[Sidenote: 1455 / MARCH 17]
Wurchepefull Sire, and right well be lovyd, I grete yow well, desyryng to here of youre well fare, praying you interlych to bie with me at dyner on Seynt Benett day, the whiche xall be on Friday next comyng, or ell[es] in brief tyme covenable to your ease, to th'entent that I may commoun wyth yow of divers maters, the whiche I purpose to have a doo in be your good advyse, and in on especyall as for the chirche of Stokesby, whiche I understand xall moche be reulyd after your advyse and content; tristyng our communicacion had in the seyd [matters] xall cause pees and pleaser to all parties be leve of our Lord, the whiche Lord mote preserve you in all goode.
Wreten in my Monastery the xvij. day of Marche.
Be your good frend,
THE ABBOT OF S. BENETTS.
[Footnote 17.1: [From Fenn, iii. 236.] This letter was written by John Martin, Lord Abbot of St. Benet's of Hulme. The heads of this monastery were mitred abbots, and sat in Parliament. The date may be assigned to the year 1455 for two reasons--first, that in that year St. Benet's day (the 21st of March) fell on a Friday; and second, that in the same year the living of Stokesby lapsed to the Bishop of Norwich.]
SIR JOHN FASTOLF TO JOHN PASTON AND ---- YELVERTON.
[Sidenote: Between 1455-9]
Thanks them for speeding his action against Thomas Fauconere. Begs them to sue it out, as Fauconere is obstinate, and has wrought against Byckwod right unjustly, who owes great sums to divers creditors, etc.
Castre, 20th March.
[The date of this letter must be during Sir John's residence at Caister between 1455 and 1459.]
SIR JOHN FASTOLF TO JOHN PASTON, ESQ.[18.1]
_To myn ryght weel beloved cosyn, John Paston, Squier._
[Sidenote: 1455 / MARCH 29]
Worshipfull cosyn, I recomaunde me to yow. And lyke yow to wete that at this tyme I sende to yow myn welbeloved frende and servant, Sir Thomas Howys, to have youre good councell and advyse how and in what wyse he may best be demened there at this tyme in his yeldyng to the Sheref upon his exigend, wheche is and shal be v. tymes called as on Monday next comyng, as I understande; and, the same by good and discrete advyse concluded and sette in a good weye by sewertes found to appere at London the day of the retorn of the wrytte or otherwyse, that thenne if ye thenke hit be to do'n [_to do_], ye lyke to take upon yow to comon with myne Lord of Norwyche,[18.2] recomaundyng me to hys good and tender Lordship, and declaryng to hym how and in what wyse the seyd Sir Thomas was demened in the _oyer and determyner_, and sethe how he hath wrongously and with ought cause be vexed by John Andrews and other, and greetly trowbled, wherupon this atteynt now is grownded, in such wyse as ye thenk best to be done; and that his Lordship by youre medyacion here after geve not any favore to any persone or persones on myne contrarye partye for any synystre informacion geven other wyse than the trought in the mater shal require, as he shal weel understande by youre good reporte, for ye know the same mater weel. Wherfore, cosyn, I praye yow that ye wole tender the same for the weel and good speed therof, as myne syngler trust is in yow. And the blessed Trinyte preserve yow to his pleaser.
In hast, at Castre, the xxix. day of Marche.
JOHN FASTOLF, Chr.
Item, cosyn, I sende youre a lettre to delyver to myne seyd Lord with a copye of the same, wheche I praye yow to se, and if ye thenk hit be to do'n, delyveret [_deliver it_] youre self, &c., to th'entent he myght know the disposicion of the pepul how they be sette, &c.; for he weel advertysed in this mater shalbe a greet supporter of trought in this be half, for the partye contrarye wole do'n that they can to labore the jure, and don to have theym rewled after theyr entent and contrary to trought; wheche mater I remytte ondly to youre ryght wyse discrecion.
[Footnote 18.1: [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The reference here made to the process of attaint, which Fastolf had resolved to sue in November 1454 (_see_ No. 268), shows that this letter must belong to the month of March following. It is written in Barker's hand.]
[Footnote 18.2: I suspect 'Norwyche' is here a slip of the pen, and that 'my Lord of Norfolk' was intended.]
SIR JOHN FASTOLF TO THE DUKE OF NORFOLK[19.1]
[Sidenote: 1455 / MARCH (?)]
Right hy and myghty Prynce, my right gode and gracyous Lord, I recomaund me to your gode Lordship, etc. And please itt your Hyghnesse to wete that Sir Philip Wenteworth purchasid the Kyngs patentis of the ward of the heyer and londes of a por kynnesman of myne called John Fastolf of Cowhawe, late passed to God, to the grett hurte and distruccion as well of the inheritance of the seyd heyer as interrupcion and breking of the last will of the seyd John, and also to my grett troble and dammage; and for asmoche as it fortowned be grase the seyd patentes to be mystake, so that they were not laufull ne suffycyent, be avyce of conceyll, certeyn persones,[19.2] to myn use, purchesid be the Kyngs letters patentes suffycyent and laufull of the ward of the seyd londes. And the rigth of thes bothe patentes hath be putte in juges and lerned men, affor hom the seyd Sir Philipp ne his conceyll cowd never prove hes tytill lawfull be his seyd patents, and this notwithstanding intendith be fors, as I understand, to take the profytes of the seyd londes ageyns all lawe and concyence. Beseching your Lordchip to tender me in myn age and sekenesse that may not ryde ne help myself, and of your habundant grace to supporte me in my right, that I be not be fors ageyns lawe and concyence kepte from the possescion of the seyd londes in this contre, wher ye be Prynce and Sovereyn next owr Sovereyn Lord.
