Paston Letters

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

No.  .  . 44. .  .  .

A.D. 1422-1509

title page

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


Early Documents

Before entering upon the correspondence of the Paston family, in the reign of Henry VI., we have thought it well to give the reader a brief note of such deeds and charters of an earlier date as appear either to have been preserved in the family, or to have any bearing on its history. The following is a list of those we have been able to meet with either in the originals or in other quarters, such as Blomefield’s History of Norfolk, where notices are given of several documents, which appear now to have got into unknown hands. The documents seen by Blomefield, and those from the Paston and Dawson-Turner collections, now in the British Museum, were probably all at one time part of the Paston family muniments. The three Harleian charters seem to have been derived from a different source.

A Deed is cited by Blomefield (Hist. Norf. vi. 480), by which Anselm, Abbot of St. Benet’s, Hulme, and the Convent there, gave to Osbern, the priest (said by Blomefield to have been a son of Griffin de Thwait, the founder of the Paston family), the land of St. Benet’s of Paston (terram Sancti Benedicti de Paston), in fee, for half the farm of one caruca, as his ancestors used to pay for the same.

Also a Deed of William the Abbot (who lived in King Stephen’s reign), granting to Richer de Pastun, son of Osbern, son of Griffin de Thwete, all the land that the Convent held in Pastun, with their men, and other pertinencies.

Also a Deed of Covenant between Richer de Paston and Reginald the Abbot, and Convent of St. Benet’s, Holme, that when peace should be settled in England, and pleas held in the Court of our Lord the King, the said Richer would, at the request and at the expense of the Abbot, give him every security in Court to release the lands in Pastun.

‘Ralph de Paston was son, as I take it’ (says Blomefield) ‘of this Richer, and appears to have had two sons, Richard and Nicholas.


‘Richard, son of Ralph de Paston, by his deed, sans date, granted to Geoffrey, son of Roger de Tweyt, lands in this town (Oxnead), paying 9d. per ann. for his homage and service, 40s. for a fine (in gersumam), and paying to him and his heirs on the feasts of St. Andrew, Candlemas, Pentecost, and St. Michael, on each feast, 2s. ob. He sealed with one lis. Laurence de Reppes, William and John, his brother, William de Bradfield, &c., were witnesses.’—Blomefield, vi. 480–1.

‘There was also another branch of this family, of which was Wystan, or Wolstan, de Paston, which I take to be the lineal ancestor of Sir William Paston, the Judge, and the Earls of Yarmouth. This Wolstan lived in the reign of Henry II. and Richard I., and married, as is probable, a daughter of the Glanvilles, as appeared from an impalement of Paston and Glanville in the windows of Paston Hall in Paston. His son and heir styled himself Robert de Wyston and Robert de Paston; who, dying in or about 1242, was buried at Bromholm, and left Edmund de Paston. To this Edmund, son of Robert, son of Wolstan de Paston, Sir Richard de Paston gave the land in Paston which Robert, his father, held of him and Nicholas, his brother, by deed sans date.’—Blomefield, vi. 481.

Undated Deed of Nicholaus filius Radulfi Diaconi de Paston, granting to Robert, son of Wistan de Paston, two parcels of land—one of them abutting on the lands of Eudo de Paston. Witnesses—Richard de Trunch; Will. Esprygy; Ralph de Reppes; Roger de Reppes; Richard, s. of Ralph de Baketon; John de Reppes; Roger, s. of Warin de Paston; Hugh, s. of Will. de Paston, &c.—Add. Charter 17,217, B.M. (Paston MSS.).

Undated Deed of Richard, son of Ralph de Pastune, granting to Edmund, son of Robert Wistan de Pastune, lands in Pastune, &c.—(Seal attached, in fine condition.)—Add. Charter 17,218, B.M. (Paston MSS.).

Blomefield also mentions (vi. 481) that Nicholas, son of Ralph de Paston, gave lands to Robert, son of Wystan de Paston, by deed sans date. Witness, Roger de Repps.

Undated Deed Poll, by which Richard, the son of Ralph, Deacon of Paston, grants to Edmund, the son of Robert Wiston of Paston, certain lands at Paston.—Add. Charter 14,810, B.M. (D. Turner’s Collection of Deeds relating to Norfolk).

Richard, son of Ralph de Paston, according to Blomefield (xi. 24), gave 12d. a year rent in Paston to the Priory of Bromholm. This gift is also mentioned by Richard Taylor in his Index Monasticus of the Diocese of Norwich, p. 15, where the purpose of the endowment is said to be ‘to keep their books in repair.’

Deed, cited by Blomefield (vi. 481), by Richard, son of John, son of Richard de Paston, granting to Richer Alunday and his heirs his native Alan de Tilney, with all his family, &c. (cum tota sequela), and 7 acres of land in Paston and Knapton, with messuages, &c., for 4 marks of silver in gersumam, and a rent of 22d. a year.

Undated Deed Poll, whereby William, the son of Robert Barrett, grants to Edmund, the son of Robert Whiston of Paston, certain lands in the Common Field of Paston.—Add. Charter 14,813, B.M. (D. Turner’s Coll.).


Undated Indenture between Clement Parcerit of Gimmingham, and Cecil, his wife, and Edmund, the son of Robert de Paston, concerning lands in Paston Field.—Add. Charter 14,814, B.M. (D. Turner’s Coll.).

Undated Deed Poll, by which Richard de Lessingham grants to William, son of Robert de Paston, certain lands in the Common Field of Paston.—Add. Charter 14,812 (D. Turner’s Coll.).

Ancient Deed of Nich. Chancehose of Baketun granting to Edmund, fil. Roberti Wistan de Pastun, and his heirs, for 30s., a tresroda of land in Pastun.—Add. Charter 17,219, B.M. (Paston MSS.).

Undated Deed Poll, by which Richard, son of John de Paston, grants to Roger, his brother, certain lands in Paston Field.—Add. Charter 14,811, B.M. (D. Turner’s Coll.).

Undated Deed Poll, whereby Hugh, son of William de Pastun, grants to Walter, son of Edmund de Pastun, and his heirs, a tresroda of land in the fields of Pastun, ‘inter terram quæ fuit Osberti Salr. (?), ex parte Austri, et terram quæ fuit Ricardi Chaumpeneys ex parte Aquilonis, et abuttat super forreram quæ fuit Roberti Carpentar’ versus Orientem, et super liberam et terram ecclesiæ de Past’ versus Occidentem.’—Add. Charter 2004, B.M.

A.D. 1313, 16 Oct. ‘William de Paston obtains a pardon as an adherent of the Earl of Lancaster for his participation in the death of Gaveston, and the disturbances occasioned thereby.’ 16 Oct., 7 Edw. II.—Palgrave’s Parliamentary Writs, vol. ii. div. iii. p. 1262.

A.D. 1324, 22 Jan. Deed Poll, dated on Sunday after the Feast of St. Agnes, 17 Edward II., whereby Henry de Mundham, parson of Oxnead, and another, grant to William Hautayne and Alice, his wife, a certain messuage and premises in Oxnead.—Add. Charter 14,804, B.M. (D. Turner’s Coll.).

A.D. 1324, 19 Feb. Quit-Claim by Edmund, son of Robert de Neketone, to Robert de Paston, Tabernarius, of lands in the fields without the West Gate of Bury St. Edmund’s. Sunday after St. Valentine’s Day, 17 Edw. II. Seal attached.—Harl. Charter 54 A. 31, B.M.

A.D. 1329, 24 Dec. Deed Poll of Margery, daughter of Robert de Neketon, granting to Robert de Paston lands in the fields of St. Edmund’s. St. Edmund’s Bury, Sunday, Christmas Eve, 3 Edw. III.—Harl. Charter 54 A. 32, B.M.

A.D. 1330. Petition to Parliament 4 Edw. III. of John de Claveryng, complaining that John Payne of Dunwich, Constantine de Paston, Austin Fitzwilliam, and others of Dunwich, took by force and arms five ships and a boat belonging to him, at Wallerswyke, and goods to the value of £300, after having beat, shipwrecked, and imprisoned (baterent, naufrerent, et enprisonerent) the said John’s servants. The king’s answer: ‘Eyt en Chauncellerie oyer et terminer pur le horibilite du trespas, devant covenables justices.’—Rolls of Parl. ii. 33.

A.D. 1333, 29 April. Deed Poll, dated Thursday next before the Feast of the Invention of the Holy Cross, 7 Edward III., whereby Alice, widow of William Hautayne, grants to Henry de Colby and others a messuage, with the appurtenances in Oxnead.—Add. Charter 14,805, B.M. (D. Turner’s Coll.).

A.D. 1341, 28 Aug. Deed Poll of Robert de Paston granting to William 4 de Bradeleghe and William Child, Chaplains, lands in the fields of St. Edmund’s Bury, without the West Gate at Stanywerp, &c. St. Edmund’s Bury, Tuesday after St. Bartholomew, 15 Edw. III.—Harl. Charter 54 F. 37, B.M.

A.D. 1341. Indenture of 15 Edw. III. between John de Knapeton, rector of Freugges, and Clement de Paston and Will. his son.—Add. Charter 17,221, B.M. (Paston MSS.).

A.D. 1361. Charter of Sir Rob. de Mauteby to the Prior of St. Olave’s, Herlyngflet, 35 Edw. III.—Add. Charter 17,222 (Paston MSS.), B.M.

Notes of Proceedings in Outlawry of the time of Edward III. Judgment by Sir John Hody, mentioned in a more modern hand.—Paston MSS., B.M.

A.D. 1382, 5 Oct. Deed Poll, dated on Sunday next after the Feast of St. Michael, 6 Richard II., by which Robert de Paston grants to John Gant certain lands in Paston field.—Add. Charter 14,817, B.M. (D. Turner’s Coll.).

A.D. 1404, 1 Oct. Deed by which Mary, Lady Mortimer, mother of Sir John Fastolf, grants to her said son her manors of Caister and Caister Hall, together with her manor of Repps and the advowson of the free Chapel of St. John, within the said manor of Caister, to hold to him and his heirs for ever. 1 Oct., 6 Henry IV.—Add. Charter 14,597, B.M. (D. Turner’s Coll.).


Henry V



These be the names of Townes, Castell, Citees, and Abbeys that the [King did]5.2 gete in his secund viage:—

The Town of Cane and the Castell.

The Town of Valeis [Falaise] and the Castell.

The Town of Argenton and the Castell.

The Town of Bayeux and the Castell.

The Town of Alawnsom and the Castell.

The Town of Frezsne le Vicont and the Castell.

The Town of Seint Savers de Vive and the Castell.

The Town of Seint Jakes de Beueron and the Castell.

The Town of Seint Jakes de Burvam and the Castell.

The Town of Seint Low and the Castell.

The Town of Valence and the Castell.

The Cytee of Averense and the Castell.

The Cytee of Sees.

The Cytee of Leseaux.

The Cytee of Everose.

The Town of Louerse.

The Town of Counsheux.

The Town of Vire.


The Town of Karentine.

The Town of Chyrbourgh and the Castell.

The Town of Vernoile and ij. Castell.

The Town of Morteyn and the Castell.

The Town of Powntlarche and the Castell.

The Town of Esey and the Castell.

The Town of Dounfrount and the Castell.

The Town of Pountedomer and the Castell.

The Town of Turve and the Castell.

The Town of Costaunce and the Castell.

The Cytee of Roon and the Castell.

The Town of Galion and the Castell.

The Town of Galdebek [Caudebec].

The Town of Mustirvilers.

The Town of Depe.

The Town of Ve and the Castell.

The Town of Vernoile suz Seyne and the Castell.

The Town of Mawnt and the Castell.

The Castell of Towk.

The Castell of Morvile.

The Castell of Overs in Awge.

The Abbey of Seint Savers suz Deve.

The Abbey of Seint Peers suz Dive.

The Abbey of Seint Stevenis of Cane.

The Bole Abbey of Cane.

The Castell of Cursy.

The Castell of Gundy.

The Castell of Nevylebeke.

The Castell of Vermus.

The Castell of Garcy.

The Castell of Oo [Eu].

The Castell of Vileine.

The Castell of Egyll.

The Castell of Regyll.

The Castell of Curton.

The Castell of Fagernon.

The Castell of Chamberexs.

The Castell of Ryveers.


The Castell of Bewmanill.

The Castell of Bewmalyn.

The Castell of Harecourt.

The Abbey of Behelwyn.

The Castell of Parlevesque.

The Castell of Semper.

The Castell of Tracy.

The Castell of Tylly.

The Castell of Groby.

The Castell of Carsell.

The Castell of Hommbe.

The Castell of Seynt Denise.

The Castell of Bonvile.

The Castell of Grennevile.

The Castell of Perers.

The Castell of Seint Gilerinz.

The Castell of Bewmound.

The Castell of Asse la Rebole.

The Castell of Tanny.

The Castell of Antony.

The Castell of Balon.

The Castell of Mountfort.

The Castell of Tovey.

The Castell of Lowdon.

The Castell of Noaus.

The Castell of Seynt Romains in Plaine.

The Castell of Daungell.

The Castell of Peschere.

The Castell of Bolore.

The Castell of Keshank.

The Castell of Turre.

The Castell of Seint Imains.

The Castell of Seint Germains.

The Castell of Bomstapyll.

The Castell of Croile.

The Castell of Bakuile.

The Castell of Bellacombyr.

The Castell of Douyle.


The Castell of Likone.

The Castell of Ankyrvile.

The Abbey of Seint Katerinz.

These er the gates names of Roon, and how the lordys lay in sege, and to fore what gate, and also the derth of vitailes withyn the forseyd Cytee of Roon.

Le Port Causches. To fore thys gate, lay my Lord of Clarense8.1 vnto riversyde of Seyne with mykyl of hys howsold and a grete market; and then fro that gate upward lay my Lord of Urmound,8.2 my maistre Corwayle8.3 with the Lord Talbotts meyne. Le Port de Castell. At thys gate my Lord Marchall,8.4 the Lord of Haryngton. Le Port de Bewvoisyn. At thys gate lay my Lord of Excester. Le Port de Vowdelagate. To fore thys gate lay the Lord Roos, the Lord Wylleby, the Lord Fyhew,8.5 Sir John Gray, and Sir William Porter. Le Port Seint Yllare. To fore thys gate lay the kyng and my Lord of Glowcestyr. Le Port de Martynvile. To fore thys lay my Lord of Warwyk and Sir Phelip Leche. Le Port debut de Pount. To fore thys gate lay my Lord of Huntyngdon, my Lord of Sawlisbyry, my maistre Nevile, and my mayster Umphirvile. Le Port de Vicount. Thys ys the chefe Watergate of the town, and at thys gate cometh in al maner marchawndys and vitailes.

Furthyrmore as towchyng to the derth of vytayles withyn this forseyd Cytee, j. [one] Buschell of Whete was worth v. scutys, j. lofe j. frank, j. dog j. frank, j. kat ijs. sterlinges, j. rat vjd. sterlinges. And as towchyng all other vitailes, it was spendit or that we com in to the Cytee.

Urbis Rotomagi Wulstano captio claret,

Quam Rex Henricus Quintus sexto capit anno.

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

5.2 Parchment mutilated.

8.1 Thomas, Duke of Clarence, the King’s brother.

8.2 James Butler, Earl of Ormond.

8.3 Sir John Cornwall, afterwards Lord Fanhope.

8.4 John Mowbray, Earl Marshal, afterwards Duke of Norfolk.

8.5 Fitz-Hugh.




Trescher et mon tresfiable amy je vous salue tressouvent de tout mon cuer, desirant pur savoir et oier bons noveles de vous, et que vous soiez en prosperitee. Et, mon tresfiable amy, vous face assavoir que monsieur mon baron covient sey apparailler et ordenyier envers le Roy ore en y ceste proschein viage en la presence oue le Duc de Excestre, pur la quelle luy covient faire graundes expenses entour son arraie en salvacion de son honour, lequel je vorreie faire ma diligence pur saluer et encrescer a mon poair, come je suy graundement tenuz; et vous estez la persone en la quelle je plus graundement maffie devaunt aucune altre ore vivant. Pur quey je vous emprie tresespecialment de trestout mon cuer que vous please pur faire a tant pur moy quant a ore pur moy faire chevyceance de xl. marcz come pur voie dapprompt ore en y ceste nostre graunde busoigne, promittant de certeyne que sereez bien et loialment repaiez a aucune jour reisoignable que vous veuilliez assigner; et si vous ne osez pleignement affier en y ceste ma promys pur peril quent purra avenir en temps avenir, vous auerez tiel seuretee come vous veuillez deviser. Trescher et mon tresfiable amy, pluisours a vous nay escrier au present, mays que vous veuillez doner foie et credence a une gentile feme portour dycestes. Et pri al Saint Espirit qil vous ait touz jours en sa tressaintisme garde. Escript en haste a Wrentham, le xxviiime jour de Mars. Amye Bowet.

On the back is written in a different hand:—

‘Thomas Lente et Matillda uxor mea petunt de Galfrido Somerton xiijs. iiijd. quos Willelmus Lyster et dicta Matillda, circa xxiiij. annos elapsos quum ipsi levaverunt finem de tenementis in Castre inter ipsos et Walterum Gase; et dicit quod dicta Matillda quando ipsa examinata fuit per Justiciarios apud Jernemuth qui sedebant super Rayes (?) in ecclesia Fratrum Carmelitarum, 10 dictus Justiciarius dedit dictos xiiis. iiiid. quos ipse habere debuisset pro labore suo dictæ Matilldæ, et dictus Galfridus dictos xiiis. iiiid. posuit in loculo suo proprio et nullatenus illos dictæ Matilldæ solvit: et ad festyngong per iiii. annos elapsos le boteler apud Somerton audivit quod dictus Galfridus promisit dictæ Matilldæ et dicto Thomæ tunc viro suo dictos xiiis. iiiid.

9.1 [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 141.] This letter appears to be of a very early date. If its contents refer, as seems probable, to the preparations for Henry V.’s expedition in France, it is of the year 1417, and so earlier than No. 1; which, however, it may follow as bearing on the same subject.

lequel je vorreie faire ma diligence
text unchanged: error for “vorroie”?


A mon trescher et honure sieur, William Sewardby.


Trescher et honure sieur, jeo me recomaund a vous si tresentierement de t  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  doyere et de savore bonez novells de vous et de vostre entiere estat et souereyn  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  tres bonz de vous auore et savore com vous mesmes lez sauera meltz devisere ou  .  .  .  .  .  .  et si de moy le vostre. Vous plese savore, a la fesaunce de cestez j’estoy en bon saunte. [Et quant a] vostre boys de denz le boys de Baketon vous plese savore que le Prieur de Bromholm est (?) [nostre] parochen, et nous ade prie pur avore vostre dit boys dissevere et departie a son boys issint  .  .  .  .  boys que est parcel a vostre boys pur lour profit et saunz damage de vostre dit boys, mes Richa[rd]  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  disseveryng fere saunz vostre volunte ou autre maundement de vous, come le portour de  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  ment que jeo ne puis ore escrire. Et touchant vostre manere illuques si longuement com  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  maynez de dit priour, vous, ne null de voz bien voliauncez y aueroyent nulle conyschaun[ce]  .  .  .  de vostre manere as autrez de lours seigneuries, et ensi vous et vostrez serrount en temps avenir  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  que vous les tenez en voz maynez proprez et sure tiele colour si vous plese Richard Causton  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  et payr omez a vous si taunt come le priour avaundit fet a termes et jours par vous assign[ez] 11 .  .  .  .  .  .  pur avore par voz tenauntz lez ditz terez, rentz et tenementz, boys et autres comoditez  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  disseverez et departez. Et vous covyent avore i. seneschal pur tenire vostres courtez iluque[s]  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  de dit priour ne en son daungere, mes tiel homme que nad null dom de eux et tiele  .  .  .  .  .  .  vous luy voliez bien rewardere pur son travail. Trescher et honoure sieur, de ceste matere et de  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  par le portour de cestz, et nous ferrouns nostre powere et diligence de lez accomplere a vostre  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  Sieur, jeo prie a Dieux quil vous doyne tresbon vie et long honour et souereyn joye de  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  A Edythorp juxta Bromholm, le primer jour de Jul’.

10.1 [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 142.] This letter appears also to be of a very early, but quite an uncertain date. It is unfortunately mutilated, some words being lost on every line on the right hand side of the MS.



Marriage Settlement of William Paston, dated the Eve of the Annunciation of the Virgin, 8 Henry V.—It is agreed between Sir Edmund Berre, Kt., on the one part, and William Paston of Paston on the other, that the latter shall marry Agnes, daughter of the said Sir Edmund, and that his trustees of the manor of Oxenede, Norf., shall demise the same to the said William and Agnes, and the heirs of their bodies, &c. Also Sir Edmund’s trustees, either of the manor of Estodenham, co. Norf., or of the manor of Hollewellebury, Herts, at the option of William Paston, shall deliver one or other manor to the said William and Agnes, and the heirs of their bodies, &c. If Estodenham be chosen, Paston is to make to Sir Edm. and his wife Alice an estate for life, either in the manors of Marlingford, Norf., and Stanstede, Suff., or in the manors of Elghe and Willyngham, Suff., &c.



Inspeximus of a Deed of Thos. Pecke, clk., dated 10 Hen. V., granting the reversion of the manors of Breydeston, Caston, &c., then held by Sir John Carbonell and Margery, his wife, to Sir Rob. Brewys, John Fitz-Rauff, and others.—(See Blomefield’s Norfolk, ii. 285.)

11.1 [Add. Charter 17,225, B.M.]

11.2 [Add. Charter 17,243.]


Henry VI



Be it remembred that where, on the nyght next biforne the feste of the Circumcision of owre Lord Jesu, the [second]12.2 yeer of the regne of Kyng Henry the Sexte, certeyns maffaisours, felons, and brekeres of the kynges peas vnknowyn, to the noumbre of iiijxx [four score] and more by estimacion, of malice and imaginacion forne thowght felonowsly, the dwellyng place of John Grys of Wyghton, in Wyghton, in the shyre of Norffolk, brokyn, and with carpenteres axes the yates and the dores of the seyd place hewen, and the seyd John Grys, and hys sone, and a servaunt man of hese by here bodyes tokyn, and fro the seyd dwellyng place by the space of a myle to a payre gawles ledden, there hem for to have hangyd; and by cause hem fayled ropes convenient to here felonowse purpos, the seyd John Grys, hese sone, and hys man there felonowsely slowen and mordered in the most orrible wyse that ever was herd spoken of in that cuntre. Wher up on Walter Aslak, purposyng and imaginyng to 13 putte William Paston in drede and intollerable fere to be slayn and mordered in the seyd forme with force and ageyn the kinges peas, on the shyre day of Norffolk, halden at Norwiche, the xxviij day of August, in the seyd secunde yeer, beyng there thanne a grete congregacion of poeple by cause of the seyd shyre, in hese owne persone, and by Richard Kyllynworth, that tyme hese servaunt, to the seyd William Paston swiche and so many manaces of deth and dismembryng maden and puttyn by certeyns Englische billes rymed in partye, and up on the yates of the Priorie of the Trinite chirche of Norwiche, and on the yates of the chyrche of the Freres Menures of Norwiche, and the yates of the same Cite called Nedeham yates and Westewyk yates, and in othre places wyth inne the seyd Cite by the seyd Walter and Richard sette, makyng mension and berying this undyrstondyng that the seyd William, and hese clerkes, and servauntes schuld be slayn and mordered in lyke forme as the seyd John Grys in the seyd forme was slayne and mordered: conteyning also these too words in Latyn, et cetera, by which wordes communely it was undyrstandyn that the forgeers and makers of the seyd billes imagyned to the seyd William, hese clerkes and servauntes, more malice and harm than in the seyd billes was expressed. Wherfore the seyd William, hese seyd clerkes and servauntz, by longe tyme aftyr were in gret and intolerable drede and fere by the sayd maffaisours and felons to be slayn and mordered. Wherfore the seyd William, hese clerkes and servauntes, ne durst not at here fredom nothyr goon ne ryde.

Wher up on the seyd William, for hese owyn persone, affermyd a pleynt of trespas ageyn the seyd Walter and Richard, processe contynued ther up on til the seyd Walter and Richard were founden gilty of the seyd trespas by an iniquisicion ther of takyn in dwe and lawefull forme, by whiche inquisicion the damages of the seyd William for the seyd trespas were taxed to cxxli [£120]. Aftyr which pleynte affermyd, and to fore ony plee up on the seyd pleynt pleded, the seyd Walter and William, by Thomas Erpyngham, Knyght, a myghty and a gret supportour of the seyd Walter in alle these matiers and circumstaunces ther of ageyn the seyd 14 William, were induced to trete in the same matier in the forme that folwith: That is to seyne, that the seyd William schuld sue forth the seyd pleynt and the execucion ther of at hese owne will, and the seyd Walter schuld defende hym self in the seyd pleynt at hese owne will, except that he schuld no benefice take by noon proteccion, ne wrytte of corpus cum causa, ne of no lordes lettres up on the seyd sute. And what so ever fortunyd in the seyd pleynt, the proces, execucion, or the sute ther of, the seyd Walter and William schuld stonde and obeye to the ordinaunce of certeyns persones by the seyd William and Walter arbitratores that tyme named, if thei myghten accordyn, and ellys of anoonpier also that same tyme named, of alle the seyd trespas, pleynt, and sute, and alle the circumstaunces ther of, so that the seyd arbitrement and ordinaunce of the seyd arbitratores, or ellys of the seyd nounpier, were made withinne xl. dayes next folwyng aftyr the jugement geven in the seyd pleynt.

And aftyrward, the Thursday next biforn Pentecost, the thrydde yeer of the regne of the seyd kyng, at London, in the presence of the right excellent, high and myghty prynce, the Duc de Gloucestre,14.1 and by hese commaundement, atte sute and instaunce of the seyd Thomas Erpyngham, it was accordyd bytwen the seyd William and Walter that thei schuld stande and obeye to the ordinaunce and award of alle the seyed matiers of twenye of these iiij. persones, William Phelip, Knyght, Henry Inglose, Knyght, Oliver Groos, and Thomas Derham, chosen on the partye of the seyd William Paston, and tweyne of those iiij. persones, Symond Felbrygge, Knyght, Bryan Stapilton, Knyght, Roberd Clyfton, Knyght, and John of Berneye of Redeham, chosen on the partie of the seyd Water, and elles the decree and jugement of a nounpier to be chosen by the same arbitrores. The whiche William Phelip, Bryan Stapilton, Roberd Clyfton, Oliver Groos, John of Berneye, and Thomas Derham, takyng up on hem the charge of the makyng of the seyd award and ordinaunce by the assent of the seyd Thomas Erpyngham, the Fryday next aftyr the feste of the Assumpcion of Owre Lady, in the seyd 15 thrydde yeer, at Norwiche, tokyn ensurans of the seyd William and Walter by here fayth and here trowthez to stande and obeye to here ordinaunce of alle the seyd matiers, and the same day biforne noon, maden here full ordinaunce and arbitrement of alle the same matiers in the chyrche of the Greye Freyrys at Norwich; and aftyrward, up on the same award and ordinaunce mad, hadden a communicacion ther of with the seyd Thomas Erpyngham; and aftyr the same communicacion, the same day aftyr noon, the same ordinaunce and award wretyn was red byforn the seyd arbitrores and the seyd Walter and William, and examyned, agreed, and assented, and by the seales of the same vj. arbitrores and the seyd Walter and William, was affermed and ensealed and left in the handes of the seyd Sir Bryan, saveliche to be kept in playne remembraunce of the seyd award and ordinaunce; the whiche award and ordinaunce the seyd William was at all tymes redy to obeye and performe, on to the seyd feste of Michelmesse, that the seyd Walter to holde or performe the seyd award pleynly refused.

And where the seyd Walter, by jugement of the Chaunceller of Inglond, the xvj. day of Jull’ the seyd thrydde yeer, was remytted to the kynges prison at Norwich by cause of the seyd sute, the seyd Walter yede at large owt of warde fro the seyd xvj. day of Jull’ to the seyd day of the makyng of the seyd arbitrement and award, and fro that day in to Michelmesse thanne next aftyr; the seyd William that meene tyme evermore supposyng that the seyd Walter wolde have holde and performyd the sayd ordinaunce, arbitrement, and award. And at the comyng of the right high and myghty prynce the Duc of Norfolk fro his Castell of Framyngham to the Cetie of Norwyche, aftyr the seyd day of the makyng of this arbitrement and ordinaunce, and to fore the feste of Michelmesse than next folwyng, the seyd Walter by hese sotill and ungoodly enformacion caused the seyd Duke to be hevy lord to the seyd William. Where the seyd William the tyme of the seyd enformacion was with Sir John Jermy, Knyght, and othre of the counseill of the seyd Duk of Norffolk in hys lordshipes in Norffolk and Suffolk, thanne to hym falle [fallen] by the deth of the right worthy and noble lady hys modyr, 16 occupied abowte the dwe service of wryttes of diem clausit extremum16.1 aftyr the deth of the seyd lady. And where as the seyd William Paston, by assignement and commaundement of the seyd Duk of Norffolk, at hese fyrst passage over the see in to Normandye, in the kynges tyme Henry the Fyfte, was the Styward of the seyd Duc of Norffolk, of alle hese lordshipes in Norffolk and Suffolk fro hys seyd passage un to the seyd feste of Michelmesse; [And16.2 over that as sergeaunt of lawe, thow he be unworthy, withholdyn with the seyd Duc of Norffolk alle the tyme that he was sergeaunt bifore the same feste of Michelmesse. And all be it that the fees and the wages of the seyd William for hys seyd service unpayed draweth a gret some to hys pouere degree, if the seyd Duk of Norffolk lyked, of hys noble and plentifous grace, to graunte to the seyd William, in right, ony part of the favour of hese good lordship, the seyd William wolde evere be hys pouere and trewe bedeman, and evere in hys herte thenke alle hys seyd service, and alle the service that ever he dede to the seyd [Duke] of Norfolk, plentefeousely weell rewarded.16.3]

And where the seyd Walter, the tyme of the seyd trespas and of the seyd bylles makyng ne long to fore, ne never aftyr biforn the seyd comyng of the seyd Duc of Norffolk to Norwich, ne no tyme hangyng the seyd sute, ne the tyme of makyng of the said arbitrement and ordinaunce, never was servaunt to the seyd Duc of Norffolk at fees, ne at wages, ne wythhaldyn in hese service, ne to hym sued to be supported by hese high Lordship in this seyd matier, to the knowleche of the seyd William, ne to no commune knowleche, in the shyres of Norffolk, Suffolk, ne Norwiche; the sute that the seyd Walter made for supportacion in this seyd matier was be the meene of the seyd Thomas Erpyngham to the seyd Duk of Gloucestre, by whose reule and commaundemente the seyd 17 arbitrement and award was mad in the forme aforn seyd. And not with stondying the seyd trespas and grevaunce by the seyd Walter doon the seyd William, ne that the seyd William ne is not satisfied of the seyd cxxli., ne no peny therof, and hath absteyned hym of al maner of execucion, sewyng of godes or catelles, that by force of the seyd processe, or ony othyr, he myght have had ageyn the seyd Walter or hese borwes [sureties], ne that the seyd William hath suffred the seyd Walter to gon at large by long tyme whan he myght have had hys body in warde in lawfull forme: The seyd Walter, be billes in the too last parlementz holden at Westminster and at Leycestre, and at divers tymes in divers other maneres hath noysed and skaundered the seyd William ungoodly and othyr wyse than othyr [either] gentilnesse or trowthe wolde; and, overmore, caused the seyd William orribly to be manassed of hys deth, betyng and dismembryng of hys persone by certeyns servauntz of the Lordes Fitz Wauter and othre persones, and by ferefull and overe felle lettres and sondes. Wherfore the seyd William, nothyr hese frendes, ne hese servauntz in hys companye, at here fredam sithen the seyd parlement at Leycestre durſt not, ne yet ne dar not rydyn ne goo abowte swyche occupacion as he arn used and disposed, to here grete and unportable drede and vexacion in here spirites, and gret harme and damage and losse of here pouere goodes.

[Overmore,17.1 the seyd Walter hath sued, and yet rigorously suethe a wrytte of decies tantum17.2 ageyns x. persones of the seyd Inquisicion and ij. of the servauntz of the seyd William and iiij. othre persones; supposyng by hese seyd sute hem to have taken of the seyd William in hys seyd syte lxijli [£62] and more of moneye. The whiche sute of decies tantum the seyd Walter, betwyx God and hym, knewith verraly is untrewe. And also the seyd Walter hath sued, and yet persuyth Adam Aubre, on of the seyd Inquisicion in the court of the said Duc 18 of Norffolk of hys manoir of Fornsete, by cause and occasion of the seyd matiers, in whiche sute in the seyd court it is proceded ageyn the seyd Adam in other maner thanne othyr lawe, conscience, or good fayth wolde.18.1]

Overmore the seyd William, atte commaundement of the seyd Duc of Norffolk, hath submytted hym to stonde to the ordinaunce of divers persones of alle the seyd matiers: ones at Leyceetre, the Wednesday next biforn Palm Soneday, the iiij. yeer of the regne of the syd kyng; anothyr tyme at Reed clyf in Aprill the same iiij. yeer, aftyr the forme of certeyns billes endented ther of made. The whiche submission, with alle the circumstaunces ther of, the seyd William hath be at alle tymes redy to obeye. The cause why the seyd Walter, by the seyd Englishe bylles, and in othyr forme, putte and sette the seyd William, and hys seyd clerkes and servauntz, in drede and fere intollerable to be slayn and mordered, and to hem trespaced in the forme aforn seyd, was onely for as moche as the seyd William was with the prior of Norwiche of counseille in hese trewe defence ageyn the entent of the seyd Walter in a sute that he made ageyn the seyd priour of a voweson of the chyrche of Sprouston in the counte of Norffolk, wher to the seyd Walter hath nothyr title suffisaunt ne right in no maner wyse by ony matier by hym declared byforn thys tyme.

This scrowe is mad only for the informacion of the worthy and worshipfull lordes the arbitrores; savyng evere to the maker the benefice reasonably to adde and amenuse, his ignoraunce in swiche occupation and defaute of leyser also tendrely considered.

12.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This paper refers to proceedings as late as the fourth year of Henry VI., and therefore cannot be earlier than 1426; but as it mainly relates to outrages committed in the second year of Henry VI., i.e. 1424, we have arranged it under that year.

12.2 This word is omitted in the MS.

14.1 Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, Protector of England.

16.1 These were writs issued on the death of a tenant in capite of the Crown, and directed to the escheators in the different counties in which his lands lay, directing them to inquire by jury what lands he held, and of what value, and who was his nearest heir, and what was the heir’s age.

16.2 Over this word is written ‘va,’ the first syllable of vacat, showing that the passage is cancelled.

16.3 Here is written ‘cat.’—See Note 2.

17.1 Here is written ‘va.’—See p. 16, Note 2.

17.2 A writ against a juror who had been bribed, by which the prosecutor could recover from him ten times the amount of the bribe, dividing the proceeds with the King.

18.1 Here is written ‘cat.’—See p. 16, Note 2, and p. 17, Note 1.

and ellys of anoonpier also that same tyme named
text unchanged: error for “a noonpier”?

othyr wyse than othyr [either] gentilnesse or trowthe wolde
“either” printed in roman (non-italic) type

the seyd parlement at Leycestre durſt not
anomalous long s in original

ones at Leyceetre
text unchanged: error for “Leycestre”?



To my weel beloved John Staynford of Furnyvales Inne.


The instruccion to comune of to John Robynson of Carleton bysyde Snayth.

To enquerre and wyte whether the stoon may be sawed or nought. Whether it wille chippe or chynne or affraye with frost or weder or water.

Also that every pece of the stoon be iij. foote longe, and that xv. tunne tyght of the stoon be every stoon weel bedded into the walle and a foote thikke that it ryse in heighte a foote in the walle; and x. stones of the stoan must be ii. foote broad, and at the lest a foote and an half thikke. A stoon wil drawe the wighte of a pipe, as I suppose; the gret stones and nought the smallere stones shuld be sawed, so that every pece sawed shud holde the seid lengthe of iij. foote, and the seid brede of ij. foote, and to be, after it is sawed, half a fote or lesse on thikkenesse, and thenne the brode sawed stones shulde evere stond in the werk betwen the seid weel bedded stonys that shuld ryse but a fote in the walle and ben ankered iche of hem with other; and this werk shal be strong j nowe, as werkmen seyn, and drawe but litill cariage. I wold have swiche stoan a xxti tunne tight caried to Moneslee19.2 in Norffolk between Crowmere and Bromholm, and but a myle from Bromholm.

To reporte plein answere of this bylle writen and how sone I myght have the seid stone caried to Monesle aforn seid, and for what price.

This werk is for a .  .  . W. Paston.

On the back is written, also in the Judge’s hand:—

‘Sount due a mon sieur Will. Bardolf de ses gages en les lyueres a . . . 20 de mon tres honneure seigneur le Count de Warrwick, capitayn illeoqes, iusques al iiij.e jour de febr. lan de Roy Henri Sysme tierce, ccccxiiili. xvjs. xd. qa.

Below this is written in Fenn’s hand: ‘14 Feby 3 H. 7. 1487’—a great misreading of the date.

19.1 [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 213.] This letter appears from the postscript to be of the year 1425, as Bardolf’s wages, due on the 4th February in that year, had not yet been paid.

19.2 Mundesley.


A Will’ Paston soit donne.


Dere Syre and weel be loved, I grete yow weel, and do yow to wetyn that Dawn John Pastone was atte Norwiche on Munday last passed, and dede settyn on Cryste Chyrche gates divers litteres, a lytyl tyme, and ij. copiis wheche stondyn ther yet, for somounnyn me to the curt of Rome. And we supposyn to have hym at Bromholm, or sum man in hys name wyth inne a lytyl tyme; for dawn Robert of Yorke was atte Norwiche be sendynge of my lady of Murlee, and spak wythe hym in hyre hous on Munday afornseyd, and ther he told the forseyd dawn Robert that he wolde nedys ben Priour of Bromholm, to levyn and deyin ther upon. Also he seyde, as for the composissioun of Bromholm, he hadde do sherchyd att Clunye; and ther inne he standyth clere as he seythe; and as for provisyoun, he seyde he hadde spokyn wyth the Chaunceler and the chef Justyse and Ascam, and thei demptyne hym clere as ther inne, and he seyth; and other dowte is ther none inne be hys tale. And after this the forseyd dawn John askyd obedience of the forseyd dawne Robert in my ladyis presens, and dawn Robert seyde agayne he xulde noghte done that atte that tyme, but he badde hym provyn owt hys purpos as for the composissioun and provisioun to an hende, and than he wolde do hys dever to hym; and thus he departyd. Where for, yif ony thing may be don whyl ye arn 21 now atte Londone for oure helpe and his lettyng, gode Syre, helpythe atte this tyme if it maybe godely, we be seche yow. Dawn Thomas of Cane was atte my lord of Norwiche for helpe in this matier, and he seyde he was inhibytyd and alle hys clerkes be the curt of Rome in this matier, and he seyde by yowre advys, yif it lyke yow, wryttes may ben taken agens hym, and that is best remedye ther inne; j. [one] wrytte is ne ingrediatur manu forti. The Holy Trinite have yow in governaunce. Wretyn atte Bromholm the v. day of July, per Nich. Priorem de Bromholm.

20.1 [Add. MS. 34,888, f. 1.] This letter is evidently of the year 1425. Comp. No. 10.


SEPT. 24

Bill witnessing a concord made 24 Sept. 4 Hen. VI. between John Kertelyng, clerk, general attorney to Sir John Fastolf, on the one part, and Richard Boson, Esq., on the other, viz.: That Fastolf shall have in fee-simple the manor of the said Richard in Castre called Bosons of the gift of the said Richard before Easter next, and that the said Richard shall have Fastolf’s manor in Titeleshale called Peekhalle, in fee-simple, of the gift of Fastolf, paying to Fastolf £60 within the next four years.

21.1 [From a Bodl. MS.]


NOV. 5

Right worthy and worshepefull Sir, I recommaunde me to yow, and thank yow for the good, trew, and diligent labour ye have hadde for the matier betwen the Priour of Bromholme21.3 and his commoigne21.4 apostata, Johne 22 Wortes, that namythe hym self Paston, and affermith hym untrewely to be my cousyn. [I have many pouere men of my kyn, but so fals, and so pouere,—but he was nevere of my kyn.]22.1 God defende that any of my saide kyn shuld be of swyche governaunce as he is of! Maister John Ixworthe told me that he hadde lettres fro a frende of yowres in the courtt of Rome, that is of the seyd prioures counseill in this mater as ye be, whos name I knowe nought, specifyeng that the seyd John Wortes adversarius prioris desperat in causa et concordiam quærit. It is told me sithen that the seyd John Wortes is in the cite of Rome, sacred a bysshop of Irland, videlicet episcopus Corcagensis, wherby it is seyd here that his pretense of his title to the priourie of Bromholme is adnulled, and voide in your lawe. The seyd John Wortes, and a contreman of myne in the seyd court, Maister John Urry, have sent me lettres, wherof I sende yow copies and a trewe instruccion of the seyd matier closed with this bille, the whiche lettres and the matier ther of me semyth mervaillous and straunge. A prest of Norffolk, that spak with yow in Julie or August last passed, told me that he yede with yow to the cardinales hous, Trikaricensis,22.2 to espie if any swyche processe were sued ageyn me as the seyd lettres specifien, and that ye told the same prest at alle tymes ther was than no swiche processe sued, ne had; the whiche relacion I trust and beleve bettre than the seyd lettres. I have, by advys of counseill, in makyng a procuracie ad agendum, defendendum, provocandum, et appellandum to yow and the seyd Maister John Urry and the Wynsalaw (?) de Swysto; and also a general appelle, the engrossyng of wyche the messager of this bill myght nought abide; the whiche procuracie and appelle I shal sende to yowr persone, tantummodo [cum pecuniis],22.3 with moneye onward, on trust. My will is, ye have the chief governaunce of this matier, and that this article be counseille [i.e., secret]; wher upon I prey yow hertily to be saddely avysed in these matiers, and, as nede is, so to governe 23 hem by your wysdom, that the seyd prioures estat and honeste, and myn also, to yowr worshepe be saved; and that, in alle haste resonable, ye lyke to sende me redes lettres of alle the seyd matier, and the circumstances ther of, and who ye wil I be governed in this mater. I was nevere somouned, ne never hadde tydynges of this matier but by seyd lettres and other fleyng tales that I heve herd sithen, ne nevere hadde to do more with the seyd John Wortes than is specified in the seyd instruccion. Al myghty God have yow in His governaunce. Writen at London, the v. day of Novembre. Yowre frend unknowen.23.1

A Instruccion and Information of the verray trewe matier betwen the Priour and the Covent of Bromholm and the seyd John and me, as I am enformed, and as I knowe touchant my persone and the23.2 ——.

Ista litera missa non fuit.

Right worthy and worshepefull Sir, I recomaunde to yow, preyeng yow to wite that I have resceyved yowr goodly lettres makyng mencion that Sir John Paston,23.3 ut asserit, hath optyned me condempnyd to hym in CCC[vij.]23.4 marcz and C.s.; and that the same John, atte reverence of your right worthy persone, hathe cesed of his sute of certeins processes ageyns me up on the seyd condempnacion, takyng continuance23.5 of the same matier unto Cristemasse next comyng; by which lettres ye conseille me to make ende with the seyd John, ne deterius inde contingat. I [s]end yow, closed with this bille, [the]23.6 copie of un frendly lettre that the seyd John hathe sent to me late, touchant the same matier. The seyd priour hath sent also to yow, and to 24 Mayster William Swan, whiche longe hathe be his procurator, a procuracie for my person, and v. marcz of moneye onward. Wher up, in the seyd prioures name, and in myn own also, I prey yow hertily to sette al these matieres in continuaunce un to yowr comyng in to Ingeland; and because ye arn here beneficed, owr cuntreman, and of worshepe and cunnyng worthyly endowed, the seyd priour and his brether, and I also, willen gladdely in these matieres be treted by yow; and if this mesure be accepted, and we may have knowyng here ther of, it shall cause the attemptacion of diverses matieres a geyn summe frendes of the seyd John to cese. And if this continuance be refused, I prey yow, with al my power, that of your wysdom and good discrecion ye wille, in the seyd prioures name, and myn, defenden the seyd sutes, and alle other that the seyd Johne sueth ageyn the seyd priour and me, in your best maner, and to be of owr counseill in these matieres; and as ye lyke resonablely to write to us, so we wil be governed in yowre rewarde, and al other circumstaunces of the same matieres.24.1 I conceyve by your seyd lettres that the grece of the matier conteigned in the same ye have of the informacion and assercion of the seyd John, and as he hath enformed yow, I wot weel ye trewely writen; but I hope and trust verrayly the matier of his informacion is untrewe [for he hathe no cause to swe to me, ne I was nevre somouned ne cited].24.2 The priour of Bromholm sued ageyn the seyd John and other in Ingeland a wryt of præmunire facias, and I was therin of the same prioures counseill as the lawe of Ingelond and myn office willen, and more I have nought hadde to do with the seyd Johne, and I can nought beleve that in this cas the same Johne myght by your lawe any swich sute have ageyn me as your lettre specifieth. Also William, the prest specified in yowr [letter],24.3 told me that he, after that ye told hym of this matier, lyke as yewrce (?), he comuned with Maister William Swan, and he told the seyd prest ther no processe in the courte ageyn me in no maner ——.24.4


The above two documents are from a corrected draft, written on one side of a broad sheet of paper. On the other side is a long Latin pleading, also much corrected, relative to the Abbey of Bermondsey; prefixed to which are the following words, in the same hand as the preceding letters:—

‘Sir, do writen ij. copies of this note in papier, wyde writen, and gete a copie of the writte in the Eschekyr ageyn.’

The pleading referred to is in a different hand, and begins as follows:—

‘Et prædictus abbas dicit quod ipse de præmissis domino Regi compotum reddere non debet; quia dicit quod diu ante erectionem, fundationem sive erectionem prioratus de Bermundeseye qui nunc erectus est in prædictam Abbatiam, Willielmus Rufus filius Willelmi Conquestoris nuper Rex Angliæ fuit seisitus de manerio de Bermundeseye,’ etc.

21.2 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter, being dated in November, was probably written before Nos. 11 and 12 which follow, though evidently very near them in point of date. The chief evidence of the time when they all must have been written will be seen in No. 12.

21.3 Who this Prior was we cannot say, the list of the Priors of Bromholm being very defective. Blomefield says, that a Prior John has been met with in the 11th of Edward III., and Robert, in the 14th of Henry VI.—that is to say, in 1435 or 1436, just ninety-nine years later. Nothing is known of the Priors between these dates, even by the latest editors of Dugdale.

21.4 ‘Commoigne,’ i.e. brother monk. The writer also calls him apostata, i.e. a monk who has run away and renounced his order.

22.1 These words occur in the draft, but are crossed out.

22.2 Thomas Brancaccio, Cardinal Bishop of Tricarico. He was made a cardinal by his uncle, Pope John XXIII., and is said to have been a man of very bad morals.

22.3 Interlined, and afterwards erased.

23.1 Above these words, and in the place where the signature might have been expected, occur these names, one above another—

‘Thomas Abbas de Leyston, in Com’ Suff.

‘Ricardus Fremelyngham, concanonichus ibidem.’

They do not, however, appear to be connected with the letter. The following words are also scrawled between this letter and the next:— ‘N. persona ecclesiæ de Testerton in Com’ Norff. Gees Cuttyng. Joh’ persona ecclesiæ de Yermuth (?), Alicia Gosloth (?).’

23.2 Sic.

23.3 The title ‘Sir’ was at this time commonly prefixed to a priest’s name.

23.4 The ‘vij.’ is struck out.

23.5 Contiañce, MS. here and after.

23.6 Struck out.

24.1 Here occur the following words, crossed out:— ‘Ferthermore, touchant my persone, I mervaille that the seyd —— Ferthermore.’

24.2 Struck out.

24.3 Omitted in MS.

24.4 The draft here ends abruptly.

fuit seisitus de manerio de Bermundeseye
text has “d emanerio”


Venerables et discretes persones les courtesans demorans en l’ostel du Templebar en la cité de Londres, Mes treschiers et treshonnourés seigneurs et amis.


Treschiers et treshonnourés seigneurs et grans amis, toutte recommendation premise, plaisir vous soit de scavoir que je vous notifie et avertich pour le present que Wilhelmus Paston le Sargant est denunciés escommuniés, que plus plainement poes perchevoir per Instrument que vous envoye. Et pour tant, mez treschiers seigneurs, que je disire moult le salut de votre ames et l’onneur de cascun de vous, comme faire le doy, affin que vous u [ou] aucun de vous n’ayes aucune conversation u participation auvecquels le dit Wilhelmus, car il est aggrevés a cloquettes sonans, et tant que pour faire cesser en touttes eglises leur il voldroit aler. Mais jou qui suy homme d’eglise et sur touttes choses desire et convoite l’onneur et le bien dou Royaulme, car gy suy tenus, je ne envoye point pour le present les dittes aggravances, ne ossi voillans faire si grand mal que poroye jusquels a che que j’aray certaines 26 novelles et responses comment li dis Wilhelmes se voldra ordonner en mes affaires, car nous avons en le loy que nuls os excumeniés ne puet et ne doit estre admis devant juge quelcunque. Mes treschiers seigneurs, se aucune chose vo plaise que faire puisse, mande le me et le feray de bon cuer. E le sancte Dieuls qui vous ait tous et cascun de vous en sa sancte garde. Et osy, mes treschiers et treshonourés seigneurs, plaise vous scavoir que encelle meyme cause li dis Wilhelmes est redevaules et enquews envers moy, par sentence diffinitive que j’ay obtenu pour moy, en mille deuls cens et trente ducas, et que li dis Wilhelmes ne puet yestre jamays absols sy non qu’il soit d’acort auvecquels moy. Escript a en la ville de Bruges le xxiije jour de Jenvier.

Johannes Paston,26.1 en temps passé Priour de Broholm, et pour le present evesquels de Corkagen, le tout vostre.

25.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] William Paston, who is here spoken of as a Serjeant, attained that degree in 1421, and was made Judge of the Common Pleas in 1429. But a closer approximation to the date of this letter may be made by comparing it with that which follows, which is certainly much about the same time.

26.1 William Paston, as appears by Nos. 12 and 14 following, disputed this writer’s right to call himself Paston, and asserted that his real name was Wortes. It is curious that neither in the list of the Bishops of Cork, nor in that of the Priors of Bromholm, is the name either of Paston or Wortes to be met with.


A mez treshonnourés Meistres Will’m Worstede, John Longham, et Meistre Piers Shelton soit donné.


Right worthy and worshepefull sires and maistres, I recomand me to yow, and thank yow with al my herte, of the gret tendrenesse ye lyke to have of the salvacion of my symple honeste, preying yow evermore of your good continuance. I have, after the advys of your lettre, doon 27 dewely examyned the instrument by the wysest I coude fynde here, and in especial by on Maister Robert Sutton,27.1 a courtezane of the Court of Rome, the which is the chief and most chier man with my Lord of Gloucestre, and his matier in the said court for my lady, his wyff;27.2 and here aunswere is that al this processe, though it were in dede preceded as the instrument specifieth, is not suffisant in the lawe of Holy Cherche, and that hem semyth, by the sight of the instrument and by the defautes [that] ye espied in the same and other, and in maner by the knowelech of the notarie, that the processe, in gret part ther of, is fal[se and un]trewe. I have taken advys of Maister Robert Bruus, chauncellor with my Lord of Cantirbury,27.3 and Maister Nicholl Billesdon,27.4 cha[uncellor] of my Lord of Wynchestre,27.5 and Maister John Blodwelle,27.6 a weel lerned man holden, and a suffisant courtezan of the seyd court, and all these acorden to the seyd Maister Robert Sutton. Nought with stondyng that I herde nevere of this matier no maner lykly ne credible evidence unto that I sey your lettre and the instrument, yet I made an appell and a procuracie, and also a provocacion, at London, longe biforn Cristemasse, by the a[dvys] of Maister David Aprys, Maister Symond Kempston, and Maister James Cole, and sent al this, with an instruccion of al the matier, w[ith] my procuratours to Rome by your frere, my Maister Suppriour, and geff hym gold that he was content: and, evermore, nowe here by advys I make this day a newe appelle and a newe procuracion, and upon this alle the seyd worthy men here seyn and informe me pleynly I have no maner cause in lawe ne in conscience to drede aught in this matier. Myn adversarie27.7 is become Bysshop of Cork in Irland, and ther arn ij. other persones provided to the same bysshopriche yet lyvyng, beforn my seyd adversarie; and by 28 this acceptacion of this bysshopriche, he hath pryved hym self of the title that he claymed in Bromholm, and so adnulled the ground of his processe ageyn me, and also the tyme of his grevaunce pretendid, and the tyme of his sute he was apostata, and I trowe is yet, and so unable to sue any swich processe. I purpose me to come homward be London, to lerne more in this matier, if I may. I prey the Holy Trinite, lord of your cherche and of alle the werld, delyvere me of my iij. adversaries, of this cursed bysshop for Bromholm, Aslak for Sprouston,28.1 and Julian Herberd for Thornham. I have nought trespassed ageyn noon of these iij., God knowing, and yet I am foule and noysyngly vexed with hem, to my gret unease, and al for my lordes and frendes matieres, and nought for myn owyn. I wot not whether it were best in any sermon or other audience, in your cherche or elles where, to declare aught of this matier in stoppyng of the noyse that renneth in this case. I submitte me and alle this matier to your good discrecion; and evere gremercy God, and ye, who ever have yow and me in His gracious governance. I suppose to see yow on Palm Sunday. Writen at Leycestre, the Friday the thredde wyke of Lente.

Alle the seyd lerned men telle me trewely ther is nother perill ne doubte in the takyng doun of the instrument and the bille to no creature. Which instrument and bille I send yow ageyn by the berare of this, which I prey you to kepe as pryve as ye may. Yowr man,     W. Paston.

I have preyed my Maister Hammond to write yow tydyngges, and smale (?) lesynges among.

26.2 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] About the year 1425 the question of the validity of the Duke of Gloucester’s marriage with Jacqueline of Hainault was before the Court of Rome. This letter must have been written in the spring of the year following, when Parliament was sitting at Leicester. The original is slightly mutilated at the edge in one place.

27.1 Prebendary of Lincoln, 1435–9. Died 1439.

27.2 Jacqueline of Hainault, whom Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, married, pretending that her former marriage with John, Duke of Brabant, was void by consanguinity. The question which of the two marriages was valid was at this time before the Pope.

27.3 Archbishop Chicheley.

27.4 Dean of Salisbury, 1435–41. Died 1441.

27.5 Henry Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester, afterwards Cardinal.

27.6 LL.D. Prebendary of Hereford about 1433, and of Lichfield 1432–43.

27.7 John Paston or Wortes, the writer of the preceding letter.

28.1 A lordship in Sprouston was acquired by John Aslake of Bromholm in 14 Richard II., and seems to have continued some time in that family. Blomefield notes that a Walter Aslake, Esq. of Sprouston, had a protection in the 10th of Henry VI., being in France in the retinue of John, Duke of Bedford (Blomefield’s Norfolk, x. 462). Probably this was the same Walter Aslak mentioned in No. 6 preceding.—See p. 18.




(1) Capias against William Stayard of Great Yarmouth, late lieutenant of Thomas Chaucer,29.2 chief butler of Henry V., for debts to the Crown.

(2) Release by William Steyard of Great Yarmouth, to Elizabeth, widow of John Rothenhale, Knight, of all personal actions against her as her husband’s executor. 7 April, 4 Hen. VI.


John Paston alias Wortes.

DEC. 1

i. Draft writ to the Sheriff of Norwich to attach and bring before the Council John Paston alias Wortes and others for violation of the statutes of Provisors 25 Edw. III. and 16 Ric. II., on the complaint of John Brundale, prior of Bromholm that although he, Brundale, was canonically elected prior, the said Paston or Wortes had crossed the sea without royal license, obtained a provision of the said priory in the Court of Rome, and got himself installed as prior, and the other expelled. Also the said John Paston or Wortes, and John Gees, a Carmelite friar of Norwich, Edmund Alderford, late of Norwich, clerk, Barth. Waryn, parson of Trunche, William Cuttyng of Worsted, clerk, John Gees of Crowemer, merchant, and Ralph Gunton of Norwich, scrivener, received the said instruments at Bakton, and put them into execution.—Dated 1 Dec.

ii. On the back of the preceding is another draft writ of the same date against the same parties for endeavouring to draw the prior out of the kingdom by a suit in the Court of Rome.

The paper is endorsed—’S. (?) Billæ vis. Veneris prox. post diem antedictum (?) Anno H. vj. vto, et non necessario festinant’. Iterum supervidendum.’

Endorsed in a later hand— ‘Towchynge Sir John Fastolffes landes in Norffolk and Surrye.’

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

29.2 He is believed to have been son of Geoffrey Chaucer, the famous poet, and his daughter Alice married William De la Pole, at this time Earl, afterwards Duke, of Suffolk.

29.3 [From a Bodl. MS.]

Barth. Waryn, parson of Trunche
text has Barth, for Barth.



—— —— to William Paston.


‘Dear and well-beloved Cousin.’—Is in good health, but ill at ease, being informed that she is in debt to Steyard for my lord’s debt, whose soul God assoil, £7 and a pipe of wine. Knew nothing of it in my lord’s life, except of 2 pipes for herself, and one for her mother-in-law, of which she has paid 20s. Since my Lord’s death, Steyard has never asked her for it. ‘For which time, as I was at Jernemouth abiding in the Frere Carmes the time of the pestilence, his wife came unto me,’ asking the writer to be good lady to him; and he asked no more then than the above 3 pipes. He asked no more last harvest when he was sick and like to die, when John of Berneye was present. Thinks, therefore, his asking is untrue. My Lord would have made me or some of his council privy to such a debt. Hopes Paston, whom my Lord made one of his feoffees, will see ‘that ye and I be discharged anemps the King as for the debt of Steyard.’—Dated Castre, the day after the Conversion of St. Paul. Addressed, ‘A mon tres cher et bien ame cousin, Will’m Paston soit donné.’

[This letter is endorsed in another hand, ‘W. Paston, j. feoffatorum et executorum Johannis Rothnale per lit’ Cz. (?)’ It seems, therefore, to have been written by the Lady Elizabeth, widow of Sir John Rothenhale, whose name occurs in No. 13 in connection with William Steyard of Great Yarmouth. She was the daughter of Sir Philip Branch, Kt., and had been previously married to John Clere of Ormesby. She died at Caister, the place from which this letter is dated, in 1440; and by her will, which was dated at Caister, 16th October 1438, she bequeathed all her goods at Ormesby to her son Robert Clere, and all her goods at Horning Hall, in Caister, to her son Edmund.—See Blomefield’s Norfolk, iv. 35, vi. 392, xi. 210.]

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

whose name occurs in No. 13
corrected by editor from “No. 8”



Depositions on the —— day of ——, 5 Hen. VI., by Richard Wyoth, executor of Margery, daughter and heir of Edmund Bakon, touching the manor of Gressam which Bakon purchased, temp. Edw III. After the death of two brothers, Margery became sole possessor, and gave it to Wyoth and other executors to perform her will, with proviso that Philip Vache and Eliz., his wife, should have it during their lives, but that the reversion of it should be 31 sold, giving William, son of Robert Moleyns, the first option of purchase. It was accordingly offered to him, but he refused to buy. On the death of said Eliz., however, he bought the manor for 420 marks, and held it two years, when Wyoth re-entered because part of the purchase-money was unpaid. W. Moleyns’s wife, however, induced him to accept security from Thos. Fawkoner, merchant of London, whose daughter the said William agreed that his son should marry, when he came of age; and it was arranged that meanwhile Fawkoner and Wyoth should be jointly enfeoffed of the manor, which was to be given in jointure, if the marriage took effect. The marriage did not take effect, and Fawkoner re-entered upon the manor according to the enfeoffment, but paid Wyoth nothing, till Thos. Chawsers,31.1 Esq., a kinsman of the said Margery, made him understand that Wyoth might enter on his own portion, and had even a prior right to himself. At length Fawkoner sold his right to Chaucers and Wyoth, and released the manor on security for the payment. Wyoth then said he should have little advantage by the bargain, except in having easy days of payment; ‘et quod dictus Thomas Chaucers, pro bona voluntate quod (sic) erga dictum Willelmum Paston gessit, episcopum Londoni de emptione ejusdem manerii per longum tempus dilatavit, intentione ut idem Willelmus illud emeret si voluerit.’


Rauf, Parson of Cressyngham, to William Paston, Justice.


Is he to deliver to John Halleman Paston’s evidences belonging to the manor of Wodhalle in Pagrave, and under what form? Hopes to see him at Norwich, on Tuesday or Wednesday after Michaelmas-day. Cressingham, 20 Sept.

On the back are written, in William Paston’s hand, some notes of a case touching ‘Frater Kensale.’

[Ralph Wolman alias Harple was incumbent of Cressingham from 1427 to 1460; but this letter could not have been written later than 1443, as William Paston died in August of the following year.]

30.2 Ibid.

31.1 See Note 2 on page 29. See also Blomefield, viii. 127.

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


Mutilated Letter in French, from John Vaux, Parson of Edythorp, to ——.


Only the right-hand half of the letter remains. Names mentioned—Richard de Causton, William Coule. Date lost.

[John Vaux was Rector of Edingthorp in Norfolk, in 1388. His successor was 32 John Prentys, who was presented to the living in 1429 by the feoffees of the duchy of Lancaster.—Blomefield, xi. 29.]

31.3 Ibid.


DEC. 7

‘A grant of the Monastery of Bury to make William Paston, justice, brother of the Chapter-House.’ Day of St. Ambrose 1429.

[The description is taken from an endorsement. The document itself is printed in Yates’s Bury St. Edmunds, p. 156.]

32.1 [Add. Charter 17,226, B.M.]



My ryghte worthy and worshopeful lord, I recomaunde me to yow. And for as meche [as I] conseyve verrayly that ye arn Vicar general in Inggelond of the worthy Prelate, the Abbot of Clunie, and have hys power in many grete articles, and mong other in profession of monkes in Inggelond of the seyd ordere. And in my cuntre, but a myle fro the place where I was born, is the poure hous of Bromholm of the same ordre, in wheche arn divers vertuous yongge men, monkes clad and unprofessyd, that have abedyn there. . . . Abbyte ix. or x. yeer; and be lenger delaye of here profession, many inconvenientez arne lyke to falle. And also the priour of . . . hath resigned in to your worthy handes by certeins notables and resonables causes, as it apperyth by an instrument, and a symple lettre under the comune seal of the seyd hous of Bromholm, which the berare of this hath redy to shewe yow, wher up on I prey yow wyt al my herte, and as I evere may do yow service, that it lyke to your grace to graunte 33 of your charite, by yowr worthy lettres to the priour of Thetford in Norfolk, of the seyde ordre of Clunye, autorite and power as your ministre and depute to professe in dwe forme the seyd monkes of Bromholm unprofessed. And that it lyke yow evermore to accepte and admitte the seyd resygnacion by your seyd autoritie and power, wyth the favour of your good lordshepe in comfort and consolacion of your pouere prestes, the monkes of the seyd hous of Bromholm, and there up to graunte your worthy lettres, wittenessyng the same acceptacion and admyssion of the seyd resignacion, and al your seyd lettres to delyvere to my clerke, to wham I prey yow to gyve feith and credence touchant this matier, and to delivere it hym in alle the hast resonable. And I am your man, and evere will be by the grace of God, which evere have yow in his kepyng. Writen at Norwich the         33.1 of Aprill. Yowres,   Will. Paston.

32.2 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter is printed from a rough draft written on paper, corrected in William Paston’s own hand, and scribbled over, after his fashion, with numerous other drafts and jottings on both sides. Some of these occur upside down between the lines of this letter. At the head of the memoranda on the back are the words, ‘In parliamento, anno H. vj. viijº.’ from which we may infer the date to be at least as early.

33.1 Blank in MS.



A Memorandum, dated 8 Henry VI., that Sir Simon Felbrigge, William Paston, &c., recovered certain land in Edithorp, Bakton, and Northwalsham, against Richard, Abbot of St. Benet’s, Hulme, John Roys, and others.

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


Robert, Lord of Willughby and Beaumesnil, to William Paston, Esq.

JAN. 8

Notifying that he has granted to Sir William Oldhall and Margaret, our sister, his wife, for moneys which Oldhall has lent and paid for him at need, an annuity of 120 marks on lands in Norfolk and Suffolk, in which ye (William Paston, Esq.) stand enfeoffed, to our behoof. Pont de l’Arche, 8 Jan. 1430, 9 Hen. VI.Signed. Fine seal, mutilated.

33.3 [Add. Charter 17,227, B.M.]




Deed Poll, whereby Robert York, Prior of the church of St. Andrew of Broomholme, and the Convent of the same place, grant to Sir Simon Felbrygg, Knt., William Paston of Paston, and others, certain lands in Bacton Wood, &c., 1 May, 10 Henry VI. (Fragment of seal.)

34.1 [Add. Charter 14,313, B.M. (Dr. Turner’s Coll.)]


Articles de Monsr. de Warrewyk34.3 touchant le bon regime du Roy, etc.34.4

NOV. 9

For the goode reule, demesnyng and seuretee of the Kynges persone, and draught of him to vertue and connyng, and eschuyng of eny thing that mighte yeve empeschement or let therto, or cause eny charge, defaulte, or blame to be leyd upon the Erle of Warrewyk at eny tyme withouten his desert, he, considering that perill and besinesse of his charge aboute the Kinges persone groweth so that that auctoritee and power yeven to him before suffiseth him nought without more therto, desireth therfor thees thinges that folowen.

Furst, that considering that the charge of the reule, demesnyng, and governance, and also of nourture of the Kinges persone resteth upon the said Erle whiles it shal like the king, and the perille, daunger, and blame if eny lak or defaulte, were in eny of thees, the whiche lak or defaulte mighte be caused by ungodely or unvertuous men, if eny suche were aboute his persone; he desireth therfore, for the goode of the 35 King, and for his owne seuretee, to have power and auctoritee to name, ordeigne, and assigne, and for cause that shal be thought to him resonable to remoeve thoo that [shal] be aboute the Kinges persone, of what estate or condicion that thei be, not entending to comprehende in this desir the Stuard, Chamberlein, Tresoror, Contrerollor, ne Sergeantz of offices, save suche as serve aboute the Kinges persone and for his mouth.

Responsio. As toward the namyng, ordeignance, and assignacion beforesaid, it is agreed, so that he take in noon of the iiij. knightes ne squyers for the body without th’advis of my Lord of Bedford,35.1 him being in England, and him being out, of my Lord of Gloucestre35.2 and of the remenant of the Kinges Counsail.

Item, the said Erle desireth that where he shal have eny persone in his discrecion suspect of mysgovernance, and not behoveful nor expedient to be aboute the King, except th’estates of the hous, that he may putte hem from excercise and occupacion of the Kinges service till that he shal mowe have speche with my Lordes of Bedford or of Gloucestre, and with the other Lordes of the Kinges Counsaile, to that ende that, the defaulte of eny suche persone knowen unto him, shal mowe ordeigne therupon as theim shel thenke expedient and behoveful.

Responsio. It is agreed as it is desired.

Item, the said Erle desireth that, for sikenesse and other causes necessaries and resonables, he may, by warnyng to my Lordes of Bedford or Gloucestre and the Kinges Counsail, be and stande freely descharged of the saide occupacion and besinesse about the Kinges persone, under the favour and goode grace of the King, my Lordes of Bedford and Gloucestre, and other Lordes of the Kinges Counsail.

Responsio. It is agreed as it is desired.


Item, that considering howe, blessed be God, the King is growen in yeers, in stature of his persone, and also in conceite and knouleche of his hiegh and royalle auctoritee and estat, the whiche naturelly causen him, and from day to day as he groweth shul causen him, more and more to grucche with chastising, and to lothe it, so that it may resonably be doubted leste he wol conceive ayeins the said Erle, or eny other that wol take upon him to chastise him for his defaultes, displesir, or indignacion therfore, the whiche, without due assistence, is not easy to be born: It like, therfore, to my Lord of Gloucestre, and to alle the Lordes of the Kinges Counsail, to promitte to the said Erle, and assure him, that thei shul fermely and trewely assisten him in the excercise of the charge and occupacion that he hathe aboute the Kinges persone, namely in chastising of him for his defaultes, and supporte the said Erle therinne; and if the King at eny tyme wol conceyve for that cause indignacion ayeins the said Erle, my said Lord of Gloucestre, and Lordes, shul do alle her [i.e. their] trewe diligence and power to remoeve the King therfro.

Responsio. It is agreed as it is desired.

Item, the said Erle desireth that for asmuche as it shal be necessarie to remoeve the Kinges persone at diverse tymes into sundry places, as the cases mowe require, that he may have power and auctoritee to remoeve the King, by his discrecion, into what place him thenketh necessarie for the helthe of his body and seuretee of his persone.

Responsio. It is agreed as it is desired.

Item, sith the said Erle hath take upon him the governance of the Kinges persone, he desireth that alle th’estates, officers, and servantz of the Kinges hous, of what estate and condicion thei be, have special commandement and charge yeven by my Lordes of Bedford and Gloucestre, and by the Lordes of the Kinges Counsail, that in alle manere thinges seyn and advised by the said Erles descrecion, that is, for the Kinges estate, worship, helthe, and profit, by his commandement 37 and ordeignance, thei be attendant and obeissant in accomplisshing therof.

Responsio. It is agreed as it is desired.

Item, for asmuche as the said Erle hath knouleche that in speche that hath be had unto the King at part and in prive, not hering the said Erle nor eny of the knightes set aboute his persone, nor assigned by the said Erle, he hath be stured by summe from his lernyng, and spoken to of diverse materes not behovefull, the seid Erle doubting the harme that mighte falle to the King, and the inconvenientz that mighte ensue of suche speche at part if it were suffred, desireth that in al speche to be had with the King, he or oon of the iiij. knightes, or sum persone to be assigned by the said Erle, be present and prive to it.

Responsio. This article is agreed, excepting suche persones as for nieghnesse of blood, and for their estate, owe of reson to be suffred to speke with the King.

Item, to th’entent that it may be knowen to the King that it procedeth of th’assent, advis, and agreement of my Lord of Gloucestre, and alle my Lordes of the Kinges Counsail, that the King be chastised for his defaultes or trespasses, and that for awe therof he forbere the more to do mys, and entende the more besily to vertu and to lernyng, the said Erle desireth that my Lord of Gloucestre, and my said other Lords of the Counsail, or great part of hem, that is to say, the Chanceller and Tresorer, and of everych estate in the Counsail, spirituell and temporell, summe come to the Kinges presence, and there to make to be declared to him theire agreement in that behalve.

Responsio. Whan the King cometh next to London, all his Counsail shal come to his presence, and there this shal be declared to him.

Item, the said Erle, that all his dayes hath, aboven alle other erthely thinges, desired, and ever shal, to kepe his trouthe and worship unblemysshed and unhurt, and maye not 38 for all that lette malicious and untrewe men to make informacions of his persone, suche as thei may not, ne dare not, stand by, ne be not trewe, besecheth therfore my Lord of Gloucestre, and alle my said Lords of the Counsail, that if thei, or eny of hem, have be enformed of eny thing that may be or soune to his charge or defaulte, and namely in his occupacion and reule aboute the Kinges persone, that the said Erle may have knowleche therof, to th’entent that he may answer therto, and not dwelle in hevy or synistre conceit or opinion, withoute his desert and without answere.

Responsio. It is agreed.

see end of text

Cromwell. H. Gloucestre. J. Ebor. P. Elien. W. Lincoln. J. Bathon., Canc. J. Roffen. Suffolk. H. Stafford. J. Huntyngton.

The foregoing document is written on a skin of parchment docqueted with the words printed in italics at the head. The following memorandum is also endorsed— ‘xxixº die Novembris anno undecimo apud Westm. lecti fuerunt præsentes articuli coram dominis infra et subscribentibus et ad eosdem Responsiones dabantur secundum quod infra patet, præsentibus dominis infrascriptis.’ There are also other endorsements, but of a later date.

34.2 [Add. Charter 17,228, B.M.]

34.3 Richard de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, who died in 1439.

34.4 This title is taken from a contemporary endorsement.

35.1 John, Duke of Bedford, Regent of France, the King’s uncle, brother of the late King Henry V.

35.2 Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, Protector of England, another uncle of the King, being the youngest brother of Henry V. He was called ‘the Good Duke Humphrey.’

Names in signature



Prefixed to this document in Fenn is the following title:— ‘A Petition to the Commons of England against Sir William Paston, Knight, a Judge of the Common Pleas, by William Dalling.’ This heading, however, has been taken from a more modern endorsement. No contemporaneous document, so far as I am aware, gives Judge Paston the designation of knight, or speaks of him as Sir William. In this petition itself he is called simply William Paston, one of the Justices; and although his name occurs frequently on the Patent Rolls, in commissions of the peace, of gaol delivery, and the like, down to the year of his death, the word ‘miles’ is never appended to it.

The original commencement of this document has been crossed out. It was in these words:—

Plesit to the righte sage and wyse Communes of this present Parlement, 39 that wher every Justice of the Kyng is sworne that he shulde not take no fees ne reward for to be of councell with noo man, but oonly wyth our Soverayne Lorde the Kyng, and therto thei be swore. And ther is oon Will’ Paston, one of the Justice of our Soverayne Lorde in the Comene Place, taketh fees and rewarde.

On the back of the original document is written, in a hand of the time, ‘Falsa billa Will’i Dalling, ad Parliamentum tempore quo Henr. Grey fuit vicecomes ante annum terciodecimum Regis Henr. vjti.’ Henry Grey was sheriff of Norfolk in 1430, and again in 1433–4. The Parliament referred to must either have been that of 8 Hen. VI. (1429–30) or that of 12 Hen. VI. (1433), which sat till 21st December. Probably the latter.


Plese it to Commines of the present Parlement, that William Paston, on of the Justice of oure Saverayne Lorde Kyng, takyth diverse fees and rewardes of diverses persones withinne the shir of Norffolk and Suffolk, and is with holde with every matere in the sayde contrees, that is for to sey:—Of the Toune of Yernemuth, 1s. yerly; of the Abot of Seyn Benetys. xxvjs. viijd.; of the Prior of Seyn Feithes, xxs.; ‘and of my Lady Rothenhale,39.1 xxs’; and of the Prior of Norwich, xs.; and of the Prior of Penteney, xxs.; and of the Toun of Lenn, xls.; and of the Prior of Walsyngham, xxs.; and of Katherine Shelton,39.2 x. mrc. ayeins the Kyng for to be of hir councell for to destroye the right of the Kyng and of his warde, that is for to sey, Raf,39.3 soon and eyer of John Shelton.

38.1 [From Fenn, iii. 14.]

39.1 This sentence in the original has a line drawn over it. She was a widow of Sir John Rothenhale, Knight, and dying at Caister, by Yarmouth, in 1440, was buried in Norwich Cathedral.—F. See Nos. 13 and 15, ante.

39.2 Catharine, widow of William Shelton, Esq., and daughter of Simon Barret, was grandmother to Ralph, and died in 1456. —F.

39.3 Sir Ralph Shelton, Knight, son and heir of John Shelton, Esq., was born in 1430. He married Margaret, daughter of Robert Clere, Esq. of Ormesby, and was High Sheriff of Norfolk. —F.


SEPT. 26

Lease made at Castre, on Monday before Michaelmas 14 Henry VI., by Geoffrey Walle, surveyor of the manors of Sir John Fastolf, to John Rakesond, son of Geoffrey Rakesond of Ormesby, of a messuage of Fastolf’s in Ormesby, called Reppes Place, etc.

39.4 [Phillipps MS., 9,735, No. 264.]



SEPT. 30

A vidimus or official attestation of two indentures relative to the custody of the castle of Le Mans between Sir John Fastolf, governor of Anjou and Maine, and captain of Le Mans under the Duke of Bedford, and Matthew Goth [Gough] and Thomas Gower as his lieutenants. The first indenture is for the quarter from 1st October to 31st December 1434, the second for the three quarters following, to 30th September 1435. A retinue is to be maintained of twenty-four lances and the ‘archiers de la personne dudit Mathieu,’ viz., sixty mounted and fourteen on foot, and 222 archers besides. Mounted archers to have 12d. a day, etc.

The document is authenticated by the garde du scel des obligations de la Viconté de Rouen, on the 8th March 1448 (i.e. 1449).



Building accounts of William Granere, master of the works at Caistre in 11, 12, and 13 Henry VI.

40.1 [Add. Charter 17,237, B.M.]

40.2 [Add. Charters 17,229–31, B.M.]


To the worthy and worshipful sir and my good maister, John Paston of Trynyte hall in Cambrigge


Right worthy and worshipfull sir, and my good maister, I comaund me to yow. Like it yow to witte that on the Soneday next after the Ascencion of oure Lord, in the high weye betwex Cambrigge and the Bekyntre toward 41 Newmarket, I fonde a purs with money ther inne. Th’entent of this my symple lettre is this, that it please to your good Maistership by weye of charite, and of your gentilnesse, to witte if ony of youre knowleche or ony other, swich as yow semeth best in your discrecion, have lost swich a purs, and, the toknes ther of told, he shal have it ageyn, what that ever he be, by the grace of oure Lord, Who ever have yow in his blissed kepyng. Wretyn at Sneylewell the Moneday next after the seid Soneday. By youre pover servaunt, John Gyn.

40.3 [Add. MS. 34,888, f. 4.] Fenn has written on the MS. of this letter the date ‘circa 1435–6,’ which, I agree with him, must have been about the time that it was written.



