JOHN PASTON TO MARGARET PASTON[296.3]
_To my mastres Paston and Richard Calle._
[Sidenote: 1461 / AUG. 1]
First, that Richard Calle fynde the meane that a distresse may be taken of such bestes as occupie the ground at Stratton, and that cleyme and contynuauns be made of my possession in any wise, and that thei be not suffrid to occupie withowt thei compoune with me; and that aftir the distresse taken the undirshreve be spoke with all that he make no replevyn with out agrement or apoyntement taken, that the right of the lond may be undirstand.
ij. Item, I here sey the peple is disposed to be at the shire at Norwich on Sen Lauerauns Day for th'affermyng of that thei have do afore, wherof I hold me wele content if thei do it of her owne disposicion, but I woll not be the cause of the labour of hem, ner bere no cost of hem at this tyme, for be the lawe I am suer befor, but I am wel a payed it shall be on han halyday for lettyng of the peples werk. I undirstand ther shall be labour for a coroner that day, for ther is labour made to me for my good wyll here, and I wyll nothyng graunt withowt the under shreves assent, for he and I thought that Richard Bloumvyle were good to that occupacion. Item, ye shall undirstand that the undirshreve was some what flekeryng whill he was here, for he informyd the Kyng that the last eleccion was not peasibill, but the peple was jakkyd and saletted, and riottously disposid, and put hym in fere of his lyfe. Wherefore I gate of hym the writte whech I send yow herwith, to that entent, thow any fals shrewe wold labour, he shuld not be sure of the writ, and therfore ye most se that the undirshreve have the writ at the day, in case the peple be gadered, and thanne lete th'endentures be made up or er they departe.
iij. Item, that ye remembyr Thomas Denys wyfe that her husbond had divers billes of extorcion don be Heydon and other, whech that he told me that his seid wyfe beryid whan the rumour was, so that thei were ny roten. Bidde her loke hem up and take hem yow.
iiij. Item, as for the seyd distreynyng at Stratton, I wold that Dawbeney and Thomas Bon shuld knowe the closes and the ground, that thei myght attende ther to, that Richard were not lettyd of other occupacions, and I wold this were do as sone as is possibill, or I come home. Notwithstandyng, I trowe I shall come home or the shire, but I woll nat it be knowe till the same day, for I will not come there with owt I be sent fore be the peple to Heylisdonne. Notwithstandyng, and the peple were wele avertised at that day, they shuld be the more redy to shewe the oribyll extorcions and briberys that hath be do upon hem to the Kyng at his comyng, desyring hym that he shuld not have in favor the seyd extorcioners, but compelle hem to make amendes and sethe [_satisfaction_] to the pore peple.
v. Item, that Berney and Richard Wright geve suche folkys warnyng as wyll compleyne to be redy with her billes if thei list to have any remedy.
vj. Item, that the maters ayens Sir Miles Stapilton may at Aylesham be remembyrd.
vij. Also if ye can be any craft get a copy of the bille that Sir Miles Stapilton hath of the corte rolles of Gemyngham, that ye fayle not, but assay and do yowr devyr, for that shuld preve some men shamefully fals.
Master Brakle seyd he shuld a get oon of Freston. I wold he shuld assay, or ellys peraventure Skypwith, or ellys Master Sloley; for if Stapilton were boren in hande that he shuld be founde fals and ontrewe, and first founder of that mater, he wold bothe shewe the bille and where he had it.[298.1]
viij. Item, I wold the prestis of Caster were content for Midsomer term.
ix. Item, ther is a whith box with evidens of Stratton, in on of the canvas baggis in the gret cofir, or in the spruse chest. Ric. Calle knowith it well, and ther is a ded of feffement and a letter of atorne mad of the seyd londs in Stratton to John Damm, W. Lomner, Ric. Calle, and John Russe. I wold a new dede and letter of atorne were mad owth theroff be the feffees of the same laund to Thome Grene,[298.2] Thome Playter, the parson of Heylisdon, Jacobo Gloys, klerke,[298.3] Johanni Pamping, and that the ded bere date nowh, and that it be selid at the next shire; for than I suppose the seyd feffes will be ther if it may not be don er that tyme. I wold have the seyd dedis leyd in a box, both old and new, and left secretly at Ric. Thornis hows at Stratton, that whan I com homwar I mygh fynd it ther, and mak seson [_seisin_] and stat to be take whil I wer ther. Wret at London on Lammes Day.
[Footnote 296.3: [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter is printed from a draft which is partly in John Paston's own hand. The contents clearly refer to, first, the Norfolk election of 1461, which it was proposed to confirm by a new meeting of the electors at the shire-house; and secondly, the necessity of electing a new coroner after the murder of Thomas Denys. The date is therefore certain.]
