Right wurshipfull and my mooste reverent mastre, I recomaunde me unto your goode maystreship. Like you to witte that on Childremasse daye[17.2] there were moche people at Norwich at the shire, be cauce it was noyced in the shire that the Undresheriff had a writte to make a newe aleccion; wherfore the people was greved be cauce they had labored so often, seying to the Sheriff that he had the writte, and pleynly he shulde not a wey unto the tyme the writte were redd. The Sheriff[17.3]
answerd, and seyd that he had no writte, nor west who had it. Heruppon the people peacyd, and stilled unto the tyme the shire was doone, and after that doone, the people called uppon hym, 'Kylle hym! Heede [_behead_] hym!' And so John Dam, with helpe of other, gate hym out of the schire-hows, and with moche labour brought hym unto Sporyer Rowe;[17.4] and ther the people mett a yenst hym, and so they a voided hym unto an hows, and kept fast the dore unto the tyme the meyer was sent fore, and the Sherif, to strenght hym, and to convey hem a wey, or ell he had be slayne. Wherfor divers of the thrifty men came to me, desiryng that I shulde writte unto your maistreship to lete you have undrestandyng of the gidyng of the people, for they be full sory of this trowble; and that it plese you to sende hem your advice how they shal be gided and rwled, for they were purposed to a gathered an c. or cc. of the thriftyest men, and to have come up to the Kyng to lete the Kyng have undrestandyng of ther mokkyng. And also the people fere hem sore of you and Mastre Berney,[17.5] be cauce ye come not home.
Plese you that ye remembr the bill I sent you at Hallowmesse for the place and londs at Boyton weche Cheseman had in his ferme for v. mark.
Ther wol no man have it above xlvj^s. viij^d., for Alblastre and I have do as moche therto as we can, but we can not go a bove that. And yet we can not lete it so for this yere, with owte they have it for v. or vj.
yere. I wrote to your mastreship herof, but I had non answre; wherfor I beseche you that I may have an answere of this be Tlwelthe, for and we have an answre of this be that tyme, we shall enfeffe hem with all, &c.
My right wurshipfull and my moost reverent maistre, Almyghty Jesu preserve you, and send you the victorye of your elmyes, as I truste to Almyghty Jesu ye shall. Wreten at Norwich on Seyn Thomas daye after Cristemasse daye.
Your pore servant and bedman,
[Footnote 17.1: [From Fenn, iii. 150.] The contents of this letter clearly refer to the matter alluded to in the postscript of the preceding letter of Margaret Paston, so that the date must be the same.]
[Footnote 17.2: 28th December.]
[Footnote 17.3: Sir Thomas Montgomery.]
[Footnote 17.4: Spurrier Row, as I am informed by Mr. L'Estrange, was what is now called London Street.]
[Footnote 17.5: John Berney of Witchingham.]
RICHARD CALLE TO JOHN PASTON[18.1]
_To my moost reverent and wurshipfful mastre, my Master John Paston of the Enner Temple, this be delyvered._
Plesith your maystership to undrestande that as for the ferme that Cheseman had in Boyton, that is to sey, xl. acre lond erable, j. medwe, and other smale parcell, payng yerly for it iiij_li._, weche I can not lete the xl. acre lond abowe xl. comb barly or xl_s._, and ye to bere al charges of the reparaucion and fense aboute the place, weche shulde be gret cost. The lond is so out of tylthe that a nedes [_uneath_, _i.e._ scarcely] any man wol geve any thyng for it. Ther can no man lete it to the walwe that it was lete before, and that I reporte me to my master, Sir Thomas Howys, not be gret gold. Wherfore I wol not do therin unto the tyme that I have answere from your mastership, weche I beseche you it may be hast. And as for Spitlynges, I have lete som of the lond in smale parcell, because I cowde gete no fermor for it. And as for Sir T. H., in good feythe I fynde [him] weele disposed in all thynges, excepte for Sir W. Chamberleyn for Rees in Stratton. And so the blissid Trinite preserve and kepe you from all adversite. Wrete at Blofeld, the Thorsday next after Hallowmesday.
