'Facta fuit sequens examinatio testium subscriptorum secrete et singillatim, videlicet, Domini Johannis Davy capellani vicesimo octavo die mensis Aprilis, Thomae Upton quinto, Johannis Bockyng duodecimo, Nicholai Newman xvj^to diebus mensis Maii; Johannis Loer, Willelmi Eton quarto, Roberti Lynne quinto, diebus mensis Junii; Bartholomei Elys tercio, magistri Roberti Wylly sexto, Johannis Marshall, Johannis Davy terciodecimo et Willelmi Lyne ultimo, diebus mensis Julii; Anno Domini millesimo quadringentesimo sexagesimo quarto, Indictione duodecima, pontificatus Sanctissimi in Christo patris et domini nostri, domini Pii Divina prudencia Papae Secundi anno sexto, In Domo Thesaurarii ecclesiae Cathedralis Sancti Pauli, London, infra parochiam Sancti Gregorii civitatis London situat', per venerabilem virum magistrum Johannem Druell, utriusque juris doctorem, examinatorem et commissarium ad infra scripta specialiter deputatum. In praesentia mei Nicholai Parker notarii auctoritate Apostolica, publici scribae in hac parte de et super exceptionibus infra scriptis, par partem domini Willelmi Yelverton et Willelmi Worceter productorum.'
1. John Davy chaplain, staying at the University of Cambridge, _liberae conditionis_, 30 years old and more, examined _super exceptionibus infrascriptis_ of which the tenors are quoted, viz., on the part of Yelverton and Worceter against John Russe, Robert Cutteler clk., Master Clement Felmyngham, Rob. Boteler, Ralph Lampet, Brother Will. Bokyngham, and Master Robert Popy, witnesses on the opposite side, whose testimony is discredited 'eo quod parte sua non praesenti juraverunt et super non juratis deposuerunt, ac in depositionibus suis fuerint et sint varii, contrarii, singulares negativam asserentes, causas dictorum suorum minime reddentes, unumque et eundem praemeditatum sermonem proferentes, a testatore non vocati aut rogati perhibere testimonium, nec sufficienter probantes in hac parte, prout ex inspectione depositionum suarum liquere poterit intuenti.' Further, John Russe was illiterate, and did not understand Latin when he made his deposition, and he contradicted the other witnesses on his own side: viz., to the 9th interrogatory he said, Sir J. Fastolf's will was not written before his death, which Clement Felmyngham and Robt. Cutteler in their reply to the 3d said it was. Moreover he expected advantage to himself from his testimony, and was discharged by Howys of 300 that he owed Fastolf. He had also secretly abstracted certain muniments and charters of the testator, which were in the custody of Will. Worceter, in the house of John Tovy, at Castir, Norwich dioc., in Nov. 1459. Moreover he was _supravisor et locator_ of the testator's lands called Akethorpe, yearly value 9 marks, appointed by Paston or Howys, who promised to sell them to him much under value for his testimony. Further, his statement that he was present _in quadam bassa camera_ at Caister between 8 and 9 A.M.
on the Saturday before Sir J. Fastolf's death, was a perjury, for he was really all that time in other places a long way off. His declaration that he was no servant or tenant of those who brought him forward was untrue: he had hired a house of Howys in the town of Yarmouth, value 40s. a year. He was inconsistent in his testimony about the hour Sir J.
declared his will. He also pretended never to have seen Fastolf's will before his death, although he wrote the said pretended will with his own hand with the date at the head, which at the beginning of this suit he caused to be cut off from the writing and hidden.
Also the said Rob. Cutteler chaplain, when he made his deposition, was 'levis opinionis, malae conscientiae et de mensa Joh'is Paston ac tenens ipsius, prout ad primum interrogatorium examinationis suae primae et secundae respondebat.' Also he was perjured; because in April 1457 in par. of Holy Trin., Castir, he beat and maimed one Jo. Flemyng, and boasted of it (_ac sic factum nomine suo ratum habuit_), but being taken before Sir J. Fastolf, justice of the peace, he swore he had not done so.--Proofs that he was not disinterested.
Exceptions to Rob. Popy: He was a tenant of Paston's, &c. &c.
_Davy_ says John Rus was at Yarmouth on the Saturday in question, as he usually was on Saturdays, to buy victuals for Fastolf's house, &c.
(Proof declared insufficient in the margin). Sir J. Fastolf was so ill, that, as Davy had heard he was unable to speak from 22d Oct. 'Quae quidem infirmitas vocabatur judicio medicorum, _sincope_, quae ipsum vexabat singulis horis et ipsum deduxit ad extasim de scientia istius jurati, qui continue conversabatur cum eo usque ad ipsius mortem.'
