[Footnote 289.1: Mutilated.]
[Footnote 289.2: Erased in MS. Apparently some further correction should have been made.]
[Footnote 289.3: Omitted in MS. 'Do your devoir,' _i.e._ endeavour, seems to have been the phrase intended.]
THE DUKE OF NORFOLK'S PETITION[290.1]
My Lordes, ye know well ynough the grete peynes, labours, and diligences that before thys tyme y have doon, to th'entent that the over greete dishonneurs and losses that ben come to thys full noble royaume of England by the fals menes of som persones that have take on theym over grete autoritee in thys royaume shulde be knowen, and that the persones lyvyng that have doon theym shulde be corrected aftyr the merites of her desertes. And to that entent y have denounced and delyverd to you in wrytyng certeyn articles ayenst the Duc of Somerset, whych ys one of theym that ys gylty thereoff, whertoo the Duc of Somerset have aunsuerd; and to that that he hath aunsuerd y have replyed yn such wyse that y trowe to be sure ynough that there shall no vayllable thyng be seyd to the contrarie of my seyd replicacion, and asmoch as he woold sey shall be but falsnesse and lesyngs, as be the probacions that shall be made thereuppon shall mow appiere; how be it that to alle people of gode entendement, knowyng how justice owyth to be ministred, it ys full apparaunt that the denunciacions ayenst hym made ben sufficiently preved by the dedes that have folowed thereoff; whereuppon y have requyred to have ouverture of justice by yow, whych ye have not yhyt doon to me, whereoff y am so hevy that y may no lenger beere it, speciallie seth the mater by me pursued ys so worshipfull for all the royaume, and for you, and so greable to God, and to alle the subgettys of thys royaume, that it may be no gretter. And it ys such that for anye favour of lignage, ne for anye othyr cause there shulde be no dissimulacion, for doubt lest that othyr yn tyme comyng take example thereoff, and lest that the full noble vertue of justice, that of God ys so greetly recommaunded, be extinct or quenched by the fals oppinions of som, that for the grete bribes that the seyd Duc of Somerset hath promysed and yoven them, have turned theyr hertys from the wey of trouth and of justice; some seyeng that the cases by hym committed ben but cases of trespasse, and othyr takyng a colour to make an universell peas. Whereoff every man that ys trewe to the seyd Coroune auyth gretely to marveylle, that anye man wold sey that the losse of ij. so noble duchees as Normandie and Guyen, that ben well worth a greet royaume, comyng by successions of fadres and modres to the seyd Coroune, ys but trespasse; where as it hath be seen in manye royaumes and lordshyps that, for the losse of tounes and castells wythoute sege, the capitaynes that hav lost theym han be deede and beheded, and her godes lost; as in Fraunce one that lost Chyrborough; and also a knyght that fledd for dred of bataille shulde be byheded, soo that alle these thyngs may be founden in the lawes wryten, and also yn the boke cleped _L'arbre de Bataille_. Wherfor, for to abbregge my langage, y requyre you that forasmech as the more partie of the dedes committed by the seyd Duc of Somerset ben committed yn the royaume of Fraunce, that by the lawes of Fraunce processe be made thereuppon; and that all thyng that y have delyvered and shall delyvere be seen and understand by people havyng knoulige theroff, and that the dedes committed by hym in thys royaume bee yn lyke wyse seen and understand by people lerned yn the lawes of thys land; and for preffe thereoff to graunt commissions to inquere thereoff, as by reason and of custom it owyth to be doon, callyng God and you all my Lordes to wytnesse of the devoirs by me doon in thys seyd matere; and requyeyng you that thys my bille and alle othyr my devoirs may be enacted before you. And that y may have it exemplified undre the Kyngs grete seele for my discharge and acquytaille of my trouth, makyng protestacion that in case ye make not to me ouverture of justice upon the seyd caas, y shall for my discharge do my peyn that my seyd devoirs and the seyd lak of justice shall be knowen through all the royaume.
J. M. NORFF.
[Footnote 290.1: [From Fenn, iii. 108.] This paper is headed 'Copia' in the MS. It is entitled by Fenn, 'The Speech of John Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, against Edmund Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, in the House of Lords.' This title, however, is clearly no part of the original document, which has much more the character of a petition to the Privy Council than of a speech in Parliament. The paper itself professes to be a 'bill'
signed by its author, who demands that the conduct of the Duke of Somerset in France and in England should be made the subject of investigation by separate tribunals according to the laws of either country. Now the House of Lords, being only a branch of the English Legislature, would have had no right to authorise a judicial investigation in France. The date of this petition must have been in the end of the year 1453, after the loss of Guienne. The Duke of Somerset appears to have been committed to the Tower a little before Christmas in that year; for, after his liberation on the 4th March 1455, he declared before the Council that he had been confined there 'one whole year, ten weeks, and more.' --_See_ Rymer, xi. 362.]
WILLIAM REYNOLDS, OF CROMER, TO AGNES PASTON[292.1]
_To my ryght reverent and wourchipfull mastras, my Mastras Paston, the modyr of my maister John Paston, be this delyvered._
Ryght reverent and wourchipful Mastras, with most humble and louly servyce in moste goodly wice I recomaund me to your contynuell supportacion. Please it your good grace to have notycion that I have late a place of yours in quiche John Rycheman dvellyd, for it stode at a grete dyspeyr and I have late it for xv_s._, but up your good grace, for the lockis of the dores arn pulled of and born a waye, and the wyndowes ben broken and gone and other bordys ben nayled on in the stede of the sayd wyndowes. Also, the swynysty ys doun, and all the tymbyr and the thatche born a way; also the hedge ys broken or born a wey, quiche closed the gardeyn; querthorgh the place ys evyl apeyred to the tenaunt.
