[Footnote 266.2: [From Fenn, i. 216.] The date of this letter is sufficiently apparent from the contents.]
[Footnote 267.1: 4th April.]
[Footnote 267.2: The battle of Towton, fought on Palm Sunday, the 29th March 1461.]
[Footnote 267.3: 30th March.]
[Footnote 267.4: John Nevill, Lord Montague, brother of the Earl of Warwick.]
[Footnote 267.5: Sir John Bourchier, Lord Berners.]
THOMAS PLAYTERS TO MASTER JOHN PASTON[268.1]
_To my maister, John Paston, Esquyer._
[Sidenote: 1461 / APRIL 18]
Please your Maisterchep to wete, that I have spokyn with Essex, in the matter that ye wete of, and fynd him be his talkyng wel dysposed, not withstandyng he woll not falle to no conclusyon to engrose up the mater, tyll the chef baron[268.2] be com to London, and that he be mad privy to the mater, which we loke after this same secund Saterday[268.3] after Esterne; and as for Notyngham he is not yet comyn to London.
Item, as for tydyng, it is noysed and told for trouth of men of worchip, and other, that the Erle of Wylchyr is taken, Doctor Morton,[269.1] and Doctor Makerell, and be brougth to the kyng at York. Maister William also spak with a man that sey hem.
Item, sir, I herd of Sir John Borceter and Christofer Hanson, that Herry the sext is in a place in York schire is calle Coroumbr; suche a name it hath, or muche lyke. And there is sege leyde abowte, and dyvers squyers of the Erle of Northumbrelands, and gadered them to geder, a v. or vj.^ml. [_five or six thousand_] men, to byger [_bicker_] with the sege, that in the mene while Herry the sexte myght have ben stole a way at a lytyll posterne on the bak syde; at whiche byker ben slayn iij.^ml.
 men of the North. Sir Robert of Ocle and Conyrs leyth the sege on our syde, and thei it is that have do this acte. Sum say the Qwen, Somerset and the Prince schuld be there. Item, it is talked now for trouthe, the Erle of Northumberland is ded. Item, the Erle of Devenshire is ded justely.[269.2] Item, my Lord Chaunceler is to York. Item, the King and the Lords com not here before Whitsontyde, as it is sayde.
Item, sir, sone uppon the chef baron comyng I schall send you a lettre, with Godds grace, who preserve you, and have you in His blyssed kepyng.
At Cokermouthe was the Erle of Wylchire taken, and these other Doctors.
Item, som men talke Lord Wellys, Lord Wyllouby, and Skales ben on lyve.
Item, Sir Robert Veer is slayn in Cornewayll, as it is tok for trouthe.
[Footnote 268.1: [From Fenn, i. 222.] This letter relates mainly to occurrences just after the battle of Towton in April 1461.]
[Footnote 268.2: Peter Arderne.]
[Footnote 268.3: 18th April in 1461.]
[Footnote 269.1: Afterwards Cardinal, the Minister of Henry VII.]
[Footnote 269.2: He was beheaded at York after the battle of Towton.]
THOMAS PLAYTERS TO JOHN PASTON[270.1]
_To my rigth reverent and worchipfull John Paston, Esquyer, or to my maytres his wyf._
[Sidenote: 1461 / MAY]
After my most special recommendacion, lyke your maisterchip wete that the mater for you and my maistrez, your moder, ayens Powtrell and Tanfeld hath ben called uppon as dylygently and as hastely this terme as it mygth be; and al way dayes yeven hem by the Court to answer, and than thei toke smale excepcions, and trifeled forth the Court, and al wey excused them by cause the bylle is long, and his councell had no leysur to se it. And they prayed heryng of the testament of my maister your fader,[270.2] and therof made a nother mater, and argued it to putte hem fro it, be cause they had emparled to us by fore; and than Hyllyngworth to dryve it over this terme, allegged varians be twyx the bille and the testament that John Damme was named in the testament John Dawme, in whiche cas now the Court must have sigth of the said testament. Where fore ye must send it up the begynnyng of the next terme, or elles we schall have no sped in the mater. And therfor, Maistres, if my maister be not cum hom, and ye have not the sayd testament in your kepyng, that than it plese you to speke un to my maistres, your moder in lawe,[270.3]
for the seyd testament, that I mygth redely have it here, and that it be sealed in a box, and sent to me, and I schall kepe it safe, with Godds grace.
And as for tytyngs, in good feyth we have non, seve the Erle of Wylchir[271.1] is hed is sette on London Brigge.
Mayster William is reden hom to my Maistrs Ponyngs; and as for Maister Ponyngs hymself, sche letteth as thow sche wyst not where he were.
A gentylman that kam fro York told me my maister was heyl and mery, and rode to mete the Kyng comyng fro Mydlam Castell.
Berwyk[271.2] is full of Scottys, and we loke be lyklyhod after anoyther batayll now be twyx Skotts and us.
And I pray Jesu have you in His blyssed kepyng.
[Footnote 270.1: [From Fenn, iv. 2.] The reference to the Earl of Wiltshire's head having been set on London Bridge shows this letter to have been written not very long after the battle of Towton. The exact date is probably about the beginning of May, as it appears, by the Privy Seal dates in the Record Office, that Edward IV. was at Middleham on the 6th of that month on his way southwards, having gone on to Durham and Newcastle after the victory.]
[Footnote 270.2: William Paston, the Judge, who died in 1444.]
[Footnote 270.3: Agnes Paston, the widow of the Judge.]
[Footnote 271.1: James Butler, Earl of Wiltshire and Ormond.]
[Footnote 271.2: Henry VI. and his Queen after the battle escaped to Berwick, and from thence retired to Edinburgh.--F.]
JOHN SMYTH TO JOHN PASTON, SENIOR[271.3]
_To hys worschepfull mayster, John Paston the Eldest, Esquier._
[Sidenote: 1461 / MAY 10]
Ryght worschepfull and my synguler mayster, I recomaunde me to you. If it plese your maysterschepe to wete, the cause of my wryghtyng is thys.
I have understande be comunyng with othyr credybell men that many and the more part of the feffeys of the landys late Sir John Fastolf, and also thei that pretende to ben executores of the seyd Sir John, purpose them to sell to my Lord of Suffolk, thow he recuver not be tayle, or to othyr myghty lordys, a gret part of the landys of the seyd Sir John, to the entent that ye schal not have them; upon wech sale thei wole make astate and entre and put you to your accion, and thow ye recuver in the lawe, as I am enformyd, ye schall recuver of hard and but a part, the qwech schuld be dere of the sute. Qwer it semyth to me, yt wer necessarye to you to se remedy for thys mater, and eyther putt it in award or elles that my Lord of Wa[rwick], the qwech is your good Lord, may meve that the Kyng, or hym sylf, or my Lord Chawmbyrleyn or sum othyr wytty me[n], may take a rewle betwexe you and your adversaryes; for yf ye may not holde the forseyd landys ther schal growe [great]
losse bothe to the dede and to you, and men schal putt you in defawte therof; your frendys schal be sory. It is [better to] bere a lyttell losse than a gret rebuke. Your mater hangyth longe in the audyens. Yf ye hadde ther your entent your ad[versaries should] cese the rather.
I beleve veryly yf ye do your part to have pees, God of Hys gret grace schal graunte it to you, the q[wech give] you the speryte of wysdam to gyde you on to Hys pleser. Amen.
We desyre to se your maysterschep in Norffolk; your pr[esens] there be necessarye.
From Norwych the x. day of May.