[Footnote 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.]
[Footnote 226.2: The Earl of Oxford.]
[Footnote 227.1: Thomas de Kirkeby.]
MARGARET PASTON TO JOHN PASTON[227.2]
_To my Ryth worshipfull hosband, John Paston._
[Sidenote: 1451 / MARCH 15]
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 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.
[Footnote 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.]
MARGARET PASTON TO JOHN PASTON[228.1]
_To my right wurchipfull husbond, John Paston, be this delyverid in hast._
[Sidenote: 1451(?) / [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 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 iiij^s. vj^d. 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.
[Footnote 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.]
MARGARET PASTON TO JOHN PASTON[230.1]
_To my right wurchepfull husbond, John Paston, [be]yng in the Inner Tempill, be this delivered in hast._
[Sidenote: 1451 / MARCH 30]
Right wurchepfull husbond, I recomaund me to you, prayng you to wete that myn unkyll Phylyp Berney[230.2] was at Lynne this last weke, and he was at inne at the baylyffes hows of Lynne, and Partrych[230.3] 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]
[Footnote 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.]
[Footnote 230.2: Philip Berney, Esq. of Caston. He was a brother of Margaret Mauteby, who was Margaret Paston's mother.]
[Footnote 230.3: _See_ p. 101, Note 4.]
[Footnote 230.4: Mid-Lent Sunday fell on the 4th April in 1451.]
PETITION FROM THE TOWN OF SWAFFHAM[231.1]
_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 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 dissessyn[232.2] 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 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.
[233.2]Item, 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]----
[Footnote 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.]
[Footnote 231.2: This must be the Act of Resumption of 28 Henry VI.--See _Rolls of Parliament_, v. 183.]
[Footnote 231.3: _See_ p. 167, Note 3.]
[Footnote 231.4: _See_ p. 167, Note 5.]
[Footnote 232.1: [Original note here in margin.] Answer neyther to the billes ne inditeing forseid, ne to non of theym.]
[Footnote 232.2: _See_ p. 47, Note 4.]