His testimony generally agrees with that of Monke, and he says the covenant of Akethorpe was made in the February before Fastolf's death.
Between Christmas and Easter after his death deponent heard Howes in the manor of Caister say to Robert Cutteler the vicar that he should have 6 marks for his labour in giving evidence about Fastolf's will; and afterwards Howes in his chamber in the said manor paid him 6 marks.
Paston also promised him a benefice worth 40 marks. He says, about a month before Fastolf's death, he heard Howes and Paston frequently repeat publicly in the household the tenor of Sir John Fastolf's will.
About St. John Baptist's day last he was at Yarmouth, and heard John Symmys and John Shawe say they were hired by Paston and Howes to give evidence in the proving of Fastolf's will.
III. John Gyrdynge of Fretenham, where he has lived four years; before which time he lived with the Prior of St. Faith's two years, before that in the manor of Caster four years, before that with John Emeryngale of Wroxham two years, and before that in Norwich as an apprentice with Henry Toke five years; a cook, illiterate and of free condition, thirty-two years old and over.[241.1] Agrees with the evidence of corruption against Rus and others. Was present in Fastolf's room that Saturday forenoon, and saw the two chaplains celebrating mass.
H. Wynstall the barber was present till ten A.M.
IV. William Boswell of Thetford, who was four years with Friar Bracley, &c., _literatus_, of free condition, thirty years old and more. Heard Howys, Paston, and Rus frequently confer at Caister about the sale of a house in Yarmouth, which Howys, at the request of Paston, at length granted to Rus at 20 less than its value, to the end that Rus might bear witness in their favour and in the proving of Fastolf's will. [Here occurs a marginal note by another hand, 'Male sonat. Quod alius consensit non probatur.' At the head of this deposition also it is said that this witness has been proved corrupt.]
V. Robert Inglys of Lodon, gentleman, who has lived there two years, and before that in the parish of Hopton three years, before that with Henry None, Esq., for more than a year, before that with Sir John Fastolf two years, before that with the Abbot of Langley two years, and before that in Hopton with his father; illiterate, and of free condition, thirty years old and more.
VI. Richard Horne of Brundall, Norwich diocese, husbandman (_agricultor_), who has lived there four years, and before that with Thomas Howys six years, and before that in the parish of St. George, Southwark, three years; illiterate, of free condition, twenty-six years old.
VII. Thomas Pykeryng of Wroxham, Norwich diocese, who has been a schoolmaster at Norwich and Aylesham, and is now clerk to Robert Norwich, steward of the Abbot of St. Benet's, Hulme.
VIII. Henry Clerke of Blowfeld, husbandman (_agricultor_), once in the service of Sir John Fastolf, illiterate, twenty-eight years old, of free condition. Says that on the Saturday before Fastolf's death Howys sent him and John Shawe to Yarmouth about seven A.M., with a cart-load of malt to one named Chirche; that they arrived about eight, and were spoken to by John Rus and Robert Cutteler in the market-place; that they waited with their cart till two P.M., when deponent took leave of Russ and Cutteler in the street, having repeatedly seen them there in the interval. Also that at eight and nine A.M. he saw Robert Hert in Yarmouth, who soon after his arrival delivered him a sack containing meat, bought, as he said, by Rus for Fastolf's household. He says also that between eight and nine he spoke with the said John Symmys, William Pykeryng, and John Osbern in Yarmouth.
Marginal notes are appended to the above statements, affirming that bribery had been proved against this witness by four others, and that he stood alone in his testimony.
IX. John Tovy of Caister, where he has lived ever since he was born, _agricultor, literatus_, of free condition, twenty-four years old and more; cannot depose of his own knowledge to the bribery of John Rus and the others. He says John Rus was not present in the manor on the said Saturday, having to be at Yarmouth to provide victuals for the household. About eight A.M. witness conveyed to the said manor some linen, which his mother had washed, for she was Sir John's washerwoman, and waited there, sometimes in the hall and sometimes in Sir John's chamber, till after midday, but did not see John Rus or any of the others named, as he would have done if they had been present.
X. Thomas Hert of Caister, _agricultor_, who has lived there from his birth, illiterate, of free condition, twenty-three years old. Cannot depose to bribery except from hearsay. Was sent to Caister by his father on the Saturday before Fastolf's death with capons to be sold to John Rus, purveyor of victuals for the household, but on inquiring for him, found he was absent, and delivered the capons to Sir Thomas Howes.
