MARGARET PASTON TO JOHN PASTON[300.1]
_To my right wurshipfull hosbond, John Paston, be this delyveryd in hast._
[Sidenote: 1454(?) / JAN. 29]
Right worshipfull hosbond, I recommawnd me to yow, praying yow to wete that I spak yistirday with my suster,[300.2] and she told me that she was sory that she myght not speke with yow or ye yede; and she desyrith if itt pleased yow, that ye shuld yeve the jantylman, that ye know of, seche langage as he myght fele by yow that ye wull be wele willyng to the mater that ye know of; for she told me that he hath seyd befor this tym that he conseyvid that ye have sett but lytil therby, wherefor she prayth yow that ye woll be here gode brother, and that ye myght have a full answer at this tym whedder it shall be ya or nay. For her moder hath seyd to her syth that ye redyn hens, that she hath no fantesy therinne, but that it shall com to a jape; and seyth to her that ther is gode crafte in dawbyng; and hath seche langage to her that she thynkyt right strange, and so that she is right wery therof, wherefor she desyrith the rather to have a full conclusyon therinne. She seyth her full trost is in yow, and as ye do therinne, she woll agre her therto.
Mayster Braklee[300.3] be her yisterday to have spoke with yow; I spak with hym, but he wold not tell me what his erond was.
It is seyd her that the cescions shall be at Thetford on Saterday next komyng, and ther shall be my Lord of Norffolk and other with grette pupill [_people_], as it is seyd.
Other tydyngs have we none yett. The blissefull Trynyte have yow in his kepyng. Wretyn at Norwyche, on the Tewysday next befor Candelmasse.
I pray yow that ye woll vowchesawf to remembr to purvey a thing for my nekke, and to do make my gyrdill.
My cosyn Crane recommawndeth her to yow, and praytth yow to remembr her mater, &c., for she may not slepe on nyghtys for hym.
[Footnote 300.1: [From Fenn, iii. 170.] The request made at the end of this letter that John Paston would procure his wife an ornament for her neck, is noted by Fenn as one that she had made in April 1452, and of which this was probably a repetition nine months afterwards. There seems no better evidence of date to go by, so we follow the same mode of inference; but as we have placed the letter containing the first petition for the necklace in 1453 instead of 1452, we must attribute this letter to the year 1454.]
[Footnote 300.2: Elizabeth Paston.]
[Footnote 300.3: John Bracklee or Brackley was a brother of the Convent of Grey Friars, or Friars Minors, in Norwich. He took a Doctor of Divinity's degree, and was a famous preacher.--F.]
AGNES PASTON TO JOHN PASTON[301.1]
_Thys letter be delyverd to John Paston, dwellyn in the Inder In of the Tempyll at London, in hast._
[Sidenote: About 1454]
I grete yow well, and lete yow wete that thys day I was with my doughtyr yor wyfe, and che was in good hele att the makyn of thys letter, thankyd be God! and sche lete yor sustyr and me wete of a letter wheche ye sent hyr, that ye have be laboryd to for Ser William Oldhall to have your sustyr, and desyryng in the seyd letter to have an answer in schort tyme, who [_how_] sche wyll be demenyd in thys mater.
Yor suster recomaundyt hyr to yow, and thankyt yow hertyly that ye wyll remembyr hyr, and lete hyr have knowleche ther of, and prayt yow that ye wyll do your dever to bryng it to a good conclusyon; for sche seythe to me that sche trystyt that ye wyll do so, that it xall be bothe for hyr worchup and profyt. And as for me, if ye can thynke that hys lond standyt cler, in as meche as I fele your sustyr well wyllyd ther to, I hold me well content.
And as for the oblygacyon of the persen of Marlynferthe, wheche I sent yow by John Newman, I pray yow lete it be suyd; and as for the Parson and Lyndesey, they be a cordyd. And God have yow in kepyn, and send yow hys blyssyn and myn. Wretyn at Norwyche on Pulver Wedenesday.[302.1]
Be yor moder,
[Footnote 301.1: [From Fenn, iii. 188.] This letter refers to a proposal for Paston's sister which was probably in or a little before 1454, as in a letter of the 15th July in that year Paston states that several such offers had been under consideration.]
