1. Whether Sir John Fastolf made his will, dated 14 June 1459, in English, and sealed by him with his seal of arms? Answer. He made a note of articles in his will, deponent thinks in Latin, probably on that day, but it was not then sealed, and no executor was named.
2. Whether before the will was fair copied an original note of it was made on paper, and corrected and interlined by Paston? And whether that note fair copied was the true will which was sealed by Fastolf?--There was such a note, which being made, Paston went to London and waited some time, when William Worcester informed him it had been fair copied in the beginning of July. Had seen an old will long before, in which some of the articles were the same, but Fastolf altered them from time to time in consultations held with this deponent. Does not know if he did interline, but the note will show, which was then in the keeping of William Worcester, Fastolf's clerk; nor does he know if the will was drawn up from it, as he was not present at the engrossing or sealing, but hears there were several things altered.
3. Where the will is, in whose custody, and whether he have power to execute it?--The parchment sealed by Fastolf, which Worcester says was his will, was kept some time after his death at Caister, and afterwards produced in audience of the Archbishop, and there remains.
28 Aug. Examined in the Fleet.--Said he was a prisoner, wished first to speak with his counsel, and desired another notary joined with Nicholas Parker, who was not indifferent.
10, 11, 12 Dec. Appeared before the commissary in the treasurer's house of St. Paul's Cathedral, London. Examination continued.
4. Whether the said will was kept in the tower called the treasury of Sir John Fastolf at Caister till his death, and whether Paston and Howys afterwards entered and took it, and what was then done with it? Whether, since Fastolf's death it was exemplified in Latin, and sealed with Fastolf's seal, and by whom? And whether the Latin contained more or less than the English? Who exhibited the English will in audience of Canterbury? Was it the true will, or was it written and sealed after Fastolf's death?--Soon after Fastolf's death the said parchment was exhibited to Paston by Howes and Worcester. It afterwards remained in the keeping of Howes and Paston, and has since been exhibited in the audience of Canterbury. It was not translated into Latin after Fastolf's death, nor sealed, to Paston's knowledge. Does not know any will, Latin or English, to have been sealed after Fastolf's death.
5. Whether Paston exhibited any English will sealed in the audience of Canterbury?--The note made in June contained an article relative to Fastolf's college, and lands in Norfolk and Suffolk granted conditionally on their being refused by Paston. When Paston went to London, and after a time Worcester came to him, Worcester told him this note was put in parchment and sealed, with the other articles, by advice of Master John Brakley, about the beginning of July. William Bukman, now Abbot of Wymondham, then Prior of Yarmouth, was present when it was sealed, and named as a witness. He and Thomas Ingham reported that Fastolf told them at the time it was his will that Paston should have those things he had granted at the time of the seisin of the said feoffment delivered, whatever was written in the parchment. The said parchment (English) remains in the court. As to the Latin, Fastolf made on paper a schedule of executors for the Latin parchment, and told Paston and Howys that he did not mean all the executors to have administration of his goods. He also told Paston, Bracley, and Clement Felmyngham, after Paston returned from London, that he was informed the Latin will gave equal powers to all the executors, which he never intended. Fastolf made his last will in November, not altogether the same.
6. Who kept Fastolf's seal of arms and signet after his death, how long did it remain whole, and how many writings did Paston seal with them?--At Fastolf's death his seal was in a purse sealed with his signet, and placed in a chest. The signet was on his finger at death, but was afterwards placed in the chest in presence of deponent and Thomas Howys, Master John Bracley, Master Clement Felmyngham, and three servants of Fastolf's chamber, and sealed with the seals of deponent, Howys, and others. The chest remained in Fastolf's chamber, sometimes in custody of his servants, and sometimes in that of Howys. Afterwards the seals were placed in a white box sealed in the presence of divers men in the hall of the manor, which box was delivered along with certain rings to John Stokys, who opened the box, and after inspecting the seals and rings, sealed it up again and delivered it to Roger Malmesbury, in whose custody they now remain. This deponent sealed nothing with them.
