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[Sidenote: 1463]

Remember my instructions about bills and actions against Debenham by my tenants at Calcote. Make a 'remembrance apart' of the ground on which every trespass has been committed, whether it be in my lands or in those of my tenants, and whether the land was holden of me by Calcote Hall fee, or Freton Hall fee, lest Debenham justify [on the plea that] he took them elsewhere. As my tenants at Cotton have been compelled to pay much money to Jenney and Debenham against their wills, I would, as I have told John Paston the younger, that he should ride to Cotton with Richard Calle and such friendship as he can get, and demand my duties, except from those who had been compelled to pay the others. The latter to take actions next term against Debenham. Will respite them for this once all they have paid, till it may be recovered by law; that is, provided they ask it: otherwise, will politicly put them in jeopardy of losing their farms. Desires Calle to make a roll of the tenants and when he comes to Cotton enter therein how much cattle has been distrained from each.

It appears by the last letter that a writ was issued, evidently at the suit of Debenham, against John Paston, junior, and the other agents of his father in Suffolk. From the present paper it would seem that John Paston also instituted a prosecution on behalf of his tenants against Debenham. We shall find by later letters that these suits were going on in 1463, and were not terminated in the beginning of the following year. The MS. from which the above abstract has been made is a draft with a heading in John Paston's hand. On the back are notes of the Statutes of Westminster and of Richard II. touching _scandalum magnatum_, etc.

[Footnote 71.3: [From Paston MSS., B.M.]]



[Sidenote: 1463 / MARCH 19]

To all tho to whom this present wrytyng shall come, Rauff Lampet, Squier, sendyth gretyng in our Lord. And forasmoch as it is meritory to bere witnesse of trought, and that I knowe and herd the disposicion and will of Ser John Fastolff, knyght, aftir the forme folowyng, and am requered to sey the trought, I record and testifie, and bere witnesse that Ser John Fastolff, knyght, abought the tyme of hervest was v. yere, that was the yere of our Lord M^{l}cccclvij. at Caster, fast by Mekyll Yarmouth, in the Shire of Norffolk, in presens of divers persones that tyme callid to by the seid Ser John, ded make estat and feffement and livery of seison of the maner of Caster aforeseid, and other maners, londs, and tenements in Norffolk to John Paston, Squier, and other. And at that livery of season thereof delivered, as well by the hands of the seid Ser John as be other, the seid Ser John Fastolff by his owne mouth declared his will and entent of that feffement and livery of season, mad to the use of the seid Ser John as for duryng his life only, and aftir his decese to the use of the seid John Paston and his heyrs. And also the seid Ser John seid and declared, that the seid John Paston was best frend, and helper, and supporter to the seid Ser John, and that it was his will that the seid John Paston shuld have and inherite the same maners, londs, and tenements, and other, aftir his decese, and ther to dwelle and abide, and kepe howsold, seying that he knew well that the disposicion of the seid Paston was to do good in the contry, and be non oppressor of the pore pepill. And the seid Ser John desired me, and Daune William Bokenham, that tyme Prior of Yarmouth, beynge presente, to record as he had seid to us. And this I record and witnesse for trought be the feyght that I owe to God and all Seynts. In witnesse wherof to this my writyng I have set to my seall and signe manuell the xix. day of March, the third yer of the reigne of Kyng Edward the Fourth.


[Footnote 72.1: [Tanner MS., 106, f. 35 b.]]




[Sidenote: Date uncertain]

Reminds him that he spoke to him at Redham, in the church, about certain lands 'which John of Berney bought of me,' and for which there is still owing him 13s. 4d., and a rent of 6d. four years in arrear. Begs him to speak to Master Paston to get him the money.

We place this letter immediately after another document signed by Ralph Lampet, the exact date being uncertain and immaterial. It is probably, however, about this period, as it may be surmised to be after the death of John Berney.

[Footnote 73.1: [From Paston MSS., B.M.]]