Waited till nine A.M. and saw neither Rus, Cutteler, Boteler, nor Robert Hert, but was told Rus was at Yarmouth, and Boteler sick in his chamber.
John Symmys had nothing to do with the shoeing of Sir John's horses that day. Was asked to bear witness in this cause a fortnight ago by Sir William Yelverton's servant at Caister.
XI. William Shave, roper of Yarmouth, illiterate, of free condition, fifty-eight years old. On the Saturday before Fastolf's death, was at the house of John Balle, at the sign of the Cock, in Yarmouth, in a parlour near the public street, when Sir Thomas Howes informed John Rus, there present, that he had been desired by John Paston to remit to him 20 of the price of a house sold to Rus by the said Thomas, and thereupon he remitted to him the said 20 and 5 marks, in which he was bound to Sir John Fastolf. He also promised him the lands of Akethorp Hall for 40 marks less than any other, provided he would favour the intention of Howes and Paston. [It is remarked in the margin that witness does not say what intention.] William Lynde, a servant of Sir John Fastolf, was present, besides others. He saw Russ and Cutteler that Saturday at Yarmouth, between nine and twelve A.M., and spoke with them and drank in the house of Thomas Lounde. As to Thomas Torald, witness was at Yarmouth one Saturday, when he heard Robert Cutteler and Torald conversing; and the former told the latter that Sir Thomas Howes loved him well, and that John Paston could do him much good, and in the name of Paston and Howes he promised Torald 20_s._ for his labour, besides expenses, if he would depose for them. Knows that on the Saturday before Fastolf's death Bartholomew Elys was in Yarmouth from half-past eight to eleven A.M., for he and witness bought fish called roches together, sold some, and divided others in Elys's house. That day he saw John Rus in Yarmouth several times every hour from seven to eleven A.M., for he was in the market-place all that time on his business, and at vespers he saw John Rus in the parish church of the said town. Next day, Sunday, he also saw him there at matins and at mass.
XII. Nicholas Chirche of Yarmouth, merchant, _literatus_, of free condition, forty years old and more. Testifies concerning a conversation held in John Balle's parlour at the Cock in Yarmouth after the Christmas following Fastolf's death, with Sir Thomas Howes, John Paston, John Rus, Friar Clement Felmyngham, Dan Robert Cutteler, Robert Boteler, Thomas Neve, and others, when Howes remitted to John Rus 20 of the price of a house he had sold him, and 5 marks of the arrears of his accounts. He also testifies to other acts of the same nature on that occasion, and to the absence of Rus and Cutteler at Yarmouth on the Saturday above referred to, &c.
[In the margin it is remarked that this witness has been proved corrupt by three others.]
On the 22d May John Naseby, proctor for Yelverton and Howes, produced as a witness one John Rugge, in presence of Master Robert Kent, Paston's proctor.
XIII. Thomas Newton of Burgh, _agricultor_, illiterate, of free condition, fifty years old and more.
XIV. Thomas Spycer of Southtown, by Yarmouth, tailor, illiterate, of free condition, fifty years old and more.
XV. Thomas Neve of Jernemuth [_Yarmouth_], merchant, _literatus_, of free condition, forty years old and more.
XVI. John Rugge, mariner, of Yarmouth, illiterate, of free condition, fifty years old.
XVII. John Clerke of Gorlaston, _agricultor_, illiterate, of free condition, fifty years old. Heard Clement Felmyngham report to him at the Austin Friars in Southtown that Paston and Howes had given him a pension of 8 marks a year for life, and 40_s._ for his servant, to say masses for the soul of Sir John Fastolf. Cannot witness of bribery otherwise. A little after Michaelmas, two years before Fastolf's death, William Worceter in Fastolf's name delivered possession of six of his manors in Lodylond, viz. Spytlyng in Gorlaston, Bradwell Hall in Bradwell, Hadlounde in Bradwell, Calcotes in Freton, Beytons in Belton, and Akethorpe in Leystoft, to Sir Thomas Howes and others, his co-feoffees named in a charter of enfeoffment, to the use of Sir John during his life, and to execute his will afterwards. This he knows, because he rode with Howes to the said manors when he took possession, and saw and heard Worceter deliver possession thereof. Thomas Torald reported to witness in Lent last that Paston and Howes had promised and paid him 20_s._, besides his expenses, to give evidence in the proving of Fastolf's will, and had given each of his fellow-witnesses as much.