Paston recomaund hym to youre good lordeship, willyng with all his herte to doo yow servise to his symple power. And as touching the maner of Walsham he seyth that at your comaundement he wille be redy to shewe yow and preve that the seid maner and all the vesture and crop therof this yeer by trewe title in lawe and conscience is his owen trewly, bowth and in gret party payed for, and that John Roys never hadde non estate in the seid maner, but oonly occupied it by suffraunce of the seid Paston and other feffes in the seid maner, and that be bargayn of the seid maner th’estate that the seid Roys shuld have hadde in the seid maner and in stoor therof shul have be condicionel to be voide and nought for defaute of payement, and that the seid John Roys ne kept not his dayes of the payementz, &c.; and that the seid William Paston, in the lyve of the seid John Roys, for defaute of payment entred in the seid maner with the seid the crop and the vesture of this yeer therof than therupon, and that the seid John Roys never at noo tyme payed to the seid John Baxtere sith the seid bargeyn, nother for the seid bargeyn ne for the dette he aught to hym, more 42 thaune an C. and xl. marcz, wherof he borwed ageyn of the seid John Baxtere xlli.; and over that he oweth and beforn the seid bargeyn aught by his obligacion to the seid John Baxtere, of trew dette of mony borwed, other xlli., and hath hadde and taken the profitz of the seid maner by iij. hool yer before his deth to the value of xxxli. and more, and that he receyved in his said bargayn of the seid John Baxtere xl. marcz worth of stoor; the which iiiixxli. of dette and xxxli. of the profitz of the seid maner, and xl. marcz worth of stoor, maketh the somme of Cxxxvili. xiijs. iiijd. Wherof, thogh the lawe wille it not, were abated, if conscience required it, Cxl. marcz payed by the seid John Roys and xli. for the value of the seid crop, over the value of the verray ferme of the seid maner for this yeer, yet remanyneth dwe to the executoures of the seid John Baxter liijli. vjs. viijd., and all the title and interesse of the seid John Roys his heyres and assignes in the seid maner lawfully and in conscience extincted and adnulled. Wher upon the said Paston lowly besecheth your good lordeship that if it may be preved this mater be trew that ye wille not be displesed thogh he desire to have his fre disposicion of the seid maner.

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

‘Hæc billa .  .  .  .  .  . [testatur]42.1 quod Johannes Baxtere vendidit Johanni Roys mesuagium suum [vocatum]42.1 Walccham place, cum toto stauro ibidem vivo et mortuo in Bryanes, cum omnibus aliis terris et tenementis suis, liberis et nativis, cum pertinentiis, ex parte occidentali ecclesiæ North Walsham, et molendinum ventriticum et mesuagium nuper Rogeri atte Hille, cum omnibus redditibus et servitiis pertinentibus dictis mesuagio et tenemento ubicumque fuerint in comitatu Norffolk, pro iijC. marcis et l. marcis; unde dictus Johannes Roys solvit dicto Johanni Baxtere die Jovis proximo ante festum Apostolorum Simonis et Judæ anno regni regis Henrici VI. xij., C. m., et habet diem solvendi residuum, videlicet ad festum Nativitatis Domini et festum sancti Michaelis proximo futurum xl. marcas annuatim, quousque dictæ CCC. marcæ et l. marcæ plenarie persolvantur. Datum die Jovis prædicto. Hæc prædicta de manu Thomæ Whitewelle.’

Then after two further imperfect entries relating to the same matter:—

‘Memorandum, quod licet esset concordatum quod W. Roys haberet barganium, &c., quod, ut credo, non ita erit, tunc in festo Nativitatis Domini anno 43 regni regis Henrici VI. xvº debentur executoribus de eodem barganio C. marcæ præter et ultra Cxl. marcas per Johannem Roys in vita sua solutas et xlli. de antiquo per dictum Johannem Roys Johanni Baxter debitas, videlicet per obligacionem suam xxxvli. inde, et ex mutua sua obligacione vli. de Perey Noble (?), ut patet per papirum dicti Baxter, et ultra xlli. per dictum Johannem Baxter post dictum barganium dicti Johanni Roys per obligacionem  .  .  .  ejusdem Johannis Roys præstitas. Memorandum eciam quod dictus Johannes Roys nec uxor ejus unquam protulerunt aliquem denarium solvendum dictis  .  .  .  dicti Johannis Baxter nec Willelmo Paston post mortem dicti Baxter. Set circa Nativitatem Domini anno regni dicti regis xiiijº et in quadragesima tunc proximo sequente uxor dicti Roys apud Paston dixit quod habuit xx. marcas paratas ad solvendum. Et sic dixit Johannes Roys tempore quo Domina Skales fuit apud Paston, videlicet ix. die Januarii dicto anno xiiijº et sic omnibus temporibus quibus dictus J. Roys et uxor ejus ut prædicitur dixerunt quod habuerunt xx. marcas paratas ad solvendum semper fuerunt arretro xlli. absque dictis xlli. novi debiti et xlli. antiqui debiti.’

41.1 [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 140.]

42.1 Mutilated.


MAY 19

Fenn mentions an indenture, dated 19th May 1436, 14 Henry VI., and signed by the Earl (afterwards Duke) of Suffolk, from which he has given a facsimile of Suffolk’s signature. See vol. i. p. 36.—The original of this indenture I have not met with.


AUG. 18

Sir H. Inglose notifies his agreement with John Topy of Wyndham, jun., in an action for trespass done to him at Stalham. Dilhams, Monday after the Assumption of Our Lady, 16 Henry VI.

43.1 [Add. Charter 17,232, B.M.]



To my ryght noble and ryght [dra]dde lord, my Lord Beaumont.


Ryght wursshipfull sire, my ryghte noble, and ryghte dradde lorde, after dyw recommendacion to yowr reverens, please hit yow to know that yowr lordesship luste to empointe me to abyde yowr noble avys touching the landis of Latemer, which my Lorde Latemer holdith ate this day. My lord, I muste, and owe of dywte, abyde yowre empoyntement, and shall; how be hit I have be confortid to complaine me to my lordis and yow of the grete wronge that I have. But, sir, y have soe verray truste one yowre lordesship that I refuse all counsaille, abyding yowre empointemente and rewell, as my diwte is to doo; byseching yow, my lord, to remembre yow and compasse of yowre servaunt, and that ye lust of yowr grace to comyne with my Lord of Salisbury, and to fele him in the mater, and as ye fele him, hit please yowre lordesship I may have knowlege; and whate yowre pore bedman may do to yowre plesire, I ame redy ate yowre comaundement ate all howris, which knowith God, Hoe have yow, my ryghte noble lord, in His blessid gouvernauns.

Write ate Broke, the v. day of Marche.

Your pore bedman and servant,

John Wylughby.

44.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The writer of this letter was the father of Robert, first Lord Willoughby de Broke, who afterwards laid claim to the barony of Latimer, as being descended from Elizabeth, sister and sole heir of John Nevill, fifth Lord Latimer, who died in 1430. He was, however, unsuccessful, as the title had been revived in 1432 by a writ of summons to George Nevill, a son of Ralph, first Earl of Westmoreland. This George died in 1469, and was succeeded by his grandson, Richard Neville, then an infant of two years old, who had summons to Parliament as Lord Latimer in 1492. The Lord Latimer here spoken of seems to be George Nevill, and it is probable that the letter was written between 1432 and 1440, as John, Lord Beaumont, was created Viscount in the latter year, while he is not so addressed here.



To my worshepefull housbond, W. Paston, be this letter takyn


Dere housbond, I recomaunde me to yow, &c. Blessyd be God I sende yow gode tydynggs of the comyng, and the brynggyn hoom, of the gentylwomman45.2 that ye wetyn of fro Redham, this same nyght, acordyng to poyntmen [appointment] that ye made ther for yowr self.

And as for the furste aqweyntaunce be twhen John Paston45.3 and the seyde gentylwomman, she made hym gentil cher in gyntyl wise, and seyde, he was verrayly your son. And so I hope ther shall nede no gret trete be twyxe hym.

The parson of Stocton45.4 toold me, yif ye wolde byin her a goune, here moder wolde yeve ther to a godely furre. The goune nedyth for to be had; and of colour it wolde be a godely blew, or erlys a bryghte sangueyn.

I prey yow do byen for me ij. pypys of gold.45.5 Your stewes45.6 do weel.

The Holy Trinite have you in governaunce.

Wretyn at Paston, in hast, the Wednesday next after Deus qui errantibus,45.7 for defaute of a good secretarye. Yowres, Agn. Paston.

45.1 [From Fenn, i. 2.] This letter must have been written some little time before the marriage of John Paston and Margaret Mauteby, which seems to have been about 1440.

45.2 Margaret, daughter and heir of John Mauteby, shortly afterwards married to John Paston, Esq.

45.3 Son of William and Agnes Paston.

45.4 Laurence Baldware was rector of Stockton ‘about 1440.’—Blomefield, viii. 49.

45.5 Gold thread on pipes or rolls, for needlework or embroidery. —F.

45.6 Ponds to keep fish alive for present use. —F.

45.7 The Collect for the Third Sunday after Easter.



About 1440

Draft Lease by Sir Simon Felbrygge; Oliver Groos, Esq.; John Berney of Redham, Esq.; William Paston of Paston; Thomas Stodhagh; Roger Taillour of Stafford Bernyngham; and Thomas Newport of Runham, executors of Robert Mawteby and John his son, to Margery, widow of the said John, of ‘two parts of manors, &c.’ and the reversion, &c., which they lately held along with Sir Miles Stapleton, Sir William Argenten, Sir John Hevenyngham, Sir John Carbonell, Sir William Calthorpe, John Boys, Esq., and William Caston, Esq., now deceased, by deed of Robert Mawteby. The remainder, after Margery’s death, is to go to Margaret, daughter of the said John and Margery, and the heirs of her body; then to Peter Mauteby, son of Robert and uncle of Margaret; then to Alianora, widow of Robert; then to Alianora, widow of William Calthorp and sister of Robert Mawteby, with reversion to the trustees to fulfil the will.

[This paper is addressed to John Berney of Reedham, and appears, by an endorsement, to have been transmitted along with a letter of William Paston. The date is fixed by the contents within pretty narrow limits, for it is after the death of John Boys, Esq., which was in August 1439 (Inquis. post mortem, 18 Hen. VI., No. 2), and before that of Sir Simon Felbrigg in 1442 (Inquis. p. m., 21 Hen. VI., No. 33). It is easy to see, in fact, that the document had something to do with the marriage settlement of John Paston and Margaret Mauteby, which was about 1440.]


A mon tresreverent et treshonerable Maister John Paston soit doné.

NOV. 1

Salvete, &c. Tytyngs, the Duk of Orlyawnce46.3 hath made his oath upon the Sacrement, and usyd it, never for to bere armes ayenst Englond, in the presence of the Kyng and all the Lordes, except my Lord of Gloucestre.46.4 47 And proving my seyde Lord of Gloucestre agreyd never to hys delyveraunce, qwan the masse began he toke his barge, &c.

God yef grace the seide Lord of Orlyaunce be trewe, for this same weke shall he to ward Fraunce.

Also Freynchmen and Pykardes, a gret nowmbre, kome to Arfleet,47.1 for to arescuyd [have rescued] it; and our Lordes wyth here smal pusaunce manly bytte [beat] them, and pytte hem to flyte, and, blyssyd be our Lord, have take the seide cite of Arflet; the qwych is a great juell to all Englond, and in especiall to our cuntre.

Moreover there is j. [i.e. one] kome in to Englond, a Knyght out of Spayne, wyth a kercheff of plesaunce i wrapped aboute hys arme; the qwych Knyght wyl renne a cours wyth a sharpe spere for his sovereyn lady sake; qwom other [either] Sir Richard Wodvyle47.2 or Sir Christofore Talbot47.3 shall delyver, to the wyrchip of Englond and of hem selff, be Goddes grace.

Ferthermore, ye be remembryd that an esquyer of Suffolk, callyd John Lyston, recoveryd in assisa novæ disseisinæ47.4 vijc [700] marc in damages ayenst Sir Robert Wyngfeld, &c. In avoydyng of the payement of the seid vij. c. marc, the seide Sir Robert Wyngfeld sotylly hath outlaywed the seide John Lyston in Notyngham shir, be the vertue of qwch outlagare, all maner of chattell to the seide John Lyston apperteynyng, arn acruwyd on to the Kyng, &c. And anon as the seide utlagare was certyfyed, my Lord Tresorer47.5 graunted the seid vij. c. marc to my Lord of Norffolk, for the arrerag of hys sowde [pay] qwyl he was in Scotland; and, acordyng to this assignement forseide, taylles [tallies] delyvered. And my Lord of Norffolk hath relesyd the same vij. c. marc to Sir Robert Wyngfeld. And here is greet hevyng an shovyng be my Lord of Suffolk and all his counsell for to aspye hough this mater kam aboute, &c.

Sir, I beseche recomende me on to my mastres your modyr, to my mastres your wyff, and to my mastres your suster, et omnibus alijs quorum interest, &c.


Sir, I pray you, wyth all myn hert, hold me excusyd that I wryte thus homly and briefly on to you, for truly convenable space suffycyd me nowt.

No more atte this tyme, butte the Trynyte have you in proteccion, &c.; and qwan your leysyr is, resorte ageyn on to your college, the Inner Temple, for ther ben many qwych sor desyr your presence, Welles and othyr, &c.

Wretyn in le fest de touts Seynts, entre Messe et Mateyns, calamo festinante, &c. Yours,     Rob. Reppes.

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

46.2 [From Fenn, i. 4.] This letter was written in 1440, the year of the release of the Duke of Orleans.

46.3 Charles, Duke of Orleans, who was taken prisoner at the battle of Agincourt in 1415, and had never since been released.

46.4 Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, uncle of the King, and before this time Protector.

47.1 Harfleur.

47.2 Afterwards Earl Rivers, father of Elizabeth, Queen of Edward IV.

47.3 Third son of John, the famous Earl of Shrewsbury.

47.4 i.e., in an assize of novel disseisin—an ancient law process.

47.5 Ralph, Lord Cromwell.


—— —— to Friar Brackley (?).

About 1440 (?)

Touching a suit of Reynold Rowse against William Burgeys. This suit was instituted originally for 5s. 4d. of rent; but when Rouse found he could not prevail by right, he maliciously sued the other for trespass in having fished his water, and driven him away by force. He afterwards got him arrested for treachery upon an obligation (i.e., a bond). Burgeys complained to Justice Paston, who counselled him not to plead; ‘For zyf thu do, he seyd, thu xalte hafe the werse, be thi case never so trewe, for he is feid with my Lord of [N]orthfolke, and mech he is of he [sic] counsel; and also, thu canst no man of lawe in Northfolke ne in Sowthfolke to be with the azens hym; and, for [s]othe no more myth I qwan I had a ple azens hym; and therfor myn counsel is, that thu make an end qwat so ever the pay, for he xal elles on do the and brynge the to nowte.’

[This letter is mutilated, and in part defaced. It is addressed on the back— ‘Be this take to Mayster Brele (?) of the Greye Freres.’ Although the name seems to be written Brele, it was probably intended for Friar Brackley of Norwich, of whom we have several letters of a later period. The date must be between the year 1429, when William Paston was made a judge, and 1444, when he died; and as the name of Reginald Rows occurs in Blomefield (Hist. of Norfolk, ix. 441) ‘about 1440,’ this letter will probably not be far out of its true place if inserted in that year.]

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



To my worshepfull husbond, John Paston, abidyng at Petyrhous in Cambrigg.

After 1440

Ryth reverent and worsepful husbon, I recomawnde me to zow with alle myn sympyl herte, and prey zow to wete that there come up xi. hundyr Flemyns at Waxham, quereof wer takyn, and kylte, and dronchyn [drowned] viij. hundryte. And thei had nowte a be, ze xul a be atte home this Qwesontyde, and I suppose that ze xul be atte home er owte long be.

I thanke yow hertely for my lettyr, for I hadde none of zow syn I spooke with zow last of for the matyr of Jon Mariot; the qwest passyd nowte of that day, for my Lorde of Norfolke was in towne for Wedyrbys matyr,49.2 qwer for he wolde nowt latyd pase off, for further (?) of I kowe [know?] Fynch ne Bylbys makethe no purwyans for hys gode.

No mor I wryte to zow atte this tyme, but the Holy Trenyte hawe zow in kepyng. Wretyn in Norweche, on Trenyte Sune day. Yowr,     Markaryte Paston.

49.1 [From Fenn, iii. 18.] The date of this letter is uncertain. From the fact of John Paston’s residence at Peter House in Cambridge, it would appear, as Fenn remarks, to have been written early in his married life, and we know that he was married as early as 1440.

49.2 Probably Thomas Wetherby, who was Mayor of Norwich in 1432–3, is referred to. He took offence at the Aldermen and Commons of the city for not naming the person he wished as his successor, and for some years afterwards showed his hostility by instigating prosecutions against the city, causing their attorneys to abandon their pleas, and so forth.



To my ryght wel belovyd cosyns, Herry Inglese and Johan Berney, Escuiers.

After 1440 (?)

Ryght wel belovyd cosyns, I comaund me to yow. And please you to hafe in knoulege that at whyche tyme ye were delyvered out of pryson by the moyen of ij. prysonners that y delyvered yow, whyche, as ye know wel, one was Burd Vynollys and the other Johan de Seint Johan dit Dolot, and in lyke wyse I boughte anothyr prysonner clepyt Johan Villers for the delyveraunce of Mautbye50.2 Sqwyer, whyche mater ye knowythe welle. And for as moche as my wrytynges that makyth mencion of that delyveraunce of the said Mautbye be not in my warde, y pray you that ye wolle undre your seelys certyffye me the trouthe how the said Mautbye was delyveryd by my moyen. Y hafe found a cedule that makyth mencion of that prysonner, of whyche I sende you a double, to be better avertysed of the mater. And therfor, as my trust ys yn yow that ye sende me your gode remembraunce in as goodly haste as ye may. And our Lord kepe you. Wryt at Londone the v. day of November. John Fastolf, Chevalier.

50.1 [MS. in Pembroke College, Cambridge.] The date of this letter is quite uncertain; but as Fastolf is believed to have returned from abroad about 1440, we presume it was not earlier than that year.]

50.2 No doubt John Mauteby, son-in-law of John Berney and father of Margaret Paston. See Blomefield’s Norfolk, xi. 228.

my ryght wel belovyd cosyns, Herry Inglese and
text unchanged: normal spelling is “Inglose”



Letters Patent, dated 7th May 19 Henry VI., by which Richard, Duke of York, Earl of March, etc., lieutenant and governor of France, grants to his beloved councillor, Sir John Fastolf, an annuity of £20.

50.3 [Add. Charter 14,598, B.M. (D. Turner’s Coll.)]



OCT. 14

Sir Thomas Keryell, lieutenant of Calais, notifies that his servant, John à Bekkes, mariner, master of his ship Bonaventure, has sold it to Sir John Fastolf, and that he agrees to the sale. Calais, 14th October 1441. Signed ‘R. Wenlok.’ (Fine seal, mutilated.)

51.1 [Add. Charter 17,233, B.M.]



A proviso occurs for William Paston and Robert and Esmond Clere in an Act of Parliament 20 Henry VI., securing to them certain copyhold lands with two mansions thereon in Paston and Edithorp, Norfolk, held by the feoffees of the duchy of Lancaster, in exchange for other lands, called Charterhold, with two mansions thereon, in the same places.—Rolls of Parliament, v. 59.


John and Margaret Paston.


Indenture tripartite, whereby Sir Simon Felbrigge, Oliver Groos, Esq., and William Paston, feoffees of Robert Mauteby, Esq., deceased, at the request of Margaret, wife of John Paston, daughter and heir of John Mauteby, son and heir of said Robert, and in consideration that the said John Paston and Margaret now have issue a son, John, whereby John Paston the father is by the law of England, for term of his life of the inheritance of his said wife, —— grant and confirm to the said John Paston the manors of Mauteby, Sparham, Basyngham, Westbekham, Matelask, and Briston, the manor of Salle called Kirkehalle, and the manor called Fleghalle in Wynterton, Somerton, Ormesby, Martham, Horseye, Waxstonesham, and Pallyng, and 100s. rent in Castre by Norwich and Merkeshale, Norfolk; and the manor of Freton in Suffolk; with certain reversions on the death of Eleanor, wife of Thomas Chambre, Esq., formerly wife of the said Robert Mauteby, Margery, wife of Ralph Garneys, Esq., mother of the said Margaret, formerly wife of John Mauteby, and of Edward Mauteby, Esq., and Thomas Mauteby, Esq., sons of the said Robert. To hold to the said John Paston, with remainder to Margaret and the heirs of her body; with contingent remainders in tail to Edw. Mauteby, Thomas Mauteby, &c.

Dated Mauteby, 15 April, 20 Hen. VI.

51.2 [From a Bodl. MS.]




Grant by John, Duke of Norfolk, to William Berdewell, Esq., of an annuity of 10 marks out of Stonham, Suffolk. Framlingham, 20th April 20 Henry VI.

52.1 [Add. Charter 17,234, B.M.]


Eleanor Chambre To William Paston.

About 1442

Thanks him for what he did for her at Sparham at their last interview. He then expected to have more leisure to attend to her affairs at London after this Hallowmass, when he would ordain that she should have lawful estate for life in the partition made ‘betwixt you and me, to for such that was there for my husband and for me at that time.’ Begs him to do it now, and deliver it to her brother, John Chambre, or her servant, John Coke, the bearer. Sends the deed of annuity under her husband’s signet and hers, which she must pay to Paston’s children.

Welouby, Sunday after St. Martin.

[Alianore, widow of Robert Mauteby, Esq., remarried Thomas Chambers, Esq., lord of Sparham in her right, in 20 Henry VI. Her son, John Mauteby, was the father of Margaret, wife of John Paston.—See Blomefield, xi. 228.]

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



Primo suggessit Sanctissimo Papæ mentiendo quod coactus et constrictus [fuisset] metu parentum ordinem52.4 intrare; secundo quod in insufficienti et prohibita ætate et in eodem ordine invite esset professus; Et tertio, quod ita fuerat invallatus et inclusus in ordinis arctitudine ut sibi tempus opportunum exeundi acquirere nequiret. Contra 53 quæ sic depono, non per ficta et fantastice ymaginata, sed per visa et audita a fide dignis denunciata. Et primo, contra primum articulum, viz., quod metu parentum etc. quia, ut asserunt fide media quam plures fide digni quorum nomina perlongum esset enarrare, quod alter parentum, suple pater, neci submersionis suffocatus fuerat in Themisia diu antequam ordinem ingressus est prænotatus Johannes; ergo, dissonum videtur quod metu parentum ingressus est, sed tantum alterius parentis. Secundo, contra secundum articulum, scilicet quod ex insufficienti etc., quia per vere visa et audita a fide dignis personis contra illud testimonium perhibere volentibus verum est asserere quod xiiijcim annorum fuerat ætatis antequam indutus esset; quod sic evidet, quia natus erat in Swapham Markett, in loco qui Delgate dicitur, ubi parentes ejus commorabantur, quando primo intraverant villam antedictam pro annuali stipendio dato Thomæ Delgate, cujus erat ipsa mansio, et istud ad testimonium Adæ Ram, Roberti Sergaunte, Agnetis Ymay commatris53.1 sæpedicti Johannis Hawteyn et Katerinæ Gannok, uxoris compatris53.1 Johannis Hawteyn prædicti, viz. Johannis Gannok qui obiit anno Domini mccccxxxiiijº. Istis transactis, parentes dicti Johannis, viz. Haymundus Hawteyn, pater ejus, et Claricia Hawteyn mater ejus, conjunctim emerunt mansionem in eadem villa, viz. Swapham Markett, a Martino Waron anno regni Regis Ricardi Secundi post conquestum xxijº, quod datum, suple Regis Ricardi, præcessit nativitas Johannis Hawteyn in Delgate per testimonia præallegata. De facili ergo, probatur quod sit ætatis annorum xliiijºr ad minus, enumerando a xxijº anno regni Regis Ricardi Secundi post conquestum usque ad annum xxjm Henrici Sexti.

Omnia in hac cedula quo ad Hawteyn dicta fuerunt Jacobo Gresham viijº die Septembris anno Regis Henrici vjti xxijº, prout scribuntur. Frater Johannes Alburugh dicit quod hoc medio intravit Johannes Hawteyn in ordinem. Circa xij. annum ætatis suæ missus fuit London’ essend’ cum quodam 54 Thoma Brown modo apprenticii; quod actum fuit, quodque sibi non bene complacuit, et cucurrit ad Fratres et dixit quod fuit nepos Alburugh, et ea de causa Reverendus Magister Walden54.1 interrogavit eum si vellet esse frater, et dixit quod vellet et humiliter rogavit ex caritate. Et veraciter scit quod fuit ætatis xiiij. annorum et amplius tempore professionis suæ et moram traxit ibidem per iij. vel iiij. annos. Et postea fuit apud Maldon per duos annos, et ab illo loco exiit. Deinde captus et Norwico incarceratus per dimidium annum. Et postea in domo de Blakney per iiijºr annos mansit, et ibidem fuit terminarius et hospes; et cucurrit ab inde cum vestibus officii de domo hospicii furtive et cepit librum (?) Alburugh avunculi sui et canciavit illum apud Aylesham pro iiij. marcis et dimidia, quas dictus Alburugh solvit pro libro rehabendo.

Et addidit idem Johannes Hawteyn vel Alburugh frater et avunculus dicti Johannis Hawteyn quod Johannes Hawteyn apostata fuit natus apud Swafham Market circa iiij. annum post transitum patris sui a Scheryngton usque Swafham. Et dicit quod Robertus frater ejus fuit pluris ætatis quam Johannes fuit per iiijºr annos, et dictus Robertus fuit natus apud Scherynton.

Et serviens Daubeney dicit quod Hamond Hawteyn transivit a Scheryngton usque Swafham tempore quo Thomas Erpyngham custodivit Regem R. in Turre London.54.2

Stephanus Plattyng de Aylesham pro vero dicit quod ad Festum Purificationis Beatæ Mariæ anno regni Regis Henrici vjti xxjº elapsi fuerunt xxviijº anni postquam ipse primo habitavit in dicta villa de Aylesham; quo tempore Claricia quæ fuit uxor Hamonis Hawteyn fuit vidua et commorans in messuagium nunc Johannis Draper de Aylesham, et postea nupta fuit Petro Fysch, cæco, qui insimul vixerunt vj. vel vij. annos, et post obitum dicti Petri dicta Claricia cepit in virum Willelmum Punyant de Aylesham. Et ad dictum festum Purificationis Beatæ Mariæ dicto anno xxjº dicti Ponyant et Claricia insimul in matrimonio cohabitaverunt per xxij. annos. 55 Hoc de Pounyant cum Claricia affirmant. Et dicit idem Ponyant quod frater Johannes Hawteyn professus fuit post matrimonium inter ipsum et præfatam Clariciam et quod ipse ad ultimum exitum suum de ordine prædicto dimisit capam suam in domo dicti Ponyant apud Aylesham.

Willelmus Barbour dicit quod quo ad nativitatem Johannis Hawteyn penitus ignorat, sed dicit quod habet quendam (sic) filiam ætatis xliiijºr annorum, et ultra vel circa, et dicit quod Johannes Hawteyn est talis ætatis. Et dicit quod Tiphania soror Hawteyn est manens in villa ultra London vocata Hawehunte, sed in quo comitatu ignorat.

This paper is endorsed, ‘Hauteyn, Oxened.’

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

52.4 The Order of Carmelites.—See Note 1 on page 54.

53.1 Compater and commater (in French compère and commère) correspond in meaning to the old English word gossip, i.e. god-sib, or related in baptism—generally applied to godfathers and godmothers.

54.1 The celebrated Thomas Netter of Walden, provincial of the Carmelite order in England; a great opponent of Wycliffe.

54.2 Richard II. was committed to the Tower in 1399, just before his formal resignation of the crown.


To my rygth worchepful husbond, John Paston, dwellyng in the Inner Temple at London, in hast.

SEPT. 28

Ryth worchipful hosbon, I recomande me to yow, desyryng hertely to her of yowr wilfar, thanckyng God of yowr a mendyng of the grete dysese that ye have hade; and I thancke yow for the letter that ye sent me, for be my trowthe my moder and I wer nowth in hertys es fro the tyme that we woste of yowr sekenesse, tyl we woste verely of your a mendyng. My moder be hestyd a nodyr ymmage of wax of the weytte of yow to oyer Lady of Walsyngham, and sche sent iiij. nobelys to the iiij. Orderys of Frerys at Norweche to pray for yow, and I have be hestyd to gon on pylgreymmays to Walsingham, and to Sent Levenardys55.2 for yow; be my trowth I had never so hevy a sesyn as I had 56 from the tyme that I woste of yowr sekenesse tyl I woste of yowr a mendyng, and zyth myn hert is in no grete esse, ne nowth xal be, tyl I wott that ze ben very hal. Your fader56.1 and myn was dysday sevenyth [this day se’nnight] at Bekelys for a matyr of the Pryor of Bromholme, and he lay at Gerlyston that nyth, and was ther tyl it was ix. of the cloke, and the toder day. And I sentte thedyr for a goune, and my moder seyde that I xulde have dan [then], tyl I had be ther a non, and so thei cowde non gete.

My fader Garneyss56.2 senttee me worde that he xulde ben her the nexch weke, and my emme [uncle] also, and pleyn hem her with herr hawkys, and thei xulde have me hom with hem; and so God help me, I xal exscusse me of myn goyng dedyr yf I may, for I sopose that I xal redelyer have tydyngys from yow herr dan I xulde have ther. I xal sende my modyr a tokyn that sche toke me, for I sopose the time is cum that I xulde sendeth her, yf I kepe the be hest that I have made; I sopose I have tolde yow wat it was. I pray yow hertely that [ye] wol wochesaf to sende me a letter as hastely as ze may, yf wryhyn be non dysesse to yow, and that ye wollen wochesaf to sende me worde quowe your sor dott. Yf I mythe have had my wylle, I xulde a seyne yow er dystyme; I wolde ye wern at hom, yf it wer your ese, and your sor myth ben as wyl lokyth to her as it tys ther ze ben, now lever dan a goune zow [though] it wer of scarlette. I pray yow yf your sor be hol, and so that ze may indur to ryde, wan my fader com to London, that ze wol askyn leve, and com hom wan the hors xul be sentte hom a zeyn, for I hope ze xulde be kepte as tenderly herr as ze ben at London. I may non leyser have to do wrytyn half a quarter so meche as I xulde sey [say] to yow yf I myth speke with yow. I xall sende yow a nothyr letter as hastely as I may. I thanke yow that ze wolde wochesaffe to remember my gyrdyl, and that ze wolde wryte to me at the tyme, for I sopose that wrytyng was non esse for yow. All myth God have yow in his kepyn, and sende yow helth. 57 Wretyn at Oxenede, in ryth grete hast, on Sent Mikyllys Evyn. Yorys,     M. Paston.

My modyr grette yow wel, and sendyth yow Goddys blyssyng and hers; and sche prayeth yow, and I pray yow also, that ye be wel dyetyd of mete and drynke, for that is the grettest helpe that ye may have now to your helthe ward. Your sone57.1 faryth wel, blyssyd be God.

55.1 [From Fenn, iii. 20.] This letter was written after the birth of John Paston’s eldest son, who was born in 1442, and cannot be later than 1443, as William Paston, who is mentioned, died in August of the year following.

55.2 St. Leonard’s Priory, Norwich.

56.1 William Paston.

56.2 Perhaps her godfather. The family of Garneys were Lords of Gelderstone, the place called by Margaret Paston Gerlyston, a few lines above.

57.1 Almost certainly his eldest son, John, afterwards Sir John Paston.

yf wryhyn be non dysesse to yow
text unchanged: error for “wrytyn”?


Land in Paston.

OCT. 17

Warrant to Sir Roger Frenles, Knight, Chief Steward of the Duchy lands in Norfolk and other counties, and Sir Thomas Tudenham, particular Steward of the lordship and manor of Gymyngham, to demise (dimittere et tradere) to the undertenants (bassis tenentibus) specified in an act of Parliament, certain charterhold land in Paston and Edithorp granted to the King by William Paston, Robert Clere, and Edmund Clere in exchange for certain parcels of copyhold land, in accordance with an act of the last Parliament holden at Westminster. The copyhold land granted to them consisted of 36½ acres 9 perches 1½ qr. of a perch and 1 pekke of land, pasture, heath, and marsh, with two houses built on certain parcels thereof, with 1/4 of a rood of waste land [not belonging to the Duchy?] in Paston; and it was given in recompense for 36½ acres 26½ perches and half a quarter of a perch, half a ‘pekke’ and one ‘naylle’ of land, pasture, and heath, called ‘Chartrehold,’ with two houses built on certain parcels thereof, in Paston and Edithorp, which are to be annexed to the Duchy. These parcels are specified in an inquisition dated 18 May 18 Hen. VI., remaining in the treasury of the Duchy, which was taken by virtue of letters of the Cardinal to Lord Bardolf and others.

17 Oct. 22 Hen. VI.

57.2 [From the Chancery Roll of the Duchy of Lancaster, 22 Hen. VI., Y. 2 c., No. 79.]




Hec sunt hostilmenta et vutensilia domus, bona et catalla, que Willelmus Paston, in indentura presentibus annexa nominatus, tradidit et dimisit Willelmo Joye in eadem indentura nominato, secundum formam ejusdem indenture, ex communi assensu eorundem Willelmi et Willelmi, per Robertum Gynne, Johannem Albon de Paston et alios appreciata, assignata et specificata, modo subsequenti, videlicet: tres equi precii quinque marcarum; quatuor vacce, quelibet precii vijs. vjd.; una juvenca brendyt precii vs.; unus tauriculus, precii iiijs.; una juvencula dowet precii iijs.; due sues, quelibet precii iijs. iiijd.; tres porculi, quilibet precii xvjd.; tres porcelli, quilibet precii xijd.; quatuor alii porcelli, quilibet precii viijd.; una carecta, precii vjs. viijd.; apparatus carette, videlicet una sella, unum par des stroppys; duo paria dez trayses, precii ijs.; due caruce cum les hokys et stappilles; unum par rotarum; due herpice, precii vs.; quatuor paria dez trayses ad aratrum, precii viijd.; due furse fimose, precii vjd.; una vanga, precii iijd.; unus tribulus, precii iijd.

Hec sunt blada et alia hostilmenta et utensilia domus, bona et catalla, per predictum Willelmum Paston predicto Willelmo Joye secundum formam dicte indenture similiter dimissa et non appreciata, videlicet: sex quarteria frumenti; xxv. quarteria ordei; viij. quarteria avenarum; quidam tassus pisarum in fine australi antique grangie messuagii predicti, qui est altitudinis iij. virgarum et iij. quarteriorum unius virge, et quidam alius tassus vescarum in boriali fine ejusdem grangie, altitudinis iij. virgarum et j. quarterii unius virge; qui quidem duo tassi fuerunt vesture xij. acrarum et dimidii, et dimidii rode terre; iij. vasa vocata Kelerys; j. Gilyngsat; iiij. stondes pro servitio; j. stonde in coquina; ij. patelle cum ligaminibus ferreis; j. 59 parva patella cum ligamine ferreo; j. magna olla ennea [ænea]; alia olla ennea minor; j. parva olla ennea; j. tabula; j. par des trostelles; j. longum hostium jacens in boteria; j. par des trestelles, j. trow, ij. bolles, j. morter, j. thede, j. temse, j. mashsterell, j. tankard cum ligamine ferreo; j. bultyngpoke, j. magna trow pro farina, cista pro farina, j. fleshoke, j. tripes ferreum, j. veru ferreum; j. aunderun, j. par de tongys, j. lach’gres ennua, j. seturis, j. magnum lavacrum pendens, j. kynderkyn, ij. soos leeke, j. par de belwes, j. magnum planke super mensam coquine hargour; iij. perapsides; iij. disci; iij. sauserys de pewter; iij. perapsides; iij. disci; j. magnus discus, vj. sissorn, iij. ciphi de ligno, j. chayer; duo longa scanna, j. scannum mediocre longitudinis; ij. scanna vocata buffet stoles; ij. bankar; j. gladius, ij. ferra vocata aplates; j. chirne; j. chyrnyng staf; j. curta falx; j. candelabrum ferreum; j. parvum salerium; j. beryngsceppes, unum par dez pepyrquens, ij. uteri, j. cadus cum vergous; j. parva cista in boteria; j. selura supra servisiam; j. metesetell; j. pykforke; iij. longa bordclothis; j. towayll, j. san  .  .  .  et j. walet pro autumpno; j. lucerna; ij. vomeri et ij. cultri que ponderant xvij. li. et dim.; j. carectula, Anglice, a carre; j. sunvectorium (?); ij. novi rowintrees et j. curtum lignum in le carthows; ij. veteres bige; j. par rotarum ferratarum; ij. kemell cum hopys ferreis; j. frena, j. pelvis; viij. sacci; iiij. longa ligna fraxinora in pistrina; j. fetyrlok.

In dorso

Summa catall’ infrascriptorum et appreciat’, vli. 19s. 8d.

Summa granorum infrascriptorum ultra persas (?) et vesias, iiijli. xviijs. iiijd.

Quarterium frumenti ad iiijs., quarterium ordei ijs. iiijd., et querterium avenarum ad ijs.

Item, vestura xij. acrarum et di., et di. rod. pisarum et vescar’.

Item, dicta vestura piseii et vescar. ad ls., lacr’ ad iiijs. de xij. acr’ et di. rod. non lax.

Summa totalis, xiiijli. viijs.

58.1 [From Douce Charters in Bibl. Bodl., No. 18.]




This day at x. of the clok Edmund Paston and the parson of Oxened went owth of the Manor doun to Wantown Gapp, for thei herd tydynges that the freyr60.2 was comyng; and with the seyd frier came John Cates and on Whalter Herman of Wheytte, and Wylliam Yemmys of Burgh, the frieres man. And Edmund Paston seyd to John Cates Welcome, and he askyd hem what here60.3 cause was in commyng. The Frier seyd he cam for to speke with the gode lady, and Edmund seyd that he shuld speke with her. At this tyme sche was so ocupied he myth not speke with her. And he seyd that he shuld assay; and he cam redyng fro Wantown Gappe to the grete Cate; and there he lyted and knokkyd on the gate; and we folwyd as yarn as we myth; and ther was with in John Jaallere and John Edmundes, and asked the friere what he wold; and he seyd that he wuld comyn inne for to speke with the gode ladi of the hows. And thei seyd nay, he shuld not come in. And than cam on Edmund Paston and the parson, and asked hym what was cause of his comyng at this tyme. And he seyd for to entre in the maner of Oxened, the which his fader was possessid of and his auncestres from kyng Edward the thred on to Colbys tyme, and that he had fownd a tayll ther of in the kynges bokes. And than Edmund Paston answeryd hym and seyd that it wher best declaryng of his evydence in Westminster hall. And he seyd a geyn, so he shuld whan he myth. And he seyd to hem that come with hym, ‘Serys, I chargge yow ber record how that I am kept owth with stronge hand, and may not take poscession.’ And evyn forth with he presyd to the 61 gate ward to a leyd hand on the gate. And than the seyd Edmund put hym fro the gate and seyd, ‘Ne wer for reverence of thy lord and myn, and thow leyst any hand on the gate I xall sey thye hert blod or thow myn.’ And than the seyd frier seyd scornfully that he myth thanke his mayster. And than the seyd Edmund seyd that he myth sey his lord ryght wele; and than he stowpyd doun and toke up herd and delivered to his man, seying to hem that come with hym, ‘I charge yow all of the kynges behalffe ye bere record that I take here poscession of myn inheritance.’ And Edmund seyd that this takyng of poscession skylled nowgt. And than the friere seyd that sen he myth not have it nowe, he shuld come a geyn a nothir tyme. Edmund is rede forth to Heydon. It was told us this afternon that ther wer iij. men come fro Skeyton and mette with the frier in the feld and spoke with hym a gode while, and than redyn the same wey that they come.

60.1 [Add. MS. 34,888, f. 19.] This paper, like No. 63, which also refers to Friar Hauteyn’s claim to Oxnead, can be assigned to no definite year; but its date must be before the death of Edmund Paston in 1449. It is indorsed in a later hand: ‘A Frier came to take possession of the mannor of Oxned.’

60.2 John Hauteyn.

60.3 here (or her) for their.

fro Wantown Gappe to the grete Cate
text unchanged: error for “Gate”?


To my right worthy and worshepfull Lord, William Paston, Justice, in hast.

JAN. 29

Please it your good Lordship to wete that the Chief Justice of the Kynggs Benche61.2 recomaundeth hym to yow, and is right sory of the matier that is cause of your noun comyng hedir, but he wole do al that he can 62 or may for yow. He hath hadde a cyetica [sciatica] that hath letted hym a gret while to ride, and dar not yet come on non horses bak, and ther for he hath spoke to the Lordes of the Conseill, and enformed hem of your sekenesse and his also, that he may not ride at these next assizes to Estgrynsted; and though thoe assizes discontynue puer noun venue dez Justicez, he hopeth to be excused and ye also. And as for the remenant of the assizes, he shall purvey to be ther by water. And Almyghty Jesu make yow heyle and strong.

Wretyn right simply the Wednesseday next to fore ye Fest of the Purificacion of Our Lady at London. By your most symple servaunt,     Jamys Gresham.

61.1 [From Fenn, iii. 26.] ‘From a memorandum,’ says Fenn, ‘on the back of this letter, dated in April 1444, it is probable that it was written on the 30th of January 1443.’ Did Fenn mean the 30th of January 1443–4? In the side-note immediately below the letter, he dates it in his usual exact manner, ‘Wednesday, 30th of January 1443, 22 H. vi.’ But unfortunately there is an error here. January in the 22d year of Henry VI., means January 1444 according to the modern computation, or 1443 in the style formerly in use, by which the year was reckoned from the 25th of March. But the 30th of January was a Wednesday in 1443, only according to the modern computation of the year,—that is to say, it was a Wednesday in the year 1442–3, not in 1443–4. I imagine, however, that the ‘30th of January’ should have been ‘29th of January,’ and that Fenn really meant 1443–4, corresponding with the 22nd year of Henry VI.; for the memorandum to which he refers is a draft agreement, dated on Passion Sunday, 22 Hen. VI., A.D. 1444.

61.2 The celebrated Sir John Fortescue.


To the worthy and worshipfull Sir and good Lord and Maister, William Paston, on of the Justices of oure Sovereign Lord, of his Commone Benche at Westminster.

Not later than 1444

Right worthy and worshipfull Sir, and my good Lord and Maister, I recomaund me to yow. And where as ye, by your lettre direct to my Lady, your wyf, wold that my seid Lady shuld have Robert Tebald and me to geder, as sone as she myght, and the evidences which the seid Robert receyved of yow at your last beyng at Norwich, and that I shuld amende the defautes therinne, and that that doon there shuld of Baxteres Place of Honyng be taken estate to yow and to other, as your seid lettre requireth: Prey and beseche yow to witte that, on the Friday next after your departyng fro Paston, Thomas Walysh and William Burgh, in his owen persone, and the seid Thomas by William Inges and William Walsyngham, his attornies, by his lettre under his seal, where 63 [were] at Honyng, and delyvred to my Lady Scarlet seson [seisin] in the seid place, and Colbyes and Donnynges in Walsham. And the seid Thomas Walyssh, as the seid Tebald told me, wold not enseale the seid lettre of attornie til the parson of Ingeworth come to hym therfore, and required hym to don it. Wychyngham in his owen persone in the nyght next beforn the seid Friday, as the seid Tebald infourmeth me, come to the same Tebaldes hows, and desired hym to enseale acquytaunce, as he seid, and the same Robert refused to don it.

Nertheless, whether it were acquytaunce or were not, the same Robert kan not seye, for he myght noo sight have there of. And the seid Wychyngham the same nyght rood to John Willyot, and desired of hym the same, and refused also to don it. What is the best to be don in this matier my seid Lady, your wyf, kan not thynke with owt your advis and counseile. Wherfore as touchyng the takyng of th’estate to yow and other, as in your seid lettre is conteigned, is yet right nought doon.

The Holy Trinite have yow in his blissed kepyng. Wretyn at North Walsham, the Thursday next after the Purificacion of oure Lady.

My seid Lady, your wyf, preyeth yow to be remembred of here grene gynger of almondes for Lente, and of the leche of Orwelde, for here seknes encreseth dayly upon here, whereof she is sore a ferd. By youre servunt,     John Gyney.

62.1 [From Fenn, iii. 28.] There is nothing to be said of the date of this letter, except that it is not later than 1444, when William Paston died.



Indenture between the Prior and Convent of the Monastery of St. Andrew, Bromholme, impropriators of the Church of St. Margaret, Paston, and John Partrik, vicar of the said church, of the first part, William Paston of Paston, of the second part, and Edmund Palmer of Wytton, of the third part, relative to lands in Baketon and Wytton, and containing amongst other things a grant by the Prior and Convent to the said John Partrik, at the instance of the said 64 William Paston, in consideration of which masses, called certeynes, are to be performed every Friday for the souls of William Paston and Agnes his wife, and the obit of Clement Paston, William’s father, is to kept yearly on St. Botolph’s day (17th June). Dated 15th March 22 Henry VI. Confirmed by Walter, Bishop of Norwich, and John, the Prior of the Cathedral of Norwich, and the chapter of that church, 11th and 21st March 1446[-7].

63.1 [Add. Charter 14,571, B.M. (D. Turner’s Coll.)]

Confirmed by Walter, Bishop of Norwich
text reads “Comfirmed”


John Maryot to William Paston, Justice.

Before 1444

Is ready to fulfil the indentures of Becham made by W. P. with his late mother, if W. P. will send ‘the indenture of our part,’ that Maryot may know the terms and his own title. Will make no bargain else.—Crowmer, Monday after Our Lady’s Nativity.

64.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This and the following letter are quite uncertain in point of date, except that they were of course written before the death of William Paston, to whom they were addressed.


William Wotton de Pagrave to Justice Paston.

Sends his wife to him to explain some business about lands in Lytyl Pagrave, of which a woman of Sporle has already spoken to him; also touching some land at Castleacre.—On parchment.

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

—— —— TO JOHN PASTON64.3


Righte reverent and my most worshipful maister, I recomaund me to yow. Please it yow to wite that I sende yow a copie of a verdite take before my maister Roberd Clere by vertu of a writ diem clausit extremum,64.4 whiche 65 writ I sende yow also with this, of whiche verdite the wordis arn as it folwith:—

Inquisicio capta apud Wynterton, secundo die Novembris anno regni Regis Henrici vjti post conquestum vicesimo tertio, coram Roberto Clere escaetore domini Regis in com. Norfolk et Suffolk, virtute brevis domini Regis sibi directi et presenti Inquisitioni consuti, per sacramentum Johannis Berkyng, Nicholai Pikeryng, Johannis Chapell, Johannis Jekkys, Willelmi Stiwardson, Roberti Hosele, Johannis Topy, Johannis Wacy, Johannis Rychers, Thomæ Broun, Walteri Heylok, Willelmi Stotevyle, Thomæ Mason, Roberti Marche, Johannis Kechon, legalium et proborum hominum in hac parte pro domino Rege juratorum: Qui dicunt super sacramentum suum quod Willelmus Paston nominatus in dicto brevi nulla terras et tenementa tenuit de domino Rege in capite die quo obiit in comitatu predicto. Et quod obiit quarto decimo die mensis Augusti, anno regni domini Regis predicti xxij. Et quod Johannes Paston filius ipsius Willelmi est hæres ejus propinquior, et ætatis xxiij. annorum.

Ther is founde more of other thyngges be the same verdite touchyng other matieris, whiche he will not certifie yet. And for as moche as my maister Clere wetyth well that the seid verdite touchyng my maister your fader, hoes soule God assoyle, must have other maner of makyng thanne he kan make, he recomaundith hym to my maistres your moder, and yow also; and prey yow that ye will do it make as effectuel and availeabill for the wel of my maister your fader and yow as ye kan, and sele it with your seall, or what seall ellys ye will, in his name, and sealle it also with as many of other seales as ther be jerores, and delyvere it to William Bondes, his depute, to delyvere into the Chauncelre. And if William Bondes be fro London or this may be redy, thanne purveye ye for the speed of this matier in youre best wise; and what so ever ye do, or sey, or write, or seale, or avouche in this matier in my maister Cleris name, he shall avowe it, and [i.e. if] it shulde coste hym gret parte of his good.

Sir, ther is noon enquerre take in Suffolk, for as moche as my maister your fader helde no londe ther but be my maistres your moder; but if ye will that he shall inquere ther as sone as he may wete it, it shall be doo; and if this forseide verdite 66 may serve for bothe, he is right glad therof. He tolde me that he seide to the jurores, whiche have sealed her verdite: ‘Seris, I wot well this verdite after my makyng is not effectuel in lawe, and therfore may happe it shall be makid newe at London, and ellys peraventure I shulde be amercied in the Kyngges Courte; and therfore I truste yow, and [i.e. if] it be newe mad and newe sealed, ye will avowe it.’ And thei seide with a good herte ya; these wordes wern seide in secreta confessione to v. or vj. of the reuleris of the seide jurre whiche he kan truste righte well. He preyith yow to holde hym excused that he writyth not to yow for this matier, for he is ocupied in other wise. He badde me write in this fourme to yow, which he supposith ye will beleve, and he knoweth alle this writyng, and is well concented and agreed therto. Sir, ther arn xv. jurores abowe to certifie ye, as many as ye will: but lete these men that be tottid be certified, for thei be the rewleris and t  .  .  .  .  he spk (?) &c. Sir, atte reverence of God, if I shall make ony purvyaunce in this cuntre for my maistres comyng hom, lete me have reson[able] warnyng, and so God me helpe, and I shall do my dever. I here no tydyngges of Thom’ yet. My maistres Garneys, your moder,  .  .  .  .  .  .66.1 Berney, and my maisteris your sonys and my maister your brother arn heyle and mery, and recommend hem to yow. And I beseche your [mastership]66.1 that this sympil skrowe may recomaund me to my reverant and worshipful maistres, your moder. And I prey our Lord of his  .  .  .  .  .  .66.1 bothe moche worship and wilfare, and graunte me to do and labour that is to your bothenerys pleaser.66.2

Writen the Saterday next.  .  .  .  .  .  .66.3

This letter appears to have been used as a wrapper for others. It is endorsed, ‘Literæ diversorum directæ J. Paston receptæ apud London per diversos annos ante festum Michaelis anno xxxiiij Hen. VI. Literæ Fastolff pro Costid (?). Literæ W. Wayt pro tempore suæ tribulationis. Literæ Windham.’

64.3 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter is without a signature or address, and who the writer was does not appear. It was evidently written soon after the taking of the inquisition on the death of William Paston, the Judge, the date of which is given in the extract as 2nd November 23 Henry VI., i.e. 1444.

64.4 See p. 16, Note 1.

66.1 Mutilated.

66.2 I.e., that which is to the pleasure of you both (?).

66.3 A little mutilated at bottom.

Et quod obiit quarto decimo die mensis Augusti
text has “dccimo”


In the following Letter, line breaks have been added to accommodate the interlineations (Note 2).


DEC. 6

In Dei nomine, amen. Ego Edmundus Norman de Fylby, compos mentis, die Dominica in festo sancti Nicholai Episcopi, anno domini Mlmo iiijc xl., condo testamentum meum in hunc mundum (sic). In primis do et lego animam meam Deo Patri, &c., corpusque meum sepeliendum in ecclesia sancti Petri de Crowmere. Item, summo altari ecclesiæ prædictæ
vjs. viijd. 67.2 vjs. viijd.67.2
xld.   Item, emendacioni ejusdem ecclesiæ xld.   Item, summo altari ecclesiæ de Fylby xld. Item, emendationi ecclesiæ de Fylby prædictæ vel fenestræ de novo faciendæ et intrando in parte boriali ecclesiæ prædictæ in fine occidentali, x. marcas. Item, Edmondo, capellano sancti Johannis Baptistæ in eadem ecclesia, xld. Item, volo quod omnes feoffati in terris et tenementis remittant jus suum Edmundo Clere armigero, magistro meo, ut ipse vendat et disponat cum aliis executoribus meis pro salute animæ meæ, et patris, matris, et omnium quibuscumque teneor. Item, cuilibet ordini fratrum de Jernemoth, vjs. viiid. Item, fratribus ordinis Minorum de Walsyngham vjs. viiid. Item, lego Willelmo Bondis omnia bona mea existentia in hospicio meo
de Clifforde
London’, videlicet lectum et indumenta mea. Item, lego Roberto Baketon et uxori ejus, firmario meo in Fylby, omnia utencilia mea infra mansionem meam ibidem præter lectum plumale postea legatum. Item, Edmundo filio dicti Roberti, filiolo meo, xls. Item, filiabus ejusdem Roberti, Elizabethæ et Margaretæ, cuilibet xxs. Item, Edmundo filio Roberti Norman de Ormesby, vjs. viiid. Item, Ricardo Kemp, xxvjs. viijd. Item, Johanni Grave, sonam meam deargent’.67.3 Item, Nicholao Pekeryng de Fylby, meum optimum lectum plumale infra mansionem meam apud Fylby. Item, Johanni Spencer de Crowmere, xxs. Item, uxori Johannis Couche, pro labore et diligentia suis circa me dum infirmabar, vjs. viijd. Item, 68 Edmundo Bataly capellano
  xxs. 68.1
vjs. viiid. Item, lego Thomæ Stalham et uxori ejus meum lectum plumale apud Norwicum. Item, die obitus mei ad exequias, cuilibet capellano iiijd. et clerico, jd. Item, ad distribuendum inter pauperes die sepulturæ, xld. Residuum vero bonorum meorum non legatorum do et lego executoribus meis, quos ordino et constituto Edmundum Clere, armigerum, Magistrum meum Robertum Clere, Willelmum Bondes, Nicholaum Pekeryng, Magistrum Johannem Semecrofte et Ricardum Kemp, ut ipsi disponant pro salute animæ meæ.

68.2Et lego dicto Edmundo Clere pro labore suo xli. si vult. Et Roberto Clere Cs., et similiter cuilibet aliorum executorum xls.

Item, lego Pers. de Crowmere iijs. iiijd.

Item, volo quod in fenestra ecclesiæ de Fylby tres68.3 ymagines, videlicet, una ymago sancti Edmundi, alter[a] Sancti Johannis Baptistæ, alia Sanctæ Mariæ, et ibidem fiat scriptio:—Orate pro animabus Johannis Norman seniori, Margaretæ uxoris ejus, et Edmundi filii prædicti et tale armo (sic). [Here follows a sketch of a shield, the upper part marked as silver and the lower black, with the word ‘Katerwole’ (?) upon it.]

67.1 [Add. MS. 34,888, f. 10.]

67.2 Interlineations by another hand.

67.3 Here occurs an illegible interlineation, in which only ‘xs.’ is visible.

68.1 Interlineations by another hand.

68.2 What follows is in a different hand, apparently the same as that of the interlineations noticed above.

68.3 Corrected from ‘quatuor.’


To our right trusti and welbelovid John Paston, Squier. The Duc of Norff.

Before 1444 (?)

Trusti and right welbelovid, we grete you weel, lating you witte that for the trust that as weel we, as the heires of Edmund Swathyng, have unto you, we have appointed you to be one of the makeres up indifferently of the 69 evydences betwix us and the seide heires. Wherfor we pray you hertily, that ye wil yeve attendaunce at such day and place as ye and our right trusti and welbelovid frende William Yelverton, with oure welbelovid servaunt Jenney, shal mow attende to the making up of the seide evidencez; and we shal send summe of our servauntz to awayte upon you for your reward and costis, that ye shal be pleasid with by the grace of God, who have you ever in his keping.

Wreten undir our signet in oure Castel of Framlyngham,

the xviij. day of ——.


68.4 [From Fenn, i. 10.] Fenn thinks this letter must have been written before 1444, when Yelverton was made a judge. This is, doubtless, most probable. There is, however, an Edmund Swathing, Esq., mentioned by Blomefield (Hist. of Norfolk, viii. 42) as alive in 1446, and if it be his executors who are referred to, the date would appear to be later.

69.1 The name ‘John Mowbray’ is represented by a curious monogram, in which every letter both of the Christian and the surname can be traced.


To the Kyng our Soverayn Lord.

After 1444

Ples your Hyghnes of your abundante grace, an consyderacion of the servys and plesure that your Hyghnes knowyth to yow don by William Paston, late one of your judgys, and old servaunt to that nobyll Prinse your fadyr, to graunte onto John Paston, Esquyer, sonn and heyir of the seyd Wylliam, your lettrys patents under the seel of yowr Duche of Lancastre, being in the keping of Thomas Chesham, aftyr affecte of note folowyng; and he schall pray to God for yow.

Rex, etc. Sciatis, quod de gracia nostra speciali et ex mero motu nostro, ac pro bono et laudabyli servicio quod dilectus 70 et fidelis nobis Willelmus Paston, nuper unus Justiciariorum nostrorum, defunctus, nobis in vita sua inpendydit, consessimus et hac presenti carta nostra confirmavimus, in quantum in nobis est, Johanni Paston armigero, filio et heredi dicti Willelmi, viginti tria mesuagia, quingintas triginta et iiij. acras pasture, bruere et marissy in villis de Paston, Edythorp, et Bakton, in comitatu nostro Norff. quas diversi tenentes nostri ibidem de nobis separatim native tenent ad voluntatem nostram per virgam sive copiam et per serta redditus et servissia, nativa annualia inde nobis reddend., que ad valorem novem librarum annuatim exeunt vel infra. Concessimus eciam eidem Johanni curiam lete, seu visus franciplegii nostri, in villis de Paston et Edithorp predictis, que est annui valoris viij. solidorum per estimacionem; ad quatuor libratas, quatuor solidatas et octo denariatas redditus. Redditum octo boschellorum avenarum et trium caponum cum pertinentiis in villis predictis, ac in villis Wytton et Easewyk in comitatu predicto, percipiendum anuatim de omnibus et singulis liberys tenentibus nostris ibidem pro tenementis suis qui de nobis separatim tenent in eisdem villis, una cum fidelitatibus et aliis serviciis eorundem tenentium et eorum cujuslibet, de, seu pro, tenementis illis et eorum qualibet parcella nobis debitis sive pertinentibus. Concessimus etiam eidem Johanni et heredibus suis officium parcarie ac costidie70.1 parci nostri de Grymygham in com. nostro predicto, una cum proficuo agistamenti bestiarum ejusdem parci pro vadiis suis pro officio predicto annuatim percipiend: salvis no  .  .  et hodierna sufficienti pastura ferarum nostrarum ibidem ut tempore nostro prius usitatum fuit; quod quidem proficuum agistamenti ad valorem x. marcarum extendit per annum. Habenda, tenenda et percipienda predicta messuagia, terram, pasturam, brueram, mariscum, curiam lete, et visus franciplegii, redditus, et servissia, officium et agistament’ proficu’ cum pertinentiis, prefato Johanni et heredibus suis de nobis et heredibus nostris, per fidelitatem et redditum unius rose rubie ad Festum Nativitatis Sancti Johannis Baptiste annuatim nobis solvendum, si petatur, pro omnibus serviciis, exaccionibus et demandis. Eo quod 71 messuagia, terra, pastura, bruera, mariscus, curia lete, redditus, servicia predicta, officium et agistament’ profic’, valorem supra specificatum excedant, vel valorem illum non attingant, aut aliquo actu, restriccione seu mandato facto, edito aut proviso non obstante. Volumus etiam et assignavimus quod omnes illi qui per nos seu ad usum nostrum, jus, titulum, seu statum in premissis, seu aliquo premissorum habuerunt seu habent, nobis antehac non relaxatum, jus, titulum et statum illa prefato Johanni et heredibus suis dimittent et relaxent. In cujus  .  .  .

69.2 [From Tanner MS. 95, f. 82.] This is a draft in the handwriting of William Worcester, very illegible from the number of the corrections, and also from the ink being very much faded. Of its date I cannot tell except that it was clearly written in the reign of Henry VI. and after the death of Judge Paston in 1444.

70.1 Sic, pro custodiæ.


To our right trusty and hertily welbeloved John Paston, Squier.

Kateryn, Duchesse
of Norff.

After 1444 (?)

Right trusty and entierly welbeloved, we grete you wel hertily as we kan. And for as moche as we purpose with grace of Jesu to be at London within bryff tyme, we pray you that your place ther may be redy for us, for we wole sende our stuff thedir to for [tofore, i.e. before] our comyng; and siche agrement as we toke with you for the same, we shall duely performe yt with the myght of Jesu, who haff you in his blissed keping.

Wretyn at Eppeworth, ijde day of Octobre.

71.1 [From Fenn, iii. 16.] The writer of this letter was the widow of John Mowbray, second Duke of Norfolk, who died in 1432. After the Duke’s death, she married again no less than three times; and Fenn thinks this letter, which is dated from Epworth in Lincolnshire, a seat of the Duke of Norfolk’s, was probably written during her first widowhood. It must be remarked, however, that in 1432 John Paston was only twelve years old at the utmost, so that this letter could hardly have been written till at least ten years after. It is, besides, hardly probable that John Paston would have been addressed as the owner of a ‘place’ in London, before his father’s death in 1444. The exact year, however, is quite uncertain.



Robert, Lord Wylughby [of Eresby], to John Paston.

Between 1444 and 1451

Desires him to favour Reginald Balden who ‘hath ado with you for certain lyflode which was his father’s, wherein your father was enfeoffed.’ Boston, 16th December.

[The date of this letter is probably after the death of William Paston in 1444, and cannot be later than 1451, as the writer died on St. James’s day (25th July) 1452.]

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


To Edmond Paston of Clyffordis Inn, in London, be this Lettre take.

FEB. 4

To myn welbelovid sone, I grete yow wel, and avyse yow to thynkk onis of the daie of youre fadris counseyle to lerne the lawe, for he seyde manie tymis that ho so ever schuld dwelle at Paston, schulde have nede to conne defende hym selfe.

The Vikare72.3 of Paston and yowre fadre,72.4 in Lenttyn last was, wher [were] thorwe and acordidde, and doolis72.5 sette howe broode the weye schulde ben,72.6 and nowe he hath pullid uppe the doolis, and seithe he wolle makyn a dyche fro the corner of his walle, ryght over the weye to the newe diche of the grete 73 cloose. And there is a man in Truntche, hyzht Palmer to, that hadde of yowre fadre certein londe in Truntche over vij. yere or viij. yere agoone for corn, and trewli hathe paide all the yers; and now he hathe suffrid the corne to ben with sette for viijs. of rentte to Gymmyngham, wich yowre fadre paide nevere. Geffreie axid Palmere why the rentte was notte axid in myn husbonddis tyme; and Palmere seyde, for he was a grete man, and a wyse man of the law, and that was the cawse men wolde not axe hym the rentte.

I sende yow the namis of the men that kaste down the pittis, that was Gynnis Close, wretyn in a bille closid in this lettre.

I sendde yow not this lettre to make yow wery of Paston; for I leve in hoope, and ye wolle lern that they schulle be made werye of her werke, for in good feyth I dar welseyne it was yowr fadris laste wille to have do ryzht wel to that plase, and that can I schewe of good profe, thowe men wolde seye naye. God make yow ryzht a good man, and sende Goddis blessyng and myn.

Wrettyn in haste, at Norwich, the Thorsdaie aftir Candelmasse daie.

Wetith of yowre brothere John now manie gystis [joists] wolle serve the parler and the chapelle at Paston, and what lenghthe they moste be, and what brede and thykknesse thei moste be; for yowre fadris wille was, as I weene veryli, that thei schuld be ix. enchis on wey, and vij. another weye. And porveythe therfor that thei mow be squarid there, and sentte hedre, for here can non soche be hadde in this conttre. And seye to yowre brothir John it weer wel don to thinkke on Stansted Chirche;73.1 and I praye yow to sende me tydynggs73.2 from be yond see, for here thei arn a ferde to telle soche as be reportid. By yowr Modre,     Augneis Paston.

72.2 [From Fenn, iii. 32.] This letter must have been written in February 1445, as it appears from the contents that William Paston was dead, but had been alive in the preceding Lent.

72.3 John Partrick of Swathfield was Vicar of Paston, from 1442 to 1447. —F.

72.4 William Paston, the Judge.

72.5 Landmarks. ‘Dolestones’ are still spoken of in Norfolk in this sense.—See Latham’s Edition of Johnson’s Dictionary.

72.6 On the 6th July 1443 a licence was granted to William Paston to enclose a portion of the highway at Paston, and another at Oxnead, on his making two other highways in place thereof.—Patent Roll, 21 Henry VI. p. 1, m. 10.

73.1 Stansted Church in Suffolk.—Dame Agnes had possessions in that parish. —F.

73.2 These tidings relate to our foreign transactions, the giving up of Maine, Truces, &c. &c. on the King’s marriage, which had taken place in November. —F.



To the most reverent Fader in God the Archebisshop of Caunterbury, Chanceler of Englond.


Besecheth mekely zour gracious Lordship, zour owne servant and oratour John Hauteyn, chapeleyn, that wher he hath dyvers seutees and accions in lawe to be sewed a zent A., that was the wife of W. Paston, of the maner of Oxenedes, in the countee of Northfolk; and for as meche as zour seid besecher can gete no counsell of men of court to be with hym in the seid matiers, by cause that the seid W. P. was one of the Kynges Justices, and John P., son and heir to the seid W. P., is al so a mon of court; that hit plese zour good Lordship to assigne, and most streytly to comaund John Heydon,74.2 Thomas Lyttylton,74.3 and John Oelston to be of counsell with zour seid besecher in the seid matiers, and oder that he hath to do azenst the seid Anneys and oder; and zour said besecher shal contente hem well for their labour. And that this be doo in the reverence of God, and wey of charite. John Hauteyn, Chapeleyn.

74.1 [From Fenn, iii. 36.] This is a petition addressed to John Stafford, Archbishop of Canterbury, as Chancellor, after the death of William Paston in 1444. Stafford was made Archbishop in 1443. His appointment as Chancellor was even earlier, and he held the office till the 31st of January 1450.

74.2 A lawyer and recorder of Norwich. —F.

74.3 Afterwards the famous Judge Lyttelton. —F.



To my right worchepfull Cosyn, Agnes Paston.

After 1444

Right worchepfull cosyn, I comand me to you. And as for the mater that ye sent to me fore, touchyng the maner callid Walshams, in Walsham, the trouth is, youre husbond soldyt to my moder upon condition that she shuld never sel it but to youre sones, John or William; and for the suerte of the seid condition, youre seid husbond, as I conseyve, ded the seid maner be charged with a gret annuyte upon the same condition, or the tyme that my seid moder toke estate, of the whech I suppose ye shall fynde sufficiant evydens, if ye serge youre evydences therfor. And I be seche almyty God kepe you.

Wretyn at Geddyng, the xv. day of September. Your Cosyn,     Sir Roger Chamberleyn.

75.1 [From Fenn, iii. 38.] Nothing can be said as to the date of this letter, except that it is evidently after the death of William Paston.


To the right worshipful, and with all myn herte right entirely belovid brother, the Viscounte Beaumont.

Between 1442 and 1455

Right worshipful, and with all myn herte right entierly beloved brother, I recomaunde me to you, thenking right hertili youre good brotherhode for your gode and gentill letters, the whiche it hath liked you to sende unto me 76 nowe late; and like it you to knowe I perseeve by the tenor of the seid lettre, your gode desire of certein dubete that I owe unto you. In gode faith, brother, it is so with me at this tyme, I have but easy stuffe of money withinne me, for so meche as the seison of the yer is not yet growen, so that I may not plese youre seide gode brotherhode, as God knoweth my will and entent were to do, and I had it.

Nevertheless, and it like you, I sende you, bi my sonne Stafford,76.1 an obligacion wherof, of late tyme, I have rescevid part of the dubete therinne comprisid; the residue of whiche I prai you to resceve bi the seid obligacion, and that I may have an acquitance therof, and to yeve credence unto my seid sonne in such thing as he shall say unto your gode brotherhode on my behalve.

Right worshipfull, and with all myn herte right entirely belovid brother, I beseche the blissed Trinite, preserve you in honor and prosperite.

Writen at my Castell of Makestok,76.2 the xvij. day of Marche. Yowre trew and fethfull broder,     H. Bukingham.

75.2 [From Fenn, i. 16.] There appear to be no means of ascertaining the exact year when this letter was written; but as the writer was created Duke of Buckingham on the 14th September 1441, and his son, the Earl of Stafford, was killed at the battle of St. Albans on the 22nd May 1455, the date must lie between these two limits.

76.1 Humphrey, Earl of Stafford, the Duke’s eldest son, who was slain at St. Albans in 1455.

76.2 In Warwickshire.


To my ryght wurchepfull cosyn, John Paston, Esquier.

Between 1444 and 1460

Right worchepful cosyn, I recomaunde me to yow, thankyng yow as hertyly as I kan for my selff, &c., and specially for that ye do so moche for Oure Ladyes hous at Walsyngham, which I trust veryly ye do the rather 77 for the grete love that ye deme I have therto; for trewly if I be drawe to any worchep or wellfare, and discharge of myn enmyes daunger, I ascryve it unto Our Lady.

Preyng yow therfore that ye woln ben as frendly to Our Ladyes hous as I wote well ye have alwey ben, and in especyall now, that I myght have of yow the report certeynly be your letter of that, that Naunton your cosyn informyd yow, and told yow be mouth of all maters towchyng Oure Ladyes hous of Walsyngham.

For me thynkyth be that I have herde be Oure Ladys prest of Walsyngham, if I understode weel that mater, that it shuld do moch to the gode spede of the mater; and dought yow not our Lady shall quyte it yow and here poer priour here aftyr, as he may, &c.

Preying yow also, cosyn, and avysyng for the ease of us both, and of our frendes, and of many other, that ye be at London be tymes this terme, and if we spede well now, all well all this yere aftir; for I knowe veryly ther was nevyr made gretter labour thanne shall be made now, and therfore I pray to Our Lady, help us, and her blissid Sone, which have you in His holy kepyng.

Wreten at your poer place of Bayfeld, on Sent Fraunces day,77.1 in hast. Your cosyn,     William Yelverton, Justis.

76.3 [From Fenn, i. 20.] The date of this letter is not earlier than 1444, when William Yelverton was appointed a Justice of the King’s Bench; and, as Fenn remarks, it is probably not later than 1460, when he was made a Knight of the Bath, otherwise he would have signed himself Knight as well as Justice.

77.1 St. Francis’ day is the 4th of October.


OCT. 30

Indenture, dated 30 Oct. 25 Henry VI., by which Agnes Paston grants a lease to John Downing, miller, and others, of the mill called Woodmill, in Paston.

77.2 [Add. Charter 14,819, B.M. (D. Turner’s Coll.)]



A nos treshonorés et nobles Signours Visconte Beaumont, Connestable d’Engleterre et Seigneur de Sudele, grant mestre de hostel de nostre Souverayn Seigneur le Roy d’Engleterre et France.


Treshonorablez et noblez seigneurs, nous nous recommandons tant que faire le povons a voz honnorablez seignouriez. Et vous plese savoir que le samedy xvme jour du moys de Aprille nous avons receu unez lettrez patentes de nostre Souverain Seigneur le Roy d’Engleterre et de France, contenant comme il vous a donné la guarde dez islez de Jersey et Guernesey durant le non aage de l’er de mon Seigneur de Warwyk, et unez aultrez lettrez a nous directes de par vous, presentées de par voz servitours John Morin et Robert Haxby. Et pour cause que eulx n’avoyent point de procuracions, ou feisions difficultey, et non obstant a voz ditz servitours a estey delivrée et baillie la pocession de la dicte isle de Jersey, et ont juré et promis par lours serementz de guarder le loys et coustumez et anciens usagez de la dicte isle, et nous envoier lettrez soubz lez seaulx de voz armez, comme voz promettez tenir en fermete ce que eulx ont promis, et de ce nous ont bailly plege Sire John Bernard, cappitaine desdictez islez, quer aultrement nous ne lez eussons point receus, comme il apparest par le certificat a eulx par nous donné, quer tous lez seigneurs, guardes, cappitaines, juges, et aultrez officers de audevant de cez hourez ont estey juréz a nous lois, coustumez et anciens usagez, lez queilz ont estey 79 guardéz et seront en tempz advenir avecquez l’aide de Dieu, qui vous ayt en sa sainte guarde.

Escript en Jersey le xvijme jour du moys de Aprill.

De par lez vostrez le Bailiff [et]
Jurés de l’Isle de Gersy.

78.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The custody of the islands of Jersey and Guernsey, &c., during the minority of Ann, daughter and heir of Henry de Beauchamp, Duke of Warwick, was granted in 25 Henry VI. to John, Viscount Beaumont, and Sir Ralph Butler, Lord Sudley.—See Dugdale’s Baronage, ii. 54.

nous nous recommandons
text has “recommandous”


Tradatur Johanni Paston, of the Inner In in the Temple, att London.


Ryth worschipfull brothir, I recomaund me to yow, &c. I preye write to myn modre of your owne hed as for to consell her howh that sche kepe her prevye, and tell no body ryth nowth of her counsell; for sche woll tell persones many of her counsell this day, and to morwe sche woll sey be Goddis faste that the same men ben false. I have seen parte of the evydence, and the maner79.2 hath be pourchasid be parcell, and certeyn feffement mad of the avowson, and certeyn pecis of lond enterlessant the maner; and I wote well ye have on collaterall rellesse wyth a warente of on of the wyffys of Hauteyn79.3 of all the holl maner.

Steward, the chiffe constable, told me he was enpanellyd up on the assise be twex yow and Frauncesse; he axyd me counsell what he myght do ther inne, for he told me it was take in Sir Thomas Tudham name. He wold fayne be chalengyd. I concellyd him swere the trewthe of the issue that he shall be swore to, and thanne he nedyd never to drede hym of noon 80 atteynte. I yave him this counsell, and noon othir. He enqueryd me of the rewle of myn master Danyell80.1 and myn Lord of Suffolke,80.2 and askyd wheche I thowte schuld rewle in this schere; and I seyd bothe, as I trowh, and he that survyvyth to hold be the vertue of the survyvyr, and he to thanke his frendes, and to aquite his enmyys. So I fele by him he wold forsake his master, and gette him a newh yf he wyste he schuld rewle; and so wene I meche of all the contre is so disposyd. The holy Trenyte kepe yow.

Wrete at Norwiche, on the Wednysday after Seynt Peter80.3 in hast. Your Brother,     E. Paston.

79.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] From the conversation here reported touching the anticipated ascendancy of Daniel and the Marquis, afterwards Duke, of Suffolk, this letter may be referred to the year 1447. In April of the year following, the influence of Suffolk was paramount, and Daniel was said to be out of favour, as will be seen by Letter 75 following.

79.2 The manor of Oxnead.—See Blomefield, vi. 478.

79.3 Probably Robert, father of John Hauteyn, the friar.

80.1 Thomas Daniel.

80.2 William de la Pole, at this time Marquis, afterwards Duke, of Suffolk.

80.3 St. Peter’s day is the 29th June.

of the Inner In in the Temple, att London
text has “Lonaon” (italic “a” for “d”)



Deed by which William Pope, perpetual Vicar of Paston, confirms to Agnes, widow of William Paston, and John Bakton, their estate in a piece of land, particularly described; and also binds himself to celebrate mass every Friday for the souls of said William and Agnes, &c. &c., exhort his parishioners to put up prayers for them every Sunday, called ‘certeynys,’ and celebrate William Paston’s obit on the 13th August.

Dated at Paston, 3rd September 26 Henry VI.

80.4 [Add. Charter 17,235, B.M. (Paston MSS.)]


OCT. 21, 26

21 Oct., at London.—Letter from Fastolf to Thomas Howys and John Grene, desiring them to procure information about one Robert Eccles, cousin and heir to John Eccles, whom the counsel for the prior of Hickling propose to call to give evidence about the rent of 25 marks.

1447, [26 Oct.] ‘Thursday byfore S. Symond and Jude,’ 26 Hen. VI. at Castre. Long letter from Thomas Howys in reply to the preceding, with the 81 results of searches made in the Bishop’s registry for wills of the Eccles family, with particulars about various members of the family, etc.

[For these abstracts I am indebted to Mr. Macray, and also for those immediately following, which are from the same source.]

80.5 [From MSS. Hickling, 130, 140, in Magd. Coll., Oxf.]


The Prior of Hickling.

Hickling 71.

[14 .  . ] At Westminster.

Letter [on paper, in English] from two counsel, William Wangeford and William Jenney, to Sir John Fastolf, giving their opinion on his claim against the prior of Hickling. Sir John cannot recover the £20 forfeit, because the condition of the obligation only extended to the heirs of Sir Hugh Clifford, and not to his assigns, and Sir John is only an assign; but the rent of 25 marks is sure to him, and he can recover it, if denied by the prior, by process of law; they will consult with justices and serjeants whether he can recover it by distraint.

Hickling 74.

[14 .  . ] Friday in the 2nd week after Easter at Lenne.

Letter, [in English, on paper] from Henry Notyngham to Sir Henry Barton, Alderman of London. Has counselled with Paston, and finds him more friendly and ready to help in Barton’s matter than ever before; supposes that the cause is, that the prior that was obstinate is dead, and another appointed, who Paston trusts will be more easy to stir. Desires that Paston may be thanked. Sends a letter which he desires ‘a child of zours’ may carry to Mistress Jenkin Leventhorpe the younger; and ask at my lord’s inn of Doreham or of Ratclyff or some other which he may think best, if he (i.e. my Lord of Durham) shall be at this Parliament. Send to Thomelin Grys, spicer at Norwich, some ‘loder,’ as soon as he can goodly buy it, which comes each week to Rossamez Inn in St. Laurence’s Lane.

Hickling 75.

[14 .  . ] 14 Apr., at Norwich.

Letter, [in English, on paper] from H[enry] Notyngham to Sir Henry Barton, alderman of London. Delivered Paston the copy of the deeds; shewed his letter to the prior and convent, but gained nothing; they said they would please Barton full fain, but all their counsel are full against their binding themselves by any such confirmation; they were bound to the former owner and his 82 heirs, but not to his assigns. Advises him to get good counsel, and thinks nothing can be done unless he gets Paston’s assent and grant to help the matter.

Hickling 89.

[1450 or 1451?] 18 Aug. Norwich.

Letter [in English, on paper] fromW. [Hart], Bisshope of Norwich,’ to Sir John Fastolf. Has put himself greatly in his devoir to put an end to the controversy between Fastolf and the house of Hykelyng, and has been so importunate that Lord Scales has advised him not to meddle in the matter, because he is taken as a suspect person; if he could do him more profit, he would not spare labour or cost, on account of Fastolf’s towardness and gentleness to condescend unto right and reasonable mean, the which he conceives not in the other party. Had hoped his good and devout purpose towards the place of St. Bennett’s would have grown to some good conclusion; was there the Sunday before St. Laurence’s Day, and greatly rejoiced at such work and cost as he has done there. Heartily desires him to come here to the air of his natural birth, where he will find my Lord of Norfolk and such attendance as the Bishop and other gentles of the country may do, ready unto him at all times; his coming would be to his health and heart’s ease, and the cause of much peace in the country.

Small seal, fastened on the letter; a stag; a straw round it.

