[Sidenote: 1425 / 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.
[Footnote 21.1: [From a Bodl. MS.]]
WILLIAM PASTON TO ----[21.2]
[Sidenote: 1425 / 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 Bromholme[21.3] and his commoigne[21.4] apostata, Johne 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 quaerit. 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 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 the_[23.2] ----.
[Sidenote: 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 continuance[23.5] 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 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 _praemunire 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 praedictus abbas dicit quod ipse de praemissis domino Regi compotum reddere non debet; quia dicit quod diu ante erectionem, fundationem sive erectionem prioratus de Bermundeseye qui nunc erectus est in praedictam Abbatiam, Willielmus Rufus filius Willelmi Conquestoris nuper Rex Angliae fuit seisitus de manerio de Bermundeseye,' etc.
[Footnote 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.]
[Footnote 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.]
[Footnote 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.]
[Footnote 22.1: These words occur in the draft, but are crossed out.]
[Footnote 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.]
[Footnote 22.3: Interlined, and afterwards erased.]
[Footnote 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 ecclesiae de Testerton in Com' Norff.
Gees Cuttyng. Joh' persona ecclesiae de Yermuth (?), Alicia Gosloth (?).']
[Footnote 23.2: _Sic._]
[Footnote 23.3: The title 'Sir' was at this time commonly prefixed to a priest's name.]
[Footnote 23.4: The 'vij.' is struck out.]
[Footnote 23.5: Contiance, MS. here and after.]
[Footnote 23.6: Struck out.]
[Footnote 24.1: Here occur the following words, crossed out:-- 'Ferthermore, touchant my persone, I mervaille that the seyd ---- Ferthermore.']
[Footnote 24.2: Struck out.]
[Footnote 24.3: Omitted in MS.]
[Footnote 24.4: The draft here ends abruptly.]
[[fuit seisitus de manerio _text has "d emanerio"_]]
JOHN PASTON _ALIAS_ WORTES[25.1]
_Venerables et discretes persones les courtesans demorans en l'ostel du Templebar en la cite de Londres, Mes treschiers et treshonnoures seigneurs et amis._
Treschiers et treshonnoures 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 denuncies escommunies, 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 aggreves 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 novelles et responses comment li dis Wilhelmes se voldra ordonner en mes affaires, car nous avons en le loy que nuls os excumenies 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 treshonoures 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 xxiij^e jour de Jenvier.
JOHANNES PASTON,[26.1] en temps passe Priour de Broholm, et pour le present evesquels de Corkagen, le tout vostre.
[Footnote 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.]
[Footnote 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.]
WILLIAM PASTON TO WILLIAM WORSTED AND OTHERS[26.2]
_A mez treshonnoures Meistres Will'm Worstede, John Longham, et Meistre Piers Shelton soit donne._
[Sidenote: 1426 / MARCH 1]
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 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]