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[Footnote 247.2: [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 156.] This letter has no date, except that it was written on a Friday (_feria sexta_). It might, perhaps, be a little hazardous to date it Friday the 2nd January 1461, just after news of the defeat and death of the Duke of York reached Norfolk; but this date agrees well with the warning to John Paston to ride to London with all haste for his safety, which can hardly mean anything else than that the Lancastrian party, with their Norfolk supporters (several of whom, indeed, are expressly named here), were now sure to bear rule.]

[Footnote 248.1: Magistrum Thomam Howys.]

[Footnote 248.2: William Yelverton.]

[Footnote 248.3: A contraction perhaps meant for _quandam_ and blurred. If so, it should have been struck out altogether; for the words _a me primo_ (which are an insertion in the margin) make the sense definite.]

[Footnote 248.4: Jer. xvii. 18.]

[Footnote 248.5: Ps. liii. (liv.) 5.]

[[R. Botilere Matthaeo Gowh vel Johanne Lore _anomalous "ae" for "ae" unchanged_]]



_To hys rythe worchypfwll broder, John Paston._

[Sidenote: 1461 / JAN. 23]

Rythe reverent and worchypfwl broder, I recomawnde to yow, certyfyyng yow that yowr letter was delyveryd to me the xxiii. day of Januar abowthe none seasson, and Rychard Calle rode in the mornyng, and therfor I brak [_opened_] yowr letter, if ther wer any aftr mater; and I dede Christofer Hauswan goo to my Lord of Cawnterbure[249.2] to tell him, as yowr letter rehersyd, and my Lord seyd he hadde spokyn with yowr man ther of the day be fore, and if the Byshop of Norwyche wod not doo so mwche for him, he hys the les behold to him. Notwithstandyng, he sayd, he wold save yow harmles agens John Yowng; but and ye do well remember thys Lord have many maters to thynge on, and if it be forgeten, the harm is yowrs, and also if the word [_world_] torn, John Yong will not doo at hys prayer.

And my Lord Fitzwater[249.3] is ryden northewards, and it is sayd in my Lord of Cawnterberys howse that he hethe takyn ij^c. [200] of Andrew Troloppys[249.4] men. And as for Colt,[249.5] and Sir Jamys Strangwysse, and Sir Thomas Pykeryng, they be takyn or ellys dede. The comyn voysse is that they be de dede. Hopton[249.6] and Hastyngs[249.7] be with the Erle of Marche, and wer no at the fewlde.[249.8] Wat word that ever he have fro my Lords that be here, it is well doo, and best for yow, to see that the contre be allweys redy to come bothe fote men and hors men, qwen they be sent for; for I have herd seyde the ferthere Lords will be here soner that men wen, I have arde sayde, er iij. weks to an ende; and also that ye xwld come with more men, and clenlier arayed than anoder man of yowr cwntre xwld, for it ly the more up on yowr worchyp, and towcheythe yow more nere than odermen of that cwntre, and also ye be mor had in favor with my Lords here. In this cwntre every man is well wyllyng to goo with my Lords here, and I hope God xall helpe hem, for the pepill in the northe robbe and styll, and ben apoyntyd to pill all thys cwntre, and gyffe a way menys goods and lufflods in all the sowthe cwntre, and that wyll ask a myscheffe. My Lords that ben here have as moche as they may do to kep down all thys cwntre more than iiij. or v.

schers, for they wold be up on the men in northe, for it ys for the welle of all the sowthe.

I pray yow recomawnde me to my moder, and that I prayed her of her blyssyng. I pray yow exscwse me to her that I wryte her no letter, for thys was y now a doo. I dare not pray yow to recomawnde me to my swster yowr wyff, and the masenger I trow be so wysse he can not doyt. Ye mwst pay him for hys labor, for he taryd all nyt in thys town for thys letter.

Wrytyn the xxiij. day of Janware in haste, wan I was not well at hesse.

God have [you] in Hys keping.


Yowr broder.

[Footnote 249.1: [From Fenn, i. 202.] This letter appears to have been written after the battle of Wakefield, when the victorious army, led on by Margaret of Anjou, was marching southwards.]

[Footnote 249.2: Archbishop Bourchier.]

[Footnote 249.3: Sir John Radcliff of Attleborough, styled Lord Fitzwalter in right of his wife, only daughter and heiress of Walter Fitzwalter, seventh lord. This John was at the battle of Ferrybridge on the 29th March 1461, and died, probably of his wounds, on the 6th April following. --_See_ G. E. C.'s _Complete Peerage_.]

[Footnote 249.4: Andrew Trollope, whose desertion of the Duke of York at Ludlow in 1459 caused the dispersion of the Yorkist leaders. He was killed at the battle of Towton in March 1461, fighting on the Lancastrian side.]

[Footnote 249.5: Thomas Colt.--See _Rolls of Parliament_, v. 348.]

[Footnote 249.6: Walter Hopton.--See _Rolls of Parliament_, v. 368.]

[Footnote 249.7: William, son of Sir Leonard Hastings.--See _Rolls of Parliament_, _ib._]

[Footnote 249.8: The battle of Wakefield.]



