[Footnote 22.4: Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick.]
[Footnote 22.5: Walter Gorges, Esq., married Mary, the daughter and heir of Sir William Oldhall, and was at this time Lord of the Manor of Oldhall, in Great Fransham. He died in 1466. His son and heir, Sir Edmund Gorges, afterwards married a daughter of Sir John Howard, Knight, the first Duke of Norfolk of that family.--F.]
[Footnote 22.6: John Curde was Lord of the Manor of Curde's Hall, in Fransham.--F.]
[Footnote 23.1: Elizabeth Mundeford was the widow of Osbert Mundeford, Esq. of Hockwold, in Norfolk, and was daughter of John Berney, Esq., by which means she was aunt to J. Paston.--F.]
SIR ROBERT WILLIAMSON TO AGNES PASTON[23.2]
_To my right reverent mastras, Agnes Paston, be this lettre delyveryd in haste._
Rygh wurchepful mastres, I recomaund me un to yow, thankyng yow of the gret chere that ze made me the last tyme that I was with zow. Mastres, in alle zour godys and ocupacyons that lyth in my simpil power to do in wurd, wil and dede, I have do my dylygens and my power therto, so I be savyd be fore God, and have owyn to your person ryght herty love; for the qwych I am ryght ille aqwyt, and it be as I understande yt; for it is do me to wete that I am swid with mor of my paryshchons for a reskuse makyng up on the offycers of the shrewys [_sheriff_], and I take God to record that it is wrongfully do on to us. And the gret fray that the [_they_] mad in the tyme of masse it ravyched my witts and mad me ful hevyly dysposyd. I pray Jesu gef hem grace to repent hem therof that the [_they_] that caused it may stand out of perel of soule.
Maystras, at the reverens of God, and as evyr I may do servyce that may be plesyng on to yow, send me justyly wurd be the brynger of this bylle ho ze wil that I be gydyd; for it is told me that if I be take I may no other remedy havyn but streyth to prison. For the whiche I have sold away xx_s._ wurth of stuffe; and the reswd [_residue_] of my stuff, I have put it in swier hande, for trwly I wil not abyde the joparte of the swth,--I have levir to go as far as my fet may ber me. Nevir the less as ze komand me to do, so it be not to my gret hurt, I wil fulfille it. Nomor to zow at this tyme, but God send yow that grace that ze may kome to His blyss.
Wreten at Bromholm in gret haste,
Sir ROBERT WILLYAMSON.
[Footnote 23.2: [From Fenn, iii. 48.] The writer of this letter was Vicar of Paston from 1460 to 1464, and as he dates from Bromholm, which is in the immediate neighbourhood of Paston, we may presume that it was written during the time he held that benefice.]
MARGARET PASTON TO JOHN PASTON[24.1]
_To my ryth worchepfull husbond, John Paston, be thys delyveryd in hast._
[Sidenote: 1462 / JAN. 7]
Ryth worchepfull husbond, I recomand me to yow. Plesyt yow to wet that I sent yow a lettyr by my cosyn Barneys man of Wychyngham wyche was wretyn on Seynt Thomas Day in Crystmas,[24.2] and I had no tydyngys nor lettyr of yow sene the wek before Crystmas; wher of I mervayle sore. I fere me it is not well with yow be cawse ye came not home or sent er thys tyme.
I hopyd verily ye schold have ben at home by Twelthe at the ferthest.
I pray yow hertly that ye wole wychesave to send me word how ye do as hastly as ye may, for my hert schall nevyr be in ese tyll I have tydyngys fro yow. Pepyll of this contre begynyth to wax wyld, and it is seyd her that my Lord of Clarans and the Dwek of Suthfolk and serteyn jwgys with hem schold come downe and syt on syche pepyll as be noysyd ryotous in thys contre. And also it is seyd here, that there is retornyd a newe rescwe up on that that was do at the scher. I suppose swyche talkynge comyth of false schrewys that wold mak a rwmor in this contre.