Hickling 104.

[     ]

Letter, [in English, on paper] from Lord Scales to Sir John Fastolf, asking him to withdraw an outlawry which has been issued against John Dowebegyng, servant of the former, for a debt of £100 due to Fastolf by Thomas Danyell, Esq., for which Dowebegyng had become bound.

Signed by Lord Scales, who adds a postscript in his own hand that Fastolf has been as faithful and kind to him since he came into England as he was in France, and that there is no one of his estate for whom he would do so much.

Small seal, on the paper, with a straw round it.

81.1 [From MSS. in Magd. Coll., Oxf.]

Hickling 104. / [     ]
empty brackets in original


NOV. 29

Indenture, dated St. Andrew’s Eve, 26 Henry VI., between Agnes Paston and Waryn Baxter, the former agreeing that Baxter shall have, at the will of the lord of the manor of Knapton, the lands, &c. that were Richard Redys [Rede’s], with reservations.

82.1 [Add. Charter 17,236, B.M. (Paston MSS.)]



To my right worshipfull mayster, John Paston.


Worthy and worshipful sir, and my right good maister, I recomaund me to yow. And do yow wete that this nyght at soper I was with my maistresse your wyff at my maistresse Cleres, and blissed be God thei fare weel and hopyn that [you83.2] shall sende themme good tidyng of your matier, Whanne ye knowe the certeynte therof, &c. And my maistresse your modir come thedir and fareth well and sendeth yow Goddis blissyng and heris, and she bad me write to yow that she hath verey knowelage by a trewe and trusty man, whos name she shall telle yow by mouthe atte your next metyng, that ther was purposed a gret meyne of a wondir gaderyng of shipmen abowte Conorhithe for to have come to Oxened, and putte me owt there in a wers wyse thanne ye were put owt at Gresham; and this was purposed for to have ben at Oxened and a ryfled and put in the preest83.3 there, but this purpose helde not, for thei were countermandet, by what mene I can not knowe yeet. And83.4 it is do hir to wete that thei be purposed to be at Ox[n]ede a bowt midlent, and I am promitted that I shall have ii. days warnyng by a good freend. And therfor she prayeth yow that ye aspie besily if the preest come into thir countre or noght. For if ought shall be doo I trowe the Frere wole be there atte doyng. And if ye can aspie that he come hider, send my maistresse word as hastily as ye may, and of your avyse and of all other thyngges as ye seme, &c. And God have yow in his kepyng. Wretyn at ix. on the clokke at evyn the noneday (sic) nex to fore Sent Gregory day in hast.


My brother Bekke and his felawship shall telle yow more by mowthe thanne I can telle yow now. —Your servaunt,     J. Gresham.

83.1 [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 178.] St. Gregory’s Day is doubtless that of St. Gregory the Pope (12 March), and this letter may be referred with certainty to the year 1448, just after Paston’s first expulsion from Gresham. The Monday before St. Gregory’s Day in that year would be the very day preceding.

83.2 Omitted in MS.

83.3 Friar John Hawteyn.

83.4 ‘and’ repeated in MS.


To my ryth wyrchypful hwsbond, Jon Paston, be this lettyr delyveryd in hast.


Ryth wyrchypful hwsbond, I recomawnd me to zw, desyryng hertyly to heryn of zour wel fare, praying zw to wete that I was with my Lady Morley84.2 on the Satyrday next after that ze departyd from hens, and told here qhat answer that ze had of Jon Butt, and sche toke it ryth straw[n]gely, and seyd that sche had told zw, and schewyd zw i now [enough], qher by ze myth have knowleche that the releve owt [ought] to ben payd to her. And sche seyd sche wyst wel that ze delay it forthe, that sche xuld nowth have that longyth to her ryth. And sche told me hw it was payd in Thomas Chawmbers tym, qhan her dowther Hastyngs84.3 was weddyd; and sche seyd sythyn that ze wyl make none end with her, sche wyl sew therfore as law wyl.

I conseyvyd be here that sche had cwnsel to labore azens zw therin withyn ryth schort tym. And than I prayd her that sche wuld vwche save nowth to labowr azens zw in this mater tyl ze kom hom; and sche seyd nay, be her feyth, sche wuld no more days zeve [give] zw therin. Sche seyd sche had sett zw so many days to a kord with her, and ze had broke them, 85 that sche was ryth wery therof; and sche seyd sche was but a woman, sche must don be her cownseyl, and her cwnseyle had avysyd her, so sche seyd sche wyld do. Than I prayd her azyn that sche wuld teryn [tarry] tyl ze kom hom, and I seyd I trostyd veryly that ze wuld don qhan ze kom hom, as itt longeth to zw to don; and if ze myth have very knowleche that sche awyth of ryth for to have itt, I seyd I wyst wel that ze wuld pay it with ryth gode wyl, and told her that ze had sergyd to a fownd wrytyng therof, and ze kwd non fynd in non wyse. And sche sayd sche wyst wele there was wrytyng therof inow, and sche hath wrytyng therof hw Syr Robert of Mawthby, and Sir Jon, and my grawnsyre, and dyverse other of myn awncesterys payd it, and seyd nevyre nay therto. And in no wyse I kwd not geyn no grawnth of her to sesyn tyl ze kom hom; and sche bad me that I xuld don an erand to my moder, and qhan I kam hom, I dede myn erand to her. And sche axyd me if I had spokyn to my lady of this forseyd mater, and I told her hw I had do, and qhat answer I had; and sche seyd sche xuld gon to my Lady Morles on the nexst day, and sche xuld speken to her therof, and a say to getyn grawnt of her to sesyn of the forsayd mater tyl that ze kom hom. And truly my moder dede her dever ryth feythfully therin, as my cosyn Clare85.1 xal tellyn zw qhan that he speketh with zow; and sche gete grawnt of my seyd lady that there xuld nowth ben don azens zw therin, and ze wold acordyn with her, and don as ze owyn to do be twyx this tym and Trinyte Sunday.

Laueraw[n]ce Rede of Mawthhy recommawndeth hym to zu, and prayt zw that ze wyl vwchesave to leten hym byn [buy] of zw the ferm barly that ze xuld have of hym, and if ze wyl laten hym have it to a resonabyl pris, he wyl have it with ryth a gode wyl; and he prayit zw if ze wyl that he have it, that ze wyl owche save [vouchsafe] to send hym word at qhat pris he xuld have the kowmb as hastyly as ze may, and ellys he must be purvayd in other plase.

As twchyng other tydyngs, I sopose Jon of Dam xal send 86 zw word in a letter. As it is told me veryly, Heydon xal not kom at London this term.

It is seyd in this contre that Danyell86.1 is owth of the Kyngs gode grase, and he xal dwn and all hys mene, and all that ben hys wele wyllers; there xal no man ben so hardy to don nether seyn azens my Lord of Sowthfolk,86.2 nere non that longeth to hym; and all that have don and seyd azens hym, they xul sore repent hem. Kateryn Walsam xal be weddyd on the Munday nexst after Trinyte Sonday, as it is told me, to the galaunte with the grete chene; and there is purvayd for her meche gode aray of gwnys, gyrdelys, and atyrys, and meche other gode aray, and he hathe purcheysyd a gret purcheys of v. mark be zer to zevyn her to her joynture.

I am aferd that Jon of Sparham is so schyttyl wyttyd, that he wyl sett hys gode to morgage to Heydon, or to sum other of ywre gode frendys, but if [i.e. unless] I can hold hym inne the better, ere ze kom hom. He hath ben arestyd sythyn that ye went, and hath had moche sorw at the sewte of mayster Joh Stoks of London for x. mark that Sparham owt to hym; and in gode feyth he hath had so moche sorow and hevynesse that he wyst nowth qhat he myth don. I fell hym so disposyd that he wold asold and asett to morgage all that he hath, he had nowth rowth to qhom, so that he myth an had mony to an holpyn hym self wyth; and I entretyd hym so, thatt I sopose he wyll nother sellyn ner sett to morgage, nother catel ner other gode of hese, tyl he speke with zw. He soposeth that al that is don to hym is att the request of the Parson of Sparham and Knatylsale. I sopose it is almas to comfort hym, for in gode feyth he is ryth hevy, and hys wyf al so. He is nowth nw under arest, he hath payd hys feys, and goth at large; he was arestyd att Sparham, of on of Knatysales men.

Hodge Feke told me thatt Sym Schepherd is styl with Wylly,86.3 and if ze wyl I xal purvey that he xal be browth hom er ze kom hom. It is told me that he that kept zour schep was owth lawyd on Munday at the swth of Sir Thomas 87 Todynham, and if it be so, ze arn nowth lyk to kepe hym longe. And as twchyng that that ze badeyn me spekyn for to Bakton, he seyth he is wel avysyd that sche seyd sche wuld never have to don with all, ner he kan not pek that sche seyd sche hath non ryth to have it, and he wyl say lyche as he hath herd her seyd; and if sche speke to hym therof, he wyll rather hold with zw than with her. I pray ye that ze wyl vwche save to send me word hw ze spede in zour matter twchyng Gressam, and hw Danyel is in grace. Harry Goneld hath browth to me xls. of Gressam syn ze zede, and he seyth I xal have more or Qhythson tyd, if he may pyk it up.

I sopose Jamys Gressam hath told zw of other thyngs that I have sped syn ze zedyn hens. If I her any strawnge tydyngs in this contre, I xall send zw word. I pray zw that I may ben recommawndyd to my Lord Danyel.

The Holy Trynyte have zw in hys kepyng, and send zw helth and gode spede in al zour maters twchyng zour ryth.

Wretyn at Norwyche, on the Wedenys day nexst after thatt ze partyd hens. Yors,     Margarete Paston.

84.1 [From Fenn, iii. 54.] The date of this letter is fixed by an endorsement in these words, ‘Literæ termino Paschæ anno xxvj.,’ showing that it was written in Easter term, in the 26th year of Henry VI. Easter term in that year lasted from the 10th of April to the 6th of May.

84.2 Isabel, widow of Thomas, Lord Morley, who died in 1435. She was the daughter of Michael de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk. Fenn confounds her with the widow of the Lord Morley who died in 1417, who was a daughter of Edward, Lord Dispencer, and had previously married Sir Hugh Hastings. But this lady died about 1426 (Blomefield, ii. 440), and cannot be the lady mentioned in the text.

84.3 Ann, married to John Hastyngs.—See Blomefield, ii. 430.

85.1 Probably William, eldest son of Robert Clere of Ormesby, who died in 1446.—See Blomefield, vi. 336.

86.1 Thomas Daniel.

86.2 See p. 80, note 2.

86.3 William Paston, son of the Judge (?).

Laueraw[n]ce Rede of Mawthhy recommawndeth hym to zu
text unchanged: error for “Mawthby”?

at the sewte of mayster Joh Stoks
text unchanged: error for “Joh.” or “Jon”?


To Thomas Gnateshale.

Date uncertain

Thomas Gnateshale, I wul ze wite it was oute of my remembrance that Paston hade pout in my determinacion the discort betwene you and hym. I was the more favourable to your entent, but in so mych as I had forgete that beforesaid, I praye you that ye suffre the cornes in mene hand til that I have determined the matier betwene you too be the advis of lerned men whech han knowelich in such causses, the which thing I wul do in as short tyme as may, wherof ze shal have knowelich.

Writen at Myddelton, the xiiij. day of August. The Lord Scales.

87.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The person to whom this is addressed is probably the same ‘Knatysale’ mentioned in the preceding letter, and as it contains no evidence of any definite date, we think best to insert it here.



Margaret Paston to her Husband (not addressed).

MAY 19

On Friday last, the Parson of Oxened ‘being at messe in one Parossh Chirche, evyn at levacion of the sakeryng, Jamys Gloys had been in the town, and come homeward by Wymondam’s gate,’ when he was attacked by Wymondham who had two of his men with him, and driven into ‘my mother’s place’ for refuge. With the noise of this, my mother and I came out of the church from the sakeryng, and Wymondham ‘called my mother and me strong whores, and said, ye Pastons and all her kin were  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  yngham said he lied, knave and churl as he was.’ After noon my mother and I reported this to the Prior of Norwich, who sent for Wymondham; and Pagrave came with us. While Wymondham was with the Prior, and we at home, Gloys was assaulted again in the street, ‘as he stood in the Lady Hastyngs’ chamber,’ by Thomas Hawys, one of Wymondham’s men. This last assault the Parson of Oxened saw. Sends Gloys to her husband for fear of further trouble. The Lady Morle ‘would have the benefice of her obligacion,’ as her counsel tells her it is forfeit, and she would not have the relief till she have your homage. The Lord Moleyns’ man is collecting the rent at Gresham ‘a great pace,’ as James Gresham will report to you.

Trinity Sunday, at even.

Further statement about the assault added in a different hand (qu. Agnes Paston’s?).

[From the fact of Lord Molyns being in possession of Gresham, and collecting rents there, it is clear that the date of this letter is 1448. This date also agrees with what is said in Letter 75 about a relief claimed by Lady Morley.]

88.1 [From Phillipps MS. 9735, No. 256.]


To my worschypful and reverent Lord, John, Vicont Beaumont.

MAY 28

Rygth worschypfull, and my reverent and most spesiall Lord, y recomaund me un to yowr good grace in the most humble and lowly wyse that y canne or may, desyryng to her of your prosperite and well fare [as to my]88.3 most syngeler joy and spesiall comfort.


And gyf hyt plees your Hygnes, as towchyng the soden aventuer that fell latly at Coventre, plees hyt your Lordshyp to her that, on Corpus Christi Even89.1 last passed, be twene viij. and ix. of the clok at a[fternon],89.2 Syr Umfrey Stafford89.3 had browth my mayster Syr James of Urmond89.4 towa[r]d hys yn [inn] from my Lady of Shrewesb[ery,89.5 and]89.2 reterned from hym toward hys yn, he met with Syr Robert Harcourt89.6 comyng from hys moder towards hys yn, and pass[ed Syr]89.2 Umfrey; and Richard, hys son, came somewhat be hynd, and when they met to gyder, they fell in handes togyder, and [Sir Robert]89.2 smot hym a grette st[r]oke on the hed with hys sord, and Richard with hys dagger hastely went toward hym. And as he stombled, on of Harcourts men smot hym in the bak with a knyfe; men wotte not ho hyt was reddely. Hys fader hard noys, and rode toward hem, and hys men ronne befor hym thyder ward; and in the goyng downe of hys hors, on, he wotte not ho, be hynd hym smot hym on the hede with a nege tole, men know not with us with what wepone, that he fell downe; and hys son fell downe be fore hym as good as dede. And all thys was don, as men sey, in a Pater Noster wyle. And forth with Syr Umfrey Stafford men foloed after, and slew ij. men of Harcowrttus, on Swynerton, and Bradshawe, and mo ben hurt; sum ben gonne, and sum be in pryson in the jayll at Coventre.

And before the coroner of Coventre, up on the sygth of the bodyes, ther ben endited, as prynsipall for the deth of Richard Stafford, Syr Robert Harcourt and the ij. men that ben dede. And for the ij. men of Harcourts that ben dede, ther ben endited ij. men of Syr Umfrey as prynsipall. And as gytte ther hath ben no thyng fownden before the Justice of 90 the Pees of Coventre of thys riot, be caws the shreffe of Warwyk shyre is dede,90.1 and they may not sytt in to the tyme ther be a new shreve.

And all thys myschef fell be cawse of a nold debate that was be twene heme for takyng of a dystres, as hyt is told.

And All mygthty Jesu preserve yowr hye astat, my spesiall Lord, and send yow long lyve and good hele.

Wryten at Coventre on Tewusday next after Corpus Christi day, &c. Be yowr own pore Servant,     John Northwod.

88.2 [From Fenn, i. 12.] The date of this letter will appear by a foot-note.

88.3 The bracketed words are noted by Fenn as ‘imperfect in the original, the paper being chafed.’

89.1 22nd May.

89.2 The bracketed words are noted by Fenn as ‘imperfect in the original, the paper being chafed.’

89.3 Killed in an engagement with Jack Cade in June 1450.

89.4 Probably Sir James Butler, son and heir-apparent of James, fourth Earl of Ormond, who in 1449 was created Earl of Wiltshire.

89.5 Wife of John Talbot, the famous Earl of Shrewsbury.

89.6 He signalised himself in the wars of Henry VI. and Edward IV., was a Knight of the Garter, and in November 1470, 10 Edward IV., was slain by the Staffords, perhaps in revenge for this murder of Richard Stafford. —F.

90.1 Thomas Porter was sheriff of the counties of Warwick and Leicester in 26 Henry VI., and died in his year of office on Monday after Corpus Christi day (27th May 1448), the day before this letter was written.—Inquisition post mortem, 27 Henry VI., No. 13.


To the worschypful Fader yn God, and my ryth gode Lord, the Bysshop of Wynchestyr.90.3


Worschypful Fader yn God, and my rythe gode Lord, as hertely as y canne, y recomaund me to your gode Lordschyp; to the wyche plese hyt to wyt that y have resayvyd your lettre, by the wyche y oundyrstond the dayely sute to your Lordschyp as of Pastun, as for the mater betwyx hym and me, wer yn also y fele that he ys wyllyd that comynycasyon and trete schold be had betwyxt hys counsayle and myne, now at Mydsomer; to the wyche, my Lord, y am at the reverens of your Lordschyp wel agreyd, and have send to my counsayle at Loundon, aftyr the seyng of thys your last letter, as for the trete by twyxt hym and me, and that they schold yeve ful attendauns to the end of the mater 91 by twne the sayde Pastun and me, as thow y were present with hem.

And, my Lord, hyt were to grete a thyng, and hyte laye yn my power, but y wold do at the reverens of your Lordschyp, yn las than hyt schold hurt me to gretly, wyche y wote wel your Lordschyp wol nevyr desyr.

And God for hys mercy have you, rythe worschypful Fadyr yn God, and my rythe gode Lord, yn hys blessyd kepyng.

Wrytyn with my noune chaunsery hand, yn hast, the xiij. daye of June, at Teffaunt. Vere hartely your,     Molyns.

90.2 [From Fenn, i. 190.] It appears, by John Paston’s petition presented to Parliament two years later, that after he had been dispossessed of Gresham by Lord Molyns in February 1448, communications passed between his counsel and that of Lord Molyns on the subject until Michaelmas following. This letter must refer to the first overtures.

90.3 The celebrated William of Waynflete.



Worchepeful mayster I recomend me to yow: and I pray yow to wete I was at Katefeld in Cobbes place for to se the armes as ye comaunded me, shield as described and the feld is gold wyth iii. bukkeles of sylver mad on the wyse as it is her, wyth floweris of sylver on the bukkelis mad of iiij. lyke a trewlove. Also, syr, I have spoke to a fryer that is conversaunt at Wykelwode wyth Randolffis dowter and he hath behestid me for to gete me Randolffis armes of hese dowter Wyltones wyf; but I have not yet spoke wyth the frier a yen. Also I pray yow to wete that I was at Mauteby and ye have there CC. combz of malt if ye wyl gef for xiiiid. a combz in the comes and xxi. for xx. ye shal have redy mony, as I suppose, for Pykeryng sellyth for xid. and xiid. the lest that hath, as the parson of Mauteby tellyth me. And the parson 92 and I have do throche your qwete for it was ete wyth myse to petowsly for to se; and if it plese yow I pray yow that ye wyl send me word qwhedyr ye wyl selle your malt and your qhete aftyr the pryse of the countre or (?) it shal be purveyid for to kepe it til ye may sett. And I have spoke to Lawrauns Reede for the ferme; but he wyl not take it, as I conseyve, til he speke wyth yow. I suppos for to a made a covienaunt wyth hym, but he hath no sewerte yet, and the londis shal not be in your handis til myhelmes as he seyeth; ther for he is the mor terying, &c. I beseche all myti Jhesu spede yow and kepe yow. [Not signed.]

On the back are some names of families in a contemporary hand, and five shields of arms tricked in a modern hand, the latter being apparently the armorial bearings of ancestors of the Earl of Yarmouth, to whom there is a letter addressed by ‘Wm. Smyth’ upon this subject at f. 146 of the MS.

91.1 [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 143.] This letter is neither signed nor addressed, but there is no doubt the person for whom it was intended was John Paston the eldest, who possessed property at Mautby in right of his wife. The reference to Laurence Reede seems further to show that it is of the year 1448. See p. 85.


To my Ryght Wurchepfull master John Paston be this deliuered in hast.

DEC. 3

Right reverent and wurchepfull sir, I recommande me to yow, desyryng to here of yowr welfare, the which gracyows God contynually preserve and kepe to yowr gostly hele and bodily welfare; praying yow to wete that as for the broke sylver that my mastres wend for to a sent yow whan she dede wryte her letter, ther is none in your forcer; she supposyd that ye left it at Norwiche in yowr cofere, wher of ye have the key. Also my mastres yowr moder grete yow wele, and pray yow to send her word how she shall do with Edward of Whode of Paston; for she dede seys his corn on the lond the last hervest, and he led it a wey after that it whas 93 seysyd with awth licens and leve of here or any of here offyceris. Item, my mastres yowr syster recommand her hertly to yow, and pray yow that and ye wold wochesaff to speke to my master Edmund, and pray hym if that he hath bowth here ger that she sent to hym fore, that he wold send it her home; in cas that93.1 he have not bowth it, that he wold be it and sent it here in all the hast that he may goodly. Forthermore if it plese yow to her of my master Berney, he was at Gresham with my mastres on the Tuysday next after Halwemasday, the same day that we dystreynyd Jamys Rokkysson, and I had mette a litill a fore with Pertrych, and he thrett me, and sayd that we shuld not long kepe the dystresse, and there for my mastres dede us don on owr jakkys and owr salettis. My master Berney cam in and the parson of Oxened with hym and sey us in owre jakkis, and he wexe as pale as any herd and wold right fayn a ben thens. So my mastres dede hym dyne, and whill thei wher at dynar Herry Collys told my mastres openly among us all that the same tyme that Pertrych entryd a geyn up on yow, his master was at Causton to yow ward, and there it was told hym that Pertrych had putt yow owth and all your men, and that ye and my mastres wher redyn a geyn to Norwhich, and all your howshold, and that causyd hym that he cam no forther that tyme; and my Master Berney confermyd all this and seyd that it was so. Whan thei had etyn he had mych hast to a be thens, so my mastres desyryd and prayd hym that he wold come a geyn or aght long; and so with mych praying he be hest her if he mythe. And Herry Collys stode ther bysyde and seyd to my felachep, ‘What shuld my master do here,’ quod he, ‘lete yowr master send after his kynnysmen at Mautby, for thei have nowth that thei mawn lese.’ And so thei redyn her wey. And with in a sevenygt after my master Berney sent Davy to my mastres, and prayd my mastres that she wold hold his master excusyd, for he had hurt his owyn hors that he rode up on; and he dede Davy sadillyn an oder hors; and he stode by and made water whill he sadyllyd hym, and as Davy shuld a kyrt the hors, he slenkyd behynd and toke his master on the hepe suyche a stroke that 94 never man may trust hym after, and brake his hepe. And he had sent Herry Collys to Norwhich for medycynys, so he must ryde hom the same nygt; for his master had no man at home. So my mastres was rygth sory, and wend that it had be trowth, but I know wele that it was not so. It happyd that I rod the next day to Norwhich, and I rood in to my mastres your moder, and she dede aske me after my master Berney, and I told here how he was hurt. And she askyd the parson of Oxened if he wer hurt, and he seyd nay; for Davy lay with hym the same nygt a fore and told hym that he was heyll and mery, and prayd hym that he wold be with hym the Sonday next after; and so Davy lay the same nygt after that he had told my mastres the tale with the parson of Oxened. I beseche yow of yowre gode masterchep that ye wold not do wreythe this letter, for and my mastres knew that I sent yow suyche a letter I were never abyll to loke up on her, nor to abyde in her heysyte. My mastres yowr moder hath sent yow ij. letteris; she hath in dosyd hem to my master Edmunde, and she wuld wete if ye had hem or nawth. The Holy Trynyte have yow in kepyng. Wrytyne at Norwhich on Sent Clementis evyn. In hast. —Your servaunt,     Jamis Gloys.

92.1 [Add. MS. 34,888, f. 57.] This letter bears upon the dispute about Gresham, and is probably of the year 1448, for it is to be presumed that Edmund Paston died shortly after the date of his nuncupative will, 21st March 1449.

93.1 The word ‘that’ is repeated in the MS. by inadvertence.

she hath in dosyd hem to my master Edmunde
text unchanged: error for “in closyd” or “in dorsyd”?


To my ryght worchippfull hosbond, John Paston, be this delyveryd in hast.

JAN. 31

Right worchipfull hosbond, I recommand me to yow, praying yow to wete that I have receyved your letter this day that ye sent me be Yelvertonys man. As for your signette, I fond itt uppon your bord the same day that ye 95 went hens, and I send it yow be Richrad Heberd, bringer herof. As for your eronds that ye wrete to me fore, Richard Charles is owte abough your eronds abowte Gresham, and for his awyn maters also, and I suppose he komyth not hom tyll it be Tesday or Weddenesday next komyng; and alssone as he komyth hom, he shall go abowte your eronds that ye wrete to me fore.

I sent yow a letter wreten on Tesday last past, whiche, as I suppose, Roger Ormesby delyveryd yow. I toke it to Alson Pertryche. She rod with Clyppysbys wyff to London.

I pray yow if ye have an other sone that you woll lete it be named Herry, in remembrans of your brother Herry;95.1 also I pray yow that ye woll send me dats and synamun as hastyly as ye may. I have speke with John Damme of that ye bad me sey to hem to sey to Thomas Note, and he sey he was wel payd that ye seyd and thowgh therin as ye dede. Ner’les I bad hym that he shuld sey to the seyd Thomas therin as it wer of hymself with owte your avys or any others; and he seyd he shuld so, and that it shuld be purveyd for this next weke at the ferthest. The blyssed Trinyte have yow in his kepyng.

Wretyn att Norwyche, in hast, the Fryday next befor Candelmesse day. Be your gronyng wyff,     M. P.

94.1 [From Fenn, iii. 408.] Fenn thinks this was written about 1460, but I do not see on what evidence. From the reference to Gresham, I should rather suppose it belongs to 1449. By the subscription, it would appear that the writer was very near the time of lying in; but we cannot tell the exact date of the birth of any of her children. Lord Molyns dispossessed John Paston of the lordship of Gresham on the 17th of February 1448. After repeated remonstrances on the subject to no purpose, Paston went and took up his quarters there again on the 6th October 1449, and succeeded in keeping possession till the 28th January 1450, when the place was attacked, in his absence, by Lord Molyns’ men, who undermined the walls, and drove out Paston’s wife. The ‘errands about Gresham’ probably refer to the time of Lord Molyns’ first occupation.

95.1 No notice is taken elsewhere of John Paston having a brother named Harry.


FEB. 28

Begs him not to be displeased though she be out of the place he left her in; for she heard such tidings that she durst not abide there. Divers of my Lord Moleyns’ men said if they might get her they would steal her and keep her in the castle; ‘and than they said they would that ye should fetch me out. They 96 said it should be but a little heartburning to you.’ After that I could have no rest till I was here. I did not venture out of the place till I was ready to ride, and no one knew an hour before but the good wife, whom I told that I was coming here to get gear made for me and the children. I beg you will keep secret the cause of my coming away till I see you. I spoke with your mother on my way hither, who offered to let me abide in her place if you wished me to stay in Norwich, and to give me such gear as she could spare till you can be purveyed of a place of your own. Let me know what to do. I should be sorry to dwell so near Grassam as I did, till the matter between you and the Lord Moleyns is settled. Barow said there was no better evidence in England than Lord M. had of Gressam. I said I supposed they were such as William Hasard spoke of, the seals of which were not yet cold, and that you had evidence with seals 200 years older. Do not on any account trust Lord Moleyns and his men, or eat or drink with them, though they speak ever so fair. Roger Foke of Sparham dare not leave his house for the suit Heydon and Wyndham have against him. Watkin Shipdam wishes you to speak to Sir J. Fastolf about the harness you had of him, etc.

Norwich, Friday after Pulver Wednesday.

95.2 This abstract was made from one of the Roydon Hall MSS. shown to the Editor in 1875. Since that date he has not seen the original.

about the harness you had of him, etc.
final . missing or invisible


To my Sovereyn, John Paston.


I  recomend me hertily, thankyng yow for the tydings, and the good awysse that ze sent me be the Parson of Thorpe;96.2 latyng zow wittin that the Byschope of the todir syde of the see sent laate to me a man, the qwych wuld abydin uppon my leyser, for to an had me ovyr wyt hym to the seyd Byschope, and so forth to the Courte.96.3 So the seyd 97 man and I arryn a poynted that he schal comyn ageyn a purpose fro the Byschope, to be my gyde ovyr the see, and so I purpose me fully forthe a noon aftir this Estryn. I mak me evyre day fulli redy as privyli as I can, be sekyng zow, as I trost on zow, and as I am zour trow bede man, as labor for me her that I mythe haf a wyrte of passagche directid un[to] swyche men as zow thyng that schyd best yife me my schargche.

The best takyng of schepynge is at Yernemuthe er Kyrley, or som othir place in Norfolk syde. I schal haf favour he now [enough] wyt ther seergiours [searchers]; bod all my goode spede and all my wel lythe in you heer, for ther on I trost fully.

Som cownsel me to haf a letter of exschawnge, thow it wer bode of xls. er lees, bod I comitte all my best in this matir to zour wysdam, and qwat at evyr ze pay in this matir, I schal truly at owr metyng repay ageyn to zow. Bod for Godds love purvey for my sped her, for ell [else] I lees all my purvyans, and ther too I schyd jaape97.1 the Byschope man, and caus hym to com in to Yngland, and lees all his labour. For Goddis love, send me down this wyrte, er ell bryng it wyt zow, that I mythe haf fro zow a letter of tydings and comforthe; for I had nevyr verray need of zour labor til now, bod my hert hangithe in gret langor.

All my brethir wenyth that I schyd no forthir goo than to the Byschope, and undir that colour schal I weel go forthe to the Courte. I haf gret stody til I haf tydings fro zow. Avyr mor All mythi Good haf zow in kepyng, bodi and soule.

Writtin in hast, the Wednesday in the fyrst week of clen Lent.97.2 Your Orator,     Robt., P. of B.

I sent zow a letter, bod I hade non answer ageyn.

96.1 [From Fenn, iii. 80.] There is no distinct clue to the date of this letter; but Fenn throws out a conjecture which, in default of any better guide, may be accepted as not improbable, that ‘the Bishop of the other side of the sea’ was Walter Lyhert, Bishop of Norwich, who in the beginning of 1449 must have been in Savoy, having been sent thither by the King to persuade the anti-pope Felix V. to renounce his claim to Nicholas V. for the peace of the Church. This Felix actually did in the beginning of this year, and Wharton considers Bishop Lyhert to have been the cause of his doing so (Angl. Sac. i. 418). Fenn, however, dates this letter 1450, on the supposition that the Bishop would have been still abroad in the beginning of that year, which is a mistake, as his name appears in the Rolls of Parliament as a trier of petitions as early as February.

96.2 Robert Rogers was parson of Thorpe from 1445 to 1476.

96.3 Court of Rome.

97.1 Deceive.

97.2 The first week in Clean Lent means the first entire week in Lent beginning on a Sunday.




Omnibus Christi fidelibus ad quos præsens scriptum pervenerit, Nos, Willelmus May, Magister Novi Templi, London’, Johannes Bakton gentilman, Thomas Parker, civis et cissor Londoni, et Johannes Osbern, salutem in Domino sempiternam. Sciatis quod xxj. die Martij Anno Domini mccccxlviij.98.2 Edmundus Paston de comitatu Norff., armiger, in bona memoria ac sana mente existens, languens in extremis, in nostra præsentia, condidit et declaravit testamentum suum nuncupativum in hunc modum:—In primis, legavit animam suam Deo Omnipotenti, Beatæ Mariæ Virgini et omnibus Sanctis, corpusque suum ad sepeliendum in ecclesia Templi prædicti, sive in ecclesia Fratrum Carmelitarum London’ [ad electionem sui confessoris98.3]. Item dictus Edmundus, pro eo quod noluit circa bona sive negocia temporalia mentem sive animam suam affligere seu occupare, set ad æternam felicitatem se præparare, dedit, legavit ac commisit omnia bona et catalla sua prædilecto fratri suo Johanni Paston, ex magna confidencia in ipso habita ut ea disponeret pro bono animæ suæ, prout melius videret Deo placere ac animæ suæ prodesse. Et dictum Johannem Paston ordinavit et constituit executorem suum. In cujus rei testimonum præsentibus sigilla nostra apposuimus.

Endorsed—Copia ultimæ voluntatis Edmundi Paston.

Endorsed in a later hand—Testamentum Edmundi Paston secundi filii Willelmi Paston Justiciarii.

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

98.2 This is 1449 according to the modern computation, which begins the year on the 1st of January instead of the 25th March.

98.3 These words are erased.



To my trusty and wel belovyd, the Vycary and Tenaunts of my Lordschepe of Gressham.


Trusty and welbeloved frendys, I grete yowe well, and putte yowe all owte of doute for all that ye have doon for me; and the money that ye pay to my welbeloved servaunt, John Partrich, I will be your warant as for your discharge, and save yowe harmeles ayenst all thoo that wold greve yowe, to my power. And, as hertly as I can, I thanke yow of the gud wyl ye have had, and have, toward me. And as to the tytyll of rigth that I have to the Lordship of Gressam schal with in short tyme be knoweyn, and be the lawe so determynyd, that ye schall all be glad that hathe ought me youre gud wyll therin.

And All Myghty God kepe yow; and, be His grace, I schall be with yowe son aftyr the Parlement es endyd.

Wrytten atte London, on Oure Lady evyn last past. R. H., Lord Molyns.

99.1 [From Fenn, i. 192.] Lord Molyns took possession of Gresham, as already shown—see page 94, note 1,—on the 17th of February 1448; but the reference to Parliament as sitting at the date of this letter proves it to belong either to 1449 or 1450. The latter date, however, is not very probable.


To my rytz wurschipful Mayster, Jon Paston, be this delyverid in hast, dwelling in the Inner Tempill.


Rytz wurschipful hosbond, I recommawnd me to zu, praying zu to wete that my kosyn Cler99.3 dynyd with me this day; and sche told me that Heydon was with her yister evyn late, and he told her that he had a letter from 100 the Lord Moleynys, and schewyd her the same letter, praying hym that he wold seyn to his frends and wele willerres in this contre that he thanketh hem of her godewill, and for that thei have done for hym; and also praying Heydon that he wold sey to Rychard Ernold of Crowmer that he was sory and evyl payd that his men maden the afray up on hym, for he seyd it was not be his will that his men xuld make afray on noman in this contre with owth rytz grett cause. And as for that was don to zu if it mytz ben prevyd that he had don otherwise to zu than rytz wold as for the mevabyl godis, ze xuld ben content, so that ze xuld have cawse to kon hym thank; and he prayd Heydon in the letter that it xuld ben reportid in this kontre that he wold don so, if he had don otherwyse than he owth to don.

The frere100.1 that cleymyth Oxned was in this town zastyrday and this day, and was ledgid att Beris, and this afternon he rod, but qhedder I wote not. He seyd pleynly in this town that he xal have Oxnede, and that he hath my lord of Suffolkes100.2 good lordschip, and he wol ben his good lord in that mater. There was a persone warnyd my moder with in this to days that sche xuld ben ware, for thei seyd pleynly sche was lyk to ben servyd as ze were servyd at Gressam with in rytz schort tyme. Also the Lord Moleyns wrott in his forseyd letter that he wold mytyly, with his body and with his godis, stand be all tho that had ben his frends and his wel willers in the mater towching Gressam, and preyd Heydon that he wold sey to them that thei xuld not ben aferd in non wyse, for that was don it xuld ben abedyn by.

My moder prayith zu that ze wil send my brother Willyam to Kawmbrege anomynale100.3 and abok of sofystre of my brother Emundes100.4, the qheche my seyd brother be hestid my moder the last tyme he spak with her, that he xuld asent [should have sent] to my brother Willyam. The blisseful Trinyte have zu in his keping.


Wretyn at Norwyche in hast, on the Wodenysday next be for Palm Sonday. Zowres,     M. P.

99.2 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The date of this letter is evidently both after Paston’s expulsion from Gresham by Lord Molyns in February 1448, and after the death of Edmund Paston in 1449. It cannot, however, be so late as 1450, else Hauteyn would not have expected to obtain possession of Oxnead through the Duke of Suffolk’s influence.

99.3 Elizabeth, widow of Robert Clere of Ormesby.

100.1 John Hawteyn.—See Nos. 46 and 50.

100.2 William De la Pole, Duke of Suffolk.

100.3 A nominale.

100.4 Edmund Paston, who must have died very shortly after declaring his will on the 21st of March 1449.



Ryt wurchipful hwsbond, I recomawnd me to zu, and prey zw to gete som crosse bowis, and wyndacs101.2 to bynd them with, and quarrels;101.3 for zour hwsis her ben so low that ther may non man schet owt with no long bowe, thow we hadde never so moche nede.

I sopose ze xuld have seche thyngs of Ser Jon Fastolf, if ze wold send to hym; and also I wold ze xuld gete ij. or iij. schort pelleaxis to kepe with doris, and als many jakkys, and ye may.

Partryche101.4 and his felaschep arn sor aferyd that ze wold entren azen up on them, and they have made grete ordynaw[n]ce with inne the hwse, as it is told me. They have made barris to barre the dorys crosse weyse, and they have made wykets on every quarter of the hwse to schote owte atte, bothe with bowys and with hand gunnys; and the holys that ben made forr hand gunnys, they ben scarse kne hey fro the plawncher [floor], and of soche holis ben made fyve. There can non man schete owt at them with no hand bowys.

Purry felle in felaschepe with Willyum Hasard at Querles, and told hym that he wold com and drynk with Partryche and with hym, and he seyd he xuld ben welcome, and after none 102 he went thedder for to aspye qhat they dedyn, and qhat felachep they hadde with them; and qhan he com thedder, the dors were fast sperid [fastened], and there wer non folks with hem but Maryoth, and Capron and hys wyf, and Querles wyf, a[n]d another man in ablac (?) zede sum qhate haltyng, I sopose be his words that it was Norfolk of Gemyngham; and the seyd Purry aspyde alle this forseyd thyngs. And Marioth and his felaschep had meche grette langage that xall ben told zw qhen ze kom hom.

I pray zw that ze wyl vowche save to don bye for me j. li. [1 lb.] of almands and j. li. of sugyr, and that ze wille do byen sume frese to maken of zour child is gwnys; ze xall have best chepe and best choyse of Hayis wyf, as it is told me. And that ze wyld bye a zerd of brode clothe of blac for an hode fore me of xliiijd. or iiijs. a zerd, for ther is nether gode cloth ner god fryse in this twn. As for the child is gwnys, and I have them, I wel do hem maken.

The Trynyte have zw in his keping, and send zw gode spede i[n] alle zour materis.

101.1 [From Fenn, iii. 314.] ‘The direction of this curious letter,’ says Fenn, ‘is obliterated, but it is plainly from Margaret Paston to her husband; and the paper is likewise so completely filled with writing, that she has not even either subscribed or dated it, but by the mentioning of Sir John Fastolf it must have been written before 1459.’ It appears to us most probably to belong to the year 1449, when Paston was making preparations to re-enter Gresham, which he actually did in October of that year.

101.2 Windacs are what we now call grappling irons, with which the bow-string is drawn home. —F.

101.3 Properly quarreaux. They were square pyramids of iron shot out of crossbows.—Grose’s Milit. Antiq. i. 149.

101.4 John Partrich, one of Lord Molyns’s retainers.


To the right reverent sir my most worshipful maister, my maister John Paston.

About 1449

Right reverent and my most worshipful maister, I recomaund me to yow. Please it yow to wete that the man whiche I wolde have hadde to a be youre fermour at Snaillewelle hath tolde me that he will not therof, and this he makith his excuse; he seythe that he shall dwelle with his wyffes fader and fynden hym for his good as longe as he levyth and he will no forther medill in the werde. I fele well by hym that he hath inquered of the maner, for he coude telle me well that olde Briggeman aught my maister, your 103 fader, whom God assoile, moche good, and how that he hadde al that was ther whanne Briggeman was ded; and that this Briggeman owith yow moche good at this tyme. I answered therto, as for olde Briggeman, I seide that it was his will that my maister shulde have his good, be cause he was a bonde man and hadde no childer. And as for this Briggeman, I seide that he hath bought a faire place sithe he was your fermour, and payed therfor; but for this I kan not turne hym. Wherfor, and it like yow to sende to me a bille of the value of the maner, I shall inquere if any other may happe to be gete, and sende yow worde therof; and in this and what ye will comaunde me ellys I shall do my parte by the grace of our Lord, Who ever have yow in His kepyng. Amen. Writen at Cambrigge the Sunday nexte before the fest of Seynt George.

My maister your brother103.1 recomaundeth hym to yow, as me semyth he is in right febill hele. he will not telle me qwy, save he seyth he compleyned onys and hadde no remedy, and therfor he seythe he shall suffer for a seoson. Forsothe I suppose he is not intreted as he aught to be. —Your servaunt and bedeman,     W. Cotyng.

102.1 [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 164.] This letter must have been written about the year 1449, when William Paston, son of the Judge, was a student at Cambridge.

103.1 William Paston.

he is in right febill hele. he will not telle me qwy
lower case in original


To my Reverend Mayster, Thomas Danyell, Squier for the Kyngs Body, be thys letter delyverd in haste.

MAY 25

Most reverend mayster, I recomaund me on to yowr graceus maystreschup, ever deseryng to her of yowr wurschupfull ustate, the whyche All myghte God mayntayne hyt, and encrese hyt on to hys plesans: Plesyng 104 yow to know of my wellfare, and of all yowr men, at the makyng of thys letter, we wer in gode hele of body i blessyd be God.

Mo over, mayster, I send yow word, by Rauly Pykeryng, of all maters, the whyche I be seche yow yeve hym credens, as he wyll enforme yow of all; so, sur, I beseche yow, in the reverens of God, that ye wyll enforme owr Soverayn Lord the Kyng of all maters that I send yow in thys letter, lyke as I have send a letter to my Lord Chaunseler and to all my Lordys by the sayd Pykeryng; the whyche letter I beseche yow that ye take and delyver to my Lord and all my Lordys by yowr awne handys, and lete the sayd Pykeryng declare all thyngs as he hath sayn and knoweth.

Furst, I send yow word that when we went to see, we toke ij. schyppys of Brast comyng owte of Flaundrys; and then after, ther ys made a grete armyng in Brytayne to mete with me and my felyschyp, that ys to say, the grete schyp of Brast, the grete schyp of the Morleys, the grete schyp of Vanng, with other viij. schyppis, bargys, and balyngers, to the number of iij. mli [3000] men; and so we lay in the see to me[te] with them.

And then we mette with a flotte of a c. [a hundred] grete schyppys of Pruse, Lubycke, Campe, Rastocke, Holond, Selond, and Flandres, betwyte Garnyse [Guernsey] and Portland; and then I cam abord the Admirall, and bade them stryke in the Kyngys name of Englond, and they bade me skyte in the Kyngs name of Englond; and then I and my feleschyp sayd, but [unless] he wyll streke don the sayle, that I wyld over sayle ham by the grace of God, and God wyll send me wynd and wether; and dey bade me do my wurst, by cause I had so fewe schyppys and so smale, that they scornyd with me. And as God wuld, on Fryday last was, we had a gode wynd, and then we armyd to the number of ij. ml. [2000] men in my felyschyp, and made us redy for to over sayle them; and then they lonchyd a bote, and sette up a stondert of truesse, and com and spake with me. And ther they were yolded all the hundret schyppys to go with me in what port that me lust and my felawys; but they faothe with me the day 105 before, and schotte atte us a j. ml. [1000] gonnys, and quarell105.1 owte of number, and have slayn meny of my felyschyp, and meymyd all soo. Wherfor me thyngkyt that they haye forfett bothe schypps and godys at our Soverayn Lord the Kyngys wyll. Besechyng yow that ye do yowr parte in thys mater, for thys I have wrytyn to my Lord Chaunseler105.2 and all my Lordys of the Kyngys Counsell; and so I have brofte them, all the c. [hundred] shyppys, within Wyght, in spyte of them all.

And ye myght gete leve of owr Soverayn Lord the Kyng to com hydder, hyt schall turne yow to grete wurschup and profett, to helpe make owr a poyntement in the Kyngs name, for ye sawe never suche a syght of schyppys take in to Englond this c. wynter; for we ly armyd nyght and day to kepe them, in to the tyme that we have tydengs of our Soverayn and hys counsell. For truly they have do harme to me, and to my feleschyp, and to yowr schyppys more [than] ij. ml. li.105.3 worth harme; and therfor I am avesyd, and all my feleschyp, to droune them and slee them, withoute that we hafe tydyngs from owr Soverayn the Kyng and hys counsell. And therfor, in the reverens of God, come ye yowr self, and ye schall have a grete avayle and wurschup of yowr comyng to see a suche syght, for I der well sey that I have her at this tyme all the cheff schyppys of Duchelond, Holond, Selond, and Flaundrys, and now hyt wer tyme for to trete for a fynell pese as for that partyes.

I writ no more to yow at this tyme, but All myghty Jesus have yow in hys kepyng. I writ in hast, within Wyght, on Soneday at nyght after the Ascencion of owr Lord. By yowr owne Servant,     Robt. Wenyngton.

103.2 [From Fenn, i. 208.] On the 3rd April 1449 royal letters were issued in favour of Robert Wynnyngtone of Devonshire, who was bound by indenture to do the King service on the sea ‘for the cleansing of the same, and rebuking of the robbers and pirates thereof, which daily do all the noisance they can.’—Stevenson’s Letters and Papers illustrative of the Wars of the English in France, i. 489.

105.1 See p. 101, Note 3.

105.2 John Stafford, Archbishop of Canterbury.

105.3 Fenn says the reading of the original is indistinct, and he could not determine whether £2000 or £3000 was meant.



To myn most reverent and [w]urchepful broder, Jon Paston.

About 1449

To myn most reverent and wurchepful brodur, I recummend me hartely to zow, desiryng speciali to hare of zowre wellefare and prosperite, qweche Almyty God contenu to zowre gosteli hele and bodili welfare. And if it plase zowre goode broderod to here of myn wellefare, at the makyng of this bylle I was in good hele. And if it leke zowre good broderod to remembre the letter that I sent to zow of the noyse that was telde of zow, that ze schuld a be on of the capetayns of the ryserse in Norfolk, and how that j. scholere of Cambryg, qweche is parsone of Welle, schuld an utteryd ferthere to zowr grete schalndyr [slander]; besechyng zow to undyrstond that the seyde parsone of Welle was sone [after?]106.2 that tyme at Lundon, were he harde sey of j. swyr of ij. c. marc be zere [of one squire of 200 marks by year] that ze and Master Thomas Wellys wolde sewe the seyd Parsone Welle for zowre schalndyr; and the seyde parsone come to Cambryg sothyn, and hathe pekyd a qwarell to on Mastyr Recheforthe, a knythys sone of Norforfolke,106.3 and seyd to Rychechefor106.3 that he had because that ze schuld sewe hym; and the seyd Parsone Welle thretyd Rycheferthe that wat some ever that ze causyd Parson Welle to lese be zowre sewtes, that Rycheferthe schul lese the same to the Parson of Welle. Werefor this jeltylmon Rycheforthe taketh grete thowt, and pray me to wrythe to zow that ze wulde sese zowre suthe tylle the tyme that ze wulde asyne that I mythe speke wythe zow, and odyr sundry have speke with zow of the same mater; for yt ware pithe that Rycheforthe chuld have ony hurthe thereby. I beseche 107 zow holde me excusyd, thow I wryt no better to zow at thys tyme, for in good feyth I had no leysere. The brynggar of thys letter can telle zow the same. God have zow in hys kepyng. Wretyn at Cambryg, on Fryday [sa]nyth107.1 nexste before Mydsommer Evyn.

In case ze come ba come [back home?] be Cambryg, I schal telle zow mo of it. I am sory I may wrythe no bettyr at this tyme, but I trust ze wylle [have] paciens. Be zowre pore Broder,     W. Paston.

106.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] As it appears from Margaret Paston’s letter of the 2nd April 1449 that William Paston was a student at Cambridge in that year, the date of this must be about the same period.

106.2 Word omitted.

106.3 So in MS.

107.1 This is written ‘sanyth’ but there is a stroke through the a, which was perhaps intended to have been carried through the s also.


To the Worshypful Sir, and my ryght well beloved cosen, John Paston.


Worshypfull and ryghte welbelovyd cosyn, I comaund me to you. Please you to here that the Pryore and Convent of Norwyche have wythhalden certeyn rent for landes that they halden of me wythinne my maner of Haylysdon, and the ij. tapers of wax of ij. lbs. wyght, by the space of xviij. yere, that mountyth xxjs.107.3 valued in money. And the lordes of the seyd maner beyng before me, and y yn my tyme, have been seised and possessed of the seyd rent. Prayng you to speke wyth the Pryore, or comaundyng me unto hym. And that ye lyke to move hym to make me payment as his dewtee ys, so as y have no cause to gowe further, and to do as justice requyreth. He hahyth xxx. acres lande or more by the seyd rent, and whyht ought to pay me othyr rent more by myn evidense. More over y pray you, cosen, that I may speke with you or [before] y ryde, and that on Thursday by the ferthest; and then y shall tell you 108 tydyngs off the Parlement, and that ye fayle not, as my trust ys yn you. I pray God have you in Hys guidance.

Wreten at Castor, the x. day off Julie 1449.108.1 —Your Cosen,     John Fastolfe.

107.2 [From Palmer’s Foundacion and Antiquitye of Great Yermouthe, p. 61.]

107.3 ‘xxj.o,’ as printed by Palmer, but the ‘o’ no doubt should be ‘s.

108.1 So the date is given in the book from which this letter is copied, but the year is certainly wrong, as the writer did not go to reside at Caister till 1454. The date indeed would have been suspicious apart from this, as the mode of dating is quite unusual in these letters. Probably in the original MS. (which the Editor has not seen) ‘1449’ was inserted after ‘Julie’ in a later hand.


To John Paston be this letter delyveryd.

Not after 1449

Soon, I grete zow wel with Goddis blyssyng and myn, and I latte zow wette that my cosyn Cler108.3 wrytted to me that sche spake with Schrowpe108.4 after that he had byen with me at Norwyche, and tolde her what cher that I had made hym, and he seyde to her he lyked wel by the cher I made hym.

He had swyche wordys to my cosyn Cler that lesse than ze made hym good cher, and zaf hym wordys of conforth at London, he wolde no mor speke of the matyr.

My cosyn Cler thynkyth that it were a foly to forsake hym lesse than ze knew of on owdyr as good or better; and I have assayde zowr suster,108.5 and I fonde her never so wylly to noon as sche is to hym, zyf it be so that his londe stande cleer.

I sent zow a letter by Brawnton for sylke, and for this 109 matyr befor my cosyn Cler wrote to me, the qwyche was wrytten on the Wednysday nexzt aftyr Mydsomer day.

Sir Harry Ynglows is ryzth besy a bowt Schrowpe for one of his dozthers.

I prey zow, for zette nozth to brynge me my mony fro Horwelbery, as ze com fro London, edyr all or a grete parte. The dew dette was at Crystemesse last paste, no thynge a lowyd, vijli. xiiijs. viijd., and at this Mydsomer it is vli. more; and thow I a low hym all his askyng, it is but xxvjs. vjd. less, but I am nozth so avysyth zytt. As for the Frer,109.1 he hath byen at Sent Benetts, and at Norwyche, and made grete bowste of the sewte that he hath azens me, and bowzthe many boxes, to what intent I wett never. It is wel doen to be war at London, in drede gyf he bryng ony syse at Sent Margarets tyme.

I kan no more, but Almyzty God be owr good lorde, who have zow ever in kepyng. Wryten at Oxnede in grete hast, on the Satyr next aftyr Mydsomer. By yowr Modyr,     A. P.

108.2 [From Fenn, iii. 202.] This letter is dated by Fenn 1454, with some others relating to matches proposed for Elizabeth Paston; but the date of this cannot be later than 1451, as Sir Harry Inglos died that year. Moreover, it cannot be either 1451 or 1450, as ‘the Saturday next after Midsummer’ when this letter is dated, preceded ‘the Wednesday next after Midsummer day’ in both these years. Thus 1449 is the latest possible date.

108.3 Elizabeth, widow of Robert Clere of Ormesby, Esq.

108.4 Stephen Scrope, a son of Sir John Fastolf’s wife by a former husband.

108.5 Elizabeth Paston.

109.1 John Hawteyn.—See Nos. 46, 50, and 63.


To my Cosyn, John Paston, be thys letter delivered.

Not after 1449

Trusty and weel be loved cosyn, I comaunde me to zow, desyryng to here of zowre weelfare and good spede in zowre matere, the qwech I prey God send zow to his plesaunce and to zoure hertys ease.

Cosyn, I lete zow wete that Scrope109.3 hath be in this cuntre to se my cosyn zoure sustyr, and he hath spoken with my cosyn zoure moder, and sche desyreth of hym that he schuld 110 schewe zow the endentures mad be twen the knyght that hath his dowter and hym, whethir that Skrop, if he were maried and fortuned to have children, if tho children schuld enheryte his lond, or his dowter, the wheche is maried.

Cosyn, for this cause take gode hede to his endentures, for he is glad to schewe zow hem, or whom ze wol a sygne with zow; and he seith to me he is the last in the tayle of his lyflode, the qweche is CCCL. marke and better, as Watkyn Shipdam seith, for he hath take a compt of his liflode dyvers tymes; and Scrop seith to me if he be maried, and have a sone an eyre, his dowter that is maried schal have of his liflode L. marke and no more; and therfore, cosyn, me semeth he were good for my cosyn zowre sustyr, with[out] that ye myght gete her a bettyr. And if ze can gete a better, I wold avyse zow to labour it in as schort tyme as ze may goodly, for sche was never in so gret sorow as sche is now a dayes, for sche may not speke with no man, ho so ever come, ne not may se ne speke with my man, ne with servauntes of hir moderys but that sche bereth hire an hand110.1 otherwyse than she menyth. And sche hath sen Esterne the most part be betyn onys in the weke or twyes, and som tyme twyes on o day, and hir hed broken in to or thre places. Wherfor, cosyn, sche hath sent to me by Frere Newton in gret counsell, and preyeth me that I wold send to zow a letter of hir hevynes, and prey yow to be hir good brothyr, as hir trost is in zow; and sche seith, if ze may se be his evydences that his childern and hire may enheryten, and sche to have resonable joynture, sche hath herd so mech of his birth and his condicions, that and ze will sche will have hym, whethyr that hir moder wil or wil not, not withstandyng it is tolde hir his persone is symple, for sche seyth men shull have the more deyute of hire if sche rewle hire to hym as sche awte to do.

Cosyn, it is told me ther is a goodly man in yowre Inne, of the qweche the fadyr deyed litte, and if ze thynk that he were better for hir than Scroop, it wold be laboured, and yif Scroop a goodly answere that he be not put of tyl ze be sure of a bettyr; for he seid whan he was with me, but if [i.e. unless] he 111 have som counfortable answer of zow, he wil no more laboure in this mater, be cause he myght not se my cosyn zoure sustyr, and he seyth he myght a see hire and sche had be bettyr than she is; and that causeth hym to demyr that hir moder was not weel willyng, and so have I sent my cosyn zowre moder word. Wherfore, cosyn, thynk on this mateer, for sorow oftyn tyme causeth women to be set hem otherwyse than thei schuld do, and if sche where in that case, I wot weel ze wold be sory. Cosyn, I prey zow brenne this letter, that zoure men ne non other man se it; for and my cosyn zowre moder knew that I had sent yow this letter, sche shuld never love me. No more I wrighte to zow at this tyme, but Holy Gost have zow in kepyng. Wretyn in hast, on Seynt Peterys day,111.1 be candel lyght. Be youre Cosyn,     Elizabeth Clere.

109.2 [From Fenn, iii. 204.] This letter appears from the contents to be of the same year as the preceding.

109.3 Stephen Scrope.—See p. 108, Note 4.

110.1 To bear one on hand, means to assert or insinuate something to a person.

111.1 June 29.


To my ryght worshepfull master John Paston at London in the Inner Temple.

NOV. 30

Plese it your good maistershep to knowe that my maisteresse your wyff recomaundeth here to yow and fareth well, blyssed be God, and all your menye faren well also and recomaunde hem to yaw, &c. I was with my lord of Oxenford and dede myn erand, and I found his good lordshep well disposed towardys yow, for he seid if he were sent to for to come to, &c., if it kepe faire weder he wold not tarye, and if it reygned he wold not spare. More over I spak with Pertrych as touchyng the letter sent to my lord Moleyns; he seyth that he was privy to the wrytyng and wele a vowe it by record of xx. persons, but he wold name to me no persone; and so he and I accorded not fully. And I bad hym remembre 112 hym that he myght not abyde there if ye wold have hym owt. And he seid he knewe well that. But he seid, if ye put heem out, ye shuld be put owt sone after a geyn. And I seyd if it happe it so thei shuld not longer reste there. And Mariot stod by and seyd that were no merveyll whill thei were but ij. men, but it shuld not be best so. And I seyd that I lete them wete it shuld be so if ye wold, thow they made all the strenght which they coude make. And ther to Mariot seyd stately, that myght not be performed; and more langage ther was, to long to wryte at this leyser. Pertrych and his felaw bere gret visage and kepe gret junkeryes and dyneres, and seyn that my lord Moleynes hath wrytyn pleynly to hem that he is lord there and well be, and shall be, and ye not to have it; but I trust to Goddes ryghtwysenes of better purvyaunce. Lyke it yow to remembre what Heydon doth and mayde by colour of justice of the pees, beyng of my lordes councell and not your good frend nor weell wyller, and to comon with your sad councell what ye must suffre by the lawe, and where inne ye may resiste. On Sunday last passed Gunore and Mariot and John Davy and other dyned with Pertrych, &c.; and after eveson [evensong] Gonore spake to my maisteresse that she shuld make here men to leue here wyfeles and here jackes; and she answered that thei purposed to hurte no man of here owyn sykyng; but for it was seid that she shuld be plukkyd owt of here howse, she were loth to suffre that; and therfore she sayde thei shuld goo soo til ye come hom. And he seid stately, but if thei left here aray it shuld be plukked from them. I trust he must have a better warant, from his stately langage, or ells he shall not have it from hem esily. All this I remitte to your good remembraunce with Goddes help, to Whom I pray to gyde your ryght to his worshep and your hertes desire.

Wrytyn at Sustede on Seynt Andrewe day, &c. —Yowres,     J. Damme.

Were but well, as me semyth, that ye myght ordeygne now a fetys jacke defensable for your self, for there con they do best and best chep, &c.

111.2 [Add. 34,888, f. 32.] This letter was evidently written in 1449, after John Paston had re-entered Gresham, and his wife was keeping it for him. See No. 88.



OCT. 16

‘The King is now into the Marches of Wales, as it is said, to the intent he may be near the country if my Lord of Buckingham, which is commissioner now in Wales for divers offences done there to the Crown, would sue to have his commission to be enlarged, if he were repyned.’ It is not known when the King will be in London again, but he is expected here at the beginning of the Parliament. I have your writs of error, but can see nothing wrong. Thos. Denys asked me why you did not follow his suggestion about the removing of the strength at Gresham, and thinks it should be done yet. Francis Costard is not yet well at ease, for his venire facias between Will. Prentys and him and Hen. Halman comes in very inopportunely. You had better come hither as soon as possible and get the favor of the sheriff that shall be next year.

London, 16 Oct.

113.1 This abstract was made from one of the Roydon Hall MSS. shown to the Editor in 1875. Since that date he has not seen the original.


To my ryght tristy and welbelovede Cosin and Frende, John Fastolf, and Sir John Kirtelinge, Parson of Arkesay.

OCT. 31

Trusty and welbeloved frendz, y grete yow wel. And for as moche as y have appointed with my sone, Stephen Scrope, lyke as y sende yow the appointement writen hereafter in this letter, the whiche appointement y woll ye fulfylle be the avys of my counsel in that at longeth to my party, like as hit ys writen.

Thys ys the appointement made be twene Sir John Fastolf, Knight, and Stephen Scrope, Squier, in the maner as here after hit ys writen:—


Fyrst, for as moche as the mariage of the saide Stephen Scrope was solde114.1 to Sir William Gascoyng, the Chefe Justice of Englonde, for vc. [500] marke, with the whiche mariage was deliverd in hande to the sayde Gascoyng the maner of Wyghton on the Wolde, in Yorke schyre, with the apertenance of the saide maner; and whan the sayde Gascoyng hade hym, he wolde have solde hym agayn, or maried the saide Stephen Scrope ther [where] he schulde have byn despareiged: wherefore, at the request of the sayde Scrope and hys frendes, the saide Fastolf boght the ma[ri]age of the saide Scrope of the saide Sir William Gascoyng for vc. marke, wherby the saide Fastolf hath mariage of the saide Stephen Scrope, or elles to have the saide somme of vc. marke that he payde for hym, like as hit ys above sayde.

Item, for as moche as the sayde Stephen Scrope ys comyn to the saide Fastolf, sayinge that he hath fownde wey to be maried at his lyst, and also for his worschippe and profyt, so that the saide Fastolf woll consent therto, that ys to say, to Fauconeris doughter of London, that Sir Reynalde Cobham114.2 had weddid.

Item, for as hit ys the saide Fastolf ys wille to forther and helpe the saide Scrope in any wize ther he may be fortherede, the sayde Fastolf consenteth that the sayde Scrope marie hym to the Fauconeris doughter, with that that the sayde Fauconer gyf to the sayde Fastolf the saide somme of vc. marke, the whiche he payde for the saide Scrope.

Item, yf that the sayde Stephen Scrope pay or do pay the somme afore sayde of vc. marke sterling, than the sayde Sir John Fastolf and Dame Mylicent,114.3 his wyf, schall make astate of the said maner of Wyghton on the Wolde in Yorke schyre, 115 with the apertenaunce of the sayde maner, to the saide Stephen Scrope and to the woman, the whiche schalbe his wyf, and to here eyres of here bodyes begete be twix hem two.

Item, yef the sayde Stephen dye with oute eyre of his body begeten, than the sayde maner of Wyghton, after the descece of the saide hys wyf, schall retourne agayne to the sayde Fastolf and Dame Mylicent, his wyf, and to the eyres of the sayde Mylicent.

Item, yf so be that the sayde Fauconer wilnot pay the sayde somme of vc. marke, bot peraventure wolde gyf a lesse somme, then the sayde Fastolf wyl deliver to the mariage of the saide Scrope certayn londe, havynge rewarde to the somme that the sayde Fauconer wil gyf, havyng rewarde to the afferrant of xl. pounde worthe land and vc. mark of golde.

Item, if that the sayde Fauconer wilnot gyf no somme of golde for the sayde mariage, the sayde Fastolf wyl take the mariage of the childe that ys eyre to the forsaide Sir Reynolde Cobham, and that the sayde Scrope forto conferme the estat hys moder has made to the saide Fastolf, yf so be that the consel of the saide Fastolf se by thaire avys that hit be for to do, and that the said mariage may be [as] moche worth to the said Fastolf as vc. mark.

Item, ze sende me be Raufm[an an] answare o[f] the letters that y sende yow, that I may have ve[ray] knolage how that hit standys with me ther in al maner of thynges, and that I [h]ave an answare of every article that y wrote to yow.

Item, for as moche as that I am bonden for my Lord Scales115.1 to my Lord Cardnale115.2 in vc. mark, the qu[ech] somme he kan not fynd no way to pay hit, on lese then that he sel a parcel of his land; quer fore he sendis ower a man of his called Pessemerche, with whom I wil that ze spek, and se be 116 zore avis whech of the places of my said Lord Scales that standis most cler to be solde; and if the place that is beside W[a]lsyngham stand cler, I have hit lever then the tother; and therfore I pray [z]ow that ze make apointement with the said Pesemerche in the best wise that ze may, athir of the ton place or the tother, and or ze let take hit after xx. zere, havyn[g] rewarde to the verray val[u] therof, and as ze don send me worde be the next massager.

Item, my Lord of Hungerford116.1 has writen to me for to have the warde of Robert Monpyns[on]is sone, wher of I am agreed that he schal [have] hit like as I has wretyn to hym in a letter, of the whech I send zow a cope closed here in: wher fore I pray zow to enquere of the verray valu of the land that Monpynson haldis of me, and sendis me word in hast; for my said Lord Hungerford sais in his letter that hit is worth bot xls. a zere aboufe the rentis, as ze may se the letter that he sent me, the q[uec]h I send zow be my son Scrope. And I pray zow to demene zow to my said Lord as eesely as ze may in this mater and al other that I have to do with hym, as ze may se be the cope aforesaid. And or (sic) have zow in his kepyng. Wretyn at Roan (?)116.2 the last day of October. J. Fastolfe.

Endorsed Appunctuamentum factum pro Stephano Scroope anno xxviijº Regis H. vj. ad maritandum.

113.2 [From the Castlecombe MSS. in the B.M., Add. MS. 28,212, No. 21.] According to the endorsement, this letter should have been written in the year 1449; but the reader will see by the footnotes that there are grounds for doubting the accuracy of this date.

114.1 The marriage of wards in those days used to be sold to men of property, who would compel them to marry their own sons or daughters, or whatever other persons suited them. The only restriction to this right was, that the ward might, on coming of age, have an action against his guardian in case of disparagement, that is to say, if he was married beneath his station.

114.2 Sir Reginald Cobham of Sterborough, in Surrey, who died in 1446. He was the father of the notorious Eleanor Cobham, the mistress, and afterwards wife, of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester.—Brayley’s Hist. of Surrey, iv. 159.

114.3 Milicent, wife of Sir John Fastolf, is known to have been alive in the 24th year of Henry VI. (1446). William Worcester says the allowance for her chamber was paid until that date; but as he says nothing more, it has been supposed she did not live longer. Mr. Poulett Scrope also believes her to have died in 1446, on the authority of a contemporary MS., which says she and Fastolf lived together thirty-eight years.—Hist. Castlecombe, 263.

115.1 Thomas de Scales, 8th Lord.

115.2 John Kemp, Archbishop of York, afterwards of Canterbury; or, if this document be some years earlier, Cardinal Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester.

116.1 Walter, 1st Lord Hungerford, died in August 1449, and was succeeded in the title by his son Robert.

116.2 The name is a little indistinct from the decay of the paper, but the first and last letters are clear, and it is scarcely possible to doubt that Rouen was the place here intended. Yet if this be so, the letter must be much earlier than the date assigned to it in the endorsement.



To owr ryght trusty and welbelovyd Frend, Ser Thomas Todenham.

NOV. 2

Ryght trusty and welbelovyd frend, we grete you well, hertely desyryng to here of yowr welfare, which we pray God preserve to yowr herts desyr; and yf yt please yow to here of owr welfare, we wer in goud hale atte the makyng of this lettre, praying you hertely that ye wyll consider owr message, which owr Chapleyn Mayster Robert Hoppton shall enforme you of. For as God knowyth we have gret besynesse dayly, and has had here by for this tyme. Wherfor we pray you to consyder the purchas that we have made wyth one John Swyffhcotte, Squier of Lyncolnshyr, of lxxx. and viijli. by yer, whereuppon we must pay the last payment the Moneday nexte after Seynt Martyn’ day, which sum ys CCCC. and lviijli.; wherfor we pray you wyth all owr herte that ye wyll lend us xli., or twenty, or whet the seyd Maister Robert wants of hys payment, as we may do for you in tym for to com; and we shall send yt you ageyn afor Newyers day wyth the grace of God, as we ar trew knyght. For there is nonne in your cuntre that we myght wryght to for trust so well as unto you; for, as we be enformyd, ye be owr well wyller, and so we pray you of goud contynuaunce.

Wherfore we pray you that ye consyder our entent of this mony, as ye wyll that we do for you in tym to com, as God knowyth, who have you in hys kepyng.

Wreten atte London, on All Salwyn [All Souls’] day, wyth inne owr loggyng in the Grey Freys [Friars] wyth inne Newgate. Ric., Erle Warwyke.117.2

117.1 [From Fenn, i. 84.] Richard Nevill, Earl of Warwick, afterwards famous as the ‘King-maker,’ succeeded to the title in 1449, and this letter is not unlikely to have been written in that very year. Certainly it is not many years later. In 1449 and 1450 Warwick was probably in London to attend the Parliament.

117.2 ‘The seal of this letter’ says Fenn, ‘is of red wax, on which is the Bear and Ragged Staff, the badge of this nobleman, with his motto,—the whole very fair and curious, and around it is a braid of twine.’



DEC. 11

Copy of a Grant from the Crown to John Bray for services against the King’s enemies. Caen, 11th December 14[4]9, 28 Henry VI.

[This document is very mutilated and decayed. It is written in French, the spelling of which is very peculiar, and is probably a bad copy by some one who did not know the language.]

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


To my right honorabull and right wurshipful Lord, my Lord Viscont Beaument.

Before 1450

Right honorabull and my right wurshipfull Lord, I recomaund me unto your gode Lordship with all my service, evermore desireng to here of your prosperitie and welfare, the which I pray God encres and contynue to his plesur, and after your oone herts desire; thankyng you of the gode Lordship that ye have shewed me at all tymes, beseching you alway of gode contynuance.

Plesid your gode Lordship to be remembred how afore this tyme Hugh Wythom hath said he wold be in rest and peese with me, and not to maligne agayn me otherwise than lawe and right wold; that notwithstandyng, upon Munday last past, he and iij. men with him come unto a servaunt hous of myn in Boston, cald William Shirref, and there, as he sete at 119 his werke, stroke him upon the hede and in the body with a dagger, and wondet him sore, and pulled him out of his hous, and set him in prison without any cause resonabull, or without writ, or any other processe shewid unto him; and that me semes longs not for him to do, bot as he says he is endited, and as your gode Lordship knawes wele, I and all my servaunts are in like wise; bot and any man shuld have done hit, it longs either to the shirref or to your baliff as I conceyve, and other cause he had non to him as fer as I kan knawe, bot awnly for the malissiousness that he hath unto me, ne I kan think non other bot it is so. And now yistre nyght my Lord Welles119.1 come to Boston with iiijxx [four score] horses, and in the mornyng foloyng toke hym out of prison, saying afore all peepll, ‘Fals thefe, you shall be hanged, and as mony of thy maistre men as may be goten’—as your servaunt John Abbot kan report unto your gode Lordship,—and hath taken him away with him to Tatessall, what to do with him I kan not say, bot as I suppose to have him to Lincoln Castell: wherfor I besech your gode Lordship in this matier to be my gode Lord, and it please your gode Lordship to write a letter to the kepere of the Castell of Lincoln, that it liked him to deliver him out of prison undre a sufficient seurety had for him, for and thai may kepe him still be this meyne, thai may take all the servaunts that I have, and so I may do agayn in like wise.

And also, as I am enformed, without he be had out of prison in hast, it will be right gravewis to him to heile of his hurt, he is so sore streken; and if there be any service that your gode Lordship will comaund me to do in any cuntre, plesid you to send me word, and it shal be done to my power with the grace of God, which have you, my right honorabull and wurshipfull Lord, alway in his blessid kepyng. Writen at Kyme,119.2 upon Wednesday next after our Ladi day the Assumpcion.119.3

Also plesid your gode lordship to wit, after this letter was 120 made, there come a man fro Tatessall into my fenne, which owght me gode will, and be cause he wold not be holden suspect, he speke with wemen which were mylkand kyne, and bad theme goo to a preest of myn to Dokdike, and bid him fast goo gif me warnyng how that my Lord Wilughby,120.1 my Lord Cromwell,120.2 and my Lord Welles120.3 proposid theme to set a sessions, and hang the said William Shirref, and thai myght bryng ther entent abowte; and so, as I and your servaunt John Abbot stode to geder, the prest come and gaf me warnyng herof, which I trust for my worship your gode Lordship wold not shuld happen, for it wer to me the grettest shame that myght falle; bot and it plese your gode Lordship to write to all your servaunts in this cuntre, that thai will be redy upon a day warnyng to come when I send theme word, I trust to God thai shal not hang him agayn the lawe, bot I, with help of your gode Lordship, shall be abull to let hit. By your Servaunt,     William Tailboys.120.4

118.2 [From Fenn, iii. 282.] This letter is dated by Fenn between 1455 and 1460, but cannot be later than the former of these years, as Lord Cromwell died in the beginning of 1456. It seems, further, beyond a doubt that the Lord Willoughby, mentioned along with him, was Robert, Lord Willoughby of Eresby, who was connected by marriage both with Lord Cromwell and with Lord Welles; and if so the date cannot be later than 1451, as this Lord Willoughby died in July 1452. Indeed, I have very little doubt it is before 1450, as both Tailboys and Beaumont were of the Duke of Suffolk’s party, and it is not likely that the former would have ventured to complain of his powerful neighbours, Lords Willoughby, Cromwell, and Welles after the Duke’s fall, especially as we know that in the beginning of 1450 he was in prison for an attempt to murder Lord Cromwell.

119.1 Leo, Lord Welles.

119.2 In Lincolnshire, between Tattershall and Sleaford.

119.3 15th August.

120.1 Robert, Lord Willoughby of Eresby, who married Maud Stephen, a niece of Lord Cromwell.

120.2 Ralph, Lord Cromwell.

120.3 Leo, Lord Welles, whose son Richard married Joan, a daughter of Robert, Lord Willoughby of Eresby.

120.4 William, afterwards Sir William, Tailboys of South Kyme, in Lincolnshire, who was attainted under Edward IV. as an adherent of the House of Lancaster. His family was afterwards ennobled as Barons Talboys. He is most unfavourably mentioned in the impeachment of the Duke of Suffolk, of whom he appears to have been a great adherent, and is accused of having made an attempt to murder Lord Cromwell in the Star Chamber at Westminster, on the 28th November 1449.—See Rolls of Parliament, v. 181–200.


To the King oure Soverayn Lord.

FEB. 7

Sheweth and piteuously compleyneth youre humble trewe obeisantes Comunes of this youre nobile reaume, in this youre present Parlement, by your high autorite assembled for the seurte of your moste high and royall persone, 121 and the welfar of this your nobile reaume, and of your trewe liege peple of the same, that William de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk, late of Ewelme, in the counte of Oxenford, falsly and treyterously hath ymagined, compassed, purposid, forethought, done, and commytted divers high, grete, heynous, and horrible treasons ayenst your most roiale persone, youre corones of your raumes of England and Fraunce, your duchiee of Guyan and Normandie, and youre holde enheritaunce of your countee of Anjoye and Mayne, the estate and dignite of the same, and the universall wele and prosperite of all your trewe subgettes of raumes, [duchies] and counte in maner and in forme ensewyng.

First, the seid Duke the xxti day of Juyll the xxv. yere121.1 of youre blissid regne, in youre citee of London, in the parich of Sepulcr, in the ward of Faringdon infra, ymagynyng and purposing falsly and treyterously to distroy your moste roiall persone, and this your seid realme, thenne and ther trayterously excited, councelled, provoked, and comforted the Erle of Donas121.2 [bastard]121.3 of Orliaunce, Bertrande, Lord Pressigny, Maister William Cusinet,121.4 enemys to you Soverayne Lord, and other your enemeys, subgettes and ambassiators to Charles,121.5 calling hem selfe king of Fraunce, your grettys adversarie and enemey, to meve, councell, ster, and provoke the same Charles to come in to this your realme, to leve, reise, and make open werr ayenst you, Soverayne Lord, and alle this your reaume with a grete puissaunce and arme to distroy your most roiall persone, and your trewe subgettes of the same realme, to the entente to make John, sone of the same Duke, [King] of this your seid realme, and to depose you of your heigh regalie therof; the same Duke of Suffolk havyng thenne of your graunte the ward and mariage of Margarete, doughter and heire to John, the late Duke of Somerset, purposing here to 122 marey to heis said sonne, presuming and pretendyng her to be nexte enheritable to the Corone of this your realme, for lak of issue of you Soverayn Lord, in accomplishement of heis seid traytours purpose and entent, wheroppon the same Duke of Suffolk, sith the tyme of heis areste, hath do the seid Margarete to be maried to heis seid sonne.

Item, the seid Duke of Suffolk being most trostid with you, and prevyest of your councell of fullong tyme, prepensing that your seid grete enemeye and adversarie Charles schuld conquerr and gete be power and myght your seid realme of Fraunce, duchies, and countee, the xxti day of January the xvij. yer122.1 of your regne, at Westminster, in the shir of Middlesex, and divers othir tymes and places within your seid realme of Engeland, falsly, trayterously, by sotel menes and ymaginacyons, for grete corrupcion of good, taking of money, and other excessyf promises to him made by Charles, Duke of Orliaunce,122.2 your enemye, councelled and stered of hym selfe only, your heighnesse to enlarge and deliver out of prison the same Duke of Orliaunce, enemye to you Soveren Lord, and to the most victorious noble prince of blyssid memory, the king youre fadir, whom God assoile! takyn be hem prisonere, to th’entent that the seid Charles, calling hym self king of Fraunce, schuld recover, gete, and have be false conqueste, and other desayvabile menes ayenst you, your heirz and successors, your seid realme of Fraunce, duches and counte, be the wyle, subtill councell, might, and ayde of the seid Duke of Orliaunce.

Notwithstanding that be the late wylle and ordinaunce of your seid fadir, for divers thingis moveyng his grete wysdome, contrary ther of was avysed and declared, by wiche councell and stering only of the seid Duke of Suffolk the seid Duke of Orliaunce was soverd [suffered] at his liberte to departe of this youre realme to the partee of Fraunce.

Afore wich departer the first day of May the seid xvij. yerr122.1 of your regne, at London, in the parich of Sent Martyne, in the ward of Farindon infra, the same Duke of Suffolk, trayterously adherent to the seid Charles, calling hym selfe 123 kyng of Fraunce, then and ther falsly and trayterously counseiled, coumforted, stered, and provoked the seid Duke of Orlyaunce to excite and moeve the same Charles, calling hym selfe kyng of Fraunce, your grete enemeye and adversarie, to make and reyse open werr ayenst you in your seid realme of Fraunce and duchie of Normandy, to conquer, and to opteyn falsly be force, myght, and other menes ayenst you, your heiriz and successours, your seid realme of Fraunce and duche of Normandy, Uppon wich adherence, councell, and counfort of the seid Duke of Suffolk, the seid Charles calling hym selfe kyng, hath made open werr a yenst you in your seid realme of Fraunce, and hath it attrochid unto hym, and the most party of your duchie of Normandy, and takyn prisonyrs the ful nobile Lordys and coragyouse Knytys, the Erle of Schrouesbery123.1 and the Lord Faconberge,123.2 with many othir nobles and people of your trewe leiges, to ther likly fynall ondoing, your gretest disheritaunce, and oure grete lamentable losse that ever comen a fore this to you, or ony of your ful noble progenitors, or to your trewe subgettes.