[Footnote 302.1: If in 1454, Ash-Wednesday was the 6th of March.]
Ful mekely bisecheth your humble liege man, Walter Ingham of youre schire of Norffolk, gentylman, that where the seide Walter was in Goddes pees and youres at Dunston in the seid shire the xj. daye of the monthe of January, the yere of youre rengne the xxxij., oone Thomas Denyes,[302.3] of ful grete malice, prepensed ungodely soore agaynste gode feithe and concience, imagynyng utterly to destroye youre seyde besecher, contryved a lettre in the name of my Lord of Oxenforde, he not knowyng of ony soch lettre comaundyng youre seide besecher to be with the seide Lorde at Wevenho, in your shire of Essex, the xiij. day of the seide monthe of January, for divers grete maters towchyng my seide Lorde. The seide Thomas, thenkyng in his conceite that youre seid besechere wolde in noo wyse disobeye the seide wrytyng, but that he wolde putte hym in his devoyre to fulfill my seide Lords desyre, layde dyvers folks arraied in maner of werre with jakkes, saletts, langedebiefs,[302.4] and boore speres in ij. busshements for youre seide besecher in ij. places, knowyng wele that youre seide besecher must come oone of thes ij. weyes for, tho [_there_] were no moo, to that intent that they [might] murdre your seide besecher be cause he had laboured for his fadir in a wryte _sub pena_ agaynst the seide Thomas Denys and Anneys his wyf for a notable somme of money that the seide Anneys shulde have payede to the fadir of your seide besecher; the seide Thomas comaundyng the seide mysdoers in any wyse whech of theym that mette first with youre seide besecher shulde sle hym, and they shol be nota[b]ly rewardet for ther laboure, and the seide Thomas shulde kepe and save theyme harmeles. Bicause of whech comaundement oone of the seide busshements mette with the forsaide besechere the xij. day of the seide month, as he came toward my seide Lorde of Oxenforde acordyng to his lettre at Dunstone afore seide, and hym than and there grevosly bette and woundet, aswell upon his hede as uppon his leggs, and other ful grevous strokes and many gaf hym upon his bakke, so that youre seide besecher is mahaymed upon his ryght legg, and feyne to goo on crucches, and so must do al dayes of his lif to his utter undoyng; notwithstandyng the seide mysdoers and riotous peple in this conceite [lef]te youre seide besecher for dede. Uppon the whech ryot it was complayned to my Lord Chauncelere[303.1] by the frends of yowre besecher, desyryng of hym by ca[use of th]e grete ryote doone by the seide Thomas, and also for the sauf garde of youre seyde besechere, that oone of your serjantes of armes myght be comaundement [go][303.2] and areste the seide Thomas to appere before you in your Chauncerie for the seide ryot, because the seide Thomas was at that tyme at London; bi force of [whech com]aundement oone of youre serjants of armes went to Lyncolne Inne to arreste the sayde Thomas. The whech areste the seide Thomas utterly diso[beyed in] grete contempte of your highnesse; nevertheles he is now in the warde of the Wardeyne of the Flete by the comaundement of my Lorde Chaunceler. [Wher]fore plese it your highnes of youre most noble and habundante grace, by the assente of your Lordes Spirituel and Temporel, and of your Comons in this your present Par[lement assem]bled, and by auctorite of the same, to ordeyne and estabelessche that the seide Thomas Denys may abide in the seide prisone of the Flete, and not to be [admitted to bayl] nor meynprise in noo wyse in to soch tyme that the seide Thomas have answered to soch accion or accions as youre seide besecher schal take agaynst hym for the seide mahayme and betyng, and also unto soch tyme as the same accions ben folly discussed and determyned bi twene your seide besecher and the seide Thomas Denys, consideryng that if the same Thomas scholde go at large, he wolde never answere your seide besecher but hym delay by protecions and other weies, so that the same besecher schulde never be content nor agreed, for the exhorbitant offence done to hym; and also un to the tyme the seide Thomas fynde sofficient suerte of his gode beryng fro this tyme forthe.
And he shal pray to God for youre moste noble astate.
