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[Sidenote: 1466(?) / JULY 20]

Latter clause of a writ of _supersedeas_ to an escheator directing him not to make inquisition _post mortem_ on the lands of John ----, until further notice.

Westminster, 20 July.

[From the time of year at which this writ is dated, it may have been issued after the death of John Paston, who died in May 1466, the inquisition on his lands not having been taken till October following. But it may possibly have applied to the lands of Sir John Fastolf, who died in November 1459, the inquisition after his death not having been taken till October 1460.]

[Footnote 247.1: [From Paston MSS., B.M.]]



The following document is derived from a transcript made by Sandford in the Genealogy mentioned in No. 641, and some previous papers, and is likewise reprinted from Mr. Worship's article. Prefixed to it in Sandford's MS. are these words:-- 'The Briefe followinge was delivered to Edward Paston, Esq., amonge other evidence, by his uncle Clement Paston, and it is written in an old hand.' It would appear, however, from the wording, not to be a 'brief' or abstract, as Sandford considered it, but an extract from some certificate made in the King's name in behalf of Sir John Paston, setting forth what had been proved on examination as to the gentility of his ancestry.

They shewed divers great evidences and court rolles, how that they and their ancetors had been possessed of a court and seniory in the town of Paston, and of many and sundry bondmen, sithen the time that no mind is to the contrary; and how that Agnes Paston, wife to the said William Paston, father to the said John, William, and Clement, in title of her dower, is in possession of bondholders, and also of bondmen, whose ancetors have been bondmen to the ancetors of the said John Paston sithen the time that no minde is to the contrary. And they shewed divers fines, some leavyed in the time of the begining of the reigne of our noble progenitor, Edward the First, son of Kinge Henry, son of King John, of liveloude whereof they and theire ancetors have been possessed ever since to this day.

Also they shewed divers inquests which is matters of record. Also they shewed divers deeds and grants before time of mind, how that their ancetors had licence to have a chaplen and have divine service within them. And that divers of their ancetors had given lyvelyhood to houses of religion to be prayed for, and confirmacions under the Great Seale of our noble ancestor Kinge Henry the Third, son of Kinge John, confirming the same grants.

Also they shewed divers old deeds, some without date, insealed under autenticke seales, of divers particular purchases in the town of Paston, reciting in the said deeds that the land was holden of the ancetors of the said ... . . Paston, as of the chiefe lord of the fee, and by homage, and had ward, marriage and reliefe. Also they shewed how their ancestors were infeoffed in divers men's mannors and lands in trust.

Also they shewed a great multitude of old deeds, without date and with date, wherein their ancetors were alwaies sett first in witness, and before all other gentlemen. Also they shewed how their ancetors had, in old time and of late time, married with worshipfull gentlemen; and proved, by deeds of marriage and by other deeds, how their ancetors had indowed their wives, and by discents of livelyhood, and by testaments and wills of their ancestors under seale; and made open by evident proofe, how they and their ancetors came lineally descended of right noble and worshipfull blood, and of great lords, sometime liveing in this our realme of Ingland. And also they made open proofe how they were nere of kin and blood to many of the worshipfullest of the country, and also nere to many and sundry great estates and lords of this realme, and was openly proved and affirmed, without contradiction or proofe to the contrary.

They shewed how they had kept pl'ce with divers ... . and with Plays that had wedded the Earle Warren's daughter, the third yeare of Edward the First. They shewed a lineall discent, how their first ancetor, Wulstan, came out of France, and Sir William Glanvile together, his kinsman, that after founded the pryory of Bromholme by the towne of Paston and the towne of Bentley; and how Wulstan had issue Wulstan, which bare armes gould flowret azure; and how he had issue, Raffe and Robert; which Raffe, senior, bare armes as his father, and Robert the younger bare silver flowret azure. And Robert had issue Edmund and Walter; which Edmund the elder bare as his father; and his brother, because he married Glanvile's daughter, a cheife indented gold, the field silver, flowret azure; and how their ancetors after bare with lesse number; and how Sir John Paston was heire to all those, for they died sans issue. And this was shewed by writinge of olde hand, and by old testaments and evidences.



[Sidenote: 1466 / SEPT. 16]

To all to whom this present writting xal come, I, Agnes Paston, late the wife of William Paston, Justice, send greting in God everlasting, lating hem know that I, the forseid Agnes, of goode and hole mende, the xvj.

day of Septembre, the vj. yere of the reigne of Kyng E. the iiij^th and the yere of our Lord a M^{l}CCCClxvj., make and ordeyne my last will in al the maners, londes, tenementes, rentes, services, mesuages, and places, that ony person or persones bene seased of to myn use and behof with in Norwiche, Norffolk, Suffolk, Essex, Hertfordshere, or in any other shere with in Englond, praying and desiring al the personez so feffed to myn use, after this my will, writtyn and inceled under my seale, be shewed unto them, that they wol make astate to the persones lemited in my seid will according.

