste.


I have received yowr letter, and yow[r] man, J. Bykerton, by whom I knowe all the mater off Mestresse Brews, whyche iff it be as he seythe, I praye Godde brynge it to a goode ende.


Item, as for thys mater of Mestresse Barly,274.1 I holde it but a bare thynge. I feele weell that itt passyth nott . . . marke. I syghe hyr for yowr sake. She is a lytell onys; she maye be a woman heer aftre, iff she be nott olde nowe; hir person semyth xiij. yere off age; hyr yerys, men sey, ben full xviij. She kowyth nott of the mater, I suppose; neverthelesse she desyryd to see me as gladde as I was to se hyr.

I praye yow sende me some wryghtyng to Caleys off yowr spede with Mestresse Brewys. Bykerton tellyth me that she lovyth yow weell. Iff I dyed, I hadde lever ye hadde hyr than the Lady Wargrave; neverthelesse she syngeth weell with an harpe.

Clopton is aferde off Sir T. Greye, for he is a wydower now late, and men sey that he is aqueyntyd with hyr of olde.

No more. Wretyn on Sondaye, the ix. daye off Marche, anno E. iiijti xvijo to Caleys warde.

Iff ye have Mestresse Brews, and E. Paston Mestresse Bylyngford, ye be lyke to be bretheryn. J. Paston, K.

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

274.1 Fenn reads this name Burly, but I think erroneously.


Thys bylle be delyverd to Thomas Grene, good man of the George, by Powlys Wharffe, or to hys wyff, to send to Sir John Paston, wherso evere he be, at Caleys, London, or other placys.


Ryght worchepfull sir, and my most good and kynde brodyr, in as humbyll wyse as I can, I recomand me to yow. Sir, it is so that I have, sythe John Bekurton departyd fro hens, ben at Toppcrofft at Syr Tohmas Brewse; and as for the mater that I sent yow word of by Jon Bekurton, towchyng my sylff and Mastress Margery Brews, I am yet at no serteynte, hyr fadyr is so hard; but I trow I have the good wyll of my lady hyr modyr and hyr; but as the mater 275 provyth, I shall send yow woord, with Godes grace, in short tyme.

But as for John Bekurton, I prey yow dele with hym for suerte as a soudyor shold be delt with; trust hym never the more for the bylle that I sent yow by hym, but as a man at wylde, for every thyng that he told me is not trewe; for he departyd with ought lycence of hys mastyr, Syr Thomas Brewse, and is fere endangeryd [indebted] to dyvers in thys contrey. I prey God that I wryght not to yow of hym to late; but for all thys I knowe none untrowthe in hym; but yet I prey yow, trust hym not over myche upon my woord.

Syr, Perse Mody275.1 recomandyth hym to your mastyrshep, and besecheth yow to send hym word in hast, hough he shall be demeanyd at your place at Caster; for he is asygnyd to no body as yet, to take of mete and drynk, nor yet wher that he shall have money to paye for hys mete and drynk; and now is the cheff replenysheing of your warenn there, the avauntage of the dove howse wer well for hym, tyll ye come hom your sylff.

Sir, I prey yow pardon me of my wryghtyng, hough so ever it be, for carpenters of my crafte that I use now, have not alderbest ther wyttys ther owne. And Jesu preserve yow.

Wretyn at Norwyche, the ix. day of Marche, anno E iiijti septimo decymo. J. P.

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

275.1 Perse Moody was a servant of Sir John Paston’s, now at Caister.—F.



Memorandum.—To let my cosyn, Margaret Paston, ondyrstand that for a jontor to be mad in Sweynsthorp in hand, and for a jontore of no more but x. mark ought of Sparham, I wylle depart with CC. mark 276 in hand, and to give theym ther boord free as for ij. or iij. yer in serteyn, or ellys CCC. mark with ought ther boord, payable by l. mark yerly tyll the some of CCC. mark be full payed.

Item, I wyll geve CCCC. mark, payable lli., in hand at the day of maryage, and lli. yerly tyll the some of CCCC. mark be full payed upon thes condycyons folowing.

Wher of on condycyon is thys, that I wyll lend my cosyn John Paston, besyd hys maryage money, to pledge ought the maner of Sweynsthorpe, so that he may fynd syche a frend as wyll pay me a yen the seyd by xx. mark a yer, so that it be not payed of the maryage money, nor of the propre goodes of my seyd cosyn John.

Or ellys, an other condycyon is thys, if it be so that my seyd cosyn John may be suffred, fro the day of hys maryage to my doughter, to take the hole profites of the maner of Sparham, besyde the maner of Sweynsthorpe, for terme of ther two lyves, and the longest of theym leveing, yet wyll I be agreable to depart with the seyd CCC. mark, payable ayen in forme above seyd [and to geve theym ther boord for a yer or two].276.1

And if thes or eny of the conclusyons may be takyn, I am agreable to make the bargayn swer, or ellys no more to be spokyn of.

275.2 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This paper was evidently drawn up about the same time as the last letter. It is a draft in John Paston’s handwriting, but is evidently written as in the name of Sir Thomas Brews. It is endorsed in a more modern hand: ‘A determinacion of Sir Tho. Brews how much he would gyve with his daughter Margery in mariage.’

276.1 These words are crossed out with the pen.


To Master Sir John Paston, be this letter delyverid in Calis.


Honwre and joye be to yow, my ryght gode master, and most assured brother; letyng yow know that al yowre welwillers and servaunts, in these partyes, that I know, fare well, and better wold, if they mowht here of 277 yowre wellbeyng, and forthwith sum of yowre Frenche and Borgoyne tidyngs; ffor we in these partyes be in grete drede lest the French Kyng with sum assaults shuld in eny wise distourbe yow of yowr soft, sote [sweet], and sewre slepys, but as yet we no thyng can here that he so disposeth hym.

Mary, we have herd sey, that the frowys277.1 of Broggys, with there hye cappes, have gyven sum of yow grete clappys, and that the fete of her armys doyng is such, that they smyte al at the mowthe, and at the grete ende of the thyeh; but in faith we care not for yow, for we know well that ye be gode ynowh at defence. But we here sey, that they be of such corage, that they gyve yow moo strokys than ye do to them, and that they strike sorer than ye also. But I thynk that the English ladyes and jentylwomen, and the pore also, can do as well as they, and lyst not to lerne of them no thyng; and therefor we drede lest ther hye corages shuld meve them to make yow warre also. But God defend, for by my trowth than have ye much to do; for hit were better and more ese for to labor iij. or fowre dayes with mattokks and pykeisys to over turne yowr sande hills, as we here saye ye do ryht wurshipfully, than only one day to endure theyre fers encountrys; so as ye myht owther gete or save yowr wurshippys by; and loke that ye trust to have no rescow of us, for, so God me helpe, we have y nowh to do in these partyes with the same werrs. But in one thyng we preyse yowre sadnessys and discrecionys ryht much, that is, in kepyng of yowr trewse and pese with the Kyng of Fraunce, as the Kyng hath commaundid; and a grete reson why, for hit were to much for yow to have werre with all the world at onys, ffor the werre a fore seid kepith yow blameles; ffor every resonable man wetyth well, that hit is to much for eny pepyll levyng to do bothe at onys.

Syr, as for the more parts off my thowht, I praye yow recomaunde me un to yowr self, prayyng yow that y may contynew in such case as yowr godenes hath taken me of old, and if ye lyst to send eny tydyngs, or other thyng to the 278 partyes that were wont to warme theym by yowr fyre, in feith I shall do yowr erand.

And as for barley, hit is of the same pryce that hit was wont to be of, and is the most sure corne, and best enduryng that may be. And, syr, where that sumtyme was a lytyll hole in a wall, is now a dore large ynowh and esy passage, whereof ye were the deviser, and have thank for yowr labor of sum partyes, but no thyng lastyth evyr. Y mene that y trow, my passage shall hastyly faile me, and the dore shalbe shet up agayne, lesse than Fortun be agreable to have my counseile kept; for not long ago, makyng my entre at that passage, I saw a sparow that useth those ewrys [eireys], and I saw her sytt so stille that y cowde not endure, but y must neds shote her, and so, God me help, I smote her, I trow evyn to the hert; and so I drede me lest owther the barley wyll ete the sparow, or ells the sparow wyll ete the barley, but as yet all is well, but reson shewt me that hit must neds fayle by contynewauns, lesse than I forsake bothe the sparow and the barley also.278.1

Syr, I have thank for the shew that I onys made of yow and daily gramercy, and ye theire prayer.

Syr, forthemore I beseche yow, as ye wyll do eny thyng for me, that ye se o day for my sake, and for yowr own plesure, all the gode hors in Caleys, and if ther be among theym eny pric278.2 horse of deds, that is to sell, in especiall that he be well trottyng of his owne corage, with owte fors278.3 of sporis, and also a steryng [stirring] hors if he be, he is the better; I pray yow send me word of his color, deds, and corage, and also of his price, feynyng as ye wold by hym yowrself, and also I wold have hym sumwhat large, not with the largest; but no smalle hors, as more than a dowble hors; prayyng yow above all thyngs to have this in remembrauns, and that hastily as may be, for ther is late promysed me help to such an entent, 279 and I wote not how long hit shall endure; and therfor I beseche yow send me word by tyme.

I trow the Frenshe men have taken up al the gode hors in Pycardye, and also they be wont to be hevy hors in labor, and that I love not, but a hevy hors of flesh, and lyht of corage y love well, for y love no hors that wyll al way be lene and slender like grehounds. God kepe yow. Yowr, J. Pympe.

Y pray yow to recomaund me to my cosyn Sir John Scot and all his, in especiall Mastres Benyngfeld.279.1

276.2 [From Fenn, ii. 226.] This letter, Fenn tells us, was endorsed under the address in a handwriting of the time which he believed to be Sir John Paston’s—‘Jon Pympe, xvj. die Mar’., anno E. 4, 17,’ showing the date at which it was received.

277.1 Frau’s, i.e. women. The writer’s pleasantry in this passage is certainly rather coarse.

278.1 Perhaps this enigmatical passage may have reference to the Mrs. Barly mentioned in No. 903.

278.2 In the modern version, Fenn reads here, ‘any prized horse of deeds,’ a reading which seems to me questionable.

278.3 ‘Fort’ in Fenn, which is probably a misprint, as the word is spelled ‘force’ on the opposite page.

279.1 Margaret, daughter of Sir John Scot, and wife to Edmund Bedingfeld.—F.


To Syr John Paston, Knyht, be this delyverid in Calice.


Master Paston, I recommaund me to yow; and by cause that I have wrytyn to yow iij. long letteres; which as yet be answereles, I wote not whether that the length of mater acumbred yow, or elles the simpylnes of the effect displesid yow, or elles that ye have utterly refusid the proferes of my pore servyce and frendeship; but which of these soo ever hit be, hit hevyeth me.

Syr, hit nedith not, I trow, to send yow the tidynges of these partyes, how be hit I have thryes send yow such as here were, in entent that ye shuld send us of yowres; but as long as my lord and yowres is there, ye can not faile to have the certeynte of all owre English aventures, which is grete ese to yowr frendes and servauntes in this contre, for so much as they may make her letteres shorter by so much.

Syr, at the wrytyng of this letter, I was in Kent, where all thyng that I rejoisid, I wishid yow part of, or all; and as for 280 myself, I am styll yowr servaunt and bedeman, and so am bownd to be so sore and sewrely, that I can not unbynde me.

Syr, this is the v. letter that I have sent yow, whereyn thys entent that folowyth was all wayes on, that is to say, that hit plesid yow sum on day to take so much labour for me for to se the jentyllest hors in Calice that is to be sold, and to lett me know of his colowre, dedes, and price, remembryng that he be also large as mesure wyll, for I love no small hors, nor hors that wyll evyr be lene and slendyr; but I wold have hym hye truttyng, if hit wylbe, and if he be styryng with all, he shall plese me the better, for I wuld have hym all for the plesur, and for the werre, but if he myht be for bothe. Veryly ther is no tidynges on that side the se, safe only the welfare of yow and all other there, that I wuld so fayne here of as of a jentyll trottyng hors that were lyght and pleasaunt in dedes, if eny such be there. Flemysh hors I thenk ye have y nowh that wyll play for a myle or ij., but such we have here also; how be hit I pray yow send me word of yowre store, and be sewre of the price, if ye like eny, or elles let sum man for yow.

No more, but God kepe yow, prayyng yow to recommaund me to my cosyn Syr John Scot, and to Syr Tyry Robsert. Let the letter be sent to the godewif of yowr loggyng. By yowr John Pympe.