XVIII. Robert Bunche of Yarmouth, mariner, _literatus_, of free condition, fifty years old. Swears to having seen John Rus that Saturday at Yarmouth between seven and eight. [A marginal note says that being afterwards produced as a witness by Paston, he admitted having been suborned, and having deposed falsely.]
On the 22d July Yelverton's proctor, Naseby, produced in presence of Paston's proctor, Kent, two witnesses, viz.--Stephen Scrope, Esq., and Richard Fastolf.
XIX. Stephen Scrope, Esq., of free condition, seventy years old or about. Says he was several times with Sir John Fastolf in his manor of Caister within the two years before his death, when Sir John told him he had made his will, and had ordered his executors to erect a college of six or seven monks and seven poor men at Caister, and that they should have lands and goods to the value of 300 marks a year, if a license could be obtained from the King to that effect; otherwise that the number of monks at St. Benet's should be increased, and seven poor men supported in the monastery. [In the margin it is remarked that this witness proves nothing against the accused witnesses, but only endeavours to depose concerning the will of the deceased.]
XX. Richard Fastolfe, of the parish of St. Mary Eldermary, in London, tailor, where he has lived for two years, and before that in the parish of St. Michael, Crokydlane, London, for a quarter of a year, formerly with the Duke of York, _literatus_, of free condition, thirty-two years old. Went to Caister about the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross preceding Fastolf's death, along with one Thomas Plummer, _scriptor_, of London, now deceased. Found Sir John walking about his chamber led by two servants, when Plummer petitioned him to help deponent with goods that he might marry, as he was one of Sir John's relations. To this Sir John made answer that he had within a few [days] preceding made his will, which he would not alter, and that he had made mention of deponent therein. He also said to Plummer that if he had come in good time, he should have written his will.
[Throughout all the above depositions will be found marginal comments in another hand, a few of which we have noticed incidentally, tending to show that the testimony given is insufficient to prove the bribery of Paston's witnesses, or to invalidate their statements.]
'Responsiones personaliter factae per Johannem Paston, armigerum, xxix die mensis Julii anno Domini MCCCClxv^to, Indictione xiij^ma, pontificatus sanctissimi in Christo patris et domini nostri, domini Pauli Divina providencia Papae Secundi anno primo, in domo habitationis venerabilis mulieris Elisabethae Venor in le Flete vulgariter nuncupat'
infra parochiam Sanctae Brigidae Virginis in suburbeis civitatis London'
situata, [et] x., xj., et xij^mo diebus mensis Decembris anno Domini supradicto, Indictione xiiij^ma, pontificatus dicti sanctissimi patris domini Pauli Papae Secundi anno secundo, in domo thesaurarii ecclesiae Cathedralis Sancti Pauli London' in parochia Sancti Gregorii civitatis London' situata, coram venerabili viro Magistro Johanne Druell, utriusque juris doctore, commissario et examinatore in hac parte specialiter deputato, in praesentia mei, Nicholai Parker, notarii publici, scribae in ea parte assumpti et deputati, de et super interrogatoriis per partem venerabilis viri domini Willelmi Yelverton militis et Willelmi Worceter, executorum testamenti domini Johannis Fastolf militis ministratis, productum.'
[Footnote 236.1: [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The following examinations are contained in the same volume as the depositions of John Paston of which an abstract will be found in No. 606. They begin at page 21, immediately after Paston's depositions, a single blank page intervening.]
[Footnote 236.2: By a singular mistake in the record, Sir William Yelverton is here spoken of as deceased instead of John Paston:-- 'per partem venerabilis viri domini Willelmi Yelverton militis defuncti contra testes Johannis Paston armigeri et domini Thomae Howys.' Yelverton certainly lived for some years after this, and was continued as judge by Henry VI. on his restoration (_see_ Foss), but John Paston died on the 26th May 1466.]
[Footnote 239.1: South-Town, Yarmouth, sometimes called Little Yarmouth.]