Item, wher the seid Duke of Suffolk late was on of your ambassitours with othir to youre seid adversarie Charles, calling hem self kyng of Fraunce, he, above heis instruccion and power to hym be you committyng, promised to Reyner,123.3 King of Cesile, and Charles Daungers,123.4 heis brothir, your grete enemeys, the deliveraunce of Maunce and Mayne, without the assent andvyse or knowyng of other your seid ambassitours with him thenne accompanyd; and theroppon after heis comyng in to this realme from the same ambassiate, in performing of heis seid promyse, he falsly and trayterously, for grette rewardes and lucre of good to hym yeven by your enemes, caused the said Reyner and Charles Daungers to have deliveraunce of Maunce and Mayne aforeseid, to your over grete disheritaunce and loss irreparable, enforsing and 124 enrychyng of your seid enemes, and grettest mene of the losse of your seid duche of Normandye; and so was the seid Duke of Suffolk falsly and trayterously adherent, aidant, and confortant to your grete enemeys and adversaries.

Item, the seid Duke of Suffolk being reteyned with you in your wages of werr in your seid realme of Fraunche and duchie of Normandye, and therby strostid be you and alle your councellers to knowe the privite of your councell ther, and the purviaunce of your armes, the defence and keping of your townes, forteresses, and places, sieges, purveaunce, and ordinaunce of werr in the same parties for you to be mad, knowyng all [such] privite, and being adherent to your seid grete enemeye, calling hem self kyng of Fraunce, hath eften and many divers tymes falsly and trayterously discoverd and openned to hym, and to heis capytaynes and conductors of heis werr, your enemes, the privite, ordinaunce, and provision of your seid councell, purveaunces of armes, defence keping, townes, forteresses, places, syeges, and ordinaunce, werby your grete adversarie and enemeys have geton and takyn, be the menes of this is treason and falshode, ful many lordchepes, townnes, casteles, fortesses, and places within your seid realme of Fraunce and duchie of Normandie, and letted your capitaynes of your werres to conquer, keppe, and acheve your rithfull enheritaunce ther.

Item, the seid Duke of Suffolk beyng of your grete Privey Councell, and with you best trostid, knowyng the secrenesse therof and of this your realme, the xvj. day of Juyll the xxvti yerr124.1 of your regne, at London, in the parich of Sent Laueraunce Pulteney, in the ward of Sandewyke [Candewyke] Strette, and at othir divers tymes and places, falsly and trayterously beyng adherent and aidant to the seid Charles, calling hem selfe king of Fraunce, your grete enemeys, the seid xvj. day, and in the parich of Sent Laurence aforeseid, openned, declarid, and discovered to the seid Erle of Danas, Bastard of Orlyaunce, Bertrand, Lord Presigni, Maister William Cosinet, your enemeys, subgettes, ambassiatours and conncellours to the seid Charles, calling hem self king of 125 Fraunce, the privitees of your councell, aswell of this your realme for the comyn wele of the same, as for the governauns and ordinaunce for the conquest, conservacion, saufgard, tuycyon of your seid realme of Fraunche and duchie of Normandy; [whereby the great part of your said realm of France and duchy of Normandy]125.1 at that tyme being in your in handys, as [should be, is] be the seid Charles, calling hem selfe kyng of Fraunce, and [his] armes goton and takyn out of your handes.

Item, suth the matier first moeved of the convencyon of trewes and pees by twenne you and your seid grette enemeye Charlys, callyng hem selfe kyng of Fraunche, wheroppon by grete diberacyon ye, by the advyse of your Councell, have send many solempne ambassatours to the same Charles for the god of pees to be hadde be twyn you and this your realme, and your subjettes in your realme of Fraunche, duchie of Normandye, and othir places under your obeysauns, and the same Charles and heis subgettes, the seid Duke of Suffolk being next and grettest of your Councell, havyng knowlach of the power and auctorite comytted to alle your ambassiatours send in this be half, hath deseyvabely and trayterously by heis lettres and messages discovered and opened to your seid grete enemeye Charlys, calling hym self kyng of Fraunce, alle ynstrucciouns and informaciouns yeven to your seid ambassatours afore their comyng in to Fraunce, werby the effectuale concord and trewes that schuld have folowed of suche ambassiat by tywnne both the seid realmes and subgettes, have take non effectualle conclusyon, but by his fals, fraudelent, traiterous werkes, dedes, and deceyvable yma gynacyons, your grete enheritaunce, seygnyouries, lordshippis, townes, castell, forteresses, and possessions in your seid realme of Fraunche and duchie of Normandye, by cause of heis false messages, sendyngs, and wrytyngys have be takyn by reft, and gotten fro you be your seid enemeys.

In proof of the wich treson the seid Duke of Suffolk, sittyng in your Councell in the Stere Chambre, in your pales 126 of Westminster, seid and declarid openly be for the Lordis of your Councell ther being, that he had his place in the Councell hows of the French kyng as he had ther, and was ther as wel strostid as he was here, and couth remeve from the seid French kynge the prevyest man of heis Councell yf he wold.

Item, whan in this your roialme ful oftyn tymes provicyon hath be mad for divers armes to be sent in to your seid realme of Fraunche, duches of Normandy and Gyand, the seid Duke of Suffolk, by the instaunce and meenes mad to hym be your seid enemeys and adversareys for grette outeragyous yeftes and rewardes of them takyn, trayterously hath restrayned, and utterly lettyd the passage of such armees in favour and supporte of your seid enemeys.

Item, the seid Duke of Suffolk, as your ambassatours by twene you and Charles, callyng hym self kyng of Fraunche, in fortefyeng of hem and enchresing of his myght, hath not comprised in trewes, taken in your party the Kyng of Arregon,126.1 your old allye and frend, nother the Duke of Breten,126.2 but sufferd and causid the seid Duke of Bretayne to be compremysid of the party of the seid Charles as his subget, frende, and allye, wherby ye have ben estraunged from the god loffe and assistence of the seid King of Arregon, and therby and be othir on trewe and falce conjectours of the seid Duke of Suffolk, the seid Duke of Breteyn is become your enemeye; and Gyles126.3 of Breten, his brothir, the wiche is, and of long tyme hath ben, your trewe and welvylled man and servaunt, put in gret dures of pricon, and likely to be potte to the dethe or distroid for his trewe feith and welle that he hath to you.

And of alle tresons and offensys in alle theis seid arteculys specyfied and conteyned, we your seid Comens accuse and empeche the seid William de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk, and pray that this be enacte in this your High Courte of Parlement, and theroppon to precede in this your High Courte of Parlement, as the mater and caas aforseid requireth for the surete 127 and welfar of your most roiale person, and savacyon of this your realme, &c.

120.5 [From Fenn, iii. 62.] These are the articles of impeachment exhibited against the Duke of Suffolk, as printed by Fenn from a contemporaneous copy among the Paston MSS., endorsed ‘Coumpleyntys ayens the Dewke of Suffolk.’ Another copy will be found in the Rolls of Parliament, v. 177. The day of the Duke’s impeachment was the 7th February 1450.

121.1 A.D. 1447.

121.2 John, Count of Dunois, one of the most renowned warriors of the times. He was a grandson of Charles V. of France, a natural son of Louis, Duke of Orleans, and half-brother of Charles, Duke of Orleans, who was prisoner in England.

121.3 Blank in Fenn.

121.4 Cousinot.

121.5 Charles VII.

122.1 A.D. 1439.

122.2 Charles, Duke of Orleans.—See p. 46, Note 3.

123.1 John Talbot, first Earl of Shrewsbury, the great hero of the French wars, slain at Castillon in 1453.

123.2 William Nevill, Lord Fauconberg.

123.3 René, Duke of Anjou, father of Queen Margaret.

123.4 Charles of Anjou, Count of Maine.

124.1 A.D. 1447.

125.1 These words are omitted in Fenn, and are supplied from the Rolls of Parliament.

126.1 Alfonso V., King of Arragon.

126.2 Francis I., Duke of Brittany.

126.3 Giles of Brittany, the duke’s brother, who was murdered in April 1450, after having been kept four years in prison by the duke.

your duchiee of Guyan and Normandie, and youre holde enheritaunce of your countee of Anjoye and Mayne

text unchanged: correct if “Guyenne and Normandy” and “Anjou and Maine” were each a single unit


To the Kyng, oure Soverayn Lord, and to the right wyse and discrete Lordis, assemblyd in this present Parlement.


Besechith mekly your homble liege man, John Paston, that where he, and oder enfeffed to his use, have be pecybily poscessyd of the maner of Gresham, within the counte of Norffolk, xx. yere and more, til the xvij. day of Februarij, the yere of your nobill regne xxvi.,127.2 that Robert Hungerford, Knyght, the Lord Molyns, entred in to the seyd maner; and how be it that the seyd John Paston, after the seid entre, sued to the seid Lord Molyns and his councell, in the most louly maner that he cowde, dayly fro tyme of the seid entre on to the fest of Mihelmes than next folwyng, duryng which tyme divers communicasyons were had betwix the councell of the seid Lord and the councell of your besecher. And for asmych as in the seid communicasions no titill of right at any tyme was shewed for the seid Lord but that was fully and clerly answeryd, so that the seid Lords councell remitted your seid besecher to sewe to the seid Lord for his finall and rightfull answer. And after sute mad to the seid Lord be your seid besecher, as well at Salysbery as in other places to his gret coust, and non answer had but delays, which causyd your seid besecher the vj. day of Octobre last past to inhabite hym in a mansion with in the seid town, kepyng stille there his poscession, on tille the xxviij. day of Januarij last past, the seid Lord sent to the seid mansion a riotous peple, to the nombre of a 128 thowsand persones, with blanket bendes128.1 of a sute as riseres ageyn your pees, arrayd in maner of werre, with curesse, brigaunders, jakks, salettes, gleyfes, bowes, arows, pavyse,128.2 gonnes, pannys with fier and teynes brennyng therein, long cromes128.3 to drawe doun howsis, ladders, pikoys, with which thei myned down the walles, and long trees with which thei broke up yates and dores, and so came in to the seid mansion, the wiff of your besecher at that tyme beyng ther in, and xij. persones with her; the which persones thei dreve oute of the seide mansion, and myned down the walle of the chambre wher in the wiff of your seid besecher was, and bare here oute at the yates, and cutte a sondre the postes of the howses and lete them falle, and broke up all the chambres and coferes within the seid mansion, and rifelyd, and in maner of robery bare awey all the stuffe, aray, and money that your seyd besecher and his servauntes had ther, on to the valew of ccli. [£200], and part therof sold, and part ther of yaffe, and the remenaunt thei departed among them, to the grete and outrageous hurt of your seid besecher, sayng openly, that if thei myght have found ther yowr seid besecher and on John Damme,128.4 which is of councell with hym, and divers oder of the servauntes of your seid besecher, thei shuld have died. And yet divers of the seid mysdoeres and ryotous peple onknowyn, contrary to your lawes, dayly kepe the seid maner with force, and lyne [i.e. lien, lie] in wayte of divers of the frendis, tenauntes, and servauntes of your seid besecher, and grevously vexe and trobill hem in divers wise, and seke hem in her howsis, ransakyng and serchyng her shevys and strawe in her bernes and other places with bore speris, swerdis, and gesernys,128.5 as it semyth, to sle hem if thei myght have found hem; and summe have bete and left for ded, so that thei, for doute of here lyves, dare not go home to here houses, ner occupy here husbondry, to the gret hurte, fere, and drede, aswele of your seid besechere as of his seid frendis, tenauntes, and servauntes. 129 And also, thei compelle pore tenauntes of the seid maner, now within ther daunger, ageyn ther wille, to take feyned pleyntes in the courtes of the hundred ther ageyn the seid frendis, tenauntes, and servauntes of your seid besecher, whiche dare not apere to answere for fere of bodily harme, ne can gete no copiis of the seid pleyntes to remedi them be the lawe, because he that kepyth the seid courtis is of covyn with the seid misdoers, and was on of the seid ryseres, which be coloure of the seid pleyntes grevously amercy the seid frendes, tenauntes, and servauntes of your seid besecher, to the[ir] outrageous and importabille hurte.

Please it your hynesse, consideryng that if this gret insurreccyon, ryottis, and wrongis, and dayly continuans ther of so heynosly don a geyn your crowne, dignite and peas, shuld not be your hye myght be duly punysshed, it shall gefe grett boldnesse to them, and alle other mysdoers to make congregacyons and conventicles riottously, on abille to be seysed, to the subversyon and finall distruccyon of your liege peple and lawes: And also, how that your seid besecher is not abille to sue the commone lawe in redressyng of this heynos wrong, for the gret myght and alyaunce of the seid Lord: And also, that your seid besecher canne have non accyon be your lawe ageyn the seid riotous peple for the godis and catellis be hem so riottously and wrongfully take and bore awey, because the seid peple be onknowe, aswelle here names as here persones, on to hym;—To purvey, be the avyse of the Lordis spirituall and temporall assembled in this present Parlement, that your seid besechere may be restoryd to the seid godis and catellis thus riottously take away; and that the seid Lord Molyns have suche comaundment that your seid besecher be not thus with force, in maner of werre, hold oute of his seide maner, contrary to alle your statutes mad ageyn suych forcibille entrees and holdyngs; and that the seid Lord Molyns and his servauntes be sette in suche a rewle, that your seid besechere, his frendis, tenauntes, and servauntes, may be sure and saffe from hurt of here persones, and pesibly ocupy here londs and tenements under your lawes with oute oppressyoun or onrightfull vexasioun of any of hem; and that the seid riseres and causeres 130 therof may be punysshed, that other may eschewe to make any suche rysyng in this your lond of peas in tyme comyng. And he shalle pray to God for yowe.

127.1 [Add. Charter 17,240, B.M.] The date of this petition must be during the sitting of Parliament, in the beginning of the year 1450. The first expulsion of John Paston from Gresham is here clearly dated in February 1448. The ‘October last’ in which he re-entered might, so far as appears in this petition, have been in the same year, but the letters referring to this dispute in 1449 compel us to put it a twelvemonth later.

127.2 A.D. 1448.

128.1 Bands of white woollen cloth?

128.2 Pavises were large shields.

128.3 Crome is a Norfolk word, signifying a staff with a crook at the end of it.

128.4 This person was returned to Parliament for Norwich in October 1450.

128.5 Battle-axes.


To my rytz wurchipful mayster, Jon Paston, be this delyvered in hast.

FEB. 21

Ryt wurchipful hosband, I recommawnd me to zu, desyryng hertyly to heryn of zour wele fare, preying zu to weten that I commawndyd Herry Goneld to gon to Gunnore to have copys of the pleyntes in the hundrede, and Gunnore was not at home; but the seyd Herry spake with his clerk, and he told hym pleynly he wost wele his mayster wuld not late hym have no copys, thow he wor at home, tyl the nexst hundred; qher for I send zou that byl that was wownd abowt the relefys. Custans, Mak, and Kentyng wold adysavowyd here swtes rytz fayn the last hundred, as I herd sayn of rytz thryfty men; but the Lord Moleynys men thrett hem that bothe they xuld ben betyn and lesen here hows and lond and alle here goods, but if [unless] they wold avow it; and after that Osborn was gon, Hasard130.2 intretyd Kentyng and Mak to avow the swtys after that they hadde disavowyd itt, and zave hem mony to zef to the clerkes to entren azen the pleyntes. But if130.3 ze seke a remedy in hast for to remeve itt, I soppose they wyl distreyn for the mersymentes er the nexst hundred.

As for Mak, he gate respyt that he xuld not sew tyl the nexst hundred. As for Herry Goneld, he was dystreynyd zysterday for rent and ferm, and he must pay it to morue, xxijs., or elles lesyn his dystresse. They gadder mony fast 131 of all the tenawntes. All the tenawntes ben chargyd to pay al her rent and ferm be Fastyngong Sonday.131.1 It ys told me that the Lord Moleynys xuld kepe his Fastyngong att Jon Wynters plase.

The seid Lordes men haddyn a letter on Thursday last past; qhat tydyngs they hadde I wote nott; but on the nexst moruenyng be tymys Thomas Bampton, a man of the Lord Moleynys, rod with a letter to his lord, and they that ben at Gressam waytyn after an answer of the letter in hast. Barow, and Hegon, and all the Lord Moleynys men that wer at Gressam qhan ze departyd hens bene there styll, save Bampton, and in his stede is kom another; and I here sey thei xul abyd here styll tyl her lord kom  .  .  .  .131.2 to Barow as ze komawndyd me to weten quhatt the cawse was that thei thrett men  .  .  .  .131.2 Goneld and other of zour servawnts and wele willers to zow, the qheche wer namyd to hym that were thrett.  .  .  .  .131.2 [s]wore pleynly that they were never thrett; but I know veryly the contrary, for of his owyn felaschep lay[d] in awayt sondery dayis and nytis abowt Gunnelds, Purrys, and Bekks plasis, and som of them zedyn in to Bekks and Purrys [ho]usys, bothen in the hallys and the bernys, and askyd qher thei were, and thei were answeryd that they were owth; and thei seydyn azen that they xuld meten with hem another tyme. And be dyvers other thyngs I know, if thei mytz aben kawt, other [either] they xuld aben slayn or sor hurt.

I sent Kateryn on this forseyd masage, for I kowd geten no man to do it, and sent with her Jamys Halman and Herry Holt; and sche desyryd of Barow to have an answer of her masage, and if these forseyd men mytz levyn in pese for hem, and seyd ther xuld elles ben purveyd other remedy for hem. And he made her grett chere, and hem that wer ther with her, and seyd that he desyryd for to spekyn with me, if it xuld ben non displesans to me; and Kateryn seyd to hym that sche supposyd that I desyryd not to speken with hym. And he seyd he xuld com forby this plase on huntyng after non, and 132 ther xuld no mor com with hym but Hegon and on of his owyn men; and than he wold bryng seche an answere as xuld plese me. And after none they come hydder, and sent in to me to weten if thei mytz speken with me, and praying that thei mytz speken with me, and they abedyn styl with owtz the zatys; and I kam owth to hem, and spak with hem with owt, and prayid hem that thei wold hold me exkusyd that I browth hem not in to the plase. I seyd in as meche as thei wer nott wele wyllyng to the gode man of the plase, I wold not take it up on me to bryng hem in to the jantylwoman. They seyd I dede the best, and than we welk forthe, and desyryd an answer of hem for that I hadde sent to hem for. Thei sayd to me thei had browtz me seche an answer as thei hopyd xuld plese me, and told me how thei had comownd with all her felaschep of soche materis as I had sent to hem fore, and that thei durst under take that ther xud no man ben hurt of hem thatt wer rehersyd, ner no man that longeth to zu, nother for hem ner non of her felaschep, and that they answeryd me be her trowthis. Never lese I trest not to her promese, in as meche as I fend hem ontrew in other thyngs.

I conseyvyd wele be hem that they wer wery of that thei haden don. Barow swor to me be his trowth that he had lever than xls., and xl. that his lord had not comawndyd hym to com to Gressam; and he seyd he was rytz sory hidderward, in as meche as he had knowleche of zw before, he was rytz sory of that that was don. I seyd to hym that he xuld have compascion on zu and other that wer disseysyd of her lyvelode, in as meche as he had ben dissesyd hym self; and he seyd he was so, and told me that he had sewyd to my Lord of Suffolk dyvers tymys, and wold don tyl he may gete his gode azen. I seyd to hym that ze had sewyd to my Lord Moleynys dyvers tymys for the maner of Gressam syth ze wer dissesyd, and ze cowd never gete no resonabyl answer of hym; and ther fore ze entred azen, as ye hopid that was for the best. And he seyd he xuld never blame my Lord of Suffolk for the entre in his lyvelode, for he seyd my seyd lord was sett ther up on be the informacion of a fals schrew; and I seyd to hym in lyke wyse is the matier be twyx the Lord 133 Moleynys and zu. I told hym I wost wele he sett never ther upon be no tytyl of rytz that he hadde to the maner of Gressam, but only be the informacion of a fals schrew.133.1 I rehersyd no name, but me thowt be hem that thei wost ho I ment. Meche other langage we hadde, qhyche xuld taken long leysyr in wrytyng. I rehersyd to hem that it xuld abe seyd thatt I xuld not longe dwell so ner hem as I dewe and they for swer it, as thei do other thyngs more that it was never seyd, and meche thyngs that I know veryly was seyd.

I here seyn that ze and Jon of Damme ben sore thrett alway, and seyn thow ze ben at London, ze xul ben met with ther as wele as thow ze were her; and ther for I pray zu hertyly be ware how ze walk ther, and have a gode felaschep with zu qhan ze xul walk owt. The Lord Moleynys hathe a cumpany of brothell with hym that rekk not qhat they don, and seche ar most for to drede. Thei that ben at Gressam seyn that they have not don so moche hurte to zu as thei were commawndyd to don. Rabert Lauerawns is wele amendyd, and I hope xall recure. He seyth pleynly he wyl compleyn of his hurt, and I soppose Bek wyl compleyn also, as he hath cause. Bek and Purry dare not abyd att hom tyl thei here other tydyngs. I wold not Jon of Damme xuld com hom tyl the cuntre be storyd otherwyse than it is. I pray Godde grawnt that it mot sone ben otherwyse than it is. I pray zu hertyly that ze wil send me word how ze don, and how ze spede in zour materis, for be my trowth I kan not ben wel att ese in my hert, ner not xal ben tyl I here tydynges how ze don. The most part of zour stuff that was at Gressam is sold, and zovyn away. Barow and his felaw spak to me in the most plesawnt wyse, and me semyth be hem thei wold fayn plese me. Thei seyd thei wold do me servyse and plesans, if it lay in her powres to don owth for me, save only in that that longeth to her lordes rytz. I seyd to hem, as for seche servys as they had do to zw and to me, I desyr no mor that thei xuld do nother to zw ner to me. Thei seyd I myt an had of them att Gressham qhat I hadde desyryd of hem, and 134 had as moche as I desyryd. I seyd, nay; if I mytz an had my desyr, I xuld nother a departid owth of the place, ner from the stuff that was ther in. Thei seyd, as for the stuff it was but esy. I seyd ze wold not a zoven the stuff that was in the place qhan thei com in, not for Cli. Thei seyd the stuff that thei sey [saw] ther was skars worth xxli. As for zour moder and myn, sche faryth wel, blissid be God, and she had no tydynges but gode zett, blissid be God. The blissyd Trynyte have zou in his kepyng, and send zou hele, and gode spede in al your maters. Wretyn at Sustede,134.1 on the Satyrday next after Seynt Valentynys day.

Here dare no man seyn a gode wurd for zu in this cuntre, Godde amend it. Yowres,     M. P.

130.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] From an allusion in the latter part of this letter, it is evident that it was written in 1450, after Margaret had been driven out of Gresham, as mentioned in John Paston’s petition, No. 102 preceding.

130.2 William Hasard.—See Letter No. 88.

130.3 But if, i.e. unless.

131.1 Fastyngong was a popular name for Shrovetide. Fastingong Sunday I believe to have been the Sunday after Shrove Tuesday, which would be the 22nd of February in 1450.

131.2 Mutilated.

133.1 John Heydon, Esq. of Baconsthorpe, appears to have been the person referred to.—See No. 135 following.

134.1 Sustead was John Damme’s place (see Blomefield, viii. 168). It is in the immediate neighbourhood of Gresham.


Sir John Fastolf to Sir Thomas Howys, Clerk, William Cole, and Watkyn Shipdam.


The beginning of this letter, which is more than half lost by mutilation, speaks of ‘a bill in the Parliament of the extortions done [to me]’ from the 17th year [of Henry VI.] hitherto. The rest seems to be partly memoranda of things to be entered in this ‘bill,’ viz. of sheep distrained at Drayton, of a matter of trespass between Lady Bardolf and Fastolf, of ‘Chevers mater in Blyclyng,’ of an unpaid annuity at Hiklyng, of decays at Tichewell, etc. They are to learn from Nich. Bokkyng, to whom the £100 for Busshop was paid. Thinks two men should occupy Castre and Wynterton which Broun holds alone. It is too much for one to occupy well; ‘and in the same wise at Heylesden and Drayton.’ Let me know what Lampet has done in my matter, and if you find him friendly. Both my ships have arrived in safety, thank God.

London, 7 March 28 Henry VI. Signed.

134.2 [MS. Phillipps, 9735, No. 225.]



To John Paston, dwellyn in the Inder In of the Tempyll, att London, be thys letter delyverd in hast.


Son, I grete yow, and send yow Godds blyssyng, and myn; and as for my doughtyr your wyfe, che faryt well, blyssyd be God, as a woman in hyr plyte may do, and all your sonys and doughtrys.

And for as meche as ye will send me no tydyngs, I send yow seche as ben in thys contre. Rychard Lynsted cam thys day fro Paston, and letyt me wete that on Saturday last past Dravale, halfe brother to Waryn Harman, was takyn with enemyis, walkyn be the se syde, and have hym forthe with hem; and they tokyn ij. pylgremys, a man and a woman, and they robbyd the woman, and lete hyr gon, and ledde the man to the see, and whan they knew he was a pylgreme, they geffe hym monei, and sett hym ageyn on the lond. And they have thys weke takyn iiij. vesselys of [i.e. off] Wyntyrton; and Happysborough and Ecles men ben sore aferd for takyn of mo [i.e. more (?)], for ther ben x. grete vesselys of the enemyis; God yeue grace that the see may be better kepte than it is now, or ellys it chall ben a perlyous dwellyng be the se cost.

I pray yow grete well your brethyrne, and sey hem that I send hem Goddis blyssyn and myn; and sey William that if Jenett Lauton be not payd for the krymson cort wheche Alson Crane wrote to hyr for in hyr owyn name, that than he pay hyr, and see Alson Cranys name strekyn owt of hyr boke, for che seithe che wyll aske no man the money butt Alson Crane. And I pray yow that ye wyll remembr the letter that I sent yow last, and God be with yow.

Wretyn att Norwyche, the Wedenesday next before Sent Gregory. Augnes Paston.

135.1 [From Fenn, iii. 304.] Fenn assigns this letter to the year 1458, but not very confidently. The similarity of its contents, in part, to those of the letter immediately following, appears to me to render the year 1450 the more probable date.



To my rytz worchypful maystyr, Jon Paston, be this delyveryd in hast.


Rytz worchipful hosbond, I recomawnd me to yow, desyring hertyly to her of zour wellfar, &c.136.2  .  .  .  .  Wyllyam Rutt, the whiche is with Sir Jon Hevenyngham, kom hom from London zesterday, and he seyd pleynly to his master, and to many other folks, that the Duke of Suffolk is pardonyd, and hath his men azen waytyng up on hym, and is rytz wel at ese and mery, and is in the Kyngs gode grase, and in the gode conseyt of all the Lords, as well as ever he was.

Ther ben many enemys azens Yermowth and Crowmer, and have don moche harm, and taken many Englysch men, and put hem in grett distresse, and grettely rawnsommyd hem; and the seyd enmys been so bold that they kom up to the lond, and pleyn hem on Caster Sonds, and in other plases, as homely as they were Englysch men. Folks ben rytz sore afred that they wel don moche harm this somer, but if [i.e. unless] ther be made rytz grett purvyans azens hem.

Other tydyngs know I non at this tym. The blysseful Trinyte have zow in his kepyng.

Wryten at Norwyche, on Seynt Gregorys day. Yowrs,     M. P.

136.1 [From Fenn, i. 28.] The reference to the Duke of Suffolk’s pardon proves this letter to have been written in the year 1450.

136.2 Here Fenn has omitted a passage, relating, as he says, to some common business about Paston’s farms and tenants.



Sir Jo. Fastolf to Sir Thos. Howys, Parson of Castlcombe, Will. Coke, and Watkin Shypdam.


Bids ‘Sir Parson’ send in all haste ‘the utmost knowledge of all grievances’ done to him by John Heydon this thirteen years. You have sent me the costs of the pleas, but not declared particularly how often I have been wrongfully distrained by the enforcing of the said Heydon. ‘I took never plea in the matter because the world was alway set after his rule, and as I would have engrossed up [upon] my bill.’

London, 16 April 28 Henry VI.

Search the accounts of Drayton Heylesdon, &c., these thirteen years.

137.1 [From a modern copy by Blomefield on the fly-leaf of a Letter addressed to him. Headed, ‘Gave this original letter of Sir John’s to Sir Andrew Fountain.’—MS. Phillipps, 9735, No. 229.]


To my right trusty and right enterly welbeloved frend, John Paston, Squier.


Right t[r]usty and enterly welbeloved frend, I grete you welle, and wyll ze wite that a man of Osberd Monford hath declared me how the said Osberd is infourmed that Danyelle shuld be pourposed to enter in the place of Braystone. And as fer as I can undirstande, Danyelle is come in to this cuntre, for none other cause but for to have suche as the Kyng hath gifen hym in Rysyng, which lieth not in me ner in none of the Kynges subgectes to go ageyns hise graunte and plesaunce. And in cas the said Danyelle wold enter upon the said Osberd otherwise than lawe wold, seyng the said Osberd is my tenaunt and homager, it is my part to 138 holde with hym rather than with Danyelle in hise right, which I wylle do to my pouer. And as zet I can not apperceyve that Danyelle wylle labore in any maters in this cuntre; and if he wylle be of good governance, I am wel paied. And in cas that he wold do wrong to the lesse gentilman in the chirre, it shal not lye in hise pouer be the grace of God. He letethe me wite that he wylle be wel governed in tyme commyng.

Right trusty and enterly wel beloved frend, I pray God have you in hise governance. Writen at Midelton, the xxij. day of Aprille. Scales.

137.2 [Douce MSS. 393, f. 100.] It appears by a paper, which will be found further on (No. 119), that Daniel entered the manor of Braydeston or Brayston during the Parliament which was held at Leicester in the spring of 1450. This letter must have been written at that time.


To my right trusty and welbeloved frende, John Paston, Squier.

Year uncertain

Right trusty and welbeloved frend, I grete you hertly wel, and wul ye wite that Wotton is ever creyng and callyng upon me to write un to you for hise londe; wherfore at the reverence of Good, consideryng the symplenesse of hem all, I pray you that ye put hem at a certen, and lete hem all that they aught to have of right, for thaire creyng cause men to thinke ye do hem grete wrong, which I wote wel ye wold be sory to do.

Oure Lord have you in hise governance. Writen at Midelton, the xvj. day of October. Youre frende,     Scales.

138.1 [From Fenn, iii. 364.] This and the six letters following, all but one of which are, like the last, written by Lord Scales to John Paston, are placed here merely for convenience, the years in which they were written being quite uncertain, though probably not very far apart. The one letter among them of which Lord Scales is not the writer, is inserted in abstract on account of its bearing on that which immediately precedes it.


To my right trusty and enterly welbeloved frend, John Paston, Squier.

Year uncertain

Right trusty and enterly welbeloved frend, I grete you welle; and for as mych as there is vareaunce betwene William Wotton and hise moder and the fermour there, wherfore I pray you that ze wyll [fynde]138.3 a weye accordyng to 139 right for to put hem in rest and pees. For in as mych as they be yo[ur] tenantes, ze aught to have the reule of them before any other, praying you to do youre part to put hem oute of trouble.

I pray God have you in hise governance. Writen at Midelton, the xiij. day of Aprille. Youre frend,     The Lord Scales.

138.2 [Douce MS. 393, f. 99.]

138.3 Mutilated.


To my ryght trusti and wel beloved frend, John Paston, Sqyer.

Year uncertain

Right trusty and wel beloved frend, I comande me to you, and for certain maters that I have for to do, for the which ma[ters I] sende unto you a squier of myne called Elyngham; praying you to gefe hym faythful credence of that he shall declare you on myne behalfe as for this tyme. God have you in Hise keping. Writene at Midleton, the xviij. day of Julle. —Yowre frend,     Scales.

139.1 [MS. in Pembroke College, Cambridge.] This letter evidently was written in the same year as the next, but there is no evidence what that year was. Below the signature is a note in a modern hand erroneously identifying the writer with Anthony Woodville, Lord Scales. He was certainly Thomas, Lord Scales, of Henry VI.’s time.


To [my] right trusty and welbeloved frend, John Paston, Squier.

Year uncertain

Right trusty and welbeloved frend, I grete you welle; and as touchyng the mater that Elyngham and ze comuned to giders of the last tyme he was with you, I pray you that ze wylle assigne such a day as you liketh best, so that it be with inne this viij. dayes, and sende me worde what day ze wylle be here be the bringer herof.

I pray God have you in governance. Writen at Midelton, the iij. day of August. Youre frend,     Scales.

139.2 [Douce MS., f. 101.]



To my right trusty and welbeloved frend, John Paston, Squier.

Year uncertain

Right trusty and welbeloved frend, I grete you wel; and for as myche as there is certayn vareaunce betwene Elizabeth Clere and a servaunt of myne, called William Stiwa[r]desson, prayng you feithfully that ze wylle labore and intrete the said Elizabeth to such appointement as the brynger of this letter shal informe you of, and do your trewe dilligence in this mater, as ze wyll I do for you in any thyng ze may have ado in this cuntre, whiche I will do with al my herte.

Oure Lord have yow in hise keping. Writen at Myddelton, the last day of August. Scales.

140.1 [Douce MS. 393, f. 102.]


Elizabeth Clere to John Paston.

Year uncertain

Stywardesson came to her on Easter even to church, and made a very humble submission. He at first denied having slandered her, or said that he was beaten, only that he was sore afraid; but at last acknowledged he had untruly charged her men with coming into his place with force and arms, and that he was beaten, for which his master took an action against her. Called her tenants to bear witness to his recantation. Said she would give him no answer now but by advice of her friends, and his master must leave his maintenance. Promised him an answer on Saturday in Easter week. He told another man that Heidon promised his master it should be put in award by Palm Sunday; ‘for he is double both to him and to me, and so is William Geney and mo of my counsel.’ He is willing to make a release. His barn which his men entered to distrain, he says, is frank, and he may give the rent when he pleases. Wishes Paston’s advice what answer to make. —Easter Monday.

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



To my right trusty and wel be loved frend, Jhon Paston, Squier.

Year uncertain

Right trusty and wel beloved frend, I grete you wel, thankyng you hertely for the gentilnes and good wylle I have founde in you at alle tymes. And for as myche as I and other stonde feffed in the landes of Thomas Canon, which is in vareaunce betwene you and hym, if ye wylle do so myche as for your part chese ij. lerned menn and the said Canon shal chese other ij., they to juge this mater as they shal seme of right and resoun. And if so be that the said Canon wylle not do so, I wylle not lete you to suye hym after the forme of the Kynges lawe. And if ze thinke it to many lerned men, take ze one, and he another; and if they may not accorde, ze and I to be umpere, for we stande bothe in like cas. And we shal make a good ende be the grace of oure Lord, which have you in hise governance.

Writen at Midelton, the ix. day of Octobre. Zowr frend,     Scales.

141.1 [Douce MS. 393, f. 103.]


To my right trusty and welbeloved frend, John Paston, Squier.

Year uncertain

Right trusty and welbeloved frende, I grete you hertly well, praying you that ye wyll sende me a coppie of the awarde that was made be you and my cousyn Sir Miles141.3 betwex my cousyn Bryan Stapylton and Elizabeth Clere, and that ze wyll sende me the said awarde be the bringer herof. I pray God have you in governance.

Writen at Midelton, the ix. day of Novembre. Scales.

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

141.3 Sir Miles Stapleton.



The copie of a notable Lettre, written by the Duke of Suffolk to his Sonne,142.2 giving hym therein very good counseil.142.3


My dere and only welbeloved sone, I beseche oure Lord in Heven, the Maker of alle the world, to blesse you, and to sende you ever grace to love hym, and to drede hym; to the which, as ferre as a fader may charge his child, I both charge you, and prei you to sette alle spirites and wittes to do, and to knowe his holy lawes and comaundments, by the which ye shall with his grete mercy passe alle the grete tempestes and troubles of this wrecched world. And that also, wetyngly, ye do no thyng for love nor drede of any erthely creature that shuld displese hym. And there as any freelte maketh you to falle, be secheth hys mercy soone to calle you to hym agen with repentaunce, satisfaccion, and contricion of youre herte never more in will to offend hym.

Secondly, next hym, above alle erthely thyng, to be trewe liege man in hert, in wille, in thought, in dede, unto the Kyng oure alder most high and dredde sovereygne Lord, to whom bothe ye and I been so moche bounde to; chargyng you, as fader can and may, rather to die than to be the contrarye, or to knowe any thyng that were ayenste the welfare or prosperite of his most riall person, but that as ferre as your body and lyf may strecthe, ye lyve and die to defende it, and to lete his highnesse have knowlache thereof in alle the haste ye can.

Thirdly, in the same wyse, I charge you, my dere sone, alwey, as ye be bounden by the commaundement of God to do, to love, to worshepe youre lady and moder, and also that ye 143 obey alwey hyr commaundements, and to beleve hyr councelles and advises in alle youre werks, the which dredeth not, but shall be best and trewest to you. And yef any other body wold stere you to the contrarie, to flee the councell in any wyse, for ye shall fynde it nought and evyll.

Forthe[rmore],143.1 as ferre as fader may and can, I charge you in any wyse to flee the company and councel of proude men, of coveitowse men, and of flateryng men, the more especially and myghtily to withstonde hem, and not to drawe, ne to medle with hem, with all youre myght and power. And to drawe to you and to your comp[any good]143.1 and vertuowse men, and such as ben of good conversacion, and of trouthe, and be them shal ye never be deseyved, ner repente you off. [Moreover never follow]143.1 youre owne witte in no wyse, but in alle youre werkes, of suche folks as I write of above, axeth youre advise a[nd counse]l;143.1 and doyng thus, with the mercy of God, ye shall do right well, and lyve in right moche worship, and grete herts rest and ease. And I wyll be to you as good lord and fader as my hert can thynke.

And last of alle, as hertily and as lovyngly as ever fader blessed his child in erthe, I yeve you the blessyng of oure Lord and of me, which of his infynite mercy encrece you in alle vertu and good lyvyng. And that youre blood may by his grace from kynrede to kynrede multeplye in this erthe to hys servise, in such wyse as after the departyng fro this wreched world here, ye and thei may glorefye hym eternally amongs his aungelys in hevyn.

Wreten of myn hand,

The day of my departyng fro this land.143.2 Your trewe and lovyng fader,     Suffolk.

142.1 [From Fenn, i. 32.] The date of this letter is sufficiently clear from the last words of it.

142.2 John de la Pole, who succeeded him as Duke of Suffolk.

142.3 This heading looks as if copied by Fenn from an endorsement, which is probably not quite contemporaneous.

143.1 These words in brackets were chafed and illegible in the original MS.

143.2 According to William Worcester, the Duke embarked on Thursday, the 30th April.



To owre Ryght trusty and right welbeloved Frend, Johan Paston, Esquier.

The Erle of Oxenford.


Right tristy and welbeloved frend, we grete you right hertily well. And for asmuche as we be enformed that on [one] Thomas Kecham, a servaunt of owre right welbeloved brothir, Sir Richard de Veer, knyght, hath to done with Sir Henry Inglose knyght in a certeyn matier in wich youre good maisterschep may cause his singuler ease and a vaile as anenst the said knyght, as Thomas Kecham hath enformed us; We pray you hertily that, at the reverence of us and this oure writyng, ye woll take the labour upon you to speke unto the said Sir Henry, conceyving a mene and the weye of an ende to be had be twix thaym of right, causyng the said knyght to sease of hese malice and wrongful suette as a nenst the said Thomas. And ferthermore we pray you to see that the said knyght take no benefeys ne prevayle not as a nenst the Gaoyler of the Castell of Norwich for the suerte of the said Thomas Kecham, as we verily trust ye will; in wich feithfully doyng we shall kun you hertily thanke. And right trusty and welbeloved, the Trynitie have yow in Hese kepyng. Wreton at oure Manour of Wevenhoo, the last day of Aprill.

Below the text of this letter is written in another hand, ‘Smalwode Sparhawk.’

144.1 [Add. MS. 34,888, f. 164.] This letter cannot be later than 1451, as Sir Henry Inglose died in June of that year. The date may be about 1450, like that of some other letters of the Earl of Oxford.

in wich feithfully doyng we shall kun you hertily thanke
text unchanged (expected editorial gloss)




A paper of memoranda in William Worcester’s handwriting, of which the principal contents are as follows:—

A commission of oyer and terminer, dated 1 August 28 Henry VI.—A session at Swaffham, on Thursday after the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, 29 Henry VI. (17 September 1450).—A note of six other sessions:— 1. At Norwich before the Duke of Norfolk, the Earl of Oxford and Yelverton, Tuesday after St. Mathias’ day, 29 Henry VI. (2 March 1451); 2. At Norwich, before Oxford and Yelverton, Monday after St. Martin in Winter, 29 Henry VI. (16 November 1450); 3. At Norwich, before Oxford and Yelverton, Wednesday after the Conception of St. Mary (15 December), continued seven days; 4. At Lynn, before Oxford, Scales, and Yelverton, Tuesday after Epiphany (13 January); 5. At Norwich, before John Prysot and Yelverton, Thursday in Easter week, 29 Henry VI. (29 April 1451); 6. At Walsingham, before Scales and Prysot, Monday in crastino clausi Paschæ (3 May 1451).

‘Parliamentum apud Leyseter —— anno xxviijº.—Durante illo Parliamento intravit T. Daniell manerium de Braydeston.—Will’us, Dux Suff’ obiit tertio die Maii anno xxviijº Regis Henry VIti.—Jak Cade, proditor de Kent, fugit de le Blakheth xxij. die Junii anno xxviij. H. VI., [ ] Julii mense decapitatus fuit.—Injuria Plumbsted post hoc (?)’—Mundford and Heydon entered Braysto[ne] on the eve of the Nativity of St. Mary anno 29 (7 September 1450). Thomas Danyell entered Braydeston a second time, 30 Henry VI.

Between Mich. 30 and 31 Henry VI. (1451 and 1452) Norfolk, Oxford, Scales, and a great number of others were at Norwich holding sessions. The same year ‘John P.’ was with John, Earl of Oxford, at Whevenho on the Nativity of St. Mary (8 September). The same year, before all these things, Thomas Danyell was married at Framlyngham.

‘Testimonium Commissionariorum et cognitio Milonis Stapulton quo ad impanellationem juratorum.

‘Item, testimonium concilii quoad mutationem actionum in indictamentis et recordum apparet et declaratio Johannis Geney facta Thomæ Gurney.

‘Item, testimonium concilii et Thomæ Grene quoad absenciam Johannis Porter. Et testimonium hominum de Bliclyng. Item, missio pro Johanne Porter pro pecunia et placito proprio. (Memorandum, quando Porter fuit juratus, J. Andru fuit extractus de indictamento.)

‘Item, testimonium juratorum de non procuratione. Et indictamentum Johannis Andrew in Suff. causa fugationis ejus.

‘Item, antiquum debat’ supposit’ inter Andrews et Porter erat pro districtione capta de Johanne Andrews apud Weston pro debito domini Bardolf; pro qua causa idem Johannes Andrews implacitare vellet dictum Johannem Porter ad terminum (?) nisi pro dicto domino Bardolf; sic dictus Andrews continuavit 146 maliciam suam erga prædictum Johannem Porter, et e contra quod et malicia Heydon erat causa conspiracionis per ipsum.  .  .  .’

[As this document is a key to the dates of several of the letters during the years 1450 to 1452, we have thought it best to insert it in the beginning of the period to which it refers, instead of the date at which it may be supposed to have been written.]

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


To my ryght worchipfull John Paston, at Norwich.


Ryght worchipfull sir, I recomaunde me to yow, and am right sory of that I shalle sey, and have soo wesshe this litel bille with sorwfulle terys, that on ethes ye shalle reede it.

As on Monday146.2 nexte after May day there come tydyngs to London, that on Thorsday146.3 before the Duke of Suffolk come unto the costes of Kent full nere Dower with his ij. shepes and a litel spynner; the qweche spynner he sente with certeyn letters to certeyn of his trustid men unto Caleys warde, to knowe howe he shuld be resceyvyd; and with hym mette a shippe callyd Nicolas of the Towre, with other shippis waytyng on hym, and by hem that were in the spyner, the maister of the Nicolas hadde knowlich of the dukes comyng. And whanne he espyed the dukes shepis, he sent forthe his bote to wete what they were, and the duke hym selfe spakke to hem, and seyd, he was be the Kyngs comaundement sent to Caleys ward, &c.

And they seyd he most speke with here master. And soo he, with ij. or iij. of his men, wente forth with hem yn here bote to the Nicolas; and whanne he come, the master badde hym, ‘Welcom, Traitor,’ as men sey; and forther the maister desyryd to wete yf the shepmen woldde holde with the duke, and they sent word they wold not yn noo wyse; and soo he was on the Nicolas tyl Saturday146.4 next folwyng.


Soom sey he wrotte moche thenke [thing] to be delyverd to the Kynge, but thet is not verily knowe. He hadde hes confessor with hym, &c.

And some sey he was arreyned yn the sheppe on here maner upon the appechementes and fonde gylty, &c.

Also he asked the name of the sheppe, and whanne he knew it, he remembred Stacy that seid, if he myght eschape the daunger of the Towr, he should be saffe; and thanne his herte faylyd hym, for he thowghte he was desseyvyd, and yn the syght of all his men he was drawyn ought of the grete shippe yn to the bote; and there was an exe, and a stoke, and oon of the lewdeste of the shippe badde hym ley down his hedde, and he should be fair ferd wyth, and dye on a swerd; and toke a rusty swerd, and smotte of his hedde withyn halfe a doseyn strokes, and toke awey his gown of russet, and his dobelette of velvet mayled, and leyde his body on the sonds of Dover; and some sey his hedde was sette oon a pole by it, and hes men sette on the londe be grette circumstaunce and preye. And the shreve of Kent doth weche the body, and sent his under shreve to the juges to wete what to doo, and also to the Kenge whatte shalbe doo.

Forther I wotte nott, but this fer (?) is that yf the proces be erroneous, lete his concell reverse it, &c.

Also for alle your other maters they slepe, and the freer147.1 also, &c.

Sir Thomas Keriel147.2 is take prisoner, and alle the legge harneyse, and abowte iij. ml. [3000] Englishe men slayn.

Mathew Gooth147.3 with xvc. [1500] fledde, and savyd hym selffe and hem; and Peris Brusy was cheffe capteyn, and hadde x. ml. Frenshe men and more, &c.

I prey yow lete my mastras your moder knowe these tydyngis, and God have yow all yn his kepyn.

I prey yow this bille may recomaunde me to my mastrases your moder and wyfe, &c.


James Gresham hath wretyn to John of Dam, and recomaundith hym, &c.

Wretyn yn gret hast at London, the v. day of May, &c. By yowr wyfe.148.1     W. L.

146.1 [From Fenn, i. 38.] The date of this letter is perfectly determined by the events to which it relates.

146.2 4th May.

146.3 30th April.

146.4 2nd May.

147.1 An allusion to Friar Hauteyn’s suit or Oxnead.

147.2 Sent to France to carry succours to the Duke of Somerset, but defeated and taken prisoner at the battle of Fourmigni, 15th April 1450.

147.3 Matthew Gough, a celebrated captain in the French war.

148.1 This singular subscription Fenn believes to have been owing to a momentary forgetfulness on the part of the writer, William Lomner, who had been in the habit of acting as Margaret Paston’s secretary in writing to her husband.


To my right worshupfull cosygne, John Paston of Norwyche, Squyer.


Right worshupfull sir, I recomaunde me unto yow in the most goodly wyse that y can; and forasmuche as ye desired of me to sende yow worde of dyvers matirs here, whiche been opened in the Parliament openly, I sende yow of them suche as I can.

First moost especiall, that for verray trowthe upon Saterday148.3 that last was, the Duke of Suffolk was taken in the see, and there he was byheded, and his body with the appurtenaunce sette at lande at Dover, and alle the folks that he haad with hym were sette to lande, and haad noon harme.

Also the Kyng hath sumwhat graanted to have the resumpsion agayne in summe, but nat in alle, &c.

Also yef ye purpose to come hydre to put up your bylles, ye may come now in a good tyme; for now every man that hath any, they put theme now inne, and so may ye, yif ye come with Godds grace to your pleasur.

Ferthermore, upon the iiijth day of this monthe, the Erle of Devenesshire148.4 come hydre with iijc. [300] men wel byseen, &c.

And upon the morow after my Lord of Warrewyke148.5 with iiijc. [400] and moo, &c.


Also, as hyt ys noysed here Calys shal be byseged withynne this vij. dayes, &c.

God save the Kyng, and sende us pees, &c.

Other tithyngs be ther noon here, but Almyghty God have yow in his kepyng.

Writen at Leycestre, the vj. day of May. Your cosigne,     John Crane.149.1

148.2 [From Fenn, i. 44.] The date of this letter, as of the preceding, is clearly proved by internal evidence.

148.3 2nd May.

148.4 Thomas Courtenay.

148.5 Richard Nevill.—See Letter 98.

149.1 Probably John Crane of Woodnorton, of whom there are some notices in Blomefield (Hist. Norf. viii. 313, 316; x. 282).


Sir John Fastolf to Sir Thos. Howys, Parson of Castlecombe, ‘being at Castre.’


Begs him to solicit the expedition of the matters of which he wrote since Easter.—Debts of Thos. Symmys for rents and sale of wools not yet paid to F. in Dedham.—As for the matter of Rydlyngfold and Hykele, ‘seth it ys soo the world is changed gretely over it was, y pray you, and charge you, parson, labour ye to my frendz Lampet and others’ to get a copy of their evidences; for ‘howbeit the said prioress say that her evidence be in the Duke of Suffolk’s keeping or his counsel,’ she had a book in which all the evidence is copied. The thing would have been sped long ere this, if ‘my Lord Norwich[’s] Chancellor’ or Master Pope, had labored as they promised. For God’s sake send me a good answer. ‘If an inordinate book be made, remembering the deliverance’ of cloths, &c. into F.’s wardrobe, let the indentures be engrossed. Wonders Howys cannot furnish him with a full account of the damages sustained by F. and his tenants these ten or twelve years past. He has only sent a declaration of costs in defending some of them. Get a letter of Nich. Bokkyng of the £100 to whom it was paid.

London, 7 May 28 Henry VI. Signed.

149.2 [MS. Phillipps, 9735, No. 223.]



To my maister Paston.

MAY 13

I  recomaund me unto your good maistership; and as for tidings, Arblaster come home to my Lord150.2 on Munday, at sopertyme; and my Maister Danyell150.3 is Styward of the Duche of Lancastre by yonde Trent, and Arblastr seith he hath made me his undirstyward.

And as for the Chamberleynship of Inglond, the Lord Beamond150.4 hath it, and the Lord Rivers150.5 Constable of Inglond.

As for the Duche on this side Trent, Sir Thomas Tudenham had a joynte patent with the Duke of Suffolk,150.6 which, if it be resumed, Sir Thomas Stanley hath a bille redy endossed therof.

My lord wole not to Leicestre.150.7 My Maister Danyell desireth yow thedir. I shall ride thiderward on Friday by tymes.

Wretyn in hast at Wynche,150.8 the xiij. day of May.

I pray yow to thynk upon my mater to my mastresse your wyf, for my mastresse Anne, for in good feith I haf fully 151 conquered my lady sith ye went, so that I haf hir promisse to be my good lady, and that she shall help me by the feith of hir body. Your servant,     Denyes.

150.1 [From Fenn, i. 162.] This letter, which Fenn vaguely assigned to the latter part of the reign of Henry VI., may be pretty safely attributed to the year 1450. The mention of Lord Rivers and the Duke of Suffolk could not have been earlier than 1449, as the one was only created lord, and the other duke in 1448, and at a later date than the 13th of May. The reference to the Duke of Suffolk again is not likely to have been long after his decease. Further, there is a strong presumption, from Monday being spoken of as a past date, and Friday as a future, that the letter was written on a Wednesday. Had it been on a Tuesday or Thursday, Monday would have been spoken of as ‘yesterday’ or Friday as ‘to-morrow.’ Now, the 13th of May was a Wednesday in 1450. The changes in officers of state mentioned in this letter are, therefore, those consequent on the fall of the Duke of Suffolk. There is, besides, as will be seen by a foot-note, an allusion to the Parliament at Leicester.

150.2 John de Vere, 12th Earl of Oxford.

150.3 Thomas Daniel.—See p. 80.

150.4 John, Viscount Beaumont.

150.5 Richard Woodville, created Baron Rivers 29th May 1448; afterwards earl.

150.6 William de la Pole.—See p. 80, Note 2.

150.7 Parliament was sitting at Leicester in May 1450.

150.8 A seat of the Earl of Oxford, near King’s Lynn, in Norfolk.


To our right trusty and intierly welbeloved John Paston, Esquyer.

Year uncertain

Right trusty and right intierly welbeloved, we grete you hertly wele. And it is so, as ye know wele your self, we haf and long tyme haf had the service of Thomas Denyes, by continuance wherof we wend to haf had his attendaunce at our lust; and nevertheless we haf so strictly examynid his demenyng that we fele and pleynly conceyve that the love and effeccion which he hath to a gentilwoman not ferre from yow, and which ye be privy to, as we suppose, causith hym alwey to desire toward your cuntre, rather than toward suych ocupacion as is behovefull to us. We write therfore to yow, prayng yow hertly as ye love us, that it like you to do that labour at our instaunce be suych men [mean] as your wisdom can seme, to meve that gentilwoman in our behalf for the wele of this mater, undirtakyng for us that we wole shew our bounte to thaym bothe, if it plese hir that this mater take effect, so that be reason she shall haf cause to take it in gree. And if the comyng thider of our persone self shuld be to plesir of hir, we wole not leve our labour in that: wherfore we pray you that ye wole do your part heryn, as ye wole we do for yow in 152 tyme comyng, and that ye se us in hast. The Holy Trinite kepe yow. Wretyn at Wevenho, the xvij. day of May. The Erle of Oxenford.     Oxenford.

151.1 [From Fenn, iii. 360.] This letter cannot well be of the same year as the last, but is probably not many years earlier, and certainly not many years later. The reasons against its being of the same year are—first, that it seems to be implied in the letter preceding that the Earl of Oxford was at Winch, near Lynn, in Norfolk, on the 13th May 1450, which makes it improbable that he would be at Wivenhoe in Essex four days after; and, secondly, that he is not likely to have offered to go into Norfolk (especially after having just come out of Norfolk) on a matter touching the private affairs of one of his own adherents, when he declined to go to the Parliament at Leicester.


To my trusty and welbelovyd frende, Sir Thomas Howys, Parson of Castellcombe.

MAY 27

Trusty and welbelovyd frende, I grete you well.152.2  .  .  .  .  And I pray you sende me word who darre be so hardy to keck agen you in my ryght. And sey hem on my half that they shall be qwyt as ferre as law and reson wolle. And yff they wolle not dredde, ne obey that, then they shall be quyt by Blackberd or Whyteberd; that ys to sey, by God or the Devyll. And therfor I charge yow, send me word whethyr such as hafe be myne adversaries before thys tyme, contynew still yn her wylfullnesse, &c.

Item, I hyre oft tymys manye straunge rapports of the gouvernaunce of my place at Castre and othyr plasys, as yn my chatell approvyng,152.3 yn my wynys, the kepyng of my wardrobe and clothys, the avaylle152.4 of my conyes at Haylysdon, &c., and approwement152.3 of my londys; praying you hertly as my full trust ys yn you to help reforme it, and that ye suffre no vityouse man at my place of Castre abyde, but well gouverned and diligent, as ye woll aunswer to it.

Allmyghty God kepe you. Wryt at London, xxvij. day of Maij anno xxviijº regni Regis Henrici VI. John Fastolf, Kt.

152.1 [From Fenn, i. 52.]

152.2 Here, says Fenn, follow some orders respecting his affairs at Caister.

152.3 Approving lands or chattels meant turning them to profit, and in the former case commonly implied increasing the rents.

152.4 Use or profit.



To my ryght honurabyll maister, John Paston.

(written in 1465)

Ryght honurabyll and my ryght enterly bylovyd maister, I recomaunde me un to yow, with al maner of due reverence, in the moste louly wyse as we ought to do, evermor desyryng to here of your worshipfull state, prosperite, and welfar; the which I beseke God of his aboundant grace encrece and mayntene to his moste plesaunce, and to your hartis dssyre.

Pleasyth it your gode and gracios maistershipp tendyrly to consedir the grete losses and hurts that your por peticioner haeth, and haeth jhad evyr seth the comons of Kent come to the Blakheth,153.2 and that is at xv. yer passed, whereas my maister Syr John Fastolf, Knyght, that is youre testator,153.3 commandyt your besecher to take a man, and ij. of the beste orsse that wer in his stabyll, with hym to ryde to the comens of Kent, to gete the articles that they come for. And so I dyd; and al so sone as I come to the Blakheth, the capteyn153.4 made the comens to take me. And for the savacion of my maisters horse, I made my fellowe to ryde a wey with the ij. horses; and I was brought forth with befor the capteyn of Kent. And the capteyn demaundit me what was my cause of comyng thedyr, and why that I made my fellowe to stele a wey with the horse. And I seyd that I come thedyr to chere with my wyves brethren, and other that were my alys and gossippes of myn that were present there. And than was there oone there, and seid to the capteyn that I was one of Syr John Fastolfes men, 154 and the ij. horse were Syr John Fastolfes; and then the capteyn lete cry treson upon me thorought all the felde, and brought me at iiij. partes of the feld with a harrawd of the Duke of Exetter154.1 before me in the dukes cote of armes, makyng iiij. Oyes at iiij. partes of the feld; proclaymyng opynly by the seid harrawd that I was sent thedyr for to espy theyre pusaunce, and theyre abyllyments of werr, fro the grettyst traytor that was in Yngelond or in Fraunce, as the seyd capteyn made proclaymacion at that tyme, fro oone Syr John Fastolf, Knyght, the whech mynnysshed all the garrisons of Normaundy, and Manns, and Mayn, the whech was the cause of the lesyng of all the Kyngs tytyll and ryght of an herytaunce that he had by yonde see. And morovyr he seid that the seid Sir John Fastolf had furnysshyd his plase154.2 with the olde sawdyors of Normaundy and abyllyments of werr, to destroy the comens of Kent whan that they come to Southewerk; and therfor he seyd playnly that I shulde lese my hede.

And so furthewith I was taken, and led to the capteyns tent, and j. ax and j. blok was brought forth to have smetyn of myn hede; and than my maister Ponyngs, your brodyr,154.3 with other of my frendes, come and lettyd the capteyn, and seyd pleynly that there shulde dye a C. or ij. [a hundred or two], that in case be that I dyed; and so by that meane my lyf was savyd at that tyme. And than I was sworen to the capteyn, and to the comens, that I shulde go to Southewerk, and aray me in the best wyse that I coude, and come ageyn to hem to helpe hem; and so I gote th’articles, and brought hem to my maister, and that cost me more emongs the comens that day than xxvijs.

Wherupon I come to my maister Fastolf, and brought hym th’articles, and enformed hym of all the mater, and counseyled hym to put a wey all his abyllyments of werr and the olde 155 sawdiors; and so he dyd, and went hymself to the Tour, and all his meyny with hym but Betts and j. [i.e. one] Mathew Brayn; and had not I ben, the comens wolde have brennyd his plase and all his tennuryes, wher thorough it cost me of my noune propr godes at that tyme more than vj. merks in mate and drynke; and nought withstondyng the capteyn that same tyme lete take me atte Whyte Harte in Suthewerk, and there comandyt Lovelase to dispoyle me oute of myn aray, and so he dyd. And there he toke a fyn gowne of muster dewyllers155.1 furryd with fyn bevers, and j. peyr of Bregandyrns155.2 kevert with blew fellewet [velvet] and gylt naile, with legharneyse, the vallew of the gown and the bregardyns viijli.

Item, the capteyn sent certeyn of his meyny to my chamber in your rents, and there breke up my chest, and toke awey j. obligacion of myn that was due unto me of xxxvjli. by a prest of Poules, and j. nother obligacion of j. knyght of xli., and my purse with v. ryngs of golde, and xvijs. vjd. of golde and sylver; and j. herneyse [harness] complete of the touche of Milleyn;155.3 and j. gowne of fyn perse155.4 blewe furryd with martens; and ij. gounes, one furryd with bogey,155.5 and j. nother lyned with fryse;155.6 and ther wolde have smetyn of myn hede, whan that they had dyspoyled me atte White Hart. And there my Maister Ponyngs and my frends savyd me, and so I was put up tyll at nyght that the batayle was at London Brygge;155.7 and than atte nyght the capteyn put me oute into the batayle atte Brygge, and there I was woundyt, and hurt nere hand to deth; and there I was vj. oures in the batayle, and myght nevyr come oute therof; and iiij. tymes before that tyme I was caryd abought thorought Kent and Sousex, and ther they wolde have smetyn of my hede.


And in Kent there as my wyfe dwellyd, they toke awey all oure godes mevabyll that we had, and there wolde have hongyd my wyfe and v. of my chyldren, and lefte her no more gode but her kyrtyll and her smook. And a none aftyr that hurlyng, the Bysshop Roffe156.1 apechyd me to the Quene, and so I was arestyd by the Quenes commaundment in to the Marchalsy, and there was in rygt grete durasse, and fere of myn lyf, and was thretenyd to have ben hongyd, drawen, and quarteryd; and so wold have made me to have pechyd my Maister Fastolf of treson. And by cause that I wolde not, they had me up to Westminster, and there wolde have sent me to the gole house at Wyndsor; but my wyves and j. coseyn of myn noune that were yomen of the Croune, they went to the Kyng, and got grase and j. chartyr of pardon. Per le vostre,     J. Payn.

153.1 [From Fenn, i. 54.] This letter was actually written in the year 1465; but as the circumstances to which it relates belong to the year 1450, and are connected with the memorable insurrection of Jack Cade, we have thought it right, as Fenn did, to place it under the earlier year.

153.2 Jack Cade and his followers encamped on Blackheath on the 11th June 1450, and again from the 29th of June to the 1st July. Payn refers to the latter occasion.

153.3 Sir John Fastolf (who is dead at the date of this letter) left Paston his executor, as will be seen hereafter.

153.4 Jack Cade.

154.1 Henry Holland, Duke of Exeter. During the civil war which followed, he adhered to the House of Lancaster, though he married Edward IV.’s sister. His herald had probably been seized by Cade’s followers, and pressed into their service.

154.2 Sir John Fastolf had a residence in Southwark.

154.3 Robert Poynings, who, some years before this letter was written, had married Elizabeth, the sister of John Paston, was sword-bearer and carver to Cade, and was accused of creating disturbances on more than one occasion afterwards. He was slain at the second battle of St. Albans on the 17th Feb. 1461.

Final sentence added by editor in Errata; see also note 135.1 in Volume III.

155.1 ‘A kind of mixed grey woollen cloth, which continued in use to Elizabeth’s reign.’—Halliwell.

155.2 A brigandine was a coat of leather or quilted linen, with small iron plates sewed on.—See Grose’s Antient Armour. The back and breast of this coat were sometimes made separately, and called a pair.—Meyrick.

155.3 Milan was famous for its manufacture of arms and armour.

155.4 ‘Skye or bluish grey. There was a kind of cloth so called.’—Halliwell.

155.5 Budge fur.

155.6 ‘Frieze. A coarse narrow cloth, formerly much in use’— Halliwell.

155.7 The battle on London Bridge was on the 5th July.

156.1 Fenn gives this name ‘Rosse’ with two long s’s, but translates it Rochester, from which I presume it was written ‘Roffe’ for Roffensis. The Bishop of Rochester’s name was John Lowe.


To my right worshipfull [mai]ster John Paston at Wynchestre be this delyuered.


After al due recomendacion had, I recomaunde me to yow and prey yow to wete that Heydon seweth in his accion a geynst Osebern x. tales retournable xva. Johannis. Ideo mittetur vel loquatur Vicecomiti Norffolk, &c. And I suppose that as for Costardis accions thei wole have nisi prius, &c. As touchyng the matier of Oxened the frere156.3 157 leveth his delagacie a abideth up on our plee of profession by as meche as we sey that long to fore the writte purchaced he was professed a frere and sey not and yet is professed, &c. And Sotyll and other of your counseill thynk the law is on our syde. Brampton brought me a lettre and a clowt sowed clos with thynggis therin, and a letter endorsed to yow from my maistresse your moder, whiche I sende yow with this. The lord Moleyns man brought ij. writtes to the Shirrefis depute of Norfolk, oon a geynst yow, myn eme157.1 and James Gloys quare clausum suum apud Gresham fregerunt, &c., the othir writte a geynst yow and J. Gloys quare vi et armis in hominis et servientes ipsius apud Gresham insultum fecerunt, &c. And whanne the seid lord Moleyns man delyvered these wrettys, Lomnour stode be side and aspied it. And thanne the seid man desired to have ageyn the writtis, and toke hem a geyn; and whanne he had theym he seid they shuld not come in their handes a vii. nyght after. And so he kepeth theym stille. And Caly and Yates also have promysed me that ther shall no writte be retourned a geyn yow but that ye shall have copies ther of at reasonable tyme to make your avantage as the law wole, &c., to caste your esson157.2 or suyche other, &c. Sir, I prey God yeld yow for your letter ye sent me by Lethom, whiche I receyved yistereuyn right late. Wherby I hope and conceyve that ye be in good cas for your maner of Gr[esham], for truly I was right weel comforted therof. As touchyng Skyner and his borwys the attachementes may not be wretyn but by the recordes of the reconysance, and alle the recordes of Chauncerye be at Wynchestre. Ideo, &c. I prey God be your good speed in all your matiers, Amen. Wretyn in hast at London the Friday next after seint Petir day. —Your servant,     J. Gresham.

156.2 [Add. MS. 34,888, f. 73.] The legal proceedings mentioned in this letter show that the year is the same as that of Gresham’s other letter immediately following (No. 128).

156.3 John Hauteyn.

157.1 ‘eme,’ i.e. uncle.

157.2 Essoin, a legal expression, meaning an excuse admitted for non-appearance in Court.



To my Maister Whyte, Esquyer, with my Lord Cardynall,158.2 for to take to John Paston.


After al due recomendacion, I recomaund me to yow, and do yow wete that this same Wednesseday I receyved your lettre whiche was wretyn on Saterday last passed, wherby ye willed me to send yow worde of your matiers, &c. As touchyng the frere,158.3 he abydeth in lawe up on our plee of profession, like as I sent yow word by wrytyng, whiche I sent yow in a box with other stuf by a man of the Archedeken of Rychemond. I endorsed it thus, ‘To William Plumstede, with my Lord of Winchestre,158.4 or to John Paston.’

We shuld have amendet our plee of profession, but thanne your counseyll fereth he wolde take an issue that he is not professed, and that shuld158.5 be tried by the certificat of the Dean of Poulys, sede vacante; and therfore we abide in lawe, and wole not amende our plee. The day of th’assises in Norffolk is die Veneris proximo post Festum Nativitatis Beatæ Mariæ apud Norwicum, and Costards nisi prius is take owt ageynst that day, and Prentis nisi prius ageynst Halman also.

As touchyng the sute ageyns Osebern and Foke, he hath geve day xv. Johannis with x. tales, as I have wretyn to yow to fore this tyme; and I suppose that he wole have a nisi prius of the same atte seid assises. As touchynge the fyn in the Kyngs Benche for Osebern and Foke, the fyne were cessed this terme, but I hadde no leyser to talke with Croxton ther of 159 yet, &c. Your bedfelawe seigh bothe my other writynge and this, and he recomaundeth hym to yow, and shuld have wretyn to yow, if he had not be prevy to my writyng. Ye ar meche hold to hym, for he is diligent for yow, &c.

As touchyng Drewe Barantyn, I myght not yet speke with hym, &c. Circumspecte agatis, and be war of lordis promysses, for it is tolde me in counseil ther is a writte of forcyble entre159.1 in framyng ageynst yow.

Almyghty God be your gyde. Wretyn in hast with inne an hour after the resceyte of your lettre, at Wesminster, the Wednesseday next after Seint Thomas day.159.2 Yours James Gre.

158.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter appears to have been written in the year 1450, when Gresham was in London looking after John Paston’s interests in various lawsuits. Mr. White, to whom it is directed for the purpose of being conveyed to Paston, was a servant of Cardinal Kemp, who had been made Lord Chancellor in the beginning of the year. It is evident from other letters that John Paston took counsel of the Lord Chancellor’s servant in his causes.

158.2 Cardinal Kemp.

158.3 John Hawteyn.—See Nos. 46 and 63.

158.4 William of Waynflete, Bishop of Winchester.

158.5 The word ‘it’ is interlined in the original after ‘shuld,’ but is clearly superfluous.

159.1 For Gresham?

159.2 The translation of St. Thomas was on the 3rd July.

The day of th’assises in Norffolk is die Veneris proximo
text has “aie” (Italic “a” for “d”)


James Gresham to [John Paston?].

About 1450

Inquiry made as to the injury of Sporle wood for lack of hedging. The three years’ growth of the wood availeth no man. The farmers now cannot sell it the better, so it must be either to your hurt or Halman’s. Hopes the wastes at Cressingham will be amended. Your tenants are treated unfairly about the Sheriff’s turn by those of the Prior of Norwich and John Coo. Can get no money, for Fulchier hopes he is not so far in arrear as you think. Halman can get no money; his corns are so cheap he will not sell, but he hopes to make purveyance at Michaelmas.

Calybut says he never asked the Vicar of Sporle to be bound for him. They will meet with me at Gressenhale on St. Bartholomew’s day and seal the other part, so that they have notice from you at Swaffham Market, Saturday next before.

Accounts of Sneylewell, Cressingham, and Sparham on the back.

[We have placed this letter after the preceding as being probably not many years apart from it in date, if not the very same year. The name of Halman occurs in both, and also in a letter of the Vicar of Sporle, which will be found a little further on.]

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



Sir J. Fastolf to Sir Thomas Howys, Parson of Castlecombe, at Caister.

AUG. 8

Has sent home letters by John Bedford. Sends by the bearer Thomas Medew eight writs of ‘green wax’160.2 for certain processes he has in Norfolk, with a distringas for Sir John Shypton, which he must get served with the advice of Thomas Grene and other of Fastolf’s trusty friends. The inquest must be certified of the truth and Shypton’s falsehood proved. Will give his testimonial, when needful, ‘that I never sealed none such quittance.’ Let Greene correct the roll of articles I send by Bedford. I hear you have omitted several of the extortions done to me (in margin, ‘eyer and determiner’). London, 8 August 28 Henry VI.

Let Master Doket have a copy of the evidence of Rydlyngfeeld.

‘Item, purvey me at the leest v. doseyn long bowes, with shot longyng thertoo. And purveyeth also quarell160.3 hedys to be made ther, for the price ys derer heer then ther; and let no langage be had of ordenances makyng.’ Signed.

160.1 [MS. Phillipps, 9735, f. 224.]

160.2 Writs under the seal of the Court of Exchequer, which was of green wax, directing the sheriff of a county to levy certain fines.

160.3 See page 101, Note 3.


To my right especiall maister, John Paston,160.5 in hast.

AUG. 19

Ryght worthy worshipfull sir, and myn especiall maister, I recomaund me to yow, and pray yow wete that I was [yesterdaye atte]160.6  .  .  .  .160.6 my lord Chauncellers160.7 hous, and there I spake with White; and he tolde me that he hadde the letter that ye sewed for from 161 .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .161.1 directed to the Lord Moleyns of that substance that ye hadde sued to hym for an especiall assise161.2 and an oier and determiner,161.3 [and]161.1  .  .  .  .  .161.1 that he shuld comaunde his men beyng at Gresham to departe thens, and that the profitez thereof shuld be receyved by an endifferent [person]161.1  .  .161.1 saufly to be kepte til the right were determyned be twen yow and my Lord M., &c., whiche letter White sente forthe [by]161.1 a man of my Lord Chaunceller to the Lord Moleyns. And he sent his answer in writyng of this substance, that it shuld not like my Lord Chaunceller to graunte assise, &c., for als moche as the Lord M. hadde sore be laboured in his cuntre to peas and stille the poeple161.4 there to restreyngne them from rysyng, and so he was dayly laboured there abowt in the Kynggs servyce, and that considered, he trustid veryly that there shuld non assise be graunted to your entent. And he seid forther in his answer, if he myght attende to be in Norffolk, and leve the necessary servyce that he dede to the Kyng now in Wyltshire, he wolde be but weel pleased that ye hadde your assise; for he knewe his title and his evydence so good for his part, that he durst weel putte it in my Lord Chaunceller, and in what juge he wolde calle to hym. And wher my Lord Chaunceller desired hym to avoyde his men from Gresham, he trustid that my Lord wolde not desire that, by cause he hadde his possession, and that it was his wyffs ryght, and so hym thought it a geynst reason that he shuld a voide utterly his possession.

This same Moneday goth my Lord Chaunceller and my Lord of Buk161.5 into Kent to sytte up on an oier and determyner161.6 162 at Rorchestre; and Whyte told me that there is wretyn an generall oier and determyner to be in Norffolk, and what ther[fore]162.1 and for the Lord Moleyns writyng, hym semyth it is not to your avayll to sewe for an especiall assise, ne for an oier and determyner.

Whan I come hiddirward, I mette with my Lord of Norffolk betwen Berkewey and Baburgham homward, and whethir he shall come agayn hiddir or noght I wot not, but I trowe rather yes thanne nay; for it is seid that alle the Lords be sent for to be here on Moneday or Tuysday next comyng for a counseyll.

The Chief Justice162.2 is not here, ne noon other Justice, except Danvers162.3 is now made Juge of the Comune Place, and is forth into Kent with the Lords, &c.

Al this tofore was wretyn on the Moneday next after our Lady day. And this same Wednesseday was it told that Shirburgh162.4 is goon, and we have not now a foote of londe in Normandie, and men arn ferd that Calese wole be beseged hastily, &c.

Pynchamour shall telle yow by mowthe more thanne I have leyser to write now to yow. I wrot to myn em’162.5 that there were ix. or x. ml. [nine or ten thousand] men up in Wiltshire, and I hadde it of the report of Whittocks mede; but I trowe it is not so, for here is now littel speche therof; ner the lesse, if I here more, I shall sende yow worde her after by sum loders that come to Seynt Bertilmews [fayre].162.1

Wretyn in hast at London, the Wednesseday next after our Lady day, &c. Your own symple servaunt,     James Gr.

160.4 [From Fenn, iii. 86.] The date of this letter is ascertained by the news contained in the last paragraph of the fall of Cherbourg, besides other internal evidence.

160.5 ‘After John Paston had received this letter,’ says Fenn, ‘it seems as if he had sent it to my Lord Oxford, for on the back of it, in John Paston’s handwriting, is the following direction: “To the rith worspfull and my rith speciall lord, my Lord of Oxenford.”’

160.6 These passages, in which the text is broken by brackets or dots, are indicated by Fenn as illegible in the original.

160.7 John Kemp, Cardinal Archbishop of York, afterwards of Canterbury.

161.1 These passages, in which the text is broken by brackets or dots, are indicated by Fenn as illegible in the original.

161.2 A writ directed to the sheriff for recovery of possession of things immoveable, whereof yourself or ancestors have been disseised. —F.

161.3 Is a commission especially granted to certain persons for the hearing and determining of causes, and was formerly only in use upon some sudden outrage or insurrection in any place. —F.

161.4 These disturbances among the people were the remains of Cade’s rebellion, which had been lately suppressed. —F.

161.5 Humphrey Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, fell in the battle of Northampton in July 1460. —F.

161.6 These commissions of oyer and determiner were to try those who had been concerned in the late rebellion under Cade. —F.

162.1 See Note 1, p. 161.

162.2 John Hody was at this time Chief Justice of the King’s Bench. —F.

162.3 Robert Danvers became a Judge of the Common Pleas 14th of August 1450. —F.

162.4 Cherbourg surrendered to the French on the 12th August 1450.—See Stevenson’s Reductio Normanniæ, p. 367.

162.5 ‘Quære this abbreviated word,’ says Fenn. It is probably eme, meaning uncle.



To my right trusty and intierly welbeloved John Paston, Squyer.

AUG. 21

Right trusty and intierly welbeloved, I grete yow wele, and wole and pray you that ye dispose your self to be with my Lord of Norffolk in al hast goodly, to that intent that where it was desired by dyvers gentilmen of this shire163.2 that I shuld my self a be with his Lordship at Framyngham, to excuse me to his Lordship; for truly I haf suych writyn to my said Lord for myn excuse, which writyng I send to yow by Thomas Denyes, to whome I pray you to gif credens. And the Trinite kepe yow. Wretyn at Bury Seynt Edmond, the xxj. day of August.

I pray you to speke with Sir Miles Stapilton and Brewes, and to delyver to thaym my lettres, wherof I send you copies, and make Brewes to send over a man to me with th’entent of my Lord of Norffolk, and with th’effect of your deligens, with a more credible message than Brewes ded to my wif; for I had never a wers jurney for a jape in my lif, ne a lewder, as ye shal wele conceyve. Oxenford.

163.1 [Douce MS. 393, f. 88.] From the similarity of the contents of this and the two following letters, it is evident that they belong to the same year; and the mention of Thomas Denyes, from whom the Earl of Oxford was afterwards estranged, proves that it must have been before 1454. In the summer of 1450, there was disaffection in Norfolk, which led to the issuing of a special commission of oyer and terminer in September. These three letters may, therefore, have belonged to that year.

163.2 ‘This shire’ should be Suffolk, as the Earl dates from Bury St. Edmunds, but I should think Norfolk was intended, which the Earl had probably just left on his way up to London. Compare next number.



To my ryght trusti and wyth all myn hert intyerly welbelovyd Sir Mylys Stapelton, Knyght.

