W. BOTONER, _dit_ Wurcester.
[Footnote 205.2: [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The MS. of this letter is not an original, but a copy in the handwriting of John Paston. It appears to be written on the cover of a letter from his wife, addressed on the back, 'To my ryght wurschipfull husbond, John Paston, be this delyvered in haste.' The date must be 1460, as it is clearly not long after the death of Sir John Fastolf; and as the writer speaks of having recently left Norwich, it was probably not many days or weeks after No. 399.]
[Footnote 206.1: Botoner's wife, whose Christian name was Margaret, was a niece of Thomas Howes, parson of Blofield. He therefore calls Howes his uncle.]
[Footnote 207.1: _See_ Note on last page.]
W. LOMNER TO JOHN PASTON[208.1]
_To the right worchipfull and reverent and myn good mayster Paston, Squyere, be this taken._
[Sidenote: 1460 / APRIL 6]
My ryght worchipfull mayster, I recomaunde me to yow, besechyng yow to hold me excusyd that I awaytyd noon otherwyse opon yow and my mastras at my comyng from Norwich; for yn good feyth I was soo seke that I hadde moche labour to come home, and sythen that tyme I have hadde my parte, &c. And, Sere, as for Berney, he begynnyth to falle ought of the popell conceyte faster than ever he fell yn, for serteyn causez, &c. I shalle telle yow yn haste. But, Sere, blyssyd be God, as for yow, your love yncresith amonge hem, and so I prey God it mot, for and I herde the contrarie, ye shuld sone have wetyng. The under-shrefe dotht Mortoft favour, and lete hym goo yn Norwich as hym lyst, and al the contre abought me sey right evyll of hym for a mayntenor of the Kynges enime; for there ben an C. [_hundred_] purposid to ride to the Kyng for hym, and he come neer this contre, for they sey thow he hadde never doo with his handes he hath seid a now to die. I have warend the under-shreffe ther of, &c. Sere, forther, I am yn bildyng of a pore hous. I truste God that ye shulle take your loggyng ther yn here after whan ye come to your lordshippis on tho partes. And I durste be soo bolde on your maystershep to aske of yow xij. copill of oken sparris, I wold hertilly prey yow not to have them, but ther they may be for bore beste, and that is at a yard of yourz yn Saxthorpe, callid Barkerz. I have eshe but noon oke, but litell now comyth the fellyng ther of, &c. And me semyth ye myght take mony for wood ther that stant and seryth and doth no good but harme, and with yn fewe yeres ye shulnot wete where it is become, &c. Also ther be serteyn materz betwyn soom of your tenuantez and me. I abide your comyng and doo not [_naught ?_] at the reverens of yow; they be knowelle yn the contre. And God have yow yn his kepyng.
Wretyn on Palme Sunday.
Be your servaunt,
[Footnote 208.1: [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The date of this letter must be after the death of Sir John Fastolf, and before John Paston had gone to take possession of his lands in Norfolk.
Saxthorpe was one of Fastolf's manors which so came to him. The year may therefore be presumed to be 1460.]
FRIAR BRACKLEY TO [WILLIAM PASTON][209.1]
[Sidenote: 1460 / [before Easter]]
Jesu mercy, Marie help, cum Sanctis omnibus, trewe menyng executorys ffro fals terrauntes and alle tribulacyonys. Amen. Ryte reverent Sire, &c., W. Y.[209.2] Judex and hise wyf were here with here meny and here hors in our ladyes place, &c. on Saterday at evyn, and yedyn hens on Monday after none, whan summe had drunkyn malvyseye and tyre,[209.3] &c.
And I prechid on the Sonday byfore hem, not warnyd tyl after mete. And than for lak of M. Vergeant, or our wardeyn Barnard, I sodeynly seyd the sermon. And byfore I had ryte ovyr and soleyn chere of hem bothe, &c.; but after the sermon he seyd opely to the prior, heryng myche folk in the chirch, 'I haf herd hym oftyn here and ellys where, but [this][209.4] is the best that ever I herd hym sey,' &c., and at evyn drank to me, and made me good chere, half on the splene, &c.
