Paston was misinformed as to what Sperlyng said of his late master's[202.2] will. What he said was that about Hallowmas was twelvemonth he was about eight weeks with his said master, who one day examined him about the conveyance of his lands, and said there was no man of worship in Norfolk had so many auditors as he, yet he could never get the certainty how his livelode was disposed; but he had found a means to be quiet, 'whereof,' he said, 'I am as glad as a man had geve me 1000 mark,' by granting his cousin Paston all his livelode in Norfolk and Suffolk, on condition he should amortise sufficient lands to maintain a master and six secular priests at Castre. Paston was to take the risk of any counter claim and trouble hereafter, etc.
Norwich, Epiphany Day.
[The date of this letter must be 1460, as it is after Fastolf's death, and speaks of a conversation the writer had with him about the management of his lands a twelvemonth before Hallowmas preceding the date of the letter. At Hallowmas 1459 Sir John was dying, and quite unable to support any conversation for want of breath, so that the reference must be to Hallowmas 1458.]
[Footnote 202.1: [From Paston MSS., B.M.]]
[Footnote 202.2: Sir John Fastolf.]
WILLIAM BOTONER TO JOHN BERNEY[203.1]
_To the ryght worshypfull Sir, John Berneye, Scuier, at Castre beyng._
[Sidenote: 1460 / JAN.]
Ryght wohypfull Sir, I recommaund me to yow.[203.2] ... ... . As for tydyngs here, I sende som of hend wreten to you and othyrs how the Lord Ryvers,[203.3] Sir Antonye, hys son, and othyrs hafe wonne Calix[203.4]
be a feble assault made at Sandwich by Denham,[203.5] Squyer, with the nombre of viij^c. men, on Twyesday betwene iiij. and v. at cloks yn the mornyng. But my Lady Duchesse[203.6] ys stille ayen receved yn Kent. The Duke of York ys at Debylyn [_Dublin_], strengthed with hys Erles and homagers, as ye shall see by a bille. God sende the Kyng victorie of hys ennemyes, and rest and pease among hys Lordes.
I am rygt gretly hevyed for my pore wyfe, for the sorow she takyth, and most leefe hyr and hyr contree. Y shall nothing take from hyr more then a litell spendyng money, tille better may bee. And the Blessed Trinite kepe and sende you helth.
Wret at London hastly, the Monday after I departed from you, 1459, x.
W. BOTONER, called WYRCESTER.
[Footnote 203.1: [From Fenn, i. 182.] The date of this letter is ascertained partly by the reference in the suppressed passage to Sir John Fastolf's interment, and partly by the allusion to the capture of Rivers and his son by John Denham. Compare the letter following.]
[Footnote 203.2: 'Here,' says Fenn, 'follow complaints against Frere Brakle, etc., concerning Sir John Fastolf's interment, affairs, etc.']
[Footnote 203.3: Richard Widville, Lord Rivers, afterwards created an Earl by King Edward IV., who married his daughter Elizabeth.]
[Footnote 203.4: This must be a sneer. The truth, as recorded by Botoner himself in his annals, was that John Denham and others secretly sailed from Calais, and surprised Sandwich, where they took Lord Rivers and his son Anthony prisoners, and carried them back to Calais.]
[Footnote 203.5: John Denham or Dynham, afterwards Lord Dynham.]
[Footnote 203.6: Cecily, Duchess of York.]
[[Ryght wohypfull Sir _text unchanged: error for "worshypfull"?_]]
WILLIAM PASTON TO JOHN PASTON[204.1]
_To his right worshipfull brother, John Paston, be this lettre delyvered._
[Sidenote: 1460 / JAN. 28]
After dewe recomendacion had, please you to wete that we cam to London uppon the Tewysday by none, nexst aftr our departour fro Norwich, and sent our men to inquyre after my Lord Chaunceler,[204.2] and Maister John Stokys, and Malmesbury.
And as for my Lord Chaunceler, he was departed fro London, and was redyn to the Kyng ij. dayes er we were come to London; and as we understand he hasted hym to the Kyng by cause of my Lord Ryvers[204.3] takyng at Sandwyche, &c.[204.4] ... ... . .
As for tydyngs, my Lord Ryvers was brougth to Caleys, and by for the Lords with viij^xx. [_eight score_] torches, and there my Lord of Salesbury reheted [_rated_] hym, callyng hym knaves son, that he schuld be so rude to calle hym and these other Lords traytors, for they schall be found the Kyngs treue liege men, whan he schuld be found a traytour, &c. And my Lord of Warrewyk rehetyd hym, and seyd that his fader was but a squyer, and broute up with Kyng Herry the V^te, and sethen hymself made by maryage, and also made Lord, and that it was not his parte to have swyche langage of Lords, beyng of the Kyngs blood. And my Lord of Marche reheted hym in lyke wyse. And Sir Antony[204.5] was reheted for his langage of all iij. Lords in lyke wyse.
Item, the Kyng cometh to London ward, and, as it is seyd, rereth the pepyll as he come; but it is certayn ther be comyssyons made in to dyvers schyres that every man be redy in his best aray to com whan the Kyng send for hem.