279.2 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter was probably written about the end of March 1477, as the first of the three which preceded (No. 906) was received by Sir John in Calais on the 16th of the month.


To Master Sir John Paston, Knight, be this letter delyvered in Calis.


Fresh amorouse sihts of cuntreys ferre and straunge

Have all fordoone280.2 your old affeccion;

In plesurys new, your hert dooth score and raunge

So hye and ferre, that like as the fawcon


Which is alofte, tellith scorne to loke a down

On hym that wont was her feders to pyke and ympe;281.1

Ryht so forgotyn ye have your pore Pympe,

That wrytith, sendith, and wisshith alday your wele

More than his owne; but ye ne here, ne se,

Ne sey, ne send, and evyr I write and sele

In prose and ryme, as well as hit will be.

Sum evyll tong, I trow, myss sayeth of me

And ells your fast and feithfull frendelynes

Ye thenk mysspent on such as I, I gesse.

I wyll abate my customable concourse,

To yow so costuouse,281.2 whan so evyr ye com agayn,

Which that I fele of reson, by the course

Of my proferid servyce, hath made yow so unfayne;

For veryly the water of the fowntayne

With brede only forthwith yowre presens

Me shuld content much more than your expense.

But ay deme I thus that Fortun hath hyryd yow,

For she but late of sorowys moo than many

Hath rakyd un to myn hert an hepe more than a moowe,

And wuld that ye shuld ley thereon on hye

Your hevy unkyndenes to make hit fast to lye,

And God knowth well hit cannot long lye there

But hit wyll bryng me to the chirch bere.

Take hit awaye therefore, y praye yow fayre,

For hardyly my hert beryth hevy y nowh,

For there is Sorow at rest as in hys chayre,

Fixid so fast with hys prikks rowh,

That in gode feith I wote not whan I lowh,281.3

For, Master Paston, the thyng whereon my blisse

Was holly sette, is all fordoone, I wysse.

By your John Pympe,
thes beyng the vj. letter that I have send yow.


Alway prayyng yow to remembre the hors that I have in every letter wryten for; as thus, that hit wuld plese yow to undrestond who hath the gentyllest hors in trottyng and steryng that is in Calis, and if he be to sell, to send me word of hys pris, largenesse, and colour. Hytt is told me, that the Master Porter hath a coragiouse ronyd hors, and that he wuld putt hym away by cause he is daungerous in companye; and of that I force [care] not, so that he be not chorlissh at a spore, as plungyng; and also I sett not by hym, but if he trotte hye and gentilly. No more, but God kepe yow. John Pympe.

280.1 [From Fenn, ii. 234.] We may as well place this letter—the only remaining one of the series that has been preserved—immediately after the other two. John Pympe seems to have been a very industrious correspondent, and the art of writing, in prose or verse, came to him very easily.

280.2 Destroyed.—F.

281.1 A term in Falconry, signifying the adding a piece to a feather in a hawk’s wing.—F.

281.2 Expensive.

281.3 Laughed? Fenn in his modern version reads ‘when I love.’


To hys weell belovyd brother, John Paston, Esquyer.


I recomande me to yow, letyng yow weete that I receyvyd a letter of yowres by Edward Hensted ij. dayes aftre that Whetley was departyd from me, whyche he hadde forgetyn in hys caskett, as he seyde, wheroff I sholde have sent yow answer by Whetley, iff I had hadde it toffore he wente, notwithstandyng I am ryght lothe to wryghte in that mater offte; for for a conclusion I wrote to my moodre by Peerse Moody alle that I myght and wolde doo ther in. Ye have also nowe wretyn ageyn. Yow neede nott to praye me to doo that myght be to yowr profyght and worship, that I myght doo ofter than ones, or to late me weete theroff; for to my power I wolde do for yow, and take as moche peyne for yowr weell, and remembre itt when per case ye sholde nott thynke on it yowr selffe. I wolde be as gladde that one gaffe yow a maner of xxli. by yeer, as iff he gave it to my selff by my trowthe.

Item, wher ye thynke that I may with concience recompence it ageyn on to owr stokke off other londys that I have 283 off that valywe in fee symple, it is so that Snaylwell, by my grauntefadres will ones, and by my fadris will sceconderely, is entaylyd to the issyw of my fadres body.

Item, as for Sporle xxli. by yeer, I hadde ther off butt xx. marke by yere, whyche xx. marke by yeer and the x. marke ovyr, I have endangeryd, as ye weell knowe off that bargayne, whyche, iff itt be nott redemyd, I most recompence some other maner off myne to one off my bretheryn for the seyde x. marke, ovyr xx. marke that longyth to me; wherffor I kepe the maner off Runham. Than have I fe symple londe the maner of Wynterton with Bastwyk and Billys, whyche in alle is nott xx. marke by yeer, whyche is nott to the valywe off the maner off Sparham. And as for Castre, it weer noo convenyent londe to exchange for suche a thyng, nor it weer not polesy for me to sett that maner in suche case for alle maner of happis. I nede nott to make thys excuse to yowe, but that yowr mynde is troblyd. I praye yow rejoyse nott yowr sylffe to moche in hope to opteyne thynge that alle yowr freendys may nott ease yow off; for if my moodre were dysposyd to gyve me and any woman in Ingelande the best maner that she hathe, to have it to me and my wyffe, and to the heyres off our too bodyes begotyn, I wolde nott take it off hyr, by God.

Stablysshe your selffe uppon a goode grownde, and grace shall folowe. Yowr mater is ferre spoken off, and blowyn wyde, and iff it preve noo better, I wolde that it had never be spoken off. Also that mater noysyth me that I am so onkynde that I lett alle togedre. I thynke notte a mater happy, nor weell handelyd, nor poletykly dalte with, when it can never be fynysshyd with owte an inconvenyence; and to any suche bargayne I kepe never to be condescentyng, ner of cowncell. Iffe I weer att the begynnyng of suche a mater, I wolde have hopyd to have made a better conclusyon, if they mokke yow notte. Thys mater is drevyn thus ferforthe with owte my cowncell, I praye yow make an ende with owte my cowncell. Iffe it be weell, I wolde be glad; iff it be oderwyse, it is pite. I praye yow troble me no moore in thys mater. . . . .283.1

282.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter is clearly written in answer to an application by John Paston to his brother to aid him in making arrangements with Sir Thomas Brews in the spring of 1477. Although the signature is lost, the handwriting is that of Sir John Paston.

283.1 The lower part of this letter seems to have been cut off, and how much is lost does not appear.

for for a conclusion I wrote to my moodre
text unchanged: probably not an error




Memorandum.—To kepe secret fro my moder that the bargayn is full concludyd.

Item, to let hyr have fyrst knowlage that in the chapell, wher as ye wold had ben no book nye by x. myle, that whyn Mastyr Brews seyd that he wold shortly have eyther more lond in joyntour then Sweynsthorp and x. mark ought of Sparham, or ellys that some frend of myne shold paye the, so that it shold not be payed of the maryage money, that then I sware on a book to hym that I wold never of my mocyon endanger moder nor broder ferther then I had done; for I thought that my modyr had done myche for me to geve me the maner of Sparham in syche forme as she had done. But Mastyr Breus wyll not agre, with ought that my mastress hys doughter and I be mad swer of it now in hand, and that we may take the hole profytes, what so ever fortune.

Item, to enforme my moder that if so be that we may be pute in possessyon of all the hole maner duryng oure two lyves, and the lengest of leveing, that then Mastyr Brews wyll geve me in maryage with my mastresse hys doughter CCCC. markes, payable in hand lli., and so yerly lli. tyll the some of CCCC. mark bew full payed.

Item, that wher as he had leyd up Cli. for the maryage of a yonger doughter of hys, he wylle lend me the same Cli. and xxli. more, to pledge ought my lond, and he to be payed ayen hys Cli. and xxli. by xli. by yer.

Item, to avyse my modyr that she brek not for the yerly valew of Sparham above the x. mark dwryng hyr lyve.

284.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This paper, which is in John Paston’s hand, was evidently written about the same time as the letter immediately following, in which it is mentioned that Margaret Paston had given up the manor of Sparham to her son. The paper is endorsed in a more modern hand: ‘Notes touching the mariage betwene Jo. Paston, Ar’, and Margery Brews.’



To my ryght worshypfull moodre, Margret Paston.


Please it yow to weete, that I have receyvyd yowr letter, wherein is remembryd the gret hurte, that by liklihod myght ffalle to my brother, iff so be that thys matter betwyn hym and Sir Thomas Brewses doghtre take nott effecte; wheroff I wolde be as sory as hym selffe reasonably; and also the welthy and convenyent marriage that scholde be iff it take effecte; wheroff I wolde be as gladde as any man; and ame better content nowe, that he sholde have hyr, than any other, that evyr he was hertoffoor abowte to have hadde, consyderyd hyr persone, her yowthe, and the stok that she is comyn offe, the love on bothe sydes, the tendre ffavor that she is in with hyr ffader and mooder, the kyndenesse off hyr ffadr and moodr to hyr in departyng with hyr, the ffavor also, and goode conceyte that they have in my brother, the worshypfull and vertuous dysposicion off hyr ffadr and moodr, whyche pronostikyth that, of lyklihod, the mayde sholde be vertuous and goode; all which concyderyd, and the necessary relyffe that my brother most have, I mervayle the lesse, that ye have departyd, and gevyn hym the maner off Sperham, in such fforme as I have knowleche off by W. Gornay, Lomner, and Skypwyth; and I ame ryght gladde to se in yow suche kyndenesse on to my brother as ye have doon to hym; and wolde by my trowthe lever than Cli. that it weer ffee symple londe, as it is entaylyd, whyche by liklyhood scholde prosper with hym and hys blode the better in tyme to come, and sholde also never cause debate in owr bloode in tyme to come, whyche Godde dyffende, ffor that weer onnaturell.

Item, another inconvenyence is, wher as I undrestande that the maner is gevyn to my brother, and to hys wyff, and to the issywe bytwen them bygoten; iff the case weer soo, that he 286 and she hadde yssywe togedr a dowtr or moo, and hys wyffe dyed, and he maried afftr another, and hadde issywe a sone, that sone sholde have noon londe, and he beyng hys ffadres heyr, and ffor th’enconvenyence that I have knowe let in ur286.1 in case lyke, and yit enduryth in Kente, by tweyn a jentylman and his suster, I wolde ye toke the advyce off yowr concell in thys poynt, and that that is past yow by wrightyng or by promise, I deme verrely in yow, that ye dyd it off kyndenesse, and in eschywyng off a moor yll that myght befall.

Item, wher as it pleasyth yow that I sholde ratefye, grawnt, or conferme the seyd gyfte on to my brother, it is so, that with myn honeste I may nott, and ffor other cawses. The Pope will suffre a thyng to be usyd, but he will nott lycence nor grant it to be usyd nor don, and soo I. My brother John knowyth myn entent weel i now heer to ffoor in this mater; I will be ffownde to hym as kynde a brother as I may be.

Item, iff it be soo that Sir T. Brews and hys wyff thynke that I wolde troble my brother and hys wyff in the seid maner, I can ffynde no meene to putte them in sywerte ther off, but iff it neede, to be bownde in an obligacion with a condicion that I shalle nott trowble ner infete them therin.

Item, I thynke that she is made sywer i now in astate in the londe, and that off ryght I deme they shall make noone obstacles at my wryghtyng, ffor I hadde never none astate in the londe, ner I wolde nott that I had hadde.

No mor to yow at thys tyme, but Allmyghty God have yow in kepyng.

Wretyn at Caleys, the xxviij. daye of Marche, anno E. iiij. xvijo. By yowr sone, J. Paston K.

285.1 [From Fenn, ii. 238.]

286.1 In ure, i.e. in practice.

J. Paston, K.
comma invisible



To John Paston, Esquyer.


Ryght worshypfull and hertely belovyd brother, I recomaunde me to yow, letyng yow weete, that as by Pyrse Moody, when he was heer, I hadde no leyser to sende answer in wryghtyng to yow, and to my cosyne Gurnaye, off yowr letteris; butt ffor a conclusion ye shalle ffynde me to yow as kynde as I maye be, my conciense and worshyp savyd, whiche, when I speke with yow and them, ye bothe shall weell undrestande. And I praye God sende yow as goode speede in that mater as I wolde ye hadde, and as I hope ye shall have er thys letter come to yow; and I praye God sende yow yssywe betwyne yow, that maye be as honorable as ever was any off your ancestris and theris, wheroff I wolde be as gladde in maner as off myn owne. Wherffor I praye yow sende me worde how ye doo, and iff Godde ffortune me to doo weell, and be off any power, I woll be to Sir Thomas Brewse, and my lady hys wyffe, a verry sone in lawe ffor yowr sake, and take them as ye doo, and doo ffor them as iff I weer in case like with them as ye bee. No moor, but Jesus have yow in kepyng.

