After humble and due recommendacion, please it your gode maistership to understand that atte makyng of this my pour letter ther were no noveltees with us, but suche as yee understode full well afor your departyng, except the Kyng woll in to Scotland in all maner wyse of werre, and that my Lord of Weltshire shal be made Chaunceller. I suppose the better is but a sclaunder, and therfore be ye avised howe ye delyver theym as tidynges.
Also I wotte ful well where I lefte you in suche matiers as it pleassed you to make me of your counsell, as touchyng oon matier specially; and howe that ye said unto me whenne I desired your goode maistership to shewe favour in suche as ye best myght yf any thing shuld be shewed _ad lumen_, my Maister F. except; and howe that ye answered and said as it pleassed you that I was conquered, in trouth, that shuld preve but a full grete unstabulnes in me with more, &c. But, Sir, I pray you howe some ever my maister rekeneth with any of his servaunts, bring not the matier in revolution in the open Courte, for and it were ones opened afore the Juges howe that any lettre patentes shuld be purchased of an ante date,[88.1] and the defaute faunde in me, ye wold be a m^l.
[_thousand_] tymes avised, and my Maister F. both, or that ye wold amend me soo much as I shuld be appered therbe. And therfor I beseche you be well avised howe that matier be oponed for myn ease.
I was not desired to write unto you of no on persone, so God be my help, yourself except; but I wold ye wold take avise and counsell of the Preest that hadde you soo long under hand on Shorthursday,[88.2] whenne I and my feleship, God thank you, hadde of you right grete chere to our grete comfort and your grete coste, howe that the same Preest understandeth this letter of the Gospell underwriten: 'Jesus dixit Simoni Petro, Si peccav[er]it in te frater tuus, vade et corripe eum inter te et ipsum solum; si te audierit lucratus es fratrem tuum. Si autem te non audierit, adhibe tecum adhuc unum vel duos, ut in ore duorum vel trium testium stet omne verbum. Quod si non audierit, dic ecclesiae; si autem ecclesiam non audierit, sit tibi sicut ethnicus et publicanus,' etc. And in another place, 'Tunc accedens Petrus ad Jesum dixit, Domine, quotiens petevit [_peccabit_] in me frater meus, [et]
dimittam ei? usque septies? Dicit illi Jesus, Non dico tibi, usque septies, set usque septuagesies septies.'[89.1]
My maister can doo no thing, the which shall come in open audience at thise deies, but it shalbe called your dede. Hit is not unknoon that cruell and vengible he hath byn ever, and for the most parte with aute pite and mercy; I can no more but _vade et corripe eum_, for truly he cannot bryng about his matiers in this word [_world_], for the word is not for hym. I suppose it wolnot chaunge yetts by likelenes, but I beseche you, Sir, help not to amend hym onely, by [_but ?_] every other man yf ye kno any mo mysse disposed.
I canno more, but as I can or mey, I shal be his servaunt and youres unto such tyme as ye woll comande me to sursese and leve of, yf it please hym.
Sir, I pray you take this copy[89.2] of your statute, it is not examined be me, for I found hit thise v. yeres pessed.
Writan in my slepyng tyme at after none, on Wytsonday. Also, Sir, yf I have rehersed wyttyngly the text of the Gospell syngularly unto your maistership, I beseche you to be had excused.
[Footnote 87.2: [From Fenn, iii. 278.] The date of this letter is doubtful. The two pieces of intelligence at the beginning were certainly both false rumours, as the writer, indeed, seems to have suspected. Henry VI. never went to Scotland in manner of war, and the Earl of Wiltshire never was made Chancellor. But the time when those rumours seem most likely to have arisen was in the year 1456, when the Duke of York had been deprived of the Protectorate. The Earl of Wiltshire, being of the opposite party to York, was not unlikely to have been talked of as Chancellor, although the Chancellorship was given on the 7th of March to the Archbishop of Canterbury. As to the rumoured expedition against Scotland, we know that in the preceding year James II., in defiance of the truce, laid siege to Berwick, which offered a gallant resistance (Nicolas's _Privy Council Proceedings_, vi.
