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_To his right reverent and worshipfull broder, John Paston, Esquier, be this delivered in great haste._

[Sidenote: 1461 / OCT. 11]

Brother, I recommende me to you. After all dewe recommendacions, &c.

Sir, it was tolde me by rythe a worshipfull man that loveth you rythe well, and ye him, and ye sall knowe his name hereafter, but put all things out of doubt he is such a man as will not lye: on the xj^th day of October the Kinge said, 'We have sent two privy sealys to Paston by two yeomen of our chamber, and he disobeyeth them; but we will send him anoder tomorrowe, and by Gods mercye, and if he come not then he sall dye for it. We will make all oder men beware by him how they sall disobey our writinge. A servant of our hath made a complainte of him.

I cannot thinke that he hath informed us all truely, yet not for that, we will not suffer him to disobey our writinge; but sithen he disobeyeth our writinge, we may beleve the better his gydinge is as we be informed.' And therwith he made a great avowe that if he [_ye_] come not at the third commandement ye xulde dye therefore. This man that told me this is as well learned a man as any is in England; and the same xj^th day of October, he advised me to send a man to yow in all the hast that might be to lett yow have knowlache, and that ye xulde not lett for none excuse, but that ye xulde make the man good cheere and come as hastily ye might to the Kinge, for he understandeth so much that the King will keep his promise. Notwithstanding, by mine advice, if ye have his letter or the messenger come to you, come to the Kinge wards or ye meet with him, and when ye come ye must be suer of a great excuse. Also if ye doe well, come right stronge, for Howards wife made her bost that if any of her husbands men might come to yow ther yulde goe noe penny for your life; and Howard hath with the Kinge a great fellowship.

This letter was written the same day that the Kinge said these words, and the same day that it was told me, and that day was the xj^th day of October as abovesaid; and on the next morning send I forth a man to yow with this letter, and on the same day send the Kinge the third privye seale to you. Also he that tolde me this seid that it were better for yow to come up than to be fotte out of your house with streingth, and to abide the Kings judgement therin, for he will take your contumacy to great displeasure. Also, as I understand, the Duke of Norffolk hath made a great complaint of yow to the King, and my Lord of Suffolk[314.1] and Howard and Wyngfelde helpe well to every day and call upon the King against yow. The Kinge is at this day at Grenewich, and ther will be still till the Parliament beginne. Some say he will goe to Walsingham, but Mr. Sotyll seid in the aulle in the Temple that he harde no worde of any such pilgrimage. No more, &c. Written the xj^th day of October at midnight.

My nevew John tolde me also that he supposed ther were out proclamacions against yow, &c. the same day.


your broder.

[Footnote 313.1: This letter is reprinted from the _Norfolk Archaeology_, vol. iv. p. 26, where it is edited from a transcript contained in a MS. genealogy of the Paston family drawn up by Sandford, author of the _Genealogical History of England_. The references to Howard's animosity against Paston, and to an approaching Parliament, prove clearly that this letter is of the year 1461.]

[Footnote 314.1: John de la Pole, son and heir of William, Duke of Suffolk, who was attainted in 1450, was not restored to the Dukedom till the 23rd of March 1463; but being in favour at court, and having married Edward IV.'s sister, he seems even at this time to have been popularly called 'my Lord of Suffolk.']



_To my ryght reverent and wurschipfull maystre, my mastre John Paston._

[Sidenote: 1461 / OCT. 13]

Plesith it your maystreschip to witte that Mr. John and I, with other mo, have ben at Cotton on Friday[315.2] last passed, and there Jenney had do warned the corte there to be the same Friday, and he was at Eye at the cescions the Thorsday before; and on the Friday in the mornynge he was comyng to Cotton to hoolde the corte there. And it fortuned we had entred the place or he come; and he herd therof and turned bac a yein to Oxon[315.3] to my Lorde of Norwiche, and there dyned with hym.

And my Lorde sent Mr. John Colleman to Cotton Halle to speke with you; and at hes comyng he undrestode ye were not there, and if ye had, my Lorde desired you to come and spoken with hym, and that my Lorde desired to put your matre in a trety; in so moche that Mr. John Colleman tolde to my master, John Paston, that diverse of your elmees [_enemies_] had labored to my Lorde to have a trety if he cowde brynge it aboute, &c.

And as for the tenaunts they wolde not come at the place on to the tyme that I sent for hem, for they sey pleynly they woll not have a do with hem; and so the corte whas holden in your name, and the tenaunts ryght weele plesed ther of, excepte Thurnberne and Agas, and as for any socour, they have there ryght noone at all. And so Mr. John whas ther Friday all day and Saterday tyll none; and than he toke hes horse with xxx. men with hym and rode to Jeney place, and toke there xxxvj. heede of nete, and brought hem in to Norfolk; and so whas I left still at Cotton with xij. men with me, be cauce they reporte and we abode there ij. dayes we schulde be pult out be the heeds. And so we a mode [?

