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_Apunctuament' Regis pro fundacione Collegij apud Caistre, &c._

[Sidenote: 1464 / SEPT. 10]

The Kyng, for the soume of CCC. mark of lawfull mony of Inglond, or of silver plate to the valew therof, grauntith to John Paston the older, Squier, to have licens, lawfully mad, to make and found a College of vij. prests and vij. pore folk at Caster, in Flegge in Norffolk, for the soule of Sir John Falstolf, Knyght; thei to be indued with certeyn rent, and otherwise aftir the intent and effect as is specifijd in a bille therof, signed by the Kyng; and that he shall showe his good grase, favour, and assistance to have the said fundacon inacted and auctorised in the parlement next holden, and discharge the seid John Paston and the seid prests of any other fyne or fee to be mad in the Chauncerie for the seid fundacion; and that the Kyng shall signe and graunt warants for seid licens, and shewe his good grace and favour in the expedision therof, what tyme he be sued to therfore by the seid John Paston.

Also, the Kyng grauntith to be good and favorabill Lord to the seid John Paston, and inespeciall in all thyngs touchyng the execucion of the will of the seid Sir John Fastolf, and also to be good and favorabill Lord to the seid John Paston, in supportyng and helpyng hym, in that the Kyngs Highnesse may lawfulle do, in such maters as are in debate athwyx the seid John Paston and William Yelverton, or William Jenney, or any other, concernyng the londs and tenements, goods or cattell, that were the seid Sir John Fastolfs. Also the Kyng grauntith to help and support the seid John Paston to opteyne and have to the use of the seid Sir John Fastolf such goods as were the seid Fastolfs deseitfully aloyned out of the possession and knowlech of the seid John Paston; and that the Kyng shall graunt the seid John Paston such lawfull writynggs and lettirs from the Kyng, directed to such persones as shall be behovefull for the same, what tyme the seid John Paston suyth to the Kyngs Highnesse therfore.

Also where Yelverton, or Jenney, or any Justise of the Peas of the Shire of Suffolk hath recorded any riot, trespas, or offenses to be do ayens the Kyngs peas, by the seid John Paston, his servaunts, or tenaunts, or frends; or where any inditement or presentment is found ayens them, or any of them, before any of the seid Justises, for any such riot, offenses, trespas, or for any other mater remaynyng of record in the Kyngs Benche, or in any other plase, the Kyng grauntith to the seid John Paston, and all other persones named in the seid records or inditements, or in any of hem, and to alle her boroughs [_sureties_] and plegges, and to ich of hem that woll sue it, a pardon of all riotes, trespas, offenses, felonys, forfetures doon ayens the Kyngs peas, and of fynes therefore dempt [_adjudged_], or to be dempt, and of all other thyngs generally, treason except, and that the Kyng shall signe warants lawfull of the seid pardons, what tyme his Highnesse be requerid by the seid John Paston or his attornys.

And also that his Highnesse shall do inquere and examinacion be mad whedir the seid record of the seid Justises and presentments, and other informacions or compleynts mad ayens the seid John Paston, were do trewly and lawfully or nought; and if it be found that thei were do otherwise thanne trought, lawe, or consiens woll, thanne the Kyng grauntyth to cause the doers therof to recompense the seid John Paston and the seid other persones, as far as lawe and good consiens woll in that behalf.

And that if it fortune any compleynt to be mad ayens the seid John Paston, by any persone in tyme comyng, to the Kyng, that he shall take no displeasir to the seid John Paston till the tyme he come to his answer, and be found in defaut.

And that the Kyng shall receyve an C_li._ of the seid CCC. mark, what tyme he send for it, and the remnaunt as sone as the seid fundacion take effect; and also that his Highnesse shall gete the assent of the reverent fader in God, the Archebisshop of Caunterbury, in such apoyntments as is mad athwyx the Kyng and the seid John Paston, of such goods as were the seid Sir John Fastolfs, for the delivere therof; and that if the seid John Paston refuse the administracion of the goods and catell that were the seid Sir John Fastolfs, sufferyng other to take it opon hem, the Kyng, at the instauns of the seid John Paston, grauntith to be good and favorabill Lord to such other as the coors of the lawe, and assent of the seid John Paston, shall take the seid administracion in execucion of the seid Fastolfs will, touchyng the administracion of the goods and catell forseid, acordyng to the same wyll; and that the Kyng shall not cleyme nor desire any of the londs or tenements, goods or catell, that were the seid Sir John Fastolf, ayens the seid John Paston, or any other executor, administror, or feffe of the seid Sir John Fastolf, nor support or favour any other persone in cleymyng any of the seid londs or tenements, goods or catell, ayens any the seid administers, executores, or feffes.