But on Moneday, whan he had ny etyn and drunkyn a now, he gan to rollyn hym in hise relatyvis, and we eldyd hym, as many men thowtyn, ryte ongayly in hise gere, &c.; hise wyf begynnyng the communicacyon with rite a sootyr (?) chere. And he heeld on so sore he cowd not cese, &c.
tyl he went to his hors, &c. And the pryor demenyd hym gentylly in hise talkyng. And there was not forgetyn non unkyndnesse of my Mayster J. P., zour brother, of sleyn [_slaying_] of hise man Wormegey, and of mariage of hise dowghtyr, whiche now schal solempnely be maryed to Conerys,[210.1] a knytes sone, &c. And now last at Seynt Benettes, where he so worschipful a justise and as kunnyng in lawe as ever was zour fadyr, &c. as alle men knowyn, &c. And zour brother J. P. brokyn owt be occasyon of zour langage, and takyn wytnesse of Malmysbury, a man of my Lord of Caunterbury, whiche hath spokyn with the seyd justise the last terme in Westmyster Halle. And there he seyd more tymes than one, 'Sire, this the fyrst tyme that ever I spake with zour Lordschip, &c.' And sythe after ze weryn at Seynt Benettys forseyd, ze komyn not gentylly but ryte malicyously disposid to myn Lady Felbrygg, and dede your devoyr to haf put hym out of hir conceyt, and it wolde not be, &c. And what vyolens my Mayster J. P., germanus vester, dede to W. Wayt,[210.2] &c.
up on hise owne grownd at Musshold, &c. And after al these materys, bare me on hand[210.3] that I had seyd to on of the worthiest of the schyre that the seyd justise be gan the brekyng at Seynt Benettes; for I suppose I seyd thus to my Lord Fyz Water, _alias_ my Mayster Radclyff, to whos in I went to, and zaf hym a potel of swete wyne, he demaundyng me of that brekyng, &c., as I remembre me, and suppose I seyd, 'W. Y., justise, began to myn knowlache and understondyng.' Whan he seyd so fumowsly, 'Who so ever sey that of me, he lyeth falsly in hise hede, &c.' And my Mayster Radclyff rode forthe with owt of towne to Dokkyng and Brumham, and with hym rode W. Y., sone to the justise. And yf the seyd Radclyff teld this to W. Y., I wote never. And yf he dede I merveyle sore. But and al go to al, as is like to go, I may not sey nay, but I trow I seyd so. Radclyf and ze bene grete frendes. I wold ze wold lat hym knowe the trowth, &c.
This mater mevyd the justisis wyf, and than he be gan hise mater more boldly, seying to me be fore the pryour and miche pepyl, that it was told hym the same day that I seyd, as for the brekyng, the justise began. 'Forsothe' seyd I, 'whan I came into the chambre there, the fyrst word I hard was this, that ze seyd to my mayster J. P., "Who that ever seyth so, I sey he lyeth falsly in hise hede," &c.' 'Ya,' quod the justise, 'ze schuld haf told what mevyd me to sey so to hym.' And I seyd I cowde not tellyn that I not herd, &c. Et Judex-- 'Ze schuld haf examyned the mater,' &c. And I seyd, 'Sire, it longyd not to me to examyne the mater, for I knew wele I schuld not be juge in the mater, and alonly to a juge it longyth to sene and stodyen illam Sacrae Scripturae clausulam, whiche holy Job seyd, _Causam quam nesciebam diligentissime investigabam_.'