On Sent Marckes daye I entred the seid place and lete it to your be hove, and on the day after cam Henry Goneld and seyd my latyng schald not stond, and went and seled the dores; querfor I beseche your graciows favor that my latyng may stond, for I have late alle your londis everychone. I know not oon rode unlate, but alle ocupyed to your profyghte. The tenaunt quich by your lycens schuld have youre place to ferme by my latyng ys gretely be hated with oon Johane, the wyfe of Robert Iclyngham, chapman, quich ys voysed for amysse governyd woman of hyr body by the most parte of owr town wel recordyth the same, and sche dvellyth al by your seyd place; and by cause this seid tenaunt ys gretely ayens hir for hir ungoodly governaunce, therfor sche mad menys to one Abraham Whal, quiche ys one of hir supportores, and he hath spoke with the seyd Henry Gonelde that he myght seke a remedye to cause this seyd tenaunt to be a voydyd and kept oute your seid place and not come ther inne.
He that is bryngger of this bylle ys the man to quich I have late to ferme by the licens of you; therfore I beseche your gracaus favor to be schewed onto hym, and mekeli I beseche your contynuell supportacion that ye wuld send me wrytyng under your seele how I schal be demened. Nomor, &c. Wrytin at Crowmer the nest day after Sent Marc.--Be your servaunt at alle tymes,
WILLIAM REYNOLDES of Crowmer.
_The following memoranda are written on the back:--_
Firmale terrae ten' Roperes in Crowmer Anno xxxj.
In primis Gylmin (?) tenet ad firmam ij. acras ad terminum ---- [293.1] annorum et reddit per annum xx_d._
Item, Johannes Parnell tenet iij. rodas ad terminum xij. annorum et reddit per annum xij_d._
Item, Willelmus Reynoldes pro iij. rodis in ij. peciis ad terminum x. annorum et reddit per annum ix_d._
Item, Thomas tenet pars (_sic_) terrae et reddit per annum ij_d._ _ob._
Item, Ricardus Child pro prato et j. inclausura vocata Longclos ad terminum annorum et reddit per annum iij_s._ iiij_d._
Item, Rogerus Caryour pro j. orto per annum x_d._
[Footnote 292.1: [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 225.] This letter is shown by the memoranda on the back to be of the year 1453, _i.e._ 31 Henry VI. Agnes Paston had tenants at Cromer, and her property there descended to her grandchildren, as she outlived her son John.]
[Footnote 293.1: Blank in MS.]
THE COUNTESS OF OXFORD TO JOHN PASTON[294.1]
[_To my_] _right trusty and welbeloved Jon Paston, Esquier._
[Sidenote: About 1454]
Right trusty and intierly welbelovyd, I grete you wele. Prayng you as I specially trust you that ye wole be good frend to James Arblaster in his mater touchyng the maner of Smalbergh, as I wote wele ye haf ever be to hym ryght especiall frend; and thogh it so be that the sayd James had gret trebles, losses, and adversite herbeforn, neverthelesse he shall not be so bare of frendys ner goodes but that I wole se hym holpyn with the mercy of God. In performmyng wherof the berer of this shal enforme you of myn inten and disposicion more largely than I wole put in wrytyng. And the Trinite have you in hys kepyng. Wretyn at Wefnow,[294.2] the vij. day of August.
ELIZABETH VER, Countes of Oxenford.
[Footnote 294.1: [From Paston MSS., B.M.] At the bottom of the letter is a contemporary note which appears to show that it was filed along with others of various dates before Michaelmas 1454:-- 'Literae de diversis annis ante Michaelem xxxiij.' More precise evidence of its date does not seem to be attainable.]
[Footnote 294.2: Wivenhoe, near Colchester, in Essex.]
THE COUNTESS OF OXFORD TO JOHN PASTON[294.3]
_To John Paston, Sqwyer, dwellyng in Norwich._
[Sidenote: Year uncertain]
Ryght entierly welbeloved, I grete yow well, and pray yow that ye woll be good frende un to Arblaster in suche matiers as he shal enfo[rme]
yow, and I thanke yow for the good frendship that ye have shewed to hym.
And I sent a letter to Margaret Gurnay byfore Cristemesse of certeyn langage that I herd, wich plesed me nowght, and so I prayed my Lord to gif me leve to wrytte to hir; and therfore and ye here any thyng, answere, as my trust is in yow. Right entierly welbeloved, the Holy Gost have yow in his kepyng. Wretyn in hast the first day of February.
OXENFORD, } } ELYZABETH DE VEER. }
[Footnote 294.3: [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This and the letter immediately following are inserted here merely on account of their similarity to the last. Their dates are quite uncertain.]
THE COUNTESS OF OXFORD TO JOHN PASTON[295.1]
_To my right, entierly welbeloved John Paston of Norwich, Squyer._
Right entierly welbeloved, I grete yow well, thankyng yow of the gret jentylnesse that ye have shewed un to my right welbeloved James Arblaster, prayng yow of contynuaunse; and if ther be any thyng that I may doo for yow or any of yowres, here or in any other place, I pray yow let me wete and I shall be redy to do it, with the grace of God, ho have yow in his kepyng. And I pray yow to be frendly unto my right welbeloved Agneys Arblaster, wich is to me gret plesier and hertes ease and ye so be. Wretyn at Wevenho the xiij^e day of Aprill.