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_To my ryght wyrshypfull mayster, Sir John Paston, Knyzt, be thys letter delyveryd in hast._

[Sidenote: 1466 / OCT. 29]

I grytte you well, and send you God ys blessyng and myn, desyryng you to send me werd how that ye spede in youre maters, for I thynk ryght leng tyll I here tydyngys from you; and in alwyse I avyse you for to be ware that ye kepe wysly your wrytyngys that ben of charge, that it com not in her [_their_] handys that may hurt you herafter. Your fader, wham God assole, in hys trobyll seson set more by hys wrytyngys and evydens than he dede by any of hys moveabell godys. Remember that yf the wer had from you, ye kowd never gyte no moo such as the be for your parte, &c.

Item, I wold ye shold take hyde that yf any processe com owte a yenst me, or a yenst any of tho that wer endyted a fore the coroner, that I myght have knowlych therof, and to purvey a remedy therfor.

Item, as for your fader ys wyll, I wold ye shold take ryght gode counsell therin, as I am enformyd it may be prevyd, thogh no man take no charge thys twelfmonth. Ye may have a letter of mynystracyon to such as ye wyll, and mynyster the godys and take no charge. I avyse you that ye in no wyse take no charge therof tyll ye know more than ye doo yet; for ye may verely knowe by that your unkell Will. seyd to you and to me, that thay wyll lay the charge uppon you and me for moo thyngys then ys exprest in your fader ys wyll, the whych shud be to grete for you or me to bere; but as for me, I will not be to hesty to take it uppon me, I ensure you.

And at the reverens of God, spede your maters so thys terme, that we may be in rest herafter, and lette not for no labour for the season, and remember the grete cost and charge that we have had hedyr toward, and thynk verely it may not lenge endur. Ye know what ye left when ye wer last at hom, and wyte it verely ther ys no mor in thys countray to bere owte no charge with. I awyse you enquer wysely yf ye canne gyte any more ther as ye be, for els by my feth I feer els it will not be well with ous; and send me word in hast hough ye doo, and whether ye have your laste dedys that ye fayled, for playnly they er not in thys contrey. It ys told me in consell that Ric. Calle hath nyer conqueryd your uncle Will. with fayre promyse twochyng hys lyflode and other thyngs, the whych shold prevayll hym gretly, as he sayth. Be ware of hym and of hys felowe be myn avyse. God sende you gode spede in all your maters.

Wryten at Caster, the moreu next after Symon and Jude, wher as I wold not be at thys tyme but for your sake, so mot I ches.

By your Moder.

[Footnote 254.3: [From Fenn, iv. 272.] The date of this letter is shown by the contents to be shortly after John Paston the father's death, probably in the same year.]




[Sidenote: 1466(?) / NOV. 10]

Was at Snaylwell on Sunday, but could get no money. Most of the tenants away at Canterbury or elsewhere. The rest said when you were there last you had given them till Candlemas, 'so that thei myght malt ther corn and brynge it to the best preffe.' Warned them to be ready by Tuesday before St. Edmond the King, when Richard Calle would visit them.

A thrifty man beside Bery is willing to take the farm; but every one says the last farmer was undone by it. Advises Paston not to overcharge his farms. I have seen Catelyn's corn, and your tenants say it is sufficient to content you. Your shepherd wishes to know if you will continue him, for no one has spoken to him since my master your father died. Men of Fordham have occupied your ground these two years that my master has been in trouble. I think you should speak to my Lord of Worcester, as he and Woodhous are lords of the town. I have bid the farmers at Snaylwell sow some wheat land, and have warned the tenants at Sporle, Pagrave, and Cressingham to be ready to pay. Advises him to keep up his place at Langham's. If 'my master' had lived he would have exchanged it for the parsonage. Supped on Monday night at a place of the Duke of Suffolk's with the parson of Causton, a chaplain of the Duchess, 'and they talked sore of my Lady's bargain, and were right sorry that she should forsake it.' The parson asserted that the feoffees had put her in possession of the manors. Talk over this with your counsel; for if the feoffees be compelled to release in Chancery it will be nought, because of the estate they made before; so when you expect to be most quiet you will be most troubled. There was also the parson of Brampston, and he said W. Yelverton had sent a letter to the bailiff he has set at Guton, but what it meant I could not find out. W. Yelverton has put the parson of Heynford out of his farm. I did not speak with your mother before writing this, as she was at Caister.