And than, 'No,' seyth he hardyly, 'ze schal not be juge, but yf ze had owt me as good wil as ze dede and do to Paston, ze wold than have sergyd the cause of my gret greef, why I seyd as I seyd, &c. But I haf sey the day, ze lovyd me beter than hym, for he yaf zow never cause of love as I haf done,' &c. 'Sire,' I sey, 'he hath yovyn me cause swyche as I am behold to hym for,' &c. 'Ya,' seyth he, 'ze schal bere wytnesse, &c., and the other Mayster Clement and W. Schipdham.' Cui ego-- 'As for the wytnesse I schal bere, I schal say and writyn as I knowe,' &c. Cui ille-- 'I made hise testament,[211.1] and I knowe,' &c. Cui ego-- 'I saw nevir testament of your makyng; and as for on testament that he made, and I knowe bothe the writer and maker, after hise wyl and intent, ze stonde stille there in as ze dede than,' &c. Et tunc gavisus est, &c. Et ille-- 'I knowe ze haf a gret hert, &c., but I ensure zow, the Lordes above at London arn infoormyd of zow, and they schal delyn with zow wele anow.' Cui ego-- 'He or they that hafe infoormyd the Lordes wele of me, I am behold to hem; and yf they be otherwyse infoormyd, I schal do as wele as I may. But be myn trowthe I schal not be aferd to sey as I knowe for none Lord of this lond, if I may go saf and come, quod non credo, per Deum, propter evidencias multas,' &c. Tunc prior-- 'Domine, non expedit nec rationi seu verae conscientiae congruit, quod vos contendatis cum Magistro Paston, vel ipse vobiscum, pro bonis defuncti, quae solum sua et non vestra sunt. Miror valde,' inquit, 'cum prioribus temporibus tam magni fuistis amici, et non sic modo, quare valde doleo.' Cui Judex-- 'There is no man besy to bryng us to gyder, &c., so that I kan wele thynk it were lytil maysteri.' But in feyth I knowe wele the Juge, W. Wayte his mawment [_i.e._ puppet], hise boy Yimmys, with here hevedy and fumows langage, have and dayly do uttyr lewd and schrewd dalyauns, &c.
I sent zow bode of dyvers thinges be M. Roger Palle, and I haf no answer, &c. I schuld go to Castre, and a man of my Lordes Norfolk told here he came fro London, and there he had commonly voysid that the Duke of Norfolk schuld be the Kynges comaundement kepe hise Esterne at Castre for safe gard of the cuntre ayens Warwyk and other swich of the Kinges enmyes whiche may lytely be lyklynesse aryve at Waxham, &c. My mayster zour brother, J. P., ne ye, ne M. T. Howys, ne I may not esily be brokyd in the Jugys conscyens, &c. Sir Jon Tatirshales man spake with yow at London, and than ye seyd to hym to hafe comyn in your owne persone to our Lady or this tyme, whiche was cause of myn abidyng here, &c.
I schal, be the grace of Jesu, be at Castre on Soneday next, &c. W. W., J. B., junior, Colinus Gallicus, et T. Upton multum, ut suppono, fuerunt assidui ad informationem malam dandam dominis diversis hujus regni contra vestrum germanum J. P., M. T. Howes, me, etc.; sed confido in vobis quod vos confiditis in Christo Jesu et Sanctis omnibus, qui vos vestros et vestra dirigat in agendis. Recommendetis me, si placeat, Magistro meo Johanni P., uxori, et matri, cum filiis suis nepotibus vestris, et Thomae Playtere vestro dilecto amico. Et quare vobis jam scribo et non vestro germane J. P. alias scietis, etc.
Vester orator continuus,
F. J. B., Minorum minimus.
[Footnote 209.1: [From Paston MSS., B.M.] From what is said of the expectation of a descent of Warwick upon the coast, it appears that this letter was written in the spring of 1460.]
[Footnote 209.2: William Yelverton.]
[Footnote 209.3: Tier; a bitter drink or liquor.--Halliwell.]
[Footnote 209.4: Omission in MS.]