2. Thos. Upton, one of the clerks of the King's kitchen, _literatus_, 'liberae conditionis,' forty years old and over; 2d. witness.
Mentions that W. Worceter gave Jo. Rus a casket to keep containing certain documents, which Rus delivered to Howys after Fastolf's death.
Was clerk of the kitchen to Fastolf when Rus used to go on Saturday to Yarmouth, &c.
9 May. Jo. Bokkyng produced by Jo. Naseby, proctor of Yelverton and Worceter, before Master Tho. Wynterton, LL.D., auditor of Thomas Archbishop of Canterbury, at his house in the parish of St. Martin, in presence of Robert Kent, proctor of John Paston.--Examination committed to John Druell, LL.D. who on the 12th May examines him secretly in the house of the treasurer of St. Paul's.
'Dicit quod Johannes Tovy quaedam munimenta et evidencias[103.1] in certis bagis et pixidibus contenta quae Willelmus Worceter eidem Johanni Tovy liberavit custodienda.' Rus was and is Howys' tenant for the house he lives in. After Fastolf's death Upton delivered to Clement Felmyngham a signet or gold ring, 'ad signandum sigilla dicti domini Johannis Fastolf,' in a little bag, which was to be returned 'post signacionem hujusmodi,' but afterwards he said he had lost it. Touchyng brother W. Bukyngham, it was publicly noised at Yarmouth that Robert Brown, a chaplain of that town, had killed one Seman Burton, that Bukyngham knowingly received him, and that by his advice he fled. To the last exception he says he believes Fastolf did not release Paston from the payment of the said 4000 marks, 'quia iste juratus non intellixit in tota vita sua tantam liberalitatem in dicto domino Johanne Fastolf.'
Fastolf had such difficulty in breathing for five or six days before his death that he could hardly speak.
Interrogatories proposed on the part of Paston and Howys, and administered to witnesses.
'In primis, interrogetur quilibet testis hujusmodi cujus sit conditionis et an sit famulus, [104.1]serviens aut tenens partis eum producentis, et cui parti magis favet partium praedictarum.' Secondly, whether he be in the pay of any one. There are six interrogatories in all, and they are numbered.
Then follow answers of some one, whose name does not appear, to each of these six interrogatories; and other answers by--
1. Nich. Newman, Usher of the Chamber to Lady Catherine, Duchess of Norfolk.
2. John Loer, servant of the Abbot of Langley.
3. Will. Eton.
4. Rob. Lynne of Bucklande.
5. Barth. Elys of Yarmouth, 'literatus liberae conditionis,' fifty years old and more (proves Rus's absence, but his testimony is declared in the margin to be improbable, and not to agree with Davy's).
_6 July._ Naseby produces Rob. Wylly on the part of Yelverton and Worcester. Examined on the 9th.--Says he was required by Paston and Howys to see Fastolf's will, and 'ad impediendum [_impendendum_]
consilium suum:' --that on a Sunday in the summer after Fastolf's death, John Paston showed him, at Fastolf's house in Southwark, Sir John's will written on paper, in presence of Clement Felmyngham and John Bracley, and asked his opinion if it was valid. Thought it insufficient to overthrow any previous will. A clause mentioning Tudenham and Heydon as executors was cancelled by this deponent's advice, 'eo quod erat contra caritatem.'
_13 July at Bow Church._ Naseby produces John Marshall and John Davy, whose examinations follow.
_19 Oct. 1464._ Druell examines Hen. Wenstall at the treasurer's house of St. Paul's.
_15 Nov. 1464._ Druell examines Rob. Hert.
_1 Dec._ Naseby produces Rob. Fyztrauf, whose production Kent opposes; who tries to prove Rus's absence (insufficiently, as remarked in the margin), because he was constantly with Fastolf, except half an hour that morning, and held the basin while Henry Barbour lathered the beard (_lavit barbam_) of the said Sir John Fastolf.
'Responsiones personaliter factae per dominum Thomam Howys unum executorum domini Joh'is Fastolf, ultimo die mensis Aprilis A D^ni 1464,' &c., 'coram Ven. viro Mag'ro Thoma Wynterbourne, LL.D.,' &c., 'in camera ejusdem infra manerium Rev^mi patris apud Lamehith, Winton dioc'
situat', in praesenncia mei Nicholai Parker,' &c.
Howys says he did not see Coteler or Rus in Fastolf's chamber that Saturday before he went to dinner. On Saturday and Sunday before his death Fastolf spoke so low he could hardly be heard by any one, and Howys heard him only by putting his ear close to his mouth. Fastolf's mind was clear.