Your pore servaunt and bedman,
[Footnote 18.1: [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The date of this letter is uncertain. Its contents are mere matter of business, and as relating to the same farm mentioned in the last may be supposed to belong to the same year, especially as in the last Calle mentions having written to Paston on the subject 'at Hallowmass.' There is, however, a discrepancy in the value assigned for the farm.]
THOMAS PLAYTER TO JOHN PASTON[19.1]
_To John Paston, the older, in hast, and if he be not at London, than to be delyvered to Clement Paston in hast._
[Sidenote: 1461 / DEC.]
Lyke your maisterchip wete that at the last cessyons Erpyngham hundred and other hundredys ther aboute were not warned, and the schreff excused hym be cause he cowde not knowe who was officer there. Item, Yelverton lete the pepoll understand that the Kyng wold have his lawes kept, and that he was dysplesed with the maner of ther gaderyng, and that he wold have it amendyd; for he conceyveth that the hole body of the shire is well dysposed and that the ille dysposed pepoll is but of a corner of the hole shire; and yet that ther mysdoyng growyth not of ther owyn dysposysyon but of the abbettement and steryng of sum ille dysposed persones whiche is understand and knowe to the Kynges hygthnesse. Item, he lete hem wete that the Kyng had commandyd hym to sey if ther were any man, pore or ryche, that had cause to complayne of any person that he schuld put up his bylle to the shref and hym, and they schuld set a reule be twyx hem; and if he wold not abyde ther reule they schuld delyver the sayd bylle of compleynt to the Kynges hignesse, and he schuld set the rewle and suche dyreccion that the party compleynaunt or defendaunt schuld be punysshed for his dysobeysauns of the said rewle if the case requyred; and also more over, if ther were ony person that put up ony suche bylle, and it mygth apere to them by ther examinacion or other wyse fals or untrewe, or elles be cause of malyce, that than suche compleynaunts schuld sharpely be punysshed. And than whan he had sayd this and moche more, in dyscoragyng to the pepoll to put bylles, as after my conseyt, he reported hym to the schref ther present, that the Kyng thus comanded hem thus to sey, desyreng the said schref if ony thyng of the Kyngs comaunded were be hynd unspoken by hym self that he wold remembre and helpe forthe to telle it. And than the schref said, lyke as he rehersed the Kyng comanded, and more over that the Kyng named ij. men, by name Tudenham and Haydon, and if ony man wold put bylles a yens them, he said in feythfull wyse he wold help hem, and ferther the mater to the Kyng higthnesse. And for his demenyng ther every man thougth hym rigth wel dysposed; but Yelverton had for yeten to expresse the names of Tudham and Haydon.
Item, the schref desyred the jentylmen to go with [him] to Felbryg Halle, and specially he requyred Mr. John P., the younger; but he cowde no pepoll gete, and so he cam not there. Item, there was a bylle set up on the shirehous dore, and the content ther of was but of the favour to you ward, Barney, Knyvet and Felbrygge, and of the hatered of other; it was but of sum lewde dysposed person it semeth. Item, sir, at the last shire was moche pepoll and ille governed for they wold not be rewled be no body, they had almost a slayne the underschref, for they told hym wryttes of eleccion was sent doun and he kept it on syde to be gyle hem, and to make hem labour ayen, and ther for he that kepyth it is to blame, me thynketh. Item, sir, please you to telle Mr. Clement, we have goten a reles of al maner accions and appelles of Margret Clerk, made to Gymmyngham, on of the pryncypalles, and that he woll inquyre wheder it be suffycyant for alle, and send me word, and weder it dyvers fro trespas and dette, wher damages is to be recovered, for in this appell is no damages to be recovered, but only an execucion, whiche non of them may be contributory to other execucion as is in other cases.
Nevertheles, I hope it be sufficiant for all, for sche is in the cas to have the lyf in stede of damages.
Your THOMAS PL.
[Footnote 19.1: [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The mention of Tuddenham and Heyden in this letter proves that it cannot be of later date than the year 1461, as the former was executed in February 1462.
At the same time the reference to John Paston, Junior, could not be much earlier, and the message from the King to the people of Norfolk certainly could not have come from Henry VI. only a year or two before. The date must therefore be 1461 precisely.]