Wretyn at Caleys, the xiiij. daye off Aprill, anno E. iiij. xvijo.

As ffor tydyngs her, the Frenshe Kynge hathe gothen many off the towns off the Duk of Burgoyne, as Seynt Quyntyns, Abevyle, Motrell; and now off late he hathe goten Betoyne and Hedynge with the castell ther, whyche is one off the ryallest castells off the worlde; and on Sonday at evyn the Ameralle off Fraunce leyde seege at Boloyne; and thys daye it is seyde, that the Frenshe Kynge shalle come thyddr; and thys nyght it is seyde, that ther was a vysion seyne abowte the walls of Boloyne, as it hadde ben a woman 288 with a mervylowse lyght; men deme that Owr Lady ther will shewe hyrselff a lover to that towne. God fforfende that it weer Frenshe, it weer worthe [£40,000] that it wer Englyshe. J. Paston, K.

287.1 [From Fenn, ii. 244.]


To the ryght wurchypfull and my verry good [lady and cosyn, Dame Elyzabet]288.2 Brews.


Ryght wurchepful and my cheff lady and cosyn, as hertly as I can, I recomaunde me to yow. Madam, lyeketh yow to undyrstand that the cheff cause of my wrytyng to yow at thys season ys thys: I wot well yt ys not unremembred with yow the large comunycacyon that dyvers tymes hathe ben had towchyng the maryage of my cosyn Margery, yowyr dowghter, and my son John; of whyche I have ben as glad, and now late wardes as sory, as evyr I was for eny maryage in myn lyve. And wher or in whom the defawte of the breche ys, I can have no perfyte knowlage; but, madam, yf yt be in me or eny of myn, I prey yow assygne a day when my cosyn yowyr husbond and ye thynk to be at Norwych to wardes Salle, and I wyll com theder to yow; and I thynk or ye and I departe, that the defawte schall be knowe where yt ys, and also that, with yowyr advyse and helpe and myn to gedyrs, we schall take some wey that yt schal not breke; for yf yt dyd, yt wer non honoure to neyther partyes, and in cheff to them in whom the defawte ys, consyderyng that it ys so ferre spokun.

And, madam, I prey yow that I may have perfyte knowlage be my son Yelverton,288.3 berar here of, when thys metyng schall be, yf ye thynk it expedyent, and the soner the better, 289 in eschewyng of worsse; for, madam, I know well, yf yt be not concludyd in ryght schort tyme, that as for my son he entendyth to doo ryght well by my cosyn Margery, and not so well by hym sylf, and that schuld be to me, nor I trust to yow no gret plesur, yf yt so fortunyd, as God deffend, Whom I beseche to send yow your levest desyers.

Madam, I besech yow that I may be recomawndyd by this bylle to my cosyn yowr husbond, and to my cosyn Margery, to whom I supposyd to have gevyn an othyr name or thys tyme.

Wretyn at Mawteby, on Seynt Barnaby is Day. By your, Margaret Paston.

288.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This is another letter relative to the negotiations for the marriage of John Paston and Margery Brews, which took place in 1477.

288.2 The words bracketed are indistinct, but we follow Fenn’s reading.

288.3 William Yelverton, grandson of Judge Yelverton, now married to Anne Paston, one of Margaret’s daughters.


To John Paston, Esquyer.


I recomand me to yow, letyng yow weete that I have spoken to Herry Colett,289.2 and entretyd hym in my best wyse ffor yow, soo that at the last he is agreyd to a resonable respyght ffor the xvli. that ye sholde have payd hym at Mydsomer, as he seyth, and is gladde to do yow ease or plesyr in all that he maye; and I tolde hym that ye wolde, as I supposyd, be heer at London, herr nott long to, and than he lokyth afftr that ye sholde come see hym, ffor he is sheryff, and hathe a goodely hows.

Item, my Lady off Oxenfforth289.3 lokyth afftr yow and Arblaster bothe.

My Lord off Oxenfford289.4 is nott comen in to Inglonde that I can perceyve, and so the goode lady hathe nede off helpe and cowncell howe that she shall doo.


No moor at thys tyme, butt God have yow in kepyng.

Wretyn att London on Seynt Awdryes Daye, anno E. iiijti xvijo.

Tydyngs butt that yisterdaye my Lady Marqueys off Dorset,290.1 whych is my Lady Hastyngs dowtr, hadyd chylde a sone.

Item, my Lord Chamberleyn is comyn hyddr ffro Caleys, and redyn with the Kynge to Wyndeshor, and the Kyng will be here ageyn on Mondaye. J. P., K.

289.1 [From Fenn, ii. 248.]

289.2 Sir Henry Colet was Lord Mayor of London in 1486.—F.

289.3 Margaret, daughter of Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury; she was, during the imprisonment of her lord, in great distress.—F.

289.4 John de Vere, Earl of Oxford, was at this time a prisoner in the Castle of Hammes, in Picardy; what expectation there was of his coming into England at this time I know not.—F.

290.1 Cecily, wife of Thomas Grey, Marquis of Dorset, was great grand-daughter and heir of William Bonvile, Lord Bonvile, who was beheaded by order of Margaret of Anjou, after the second battle of St. Albans in 1461.



Ryght worchepfull and my most good and kynd moder. Moder, in as humbyll wyse as I can or may, I recomand me to yow, and beseche yow of your dayly blyssyng. Moder, please it yow to undyrstond that tyll thys day Dame Elyzabeth Brews hathe ben so syke that she myght nevyr, sythe she cam to Salle, have leyser to comon of my mater with Master Brews tyll thys day; and thys day with gret peyn, I thynk the rather because Heydon290.3 was ther, the mater was comond, but other answer than she hathe sent yow in hyr lettre closed her in can she not have of hyr husbond. Wherfor, modyr, if it please yow, myn advyse is to send hyr answer ayen in thys forme folowing, of some other manys hand.

[Margaret Paston to Dame Elyzabeth Brews.]

Ryght worchepfull and my verry good lady and cosyn, 291 as hertly as I can, I recomand me to yow. And, madam, I am ryght sory, if it myght be otherwyse, of the dysease, as I undyrstand by the berer herof, that my cosyn your husbond and ye also have had a season, whyche I prey God soone to redresse to your bothe easeis. And, madam, I thank yow hertly that ye have remembred the mater to my cosyn your husbond, that I spak with you of at syche tyme as I was last with you at Norwyche, to my gret comfort. And I wyse, madam, I am ryght sory that John Paston is no more fortunate then he is in that mater; for, as I undyrstand by your lettyr, my cosyn your husbond wyll geve but an Cli., whyche is no money lyek for syche a joyntore as is desyred of my son, thow hys possybylyte wer ryght easy. But, madam, when I mad that large grant in the maner of Sperham that I have mad to hym and my cosyn your doughter, he told me of an other some that he shold have with hyr then of an Cli. He hathe befor thys be wont to tell me none untrowthe; and what I shall deme in thys mater, I can not sey, for me thynkyth if more then an Cli. wer promysyd on to hym by my cosyn your husbond and yow, that ye wold not lett to geve it hym, with ought so wer that I or he abryggyd eny thyng of our promess, whyche I wot well neyther I or he intend to do, if I may undyrstand that hys seying to me was trowthe, and that it may be performyd; but wyst I that he told me otherwyse then my cosyn yowr husbond and ye promysed hym, to deseyve me of Sparham, by my trowthe, thow he have it, he shall lese as myche for it, iff I leve, and that shall he well undyrstand the next tyme I se hym.

‘And, madam, I pray God send us good of thys mater, for as for hys broder Sir John also, I sent ones to hym for it to have mad good the same graunt that I grauntyd yow with hys assent, to them and to ther issu of ther ij. bodyes lawfully comyng, and he dyd not ther in as I desyred hym. And ther for I prey yow pardon me for sendyng on to hym eny more; for, madam, he is my sone, and I can not fynd in my hert to becom a dayly petycyoner of hys, sythe he hathe denyed me onys myn axing. Peraventure he had ben better to have performyd my desyer; and what hys answer was on to me, 292 John Paston can tell yow as well as I. But, madam, ye ar a moder as well as I, wher I prey tak it non other wyse bot well, that I may not do by John Paston, as ye wyll have me to do; for, madam, thow I wold he dyd well, I have to purvey for more of my chylder then hym, of whyche some be of that age, that they can tell me well inow that I dele not evenly with theym to geve John Paston so large, and theym so lytyll; and, madam, for syche grwgys and other causys, I am ryght sory that the graunte is knowyn that I have mad, with ought it myght take effect. And therfor, madam, fro hensforthe I remyght all thyng to yowr dyscressyon, besechyng yow, the rather for my sake, to be my son Johnis good lady; and I prey God preserve yow to Hys plesure, send yow hastyly yowr hele ayen, and my cosyn yowr husbond also, to whom I prey yow that I may hertly be recomandyd, and to my cosyns Margery and Margaret Byllyngforthe.

‘Wretyn at Mawtby, on Seynt Petrys Day. ‘Yowr, ‘Margaret Paston.’

‘An other lettyr to me that I may shewe.

‘I gret yow well, and send you Godes blessyng and myn, letyng yow wet that I undyrstand well by my cosyn, Dame Elyzabeth Brewsys lettyr, whyche I sende yow her with, wherby ye may undyrstand the same, that they intend not to performe thos proferys that ye told me they promysyd yow, trustyng that ye told me none other wyse then was promysed yow. Wherfor I charge yow on my blyssyng that ye be well ware how ye bestow your mynd with ought ye have a substance wher upon to leve; for I wold be sory to wet yow myscary; for if ye do, in your defawt looke never aftyr helpe of me. And also I wold be as sory for hyr as for eny gentywoman leveing, in good feythe; wherfor I warne yow, be ware in eny wyse; and look ye be at Mawtby with me as hastyly as ye can, and then I shall tell yow more. And God kepe yow.

‘Wretyn at Mawtby, on Seynt Petrys Day. ‘Your modyr, ‘M. P.’

290.2 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter, with the two subjoined, are drafts written on the same paper in John Paston’s hand. They must belong to the year 1477, being on the same subject, already so often referred to, of the negotiations for John Paston’s marriage. Fenn had added addresses to all these letters, and a signature to the first, which are not in the original MS.

290.3 John Heydon of Baconsthorpe, who died on the 27th September 1479.—Inquisition p.m., 19 Edw. IV., No. 72.



To the ryght worshypfull Mestresse Margret Paston.

AUG. 7

Please it yow to weete that I have receyvyd yowr letter, wretyn the Tywesdaye nexte afftre Seynt James Daye, wherin ye desyre me to remembre Kokett, and also to be helpyng to my brother Johnes mariage. As for Kokett, as God helpe me, I knowe nott yitt the meanes possible that I myght paye hym by thatt daye, ffor thoos materis that be off grettest wyght and charge, and that stonde nerrest my weell, that is to seye, the sywerte off the maner off Castre, and the mater betwen Anne Hault and me shall, with Goddes grace, thys terme be at a perffyght ende, whyche will charge me fferther than I have mony as yitt, or lyke to have byffor that tyme, off myne owne, and, as God helpe me, I wote nott where to borow.

Item, I most paye with in thys iij. yeer iiijc. [400] marke to Towneshende, or ellis fforffett the maner off Sporle, and thus my charges be gretter than I maye a weye with, concidryd suche helpe as I have; and iff it ffortunyd that I fforffetyd the maner off Sporle, ye weer never lyke to se me myry afftre, so God helpe me. Ye gave me ones xxli. to it wardes, and ye promyttyd as moche, whyche I receyvyd, and synnys off my mony off seide maner growyng that come to yowr handys was receyvyd by yow ageyn the seyd xlli., whyche, when Kokett scholde be payed, was nott yowr ease to departe wyth. Neverthelesse ye may yitt, when yow lyketh, perfforme yowr sayde gyffte and promyse, and thys somme owyng to Kokett is nott so moche; neverthelesse I suppose that ye be nott so weell purveyed. Wherffor, iff it please yow at yowr ease her afftre to performe yowr seyde gyffte and promyse, so that I may have it with in a yer or ij. or yitt iij., I sholde per case gete yowr obligacion to yow ageyn ffrom Kokett, and he pleasyd. 294 Wherffor I beseche yow that I maye have an assyngnement of suche dettes as been owyng yow, payeable at leyser off suche mony as is owyng ffor the woode at Basyngham or ellys wher; ffor, so God helpe me, I sholde ellys wylfully ondoo myselffe, wherin I beseche yow to sende me an answer in hast.

