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_To my ryght worchepfull modyr, Margaret Paston._

[Sidenote: 1477 / MARCH 8]

Ryght worschepfull modyr, aftyr all dwtes of recommendacyon, in as humble wyse as I can, I beseche yow of your dayly blyssyng. Modyr, please yt yow to wett, that the cause that Dame Elizabeth Brews desyreth to mete with yow at Norwyche, and not at Langley, as I apoyntyd with yow at my last being at Mawtby, is by my meanys, for my brodyr Thomas Jermyn, whyche knowyth nought of the mate [_match_], telyth me, that the causey or ye can comme to Bokenham Fery is so over flowyn that ther is no man that may on ethe passe it, though he be ryght well horsyd; whyche is no mete wey for yow to passe over, God defend it. But, all thyngs rekynyd, it shalbe lesse cost to yow to be at Norwyche, as for a day or tweyn, and passe not, then to mete at Langly, wher every thyng is dere; and your horse may be sent home ayen the same Wednysday.

Modyr, I beseche yow for dyvers causys, that my syster Anne may come with yow to Norwyche; modyr, the mater is in a resonable good wey, and I trust with Gods mercy, and with your good help, that it shall take effect bettyr to myn avauntage then I told yow of at Mawtby; for I trow ther is not a kynder woman leveing then I shall have to my modyr in lawe, if the mater take, nor yet a kynder fadyr in lawe then I shall have, though be he hard to me as yett. All the cyrcumstancys of the mater, whyche I trust to tell yow at your comyng to Norwyche, cowd not be wretyn in iij. levys of paper, and ye know my lewd hed well i nough, I may not wryght longe, wherffor I ffery over all thyngs tyll I may awayte on yow my selff. I shall do tonnen[272-1] in to your place a doseyn ale, and bred acordyng, ayenst Wednysday. If Syme myght be forborn it wer well done, that he war at Norwyche on Wednysday in the mornyng at markett.

Dame Elizabeth Brewse shall lye at Jon Cookys; if it myght please yow, I wold be glad that she myght dyne in your howse on Thursday, for ther shold ye have most secret talkyng. And modyr, at the reverence of God, beware that ye be so purveyd for, that ye take no cold by the wey towards Norwyche, for it is the most peraylous marche that ever was seyn by eny manys dayes that now lyveth; and I prey to Jesu preserve yow and yours.

Wretyn at Topcroft, the viij. day of Marche.

Your sone and humbyll servaunt,

J. P.

[Footnote 271-1: [From Fenn, ii. 220.] This letter evidently refers to a meeting arranged between Margaret Paston and Dame Elizabeth Brews on the subject of John Paston's approaching marriage, which took place in the latter part of the year 1477.]

[Footnote 272-1: _i.e._ cause to be tunned.]



_To my ryght wurschypfull cosyn, Syr Jhon Paston, Knyght, be this letter delivered, &c._

[Sidenote: 1477 / MARCH 8]

Ryght wurschypfull, and my hertely welebelovyd cosyn, I recommande me unto yowe, desyring to here of yowr welefar, whech I pray God may be as contynuall good as I wolde hafe myn own. And, cosyn, the cause of my wryting un to yow, at thys tyme, is, I fele wele be my cosyn John yowr broder, that ye hafe undyrstondyng of a mater, whech is in comynicacyon tochyng a maryage, with Godds grace, to be concluded betwyx my saide cosyn yowr broder, and my doghter Margery, wheche is far commonyd, and not yyt concluded, ner noght schall ner may be tyll I hafe answer from yowe agayn of yowr good will and asent to the seid mater; and also of the obligacyon weche that I sende yowe herewith; for, cosyn, I wold be sory to se owther my cosyn yowr broder, or my doghtr, dryvyn to leve so meane a lyff as thei schuld do yf the vj^xx._li._ [120], schuld be payde of ther maryage money.

And cosyn, I hafe takyn my selfe so nere in levyng of this vj^xx._li._, that wher as I hade layde upp an C_li._ for the maryage of a yonger doghter of myn, I hafe nowe lent the saide C_li._ and xx_li._ over that, to my cosyn yowr broder, to be paide ageyn be suche esy days as the obligacyon, weche I sende yowe herwyth, specyfyes. And, cosyn, I were ryght lothe to be stowe so mech uppon one doghter, that the other her susters schuld far the wars; wherfor, cosyn, yf ye wyll that thys mater schall take effect undyr suche forme as my cosyn yowr broder hath wretyn unto yowe, I pray yowe put therto yowr good wylle, and sum of yowr coste, as I hafe done of myn more largely then ever I purpose to do to any tweyn of hyr susters, as God knowyth myn entent, Whom I besech to send yowe yowr levest herts desyr.