[Sidenote: 1463 / APRIL 6]

Testimony of Sir Roger Chamberlain, witnessed by Reginald Tylneye, prior of Ixworth, and Sir John Rose [a brother of the house], that he was with the Duke of Norfolk in September before Sir John Fastolf died, when my Lord urged Fastolf to sell him the reversion of Caister, or (as he wished to give it to the Abbey of St. Benet's) to exchange it for a manor of my Lord's in South Walsham, which lay more convenient for the Abbey. Sir John, however, begged him not to press it, as he had appointed with his cousin, John Paston, to have Caister and all his other livelode in Norfolk and Suffolk in order to endow a college of seven priests and seven poor men. My Lord said, many thought Sir John would make Paston his heir; to which he replied that there was no man living that he would like better to be his heir, and begged my Lord to be his good lord if it so fortuned, which the Duke promised to do. Has heard the Duke since often acknowledge that Sir John had declared plainly he would make Paston his heir. Not having his own seal present, has sealed this with that of the prior of Ixworth, and requested him to put his seal to it besides. Ixworth, 6 April 1463.

[Footnote 73.2: [From MS. Phillipps, 9735, No. 280.]]



_To my rytz wurchepfull mayster, Jon Paston, in hast._

[Sidenote: 1463 / MAY 6]

Ryt wurschipfull hosbond, I recommand me to zou, desyring hertyly to her of zour wellfar, praying zou to wete, that I [have] spoken with Strawngs wyf of the matter that ze spoken to me of; and sche seyth pleynly to me, be her feyth, that sche knew never non seche ne never herd of non scheche, and told to me in lyk wyse as sche had seyd to Jamys Gloys. And sche seyd to me if sche kowd inquier of any other that sche thinght xuld have knowleche of any seche, sche xuld wetyn of hem, and letyn me have knowleche therof; and if ze soppose that any other be in this contre that ye thync xuld have knowleche of this forseyd mater, yf ye wyll send me word ther of, I xall do my part ther in.

Also I have ben att Sweyngsthorp and spoken with Kokett, and he seyth that he woll don lyche as ye bad me that I xuld sey to hym for to don.

And I have spokyn with the sexteyn, and seyd to hym as ye bad me that I xuld don, and he axid me ryt feythfully hw ye sped in zour materys.

I teld hym that ze haddyn fayr be hests, and I seyd I hopyd that ze xuld don rytz well therin; and he seyd that he supposyd that D.[75.1] wold don for zou; but he seyd he was no hasty laborer in non mater. He seyd be hys feyth he wost qher a man was that laboryd to hym for amater ryth along tym, and alwey he be hestyd that he wold labor itt effectualy, but qhyll he sewyd to hym that he kowd never have remedy of his mater; and than qhan he thowth that he xuld no remedy have to sew to hym, he spak with Fynys,[75.2] that is now Speker of the Parlment, and prayid hym that he wold don for hym in hys mater, and zaf hym areward; and withinne ryth short tym after his mater was sped. And the seyd sexteyn[75.3] and other folkys that ben yowr ryth wele willers have kownselyd me that I xuld kownsell zou to maken other menys than ye have made to other folks, that wold spede your materys better than they have don thatt ye have spoken to therof be for this tym. Sondery folks have seyd to me that they thynk veryly, but if [_unless_] ye have my Lord of Suffolks[75.4]

godelorchyp, qhyll the werd [_world_] is as itt is, ye kan never leven in pese with owth ye have his godelordschep; therfor I pray that with all myn herth, that ye wyll don yowr part to have his godelordschep and his love in ese of all the materis that ye have to don, and in esyng of myn hert also; for be my trowth I am afferd ellys bothen of these materys the qhyche ye have in hand now, and of other that ben not don to yett, but if he wyl don for zou and be your godelord. I pray yow hertylye send me werd how ze don, and how ye speden in zour materys; and I pray you as for seche thyngs as Jamys hath a byll of, that I may have hem as hastyly as ze may; and that ze wyll vowchesave to bey apese of blak bukram for to lyn with a gown for me, I xuld bey me amurrey gown to gon in this somer, and leyn in the koler the satyn that ze zeve me for an hodde; and I kan gettyn non gode bokeram in this town to lyn it with.

The Holy Trinyte have yow in His kepyng, and send zou helth and good spede in all yowr maters.

Wretyn att Norwyche, on ye Fryday nexst after Crowchemesse Day.[76.1]


M. P.

[Footnote 74.1: [From Fenn, iv. 188.] Our reason for believing this letter to have been written in the year 1463 will be seen in a footnote.]