Item, as towchyng the mariage off my brother John, I have sente hym myn advyce, and tolde hym wherto he shall truste, and I have grauntyd hym as moche as I maye. I wolde that I weer at on communycacion atwyen them for hys sake, whyche I sholde if I myght. As for my comyng home, I ame nott yitt sertayn therof; I shalle hast me as faste as I canne, with the grace of God, Who have yow in Hys kepyng.

I beseche yow to remembre the premyssis, and to helpe me, and with Goddes grace, thes ij. materis above wretyn, bothe of Castre and Mestresse Anne Hault, shall be endyd to my profyth and rest, and moor ovyr, er awghte longe to, with Goddes grace, the maner of Sporle to be owte of danger; promyttyng yow that I shall doo in Kokettes mater as moche as is possible for me to doo to yower plesyr. It shall never neede to prykk nor threte a free horse. I shall do whatt I can.

Wretyn the Thorysdaye next byffore Seynt Lawrence, anno E. iiijti xvij. By yowre sone, John Paston, K.

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


AUG. 11

Yt ys soo that I undyrstonde be yowyr letter wretyn the Thyrsday nexte be fore Seynt Lauerons, that ze wulde have knowlage how that I wuld be demenyd in Cokettes mater; qweche I send you here undyr wretyn. I 295 putte yow in certeyn that I wull nevyr pay him peny of that duty that ys owyng to hym, thow he sue me for yt, not of myn owyn pursse; for I wul nat be compellyd to pay yowyr dettes azens my well, and thow I wuld, I may nat. Where fore I a wyse yow to see me savyd harmelesse azens hym for yowyr owyn a wauntage in tyme cumyng, for yf I pay yt, at longe wey ze xall bere the losse.

And where as ze wryte to me that I gave yow xxli., and promysyd odyr xxli., that ys nat soo, for I wutte wele yf I had soo doon, ze wuld nat assynyd me be yowyr letterys of yowyr owyn hande wrytyng, the whech I have to schew, that I schuld resseyve a zen the same summe of Wylliam Pecok, and of yowyr fermores, and byars of yowyr wood of Sporle; and take this for a full conclusyon in thys mater, for yt xall be noon othyr wyse for me than I wryte here to yow.

I mervel meche that ze have delte azen soo symply wyth Sporle, consyderyng that ze and yowyr frendys had so meche to doo for to geetyt yow azen onys; and ye havyng noo gretter materes of charge than ze have had sythyn yt was laste pleggyt owte, yt causyth me to be in gret dowte of yow what yowyr dysposycion wul be here aftyr for swheche lyfelood as I have be dysposyd before this tyme to leve yow after my decesse. For I thynke veryly that ye wulde be dysposyd here aftyr to selle or sette to morgage the lond that ye xulde have after me yowyr modyr as gladdly and rathyr than that lyfe lood that ye have after yowyr fadyr. Yt grevyth me to thynke upon yowyr gydeyng after the greet good that ze have had in yowyr rewle sythyn yowyr fadyr deyyd, whom God assoyle, and soo symply spendyt as yt hath ben. God geve yow grace to be of sadde and good dysposyn here after to Hys plesans, and comforte to me, and to all yowyr frendys, and to yowyr wurchyp and profyte here after.

And as for yowyr brothyr Wylliam, I wuld ye xulde purvey for hys fyndyng, for as I told yow the laste tyme that ye ware at home, I wuld no lenger fynde hym at my cost and charge; hys boord and hys scole hyer ys owyng sythyn Seynt Thomas Day afore Cristmesse, and he hathe greet nede of gownys and odyr gere that whare necessary for hym to have 296 in haste. I wulde ze xulde remembyrt and purvey them, for as for me, I wul nat. I thynke ze sette butte lytyl be myn blessyng, and yf ye dede, ye wulde a desyyrd yt in yowyr wrytyng to me. God make yow a good man to Hys plesans.

Wretyn at Mawteby, the day after Seynt Lauerons, the yere and the renge of Kyng E. the iiijte the xvij. zere. Be yowyr Modyr.

294.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter is not addressed, the original being a corrected draft, but there is no doubt it was written to Sir John Paston in reply to the last. It is endorsed in a more modern hand: ‘Copia literæ Jo. Paston, mil., a matre sua.’


Un to the ryght wurschepful Sir John Paston, Knyght.

AUG. 17

Master Paston, after all dew recomandacion, and herty dissire to here of your good hele, plese yt you to wete I have spoken with Sir John of Medilton as wel as I cowde, and yt had ben for myself, for his hoby that ye dissired, and tolde hym he myght wel forbere hym nowe in as moche as Mastres Jane was ded, and that yt is a great cost for hym to kepe moo hors than he nedyth; and he answered me, that he wold selle hym with good will, but ther shuld no man bie hym under xli. Flemesch;296.2 and I offered hym in your name, x. marke, for he wold not here of none other ambelyng horse, that ye myght geve hym therfore. And also my lord dissired to have bowte hym for the Lord Schauntrell that is cheff capteyn of Seynt Omers; and he wold no lesse lete my lord have hym than xli. and so my lord bowte another, and gave hym the seide lord, for he thoughte this to dere; neverthelesse he wol not selle hym to no man under that mony, that he sette hym on, and so ye may bye your plesur in hym and ye lest; for otherwyse he wol not doo for you, as I conseve.


And as for tydyngs in theyse partyes, the Frenche Keng leyzth at sege at Seynt Omers, on the one side of the town a myle of, but he hath no gret ordenaunce ther; and they of the town skyrmysh with them every day, and kepe a passage halff a myle with oute the town; and the French Keng hath brenned all the townys, and fayre abbeys, that were that way aboute Seynt Omers, and also the cornes weche ar there. And also, as yt ys seide for serteyn, the French Keng hath brenned Cassell, that ys myn hoold Lady of Burgeynys297.1 joynttor, and all the countre there aboute, whereby she hath lost a gret part of her lyvelod; and that is a sherewed tokyn that he menyth wel to the Keng, howur suffereygn Lord, when he intendyth to distroye her.

Morover Sir Phylep de Crevekere hath takyn them that were in Fynys with inne this iiij. dayes to the noumbre of xiiij. personys, and the remnaunt where fled, and he had them to the French Keng, and he hath brentte all the place, and pulled down the towre, and a part of the wall, and disstroyed yt.

And as yt is seid, yf the French Keng can not gete Seynt Omers, that he intendyth to brenge his armye thorwe theyse marchys into Flaundres; wherefore my lord hath do brokyn all the passages excep Newham bryge, weche is wached, and the turne pyke shette every nyght. And the seide French Keng with inne these iij. dayes rayled gretely of my lord to Tygyr Pursevaunt, opynly byfore ij. hundred of his folks; wherefore yt ys thaught here that he wold feynde a quarell to sett upon thys town, yf he myght gete avantage. And as I understonde, the Emperorys sone297.2 ys maryed at Gaunte as this day; and ther cam with hym but iiij. hundred horse, and I can here of no moo that be comyng in serteyn; and in mony he brengyth with hym an hundred thowsand dokets, wheche is but a smalle thyng in regard for that he hath to doo. Wherefore, I fere me sore, that Flaundres will be lost; and yf Seynt Omers be whonnyn, all is gon, in my conceyt. Never the lesse they say there shuld come gret powere after the 298 Emperorys son; but I be leve yt not, by cause they have ben so long of comyng.

And I pray you to recomaunde me unto Sir Tyrry Robsert, and that yt plese you to lete hym knowe of your tydyngs, and Hour Lord have you in His kepyng.

At Calais, the Sunday next after Hour Lady the Assumpsion. Your, E. Bedyngfeld.298.1

296.1 [From Fenn, ii. 250.] The events referred to in this letter prove that it was written in the year 1477.

296.2 Between £5 and £6 English, and equal in value to upwards of £20 at this present time, apparently a great price for a hobby.—F.

297.1 Margaret, sister to Edward IV., widow of Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy.

297.2 Maximilian, son of the Emperor Frederick, married Mary, daughter and heir of Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy.—F.

298.1 Edmund Bedyngfeld married Margaret, daughter of Sir John Scot, Comptroller of Calais, and was created a Knight of the Bath at the Coronation of Richard III. He was highly in favour with Henry VII., who paid him a royal visit at Oxburgh, in Norfolk, which fine seat he built. He died in 1496.—F.


AUG. 22

The names of the maners of Agnes Pastons and William Paston, in Norfolk, how thai shuld be taken hede to this harvest, anno xvijo.

And a copy of the same send to Richard Lynstede, the xxij. day of August, anno xvijo, per Bacheler Water.

Paston maner,

Se that the fermour in his corne on my moders fe. Seale dores and distrayne, and put in a newe fermour.

Wodemyl, Distrayne.

Gadir the rente.


Gadir the rente.


Distrayne on the grounde after it is fellid, while it lieth on my moders fe.


Gader the rente.

Knapton fe,

Gadir the rente.

Owstoonde, Distrayne.
299 Rowton,

Distrayne, and arest the fermour.


Lete Lynstedes brother gader the rente.

Oxned maner,

Se the fermour in his croppe, and after seale doris and distrayne, and lete hym not renne in dette as other fermours did.

Oxned mylle,

Se the fermour in his croppe, and after seall doris and distrayne, and lete hym not renne in dette as other fermours did.

Caster Cleres,

Aske the ferme.

Holkhams tenement,

Aske the ferme.

The mersh in Caster,

Aske the ferme.

Caster Bardolf,

Aske the ferme a rent.

Caster Clere rentes, Distrayne tenauntes.
Holham rentes,
Ormysby my fe,

Se that he in his corn, and seall dores and distrayne, til he fynde suerty.


Aske the ferme.

Sowth Walsham,

Aske the rente, and areste Smyth.


Aske the rente.


Se he in his corn, and seall dores and distrayne.

Marlyngfor maner,

Sele doris and distrayne.

Marlyngford mylle,

Seale doris and distrayne.

Merlyngforde tenauntes, Distrayne.

Se the croppe inned, and seale doris and distrayne.

Bonwell, Aske rente.
Carleton, Aske rente.
Thuxstons, Aske rente.
Lynghall nuper Dokkynges,

Aske rente fro Mich. xvj. till xvijo and distrayne.

300 Bulmans nuper Dokkynges,

Aske rente fro Mich. xvjo til xvijo, and exorte Martyn to kepe the ferme still, and if he woll not, praye hym to gete a noder.

Yeaxham nuper Dokkynges,

Aske rente fro Mich. xvjo till xvijo, and gete a newe fermour, and increse the rente, and make a newe terrar and rentall.

Styberd nuper Dokkynges,

Aske rent fro Mich. xvo till Mich. xvijo, and distrayne, and allowe no dewty of Dokkynges in abatyng my rente.

Thymbilthorp nuper Dokkynges.

Aske rente fro Mich. xvo till Mich. xvijo, and distrayne, and allowe noe dewty of Dokkynges in abatyng my rente.

These maners that are trahid take gode hede that ye be in gode suertye of them this harvest tyme.

298.2 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The heading of this document is taken from an endorsement on the original MS.


OCT. 31

[I, JOHN PASTON,] Knyght, in the last day of O[ctober, Anno] Domini mlcccclxxvjo, will, graunte, and be queth my sowle to All myghty God, and to the . . . . . . Marye, Seint John Baptist, Seint Gorge, Seint Cristofur, and Seint Barbara; and my body, yf I dyghe ny the Cyte of London, [to the chapel] of Owre Lady in the Whithe Frerys there, at the Northeest corner of the body of the chyrche, and there to be made an orator[y] . . . . . or muche leke as ys over Sir Thomas Browne in the Frere Prechours, to the valour 301 of xxli., so that it may cause . . . . . . ther prayours there, the rather to remembre my sowle, and to pray therefore; and that there be gevyn to the behoff . . . . . at plotte of grounde be made suer unto me for ever the some of xx. marc.