AUG. 21

Ryght trusty and wyth all myn hert entierly welbelovyd, I grete yow wele, and wol that ye wete that a gentelman of your ally haghe [hath] ben wyth me, at whos instans and steryng and by hese good avyes I wold ful fayne amet [have met] wyth yow at Framyngham; but I may no lenger abyde here for the strayte comaundment that I have to be wyth the Kyng. Wherfore I pray yow to comown wyth Brews and Paston, and to put in artycles be ther avyses and be your wysdom the indisposicion of the people of this counte, and what were most necesary to be desierid of the Kyng and of my Lordis of the Councell for the restreynte of ther mourmour and the peas, and to sende it me be the brynger herof, to whom I pray yow gef credens. And the Holy Ternyte kepe yow. Wretyn at Wynche, the xxj. day of August.

To my ryght trusty and entierly welbelovyd Thomas Brewes, Squyer.

Ryght trusty and intyerly welbelovid, I grete yow wele. And for as mouche as ye were with my wyf at Wynche in the name and behalve of the substaunce of the gentelys of this shyer, and cause my wyf to wryte to 165 me for to turne agayn into Norffolk, be wheche wrytyng, and be your report it semyd to me that a gret asemble had be purposid wythin the counte heer. I therfore sayd unto yow, wolyng and mevyng yow aftyr your trowth, and as ye know, that ye do put in artycles the indisposicion of the people, and what your avyce is to be do for the restreynyng of the same; and this articles I pray yow set to your seal, and cause other gentelmen with wham ye have comonyng set ther seales, for this is necessary, and that I may schew it to the Kyng and to my Lordis of hese Councell, and that I fayle not here of for your honeste and myn excuse. And the Ternyte kepe yow. Wreten at Wynche, the xxj. day of August.

164.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The two letters following are from contemporaneous copies written on the same paper. Being dated the same day as the preceding letter of the Earl of Oxford, and addressed to the two persons named in the postscript, we should have every reason to suppose they are the copies there mentioned, were it not for the circumstance that the Earl of Oxford’s seat at Wynche, near Lynn, in Norfolk, must have been a good day’s journey from Bury St. Edmunds. The internal evidence, however, is in other respects so strong that we have no doubt at all upon the subject. The difficulty as to the date may be accounted for by supposing that these two letters were really written at Wynche the day before, but that the date 21st August was filled in by the Earl at Bury St. Edmunds at the time he despatched his letter of the same date to John Paston.



Ryght high and myghty Prynce and my right good Lord, I recomaunde me un to youre good Lordshep. And for asmouch as I am enformed [that] certeyn notable knyghtis and squyers of this counte dispose thaym self to be with youre Lordshep in hasty tyme at Fram[yngham], theer to have comonyngs with youre good Lordshep for the sad rule and governaunce of this counte, wych standyth ryght  .  .  .  .  .  indisposyd, God amend it; for qwych sad rule and governaunce to be had I wold full fayn a ben with your good [Lordship]. But for asmouch as the Kynge hath geve to me straitly in charge to be with hys Highnesse at Westminstre on Saterda[y].  .  .  .  .  .  [I must] departe towards London. Therfore therof I beseche your good Lordship that ye vouchesaf to comon with the seyd k[nyghtes and squyers] as with your 166 feytfull servaunts; and I trost to God to se youre good Lordship at Framyngham as I shall  .  .  .  .  .  And yf your Lordshep seme necessary that I now beynge at Westminster shall any thynge laboure or des[ire for the rule] and governaunce of the counte forsayd, or for reformacion of suche wronge as the peples herts most agrugge as  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  lyke that I meve to the Kynge and the Lordes of the Counceyll, so wyll I meve, and none otherwyse as  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  Wheryn I beseche your grace to know your entente by the brynger her of. And my service is redy to your Lords[hip]  .  .  .  .  .  mercy who kepe who kepe166.1 nebbey (?) for hese grace.

165.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This would seem by internal evidence to be the letter of excuse written by Oxford to the Duke of Norfolk, which the Earl mentions in his letter to John Paston of the 21st August. The original from which it is taken is a copy without signature or address, and mutilated in the margin.

166.1 So in MS.


Un to the right reverent fadir in God and my right gracioux Lord, the Cardinal Archebisshop of York, Prymat and Chaunceller of Inglond.


Besecheth mekely John Paston that where Robert Hungerford, Knyght, Lord Molens, and Alianore, his wyff, late with force and strength, and grete multitude of riottous peple, to the noumbre of a thousand persones and mo, gadered by th’excitacion and procuryng of John Heydon166.3 a yenst the Kynggs pees, in riotous maner entred up on your seid besecher and othir enfeoffed to his use in the manoir of Gresham with th’appurtenaunces in the shire of Norffolk; whiche riotous peple brake, dispoiled, and drew doun the place of your seid besecher in the seid toun, and drafe out his wiff 167 and servauntes there beyng, and ryfled, took, and bare awey alle the goodes and catalx that your seid besecher and his servauntes hadde there to the value of ccli. [£200] and more; and the seid manoir, after the seid riottous entre, kept with strong hande in manere of werre, as weel ayenst your seid besecher and his feffees, as ayenst oon of the Kyngges justicez of the pees in the seid shire, that come thedir to execute the statutes ordeigned and provyded ayenst suche forcible entrees and kepyng of possessions with force, as it appiereth by recorde of the seid justice certifyed in to the Chauncerie; and yet the seid Lord Molens the same manoir kepith with force and strengthe ayenst the fourme of the seid statutes: Please it your reverent Faderhood and gracioux Lordship, these premisses considered, to graunte on to your seid besecher for his feffees by hym to be named a special assise167.1 ayenst the seid Lord Molens, Alianore, and John Heidon, and othir to be named by your seid besecher, and also an oyer and determyner167.2 ayenst the seid Lord Molens, John Heidon, and othir of the seid riotous peple in like fourme to be named, to enquere, here and determyn all trespaces, extorcions, riottes, forcible entrees, mayntenaunces,167.3 champerties,167.4 embraceries,167.5 offenses, and mesprisions167.6 by hem or ony of hem doen, als weel atte sute of our sovereign Lord the Kyng, as of your seid besecher and his seid feffees, and every of hem, or of ony othir of the Kyngges lieges: atte reverence of God, and in weye of charite.

166.2 [Add. Charter 17,239, B.M.] This is a bill addressed to Cardinal Kemp as Lord Chancellor, to which reference will be found to be made in the succeeding letter. Kemp was appointed Lord Chancellor on the 31st January 1450. The acts here complained of were therefore those connected with Paston’s second expulsion from Gresham.

166.3 John Heydon, Esq. of Baconsthorpe, a lawyer, who was recorder of Norwich from 1431 to 1433, and sheriff in 1431–2.

167.1 See p. 161, Note 2.

167.2 See p. 161, Note 3.

167.3 Unlawful support given to a disputant by one not concerned in the cause.

167.4 Bargains made with litigants for a share in what may be gained by the suit.

167.5 Attempts to corrupt juries.

167.6 Treason or felony committed by oversight or wilful neglect of a duty.



The copie of the letter of J. P.


James Gresham, I prey yow laboure forth to have answer of my bille for myn especial assise, and the oyer and termyner,168.2 accordyng to my seid bille that I delyvered to my Lord Chaunceler,168.3 letyng hym wete that his Lordship conceyved the graunt of suyche a special matier myght cause a rumour in the cuntre. Owt of dowte the cuntre is not so disposed, for it is desired ageyn suche persones as the c[untre] wolde were ponysshid; and if they be not ponysshid to refourme that they have do amysse, by liklynesse the cuntre wole rise up on th[em]. Men talke that a general oier and termyner is graunted to the Duke of Norfolk, my Lord of Ely, the Erll of Oxenford, the Lord Scales, Sir John Fastolf, Sir Thomas Fulthorp, and William Yelverton, and men be right glad therof. Yet that notwithstondyng, laboure ye forth for me. F[or] in a general oyer and termyner a supersedeas may dassh al, and so shall not in a special. And also if the justicez come at my request, they shall sytte als long as I wole, and so shall thei not by the generall. And as for commyssioners in myn, &c., Sir John Fastolf must be pleyntyf als weel as I my self, and so he may not be commyssioner; and as for alle the remenant, I can thynke them indifferent inow in the matier, except my Lord Scales, whos wyff is aunte to the Lady Moleyns.

And as for that the Lord Moleyns hath wretyn that he dar put the matier in awarde of my Lord Chaunceler, and in what juge he wole take to hym, &c. (which offre as I suppose shall be tolde to yow for to make yow to cesse your labour), thanne 169 lete that be answerid, and my Lord Chaunceller enfourmed thus: The matier was in trete by th’assent of the Lord Moleyns a twene his counseil and myn, whiche assembled at London xvj. dyvers dayes, and for the more part there was a sergeant and vj. or vij. thrifty apprentisez; at whiche tyme the Lord Moleyns title was shewed, and clerly answerid, in so meche that his own counseil seide they cowde no forther in the matier, desiryng me to ride to Salesbury to the Lord Moleyns, promyttyng of their part that thei wolde moeve the Lord Moleyns, so that thei trusted I shuld have myn entent or I come thens; of whiche title and answer I send yow a copie that hath be put in to the Parlement, the Lord Moleyns being there present, whereto he cowde not sey nay. Also by fore this tyme I have agreed to put it in ij. juges, so thei wolde determyne by our evydences the right, moevyng nother partie to yeve other by ony mene, but only the right determyned, he to be fully recompensed that hath right. Whereto he wold not agree, but alle tymes wolde that thoe juges shulde entrete the parties as they myght be drawe to by offre and profre to my conceyte as men bye hors. Whiche matiers considerid, my counseil hath alwey conceyved that the tretees he offred hath be to non othir entent but to delaye the matier, or ellis to entrete me to relese my damages, for title hath he non. And he knowith weel the title shall never better be undirstond thanne it hath be by his counseil and myn atte seid comunycacions. And also my Lord Chaunceler undirstond that the Lord Moleyns men toke and bar away more than ccli. [£200] worth of my goodes and catalles. Wherof I delyvered hym a bylle of every parcell, wherto al the world knoweth he canne make no title. And if he were disposed to do right, my counseil thynketh he shuld restore that, for therfor nedith nowthir comunycacion nor trete. And with owt he wole restore that, I trowe no man can thynk that his trete is to no good purpose.

I preye yow hertily laboure ye so to my Lord Chaunceller that owther he wole graunte me my desire, or ellis that he wole denye it. And lete me have answer from yow in wrytyng how ye spede. If my Lord Chaunceler hath lost my bille that I 170 delyvered hym, wherof I sende yowe a copie, that thanne ye put up to hym an othir of the same, takyng a copie to your self.

Recomand me to my cosyn William Whyte,170.1 and prey hym to gyf yow his help in this, and lete hym be prevye to this letter. And lete hym w[ete] that my cosyn his suster hath childe, a doughter. Wretyn at Norwich, the iiij. day of Septembre.

Dyverse men of my freendis avyse me to entre in to the maner of Gresham by force of my writte of restitution, whiche I wole not do by cause the maner is so decayed by the Lord Moleyns occupacion, that where it was worth to me l. marks clerly by yeer, I cowde not now make it worth xxli.; for whiche hurt, and for othir hurtis, by this special assise I trust to have remedye.

168.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] It is evident that this letter was written partly in answer to Gresham’s of the 19th August 1450. The year is therefore the same. The letter is printed from a copy in Gresham’s handwriting.

168.2 See p. 161, Note 3.

168.3 Cardinal Kemp.—See last No.

170.1 Cardinal Kemp’s servant.—See No. 128.


Sir John Fastolf to Sir Thomas Howys, Thomas Grene, and Watkyn Shypdam.


Has no word from them of the correction and engrossing of the damages done to him by divers men in Norfolk, of part of which he sent a roll to them at Castre a month ago. Sends John Bokkyng for an answer. Was often damaged by the Duke of Suffolk’s officers in Lodylond, both by undue amerciaments and distraining cattle at Cotton, and by the officers of Cossey, of which there should be remembrances at Castre. Wrote also that they should see the Bishop of Norwich about the letter left with him concerning the award of Dedham. Is particularly anxious to know what they have done about Rydlyngfeld, &c. London, 7 Sept. 29 Hen. VI.     Signed.

170.2 [From MS. Phillipps, 9735, No. 245.]



Sir John Fastolf to Sir Thomas Howys, at Castre, or at Pokethorp in Norwich, or at Haylydon Manor.

SEPT. 15

Has received his letter by Thomas Fastolf touching his diligence about the recovery of the letter with the Bishop of Norwich, and of the evidences of Rydlyngfeld, with a copy of a certain indenture which F. has already sealed. Has no answer of the correction of the articles F. sent home to him two months ago. As my Lord of Norfolk is at Norwich to sit upon the oyer and terminer, you must labor to shew forth my grievances. Nothing can be done till after Michaelmas about the venire facias for the jury of Sybton. Has written this week by the Parson of Estharlyng to Berney, who, he hears, has been shewing favor to his adversaries. Refers him further to John Bokkyng, who is now in Norfolk.

London, 15 Sept. 29 Hen. VI.

171.1 [From MS. Phillipps, 9735, No. 253.]


To oure trusty and welbeloved John Paston, Squier.

By the King.

SEPT. 18

Trusty and welbeloved, for asmuche as oure right trusty and welbeloved the Lord Moleyns is by our special desire and comaundement waitting upon us, and now for divers consideracions moeving us, we purpose to sende hym in to certaine places for to execute oure commaundement, for the whiche he ne may be attendant to be in oure countees of Northfolk and Suffolk at the time of oure Commissioners sitting upon oure commission of oier determiner within the same oure counties: We therfore desire and praye that 172 considering his attendance upon us, and that he must applie hym to execute oure commaundement, ye wol respite as for any thing attempting ayenst hym as for any matiers that ye have to do or seye ayenst hym, or any other of his servants, welwillers, or tenaunts, by cause of hym, unto tyme he shal mowe be present to ansuere there unto; wherein ye shall ministere unto us cause of pleasure, and over that, deserve of us right good thanke. Yeven under oure signet at oure Palois of Westmynster, the xviij. day of September.

171.2 [From Fenn, iii. 362.] The bearing of this letter upon the contents of Nos. 135 and 136 proves it to be of the same year.


The Vicar of Sporle to John Paston.

SEPT. 29

Reports the disposition of ‘my master,’ the Provost. Francis Costard brought his evidence to my master’s presence, where it was examined. He wondered what title you would claim to the land. I said, men said it was once free till it was soiled by a bondman. He gave more weight to the evidence of John Aleyn and Nicholas Waterman. Aleyn says he was steward of the manor, in Garleke’s days, forty years, and never knew it claimed for bond ground; and the said Nicholas says it was he who moved your father to buy the manor. Many others have set their seals to corroborate this. Asked him to be good unto Henry Halman, who was amerced in his court for chastising a servant of his, a bondman of yours. My master asked mockingly if a man might not beat his own wife.

Sporle, Michaelmas morning.

[This letter would seem to belong to the same year as No. 128, in which ‘Costard’s nisi prius’ and an action against Halman are referred to. No. 129 also mentions Halman and the writer of this letter.]

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



To my maister Paston in hast.

OCT. 4

Right worshipfull and my right good maister, I recomaund me to you. And like you wete that it is now  .  .  .  .  I haf for Danyels sake put my self withynne the maner of Rydon; and her is with me a kynnesman [of] my mastres your wifes, John Bendyssh. And as yestirday cam John Wodehous with a xij. hors to Geyt[on]; on the othre side cometh Fitz William with xx. hors; and on the third parte, oon Hoberd of Midelton hath redy a xx. felaws; and on the fourth parte, stant the toune of Lynne redy with Herry Wodehous; and thei all be gon thedir this nyght. This day folwyng cometh to thaym Herry Tudenham, William Narburgh, Thomas Trusbut, Thomas Kervile, and Shuldham servauntez, Salesbury and William Owayn. It is so that of my lorde173.2 gete I no socour, and lever I had to dy than gif up the place sith I am ther yn. And I wene if thei gete the place upon me ther helpith my lif no pardon. Wherfore I lowly beseche yow, maister Paston, advertise in your wisdom that this was the first porpose of Tudenham and Heydon whils thei regned, to gete this place; and to that intent thei brought hider the lord Roos, which now is full simpely thought on with my maister that I serve. And ye wete wele that I have most encountred the entent of Tudenham and Heydon of ony pouer man on lyve; And if I be lost or put to an ungoodly rebuke heryn my service is the lesse of valu to you that be gentils of the shire. Wherfore I requyre your maistership to come hider in your persone with suych as ye seme not to that intent to take party in the mater, but to that intent to help to set peas in the shire, and to stire my lord for his honour. For yisterday 174 my lord sent to Lynne and made a cry to be made that he wold be named in the writ of the statute of Northampton, and that cry hath caused the common pople of the toun of Lynne to stere the more. Neverthelesse all the substaunce of the toun is in peas and peasid by the wisdam of the Meir theer, but not for than sum of thaym come with Harry Wodehous, so that I deme he hath a vjxx. persones in all on all sides. I beseche you to send me hider sum socour beside forth, with John Osbern and John Lister with thaym, and come ye aftir a parte by your good wisdome soukyng (sic) their demenynges, and send me your advyse. Wretyn the nyght of the Sunday a forn seynt Feithesday. —Your servaunt,     Thomas Denyes.

This day I deme thei come beforn us. If ye help not now, Tudenham and Heydon shal achieve in their desese the conquest that thei coude never achieve in their prosperite.

173.1 [Add. MS. 34,888, f. 45.] This is evidently the same year as No. 142, in which William Wayte writes to Paston that Denyes ought to withdraw his garrison from Roydon. The MS. is slightly mutilated at the top in the right-hand corner.

173.2 The Earl of Oxford.


To my mayster, John Paston, in ryght gret hast.

OCT. 6

Syr, and it plese, I was in my Lord of Yorks174.2 howse, and I herde meche thynge more thanne my mayster174.3 wrytyth un to yow of; I herde meche thynge in Fletestrede. But, Sir, my Lord was with the Kynge, and he vesaged so the mater that alle the Kynges howshold was and is aferd ryght sore; and my seyd Lord hayth putte a bille to the Kynge, and desyryd meche thynge, qwych is meche after the Comouns desyre, and all is up on justice, and to putte all thos that ben indyted under arest with owte suerte or maynpryce, and to be tryed be lawe as lawe wyll; in so meche that on Monday Sir William Oldhall was with the Kynge atte Westminster more 175 thanne to houres, and hadde of the Kynge good cher. And the Kynge desyryd of Sir William Oldhall that he shuld speke to hese cosyn York, that he wold be good Lord to John Penycock, and that my Lord of York shuld wryte un to hese tenance that they wold suffyr Peny Cocks officers go and gader up hys rents fermes with inne the seyd Dukes lordsheps. And Sir William Oldhall answherd ayen to the Kynge, and preyed hym to hold my Lord escusyd, for thow my Lord wrotte under hese seale of hys armes hys tenantez wyll not obeyet; in someche that whanne Sir Thomas Hoo mette with my Lord of Zork be yon Sent Albons, the Western men felle upon hym, and wold a slayne hym, hadde [not?] Sir William Oldhall abe [have been], and therfor wold the Westerne men affalle up on the seyd Sir William, and akyllyd hym. And so he tolde the Kynge.

Sir Borle Jonge and Josse labour sore for Heydon and Tudenham to Sir Wilem Oldhall, and profyr more thanne to thowsand pownde for to have hese good Lordshep; and therfor it is noon other remedye but late Swhafham men be warned to mete with my seyd Lord on Fryday nest comyng atte Pykenham on horssebak in the most goodly wyse, and putte sum bylle un to my Lord of Sir Thomas Tudenham, Heydon, and Prentys, and crye owte on hem, and that all the women of the same town be there also, and crye owte on hem also, and calle hem extorcionners, and pray my Lord that he wyll do sharp execucyons up on hem. And my mayster counceyll yow that ze shuld meve the Meyer and all the Aldermen with all her Comoners to ryde ayens my Lord, and that ther ben madde byllez, and putte them up to my Lord, and late all the towne cry owte on Heydon, Todenham, Wyndham, and Prentys, and of all here fals mayntenours, and telle my Lord how meche hurte thei have don to the cetye, and late that be don in the most lamentabyl wyse; for, Sir, but yf [unless] my Lord here sum fowle tales of hem, and sum hyddows noys and crye, by my feyth thei arne ellys lyke to come to grace. And therfor, Sir, remember yow of all these maters.

Sir, also I spake with William Norwych, and asked hym 176 after the Lord Moleyns how he stod to my Lord ward; and he told me he was sor owte of grace, and that my Lord of York lovyth hym nought. William Norwych tolde me that he durste undertake for to brynge yow un to my Lord, and make hym your ryght good Lord; and, Sir, my mayster counceyllyd yow that ze shuld not spare, but gete yow hese good Lordshep.

Sir, be war of Heydon, for he wold destroyed yow be my feyth. The Lord Scales and Sir William Oldhall arne made frendys.

Sir, labour ze for [to] be knyth of the shire, and speke to my Mayster Stapulton176.1 also that he be yt; Sir, all Swafham, and they be warned, wyll zeve yow here voyses. Sir, speke with Thomas Denys, and take hese good avys therin. Sir, speke to Denys that he avoyde hys garyson atte Rydon, for there is non other remedy but deth for Danyell, and for all thos that arne indyted. Sir, labour ze to the Meyer that John Dam176.2 or Will Jenney be burgeys for the cetye of Norwych, telle them that he may be yt as well as Yonge is of Brystow, or the Recordor is of London, and as the Recordour of Coventre is for the cite of Coventre, and it so in many places in Ingland. Also, Sir, thynk on Yernemouth that ze ordeyne that John Jenney, or Limnour, or sum good man be burgeys for Yernemouth. Ordeyne ze that Jenneys mown ben in the Parlement, for they kun seye well.

Sir, it wore wysdam that my Lord of Oxenford wayte on my Lord of Yorke. In good feyth, good Sir, thynke on all these maters; meche more I hadde to wryte on to yow, yf I kowde a remembryd me, but I hadde no leyser be my fyth. Hold me escused of my lewde rude wrytyng. Late John Dam be ware for the Lorde Moleyns; and, Sir, late the cetye be ware, for he wyll do hem a velony, but yf he may have hese men; and, Sir, yf he come to Norwych, look there be redy to wayte up on the Mayer a good fellawshep, for it is seyd her that they arne but bestys.


Sir, my mayster bad me wryte un to yow that ze shuld store the Mayer and alle the Alderman to crye on my Lord that they mown have justyce of these men that be indyted, and that my Lorde wyll speke un to the Kynge therof. And, Sir, in divers partes in the town there [where] my Lord comyth, there wolde be ordeyned many porcions of Comeners to crye on my Lord for justice of these men that arne indyted, and telle her nammes, in speciall Todenham, Heydon, Wyndham, Prentys. Sir, I cende yow a copy of the bylle177.1 that my Lord of Yorke putte un to the Kynge; and, Sir, late copyes go abowte the cetye i now, for the love of God, wy[c]he have yow in hese kepyng.

Wretyn on Seynt Feyth daye, in hast. Be your Servaunt,     W. Wayte.

174.1 [From Fenn, iii. 154.] This letter must have been written just after the Duke of York came over from Ireland in 1450, when he demanded that justice should be fairly administered against persons accused. A Parliament was summoned, which met on the 6th November, and Sir William Oldhall was chosen as Speaker.

174.2 Richard, Duke of York, afterwards Protector, the father of King Edward IV.

174.3 The writer was clerk to Judge Yelverton.

176.1 Sir Miles Stapleton.

176.2 John Dam actually was returned to Parliament for the city of Norwich in November 1450.

177.1 See next No.


Richard, Duke of York, his Peticion to Kyng Henry for the punyshement of Treytors, &c.


Please it your Hyghnes tendirly to consider the grett grutchyng and romer that is universaly in this your reame of that justice is nouth dewly ministred to such as trespas and offende a yens your lawes, and in special of them that ben endited of treson, and other beyng openly noysed of the same; wherfore for gret inconveniens that have fallen, and grett is lyke to fallen her after in your seid reame, which God defende, but if [unless] be your Hyghnesse provysion convenable be mad for dew reformacion and punyshment in this behalf; Wherfore I, your humble suget and lyge man, Richard, Duke of York, willyng as effectually as I kan, and desiryng suerte and prosperite of your most roiall person, and 178 welfare of this your noble reame, councel and advertyse your excellent, for the conversacion [conservation] of good tranquillite and pesable rewle among all trew sogetts, for to ordeyn and provyde that dewe justice be had a yenst all such that ben so endited or openly so noysed: wher inne I offre, and wol put me in devour for to execute your comaundements in thes premises of such offenders, and redresse of the seid mysrewlers to my myth and power. And for the hasty execucion herof, lyke it your Hyghnes to dresse your letteres of prevy seale and writts to your officers and ministres to do take, and areste all soch persons so noysed or endited, of what astatte, degre, or condicion so ever thei be, and them to comytte to your Tour of London, or to other your prisons, there to abyde with outen bayle or maynprice on to the tyme that they be utterly tryed and declared, after the cours of your lawe.

177.2 [From Fenn, i. 64.] The MS. from which this was printed by Fenn was doubtless the copy of my Lord of York’s ‘bill’ which William Wayte sent to John Paston, as mentioned in the end of the last letter.


To my ryght trusty freende, Sir Thomas Howys, Parson of Castellcombe, beyng at Castre, and William Barker, in haste, at Castre Yn, by Jermuth.

OCT. 15

Ryght trusty and welbelovyd freende, I grete you well. And as for Hygham place to be sold, as ye avysen me to bye it at the some of C. mark or wythynne, and reserve yn the said payment myne oune dewtee, and pay the remenant in wolle to the said Hygham credytes as your lettre makyth mencion; I hafe undrestand that William Jenney shall be her thys wek, and I shall veele hym how neere it may be sold; for yff the wydow wolle sylle it after xiiij. yeer or xv. yeere that it may be leten, sendyth me utterly word, for I wolle not melle of it ellys thus avysed. And sende ye me word how mech more yn value yn a stoon shall I syle my 179 wolle, and how [much?] anothyr chapman wole gefe me for the place when I hafe bought it; but after xiiij. yeer I wold by the place.

Wretyn at London, the xv. day of October anno xxix. regni Regis Henrici VI. J. Fastolf.

178.1 [From Fenn, iii. 92.]


To my cosyn, John Paston.

OCT. (?)

I  recomawnde me un to yow the best wyse I kan. Whanne I cam to Ware, ther herd I furst tydynges that the Lord Moleyns shuld come in to Norfolk in hast with grette pupyll, and, as on of hys men seyd ther, with the vijxx [sevenscore]. Also a man of the Lady Morles179.2 cam thedyr owte of Wyllshire ther thanne, and seyd that the seyd Lord was comyng thedyrward with grette pupyll. And atte London a man of hys hedde large langage, and seyd that my Lord shuld come to Norffolk, and do meche thyng agayns hem that hadde do indite hym and hys men, and also for the personyng of hys men atte Norwych. This is sopposyd verely to be Heydons werke that wyll sette hym verely to do the utterest ayens yow and John Dam in the werst wyse that he can. Ze have both lordshep and frendshep in your countre, and also good inow to reciste hym yf he wyll do yow wronge, and peraventur that shuld brynge thys matier nyer and ende thanne it is now. Whedder it be to done or not, I remitte that to youre counceyll.

Also, my Lord179.3 shall be atte Walsyngham on Sonday nest comynge, a from thens he shall go to Norwych. For any thynge in the werd [world] meve my Lord of Oxenford and 180 my cosyn Sir Miles Stapulton that they awayte up on my seyd Lord in the most wurchepfull wyse that they kun, and do hym as good attendaunce and plesaunce as they mown. And ye do the same also; and that the cyte of Norwych mete with hym in the best wyse also; and also that they and ze also cherse and wirchep well Sir William Oldhalle. And ther be good informacion made ayens T. T. and H.,180.1 for they wyll spend ml. ml. li. [£2000] for to come in ther, and that were petye. Spende sum what of your good now, and gette yow lordshep and frendshep ther, quia ibi pendet tota lex et prophetæ. And send som man to aspye of the governaunce, and of the comyng of the Lord Moleyns, and take hed to your self. And byd John Dam be war of hym self. Sum men suppose that my Lord of York cherse not meche the seyd Lord Moleyns. And send sum men hedyr often to London that mown he them here and brynge yow tydynges. And I pray God spede yow in alle youre werkes. Youre Cosyn,     Nameles atte this tyme.

Endorsed: Literæ Fastolff, Yelverton, circa le oyrdeterminer.—Memorandum de billa actus justic’ apud Walsingham.

179.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The tone of this letter so closely resembles that of William Wayte of the 6th October 1450, especially in its warnings to Paston and John Damme, and in the information it contains as to Lord Moleyns not being in favour with the Duke of York, that it may be safely inferred to have been written about the same period.

179.2 See page 84, Note 2.

179.3 Probably the Duke of York.

180.1 Thomas Tuddenham and Heydon.


To my worshipfull Maister Paston, at Norwich, in haste, be this delyvered.


Please it yow to wete that I come to London the Wednesseday at even late next after my departyng from yow, and it was told me that my Maister Calthorp hadde writyng fro my Lord of York to awayte on hym at his 181 comyng in to Norffolk to be oon of his men, and that no gentilman of Norffolk had writyng to awayte on hym but he; and sum folke wene that it is to th’entent that he shuld bo outhir shiref or knyght of the shire, to the fortheryng of othir folks, &c.

The Kyng is remevid from Westminster, summe men sey to Fysshwick,181.1 and summe sey to Bristowe. And it is seid that he hath do wretyn to alle his men that be in the chekroll181.2 to awayte on hym atte Parlement in their best aray; why, no man can telle. Heydon181.3 was with my Maister Yelverton,181.4 and desired hym to see the recordes of his endytementz, and axed of hym if he were indited of felonye; and my Maister Yelverton told hym it was. And thereto H. seide ‘Sir, ye wole recorde that I was never thef;’ and he seid he trowed right weel that he cowde telle why he took Plumpsteds goods, and othir words whiche were long to write. And my Maister Y. seid to hym he cowde not knowe the laborer of th’endytement, and H. seid ageyn he knewe weel the laborer thereof; and my Maister Y. conceyte is H. ment yow. Wherfor he advyseth yow that in onywyse ye make Plumpsted to take apell accordyng; for if he so do, thanne is H. barred of his conspirace, and also of his damages, though that he be nonnsewed therin, or though it be afterward discontynued, &c., and ellis are ye in jopardy of a conspirace, for H. hopeth to have the world better to his entent thanne it is nowe. For it is told me that rather thanne he shuld fayle of a shiref this yeer comyng for his entent, he wole spende [£1000].

This communicacion be twene them was on Moneday last passed, and on Tewisday last passed H. mette with Maister Markham,181.5 and he tolde H. his part how that he levid ungoodly in puttyng awey of his wyff, and kept an other, &c.; and therwith he turned pale colour, and seid he lyved not but 182 as God was pleased with, ne dede no wrong to no person. And therupon Maister Markham reherced how he demened hym a genst men of Court, and named yow and Genneye; and H. seid, as touchyng the peple that rifled yow, and the doyng thereof, he was not privy therto, for he was that tyme here at London; and as touchyng the Lord Moleyns title, H. enforced gretly, and seid his title was better thanne yours.

Yisterday was my Maister Yelverton at dyner with my Maister Fastolf,182.1 and there among other thei were avysed that my Maister F. shall write to my Lord of Norffolk that he certifie the Kyng and his Counseill how the cuntre of N. and S. [Norfolk and Suffolk] stonde right wildely, withowt a mene may be that justice be hadde, whiche wole not be but if a man of gret byrthe and lyflod there be shiref thes yer comyng, to lede the peple in most peas; and therto thei named Maister Stapilton,182.2 if it wole happe, &c. Also that my Lord Norffolk shall certifie the Kyng and his Counseill that but if the day of the oyer and termyner stonde, it wole be full harde, by cause the peple is so wylde.

Also that alle knyghtes and escuyers of the same cuntre shuld certifie the same, for summe of H. part have boosted that all  .  .  .  .  at Norwich shuld not be worth an haughe. Ideo, &c.

Item, Prentise is now in the Mydle Inne, and Dynne .  .  .  .  .

Almyghty God have yow in his kepyng. Wretyn the Thursday next after my departyng.  .  .  .  . Your,     J. Gresham.

180.2 [From Fenn, iii. 94.] This letter, though it has no date except of the day of the week, must have been written about October 1450, after the Duke of York had come over from Ireland, and before the elections for the Parliament which met in November, and the appointment of sheriffs in the different counties for the ensuing year. The references to the affair of Lord Moleyns and to the indictment of Heydon cannot belong to a later year.

181.1 In Lancashire, now in the suburbs of Preston.

181.2 The check-roll is a roll or book, containing the names of such persons as are attendants, and in pay to the King, or other great men, as their household servants, &c. —F.

181.3 See page 166, Note 3.

181.4 William Yelverton, a Justice of the King’s Bench.

181.5 John Markham, one of the Judges of the King’s Bench, who became Chief Justice in 1461.

182.1 Sir John Fastolf.

182.2 Sir Miles Stapleton.

he shuld bo outhir shiref or knyght
text unchanged: error for “be”?



To my worshipfull maister, John Paston, Escuyr, dwellynge att Norwich, in hast.


After that myn letter was wretyn, I spak with Maister Yelverton, and tolde hym the substance of my letter to yow. And he bad me write to yow that as touchyng the matier of my Lord of Oxeford, he shall lette the awardyng and th’entre therof als long as he may; and he demyth veryly that H. Wodehous coude never have take up on his knowelage to have called up on the matier with owt counseil and enformacion of Heydon, and it were weel do that my Lord of Oxeford knewe it.

Item, Maister Yelverton told me that the Lord Moleyns was enfourmed that he and alle his men wern endited of felonye in Norffolk, whiche caused hym and his to be right wroth toward my maister and yow. And Maister Yelverton hath tolde a man of the Kyngges Benche called Styrop, whiche is a man of the Lord Moleyns, the trouth that nothir he ner noon of his is endited, and Stirop is now in to Wiltshire, and shall telle it to the Lord M.; for that shall squage weel his hete of wrethe. And as touchyng Germyn,183.2 if he be Shiref, William Genney wole undirtake for hym that he shall and wole be ruled weel inow, &c.

183.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter is anonymous, but is in the handwriting of James Gresham. It must have been written in the autumn of the year 1450, while Lord Molyns was in Wiltshire, and when the nomination of John Jermyn as Sheriff of Norfolk was expected, but had not yet been decided on, or at least not known to the writer. It was therefore certainly written after the preceding number, though the latter is probably not the letter to which it was intended to serve as a postscript.

183.2 John Jermyn was actually appointed Sheriff in the end of the year 1450.



To oure trusti and welbelovid John Paston, Squier.

The Duc of Norffolk.

OCT. 16

Right trusti and welbelovid, we grete you well. And forasmoche as oure unkill of York and we have fully appoynted and agreed of such ij. persones for to be knightes of shire of Norffolk as oure said unkill and we thinke convenient and necessarie for the welfare of the said shire, we therfor pray you, in oure said unkill name and oures bothe, as ye list to stonde in the favour of oure good Lordshipp, that ye make no laboure contrarie to oure desire. And God have you in his keping.

Wreten at Bury Seynt Edmondis, the xvj. day of Octobr.

184.1 [Douce MS. 393, f. 92.] This letter and that which follows clearly refer to the same matter. The time of year and the part taken by the Duke of York in the election are circumstances which in themselves create a pretty strong presumption in favour of the year 1450. And this presumption almost becomes a certainty, when we observe that the date of this letter—16th October—was a Friday in that year; for the meeting of York and Norfolk is stated in the next letter to have been on a Thursday and Friday, and this letter would doubtless have been written as soon as a decision had been come to between the two Lords.


To owr welbeloved John Paston.

OCT. 18

Right welbeloved, I grete yow well. And as towchyng for tydyngs, I can none, savyng that my Lord of Norffolk met with my Lord of York at Bury on Thursday, and there were to gedre til Friday, ix. of the clokke, and than they departed. And there a gentilman of my Lord of York toke unto a yeman of myn, John Deye, 185 a tokene and a sedell of my Lords entent, whom he wold have knyghtts of the shyre, and I sende you a sedell closed of their names in this same lettre, wherfore me thynkith wel do to performe my Lords entent.

Wretyn the xviijº day of Octobr, at Wynche. Oxenford.

Com. Norff’, Sir William Chambirlayn.185.1
Henry Grey.

184.2 [From Fenn, i. 98.] For evidence of date, see note to preceding letter.

185.1 The names actually returned by the Sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk for this Parliament were—for Norfolk, Sir Miles Stapleton and Henry Gray; for Suffolk, Sir Roger Chamberleyn and Sir Edmund Mulso.


To oure right trusty and welbeloved servaunt, John Paston, Squier.

The Duc of Norfolk.

OCT. 22

Right trusti and right welbelovid, we grete yo hertily well, prayng you specially that ye will make you redy to awayte upon us at Yippiswich toward the Parlement the viij. day of Novembre in youre best aray, with as many clenly people as ye may gete for oure worship at this tyme; for we will be there like oure estate in oure best wise without any delay. Yeven under oure signet in oure Castell of Framlyngham, the xxij. day of Octobre.


185.2 [Douce MS. 393, f. 93.] This letter must have been written either in 1449 or in 1450, in both of which years Parliament met on the 6th of November; and as we have other letters, both of the Duke of Norfolk and the Earl of Oxford, relating to the Parliament of 1450, we are inclined to think this also belongs to the later year. Framlingham, the seat of the Duke of Norfolk, is not more than thirty-two miles from Bury, from which he wrote on the 16th.



To my worshipfull and good maister, John Paston, Escuyer.

NOV. 11

Please it yow to wete that Sir William Oldhall is chosyn Speker of the Parlement, and admytted by the Kyng, &c. Item, the day of oier and termyner shall holde at Norwich on Moneday next comyng, and by that cause my Lord of Oxenford shall be disported of his comyng to the Parlement for to attende to the Sessions of oier, &c.

Item, the Lord Moleyns hadde langage of yow in the Kynggs presence as my Maister Yelverton can telle yow by mouthe. Your presence shuld have do meche ease here in your own matiers and other, as your weel willers thynkyn, and your absence do non ease here; netheles my Maister Yelverton shall telle you all, &c.

It is seid here that the Duke of York and the Duke of Norffolk shulln not come here this vii. nyght.

Item, it is supposed that an oier and determyner shall come hastily into Norwich. William Dynne abydeth therfore.

As touchyng Shirefs, ther arn none chosyn ne named, and as men suppose, non shall be chosyn til my Lord of Yorks comyng, &c.

Wretyn in hast at Westminster, Mercur’ in Festo Sancti Martini. Yours,     J. D. and Gr.

It is apoynted that who shall sue any bille in the Parlement, thei must be put into the Commone Hous by for Seint Edmunds day186.2 atte ferthest, &c.

186.1 [From Fenn, iii. 100.] The date of this letter is determined by the fact mentioned in the first sentence. Sir William Oldhall was chosen Speaker of the Parliament which met on the 6th November 1450. John Damme represented Norwich in this Parliament. Moreover, the date at the end of the letter shows that St. Martin’s day fell on Wednesday in the year it was written, which was the case in 1450.

186.2 20th November.



To my ryght reverent and most wurschipfull Maistre my Maister John Paston the eldre, esquyer, at London in the Inner Tempyll.

NOV. 11

Ryght reverent and my mooste wurschipful maistre, I recommaunde me unto youre goode maisterschip. Like you to witte that I have taken astate in the londe at Gresham as your maisterschep aviced me; wherfore I besche you that ther may be taken an axion in my feffes name and myn a yenst Jamys Gatte, as you semeth beest, and as hasty processe as may be had a yenst hym, with your goode avice I wold; for what tyme as I had taken astate he labored to men of the toun to have putte it in a ward, but I wold not tyll I had spoken with your masterschip, &c. Also John Warles schal gather the rente and ferme of Basyngham this yere. Item, William Smythe schal occupie hes ferme this yere, and Croumer. And as for the yeris aftre I have founde a meane that all your landis schall be letten as weele as ever they weere in that maner, with helpe of one Robert Coole, weche Robert fereth hym sore of the affence weche he ded a yenst John Herbynger; for he is informed that your maisterschip hath taken a axion a yenst hym, and John Herbynger hath du hym lost in the hundred xld., and he hath hym in the scheryffis turne. Wherfore that it like you to withdrawe if any axion ye have a yenst hym for he will a bide any ij. men award ther aboute; and more over he is the most able man to take a ferme of lond that I knowe in your lordeship, and he schal be a gret fermour of your the next yere. Ferthermore, ther is on Robert Wyghte, otherwise Farbusschour, aftre that your officer of Matelask had seased al Lyghtfot catell for suche 188 dwtees as whas owynge the seid Robert Wyght, come upon your bonde grounde, and brak doun the gardeyn dike of the seid Lyghtfotes and toke a wey a bullok of ij. yere age and hath caryed it a wey out of your lordschip; wherfore the tenauntes desireth your maisterschip that ye well take an axion a yenst hym that he may be punyssched. Item, as for a dey at Mauteby we can non geete, for Wynston woll not of it in no wice. And as for tidinges here we here non but my lord of Wurcestre lithe at Blakney and kepith housold there in the Frieri. Item, Wymondham had entred in to Felbryge and he whas put out be the comens and like if had beden to have lost hes heed. My ryght wurschipful mastre, All myghty Jhesu preserve and kepe you. Wreten at Heyneford on Sein Marteyn Day. Be your pore servaunt and bedman, Ric. Calle.

187.1 [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 160.] This letter must have been written in 1450. We know already that John Paston recovered possession of Gresham between September 1450 and March 1451 (see pp. 170, 219). Here we find that he deputed Richard Calle to take possession for him in November.


Sir John Fastolf To Sir Thomas Howys, Parson of Castlecombe.

NOV. 11

‘Right trusty and welbeloved friends,’ I thank you for the quittance of Richard Sellyng you have sent me by Worcestre, with a quittance of Fauconere for the purchase of Davyngton, and another of Roys for the purchase of Tychewell. Ask my cousin Herry Sturmer’s wife to search for an indenture and other writings between me and Sellyng or Lady Wiltshire. As you inform me that Sir Thomas Todenham has sent to John Clerc to be at London, you must ask him and his wife to go before the bailiffs of Yarmouth, and certify how it was Bysshop’s wife did not receive the £100 I was ruled to pay her. John Clerc must not come up till I send for him.—(In margin, ‘eyer and determiner.’) Special labour has been made that Justice Yelverton should not come down this Martinmas, but the King and Lords have determined that he shall keep his day; ‘and the labour that ye, with my cousin Paston, made late to my Lord Norfolk was right well avised, in case that the Justice should be countermanded.’ Urge my friends to do their very best for me now in the matters ‘labored last at the oyer and terminer,’ that they may take a worshipful end. Thank Nicholas Bokkyng for what he did about the certificate of the jury in the office188.2 of Tychewell, and beg him to get it sealed in time, which 189 will be a great evidence for the recovery of my manor. Sends home some horses ‘to be occupied in the cart.’ Commendations to his cousin John Berney. Signed.

Send for William Cole about the accounts, and thank the Parson of Haylesdon189.1 for the three writings of Wiltshire’s will and Gorney he sent me by Worcester; but say I prayed him to search for more.

London, St. Martin’s day.

[This letter is dated on Martinmas day, at which date in the year 1450 it will be seen by the preceding number that Justice Yelverton was going down into Norfolk, and an oyer and terminer was going to be held at Norwich. The reference to the ‘office,’ or inquisition, of Tychewell also proves the year to be 1450.—See Nos. 162 and 164, pp. 199–201.]

188.1 [From MS. Phillipps, 9735, No. 226.]

188.2 An inquisition taken by the escheator of a county by virtue of his office was frequently called an ‘office.’ Its object was to ascertain the King’s title to certain lands.

189.1 Thomas Hert was presented to Haylesdon by Sir John Fastolf in 1448.


A Lettre to Sir John Fastoff from Justice Yelverton.189.3


My moste worshypfull and best betrusted maister, I recommaund me to yow, thankyng yow for manye grete gentlenesse and kyndnesse that ye hafe showed unto me, and for the grete ease that I had of your man and your horsys also.

As for tydyngs owte of thys contree, here ys a marveyllous disposed contree, and manye evylle wylled peple to Sir Thomas Tuddenham and Heydon, and but yff they been putt in comfort there by the meene of a good shyreve and undreshyreve, they may hafe remedye now by the ordre of lawe, and ellys grete inconvenices arn lyke for to folowe ther off. Therfor, Sir, for the weele of all our gode contree, mewyth the Kyng, 190 my Lord Chaunceller,190.1 and all othyr Lordes as ye thynk best for thys matier on thys behalf.

Also, Sir, yff they noysse me by thee meene of my Lord Scalys, or by anye othyr meene, or by onye bylle sewed by Brygg, or by onye othyr man by her [i.e. their] craft, that it please yow to sey for me yn savacion of my pore worshyp, whych I wote well they may not hurt but they doo me wrongs, to the Kyng, my Lord Chaunceller, my Lord of Wynchester,190.2 my Lord Cromewell, and in othyr places, as ye semyth, that no credence be goven to myne hurt yn myne absence.

Also, Sir, that William Geney and Brayn, the clerks of the Sessions, ben hastyed hedreward as well as they may; and, Sir, my cousyn Paston and my brothyr Cleere can tell yow moch more thyng that I shuld wryte off to yow, and I had leyser; but I shall wythynne short tyme sende yow more tydyngs owte of thys contree, by the grace of God, whych hafe yow yn hys holye kepyng. By your old Servaunt,     WILLIAM YELVERTON, Justice.

189.2 [From Fenn, iii. 50.] This would appear to have been written in 1450, just after Yelverton’s arrival in Norfolk, whither, it will be seen by the last two letters, he was going in November. The nomination of sheriffs had not yet taken place, and was anxiously expected by many, in the hope that it would lessen the influence of Sir Thomas Tuddenham and Heydon, who had hitherto been very powerful in Norfolk.

189.3 This is only an endorsement on the MS., and is not even contemporaneous. The MS. itself is not addressed, being, as shown in the margin, only a copy, marked ‘Copia’ in the same hand as the document.

190.1 Cardinal Kemp.

190.2 The celebrated William de Waynflete, Bishop of Winchester.


To my welbeloved cosyn, John Bockyng.


Worshipfull and right welbeloved cosyn, I comaunde me to you, prayng you to recomaunde me to my Maister Fastolf, and thank hym in my name hertily for his man and his hors. And also for to meve hym for that we may have a good shereve and a good undershereve that neythir for good favore no fere wol returne for the Kyng, ne betwix partie and partie, none othir men but such 191 as ar good and trewe, and in no wyse will be forsworne; for the pepil here is loth to compleyne til thei here tidynges of a good shereve. And that William Jenney and Brayne, the clerk of the Cessions, and Thomas Denys, ben hastid hydirward as fast as thei may, and than men supposen he nedith not to dowghtyn his materes. And also that my cosyn Paston be so hastily holpen in his maters that he may sone come hedir ageyn. And also that my maistir be my sheld and my defense ageyns all fals noyses and sclaundres meved ayens me by her menes in myn absens.

At Walsyngham, and in othir places in the duche of Lancastre, men shal be redy to seche Heydon at hom in his own hous, if he come home; and in lyke wyse standith Sir Thomas Tudenham his neighburs to hymward as the more part of the pepil seth in this cuntre. His men have told here the falsest tales of Sir William Oldhall and of me that evere I herd speke of. It wer ful necessarye and profitable to the Kyng and to his pepil for to have othir officers in his duche.

Asay how ye can sett hem a werk in the Parlement, for if this maters be sped as it is aforn desired, thei ar lyke to be sett a werk here well inough, by the grace of God, which have you in holy kepyng. By your cosyn,     William Yelverton, Justice.

190.3 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The correspondence of this letter with the last is such as to leave no doubt that they were written at the same period. The MS. is a contemporaneous copy.


Sir John Fastolf to Sir Thomas, Pastor of Castlecombe, John Bokkyng, and Watkin Shypdam.

NOV. 23

Thanks the Parson for a letter by Robert Botiller, and one by John Clerc, advising that Bokking and William Jenney be ‘in that parties’ betimes for the oyer and terminer. Has received instruction of the first purchase of Haylysdon. Is glad John Clerc is come. Much strange labour has been made to him by Tasborough and Swolle. Complains of the untruth of Appulzerd of Norwich in the Lady Bardolf’s matter. A bailly of Hikelyng maintains the Prior in his 192 wrong against Fastolf. William Barker had a box of evidences of the farm of Lady Bardolf’s lands, and a deed of Norman’s feoffment with evidences of Saxthorp, which cannot be found here, and must have been left at Norwich or Castre. Don’t forget Norman’s matter, and the maintainers of the false inquest of Beyton Bradwell. Wyndham wants to be friends with me about the Lady Bardolf’s matter. The master of St. Giles has been with me for the purchase of Mundham Maner with appurtenances in Cyselond, and I have agreed with him for 200 marks. Don’t forget the bailly of Hykelyng, who said I should forge [i.e. had forged] evidence, &c.

London, 23 Nov. 29 Hen. VI. Signed.

[An extract from the latter part of this letter is printed by Blomefield, Hist. Norf. iv. 388–9 (Note 9).]

191.1 [From an original, sold by Messrs. Puttick and Simpson on the 2nd March 1870.]


NOV. 28

Power of attorney by John, Cardinal Archbishop of York, and others, to John Est and others, including William Worcestre and Geoffrey Sperlyng, to deliver seisin to Walter Leyhert, Bishop of Norwich, and others, of and in the manor of Mundham, &c.—28 Nov. 29 Hen. VI.

20 Seals, of which three are lost.

Endorsed by Blomefield— ‘Sir John Fastolff’s Feoffees Release,’ &c., with a reference to his History of Norfolk, vol. ii. 762 (fol. ed.).

192.1 [From Add. Charter 17,238, B.M.]


Sir John Fastolf to Sir Thomas, Parson of Castlecombe, William Jenney, and John Bokkyng.

DEC. 2

Thanks them for their diligence. Has respited the matter against Wyndham touching the Lady Bardolf till next term, as he offers to come to an agreement.192.3 Is ready to agree with all persons who will find sufficient surety, except Sir Thomas Tudenham, Heydon, and Pykering (underlined). Master John Botewright has sent him a letter of great loss and damage done by Tudenham and Heydon to the ‘comyn’ of Swaffham, ‘benymmyng (?) 600 acres lond of her 193 comyn.’ Has written to ‘my brother Yelverton,’ and would write also to my Lord of Oxford, but that he is so vexed in spirit ‘in thys trouble seson,’ that at times he cannot abide the signing and sealing of a letter. Prays them to see well to the accountants and auditors’ charges.

London, 2 Dec. 29 Hen. VI.

‘And because I might [not] abide till the writing of the matters that I commanded Worcester to write, I signed the letter so near the beginning; but I will ye tender, nevertheless, my letter and articles for my most profit and avail.’

192.2 [From MS. Phillipps, 9735, No. 235.]

192.3 Fastolf’s signature is placed here, near the beginning of the letter, after the first paragraph.



Memoranda signed by Sir John Fastolf (mutilated at the head) viz. about the Prior of Hikelyng; that John Ulveston and John Andrew be indicted for forging the office of Boyton, as well as for Bradwell in Suffolk; Brayn to deliver copies; if they sit in Suffolk, to take heed of Sypton’s matter. Nicholas Apleyard will doubtless appear to the bill of maintenance; so the Prior and Sacristan and Sir H. Inglose must be ‘laboured’ to give information. Process against Dynne, Prentis, &c. Obligation of 200 marks that Brian Stapleton has in keeping. The Parson of Castlecombe to speak with John Emond of Taverham secretly about one who pretended title to Dedham, &c. ‘That ready word come alway atwix Norwich and this of the tidings that are there.’ Matter of Margaret Brygge, &c. ‘That Paston conceive the crossed letter, and say therein to my Lady Felbrigg.’ To speak to Paston and Jenney about various matters. To speak to Reppys ‘that he feel my Lord Scales and the Prior of Hikelyng jointly if they will yet treat, as my Lord Scales and my master were agreed at London,’ &c.

[From the reference to Sypton’s matter, it would appear that this paper is a little before the two following in point of date.]

193.1 [From MS. Phillipps, 9735, No. 277.]



To my ryght trusty frende and servaunt, Sir Thomas, Parson of Castellcombe, and John Bokkyng, at Prynce Inne yn Norwych, or at Beklys.

DEC. 4

Ryght trusty and welbelevyd servaunt, I grete you well. And forasmoch as I undrestand that on Monday next the oyer and terminer shall be holden at Beklys, and ye avysen to sende yow a certificat for cause of the forged quytaunce by Sir John Sypton, whych wrytyng I scende you by the berer here of, prayng you that ye solicit to my councell that the said Sir John Sypton be endited thereuppon, and that ye foryete not Ulveston, Andreus, and the othyrs that forged a fals office194.2 to cast my maner of Bradwell yn to the Kyngs hand.

Item, I sende you a copie of Sibieton ple and quytaunce forged to grounde your bille by it.

No more for haste, but God kepe you. Wryt at London, iiij. day of December, anno xxixº regni Regis H. VI.

Item, Sir John Bukk, Parson of Stratford, physshed my stankys at Dedham, and holp brake my damme, destroyed my new mille, and was ayenst me allwey at Dedham, to the damage of 20l., which may be endyted allso.

Item, he and John Cole hath by force this yeer, and othyr yeers, take out off my waters at Dedham, to the nombre of xxiiij. swannys and signetts, and I pray you thys be not foryeted. J. Fastolf.

194.1 [From Fenn, iii. 102.]

194.2 See p. 188, Note 2.



Sir John Fastolf to Sir Thomas, Parson of Castlecombe, and John Bokking, in haste, at Princes Inn, in Norwich.

DEC. 5

As the oyer and terminer in Suffolk is to be on Monday next, desires them to get Sir John Sypton indicted for forging the false acquittance, and Bury his advocate also. Has inquired of his tenants at Dedham who were the chief counsel of breaking his mill-dam, and they say Sir John Squyer was chief, but John Waryn was of counsel and court-holder there; also Sir John Buk, Parson of Stratton, who fished his stanks, &c. John Cole of Stoke has also taken in years past more than twenty of his swans. Let them be presented. The late Parson of Cotton got F.’s late bailly, Henry Holm (now dead), pledged out by false representations of the sufficiency of his bail, &c.

London, 5 Dec. 29 Hen. VI. Signed.

195.1 [From MS. Phillipps, 9735, No. 247.]


To my ryght trusty and welbelovyd frendys, Sir Thomas, Parson off Castellcombe.

DEC. 20

Ryght trusty frendys, I grete you well. And lete you wete that I have resseyved your lettre thys day, which was wryt xv. day of December, and undre[stand] well your ryght gode mocions and causes shewed of inconvenients that myght fall, yff the shyreve have not a gode undreshyreff whyche were not enclynyng to the partie of T. H.195.3 And there as ye meoffe me to wryte to ij. Lordys for the said cause, they be both forth to theyr contre, and shall therfor wryte unto hem uppon the tenor of your lettrez in that at y 196 can or may, as forre as reson and justice wolle, for such an officer as woll not, for no mede, hate, or losse, execut196.1 dewlye his office to the weele of the contre.

Item, the day of thys lettre wrytyng, John Bokkyng ys com to me, and hath expressley enformyd me by mouth as by wrytynges the greete labour and diligence whych ye have take uppon yow, seth Martismasse, in especiall, abowte the expedition of my processe of oyer and terminer before the Kyngs Commyssioners attained; and I vele ryght well by the avauncement of my processe your faithfull diligence, for whych y can you ryght gode thank, and trustyng uppon your gode continuance. And seth the Commissioners shall sytt at Lynne after the Epiphanye, such of my maters as have take none ende, but hang yn processe for deffaut of aunsuer or apparaunce of my partie, I pray you that the said maters may be called uppon of the new, and dew processe had as ferre as justice and gode concience wolle.

Item, it ys so, as I undrestand, that the Lord Scalys woll be at Lynne thys Cristmasse, and at the oyer and terminer halden there, and Sir Thomas Tuddenham and Heydon wolle appere, of which I am well content; and it ys lyke that grete labour and speciall pursute shall be made to the Lord Scalys that he wolle meynteyn the said Tuddenham and Heydon in all he can or may, and thus I have herd sey. Wherfor such persones as have founde hem soore greved by extorcion as I have ben, and have processe or wolle hafe processe before the Commissioners, they most effectuelly labour to my Lord Oxford, and to my brothyr Zelverton, Justice, that they wolle as ferre as justice, reson, and concience do that justice may [be] egallie mynistred, and not to wythdrawe theyr couragez well sett from the pore peple; for and they hald not the hand well and stedfast yn thys mater from hens forth whyle it shall dure, as they have herebefore, the pore peple and all the grete part of both shyres of Norffolk and Suffolk be destroyed. For it shewyth well by what manyfold undewe menys of extorcion they have lyved yn myserie and grete pouverte by manye yeers contynewed that the moste part of the comyners 197 have litill or nought to meynteyn their menage and housold, ne to pay the Kyngs taskys, nothyr theyr rents and servises to the Lordz they be tenants un too, as it shewyth daylie to all the world, whych ys overe a grete pitie to thynk. And when the said pore peple have be by such injuries overladd and so undoon, nedz most the gentlemen that have they pore lyvelode amongs hem be gretely minisshed and hyndered of their increse and levyng.

Item, where as I undrestand by a lettre sent to me from my welbelovyd frende Maister John Botewryght, that grete extorcion have be don by the officers of the duchee in takyng awey cxl. acres pasture at Swaffam, whych ys of the Kyngs demeynz and of hys enheritaunce as of the duchee of Lancaster, for whych pastures, yff it com not ynne ayen, it woll be grete disheritaunce to the Kyng, and fynall destruccion of the tenauntes there, for whych the said Maistre John desyryth and prayeth of remedie yn the name of all the toune of Swaffam. As to thys such as wold here the encrese and wellfare of hym, of hys parysshons, and off all thoose mysdon untoo, most by the avice of som lerned man to put theyr oppressions and grevaunces in wrytyng, well grounded, and as the trouth of the mater ys, and that the said wrytyng or bille may be enseled wyth the seles of such gentlemen that have lyvebode there, and wyth the men that be cowthest knowen,197.1 and that wrytyng so enseled to be directed to the Kyng, and to the Lordz of hys Councell. And then it ys and woll be of more credence to the Kyng and the Lordys then a simple lettre. And thys doon wyth the labours that they may make there in shewyng theyr grevaunces to the Commissioners; and the seid grevaunces shewed also here amongs the Kyng and the Lordz, it ys verrayly to thynk that they shall be purveyd of a remedie. And foryete not to sende or wryte to Maister Botewryght in goodly haste of thys article wyth your correccion to be had where the avertisementes of you and my frendz that have more particuler knowlege yn such maters.

Item, I have grete mervaylle that yong Jenney, whych ys of my Lord Cromewell councell, and Robert Ledam, also off 198 hys councell, and hys man be not spoke with there, that they doo not attaine an accion ayenst Sir Thomas Tudden[ham], Heydon, and John Gent, whyche have and wold dayly labour to disseisse my Lord Cromewell of a knyghten service in Saxthorp, which ye have ryght suffisaunt evidenses by an endentures of Kyng Edward iijd dayes enseled, as of Kyng Herry dayes the iiijthe, that the seid maner ys hald by the iiijthe part of a knyzt fee198.1 of my Lord Cromewell as of the maner of Tateshale. And the seid Tuddenham and Heydon wold after theyr voulente have it hald yn meen of the maner of Hetersete, whych sufficient evidenses that ye have specifyeth no thyng soo. And I have lost xxli. yeerly yn approwement198.2 of my chatell, for cause my Lord Cromewell, throw neglicence of hys officers in Norffolk, have not meynteyned hys ryght. And there as John Bokkyng seith that John Jenney hath no commaundment of my Lord to pursue hys ryght, it shewyth off reson that seth he ys of hys councell in especiall for that shyre, he ought doo hys ryzt to be savyd and kept of hys dewtee. And thertoo he knouyth well that my said Lord hath commaunded hym dyvers tymys to take kepe hys ryzt be savyd in thys mater. Wherfor I pray you requyre hym on my Lord ys behalf198.3 to compleyn to Justice at thys oyer [and terminer for a] remedie, and that the [bi]lle be made yn my Lordys name. And then to  .  .  .  .  .  .  have commaundment ryzt sone of my Lord eftsonys, and [i.e. if] he wolle sende unto hym by suche as goth dayly into that contre to Tateshale. And I had send hym hys speciall [com]maundment, had he sent me suche word betyme whyle he was heere. I pray you remembre ye so John Jenney and Robert Ledham as I have no cause to [wri]te more, ne to compleyn to my Lord of theyr necligence.

Item, Sir Parson, where it ys soo that my cosyn Boys ys passed to God, whoos soule God assoyle, ye shall fynde amonges my bokes of accomptes at Castre, or amonges othyr wrytynges, he owed me money for a ferm he heeld of me, as 199 Watkyn Shypdam ys remembred; and also I lent hym xls. whych I shuld have an obligacion at Castre off, praying you to inquire off thys dewteez, and see recuvere may be made off it.

Item, I seende a lettre at thys tyme to my cosyn Wychyngham, to hys modre also, for a mater that touchyth my cosyn Robert Fitzrauff ys amercement, and the partie also. Whych lettre I woll ye breke to undrestand my wrytyng and the substaunce off it the more. And y pray you hertly to speke wyth the partie at Norwych as well as wyth my ryght welbelovyd cosyn Sir Herry Inglose, and wyth my cosyn Wychyngham assone as ye goodly may. And meoffe ye the said mater yn such wyse as your discrecioun can well consider that the rathyr the said mater may take a gode ende, yff it may be yn ony wyse; yn whych mater ye shall do me ryght singler plesyr, and that thys be not slewthed, for taryeng drawth perell. I wryte but briefflye, for I  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .199.1

Item, where as Brome ys not well wyllyng yn my maters, whych for the wrong takyng and wyth haldyng my shepe I ought take a accioun ayenst hym; for declaracioun in whate wyse he dyd it, John Bele my sheperefe can enforme you best, for he laboured about the recuvere of it. My Lady Norfolk sent me a lettre viij. yere goon, whych I shuld hafe, desyryng that the processe I was purposed take ayenst hym shuld be respited, and all that reson wold he shuld obbey. I am avysed therfor let som man about my Lord Norfolk and my Lady have wetyng, or I begynne. Yhyt I wold ye had declaracioun before of the conduyt and grounde of thys mater.

Item, where my cosyn Inglose avyse me fully to take a speciall assise on the priorye of Hykelyng for my rent, I have abydden uppon my cosyn Paston that he and I shuld take one to ghedyr, and I vele hym no thyng spede in it. Let me know how he woll doo thys next terme, for elles am I fully avysed to take myne owt, and to traverse all iij. offices199.2 for Beyton, Bradwell, and Tychewell, wyth the help of my frendz, Not elles at thys tyme; but I pray you comfort all thoo that 200 fynde hem greved to abyde by theyr ryzt, and that ye woll contynew forth for my worshup and proffyt as ferre as ryzt wolle. Whych I trust to God shall better have hys cours then it hath beforn; who have you in hys kepyng. Wryt at London, the xx. day of Decembre anno xxixº regni Regis H. VI.

Item, that thys lettre commaund me to my cosyn John à Berney. J. Fastolf.

(On the back)—Item, I have sende ij. lettres to my Lord Erle of Oxford, the ton by Robson ys man, a squyer of my Lordys. And the grete substaunce of the lettre ys that the issues forfeted may be sent upp be tyme to my Lord Tresorer; for there shall be none assignment made, ne may not, till it com yn wrytyng; it be don, had it be sent. Grete sute ys made to pardon it, but the Kynges Councell woll not suffre it. The ij. lettre Nicholas Bokkyng beryth for excuse of my cosyn Inglose, because grete labor hath be made to my Lord York ayenst my cosyn Inglose and Seggeford, that they shuld endyte the Priour of Walsyngham tenaunt yn Salle. Wheruppon my Lord York, unadvertised of the trouth, sent a lettre to my Lord Oxford to support the Pryor ys tenaunt ayenst Seggeford namely.

Item, I desyre that and John Berney or onye man can mete wyth Dallyng, that fals undre eschetor, in onye place proviable, that he may by force brought to Castre without damage of hys bodye, and there to be kept yn hold, that he may confesse the trouth of the fals office he forged off my maner of Tychewell.

Item, forasmoche as ye shall have to doon at Lynne for my maters there as for Tychewell and othyr, therfor I wolle that yee doo purvey of gode frendys as be aboute Flegg that passen yn jureez, that they may wayt uppon yow there at Lynne, and other suche trusty men that ye can ghete to spede my processe. And that ye do hem goode chier and cost uppon hem after that the case shall requyre. I commyt thys mater to be ruled by your wysdom, that it be net forzeten.

195.2 [From Paston MSS., B.M., and MS. Phillipps, 9735, No. 248.] The original of this letter has been torn in two, and the first portion is now among the Paston MSS. in the British Museum, while the latter part is in the library of Sir Thomas Phillipps at Cheltenham.

195.3 Tuddenham and Heydon.

196.1 ‘Forbear to execute’ doubtless was intended.

197.1 Most publicly known.

198.1 A knight’s fee was an amount of land sufficient to maintain a knight, and held subject to a knight’s service.

198.2 See p. 152, Note 3.

198.3 Here begins the portion in the Phillipps MS.

199.1 Three words indistinct.

199.2 See p. 188, Note 2.



To our welbeloved John Paston.

Th’erl of Oxenford.

DEC. 23

Right trusty and welbeloved, we grete you well. And for as moche as the qwene and my Lord of York have writyn to us for a matier that is depending betwix the toun of Salle and on [one] Sechforth of the same toune, we pray yow that at such tyme as we purpose yow to be with us now this Cristemesse at Wynche that ye lete the sayd Sechforth have wetyng ther of, and that he may be with us that same tyme, for diverse matiers wich that we have to speke with hym; and that ye fayle not, as we trust yow. Wretyn in owr manor of Wynche, the xxiijti. day of Decembre.

201.1 [Add. MS. 34,888, f. 168.] The subject of this letter is evidently referred to in the postscript of the last.


Sir John Fastolf to John Berney and Sir Thomas Howys.

DEC. 27

Begs them to have heed to his matters to be sped on Tuesday after the Twelfth, especially ‘to labor the jury that was supposed to ’a past in the office found for Tychewell,201.3 that they may appear at Lynne, and there make a certificate before my Lord of Oxford, and the Justice William Yelverton, that they were never privy nor consenting to such an office-finding.’ On this an action may be founded against Dallyng, ‘the false harlot.’ Would like Berney rewarded for his labor, if it were secretly done, and Dynne also. ‘Ye wete what I mean. I pray you see well forth, for Mitte sapientem, &c.’

London, in haste, St. John’s day in Christmas;201.4 ‘for he cam to Castre, 202 and there seye myn evydence, and than made the office therby, and for Suffolk also, the fals offices found there in likewise, &c.’ You must sue him to the utmost.

[The date of this letter is determined by the reference made in it to the Sessions held at Lynn, in the January following, before the Earl of Oxford and Justice Yelverton.—See No. 167. At the foot of the original MS. is this inscription:— ‘Donum Rev. Fra. Blomefield, 10 Dec. 1735.’]

201.2 [From MS. Phillipps, 9735, No. 237.]

201.3 See No. 153; also PS. to No. 162.

201.4 This, which is written after the date, would appear to apply to Dallyng.



I  prey zu if ze have any old gownys for lynynges and old schetys and old schertys that may non lenger seven zu, I prey zu send hem hom in hast, for I must okupye seche thyngis in hast. Wyndham hath medyd the juryorys and yaf hem mony that xuld passe on the qwhest be twyn zour modyr and hym; if ther myt ben purveyd any mene that it myt ben dasched in cas wer that it xuld passe azens zour modyr, it wer a good sport; for than he wold ben wode. He sent with his men to the afray iij. gunnys in very trowth. I have inquiryd veryly ther after. He is wode wroth that Daniel is amrel, for it is told me that on of his men is indytyd in the amrellys cort sythyn that Danyel was made amerel. I pray zu bewar in qhat felaschep ze ryd qhan ze com homward, for ther gon many fals shrewys and thevys in this contre.

Thomas Skipping rod to Londonward on Friday last past in gret hast and purposyd hym for to ben at London on Sonday be none on erandys of his maysterrys: qhat the cawse is I wote nott. On sent me word her of that knowth it for trowth.

202.1 [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 150.] The date of this letter seems to be towards the close of the year 1450; for though I have not met with the date of Daniel’s appointment as Admiral, which would prove the year, it will be seen by the last paragraph of No. 142 that Wyndham was indicted at that time along with Toddenham and Heydon, as one of the makers of disorder in Norfolk.




Item, that Sir John Ingelose and the Meyer be spoke to for here worship that the man weche that herd Heydon seye the langage upon wheche he is endyted, be sent heder; for that aught not to be kept prevye but oplyshed, seyng any thyng towchyng or sownyng to treson. And, on the other part, it is to grett necye (?) to noyse any man with ought cause, &c. Hit is not here worship this mater, if hit be trew, is so longe kept prevye with theym, &c. J. Fastolfe.

203.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This is a mere fragment, containing nothing but the postscript of a letter, the date of which must be either towards the end of the year 1450, or the beginning of 1451. A passage to the same effect will be found in a letter of Fastolf’s, written on the 7th January 1451.


To my ryght trusty and intierly welbeloved John Jermyn, Shirreve of Norffolk.

JAN. 2

Right trusty and intierly welbeloved, I grete yow wele. And where late by the Kyngs comaundment in the tyme of his Parliament, holden now last at Westminster, I was in persone at Norwich, holdyng Sessions of oir determyner203.3 with Yelverton, on of the Kyngs Juges, by greet space and greet attendaunce, which for to a do with suych diligence in the Parliament tyme I wold a be right lothe, but for the pupplyk wele of all the shire.

It is also not oute of your remembraunce what indisposicion 204 the Commons of bothe countes in the ende of somer last passed wer of, and how the Kyng, by the hole advyse of all the greet Councell of Ingland, to sese their rumour, send hider his said Commission; and how I have do my part therynne, I reporte me to all the world. I here a gruggyng, neverthelesse, that trow favour in your office to the pople that hath compleyned by many and grete horible billes agayn certeyn persones shuld not be shewid at this next Sessions at Lenn, ne ferther in the said Comission, which, if it so were, as God defend, myght cause a latter errour wurs than the first.

I pray yow, therfore, that ye wole write to me your disposicion how ye purpose to be demened, and how I shal take yow for th’execucion of the Kyngs Comission, and the pupplik wele of all the shire; and aftir that that ye write to me, so wole I take yow, latyng yow wete that I were lothe to labour ferther but if I wist that the Commons shuld be easid as Godds law wold; and if ony errour grow, the defaute shal not be founde in me.

I pray yow more over to gif credence to the berer her of, and the Trinite kepe yow. Wretyn at Wynch, the second day of January. The Erle of Oxenford.

203.2 [From Fenn, iii. 106.] As this letter was written in the year that John Jermyn was Sheriff of Norfolk, the date must be 1451.

203.3 See page 161, Note 3.


To my right trusty and intierly welbeloved Sir John Fastolff, Knyght.

JAN. 2

Right trusty and intierly welbeloved, I grete yow wele, and pray yow to be right sadly advysed of the contynue of a bille of instruccion closid her ynne; and therupon, as I trust yow, to comon with suych my Lords of the Kyngs Councell as be present now at this tyme, in especiall 205 my Lord Chaunceller, and that ye wole send me instruccyon agayn of their avise, and how I shal demene me. And the Trinite preserve yow. Wretyn at Wynch, the second day of January. The Erle of Oxenford.

204.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter, which is dated at the same place and on the same day as the preceding, was probably written in the same year also.


To William Wayte.205.2

JAN. 2

Rith feithful and welbelovyd brother, Wiliam Wayte, I comaunde me to yow as the lord may to his tenant, praying you effectualy to recomaunde me to my singuler gode mayster and yours, excusyng me that I write not to hym, for I dar not envolde me in the same. And as for tydyngs her, I certifye you that all is nowght, or will be nowght. The Kyng borweth hes expense for Cristemesse; the Kyng of Aragon,205.3 the Duc of Myleyn,205.4 the Duc of Ostrich,205.5 the Duc of Burgoyn205.6 wolde ben assistent to us to make a conquest, and nothyng is aunswered, ner agreed in maner, save abydyng the grete deliberacon that at the last zall spill all to goder, &c.

The Chief Yistice205.7 hath waited to ben assauted all this sevenyght nyghtly in hes hous, but nothing come as yett, the more pite, &c. On oyr and determiner205.8 goth in to Kent, and 206 Commissioners my Lord the Duc of York, Bouchier, my mayster,206.1 that will not come there, de prodicionibus, &c., but Kent praeth hem to hang no men when thei come.

Other tydyngs as yett can I non tell you, save Ulveston is Styward of the Mydill Inne, and Isley of the Inner Inne, be cause thei wold have officz for excuse for dwellyng this tyme from her wyves, &c. Sir T. T.206.2 lost hes primer at the Tour Hill, and sent his man to seche [fetch (?)] it, and a good felaw wyshed hit in Norffolk, so he wold fetch hit there, &c. Men ween that Norffolk men wer hardier thanne thei be.

God graunte, and at the reverence of God help too that an outas206.3 and clamour be made upon the Lord Scalez,206.4 preying hym for well of the cuntre, neyther susteyn ner help hym ner Heydon in no wyse, and that ye crye upon my mayster and yours that he obeye not the syrcorar [certiorari] as yett, as ye may se be hes lettre from my mayster, rudely and in hast be me endited, of which I pray excuse, &c. And pray Blake206.5 to do Swafham men sey sum what to the matier.

I wote well T. and H.206.6 wil not come there at this tyme, as it is verily reported, &c. Mitte sapientem, &c. Brayn and I shalbe with you on Saturday nest at evyn, with the grace of Jesu, to whom I be take you. In hast, at London, the ijde day of Januar. By     J. Bockyng.

205.1 [From Fenn, iii. 134.] The evidence on which this letter has been assigned to the year 1451 will be seen in a footnote.

205.2 This is supplied by the Editor, there being no address in the MS. itself.

205.3 Alfonso V.

205.4 Francis Sforza, one of the most able and successful generals of the time. He was a soldier of fortune, of peasant origin, and succeeded to the Duchy of Milan by his marriage with Bianca Maria, natural daughter of Philip Maria, the preceding Duke, whose interests he had at one time opposed as general of a league formed by the Pope and the Venetian and Florentine Republics against the Duchy.

205.5 Albert, surnamed the Prodigal, brother of the Emperor Frederic III.

205.6 Philip the Good.

205.7 Sir John Fortescue.

205.8 A commission of oyer and terminer for Kent and Sussex was issued in December 1450 to Richard, Duke of York, Lord Bourchier, Sir John Fastolf, and others.—Patent Roll, 29 Hen. VI. p. 1, m. 16 indorso.

206.1 Sir John Fastolf, whose servant Bocking was.

206.2 Sir Thomas Tuddenham.

206.3 An outcry.

206.4 See p. 196.

206.5 Elsewhere mentioned as bailiff of Swaffham.

206.6 Tuddenham and Heydon.



To my Ryght seuere and ryght worchepfull mayster, my mayster Paston, in hast.

JAN. 3

Ryght Reverent and ryght wurchepfull sir, I recomaunde me un to youre good maysterchep. Late yow wete that Blake the baly of Swafham cam hom from London on the Saterday after that my mayster departed from yow atte myn lord of Oxenfordis. And he told my mayster that he cam to London on Seint John day atte nyte. And he yede streyt to my lord Chaunceler and told my seyd lord that yf the Kyng pardoned sir Thomas Tudenham and Heydon her issewes that the shire of Suffolk wold paye no taxe; for what nedyth the kynge for to have the taxe of hese pore puple whanne he wyll not take hese issues of thos rych extorssioners and oppressours of hese puple. And also he told my seyd lord Chaunceler and many more lordes that yf the kynge pardon hym or graunted any supersedeas, London shuld with inne short tyme have as moche for to do as they hadde for to kepe London Brygge whanne the Capteyn207.2 cam thedir; for he told hym that ther was up in Norffolk redy to ryse V Ml. comons yf they have not execucion of the oyre and terminer. And whanne my lord Chaunceler herd this he was ryte glade therof, and dede Blake telle all this and moche more a forn the kynge and all hese lordes, that they blyssed him whanne they herden yt. And yf he hadde not a seyd this they shuld an hadd and supersedeas and pardon also, for ther was made a gret suggestion that it hadde be don of grette malyce. And so the lord Scales meyntenyth Sir Thomas Tudenham in all that he may goodly, but he wyll not awow 208 yt; but he shall come don to the oyre determiner sekerly, and for to make anende atwex sir T. Tudenham and Swafham; for [he] hayth made and genttyl letter un to the parson, the bayly and the inhabitaunce of Swafham, and seth that he wyll do hese parte to sette them in reste and peas. And so my mayster understande that yf Swafham and he werne accorded that thei shuld sette lytyll be Norwych. And therfore my mayster prayeth yow that ye wyll speke with the Mayer and hese brethern that they purvey that ther be atte Lenn a sufficiaunt fellawshep to gedyr, and that ther be madde a grette noyse up on the lord Scales, bothe of Tudenham and Heydon, and for all thos that arne of that sekt, and that wyse purvyaunce ordenance he hadde how they shull be demened; for this same day was the parson of Swafham with my mayster, and they arne accorded that ther shall be of here lordshep and sufficiaunt fellawshep and they shall have here loggyng atte the Frere Menours atte Lenn. And they wyll not assentte to noone ende but as the Cety doyth. And it is here avyse that the meyre shuld purveye for hem in sum other Freres. For Tudenham and H[eydon] wyll brynge with hem sufficiaunt counceyll as any kun they gete in London; And also the Cetye must purvey that as many sufficiaunt mene as can be gette or spoke to, that they be redy yf it happe of any tryall. Also the Cetye hadde nede to have Sir Miles Stapulton ther show they shuld helpe to hese costys. Ware, Sir, atte the reverens of God be thenke yow well of all these maters. Blake was atte London on Thursday and herd no word of the stretes,208.1 ne of Robson my lord of Oxffordis man, and or Blake cam to London Sir T. Terell hadde labored to Sir John Fastolf that Sir T. Tudenham shuld ave [been208.2] bownde to Sir John Fastolf in foure thowsand pounde to stande to hese rule and ordenance; and so whanne Blake cam and deysshsed all to gedyr, and so he dede Sir John Fastolf labor to the kynge and to the Chaunceler for to lette the supersedeas and the pardon; and ther was grette langage atwex Blake and Tudenham; it wor to moche to wryte yt un to yow, but he hayth sore noyssed my mayster to the Kynge and to the lordes. Also Tudenham 209 is owte of the kynges hows, and Cotton is Warderopper, my mayster shall on Monday dyne with. Also, sir, it wore grette wysdam that my mayster hadde knowleche atte Walsyngham on Fryday nest comyng how the Maire and ze be accorded, for my mayster wyle be recaled therafter. William Geney sent un to my mayster for to ascuse hym that he shuld not come to Lenn un to the Wedenesday. And, Sir, that were agrette hurte bothe to the Cyte of Norwych and for Swafham; and therfor my mayster wold that the Mayer shuld send for hym, that he be ther be tyme on the Tuesday, and that moo bille be made ayens Tudenham and Heydon, what so ever falle. The Holy Gost have you and yours in hese kepyng. Wretyn atte Rougham, the Sonday nyte nest after newe zers day in hest as it semyth. —Be your servaunte,     W. Wayte.

