and Maister John Blodwelle,[27.6] a weel lerned man holden, and a suffisant courtezan of the seyd court, and all these acorden to the seyd Maister Robert Sutton. Nought with stondyng that I herde nevere of this matier no maner lykly ne credible evidence unto that I sey your lettre and the instrument, yet I made an appell and a procuracie, and also a provocacion, at London, longe biforn Cristemasse, by the a[dvys] of Maister David Aprys, Maister Symond Kempston, and Maister James Cole, and sent al this, with an instruccion of al the matier, w[ith] my procuratours to Rome by your frere, my Maister Suppriour, and geff hym gold that he was content: and, evermore, nowe here by advys I make this day a newe appelle and a newe procuracion, and upon this alle the seyd worthy men here seyn and informe me pleynly I have no maner cause in lawe ne in conscience to drede aught in this matier. Myn adversarie[27.7] is become Bysshop of Cork in Irland, and ther arn ij.
other persones provided to the same bysshopriche yet lyvyng, beforn my seyd adversarie; and by this acceptacion of this bysshopriche, he hath pryved hym self of the title that he claymed in Bromholm, and so adnulled the ground of his processe ageyn me, and also the tyme of his grevaunce pretendid, and the tyme of his sute he was _apostata_, and I trowe is yet, and so unable to sue any swich processe. I purpose me to come homward be London, to lerne more in this matier, if I may. I prey the Holy Trinite, lord of your cherche and of alle the werld, delyvere me of my iij. adversaries, of this cursed bysshop for Bromholm, Aslak for Sprouston,[28.1] and Julian Herberd for Thornham. I have nought trespassed ageyn noon of these iij., God knowing, and yet I am foule and noysyngly vexed with hem, to my gret unease, and al for my lordes and frendes matieres, and nought for myn owyn. I wot not whether it were best in any sermon or other audience, in your cherche or elles where, to declare aught of this matier in stoppyng of the noyse that renneth in this case. I submitte me and alle this matier to your good discrecion; and evere gremercy God, and ye, who ever have yow and me in His gracious governance. I suppose to see yow on Palm Sunday. Writen at Leycestre, the Friday the thredde wyke of Lente.
Alle the seyd lerned men telle me trewely ther is nother perill ne doubte in the takyng doun of the instrument and the bille to no creature. Which instrument and bille I send yow ageyn by the berare of this, which I prey you to kepe as pryve as ye may.
I have preyed my Maister Hammond to write yow tydyngges, and smale (?) lesynges among.
[Footnote 26.2: [From Paston MSS., B.M.] About the year 1425 the question of the validity of the Duke of Gloucester's marriage with Jacqueline of Hainault was before the Court of Rome. This letter must have been written in the spring of the year following, when Parliament was sitting at Leicester. The original is slightly mutilated at the edge in one place.]
[Footnote 27.1: Prebendary of Lincoln, 1435-9. Died 1439.]
[Footnote 27.2: Jacqueline of Hainault, whom Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, married, pretending that her former marriage with John, Duke of Brabant, was void by consanguinity. The question which of the two marriages was valid was at this time before the Pope.]
[Footnote 27.3: Archbishop Chicheley.]
[Footnote 27.4: Dean of Salisbury, 1435-41. Died 1441.]
[Footnote 27.5: Henry Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester, afterwards Cardinal.]
[Footnote 27.6: LL.D. Prebendary of Hereford about 1433, and of Lichfield 1432-43.]
[Footnote 27.7: John Paston or Wortes, the writer of the preceding letter.]
[Footnote 28.1: A lordship in Sprouston was acquired by John Aslake of Bromholm in 14 Richard II., and seems to have continued some time in that family. Blomefield notes that a Walter Aslake, Esq. of Sprouston, had a protection in the 10th of Henry VI., being in France in the retinue of John, Duke of Bedford (Blomefield's _Norfolk_, x. 462). Probably this was the same Walter Aslak mentioned in No. 6 preceding. --_See_ p. 18.]
(1) _Capias_ against William Stayard of Great Yarmouth, late lieutenant of Thomas Chaucer,[29.2] chief butler of Henry V., for debts to the Crown.
(2) Release by William Steyard of Great Yarmouth, to Elizabeth, widow of John Rothenhale, Knight, of all personal actions against her as her husband's executor. 7 April, 4 Hen. VI.
JOHN PASTON _alias_ WORTES.
[Sidenote: 1426 / DEC. 1]
i. Draft writ to the Sheriff of Norwich to attach and bring before the Council John Paston _alias_ Wortes and others for violation of the statutes of Provisors 25 Edw. III. and 16 Ric. II., on the complaint of John Brundale, prior of Bromholm that although he, Brundale, was canonically elected prior, the said Paston or Wortes had crossed the sea without royal license, obtained a provision of the said priory in the Court of Rome, and got himself installed as prior, and the other expelled. Also the said John Paston or Wortes, and John Gees, a Carmelite friar of Norwich, Edmund Alderford, late of Norwich, clerk, Barth. Waryn, parson of Trunche, William Cuttyng of Worsted, clerk, John Gees of Crowemer, merchant, and Ralph Gunton of Norwich, scrivener, received the said instruments at Bakton, and put them into execution.--Dated 1 Dec.
ii. On the back of the preceding is another draft writ of the same date against the same parties for endeavouring to draw the prior out of the kingdom by a suit in the Court of Rome.