. . . . . . . dayly, be the space of an holl yere, by soumme well disposed brother of the same howse, and that the seyd brother . . . . . . [not]withstondyng yf I decesse in the counte of Norffolk, or there nye abouute, I wolde my bodye were buried at the prio[ry of Bromholm] . . . . . un to the Founders Toumbe, which arche is unto the North syde, and ryght agayn my fadyr toum[be] . . . . . . . . . ith an awter and a toumbe for me, to the value of xxli., and that the howse there have a rewarde . . . . . . . . . to the frerys of London, and that there be also a broder of that howse to synge for my sowle by one . . . . . . . . . . salarye.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . a closette made at my cost over my faders body ther . . . . . . . . . . of xxli., so that owre cousyns . . . . . . . . . . have the more devocion to that place, and the rather reste there bodyes there the encresse of the . . . . . . . . . . encrese and profite of the howse, and reste on the religeus there of, lyke as owr auncetours have . . . . . . . . . [a]nd to the entent that I disclosed but on to fewe persons concernyng the fee ferme that is payed . . . . . . . . Duke of Suffolk.

[Item, I will that my bro]ther, John, yf I dye with owth yssue leffull of my bodye, have the maner of Swaywell to hym and . . . . . . . . accordyng to the willez both of myn graunfader and of my fader, on whos sowles God have mercye, the . . . . . . . . esse.

[Item, I will that the] Bysshoppe of Wynchester, or his assygnes, woll and fynde suerte to do founde at the lyste iiij. prestys . . . . . . . . . . of John Fastolf and his frendys, &c., at Caster, and that there be bylded loggyng conveniant for those . . . . . . . . . . . . . . adjoynyng uppon the bakhous over the gardeyn withouuth the 302 mote on the Weste syde of my . . . . . . . . . . . in the seid maner or maners yn Caster, graunt by chartour, grounde, space, and londe, convenyant for such . . . . . . . . entre and yssue therunto, and to that entent, and byldyng or purchasyng of license of the kyng . . . . . . . . profitez of the seid maners holly be expendid the terme of vij. yerez next after my dissece; and, moreover, . . . . . . . . . resorte theder in his owne persone to over see the werkys or byldyng or establyssyng of the seyd howse [he shall h]ave playn lyberte to dwell withinne my seid maner and fortresse the seid terme of vij. yerez, and that . . . . . . . . estys.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . [cha]pell of Seint John Baptyst, withyn the seyd towne of Caster, with all the profitez yerly of that same begeny[ng] . . . . . . . . . ed to the seyd college or howse for evermore, with lycence therunto had of the Kyng and of the Pope, with . . . . . . . . in Caster before seyd, which londis, with the seyd chapell, schalbe of the yerly value of vijli. yerly . . . . . ment of one prest above the charge that the Bysshope wyll do to pray for the sowles of my fader . . . . . . . . . Thomas Lyndys, clerk, and of Sir John Dawbeney. And that after this above wretyn be performed, yf that . . . . . . es make astate by fyne reryd and enrolled in the Kynges courte of the seid maner and maners in Castre . . . . . . . . . . . yssue of his bodye laufully comyeng, and for defaute of yssue of his body lawfully [rem]ayne to the issue of my moders lawfully commynge. And for defaute of yssue of her body lawfully commyng . . . . . . . . myn uncle, Edward Maudeby, and to the yssue of his body lawfully commynge. And that for defaute . . . . . . . . . [comm]yng that the seyd maners remayn to my cousyn, Sir William Calthorp, and to the right eyrez . . . . . . . . . . . . . defaute of issue of his body lawfully commynge, the seyd maners to reverte to the . . . . . . . .

[Item, I will that the priest of the chap]ell of the seyd collage be presented by the lordys of my seid maner . . . 303 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ed by Syr John Fastolff.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . eryng de eadem villa vendatur per executores meos ad perimplendum et persolvendum. . . . . . . . . . . . . em invenerit securitatem ad redimendum manerium de Sporle prædictum, quod si ipse . . . . . . . . . x. acr’ terræ de eisdem perquesit’ de Johanne Kendall tempore debito dentur prædicto Johanni fratri [meo et hæredibus suis legiti]me procreatis; et defectu exitus legitimi de prædicto Johanne fratre meo, tunc prædictæ terræ et tenementa remaneant . . . . . . . . . . . . . triavi mei, legittime procreatis; et pro defectu exitus legittimi prædicti triavi mei, tunc remaneant Willelmo . . . . . [et hæredibus i]psius Willelmi legitime procreatis; et pro defectu exitus legitimi prædicti Willelmi, tunc omnia prædicta terræ et tenementa [remaneant] . . . . . . assignatis imperpetuum; proviso quod executores testamenti Willelmi Pekering habeant x. marcas pro . . . . . et habeat xxxvij. acras terræ de prædictis terris sibi per voluntatem patris ejus assignatis sive legatis si tantæ . . . . . . . . . . terræ quæ idem Johannes vendidit sint de numero illarum acrarum sibi limitatarum per Nicholaum patrem prædicti Johannis ac . . . . . . . . . recompensacionem; eo quod idem Johannes forte credidit quod ipse juste potuit vendere, quæque terræ et tenementa in feofamento . . . . . [pat]ris, non obstante quod pater prædictus non declaravit quicquid faciendum de dictis terris suis ultra certas acras . . . . . . . . . na ipsius patris.

300.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The original of this document is mutilated. It is endorsed in a more modern hand, ‘Testamentum Johannis Paston Senioris militis.’

[Sidenote] 1477
printed as shown, but body text says “mlcccclxxvj” (1476)

invenerit securitatem ad redimendum
text reads “invenetit”



To my ryth worschepffull master, Sir John Paston, Knyth, logyd at the Goorge, be Powll Warffe, in London, in hast.

NOV. 19

Ryth worchepful sir, I recomand me to yowr good masterchep. Plseyth you to wete that I have purweyid for for your heryng a non after your departyng, but I can yet no caryage, nowthir owte of Yermowth, ner in no oder place be twyn Wynterton and Leystoft, nowthir be lond nor be the se, not yet; and specyally for your swanes. Hery Cook seyth he wolle no more come on the se with his good wylle. Ther is no man wyllyng to del with your swanes. Also, as for your hors, ye most ordayne a nothir keper than they have, or ellis ye chal not leke wel be them whan ye se hem; they arn nowthir redyn nor corayd. Peris is meche owteward, and Whyte wol not a tende hem, nowdyr for Peris ner for me. They arn not watryd butt at the welle. Peris hath be ryth seke; and yet, but for dyspleser of you, Peris had ben in hand with Whyte or this tyme. Ye muste be proveyd of a nothir hors keper, or elles it wol do you harm on your hors. Also, I have had iiijli. for to a sent you if I cowde have gete ony trosty man to youward. As for barly, I can non selle a bove xiiijd. the comb. As your leter that ye sent me, I have fownd a frere that hath promyssyd me to do’n his dever if it may be browte a bowte be ony mene in hast. Also there is a grete chyppe go to wrekke be for Wynterton, and there came up on your several grownd gret plente of bowe stawys and waynescotte, and clappalde304.2 grete plente. I gate cartys and caryd to the towne that that was fownd on your fee. Mastras Clere hath sen down hyr men, and with 305 set alle the stuff and wrekke, and seyth that ye gete non there, for sche wol have it be the tytyl of the lete, and I have answerd there to, that che owte non to have be that tytil; and so if ye wol comon with yor cownsel, I trow it to the lord of the soylle and not to the lete; for the maner holdyth nothyng of hyr. Sche had never no wrekke nor growndage till withinne this xx. wynter. There is no maner in Wyynterton but your; lesse your ryth now and lesse it for ever. I am threte to be trobelid there, for there ben v. men on lyve of the chyppe. The bordes had ben good for wyndownes and dores. Ye chuld have had thyme worthe the money, and sche had not lettyd it. Ther is com up ter [tar] at Caster v. or vj. barell. Men of Scrowby hath fet it awey. Ye must have a meen be sum wryte of trespas for them, or ellis it wool do yow meche harm here after. Rechard Kedman, John Pool, senior, and William Abbys, these arn summe of ther namys of Scrowby.

Item, I receyved a leter the Twis day befor Sen Edmunde the Kyng there as ye wryte to me for William Foster; his sewirtesse ston chargyd for iiijli. vjs. viijd., as John Seyve hath seyd to me or the tyme that I receyvyd your leter, but he hath ij. men of Norwech to sewirte to save hym and his felaw harmeless. Scharggar is on, and Vyncent the plomer is a nothir that chal bere the dawnger. And as for your swanes, I have gette a man that chal cary hem be lond, and that I chal send word with the swanes that the herynges chal com be water; and if the chuld have ony heryng for your store, it wold be purveyd for, for heryng wol be dere or Lente.

Item, there arn wyndownes blow opyn in the place, and the wyndown of the gonne hows with inne the brege is revyn. I wot not whethir it was so or ye wente or not. My Lord of Norwech was at Caster Halle for to a cen the place as he cam to London ward. Ser, remembir your hors to have a better keper. Ser, to remembir thesse men of Scrowby, and comon with Master William Paston there in, for he partith with you both wrekke and growndage in Caster; and he wold take the accyon in his lordes name that he delyth for, it ware a good wey, be my sympil wyth. God preserve you, and kepe yow, and bryng yow home a yen to your contre.


Wretyn at Mawteby on Sen Edmundis Evyn, the Kyng, in hast, Be your man and servant, William Pekoc.

304.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter is endorsed by Sir John Paston, ‘Pekok, m. [i.e. mense] Decembris, anno E. iiijti xvijo.’

304.2 Board cut to make casks.

Plseyth you to wete that I have purweyid for for your heryng
all text unchanged: duplication is at mid-line in Gairdner but at line break in MS.


NOV. 30

Ryth worchypfull ser, I recomand me to your good masterchep. Plesyth you, as for Pekrynges mater, I sent a frere in John Pekerynges name for the evydens; and he had an answer that if he had a busschelful of evydenss, he chuld noon have of them, for he hath set the londe in trobill, nor he cowd have no seyte of none. Also remembir your ryth of your wreke at Wynterton. Thesse arn the menes namys of Wynterton, Robert Parker of West Somerton, John Longyard of Wynterton, Thomas Goodknape of the same, Will Wrantham and John Curteys of the same Wynterton, that caryid of your severel grownd xxij. carte ful of stuffe, viijxx. bowestavis, iijxx. and vij. waynescottes, xiiijc. clapalde,306.2 v. barell ter, iiij. copil oris, and gret plante [plenty] of wreke of the schyppe that is worth meche mony, as ye chal understonde the trowth after this.

And as for your heryng that chuld in to Essexkes, they arn there, be the grace of God. As for your swanes, they chal be there be Our Ladys Day next comyng, I troste to God, Ho have your masterchyp in Is kepyng.

Wretyn at Mawteby, where as I am ryth werey, on Sen Andrews Day, Anno xvijo E.

Ser, if it plese your masterchep, I sold yet no barly, ner none can a bove xiiijd. the comb, as I sen word in a leter be John Russe; and I toke iiijli. in mony to bryng to your materchep. The prysse of your heryng is iiijli. iijs. iiijd., 307 besyd oder costes. Hery Cook wold goo with your swanes, for hys yefte chuld be vjs. viijd., and there fore he wold yeffe you his labore, be so ye payd for his costes. Ipse dixit. Be your servaunt, Will. Pekoc.

306.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] There is no address on this letter, but it is endorsed, like the preceding, by Sir John Paston, ‘Pekok, mense Decembris, anno E. iiijti xvijo.’

306.2 See page 304, Note 2.


To my ryth reverent and worscheful husbond, Jon Paston.

DEC. 18

Ryth reverent and worscheful husbond, I recomaunde me to yow, desyryng hertyly to here of yowr wylfare, thankyng yow for the tokyn that ye sent me be Edmunde Perys, preyng yow to wete that my modyr sent to my fadyr to London for a goune cloth of mustyrddevyllers307.2 to make of a goune for me; and he tolde my modyr and me wanne he was comme home, that he cargeyt yow to beyit, aftyr that he were come oute of London.

I pre yow, yf it be not bowt, that ye wyl wechesaf to byit, and sendyt home as sone as ye may, for I have no goune to weyre this wyntyr but my blake and my grene a lyer,307.3 and that is so comerus that I ham wery to weryt.


As for the gyrdyl that my fadyr be hestyt me, I spake to hym ther of a lytyl before he zede to London last, and he seyde to me that the faute was in yow, that ze wolde not thynk ther uppe on to do makyt [to get it made]; but I sopose that ys not so; he seydyt but for a skwsacion. I pre yow, yf ye dor takyt uppe on yow, that ye wyl weche safe to do makyt a yens ye come home, for I hadde never more nede ther of than I have now, for I ham waxse so fetys308.1 that I may not be gyrte in no barre of no gyrdyl that I have but of one. Elisabet Peverel hath leye sek xv. or xvj. wekys of the seyetyka, but sche sent my modyr word be Kate, that sche xuld come hedyr wanne God sent tyme, thoow sche xuld be crod [wheeled] in a barwe.