207.1 [Add. MS. 34,888, f. 63.] The date of this letter is sufficiently evident.

207.2 Jack Cade.

208.1 I.e. the estreats.

208.2 Omitted in MS.

To my Ryght seuere and ryght worchepfull mayster
text has “ana” (italic “a” for “d”)


Sir John Fastolf to John a Berney and Sir Thomas Howes.

JAN. 7

Sends John Bokkyng on matters to be sped at the oyer and terminer. They must remember a certiorari is out of the King’s Bench, and a procedendo was granted at one time ‘for certain which had not appeared in the place and pleaded.’ Has received all the stuff contained in a bill dated 28th November, made by John Davye of Yarmouth, and delivered to one Roger Metsharp, master of the little boat called The Blythe. Wonders they did not send the great ship with malt. Desires provisions for Lent by next ship. Remind my cousin Inglos that the man that ‘appeched’ Heydon be sent hither, if he dare stand by his words. All the indictments against Heydon are not worth a halfpenny. Howes must take John à Berney’s advice about this matter.

London, Thursday after Twelfth, 29 Hen. VI.

Let all who were on the inquest for Bardolf’s matter be indicted, whatever it cost. Signed.

209.1 [From MS. Phillipps, 9735, No. 246.]



To my ryght reverent and ryght worchepfull mayster, my mayster Paston in hest posybyll.

JAN. 9

Syr, lyke yt yow to know that my lord Scalys sent hese pursevaunt unto my mayster210.2 on the Twelthe day, that my mayster shuld mete wyth hym atte Wynche aforn my Lord of Oxenford on the Thursday nest folwyng. And whanne my mayster cam thedyr, he delyvered my mayster a letter from my Lord Chauncheler, quych my mayster wyll shew yow atte Lenn. I shuld send yow a copy therof, but it is so longe that I had no leyser to wryte it. My mayster rode to Walsyngham on the Fryday folwyng, and ther he mette with the shereve, and the shereve lyveryd my mayster a letter from my Lord of Norffolk, qwych I send yow a copy of. And atte Walsyngham my mayster resceyvyd a letter from Osberne youre man. And ther Heydonis man made hese avaunte that he was the Justice of the Pease on Caustonheythe; and so it semyth be here contenaunce that they trost of a good zere. And, Syr, whanne my mayster cam hom on Saterday ther was lyvered my mayster a letter from Sir John Fastolf, and a neyther letter cam to me from John Bokkynge,210.3 qwych I send you a copy of. Sir, God send us a fayre day atte210.4 Lenn. And that ther may be pople jnow to crye up on the Lord Scales that he mayntene not Sir T. T. and H. in here wronges, as the copy of B letter makyth mencion. And, Sir, atte the reverens of God, laborth youre materis wysely and secretely, for Wyndam noysed yow sore aforn my Lord of 211 Oxenford and my Lorde Scales that ze shuld reyse meche puple with grette arey owte of Norwyche. And therfor, Sir, late the puple be wysely and manly gydyd in here frekynge and demenynge. Also my Lord Scales sent for the parson of Sw[a]fham and divers men of the same town to mete with hym aforn my Lord of Oxenford the seyd Thursday, for to trete with hem for Sir Thomas Tudenham; and ther was the baly of Swafham and Sir Thomas Tudenham prest. And so my Lord Scales yave the parson of S. grette langage and to men of same towne. Y. and the parson answherd my Lord Scales manly in the best wyse. And ther was grette langage twexen Blake the baly and Tudenham prest that my lordys and my mayster worne acornberd therof. And so it is lyke that my Lord Scales shall make ther no loveday; and so Swafham wylbe ther in here best array. Also, Sir, Brygge was atte Walsyngham; and ther he craked grette wordes, and seyd to many divers men that it shuld be thanked alle tho that labored a yens hem. And he seyd that it worne but viij. personys, and yf men be men now it shuld be thanked hym and told hym atte Lenn. In the lest wysse he is now with the Lord Scales; the Lord Scales wyte Thomas Denyes, John Lyster and me all those indytementis. And the Lord Scales seyth that I made all the bylles and the panell; and so he is hevy lord to me and to Thomas Denyes. Prentys is atte hom with the Lord Scales; the shereve told me that he wyll do for the Cyte of Norwych as meche as he may. Sir, I wold ther worne a thowsand of good Maudby men to crye owte on Tudenham, Heydon, Prentys and Brygge for here falsse exstorciones. Also, Sir, atte the reverens of God, make an ende atwexen Sexeford and men of Salle; it lyeth in your power. I shall make redy youre forsebyll entres ayens Lenn, with the grace of God, Qwych have yow in Hese kepynge. Wretyn atte Rougham on Saterday nyte in hest.

Sir, I send yow and lewde letter be Richerd Yenneys. I beseche yow be ware to whom ze shew your letters; lete them be brente. —Be your servaunt,     W. Waytes.

210.1 [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 230.] This letter was evidently written on the Saturday after the same writer’s letter of the 3rd January immediately preceding.

210.2 Judge Yelverton. He was lord of the manor of Rougham, from which this letter is dated.

210.3 No. 169.

210.4 Atte repeated in MS.



Sir John Fastolf to Thomas Howys, Clerk, and John Bokkyng, in haste.

JAN. 12

Begs them to labour his matters, and forget not ‘that old shrew, Dallyng, for he is sore at my stomach.’ Sends by the Parson a procedendo against Tudenham, which he has got out with great labour, with a letter to my brother Yelverton. ‘And as to an assize for Hikkelyng, I shall be there on in the beginning of this term; and for Tichewell in like wise.’ Bokkyng must remind my cousin Inglos about the indictments for treason of Heydon, ‘that the man might be sent up to preve the said matter.’ Fears it has slept too long. Wishes his ship The Blythe sent to him.

London, 12 Jan. 29 Hen. VI. Signed.

Get my Lord [Oxford] and Yelverton to write a letter to Blake of the King’s house, thanking him for his friendliness to the country; ‘and forget not that Dallyng be had before my Lord and Yelverton, and make his confession before hem, &c. And let the great men that have most matters against [him] help somewhat to this good end.’

212.1 [From MS. Phillipps, 9735, No. 230.]


Sir J. Fastolf to Sir Thos. Howys and John Berney at Castre, in hast; or at his place in Pokethorp, at Norwich.

JAN. 28

Master Hue Acton has been with him for the new evidences ensealed for the manor of Mundham, which F. has sold to the use of the Church of St. Giles that he is master of, &c. Thanks them for what they have done for him in his causes before the Commissioners of oyer and terminer at Lynne, &c. Hears Appulzerd’s son expects the inquest of Mancroft in Norwich to be reversed. Speak to my cousin Inglose about this. Fastolf’s audit books. My cousin John Berney puts me in great comfort by seeing to the safeguard of my place in my absence. Would be sorry he should be injured by having respited his entry into Rokelond Toffts at my request.

Make friends in Norwich against Easter when the oyer and terminer is to be held again, for I must proceed in the matter against Appulzerd.

London, 28 Jan. 29 Hen. VI. Signed.


Begs them to send his grain and malt in a good vessel, well accompanied, with a good wind, as he has had great losses before. Speak to the Mayor of Norwich about Appulzerd’s matter; ‘for there was no city in England that I loved and trusted most upon, till they did so unkindly to me and against truth in the Lady Bardolf’s matter.’

[This letter is referred to by Blomefield (Hist. of Norf. iv. 388, Note 9), and two short extracts are given from the beginning, relating to the Hospital of St. Giles.]

212.2 [From MS. Phillipps, 9735, No. 236.]


Præsentationes factæ et fiendæ in audiendo et determinando.213.2


For as meche as the oyer and termyner is thus restreynyd, not vythstandyng the wrytyngs and all the materis utterid be my Lord of Oxenford, but if ther folow sumwhat lyke to the perell lyke to be conceyved be maters that so wern utterid and be the seyd wrytyngs, ellis shall it gretly sowndyn ageyns the worchep and the weel of all the personys, lordis, and other that eyther have wreten or utterid owght, and lyke wyse of hem in whos name seche materis hath ben utterid, soo that hereaftyr, whan they have ryght gret nede to be herd, and to be wel spedde, they shul the rather fayle thereof bothen, and here enemyes the heyer up and the more bold, &c. And therfore herein men must hold fote as manhod woll wyth wysdom; and ellis novissimus error pejor priori.

Item, in the cyte of Norwyche must the falshodys and the fals getyngs of good ther don ben fowndyn, and thow summ maters ben not presentable, or peraventure in seche forme not corigyble ther, yet so that the mater in the self be orible and fowle, and so that summe other be sufficient, yet it semyth summe men best that all go forthe and be taken, and namely [especially] in this werd [world] that now is, &c.

Item, in lyke wyse must it be in the shier, ther me thynkyt 214 it is reson that my Lordys sett bothe the day and the place of the Sessions, and all men kepe that wern the robberis at Gresham and to Plumstede, the shippyng of wolle ageyn the statute, that is felonye, and the lycence than, if ony be, ther shull come to lyght and disputed, and I suppose veryly be other statutes and be lawe fownde voyde, and the leveryes that Heydon hatht yoven to hem that arn not hese menyall men.

Item, the presonment of John Porter of Blykelyng.

Item, the presonment of John Langman of Swafham.

Item, the presonment of Robert Patgrys of Burnham.

Item, the extorcions in her [their] cortes.

Item, the prisonynge of Dallynge, and of hese obligacion mad to Sir Thomas Todenham, and howe he was presonyd at Norwyche, at Thetforthe, at Lynne, and also of many other that ben don soo too.

Item, to remembre T. Denyes of the tale that Fyncheham told whan he cam hom for Sir T. Todeham, that he be ware therof, &c.

Item, for to indyte Pryntys of a voluntary eschete that where on Symond Hamond of Patesle wheche was indyted of felonye, and because of hese goods he lete hym owte of the castell anno xvjº Regis nunc.

Item, for to indyte the same Prentys and William Goodwen of Swafham for the robbynge of Geffrey Sowle.

Item, the same Prentys and Goodwyn robbed Thomas Irynge of Myleham anno xxº Regis nunc.

Item, the same Prentys toke of Wylliam Dallynge at Norwyche v. mark for smytynge of of hese feteris whan he was there in preson anno xixº Regis nunc.

Item, to indyte the baly of Swaffham, T. Todenham, Heydon, Prentys, of felonye as excercarys [accessaries].

Item, to speke to Feraris for hese mater at Thyrnyng. Item, to indyte a cowper at Geyton wheche slow a tenaunt of Danyell at Geyton. Hese name is Thomas Dowce that was slayn; and ther kan no man indyte hym, for Sir T. Todenham maynteynyth hym, and therfore he were worthy to be indyted as excercary, anno xxvº Regis nunc.


Item, to indyte Heydon, because he rydyth armyd ayens the statute and the commyssion of the peas.

Item, for takyng awey of John of Berneys haborjoun at Walsyngham.

Item, to inquere what they dede to Alexaunder Reve of Cokely Clay.

Item, what they dedyn to Shragger, and to hese sone, for they stokked hym and hese sone at Swafham.

Item, what they deden to Gachecroft at Methewold.

Item, to enquere what they deden to a chanon of Ingham; he was arestid, and set in prison at Swafham, and [they] dede hym make a obligacioun [forced him to give a bond].

Item, how that be her comaundment Emond Wyghtton was arestid at Hempton, and put in the stokks at Fakenham more than iij. dayis, till he made a fyn of v. marks, and yet he spent and yave xls. besyde.

Item, for to endyte Knatesale, John of Woode, Robert of Woode, for Ferers mater.

Item, that William Kelynge of Castlelaker under eschetor, how that he rydyth armed, and reysith many men ayens the peas; he met wyth the Byschop at West Dereham with x. men of armys.

Item, of extorcious amerciaments take of the Prior of Westacre at Narforthe and Swafham, and hese man there set openly and shamefully and gret oppression in stokks, and a flok of hoggs taken; and be whyche appressions and extorcions was the Prior of Westacre compellid to yeven Sir T. Todenham a fee of xls. a yere, and to make Shuldam her styward, and yeven hym a fee of xls. a yere there. W. Yelverton and all other aforn hym had but xxvjs. viijd.; but of these and of many mo wers it is a gret foly to laboren in as for any indytements, but if ye be ryght seker of the sherefes office; for if he lyst, he may returne men i nowe of Swafham, and seche as ye wold have for the enquest of the hunderid, and it is the more to drede of the undyrschereff that they arn asented, and drawe all aftyr her draught. And that they wold that no sessions shuld be because of the massage that he sent to my mayster be Nicholas Dowyldays clerks, and therfore ther must be the 216 begynnynge of all these maters, as ye wold save your worchepis, and eschewe shame and the peryll, &c.

(At the bottom of the page)—Mdm of [blank] groond and of the extorcions of Sporlle.

On the back of this document occur the following further memoranda in two columns:

Maters sterid to hurt of both parties.
Sir John Fastolf,
Bisshoppis Wif.
The Priour of Norwich,
The Cite.
The Abbot of Wendlyng,
The Cite.
The Abbot of Leiston,
William Jeney.
Gregory Guybon,
216.3 Perpoynt.
John Tatleshale,
Robert Mortymer.
The Lady Bardolf,
Sir John Fastolf.
The Lord Moleyns,
John Paston.
Dux Norff.
Dux Suff.
Ed. Wynter,
John Mariot.
Hobbes Wif.
Prior Walsyngham,
Ric. Doget.
Sir John Curson,
Maister John Selet.
Sir John Curson,
Will. Thurton.

213.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This paper must belong to the early part of the year 1451, when it was proposed to indict Tuddenham and Heydon at Norwich.

213.2 This title is taken from a contemporaneous endorsement.

216.1 This term is applied to a juror who receives money of both parties in a suit.

216.2 This abbreviated word is probably Estreat, indicating that an extract or official copy of the indictment had been made.

216.3 Blank in MS.


These be names of men that arne myschevesly oppressed and wronged by Sir T. Tudenham and Heydon and here adherentes:—




Gregorius Gybon.

Joh. Maryot.







Joh. Jenney, Senior.

Joh. Damme.

Nicholaus Grome.

Joh. Ode.

Joh. Knevet.

Robert Clyfton.

Thomas Hypgame.

Homines de Swafham.

Joh. atte Howe of Helloughton.

Simon Blake.

Joh. Botwryghe, Clerk.

Item, many men indyted in Norffolk and Suffolk be Tudenham and Heydon, &c.

Ric. Wryght of Saham.

216.4 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This paper no doubt belongs to the same period as the last.

The intended order of the list is ambiguous. The names Yelverton, Fastolf, // Paston and Gybon, Maryot, // Ferrers were shown in two columns straddling a page break, followed by the remaining names in a single column.



Primo. Sciat vestra veneranda discretio quod Episcopus hujus diocesis est Thomæ Danyell et suis fautoribus maxime benevolus et in ipso episcopo T. T., J. H.,217.2 et suis complicibus est ipsius confidentia maxima, &c.

2º Si justiciarii pacis hujus comitatus omnes et singuli debeant sua autoritate pacis media pro eorum posse per totum Norfolch. comitatum diligenter conservare et pacis ejusdem 218 perturbatores carceri vel castro proprio mancipari facere, quæritur quare dictus episcopus, pacis, ut creditur, justiciarius, non vult in hac parte hujusmodi pacis perturbatoribus resistere; sed magis eisdem in talibus insolenciis favorem et auxilium in omnibus præbere.

3º Si quærantur consiliarii dicti Episcopi, certum est quod Prior monachorum, M. J. Celot, J. Bulman, T. T.,218.1 J. H.,218.2 J. W.,218.3 Johannes Yates cum consimilibus ceteris sunt etiam consiliarii dicti Danielis.

4º Cum, secundum Apostolum,218.4 furta, homicidia et talia vicia eis similia sunt abhominabilia Deo et hominibus, ac utriusque legis divinæ et humanæ contraria sacratis sanccionibus, in tantum quod non solum qui talia agunt digni sunt morte, sed etiam qui conscenciunt agentibus; ex quibus certe verisimiliter concluditur quod non solum Kervere, latro, et Daniel famulus, furator equi ac murre satis notorius, puniretur una cum fautoribus ejus.

5º Vestra discretio dicta Christi in Ewangelio diligenter consideret, ‘Si in viridi ligno hæc faciant, in arido quid fiet?’218.5

6º Non solum hæc pensare debetis pro vestræ personæ defensione seu vestræ familiæ, sed magis movere vos debet zelus et amor rei publice totius vestræ patriæ.

7º Si ista indilate et cum omni possibili celeritate citius non reformaveritis, timendum valde supponitur de insurreccione plebis, quod absit omnino.

8º Novitque discretio vestra ex paucis indigestis plura politice percipere. Statui pro præsenti tempore finem scribendi imponere.

217.1 [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 158.] This undated letter may have been written in February or March 1451, when Tuddenham and Heydon hoped to regain their ascendency. Though not addressed, we may presume that it was written to John Paston.

217.2 Sir Thomas Tuddenham and John Heydon.

218.1 Sir Thomas Tuddenham.

218.2 John Heydon.

218.3 John Wyndham.

218.4 The reference appears to be to Romans i. 29–32.

218.5 Luke xxiii. 31.



To my right reverente and wurchepfull Mayster, John Paston, Esquyer, be this delivered in hast.


Right reverent and wurchepfull Sir, I recomand me to you, besechyng you to wete that Wharles told me that Partrych seid that his lord219.2 knewe wele that ye were entred pesibilly in the maner of Gresham; where fore, he seid, thow the tenauntes and fermors pay you the rents and fermes the tyme that ye be in possession, his seid lord, thow he entre ageyn, wuld never aske it them. Item, the seid Partrych seid to Wharles that his lord wull come down hym self and entre in the seid maner within short tyme. Wharles wull not discharge your baly of xvvjs. and viijd., which he toke the seid baly enseled in a purs. The seid Wharles told my mayster, John of Berney, at the court, that he repented hym that he payd you any peny till he had be distreyned; and he seid than pleynly that he wull nomore pay till he were distreyned. I have be there divers tymes for to distreyn hym, and I cowde never do it but if [unless] I wuld a distreyned hym in his moders hous, and there I durst not for her cursyng. The baly of the hundred told me that Wharles spake to hym in cas he had be distreyned that he wold have gete hym a replevy; and the baly bad hym kete a replevy of his mayster and he wold serve it.

Item, the maner londs at Gresham, with othre tenaunts londs that be fallyn in your hands ben letyn to ferme. I can gete no tenaunte to dwell in the maner hous. And if the rede shuld be caryed thens, the tenaunts shuld thynk that ye fered sum new entre, and it shuld sore discomfort hem, for thei whisshed whan it was caried to the maner that it had be leyd ther thus pesibly ij. yer afore. Asfor the obligacyon that ye shuld have of the parson of Cressyngham, he seth he cam never 220 at Cressyngham syth he spake with you, and that he be heste it you not till Fastyngong.220.1 His hors ben stolyn, and therfore he may not ryde.

Item, Gonnore kept a court at Routon the Thursday220.2 next after Seynt Mathy220.3 the Appostell, and it was told me that Bettes was ther with hym; wherefore I rode theder. And be cause that it was a fraunchised town and within the Duchye,220.4 and also that Gonnor had gret rewle in the seid town, I toke with me the baly of the hundred and set hym with me in my Lord of Norffolks warant, and than yede in to the court ther as Gonnor and Bettes wern. The seid baly told Gonnor of this warant, and Gonnor rebuked hym so that he durst not a rest the seid Bettes. Than I toke it up on me and arested hym myself as he sate be Gonnor. Gonnor desired than to se my warant, and I shewed it hym, and he seid he wold obey it as the lawe wold. And he proferyd me suerte, men of the seid town of Routon. Than I told hym, and [i.e. if] he wold be bownd hym self with othre I would agre ther to, but I wuld have no shipmen that had nought, ner such men that rought [cared] never, and thei were onys on the see, wheder thei come ageyn or noght. Than Bettes toke Gonnor a supersedias that he had of Wychyngham twelmoneth ago for anothre man that asked suerte of the seid Bettes. I wold have had it, and he wold not lete me have it, ner shewe it me but in his hands. Than I told hym that it was noght, and he seid it was gode i nowe. I bad hym take it me for my discharge, and he seid pleynly I shuld not have it. Than I told hym I wold have my prisoner. The seid Gonnor seid I shuld not have hym, and dede set alle the tenaunts up on me and made a gret noyse, and seydyn alle pleynly I shuld not have hym yf he wold abyde with hem. Than I told Gonnor that I shuld certifie a rescuse, and prayd the baly of the hundred that he wold record the same. Item, the seid Gonnor seid I myght have favoryd the seid Bettes the more be cause the seid Bettes was my mayster Stapylton man, and that his men shuld not be bownd and I 221 shuld go lose. He seid I shuld be tyed or aght longe and alle my feleshep bothyn; but, God yeld hym, he hath yovyn me iiij. days respyte. Than I told hym it shuld never ly in his power to bynde me, ner non of my feleshep so fast but that it shuld be in your power to make hym to losyn us, and if that he abode in Norffolk he shuld be made to seke the skyrts of his sadill or Esterne. And if he had kept his wey that nyght I shuld have kept hym trewe covenaunte, for I lay on wayte up on hym on the heth as he shuld have comen humward, and if I myght have met with hym I shuld have had Bettes from hym; but he had leyd such wetche that he had aspied us or he cam fully at us; and he remembered Wyndhams manhood, that iiij. swyft fete were better than ij. hands, and he toke his hors with the spores and rode to Felbrygge Hall as fast as he myght rydyn, and I suppose he lay ther all that nyght.

Item, the seid Gonnor manased and thret John of Beston for he wuld not warn hym her of; and he dede sease alle his lond in Routon, and warned hym that he shuld not occupy his lyme kyll ner no lond that he had in Routon; and he mad his avaunte whan I was gon, if that I had not brought the baly of the hundred with me I shuld never have go thens; and yet, not withstandyng that I brought the baly with me, and thei had wust where myn hors had stond I shuld have be wele betyn. All this language had thei whan that I was gon.

Item, the seid Gonnor seid after that I was gon to the tenaunts of the seid town, that his supersedias was noght, and as for the rescuse, he shuld purvey a mene to excuse it. Where fore and it pleasyd you to send my mastres word how that I shuld be demened with the seid Bettes, and wheder that ye wuld I shuld a rest hym ageyn or nought, and to purvey such a mene for Gonnor that he myght ley his bost, it shuld be gret comfort to all yowr frendes and tenauntes ther abowtyn.

Item, I have be at my mayster Stapilton with your writtes, and he made it right straunge for to ensele hem. He seid that he knew of nown such inquiscion takyn at Swafham beforn hym; he seid if it were presented ther, it was presented in his absens, whill that he was in his inne; wherfore he seid 222 he wold not ensele hem till he sey the bokes. Whan I had answeryd hym ther to, than he seid he wold comown with my mayster Yelverton her of whan he come home, and til he had spok with hym he wold not ensele hem. I told hym my mayster Yelverton had enseled hem. Thann he seid he knew not my mayster Yelverton seale. He shewed it to Gonnor, and asked hym wheder it was his seall or noght. Gonnor seid it was his sealle. Than my mayster Stapilton brake ought of this mater and spake to me of the a restyng of Bettes and makyng of affray up on Gonnor. He seid Gonnor cam to hym to compleyn up on me. I told hym that Gonnor had enformed hym as it plesyd hym, for I had yove hym no cause to compleyn of me, and if it pleased hym to her myn excuse he shuld fynd me in no defaute. Whan he had herd myn excuse, he cowde not blame me. Meche othre langage we had, for I was with hym ner an ower. Than he asked me wheder the inquisicion was taken be fore the justice of the peas or the justice of the oyer determyner. I told hym be for the justic of the peas, for I seid it was the cessyons of the peas at Swafham. Than he bad me put up my warants, for he seid he wold not ensele hem till he had comowned with my maister Yelverton. I told hym it shuld not nede to comown with my mayster Yelverton, ner labor hym therfore, for I seid it myght not hurt thow he enseled hem not; for I seid the writts were executed, and that the shereff had mad ought warants of them, and his warants were executed, and so the seid writts shuld stand you in litill avayll, save only, I told hym, ye desiryd his sealle, because it was fownd before othre lords with hym, and that he stode in the teste of the said writts, and that was cause of my comyng theder. Than he wend I had comyn for to assayn hym, for forthwith he enseled hem, but me thynk be his langage he hath be labored of the toder part.

Item, and it pleased your gode maystershep to gete of my mayster Yelverton a supersedias for John Osborn and an othre for me. We suppose that Gonnor and Bettes wull do us arest, and we wuld the supersedias that we haue ought of the Chauncery were kept till more nede were. My mastres222.1 223 recomand her to you, and prayth you to hold her excused that she write yow no letter, for myche of the mater that she shuld have wrete to you I had wrete in my letter or she knew ther of; and also she knew not of so redy a massanger as I had. And it plesyd your gode maystershep to send us a pardon for to assoylyn Gonnor this holy tyme of Lentyn, the rather be cause of this gret bulle,223.1 we shuld leve in the more reste and peas, and kepe the more our pacyence than we do. The Holy Trynyte have you in His kepyng. Wretyn on the Monday next after Seynt Mathie223.2 the Appostell, in hast. Your pore servaunte,     James Gloys.

219.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter was written in the spring of 1451, when John Paston had re-entered Gresham.

219.2 Lord Molyns.

220.1 Fastingong, or Shrove Tuesday, fell upon the 9th March in 1451.

220.2 25th February.

220.3 St. Matthias, whose day was the 24th February.

220.4 The Duchy of Lancaster.

222.1 Margaret Paston.

223.1 Probably a bull of indulgence issued at the close of the year of jubilee 1450, for the benefit of those who had not been able to visit Rome that year.

223.2 St. Matthias. His day was the 24th February.


To my right reverent and wurchepfull mayster, John Paston, Esquyer, be this delivered in hast.


Right reverent and wurchepfull Sir, I recomaund me to you, prayng you to wete that I have labored divers men that ben enpaneld atwix my mastres, your moder, and Wyndham.223.4 Ther be many of them woll do her parte, and ther ben summe that wull not passe ther upon, for thei ben aferd that the werd [world] shuld turne. It is noysed in Norwhich that my Lord of Oxenford, my mayster Yelverton, and ye, and John Damme shuld be endited in Kent for mayntenaunce of the oyer determyner in Norffolk; and this, with othre feryth sore men of Norwhich. I trow my mastres writyth to you here of more clerly. Item, Wyndham hath be divers tymes at my mastres Cler, and mad hym erands to her, 224 and told her that he was sued in my mastres, your moders name but he supposyd that she knew not there of. He thought that ye and James Gresham had do it un malyce, my mastres your moders unknowyng. But whan he knew that I labored the enqueste, than he sent my mastres Clere word how that he knew wele that it was my mastres your moders labore. Item, he told my Lady of Morle224.1 of this sute, and he seid that he wend that my seid lady had mad an hend a twix them for the seid sute. Item, Heydons men brought his awyn hors and his sadyll thourgh Aylsham on Monday, and thei comyn in at the Busshoppes gates at Norwhich and comyn over Tomelond and in to the Abbey. Thei a bedyn there all that nyght, and ij. days after, wenyng to men of the town that Heydon had go over the fery, and so in to the Abbey; and sythyn thei seid thei shuld go to London for Heydon. Item, sum seyn that Heydon shuld be mad a knyght, and myche othre langage ther is which causyth men to ben aferd, wenyng that he shuld have a rewle ageyn. Item, there were ij. men at John Betes of Holt; thei had langage of the Lord Moleyns. If it please yow to enquere of Symond, brynger of this letter, he shall enforme you of her langage. Item, Gonnor was wetched at Felbrygge Halle with xl. persones of the Lady Felbryggs224.2 tenaunts and mor that night that I lay on wayte up on hym, and he durst not go home on the next day till they brought hym home. Thei mad a compleynt to my Lady Felbrygge, and my mastres had excused it. Item, the manase Burflet, and wull sease his lond. Symond shall telle yow how thei wer answered. Item, as for the subsidy that Sir Herry I[nglos] and the Lady Felbrygge shuld payn, the meyr knowe not yet veryly what thei schuld pay, for thei have not cast the valew of her londs. The bill closyd in this letter maketh mensyon of the valew of divers gentelmens londs that [ben] examyned in Norwhich. We can not know what Calthorp payth, for we can not speke with the shereffe, 225 ner the undre [shereffe], ner no man that gadered that hundred ther as Calthorp dwellytht. The Holy Trynyte have you in his kepyng. Wr[etyn] the Tuesday next after Seynt Mathie,225.1 in hast. Your pore servaunt,     James Glo[ys].

223.3 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] From what it mentions about Gonnor, this letter will be seen to be of the same year as the last. The fears entertained of Heydon recovering his influence are also indicative of the spring of 1451. The letter is slightly mutilated in the margin at the bottom.

223.4 John Wyndham, Esq. of Felbrigg.

224.1 See p. 84, Note 2.

224.2 Catherine, widow of Sir Simon Felbrigg, was lady of the manor of Felbrigg, of which Wyndham only had the lease at this time, though he afterwards became the proprietor.—See Blomefield, viii. 112.

225.1 St. Matthias.—See p. 223, Note 2.


To my rith wurshepfull hosbond, Jon Paston.


Rith worchipfull hosbond, I recommawnd me to yow, praying you to wete that ther is a gret noyse in this town, that my Lord of Oxforth and Yelverton and ye ben endytid in Kent for mayntenyng of the oyer determyner; and Jon Dame is endytyd ther also of treson, be cawse that he dede Heydon endytyn225.3 of treson for takyng down of the quarter of the man. And the pepyll that ben ayens Ser Thomas Todenham and Heydon ben sore aferd be cawse of this noyse, and of other langage that is had bothe in this town and in the contre, that these seyd Todenham and Heydon shuld ben as well at ese, and have as grett rewill as ever they hadde.

Jamys Gloys tellith me that he hath sent yow word of Heydonys hors and of other thyngs, mor of whiche I was purposid to asent yow word of. The Holy Trinyte have yow in kepyng. Wretyn at Norwiche, the Weddenysday next after Seynt Mathy.225.1 Yowris,     M. P.

225.2 [From Fenn, iii. 288.] It will be seen that this letter contains a distinct reference to the last which was written the day before it. Indeed, the information contained in this letter is nearly all anticipated in that of Gloys.

225.3 i.e. caused Heydon to be indicted.



To my maister Paston.


Right wurshipfull sir, and my right good maister, I recomaunde me to yow. It is so that up on an hasty sodeyn warnyng I departid from London and spake not with yow at my departyng, Wherof I was full sory. I pray yow, neverthelesse, that ye wole eftsones speke to William White with my Lord Cardinall, for I desire his maistership and good will and wole do to my power. And as touchyng to that that he semith I haf don agayn hym, in good feith I wole abide your rule or, by Seynt Kateryne, his owen rule. He is a gentilman and I wole don it with good will. I am right sory ye had not set me thorgh with hym erst I went, for I haf prayed yow ther of, as ye know your self dyvers tymes. The Holy Trynite preserve yow. Wretyn at Wevenho the iiii. day of Merche. —Your servaunt,     Denyes.

Sir, my Lord226.2 hath kept sessions at Colchestre, and my maister Yelverton with hym, and he desired me to write to yow to be wel ware if ony fals suggestion or lesynges wer made by Tuddenham and Heydon and that to your power thei be answerd in his absence. As for my Lord Scales, her be seven of housold meny indited of felony, which are strong thefes. Item, I pray yow, write in hast to the Meir of Norwich to gif credens to me whan I come to hym, and if ye so do I shal shape their articles in billes in to a nother facion I trust, and make thaym redy and delyver thaym resonably wele. My 227 Lord purposeth to be at London the ende of the first weke of Lent, and not erst. I pray your maistership, se sum meane that White do me not that harme in the Chauncery wherof ye sent me word by Brayn, for, as God sauf my soule at the day of Jugement, I fonde surete for the pees, but the Maister of the Rolles227.1 ful untruly recordeth that surete takyn as a baile, wher of treuth it was otherwise, and ful synnefully ruleth that mater, and never wold suffir me to execute the acte but lettid me, notwithstandyng it is a law private in the self as I shal clerly declare whan I come. The Holy Trinite preserve yow. I write to yow thus that ye may kyt awey this lower part of this lettre.

226.1 [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 169.] This letter must have been written in a year when Easter fell after the 20th April, as Lent does not appear to have begun on the 4th March; and as it was during the life of Cardinal Kempe, we may pretty safely fix it to the year 1451. The year 1454, indeed, might be possible as regards Easter, but there is no indication here of those troubles of which the writer complains so bitterly in that year on the 20th March. See No. 239.

226.2 The Earl of Oxford.

227.1 Thomas de Kirkeby.


To my Ryth worshipfull hosband, John Paston.


Rith wurchipfull hosbond, I recommawnd me to yow, desiring hertily to her of yowr welfar; preying you to wete that Herry Halmannys wif sent to me word on Saterday last past that Prentys thretyth her hosbond sor, and John Robyns, for suche thynges as Prentys seyth that they haue donn ayens hym; he seyth he shall make hem so besy or he leve hem that he shall make hem not wurth apeny; and they ben aferd that he woll hold hem conuawnt if he have powyr ther to. It is seyd her that the kyng shuld com in to this contre, and sir Thomas Todenham and Heydon arn well cheryeshid with hym. And also it is seyd they shall have as grett rewill in this contre as evyr they hadde, and many more folkes arn sory therfore than mery. Sir Thomas Todenhamys man and Heydonys sowyn this sedde all abowte the contre, that here maysteris shull cum hom in hast in here prosperite and be als well att esse as ever they wer. As for that ye 228 dessyryd that I shuld enquyr wher any stuff is of yowris, I wot not how to don ther with, for if ever wer aspyid that hath of yowr stuff, and we had it from hym, other that have more ther of wold ben ware be hym, and avoyd seche stuff as they have of yowris. I suppose John Osbern shall tell yow whan ye com hom agode meen to wete wher meche ther of is becom. Jamys Gloys is ayen to Gressam and I suppose John Damme shall tell yow what he hath donn ther. Yowr tenawntis wold fayn that summe mene of yowris shuld abyde amongis hem, for they ben in gred diswyr what they may do; the langage is so grett on the tother party that it maketh the tenawntis sor afferd that ye shuld not regoyse itt. I send to yow a letter be Colynys of Frawnceys Costard what dedis he woll don. It was told me also that the Lord Molyns was lyke to have aday ayens yow att Thetford at the next assyse. On [one] that loueth yow rythwell told me how it was told hym so, and warnyd me therof in secrete wyse. Itt is gode to ben war of ther falsed. I pray yow that ye woll send me word in hast, if ye woll have red to your levery as ye wer avysid, and if ye woll not, &c. And also I pray yow that ye woll do bey ij. gode hattis for your sonys for I can none getyn in this town. Mor tydynges can I not send yow yett. The Holy Trinyte have yow in his kepyng. Wretyn att Norwiche on the fyrst Monday of Lent. Yowris,     M. P.

227.2 [Add. MS. 34,888, f. 55.] This letter would appear to be of the same year as No. 184, written a fortnight later. Both letters speak of rumours that Tuddenham and Heydon will regain their ascendency.


To my right wurchipfull husbond, John Paston, be this delyverid in hast.

[MAR. 22]

Right wurchipfull hosbond, I recomawnd me to yow, beseching yow that ye be not displeasid with me, thow my symplenesse cawsed yow for to be displeasid with me. Be my trowth, it is not my will nother to do ne sey that 229 shuld cawse yow for to be displeasid; and if I have do, I am sory therof, and will amend itt. Wherefor I beseche yow to forgeve me, and that ye bere none hevynesse in your hert ayens me, for your displeasans shuld be to hevy to me to indure with.

I send yow the roll that ye sent for, in selyd, be the brynger her of; it was fownd in your trussing cofor. As for hering, I have bowt an horslode for iiijs. vjd. I can gett none ell [eels] yett; as for bever [i.e. drinkables], ther is promysid me somme, but I myt not gete it yett. I sent to Jone Petche to have an answer for the wyndowis, for she myt not come to me. And she sent me word that she had spoke therof to Thomas Ingham, and he seyd that he shuld speke with yow hymself, and he shuld accord with yow wel jnow, and seyd to her it was not her part to desyr of hym to stop the lyts; and also he seyd itt was not his parte to do itt, be cawse the place is his but for yeris.

And as for all other eronds that ye have commandid for to be do, thei shal be do als sone as thei may be do. The blissid Trynyte have yow in his keping. Wretyn at Norwyche, on the Monday next after Seynt Edward. Yowris,     M. P.

228.1 [From Fenn, iii. 238.] The date of this letter is quite uncertain. Fenn assigns it to the year 1454, when Lent began very late, as it is evident the herrings and eels referred to were intended as provision for that season. This conjecture may be correct; but it must be noted that John Paston was at home at Norwich, if not in the beginning of Lent, at least on the fourth Sunday of Lent in 1454. Moreover, if the date of this letter, ‘Monday next after St. Edward,’ means after the 18th March, which was the day of St. Edward the King and Martyr, the year 1451 would suit rather better than 1454; for, in the former year, the Monday after St. Edward’s day would be the 22nd of March, and Ash Wednesday the 10th, while in the latter the Monday after St. Edward would be the 25th, and Ash Wednesday the 6th, so that the provision of herrings would be very late.



To my right wurchepfull husbond, John Paston, [be]yng in the Inner Tempill, be this delivered in hast.


Right wurchepfull husbond, I recomaund me to you, prayng you to wete that myn unkyll Phylyp Berney230.2 was at Lynne this last weke, and he was at inne at the baylyffes hows of Lynne, and Partrych230.3 came in to the same place whill myn unkyll was ther. And the seid Partrych was wele aqueyntyd with the balyffe, and the balyffe told hym that he sent a letter to the Lord Molyns, and that the Lord Molyns had sent hym a nother letter, letyng hym wete that he purposyd hym to be at Lynne thes weke. Than Partrych seid that he had word that the seid lord purposyd hym to be ther at that tyme; but he seid summe men supposyd that he wuld not come here; and the balyffe seid that he was right glad that he shuld come in to this countre. On of myn unkyll men herd all this langage, and told it myn unkill. The baly ner Patrych knewe not at that tyme what myn unkyll was to us ward. Also I purposyd me to have sent to Stapylton, as ye sent me word be James Gresham, and it is told me that he is to London. Item, it is noysed abowte Gresham and all that contre that the Lord Molyns shuld be there in hast. Item, Gonnore had right gret langage, and he trostyd that the word [world] shall turne sumwhat after ther entent. Othre tydynges have we non, but that Tudenham and Heydon shuld have ageyn the rewle in this contre, assmych as ever thei had or more. The Holy Trynyte have you in kepyng. Wretyn at Norwhich un the Tuesday next before Mydlentesonday.230.4 Yowre,     M. P.

230.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter, like several of those preceding, speaks of a juncture in which it was expected that Tuddenham and Heydon would regain their influence. The adherents of Lord Molyns were also in hopes that he would shortly be in Norfolk and re-enter Gresham. The date must therefore be 1451.

230.2 Philip Berney, Esq. of Caston. He was a brother of Margaret Mauteby, who was Margaret Paston’s mother.

230.3 See p. 101, Note 4.

230.4 Mid-Lent Sunday fell on the 4th April in 1451.



To the ryght wise, noble, and discrete Comons of this present Parlement.


Mekely besechyn, bewailyn, and shewyn the pouer and simple inhabitaunts in the toun of Swafham, in the counte of Norfolk, that where Sir Thomas Tudenham of Oxburgh, knyght, this xvj. yeeris last passid before the day of the Acte of Resumpcion in the last Parlement before this,231.2 hath ocupied and governed the lordship and maner of Swafham forsaid, with the appertenauncez, as styward and fermer of the same; in which ocupacion and governaunce the said Sir Thomas, and othre his servauntz and adherentz in a rolle to this peticion annexed named, han petously and synnefully don and comitted the trespasez, offencez, wronges, extorcyons, mayntenauncez,231.3 imbraceryes,231.4 oppressions, and perjuryes in the seid rolle conteyned; and of dyverse and many articles ther of, and of many othre wrongs, and of that that the said Sir Thomas is a comon extorcioner, the same Sir Thomas be fore the ryght noble, true, and pleyn lord, our good and gracious lord the Erle of Oxenford, and othre the Kyngs commissioners of oire determyner withynne the same shire, the said Sir Thomas Tudenham, and othre his servauntz and adherentz arn indited.

Please it your noble wisdamis to conceyve that it hath be the comon law of the land of long tyme that if a comon theef were, in ony cuntre, so often indited or detect of so many 232 offencez he shuld not, by the law of the lande, be late to baile ne meynprise, but be kept in prison til he were put to answere of swich crymes as he were so detect of. And also please your greet wisdams to conceyve that all the Juges of the Kynges Benche, of long and late tyme sittyng in their place, laudablely han usid to comitte to prison, with oute baile or meynprise, for a tyme, al persones that han be detecte before theym of any ryot or greet cruel offence agayn the peas, which offence myght a be subvercyon of the law by ony liklynesse; and advertisyng the greet mischeves that this noble roialme hath oftyn standyn in for the greet extorcyons and oppressions that hath be don in the same,232.1 and how greet a subvercyon of the lawe and of the polityk governaunce of the land suych extorcyon is; and of your prudent and sage wisdams lyke yow to make requisicion to the Kyng our soverain Lord, and to the Lords espirituallx and temporelx in this present Parlement assembled, that by the consideracion that the said Sir Thomas wold never apere, in his persone, ne by his atturney, at no sesions of oir determyner holden in the said counte; plese the Kyng and Lords forsaid, to comitte the said Sir Thomas Tudenham to preson, ther to abide til in to the tyme that he to the said inditements hath answerid, and to the billes and compleynts of the said inhabitauntz in fourme of law.

And more over, where that the said Sir Thomas Tudenham hath, among many othre greet wrongs, ful synnefully causid a writte of assise of novell dissessyn232.2 to be brought ageyn John Aleyn and xxiij othre of the said toune, in the name of the Abbot of Sawtre,232.3 and causid that assise to passe by perjury, as in the first article in the rolle to this peticion annext it is more opinly conteyned, please your greet wisdams, for the reverens of God by that concideracion, that the jurry of the said assise durst not, for drede of the horrible menaces of the said Sir Thomas, othrewise do but be for sworn in gevyng their verdite in the same assise, in which case the said inhabitauntz, for pyte and remorce of their concyencez, wer lothe to 233 sew a writ of atteynte,233.1 to pray the Kynge and Lords forsaid to ordeyn, by auctorite of this present Parlement, that the said writ of assisse, verdit, recoverer, and the jugement ther of, with every othre circumstaunce therof, be voide, revokd, and adnulled, for the love of God.

233.2Item, compleyneth John Bladsmyth of Swafham of that that where John, late Pryour of Penteney,233.3 predecessor of the prior that now is, and the covent of the same place, the Munday next aftir the fest of Seynt Mathew the Evangelist, the xiij. yeer of the kyng, our soverain lord that now is, at Swafham forsaid, lete to ferme to the forsaid John Bladsmyth certeyn londs, rents, tenements, and pasture,233.4——

231.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This is a rough draft of a Petition which seems to have been intended for presentation to Parliament in the beginning of the year 1451. Parliament was prorogued on the 18th December 1450 till the 20th January following, but it did not actually meet again for despatch of business till the 29th April. It would appear from this Petition that Sir Thomas Tuddenham and his adherents were indicted before the Earl of Oxford at the sessions of oyer and terminer which sat on the 2nd March 1451.

231.2 This must be the Act of Resumption of 28 Henry VI.—See Rolls of Parliament, v. 183.

231.3 See p. 167, Note 3.

231.4 See p. 167, Note 5.

232.1 [Original note here in margin.] Answer neyther to the billes ne inditeing forseid, ne to non of theym.

232.2 See p. 47, Note 4.

232.3 A Cistercian monastery in Huntingdonshire.

233.1 A writ to inquire whether a jury gave a false verdict.

233.2 This is written on the back.

233.3 John de Tyrington. He was succeeded in 1449 by Richard Pentney.

233.4 The sentence breaks off thus abruptly in the MS.


Sir John Fastolf to Sir Thos. Howys, Parson of Castlecombe, at Castre.


Received a letter from them, 3rd April, with the last account of Sir Jo. Kyrtelyng and Intewod. Understands Rob. Norwych will not occupy as undersheriff, because Jenneys had given him language not to his pleasure, and so Aleyn is to occupy, who is not F.’s wellwiller; but Howys has provided a remedy with the sheriff. When the venire facias is made out, I will try and get it sent you, and I shall have Paston’s advice. Knows well the obstinate will of false Dallyng, but Bokkyng must speak with him, and entreat him in his best manner.—Margaret Bryg’s matter.

As to the oyer and terminer, it is certain Heydon and Tuddenham will be at Norwich with all the maintenance and fellowship they can. It is said Justice Prysot will be there. You must do your best to keep your friends steadfast; and I in the meantime will labour here, and send you word how the world is set. Men of the city of Norwich have good audience and favour among the Lords, and are waiting an answer of their matters. Has delivered up the shipmen, and left the ship here for causes which he will write; ‘for the rayse hath been full costuys, except they came in saufftee.’

London, 13 April, 29 Hen. VI.

233.5 [From MS. Phillipps, 9735, No. 231.]



To my right wurchepfull howsbond, John Paston.


Right wurchepfull howsbond, I recomand me to yow, prayng yow to wete that the Parson of Oxened234.2 told me that Wyndham told hym that Sweynnysthorp234.3 is hold of the Kyng be the therd part or the fourt part of a knyt fye, and ho so ever had the maner of Sweynsthorp, he shuld fynde an armyd man, in tyme of werre in the castell of Norwhic, xl. days to his owyn cost, and that ye shuld pay xxxs. to the Kyng yerly owth of the seyd maner; and it is fond also that your fader shuld a died seysyd, and that ye shuld a entyryd ther in as heyr after your fader dysseys, and that ye shuld be now up on the age of xxx. wynter.

The Trinite have yow in hys kepyng. Wreten at Norwhic, the Friday next a fore Seynt George. —Yowrs,     M. Paston.

234.1 [From Fenn, iii. 84.] The date of this letter depends upon the age of John Paston, who, in November 1444, was found to be twenty-three years old. As he is now ‘upon the age of thirty winters,’ this letter was probably written in 1451.

234.2 His name was Laurence Baldewar.

234.3 In 1444, according to Blomefield (Hist. of Norf. iv. 40), a rent-charge out of the manor of Swainsthorp was settled by John and Agnes Paston, the eldest son and the widow of William Paston, the Justice, to find a priest to sing for the soul of the said William in the chapel of our Lady the Great in Norwich Cathedral.


Sir John Fastolf to Sir Thos. Howys, at Castre in Flegg.


Sends two venire facias for Beyton in Norfolk and Bradwell in Suffolk, returnable in quindena Paschæ, which is a short day. You must deliver them in 235 haste to the Sheriff by Paston’s advice, by whom I send them. Labour to the Sheriff for the return of such panels as will speak for me, and not be shamed, for great labour will be made by Wentworth’s party. ‘Entreat the Sheriff as well ye can by reasonable rewards, rather than fail,’ for they have taken as false an issue as can be with me ‘by H. [i.e. Heydon’s] advice for cold love.’ I had traversed the plea in the inquisition that I had disseised Sir Hue Fastolf; but they put it now that I had only a joint interest in the manor. The names you sent for Bradwell are like to do well, except Hopton, who has married with the Lady Wentworth. I am also in doubt of one Reppes of Heringflete, who is Heydon’s man. Had purposed to have been at the oyer and terminer this time, but cannot, &c.

Horshighdoun, 21 April, 29 Hen. VI. Signed.

234.4 [From MS. Phillipps, 9735, No. 243.]



Maister Paston, we comaund us to you, lattyng you witt that the Sheriff is noght so hole as he was, for now he wille shewe but a part of his frendeshippe. And also there is grete prese off pepill, and fewe frendes, as ferr as we can feel yitt. And therfore be ye sadly avised wheder ye seme best to come your self, or send or, &c., for we will assay in as much as in us is to prevaile to your entente. And yett, if it neded, we wolde have a man to giffe us informacion, or shewe evidence after the case requireth. Also the Shereffe enformed us that he hath writyng from the Kyng that he shall make such a panell to aquyte the Lord Moleynes. And also he tolde us, and as ferr as we can conceyve and feel, the Shereff wille panell gentylmen to aquyte the Lorde, and jowroures to a quyte his men; and we suppose that it is be the mocion and meanes of the othir party. And yif any meanes of tretie be proferd, we know not what meane shulde be to your pleasir. And therfore we wolde fayne have mor knowlege, yiff ye think it were to doo.

No more at this tyme, bot the holy Trinite have you in his 236 kepyng. Wretin at Walsyngham, in hast, the secund day of May. —Be your trewe and feithfull frendes,     Debenham, Tymperley, and White.

And also, Sir, as we conceyve, the Lord Moleynes shall not be quyte before Thurseday; in as muche as he was indyted before the Justice, we undirstand he shall not be quyte but before the Justice. Wherfore we avise you, iff ye think it be to doo, to send your frendes in the meane tyme, and come your self to your place at Sperham, and there abyde unto tyme that we have knowlege how the saide mater will drawe, and till that we may have worde from you, and ye from us, &c.

235.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] As this letter speaks of the indictment and expected acquittal of Lord Molyns, the date must be 1451. This letter is written on parchment.


MAY (?)

Ryght worchipfulle Sir, yours goode cosynes and frendes avyse yow to come to Walsyngham, and that ye be there to morw betymes at vj. on the clok; for the Lord Moleyns offreth a trete for the goodes, and amendes to be made, or he goth ought of this contre, and if it be not taken, his men shulle justifie; wherupon your title might be hurte. The Lord Skales, the Justis, and other knygtes and squyeres merveyle grettly ye come not, and thow they that have not so true and evident mater as ye have concelle yow to be absent; yet I wolde ye dede as ye be desyrd be that felaship, for many wolde yow right welle. Whanne ye come, I shalle telle yow more.

The Lorde Moleyns shulde not have be aquyte of his comaundement, hadde he not sworen on a boke, sweche evidens was ayens hym; and ther is no jentelman wolde aquite his men for no goode, &c. W. Lomnor.

236.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter has no address, but there can be no doubt from the contents it was intended for John Paston. It was evidently written about the same time as the last, while the Sessions was sitting at Walsingham, and Paston’s suit against Lord Molyns was still pending.



To my ryght worchipffull cosyn, Margarete Paston, be this letter delivered.


Ryght worchipffull and welbeloved cosyn, I commaunde me to you as herteli as I can, thankyng you off your goode chere the last tyme I was with you. And, worchippffull cosyn, please that you to calle un to your remembrauns I wrote un to you for my cosyn Anneys Loveday to have ben in your service, and I reseyved from you a letter that your wyll was goode, but durst not to in to the tyme ye hadde spoke with my cosyn your husbonde.

Worchippffull cosyn, I have labored for hir in othir placez, but I can not have my entent as yet. Wherffor yff that hit please you to have hyr with you to in to the tyme that a mastris may be purveyeid for hir, I pray you ther off, and I shall contente you ffor hir boarde, that ye shal be wel pleased; for, cosyn, and I hadde a wyff, I wolde not care for hir. And ther as she is, she is not well at hir ease, for she is at Robert Lethum; and therfor I pray you herteli that ye wyll tendre this my writyng, and I beseche you that in cas be that ye wyll fulffylle hit that ye wel sende my cosyn Will Staunton for hir, and I shal kepe you trewe promys, as I have be for wretyn. And I beseche Almyghti Jesu preserve you. Wretyn at Hevenyngham, on the vij. day off May, &c. —Your oune cosyn,     John Hevenyngham, Knyght.

237.1 [From Fenn, iii. 144.] The date of this letter is doubtful, but it was evidently written at a time when John Paston had been for some considerable time absent from Norwich, which appears to have been the case in the beginning of May 1451. The writer of this letter died in July 1453.



To my reverent and worchepfull mayster, Sir John Fastolf, Knyght, be this lettre delyvered.


Right reverent and worchipfull maister, I recomaunde me louly un to yow. Please you to wete the Sonday next after the Fest of the Invencion of the Cros,238.2 the ix. day of May, at Castre, I receyved a lettre from you by your clerk, W. Barker, the tenure wherof I shall do spede in all hast goodly. But for the more special cause of my wrytyng at this tyme is to gef you relacion of the un true demenyng of this oure determyner, by the parcialte of the Jugez of it; for whan the Counsell of the cite of Norwich, of the toun of Swafham, youres, my Maister Inglose,238.3 Pastons, and many other playntyfs had put in and declared, bothe by writyng and by woord by fore the Jugez, the lawfull excepcions in many wise, the Juges by ther wilfulnesse myght nat fynde in ther hert to gef, not als moche as a bek nor a twynclyng of ther eye toward, but toke it to deriscion, God reforme such parcialte; and by cause Prisot238.4 thought that yf the Sessions of the oyer determyner had be holden at Norwich as they bygonne, he supposed it shuld nat so fast passe to th’entent of Tudenham and Heydon and ther felawes, as it shuld do ell[es] in other place, but enjorned to Walsyngham, wher they have grettist rule, ther to be holden on Tuesday, iiijte day of May.

This knowing, my Maister Yelverton,238.5 Genney, and other myght weel conceyve how the governaunce of the oyer determyner 239 shuld procede, for it was the most parcial place of alle the shire, and thedre wer cleped alle the frendez, knyghteys, and esquiers, and gentilmen that wolde in nowise do other wise than they wolde. And the seid Tudenham, Heydon, and other oppressours of ther set come doun theder, as I understand, with iiijc. [400] hors and more; and consideryng how ther wellwillers wer ther assembled at ther instaunce, it had be right jowpertous and ferefull for any of the pleyntyfs to have be present, for ther was nat one of the pleyntyfs ner compleynuantez ther, but your right feithfull and trusty weel willer John Paston. And my Maister Yelverton seid full discretly, and countrolled the seid Prisot when he seid, sittyng, in the Guyhalle of Norwich, these wordys to the Meyre and Commonalte, ‘A, Sir Meyre and your brethren, as to the processe of youre compleyntez, we wole put them in contynuance, but in all other we wole procede;’ which wordys Yelverton thought right parciall. And by side this the seid Prisot wolde suffre no man that was lerned to speke for the pleyntyfs, but took it as a venom, and took them by the nose at every thred woord whiche myght weel by knowe for open parcialte.

And as for the Lord Scalys, ye knowe well what he is toward you, and namely for Hikelyng matter. Also to knowe som of your feynt frendes, at that tyme that my Lord Norffolk sat at Norwich up on the oyer determyner, Sir John Hevyngham myht nat fynde it in his hert to go iiij. furlong from his duellyng place to the shirehouse, but now he cowd ryde from Norwich to Walsyngham to syt as one of the Commyssioners. As to the rule of other, that ye wolde have supposed your wellewillers, how they have byhavyd them at Walsyngham, I shall sende yow woord in all hast whan Bernay239.1 come hom to Castr, for he is nat yet come from Walsyngham. But this I knowe well, that they founde none obstacle ner impedyment in ther consciens in all your matter; but how they have do with Norwich, Swafham, and Paston, I am nat yet clerly informed; I suppose they arn put in respite. I here sey Heydon seweth for an ende to be had with the cite of 240 Norwich, and as to the namys of them that passed on ther acquitaile ayenst yow, Broyn can weell informe yow. I understand that Sir Robert Conyers, Calthorp, Mundford wer capteyns, and Maister Ric. Doget also.

Item, as for the ij. venire facias ye sent to be retorned for your manorz of Bradwell and Beyton, I have do them to be retorned of suche namys as I have sent woord before, savyng sume be take, and except out. Moreover, as for the mater of Sir John Sibton, Geney and Raulyns gef ful counsell that it shuld abyde tyl the mater of Bradwell myght procede, so that bothe maters myght take up on a day, for they sey it wold drawe xx. marc to labour the Jure to London, and yet it wer hard to bryng about. And they gef you counsell in all wise that ye labour to have Yelverton Juge at that tyme, and in all wise bothe in that materz and in all other, that ye be war that Prisot have not to have do in any wise, for than all wole be nought. Of alle other materz I shall send you woord in all hast goodly, for at thys tyme I had no leyser by cause of the hasty comyng up of Hug Fen, whom I beseche yow to fele of the demenyng of the oyer determyner, for he can telle yow moche and [i.e. if] he wole; whether he wole or nay, I can nat sey, for I know wele he was at Walsyngham. And I beseche All myghty Jesu have yow in his mercyfull governaunce. Wrete at Castre, the Sonday, ix. day of May anno xxixº Regis Henrici vjti.

On the back of the letter is written—

I prey yow be nowth displesed thow I have nowt subscribed my name withinne forth, for it is of neclygens, quoth Howys, Parson of Castlecomb.

238.1 [From Fenn, iii. 116.]

238.2 The 3rd of May.

238.3 Sir Harry Inglos.

238.4 John Prisot, Chief Justice of the Common Pleas.

238.5 William Yelverton, Justice of the King’s Bench, afterwards knighted by Edward IV.

239.1 Probably Philip Berney.



To my ryght reverent and worchepful Master, John Paston, be this delyverid.

MAY 27

Plese it your masterchep to wete that I have spoke wyth the Shereff241.2 at hese placez, mevyng to hym, as for that that was left wyth hese Under shereff, it is your wyl he shuld send a man of hese for it; for thow it were more ye wold gladly he shuld take it; he thanked yow, and sayde hese Under shereff was at London, and hymselff had non deserved, and if he had he wold a take it. And whan I departyd from hym, I desyerid hym a yen to send therffore, and than he seyde it shuld abyde tyl ye come hom, wherby I conceyve he wold have it, and be gladde to take it. Moreover, I remembred hym of hese promyses made before to yow at London, when he took hese oth and charche, and that ye were wyth hym when he toke hese oth, and oder dyvers tymes; and for tho promyses made be hym to yow at that tyme, and other tymes at the oyer determyner at Lynne, ye proposed yow be the trust that ye have in hym for to atempte and rere accions that shuld be to the avayle of hym and of hese office. He wold a know what the accions shuld be. I sayde I coude not telle hym, and than he seyde he wold do for yow that he may, excepte for the aquitell of the Lord Molyns men, in so meche as the Kyng hath wrete to hym for to shewe favour to the Lord Moleyns and hese men, and as he seyth the indytement longyth to the Kyng, and not to yow, 242 and the Lord Molyns a gret lord. Also, as he seyth, now late the Lord Molyns hath sent hym a letter, and my Lord of Norffolk anoder, for to shew favour in these indytements, he darnot abide the joporte of that, that he shuld offende the Kinges commaundment. He know not how the Kyng may be informed of hym, and what shal be seyde to hym.

And than I sayde as for any joporte that he shuld abyde in any thing that he doth for yow, or be your desyre, you have offered hym, and wol performet, sufficient sewerte for to sawe hym harmeles, and therfore I supposid ther wold non resonable man thynk but that he myght do for yow wyth owte any joporte. And then he seyde he myth non sewerte take that passid Cli.; and the Lord Molyns is a gret lord, he myght soon cause hym to lese that, and meche mo. Than I sayde, be that meane, in defawte of a Shereff, every man may be put from hese lyvelod; and thann he seyde iff it were for the lyvelode, men wold take hem the nerer for to abyde a joporte; but be hese feyth, as he swore, if the Kyng wryte ayan to hym he wol no lenger abyde the joporte of the Kyngges wrytyng, but he trustyth to Godde to inpanell seche men as shuln to hise knowleche be indeferent, and non comon jurors. As me semyth it wold do goode and [if] ye wolde gett a comaundment of the Kyng to the Shereff for to shew yow favour, and to inpanell jantelmen, and not for to favour non seche riotts, &c.; for he seyde that he sent yow the letter that the Kyng sent hym, and ye seyde a man shuld gete seche on for a noble.

Item, I remembred hym of the promyses that he hath made to Temperley, and that if he wold make yow very trew promys, ye wold rewarde hym as meche as he wold desire, or any other resonable man for him, and asmoche and mor then any adverserry ye have wold gef hym; than he seyde he toke never no mony of non of hem alle. There was proferid hym at Walsyngham for the Lord Molyns xx. nobles, he had not a peny; moreover, I proferid hym, if he wold make yow promys that ye myght veryly trust upon hym, ye wold geff hym in hande as he wold desire, or to leve a summe if he wold a named it in a mene mannys hand, and seche as he hath trust 243 to. And then he seyde, if he myght do for yow, or if he do any thyng for yow, then he wol take yowre mony wyth a good wyl; and other promys I coude not have of hym, but that he wol do for yow all that he may, excepte for the inditements. I conceyve veryly he hath made promys to do hese part that they shul be a quytte, but I suppose he hath made non other promys ayens yow for the lyvelode; but he lokyth aftyr a gret brybe, but it is not for to trust hym veryly wyth owte that he may not chese. I suppose he had no wrytyng fro my Lord of Norffolk as he seyde.

I was at Framyngham for to a spoke wyth Tymperley, Debnam, or Berry, and they were all ought. My Lord, as he came from London, he was at Yepysweche on Moneday, and when he wythowth the town toward Framyngham, he had all hese men ryde forth afore a gret pase, for he wolde felwe softely; and when hese men were owte of syght, he rode wyth v. men to a squieris place of hese therby, and on Tewsday, rodde my Lady to hym; and so I dede nought at Framyngham. No more at thys tyme, but All myghty Jesu spede yow, and have yow in hese kepyng. Wrete at Norwiche, the Thursday next aftyr Sent Austyn, &c. Be your servunt,     John Osbern.

241.1 [From Fenn, iii. 308.] At the date of this letter Lord Molyns had probably been acquitted, but the action against his men was still pending. The year must therefore be 1451. The date ‘Thursday next after St. Austin’ is understood by Fenn to be after the Feast of St. Austin, or Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, which was celebrated on the 28th of August; but the dates of the preceding letters make it more probable that the writer means St. Augustine, the apostle of England, whose day was the 26th of May.

241.2 John Jermyn.—See page 183, Note 2.


To [Herry]243.2 Barker of Synt Clements Parys, in Norwych, to delyver to my Master John Paston, in haste.

or later

On Thurisday the wall was mad zarde hey, and a good wylle be fore evyn it reyned so sore that they were fayne to helle the wall, and leve werke. And the water is fallyn so sore that it standyt ondyr the wall a fote 244 deppe to Ballys warde [i.e. towards the land of a neighbour named Ball]. And on Friday after sakeryng, one come fro cherch warde, and schoffe doune all that was thereon, and trad on the wall and brake sum, and wente over; but I cannot zet wete hoo it was. And Warne Kynges wyfe, as she went over the style, she cursyd Ball, and seyde that he had zevyn aweye the waye, and so it prevyt be John Paston is words. And after, Kyngs folke and odyr come and cryid on Annes Ball, seying to her the same. Zystyrnevyn wan I xul goo to my bede, the Vycare244.1 seyde that Warne Kyng and Warne Harman, betwyxte messe and matynsse, toke Sir Roberd244.2 in the vestry, and bad hym sey to me, verely the wall xulde doun a gayne. And wan the Vycar tolde me I wyste ther of no worde, nor zet do be Sir Roberde, for he syth he were loth to make any stryfe. And wan I com out of the cherch, Roberd Emundes schowyd me how I was amercyde for seute of corte the laste zer vjd., and seyd it was xijd. tylle Warne Kyng and he gat it awey vjd.

I send zou word how John Jamys was demenyd at Cromere, to send to Jamys Gressham how he xall be demenyd. Gaffrey Benchard, Alexander Glover, heywards,244.3 tokyn a dystresse of John Jamys or the bond tenent of A. Paston, calde Reynalds, in Cromer, the xxviijti yer of thys Kyng, and W. Goodwyn, Baly of Cromer, with the seyd J. Jamys, with forsse toke awey the dysstres, wech was ij. horsse and a plowe. And Good be with zou. Be Annes Paston, your Modur.

243.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] As this letter refers to the 28th year of Henry VI., seemingly as a past date, it cannot well be earlier than 1451. But probably it is not much, if at all, later.

243.2 The Christian name Herry is crossed out, and Meye (?) appears to be written over.

244.1 William Pope was vicar of Paston from 1447 to 1455.

244.2 Probably the Vicar’s Curate.

244.3 Haywards were (originally) persons who guarded a farm and crops in the night, and blew a horn on an alarm or robbers.—Halliwell.



To John Paston be thys byll deliverd in hast.

or later

I  spacke thys day with a man of Paston syde, and he told me that a man of Paston told hym that Paston men wold not goo presessyon ferther than the chyrche yerde on Sent Markys day,245.2 for he seyd the presessyon wey was stoppyd in, and seyd with in chort tyme men hopyd that the wall chuld be broke doun ageyn. Item, he seyd that I was amercyid for stoppyng of the seyd [way]245.3 at the last generall court, butt he cowd not tell who meche the mercyment was. And he that told it me askyd the man that told it hym if he had the mercyment in hys exstrete for to distreyn there fore; and he seid nay, but seyd he that chuld do it chuld bettyr doe take it up on hym than he chuld. Item, the same man told me that he mett with a man of Blyclyng, hyght Barker, that cam late fro London, and he told hym that I had a sute att London ageyn Wareyn Herman of Paston, and seyd that Roberd Branton was hys attornnye, and seyd he seygh hym ryght besy for hym att London. And for yete not yor sustyr;245.4 and God have yow in kepyng. Wretyn att Norwyche the xij. day of May, Be yor modyr,     A. Paston.

245.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter has the appearance, to judge from its contents, of being perhaps a few weeks later than the preceding one. It is, however, in a different hand.

245.2 April 25.

245.3 Omitted in MS.

245.4 Elizabeth Paston?



John Paston, dwellyng in the Tempyll at London, be thys letter delyverd in hast.

or later

I  grete yow wele, and lete yow wete that on the Sonday befor Sent Edmond, after evyn songe, Augnes Ball com to me to my closett and bad me good evyn, and Clement Spycer with hyr. And I acsyd hym what he wold? And he askyd me why I had stoppyd in the Kyngs wey? And I seyd to hym I stoppyd no wey butt myn owyn, and askyd hym why he had sold my lond to John Ball? And he sor [swore] he was nevyr a cordyd with your fadyr; and I told hym if hys fadyr had do as he dede, he wold a be a chamyd to a seyd as he seyd. And all that tyme Waryn Herman lenyd ovyr the parklos246.2 and lystynd what we seyd, and seyd that the chaunge was a rewly chaunge, for the towne was un do therby, and is the werse by an Cli. And I told hym it was no curtese to medyll hym in a mater butt if he wer callyd to councell; and prowdly goyn forthe with me in the cherche, he seyd the stoppyng of the wey xuld coste me xx. nobylls, and zet it shuld downe ageyn. And I lete hym wete he that putte it downe chull pay therfor. Also he seyd that it was well don that I sett men to werke to owle246.3 meney whyll I was her, butt in the ende I chale lese my coste. Than he askyd me why I had a wey hys hey at Walsham, seyng to me he wold he had wyst it whan it was karryd, and he chuld a lettyd it; and I told hym it was myn owyn grownde, and for myn owyn I wold holde it; 247 and he bad me take iiij. acre and go no ferther. And thus churtly he departyd from me in the cherche zerde. And syt [since] I spacke with a serteyn man, and acsyd hym if he herd owt sey why the dyner was mad att Norfolkys howse, and he told me [he] herd sey that serteyn men had sentt to London to gete a commyssyon owt of the chaunstre to putt downe ageyn the wall and the dyk.

I receyvyd yor letter by Robert Reppys thys day after thys letter wretyn thus far. I have red it, butt I conn yeve yow non aunswer mor than I have wretyn, save the wyfe of Harman hathe the name of owr Lady, whos blyssyn ye have and myn. Wretyn at Paston, on the day after Sent Edmond,247.1 Be yowyr modyr,     Augnes Paston.

246.1 [From Fenn, iii. 44.] This letter of Agnes Paston’s refers to the same subject of dispute as the two preceding, and was probably written after them; but the exact year is not certain.

246.2 The half door of her ‘closet’ or pew in church.

246.3 ‘To owl,’ says Fenn, ‘may signify to deceive, as an owler is a person who carries contraband goods in the night; though I rather think it means in this place to oil, that is, to smooth to her purpose; but q.?’ The explanation certainly is not very satisfactory. From the definition of ‘owler’ we might perhaps conjecture with more probability that ‘to owl’ was to work in the night time. Did Agnes Paston, to avoid interruption, set men to build the wall by night?

247.1 St. Edmund’s day was the 16th November.


To my rygth worshipfull hosbond, John Paston, be this delyverid in hast.

[JUNE 3]

Rygth wurchipfull hosbond, I recommawnd me to yow, desyring hertyly to her of your welfar, preying yow to wete that itt was told me this weke that ther is afayr plase to sell in Seynt Laueransis parysch, and stant ner the chirche, and by the water syde, the whiche place Toppis hath to sell. Pyte alyster [a dyer] bowgth itt of Toppis and now, for defawt of payment, Toppis hath enterid ayen therinne, and shall selle itt in hast, as it is told me. The seyd lyster dwellyth therinne at this tym, but he shall owte, for he is hald rygth apore man. I suppose if ye lyke to bye itt when ye com hom, ye shall mowe have itt of Toppis als godechepe or better than another shuld. Als for tydyngs, we have none gode in this 248 contre; I pray God send us gode. Itt was told me that Rychard Sowthwell hath enterid in the maner of Hale,248.1 the whiche is the Lady Boysys,248.2 and kepyth itt with strength with seche another felashep as hath be att Brayston, and wastyth and dispoylyth all that theris; and the Lady Boys, as it is told me, is to London to compleyn to the Kyng and to the Lordys ther of. Itt semyth it was not for nowgth that he held with Charlys and his felashep. I prey yow that ye wol vowchesawf to speke to Jamys Gloys to bye the Ungwentum Album that I spake to hym for; and that ye woll remembr your fayr dowgteris gyrdyl. I hope ye shull be at hom so sone that I woll do wryte nomor tydyngs to yow. The blyssid Trinyte have yow in his keping, and send yow gode spede in all that ye woll spede well inne. Wretyn at Norwyche on the Asencion day. Yours,     M. P.

247.2 [From Fenn, iii. 424.] Reference is made in this letter to the forcible entry of Daniel into Brayston in 1450, and, from the terms of the allusion, that event must have been pretty recent. The date of this letter, however, cannot be earlier than 1451, as Lady Boys must have been a widow at the time, and she only became so in December 1450.—See Letter 162, p. 198.

248.1 Holm Hale.

248.2 Sibilla, daughter and heir of Sir Robert Ylley, and widow of Sir Roger Boys, Knight. She was alive after 1450. —F.



Please it your maistership to wete that, as touchyng Blake of the Kyngges hous, I spak with hym, and he told me that if the Lord Moleyns wold take suyche appoyntement as ye agreed to, that he shuld lete me wete therof on Satirday after noon, as I tolde yow whanne ye dyd on your botes, &c. And sith that tyme I herd no word of hym. Item, there is laboured a supersedeas for alle them that th’exigend248.4 is ageyn, that arn convycted by record of my Lord 249 of Oxenford, except ij. men which the Lord M. gyveth no fors of. Item, I send yow Treshams letter and a copie of the same. Item, I send yow the cerciorari for my maistresse your modir. Item, I send yow the scire facias for Osbern and Foke versus Heydon and Wyndam. Item, I send yow a distringas ageynst Tudenham, &c. Item, I beseche yow if it may be in cas my Lord of Oxenford have not Holt hundred, that ye wole take it to suyche on as yow seme best, for it is told me that Pertriche laboureth therfore. And that is by the setting on of Heydon, &c. As touchyng the capias ageynst Pertrich, and the pros. a geynst Costard, &c., it wole not be hadde, &c.

248.3 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter is anonymous, but it is in James Gresham’s handwriting. In Letter 190 we have Lord Molyns offering to treat with Paston for the injury done to his property at Gresham. Apparently Paston has now mentioned what terms he would accept. From what is said of the supersedeas, it would seem that this letter was written not long before the next, which is dated on Trinity Sunday.

248.4 A writ of exigent lies where the defendant in a personal action cannot be found, or anything of his to distrain. The sheriff is therein directed to proclaim him on five county court days, requiring him to appear on pain of outlawry.


To the Ryght worshpful John Paston, Esquyer.


Ryght worshipfull, &c. Please zou to comfort and help my pouer tenaunt, Symond Sparre, whech ys a restyd by warant, at the sute of the Lord Scalys, for Sir T. Tudynham shepp. And, Sir, uppon Fryday last passyd, Blake, the Kynges secratory, tolde me that there was delyvered a supersedyas for all men in that sute. But, Sir, as my verry trust is in zou for this, lat it be easyd, as I may doo for zou, &c.; for, Sir, I may not attent, by cause I am ocupyed with my suster, for hir husbond, Sir Rychard Veuuter,249.2 dessessyd upoon Fryday last, &c. Wretyn in gret hast upon Trenyte Sunday. Be zoure pouer cosyn,     John Berneye.

249.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] For the date of this letter see Note 3 on last page. Trinity Sunday fell on the 20th of June in 1451.

249.2 Blomefield mentions a Sir Richard Veutre, who presented to the living of Cockthorp in 1450.—Hist. Norf. ix. 218.




A letter of Sir John Fastolf to Sir Thomas Howes, dated 28th June 1451, 29 Henry VI., is mentioned by Fenn in vol. iii., p. 133, in a footnote, and the following sentence extracted:— ‘The untrouthe of the Pryour of Hykelyng draweth away my devotion in such causes.’ The original of this letter I have not met with.


To my rygth worshypfull hosbond Jon Paston, be this delyverd in hast.


Rygth worchypfull hosbond, I recommawnd me to yow, desyryng hertyly to her of yowr wellfar, preying yow to wete that I have spoke with my Lady Felbrygg250.2 of that ye bad me speke to her of, and she seyd pleynly to me that she wold not, ne nevyr was avysyd, neyther to lete the Lord Moleyns ne non other to have ther intents as for that mater, whyll yet she levyth. And she was rygth evyll payd with Sawtr that he shuld reporte as itt was told yow that he shuld have reportyd; and she made rygth moche of yow, and seyd that she wold nowgth that no servaunte of herys shuld reporte no thyng that shuld be ayens yow other wyse than she wolld that your servawnts shud do or seyn ayens her; and if other your servawnts dede ayens her, or any of her ayens yow, she wold that itt shuld be reformyd be twyx yow and her, and that ye mygth ben all on; for she seyd in good feyth she desyryth your frendshep; and as for the report of Sawtr, she 251 seyd she supposyd that he wold nowgth reporte so; and if she mygth know that he dede, she wold blame hym therfor. I told her that itt was told me syth that ye reden [? yeden, i.e. went], and that itt grevyd me mor that the seyd Sawtr shuld reporte as he dede than itt had be reportyd of another, in als moche as I had awgth hym goodwyll befor; and she prayid me that I shud not beleve seche reports tyll I knewe the trowth.

I was att Toppys at dyner on Seynt Petyrs day; ther my Lady Felbrygg and other jantyll women desyryd to have hadde yow ther. They seyd they shuld all abe [have been] the meryer if ye hadde ben ther. My cosyn Toppys hath moche car tyll she her goode tydyngs of her brotheris mater. Sche told me that they shuld kepte a day on Monday next komyng be twyx her brother and Ser Andrew Hugard and Wyndham. I pray yow send me word how they spede, and how ye spede in yowr owyn materys also. Also I pray yow hertyly that ye woll send me a potte with treacle in hast; for I have ben rygth evyll att ese, and your dowghter bothe, syth that ye yeden hens, and on of the tallest younge men of this parysch lyth syke and hath a grete myrr’. How he shall do God knowyth. I have sent myn unkyll Berney251.1 the potte with treacle that ye dede bey for hym. Myn awnte recommawndeth her to yow, and prayith yow to do for her as the byll maketh mencion of that I send you with this letter, and as ye thenk best for to do therinne.

Ser Henry Inglose is passyd to God this nygth, hoys sowle God asoyll, and was caryid forthe this day at ix. of the clok to Seynt Feythis, and ther shall be beryid. If ye desyer to bey any of hys stuff, I pray you send me word therof in hast, and I shall speke to Robert Inglose and to Wychyngham therof; I suppose thei ben executors. The blyssyd Trinyte have you in his kepyng. Wretyn at Norwyche in hast on the Thursday next after Seynt Peter.251.2

I pray yow trost nott to the sheryve251.3 for no fayr langage. Yours,     M. P.

250.1 [From Fenn, iii. 124.] The mention made of the death of Sir Harry Inglos at the end of this letter proves it to have been written in the year 1451. According to the inquisition post mortem 29 Hen. VI., No. 9, he died on the 1st July 1451, which corresponds exactly with ‘the Thursday next after St. Peter,’ the day this letter was written.

250.2 See p. 224, Note 2.

251.1 Philip Berney.

251.2 St. Peter’s day was the 29th June.

251.3 John Jermyn was sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk this year.



Sir J. Fastolf to Sir Thomas Howys, Parson of Castlecombe.


Has received his letter by Herry Hansson. Does not think he authorised Howys to have Andrews and his other adversaries noted and corrected at oyer and determyner; but if there was any letter to that effect, F. will bear him out. Thinks even if there was any letter to that effect sent by negligence, Howys should have taken counsel, and he would not have been sued for conspiracy. If Andrews and the others had been sued in Suffolk instead of Norfolk, they could have had no grounds of action.

London, 20 July.

[John Andrews was one of Heydon’s adherents who gave trouble to Fastolf and his friends on more than one occasion; but this letter seems to have reference to the proceedings taken against several of that faction in 1451.]