Wretyn at Topcroft, the viij. day of March, &c.

Be your cosyn,


[Footnote 272-2: [From Fenn, ii. 224.] The date of this letter, as of the last, is fixed by the subject.]



_To John Paston, Esquyer, in haste._

[Sidenote: 1477 / MARCH 9]

I have received yowr letter, and yow[r] man, J. Bykerton, by whom I knowe all the mater off Mestresse Brews, whyche iff it be as he seythe, I praye Godde brynge it to a goode ende.

Item, as for thys mater of Mestresse Barly,[274-1] I holde it but a bare thynge. I feele weell that itt passyth nott ... marke. I syghe hyr for yowr sake. She is a lytell onys; she maye be a woman heer aftre, iff she be nott olde nowe; hir person semyth xiij. yere off age; hyr yerys, men sey, ben full xviij. She kowyth nott of the mater, I suppose; neverthelesse she desyryd to see me as gladde as I was to se hyr.

I praye yow sende me some wryghtyng to Caleys off yowr spede with Mestresse Brewys. Bykerton tellyth me that she lovyth yow weell. Iff I dyed, I hadde lever ye hadde hyr than the Lady Wargrave; neverthelesse she syngeth weell with an harpe.

Clopton is aferde off Sir T. Greye, for he is a wydower now late, and men sey that he is aqueyntyd with hyr of olde.

No more. Wretyn on Sondaye, the ix. daye off Marche, anno E. iiij^ti xvij^o to Caleys warde.

Iff ye have Mestresse Brews, and E. Paston Mestresse Bylyngford, ye be lyke to be bretheryn.


[Footnote 273-1: [From Paston MSS., B.M.]]

[Footnote 274-1: Fenn reads this name Burly, but I think erroneously.]



_Thys bylle be delyverd to Thomas Grene, good man of the George, by Powlys Wharffe, or to hys wyff, to send to Sir John Paston, wherso evere he be, at Caleys, London, or other placys._

[Sidenote: 1477 / MARCH 9]

Ryght worchepfull sir, and my most good and kynde brodyr, in as humbyll wyse as I can, I recomand me to yow. Sir, it is so that I have, sythe John Bekurton departyd fro hens, ben at Toppcrofft at Syr Tohmas Brewse; and as for the mater that I sent yow word of by Jon Bekurton, towchyng my sylff and Mastress Margery Brews, I am yet at no serteynte, hyr fadyr is so hard; but I trow I have the good wyll of my lady hyr modyr and hyr; but as the mater provyth, I shall send yow woord, with Godes grace, in short tyme.

But as for John Bekurton, I prey yow dele with hym for suerte as a soudyor shold be delt with; trust hym never the more for the bylle that I sent yow by hym, but as a man at wylde, for every thyng that he told me is not trewe; for he departyd with ought lycence of hys mastyr, Syr Thomas Brewse, and is fere endangeryd [_indebted_] to dyvers in thys contrey. I prey God that I wryght not to yow of hym to late; but for all thys I knowe none untrowthe in hym; but yet I prey yow, trust hym not over myche upon my woord.

Syr, Perse Mody[275-1] recomandyth hym to your mastyrshep, and besecheth yow to send hym word in hast, hough he shall be demeanyd at your place at Caster; for he is asygnyd to no body as yet, to take of mete and drynk, nor yet wher that he shall have money to paye for hys mete and drynk; and now is the cheff replenysheing of your warenn there, the avauntage of the dove howse wer well for hym, tyll ye come hom your sylff.

Sir, I prey yow pardon me of my wryghtyng, hough so ever it be, for carpenters of my crafte that I use now, have not alderbest ther wyttys ther owne. And Jesu preserve yow.

Wretyn at Norwyche, the ix. day of Marche, anno E iiij^ti septimo decymo.

J. P.

[Footnote 274-2: [From Paston MSS., B.M.]]

[Footnote 275-1: Perse Moody was a servant of Sir John Paston's, now at Caister.--F.]



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