Jon of Damm was here, and my modyr dyskevwyrd me to hym, and he seyed, be hys trouth that he was not gladder of no thyng that he harde thys towlmonyth, than he was ther of.

I may no lenger leve be my crafte, I am dysscevwyrd of alle men that se me.

Of alle odyr thyngys that ye deseyreyd that I xuld sende yow word of, I have sent yow word of in a letter that I dede wryte on Ouwyr Ladyis Day308.2 laste was. The Holy Trenyte have yow in Hese kepyng.

Wretyn at Oxnede, in ryth gret hast, on the Thrusday next be fore Seynt Tomas Day.308.3

I pre yow that ye wyl were the reyng with the emage of Seynt Margrete, that I sent yow for a rememraunse, tyl ye come home; ye have lefte me sweche a rememraunse, that makyth me to thynke uppe on yow bothe day and nyth wanne I wold sclepe. Your ys, M. P.

307.1 [From Fenn, ii. 256.] It is curious that after so much negotiation for the marriage of John Paston and Margery Brews, we have no record in these letters when it actually took place; but probably it was in August 1477, the last reference to it as an event not yet accomplished being on the 7th of that month (No. 916). In January 1478, John Paston talks of taking his wife to her father’s house on account of her situation, and their first child was born in the course of the following summer. This letter seems to have been written in December. Fenn remarks that St. Thomas’s Day might mean the Translation of St. Thomas à Becket, 7th July 1478, and ‘Our Lady’s Day’ might be the Visitation of the Virgin, 2nd July preceding. But this is simply impossible, because the letter is dated Thursday before St. Thomas’s Day, which would in that case be the very same date as the Visitation of Our Lady, viz. the 2nd July 1478. Besides, if the first child of John Paston and Margery was not actually born before July, the latter was certainly much nearer to her confinement then than this letter would imply. See No. 936 in vol. vi.

A facsimile of this letter was published in the European Magazine for March 1787, and we have carefully compared the text with this facsimile.

307.2 A kind of grey woollen cloth.

307.3 Fenn suggests Grenouilliere or frog-colour, but I find no authority for such a word; and I should suppose ‘grene’ to be a separate word, though what ‘a lyer’ is I cannot say.

308.1 This word commonly signifies neat or elegant, and seems to be used here ironically.

308.2 Conception of Our Lady, 8th of December.—F.

308.3 21st December, the day of St. Thomas Apostle, or perhaps 29th December, the day of St. Thomas (à Becket) the Martyr.

To my ryth reverent and worscheful husbond, Jon Paston.
text has “myryth” but words are separated in MS.

Note 307.3
what ‘a lyer’ is I cannot say
possibly Lier in Brabant




Bill in Parliament confirming the statute of Marlborough [52 Hen. III.], with additions touching wardships, reliefs, etc., to take effect after Easter, 1480.

[The last Parliament before 1480 met on the 16th January 1478. This measure was probably introduced or intended for discussion at that period.]

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


To my ryght worchepfull broder, Syr John Paston, Knyght.

JAN. 21

Syr, aftyr all dutes of recomendacyon, lyeketh yow to undyrstand that I have comond with dyvers folkys of the Dwk of Suffolk now thys Crystmas and sythen, whyche let me in secret wyse have knowlage, lyek as I wrott on to yow, that he must mak a shefft for money, and that in all hast. Wherfor, syr, at the reverence of God, let it not be lachesyd, but with effect aplyed now, whyll he is in London, and my lady hys wyff also; for I assarteyn yow that C. mark wyll do more now in ther neede then ye shall peraventure do with CC. marks in tyme comyng, and thys season be not takyn. And alweys fynd the meane that my Lady of Suffolk and Syr R. Chamberleyn may be yowr gwydes in thys mater, for as for my lord, he nedyth not to be mevyd with it tyll it shold be as good as redy to the sealyng.

Syr, lyeketh yow also to remember that I told yow that Mastyr Yotton309.3 had, as I cam last towardes London, desyred me, by a lettre of attorney wryttyn with hys owne hand, to se 310 th’enprowment of syche profytes as ar growing of hys chapell in Caster that ye gave hym; and at syche season as I told yow of it, ye sayd on to me that ye wold asay to make a bargayn with hym, so that ye myght have a prest to syng in Caster. Syr, me thynkes ye can not have so good a season to meve hym with it as now thys Parlement tyme, for now I thynk he shalbe awaytyng on the Quene; and also if ye myght compone with hym or he wyst what the valew wer, it wer the better, and I have promysed hym to send hym woord thys terme of the verry valew of it, and also syche mony as I cowd gader of it. Wherfor, syr, I prey yow that by the next messenger that ye can get to Pekok that ye wyll send hym woord to paye me for the lond in xxx. acres, as it hathe ben answerd before tym.

And as for tydynges here, we have none, but we wold fayne here of all your royalte at London, as of the maryage of my Lord of York,310.1 and other Parlement mater; and so I prey yow that I may doo when ye have leyser.

Syr, I prey yow that Whetley may have knowlage that my broder Yelverton hathe promysed me to take hym xld.; he owyth me by reason of his fermore at Caster more then that.

And, syr, as for my huswyff, I am fayne to carry hyr to se hyr fadyr and hyr frendes now thys wynter, for I trow she wyll be ought of facyon in somer. And so in my progresse fro my fadyr Brews on to Mawtby, I took Master Playter in my wey, at whoys hows I wrot thys bylle, the xxj. day of January, anno E. iiijti xvijo. And I beseche God to preserve yow and yours. Yowr, J. Paston.

Endorsed by Sir John Paston, ‘J. P., anno xvijo.’

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

309.3 Dr. Yotton was the Queen’s chaplain.—F.

310.1 Richard, Duke of York, second son to King Edward IV., married Ann, daughter and heir of John Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, 15th January 1477-78.—F.

... second son to King Edward IV.
corrected by author from “Henry IV.



To my ryght worchepfull modyr, Margaret Paston.

FEB. 3

Ryght worchepfull modyr, aftyr all dwtes of humble recomendacyon, in as humble wyse as I can, I beseche yow of your dayly blyssyng. Pleasyt yow to wett that at my being now at London, lyek as ye gave me in comandment, I mevyd to Mastyr Pykenham and to Jamys Hubart for ther being at Norwyche now thys Lent, that ye myght have ther avyses in syche maters as ye let me have understandyng of. And as for Mastyr Pykenham, he is now Juge of the Archys, and also he hathe an other offyce, whyche is callyd Auditor Causarum, and hys besyness is so gret in bothe thes offyces that he can not tell the season when that he shall have leyser to come in to Norffolk. But I left not tyll I had gotyn Jamys Hubbart and hym togedyrs, and then I told theym your intent; and then Mastyr Pykenham told Jamys and me hys intent, and he preyed Jamys that he shold in no wyse fayle to be with yow thys Lent. Not withstandyng it was no grete nede to prey hym myche; for he told Doctore Pykenham that there was no gentyl woman in Inglond of so lytyll aqueyntance as he had with yow, that he wold be glader to be servyse on to; and myche the glader, for he purposeth fro hensforthe duryng hys lyff to be a Norffolk man, and to lye with in ii. myle of Loddon, whyche is but viij. or x. myle at the most fro Mautby. And in conclusyon he hathe appoyntyd to awayte on yow at Norwyche the weeke nexte aftyr Mydlent Sonday, all the hole weke, if nede be, all other maters leyd apart.


Also I comend with my brodyr Sir John at London of syche maters as ye wold have amendyd in the bylle that he sent on to yow, and he stake not gretly at it.

Also, modyr, I herd whyle I was in London wher was a goodly yong woman to mary, whyche was doughter to one Seff, a merser, and she shall have CCli. in money to hyr maryage, and xx. mark by yer of lond aftyr the dyssease of a steppe modyr of hyrs, whyche is upon l. yer of age; and or I departyd ought of London, I spak with some of the maydys frendys, and have gotyn ther good wyllys to have hyr maryd to my brodyr Edmund. Notwithstandyng, those frendys of the maydys that I comond with avysyd me to get the good wyll of one Sturmyn, whyche is in Mastyr Pykenhamys danger312.1 so myche that he is glad to please hym; and so I mevyd thys mater to Mastyr Pykenham. And incontinent he sent for Sturmyn, and desyred hys good wyll for my brodyr Edmund, and he grantyd hym hys good wylle, so that he koud get the good wyll of the remenaunt that wer executours to Seff, as well as the seyd Sturmyn was; and thusferforthe is the mater. Wherfor, modyr, we must beseche yow to helpe us forward with a lettyr fro yow to Mastyr Pykenham to remembyr hym for to handyll well and dylygently thys mater now thys Lent; and for I am aqueyntyd with your condycyons of old that ye reke not who endytyth more lettres than ye, ther for I have drawyn a note to yowr secretarys hand, Freir Perse, whyche lettre we must prey yow to send us by the berer herof, and I trust it shall not be longe fro Mastyr Pykenham.

Your doughter of Sweynsthorpp and hyr sojornaunt E. Paston recomandyth hem to yow in ther most humble wyse, lowly besechyng yow of your blyssyng; and as for my brodyr, Edmund Sweynsthorpe, for none intrete that hys ostas your doughtyr, nor I koud intrete hym, myght not kepe hym, but that he wold have bene at home with you at Mautby on Sonday last past at nyght; and as he was departyng fro hens, had we word fro Frenshes wyf that, God yeld yow, modyr, ye had govyn hym leve to dysporte hym her with us for a vij. or 313 viij. dayes; and so the drevyll lost hys thank of us, and yet abode nevyr the lesse.

Your doughtyr sendyth yow part of syche poore stuff as I sent hyr fro London, besechyng yow to take it in gree, though it be lytyll plente that she sendyth yow. But as for datys, I wyll sey trowthe, ye have not so many by ij. pownd as wer ment on to yow, for she thynkys at thys season datys ryght good mete. What so ever it menyth, I prey God send us good tydynges, Whom I beseche to preserve yow and yours, and so send yow your myst desyred joye.

At Sweynsthorp, on Ashe Wednysday. Your sone and humble servaunt, J. Paston.

Modyr, pleasit yow to remember that ye had need to be at Norwyche v. or vj. dayes befor that Jamys Hubbart and your consayll shall be ther with yow, for to look up your evydence and all other thynges redy. Also if ye thynk that thys bylle that I send yow herwith be good i now to send to Doctore Pykenham, ye may close up the same, and send it sealyd to me ayen, and I shall convey it forthe to hym.

311.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter appears from the contents to have been written after John Paston’s marriage, at a time when his wife was staying at Swainsthorpe. He also apologises to his mother for his wife having detained two pounds out of a certain quantity of dates that he himself had sent to her from London by way of Swainsthorpe, as Margery thought them ‘at this season right good meat,’ apparently referring to her approaching confinement.

312.1 i.e. in his debt.


To the Ryght worshypfull sir, Sir John Paston ch’l’r logged at the signe of the George next to Poulys Wharf; or to lefe thys letter at a barbourys house ovyr the seyd George to delyver it to Sir John Paston.


Plese yor gode masterschyp to wete that I herd thys day how a man wend that a jugement ys passed ayenst your entent yn the ende of the last terme (hyt was not of verray certeyn tolde me, but as a dreme) yn the kynges Chauncerye. I coude gefe none aunswer therto. I prai God 314 alle be well; hyt wold ease som of your frendes hertys yff they coude understand ony gode comfort. Sir, as for Robert,314.1 I wold pray and requyre your maistershep that he may for his lernyng be abydyng with your cousyn of Lincoln Inne, as yt was promysed, and to be occupyed under drede of displesir under subjecion, wyth erly rysyng accustomed, for slouth ys the moder and norysher of all vices. He hath cost me moch goode and labour, and now he ys uppon hys makyng by vertues governance, or undoyng to the contrarye, and yn especyalle to be not conversant ne neere amongis women, as I was kept froo her [their] company xxx. yeres or ony suche were of my councelle, I thank God of yt. Sir, and ye write to me as ye lust, let no name be wythynne wryt whens yt com, and that yt be sent by sure comer to delyver yt me, for yt ys better brent then founde. Also your discrecion ought not loth (to take the cost and labour wolle not be gret, nether importune) for to send a man of purpose to my lord of [sic] Bysshop Waltham and to hys councell lerned, ye wete to whom, for redy serch to be made for the bill of half lefe of paper quantite of my hand I faythfully delyvered to Master T. Danvers for to ovyrsee, of the fyrst appoyntment ye wote off, that ye desyre so hertly to see as of othyr manyfolde wrytyngis belongyng to yow and to me. Yt ys seyd yne a vers: Gutta cavat lapidem non vi set sepe cadendo, &c.; to a slow man or a foryetefull or lothfull man must be importune callyng allway uppon hym tille he hafe hys entent, for now thys vacacion to spede or nevyr shall stand in yow no stede. I can no ferther then the walle.