[Footnote 101.4: [From MS. Phillipps, 9309.] These depositions, of which we shall only attempt to give some of the principal points, were produced in the Spiritual Court by Sir William Yelverton and William Worcester in opposition to the claim of John Paston and Thomas Howes to be Sir John Fastolf's executors. The examinations were taken at intervals during the years 1464, 1465, and 1466, and the suit was not terminated when John Paston died. The MS. volume here referred to contains three distinct bundles of these depositions bound up in a wrong order. A volume containing similar matter among the Paston MSS. in the British Museum will be found entered in the year 1465.]
[Footnote 103.1: There is no verb in the MS. to govern _munimenta et evidencias_.]
[Footnote 104.1: The text is continued here at another part of the volume, the leaves being misplaced.]
[Sidenote: 1464 / MAY 12]
Power of attorney by Roger Fidyon, clerk, and William Bondys to Richard Lynstede, John Holme, and John Brikkes, to enter and take possession of the manor of Hornynghall, in Castre, by Yarmouth, with appurtenances in Castre, Maudeby, Ormesby, Filby, and Scroudeby, or elsewhere in the hundred of East Flegge, Norfolk, which the said Roger and William have of the gift of Edmund Clere; and thereafter to deliver seisin therein to Agnes Paston, William Paston, Elizabeth, Countess of Oxford, John Veer, Earl of Oxford, John Scroop, Knight, Lord Scroop, Sir William Yelverton, Elizabeth Cleere; William Jennay, John Grenefeld, John Catesby, Serjeants-at-Law; John Hastynges, John Clopton, John Calthorp, Hugh Fen, Thomas Cornewaleys, Thomas Howes, clerk, Roger Marchall of London, Henry Spilman, William Lomnour, Bartholomew Whyte, William Whyte, John Applyerd, James Arblaster, William Wurcetyr, and Richard Maryot, according to a charter granted to them by the said Roger and William.
Castre, 12th May, 4 Edward IV.
[Footnote 105.1: [From MS. in the Bodleian Library.]]
MARGARET PASTON TO JOHN PASTON[105.2]
_To myn ryght worshypful hosbond, John Paston, be thys delyveryd in haste._
[Sidenote: 1464 / JUNE 8]
Ryght worshypful hosbond, rekomaund me on to you. Pleasyth you to wete that I sent yisterday Loveday to Norwyche to speke wyth the Vykyr of Derham[105.3] for the mater betwen Master Constantyn and hym; and he seyth that as for that mater, Master Constantyn sewyd hym for feyth and trowth brekyng, and he sewed Master Constantyn in the Temporall Curte uppon an obligacion of x_li._; and ther was made appoyntment be twen hem by the advyce of bothe ther Conceylis, be for Master Robert Popy, that eche of hem shuld relece othyr, and so they dede, and the sewtys wer wythdrawyn on bothe partyes, and iche of hem aquytauncyd othyr; and as for any copy of the plee, he had never non, ner he ner Master John Estegate, that was hys atornay, remembryth nat that it was regestryd; and Master John Estegate seythe, if it schuld be scergyd in the regester it wold take a fortenyght werk, and yit peraventur never be the nerer.
Syr Thomas Howes hathe ben ryght besy thys weke at Blofeld, in wrytyng and lokyng uppe of ger, and John Russe hathe ben with hym ther the moste parte of alle thys weke, and thys day was Robert Lynne ther with hym; what they have do I wote nat, but I schal wete if I may.
It was told me that Syr Thomas desyryd of John Russe to make hym a new inventory of Syr John Fastolffs goods. John Russe myght not be spoke with yit, for the letter that he shuld a wretyn, whych ye sente me word of.
Item, it is tolde that the Dwke of Suffolk[106.1] is kome home, and owthyr he is ded, or ellys ryght seke, and not lyke to eskape; and Syr John Howard is kome hom; and it is seyd that the Lord Skalys[106.2] and he have a comyssyon to enquer whye they of this contre that were sent for kame not hastylar uppe afftyr they wer sent for. It is reportyd that the Kyng is gretly dyspleasyd ther with. At the reverence of God, arme yowr selve as myghtyly as ye kan ageyn yowr enmyes, for I know verrayly that they wyl do ageyn yow as myghtyly as they kan with all ther power.
It is told me that Syr Thomas shal kom uppe in haste, and othyr, suche as he kan make for hys partye.
Also for Goddys sake be war what medesyns ye take of any fysissyans of London; I schal never trust to hem be cause of your fadr and myn onkyl, whoys sowlys God assoyle.
The blissyd Trynyte have yow in Hys kepyng, and sende yow helthe and good spede in all yowr materis. Wretyn in haste, on the Fryday next befor Sceynt Bernabye.