[Footnote 240.1: 'Quod dictis Johannes Paston apud Castre penultimo die Octobris ultimo praeterito ad tres annos proxime elapsos sibi retulit.' It would seem by this that Popy's testimony must have been given within three years of Fastolf's death.]
[Footnote 241.1: The residences of every one of the witnesses are given from the time of his birth; but we have given these details only in one or two cases as specimens.]
[[in the manor of Caster _text unchanged: Gairdner's usual spelling is "Caister"_]]
EXTRACT FROM 'AN INDEX TO DEEDS AND WRITINGS IN THE TOWER, MAGDALEN COLLEGE, OXFORD'
'34. The testimony of Th. Howes concerning the testament of Sir John Fastolf, touching which controversies arose between John Paston the elder, and Thos. Howes of the one party, and William Yelverton, Knight, and William Worcetyr on the other.'
EDWARD IV. TO THE BAILIFFS OF YARMOUTH[246.1]
BY THE KINGE (EDWARD THE FOURTH)[246.2]
[Sidenote: 1466 / JULY 17]
Trusty and welbeloved, we greet yow well, letting yow wete that our trusty and welbeloved knight Sir John Paston, our welbeloved William Paston, and Clement Paston, with other, have been before us and our councell worshipfully declared of the surmise of great charge that was laid on our behalfe unto John Paston deceased and them, jointly and severally; so that we hold them and every of them sufficiently declared in that matter, and take and repute them as gentlemen descended lineally of worshipfull blood sithen the Conquest hither; and over that, have commanded that plenare restitution of the manner of Castor, and of all other lands and tenements, with goods and cattell, that the said John Paston deceased had of the gift and purchase of Sir John Fastolfe, Knight, shall wholly be restored unto our said Knight Sir John Paston, like as the said John Paston deceased had in any time of his daies.
Wherefore, in as much as our said Knight intendeth to make his abideing in Castor, we desire and pray yow that, for our sake and contemplation, ye will be friendly and neighbours unto him in his right; and such other things as may be to his profitt and ease, wherein ye shall do unto us full and good pleasure. Yeaven under our signet in our Castle at Windsore the xvij^th day of July.
Subjoined to the above in Sandford's Genealogy is 'the coppie of a warrant sent from Kinge Edward the Fourth to restore Sir John Paston to the lands and possessions which he purchased of Sir John Fastolfe, whereof the originall remaineth in the custody of Edw.
Paston, Esq.' It is addressed 'To all tenaunts, fermors, or occupiers of all the lands and tenements, and of every part of them, that late were John Paston's, Esq., now deceased, by way of inheritance, or Agnes Paston, Margaret Paston, William Paston, and Clement Paston, or any of them, and to all such persons what so they be, now being in the manner or place of Castor, or in any lifelode that was the said John Paston, Esq., by way of gifte or purchase of late Sir John Fastolfe, or of any other, within our counties of Norff., Suff., and Norwich, and to all the tenants, fermors, baylies, or occupiers of the same, and of every part thereof; and to all mayers, shreves, eschetors, bayliffs, and other our officers, as well within franchise as without our counties aforesaid, hereing or seeing these our letters.' The King mentions in this warrant that 'great part of the said lands, tenements, and manors had been seized into our hands'; and the tenants, farmers, bailiffs, and occupiers of the said lands are charged thenceforth to pay the whole issues and profits thereof to Sir John Paston; and the mayors, sheriffs, escheators, and others the King's officers are charged to be 'assisting, helping, and strengthening.' The warrant is 'Yeven under our signet at Windsore, the xxvj^th day of July, the sixth yeare of our reigne.'
[Footnote 246.1: This letter is reprinted from the _Norfolk Archaeology_, where it was first published by Mr. Worship from a transcript made by Sandford in his MS. Genealogy of the Paston family, compiled in 1674. Sandford states that 'the originall under the King's seale remaineth in the custody of Edward Paston, Esq.' The date is rendered certain by the warrant subjoined.]
[Footnote 246.2: We have placed the words 'Edward the Fourth' in parentheses, though they are not so printed by Mr. Worship, and are probably not so written in Sandford's MS., because we suspect that they were not in the text of the original document, but were added by Sandford by way of explanation.]