Item, Sir, I comyned wyth Doctor Yotton at Camebrygge late, because there ys no dyvyne service seyd yn the free chapelle at C.,314.2 that he wold hafe a grete concience yn yt, and to depart wyth an honest preste called Sir John Brykkys that ys now duellyng wyth a ryzt lovyng kynnesman of yowres; the seyd Doctor gevyng me to aunsuer he wold comyn wyth yow by Pasch,314.3 and the rather wyth your gode wylle wold 315 depart to such one ye owe affeccion unto. Sir, I wold, as I dar tak uppon me to owen your affeccion to the seyd John Brickys, that he may wyth more help of your cellary hafe the better to lyve and serfe God there to abyde and do yow service also. I mene faythfullye, and soo I pray yow take yt; to remembre a thyng in seson ys gretely to commend, and of a spedy avantage. The blessed Trinite be wyth yow. Wret the fyrst day of Marche. Your W. Botonere.

To J. P. c.315.1 at London.

Item, I had foryete to hafe remembred your maystershyp to hafe a bille to your baylly Pecok for to delyver my fermour of Tyrkbye C. or ii C. lawre and asshe, and than to plant yn my tenement at Thyrkbye, or foras many ye lust; for I lost the last waraunt that ye wrote me truly, and so I was not served.

Item, yff ye wryte to me, hyt hath nede to be by a sure comer, for I had levyr a letter be brent then lost ne forte videant Romani . . . and at reverence of Jhesu that my Robert lose no tyme, nether be idelle, for doubt of ymaginacions and temptacions. I trust wyth your principale help to be wyth the worshypfull gentleman that made promysse to yow, &c.

313.1 [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 152.] This letter would seem to be of the year 1478. It will be seen by No. 925 that in the beginning of that year Sir John Paston wished to arrange with Dr. Yotton to get a priest to sing in Caister.

314.1 Is this Robert, son of Sir John’s brother Edmund, who is mentioned in Margaret Paston’s will? The will, dated 4th February 1482, will be found printed in the next volume.

314.2 Caister.

314.3 Easter.

315.1 John Paston, Chevalier.

Footnote 314.1, Gairdner’s addition:
This suggestion is quite a mistake.—See ‘my Robert’ in the PS., p. 315.


[To Sir] John Paston, Chevalier, be this byll delyveryd in hast.


Ryth reverent and worchepful ser, I recomend me on to yowr masterschep, effectually desyryng to here of yowr welfare and contynual prosperite; and if it ples yow to here of my pour estat, I was in good hele at the 316 makyng of this sympyll byll. Towchyng the cause of my wrytyng to yowr masterschep is, for as moche as I poyntyd with yow to a be with yow be the day that ye asynyd me of, the wheche, with outh yowr good supportacyon, I con not well have myn entent, withouth it ple yow to send oon of yowr men to me, and I psal provyd a letter in myn unkyll name, the wheche he psall delyver to my cosyn as he were myn unkyll masagear, and be this mene I wyll come at yowr request; for my cosyn wold I psuld not depart with hym, with outh it were to myn unkyll servyse; hoys and all others I refuse for yowres, yf my sympul servyse may be to yowr plesure. And of an answer herof I beseke yow be the brynger of my byll, and I wyll conforme me to yowr en tente, be the grace of Good, the Wheche mot preserve yow at all oures.

Wretyn at Cobham, the xxj. day of Marche. By yowr woman and sevnt, Constans Reynforth.

315.2 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The writer of this letter was Sir John Paston’s mistress, by whom he left a natural daughter. The date is ascertained by an endorsement in Sir John’s own hand, ‘Custaunce Raynford, anno xviijo.’


To John Paston, Esquier, ande to Osberne Berney, and to everyche off them, be thys letter delyveryd.


I recomaunde me to yowe, and thanke yow off yowr labor that ye hadde at Heylesdon and Drayton in seyng the woodys there. And it is soo heer that Ric. Ferore seyde, that he repentyd hym that evyr he dalte with any woode theer, and iff I hadde sente hym but the leest chylde that I hadde to have warnyd hym to leve he wolde notte have dalte therwyth; and he ffonde noe comfforte in the Chancery, but that he is lyke to contente me for the harmes and hurte that is doone, and moore ovyr he hathe an instrucyon that he shall ffelle noo moore.

Item, wheer as he desyryd me to be freendly to hym, I dalte so with hym, that I trowe he wylle reporte that I seyde 317 and dalte moore cortesly with hym than he demyd that I wolde doo. Yitt for alle in convenyences that myght ffalle, I wolde be gladde to have a weell stomakyd felawe that wolde for my sake everye daye see the seyde woodes of Heylesdon and Drayton, and to knowe iff any weer fellyd heer afftre; and iffe there be any fellyd syns that Whetley was theer, and I can preve it by wytnesse, I sholde have better recompence for every tree than iiij. trees weer worthe.

Item, it is so that he hathe answeryd to my bille, wheryn he seythe that he never knywe byfor the subpena delyveryd hym that I hadde any clayme or entrest in the maner off Heylesdon, but that it was peasyble my Lordys off Suffolk. Wherffor I suppose that there be many men in Norwyche that comonyd with hym off the byenge off that woode ere evyr he made hys fulle bergayne, and per aventure some freendys off hys gave hym warnyng theroff, and off myn entrest. Iff any suche credyble mane that hadde hadde any suche langage to hym, or in hys companye, or than he bargayned, or any man that he laboryd to be halffe marchant or byer with hym, ar any man that refusyd to bye the seyd wood bycawse off myn entrest in the presence of Feror, any suche credyble man maye, iff he wyll, wytnesse ther in with me, or that dare avowe it, sholde be to me a remedy off alle that is fellyd. I praye yow, if ye can here any suche, that ye will in the presence off them make a bylle of remembraunce theroff, and off ther sayng, so that they maye her afftre wytnesse in the mater. Neverthelesse, trowthe it is that he hadde knowleche ther off i nowe, and soo hadde every man off hys havore [substance] in Norwych, I dowt nott; and as for hym, I am sure he hadde knowleche, for so moche as he desyryd at hys bargayn to have a sywerte to be savyd harmeles ageyn me, whyche was grawntyd hym butt nott executyd. No mor, butt I hope with Goddys grace to have hastely goode remedy for the hole maner, and off Drayton therto, and alle the remenaunte.

Wretyn a London, the v. daye off Maye, anno E. iiijti xviijo.

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



To my ryght worshypfull modre, Margret Paston, be thys delyvered.

MAY 13

Please it yow to weete, that wher as I entendyd to have ben at home thys Mydsomer, and purposyd with yowr goode helpe to have bygonne uppon my ffadrys tombe, so that it myght have ben endyd thys somyr; it is soo, that ffor suche cawsys as ar nowe bygunne by twyen my Lorde off Suffolk and me, ffor the manerys off Heylesdon, Drayton, &c., for whyche materis I most nedys be heer thys nexte terme; therffor I deme it woll be afftr Mydsomer, er than I can see yow.

Please it yow also to weete that I comonyd with Master Pykenham to weete iff he wolde bye the clothe off golde, for soo moche as he desyryd ons to have bowte it, and he offryd me ons xx. marke therffor, neverthelesse it coste me xxiiijli.; yit nowe, when that I spake to hym ther off, he refusyd to bye it, and seyde that he hadde nowe so many chargys that he maye nott. Butt it is soo that the Kynge dothe mak sertayne copys and vestymentys off like clothe, whyche he entendyth to gyve to the Coledge at Foodryngdre, wher my lorde hys ffadre is nowe buryed, and he byethe at a grete pryce.

I comonyd with the vestment maker ffor to helpe me fforthe with xij. yerds, and he hathe grauntyd me to doo, as Whetleye can telle yow; wherffor, iff it please yow that it be bystowyd ffor to make a towmbe ffor my ffadre at Bromholme, iff ye lyke to sende it hyddr, iffe it be solde I undretake or Mychelmesse, that ther shalle be a tombe, and somwhatt ellys ovyr my ffadris grave, on whoys sowle God have mersye, that ther shall noone be lyke it in Norffolk; and as ye shalle be gladde herafftr to see it; and God sende me leyser that I maye come home, and iff I doo not, yit the monye shall be putte to noon 319 other use, butt kepyd by some that ye trust, tylle that it may be bystowyd acordyng as is above wretyn, and ellys I gyve yow cawse nevyr to truste me whylle ye and I lyve. When I was last with yow, ye grauntyd that the seyde clothe of golde sholde be bywaryd [spent] abowte thys werke, that is above wretyn, whyche iff ye wylle perfforme, I undretake that ther shalle be suche a towmbe as ye shalle be pleasyd at, thowgh it cost me xx. marke off myn owne purse besyde, iff I ons sette uppon it.

No mor, but I beseche Goode have yow in Hys kepyng.

Wretyn at London, the Wednysdaye in Whyghtsonweke, anno E. iiijti xviijo.

Please it yow to sende me worde by Whatley off yowr plesyr her in. By your Sone, John Paston, K.

318.1 [From Fenn, ii. 260.]


To his worchypfull moder, Margaret Paston, dwellyng in Mawtby, be this letter delyveryd in hast.

MAY 19

Rytgh reverent and worchypfull moder, I recomaund me on to yowr good moderchypp, besechyng yow to geve me yowr dayly benediccyon, desyeryng hartyly to heer of yowr prosperyte, whych God preserve to Hys plesure, and to yowr hartys desyyr, &c. I marvel soor that yow sent me noo word of the letter wych I sent to yow by Master Wylliam Brown at Ester. I sent yow word that tym that I xold send yow myn exspenses partyculerly; but as at thys tym the berar her of had a letter sodenly that he xold come home, and there fore I kowd have no leysur to send them yow on that wys; and there fore I xall wryt to yow in thys letter the hool som of my exspenses sythyns I was with 320 yow tyll Ester last paste, and also the reseytys, rekenyng the xxs. that I had of yow to Oxon wardys with the Buschopys fyndyng.

The hool some of reseytys ys vli. xvijs. vjd., and the holl some of exspenses ys vjli. vs. vd. ob. qua., and that comth over the reseytys in my exspenses I have borowd of Master Edmund, and yt drawyth to viijs. And yet I recone none exspenses sythyns Ester. But as for them, they be non grete; and therfor I besech yow to send me mony by Syr Richard Cotman, brynger of thys letter, or ellys by the next masenger that yow kan have to me.

I besech yow that he that I sent by thys letter to yow may have good scher, yf he brynge yt hym selfe, as he telth me that he woll, for he ys a good lover of myn. Master Edmund Alyard recomaund hym specyaly to yow, and to all my brodyrn and systyrs, and to all yowr howshold; and I besech yow that I may be recomaundyd to all them also, and specyaly to my brodyr John the yonger. No more to yow at thys tym, but Allmythy Jhesus have yow in Hys kepyng. Amen.

Wretyn at Oxonforth, on Seynt Dunstonys Day and the xix. day of May. By your sonn and scoler, Walter Paston.

319.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter is printed in Fenn’s fifth volume, and dated by him in 1478. I do not know on what evidence he assigns this particular year to it, except that, as he tells us elsewhere, Walter Paston took a degree at Oxford, and died in 1479.

Rytgh reverent and worchypfull moder
spelling unchanged


To the ryght worsh[yp]full Sir John Paston, Knyght, loged at the sygne off the George at Powlys Wharff, in London, be thys delyvered in hast.

MAY 20

Pleas it your meastershep to understond the dealyng of every thyng, the wych I was charged with at my departyng frome your measterchep.

Fyrst, your suppena to Denton was delyvered by me on Trenite Sondaye, in hys parych cherch, at Matens tyme, be 321 ffor the substans of the parych; and as for Drayton wod, it is not all down yet, but it drawes fast toward. I have the names of all the mynestres off and in that wod, and more schall know or I come, yf ther be any more dealyng, &c.

