[MARGARET PASTON] TO HER SON [SIR JOHN PASTON]
[Sidenote: 1471(?) / NOV. 20]
Wonders she has no answer to her letter by Ric. Raddeley. Wants him and his brother to get a discharge from my Lord of Canterbury, 'for occupying of your father's goods.' If my Lord died before we got it, his successor might be 'more hasty upon us than he hath been.' My Lord knows the great charges we have had since he deceased, which have caused the goods to be spent. If any of us were to die, no one would take charge for us unless we have a discharge. Remember the spices and malmsey I have sent to you for.
St. Edmund's Day the King.
[At the date of this letter, Sir John Paston and his brother John were together in London, and apparently the Archbishop of Canterbury was seriously ill. Of the latter fact we have no certain knowledge, but it appears by a subsequent letter that there was a report of his death in June 1472, and the two brothers were certainly in London together in November of the year preceding. It is probable therefore that the Archbishop was ill of the epidemic which prevailed in the latter part of 1471 and the spring of 1472. The two brothers were not together in November 1472.]
[Footnote 123-1: [From Paston MSS., B.M.]]
MARGARET PASTON TO JOHN PASTON[124-1]
_To John Paston, Esquier, be this delyverd in hast._
[Sidenote: 1471 / NOV. 29]
I grete zow welle, and send zow Goddes blyssyng and myn, letyng zow wete that I have a letter from zour brother, wherby I undyrstand that he cannot, ner may, make no porveyans for the C. mark; the wyche causythe me to be rythgh hevy, and for other thynges that he wrytht to me of that he is in dawnger. For remembering wat we have had befor thys and ho symppylly yt hath be spente and to lytyl profythe to any of us, and now arn in soche casse that non of us may welle helpe other with owte that we schuld do that wer to gret a dysworschip for us to do, owther to selle wood or lond or soche stuffe that were nessessary for us to have in owr howsys; so mot I answer a for God, I wot not how to do for the seyde money, and for other thyngges that I have to do of scharge, and my worshup saved. Yt is a deth to me to thynk up on yt. Me thynkyth be zour brothers wrythtyng, that he thynkyth that I am informed be sume that be a bowthe me to do and to sey as I have be for thys, but be my trowthe he demyth a mysse; yt nedyth me not to be informed of no soche thengges.
I construe in my owyn mend, and conseyve i now and to myche, and whan I have brokyn my conseyte to sume that in happe he deniythe yt too, they have put me in cownforth more than I kowde have be any imajynasyon in my owyn conseythe. He wrythetyth to me also, that he hath spend thys terme xl_li._ Yt is a gret thyng; me thynkyth be good dyscresyon ther mythe myche ther of aben sparyd. Zour fadyr, God blysse hys sowle, hathe had as gret maters to do as I trowe he hathe had thys terme, and hath not spend halfe the mony up on them in so lytyl tyme, and hath do ryth well.
At the reverens of God, avyse hym zet to be war of hys expences and gydyng that yt be no schame to us alle. Yt is a schame and a thyng that is myche spokyn of in thys contre that zour faders graveston is not mad.
For Goddes love, late yt be remembyrd and porveyde for in hast. Ther hathe be mych mor spend in waste than schuld have mad that, me thynkyth be zour brother that he is wery to wrythe to me and there fore I wyl not a kumbyr hym with wrythtyng to hym. Ze may telle hym as I wryth to zow.
Item, I woold ze schuld remembyr zour brother of Pekerngges mater, if he cum not hom hastely, that ze and Townesend and Lumnor may examyn and sette yt thorow. The pore man is almost on don ther by, and hys brother suethe hym and trobylyth hym sor zet; and also for the plesur of my koseyn Clere and the Lady Bolen, I woold yt were sette thorow.
As for my rowndlet of wyne, I schuld send zow mony there fore, but I dar not put yt in joperte, ther be so many theves stereng. John Lovedayes man was robbyd in to hys schyrte as he cam home ward. I trow, and ze assaye Towneshend or Playter, or sum other good kuntery man of owrys to lend yt zow for me tyl they cum hom, they wyl do so myche for me and I schal contente them a geyn. Item, Jamys Gressham hath ben passyng sekke and ys zet. Judy tellythe me that zour brother is avysed for to sue hym.
For Goddes sake, late non onkyndnesse be schewed to hym, for that woold sone make an hend of hym. Remembyr ho keynd and true hartyd he hath ben to us to hys powre; and he had nevere take that offyce upon hym that he is in dawnger for, ne had be for owr sakkes. He hathe sold a gret parte of hys lond there for, as I suppose ze have knowlache of. Late yt be remembyrd, and ellys owr enmyes wyl rejoysyt, and ther wyl no wurshup be ther in at long way.
I schuld wryth mor but I have no leyser at thys tyme. I trow ze wyl sone kum hom, and there fore I wryth the lesse. God kepe zow and send zow good speede, &c. Wretyn the Fryday, Sen Andrue Ev.