252.1 [From MS. Phillipps, 9735, No. 258.]


Sir John Fastolf to John Berney, Sir Thos. Howys, and Walter Shipdam.


Begs them to hasten Rob. Boothe to London. Hears that the oyer and termyner is to be at Norwich on Thursday252.3 after Holyrood day, and that Will. Yelverton, justice, is to be there. Ascertain, therefore, how the substantial men of Norwich are inclined in my matter against Appulzerd, and take Paston’s advice in proceeding. Is advised to send John Bokkyng or Will. Barker to them before the time. Bids them send an indenture of Cornelys Floryson about wheat and malt. Has arrested the ship. As to the matter against Applierd, if Todenham, Heydon, Wymondham, &c., or any of them, will labour for their acquittal against me in the Lady Bardolf’s matter, you must oppose it. Trusts the present mayor and his predecessor know what he has done for the town, and Will. Jenney and his brother can testify to Applierd’s demeanour. You must get a copy of the indictment, lest he deny the presentment. Sends a lease of Lady Sterburgh’s part and Bardolf’s, made by Wichingham and Blake, and a 253 confirmation of Sir Reynold Cobham,253.1 and the said Lady Sterburgh his wife, &c. Commend me to my Lord of Ely253.2 and my Lord of Oxford if they be there, and my coz. Yelverton, and ask my Lord of Norwich for tidings of Hikelyng. ‘Item, blessed be God of his visitation! I have been sore sick and am well amended, and trust to our Lord to see you hastily and other of my friends.’ (Signature not F.’s own.)

252.2 [From MS. Phillipps, 9735, No. 233.] From the reference to the date of the oyer and termyner mentioned in this letter, it is clear that it was written in the same year as the letter following, and probably a few days earlier.

252.3 September 16th, Holy Rood day being the 14th.

253.1 Sir Reginald Cobham of Sterborough in Surrey, father of the notorious Eleanor Cobham.

253.2 Thomas Bourchier, afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury.


Sir John Fastolf to John a Berney, John Paston, and Sir Thomas Howys.

SEPT. 14

As the oyer and termyner is to be at Norwich on Thursday next,253.4 sends John Bokkyng to wait upon his counsel there to see to his matter against Appulzerd. They are to spare no cost to bring it to a good end, especially the bill of maintenance against Appulzerd, who was the greatest cause that the inquest passed against F. so untruly. (Signature not F.’s own.)

London, 14 Sept. 30 Hen. VI.

253.3 [From MS. Phillipps, 9735, No. 251.]

253.4 16th September.


To my trusty frendys, Sir Thomas Howys, Parson of Castellcombe, beyng at Castre.

SEPT. 23

Ryght trusty frendys, I grete you well. Item where as the Bysshop of Norwych253.6 makyth but delayes in my resonable desyre for an eende to be had in the xxv. marc of Hykelyng, y am uppon a appoyntement and throw wyth the heyr of Clyfford, that he shall entree in the hole maner that ys chargeable wyth my xxv. marc rent, which the Pryour and Convent have forfeted the seid hole manor to the heyers undre her Convent seele of record, because of myne nonne payment of xxv. marc; and so then the Pryour 254 shall lese for ever iiijxx [four score] marc of rent, and that wythout onye concience, for they have be fals both to the Clyffordys and to me thys vij. yeere day. And y trust to God to correct hem so by spirituell law and temporell law, that all othyr Relygyoux shall take an example to breke the covenant or wille of anye benefactor that avauncyth hem wyth londs, rents, or gode; and my confessours have exorted me gretely ther too. And Almyghty God kepe you. Wryt at London, the xxiij. day of September anno xxxº R. H. vi. John Fastolf, Kt.

There is one Walsam wold desyre acquitaunce of pardon for the wydow of Hygham, I hafe no cause, for hyr husband left hyr whereoff to pay hyr debts suffisaunt, and for me he ferre the better. The wydow noysyth you, Sir Thomas, that ye sold a wey salt but for xxs. that she might hafe had xls. for every wey, I pray you aunswer that for your acquytaille.

Item, sende me the value of Goold ys tenement in Drayton, wyth xx. acres lond therto, what it was worth yeerly when it stode hoole; for Sellyng seith it was worth but j. noble by yeer.

253.5 [From Fenn, iii. 132.]

253.6 Walter Lyhart or Hart.


To my mastir, John Paston, Esquier.

DEC. 18

Right worshippful sir, I recomaunde me unto you. And please it you to witte of oure newe tydinges here; as this day com writing both to my Lorde254.2 and to my Lady from London, that there be certein lettres directed 255 to my Lorde from my Lady his moder,255.1 and diverse other Lordes for to have Danyell255.2 in his favour a geyne, and as it is supposed by the meanes of the Duc of Somersette,255.3 for he hath ben right conversaunte with hym all this quarter of this yere. And also thei that sente this writing sayn playnly that the Lorde Skales is gode lorde to hym, and that he hath promysed hym to make Sir Thomas Tudenham, Heydon, and hym accorded, and other men in the cuntre, and that he shall be suffred to entre in to Brayston, and kepe it to th’entente that the cuntre shall thinke, and my Lord also, that he hathe grete favour amonge the Lordes of the Counsell, and cause men to fere hym the more. Whethir it be thus or non I can not say; never the lesse me thinketh ye shall sone knowe if Mounford will agree that he shall entre in to Brayston, and if that be trewe, all the remenant shall seme the more likly.

I pray you brenne this letter when ye have redde it. My Lorde and my Lady sayn ye shall be right welcome and ye will se theym this Crisemasse. I reporte me to your wisdom, and God have you in his keping. Writon at Framlyngham, the xviij. day of Decembre. Ric. Southwell.

254.1 [From Fenn, iii. 366.] This letter must have been written in 1451. It appears from No. 119 that Daniel entered the manor of Brayston or Braydeston during the sitting of the Parliament at Leicester in the spring of 1450. He was dispossessed by Mundford and Heydon on the 7th September following, but he entered the place a second time in the 30th year of Henry VI., i.e. some time between the 1st September 1451 and the 31st August 1452. In this letter it is anticipated that he will be enabled to enter the place by his influence with Lord Scales and the Duke of Somerset. This cannot refer to his first entry, as Somerset was in France for a long time before.

254.2 John Mobray, Duke of Norfolk, married Ellenor, daughter of William Bourchier, Earl of Ewe, in Normandy. —F.

255.1 Catharine, daughter of Ralph, Earl of Westmoreland, and widow of John Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk. —F.

255.2 Thomas Daniel, Esq., was Constable of Rising Castle, and married Margaret, sister of John Howard, afterwards Duke of Norfolk. —F.

255.3 Edmund Beaufort.


To John Paston dwyllyng in the Tempyll at London be this letter delyverid in haste.

or later

I  gret zou well, and lete zou wete that Warne Harman on the Sonday after Hallumesday after ensong seyd oponly in the cherch zerde that he wyst wyll that and the Wall were puddoun, thou he were an hundryd myle fro 256 Paston he wyste well that I wolde sey he ded yt and he xuld bere the blame, seying Telle yte here ho so wyll, thou it xuld coste me xx. nobyllys it xall be puddoun azen. And the seyd Warnys wyfe with a lowd vosse seyd All the deuyllys of hell drawe her sowle to hell for the weye that she hat mad. And at euyn a sertyn man suppyd with me and tolde me that the patent256.1 grantyt to closse but a perch on bred, and that I had clossyd more than the grant of the patent is as men seyd. And John Marchall tolde me that there was a thryfty woman come forby the watteryng and fond the weye stoppyde and askyd hym ho had stoppyd the weye, and he seyd, they that had pore to zeue it, and askyd here Wat was freer than zyfte, and he seyd she sey the day that Paston men wold not asofferyd that. And God be with zou. Wretyn at Paston on Monday after Hallumys day. —Be zour modyr,     Annes Paston.

255.4 [Add. MS. 34,888, f. 76.] This letter is evidently of the same year as Nos. 194 and 196, which must be 1451 at the earliest.

256.1 The patent granted to her husband in 1443 (21 Hen. VI.). See Introduction.

See Introduction.
“See” printed in roman (non-italic) type


To Right Worshipful sir and my gode maister Johan Paston, escuier, &c.

FEB. 9

Right worshipful Sir, and my Right gode Maister, I Recommaunde to yow with al myne hert. Plese yow that I have understanden that Daniel hath entred in to Brayston, and put owte my servantes and dispoiled my godes, notwithstandinge I am here in the Kinges service and under his proteccion, which was shewed him; for the whiche owtrage I write to the King at this tyme and to other my gode lordes, for to be kepte in my pocession, and to be 257 restored again to my godes. And if so be that I may not have my pocession ayene and be restored to my godes as I desire, I wol take an accion be your avis of forsable entre in my name and my wifes for owre title, &c., and an accion of trespasse for dispoiling of my godes ayenst him and al tho that were helpinge or consenting therto, &c., and assisse of a novel Disseson in my sonnes name, Johan of Berney, for to trye the title and ende debate with Goddes help and youres, &c.; for the whiche matere I write unto my fader, to myne Eme257.1 Adam, to my Cosyn Fyncheham, to Edmond Piers, and to other divers of my frendes to be my helpers in thes mater in myne absence. For I may not come nor I wol not come, though I shulde lese al Brayston, and it were myne, considering that the enemyes drawen dailly hedirward, as it is openly said, &c. Wherfore I praye yow, as my ful trust is in yow, to tendre this matere in myne absence. And that it shal plese yow to recommaund me to my worshipful maistresse and gossip, your wif. And my maistresse recommaundes her vnto yow, and to her worshipful nece, and to al youres. Prayinge Almighty God to have yow in his kepinge and sende yow right gode lif and longe, after your awne hertes desire. And, Sir, if it plese yow to come to Calais with the king, ye shul have a stope of bere to comforte yow after your travaille of the see. And if ther be any service that ye wol commaund me to do for you here, ye shul fynde me your owne man. Written at Calais, the ixe. day of Feveree, &c. —Your awne seruant,     Osberne Mundeford.

256.2 [Add. 34,888, f. 79.] It appears by No. 119 that Daniel entered the manor of Braydeston, or Brayston, first during the time of the Parliament at Leicester, 28 Hen. VI. (i.e. May or June 1450), and a second time during the thirtieth year of the King, i.e. 1451–2. As this letter is dated February, 1452 must be the year.

257.1 ‘Eme,’ i.e. uncle.



Unto myn right worshipfull sir, John Paston.


Right worshipfull Sire and myn good maister, I recomaund me unto you, thankyng you of your gentilness chewed unto me; praying you of contenuance as myn full trust is. Furthermore, and it please you to be atte aleyser un Seynt Markis day next comyng and to be at Thetford, myn brodir Tyrell and I wole awayte uppon you ther for the matere ye woet of. And I praye you to hold me excused that I myght not kepe myn day in the Passion wike, for in good feight I was so occupied I myght not. And, Sire, yif this day may be hol  .  .  I praye you sendith me woord that I myght send warnyng to the todir party. Also, Sire, I have warned your atteynt accordyng to your comawndment. Sir, the kyng hath sent unto me by Howard to be frendly to the lord Moleyns; not with stondyng myn service shall be redy at your comawndement in that matere er any othir by the grace of God, Who preserve you, body and sowle. Wreten at Melford, the furste day of Aprill. —Be youris,     J. Clopton.

258.1 [Add. MS. 34,888, f. 60.] The date of this letter must no doubt be referred to the year when the writer was Sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk, which he was from November 1451 to 1452.


The Duc of Norffolk


Be hit knowen to alle the Kyngs trewe liege peple, the cause of our comynge in to this contre ys, by the comandement of the Kynge our soverayn Lorde, for to enquer of suche gret riotts, extorcyons, oryble wrongis and 259 hurts as his Highnesse ys credybyly enformyd ben don in this contre, and to know in serteyne, by yow that knowe the trowthe, by what persone or personys the seyde gret riotts, extorcions, oryble wrongis and hurts be done. Wherfor we charge yow alle, on the Kyngs behalve our soverayne Lorde, that ze spar neyther for love, drede, ne fer that ze have to any persone of what estat, degre, or condicion he be, but that ze sey the soth by whome suche offences be done, and that ze spar no man that ze knowe gilty; and be the feyth that we owe to our soverayn Lorde, they schal be chastysid after ther desert, and hit reformyd as lawe requyrith.

Also hit ys opunly puplysschid that serteyne servaunts of the Lord Scales schulde in his name manasse and put men in feer and drede to compleyne to us at this tyme of the seide hurts and greves, seynge that we wolde abyde but a schort tyme her, and aftir our departynge he wolde have the rewle and governaunce as he hath had affore tyme. We lete yow wete that nexst the Kynge our soverayn Lord, be his good grace and lycence, we woll have the princypall rewle and governance throwh all this schir, of whishe we ber our name whyls that we be lyvynge, as ferre as reson and lawe requyrith, hoso ever will grutche or sey the [contrary259.1]; for we woll that the Lord Scales, Sir Thomas Tudenham, Sir Mylis Stapylton, and John Heydon have in knowleche, thowh our persone be not dayly her, they schal fynde our power her at all tymes to do the Kynge our soverayn Lord servyse, and to support and mayntene yow alle in your right that ben the Kyngs trewe lige men. For hit may non ben seyde nay, but that her hath ben the grettest riotts, orryble wrongs and offences done in thise partyes by the seide Lord Scales, Thomas Tudenham, Mylis Stapilton, John Heydon, and suche as ben confedred on to theym that evir was seen in our dayes; and most myschiffe throwh ther maliciouse purpose lyke to have fallyn amonge the Kyngs trewe liege peple now late at Norwiche, ne had we better providid therfor. And also that God fortunyd us to withstande ther seyde malicious and evill disposid purpose.

Wherfor makith billiz of your grevance, and come to us, 260 and we schal brynge yow to the Kynges presence our selfe, whos presence wyll be her in all the hast with the mercy of God, and see the reformacion ther of his owyn persone.

258.2 [From Fenn, iii. 248.] The intended royal visit to Norfolk mentioned in the end of this proclamation appears to tally best with the date of April 1452, when, it will also be seen from the letters following, the Duke of Norfolk was at Framlingham, hearing complaints from the gentlemen of Norfolk.

259.1 Indicated by Fenn as illegible in MS.

by whome suche offences be done
text has “de done”



Right wurchipfull, we commawnd us to yow. Please it yow to wete that we and other jentilmen of the shyer of Norffolk hath be in purpose assewyd [have sued] to the hygh and myghty Prynce and owr ryght gode Lord the Duke of Norffolk to Framlyngham, to have enformyd his Highnesse of dyvers assaughtes and ryottes made be Charles Nowell and other ageyn the Kyngs lawe and peas, withowte any cause or occacion, up on John Paston and other of owre kynne, frendes and neyghborys, ne had be that dayly this x. days it hath be do us to wete that his Highnesse shuld come in to Norwych or Claxton, we not beyng in certeyn yet whedyr he shall remeve; praying yow as we trust, that ye woll tender the welfare of this shyer and of the jentylmen ther in, that ye woll lete owr seyd Lord have knowyng of owr entente in this, and after to send us answher wheder it please his Highnesse we shuld come to his presens, and in what place, or to send owr compleynt to hym if mor informacion be thowch behoffull, trostyng to his gode Lordshep of remedy in this mater; whiche do [i.e. done], semyth us, shall be owr seyd Lordys honur and gret rejoyng to all the jentylmen of the shyer, and cause the peas to be kept her after be the grace of God, how have yow in hys blyssed kepyng. Wretyn at Norwyche, on Seynt Georgys day.

Sir John Hevenyngham.   John Ferrers.   Tho. Gurnay.


John Groos.   W. Rokewode.   John Bakon, Senior.   John Bakon, Junior.261.1

J. Pagrave.   Robt. Mortimer.   Nicholaus Appilyard.

260.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] There are two copies of this paper, besides a draft written on the back of that which follows. The date both of this and of the two following letters will be seen by comparing them with No. 217 following.

261.1 The names subscribed thus far are in the same handwriting as the document. Those below may perhaps be autograph signatures, although the names of Pagrave and Mortimer are in a hand much like that of John Paston.



Reverent and ryth wurshepfull sir, and my god maister, I recommaund me to yow. Plese yow to wete that Charles Nowell with odir hath in this cuntre mad many riot and sautes; and, among othir, he and v. of his felachip set upon me and mo (?) of my servants at the Chathedrall chirch of Norwich, he smyting at me, whilis on of his felawis held myn armes at my bak, as the berer herof shall mor playnly inform yow. Whech was to me strawnge cas, thinking in my conseyth that I was my Lords man and his homagier, or Charlis knew hys Lordschipe, that my Lord was my god Lord, and that I had be with my Lord at London within viij. [days?]261.3 bey for Lent, at which tyme he grantyd my his god lordship, so lagerly [largely] that it must cause me ever to be his trew servant to myn pow[er]. I thowt also that I had never geff cawse to non of my Lords hous to ow me evill will, ne that ther was non of the hows but I wold have do fore as I cow (sic) desir anioone (?) to do for me, and yet will except my adversare; and thus I and my frendes haff miusid of this and thowt he was hard to do thus. And this notwithstanding, assone as knolech was had of my Lords coming to Framlingham, I never attemptid to precede ageyns hym as justis and law wuld, but to trust to 262 my seyd Lord that his Hyghnes wold se this punischichid (sic), and desirid my master (?) H.  .  .  .  .  .  mi cosin (?) Tymperle, the dene and odir to (?)262.1 and dayly hath be redy with such jentilmen as dwelle here abought that can record the trought to have come (sic) compleyn to my Lord; but we have had contynually tydynges of my Lordes comyng heder that causid us for to abide ther up un, besechyng your gode maystershep that ye wull lete my Lord have knowlech of my compleynt. And that ye wull tender the gode spede of the entente of the letteris wretyn to you fro jentilmen of this shire. Prayng yow that ye woll yeve credens to the berer herof, and be his gode mayster in cas any man make any qwarell to hym. And what that I may do be your comaundment shall be redi with the grace of God, how have in his blissid kepyng. Wretyn at Norwhich, un Seynt Georges day.

261.2 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This is printed from a rough draft in John Paston’s handwriting, on the back of which is a draft of the preceding letter. The date of both letters is the same. The reading of particular words in this draft is very uncertain, owing to the cramped handwriting used in corrections and interlineations, and the manner in which several of the words are abbreviated.

261.3 Word omitted.

262.1 The preceding words from ‘and desirid’ are a peculiarly illegible interlineation, and do not appear to form a consecutive sense along with the passage following. Perhaps the words ‘and daily hath’ should have been erased, which would make the connection intelligible.



Ryth worchepfull sir and cosyn, I recommaund me to yow, [and] pray yow that ye will in mi behalf inform my Lord of the domag of Charlis Nowell to meward, withow occacion gef on min part, as the berer herof knoweth (?).262.3 I am and was my Lords man and homagier, or the seyd Charlis knew my Lord, and will do my Lord sech servis as I can, and that ye will tendre the god sped of the mater of the letter direct to you from serteyn jentilmen of thes shir, with whech jentilmen or odir to bere recor of 263 this thowt, I have bene dayly toward my Lord to compleyne to his Lorship, but the continuall tydings of my seyd Lords coming heder hath cawsid us to awayt ther opon. Beseching yow, cosine, as my trust is in yow, that ye will help to kepe the god rewll of thes shir, and my por honeste, and geff credens to the berer herof, and be his god master if any querel be mad to him. And what I may do for you, I am and ever shall be redi to do it be the grace of God, hoo ——

262.2 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter, like the preceding, is from a rough draft in Paston’s handwriting. It is clearly of the same date as the two last, or perhaps a day or two later. There is nothing to show with certainty who was the person addressed; but we should think it was probably Sir John Fastolf.

262.3 The reading is very uncertain, being partly interlined in a very cramped hand, partly corrected in the text.


To the Kyng and the Lordes of his Councell.

[APRIL 30]

I John Clopton, Shereffe of Norffolk, certifie that wher oon John Falyate and othre were take within the hundred of Blofeld in the seid shire, and led to the castell of Framlyngham in the counte of Suffolk, I, the forseid Shereffe, be the comaundement of my Lord of Norffolk, the last day of Aprill receyved at the seid castell a bille of divers knowlech and confessyons which were enformyd me shuld have be mad in the presens of my seid Lords Councell be Roger Chirch and othre, which the seid John Falyate, as it was enformed me, shuld have confessid to have be trewe. After which bille receyved and be me red and understand, callyng befor me the seid John Falyate and alle othre that where examyned, except the seyd Roger Chirch, in the presens of divers of my Lords Councell there, I red to the seid John Falyate the tale comprised in the seid bille seid be the seid Roger Chirch, demawndyng hym of the trought her of; wherto he answered, and seid that he wust wele ther was no wey with hym but deth, and therfore, as he wuld answer afore God, he wuld sey the trought, and seid that the substaunce of the tale told be 264 the seid Roger Chirch was untrewe, and feyned and imagyned be the same Chirch, and that he never had knowleched that the tale to be trewe. Neverthelesse he seid that he was with a felesshep gadered undre Possewykwode be the prokeryng of the seid Chirch, which feleshep, whan thei were all togeder, passid not the nombre of xv. persones. And that the seid Chirch wast the furst that ever mevid hym for to come theder, seying that he shuld have feleshep i nowe and do goode, for he was balyffe of the hundred, and be colour of his office he shuld send in men i now, and that he knew a gode name for her capteyn, that shuld be John Amend Alle. More over I the seid Shereffe asked the seid Falyate if thei whan thei wer to geder spoke of Paston and othre gentilmen named in the seid bille to have assisted hem; and he seid pleynly nay, but that thei and othre thryfty men were noysid be the seid Chirch and be his councellores sith the tyme of the gaderyng of the seid feleshep, and never was spokyn of ther. In like wyse seid othre that were examyned in the seid bille.

263.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] John Clopton was Sheriff of Norfolk from Michaelmas 1451 to Michaelmas 1452.


To my right reverent and worchepful maister John Paston in the Iner In of the Temple be this delyverid in hast.

MAY 14

Please it your maisterchep to weete that John Reyner and Nicholas Strecok of Sparham have gete a respyte of Nicholas Byschop for the distresse that the seid Byschop had take, as ye knowe wele, tyl seche tyme as ye may speke wyth Symond Blake for the trought of the mater; not wythstandyng this respite myght never be gete tyll that Byschop had a reward of mony; it is told me he toke viijd. for hese reward. The dryvers ought of the catell fro Sparham ground 265 to Lyng grownd were Hugo Sadde of Baldeswell, Byschoppis man, Nicholas Gatesend, Roberd Joye, Jacobis Baxter of Lyng. James Gloys hath a bill of the tyme and day. I pray your maisterchep to know that on Fryday in the afftyr none I spak with my lord of Norwiche in hese chamber more than the space of j. owre and ther I dede to hym myn erand that ye commaunded me for to a do to chalanches, and when my lord woost that ye were to London he was right sory that he had not a spoke wyth yow or that ye reden; he told me that he had iij. letters fro my lord of Norffolk the day before. Alle I wet wel were they not for yowre mater of Charlys Nowell. Aftyer that he had told me of these letteris he askid me how ye dede. I sayde wel, for I trostid to my lord of Norffolkis lordchep and ritewesnesse that he wold see that Charles shuld be sharply correctyd for hese trespasse and mysrewle, or ellis the jentelmen of the shire must to giddyer purvey anodyer meane; and he seid it wold never odyerwyse be, but if he had spoke wyth yow or ye redyn to London he hopid be your avys he shuld a perveyd a meane to a set that in correccion, and also the trobyl for the maner of Brayston, for that was cause of all. For he seide he had spoke wyth my lord Skales and he is wel disposid to yow and vn the best wyse and wel do  .  .  .  yow that he can, so that he wold forsake Danyell. This was seyde in a diswere, savyng he told me he must  .  .  .  .  pleayne he told me many more thyngges and tales I pray you of your maistechep (sic) hold me excusid that I wryte hem [not], but they were not alle of gret substans, &c. I had gret cher, he comaunded me to be had into the seler, and for to drynk wyne and ale bothe; and so I had and goode chere. My mastras recomendith her to yow and pray yow that ye wol do the cost vn my mastras Margery for to do make her a new gyrdyl a yens Witsontyde, for she shal never have, my mastras seith, till she hath nede; and my mastras prayith yow to send her tydyngges, as hastely as ye may, how ye do in your maters. The Holy Trenyte have yow in hese kepyng. Wrete at Norwiche the xiiij. day of Maii. —Be your seruaunt,     John Osbern.

264.1 [Add. MS. 34,888, f. 83.] The reference to the outrages of Charles Nowell, the bailiff of Bradeston, and the trouble about that manor, show that this letter must be of the year 1452.



To my rygth wirchipfel hosbond, John Paston, be this delyverid in hast.


Ryth worshipfull hosbond, I recommawnd me to yow, desyryng hertyly to her of your welfar, praying yow that ye woll send me word in hast how ye be agreid with Wychyngham and Inglose266.2 for that mater that ye spake to me of at your departyng; for if I shuld purvey other wood or hey, it shuld be bowgth best chepe be twixt this and Seynt Margretys messe,266.3 as itt is told me. As for Applyard, he com not yett to this town syn he com from London. I have sent to Sir Bryse to lete me have knowleche when he comyth to town, and he hath promysid that I shall have knowleche, and when he comyth I shall do your commawndement. My moder bad me send yow word that Waron Herman hath dayly fyshid hyre water all this yer, and therfor she prayith yow to do therfor while ye be att London as ye thynk best.

Chyrche266.4 of Byrlyngham was toke and browte to the castell yisterday be the Beshopys men, and all his godys ben seysid for that he owyth to the Boshop. And the seid Chirche seyth as for that he hath seyd of hem that he hath appelyd befor this tyme, he woll awow itt and abyd therby; and seyth that he woll appele one that hath mor nobelys than they have all that he hath spoke of yett, and that shall avayll the King more than they have all that he hath speke of yett; but what he is, he woll not name tyll he know mor. I trow but if that be the grett labour made ayens hym, he is lyke to have grett favour of hem that have be his supportors. Men thenk that have spoke with hym that he hopeth to have good helpe. I pray God that the trewth mote be knowyn.


I pray yow that ye woll vouchesaff to send me an other sugor loff, for my old is do; and also that ye well do make a gyrdill for your dowgter, for she hath nede therof. The blyssid Trinyte have yow in his kepyng. Wretyn at Norwyche in hast, on the Tewysday next befor Seynt Thomas day.267.1

Paper is deynty.267.2 Yours,     M. P.

266.1 [From Fenn, iv. 14.] What is said in this letter about Church of Burlingham clearly shows that it belongs to the same year as the last and the letters following.

266.2 See p. 251.

266.3 20th July.

266.4 Roger Church.—See p. 263.

267.1 Translation of St. Thomas, Apostle, 7th July.

267.2 Fenn says that the letter is written upon a piece of paper nearly square, out of which a quarter had been cut before the letter was written.



Charlys Nowel, Otywell Nowell, Robert Ledeham, John the sone of Hogge Ratkleff, Robert Dallyng, Herry Bangge, Roger Cherche, Nicholas Goldsmyth, Robert Taylor, Christofer Grenescheve, ——267.4 Dunmowe, Elis Dokworth, Christofer Bradle, Jon Cokkow, assemblyng and gadderyng to hem gret multitude of mysrewled people, kepe a frunture and a forslet at the hows of the seid Robert Ledeham, and issu ought at her pleser, sumtyme vj., sumtyme xij., sumtyme xxxti and mo, armed, jakked, and salattyd with bowis, arwys, speris, and bylles, and over ride the contre and oppresse the people, and do many orible and abhomynable dedis lyke to be distruccion of the shire of Norffolk, wythoute the Kyng owre Sovereyn Lord seth it redressid.

Un Mydlent Soneday267.5 certeyn of the seid felechep in the chirche of Byrlyngham made a fray upon tweyne of the servauntes of the reverent fadyr in Godde, Byschop of Norwiche,267.6 the seid servaunts at that tyme knelyng to see the 268 usyng of the Masse; and there and than the seid felechep wold have kelled the seid two servauntes at the prestis bakke, ne had they be lettyd, as it semed.

268.1[Item, un the Moneday268.2 next before Esterne daye, sex of the seid persones made a saute upon John Paston and hese two servauntes at the dore of the cathedrall cherche of Norweche, wyth swerdes, bokeler, and dagareis drawe smet at the seid Paston, on of them holdyng the seid Paston be bothe armes at hese bakke, as it semyth purposyng there to have morderid the seid Paston and they had not a be lettyd; and also smet on of the servaunts of the seid Paston upon the naked hed wyth a swerd, and poluted the seyntewary.]

Item, on the Monday268.2 next before Esterne day, x. of the seid persones lay in awayte in the hey weye undyr Thorp Woode up on Phelep Berney, Esquier, and hese man, and shet at hem and smet her hors wyth arwes, and then over rede hym and brake a bowe on the said Phelippis hed and toke hym presoner, callyng hym traytor. And when they had kepte hym as long as thei lyst, thei led hym to the seyd Byshop of Norwiche and askid of hym swerte of the peas, and forwyth relessid her suerte and went her way.

Item, iij. of the seid felechep lay unawayte upon Emond Brome, jentelman, and with nakid swerds fawte wyth hym be the space of a quarter of a owre and toke hym presoner; and when they had kepte hym as long as they lyst, lete hym goo.

Item, xlti of the same felechep come rydyng to Norwiche jakked, and salettyd, with bowys and arwys, byllys, gleves, un Maundy Thursday,268.3 and that day aftyr none, when service was doo, they, in lyke wyse arrayid, wold have brake up the Whyte Freris dores, where,268.4 seying that they came to here evesong; howbeit that they made her avaunt in towne they shuld have sum men owt of town (?), qwhyke or deede; and there made a gret rumor, where the mayre and the aldermen, with gret multitude of peple, assembled, and therupon the seyd felischep departid.


Item, dyvers tymes serteyn of the seid felechep have take fro John Wylton, wythoute any cause, hese net, hese shep, and odyr cattell, and summe there of have saltyd and eten, sume thereof have aloyned,269.1 so that the seid Wylton wot not where for to seke hese bestes; and un the morwe269.2 next aftyr Esterne day last past, they toke fro hym xj. bestis, and kepte hem two dayis wythowte any cause.

Item, in lyke wyse they have do to John Coke and Kateryn Wylton.

Item, in lyke wyse they have take the goodys and catelles of Thomas Baret and many odyr.

Item, certeyn of the seid felechep late made a sawte upon John Wylton in Plumsted cherche yerd, and there beete hym so the [that] he was [in] dowth of his liff.

Item, in lyke wyse upon John Coke of Wytton, brekyng up hese dores at xj. of the clok in the nyght, and with her swerdis maymed hym and gaf hym vij. grete woyndis. Item, smet the modyr of the seid Coke, a woman of iiijxx [four score] yeres of age, upon the crowne of the heed wyth a swerd, wheche wownde was never hol to the daye of her deth.

Item, the seyd Dunmowe, on of the seid feleche[p], now lete beet the parson of Hasyngham, and brake hese hed in hese owne chauncell.

269.3[Item iiixx [three score] of the seid felechep, arayid as men of werre, now late enterd with fors upon Phelep Berney and dissesid hym of the maner of Rokelandtoftys, wheche darnot, for feer of mordyr, reentre hese owne londe; how be it, he and hese aunseters have be pesibely possessid therof many yeris.]

Item, Alredis sone of Erll Some, fast be Framyngham, un the Saterday269.4 next before Palme Soneday last past was pullid ought of a hows and kyllid. Whedyr any of the seid felechep were there or not men kan not sey, there be of hem so many of wheche many be unknowe people.

Item, the seid felechep make seche affrayis in the contre abowte the seid Ledehams place, and so frayith the people that 270 dyvers persones for feer of mordyr darnot abyde in her howses, ne ride, ne walke abowte ther ocupacions, wyth owte they take gretter people abowte hem then acordith to her degre, wheche they wol not do in evel exaumple gevyng.

Item, the seid felechep of a fer cast maleys and purpose now late toke Roger Cherche, on of ther owne felechep, be hese owne assent, wheche Roger Cherche be her assent had movid and sterid a rising in the hundred of Blofeld, and hath confessed hym self to be at that arysyng, and hath enbylled, as it is seid, divers jentelmen and the most part of the trysty yomen and husbondis and men of good name and fame of the hundred abowte the seid Ledehams place, where the seid felechep is abydyng, and nameth hem wyth odyr suspecious people for risers, to the entent to hide and cover her awn gylt, and to holde them that be trw men and innosent in that mater in a dawnger and feer that they shuld not gader peopell, ner atempte to resiste ther riotows governauns of the seid reotows felechep.

270.1[Item, it is conceyved that if the seyd riotows felechep, and they that drawe to them were dewly examyned, it shuld be knowe that if there were any seche rysyng, it was conjectyd, don, imagened, and labored be the seid reotows felechep and be ther meanes; for aswele the seid Cherche, as dyvers of the most suspeciows persones be the seid Cherche enbelled for rysers, as it is seid, be and have be of long tyme dayly in compeny wyth the seid reotows felechep.

Item, on of the seid felechep of late tyme, as it is seide, to encresse her maliciows purpose, hath proferid rewardis and goode to anodyr persone for to take upon hym to apele certeyn persones, and afferme the seying of the seid Roger Cherche.]

In wytnesse of these premesses, dyvers knytes and esquieres, and jentelmen whos names folwen, wheche knowe this mater be seying, heryng, or credible reporte, to this wrytyng have set her seall, besechyng your Lordcheppis to be meanes to the Kyng owre sovereyn Lord for remedy in this behalve. Wrete, &c.


On the lower margin of this paper, and on the back are scrawled a few additional memoranda, of which the following are the most important. One paragraph, which is in the handwriting of John Paston, is so carelessly written that the names contained in it are quite uncertain.

Memorandum, that Jon, sone of Roger Ratkliff, bet T. Baret, and Beston and Robyn Taylor tok and imprysonyd Thomas Byrdon of Ly[n]gwode. Item, Robert Dalling bet Nicholas Chirch at Stromsaw Chirch. Memorandum of manassing of the quest at Hengham. Item, Robert Dallyng bete Thomas Dallyng.

Roger att Chirche, Robert Dallyng and Herry Bang with other went with fors and armys, and fechid William Clippisby oute of his faders hous, and brought hym to the town of Walsham, and kept hym there ij. days and ij. nytys, and fro thens had hym to Romgey (?), and there inpresonyd hym and made hym [give] to Eusdale (?) an oblygacion of C. libr. made after her owyn desyr.]

267.3 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The misdemeanours of Roger Church, who is here complained of among other malefactors, must refer to the same period as Letter 214. The date is rendered even more certain by a comparison with the letter following.

267.4 Blank in MS.

267.5 Midlent Sunday fell on the 19th March in 1452.

267.6 Walter Lyhart or Hart.

268.1 This paragraph is crossed in the MS.

268.2 April 3, Easter day being the 9th April in 1452.

268.3 April 6.

268.4 After the word ‘where’ the original text had ‘the seid Paston dwellith,’ but these words have been struck out, and other alterations made in the paragraph.

269.1 Eloined (French éloigne), removed to a distance.

269.2 April 10.

269.3 This paragraph is crossed out.

269.4 April 1.

270.1 These paragraphs are crossed through.

be her assent had movid and sterid a rising
text has “and and”


To the right reverent fader in God, Cardynale Archebusshop of York271.2 and Chaunceler of Inglond.

Please it yowre gode Lordeshep to know that oon Roger Cherche, other wyse callyd Roger Bylaugh, Roger Wryte, and Roger Baly, late271.3 was at a gaderyng and assemble of xv. persones in a feleshep under a wode in the town of Possewyke, in the counte of Norffolk, which feleshep, as it is seid be hem, was procured and gaderyd be the seid Roger Cherche and be his councelores, the same Roger seyng to summe of the same feleshep,271.4 he had remembred a gode name for her capteyn, that shuld be John Amend Alle; and the seyd Roger aftyr the seyd gaderyng aggreyd hym self to be take and examyned be persones of his own covyne, and be color of his seid feleshep of xv. persones be hym gaderyd, enbilled divers gentilmen, and many thrifty and substanciall 272 yomen, and thryfty husbondes, and men of gode name and fame, noysyng and diffamyng to the Kyng and his Councell that the seid gentilmen, yomen, and thryfty husbondes, with other, to the nombre of ccc. persones, shuld have mad a gaderyng and a risyng ageyn the Kynges peas under the seid wode, contrary to the trought; which is veryly conceyved to be don of malyce to put the seid gentilmen and yomen in feer and trobill that thei as wele as alle the contre shuld not be hardy to attempt, ne lette the purposyd malyce of the seid Cherche and his councellores in divers riottes, extorciouns, forsibil entreys and unlawfull disherytauns of gentilmen and other of the Kynges liege peple in the seid shire that thei dayly use, which riottes, extorcions, aswele as the seid untrewe diffamacions, causyth gret grudgyng, trobill, and comocyon in the seid shire. Please it yowre gode grace, these premysses considered, not to suffre the seid Cherche to have no pardon of the comune grace graunted be the Kyng owre soverayn Lord un Gode Fryday last past,272.1 un to the tyme that he hath fownde sufficient suerte of wel namyd persones of the seid shire of his gode beryng; and to direct a comyssion un to such notabill persones in the seid shire as please you, to take and examyn the seid Roger Cherche, as wele as othre that them semyth necessary to examyn in this behalf, so that thei that be giltles in this may be so declared, and that thei that be gilty may be ponysshed acordyng to her demerytes; and to beseche the Kyng owre soverayn Lord in the behalf of the gentilmen of the seid shire that his Hignesse wull not take hem, ne any of hem, in conceyt to be of such rewle and disposicion up un enformacion of such a mysse rewled and encredibill man as the seid Roger. And thei shall pray to God for you.

271.1 [Add. Charter 17,241, B.M.] The date of this petition will be seen by a footnote.

271.2 Cardinal Kemp.

271.3 Here the words ‘before Crystmasse last past’ originally stood in the text, but are crossed out.

271.4 Here occurs a caret referring to some illegible words in the margin.

272.1 On Good Friday the 7th April 1452, Henry VI. offered general pardons for offences against himself to all who would sue them out of Chancery.—See Whethamstede, 317, 319.




Itt is to remembre under hos rule that the gode lord273.2 is at this day, and whiche be of his new cownseyll.

Item, that Debenham, Lee, Tymperle, and his old cownseyl and attendans, as well as the gode ladijs servawntys, be avoydyd, and Tymperle of malys apelyd of treson.

Item, that the sescionys of the pees wyth owte cause was warnyd in the myddys of hervest, to grette trobill of the contre, whiche was never se in Norffolk at seche tym of the yere; and itt was unlawfully warnyd to appere with inne iiij. or v. days after the warnyng. Howbeitt the contre was before warnyd at the shyer day to have had the sescionys the Tewysday befor Michelmes.

Item, that at the seid sescionys was non other cawse of settyng thereof declaryd but a commysyon beryng date before Estern, &c., to arest, take, and expungne traytorys and rebellys, of whiche, be Goddis grace, is no nede in this contre at this tyme, &c.

Item, be the demenyng of the seyd sescionys was verily conseyvid be the jantylmen of the shyer that it was set of purpose to have, be indytements, defowlyd seche personys as wer of the old counseyl with the seid Lord, and seche as kepe Wodhows lond, or seche as help or confort Osbern Munford, marchale of Kalys, in his rygth of the maner of Brayston, of whiche he is now late wrongfully dyssesyd,273.3 and generally to have hurt all other that wold not folwe the oppynyons of the seyd new cownseyll; whiche malysiows purposid oppynyon the jantylmen of the seyd shyer that wer sworyn att the seyd 274 sescions kowd not fynde in her conciens to observe, but dede the contrarye as it apperyth be here verdyte if itt be shewyd, &c. Remembre the verdyt of Brayston, &c.

And where on Roger Chirche, wyth on Robert Ledham, Charlys Nowell, John son of Hodge Ratcleff, and on Robert Dallyng had the rewle and kepyng of the seid maner of Brayston to the use of Thomas Danyell after the dyssesing of the seyd Osbern Monford, the seyd Roger be the comon ascent of his seyd felashep, be the colowre of xv. personys gadderid be the exitation of the seyd Roger Chyrche and his felashep, accusid many notable and thryfty men that were well willid to the seyd Munford for the seid maner of Brayston, to be ryseris, wher as the seyd thrifty men, as well as all that contre, hath at all tymys be pesyble and of no seche disposicion: It was purposid after the seid sescions, whan the intents of the seyd new cownseyl mygth not be executyd be indytements, than to have had the seyd Roger Chirche owte of the Kyngs gayle, seying that he shuld appele for the Kyng, and wold have do the sheryff delyverid hym owt of prison, howbeit he was comyttyd thidder be the justyse of assyse and gayle delyvere be cawse he was indyted of fellonye, and that ther apperid not suffycient inquest to delyver hym.

Item, day seth thei labour feynid materis to hurt jentilman and odir be soch acusements, &c.

Memorandum, as itt semyth be the confescion of dyvers of the seid xv. personys that thei were innocent and knew not whi thei assemelyd but only be the excitacion of the seyd Chirche and his menys, and after the tyme of that they conseyvid itt was do to no good intent, thei never medillid forther in the mater. Item, to remembre how suttely the seyd Chirche was, be his owyn assent, led to my Lord of Norffolk be his owyn felashep to the entent to accuse and defame seche as they lovyd not.

Memorandum, of the sescion at Norwich. Memorandum, of my Lord of Somerset and of the Blak frers.

Memorandum, that Charlys Nowell is baly of Brayston, and hath ther ijd. on the day, and of that mater growyth his malys.

Item, memorandum of them that for fer of disclosid of 275 her falsenes acusid odyr that they shuld not be thowth gilti hemself, and labour to have the mater handlid be her frends that the trowth shuld not be triid owt.

273.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This paper bears upon the same matters as the last, and must be attributed to the same date. The MS. is a draft, with corrections in John Paston’s handwriting.

273.2 The Duke of Norfolk.

273.3 Mountford was disseised of Brayston by Daniel in the spring of 1450, but recovered possession on the 23rd September. I find no note of his having been disseised again, but I should think he must have been, as this paper is certainly two years later.


To my ryth trusty Cosyn, John Paston, escwier.


Ryth reverent and trusty Cosyn, I recomande me to zow, thankyng zow of zour good wil and counseill. Like zow to wete, I cam hom be myn Lord of Oxeford and told hym of the greet labour of Sir Thomas Tudenham and Heydon for schirevez of owr schire, and namyd the personez quom thei laboryd fore, and myn Lord agreeyth not to tweyne of hem; to the knyth he seyd not moch to, but I felt my lord he wold labore for William Dorward, myn neview.275.2 And thanne I answerd, Sir, he may not profite me in myn matere for he hath weddyd myn nece. Also I felt myn Lord that myn Lord Crumwell laboryth for Stonham of Huntyngton schire, Sir John Tirell howe [who] weddyd hese modir, hese sone executour to my Lady Clyfton, with Heydon and othir memento, &c. And to fore I cam to Framyngham myn lord of Norffolk hadde wrytyn for Sir Robert Conyers, takyng promys of hym to be rewlyd in alle matterez as myn Lord of Norffolk wil avyse hym, and as an undirschireve ze schall be acounseill therof. And as touchyng Lee, as I am enformyd, ther ys no man that he wil do lesse for thanne for Sir Thomas Tudenham. And as touchyng myn seyd Lord of Norffolk, he hath wrytyn, or I cam, be Debenham, as he may not wel returne, and the personez ben Sir Robert Conyers, Henry Gray, Thomas Brews. And I 276 suppose as for Thomas Brews he schall be translate in to myn brothir John Blake, but myn seyd Lord of Norffolk hath previly (?) wrytyn to the Kyng for Sir Robert Conyers promisyd276.1 be the seyd Sir Robert that he schall non undirshireve, ne non othir officer make, but be the avyse of myn seyd Lord of Norffolk counseill, to qwhom ze schall be prevy to And I have no dowte zour owyn materez schall ben speed aftir zour entent myn seyd Lord of Norffolk wil with alle hese herte that Blake schuld be it, or ellez the seyd Sir Robert with alle hese herte. And yf myn Lord of Norffolk, to for myn comyng, hadde be a vertysyd, he wold a do hese trew parte ther to, as I suppose he schall have vere knalich from myn Lord. I preye zow remembre William Bury for myn venire facias. And yf it likyd myn brothir Blake to remembre my welbelovyd mayster Sir John Bawryte (?) of myn mater I trust he wold remembre the Kyng ther of atte hese leyser; for he knowyth the matere, and that Debenham hath greet charge to labore myn seyd Lordys materez of Norffolk, levying the favour of Sir Thomas Tudenham. Aftir I here I schall send zow be wrytyn. I preye zow in like forme. God preserve zow to Hese grace. Wrytyn atte Framyngham the Fryday next to fore the feste of Simon and Jude. E. Wychyngham.

275.1 [Add. MS. 33,597, f. 1.] The year when this letter was written is not exactly certain, but seems to have been either 1452 or 1453. It might be 1450, except that one would have expected in October of that year to hear something about the parliamentary election, as well as the election of sheriffs.

275.2 William Dorward, according to Blomefield (Hist. of Norf. vi. 519), married Margaret, daughter of Nicholas Wichingham, who thus appears to have been a brother of Edmund the writer of this letter.

276.1 The sentence here is a little confused, and we forbear to supply punctuation.


To my right worchepful husbond, John Paston, be this delyverid in hast.

NOV. 5

Right worchepful husbond, I comaund me to yow. I pray yow that ye wol do bye ij. doseyn trenchors, for I can none gete in this town. Also I pray yow that ye wol send me a booke wyth chardeqweyns276.3 that I may 277 have of in the monynggs, for the eyeres be nat holsom in this town; therfor I pray yow hertely lete John Suffeld bryng it hom wyth hym.

No more but the blyssid Ternyte have yow in Hese kepyng, and send yow good sped in all yowre maters. Wrete on Sent Leonard even.

My uncle Phelyppe277.1 commaund hym to yow, and he hath be so seke sith that I come to Redham, that I wend he shuld never a askapid it, nor not is leke to do but if he have redy help; and therfore he shal into Suffolk this next weke to myn aunt, for there is a good fesician, and he shal loke to hym.

My Lady Hastyngs277.2 told me that Heydon hath spoke to Geffrey Boleyn277.3 of London, and is a greid wytht hym that he shuld bargeyn wyth Sir John Fastolff to bye the manor of Blyklyng as it were for hymselff, and if Boleyn byet in trowght Heydon shal have it. Yowr,     M. P.

I cam to Norwiche on Sowlemesday.

276.2 [From Fenn, iii. 168.] This letter was written during the life of Philip Berney, most probably in 1452, while he lay sick of the wounds, of which he afterwards died. See No. 227 further on.

276.3 A preserve made of quinces.—See Index to Furnivall’s Manners and Meals in Olden Times* In the ordinances of the household of George, Duke of Clarence, ‘charequynses’ occur under the head of spices, their price being five shillings ‘the boke,’ or £2, 10s. for 10 lbs.—See The Society of Antiquaries’ Collection of Ordinances for the Royal Household, p. 103. The word also occurs pp. 455, 471 of same volume.

* Early English Meals and Manners, Project Gutenberg e-book 24790.

* Early English Meals and Manners, Project Gutenberg e-book 24790.

277.1 Philip Berney.

277.2 Margery, widow of Sir Edward Hastings of Elsing, Norfolk, who styled himself Lord Hastings and Stutvill.—See Blomefield, viii. 112, and ix. 513, 514.

277.3 An ancestor of Anne Boleyn and Queen Elizabeth. He was Mayor of London in 1457.



This lettre be delyvered to John Paston, beynge at London, in the Innere In of the Temple.

NOV. 16

I  grete you well, and sende you Goddes blissyng and myn. And as touchyng the mater wheche ye desyryd my cosyn Clere shulde write fore, she hath doo, and I sende you the copy closed in this lettre. As for the enquerre I have sent by Pynchemore to enquere and sent myn owen men to William Bakton, and don hem enquered in dyverse placs, and I can here no woord of noon suych enquerans; I wot not what it menyth. Roberd Hill was at Paston thys wyke, and the man that dwelled in Bowres place is oute ther of, and seid to Roberd he durst no lenger abyde ther in, for Waryn Herman seyth to him it is his place. As for Cokets mater, my doughter your wyf told me yester even the man that suyth him will not stonde to your awarde.

Bertilmow White is condemnyd in Forrenecet Court in xl. marc, as it is seid.

Item, as for Talfas, the Sherevis hav be hest to do all the favour thei may. I sente the Parson of Seynt Edmundes to Gilberd, and he seide ther was come a newe writ for to have him up by the xv. day of Seynt Martyn, and how Caly hadde ben at hem,278.2 and desired to carye up Talfas on his owen cost, and yeve hem goode wages.

Item, John Osbern seide to me this day that he supposed thei will not have him up be forn Estern, and Margerete Talfas seide to me the same day that men tolde hire that he shulde never have ende till he wer at London, and asked me 279 counsell wheder she myte yeve the Sherevys sylver or non; and I tolde hire if she dede, I supposed she shulde fynde hem the more frendly.

Item, as for Horwelbur, I sende you a bill of all the rescyts syn the deth of your fader, and a copy wrete on the bak how your fader lete it to ferme to the seide Gurnay. I wulde ye shulde write Gurnay, and charge him to mete with you fro London warde, and at the lest weye lete him purveye xli. for [he] owyth be my reknyng at My helmesse last passed, be syde your faddes dette, xviijli. xiiijs. viijd. If ye wolde write to him to brynge suerte for your fadyrs dette and myn, and pay be dayes, so that the man myte leven and paye us, I wolde for yeve him of the olde arrerags xli.; and he myte be mad to paye xx. marc be yer, on that condicion I wolde for yeve him xli., and so thynketh me he shulde hav cause to praye for your fader and me, and was it leten in my fadres tyme. I fele by Roberd, his wif is right loth to gon thens, she seide that sche had lever I shulde have all her gode after her day, than thei schulde go out ther of.

Item, John Dam teld me that the Lady Boys279.1 will selle a place called Halys,279.2 but he seith sehe speketh it privyly, and seith it is not tayled, as John Dam kno, wech will she hath seide as largely of other thyngs that hath not be so.

Item, he tolde me, as he herd seyn, Ser John Fastolf hath sold Heylysdon to Boleyn279.3 of London; and yf it be so, it semeth he will selle more. Wherfor I praye you, as ye will have my love and my blissyng, that ye will helpe and do your devoir that sumthyng were purchased for your ij. bretheren. I suppose Ser John Fastolf, and he wer spake to, wold be glader to lete his kensemen have parte than straunge men. Asay him in my name of suych placs as ye suppose is most cler.

It is seid in this contre that my Lord of Norfolk seith Ser John Fastolf hath yoven him Castr, and he will hav [it] pleynly. I sende you a bill of Osbern hand, whech was the ansuer of the Sheref and John of Dam.


Jon, brynge me my lettre hom with you, and my cosyn Cler is copy of her lettre, and the copy of the reseyth of Horwelbury; and recomaunde me to Lomnor, and tell him his best be loved fareth well, but sche is not yet come to Norwich, for thei deye yet, but not so sor as thei dede. And God be wyth you. Wreten at Norwych, in right gret hast, the xvj. day of Novembr. By your moder,     Anneys Paston.

278.1 [From Fenn, iii. 162.] This letter is certainly not earlier than 1451 or later than 1453; for it was written some time after Lady Boys became a widow, which was in December 1450 (see p. 198), and before Sir John Fastolf’s removal from London into Norfolk, which, as will be seen hereafter, was in the autumn of 1454. Probably the true date is 1452, for in the summer following, owing to Gurney’s utter inability to pay his rent, we find Agnes Paston urging her son seriously to look out for another tenant for Orwellbury.

278.2 The modernised version in Fenn reads ‘at home.’

279.1 See p. 248, Note 2.

279.2 Holm Hale.—See p. 248.

279.3 Geoffrey Boleyn.—See p. 277, Note 3.


DEC. 18

This endenture witnesseth that where Richard, Duc of York, by his lettre of saal [sale] bering date the xv. day of the monneth of Decembre, the xxxjti yere of the regne of oure soverain Lord Kyng Henry the Sext, hath bargaigned, aliened, solde, graunted, and confermed unto John Fastolf, Knyght, the jowelles undrewriten:—That is to wite, a nowche of gold with a greet poynted diamand sette up on a roose enameled white; a nowche of gold in facion of a ragged staf, with ij. ymages of man and woman garnysshed with a ruby, a diamande, and a greet peerle; and a floure of gold, garnysshed with ij. rubyes, a diamande, and iij. hanging peerles. To have, holde, and rejoyce the same jowelles to the saide John, his executors and assignees, frely, quietly, and pesibly for evere more, like as in the saide lettre of saal more openly is conteened. Nevertheles the saide John wolle and graunteth herby that yif the saide Duc paie or doo paie to the same John or to his attornee, his heires or to his executors, in the Fest of the Nativitee of Sainte John Baptist next commyng, iiijc xxxvijli. [£437] sterlinges withouten delay, that than the saide letter of saal to bee hold for notht; but he to delivere ayein unto the saide Duc, or to his attornee paieng the saide iiijc xxxvijli. sterlinges in the saide Fest, the saide jowelles. And yif defaulte bee made in the paiement of the saide iiijc xxxvijli. 281 in partie or in all ayenst the fourme aforesaide, than wolle and graunteth the saide Duc herby that the forsaide lettre of saal, by him as is abouve saide made, stande in ful strengh and vertu, this endenture notwithstanding. In witnesse wherof, to the parte of this saide endenture remaynyng towards the saide John the saide Duc hath sette his seel. Yeven at Fodringey, the xviije day of the saide monneth of Decembre, the xxxjti yere of the regne of oure saide souverain Lord King Henry the Sext. R. York.

Seal attached mutilated.

280.1 [Add. Charter 17,242, B.M.]


To my right worchippfull hosbond, John Paston, be thys delyveryd in hast.

JAN. 30

Right worchipfull hosbond, I recommand me to yow, desyring to here of your welfar; praying yow to wete that Sir Thomas Howes hath purveyed iiij. dormants281.2 for the drawte chamer,281.3 and the malthouse, and the browere, wherof he hath bought iij., and the forte, that shall be the lengest and grettest of all, he shall have from Heylesdon, whiche he seyth my Mayster Fastolf shall geve me, be cause my chamer shall be made ther with. As for the laying of the seyd dormants, they shall be leyd this next weke, be cause of the malthous, and as for the remenant, I trow it shall abyde tyll ye come hom, be cause I can nother be purveyed of pysts [posts?], ne of bords not yette.

I have take the mesure in the draute chamer, ther as ye wold your cofors and cowntewery281.4 shuld be sette for the 282 whyle; and ther is no space besyde the bedd, thow the bedd wer remevyd to the dore, for to sette bothe your bord and your kofors ther, and to have space to go and sitte be syde. Wherfor I have purveyd that ye shall have the same drawte chamer that ye had befor ther, as ye shall ly to your self; and whan your gerr is remevod owte of your lytil hous, the dore shall be lokkyd, and your baggs leyd in on of the grete koforis, so that they shall be sauff, I trost.

Richard Charles and John Dow have fetched hom the chyld282.1 from Rokelond Toftes, and it is apraty boy; and it is told me that Wyll is att Blyklyng with a pore man of this town. A yonge woman that was sometyme with Burton of this town sent me word therof; I pray yow send me word if ye woll that any thyng that ye woll be do to hym or ye com hom. Richard Charles sendeth yow word that Wylles hath be at hym here, and offerd hym to make hym astate in all thyngs according to ther in dentur, and if he do the contrary ye shall sone have word.

My moder prayith yow to remembr my suster, and to do your parte feythfully or ye com hom to help to gette her agode mariage. It semyth be my moders langage that she wold never so fayn to have be delyveryd of her as she woll now.

It was told here that Knyvet the heyer is for to mary; bothe his wyff and child be dede, as it was told here. Wherfor she wold that ye shuld inquyr whedder it be so or no, and what hys lyvelode is, and if ye thynke that it be for to do, to lete hym be spoke with therof.

I pray yow that ye be not strange of wryting of letters to me be twix this and that ye come hom. If I myght I wold have every day on from yow. The blyssed Trinyte have yow in his kepyng. Wrete att Norwyche, on the Tesday next after the Convercion [of] Seynt Poull. Be yours,     M. P.

281.1 [From Fenn, iii. 324.] The beginning of this letter refers to building operations, which I presume to be the same as those to which the next letter relates, and therefore of the same date. They were probably at Caister Castle.

281.2 Large beams.

281.3 Draught chamber. A withdrawing-room.—Halliwell.

281.4 Cowntewery must mean his counter, desk, or board to sit and write, etc., at. —F.

282.1 Probably a member of the Berney family (see Sir John Fastolf’s letter of the 28th January 1451). Philip Berney, as will be seen by No. 217, was disseised of the manor of Rockland Tofts during the year 1452.



To John Norwode.


I  lete you wete that Hache hath do no werk of myn wherfore he aught to have receyvid any mony, savyng only for the makyng of the litill hous above the halle wyndownes, for the remenaunte was that fell down in his diffaute. And as for the makyng of that litill hous, he toke that in a comenaunte [covenant], with makyng of too chymnyes of Sir Thomas Howys for xls., which comenaunte may not hold, be cause that I must have thre chymnyes and in a nother place.

Item, the seid litill hows drawyth not v. thowsand tyle, which after xvjd. the thowsand shuld drawe vjs. viijd. Notwithstandyng, if Sir Thomas thynk that he shuld be alowyd mo, he shall be. And ye must remembre how that he hath receyvid vjs. viijd. of you, and of Robert Tolle before Halwemesse, as apperith in his accompt, viijs. And he hath receyvid of Tolle sith Halwemesse vs. iiijd. And than be this rekenyng he shuld be xiijs. iiijd. a fore hand, which I wold ye shuld gader up in this newe werk aswele as ye myght, for I am be hold to do hym but litill favour.

Item, be war ther leve no firsis in the deke that ye reparre, and that the wode be mad of fagot and leyd up forthwoth as it is fellid for taking away. I wold ye wer her on Satirday at evyn thow ye yed ageyn on Moneday. Jon Paston.

The following memoranda occur on the back of this letter:—

Rec’ W. Hach.

Rec’ de Joh’e Paston, anno xxxº, vjs. viijd.

Item, de Roberto Telte, xiijs. iiijd.

De Thoma Howis, xxd.

Item, de Joh’e Norwod, anno xxxj. pro camino ls.

Summa, lxxjs. viijd.


Will’ Hach fecit quandam kaminam v. mark, et pro le closet xs.

Summa, lxxvjs. viijd.

Sic debentur dicto Hach, per Joh’em Paston, vs.; et dedit ei xvs. in recompensationem cujusdam billæ ibe (?) et omne jus ipsum et Mo (?) Unde tradidi ei xiiijs. iiijd. per plegios Thomæ Howis qui manusepit (sic) quod dictus Will’ perimplot [perimpleret?] barganium suum et in fine operis haberet de me vjs. viijd. residuum.

283.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] From the memoranda on the back of this letter, it would appear to belong to the 31st year of Henry VI.


To my right wurshipfull Mayster, Jon Paston, be this delyveryd in hast.


Right wurshipfull hosbond, I recommand me to yow, preying yow to wete, &c.284.2  .  .  .

As for tydyngs, the Quene284.3 come in to this town on Tewysday last past after none, and abode here tyll itt was Thursday, iij. after none; and she sent after my cos. Elysabeth Clere284.4 by Sharynborn, to come to her; and she durst not dysabey her commandment, and come to her. And when she come in the Quenys presens, the Quene made ryght meche of her, and desyrid here to have an hosbond, the which ye shall know of here after. But as for that, he is never nerrer than he was befor.


The Quene was right well pleasid with her answer, and reportyht of her in the best wyse, and seyth, be her trowth, she sey no jantylwoman syn she come into Norffolk that she lykit better than she doth her.

Blake, the bayle285.1 of Swaffham, was here with the Kyngs brother,285.2 and he come to me, wenyng that ye had be at hom, and seyd that the Kyngs brother desyrid hym that he shuld pray yow in his name to come to hym, for he wold right fayn that ye had come to hym, if ye had ben at home; and he told me that he west wele that he shuld send for yow when he come to London, bothe for Cossey and other thyngs.

I pray yow that ye woll do your cost on me ayens Witsontyd, that I may have somme thyng for my nekke. When the Quene was here, I borowd my coseyn Elysabeth Cleris devys, for I durst not for shame go with my beds among so many fresch jantylwomen as here were at that tym. The blissid Trinyte have yow in his kepyng.

Wretyn at Norwych on the Fryday next befor Seynt George. Be yowrs,     M. Paston.

284.1 [From Fenn, i. 68.] According to Blomefield (Hist. of Norf. iii. 158), Margaret of Anjou, Queen of Henry VI., visited Norwich in the spring of 1452; but by the same authority, it would appear that she had returned to Westminster before the 17th of March in that year, which would not suit the date of this letter. Besides, John Paston was at Norwich in April 1452, and dates a letter at Norwich on St. George’s day, complaining of the assault made upon him at the door of Norwich Cathedral on Monday before Easter. It is impossible, therefore, that Margaret Paston could have written to him from Norwich two days before St. George’s day in that year. From an undated entry in the Norwich city records, which bears internal evidence of having been made in the year 1453, it would appear that the King’s half-brothers, Edmund, Earl of Richmond, and Jasper, Earl of Pembroke, visited Norwich in that year.—(See fol. 19 of a volume, entitled An Old Free Book, in the Norwich city archives.) As to the Queen’s visit I find no direct evidence, but I think it possible she may have come with one of the King’s brothers, and that the other may have come a little later.

284.2 Here (says Fenn) follows some account of money received, etc.

284.3 Margaret of Anjou.

284.4 Widow of Robert Clere, Esq. of Ormesby, who died in 1446. Fenn says his daughter, but no notice is found of a daughter of that name, while the widow occurs frequently in this correspondence.

285.1 Bailiff.

285.2 Either Edmund Tudor, who was created Earl of Richmond about November 1452, or Jasper, who was created Earl of Pembroke at the same time. They were half-brothers to the King, being sons of his mother, Catherine, Queen of Henry V., by her subsequent marriage to Sir Owen Tudor.


To my welbelovyd Son, John Paston.


Sone I grete yow well and send you Godys blessyng and myn, and lete you wete that Robert Hyll cam homward by Horwelle bery, and Gurney tellyd hym he had byn at London for mony and kowd nat spedyng, and behestyd 286 Robert that he shuld send me mony be you. I pray for getyt not as ze com homward, and speke sadly for i. nothyr fermor.

And as for tydyngs, Phylyppe Berney286.1 is passyd to God on Munday286.2 last past wyt the grettes peyn that evyr I sey man; and on Tuysday Ser Jon Henyngham zede to hys chyrche and herd iij. massys, and cam hom agayn nevyr meryer, and seyd to hese wyf that he wuld go sey a lytyll devocion in hese gardeyn and than he wuld dyne; and forthwyth he felt a feyntyng in hese legge and syyd don. This was at ix. of the clok, and he was ded or none.

Myn cosyn Cler286.3 preyt you that ze lete no man se her letter, wheche is in selyd undir my selle. I pray you that ze wyl pay your brothir William for iiij. unces and j. half of sylke as he payd, wheche he sende me by William Tavyrner, and bryng wyt yow j. quarter of j. unce evyn leke of the same that I send you closyd in thys letter; and sey your brothyr William that hese hors hath j. farseyn and grete rennyng sorys in hese leggis. God have you in kepyng. Wretyn at Norwyche on Sent Thomas evyn in grete hast.286.4 Be your modyr,     A. Paston.

285.3 [From Fenn, iii. 182.] Sir John Heveningham, whose death is mentioned in this letter, was found, by an inquisition taken on the 29th September 32 Henry VI., to have died on the 3rd of July preceding, which was in the year 1453.—(Inquis. post mortem, 31 Hen. VI., No. 7.) He left a son named John, over twenty-three years old, who was afterwards knighted.

286.1 Third son of John Berney, Esq. of Reedham, who was the father of Margaret Paston’s mother.

286.2 July 2.

286.3 Elizabeth, widow of Robert Clere, Esq. of Ormesby.

286.4 The Translation of St. Thomas the Martyr (Becket) was celebrated on the 7th July.


To my ritht worchipfull Mayster John Paston, be this deliveryd in hast.


Rytht worchipfull hosbond, I recommawnd me to yow, praying yow to wete that I have spoke with Newman for his place, and I am thorow with hym therfor, but he wold not lete it in no wyse lesse than v. marc. I told hym 287 that sekyrly ye shuld not know but that I hyrid it of hym for iijli. I seyd as for the noble,287.1 I shuld payt of myn owyn purse, that ye shuld no knowlech have therof. And this day I have had inne ij. cartfull of hey, and your stabyl shall be made I hope this next weke. I kowd not gette no grawnt of hym to have the warehows; he seyth if he may in any wyse forber itt her after, ye shall have itt, but he wull not grawnt itt in no convawt [covenant]. He hath grawntyd me the hows be twix the vowte and the warehows, and that he seyd he grawntyd not yow.

And as for the chamer that ye assygnyd to myn unkyl,287.2 God hath purveyd for hym as hys will is; he passyd to God on Monday last past, at xj. of the clok befor none, and Sir John Hevenyngham passyd to God on Tewysday last past; hois sowlys both God assoyle. His sekenesse toke hym on Tewysday, at ix. of the clok befor none, and be too after none he was dedd.

I have begonne your inventare that shuld have be made or this tym, if I had ben well at ease. I hope to make an ende therof, and of other thyngs both this next weke, and ben in that other place, if God send me helth. I must do purvey for meche stuff or I come ther, for ther is nother bords ne other stuff that must neds be had or we come there. And Richard hath gadderid butt lytill mony syth he come from yow. I have sent John Norwod this day to Gresham, Besigham, and Matelask to gete als meche mony as he may. The blissid Trinyte have yow in his keping. Wretyn at Norwych, on the Utas day of Peter and Powll.287.3 Yowrs,     M. P.

286.5 [From Fenn, iii. 186.] This letter chronicles the same two deaths as the preceding, and is therefore of the same date.

287.1 A noble was a coin of the value of 6s. 8d. A mark was 13s. 4d. Five marks therefore were equal to £3, 6s. 8d.; but Margaret said she would pay the odd noble, or 6s. 8d., out of her own purse, and not let Paston know but that he had the place for £3. A little artifice for accepting terms which she had doubtless told Newman her husband could never agree to.

287.2 Philip Berney.—See p. 251, Note 1.

287.3 The day of St. Peter and Paul is the 29th of June. The utas or octave of a feast is the eighth day of the feast—that is to say, the seventh day after, which in this case is the 6th of July.



SEPT. (?)

Ryth worchepfull howsbonde, I recomende me on to yow. Plesyt yow to wete that I sent Tomas Bon to Edwarde Coteler to have one ansuer of the mater that ye spak to hym of, and he sent me worde that he hade spok to hys man therof, and he tolde hym that he hade no wrytynge nor evidens of no swyche thyng as ye spak to hym of, ner not wyst were he scholde have cnowlage of no swyche thyng, save that he tolde hym that he receyvyd onys j.c.s. [100s.] of the same rent; but and he may have cnowlage of ony man that havyth ony wrytyng or ony thyng that may out prevayle, he schal late yow have cnoulage therof.

As for Wylliam Yellverton, he come here never syn ye yede. As for my Lady Stapullton, att the wrytyng of thys letter sche was not come home. Wyndhamys288.2 erand to my Lady of Southefolk288.3 was to desiyr hyr gode Ladychep and to beseche hyr that sche wold spek to my cosyn Evenyngham288.4 that he myt have hys gode wyll, for he levith in hope to have hys modyr, and he hath made menys to have her by John Gros and hys wyf, and by Bokynham and by odyr dyvers, and profuryth hyr to find suerte to acquitt hyr housbondys dettes, the qwyche is CCC. marc, and to payit doune on j. day. And by thys mene, as he seyth, he hathe bargeynid with j. marchande of London, and hath solde to hym the manage of hys son, for the qwyche he scal have vij. C. [700] marc, and of that the iij. C. [300] marc schoulde be payd for the forseyd dettes; and also he proforyth to yeve hyr the maner of Felbryg to hyr 289 joyntour, and odyr la[r]ge profors as ye schal here eraffter. As for the good wyll of my cosyn Hevenyngham, he seyth Wyndh[am]289.1 he schall never have hytt, nott for to have hyr gode konyth he [abydyth]289.2 hys soull hevy therof, for he is aferde that and if the large profors may be perfor[m]yd, that sche wyll have hym. My seyd cosyn preyith yow, att the reverens of Gode, that ye wyll do yowyr [devoir]289.3 therin to brec it and ye can. He schall be here ayen on Mychaell mas evyn. He was full sory that ye wer outt att this tyme, for he hopyd that ye schoulde have do myche goode att this tyme. He hathe seyde as myche ther ageyns as he dar do to have hyr gode modyrchep. My Lady of Southfolce sent j. letter to hyr yesterday by Stanle, the qwyche is callyd j. well cherysyd man with my seyd Lady, and desyiryng hyr in the letter that sche wolde owe hyr godde wyll and favor to Wyndham in that that he desyiryd of hyr, and of more matterys that ye schall here er after, for I suppose sche wyll schew yow the same letter and mak yow of hyr counsel in many thyngys, and I schall do my part as feythfully as I can to lett Wyndhamys porpose tyl ye come home. I pray yow sende me a copy of hys petygre, that I may schew to hyr how worchepphull it is, for in goode feythe sche is informyd bi hyr gentyll son Gros and Bokenham that he is mor worcheppfull in berthe and in lyvelode therto than they or ony odyr can preve, as I suppose. I pray yow lett nott thys mater be discuyryd tyl ye her more therof or after, for my cosyn Hevenyngham tolde myche here of in secret wyse, and of odyr thyngis qwyche ye schall have cnoulage of qwan ye come home, &c.

In hast, all in hast.

288.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] There is neither signature nor address to this letter, but it is undoubtedly from Margaret Paston to her husband. The handwriting is the same as that of her other letters. The date seems to be after the death of Sir John Heveningham in 1453, and is not likely to have been a later year, as the Duchess of Suffolk’s influence must have been diminished when the Duke of York came into power, though it may possibly have been powerful again in 1456.

288.2 John Wyndham, Esq. of Felbrigg.

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

288.4 John, son of Sir John Heveningham.—See p. 285, Note 3.

289.1 Mutilated.

289.2 Erased in MS. Apparently some further correction should have been made.

289.3 Omitted in MS. ‘Do your devoir,’ i.e. endeavour, seems to have been the phrase intended.

See p. 285, Note 3
text has “p. 227” (Letter no. for page no.)




My Lordes, ye know well ynough the grete peynes, labours, and diligences that before thys tyme y have doon, to th’entent that the over greete dishonneurs and losses that ben come to thys full noble royaume of England by the fals menes of som persones that have take on theym over grete autoritee in thys royaume shulde be knowen, and that the persones lyvyng that have doon theym shulde be corrected aftyr the merites of her desertes. And to that entent y have denounced and delyverd to you in wrytyng certeyn articles ayenst the Duc of Somerset, whych ys one of theym that ys gylty thereoff, whertoo the Duc of Somerset have aunsuerd; and to that that he hath aunsuerd y have replyed yn such wyse that y trowe to be sure ynough that there shall no vayllable thyng be seyd to the contrarie of my seyd replicacion, and asmoch as he woold sey shall be but falsnesse and lesyngs, as be the probacions that shall be made thereuppon shall mow appiere; how be it that to alle people of gode entendement, knowyng how justice owyth to be ministred, it ys full apparaunt that the denunciacions ayenst hym made ben sufficiently preved by the dedes that have folowed thereoff; whereuppon y have requyred to have ouverture of justice by yow, whych ye have not yhyt doon to me, whereoff y am so hevy that y may no lenger beere it, speciallie 291 seth the mater by me pursued ys so worshipfull for all the royaume, and for you, and so greable to God, and to alle the subgettys of thys royaume, that it may be no gretter. And it ys such that for anye favour of lignage, ne for anye othyr cause there shulde be no dissimulacion, for doubt lest that othyr yn tyme comyng take example thereoff, and lest that the full noble vertue of justice, that of God ys so greetly recommaunded, be extinct or quenched by the fals oppinions of som, that for the grete bribes that the seyd Duc of Somerset hath promysed and yoven them, have turned theyr hertys from the wey of trouth and of justice; some seyeng that the cases by hym committed ben but cases of trespasse, and othyr takyng a colour to make an universell peas. Whereoff every man that ys trewe to the seyd Coroune auyth gretely to marveylle, that anye man wold sey that the losse of ij. so noble duchees as Normandie and Guyen, that ben well worth a greet royaume, comyng by successions of fadres and modres to the seyd Coroune, ys but trespasse; where as it hath be seen in manye royaumes and lordshyps that, for the losse of tounes and castells wythoute sege, the capitaynes that hav lost theym han be deede and beheded, and her godes lost; as in Fraunce one that lost Chyrborough; and also a knyght that fledd for dred of bataille shulde be byheded, soo that alle these thyngs may be founden in the lawes wryten, and also yn the boke cleped L’arbre de Bataille. Wherfor, for to abbregge my langage, y requyre you that forasmech as the more partie of the dedes committed by the seyd Duc of Somerset ben committed yn the royaume of Fraunce, that by the lawes of Fraunce processe be made thereuppon; and that all thyng that y have delyvered and shall delyvere be seen and understand by people havyng knoulige theroff, and that the dedes committed by hym in thys royaume bee yn lyke wyse seen and understand by people lerned yn the lawes of thys land; and for preffe thereoff to graunt commissions to inquere thereoff, as by reason and of custom it owyth to be doon, callyng God and you all my Lordes to wytnesse of the devoirs by me doon in thys seyd matere; and requyeyng you that thys my bille and alle othyr my devoirs may be enacted before you. And that y may have 292 it exemplified undre the Kyngs grete seele for my discharge and acquytaille of my trouth, makyng protestacion that in case ye make not to me ouverture of justice upon the seyd caas, y shall for my discharge do my peyn that my seyd devoirs and the seyd lak of justice shall be knowen through all the royaume. Einsi signé,     J. M. Norff.

290.1 [From Fenn, iii. 108.] This paper is headed ‘Copia’ in the MS. It is entitled by Fenn, ‘The Speech of John Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, against Edmund Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, in the House of Lords.’ This title, however, is clearly no part of the original document, which has much more the character of a petition to the Privy Council than of a speech in Parliament. The paper itself professes to be a ‘bill’ signed by its author, who demands that the conduct of the Duke of Somerset in France and in England should be made the subject of investigation by separate tribunals according to the laws of either country. Now the House of Lords, being only a branch of the English Legislature, would have had no right to authorise a judicial investigation in France. The date of this petition must have been in the end of the year 1453, after the loss of Guienne. The Duke of Somerset appears to have been committed to the Tower a little before Christmas in that year; for, after his liberation on the 4th March 1455, he declared before the Council that he had been confined there ‘one whole year, ten weeks, and more.’—See Rymer, xi. 362.


To my ryght reverent and wourchipfull mastras, my Mastras Paston, the modyr of my maister John Paston, be this delyvered.


Ryght reverent and wourchipful Mastras, with most humble and louly servyce in moste goodly wice I recomaund me to your contynuell supportacion. Please it your good grace to have notycion that I have late a place of yours in quiche John Rycheman dvellyd, for it stode at a grete dyspeyr and I have late it for xvs., but up your good grace, for the lockis of the dores arn pulled of and born a waye, and the wyndowes ben broken and gone and other bordys ben nayled on in the stede of the sayd wyndowes. Also, the swynysty ys doun, and all the tymbyr and the thatche born a way; also the hedge ys broken or born a wey, quiche closed the gardeyn; querthorgh the place ys evyl apeyred to the tenaunt. On Sent Marckes daye I entred the seid place and lete it to your be hove, and on the day after cam Henry Goneld and seyd my latyng schald not stond, and went and seled the dores; querfor I beseche your graciows favor that my latyng may stond, for I have late alle your londis everychone. I know not oon rode unlate, but alle 293 ocupyed to your profyghte. The tenaunt quich by your lycens schuld have youre place to ferme by my latyng ys gretely be hated with oon Johane, the wyfe of Robert Iclyngham, chapman, quich ys voysed for amysse governyd woman of hyr body by the most parte of owr town wel recordyth the same, and sche dvellyth al by your seyd place; and by cause this seid tenaunt ys gretely ayens hir for hir ungoodly governaunce, therfor sche mad menys to one Abraham Whal, quiche ys one of hir supportores, and he hath spoke with the seyd Henry Gonelde that he myght seke a remedye to cause this seyd tenaunt to be a voydyd and kept oute your seid place and not come ther inne.

He that is bryngger of this bylle ys the man to quich I have late to ferme by the licens of you; therfore I beseche your gracaus favor to be schewed onto hym, and mekeli I beseche your contynuell supportacion that ye wuld send me wrytyng under your seele how I schal be demened. Nomor, &c. Wrytin at Crowmer the nest day after Sent Marc. —Be your servaunt at alle tymes,     William Reynoldes of Crowmer.

The following memoranda are written on the back:—

Firmale terræ ten’ Roperes in Crowmer Anno xxxjº.

In primis Gylmin (?) tenet ad firmam ij. acras ad terminum——293.1 annorum et reddit per annum


Item, Johannes Parnell tenet iij. rodas ad terminum xij. annorum et reddit per annum


Item, Willelmus Reynoldes pro iij. rodis in ij. peciis ad terminum x. annorum et reddit per annum


Item, Thomas tenet pars (sic) terræ et reddit per annum

ijd. ob.

Item, Ricardus Child pro prato et j. inclausura vocata Longclos ad terminum annorum et reddit per annum

iijs. iiijd.

Item, Rogerus Caryour pro j. orto per annum


292.1 [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 225.] This letter is shown by the memoranda on the back to be of the year 1453, i.e. 31 Henry VI. Agnes Paston had tenants at Cromer, and her property there descended to her grandchildren, as she outlived her son John.

293.1 Blank in MS.



[To my] right trusty and welbeloved Jon Paston, Esquier.

