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_Un to ryth reverent Sir, and my good mayster, John Paston._

[Sidenote: About 1454]

Ryth wurthy and wurchypfull Sir, and my ryth good mayster, I recomaunde me on to you, thankyng you evermore of your gret jentylness and good maystyrhod shewyd on to me at all tymys, and specyally now to my herthys ease, qwyche on my part can nowt be rewardyd, but my sympyll service is ever redy at your comaundement. Ferthemor, as for the mater that ye wete of, I have laboryd so to my feydr that your entent as for the jointoure xal be fulfellyd; and, Sir, I besheche you sethyn that I do my part to fullefelle your wyll, that ye wolle shew me your good maystyrhod in here chambyr, as my full trust is, in so moche that it xall nowth hurthe you nor non of youris, and the profite ther of xal be on to the avayle of my maystress your suster, and to me, and to non odyr creature.

And also my maystress, your modyr, xall nouth be charchyd the with her bourd aftyr the day of the mariage, but I to discharge her of here persone, and to ease me that hat here chambyr may be non contradiccion.

And, Sir, I am redy, and alwey wolle to performe that I have seyd on to you, &c.

Ferthemor, lykyd you to wete I was a Thursday last passyd at Cavendyshe, to dylyver an astate to Wentworth in the londe that was my brothyr Cavendyche, as I tolde you wan I was last with you. And ther I spak with Crane; and he be sowthe me that I wolde sende over to my maystress your modyr for his excuse, for he myth nowth be with here at this tyme, but on the Saterday in Esterne wyke he wolle nouth fayll to be with her.

So he counsellyd me that I and my brothyr Denston xulde mete with hym there; and so, withoute your better avyse, I and my brothyr purpose us to be with you ther at that tyme; for the sonner the levyr me, for, as to my conceythe, the dayys be waxyn wondyrly longe in a scorte tyme.

Qwerfor I besheche you sende me your avyse how ye wolle have me rewlyd, &c.

No more I wrythe to you at this present tyme, but be schechyng you to recomaunde in the lowlyest wyse. And the Trinite preserve you body and sowle.

Wretyn with my chauncery hand, in ryth gret haste, on the Fryday be forn Palmesoneday.



[Footnote 314.1: [From Fenn, iii. 192.] The exact year of this letter is uncertain, but from what John Paston writes to Lord Grey on the 15th of July 1454, about proposals having been recently made for his sister, it is not unlikely to be that year.]



_Maryage Artycles betwix Anneys Paston, &c. on the one partie, and William Clopton, Squyer, on the other partie._

This indenture, made betwix Anneys that was the wyfe of William Paston, John Paston hir sone, and John Dam on the one partie, and William Clopton, Squyer, on the other partie, witnesseth that accord is take attwyn the seid parties that John Clopton, sone and heir of the seid William Clopton, by the grace of God, shall wedde Elizabeth, the doughter of the seid Anneys. For which mareage the seid Anneys, &c.

shall paye to the seid John Clopton CCCC^th marc in hand of lawfull mony of England; and over that, yf the seid mareage be holdyn with the seid Anneys, the seid Anneys shall bere the costages therof the day of the weddyng, with swech chaumbeyr as shall be to the plesir of the seid Anneys; and the seid William Clopton shall do his feffees make a lawfull estate to the seid William of londs, tenementz, rentz, and servysez to the yerly value of xl_li._ over all chargez born, to have and to hold to hym terme of his lyfe, withoutyn empechement of wast, the remaindr therof to the seid John and Elizabeth, and to his heirs male of hir body lawfully begotyn, withoute impechement of wast, withynne xij. dayes after the seid weddyng.

And over that, withynne the seid xij. dayes the seid John shall do lawfull estate to be made to the seid William of londs, tenementz, rentz, and servysez to the yerly value of xl. marc over all charges born; to have and hold to the seid William terme of his lyfe, withoute empechement of wast; the remayndre therof to the seid Elizabeth, to have and hold to hir terme of hir lyfe withoute empechement of wast.

Also it is accorded that the seid William shall make estate of all the residue of his londs which he is sesid of, or any other man to his use, to swech personys as the seid John shall name, to the use of the seid John.

Also the seid John Clopton shall do lawfull estate to be made to the seid Elizabeth of londs, tenementz, rentz, and servysez to the yerly value of xxx_li._ over all chargez born, to have and hold to hir duryng the lyfe of the seid William.

And moreover the seid John permytteth and ensureth be the feith of his body that he shall leve, over the xl_li._ worth lond aboveseid to his heirs and issue male of the body of the seid Elizabeth begotyn, londes in fee symple or in taill to the yerly value of xl. marc, in cas the same issue male be governyd to the seid John as the sone oweth to be to the fadir. And, &c.

[Footnote 315.1: [From Fenn, iii. 196.] The date of this draft settlement is no doubt about the same period as that of the preceding letter, whatever may have been the exact time that it was written.]