Be zour modyr.
_The following note is written on the back of the Letter in Sir John Fenn's hand_:--'This letter was fastened by threads brought through with a needle and made fast by the seal. The threads being cut on the directed side, the letter is opened without breaking the seal.'
[Footnote 124-1: [From Paston MSS., B.M.] St. Andrew's Eve, the 29th November, fell on a Friday in 1471. It will also be seen that the beginning of this letter refers to the same subject as the beginning of Letter 787.]
MARGARET PASTON TO JOHN PASTON, ESQUIRE[126-1]
_To John Paston, Esquyer, be this deliuered._
[Sidenote: 1471(?) / DEC. ]
I grete you wele, and send you Goddis blyssyng and myn. Desyryng you to send me word how that your brother doth. It was told her that he shuld have be ded, which caused many folkis and me bothyn to be right hevy.
Also it was told me this day that ye wer hurt be affray that was mad up on you be feles disgysed. Ther fore, in any wyse send me word in hast how your brother doth and ye bothyn; for I shall not ben wele at eas till I know how that ye do. And for Goddis love lete your brother and ye be ware how that ye walken, and with what felesshep ye etyn or drynkyn, and in what place, for it was seid here pleynly that your brothere was poysoned. And this weke was on of Drayton with me and told me that there were diverse of the tenauntis seid that thei wost not what to do if that your brothere came home; and ther was on of the Duk of Suffolkis men by, and bad them not feryn, for his wey shuld be shorted and [_i.e._ if] he shuld come there. Wherfore, in any wyse be ware of your self, for I can thynk thei geve no fors what to do to be wenged and to put you from your entent, that thei myght have her wyll in Ser John Fastolffis land.
Thy[nke][126-2] what gret sor[ow][126-2] it [shu]ld[126-2] be to me and any ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... . I had lever ye had never know the lond; remembre it was the distruccion of your fadre; trost not mych up on promyses of lordis now a days that ye shuld be the suerer of the favor of there men. For there was a man, and a lordis sone, seid but late, and toke it for an exampill that Sir Robert Harecourt had the good will of the lordis after ther comyng in, and yet within shorte tyme after here men kylled hym in hys owyn place. A mannes deth is litill set by now a days. Therefore be ware of symulacion, for thei wull speke ryht fayr to you that wuld ye ferd [_fared_] right evyll. The blissid Trynyte have you in his kepyng. Wretyn in gret hast the Saterday next after Sent Andrewe.
Lete this letter be brent whan ye have understond it. Item, I pray you send me iiij. suger lofis, ich of them of iij_li._, and iiij_li._ of datis if thei be newe. I send you x_s._ be the berer hereof; if ye pay more I shall pay it you ageyn whan ye come home. And forgete not to send me word be the berere hereof how ye don; and remembre the bylles and remembrauns for the maner of Gresham that I wrote to your brother for.
Be your moder.
[Footnote 126-1: [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 211.] This letter may be of the year 1471, when it would seem by No. 791 that the two brothers, Sir John and John, were both together (in London, no doubt) about St. Andrew's Day. If so, it was written just two days after that letter, on the receipt of unpleasant news, which was evidently false.]
[Footnote 126-2: Mutilated.]
JOHN PASTON TO SIR JOHN PASTON[127-1]
... . the very valew of Sporlewood passyth not C. mark of no manys mony that I can spek with, and to be payid by dayis as the byll that Jwde shall delyv[er] ... rehers; and ther ayenst ye shold loose iij_li._ of the ferme of the maner yerly, whych standyth by undyr wood; and yet the fense must stand yow over on xij. mark by the lest wey; but, by God, and I wer as ye, I wold not sell it for C. mark more then it is woorthe. Syr John Styll recomandyth hym to your good mastyrsheppe, and seyth pleynly if ye wyll he wyll com up to yow and awayte on yow whersoever ye be, coort or othyr. By Seynt Mary, he is owyng more mony than I wend; for he is owyng for a twelmonthe and a quarter at thys Crystmas, savyng for hys boord, xij_d._ a wek for iij. quarters; and he seythe pleynly that ye and R. Calle both bad hym syng styll for Syr John Fastolf as he dyd before; but I have bodyn hym that he shall get hym a servyse now at thys Crystmas; and so he shall, withowt that ye send hym othyr wyse woord, or ellys that ye or I may get hym som benefyse or fre chapell, or som othyr good servyse whych I praye yow enqwer for.
Item, and ye werk wysly your mater myght com in with othyr maters of the lordes in ther apoyntmentes with the Kyng, but it wold be labord to a porpose this Crystmas whyll ye have leyser to spek with your mastyr.