[Footnote 210.1: John, son of Sir Robert Conyers, knight, married Eleanor, daughter of William Yelverton, Justice of the King's Bench.--Blomefield, i. 483.]
[Footnote 210.2: Judge Yelverton's clerk, the writer of No. 142.
_See_ vol. ii. p. 174, Note 3.]
[Footnote 210.3: _See_ vol. ii. p. 110, Note 1.]
[Footnote 211.1: This seems to refer to the will of Sir John Fastolf, though he is not named.]
FRIAR BRACKLEY TO JOHN PASTON[213.1]
Jhesus Maria, &c.,--Reverende domine et prae omnibus mortalibus amantissime. Super omnia omnino oblivioni non tradenda faciatis ut W. P.[213.2] germanus cum sua ac vestra prudenti industria sagaciter et secrete informet H. Fylongley de W. W.[213.3] Hibernico ac Colino Gallico, qui suo malicioso proposito confederati sunt, adversusque dominum et magistrum suum militem defunctum et executores ejus ad dampnificandos eos et bona defuncti per ostensionem literarum secretarum olim dicto militi missarum, ex confidentia speciali, sicut solito more amicus amico solet scribere. Si haec enim proditoria condicio esset insinuata per H. Fylongley vel per me, forsan Domino Comite Wilschirie, idem fallax et deceptorius Colinus Gallicus non esset cum dicto comite tam magnus et intimus cum dicto domino, sicut credit se esse unum de suis secretioribus, vel cum Regina per laborem sui germani ad magistrum Ormond ut ipsum faciat introduci ad favorem et servicium Reginae. Si habueritis amicos circa Reginam, cito poteritis Colinum frustrare suo a proposito. Si W. P. vester germanus posset per subtilia media adquirere et adquiri facere casketum C. Gallici ac casketum W. W. Hibernici, audiretis et videretis aliqua non laude sed fraude plena, &c. Mitte sapientem et nihil ei dicas, &c. Prudenti viro pauca scribenda pro presenti propono quia scio vos ex paucis plura colligere et ex praeambulo plura concludere. Item, propheta clamat, 'Nolite confidere in verbum mendacii,'[213.4] &c., et secundum eundem prophetam, 'Non est confidendum super baculum arundineum confractum,'[213.5] &c., et est commune et vulgare dictum: 'A man schuld not trusty on a broke swerd, ne on a fool, ne on a chyld, ne on a dobyl man, ne on a drunke man,' &c., thow that he were an amewse and a notarye be W. W. Hibernicus he schal knowe al, and be hym Colyn and Spirlyng the same knowe schal, &c., Hoc ideo dicite W. P., Cavete, &c., quia, Deo teste, bona fide et conscia non ficta, haec suprascripta sunt in toto vera, &c. Feria secunda ad minus in prandio vos videbo, &c. Scriptum festinissime infra quarterium horae, praesentis latore nimis sponsalium causa festinante. Recommendo vos vestros et vestra Deo.
vester totus prius notus,
Frater J. B. Minorum minimus.
[Footnote 213.1: [Add. MS. 34,888, f. 161.] This letter is evidently holograph. The date might be at the very end of the year 1459, after the death of Fastolf and after the attainder of the Yorkists at Coventry; but is more probably in the early part of 1460, between January and May. Indeed, though the language is mysterious, its substance is probably not unconnected with that of the preceding letter.]
[Footnote 213.2: William Paston, son of the judge.]
[Footnote 213.3: The initials 'W. W.' suggest the name of William Worcester; but he was not an Irishman, and before this letter was discovered he was believed to be Brackley's 'Colinus Gallicus,' who, however, is here mentioned as a different person.]
[Footnote 213.4: Jerem. vii. 4.]
[Footnote 213.5: Referring apparently to Isaiah xxxvi. 6--not 'the same prophet.']
ANONYMOUS TO H. B. OF LINCOLN[214.1]
_To my good Maister, H. B. of Lincoln._