248). This, however, does not appear immediately to have led to open war between the two countries. Diplomatic relations were still carried on till, on the 10th of May 1456, James II.
despatched Lyon Herald to the King of England to declare plainly that the Truce of 1453 was injurious to Scotland, and that he did not mean to abide by it (Lambeth MS. 211, f. 146 b). No reply was made to this message till the 26th of July, when an answer was despatched by the Duke of York in the King's name (_see_ Rymer, xi. 383); but there can be little doubt the desire to punish the insolence of the Scots must have been very general long before.]
[Footnote 88.1: A law was passed in the eighteenth year of Henry VI. to put a stop to the abuse of persons having interest about the Court procuring antedated letters patent, by means of which they were enabled to claim the emoluments of lands or offices granted to them from a date anterior to the actual passing of the grant. --_See_ Hardy's Introduction to the _Patent Rolls of King John_, p. xxx.]
[Footnote 88.2: Shere or Shore Thursday, Maundy Thursday, the day before Good Friday.]
[Footnote 89.1: St. Matthew's Gospel, chap. xviii. ver. 15, 16, 17, and ver. 21, 22.]
[Footnote 89.2: This relates to papers sent with this letter, and accounts for there being no direction, as the whole was enclosed in a parcel.--F.]
JOHN RUSSE TO JOHN PASTON[90.1]
_To my Maister Paston, in haaste._
[Sidenote: 1456 / JUNE 1]
Please your good maistirship to wete that my Lord of Norffolk yaf in comaundement to Cristofre and to the balif of Colneise to laboure with us acording to your mocion. And as to Skilly, fermour of Cowhaugh, we enteryd there, and seyd we wold have payment for the half yeer past, and sewrete for the half yeer comynge, or ellys we wold distreyne and put hym out of pocession, and put in a newe fermoure; and so oure demenyng was suche that we toke no distresse, and yit we have hym bounde in an obligacion of xviij_li._ payabil at Michelmesse without condecion, and vj_s._ viij_d._ we receyvid of hym for opocession, for the ferme as yit remayneth on gatherid in the fermourez handes. But I seyd hym I wold be ther ageyn for the recedu of the half yeer ferme past withinne this xiiij. dayes; and he seyd he wold do hise delygence to gather it up. But he spak with Wentworth sethyn, whiche yef hym an uttyr rebuke, as he swor to me, and seyd he wold have hys payment of Skylly, and sewe hise oblygacion this next terme whiche he is bounden in to Wentworth for the yeerly payment of the same ferme; and the seyd Wentworth seyd he wyll takyn an accyon of trespas this next terme ageyn us that were there; and Devyle seyd ye were hender the londes at the begynning of your sute thanne ye be now, and that shalbe knowe be Lammesse next comyng, for he hathe thynges to shewe ye saw nevyr yit. Skilly offerid me xl_s._ to have delyvered hym ageyn hise obligacion, and he wold have put me in pocession of a distresse, and [_i.e._ if] I wold have delyvered it hym; he seithe he dede nevyr so mad a dede, for Wentworth wold no bettyr mean thane we had takyn a distresse. He shuld sone have remedyed that; but now he seith Skylls is withoute remedy, but he will be payd, &c.
Item, Sir, as to the fermourez of the manor of Langston in Brustal, we have also sewyrte be oblygacion withoute condecion payabil at Michilmesse, and toke no distresse but enteryd the londes; but we had gret peyne to brynge hem ther to, for ther is one John Cook of Braunford hath it in ferme of Wentworth all, and he leteth it out ageyn be parcelles to iij. sondre persones. But he was not at home, where for we have the same fermourez bounde for payment, and they had no mony redy, but they have promysed to delyvere Herry Deye at Yepiswiche this day xx_s._ in party of payment.