7. Whether, after Fastolf's death, Paston or any other wrote on a schedule of paper a certain grant or bargain, viz., that Paston should have Fastolf's lands and tenements in Norfolk, Suffolk, and Norwich, for 4000 marks, and that Paston and Howys should have sole administration of his goods so long as Paston was alive; and whether after Fastolf's death it was so recently written that Paston, to dry the writing, scattered ashes over it? And if he say it was written during Fastolf's life, by whom was it written? By himself, or John Russe, or Friar Brakley, or whom? And how long before Fastolf's death, and in whose presence? And whether that sum was specified in the schedule or a blank left for it?
And whether the contents of this schedule were extracted and put in a new one? and by whom was that written? Whether by J. Russe? And what time elapsed between the two writings? And whether the second schedule contained more than the first, and what the additional matter was, and by whom added? And whether this asserted will of Fastolf, made, as Paston pretends, on Saturday, 3 Nov. 1459, was extracted or imagined from the contents of the said bills, or either of them? And what was the matter in the said will added to the matters in the schedules? And how long it was before the said pretended will could be formed to the satisfaction of John Paston?
For two years before his death Fastolf had granted that Paston should have the above lands after his death, without any condition, but for the purpose that he should found a college at Caister of seven monks or priests, and pay 5000 marks to be distributed for the soul of Sir John Fastolf; and about that time he enfeoffed Paston and others in the said lands, declaring that that enfeoffment was to the use of the said Sir John for life, and afterwards of Paston. After this, viz., in the said month of June, Fastolf made the said articles in certain paper notes in Latin and English. Master John Brakley kept copies, which he showed to Paston after his return to London. After that, viz., in September and October, Fastolf several times requested Paston to engross the agreements made between them about the college, saying he would remit to him 1000 marks of the said 5000 marks. And in October and November he recited in certain writings that in order that he might not be disquieted with worldly affairs he had bargained with this deponent that he should have the control of all his lands from which any profit might be derived in England, and of the households and foreign expenses belonging to him, so that he should put aside as much of his dues as he could spare for the college; and that he should have all his lands in Norfolk, Suffolk, and Norwich, for 4000 marks, which he was to pay on certain stated days to Fastolf's executors for the benefit of his soul.
Two paper writings were made of the premises, one by the hand of Paston and the other by Mr. John Brakley, which are severally remaining with them. This agreement Brakley, by Fastolf's order, got written out in parchment indented, and read to Fastolf, who sealed it in his presence as Brakley reported to Paston. Afterwards, another of the said writings was read to Fastolf in the presence of Paston, Brakley, Mr. Clement Felmyngham, and others, several times in October and November. Comments were made on the reading of it by Fastolf on one occasion, when he said a certain clause was not consistent with his intention, which was that Paston and Howys should be sole administrators of his goods, and that as to his lands in Norfolk, Suffolk, and Norwich, and the college to be founded, he would dispose of them according to his agreement with Paston,--the master to have a stipend of 10, and each of the fellows of 10 marks, and that seven poor men should be found with 40s. a year each, as stated in the will. Fastolf desired his will dated in June to be corrected in these particulars, and written anew by Walter Shipdam, for whom he frequently sent on this business. Meanwhile Brakley and Paston wrote another paper in English as a memorial of Fastolf's intention, of which deponent delivered a copy under his own hand in Court. The last two lines this deponent wrote and dried with ashes in presence of Thomas Howys. The will of 14 June and that exhibited by Paston and Howys differ little or nothing in effect, except in these articles touching the college, and the sole administration given to Paston and Howys.