[Footnote 298.1: Between this and the next paragraph is the following sentence crossed out:-- 'Item, I send yow a writ direct to the Meyer and Shreves of Norwich for to receyve of hem an C. [_hundred_] mark yerly for suche jowellys as the Kyng hath of me.']
[Footnote 298.2: This name is substituted for three others crossed out, viz. 'John Grenefeld, Thomas Playter, Water Wrottisle, Squyer.']
[Footnote 298.3: Here occurs the name, 'Christofere Grenacre,'
JOHN RUSSE TO JOHN PASTON[299.1]
_To my right worshypfull and reverent maistyr, John Paston, at Norwich._
[Sidenote: 1461 / AUG. 23]
Ryght worshypfull sir, and my right honourable maister, I recomaunde me louly to you. And plese youre maistirshyp to wete that my Maister Clement, youre brothyr, and Plater, wrot a letter to my mayster yore sone[299.2] yistirday, the tenure of whych was how ye were entretyd there. And as ye desyred me, so I enformyd hem the mater along, for they wist not of it til I told hem; and they wrete the more pleynerly inasmych as a worshypfull man rood the same day, and bare the letter to my seyd maister youre sone.
The Lord Bourgcher is with the Kynge, and my Lord Warwyk still in the North, &c.
Item, sir, thys day cam on John Waynflet from the Kyng streyt weye, and he is of myn aqueyntaunce; and he teld me there was no voyse nor spekyng aboute the Kyng of that mater; and I teld hym all the mater along hou ye were intretyd, whych he wyll put in remembraunce in ony place that he cometh in in Suffolk or Esex as he goth homward, for he owyth no good wil to youre adversary. And the seyd Waynflet teld me that he knowyth for serteyn that the Kyng cometh not to Northefolk til he hathe been upon the Marchys of Walys, and so there is no serteynte of hyse comyng thys many dayez. He teld me he lefte the Kyng with a smal felashyp aboute hym.
And I enqueryd hym of the gyding of my maystyr yore sone, whiche he comendyd gretly, and seyd that he stood well inconseyt, and dayly shuld increse; and he was well in acqueyntaunce and be lovyd with jentilmen aboute the Kyng. But he seyd ther shal no thyng hurte hym but youre streytnesse of mony to hym, for withoute he have mony in hyse purse, so as he may resonably spende among hem, ellys they wyll not sette by hem; and there be jentilmen sones of lesse reputacion that hath mony more lyberal x. tymez than he hath, and soo in that they seyd Waynflet seyd it were full necessary for you to remembre, &c.
As for tydyngs here bee noon newe, &c. I truste I shal brynge you a letter from my mayster your sone, or thanne I come, for whych I shal rather thanne fayle abyde on day the lenger. And Jesu have you, my right honourable maister, in Hyse mercyfull governaunce, and preserve you from adversyte. Wretyn at London, on Seynt Bertylmewys Evyn.
I can speke with noo man but that thynke the gydyng of youre adversary hath been in many causez ryght straunce, and as it is soposyd that he shal undyrstonde at the Parlament; but for Gods sake have men inow aboute yow, for ye undyrstonde is on manerly dysposecion.
Your bedeman and servaunt,
[Footnote 299.1: [From Fenn, iv. 42.] Edward IV. went into the Marches of Wales, as mentioned in this letter, in the autumn of 1461. He was at Gloucester on the 11th September, and at Ludlow on the 21st, as appears by the dates of his privy seals. The matter mentioned in the postscript is doubtless Howard's contention with Paston in the shire-house at Norwich, to which allusion is made in the letter following.]
[Footnote 299.2: John Paston, the eldest son.]
JOHN PASTON, THE ELDEST SON, TO HIS FATHER[301.1]
_To my rythg reverent and worchypfoll fader, John Paston, Esquyer, dwellyng in Heylysdon, be thys letter delyvered in haste._
[Sidenote: 1461 / AUG. 23]
Most reverent and worschepfull fadyr, I rekomawnd me hertyly, and submytt me lowlely to your good faderhood, besechyng yow for cheryte of yowr dayly blyssyng. I beseche yow to hold me ascewsyd that I sente to yowe none erste no wrythgtyng, for I kowd not spede to myn intent the maters that ye sent to me for. I have laboryd dayly my Lord of Essexe, Treserer of Ynglond, to have mevyd the Kyng bothe of the maner [of]
Deddham and of the byll copye of the Corte Roll, everye mornyng ore he went to the Kyng, and often tymys inqueryd of hym and he had mevyd the Kyng in these matyers. He answeryd me naye, seyyng it was no tyme, and seyd he wold it war osse fayne spedd os I myselfe, offed tymys de layding me that in trouthe I thowt to have send yowe word that I felyd by hym that he was not wyllyng to meve the Kyng ther in. Neverthe lesse I lawberyd to hym contynually, and prayed Barronners hys man to remembyr hym of it. I told offten tyms to my seyd Lord that I had a man teryyn in town, that I schuld a sente to yow for othyr sundry maters, and he teryid for no thyng but that I mythg send yowe by hym an answer of the seyd matyers; othyr tyms besechyng hym to spede me in theys matyers for thys cawse, that ye schulde thynke no defawte in me for remembryng in the seyd maters.
