[Footnote 271.3: [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter was evidently written in the beginning of Edward IV.'s reign; and as it appears by No. 458 that Paston had already been dispossessed of Caister, not indeed by the Duke of Suffolk, but by the Duke of Norfolk, as early as the 5th June 1461, we may presume that this letter, dated in May, belongs to that year. The margin of the letter is slightly mutilated, but the words which are lost are obvious, and have been supplied in brackets.]
THOMAS DENYES TO JOHN PASTON[272.1]
_To my maister Paston._
I lowly recomaund me to your maistership, thankyng you as a pouer man may do his maister for soccuryng my wyf, which I wete wele is wo begone; praying you for love of our Lord Jhesu Criste to take no displesir though I not sent ne wrote to you herbeforn in this troble that I haf.
For parde ye may conceyve that I was besy j nogh to shifft my self til now. Truly the noise cam sodeynly and I was withynne the walles of your Cite, God sauf the governour therof, for he was besy to trappe me, more besy than he wole be a know, _et per fenestram in sporta dimissus sum per murum, et sic effugi manus ejus_; but he shal abye, by God, if I lyf, for serchyng myn house. And, Sir, as for the fals noise, sauf your reverence, that he leyth on me and on tweyn servauntz of myn, he lyeth falsly, your reverence savid; for I may haf an C. persones notable and thrifty, whan tyme comyth, that wole prove and make good by every meane, that my servauntz, which he nameth, wer that same our at Brisle which is thens more than xvj. myle, and that the same our and the same day and a greet space bothe beforn and afftir. But ever I besech your maistership of contynuaunce, and that ye like to do my wif help and comfort in hir dissese; for if she wer not, God knowith, I shuld soone shyfft. And truly I haf no thought ne sorwe but for hir. Wherfore I beseche you lowly for His love that all socourith and susteyneth to be good maister and comfort to her. It shal not be long to but that I shall send to hir to labour hir to other place, as for ony thyng touchyng me ellis but that. I pray you also, if the boy that is hurt dey, to meve your tenauntz in that hundrid wher he was bete to do for me and myn; ellis can I not desire ne write at this tyme for lak of remembraunce, for I am not yet myn own man. Besechyng yow alwey of good maistership, for Almyghty God knowith that the mater was falsly begunne on me and usurie it is and acursid, so wold our Lord I never had knowyn it; but sith I delid therwith I myght never reche it to handle the mater to trouth or reson. Wherfore I am compellid to do therwith unresonably. But, gentill Sir, socour my wif, and be not displesid with me, and than shal I do wele with Goddis mercy, Who Almyghty preserve yow for His mercy. Wretyn onavised, &c.
I pray you socour my wif, for she is wedow yet for me, and shal be til more is done, sith I se that neyther plee, trety ne werre may make my peas; for I leve hir undir your proteccion til I write to hir to go thens, which shal be hastily, I suppose, praying you to be alwey hir good maister, for I purpose not to se hir of a while, though she remeve.
Wrete with sorwfull hert, &c.
[Footnote 272.1: [Add. MS. 34,888, f. 175.] The date of this letter is probably a little earlier than that of the next (No. 455).]
THOMAS DENYES TO JOHN PASTON[274.1]
_To my Maister Paston._
[Sidenote: 1461 / MAY]
Right wurshipfull and myn especiall good maister, I recomaund me to yow with all my service, besechyng you hertily, at the reverence of God, to helpe me now in the grettest extremite that I cam at sith my greet trobil with Ingham.[274.2] It is not oute of your remembraunce how Twyer in Norff[olk] vexith me bothe by noise and serchyng myn house for me, so that theer I can not be in quyete; and all that, I am verily acerteyned, is by Heydens crafft. And heer in the Kyngs house annenst Howard,[274.3]
wher I had hopid to a' relevid myself, I am supplanted and cast oute from hym by a clamour of all his servaunts at onys, and ne wer oonly that his disposicion acordyth not to my pouer conceyte, which maketh me to gif lesse force, be cause I desire not to dele ther [_where_] bribery is like to be usid, ellis by my trouth this unhappy unkyndenes wold I trow a' killed me. I pray yow, at the reverence of Jesu Criste, to enfourme my Lord of Warwyk of me. Parde I haf do hym service; I was with hym at Northampton, that all men knew; and now agayn at Seynt Albones, that knowth James Ratcliff; and ther lost I xx_li._ wurth horse, herneys, and mony, and was hurte in diverse places. I pray yow to gete me his good Lordship, and that I may be toward hym in Norffolk in his Courts holdyng, or ellis, if ony thyng he haf to do; and that ye wole gete me a letter to Twyer to late me to sit in rest. For now if I made any felaship agayn Twyer, I can haf no colour now the Shirref and I be oute, so I must kepe me aparte, which I am lothe to do, be God, if I myght better do.