About 1454

Right trusty and intierly welbelovyd, I grete you wele. Prayng you as I specially trust you that ye wole be good frend to James Arblaster in his mater touchyng the maner of Smalbergh, as I wote wele ye haf ever be to hym ryght especiall frend; and thogh it so be that the sayd James had gret trebles, losses, and adversite herbeforn, neverthelesse he shall not be so bare of frendys ner goodes but that I wole se hym holpyn with the mercy of God. In performmyng wherof the berer of this shal enforme you of myn inten and disposicion more largely than I wole put in wrytyng. And the Trinite have you in hys kepyng. Wretyn at Wefnow,294.2 the vij. day of August. Elizabeth Ver, Countes of Oxenford.

294.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] At the bottom of the letter is a contemporary note which appears to show that it was filed along with others of various dates before Michaelmas 1454:— ‘Literæ de diversis annis ante Michaelem xxxiij.’ More precise evidence of its date does not seem to be attainable.

294.2 Wivenhoe, near Colchester, in Essex.


To John Paston, Sqwyer, dwellyng in Norwich.

Year uncertain

Ryght entierly welbeloved, I grete yow well, and pray yow that ye woll be good frende un to Arblaster in suche matiers as he shal enfo[rme] yow, and I thanke yow for the good frendship that ye have shewed to hym. And 295 I sent a letter to Margaret Gurnay byfore Cristemesse of certeyn langage that I herd, wich plesed me nowght, and so I prayed my Lord to gif me leve to wrytte to hir; and therfore and ye here any thyng, answere, as my trust is in yow. Right entierly welbeloved, the Holy Gost have yow in his kepyng. Wretyn in hast the first day of February.

Elyzabeth de Veer.

294.3 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This and the letter immediately following are inserted here merely on account of their similarity to the last. Their dates are quite uncertain.


To my right, entierly welbeloved John Paston of Norwich, Squyer.

Right entierly welbeloved, I grete yow well, thankyng yow of the gret jentylnesse that ye have shewed un to my right welbeloved James Arblaster, prayng yow of contynuaunse; and if ther be any thyng that I may doo for yow or any of yowres, here or in any other place, I pray yow let me wete and I shall be redy to do it, with the grace of God, ho have yow in his kepyng. And I pray yow to be frendly unto my right welbeloved Agneys Arblaster, wich is to me gret plesier and hertes ease and ye so be. Wretyn at Wevenho the xiije day of Aprill. Oxenford.

295.1 [Douce MS. 393, f. 82.]


JAN. 19

As touchyng tythynges, please it you to wite that at the Princes295.3 comyng to Wyndesore, the Duc of Buk’ toke hym in his armes and presented hym to the Kyng in godely wise, besechyng the Kyng to blisse hym; and the Kyng yave no maner answere. Natheless the Duk abode stille with the Prince by the Kyng; and whan he 296 coude no maner answere have, the Queene come in, and toke the Prince in hir armes and presented hym in like forme as the Duke had done, desiryng that he shuld blisse it; but alle their labour was in veyne, for they departed thens without any answere or countenaunce savyng only that ones he loked on the Prince and caste doune his eyene ayen, without any more.

Item, the Cardinalle296.1 hathe charged and commaunded alle his servauntz to be redy with bowe and arwes, swerd and bokeler, crossebowes, and alle other habillementes of werre, suche as thei kun medle with to awaite upon the saufgarde of his persone.

Item, th’erle of Wiltshire296.2 and the Lord Bonvile have done to be cryed at Taunton in Somerset shire, that every man that is likly and wole go with theym and serve theym, shalle have vjd. every day as long as he abidethe with theym.

Item, the Duk of Excestre296.3 in his owne persone hathe ben at Tuxforthe beside Dancastre, in the north contree, and there the Lord Egremond296.4 mette hym, and thei ij. ben sworne togider, and the Duke is come home agein.

Item, th’erle of Wiltshire, the Lord Beaumont, Ponynges, Clyfford, Egremond, and Bonvyle, maken all the puissance they kan and may to come hider with theym.

Item, Thorpe296.5 of th’escheker articuleth fast ayenst the Duke of York, but what his articles ben it is yit unknowen.

Item, Tresham,296.6 Josep,296.7 Danyelle,296.8 and Trevilian296.9 have 297 made a bille to the Lordes, desiryng to have a garisone kept at Wyndesore for the saufgarde of the Kyng and of the Prince, and that they may have money for wages of theym and other that shulle kepe the garyson.

Item, the Duc of Buk’ hathe do to be made Ml. Ml. [2000] bendes with knottes, to what entent men may construe as their wittes wole yeve theym.

Item, the Duke of Somersetes herbergeour hath taken up all the loggyng that may be goten nere the Toure, in Thamystrete, Martlane, Seint Katerines, Tourehille, and there aboute.

Item, the Queene hathe made a bille of five articles, desiryng those articles to be graunted; wherof the first is that she desireth to have the hole reule of this land; the second is that she may make the Chaunceller, the Tresorere, the Prive Seelle, and alle other officers of this land, with shireves and alle other officers that the Kyng shuld make; the third is, that she may yeve alle the bisshopriches of this land, and alle other benefices longyng to the Kynges yift; the iiijth is that she may have suffisant lyvelode assigned hir for the Kyng and the Prince and hir self. But as for the vth article, I kan nat yit knowe what it is.

Item, the Duke of York wole be at Londone justly on Fryday next comyng297.1 at night, as his owne men tellen for certain, and he wole come with his houshold meynee, clenly beseen and likly men. And th’erle of Marche297.2 cometh with hym, but he will have a nother feliship of gode men that shall be at Londone before hym . . . that he is come; and suche jakkes, salettes, and other herneys as his meyne shulle have, shalle come to Londone with hem, or before hem in cartes. The Erle of Salesbury297.3 wille be at Lon[don] on Monday297.4 or Tywesday next comyng with seven score knyghtes and squyers, beside other meynee. The Erles of Warwyk,297.5 Richemond,297.6 298 and Pembroke298.1 comen with the Duke of Yorke, as it is seide, everych of theym with a godely feliship. And natheles th’erle of Warwyk wole have Ml. men awaityng on hym beside the feliship that cometh with hym, as ferre as I can knowe. And as Geffrey Poole seithe, the Kynges bretherne ben like to be arrested at their comyng to Londone, yf thei come. Wherfore it is thought by my Lordes298.2 servauntz and welwillers here that my Lord, at his comyng hider, shalle come with a gode and clenly feliship, suche as is likly and accordyng to his estate to have aboute hym; and their harneys to come in cartes, as my Lord of Yorkes mennes harneys did the last terme, and shalle at this tyme also. And over that, that my Lord have a nother gode feliship to awaite on hym and to be here afore hym, or els sone after hym, in like wise as other Lordes of his blode wole have.

And for the more redynesse of suche feliship to be hade redy, that my Lord send sadde and wise messagers to his servauntz and tenauntz in Sussex and elswhere, that they be redy at London ayenst his comyng, to awaite on my Lord; but lete my Lord beware of writyng of lettres for theym, lest the lettres be delivered to the Cardynalle and Lordes, as one of my Lordes lettres was nowe late, for perill that myght falle, for that lettre hathe done moche harme and no gode.

And as for suche tydynges as ben contened in the lettre sent home by John Sumpterman, I can nat hiderto here the contrarie of any of theym, but that every man that is of th’opynion of the Duke of Somerset298.3 makethe hym redy to be as stronge as he kan make hym. Wherfore it is necessarie that my Lord loke wele to hym self and kepe hym amonge his meyne, and departe nat from theym, for it is to drede lest busshementes shuld be leide for hym. And yf that happed, and my Lord came hiderward, as he hathe ben used for to come, he myght lightly be deceyved and betrapped, that God defende. And therfore lete my Lord make gode wacche and be sure.


The Duke of Somerset hathe espies goyng in every Lordes hous of this land; some gone as freres, som as shipmen taken on the sea, and som in other wise; whiche reporte unto hym all that thei kun see or here touchyng the seid Duke. And therfore make gode wacche, and beware of suche espies.

And as touchyng the privee scale and my Lordes seurtee, it is necessarie that my Lord be advertised that yf the Chaunceller,299.1 or any other, make any question to my Lord of his comyng contrarie to the teneur of the seid privee seall, that my Lord by his grete wisdom make answere that he was credibly enformed that aswele the Duke of Somerset beyng prisoner, as other beyng at large, holdyng his opynyon ayenst the wele of the Kyng and of the land, made grete assemblees and gaderyngs of people, to mayntene th’opinion of the seid Duke of Somerset and to distrusse my Lord; and that the comyng of my Lord in suche forme as he shalle come is onely for the saufgarde of his owne persone, and to none other entent, as my Lord hym self can sey moche better than any that is here kan advertise hym.

Thise thinges aforseid ben espied and gadred by my Lord Chaun ,299.2 John Leventhorpe, Laurence Leventhorpe, Maister Adam, William Medwe, Robert Alman, John Colvyle, Richard of Warderobe, and me, John Stodeley. And as sone as we kun knowe any more in substance we shull send home word. Writen at London, the xix. day of Janyvere.

The meire and merchauntz of London, and the mair and merchauntz of the staple of Caleys, were with the Chaunceller on Monday last passed299.3 at Lamhithe, and compleyned on the Lord Bonvile for takyng of the shippes and godes of the Flemmynges and other of the Duke of Burgoynes Lordships, and the Chaunceller yeve theym none answere to their plesyng; wherfore the substaunce of theym with one voys cryed alowde, ‘Justice, justice, justice!’ wherof the Chaunceller was so dismayed that he coude ne myght no more sey to theym for fere.

295.2 [Egerton MS. 914, B.M.] There is no evidence that this letter had anything to do with the Paston correspondence, but as a very interesting political letter of the period we have thought it right to give it a place in the collection. The date is quite certain, being after the birth of Prince Edward in October 1453, and before the death of Cardinal Kemp in March 1454.

295.3 Edward, only son of Henry VI., born 13th October 1453.

296.1 John Kemp, Cardinal Archbishop of Canterbury.

296.2 James Butler, Earl of Wiltshire and Ormond.

296.3 Henry Holland.

296.4 Thomas Percy, third son of Henry, Earl of Northumberland.

296.5 Thomas Thorpe, one of the Barons of the Exchequer, who was also Speaker of the House of Commons, but was at this time imprisoned in the Fleet in consequence of an action brought against him by the Duke of York.—(See Rolls of Parl. v. 239.)

296.6 Thomas Tresham, who as ‘Sir Thomas Tresham, Knight,’ was attainted under Edward IV. for fighting on the Lancastrian side at Towton, but his attainder was afterwards reversed in Parliament 7 and 8 Edw. IV., on the ground that he was a household servant of Henry VI. and had been brought up in his service from a child.—Rolls of Parl. v. 616–617.

296.7 William Joseph, who, with Thorpe, was frequently accused by the Yorkists of misleading the King.—Rolls of Parl. v. 280, 282, 332, 342.

296.8 Thomas Daniel, Esq.—See p. 255, Note 2.

296.9 John Trevilian.

297.1 25th January.

297.2 Afterwards Edward IV., the Duke of York’s eldest son.

297.3 Richard Nevill, Earl of Salisbury, father of Warwick the King-maker.

297.4 21st January.

297.5 Richard Nevill, Earl of Warwick, afterwards known as ‘the King-maker.’

297.6 Edmund Tudor, the King’s half-brother. He was the father of King Henry VII.

298.1 Jasper Tudor, brother of the Earl of Richmond, and half-brother to the King.

298.2 Probably the Duke of Norfolk.

298.3 See p. 255, Note 3.

299.1 Cardinal Kemp was at this time Chancellor.—See p. 296, Note 1.

299.2 So in MS.

299.3 14th January.



To my right wurshipfull hosbond, John Paston, be this delyveryd in hast.

JAN. 29

Right worshipfull hosbond, I recommawnd me to yow, praying yow to wete that I spak yistirday with my suster,300.2 and she told me that she was sory that she myght not speke with yow or ye yede; and she desyrith if itt pleased yow, that ye shuld yeve the jantylman, that ye know of, seche langage as he myght fele by yow that ye wull be wele willyng to the mater that ye know of; for she told me that he hath seyd befor this tym that he conseyvid that ye have sett but lytil therby, wherefor she prayth yow that ye woll be here gode brother, and that ye myght have a full answer at this tym whedder it shall be ya or nay. For her moder hath seyd to her syth that ye redyn hens, that she hath no fantesy therinne, but that it shall com to a jape; and seyth to her that ther is gode crafte in dawbyng; and hath seche langage to her that she thynkyt right strange, and so that she is right wery therof, wherefor she desyrith the rather to have a full conclusyon therinne. She seyth her full trost is in yow, and as ye do therinne, she woll agre her therto.

Mayster Braklee300.3 be her yisterday to have spoke with yow; I spak with hym, but he wold not tell me what his erond was.

It is seyd her that the cescions shall be at Thetford on 301 Saterday next komyng, and ther shall be my Lord of Norffolk and other with grette pupill [people], as it is seyd.

Other tydyngs have we none yett. The blissefull Trynyte have yow in his kepyng. Wretyn at Norwyche, on the Tewysday next befor Candelmasse.

I pray yow that ye woll vowchesawf to remembr to purvey a thing for my nekke, and to do make my gyrdill. Yowris,     M. P.

My cosyn Crane recommawndeth her to yow, and praytth yow to remembr her mater, &c., for she may not slepe on nyghtys for hym.

300.1 [From Fenn, iii. 170.] The request made at the end of this letter that John Paston would procure his wife an ornament for her neck, is noted by Fenn as one that she had made in April 1452, and of which this was probably a repetition nine months afterwards. There seems no better evidence of date to go by, so we follow the same mode of inference; but as we have placed the letter containing the first petition for the necklace in 1453 instead of 1452, we must attribute this letter to the year 1454.

300.2 Elizabeth Paston.

300.3 John Bracklee or Brackley was a brother of the Convent of Grey Friars, or Friars Minors, in Norwich. He took a Doctor of Divinity’s degree, and was a famous preacher. —F.


Thys letter be delyverd to John Paston, dwellyn in the Inder In of the Tempyll at London, in hast.

About 1454

I  grete yow well, and lete yow wete that thys day I was with my doughtyr yor wyfe, and che was in good hele att the makyn of thys letter, thankyd be God! and sche lete yor sustyr and me wete of a letter wheche ye sent hyr, that ye have be laboryd to for Ser William Oldhall to have your sustyr, and desyryng in the seyd letter to have an answer in schort tyme, who [how] sche wyll be demenyd in thys mater.

Yor suster recomaundyt hyr to yow, and thankyt yow hertyly that ye wyll remembyr hyr, and lete hyr have knowleche ther of, and prayt yow that ye wyll do your dever to bryng it to a good conclusyon; for sche seythe to me that sche trystyt that ye wyll do so, that it xall be bothe for hyr worchup and profyt. And as for me, if ye can thynke that hys lond standyt cler, in as meche as I fele your sustyr well wyllyd ther to, I hold me well content.


And as for the oblygacyon of the persen of Marlynferthe, wheche I sent yow by John Newman, I pray yow lete it be suyd; and as for the Parson and Lyndesey, they be a cordyd. And God have yow in kepyn, and send yow hys blyssyn and myn. Wretyn at Norwyche on Pulver Wedenesday.302.1 Be yor moder,     Augnes Paston.

301.1 [From Fenn, iii. 188.] This letter refers to a proposal for Paston’s sister which was probably in or a little before 1454, as in a letter of the 15th July in that year Paston states that several such offers had been under consideration.

302.1 If in 1454, Ash-Wednesday was the 6th of March.



Ful mekely bisecheth your humble liege man, Walter Ingham of youre schire of Norffolk, gentylman, that where the seide Walter was in Goddes pees and youres at Dunston in the seid shire the xj. daye of the monthe of January, the yere of youre rengne the xxxij., oone Thomas Denyes,302.3 of ful grete malice, prepensed ungodely soore agaynste gode feithe and concience, imagynyng utterly to destroye youre seyde besecher, contryved a lettre in the name of my Lord of Oxenforde, he not knowyng of ony soch lettre comaundyng youre seide besecher to be with the seide Lorde at Wevenho, in your shire of Essex, the xiij. day of the seide monthe of January, for divers grete maters towchyng my seide Lorde. The seide Thomas, thenkyng in his conceite that youre seid besechere wolde in noo wyse disobeye the seide wrytyng, but that he wolde putte hym in his devoyre to fulfill my seide Lords desyre, layde dyvers folks arraied in maner of werre with jakkes, saletts, langedebiefs,302.4 and boore speres in ij. busshements for youre seide besecher in ij. places, knowyng wele that youre seide besecher must come oone of thes ij. weyes for, tho [there] were no moo, to that intent that they 303 [might] murdre your seide besecher be cause he had laboured for his fadir in a wryte sub pena agaynst the seide Thomas Denys and Anneys his wyf for a notable somme of money that the seide Anneys shulde have payede to the fadir of your seide besecher; the seide Thomas comaundyng the seide mysdoers in any wyse whech of theym that mette first with youre seide besecher shulde sle hym, and they shol be nota[b]ly rewardet for ther laboure, and the seide Thomas shulde kepe and save theyme harmeles. Bicause of whech comaundement oone of the seide busshements mette with the forsaide besechere the xij. day of the seide month, as he came toward my seide Lorde of Oxenforde acordyng to his lettre at Dunstone afore seide, and hym than and there grevosly bette and woundet, aswell upon his hede as uppon his leggs, and other ful grevous strokes and many gaf hym upon his bakke, so that youre seide besecher is mahaymed upon his ryght legg, and feyne to goo on crucches, and so must do al dayes of his lif to his utter undoyng; notwithstandyng the seide mysdoers and riotous peple in this conceite [lef]te youre seide besecher for dede. Uppon the whech ryot it was complayned to my Lord Chauncelere303.1 by the frends of yowre besecher, desyryng of hym by ca[use of th]e grete ryote doone by the seide Thomas, and also for the sauf garde of youre seyde besechere, that oone of your serjantes of armes myght be comaundement [go]303.2 and areste the seide Thomas to appere before you in your Chauncerie for the seide ryot, because the seide Thomas was at that tyme at London; bi force of [whech com]aundement oone of youre serjants of armes went to Lyncolne Inne to arreste the sayde Thomas. The whech areste the seide Thomas utterly diso[beyed in] grete contempte of your highnesse; nevertheles he is now in the warde of the Wardeyne of the Flete by the comaundement of my Lorde Chaunceler. [Wher]fore plese it your highnes of youre most noble and habundante grace, by the assente of your Lordes Spirituel and Temporel, and of your Comons in this your present Par[lement assem]bled, and by auctorite of the same, to ordeyne and estabelessche that the seide Thomas Denys may abide in the seide prisone of the Flete, and not to 304 be [admitted to bayl] nor meynprise in noo wyse in to soch tyme that the seide Thomas have answered to soch accion or accions as youre seide besecher schal take agaynst hym for the seide mahayme and betyng, and also unto soch tyme as the same accions ben folly discussed and determyned bi twene your seide besecher and the seide Thomas Denys, consideryng that if the same Thomas scholde go at large, he wolde never answere your seide besecher but hym delay by protecions and other weies, so that the same besecher schulde never be content nor agreed, for the exhorbitant offence done to hym; and also un to the tyme the seide Thomas fynde sofficient suerte of his gode beryng fro this tyme forthe. And he shal pray to God for youre moste noble astate.

302.2 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This is a petition to the King in Parliament which, supported by the influence of Cardinal Kemp, appears to have met with a favourable hearing from the House of Lords. The date will appear by the letter following.

302.3 See Nos. 123 and 124.

302.4 The langue-de-bœuf was a kind of glaive with a double edge half down the blade.

303.1 John Kemp, Archbishop of Canterbury and Cardinal.

303.2 Mutilated.


To my right wurshipfull maister, John Paston.


Right wurshipfull and myn especiall good maister, I recomaund me to you with all service and prayer to my power. And like it you to wete that how be a full straunge acte is passid agayn me in the Higher House before the Lords, wherof I send you a copie. Neverthelesse I hope to God that it shal not passe in the Comon House; but me is be falle the most sorwfull infortune that ever por man had, standyng in suych case as I do, for my Lordis the Cardenale and of Oxenford haf imprisoned my wif in the countour, and how thei shal guyde hir forth, God knoweth. Which standith to nygh myn hert, if Godds will were; but wel I know that by thes vengeable malics don to hir and me thei wole [not?] be content, for Ingham lithe beside that to take 305 awey my wyves doughter out of Westminster to make an end of my wif if he can, and also to arest my servauntz, that I drede that she nor I shal haf no creature to attend us ne help us; and suych malice haf I never herd of herbeforne. And it is told me that beside that thei wole dispoil, if any good thei can fynde of myn in Norwich or Norffolk, and imprisone my servauntz there. Wherfore I lowly beseche your maistership, for our Lords mercy, that ye vouchsauff to socour theym in this necessite; and if ony entree be made or shuld be made upon myn wifes place in Norwich, that ye vouchsauff to socour my servauntz, and do ther inne after your wisdam for Crists love and seynt charite.

Beside this, a frend and kynnesman of myn, oon Robert Clement of Betele, hath writen to me that he is arestid, and like to be imprisoned bi a writte of dette, take agayn hym upon an obligacion of Cli. [£100] in which he and I and other wer bounde to my Lorde of Oxenford xiiij. yeer agone, wherof I haf many acquitaunces. Wherfore I pray your good maistership to send to the Shirreve that my said kynnesman may ben easid, and no retourne made ageyn hym, but that he may answer the next tyme bi attourney; for truly that writte was take oute in the end of the terme aftir I was arestid, and aftir it was aperid to.

I pray your maistership, for Godds sake, to be not displesid, ne wery to do for me in these materes of your charite, for I had lever gif the said Robert suych good, litell if it be, as I haf, than he wer undone for me, or ony man ellis that ever ded for me. And I hope, if God vouchsaf that the mater may come to reson, to sauf hym harmles, and all other with Godds mercy, ever prayng you of your maistership and socour for Godds love, who ever kepe for his mercy.

Wretyn in Flete, the Wednesday the second weke of Lent.

Mor over, in augmentyng of my sorwe, I wend my wif shuld a dyed sith, for aftir she was arestid she laboured of hir child, that she is with all, waityng either to dye or be delyvered, and she hath not gon viij. weks quykke. What shal be falle Almighti God knoweth, and shull dispose mercifully.


Aftirward my wif was sum dele easid bi the labour of the Wardeyn of Flete, for the cursed Cardenale had sent hir to Newgate. God forgif his sowle. Now she is take to baile til Tuesday. The Cardenale is dede, and the Kyng is relevid.306.1

304.1 [From Fenn, iii. 174.] This letter is without a signature, and the writer was unknown to Fenn; but a comparison with the letter which follows (now printed for the first time) leaves no doubt that it was written by Thomas Denyes, whom we have already met with as a dependant of the Earl of Oxford (see Letters 123, 124, and 132). The date is fixed by the reference to the death of Cardinal Kemp in the postscript.

306.1 This last sentence must have been added a few days after the date of the letter, for Cardinal Kemp died on the 22nd of March 1454. Wednesday in the second week of Lent was the 20th March.



Right wurchepfull and my right especiall Lord, I recomaund me to your gode Lordshep, besechyng your Lordshep that ye take not to displesauns thow I write you, as I here say that Agnes Denyes, be the meanes of your Lordshep and of my Lord the Cardynall,306.3 hos sowle God assoyle and forgeve, was set in preson, beyng with child—which, and the sorough and shame there of, was nygh her deth—and yet dayly is vexed and trobled, and her servauntes in like wyse, to the uttermest distruccion of her person and godes. In which, my Lord, at the reverens of God, remembre sche was maried be you and be my meanes, be your comaundement and writyng, and draw therto full sore ageyn her entent in the begynnynge; and was worth v.c. [500] marc and better, and shuld have had a gentilman of this contre of an C. marc of lond and wele born, ne had be your gode Lordshep and writyng to her and me. And this considered in your wise discrecion, I trost, my Lord, thow her prisonyng were of oderes labore, ye wuld helpe her; and if she be destroyd be this mariage, my conscyens thynketh I am bownd to recompense her after my pore and sympill power. My 307 Lord, ye know I had litill cause to do for Thomas Denyes, savyng only for your gode Lordshep. Also, my Lord, I know wele that Water Ingham was bete, the mater hangyng in myn award, right fowle and shamefully; and also how the seid Thomas Denyes hath, this last terme, ageyn your nobill estat, right unwysely demened hym to his shame and grettest rebuke that ever he had in his lyve. Where fore it is right wele do his person be ponysshed as it pleaseth you. But this not withstondyng for Godds love, my Lord, remembre how the gentilwoman is accombred only for yowr sake, and help her; and if aught lyth in my power to do that that myght please yowr Lordshep, or cowde fynde any way for Water Ingham avayll and wurchep, I wull do it to my power; and the rather if your Lordshep support the jentilwoman, for I know the mater and that longe plee is litill avayll, and every thyng must have an ende. I have told my brother Mathew Drury more to enforme yowre Lordshep than I may have leyser to write for his hasty departyng. Right wurchepfull and my right especiall Lord, I besech All myghty God send you asmych joy and wurchep as ever had any of my Lords yowr aunceters, and kepe you and all yowres. Wretyn at Norwich the iiij. Sonday of Lent. Yowre servaunte to his powr,     John Paston.

306.2 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter was so manifestly written on the receipt of the last, that there can be no question about the date. It bears no address upon the back, so that it is probably only a copy, or, if an original, it certainly was not sent; but the person for whom it was intended was evidently the Earl of Oxford.

306.3 Cardinal Kemp.



Thees be the persons that enformyd the Justicez of the Kyngis Benche the last terme of suche ryottis as hath be done be Robert Ledham: The Lord Skales, Sir Thomas Todenham, Sir John Chalers, Edmond Clere, Water George, John Alyngton, Gilbert Debenham, John Denston, William Whit, William Alyngton, Reynald Rows, John 308 Berney, Richard Suthwell, John Paston, John Henyngham, Raff Shelton, Henry Grey.

These be the names of the knyghtes and esquyers that endittyd Robert Ledham:—Thomas Todenham, knyght, Andrew Ogard, knyght, John Henygham, knyght, William Calthorp, esquyer, Bryan Stapelton, esquyer, Osbert Mondford, esquyer, John Groos, esquyer, William Rokwod, esquyer, Thomas Morle, esquyer, Thomas Scholdham, esquyer, John Wyndham, esquyer, John Berney, esquyer, William Narbow, esquyer, John Chippysby, esquyer, William White, esquyer, John Bryston, esquyer, John Paston, esquyer.

These be dyvers of the ryottis and offensis done in the hundred of Blofeld in the counte of Norffolk, and in other townys be Robert Lethum, otherwyse callyd Robert Ledham of Wytton, be Blofeld in the counte of Norffolk, and by his ryottys men and by other of his affinitez and knowleche, whos names folowyn, and that they contynually folow and resorte unto his hous, and ther be supported and maynteynet and confortid.

These be the principall menealle men of the sayd Robert Ledham ys hous be the whiche the sayd ryottys have be done, that use in substaunce non other occupacion but ryottys:—In primis, John Cokett, Thomas Bury, Thomas Cokowe, Cristofer Bradlee, Elys Dukworth, William Donmowe, Cristofer Grenesheve, Roger Chirche. Notwythstondyng the sayd Robert Ledham kypith dayly many mo in his house and chaungeth such as have be oppenly knowyn for riottis and takith other for hem as evill as they. And these be the most principale persons comyng and resortyng unto the house of the sayd Robert Ledham, and ther be supportid and mayntened in ryottes be whom the sayd ryottes have be don, that ys to sey: In primis, Robert Taillor, Henry Bang, Robert Dallyng, John Beston, Charles Navell, John, the sone of Roger Ratclyff, Robert Berton; notwythstondyng ther be money moo whos names ben unknowyn. With the which persons, and many moo unknowyn, the sayd Robert Ledham kept atte his hous in maner of a forcelet and issith ouute atte here pleaysour and atte his lust, the sayd Ledham to assigne, 309 somtyme vj. and sometyme xij., somtyme xxxti and moo, armyd, jakkid, and salettyd, with bowys and arrowys, speris, billys, and over ryde the countrey and oppressid the Kyngs peple, and didde mony oryble and abhomynable dedes, like to have be destruccion of the enhabitantes in the sayd hundred, in the forme that folowyth, and warse.

In primis, on the Monday309.1 next before Ester day and the shire daye, the xxx. yere of oure soverayne Lord the Kyng, x. persons of the sayd riottors, with a brother of the wyff of the sayd Robert Lethum, laye in awayte in the hyght way under Thorpe Wode upon Phillip Berney, esquyer, and his man comyng from the shire, and shette atte hym and smote the hors of the sayd Phillipp with arowes, and than over rode hym, and toke hym and bette hym and spoillid hym. And for thayr excuse of this ryot, they ledde hym to the Bysshopp of Norwiche, axyng seuerte of the peas wher they hadde never waraunt hym to areste. Which affray shorttyd the lyffdayes of the sayd Phillippe, whiche dyed withynne shorte tyme after the said affray.309.2

Item, iij. of the sayd riottys feloshippe the same day, yere, and place, laye on awayte uppon Edmond Broune, gentilman, and with naked swerdes and other wepyng faght wyth hym be the space of on qaurte (sic) of an houre, and toke and spoillyd hym, and kepte hym as long as them lyst, and after that lette hym goo.

Item, xlti of the sayd riottys felowshipp, be the comaundement of the same Robert Lethum, jakket and saletted, with bowes, arowys, billys, and gleyves, oppon Mauyndy Thursday,309.3 atte iiij. of the clokke atte after nonne, the same yere, comyn to the White Freres in Norwyche, and wold have brokyn theyr yates and dorys, feynyng thaym that they wold hire thayre evesong. Where they ware aunswered suche service was non used to be there, nor withyn the sayd citee atte that tyme of the daye, and prayd them to departe; and 310 they aunswered and sayd that affore thayre departyng they wold have somme persons ouute of that place, qwykke or dede, insomuch the sayd freris were fayn to kype thaire place with forsse. And the mayr and the sheriffe of the sayd cite were fayn to arere a power to resyst the sayd riotts, which to hem on that holy tyme was tediose and heynous, consedryng the losse and lettyng of the holy service of that holy nyght. And theroppon the sayd ryotors departid.

Item, the sayd Robert Lethum, on the Monday310.1 nest after Esterne day, the same yere, toke from on John Wilton iiij. neet for rent arere, as he said, and killed hem and layd them in salte, and afterward ete hem.

Item, the sayd Robert Lethum, with vj. of his sayd ryottes, the same yere made assaute uppon John Wilton in Plumstede churche yerde, and theer so bete hym that he was in doute of his lyff; and also dede to hym many grete wronggys and oppressioun, unto the undoyng of the sayd John Wilton.

Item, in lyke wyse the sayd Robert Lethum and his men assauted on John Coke of Witton, in brekyng uppe his dorys atte a xi. of the cloke in the nyght, and wyth thaire swerdys maymed hym and gaff hym vij. grete wondys, and toke from hym certayn goodys and catalls, of the whiche he hadde, nor yitte hath, no remedy nor restitution.

Item, the same day and yere they bete the moder of the same John Coke, she beyng iiijxx. [four score] yere of age and more, and smote hure uppon the crowne of here hed with a swerd; of the whiche hurte she myght never be helyd into the day of hure deth.

Item, John, the sone of Hodge Ratleffe, and other of the sayd felowshipp, toke on Thomas Baret of Byrlygham out of his house, and bete hym and wondid hym that he kept his bedde a month, and toke from hym certayn goodes and catells.

Item, the sayd Robert Taillor, because the sayd Thomas Baret complayned of the same betyng, lay in awayte oppon hym, with other of his feloushippe, and bete hym agayn.

Item, John Beston and the sayd Robert Taillor, and other 311 of the sayd riottes felowshipp, toke on Thomas Byrden of Lyngewod and bete hym and prisoned hym till unto such tyme that he was delyvered by the mene of my Lord of Norwych; and for that sorow, distres, and grete payne and betyng, the sayd Thomas Byrden toke suche kynesse that he dyed.

Item, the sayd Robert Dallyng and Herry Bange, and other of the sayd felowshippe, toke and bete on Nicholas Chirche atte Strumpeshawe, beyng in the church of the same towne, that he was [in] dout of his lyff.

Item, the sayd Robert Dallyng lay on awayt uppon on Thomas Dallyng, and hym grevously bete.

Item, on Middleynt Sunday,311.1 the xxxti yere of oure soveraigne Lorde the Kynge that now ys, Robert Dallyng, Robert Churche, Robert Taillor, Herry Bang, Adam atte More, with other unknowyn, be the comaundement and assent of the sayd Robert Ledham, made affray uppon Herry Smyth and Thomas Chambre atte Suthbirlyngham, the sayd Herry and Thomas and that tyme knelyng to see the usyng of the masse, and than and ther wold have kyllyd the sayd Herry and Thomas atte the prestys bakke, ne had they be lettyd.

Item, the sayd Robert Lethum, with his sayd ryottis felawshipp, the same yere dide and made so many ryottes in the hundred where he dwellyth that dyvers and many gentilmen, frankeleyns, and good men, durst not abyde in here mansyon place, ne ryde, nother walke aboute thaire occupacions without mo persons, arrayd in maner and forme of werre attendyng and waytyng uppon them than thayr lyvelode wold extende to fynde hem. And so, for savacion of thaire lyves, and in eschewyng of suche inordinat costys as never was seen in that countrey befor, many of them forsoke and leffte thaire owyn habitacion, wyff and childe, and drewe to fortresses and good townes as for that tyme.

In primis, Phillipp Berney, esquyer, Edmond Broom to Castre; Thomas Holler, John Wylton to Norwych; Oliver Kubyte to Seynt Benetts; Robert Spany to Aylesham; Thomas 312 Baret, with many others, to Meche Yarmouth and to other placys of strenght.

Item, the sayd Robert Ledham, contynuyng in this wyse, callyd unto hym his sayd mysgoverned felowshipp, consydryng the absence of many of the well-rewlyd people of the sayd hundred of affere cast malice, and congected, purposed and labored to the sheriff of the shire that the sayd Roger Chirche, on of the sayd riottous felawshipp, was made bailly of the hundred; and after causid the same Roger to be begynner of arysyng and to take oppon hym to be a captayn and to excite the peple of the countrey therto. And ther oppon, be covyne of the sayd Robert Ledhaum, to appeche all these sayd well rewlyd persones, and as well other divers substanciall men of good fame and good governaunce that were hated be the sayd Robert Ledhaum, and promittyng the sayd Roger harmeles and to sew his pardon be the mene of Danyell; to the which promyse the sayd Rogger aggreed, and was arested and take be the sayd Ledham be covyne betwixt hem, and appeched suche persons as they lust, to the entente that the sayd substanciall men of the countre shuld be by that mene so trowblyd and indaungered that they shuld not be of power to lette and resist the mys rewle of the sayd Ledham and his mysgoverned felawshipp, the whiche mater ys confessid by the sayd Roger Chirch.

Item, William Breton and John Berton, and other of the sayd ryottes, come into the place of on Robert Spany of Poswyke and serched his housez, hous be hous, for to have bete hym yf they myght have founde hym.

Item, William Donmowe, servaunt of the sayd Robert Ledham, and by his comaundement, the same yere bete the parson of Hashyngham, and brake his hede in his owyn chauncell.

Item, the sayd Thomas Bery, Elys Dukworth, Thomas Cokowe, George of Chamer, the v. day of Novembre last past, with divers other onknowyn men, onto the nombre of xx. persons, and noman of reputacion among hem, comen, under color of huntyng, and brake uppe gatys and closys of Osburne Monford atte Brayston; and xij. persons of the same 313 felowshipp, with bowys bent and arowys redy in thair handys, abode alone betwixt the maner of Brayston and the chirche, and there kept hem from vij. of the clokke on the mornyng unto iij. of the clokk after none, lyyng in awayte oppon the servauntez of the sayd Osburne Monford, lorde of the sayd maner, so that nonne durst comen ouut for doute of thair lyves.

Item, viij. of the sayd felowshipp, on the Wennesday next after, prevely in an hole layn in awayte oppon William Edworth and Robert Camplyon, servauntz to the sayd Osburn Montford, comyng from Okill313.1 market, till that tyme that the said William Owell and Robert come uppon hem onwarre, and theruppon chasid hem so that yf they had not be well horssyd and well askapped, they had ben dede and slayne.

Item, vj. or vij. of the sayd Ledamys men dayly, boyth werkeday and haly day, use to goo aboute in the countrey with bowys and arowys, shotyng and playng in mennys closis among men catall, goyng from alhous to alhousez and manassyng suche as they hated, and soght occasion and quarels and debate.

Item, notwithstandyng that all the lyvelod that the sayd Ledham hath passith not xxli. [£20], be sydes the reparacion and outcharges, and that he hath no connyng ne trew mene of getyng of any good in this countre, as for as any man may conceyve, and yette xypith in his house dayly xx. men, besydes women and gret multitude of such mysgoverned peple as ben resortyng to hym, as ys above sayd, to the whiche he yevith clothyng, and yitte bysyde that he yevith to other men that be not dwellyng in his household; and of the sayd xx. men ther passith not viij. that use occupacion of husbondrye; and all they that use husbondrye, as well as other, be jakked and salettid redy for to werre, which yn this countrey ys thoght ryght straunge, and ys verely so conceyved that he may not kepe this countenance be no good menes.

Item, the sayd Ledham hath a supersedias oute of the chauncerie for hym and divers of hys men, that no warant of justice of pees may be served agayn hem.


Item, please unto your Lordshipp to remembre that the sayd Ledham and his sayd mysgoverned feloushipp be endited of many of these articles and of many moo not comprehendit here, and in especiall of the sayd rysyng agayn the Kyng. Wherfore, though the sayd Ledham can prove the sayd enditement of treson voyde in the lawe for symplenesse of them that gaffe the verdit, that it lyke you, for the Kyngs availl, not redely to suffre the sayd Ledham to departe atte large unto the tyme that the mater of the sayd enditement be better enquered of for the Kyngs avayll, and that the sayd Ledham fynde surte of his good aberyng; and the inhabitauntz of the sayd hundred of Blofeld shall pray for you. And els they be lyke to be destruyd for ever.

307.1 [From Add. Charter 16,545, B.M.] This paper refers mainly to events of 1452 and 1453, but was probably drawn up in 1454, after the Duke of York had come into power.

309.1 3rd April 1452.

309.2 Philip Berney died, as we have seen, on the 2nd July 1453, fifteen months after the date assigned to the outrage.

309.3 6th April 1452.

310.1 10th April 1452.

311.1 19th March 1452.

313.1 Acle.

she beyng iiijxx. [four score] yere of age and more
text has “vere” with broken or misprinted “y”

the sayd Thomas Byrden toke suche kynesse that he dyed
text unchanged: error for “sykynesse” or equivalent?


Un to ryth reverent Sir, and my good mayster, John Paston.

About 1454

Ryth wurthy and wurchypfull Sir, and my ryth good mayster, I recomaunde me on to you, thankyng you evermore of your gret jentylness and good maystyrhod shewyd on to me at all tymys, and specyally now to my herthys ease, qwyche on my part can nowt be rewardyd, but my sympyll service is ever redy at your comaundement. Ferthemor, as for the mater that ye wete of, I have laboryd so to my feydr that your entent as for the jointoure xal be fulfellyd; and, Sir, I besheche you sethyn that I do my part to fullefelle your wyll, that ye wolle shew me your good maystyrhod in here chambyr, as my full trust is, in so moche that it xall nowth hurthe you nor non of youris, and the profite ther of xal be on to the avayle of my maystress your suster, and to me, and to non odyr creature.

And also my maystress, your modyr, xall nouth be charchyd the with her bourd aftyr the day of the mariage, 315 but I to discharge her of here persone, and to ease me that hat here chambyr may be non contradiccion.

And, Sir, I am redy, and alwey wolle to performe that I have seyd on to you, &c.

Ferthemor, lykyd you to wete I was a Thursday last passyd at Cavendyshe, to dylyver an astate to Wentworth in the londe that was my brothyr Cavendyche, as I tolde you wan I was last with you. And ther I spak with Crane; and he be sowthe me that I wolde sende over to my maystress your modyr for his excuse, for he myth nowth be with here at this tyme, but on the Saterday in Esterne wyke he wolle nouth fayll to be with her. So he counsellyd me that I and my brothyr Denston xulde mete with hym there; and so, withoute your better avyse, I and my brothyr purpose us to be with you ther at that tyme; for the sonner the levyr me, for, as to my conceythe, the dayys be waxyn wondyrly longe in a scorte tyme. Qwerfor I besheche you sende me your avyse how ye wolle have me rewlyd, &c.

No more I wrythe to you at this present tyme, but be schechyng you to recomaunde in the lowlyest wyse. And the Trinite preserve you body and sowle.

Wretyn with my chauncery hand, in ryth gret haste, on the Fryday be forn Palmesoneday. Your,     John Clopton.

314.1 [From Fenn, iii. 192.] The exact year of this letter is uncertain, but from what John Paston writes to Lord Grey on the 15th of July 1454, about proposals having been recently made for his sister, it is not unlikely to be that year.


Maryage Artycles betwix Anneys Paston, &c. on the one partie, and William Clopton, Squyer, on the other partie.

This indenture, made betwix Anneys that was the wyfe of William Paston, John Paston hir sone, and John Dam on the one partie, and William Clopton, Squyer, on the other partie, witnesseth that accord is take attwyn the 316 seid parties that John Clopton, sone and heir of the seid William Clopton, by the grace of God, shall wedde Elizabeth, the doughter of the seid Anneys. For which mareage the seid Anneys, &c. shall paye to the seid John Clopton CCCCth marc in hand of lawfull mony of England; and over that, yf the seid mareage be holdyn with the seid Anneys, the seid Anneys shall bere the costages therof the day of the weddyng, with swech chaumbeyr as shall be to the plesir of the seid Anneys; and the seid William Clopton shall do his feffees make a lawfull estate to the seid William of londs, tenementz, rentz, and servysez to the yerly value of xlli. over all chargez born, to have and to hold to hym terme of his lyfe, withoutyn empechement of wast, the remaindr therof to the seid John and Elizabeth, and to his heirs male of hir body lawfully begotyn, withoute impechement of wast, withynne xij. dayes after the seid weddyng.

And over that, withynne the seid xij. dayes the seid John shall do lawfull estate to be made to the seid William of londs, tenementz, rentz, and servysez to the yerly value of xl. marc over all charges born; to have and hold to the seid William terme of his lyfe, withoute empechement of wast; the remayndre therof to the seid Elizabeth, to have and hold to hir terme of hir lyfe withoute empechement of wast.

Also it is accorded that the seid William shall make estate of all the residue of his londs which he is sesid of, or any other man to his use, to swech personys as the seid John shall name, to the use of the seid John.

Also the seid John Clopton shall do lawfull estate to be made to the seid Elizabeth of londs, tenementz, rentz, and servysez to the yerly value of xxxli. over all chargez born, to have and hold to hir duryng the lyfe of the seid William.

And moreover the seid John permytteth and ensureth be the feith of his body that he shall leve, over the xlli. worth lond aboveseid to his heirs and issue male of the body of the seid Elizabeth begotyn, londes in fee symple or in taill to the yerly value of xl. marc, in cas the same issue male be governyd to the seid John as the sone oweth to be to the fadir. And, &c.

315.1 [From Fenn, iii. 196.] The date of this draft settlement is no doubt about the same period as that of the preceding letter, whatever may have been the exact time that it was written.



To my maister Paston.


Right Reverend and wurshipfull Sir, myn especyall good maister, I recomaund me to you. And for as moch as adversite and prosperite bothe ly in the disposicion of o [one] man above, I thank God, and late you wete that I stand yet in as greet troble as ever I dede or gretter; praying you ever to be my good maister and to contynue your benyvolens as I am ever bounde to you. Myn hevynes is sum whet incresid, for a fals harlot, sauf your reverens, one James Cook, a servaunt of myn, falsly and traitourously is hired bi Watte Ingham and hath accused and diffamed me and my wif of settyng up billes agayn lordis, that, Almighti God I take to record, I not am ne never was gilty therof; but the same theef and Asshcote han made an appoyntement to come and robbe me of suych littel goodis of myn as thei can gete in Norffolk or Norwich. Wherfore I beseche your maistership for charite of your help and socour to my servauntz if such case falle. For I trowe this is a troble that never man suffrid non like in such case, and therfore, gentill Sir, as God hath indued you of myght and power to socour suych troubles, shew your bounte to me in this nede, and that for Goddes love, Who Almighti preserve you. Wretyn in Flete the viij. day of Aprill. —Your wofull servant,     Denyes.

The said Asshcote can counterfete my hand and therfore I drede he wole stele by sum fals letters suych as he myght gete. I haf wretyn my servantz theraftir.

317.1 [Add. MS. 34,888, f. 94.] That the year in which this letter was written was 1454 is evident from its being dated from the Fleet. See Nos. 239 and 245.



To my Maister Paston.


Right reverent and wurshipfull Sir, and myn especiall good maister, I recomaund me to you. And for as moche as oon Lord above giffeth and takith as hym plesith, I thank His grace of every thyng; and for the bounte that ye shew to me in this troble, I haf no spirite to thank you as I shuld. Sir, as for certeyn evidence of myn touchyng your place in Seint Andrues Parissh, my wif tellith me that she lefft thaym in a chest at Ovyes shette; the key ther of she hath sent now to Ovy also. And as for more evidence, sum is in the kepyng of Frere John Mendham, wherto I beseche your maistership that ye wole se for the sauf and secreet kepyng therof. God wote my wif delyvered all, myn unwetyng; ever therfore I doute, trustyng with such hope as is be lefft me to the best, with Godds grace.

Othre evidence of myn is at Folsham, I wote not with whome. I thank God of my conyng; but as sone as I may know, I shal write to you. Wherfore, sith it is thus, I beseche your maistershep disdeigne not, but for our Lords love ye vouchsauf to take it to you, or to se that it be sauf, if it plese you. And that ye wole send for John Maile, for I conceyve hym right feithfull to me, and I am enfourmed that he is gretly manasid for me. And that ye vouchsauf to do put hym in comfort that I lese not his good wille, and that ye shew hym your good maistership and favor that he be holpen and not hurt for me. Ferthermore, I wrote to you for such smal thynges as I had leid to plegge to you for such good as that I 319 borwid of you. Wheryn I beseche your maistership that if my frends pay you accordyng to my writyng, that ye than vouchsaf to do the said plegges be sent hider to me by such conduyte as your wisdam like to avise, and that they myght be here by the iiijto die of the xvcim319.1 of Ester, for than is my grettest jouparte touchyng myn imprisonement; for sith myn enmyes coude not avail to send me to the castel of Bristow (which was their purpose, whan thei undirstood the disposicion of the Comons Hous agayn their billes), ever sith they make a privy labor to haf me remevid, and I wote not whedir, ne wethir that tyme I shal be sent to the Kynges Bench, and abide ther, or remittyd hider agayn.

Neverthelesse, if I haf releve of such pouer godes as shuld be myn by reson, than I hope to do better, and sumwhat to aquyte, wherby I hope to put my frends in gretter corage to do for me. And if I haf no releve, than can I nomore, but all refere to God as I do daily. Wherefore, if ye be not paied, I pray you to councell my said frendes to send me suche mony as thei may gete of myn agayn that day, ever your maistership and wisdam seyng to the conduyte therof. More over, I doute lest that Richard Davy of his untrouth enfourme myn enmys wher such pouer thyng as I haf is, to that intent that thei may riffel and dispoil all. Wherof, if such case hapne, I can no ferthre, but I besech your help in every thyng. It is yours all, ther is a dede of gifft therof to you among myn evidence, as ye vouchsauff to do or do to be don in every thyng I holde me content. And Al myghti God preserve you.

Wretyn in non hertis ease at Flete, the iij. day of Maii. Woful Denyes.

318.1 [From Paston MSS., B.M.] For the date of this letter it may be sufficient to refer the reader to Letters 238 and 239 preceding. Both Denyes and his wife are here still in prison, but he expresses himself grateful to Paston for efforts made in his behalf.

319.1 The fourth day of the quinzaine of Easter.



To my right and welbeloved frend, John Paston, Squier.

MAY 17

Right trusty and welbeloved frend, I grete you wel; and for as mych as I have understande that ze have do take a distresse of certayn bestes upon certayn land, which I stande infeffed in, in the town of Pagrave, for what cause I knowe not; wherfor I pray you that ze wyll make deliverance ageyn of the said bestes, and if any thing ze can axe be dute of right, setteth a day, and lete your evydences and right be shewed, and I shall assigne conceill of myn to be there to se it; and all that reson or lawe wyll, I wyll be right glad ze have, and otherwise I trowe ze wold not desire. And if ze wyll do this, I wyll be wel paied, and elles ze constreyn me to pourveye other wise, as lawe may gyde me. Oure Lord have you in governance. Writen at Walsyngham, the xvij. day of May. Youre frend,     The Lord Scales.

320.1 [From Fenn, iii. 200.] This letter is dated by a contemporary note at the bottom of the original, which is given thus in Fenn: ‘Li’t a͞a Mich. xxxiijº.’ But for ‘a͞a,’ according to the Errata in vol. iii., we should read ‘a͞e,’ i.e. ‘Litteræ ante Mich. [Festum S. Michaelis] xxxiij.’ [i.e. anno Regis xxxiii.].


To my Maister Paston.


Worshypfull Syr, and my gode maister, after dewe recomendacion, wyth alle my trewe servyce precedyng, lyke you wete that as to nouveltees, &c., the Prince shall be create at Wyndesour, uppon Pentecost 321 Sonday,321.1 the Chaunceller,321.2 the Duc of Bokyngham, and manye othyre Lordys off astate, present wyth the Quene.

As to my Lord Yorke, he abydyth aboute Yorke tille Corpus Crist Feste321.3 be passyd, and wyth grete worship ys there resseyved.

And certeyn Justices, Prysot,321.4 Byngham,321.5 Portyngton,321.6 and &c., be thedre for execucion of justice uppon such as hafe offendended yn cause creminall.

It ys seyd the Duc of Exceter321.7 ys here coverdtlye. God send hym gode councell hereafter.

And the Pryvee Sele321.8 ys examynyd how, and yn whate maner, and be whate autorite prevye selys were passed forthe in that behalf, whych ys full innocent and ryght clere yn that mater, as it ys welle knowen.

The Frenshmen hafe be afore the Isles of Gersey and Gernessey, and a grete navey of hem, and vc. [500] be taken and slayn of hem by men of the seyd trew Isles, &c.

Syr Edmond Mulso ys come from the Duc of Burgoyne;321.9 and he seyth, by hys servaunts rapport, that he wolle not discharge the godes of the mrchaunts of thys land, but so be that justice be don uppon the Lord Bonevyle, or els that he be sent to hym to do justice by hym self, as he hath deserved, or satisfaccion be made to the value.

Yowr mater321.10 is enseled as of the thyng ye wote of.

I can no more for haste and lak of leyser, but our Lord kepe you. Wryt hastly viij. of June.


I sende a lettre to Maister Berney to lete you see for the gouvernaunce yn Yorkshyr. Boto-H.R.-ner.322.1

320.2 [From Fenn, i. 76.]

321.1 June 9 in 1454.

321.2 Richard Nevill, Earl of Salisbury, was appointed Chancellor on the 2nd April 1454.

321.3 June 20 in 1454.

321.4 John Prisot, Chief Justice of the Common Pleas.

321.5 Richard Bingham, a Justice of the King’s Bench.

321.6 John Portington, a Justice of the Common Pleas.

321.7 Henry Holland, Duke of Exeter. On the 11th May this year he had been ordered to appear before the Council on the following Thursday (16th May).—See Nicolas’s Privy Council Proceedings, vi. 180.

321.8 His name was Thomas Lyseux.—See Patent Roll, 32 Hen. VI., m. 14.

321.9 Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy.

321.10 Doubtless the grant of the wardship of Thomas Fastolf of Cowhawe.—See p. 322, Note 2.

322.1 William Worcester, or Botoner, as he called himself indifferently, secretary to Sir John Fastolf. He frequently introduces the letters ‘H. R.’ into or above his signature, and sometimes at the top of his letter. Fenn reads the name ‘Botener,’ which is certainly wrong according to the facsimile given of the signature in this place.


Un to my ryght worshypfull Mastyr Paston, be thys byll delyveryd in haste.


Ryght trusty and well belovyd master, I recomande me un to yow, desyryng to her of your good prosperite and wellfar. And as towchyng for Ser Phylyp Wentforde, he rood on to London ward up on Seynt Jon ys day, and on the evyn afor he sent to my master for to have sum of hys men for to ryd with hym to Colchester; and for be cawse he shulde not have no suspesion to me, I rod myself and a felaw with me; and he rood with an C. [hundred] hors with jakks322.3 and saletts,322.4 and rusty habyrjons;322.5 and ther rood with hym Gyboun of Debnem, and Tympyrle, and all the felashyp that they cowd make. And Gyboun seyde that he wolde 323 endyte as many as he cowde understonde that wer of the toder party; and longe Bernard was ther also; and he mad Ser Phylyp Wentforde to torne ageyn, and maad every men to beende her bowys, and lyth down of her hors for to wyte and ony man wolde come ageynstem, and he seyde how he shulde not let hys wey nor for Ser John Fastolf nor for Paston, nor for noon of hem all.

And as for the ward,323.1 he was not ther, but ther was had anoder chyld lyk hym, and he rood next hym, and whan that he was ij. myle be zonde Colchester, he sent hym hoomageyn with a cer tey[n] meyny. And Ser Phylyp Wentforde, and Gyboun of Debnem, and Tymperle, and Bernard, they took a man of Stratford, a sowter,323.2 and hys name ys Persoun; and they enqueryd hym of every manys name of the toder party, and he tolde hem as many as he cowde; and they bad hym enquer ferther for to knowe all, for they desyryd of hym for to enquer as fer as he cowde, and he shulde have well for hys labor.

No mor to yow at thys tyme, but the Holy Gost have yow in hys kepyng.

Wretyn at Hadley, the Saturday after Seynt John ys day. And I beseeche yow hertyly recomande me to my Master Alblaster. By yowr man,     R. Dollay.

322.2 [From Fenn, iii. 210.] This letter gives an account of certain proceedings for taking possession of the person of a minor in opposition to the claims of Paston and Sir John Fastolf as guardians. Fenn supposes the ward in question to have been Thomas Fastolf of Ipswich; but it appears, by a petition afterwards presented to Parliament (see Rolls of Parl. v. 371), that he was another Thomas Fastolf, viz. the son of John Fastolf, Esq. of Cowhawe, Suffolk, whose wardship was granted on the 6th June 1454 to John Paston, Esq., and Thomas Howes, clerk. The St. John’s day mentioned in this letter is therefore St. John the Baptist’s day, 24th June, not St. John the Evangelist’s, 27th December.

322.3 The jack or jacket was a military vestment, calculated for the defence of the body, composed of linen stuffed with cotton, wool, or hair quilted, and commonly covered with leather. —F.

322.4 A salet was a light helmet of various construction. —F.

322.5 The haubergeon was a coat composed either of plate or chain-mail without sleeves. For a fuller account and view of these, the reader is referred to Mr. Grose’s accurate Treatise on Ancient Armour and Weapons, 4to, 1785. —F.

323.1 Thomas, son of John Fastolf, Esq. of Cowhawe.

323.2 A shoemaker.


To my gode maister, John Paston, Escuier, in Norwich, and yn hys absence, to John Berney, at Caister, Squyer.


Worshypfull Sirs, I recomaund me to yow. Lyke yow wete that as to the waraunts and copes that ye remembred to be gheten owt, it ys laboured for, &c.


And as to the assisse, it shall hald at Norwych, the Monday next com fortendayes.

The Duc of York, the Lord Cromewell, and othyr Lordys of the North that were wyth my seyd Lord York, comen hedre by Monday next, as it ys credybly seyd. The Lordys that be appoynted to kepe the see maken hem redye yn all haste; and the Tresourer also, the Lord Wyltshyre324.1 for the west coost. And a stately vessell, only for the warre, ys made new at Brystow by the Mayr, called Sturmyn324.2. And the seyd toune with the west coosts wolle do her part, and [i.e. if] they may be supported or favoured.324.3

Mastere Pownyngs324.4 hath day tille the next terme by a 325 remayner. Manye a gode man ys hert he hath.325.1 God comfort hym in ryght!

And justice ys don dayly uppon thevys and malefactours, and people be glad that justice may precede.

The Lord Bourchier hath a gode renomee of hys wyse demenyng at Calis, but he ys not yhyt comen.

The Soudeours be more temperat then they were. Not ell[es] for lak of leyser, but our Lord kepe you.

Wryt at L. [London], the v. day of Jullet.

Gressam qwyts hym well yn your erandys doyng to me. Your,     W. Botoner.

323.3 [From Fenn, i. 140.] The year in which this letter was written must be that of the mayoralty of Robert Sturmy at Bristol, as shown in p. 324, Note 2. It certainly could not be 1457, Fenn’s date, as Lord Cromwell died in January 1456.

324.1 James Butler, Earl of Wiltshire and Ormond. He was appointed Lord Treasurer of England on the 15th March 1455 (Patent, 33 Henry VI., p. 2, m. 20), but on the 29th May following the office was taken from him, and given to Henry, Viscount Bourchier (Ib. m. 12). But this letter, which is dated in July, cannot be in 1455; indeed, we have positive evidence that it is in 1454. How, then, are we to explain the manner in which Wiltshire is referred to above? It is just possible—though not likely, as Wiltshire was a Lancastrian—that his appointment may have been enrolled in the wrong year, and that he was really made Lord Treasurer on the 15th March 1454. A difference in punctuation will perhaps solve the difficulty best:— ‘The Lords that be appointed to keep the see maken hem ready yn all haste, and the Treasourer also: the Lord Wyltshyre for the west coast.’ John Tiptoft, Earl of Worcester, is mentioned as Lord Treasurer on the 11th February 1454.—See Rolls of Parl. v. 238.

324.2 The name was printed by Fenn ‘St’myn’,’ and in the modern version on the opposite page, ‘St. Myn.’ Robert Sturmy was Mayor of Bristol in the year 1453–4. It was probably this very ship that was captured by the Genoese in 1457, of which disaster there is the following notice in the MS. Calendars of Bristol:— ‘Mr. Robert Sturney [alias Sturmey], who was Mayor in 1453, had this year a ship spoiled in the Mediterranean Sea by the Genoese, which ship had gotten much wealth as having been long forth. She had spices fit to be planted here in England, as was reported, but the men of Genoa in envy spoiled her. Which wrong, when King Henry understood, he arrested the Genoa merchants in London, seized their goods, and imprisoned their persons, until they gave security to make good the loss; so that they were charged with £6000 indebted to Mr. Sturney.’—Seyer’s Memoirs of Bristol, ii. 189.

324.3 ‘The said town,’ it would appear, did ‘do her part’ on the occasion; for besides this ship fitted out by the Mayor, Bristol subscribed £150 to a loan raised by the Duke of York from the seaports for the protection of trade. This sum may appear insignificant for a flourishing seaport; but London itself only subscribed £300, and Southampton, which was the next largest contributor, only £100, while Norwich and Yarmouth contributed the latter amount between them.—Seyer’s Bristol, ii. 188; see also Rolls of Parl. v. 245. We must remember, however, that these sums probably represent about fifteen times their value in modern currency. At all events, by comparison with other places, Botoner had no cause to be ashamed of his native town.

324.4 Robert Poynings.—See p. 154, Note 3.

325.1 ‘Many a good man’s heart he hath.’—We should have thought this explanation unnecessary, but that Fenn, in his modern version, gives the following most extraordinary rendering:— ‘Many a good man is hurt (that) he hath.’


To my trusty and wele belovid John Paston, Squyer, be this lettre delivered.


Trusty and welebelovid frend, I comaund me to zow, certifying zow that and zour sustyr be not zit maried, y trust to God y know that where she may be maried to a gentylman of iii. C. [300] marc of lyvelod, the which is a grete gentylman born, and of gode blode; and yf ze think that y shall labore ony ferder therynne, y pray zow send me word by the bringer of this lettre, for y have spoke with the parties, and they have granted me that they wolle precede no ferder therynne tyll y speke with hem azen; and therefore, y pray zow, send me word in hast how that ze wylle be desposed therynne; and God have zow in hys kepyng. W[r]ettin at Ampthill, the xj. day of July last past.

By Edmond Grey, Lord of Hastynges, Waifford, and of Ruthyn.

325.2 [From Fenn, iii. 214.] This letter is dated by a memorandum at the bottom of the original, in the handwriting of John Paston— ‘Liberat. per Will. Aleyn, valetum dicti domini xiiij. die Julii anno xxxijº. H. vi.’



To my ryght trusty frende Sir Thomas Howys, Parson of Castelcombe.


Ryght trusty frende, I grete you well, and wolle ye wete that I thynk it to greete merveylle of your trouth and wysdom that ye shuld haf, that ye hafe noysed me, and seyd to John Andreus at Yeppyswych, in presence of dyvers men, that ye have suffisaunt waraunts undre my lettre and sele to safe you harmlese, in case ye be condempned yn the somme this Andreus sewyth you for. And know for certeyn, there passed no such warauntis undre my sele; nothyr I comaunded you not for to labour ne do thyng that shuld be ayenst the law, nether unlawfully ayenst ryght and trouth. And therfor y ought not ne wolle not pay for yow. Wherfor I charge you sende me your warauntis and lettres or acomp of them, and of whoos hand wrytyng they ben; and whate evidences, instruccions and informacions ye had and by whom, as well as of my lerned councell as of othyrs. And also that ye comyn with my cosyn John Paston, &c., and take his gode avice whate remedie ys best, whethyr to sew an atteynt ayenst th’enquest a decies tantum in your oune name or by the parlement; for y wolle do seke all the remedies that may be had ayenst the seyd Andreus. And kepe ye close and sure from hym in all maner wyse, for your oune welfare; for know ye for certeyn that Andreus wolle ley all the wayt and aspies of such as ye wene to take for your true frendys to arrest you; and then be ye as it were be thout remedie, for ye not be tyme to sende me the materes abofe specyfied.

Item, Robert Inglose hath spoke wyth me and hath offred me to by lond to satisfye my dewtee that lyeth in Rakhyth, and y am avysed to by it, if ye can send thedre som trusty man that can telle whate it ys worth cleerly, and off whome 327 it ys halde, and also yf it be sure lyvelode, and your avice wythall; but beware that ye com not owt, God kepe you. Wryt at London in haste the xij. day of Julle, Aº. xxxijdo. Regni Regis Henrici VJ. John Fastolf, ch’l’r.

326.1 [Add. MS. 34,888, f. 102.]


Dominus de Grey.


Right worshipfull and my ryght gode Lord, I recomand me to yowr gode Lordship. And where as it pleasyd yowr Lordship to dyrecte yowr letter to me for amaryage for my por suster to a jantylman of yowr knowleth of CCC. marc lyflod, in cas she wer not maryd; wherfor I am bownd to do your Lordship servyse; forsothe, my Lord, she is not maryd, ne insurid to noman; ther is and hath be, dyvers tymys and late, comunycacion of seche maryages wyth dyvers jantylmen not determynyd as yett, and whedder the jantylman that yowr Lordchip menith of be on of hem or nay I dowth. And wher as your seyd letter specyfyith that I shall send yow word whedder I thowght ye shuld labour ferther in the mater or nay, in that, my Lord, I dare not preswme to wryte so to yow wythowte I knew the gentylmans name,—notwythstandyng, my Lord, I shall take uppe on me, wyth the avyse of other of here frendys, that she shall nother be maryd ner inswryd to no creatwr, ne forther prosede in no seche mater befor the fest of the Assumpcion of owr Lady next comyng, dwryng whyche tyme yowr Lordship may send me, if itt please yow, certeyn informacion of the seyd gentylmanys name, and of the place and contrey where hys lyfflod lyth, and whedder he hath any chylder, and, after, I shall demene me in the mater as yowr Lordship shall be pleasyd; for in gode feyth, my Lord, it were to me grette joy that my seyd pore 328 suster were, according to hier pore degre, marijd be yowr avyse, trustyng thanne that ye wold be here gode Lord.

Ryght wurchipfull and my ryght gode Lord, I beseche Almyghty God to have yow in His kepyng. Wrete att Norwych, the xv. day of Jull.

327.1 [From Fenn, iii. 216.] This letter is the answer to No. 250, originally printed from a copy in Paston’s own handwriting, without signature.


To my ryght reverent and worshipfull maister, John Paston, be this dylyverd at London, and ellys sent to hym to Norwic.


Rygth worshipfull Sir, and my rygth good maister, I recomend me to you. Lyke you to wete I have spoken wyth my lord Chaunceler328.2 and put the bylle by for hym and all the lordis upon Wednesday at after non last past, wenyng to me to have an answer upon Thursday. And my lord Chaunceler told me that they sped no partycler mater yet syn they cam, nor han no leyser to attend swych maters. I have spoken to my Lord Wylchyre,328.3 and he promysed to help forth that he can, and my Lord Beauchamp328.4 bothe. Fenyngley cam but on Thursday at evyn. Item, Sir, I have do made a new bylle whyche I purpose to delyver to the kyng. And, Sir, the lordes merveyle sore of the entre that was made by the straunge man or my lord entred; they thynk that was a straunge werk and a sotyll. Item, I spake to my Lord Chaunceler how my maister328.5 and ye and your frendis were pute owte of the comyssyon of pees; neverthe les he hath not graunted yet non newe. And as for the questyon that ye wylled me to aske my lord, I fond hym yet at no 329 good leyser. Item, Sir, after the lordys seying, the Councell schuld breke up on Monday next comyng. And as for the Archebysshop of York329.1 is heyll and mery, &c. Wretyn the xx. day of July. —By your man and servaunt,     Thomas Playter.

328.1 [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 217.] The reference to Lord Wiltshire proves the date of this letter to lie between 1449 and 1460, and it would seem to be 1454 when the 20th July was a Saturday, Wednesday and Thursday being spoken of as past dates and Monday as a future one.

328.2 Richard, Earl of Salisbury.

328.3 James Butler, Earl of Wiltshire and Ormonde.

328.4 John, Lord Beauchamp.

328.5 Sir John Fastolf.

329.1 William Booth was Archbishop of York from 1452 to 1464. If the letter had been earlier Cardinal Kemp would have been Archbishop of York, and would have been called ‘Cardinal of York.’


To his wurchypfull Brodyr, John Paston.


Ryth wurchypfull broder, I recomande to yow; and as for tedyng, my Lord of Yorke hathe take my Lord of Exsater329.3 in to hys awarde. The Duke of Somerset329.4 is styll in prison, in warse case than he was. Syr Jon Fastolf recomande hym to yow, &c. He wyll ryde in to Norfolke ward as on Trusday, and he wyll dwelle at Caster, and Skrop329.5 wyth hym. He saythe ye ar the hartyest kynysman and frynd that he knowyts. He wolde have yow at Mawdeby dwellyng.

I had gret cher of Byllyng be the way, and he told me in cownsayle wathe he sayd to Ledam.

Ledam wulde a do hys wyse to a mad a complent to Pryothe329.6 in the scher-howse of yow, and Byllyng consallyd hym to leve, and tolde Ledam ye and he wer no felawys, and sayd to Ledam, ‘That is the gyse of yowr contre men, to spend 330 alle the good they have on men and lewery gownys, and hors and harnes, and so beryt owth for j wylle [bear it out for a while], and at the laste they arn but beggars; and so wyll ye do. I wylde ye schull do wyll, be cause ye ar a felaw in Grays In, wer I was a felaw. As for Paston, he ys a swyr [squire] of wurchyp, and of gret lyvelode, and I wothe he wyll not spend alle hys good as [at?] onys, but he sparyt yerly C. mark, or j. C. li. [£100]; he may do his ennemy a scherewd turne and never far the warse in hys howsholde, ner the lesse men abowthe hym. Ye may not do so, but if yt be for j. [one] sesun. I consayll yow not to contenu long as ye do. I wulle consalle yow to seke reste wyth Paston.’

And I thankkyd Byllyng on yowr behalfe.

God have yow in hys kepyng.

Be yowr por Brodyr, Wyllyam Paston.

Meche odyr thyng I can telle an I had lesur. Recomande me to my suster Margeth [and] my cosyn Elizabeth Clyr, I pray yow.

329.2 [From Fenn, i. 72.] The date of this letter is fixed by the fact referred to in Note 3, and by Sir John Fastolf’s going into Norfolk, which, though delayed a little later than is here projected, certainly did take place in 1454. See another letter of William Paston further on, dated 6th September.

329.3 Henry Holland, Duke of Exeter. On the 24th July the Duke of York was charged by the Privy Council to convey him to Pomfret Castle.—See Nicolas’s Privy Council Proceedings, vi. 217.

329.4 Edmund Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, who was committed to the Tower in the end of the year 1453.—See p. 290, Note 1.

329.5 Stephen Scroope, Sir John Fastolf’s ward, son of Lady Fastolf, by her former husband.

329.6 John Prisot, Chief Justice of the Common Pleas.


To his rythe worchypfull and harthy wellebelovyd suster, Margere Paston, dwellyng in Norwyche.

AUG. 10

Rythe harthely well belovyd suster, I recomand me, &c. And I have received zowre letteres. And as for my nevewes, they lerne rythe well bothe, and there gownys and there gere schall be mad for hem a cordyng the enthenthe of zowre letter, and all oder thynggis that behovyth on to here profythe harddely to my powere. 331 And, Suster, God zelde zow for zowre labore fore me, for gaderyng of my mony. And I pray, as sone as ze receyvyth, send it heder be some trusty man; and that it plese to calle ther on, &c. My suster and my broder recomand hem to zow bothe, and I may say to zow in counsayll sche is op on poyn of mariage, so that moder and my broder sett frendely and stedfastely there on, leke as I wothe well ze wolld, and it lay in zow as it dothe in hem, &c. I pray zow do zoure parthe to kall theron. It were to long to wrythe on to zow all the maner of demenyng of this mater; and therfor I have spoke to Wyllyam Worseter and to Wethewell to tell it zow holly as it is. I wothe ryth well zow (sic) good labore may do moche; and send me word how ze here as hastely as ze may. Item, Howard spak of a mariage betwex his sone and my neece Margery, zowr dother: it wer well do such materes wer nawthe sclawfully laboryd; it is wurchypfull, &c. Send me word, and Gog (sic) have zow in His kepyng. Wretyn at London on Sent Lawrens day in hast. —Be zowre brodyre,     Wyllyam Paston.

Item, send zow a letter directyd to Wollysby. I pray zow lethe it be delyvered hym as hastely as ze may; and if ze come to this contre I am leke to se zow, and we schall make rythe mery I trust.

330.1 [Add. MS. 33,597, f. 5.] This letter is in the handwriting of William Paston, son of the judge; but the ‘Margery’ Paston to whom it is addressed seems to be his brother John’s wife, Margaret. His nephews, John Paston’s sons, were at school in London. His sister Elizabeth, who was married to Robert Poynings in 1458, is here said to be upon the point of marriage, but no doubt this refers to the negotiations of the year 1454, as the eldest of John Paston’s sons must have been sixteen in 1458. St. Laurence’s day, on which the letter was written, is the 10th August.


To our right trusty and welbeloved John Paston, Esquire.

The Duc of York.

AUG. 19

Right trusty and welbeloved, we grete yow hertily wel. And of your benivolence, aide, and tendre love by yow, at th’instance and at the reverence of us, to our right trusty and welbeloved in God, the prior and convent of 332 the hows of Our Lady of Walsingham, of our patronage, in suche matres as they had adoo for certain lyvelood by tham claymed to belonge unto the seid hows, favorably and tendrely shewed,—as hertily as we can we thank yow, and desire and pray yow of your good continuance; and as far as right, lawe, and good conscience wol, to have in favorable recommendacion suche personnes as been or shal bee committed to take possession and saison, in the name and to the use of our ful worshipful nepveu, th’erl of Warrewic, in and of the manoirs and Lordeships of Boules and Walcots,332.1 with th’appertenauntes in Litel Snoring in the countee of Norffolk, as our grete trust is unto yow. And God have yow in His keping.

Yeven undre our signet at our castel of Sandhall the xix. day of August. R. York.

331.1 [From Fenn, i. 92.] This and the following letter could hardly have been written in any year except 1454 or 1455, when the Duke of York was in power. In the former year he is very likely to have been at his own castle of Sandal on the 19th August, seeing that on the 24th July he was commissioned to convey the Duke of Exeter to Pomfret Castle.

332.1 According to Blomefield (vii. 186), Catherine, widow of John Cokerell of Albergh Wykes in Suffolk, died seised of the manors of Walcotes and Boles in 6 Henry VI., which she left, with others, to Catherine, daughter of John Cokerell, junior, her son, who died before his father. This younger Catherine died a minor in 10 Henry VI., and the jury knew not who was her heir. In 29 Henry VI. George Heath of Mildenhall released to Humphrey, Duke of Buckingham, all his rights in Walcotes and Boles; but in the 18th of Henry VII. Christopher Conyers and Alice his wife conveyed it to the Heydons. Of its having been purchased by the Earl of Warwick or having belonged to the Prior of Walsingham, as stated in the next letter, Blomefield tells us nothing except that Richard, Earl of Warwick, presented to the rectory of Snoring Parva in 1460 and 1466.


To the worshipfull and my right trusty frende John Paston, Squyer.

AUG. 23

Worshipfull and my right trusty and welbeloved frende, I grete you well. And forasmuch as I have purchased of the worshipfull and my welbeloved frende, Priour of Walsyngham, ij. maners in Lityl Snoryng, with thappurtenants, in the Counte of Norffolk, which maners 333 be cleped Bowles and Walcotes,—I desir and hertily praye yow, that ye woll shewe to me, and my feoffes in my name, your good will and favour, so that I may by your frendship the more peasably rejoy my forsaid purchase.

And more over I praye you to yeve credens in this mater to my welbeloved chapellayn, Syr John Suthwell, berer of this my lettre, and in the same mater to be my feithfull frende, as my gret trust is in you, wherin ye shall do to me a singular pleasir, and cause me to bee to yow right good lord, which sumtyme shall be to you available by the grace of God, who preserve you and sende you welfare.

Yeven under my signet at Midilham, the xxiij. day of August.

Richard, Erl of
R. Warrewyk.

332.2 [From Fenn, i. 88.] See preliminary note to the last letter (p. 331, Note 1).


To my Maister Paston.

H. R.


Aftyr dewe recomendacion wyth my simple service precedyng, please your maistershyp to wete, that as to such remembraunce that ye desyre me to contynew forth to the uttermost, I shall wyth gode wille, so as my maister wille licence me, as oft as I can, th’officer to hafe 334 leysure to be wyth me, for ye know well I can not do it alone, &c.

And where as ye of your pleasure wryte me or calle me Maister Worcestr, I pray and requyre yow foryete that name of maistershyp, for I am not amended by my maister of a ferthyng yn certeynte, but of wages of housold in comune entaunt come nows plaira. By Worcestr or Botoner I hafe vs. yerly, all costs born, to help pay for bonetts that I lose. I told so my maister thys weke, and he seyd me yerstenday he wyshed me to hafe be a preest, so I had be disposed, to hafe gofe me a lyvyng by reson of a benefice, that anothyr most gefe it, as the Byshop, but he wold; and so I endure inter egenos ut servus ad aratrum.

Forgefe me, I wryte to make yow laugh; and our Lord bryng my maister yn a better mode for othyrs as for me.

At Caistr, ijd day of September.

I pray yow displeser not your servaunt be so long, for my maister lettet hym. Your,     W. Wyrcestyr.

333.1 [From Fenn, iii. 318.] This and the next letter were certainly written on the same day, but the precise year may be questioned. From a comparison of the two together, with William Barker’s letter of the 3rd Nov. following (No. 265), I am inclined to think all three belong to the year 1454, when Sir John Fastolf had just come to settle for the rest of his days in Norfolk. Sir John Fenn, I think rightly, considers this first letter to have been written between jest and earnest; and this tone may be very well explained by the supposition, that on Fastolf’s settlement at Caister, Worcester expected to have had some position of importance assigned to him in his master’s household. That such would be his fortune was probably the expectation of others as well as himself, and apparently John Paston had written to him in the belief that Worcester’s influence with Sir John might occasionally be of value to him.


To my maister, John Paston, Squier, be this delyvered.


Ryght worshypfull Sir, I recommaund me to yow. And my maister hertly thankyth yow for the venyson that ye sent hym from my Lord of Oxford, and prayeth yow that he may be recommaunded to hys noble Lordshyp. And God thank yow for your speciall remembraunce of my mater that ye hafe it so tendyrly to hert, for ye may know weel the gode spede of that ys my wellfare and the contrarye ys my utter undoyngs. I hafe sent to John Porter to wete verrayly how it standyth with hym, as ye shall 335 wete the certeynte thys weke. As for the mater wryt to Bokkyng he hath rad ys lettre, and wille remember your desyre, and also of William Geney comyng, yn case he know of it rathyr then ye.

And my maistre herd the substaunce of your lettre red, and lyked it ritz well. And as for the mater of Worcester remembraunce, he shall geve hys attendaunce therto yn that he can. And where ye calle hym maister, he ys displesed wyth that name, for he may spend vs. yerly more by the name of Worcestr or Botoner, and by hys maister not a ferthyng yn certeynte. He prayth yow foryete it.

I pray God kepe yow. Wryt at Castr hastly ijd day of September. Your oune,     T. Howes.

Item, yn case Jankyn335.1 be hole, my Lord of Norffolk hath graunted [him] by moyen of Robert Wyngfeld, to be yn my seyd Lord ys houshold, as my maister hath it by lettre from Wyngfeld.

334.1 [From Fenn, iii. 320.] With regard to the date of this letter, see the preliminary note to the last (p. 333, Note 1).

335.1 This appears to be the John or Jankyn Porter above named, who will be found mentioned hereafter.



Printed by T. and A. Constable, Printers to His Majesty
at the Edinburgh University Press

Contents of Volume II
(added by transcriber)

Henry V 1420 4
1422 5
Henry VI 1424 6
1425 7
1426 11
1430 20
1431 22
1432 23
1435 26
1436 30
1438 32
1440 34
1441 40
1442 42
1443 46
1444 49
1445 62
1446 67
1447 68
1448 74
1449 82
1450 101
1451 167
1452 208
1453 224
1454 235

Signatures from Letter 24, page 38

H. Gloucestre.
J. Ebor.P. Elien.
W. Lincoln.J. Bathon., Canc.J. Roffen.
Suffolk.H. Stafford.
J. Huntyngton.

The original of this text is in the public domain—at least in the U.S.
My notes are copyright, as are all under-the-hood elements.
If in doubt, ask.