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 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 Gyles[126.3] 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 and welfar of your most roiale person, and savacyon of this your realme, &c.
[Footnote 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.]
[Footnote 121.1: A.D. 1447.]
[Footnote 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.]
[Footnote 121.3: Blank in Fenn.]
[Footnote 121.4: Cousinot.]
[Footnote 121.5: Charles VII.]
[Footnote 122.1: A.D. 1439.]
[Footnote 122.2: Charles, Duke of Orleans. --_See_ p. 46, Note 3.]
[Footnote 123.1: John Talbot, first Earl of Shrewsbury, the great hero of the French wars, slain at Castillon in 1453.]
[Footnote 123.2: William Nevill, Lord Fauconberg.]
[Footnote 123.3: Rene, Duke of Anjou, father of Queen Margaret.]
[Footnote 123.4: Charles of Anjou, Count of Maine.]
[Footnote 124.1: A.D. 1447.]
[Footnote 125.1: These words are omitted in Fenn, and are supplied from the _Rolls of Parliament_.]
[Footnote 126.1: Alfonso V., King of Arragon.]
[Footnote 126.2: Francis I., Duke of Brittany.]
[Footnote 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 ... your countee of Anjoye and Mayne _text unchanged (correct if "Guyenne and Normandy" and "Anjou and Maine" were each a single unit)_]]
JOHN PASTON'S PETITION[127.1]
_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 thowsand persones, with blanket bendes[128.1] 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 cromes[128.3] 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 cc_li._ , 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. 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 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.
[Footnote 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.]
[Footnote 127.2: A.D. 1448.]
[Footnote 128.1: Bands of white woollen cloth?]
[Footnote 128.2: Pavises were large shields.]
[Footnote 128.3: Crome is a Norfolk word, signifying a staff with a crook at the end of it.]
[Footnote 128.4: This person was returned to Parliament for Norwich in October 1450.]
[Footnote 128.5: Battle-axes.]
MARGARET PASTON TO JOHN PASTON[130.1]
_To my rytz wurchipful mayster, Jon Paston, be this delyvered in hast._
[Sidenote: 1450 / 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, Hasard[130.2] 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 if[130.3] 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, xxij_s._, or elles lesyn his dystresse. They gadder mony fast 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 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 xl_s._, 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 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.