On Thurisday the wall was mad zarde hey, and a good wylle be fore evyn it reyned so sore that they were fayne to helle the wall, and leve werke. And the water is fallyn so sore that it standyt ondyr the wall a fote deppe to Ballys warde [i.e. _towards the land of a neighbour named Ball_]. And on Friday after sakeryng, one come fro cherch warde, and schoffe doune all that was thereon, and trad on the wall and brake sum, and wente over; but I cannot zet wete hoo it was. And Warne Kynges wyfe, as she went over the style, she cursyd Ball, and seyde that he had zevyn aweye the waye, and so it prevyt be John Paston is words. And after, Kyngs folke and odyr come and cryid on Annes Ball, seying to her the same. Zystyrnevyn wan I xul goo to my bede, the Vycare[244.1] seyde that Warne Kyng and Warne Harman, betwyxte messe and matynsse, toke Sir Roberd[244.2] in the vestry, and bad hym sey to me, verely the wall xulde doun a gayne. And wan the Vycar tolde me I wyste ther of no worde, nor zet do be Sir Roberde, for he syth he were loth to make any stryfe.
And wan I com out of the cherch, Roberd Emundes schowyd me how I was amercyde for seute of corte the laste zer vj_d._, and seyd it was xij_d._ tylle Warne Kyng and he gat it awey vj_d._
I send zou word how John Jamys was demenyd at Cromere, to send to Jamys Gressham how he xall be demenyd. Gaffrey Benchard, Alexander Glover, heywards,[244.3] tokyn a dystresse of John Jamys or the bond tenent of A. Paston, calde Reynalds, in Cromer, the xxviij^ti yer of thys Kyng, and W. Goodwyn, Baly of Cromer, with the seyd J. Jamys, with forsse toke awey the dysstres, wech was ij. horsse and a plowe. And Good be with zou.
Be ANNES PASTON, your Modur.
[Footnote 243.1: [From Paston MSS., B.M.] As this letter refers to the 28th year of Henry VI., seemingly as a past date, it cannot well be earlier than 1451. But probably it is not much, if at all, later.]
[Footnote 243.2: The Christian name _Herry_ is crossed out, and _Meye_ (?) appears to be written over.]
[Footnote 244.1: William Pope was vicar of Paston from 1447 to 1455.]
[Footnote 244.2: Probably the Vicar's Curate.]
[Footnote 244.3: Haywards were (originally) persons who guarded a farm and crops in the night, and blew a horn on an alarm or robbers.--Halliwell.]
AGNES PASTON TO JOHN PASTON[245.1]
_To John Paston be thys byll deliverd in hast._
[Sidenote: 1451 or later]
I spacke thys day with a man of Paston syde, and he told me that a man of Paston told hym that Paston men wold not goo presessyon ferther than the chyrche yerde on Sent Markys day,[245.2] for he seyd the presessyon wey was stoppyd in, and seyd with in chort tyme men hopyd that the wall chuld be broke doun ageyn. Item, he seyd that I was amercyid for stoppyng of the seyd [way][245.3] at the last generall court, butt he cowd not tell who meche the mercyment was. And he that told it me askyd the man that told it hym if he had the mercyment in hys exstrete for to distreyn there fore; and he seid nay, but seyd he that chuld do it chuld bettyr doe take it up on hym than he chuld. Item, the same man told me that he mett with a man of Blyclyng, hyght Barker, that cam late fro London, and he told hym that I had a sute att London ageyn Wareyn Herman of Paston, and seyd that Roberd Branton was hys attornnye, and seyd he seygh hym ryght besy for hym att London. And for yete not yor sustyr;[245.4] and God have yow in kepyng. Wretyn att Norwyche the xij.
day of May,
Be yor modyr,
[Footnote 245.1: [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter has the appearance, to judge from its contents, of being perhaps a few weeks later than the preceding one. It is, however, in a different hand.]
[Footnote 245.2: April 25.]
[Footnote 245.3: Omitted in MS.]
[Footnote 245.4: Elizabeth Paston?]
AGNES PASTON TO JOHN PASTON[246.1]
_John Paston, dwellyng in the Tempyll at London, be thys letter delyverd in hast._
[Sidenote: 1451 or later]
I grete yow wele, and lete yow wete that on the Sonday befor Sent Edmond, after evyn songe, Augnes Ball com to me to my closett and bad me good evyn, and Clement Spycer with hyr. And I acsyd hym what he wold?
And he askyd me why I had stoppyd in the Kyngs wey? And I seyd to hym I stoppyd no wey butt myn owyn, and askyd hym why he had sold my lond to John Ball? And he sor [_swore_] he was nevyr a cordyd with your fadyr; and I told hym if hys fadyr had do as he dede, he wold a be a chamyd to a seyd as he seyd. And all that tyme Waryn Herman lenyd ovyr the parklos[246.2] and lystynd what we seyd, and seyd that the chaunge was a rewly chaunge, for the towne was un do therby, and is the werse by an C_li._ And I told hym it was no curtese to medyll hym in a mater butt if he wer callyd to councell; and prowdly goyn forthe with me in the cherche, he seyd the stoppyng of the wey xuld coste me xx. nobylls, and zet it shuld downe ageyn. And I lete hym wete he that putte it downe chull pay therfor. Also he seyd that it was well don that I sett men to werke to owle[246.3] meney whyll I was her, butt in the ende I chale lese my coste. Than he askyd me why I had a wey hys hey at Walsham, seyng to me he wold he had wyst it whan it was karryd, and he chuld a lettyd it; and I told hym it was myn owyn grownde, and for myn owyn I wold holde it; and he bad me take iiij. acre and go no ferther. And thus churtly he departyd from me in the cherche zerde. And syt [_since_] I spacke with a serteyn man, and acsyd hym if he herd owt sey why the dyner was mad att Norfolkys howse, and he told me [he] herd sey that serteyn men had sentt to London to gete a commyssyon owt of the chaunstre to putt downe ageyn the wall and the dyk.