The paper is endorsed--'S. (?) Billae vis. Veneris prox. post diem antedictum (?) Anno H. vj. v^to, et non necessario festinant'. Iterum supervidendum.'
_Endorsed in a later hand_-- 'Towchynge Sir John Fastolffes landes in Norffolk and Surrye.'
[Footnote 29.1: [From Paston MSS., B.M.]]
[Footnote 29.2: He is believed to have been son of Geoffrey Chaucer, the famous poet, and his daughter Alice married William De la Pole, at this time Earl, afterwards Duke, of Suffolk.]
[Footnote 29.3: [From a Bodl. MS.]]
[[Barth. Waryn, parson of Trunche _text has "Barth," with , for ._]]
---- ---- TO WILLIAM PASTON.
'Dear and well-beloved Cousin.' --Is in good health, but ill at ease, being informed that she is in debt to Steyard for my lord's debt, whose soul God assoil, 7 and a pipe of wine. Knew nothing of it in my lord's life, except of 2 pipes for herself, and one for her mother-in-law, of which she has paid 20s. Since my Lord's death, Steyard has never asked her for it. 'For which time, as I was at Jernemouth abiding in the Frere Carmes the time of the pestilence, his wife came unto me,' asking the writer to be good lady to him; and he asked no more then than the above 3 pipes. He asked no more last harvest when he was sick and like to die, when John of Berneye was present. Thinks, therefore, his asking is untrue. My Lord would have made me or some of his council privy to such a debt. Hopes Paston, whom my Lord made one of his feoffees, will see 'that ye and I be discharged anemps the King as for the debt of Steyard.' --Dated Castre, the day after the Conversion of St. Paul.
Addressed, 'A mon tres cher et bien ame cousin, Will'm Paston soit donne.'
[This letter is endorsed in another hand, 'W. Paston, j. feoffatorum et executorum Johannis Rothnale per lit' Cz. (?)' It seems, therefore, to have been written by the Lady Elizabeth, widow of Sir John Rothenhale, whose name occurs in No. 13 in connection with William Steyard of Great Yarmouth. She was the daughter of Sir Philip Branch, Kt., and had been previously married to John Clere of Ormesby. She died at Caister, the place from which this letter is dated, in 1440; and by her will, which was dated at Caister, 16th October 1438, she bequeathed all her goods at Ormesby to her son Robert Clere, and all her goods at Horning Hall, in Caister, to her son Edmund. --_See_ Blomefield's _Norfolk_, iv. 35, vi. 392, xi.
[Footnote 30.1: [From Paston MSS., B.M.]]
[[whose name occurs in No. 13 _corrected by editor from "No. 8"_]]
Depositions on the ---- day of ----, 5 Hen. VI., by Richard Wyoth, executor of Margery, daughter and heir of Edmund Bakon, touching the manor of Gressam which Bakon purchased, _temp._ Edw III. After the death of two brothers, Margery became sole possessor, and gave it to Wyoth and other executors to perform her will, with proviso that Philip Vache and Eliz., his wife, should have it during their lives, but that the reversion of it should be sold, giving William, son of Robert Moleyns, the first option of purchase. It was accordingly offered to him, but he refused to buy. On the death of said Eliz., however, he bought the manor for 420 marks, and held it two years, when Wyoth re-entered because part of the purchase-money was unpaid. W. Moleyns's wife, however, induced him to accept security from Thos. Fawkoner, merchant of London, whose daughter the said William agreed that his son should marry, when he came of age; and it was arranged that meanwhile Fawkoner and Wyoth should be jointly enfeoffed of the manor, which was to be given in jointure, if the marriage took effect. The marriage did not take effect, and Fawkoner re-entered upon the manor according to the enfeoffment, but paid Wyoth nothing, till Thos. Chawsers,[31.1] Esq., a kinsman of the said Margery, made him understand that Wyoth might enter on his own portion, and had even a prior right to himself. At length Fawkoner sold his right to Chaucers and Wyoth, and released the manor on security for the payment.
Wyoth then said he should have little advantage by the bargain, except in having easy days of payment; 'et quod dictus Thomas Chaucers, pro bona voluntate quod (_sic_) erga dictum Willelmum Paston gessit, episcopum Londoni de emptione ejusdem manerii per longum tempus dilatavit, intentione ut idem Willelmus illud emeret si voluerit.'
RAUF, Parson of Cressyngham, to WILLIAM PASTON, Justice.