I besech yow to send me your intent by the next man that come from yow.
I shuld a' come to zow, but, so help me God, my purs may no ferther. The Holy Trinite preserve yow.
Wretyn hastily at York, &c.
Your to his power,
[Footnote 274.1: [From Fenn, iv. 10.] The writer of this letter speaks of having served with the Earl of Warwick at the battle of Northampton in July 1460, and again at the second battle of St. Albans in February 1461. We know from later letters that he was murdered in the beginning of July following. As he dates from York, and speaks of being 'here in the King's house,' the date would appear to be about the 10th of May, on which day we find by the dates of the Privy Seals that Edward IV. was at York.]
[Footnote 274.2: _See_ vol. ii. Nos. 238, 239.]
[Footnote 274.3: Sir John Howard, who was sheriff of Norfolk this year.]
THE EARL OF OXFORD TO JOHN PASTON[275.1]
_To owre right trusty and welbeloved John Paston._
TH'ERL OF OXENFORD.
[Sidenote: 1461 / MAY 31]
Right trusty and welbeloved, we grete yow well, and pray yow, as oure trust is in yow, that if ye or any of yowre men here that Howard purposith hym to make any aray at owre manor of Wynche, that ye woll lete John Keche, owre kepere ther of, haue wetyng by tymes, for and he have warnyng he will kepe it in to the tyme that we come thedir, with the grace of God, wiche have yow in His kepyng. Wretyn in owre manor of Wyvynho the last day of May.
[Footnote 275.1: [Douce MS. 393, f. 85.] The date of this letter may, with great probability, be attributed to the year 1461. It certainly cannot be later, as the writer was executed for high treason in February 1462. He was found to have been corresponding with Margaret of Anjou for the restoration of Henry VI., but the discovery must have been much later than May 1461. Sir John Howard, who, for his services to the House of York, was afterwards made Duke of Norfolk, appears to have had great influence just after the accession of Edward IV., which he used in a very overbearing manner; and we have already seen, by the last letter, that the Earl of Oxford's servant, Thomas Denyes, was at this very time suffering much persecution at his hands.]
THOMAS PLAYTER TO JOHN PASTON[276.1]
_To my right good maister, John Paston, in all hast._
After my most special recommendacion, please your maisterchip wete, the Kyng, be cause of the sege a boute Carelylle, chaunged his day of Coronacion to be upon the Sunday[276.2] nexst after Seynt John Baptyste, so the'ntent to spede hym northward in all hast; and how be it, blyssed be God, that he hath now good tydynggs, that Lord Mountagu hath broken the sege, and slayn of Scotts vj.^ml.  and ij. knyghes, whereof Lord Cliffords brother is one, yet not wythstandyng he wol be crowned the sayd Sunday. And John Jeney enformed me, and as I have verely lerned sethen, ye ar inbylled to be made knygth at this Coronacion.[276.3]
Wheder ye have understandyng before hand, I wot not; but and it lyke you to take the worchip uppon you, consyderyng the comfortable tytynggs afore seyd, and for the gladnesse and plesour of al your welwyllers, and to the pyne and dyscomfort of all your ille wyllers, it were tyme your gere necessarye on that by halfe were purveyd fore, and also ye had nede higth you to London, for as I conceyve the knygthes schuld be made uppon the Saterday by for the Coronacion; and as moche as may be purveyed for you in secrete wyse wythouten cost I schall by speke for you, if nede be, ayens your comyng, in trust of the best; neverthelesse, if ye be dysposed, ye had nede send a man by fore in all hast, that no thing be to seke. William Calthorp is inbylled, and Yelvertoun is inbylled, whiche caused Markham; because Yelverton loked to have ben chef juge, and Markham thynketh to plese hym thus. And as for the mater ayens Poutrell, we can no farther procede, tyl we have my maister your faders testament. I sent my maistres a letter for it. No more, but I pray Al myghty Jesu have you in His kepyng.
[Footnote 276.1: [From Fenn, i. 230.] It is evident from the contents that this letter was written some time before the coronation of Edward IV.]
[Footnote 276.2: 28th June.]
[Footnote 276.3: John Paston was not made knight at the coronation of Edward IV., but his eldest son was made knight, probably as a substitute for himself, within two years after.]
RICHARD CALLE TO JOHN PASTON[277.1]
_To my right reverent worschipfull master, my Master John Paston._