_abode_] there v. dayes and kepte the place, and I walked aboute all the lordeschippes and spake with all the fermours and tennaunts that longen to the maner to undrestande her disposessyon and to receyve money of hem; and I fynde [them] ryght weele disposed to you. And be cauce the corte whas warned in ther name and not in youre, therfore they purvey no money; but they have promysed me to pay no money to no man but to you, so that ye woll safe hem harmeles; and I told hem ye wold safe hem harmeles. They have apoynted with me to make redy her money withinne a fornyght aftre Halowemesse, &c. I have receyved of the tenaunts that I undrestod out [_owed_] you werst wyll viij. marc, &c. And as for Edward Dalys money it is redy, so that your maistreschip woll se that he be not hurt be hes obligacion. Ferthermore, plesit your maistreschip to sende worde if they entre into the maner ayein, how we schall be rwled and gidyd; for the tenaunts fere hem they wol entre whan we be gon, and than wol they distreyne the tenaunts, for they sey there that my Lorde of Cauntyrbury and other Lords woll relese to hem, notwithstandyng that I have enformed hem other wice; wherfore, savyng your better advice, me semethe it were ryght weele doo that ye had a letter of my Lorde of Cauntirbury, and other to the tenaunts of Cotton that it is her wyll and entent that ye schulde have the rwle and gouernaunce, and receyve the money of that maner, and other that were Sir John Fastolff, on whom God have mercy, for I dought not and suche a lettre came downe to the tenaunts there schulde no man sey nay to it. Besechyng your maystreschyp to have an answere of how we schall be gided and rwled, &c. Item, to sende worde howe we schall doo with the geere that wee toke out at the Wyght Freris, wether it schall be sent to you or nought. And Jesu preserve you. Wreten at Norwiche upon Sein Edwards Day.

Be your servaunt and bedman,


_Endorsed in a hand nearly contemporaneous:_ 'Litter' sirca anno (_sic_) E. 4 iij. vel iiij^{o.}'

[Footnote 315.1: [From Paston MSS., B.M.] On comparing this letter with No. 481, no one will doubt that both were written in the same year.]

[Footnote 315.2: 9th October.]

[Footnote 315.3: Hoxne.]


_footnote tag missing_]]



_To my Master Paston, the elder, be thys letter delyveryd in hast._

[Sidenote: 1461 / OCT.]

Ryght wurchypful sir, I recommend me to zour good masterchyp. The cause qwy I wryth I let zour have knowlech of the mene that be in Cotton Halle, how they be strangely dysposyd ageyns zow; for, as I here say, they make revell there. They melt led and brek down zour bregg, and make that no man go in to [the] place but on a ledder, and make them as strong as they kan a geyns zow be the supportacion of Jeney and Debenham, and hys sone; for they seye ther that Jeney hath sold the lyflod on to Debynham, and that hys son the knyth shall dwell ther, and ther forr they have warnyd a cort ageyns Munday, and now they ar a vysed to kepyt on Saturday be forr Munday. Qwat they mene therby I wot never, but as for the felechyp in the place that ys there now, and have be here al thys weke, there ys no man of substans, as we here, and there have be but vij. or viij. al thys wyke; but there wyll be a gret felechyp thys nyth or to morwe up on Saturday, for than they wyl kepe the cort. And as for Edward Dale, he dar not abyde wyl at horn, they thret hym so, be cause he wyl send them no vytaly. And as for me self, Edward Dale dar not let me wyll [_well_] be there for takyng in suspecyon. And jas for the tenaunts, they be wel dysposyd except j. or ij., so that ze wyl support them in hast, for they may nowt kepe of ther katel of the ground long; and specyally they desyr to have zowr owne presens, and they wold be of gret cownfort. No mor I wryth to zour, but the Holy Gost have zour in kepyng. Wretyn on the Fryday after my departyng.

Be your Servaunt,


[Footnote 317.1: [From Fenn, iii. 414.] This letter corresponds so closely with the next in what is said about the occupants of Cotton Hall, that it is clear they were both written about the same time.]



_To the right worschipfull sir and maistre, John Paston jun., esquyer._

[Sidenote: 1461 / OCT.]