_To my maister Paston._

[Sidenote: 1454 / APRIL 8]

Right Reverend and wurshipfull Sir, myn especyall good maister, I recomaund me to you. And for as moch as adversite and prosperite bothe ly in the disposicion of o [_one_] man above, I thank God, and late you wete that I stand yet in as greet troble as ever I dede or gretter; praying you ever to be my good maister and to contynue your benyvolens as I am ever bounde to you. Myn hevynes is sum whet incresid, for a fals harlot, sauf your reverens, one James Cook, a servaunt of myn, falsly and traitourously is hired bi Watte Ingham and hath accused and diffamed me and my wif of settyng up billes agayn lordis, that, Almighti God I take to record, I not am ne never was gilty therof; but the same theef and Asshcote han made an appoyntement to come and robbe me of suych littel goodis of myn as thei can gete in Norffolk or Norwich. Wherfore I beseche your maistership for charite of your help and socour to my servauntz if such case falle. For I trowe this is a troble that never man suffrid non like in such case, and therfore, gentill Sir, as God hath indued you of myght and power to socour suych troubles, shew your bounte to me in this nede, and that for Goddes love, Who Almighti preserve you. Wretyn in Flete the viij. day of Aprill.--Your wofull servant,


The said Asshcote can counterfete my hand and therfore I drede he wole stele by sum fals letters suych as he myght gete. I haf wretyn my servantz theraftir.

[Footnote 317.1: [Add. MS. 34,888, f. 94.] That the year in which this letter was written was 1454 is evident from its being dated from the Fleet. _See_ Nos. 239 and 245.]



_To my Maister Paston._

[Sidenote: 1454 / MAY 3]

Right reverent and wurshipfull Sir, and myn especiall good maister, I recomaund me to you. And for as moche as oon Lord above giffeth and takith as hym plesith, I thank His grace of every thyng; and for the bounte that ye shew to me in this troble, I haf no spirite to thank you as I shuld. Sir, as for certeyn evidence of myn touchyng your place in Seint Andrues Parissh, my wif tellith me that she lefft thaym in a chest at Ovyes shette; the key ther of she hath sent now to Ovy also. And as for more evidence, sum is in the kepyng of Frere John Mendham, wherto I beseche your maistership that ye wole se for the sauf and secreet kepyng therof. God wote my wif delyvered all, myn unwetyng; ever therfore I doute, trustyng with such hope as is be lefft me to the best, with Godds grace.

Othre evidence of myn is at Folsham, I wote not with whome. I thank God of my conyng; but as sone as I may know, I shal write to you. Wherfore, sith it is thus, I beseche your maistershep disdeigne not, but for our Lords love ye vouchsauf to take it to you, or to se that it be sauf, if it plese you. And that ye wole send for John Maile, for I conceyve hym right feithfull to me, and I am enfourmed that he is gretly manasid for me. And that ye vouchsauf to do put hym in comfort that I lese not his good wille, and that ye shew hym your good maistership and favor that he be holpen and not hurt for me. Ferthermore, I wrote to you for such smal thynges as I had leid to plegge to you for such good as that I borwid of you. Wheryn I beseche your maistership that if my frends pay you accordyng to my writyng, that ye than vouchsaf to do the said plegges be sent hider to me by such conduyte as your wisdam like to avise, and that they myght be here by the iiij^to die of the xv^cim[319.1] of Ester, for than is my grettest jouparte touchyng myn imprisonement; for sith myn enmyes coude not avail to send me to the castel of Bristow (which was their purpose, whan thei undirstood the disposicion of the Comons Hous agayn their billes), ever sith they make a privy labor to haf me remevid, and I wote not whedir, ne wethir that tyme I shal be sent to the Kynges Bench, and abide ther, or remittyd hider agayn.

Neverthelesse, if I haf releve of such pouer godes as shuld be myn by reson, than I hope to do better, and sumwhat to aquyte, wherby I hope to put my frends in gretter corage to do for me. And if I haf no releve, than can I nomore, but all refere to God as I do daily. Wherefore, if ye be not paied, I pray you to councell my said frendes to send me suche mony as thei may gete of myn agayn that day, ever your maistership and wisdam seyng to the conduyte therof. More over, I doute lest that Richard Davy of his untrouth enfourme myn enmys wher such pouer thyng as I haf is, to that intent that thei may riffel and dispoil all. Wherof, if such case hapne, I can no ferthre, but I besech your help in every thyng. It is yours all, ther is a dede of gifft therof to you among myn evidence, as ye vouchsauff to do or do to be don in every thyng I holde me content. And Al myghti God preserve you.

Wretyn in non hertis ease at Flete, the iij. day of Maii.


[Footnote 318.1: [From Paston MSS., B.M.] For the date of this letter it may be sufficient to refer the reader to Letters 238 and 239 preceding. Both Denyes and his wife are here still in prison, but he expresses himself grateful to Paston for efforts made in his behalf.]

[Footnote 319.1: The fourth day of the quinzaine of Easter.]



_To my right and welbeloved frend, John Paston, Squier._

[Sidenote: 1454 / MAY 17]

Right trusty and welbeloved frend, I grete you wel; and for as mych as I have understande that ze have do take a distresse of certayn bestes upon certayn land, which I stande infeffed in, in the town of Pagrave, for what cause I knowe not; wherfor I pray you that ze wyll make deliverance ageyn of the said bestes, and if any thing ze can axe be dute of right, setteth a day, and lete your evydences and right be shewed, and I shall assigne conceill of myn to be there to se it; and all that reson or lawe wyll, I wyll be right glad ze have, and otherwise I trowe ze wold not desire. And if ze wyll do this, I wyll be wel paied, and elles ze constreyn me to pourveye other wise, as lawe may gyde me. Oure Lord have you in governance. Writen at Walsyngham, the xvij. day of May.

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