[Footnote 75.1: Possibly John Damme.]

[Footnote 75.2: This looks like a mistake, for no Speaker of the name of Fynes is met with during this period. The expression, however, suggests that the letter was written about the beginning of a new Parliament, which could only have been that which met on the 29th April 1463. On the following day the Commons elected John Say as their Speaker, whose name Margaret Paston seems to have confounded with the family name of William Fenys, Lord Say, the trusty friend of Edward IV. who accompanied him into exile when he fled from his kingdom in 1470. It does not appear, however, that John Say, the Speaker, was related to that family.]

[Footnote 75.3: The Sacrist or Sexton of the Priory of Norwich was the officer who had the care of Sacra, or Holy Things, as the Church Plate, Copes, etc.; he was likewise Secretary, Auditor, and Chancellor of the Convent, and had a Sub-sacrist or Deputy to perform the servile parts of his office. In 1444 Brother Richard de Walsham was appointed Sacrist.--F.]

[Footnote 75.4: John de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk.--F.]

[Footnote 76.1: Crouchmas Day, or the Invention of the Cross, was on the 3rd of May.--F.]



_To mygth rigth good and speciall maister, John Paston, dwellyng at Heylesdon be syde Norwich._

[Sidenote: 1463 / JULY]

Rigth reverent, &c. Please your maisterchip wete that I resseived your letter whiche ye sent by Crome, and as for the examinacion of, &c. that I wrot to you of in my former letter to be taken on the Munday or on Tewysday, &c. this was the cause. Ye yaff me informacion at my last departyng fro you that the murdre was don uppon the day nexst after Seynt Petre. And for doute lesse ye had be ougth at the comyng of my seid letter, and for dowte that I supposed that my maistres, your wyf, had not be remembred of the day, it caused me, accordyng to your informacion, to wryte the uttermost day for her remembrans.

Neverthelesse, if ye certifie that ye toke the examinacion with in the yere and day, and sette the day in certayn, your certificat is sufficiant in lawe and shall bynd any of the parties to sey the contrary. And also the writte is that ye schuld certefie _sine dilatione_, and no day expresly yoven you whan to certifie it; wherfor ye may kepe uncertefiet tyl the nexst terme. And so do sir, for it schal do no hurt; but if ony questions or jangelyng schuld be mad when the examinacion was, let a sufficiant day with inne the yere be noysed, and if the _teste_ be to schort we schal fynd the mene it schal be amendyd by hym that wrot it. For after the informacion that I had of Crome the Sunday was the uttermest day, and therefor it was happy that sche was examined thenne. And where that ye wold I schuld tak the advice of Maister Markham, &c., if all thyng were laufull, and elles not, it is full hard to my self to determine the certaynte of every circumstans of the mater, and it is not gretely to be comuned of with other, nor to comune of casez lyke; for whan the mater schuld come in revelysshon it wold cause prevy titlers and flaterers ougth of suche questions to ymagyn, and contryve mater of distourbans. Wherfor uppon the certeynte of myn determinacion I brak the mater to Master Markham, which called to hym Master Byngham, and so thei ij. meved Y.[77.1]; and after that mocion he kept not his owyn councell but brak to every man of it. Hou be it he was sore mevyd with it, I wote it well, and glad to take avyse and comfort of other personez than of Masters Markham and Byngham. Al circumstans were to long to wryte, but I hope to speke with you be tymes i nougth or ye schall nede to certefye, &c. And, sir, in conclucion, Masters Markham and Byngham thynk it sufficiant i nougth to take his promys and his othe with ougth obligacion that he schal mak amends if profe here after can be mad uppon hym. And to this Maister Markham prayed you to agre by the same token ye mevyd hym to sette an ende be twyx you and my masters your brethern. Neverthelesse if ye thynk this wey not sufficiant, ye may lete sum other handele the mater at hom to hym if that ye hope to gete good pref in the mater, for with ougth evydent proffe the mater schall be but noysefull to you, and cause men to thynk that it growyth of your ille wyll to hym ward, &c.; for he noyseth and seyth, because of ille wyll ye have caused a mad woman to take apell a yens hym.

Item, sir, as for Leukenore he is not at London, but peraventure I schal make hym to be meved in the mater here after.

Item, I dede your erand to my maister your son.

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