And as for Haylysdon, my Lord of Suffolk was ther on Wedensday in Whytson Weke, and ther dined, and drew a stew and toke gret plente of fych; yet hath he left you a pyke or ij., agayn ye come, the wych wold be gret comford to all your frendes, and dyscomford to your enmys; for at hys beyng ther that daye ther was never no man that playd Herrod in Corpus Crysty321.1 play better and more agreable to hys pageaunt then he dud. But ye schall understond that it was after none, and the weder hot, and he so feble for sekenes that hys legges wold not bere hyme, but ther was ij. men had gret payn to kepe hym on hys fete; and ther ye were juged. Som sayd ‘Sley;’ some sayd ‘Put hym in preson.’ And forth com my lord, and he wold met you with a spere, and have none other mendes for the troble at ye have put hym to but your hart blod, and that will be gayt with hys owen handes; for and ye have Haylesdon and Dreton, ye schall have hys lyff with it. And so he comford your enmys with that word that thay have dealed and dealeth with the wod, and most pryncepall nowe is Nycolesse Ovye. For as for Ferrer,321.2 the Meare, he delys not with owt it be under covert; for it is sayd that he be soght my lord that he myght have other sygnementes for hys money that he had payd, for playnly he wold deall no mor with the wod. And so my lord hath set in the Bayly of Cossay, and all is doon in hys name; and as for hys servauntes, thay dayly thret my measter your brother and me to slay for comyng of ther lordes ground, and thay say that we made an entre; and thay beth answerd as ye comaunded me, for many a gret chalaunge make thay to Mester John, both Measter Wodhowse, Wysman, with other dyveres that I know not ther names; but he holdeth hys own that thay gayt no grownd of hym. And thys he lettes thaym knowe 322 that if thay bete hym or any of hys, thay schall aby vj. for on, and so thay deall not but with ther tonges; and as yet, syth Ferrer was at London, there passes not iij. acres of wod down but thay cary fast for fere of rayn, &c.

Also, sir, I trust to bryng or send hastely the cloth off gold, for it hath ben largely tempted; but as yet I have none playn answer, but put in hope. Also I have spoken with Popy for your money, and delyvered hym your letter, the wych, as he sayth, is a straunge thyng to hym, for, as I understond, he that owght thys deute was uncle to thys yong man, and he sayth that hys fader was never exsecutor to hym, nor never mynestred; and I told hym howe that hys fader was bound for the same deute, in so mech and my measter wold have forgevyn part of the same deute, he wold have payed it; and so he will be at London thys terme, and speke with you, and thys is hys answer.

Morover Wyllyam Worsestre, mevyd unto me of onne Sir Wylliam Bokkyng, exsecutor and brother to John Bokkyng, the whych was one of Sir John Fastolf hys clerkes, the whych mater I knewe not, nor had no comaundement be you to deall therin, and so I told hym. Never the lesse he sayd that ye promysed hym to have sent your will to have bene done in that mater by me, and so he troweth that it was owt of your mynd at my departyng. Yff so be that ye will any thyng to be doon by me or I come to yow in that mater, let me have knowlege schortly, for I thynk to be with yow in the weke folowyng aftyr thys wryten, with owt I may have more comford of money then I have yet.

And as for my meastres, your moder hath ben gretly deseased and so seke that she wened to have dyed, and hath made her wyll,322.1 the wyche ye shall understond more when I come, for ther is every man for hym selff. I know not the sercomstance of every thyng as yet, and therfor I writ no more to you therin, but I am promysed to know or I depart from thens.


Also I spake with William Barker, and he sayth that I shall have the stuff or I depart, or els the monye agayn that he hade of Wylliam Pecoke.

Also, sir, as for your lond be syd Bromholm that ye had of Bakton, it hath layn un ocupyed syth ye were ther.

Moreover, my Lord of Suffolk323.1 is remevyd in to Suffolk the morow after that he had bene at Haylesdon, and my lady purposed to remeff after on thys day, Corpus Crysty Evyn, by the grace of Jesu, Who preserve yow ever in worchep.

Wryten at Norwych, on Wedensday Corpus Crysty Evyn, anno E. iiijti xviijo.

Item, as for the knowleg that Ferror denyed by hys othe that he knew never no tytle nor entrest that ye had in and to Haylsdon and Dreton, as yet we can not know; but thys thay will record all that were at the delyveraunce of the wryt that he sayd my lord had promysed to save hym harmles, in so mech that Wysman was bownd to Ferrour to save hym harmeles, and he had for bryngyng that mater about, that Ferrour shuld have the wod, xxs. Your servaunt, J. Whetley.

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

321.1 Corpus Christi Day, the Thursday after the Octave of Whitsuntide, was famous for the acting of Mysteries, particularly at Chester.—F.

321.2 Richard Farrer, Farrour, or Ferriour, was five times Mayor of Norwich, namely, in 1473, 1478, 1483, 1493, and 1498.—F.

322.1 The will now made by Margaret Paston was afterwards cancelled, as that which was proved after her death in 1484 was dated on the 4th of February 1482, 21 E. IV.

323.1 John de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk, etc., married Elizabeth, third daughter of Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, and sister of Edward IV. They both lie buried at Wingfield, in Suffolk.—F.

be thys delyvered in hast
final italic “d” misprinted as “a”


To the ryght worshypfull Sir John Paston, Knyght.

MAY 27

I greet yow well and send yow Goddys blyssyng and myn, latyng yow wete that I have sent yow be Whetele the clothe of golde, chargyng yow that it be not solde to none other use than to the performyng of yowyr fadyrs toombe, as ye send me worde in wrytyng; yf ye sell yt to any othyr use, by my trowthe, I shall never trost yow wyll I leve.


Remembyr that yt coste me xxti marke the pleggyng owte of yt, and yf I wher not glad to se that made, I wolde not departe from it. Remembyr yow what charge I have had with yow of late, whyche wyl not be for my ease this ij. yer; whan ye may better, I trost ye whyll remembyr yt.

My cosyn Clere dothe as meche coste at Bromhom as whylle drawe an Cli. upon the deskys in the quere, and in othyr places, and Heydon in lyke whyse, and yf ther shulde no thyng be don for yowyr fadyr, yt wolde be to gret a schame for us alle, and in cheffe to se hym lye as he dothe.

Also as I understond that my cosyn Robert Clere thynkyth gret on kyndenesse in delyng wyth hym of Pecoke, for certeyn pasture that ye324.1 grawntyd hym to have, and Pecoke hath letyn it to othyr, suche as he lyste to lete yt to, not withstondyng my cosyn hath leyd the pastur with hys catell, and Pecok hathe strenyd them.

I thynk thys delyng is not as yt shulde be. I wolde that iche of yow shulde do for other, and leve as kynnysmen and frendys; for suche servawnts my make trobyll by twyxe yow, wheche wher a ageynste cortesy, so nyhe newbors as ye be, he is a man of substance and worchyp, and so wylle be takyn in thys schyr; and I wer lothe that ye shulde lese the good wylle of suche as may do for yow.

Item, wher as ye have begonne your cleyme in Heylysdon and Drayton, I pray God send yow good spede and foderance in yit. Ye have as good a season as ye wulde wysche, consyderyng that yowyr adversary standys not in best favyr with the Kynge.

Also ye have the voyse in this contre, that ye may do as meche with the Kyng, as any knygth that ys longyng to the corte. Yf yt be so, I pray God contynu yt; and also that ye shuld mary rygth nygth of the Qwenys blood; qwat sche ys we are not as certeyn, but yf yt be so, that yowyr lond schuld come agayne by the reason of yowyr maryage, and to be sett in rest, at the reverence of God for sake yt nowt, yf ye can fynde in yowyr harte to love hyr, so that sche be suche one as ye can 325 thynke to have issu by, or ellys, by my trowthe, I had rather that ye never maryd in yowyr lyffe.

Also, yf yowyr mater take not now to good effecte, ye and all yowyr frendys may repent them that ye began yowyr cleyme, with owte that ye have take suche a suyr wey, as may be to yowyr intent, for many inconvenyens that may falle ther of. God send yow good spede in all yowyr maters.

Wretyn at Mawteby, the day after Seynt Austyn in May, the xviij. yer of Kyng Edward the iiijte. Be yowyr Modyr.

323.2 [From Fenn, ii. 264.]

324.1 Fenn’s literal text reads ‘that be grawntyd,’ which seems to be an error. In the modern transcript it is ‘that ye granted.’


The comodytys off the parsonage and the valew off the benyfyce off Oxned.


My new parson off Oxned, whan he is instute and inducte, at the first entre in to the chyrch and benefyce off Oxned, must off awncyent custom long contynued with in the dyosesse off Norwyche, pay to the byschopp off Norwych, for the first frutes off the seyd benefyce, xiiij. marke; for wyche xiiij. marke, iff the new parson be wytty and have favour a bowt the Byschops offycers, he schall have days off paiment to pay the seid xiiij. marke in xiiij. yere, that is, a marke a yere, till it be payd; so that he can fynd suffycyent mene to be bownd to the Bischopp be obligacion to kepe his days off payment.

And the chyrch is but litill, and is resonable plesaunt, and reparyd. [And the] dwellyng place of the parsonage is a yoynyng to the . . . . . . . d well howsyd and reparyd, hall, chamberes, barn, doffhowse, and all howsys off offyce.


And it hath a doffhowse worth a yere, xiiijs. iiijd.

And it hath ij. large gardens with frute, and is yonynge to the place and chyrch yard, wher off the frute is worth yerly, xxvjs. viijd.

And ther longith to the seid parsonage in fre lond, arable, pasture and medowe ayonyng to the seid parsonage, xxijti acre or more, wher off every acre is worth ijs.; to latyn [to let], iijli. iiijd.

And William Paston, Justice, qwan he326.1 cam fyrst to dwell in the maner of Oxned, paid to the parson that was than for the corne growyng on the parsonage londys and for the tythynges, ondely but in corne whan it was inned in to the barn, xxiiijli.

And the same yere the parson had all the awterage and oder profytes be syde the seyd xxiiijli.

It is yerly worth, as the world goth now, xli.

And it is butt an esy cure to kepe, ffor ther ar natt past xxti persons to be yerly howselyd.326.2

The parsonage stant be a fresh ryver syde.

And ther is a good markett town callyd Alysham, within ij. myle off the parsonage.

And the cyte of Norwych is within vj. myle off the parsonage.

And the see is within x. myle off the parsonage.

And if a parson cam now, and warr presentyd, institute, and inducte, he shuld have by the lawe all the cropp that is now growyng, that was eryd and sowyn off the old parsons cost, growyng on the parsonage landes now, as his own good, and all the tyth off all maner graynys off the maner, londes, and tenantes londes,326.3 towardes his charges off the fyrst frutes. And if it ware innyd it war (the crop now growyng)326.4 worth his first frutes.


327.1He that hath this benefice, and he were a pore man, myght have lycens to have service be side.

The Beshop ought not to have the valew of this cropp for the arrerages of the fyrst fruttes that Sir Thomas Everard, last parson of Oxned, oght to the Bysshop whan he died, for the said Sir Thomas Everard was bond to the Bisshop in an obligacion for the said frutes, and the said Sir Thomas Everard, for to defraude the Bysshop and oder men that he owid mony to, gaff a way his gooddes to serten persons, qwech persons toke a way the said goodes, and also durres and wyndow of the said parsonage; and it is though that both the Bysshop and the patron myght take accions a gayns the said persons.

325.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The date of this document is shown by the following mutilated endorsement: ‘. . . . . . . . . . parsonage of Oxnede made xxxj. Julii, Ao xviijo E. iiijti.’ The first words were doubtless ‘The value of,’ or something to that effect; but the paper is mutilated.

326.1 ‘William Paston, Justice, qwan he.’ These words are a correction, interlined, in the hand of William Paston, the uncle of Sir John. The text stood originally, ‘And my hosbond and I whan we.’

326.2 i.e. to receive the sacrament.

326.3 Off the maner londes and tenantes londes. These words are interlined by William Paston.

326.4 This parenthesis is an interlineation by William Paston.

327.1 What follows is in William Paston’s hand.


AUG. 5

Presentation by Agnes Paston of Richard Lyncoln, S.T.P., to the parish church of Oxened, vice Thomas Everard, deceased.

London, 5 Aug. 1478.

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



Printed by T. and A. Constable, Printers to His Majesty
at the Edinburgh University Press

Contents of Volume V
(added by transcriber)

Year Letter
Edward IV 1469 695
1470 741
Henry VI ” ” 759
1471 767
Edward IV ” ” 774
1472 794
1473 825
1474 845
1475 861
1476 881
1477 896
1478 924

Title Page



A.D. 1422–1509









The Paston Letters: Edward IV
The Paston Letters: Henry VI (restored)
The Paston Letters: Edward IV (restored)
Contents of this Volume