Item, Sir, as to the fermour of the maner of Bentley, clepid Bentley Houses, we have hym bonde in lyke wyse for the ferme of the seyd maner from Michilmesse last past tyl Mychelmesse next comyng, in an obligacion of x. marks payabil at Michilmesse next comyng, without ony condecyon; and in party of payment I have receyvid of hym xiij_s._ iiij_d._, and he promyseth me iiij. markes at Lammesse next comyng. And as for Bradwell, my maistir[91.1] hathe sewyrte; and as for Kyrley Hawe, I was with the fermour yistirday, but he wyll paye no peny, nor be bounde neithir.
Wherfor my maistir shal sende us to take a distresse tomorwyn, and I truste we shal fynde sum meanys to have hym bounde, &c.
Item, John Andrewe hathe in fee yerly of the maner of Coughaugh xx_s._, and Thomas Denys xiij_s._ iiij_d._ of the maner of Foxhole, but as ferre as I can enquere, there is payd no more feez out of non of the maneris to none othir men but to these tweyne.
Item, as for the endenturis, I sende here with a copy of Skyllyez endenture and a copy of Deynis endenture, fermour of the maner of Bentley, clepid Bentley Houses; and Herry Deye shal brynge a copy of John Cooks endenture of the ferme of the maner of Langston in Brustall; and as for Wareyn Bonde, he mad nevyr endenture for the ferme of Kyrkley Hawe, for he hathe ocupyed it but sethin Michilmesse last past; and so he holdith it but be promyse upon compnaunt [_covenant ?_]. And we shal gete a copy of Sewalys endenture, fermour of Bradwelle, and me semyth, savyng your bettyr avyse, it war right expedient that ye shuld for the sped of this mater be at London in al haste.
Primo die Junii anno xxxiiij.[91.2]
Youre humble servaunt and bedeman,
[Footnote 90.1: [From Paston MSS., B.M.]]
[Footnote 91.1: Sir John Fastolf.]
[Footnote 91.2: The thirty-fourth year of the reign of Henry VI.
This date is added in a different hand, apparently that of John Paston, to whom the letter is addressed.]
[[JOHN RUSSE TO JOHN PASTON[90.1] _footnote tag missing_]]
JOHN BOCKING TO JOHN PASTON[91.3]
_To my right good maister, John Paston, Squier, at Norwiche, in haste._
[Sidenote: 1456 / JUNE 7]
Sir, please it your maistership to wyte, I have my attachements graunted in open Courte with helpe of Litelton[91.4] and Hewe at Fen, and was bide to make redy the names, &c. before the Barons, of which Haltoft[91.5] was one... ... ... .[91.6]
As for tidings, the Kyng is at Shene, the Quene at Chestre; the Duc of Buk was, as I come hiderward, at Writell, the Erle of Warrewyke at Werrewyke, and the Lords Chaunceller,[92.1] Tresorier,[92.2] and th'Erle of Sar' [_Salisbury_] in London, and noo more Lords at the begynyng this day of the grete Counsail. Many men say that there shuld be, but thei wote not what. The sege shall, as men say, come to Caleys and to Guynes, for moche puple come overe the water of Somme, and grete navies on the see.
Th'Erle of Penbroke[92.3] is with the Kyng, and noo more Lordis. Th'Erle of Richemond[92.4] and Griffith Suoh (?) are at werre gretely in Wales.
The Comons of Kent, as thei werre wo[n]tte, er not all weel disposid, for there is in doyng amongs hem what evere it bee. Of Scotts is here but litell talkyng. My Lord York is at Sendall stille, and waytith on the Quene and she up on hym.
I dide my maistress your moderis erands, as ye have herde of, for Maister William hath writen his entente, and he and Clement faren weel.
Writen at Horshighdone, vij^mo die Junij.
Rokewode and Crane faren weel, and thei and I recomaunde hem to my maistress your wif.
And as I understande, the Clerke of the Rolles is owte of charite with Maister Yelverton, and my Lord Chaunceller a litell mevid, &c.
[Footnote 91.3: [From Fenn, i. 134.] On comparing this with the previous letters of Bocking, Nos. 330 and 331, it will be seen that they must all three be of the same year.]
[Footnote 91.4: Thomas Lyttelton. --_See_ p. 84, Note 5.]
[Footnote 91.5: Gilbert Haltoft.]