Item, my Lord Roos is com fro Gynes.
No more, but we pray to Jesu have you in his most mercyfull kepyng.
Wretyn at London, the Munday next after Seynt Powle day.[205.1]
[Footnote 204.1: [From Fenn, i. 186.] This letter, like the last, refers to the capture of Lord Rivers and his son at Sandwich, an incident dated by William Worcester in his annals shortly after the Christmas of 1459, which probably means just after the New Year.]
[Footnote 204.2: William de Waynflete, Bishop of Winchester.]
[Footnote 204.3: _See_ p. 203, Note 3.]
[Footnote 204.4: 'Then follows,' says Fenn, 'a long account of private business, which is here omitted.']
[Footnote 204.5: Sir Anthony Widville, afterwards Lord Scales and Earl Rivers.]
[Footnote 205.1: The Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul is on the 25th of January.]
WILLIAM BOTONER TO ----[205.2]
[Sidenote: 1460 / FEB. 7]
A very frende at nede experience will schewe be deede, as wele as be autorite of Aristotle in the Etiques that he made of moralite. Also by the famous Reamayn Tullius in his litell booke _De Amicicia_; thangyng you for olde contynued frendschip stidffastely grounded, as I wele [_qu._ feel?] be your letter of a goode disposicion made, as it appereth. Where as it schewith to the understandyng of suche as you write uppon that I schulde, be crafty councell of some men sodenly have departed in to these parties, &c., and that I straunched me from sertein persones to moche, &c.; as for the furste, it schalbe to openly knowe that I departed not hedre be councell of suche persons as they ymagyne, for in trowthe no creature levyng, when I departed from Norwich, knewe of it, saffe one that hath and evermore schal be next of my knowlege in viagis makyng, alle be it I will not alwey disclose the cause. I herde sey sith I come to London theye weche ye dempte to be of my councell thanne where at Wolsyngham or Thepala (?) when I departed. I have wrete the cauce to hym that of nature schulde be my beste frende, that for as much I had labored as weele as W. Paston do my maister frendes, chevised, and leyd money content out of his purse to the some of C_li._, and more for cloothe and other thynges for my seide maister entencion, promyttyng payment be fore Cristemesse, or right soone aftir, or to be at London, and acquytyng me that I put me my dever. And be cause my maister attorneys in that parties toke not to herte to make the payementes here so hastely as they ded there, I had no comffortable answere of spedyng the seid paymentes here. And also I was not put in truste a mong the seid attorneys there to yeve on peny for my maister sowle, but I paid it of myn owne purse befoore; nother in trust ne favour to geve an almesse gowne, but that I praid for it as a straunger schulde doo, alle be it myn autorite is as grete as theris, and rather more as I tolde you. And also my Lorde of Canturebury and Maister John Stookes, his juge, had geve autorite to ministre to a certein somme till the testament were proved. And these preseidents consedred wolde discorage any man to a bide but a litel amonges hem that so straunged hem self from me and mistrusted me, be thut any cauce ye knowe wele how that my maister man servauntes were put in gretter truste and familiarite to handell, geve, and telle out of the bagghes my maister money bothe at Seint Benetts and in Norwich in divers places by grete summes and litell. And ye as other my maister servauntes and I that helped gete my maister goode and brynge it togedre were straunged, and as it semyd by there demenyng mistrusted to oure grete vilanye and rebuke, wheche muste be answerd the causes why, and we declared [i.e.
_exculpated_], and so shal I make it for my pore person, and for my maister sowle heele. It is not soilied (?) knowen that I was one of the cheeffe that kepte bothe my Maister Paston and myn oncle[206.1] in my maister favour and truste, and if I wolde have labored the contrary, by my sowle--that is the grettest othe that I may swere of my silff--they had never be nygh my maister in that case they stonde nowe. And if they woll labour to damage or hendre me, all the worlde woll mysreporte of hem and litel truste hem, nowther they schal not have wurschip nor profight bi it. I wolde be to them as lowyng and as wele willyng as I gan, so I fynde cause, and other I wolnot be to my fadre, and he weere a liffe. I requere you a[n]swere for me as I wolde and have do for you whan som of hem have seid ful nakedly of you, and suche as ye deeme hafe mysereported causeles of me, I pray you that they see my letter as weele as my frendes. My maister also (God yelded is sowle) graunted to me a liffelode accordyng to my degre, that I, my wiffe, and my childre, schulde have cause to prey for hym. My wiffes uncle[207.1] was present in his chapell at Castre as wele as my wiffe, and comaunded her oncle to chese the londe. This is trowthe be the blissed Sacrament that I receyved at Pasch [_i.e._ Easter]. And because I demaunded my right and dwte of my Maister Paston, he is not plesed. I have lost more thanne x.
mark worthe londe in my maister servyce, by God, and not [_unless_] I be releved, alle the worlde schal knowe it elles that I have to gret wrong.
Wolde God I kowde plese bothe Maister Paston and my oncle in reson, who preserve you.
Wrete hastely the vij. day of Feveryere.