As to new writings after Fastolf's death. Brakley translated those words about the sole administration from English into Latin, partly before his death and partly after. After Fastolf's death Paston, Howys, and Brakley caused the said Walter Shipdam to put into form (_fecerunt dictum W. S.
formare_) the last will and testament of the said Fastolf, both of the said college and of the said single administration (_de dicta singulari administratione_), and of other things in the will of June not contrary to his last will and declaration, of which several writings were drawn by Shipdam, first in paper and afterwards in parchment. As to the writing of the agreements, Brakley kept it during Fastolf's whole life, and a year after, and a copy remained with this deponent after Fastolf's death; at which time deponent and Howys were sitting in the hall of the manor of Caister at supper when William Worcester came into the hall, and Paston and Howys, rising from supper, had a talk with Clement Felmyngham, John Brakley, and William Worcester, immediately after Fastolf's death. At that time, by the advice of Brakley, a copy of the agreement was delivered to William Worcester, at his request, folded up and sealed that night by Brakley, Clement Felmyngham, and Howys. It remained in Worcester's keeping till he rode to London, and then he left it with the said Master John Brakley, Clement Felmyngham, and Thomas Howys. Its tenor was transcribed on parchment by Shipdam shortly afterwards.
[Footnote 181.1: [From Paston MSS., B.M.] Among the Paston MSS. in the British Museum is a small volume (Addit. MS. 27,450) of 132 pages, with a contemporary parchment cover, consisting entirely of examinations of witnesses touching Sir John Fastolf's Will. It is in two parts, separated by a blank page, the first containing the depositions of John Paston, taken in 1465, and the second those of the witnesses brought forward by Yelverton and Worcester, which were taken in 1466. We give here the substance of Part I. only. An abstract of Part II. will be found under its proper date.]
[[and afterwards of Paston. _final . invisible_]]
JOHN PASTON THE YOUNGEST TO MARGARET PASTON[185.1]
_To my mastras, Margaret Paston, be this deliveryd in hast, at London._
[Sidenote: 1465 / SEPT. 14]
Aftyr all humbyll and most dwe recomendacion, as lowly as I can, I beseche yow of your blyssyng. Plesyt yow to wet that I have sent to my fadyr to have an answer of syche maters as I have sent to hym for in hast, of whyche matyrs the grettest of substans is for the maner of Cotton, besechyng yow to remembyr hym of the same mater, that I may have an answer in the most hasty wyse.
Also I pray yow that myn Ante Poonyngys[185.2] may be desyiryd to send me an answer of syche materys as sche wotyth of, by hym that schall brynge me an answer of the mater of Cotton.
Also, modyr, I beseche yow that ther may be purveyd some meane that I myth have sent me home by the same mesenger ij. peyir hose, j. peyir blak and an othyr payir roset, whyche be redy made for me at the hosers with the crokyd bak, next to the Blak Freyrs Gate, within Ludgate; John Pampyng knowyth hym well jnow I suppose. And [_if_] the blak hose be payid for he wyll send me the roset un payd for. I beseche yow that this ger be not forget, for I have not an hole hose for to doon; I trowe they schall cost both payr viij_s._
My brodyr[186.1] and my sustyr Anne,[186.2] and all the garyson of Heylysdon fare well, blyssyd be God, and recomand hem to yow everychon.
I pray yow voysyt the Rood of Northedor[186.3] and Seynt Savyour, at Barmonsey,[186.4] amonge whyll ye abyd in London, and lat my sustyr Margery[186.5] goo with yow to pray to them that sche may have a good hosbond or sche com hom ayen; and now I pray yow send us some tydyngys as ye wer wonte to comand me; and the Holy Trinyte have yow in kepyng, and my fayir mastras of the Fleet. Wretyn at Norwyche on Holy Rood Daye.
Your sone and lowly servaunt,
J. PASTON THE YOUNGEST.
[Footnote 185.1: [From Fenn, iv. 224.] It appears by Letter 610 following that Margaret Paston was in London in September 1465.
This letter must therefore have been written in that year.]
[Footnote 185.2: Elizabeth Paston, now widow of Robert Poynings; afterwards married to Sir George Brown of Betchworth Castle, Surrey.]