Ryght worschipfull sir, I recomaunde me unto your mastreschip, certifiyng you that Jenney and Yelverton hathe certified up in to the Kynges Benche inssurrecions [and] congregacions a yenste me; wherupon they have sente to the scheryff a writte chargyng hym in peyne of C_li._ to brynge me in to the Kyngs Benche the morwe after Sein Marteyn. And this daye the seide Jenney hathe sent doune to the scheryff an other writte called an _habeas corpus_ retornable _crastino Animarum_, weche schalbe on Twesday next comyng be cauce they were in dought and in greete feere that I schulde have ben aquytte of the inditement of fellony now at this gayle delyverye. And also my maistre hathe sente an other writte for me retornable at the seid _crastino Animarum_. And so I am like to ride to London warde to morwe. And the scheryff wold make me to fynde suerte that I schulde appere in the Kyngs Benche the seid daye; and yet, that notwithstandyng, he wolde send me with strengthe of men as a presoner; and if any thynge schall cauce me that I goo not up to London, it schalbe be cauce I woll fynde no suerte; for in cas he wold have suffred me to have gon up be my selfe at myn owne coste, I wolde have founde hym suertee. And so at the makyng of this bille we were not fully condesended hough we schulde doo. My mastre is in goode hele, blissed be Godd, and dothe and schall doo ryght weele in alle hes maters. Ther is an ongracious felaschip of hem and a fals. They have sent for Fitzraff and Schipdam, be a citacion for the proffe of the testement, and alle is but for to delay it; yet it were weele done ye rode over to Fitzraff and felte hes disposicion how he woll be disposed, and in like wice with Schipdam, for I have spoken with hem of that matre, in cas that any citacion come doun for hem, how they wolde be disposed, and I have founde the too straunchely disposed. God send us a good scheryf thys yere, and thanne we schalle do weele inough, be the grace of God.

And, sir, your man tolde me that ye desired to knowe the demenyng at Cotton of the tenaunts and other. I lete you wete the moste parte of alle the tenaunts have bene here with me for to see me, and they have tolde me all the demenyng as it is undrewrete. Furst, as for the money that they receyved there it drwe upon a xxiiij^ti _li._ and more silver, for the tenaunts myght not cheese but they moste nedes paye, for they distreyned on my Lords of Suffolk fee, my Lords of Norwich fee, and on all men grounde, so that they myght not have her catell in reste, weche cauced hem to paye her money. I knowe weele i nough who payed and wo paied not. All the grete fermours have payed. And as for the kepyng of the place ther be therin iiij. men, and on of Debenham men, called Sokelyng, and hes wyff, and on Mannyng, a tenaunt, a fals knave; and they have enforced them as stronke as they kan, and they have broken doune the brigge and have leide a planke over, in cas that ye go theder ye may not come at Dale is howce in no waie, for he have had meche trouble for my mastre and for me; but and ye wolde gete my Lords meane and pulle the knaves out be the heede, it were weele done. I purpose me to com hom warde that same wey. Item, I lete you witte that the gayle delyverye holdeth not this daye, and alle is doone be cauce of mee, Jenney wolde not lete the clerke of peas come hether this daye for feere that I schulde have been aquytte of the felonye, for in trouthe and tho it had holden, I had founde the meane for to have ben quytte, for I whas through with the scheryff and panel made aftyr myn avice; but though the gayle delyver had holden, I cowde not have ben delyverd, becauce of thes writtes that be come downe. Item, the scheryff hathe a grete losse that this daye holdethe not, for ther schulde have ben quytte xl. men this daye. Item, the scheryff tolde me that my maistre tolde hym that I whas assent to my takyng at Scoolys, weche was to me ryght greete hevynes and discomforture nough in my trouble. And God knoweth it was never my wylle ner myn entent, as I mot be saved at the dredful day of Dome; for ther is no man so sore hurte as I am be the takyng, bothe in losse, and also in reprefe of myn owne persoune and of my frends, withoute that my mastre be my good maistre, as I truste he wolle be, or elles I am disseyved. He hathe my trewe servyce and shal have whylle that I leve, what so ever his mastreschip do to me, but I can thynke he hathe be enformed be myn elmyes [_enemies_] that wold make hym disp[l]esed with me, and to be myn evy [_heavy_] mastre, but dissimulacion dothe muche harme, &c. I reporte me, &c. No more to you at this tyme, but Jesu kepe you, and send you as much fortune and grace as I wolde ye had, &c.

I beseche [you] to be my goode mastre as ye have be, for I never deserved nor wol deserve the contrary.

Your servaunt, RIC. CALLE,


[Footnote 318.1: [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter was written in a year in which the morrow of All Souls' Day (_i.e._ the 3rd November) fell on Tuesday. The Dominical letter of the year must therefore be D. This was the case in 1461, and no other year will suit a letter addressed to John Paston, junior.

For if we go back there is no earlier year in which D was the Dominical letter till we come to 1450, when John Paston, junior, was only ten years old; and if we go forward the next is 1467, which was after John Paston the father's death.]


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