And the Kyng grauntith that where as this bille is not sufficiently mad in clauses and termes according to th'entent therof, that his Highnesse woll take and execute the very entent therof, notwithstandyng the insufficiens of any such termes and clauses in thes bille. Wretyn at Marleburgh, the Monday next after the Nativite of oure Lady, the fourthe yere of the reigne of the Kyng.

[Footnote 113.1: [From Fenn, iv. 182.]]




[Sidenote: 1464 / NOV. 20]

The following writs and copies of writs stood originally on a file in the order in which they are here noticed.

I. Edward IV. to the Prior of Norwich.--Orders him to deliver to the bearer all goods in his hands belonging to John Paston, Esq., who is outlawed. Reading, 20 Nov.

II. Writ to Edmund Clyre, Escheator of Norfolk, touching the above outlawry.--John Paston is here called 'the elder.' Dated 20 Nov.

III. _Supersedeas_ addressed to the Escheator of Cos. Cambridge and Hunts to stay confiscation of the goods of John Paston, who has been outlawed, first for trespass against William Jenney, and secondly for trespass against William Hogan; of which he was convicted in Suffolk on Monday, 10 Sept., 4 Edw. IV. Both cases are removed by writs of error into the King's Bench.--Teste J. Markham apud Westin., 28 Nov., 4 Edw.


IV. Copy of _supersedeas_ on the exigent issued at Jenney's suit to the Sheriff of Suffolk.--Teste J. Markham apud Sekbrok, 24 Aug., 4 Edw. IV. With the return on the writ of exigent, notifying Paston's non-appearance when proclaimed at the county courts held at Ipswich on Monday 21 May, Monday 18 June, Monday 16 July, and Monday 13 Aug., 4 Edw. IV. The _supersedeas_ was delivered to the sheriff by Richard Calle in Paston's name on the 29 Aug.

V. Edward IV. to Sir John Markham, Chief Justice of the King's Bench.--Commands him to make _supersedeas_ upon the exigents. For, as the King understands, Jenney obtained judgment against Paston for 23 : 10s., and William Hogan by the support of Jenney took another action, and obtained a judgment of 16 : 13 : 4 'against conscience and law, as we be informed.' If Paston has delivered to the sheriff any writs of error to send the actions to our court of parliament, he is to comply, according to the usual course in such cases.--Fotheringay, 3 Aug.

VI. Edward IV. to Thomas Croxton, Clerk of the Crown.--Commanding him to search the records and see that the processes of outlawry against John Paston have been well and sufficiently made out.--Reading, 3 Oct.

Memorandum subjoined, 'that William Jenney's counsel hath openly vaunted in Westminster Hall that the King hath sent another letter to the sheriff, commanding him to certify John Paston outlawed.'

? V. and VI. are copies on the same paper.

[Footnote 116.1: [From Paston MSS., B.M.]]



_To the Prior of Norwich._

[Sidenote: 1464 / NOV. 27]

Reverend fader in God, I recomaunde me to you. And for so muche the Kyngs hyghnesse is advertysed ye shuld have in ... .[117.2] certayn goodes of John Pastons to the value of vij. or viij. m^l mark wherin the Kyng is entytilled by such processe of owtlawry as is awarded ayenst the said Paston; Wherefor in the Kynges name I charge you that if any such good be in your governance[117.3] or within your monastery, ye suffer noon of thayme to passe oute of your garde, but suerle to kepe thaym unto the Kynges behouffe, unto ye tyme ye have otherwise in comaundment, as ye will answer at your perille and in eschewing his gret displeasur and such jeopardies as by the lawe myght ensue to youre over gret damage, which I ne wold. And of your disposicion herin it like you I may be certified in writing by the berour herof. And Oure Lord have you in his keping. Wryten at London the xxvij. day of Novembre anno lxiiij^{to}.

By the Tresorer of Ingland,


[Footnote 117.1: [MS. in Pembroke College, Cambridge.]]

[Footnote 117.2: A word or two illegible.]

[Footnote 117.3: So the word seems to have been originally, but the writing is faded, and a modern hand has attempted to restore the beginning as 'no ...']



_To my ryght worshipfull maister and brother, John Paston, this letter be taken._

[Sidenote: 1464(?) / DEC. 3]

