Ryt wurchipful hwsbond, I recomawnd me to zu, and prey zw to gete som crosse bowis, and wyndacs[101.2] 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.
Partryche[101.4] 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 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 xliiij^_d._ or iiij^_s._ 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.
[Footnote 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.]
[Footnote 101.2: Windacs are what we now call grappling irons, with which the bow-string is drawn home.--F.]
[Footnote 101.3: Properly _quarreaux_. They were square pyramids of iron shot out of crossbows.--Grose's _Milit. Antiq._ i. 149.]
[Footnote 101.4: John Partrich, one of Lord Molyns's retainers.]
WILLIAM COTYNG TO JOHN PASTON[102.1]
_To the right reverent sir my most worshipful maister, my maister John Paston._
[Sidenote: About 1449 / APRIL]
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 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 brother[103.1] 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,
[Footnote 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.]
[Footnote 103.1: William Paston.]
[[he will not telle me qwy _lower-case "he" in original_]]
ROBERT WENYNGTON TO THOMAS DANIEL[103.2]
_To my Reverend Mayster, Thomas Danyell, Squier for the Kyngs Body, be thys letter delyverd in haste._
[Sidenote: 1449 / 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 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. m^li  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. m^l.  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 before, and schotte atte us a j. m^l.  gonnys, and quarell[105.1] 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 Chaunseler[105.2] 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. m^l. 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,
[Footnote 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.]
[Footnote 105.1: _See_ p. 101, Note 3.]
[Footnote 105.2: John Stafford, Archbishop of Canterbury.]
[Footnote 105.3: Fenn says the reading of the original is indistinct, and he could not determine whether 2000 or 3000 was meant.]
WILLIAM PASTON TO JOHN PASTON[106.1]
_To myn most reverent and [w]urchepful broder, Jon Paston._
[Sidenote: 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 Rychechefor[106.3] 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 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]nyth[107.1]
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,