The pepyll seyth here that they had levyr go up hole to the Kynge and compleyne of siche false screwys as they have be wrongyd by a fore, than they schold be compleynyd of with owt cause and be hangyd at ther owne dorys. In good feyth men fere sore here of a comone rysyng but if [_i.e._ unless] a bettyr remedy may be had to a pese the pepyll in hast, and that ther be sent swyche downe to tak a rewyll as the pepyll hathe a fantsy in, that wole be indeferent. They love not in no wyse the Dwke of Sowthfolk nor hys modyr. They sey that all the tretourys and extorsyonerys of thys contre be meynteynyd by them and by syche as they get to them with her goodys, to that intent to meynten suche extorsyon style as hathe be do by suche as hathe had the rewyll undyr them be fore tyme. Men wene, and the Dwke of Sowthfolk come ther scholl be a schrewd reuell but if [_unless_] ther come odyr that be bettyr belovyd than he is here. The pepyll feryth hem myche the more to be hurt, because that ye and my cosyn Barney come not home; they sey they wot welle it is not well with yow and if it be not well with yow, they sey they wot well, they that wole do yow wronge wole sone do them wronge, and that makyth them all most mad. God for Hys holy mersy geve grace that ther may be set a good rewyll and a sad in this contre in hast, for I herd nevyr sey of so myche robry and manslawter in thys contre as is now within a lytyll tyme. And as for gadyryng of mony, I sey nevyr a werse seson, for Rychard Calle seyth he can get but lytyll in substans of that is owyng, nowthyr of yowyr lyvelod nor of Fastolfys th'eyr. And John Paston seyth, they that may pay best they pay werst; they fare as thow they hopyd to have a newe werd [_world_]. And the blyssyd Trinite have yow in Hys kepyng and send us good tydyngys of yow.
Yelverton is a good thredbare frend for yow and for odyr in thys contre, as it is told me.
Wretyn in hast on the Thorsday nex aftyr Twelthe.
[Footnote 24.1: [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The contents of this letter clearly show that it was written in January 1462, nine days after No. 497.]
[Footnote 24.2: _See_ No. 497.]
MARGARET PASTON TO JOHN PASTON[26.1]
[Sidenote: 1462 / JAN. 27]
Ryth worchepfull husbond, I recomand me to yow. Plesyt yow to wet that Perse was delyveryd owt [of] preson by the generall pardon that the Kynge hathe grantyd, whyche was opynly proclamyd in the Gyld Hall.
A none as he was delyveryd he cam hedyr to me, God wote in an evyll plyte, and he desyiryd me wepyng that I wold be hys good mastres and to be mene to yow to be hys good mastyr, and swore sore that he was nevyr defawty in that ye have thowte hym defawty in. He seyd that if ther wer ony coyne in the cofyr that was at Wylliam Tavernerys it was ther withowt hys knowlage, for hys mastyr wold nevyr lat hym se what was in that cofyr, and he told me that the keyis wer sent to Thomas Holler[26.2] by mastyr John Smyth. What Holler leyd in or took owte he wot not as he sweryth. He offyrd me to be rewlyd as ye and I wold have hym, and if I wold comand hym, to go ageyn to preson, whedyr I wold to the Castyll or to the Gyld Hall, he wold obey my comandment. And seth that he came of hys owne fre wyll withowt ony comandment of ony man or desyir, I seyd I wold not send hym ageyn to preson, so that he wold abyde yowyr rewyll when ye came home. And so he is here with me and schall be tyll ye send me word how ye wole that I do with hym. Where fore, I pray yow that ye wole lete me have knowlage in hast how ye wole that I do with hym.
Item, I have spok with John Dame and Playter for the lettyr testymonyall, and John Dame hathe promysyd to get it, and Playter schall bryng it to yow to London. Item, I have purveyd yow of a man that schall be here in Barsamys sted and ye wole, the wyche can bettyr cherysch yowyr wood, bothe in fellyng and fensyng there of than Barsam can; and he schall mak yow as many hyrdyllys as ye nede for yowyr fold, of yowyr owne wood at Drayton, and schall tak as lytyll to hys wagys as Barsam dothe; and he is holdyn a trew man. Item, Playter schall tell yow of a woman that compleynyd to the Dwk of Sowthefolk of yow, and the sey[d]
Playter schall tell yow of the demenyng and answeryng of the scheryfe for yow, and also of the demenyng of the seyd Dwke, and of othir materys the wyche wer to longe mater to put in wryttyn. The pepyll of that kontre be ryth glad that the day yed [_went_] with yow on Monday as it ded. Ye wer nevyr so welcome in to Norfolk as ye schall be when ye come home, I trowe. And the blyssyd Trynyte have yow in Hys kepyng. Wretyn in hast on Wednysday next aftyr Seynt Augnet the Fyrst.