_The following memoranda occur on the back:_--
Br[adwe]ll juxta Jernemut.
Kirley juxta Leystoft, viij_li._ Foxhole ... ... . } Cowhaw in Nakton } xviij_li._ on this side Yepiswich, iij. myl, } Langston in Brustall, } ij. myle beyond Yepiswich,} iij_li._ Bentele, ij. mile beyond Brustall, xiiij_li._ (?)
[Footnote 19.1: [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The MS. of this is a corrected draft. Although the person addressed is not named, the style in which he is addressed, and particularly the last sentence, leave no doubt that it is the Duke of Norfolk. Indeed, this is not unlikely to be the letter mentioned in the postscript to the last, of which a copy or draft was sent along with the original to John Paston that he might deliver the latter, only if he approved of its contents. If so, it is probable that Paston withheld it, as we find by the letter immediately following that Fastolf addressed another memorial to the Duke on the subject of his dispute with Wentworth four days later.]
[Footnote 19.2: They were John Paston and Thomas Howes, and their patent was dated 6th June 32 Hen. VI. (1454).--See _Rolls of Parl._ v. 371.]
SIR JOHN FASTOLF TO THE DUKE OF NORFOLK[20.1]
[Sidenote: 1455 / APRIL 2]
Right high and myghty Prynce, my right noble and good Lord, in my right humble wyse I recomaunde me to your good grace. And for the noble lordship and supportacion shewid unto me at all tymes, I beseche our Lord God guerdon yow, where as I may not, but only as yowr daily and contynuell bedeman, now in myn age, pray for the good prosperite of youre right highe and noble estate, as I am gretly bounde to doo; prayng tendirly yowre Highnesse to contynue yowre good lordship and supportacion in the materes touchyng your servaunt John Porter and my pore Chappelleyn Sir Thomas Howes, trustyng verily to God that, with the supportacion of your good Lordship, there mater shall yette come to a good conclusion in punisshyng of perjure and embracery that many yeris hathe ben and yette is usid in this shire, whiche were grete merite, and to my conceyte, in yow that ar soo noble a Prynce, a singler renoune, as for the beste dede that may be doo for the weel of bothe shires.
And in like wise that it please youre right good grace to contynue youre noble favour and supportacion to me in remedyeng the force doon by Sir Philip Wentworth, kepyng now wrongful possession of certeyn londes in Suffolk, nygh youre Castel of Framyngham; whiche londs certeyn of my frendes, to myn use, have of the Kyngs graunte by his lettres patent byfore ony patent that the seid Sir Philip hathe, whiche is my singler matier in myn owen parte that I have now to doo, as my cosyn Paston can enforme yowr Lordship, for he knowith the mater and myn hole entente, to whom your good grace lyke to yife credence. He cometh to awaite upon your Lordship at this tyme, as I understande, by my cosyn youre servaunt Richard Suthwell, youre Lordship desired.
Right highe and myghty Prynce, my noble and right good Lord, I beseche the Holy Goste be with yow, and evere more sende yow the accomplishment of youre right noble desires to his plesir and youres.
Writen at my pore place of Castre, the ij^de day of Aprill.
Your humble man and servaunt,
[Footnote 20.1: [From Fenn, iii. 338.] Although there is no direction upon this letter, it was evidently addressed to the Duke of Norfolk, as it speaks of 'your Castle of Framlingham.'
The absence of any written address Fenn accounts for by supposing the letter to have been enclosed in a cover; but as it appears that the original contained at least one passage which was crossed out (_see_ page 341 in Fenn), we may with greater probability consider it to have been a corrected draft, like the last, sent to John Paston for his approval. The dispute with Sir Philip Wentworth and the matters of John Porter and Sir Thomas Howes, here referred to, both point to the year 1455 as the date of this letter. --_See_ Nos. 265, 268.]
SIR JOHN FASTOLF TO JOHN PASTON.
[Sidenote: 1455 / MAY 3]
Thanks him for his letters, and the answer he made to Bokkyng. Does not know how to answer him concerning the ward,[22.2] the suit against William Jenney and Sir Thomas, etc. If Paston could be at London this term, even for three days, it would speed better than Fastolf's writing, and Fastolf will pay his costs. If he cannot, Paston must use his own discretion, and Fastolf will abide by what he does. It would be a great rebuke if the matter of the ward went against us, 'for nowadays ye know well that law goeth as it is favored, and after that the attorneys be wise and discreet in their conduct.'