_Amicabili magistro nostro, Johanni Paston, armigero._

[Sidenote: 1461 / JAN. 31]

Ful reverend and worshipful, after all dewe reverence and recommendacion, your pore Preste besecheth humble it plese your good maystirship to understande be this simple bylle that on the Friday next after the Feste of the Conversion of Seynt Poule laste paste I was at your place at Castre to a tolde yow what answer I hadde of Sir Thomas Howis, parson of Blofeld; and in as moche as ye wer not at hoom, I tolde it to my mastras your wyfe; and God thanke her of her jentilnes, she made me grete cher, and mor over a vysed me to sende yow a bille ther of to Lundon. This was his answer, whan I had talked to hym as I cowde in lyke wyse as ye averted me to do. He answered a geyn in these wordes, 'Nere is my kyrtyl, but nerre [_nearer_] is my smok.' And this was his menyng that ye schulde be mor ner us and tender to us than he, and that ye schulde rather owe us good wyl than he, and that we schulde labour rather to yowr maystirship than to hym; and also that good that he had to dispose he had be sette it, and of passel he tolde me he had delyvered the Abbot of Langele fourescor li., wher of, as he seyd to me, ye grutched and wer in maner displesed, not withstandyng ye seyd a geyn to hym ye shulde geve as moche. And he seyd to me ye named the places wher; and therfor he avysed me to labour effectualy to your good maystirship, for ye mych [_might_] helpe us[251.1] wele. For he seyd ye had moche good of the dede to dispose, what of your fader, God blisse that sowle, what of Berney, and what now of his good Mayster Fastolfe.

And as for Sir John Fastolfe, on hoose soule Jesu have mercy! he seyd to me ye had of his good four, four, and four mor than he in these same termes with owte ony summe.

And after all oder talkyngs he tolde me he shulde be with yow at Lundon hastyly, and that he wolde sey good worde to yow to releve our poor place. Sir, I beseche bethe not displesed, for truly and I woste to have your hevy maystership therfor, I had lever it had bene on thoght. And is this that whan Sir Thomas Howes and ye be saunne at Lundon, we myght be so in your good grace, that our place myght be broder to Langele, for that shulde glade us mor than the commission that the Bysshop of Norwich sente us on Thrusday laste paste to gader the dymes, for that is a shrewde labour for us, a grete coste and a shrewe juparde.

Over mor that hy and myghty celestial Prince preserve yow body and sowle, and sende yow coumforte of the Holy Goost wele to performe all your hertis desir in all your materes to his plesaunce, and your wurship, and solace to alle your welle wyllers.

Wretyn at Bromholm, on the Saturday next after the Feste of the Conversion of Seynt Poule laste paste.

From your Preste and Bedeman,


[Footnote 250.1: [From Fenn, iii. 404.] As executor to Sir John Fastolf, Paston must have taken possession of Caister soon after his death. The Duke of Norfolk, however, pretended a title to it, and, as we shall find hereafter, had dispossessed Paston by June 1461. This letter, dated on Saturday after the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, must therefore have been written in January 1461, as in 1460--the only other probable year--that feast (25th January) fell on Friday, and a letter written on Saturday after the feast would not have referred to the Friday after the same feast as a past date.]

[Footnote 251.1: _us._ The word is _no_ in Fenn's literal copy, which must be a misprint.]



_A Lettre to J. Paston, ar., from his wife._[252.2]

[Sidenote: 1461 / MARCH 1]

Please it you to wytte that it is lete me witte by on that owith you good wyll that there is leid awayte up on you in this cuntre, yf ye come here at large, to bryng you to the presence of syyche a Lord in the north as shall not be for your ease, but to jopardie of your lyf, or gret and importable losse of your goods. And he that hath take up on hym this enterprise now was undr-shireff to G. Sayntlowe. He hath gret favour herto by the meanes of the sone of William Baxter that lyth beryed in the Grey Freres; and, as it is reported, the seid sone hath geve gret sylver to the Lords in the north to bryng the matier a bowte, and now he and alle his olde felaweship put owt their fynnes, and arn ryght flygge and mery, hopyng alle thyng is and shalbe as they wole have it. Also it is tolde me that the fadr of the bastard in this cuntre seid that now shuld this shire be made sewir for hym and his heires hens forward, and for the Baxsteris heyres also, wherby I conceyve they thynke that they have none enemy but you, &c.

Wherfor like it you to be the more war of your gydyng for your persones saufgard, and also that ye be not to hasty to come in to this cuntre til ye here the world more sewer. I trowe the berar of this shall telle more by mowthe, as he shall be enfourmed of the rewell in this cuntre. God have yow in His kepyng.

Wretyn in hast, the secund Sunday of Lent by candel light at evyn.

By yours, &c.


[Footnote 252.1: [From Fenn, iii. 412.] 'This letter,' says Fenn, 'has no direction, and lest it should be opened, the paper which fastens the seal is, along the edge, marked with lines by a pen, which communicate with the latter (_qu._ with the _letter_?), by which means the receiver might easily have discovered any attempts to have opened it, as the lines would not then have exactly coincided again. On the back of it, but in a later hand, is written, "A lettre to J. Paston, ar., from his wife."'

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