By yowyr M. P.
Item, Ric. Calle told me that he hathe sent you a answer of all erands that ye wold shuld be do to Sir Thomas Howes. Sir Thomas Howes cam nowther to me nor sent syn that he cam home from London.
Will Worceter was at me in Cristemes at Heylysdon, and he told [me] that he spake with you dyvers tymys at London the last terme; and he told me that he hopyd that ye wolle be hys good master, and seyd he hopyd ye shuld have non other cause but for to be hys god maister. I hope and so do my moder and my cosyn Clere, that he wolle do well inowe, so that he be fayre fare with Dawbeney and Playter. Avise me to lete Peers go at large and to take a promys of hym to com to me a mong unto your comyng hom, and in the mene while his demenyng may be knowyn and espyed in mo thyngs.
[Footnote 26.1: [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter relates to the prisoner Piers mentioned in Nos. 423, 424, and 426. He seems to have been delivered by a general pardon issued at the commencement of the reign of Edward IV. The letter bears no address. It is endorsed, but in a much later hand:-- 'A lettre to J. Paston, Ar., from his wife.']
[Footnote 26.2: He was John Berney's executor.]
JOHN DOWBIGGING TO JOHN PASTON[28.1]
_To the ryght reverent and worship sir, John Paston, sum tyme Lord of Gresham, and now fermour therof, as hit is seide._
Perys of Legh come to Lynne opon Cristynmesse Even in the fresshest wise, and there he dyned so as was; bot when my Lorde of Oxenforde herde hereof he with his feliship and suche as I and other your presoneres come rydyng unto Lynne, and even unto the Bysshop gaole where the seid Perys dyned with other of his feliship. My Lorde pulled hym oute of the seid gaole and made to kest hym opon an horse, and tyed an halter by his arme, and so ledde hym furth like hym selff. And even furthwith the seid Bysshop, the Mair, and other their feliship mette with my seide Lorde and your presoneres, and also the seide Perys tyed by an halter, the Bysshop havyng thies wordes unto my Lorde with his pillion[28.2] in his handes, 'My Lordes, this is a presoner, ye may knowe by his tepet and staff. What will ye do with hym?' Therto my Lorde seide, 'He is my presoner nowe.' Wherto the Bysshop seid, 'Where is youre warraunt or commission therto?' My Lorde seide, 'I have warraunt sufficiaunt to me.'
And thus they departed, the Mair and all the cominaltie of Lynne kepyng theire silence. Bot when we weren goon, and Perys of Legh fast in Rysyng Castell, then the yates of Lynne, by the Bysshop comaundement weren fast sperred [_shut_] and keped with men of armes. And then the Bysshop and his squyers rebuked the Mair of Lynne and seid that he hade shamed both hym and his toun for ever, with muche other langage, &c.
The Bysshop shulde have keped his Cristenmesse at Gaywode, bot yet he come not oute of Lynne. In faith, my Lorde dyd quyte hym als curageousely as ever I wist man do. The Bysshop come to the toun with lx. persones the same tyme, and made to sper the yates after hym, bot when we mette, ther bode not with hym over xij. persones atte the most, with his serjaunt of armes; whiche serjaunt was fayn to lay doun his mase; and so atte the same yates we come in we went oute, and no blode drawen, God be thanked.
Yf ye will any thyng atte I may do, send me worde; hit shall be doon to my power, &c. Comaunde me to my maistresse your wyff, &c. And yf ye dar joperdie your suyrtie of C. marc I shall come and se you. And elles have me excused, for, &c.
From your oune,
[Footnote 28.1: [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter is evidently earlier in date than the last, and may perhaps have been written at the close of the year 1460, but as it refers to the same prisoner as the preceding No. we place it here for convenience. It is printed in the fifth volume of Fenn's edition as a letter of Henry VII.'s time owing to a misreading of the address, which might easily convey the impression that it was directed to 'Sir John Paston.']
[Footnote 28.2: The hat worn by a Doctor of Divinity.]