The Paston Letters.
by James Gairdner.
THE PASTON LETTERS
WILLIAM PASTON TO JOHN PASTON[1.1]
_To my rith wurchipfull brodir, Jon Paston, be this delyveryd._
[Sidenote: 1454 / SEPT. 6]
Ryth wurchyfull brodyr, I recomande me to zow, desiryng to her of zowr willefar. Byllyng[1.2] the serjant hathe byn in his contre, and he come to Lundon this weke; he sent for me and ast me how I fared; I tolde hym her is pestelens, and sayd I fard the better he was in good hele, for it was noysyd that he was ded. A toke me to him and ast how my suster dede, and I answeryd wyll, never better. He seyd he was with the Lord Gray,[1.3] and they talkyd of j. jantilman qweche is ward to my Lord--I remember he sayd it was Harry Gray that thei talkyd of; and my Lord sayd, 'I was besy with jn this fewe days to a maryd hym to a jantyllwoman jn Norfolke that schall have iiij. C. marc to hyr mariage, and now a wyll not be me, for iiij. C. marc wulde do me hese; and now he wulde have his mariage mony hymself, and therefore (quoth he) he schall mary hym self for me.'
This wurds had my Lorde to Byllyng, as he tollde me, he understod that my Lord laboryd for his owne a vayle, and consaylyd to byd her be wyse; and I thankeyd hym for hys good consayll.
I sent zow an answer of zowr letter of Sir Jon Fastolf comyng hom, as he told me hem self; neverthe lesse he bode longer than he sayd hymself he schull a do.
He tolde me he schulde make j. [_one_] ende be twix Skroop[2.1] and my suster wulle he is in Norfolke. Many wulde it schulde not prove, for thei say it is an onlykkely mariage.
In casse Cressener be talkyd of ony mor, he is countyd a jantyllmanly man and a wurshepfull. Ze knowe he is most wurchipfull better than I. At the reverens of Good, drawe to sume conclusyn; it is time.
My Lord Chanseler[2.2] come not her sone I come to Lundon, nether my Lord of Yorke.[2.3]
My Lord of Canterbury[2.4] hathe received hys crosse, and I was with hym in the kynggs chamber qwan he mad hys homage. I tolde Harry Wylton the demeanyng betwix the kyng and hym; it war to long to wrythe.
As for the prist that dede areste me, I can not understand that it is the pryste that ze mene.
Her is gret pestelens. I purpose to fle in to the contre. My Lord of Oxforthe is come azen fro the se, and he hath geth hym lytyll thank in this countre. Much more thyng I wulde wrythe to zow, but I lak lysore.
Harry Wylton sey the Kyng. My Lord of Ely[2.5] hathe do hys fewthe [_his fealty_]. God have zow in his blyssyd kepyng.
Wretyn at Lundon on the Fryday be for owr Ladys day, the Natyvite, in gret hast. I pray recomand me to my suster, and cosyn Cler.
Be yowr broder,
[Footnote 1.1: [From Fenn, iii. 220.] There is abundant evidence that the year in which this letter was written was 1454. The references to Lord Grey's offer of a husband for Elizabeth Paston, and to Sir John Fastolf's going into Norfolk, of which William Paston had before written by anticipation, though a little prematurely, in No. 254, are in themselves sufficient to fix the chronology; but the mention of fealty having been done by a new Archbishop of Canterbury and a new Bishop of Ely removes any possible doubt on the subject.]
[Footnote 1.2: Thomas Billing was made a serjeant in 1453, and about 1469 was appointed Chief Justice of the King's Bench.]
[Footnote 1.3: Edmund, Lord Grey of Ruthyn. --_See_ Letter 250.]
[Footnote 2.1: Stephen Scroope. --_See_ vol. ii. p. 108, Note 4.]
[Footnote 2.2: Richard Nevill, Earl of Salisbury, was appointed chancellor in April 1454.]
[Footnote 2.3: Richard, Duke of York, at this time Protector.]
[Footnote 2.4: Thomas Bourchier, who was translated from the Bishopric of Ely to Canterbury in April 1454.]
[Footnote 2.5: William Grey. He received his temporalities by a patent of the date of this letter, 6th September 1454, which shows that he had by that time done fealty.]
[[I thankeyd hym for hys good consayll.
_text has "thanlkeyd"_]]
[[_letters 250, 254 are in vol. ii_]]
SIR JOHN FASTOLF TO JOHN PASTON.
[Sidenote: 1454-9 / SEPT. 19]
Has searched among his evidence, and found a release of Nycolas Bockyng of his messuage and lands in Castre, 'sometime Fraunceys and afterward John Barboures, and Cassandre his wife,' which is enrolled in _Banco, Rotulo primo de cartis scriptis, de termino Sc. Trin. anno r. R. Henr.
Sexti_, 23. Send me the copy of it.
(_Signature not in his own hand._)
Castre, 19 Sept.
[The year in which this letter was written is uncertain, but it cannot be earlier than 1454, when Fastolf came to Caister, nor later than 1459, as he died in November of that year.]
[Footnote 3.1: [From MS. Phillipps, 9735, No. 227.]]
RICHARD SOUTHWELL TO JOHN PASTON[3.2]
_To the right reverent and worshippfull John Paston, in haste._
[Sidenote: 1454(?) / OCT. 6]
Right reverent and worshippfull Sir, and my right trusti and welbelovid cosin, I recomaund me unto you, praiyng you hertily to remembr me unto my Master Radclyff, so that by your gode meanes I shall mowe have his gode mastershipp, the whiche I have effectuelly to [m]y power sewed fore iij. yer, and never deserved the contrarye to my knowlegge, by my trouth; and if it can or may be founden that I have, I will obeye me, and offre me to abyde the rewle of you and my cosin your brothir, &c.
Also my Lord of Caunterbury[4.1] Master Waltier Bl[a]kette will help forthe, if nede be; and as to the remenant of the Lordes, if the case requir that ye may understand by your wysdum thei be displeased with me--as I trust to God thei be not,--I beseche you to remembr that I have aforetyme b[en] accused unto the Kings Highnesse and the Quenes for owyng my pore gode will and service unto my Lord of York and other, &c.
Wherof I suppose that Thomas Bagham is remembred that I brought hym oones from my Lady a purs and v. marc therin, and to Sir Phelipp Wenteworth an other and a C_s._ [100_s._] therin for their gode will and advise therin to my Lady and all us that were appelled for that cause, notwithstanding the King wrote to my Lord by the meanes of the Duc of Somersette,[4.2] that we shuld be avoyded from hym, &c. And within this ij. yer we wer in like wise laboured ageyns to the Quene, so that she wrote to my Lord[4.3] to avoyde us, saiyng that the King and she coude nor myght in no wyse be assured of hym and my Lady as long as we wer aboute hym, with much other thing, as may be sufficiently proved by the Quenes writing under herr own signett and signe manuell, the whiche I shewd to my Lord of Caunterbury and other Lordes, &c.