Item, myn aqweyntans with the Lord Revers is none othyrwyse but as it hathe ben alweys; savyng and he go no to Portygall to be at a day upon the Serasyns, I porpose and have promysyd to be ther with hym; and that jorney don, as Wykys seythe, farwell he. He porposyth to go forward a bowt Lent, but Fortune with hyr smylyng contenans strange of all our porpose may mak a sodeyn change. I ensuer yow he thynkyth all the world gothe on ther syd ayen; and as for my comyng up at the begynnyng of thys next term, with owt ye send me othyrwyse woord that I myght do yow som good when I wer com, by my feyth I com not ther, for it shold put yow to a cost, and me to a labor and cost bothe; but [if] ye send for me I com streyght, thow I tery the lesse whyll ther, and so I shall withowt I may do yow som good. By my feythe I porpose to make up my byllys clere, and send yow the copyse as hastyly as I can. Yonge Wyseman othyrwye callyd Foole, told me that Sir W. Yelverton is abowt to make a bargayne with the Dwches of Suffolk or with my Lord of Norfolk, whyche he may get fyrst, for the maner of Gwton. I reseyve all yet, God hold it.
I praye yow recomand me to my brodyr Molyenewx, and all othyr good felaws.
[Footnote 127-1: [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This seems to be only a portion of a letter, beginning in the middle of a sentence.
Probably it was a second leaf added to a more lengthy epistle. It is written on one side of a slip of paper and is in the hand of John Paston the younger. It is endorsed 'John Paston' in that of his brother Sir John, to whom it was doubtless addressed. The date must be towards the end of the year 1471, as it appears by the letter immediately following that Lord Rivers embarked for Portugal that year on Christmas Eve.]
[[Yonge Wyseman othyrwye callyd / Foole _text unchanged: error for "othyrwyse"?_]]
MARGARET PASTON TO SIR JOHN PASTON[129-1]
I grete you wele; letyng you wete that ther was told me a thyng in your absens that goth right nere myn hert, be a wurchepfull man and such an as ye wuld beleve and geffe credence to, and that owyth you right good wille; which if it had comyn to myn remembraunce at your departer I wuld have spoke to you of it most specially befor all other materis; but I am so trobilled in my mende with your materis that thei be so delayd and take no better conclusion, and with the ontrowth that is in servantis now a days but if the maysteris take better heed to ther handis, that such thyngis as I wuld rathest remembre I sonest for gete. It was told me that ye have sold Sporle wood of a right credebill and wurchepful man, and that was right hevy that ye shuld be know of such disposicion, consederyng how your fader, whos sowle God assoyl, cherysshed in every manor his woodis. And for the more preffe that this shuld be trought, the forseid person told me that it was told hym of on [_one_] that was toward Sir William Yelverton, to whom Richard Calle shuld have seid in thes termes, that Sporle Wood shuld be sold, and that it shuld comyn now in to Cristen mennes handis. Which if it were knowyn shuld cause bothyn your elmyse [_enemies_] and your frendis to thynk that ye dede it for right gret nede, or ellis that ye shuld be a wastour and wuld wast your lyvelod. If ye had do so in Sir John Fastolfes lyffelode, men shuld have supposid that ye had do it of good pollice, be cause of the onsuerte that it stoonit (?) in, to have takyn that ye had myght of it duryng your possession, to have boryn ought the daungere of it with the same; but for to do this of your owyn lyffelode, men shall thyng that ye do it for pure nede. And in asmych as it is so nere your most elmyse ere, it shall be to you the gretter vylney and shame to all your frendis, and the grettest coragyng and plesere that can be to your elmyse. For if ye be thus disposid ye shall make them and all othere certeyn of that that befor this tyme thei haue ben in dought, and cause them to purpose the more cruelly agayn you. Where fore, in eschewyng of the greet slaundre and inconveniens that may grow ther of, I require you, and more over charge you upon my blissyng and as ye wull have my good will, that if any such sale or bargany be mad, be your assent or with ought, be Calle, or any othere in your name, that ye restreyn it; for I wuld not for a M^l marcs that it wer understond that ye were of that disposicion, ner that ye were comyn to so gret nede which shuld cause [y]ou to do so; for every [man[130-1]] shuld thynk that it were thurgh your owyn mysgovernaunce. Therefore I charge you, if any such bargayn be mad, that ye send a bill as hastly as ye can to Herry Halman, that he do all such as have mad or takyn that bargayn seasse and felle non of the wood, upon peyn that may falle ther of. And how [_who_] so ever wull councell you the contrary, do as I advyse you in this behalffe, or ellis trost never to have comfort of me; and if I may knowe ye be of such disposicion, and I leve ij. yer it shall disavayll you in my liffelode ccc. marcs. There fore, send me word be the berere here of wheder ye have assent to any such thyng or nought, and how that ye be disposid to do ther in, for I shall not be quiete in myn hert till I understand yow of the contrary disposicion.
Be your more moder.
[Footnote 129-1: [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 116.] This letter would seem to have been written about the end of the year 1471 or the beginning of 1472, when we first hear of Sir John Paston's design to sell Sporle Wood. _See_ Nos. 793, 798.]