[Footnote 302.2: [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This is a petition to the King in Parliament which, supported by the influence of Cardinal Kemp, appears to have met with a favourable hearing from the House of Lords. The date will appear by the letter following.]
[Footnote 302.3: _See_ Nos. 123 and 124.]
[Footnote 302.4: The _langue-de-buf_ was a kind of glaive with a double edge half down the blade.]
[Footnote 303.1: John Kemp, Archbishop of Canterbury and Cardinal.]
[Footnote 303.2: Mutilated.]
THOMAS DENYES TO JOHN PASTON[304.1]
_To my right wurshipfull maister, John Paston._
[Sidenote: 1454 / MARCH 20]
Right wurshipfull and myn especiall good maister, I recomaund me to you with all service and prayer to my power. And like it you to wete that how be a full straunge acte is passid agayn me in the Higher House before the Lords, wherof I send you a copie. Neverthelesse I hope to God that it shal not passe in the Comon House; but me is be falle the most sorwfull infortune that ever por man had, standyng in suych case as I do, for my Lordis the Cardenale and of Oxenford haf imprisoned my wif in the countour, and how thei shal guyde hir forth, God knoweth. Which standith to nygh myn hert, if Godds will were; but wel I know that by thes vengeable malics don to hir and me thei wole [not?] be content, for Ingham lithe beside that to take awey my wyves doughter out of Westminster to make an end of my wif if he can, and also to arest my servauntz, that I drede that she nor I shal haf no creature to attend us ne help us; and suych malice haf I never herd of herbeforne. And it is told me that beside that thei wole dispoil, if any good thei can fynde of myn in Norwich or Norffolk, and imprisone my servauntz there.
Wherfore I lowly beseche your maistership, for our Lords mercy, that ye vouchsauff to socour theym in this necessite; and if ony entree be made or shuld be made upon myn wifes place in Norwich, that ye vouchsauff to socour my servauntz, and do ther inne after your wisdam for Crists love and seynt charite.
Beside this, a frend and kynnesman of myn, oon Robert Clement of Betele, hath writen to me that he is arestid, and like to be imprisoned bi a writte of dette, take agayn hym upon an obligacion of C_li._  in which he and I and other wer bounde to my Lorde of Oxenford xiiij. yeer agone, wherof I haf many acquitaunces. Wherfore I pray your good maistership to send to the Shirreve that my said kynnesman may ben easid, and no retourne made ageyn hym, but that he may answer the next tyme bi attourney; for truly that writte was take oute in the end of the terme aftir I was arestid, and aftir it was aperid to.
I pray your maistership, for Godds sake, to be not displesid, ne wery to do for me in these materes of your charite, for I had lever gif the said Robert suych good, litell if it be, as I haf, than he wer undone for me, or ony man ellis that ever ded for me. And I hope, if God vouchsaf that the mater may come to reson, to sauf hym harmles, and all other with Godds mercy, ever prayng you of your maistership and socour for Godds love, who ever kepe for his mercy.
Wretyn in Flete, the Wednesday the second weke of Lent.
Mor over, in augmentyng of my sorwe, I wend my wif shuld a dyed sith, for aftir she was arestid she laboured of hir child, that she is with all, waityng either to dye or be delyvered, and she hath not gon viij.
weks quykke. What shal be falle Almighti God knoweth, and shull dispose mercifully.
Aftirward my wif was sum dele easid bi the labour of the Wardeyn of Flete, for the cursed Cardenale had sent hir to Newgate. God forgif his sowle. Now she is take to baile til Tuesday. The Cardenale is dede, and the Kyng is relevid.[306.1]
[Footnote 304.1: [From Fenn, iii. 174.] This letter is without a signature, and the writer was unknown to Fenn; but a comparison with the letter which follows (now printed for the first time) leaves no doubt that it was written by Thomas Denyes, whom we have already met with as a dependant of the Earl of Oxford (_see_ Letters 123, 124, and 132). The date is fixed by the reference to the death of Cardinal Kemp in the postscript.]
[Footnote 306.1: This last sentence must have been added a few days after the date of the letter, for Cardinal Kemp died on the 22nd of March 1454. Wednesday in the second week of Lent was the 20th March.]