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 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.
[Footnote 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.]
[Footnote 150.2: John de Vere, 12th Earl of Oxford.]
[Footnote 150.3: Thomas Daniel. --_See_ p. 80.]
[Footnote 150.4: John, Viscount Beaumont.]
[Footnote 150.5: Richard Woodville, created Baron Rivers 29th May 1448; afterwards earl.]
[Footnote 150.6: William de la Pole. --_See_ p. 80, Note 2.]
[Footnote 150.7: Parliament was sitting at Leicester in May 1450.]
[Footnote 150.8: A seat of the Earl of Oxford, near King's Lynn, in Norfolk.]
THE EARL OF OXFORD TO JOHN PASTON[151.1]
_To our right trusty and intierly welbeloved John Paston, Esquyer._
[Sidenote: 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 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.
[Footnote 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.]
SIR JOHN FASTOLF TO SIR THOMAS HOWYS[152.1]
_To my trusty and welbelovyd frende, Sir Thomas Howys, Parson of Castellcombe._
[Sidenote: 1450 / 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 avaylle[152.4] of my conyes at Haylysdon, &c., and approwement[152.3] 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 xxviij regni Regis Henrici VI.
JOHN FASTOLF, Kt.
[Footnote 152.1: [From Fenn, i. 52.]]
[Footnote 152.2: Here, says Fenn, follow some orders respecting his affairs at Caister.]
[Footnote 152.3: Approving lands or chattels meant turning them to profit, and in the former case commonly implied increasing the rents.]
[Footnote 152.4: Use or profit.]
J. PAYN TO JOHN PASTON[153.1]
_To my ryght honurabyll maister, John Paston._
[Sidenote: 1450 (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 capteyn[153.4] 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, 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 Exetter[154.1] 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 plase[154.2] 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 xxvij_s._
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 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 dewyllers[155.1]
furryd with fyn bevers, and j. peyr of Bregandyrns[155.2] kevert with blew fellewet [_velvet_] and gylt naile, with legharneyse, the vallew of the gown and the bregardyns viij_li._
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 xxxvj_li._ by a prest of Poules, and j. nother obligacion of j. knyght of x_li._, and my purse with v. ryngs of golde, and xvij_s._ vj_d._ of golde and sylver; and j. herneyse [_harness_]
complete of the touche of Milleyn;[155.3] and j. gowne of fyn perse[155.4] 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 Roffe[156.1] 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,
[Footnote 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.]