And inasmoche as myn husbond, whos soule God assoile, dyverse tymes, and specialy among other the day of the moneth, rehersed to me that the lyvelod whiche he had assigned to his ij. yongest, William and Clement, by his will in writting, was so littill that they mizt not leve thereon, withouzt they shuld hold the plowe to the tayle; and ferthermore, seying that he had dyvers oder maners, that is to say, the maner of Sporle, Sweynsthorp, and Bekham; which maner of Bekham he was purposed to chaunge with the maner of Pagrave; and if he myzt bring it abouzt, then xuld on of his ij. yongest sones have the seid maners of Sporle and Bekham, and no more, and the other yongest sone xuld have al the remenaunt. And he that had the maner of Sweynsthorp xuld be bound in a gret some to the prior of the Abbey of Norwiche, to paie dayly for ever to the monke that for that day singeth the masse of the Holy Goste in our Lady Chapell in Norwiche, where he purposed to leye his body, every day iiij_d._, to sing and pray for his sowle and myn, and al the sowles that he and I have hade any goode of or be beholdyn to pray for. And after that the ----[250.1] day of --------[250.1] next folowing my seid husbond lying seke in his bed, in the presens of John Paston, his sone and myn, John Bakton, John Dame, and of me, declared his will towching certein of his children and me, at whiche tyme he assigned to the seid John Paston the maner of Gressham in honde, and the revercion of suche lyvelode as he zave me after my decesse, askyng hym the question wheder he held hym not content so, seying to him in these termes, 'Sir, and thow do not I doo, for I will not geve so mekyll to on that the remenaunt xal have to littill to leve on. At the whiche[251.1] . .'

[Footnote 249.1: [From Paston MSS., B.M.]]

[Footnote 250.1: Blanks in MS.]

[Footnote 251.1: Here the fragment ends at the bottom of a leaf written only on one side.]



B.--And after that the ---- day of the monethe my seyd husbond lyyng seke on hys bede sent for me, John Paston, Bakton, and John a Dame, to here hiis wyll rede; and in owr presens all he began to reede hiis wylle, and spak fyst of me, and assynyid to me the maners of Paston, Latymer, and Schypden and Ropers, in Crowmer, for terme of my lyffe, and the manerys of Merlyngforthe, Stonsted, and Horwelbury, whyche wasse myn owne enheritans, and Oxned, whyche wasse my jontor, and [prayd me to hold me contente so, for][251.3] hadde do to lityll to ony it wasse to me, for somme he faryd the better, and so devedede (?) he ded for not of hem all, but he hadde more to care for, wyche myn as well as hys. And than he red John parte, and assynyd to hym and to hys wyffe the maner of Gressam, and after my desesse the maner of Oxned; and he, thynkyng by John Pastons demenyng that he wasse not plesyd because ... .

C.--Swynne of slowyth that hiis wyll wasse not made up, but wot swm ever cwm of me, Dame, I wyll ze know my wyll, and seyd that swyche lond as he hadde not wrytyn in hiis wyll wott xwlde he do with all, he wold his ij.

yongest sonnys, Wyllam and Clement, xwlde have, and owte of Sweynthorpe to have hiis perpetuell masse. And of thys prayd me to reporte recorde and berre wyttnesse; in qwyche disposicion and intent he continuyd in on to the day of hiis dethe, and I darre rytgh largely deposse that that same wasse hiis last wyll the tyme of hiis dethe; qwyche wyll immediatly after my husbondes decesse I hopynd and declaryd to John Paston and al the other executores of my husbond, desyeryng hem to have performyd it.

And the seyd John Paston wold in no wysse agree ther to, seyying that by the lawe the seyd manerys xulde be hiis, in as moche as my husbonde made no wyll of hem in wrytyn, and gatte the dedis owte of my possession and estat of the feffees in the seyde manerys, myn unknowyng.