And nowe of late, I, rememberyng hym of the same mater, inqueryd if he had mevyd the Kyngs Hythgnes therin; and he answeryd me that he hadde felte and mevyd the Kyng ther in, rehersyng the Kyngys answer therin; how that, when he had mevyd the Kyng in the seyd maner of Dedham, besechyng hym to be yowr good Lord ther in, konsyderyng the servyse and trewe part that ye have done, and owthg to hym, and in espesyal the rygth that ye have therto, he seyd he wold be your good Lord therin as he wold be to the porest man in Inglond. He wold hold with yowe in yowr rygth; and as for favor, he wyll nogth be under stand that he schal schewe favor mor to one man then to anothyr, nowgth to on in Inglond.
And as for the bille copyd of the Cort Rolle, when he mevyd to him of it, he smylyd and seyd that suche a bylle ther was, seyyng that ye wold an oppressyd sundreys of yowr contremen of worchypfull men, and the for he kepyd it styll. Never the lesse he seyd he schuld loke it uppe in haste, and he schuld have it.
Baronners undertoke to me twyes ore thryes that he schuld so a'
remembred hys lord and master,[302.1] that I schuld au had it with inne ij. or iij. dayes. He is often tyms absent, and therfor I have it nowthg yyt; when I kan gete it, I schall send it yowe, and of the Kyngs mowth, hys name that take it hym.
I scend you home Pekok a geyn. He is not for me. God send grace that he may do yow good servyse, that be extymacion is not lykelye. Ye schall have knowleche aftyrward how he hathe demenyd hym her with me. I wold, savyng yowr dysplesure, that ye were delyvered of hym, for he schalle never do yow profyte ner worchyp.
I suppose ye understand that the monye that I hadde of yowe att Londun maye not indur with me tyll that the Kyng goo in to Walys an kome ageyn, for I under stand it schall be long or he kome ageyn. Wher for I have sent to Londun to myn onkyl Clement to gete an C_s._ of Christofyr Hansom yowr servaunt, and sene [_send_] it me be my seyd servaunt, and myn herneys with it, whyche I lefte at Lundun to make klene.
I beseche yowe not to be dysplesyd with it, for I kowd make non othyr cheysaunce [_arrangement_] but I schuld a boruyed it of a strange man, sum of my felawys, who I suppose schold not lyke yowe, and ye herd of it a nothyr tyme. I ame in suerte wher as I schall have a nothyr maun in the stede of Pekoke.
My Lord of Estsexe seythe he wyll do as myche for yowe as for any esquyer in Inglond, and Beronners hys man telht me, seyy[n]g, 'Yowr fadyr is myche be holdyng to my Lord, for he lovyth hym well.' Bernners mevyd me ons, and seyd that ye must nedys do sum wate for my Lord and hys, and I seyd I wost well that ye wold do for hym that laye in yowre powar. And he seyd that ther was a lytyl mony be twyxe yowe and a jantylman of Estsexe, callyd Dyrward, seyyng that ther is as myche be wern [_between_] my seyd Lord and the seyd jantylman, of the wyche mony he desieryth yowr part.
It is talkyd here how that ye and Howard schuld a' strevyn togueder on the scher daye, and on of Howards men schuld a' strekyn yow twyess with a dagere, and soo ye schuld a ben hurt but for a good dobelet that ye hadde on at that tyme. Blyssyd be God that ye hadde it on. No mor I wryth to yower good faderhod at thys tym, but All myghty God have yowe in Hys kepyng, and sende yowe vyttorye of yowr elmyes [_enemies_], and worschyp in cressyng to yowr lyvys end yn. Wrytyn at Lewys, on Seynt Bertylmwes Eve.
Be yowr servaunt and elder sone,
[Footnote 301.1: [From Fenn, iv. 46.] Allusion is made in this letter, as in the last, to Edward IV.'s going into Wales in 1461. The writer appears to have been with the King, and expecting to accompany him on the journey. Edward was at Battle on the 21st August 1461, according to the dates of his privy seals.]