I receyvyd yor letter by Robert Reppys thys day after thys letter wretyn thus far. I have red it, butt I conn yeve yow non aunswer mor than I have wretyn, save the wyfe of Harman hathe the name of owr Lady, whos blyssyn ye have and myn. Wretyn at Paston, on the day after Sent Edmond,[247.1]
Be yowyr modyr,
[Footnote 246.1: [From Fenn, iii. 44.] This letter of Agnes Paston's refers to the same subject of dispute as the two preceding, and was probably written after them; but the exact year is not certain.]
[Footnote 246.2: The half door of her 'closet' or pew in church.]
[Footnote 246.3: 'To owl,' says Fenn, 'may signify to deceive, as an owler is a person who carries contraband goods in the night; though I rather think it means in this place to oil, that is, to smooth to her purpose; but q.?' The explanation certainly is not very satisfactory. From the definition of 'owler' we might perhaps conjecture with more probability that 'to owl' was to work in the night time. Did Agnes Paston, to avoid interruption, set men to build the wall by night?]
[Footnote 247.1: St. Edmund's day was the 16th November.]
MARGARET PASTON TO JOHN PASTON[247.2]
_To my rygth worshipfull hosbond, John Paston, be this delyverid in hast._
[Sidenote: 1451 / [JUNE 3]]
Rygth wurchipfull hosbond, I recommawnd me to yow, desyring hertyly to her of your welfar, preying yow to wete that itt was told me this weke that ther is afayr plase to sell in Seynt Laueransis parysch, and stant ner the chirche, and by the water syde, the whiche place Toppis hath to sell. Pyte alyster [_a dyer_] bowgth itt of Toppis and now, for defawt of payment, Toppis hath enterid ayen therinne, and shall selle itt in hast, as it is told me. The seyd lyster dwellyth therinne at this tym, but he shall owte, for he is hald rygth apore man. I suppose if ye lyke to bye itt when ye com hom, ye shall mowe have itt of Toppis als godechepe or better than another shuld. Als for tydyngs, we have none gode in this contre; I pray God send us gode. Itt was told me that Rychard Sowthwell hath enterid in the maner of Hale,[248.1] the whiche is the Lady Boysys,[248.2] and kepyth itt with strength with seche another felashep as hath be att Brayston, and wastyth and dispoylyth all that theris; and the Lady Boys, as it is told me, is to London to compleyn to the Kyng and to the Lordys ther of. Itt semyth it was not for nowgth that he held with Charlys and his felashep. I prey yow that ye wol vowchesawf to speke to Jamys Gloys to bye the Ungwentum Album that I spake to hym for; and that ye woll remembr your fayr dowgteris gyrdyl. I hope ye shull be at hom so sone that I woll do wryte nomor tydyngs to yow. The blyssid Trinyte have yow in his keping, and send yow gode spede in all that ye woll spede well inne. Wretyn at Norwyche on the Asencion day.
[Footnote 247.2: [From Fenn, iii. 424.] Reference is made in this letter to the forcible entry of Daniel into Brayston in 1450, and, from the terms of the allusion, that event must have been pretty recent. The date of this letter, however, cannot be earlier than 1451, as Lady Boys must have been a widow at the time, and she only became so in December 1450. --_See_ Letter 162, p. 198.]
[Footnote 248.1: Holm Hale.]
[Footnote 248.2: Sibilla, daughter and heir of Sir Robert Ylley, and widow of Sir Roger Boys, Knight. She was alive after 1450.--F.]
JAMES GRESHAM TO [JOHN PASTON][248.3]
[Sidenote: 1451 / June?]
Please it your maistership to wete that, as touchyng Blake of the Kyngges hous, I spak with hym, and he told me that if the Lord Moleyns wold take suyche appoyntement as ye agreed to, that he shuld lete me wete therof on Satirday after noon, as I tolde yow whanne ye dyd on your botes, &c. And sith that tyme I herd no word of hym. Item, there is laboured a _supersedeas_ for alle them that th'exigend[248.4] is ageyn, that arn convycted by record of my Lord of Oxenford, except ij. men which the Lord M. gyveth no fors of. Item, I send yow Treshams letter and a copie of the same. Item, I send yow the _cerciorari_ for my maistresse your modir. Item, I send yow the _scire facias_ for Osbern and Foke _versus_ Heydon and Wyndam. Item, I send yow a _distringas_ ageynst Tudenham, &c. Item, I beseche yow if it may be in cas my Lord of Oxenford have not Holt hundred, that ye wole take it to suyche on as yow seme best, for it is told me that Pertriche laboureth therfore. And that is by the setting on of Heydon, &c. As touchyng the _capias_ ageynst Pertrich, and the _pros._ a geynst Costard, &c., it wole not be hadde, &c.
[Footnote 248.3: [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter is anonymous, but it is in James Gresham's handwriting. In Letter 190 we have Lord Molyns offering to treat with Paston for the injury done to his property at Gresham. Apparently Paston has now mentioned what terms he would accept. From what is said of the _supersedeas_, it would seem that this letter was written not long before the next, which is dated on Trinity Sunday.]
[Footnote 248.4: A writ of _exigent_ lies where the defendant in a personal action cannot be found, or anything of his to distrain. The sheriff is therein directed to proclaim him on five county court days, requiring him to appear on pain of outlawry.]