[Footnote 186.1: Sir John Paston.--F.]
[Footnote 186.2: Anne Paston, afterwards the wife of William Yelverton.--F.]
[Footnote 186.3: The Cross at the north door of St. Paul's.]
[Footnote 186.4: The Abbey of Saint Saviour at Bermondsey, in Surrey, was founded in 1081, 15th William the Conqueror, by Alwin Child of London; it was surrendered in 1539, 31 Hen. VIII., when it was pulled down, and a Fair House built on the site by Sir Thomas Pope, Knight.--F.]
[Footnote 186.5: Margery Paston; she afterwards married Richard Calle.--F.]
ANONYMOUS TO MARGARET PASTON[186.6]
_To my mestresse, Margaret Paston by thys letter delivered._
[Sidenote: 1465 / SEPT. (?)]
Please your good mastreschep to have knowlage that as thys day was Master Stevyn of Norwich at Caster, and ther he told me he was yesterday at Hoxhon with the Byschop of Norwych; and ther he seythe that ther is gret labor mad be Master Phylyp[186.7] and be the baly of Cossey; in so moche ther is mad a comission on to Master John Salet and Master Robert Ipyswell for an inquerry that the parson[187.1] that my master[187.2]
mad last at Drayton ys deed, as they sey, and in so moche they purpose to put in the parson of Felthorp, as he hard sey, for the Duk of Suffolk. And thes he thynkyth it were a gret urt to my master tytyll.
And also another inquerry howe [_who_] ys patorne of the seyd chyrche; and thys is leke to come in revelicion but yf [_unless_] ther be gret labore mad to morowe be tymys and that ye have a man at Hoxhon in all hast for a newe comicion; and in that commysion Master Stevyn wold that ye shuld have Master Jon Salet, Master Symond Thornaham, Master Nicholl Stanton. And that it be mad be the avice of Master Jon Bulman; for he told Master Stevyn he wold do for you that he may, in so moche Master Stevyn hathe promyssyd hym a nobyll; and so the seyd Master Stevyn wold ye shuld send hym a letter and late hym have knolage that Master Stevyn shall reward hym that he shall hold hym pleasyd.
Item, a told me that a sent a letter to Sir William Maryys of all this mater yesterday, weder ye have er not he can not sey, but in noo wyse that ye dyskure not Master Stevyn, for he wold not for an C_li._ that it ware knowe that ye knewe ther of by hym, for he seythe gold gothe gret plenty at Hoxhon on ther part. And yf it be labord be tymys it may be remevyd to Caunterbury. Also yet it is good to send to Norwich to the seyd Sir William for the letter ar the massanger goth, &c.
[Footnote 186.6: [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter was probably written about or before the beginning of September 1465, as the proceedings of Salet and Ipyswell on the commission of inquiry here referred to are alluded to in a letter of Margaret Paston to her husband on the 27th of that month.]
[Footnote 186.7: Doubtless Philip Lipgate.]
[Footnote 187.1: This must be John Flowerdew, presented by John Paston and Thomas Howes in 1461.]
[Footnote 187.2: John Paston.]
JOHN PASTON TO MARGARET PASTON[188.1]
_To my Cosyn Margret Paston._
[Sidenote: 1465 / SEPT. ]
Myn owne dere sovereyn lady, I recomaund me to yow, and thank yow of the gret chere that ye mad me here to my gret cost and charge and labour. No more at thys tyme, but that I pray yow ye woll send me hedir ij. clue of worsted[188.2] for dobletts, to happe me thys cold wynter; and that ye inquere where William Paston bought his tepet of fyne worsted, whech is almost like silk, and if that be mech fyner thanne that he shuld bye me after vij. or viij.^s., thanne by me a quarter and the nayle therof for colers, thow it be derer thanne the tother, for I wold make my doblet all worsted for worship of Norffolk, rather thanne like Gonnores doblet.