Norwich, St. Martin's Even.

From the mention of John Paston the father as dead, and the trouble he had been in for two years, it would appear that this letter must have been written in 1466, the year of his death. The letter is endorsed in a contemporary hand: 'Literae anno vj. et vij. Edwardi iiij^ti.'

[Footnote 256.1: [From Paston MSS., B.M.]]




[Sidenote: 1466 / DEC. 22]

Desires his favour for Frere John Chesteyn and John Russe of Yarmouth, who are suspected by Lord Scales of having treasures or jewels of my Master Paston's. He never trusted them with any, knowing they were familiar with William Jenney and Sir Thomas Howes. Is sure he put no treasure into any place in that town, religious or other, for he often said he wondered any thrifty man would live in it, 'there were so much riotous people therein.' Begs his favour for my mistress Paston, 'which is now under your governance.' Hopes to see her hereafter 'as worshipful and well at ease as ever she was, and a great deal better when these troubles be passed; for I am sekir whan God woll that she be passed them she would not suffer them again for right great riches.'

Norwich, morrow of St. Thomas Apostle.

[This letter has a great appearance of having been written shortly after John Paston's death. We place it therefore in the year in which he died.]

[Footnote 257.1: [From Paston MSS., B.M.]]



_To Mestresse Margrete Paston, be thys delyveryd._

[Sidenote: Date uncertain]

Please it yow to weete that I sende yow by Barker, the berer heroff, iij. tracle pottes of Geane [_Genoa_] as my potecarie swerytht on to me, and mooreovyr that they weer never ondoo syns that they come from Geane.

Wheroff ye shalle take as many as pleasyth yow; neverthe lesse my brother John sente to me for ij., therfor I most beseche yow that he maye have at the lest on. Ther is on potte that is morkyn ondre the bottome ij. tymes with thyes letteris M. P., whyche potte I have best truste on too, and nexte hym to the wryghe potte; and I mystruste moost the potte that hathe a krotte abovyn in the toppe, lesse that he hathe ben ondoone. And also the other ij. pottys be prentyd with that marchauntys marke too tymes on the coveryng, and that other pott is butt onys morkyn but with on prente, notwithstondyng I hadde lyke othe and promyse for on as well as for alle.[258.1]

[Footnote 257.2: [From Fenn, iv. 264.] This and the two letters following are without any certain date, but they are all addressed to Margaret Paston, most probably after her husband's death.]

[Footnote 258.1: The signature of this letter, Fenn says, is torn off the original MS.]




Has a tenant, a widow in Sall, building a house on his ground. She has been threatened with having it pulled down. Send for Aleyn Roos, my receiver, and take his counsel what is to be done.

London, 24 Nov. Signed 'By your nevew Edward Mawdby'; although addressed 'my most trusty and well beloved niece.'

[Footnote 258.2: [From Paston MSS., B.M.]]




My little cousin your son[258.5] is a fair child. Wishes certain evidences of Frethorp, which she delivered to Margaret Paston's husband to make award between her and Rammesbury, a paper book of the customs of Ormesby and a roll called 'domysday,' &c. Your father-in-law[258.6] was of counsel both with my mother[258.7] and with my mother-in-law.[258.8]

Supposes there may be other evidences, as of Tacolneston, Therston, Reynthorp, Rusteynes in Wymondham, Kesewik, and Stratton. Sends back some rolls brought by a man from Norwich, which belong to Margaret Paston and not to the writer.

[Footnote 258.3: [From Paston MSS., B.M.]]

[Footnote 258.4: Elizabeth, widow of Robert Clere of Ormesby. She died in 1492.]

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