ANONYMOUS TO MARGARET PASTON[21.1]
_To my right worchepfull Mastres Paston._
I recomawnde me to your good mastreschep, besechyng yow in the weye of charyte, and as I maye be your bedeman and servaunt, that ye wyll lete me have wetyng hoghe I maye be rewelyd ageyns the next schyer. It is seyd that ther xal be mych more pepyll than was the last; and also if I be in my Ladys place, or in ony other in the town, I xall be takyn owte.
Also, mastres, that my Maystyr Radclyffs xal take all my catell and all other pore good that I have, and so but I maye have helpe of my mayster and of yow, I am but lost. Also my servaunt Maryot wyll go fro my wyfe to my ryght gret hurte. Wherfore, mastres, I besech your help in all thes, and I xal content the costs as ye xall be plesyd, be the grace of God, hoo ever preserve yow, &c.
Also, mastres, I can not be with owte your contynuall help, but I must selle or lete to ferme all that I have.
Mastres, my Lady sent to Cawnbrygg for a doctour of fesyk. If ye wyll ony thyng with hym, he xal abyde this daye and to morwe. He is ryght a konnyng man and gentyll.
[Footnote 21.1: [From Fenn, iv. 104.] This letter appears to have been addressed to Margaret Paston at a period when her husband was a man of some influence, and perhaps the year 1461 is not far from the true date. It is not unlikely to have been written about the same time as No. 500, which also refers to a meeting at the shire or county court.]
ELIZABETH MUNDEFORD TO JOHN PASTON[22.1]
_To my right worchipfull sir, and my right good neveu, John Paston, Squyer, be this lettre delyvered, &c._
Right worchipfull sir, and my right good neveu, I recomand me un to you with all myn herte. Plece it you to undyrstande the grete nessessyte of my wrytyng to you is this, that ther was made an exchaunge be the graunsyre of my hosbonds Mundeford, un hose sowle God have mercy, of the maner of Gressenale with the aunsetrys of Rows for the maner of Estlexham, the qwych is parte of my juntor, and my grauntfadyr Mundeford recoweryd the said maner of Estlexham be assyze[22.2] a geyne the aunsetrys of Rows, and so madyt clere; and nowe have Edmund Rows[22.3]
claymyt the seyd maner of Estlexham be the verteu of a tayle [_an entail_], and hathe takyn possesseon, and made a feffement to my Lord of Warewyke,[22.4] and Water Gorge,[22.5] and to Curde.[22.6] And un Fryday be for Seynt Walentyne is Day Water Gorge and Curde enteryd and toke possessyon for my seyd Lord of Warewyke, and so bothe the forseyd manerys were ontayled, and at the tyme of the exchaunge made, the tayles and evydens of bothe for seyd manerys were delyvered un to the partyes indeferently be the avyse of men lernyd. Qwerfor I beshech you that it plese you to take the grete labor upon you to informe my Lordys good Lordchep of the trowthe in the forme a bowyn wreten, and that it plese you to undyrstand qwedyr that my Lord wyll a byde be the feffment made to hym or not; and that it shall plese my Lord that I may have right as lawe requeryt, for I trust to God be soche tyme as my Lord shall be informyd of the trowthe be you, that hese Lordchip wyll not supportt the forseyd Rows a geyne my right. And if I hadde very undyrstandyng that my Lord would take no parte in the mater a bowe seyd, I would trust to Godds mersy, and to you, and other of my good fryndes, to have possession a geyne in right hasty tyme, beshechyng you to pardon me of my symple wrytyng, for hadde no leyser. Right worchipfull and my right good neveu, I beshech the Blyssed Trenyte have you in Hese gracyous kepyng.
Wreten at Norwych in gret hast, the Tewysday aftyr Seynt Walentyne is Day.
[Footnote 22.1: [From Fenn, iv. 108.] The date of this letter must lie between the years 1461 and 1466. The writer's husband, who is spoken of as dead, was put to death in June 1460, and John Paston, the person addressed, died in May 1466.]
[Footnote 22.2: Assize is a writ directed to the sheriff of the county for recovery of the possession of things immovable, whereof yourself or ancestors have been dispossessed.--F.]
[Footnote 22.3: Edmund Rous was second son of Henry Rous, Esq. of Dennington, in Suffolk, the ancestor of the present Earl of Stradbroke.]