Ryght worshipfull and reverend mayster and brother, with alle my service I recommaunde me on to yow. Please hit onto your grete wysedom to have yn your descrete remembrauns the streite Ordre on which we ben professid, and on which ze er bownden to kepe your residens, and specially on this tyme of Crystmas amonggis your confrerys of this holy Ordre, the Temple of Syon; for ynlesse than ze kepe dewly the poynts of your holy Religion, owr Maister Thomas Babyngton, maister and soverayn of owr Order of th'assent of his brythryn ben avysed to awarde azenste yow ryght sharp and hasty proces to do calle yow to do your obcervauns, and to obeye the poynts of your Religion, which wer on to me grete hevynesse. Wherfore I, as he that hath most grettest cause, and ys most bownden on to your grete gentylnesse, and also whom nature and kynde most specially byfore every of alle owr breth[r]yn bynden me to owe and wilne yow goode wylle and trewe hert, consyderyng the grete tyme of penawns that ze havyn ben yn fro sone upon Mighelmas hederto, that ys to say, yn relevyng and sustenawns of your evyn Crysten,[119.1] and also yn the charytable and meritory dede of almyssdoyng, that ys to say yn plenteous and liberall zeftis, which ys more precyusseur than goolde er sylver, which hath nat be at alle tymys to your grete ease, neyther hertis plesauns, but rather to your grete desese and yntollerable peyne.

And wher Godds lawe and manys lawe acorden that hit shall nat be lawful to non erthely man to be so lyberall and plenteous of that that God sendith hym, that he sholde so despose hit so that he sholde nowgch have to lyve by; and forasmych as I have perfite knowlich of your freel[119.2] [_frail_] and naturall disposiseon so set on to theym that ben nedy and hunggery that of your selfe ze have no myght, neyther power to absteyne and rewle yourself, but also long as God sendith and zevyth yow whereof to dispose and help your evyn Crysten ze most nedis despose hit forth a monggus your evyn Cristen, I conseile yow that yn also hasty and goodely tyme as ze kan to come on to your holy brytheryn that ben of that devowt and clos conversacion, to th'entent that ze myght ben advertysid and lernyd by theym the goode rewle and messur that ze owght and sholde have yn the despociscion and delyng of your almys.

And also, sethnys ze haven chosen zow a place yn this seson of Avent, yn which ze have had a resonable leysour and space to do your penauns yn, which drawith fast to a ende; which hath been a convenyent place as for the ceson of the yer; and now hit drawith fast on to Cristmas, on which tyme every trewe Crysten man sholde be mery, jocunde, and glad. And sethnys ther is no place which by lyklyhod of reason ze shulde fynde yn your hert to be so gladde and yocunde yn as ze sholde be yn the place of your profession a mounggis your holy brytheryn; yn which place yn this ceson of the yer hit ys a custumyd to be alle maner of desport, lyke as hit is nat unknowe to your wisse descrescion; wherfore, as my symple reason ledith me your grete descrescion sholde rewle you that ze sholde approche nygh the plase of your holy relegion yn also hasty tyme as ze code er myght, of whos comyng alle your saide bretheryn wolde be glade and fayn, and yn especiall I, your servaunt and brother, lyke as I am most syngguler bownden to th'encresse of your prosperite and welfar, which I shall ever desir with Godds mersy, which have yow undir His blessid and favorable proteccion. Wrytten yn the Temple of Syon, iij^d.

day of December, yn grete hast.

By your Servaunt and brother,

[Illustration {signature: T and symbol}]

[Footnote 118.1: [From Fenn, iii. 418.] It is difficult to assign with confidence either a date or a meaning to this strangely worded epistle. The signature itself is a mystery. The order of the Temple of Sion is unknown to archaeologists, and the place from which the letter is dated cannot be identified. From the peculiar device used as a signature, resembling what in heraldry represents a fountain, Fenn threw out a suggestion that Fountaine was the writer's name, remarking that a family of that name resided at Salle, in Norfolk, and might have been related to Paston as the writer claimed to be. But there seems to be an air of irony about the whole communication which forbids us to construe any of its statements seriously; nor do we find the slightest allusion to this letter or its contents in all the rest of the correspondence.

For my part, I am inclined to think it was a mocking letter addressed to John Paston by one of the prisoners in the Fleet, where Paston had himself been confined in 1464. His imprisonment on that occasion was probably of short duration, but I cannot tell the precise date of his release. He was committed to the Fleet, as we are informed by William Worcester (_Itinerary_, p. 366), on Saturday the 3d November. If I am right in my conjecture about this letter, he had, perhaps, been already liberated; but some of his late fellow-prisoners, probably members of the Inner or Middle Temple like himself, who had formed themselves into a fancy 'Order of the Temple of Sion,' amused themselves by speculating on the probability that he was not yet quite clear of the toils of the law, and that he would be obliged to come back and spend Christmas in gaol, among the jolly companions whom he had recently deserted.

I may remark that the name of Thomas Babington occurs in Dugdale's _Origines Juridiciales_, p. 163, as having been elected a reader in the Inner Temple in 22 Hen. VII., when he seems to have been an old man; for, owing to his sight failing, he was excused from reading, and John Port, who was afterwards Attorney General, and, later still, Justice of the King's Bench, read in his place.]

[Footnote 119.1: _i.e._ your fellow-Christians.]

[Footnote 119.2: Fenn interprets this word _free will_, which I cannot think to be the meaning intended.]

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