And after that swyche tresowre of my husbons as wasse leyde in the Abbey of Norwyche by the seyd John Paston, John Bakton, John Dam, and me, to delyvere azen to us all, the seyde John Paston owte of the seyde Abbey unknowyn to the priour or ony oder person of the seyde Abbey, and withowte my wetyn[g] and assente, or ony of owre felawys, toke and bare awey all, and kepyng it styll azens my wyll and all the tother executores wyllys, nothere restoryng the seid Wyllam and Clement to the forseyd land, nother recompensyng them of my husbonds tresor, and ordeynyng for my husbonds sowle in havyng of hiis perpetuell masse acordyng to his wyll. Werfor, in as moche as I know and understonde verrely that it wasse my husbonds wyll the tyme of hys dethe, that the seyd Wyllam and Clement xwlde have the seyd manerys of Sporle, Sweynsthorp, and Bekham, and the annuyte for hys perpetuell masse to be going owte of the seyde maner of Sweynthorp, and that the possessioners of the seyd manerys at thys day wyll in no wysse by any fayer menez or spekyng tender my seyd husbonds sowle and myn, ner perform the wyll of my seyd husbond, I wyll have and xall by the gras[e] of swyche lyvelode as I have in my possession, that is for to sey, the maners of Stonsted, Marlyngforthe, and Horwellbury, that swm tym wasse my faders and my moders, and cwm on to me by them as myn enheritance. And after my decesse if I wolde soffer it to desend, xwld goo to the wronge possessioners of the seyd manerys of Sporle, Sweynsthorp, and Bekham, qwyche xall not be lettyd for me, but if it be thorow her owne defaute, make, sta[b]lesse and ordeyn myn husbonds perpetuell masse and myn, and of the remenaunt, as swerly as can be made by the lawe, I wyll the seyd Wyllam and Clement be recompensyd to the valew of the seyde manerys of Sporle, Sweynthorpe, and Bekkam, zerly [_yearly_], on to the tyme that they be restoryd to the forseyd manerys of Sporle, Sweynthorp, and Bekkam, in lik forme, and lyke astat as xall be afterwards lymytyd in thys my last[253.1] [will; chargyng and requiryng the seyd Wyllam and Clement that after that they be restoryd to the manerys of Sporle, Sweynsthorp, and Bekam, they restore myn heyres to Marlyngforthe, Stons[ted], and Orwelbury.]

[Footnote 251.2: [From Paston MSS.] The following appear to be three separate fragments of an original draft of Agnes Paston's will, written on two sides of a small scrap of paper. Two of these fragments have the letters B and D prefixed to them, showing that they were intended as insertions in a part of the text now lost.]

[Footnote 251.3: These words are struck through with the pen.]

[Footnote 253.1: The word 'will' is omitted in the MS., and the words 'my last' repeated. What follows is crossed out.]



In the Paston Genealogy drawn up by Sandford, to which we have several times before alluded, occurs another extract from the will of Agnes Paston, as follows:--

'Also I bequeath to the Whight Fryers of the said city of Norwich, for I am there a suster, to helpe to pay hir [_their_] debts, xx_li._, which I will be gathered of the arrerage of my lyvelode. Also I bequeath to the auter of Gracion of the said House, whereas mine husband and I have a perpetuall masse, a vestment which they have for a prist to judge in or [_of ?_] rede satern. Also to the mendinge of the chappell of our Ladie within the said place, whereas Sir Thomas Gerbrege, my grandfather, and Dame Elizabeth his wife, and Sir Edmond Berrye my father, and Dame Alice his wife, be buried, and Clement Paston my sonn.'



On the Thurseday at nyght before Our Ladys Day the Assumpcion,[253.3]

betwixt xj. and xij. of the clokk, in the yer of Our Lord God MCCCC. and xliiij., the Sondays lettre on the D., died my husbond, God assoyle his sowle. And on the Fryday after I sent for John Paston, John Dam, &c. And on the Wedynysday after cam John Paston, &c. And on the Fryday John Paston, John Dam and I yede into the chambre, and they desyred of me to see the wyll. I lete them see it. And John Dam redde it; and when he had redde it, John Paston walkyd up and down in the chambere. John Dam and I knelyd at the beddys fete.

[Footnote 253.2: [From Fenn, iii. 15.] The following memorandum relative to the death of her husband was written by Agnes Paston, probably about the time she made her will.]

[Footnote 253.3: The Assumption of Our Lady was the 15th August.]



Roll of paper containing a draft in English of part of the inquisition on the death of John Paston, relating more especially to the foundation of Fastolf's college. In the latter part the jury find that John Paston died on the 22nd May[254.2] last, and that Sir John Paston, Knight, is his son and next heir, and is of the age of 24 years and more.

? Copies of the original inquisition, as returned into Chancery, and of that on the death of Sir John Fastolf, exist among the Paston MSS. in the Bodleian Library.

[Footnote 254.1: [Addit. Roll, 17,258, B.M.]]

[Footnote 254.2: The date in the inquisition returned into Chancery (6 Edw. IV., No. 44) is 21st May.]

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