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[Sidenote: 1469 / SEPT. 10]

Ryght wershypfull syr, I recomaund me to you, thankyng you of your grete labour whych I have nozt as yet, but I shall deserve to my power; and ferthermore lyke yow to wyte that I have thoght ryght long after you; nevyrthelesse I remember well that ye delt wythe ryght delayous peple.

My Lord Archbyshop and other of my Lords, and I, dempte by cawse of your long tarryng, that by youre sad dyscrescyon all hadde ben sett thorow.

Neverthelesse I understend by your wrytyng that my Lord of Norffolks concell thynketh that hys entent, whych ye sertefyed me by your wrytyng, sholde be more to hys wyrshep than the appoyntements and rewll made by the Lords of the Kyngs concell whych be to my seyd Lord of Norffolk ner kyne [_near kin_]; whych appoyntements sythen yourr departyng hath be largely remembryd amongs the seyd Lords here, thynkyng it in hem self so honorabyll to my Lord of Norffolk, that ther shuld non of my Lords concell well avysed mevyd to the contrary.

Jamys Hobard[42-1] was sent fro my [Lord] of Norffolk heder, and spake with my Lord Archbyshop,[42-2] and answer he had of my seyd Lord; and howe my Lord tendryd the mater yet and wyll I trowe he have told you, and yf he have not, the brynger her of schall informe you; and he broght thys same appoyntement from my Lord, that my Lord was well agryed that I shulde ocupye. For my parte, iff I shud take no other apoyntement but acordyng to your letter, it wer hard for me and for my tytell to putte my Lord in that possessyon; for ther ys thyngs in erthe [_uneath_, _i.e._ scarcely] to myn esse in your letter, gode for me in that appoyntement, savyng the suerty of my brothers lyffe and my servants, whych ye thynke dowtefull yf so be that thay lakke stuff, shotte, and vytayll; mervaylyng sore, and thynk it impossybell in thys shorte season, or in iiij. tyme the season heder towards, that thay shuld lakk other [_either_], with owte it soo be that my Lords men have enterd owght the place, and so had ther stuffe from hem, whych I cannot thynk.

Also, sir, for [_fore_] the tyme of your comyng to my Lord of Norffolk, servaunts of [my Lords wer with][42-3] my moder at Norwych, mevyng to send to my brother hyr sone, to delyver the place under such a forme as youre lettere specefyeth, and so I cannot understand what regard my Lords concell takyth to my Lords letter, and to your labour in thys behalf, but that they offeryd as largely afore. Ze wryteth in your letter that ye durst not passe your credens; please you to remember that seyd your credens affore the Lords was ryght large, and as large as myght well be in thys mater, both to my Lords concell of Norffolk to withdrawe the seege, with moor other mater as ye knowe; and to the Justice of the Peas and to the Shyryff and hys offycers, your awtoryte was grete inow to iche of them.

Wherfor, Mayster Wretell, I never for this, nere zet wyll, take appoyntement in thys mater, but as my Lords wyll and my Lord Archbyshop, whych, as well as I my self, have holy putte our tryst to youre dyscrete dyreccyon; and my seyd Lord sythen youre departer, zour zoyng,[43-1]

thynkyng you alls mete a man in executyng ther comaundement as cowde be chosyn. Neverthelesse for awnswer to you at thys season, my Lord Archbyshop ys north wards towards the Kyng; how be it, it ys seyd, uppon a metyng with my Lord of Clarens, my Lord shuld retourne a yen; and as zester evyn he send a servaunt of hys to me, wenyng to hys Lordship that Sir Humfray[43-2] and ye wer in Caster as was appoynted, and ye shuld send to hys Lordshyp answer of the gydyng ther by wrytyng, comaundyng me that yff any such wrytyngs cam from you, yf hys Lordshyp wer not past xx. myle fr[om Lond]on,[43-3] to com to hys Lordshyp with the same.

Understandyng for sertayn that he ys nott yet so ferr, wherfor I will in althe hast possybell ryde nygt and day till I see hys Lordshyp, and after comunicacyon had with hys Lordshyp, as sone as ys possybell that a man may go be twext, ye shall have an answer of hys dysposicyon; for hys intres is such that, as I have wryten, I shall never do therin withoute hym, as my cosyn, brynger herof, more playnly shall enforme you; for I canne thynke ryght well, that as ze wryteth to me, my broder wyll not delyver the place to non erthly person, but yf he see wrytyng fro my Lord.

It semyt be yowr wrytyng that my Lord of Norffolk conseyll intende not that my Lord Archbyshop shuld dele in thys mater, for he ys not named in your letter, wherof I mervayle; for it was movyd to you at your departyng hens, the Kyngs concell shuld have take dyreccyon in thys mater, or els my Lord Cardenall,[44-1] my Lord of Clarens, my Lord Archbyshop, and my Lord of Essex,[44-2] &c. Neverthelesse, Mayster Wryttyll, all profytht, maner, or lyflod, leyd apart, if it be so that thorow reklesnese my brother and servaunts be in such joperte as ye have wryten to me (whych shold be half impossybell in my mynd that thay shold myssuse so mech stuff in iiij. tymes the space), and that ye have evident knowlych by my seyd brother hym self therof, I woll praye yow to se hym and them in suerte of ther lyffys, what so ever shold fall of the lyfflode; how be it I wold not that my brother and servaunts shold gyff upp the place not for a m^l_li._, yf thay myght in any wyse kepe it and save ther lyves. And therfor, at the reverens of God, sycht it ys so, that my Lord Archbyshop and my Lords all, and I, have putte our trust in you, that ye wyll do your devoyer to have the verrey knowlech of my brother hymself, and not of my Lords men, wheder he stante in such jopertye as your letter specefyeth or net, for I dowte not uppon the syzth of thys letter, and of the letter that ye had before, that my brother will put no mystrust in you, consyderyng that he knowyth that ye com from my Lords, and my Lord Archbyshop, and have my wrytyng; and as for my Lord Archbyshop wrytyng and aunswere, such as it shalbe, ye shall have it in all the haste possybell. But I thynke veryly that my Lord eschewyth to telle you any thyng without that he myght speke with you allone, and me thynketh veryly that thay ought not to lette [_hinder_]

you to speke with hym allone, consyderyng that ye have auctoryte and wrytyng from the Lords so to do. And as for the justificacyon of entryng the place, and sege layng to [the same][44-3] and the comaundement of the Justice of the Pease and the Sherewe to assyste my Lord in thys gydyng, I wote ye understond that the Lords knowe all that mater, and ye herd it comened, and how thay toke it in ther consayts.

Ther ys no more, Mayster Wryttell, but I commyth all thys wrytyng unto your dyscrescyon; and as ye thynk best acordyng to such menys desyre as have entretyd you therin, and for my moyst avayle, I pray you, sir, soo doo, and I shall se un to your besynes and labour, that ye shall have cause to do for me in tyme comyng, and as the brynger herof shall tell you. And I pray God have you in Hys kepyng.

Wryten at London, the x. day of Septembr.

By your frend for ever,


[Footnote 41-1: [From Fenn, iv. 372.] See preliminary note to last letter. We have adopted a different punctuation from that of Fenn in some parts of this letter.]

[Footnote 42-1: This most probably was James Hobart, who, in 1478, was Lent-Reader at Lincoln's Inn, and in 1487 Attorney-General.--F.]

[Footnote 42-2: George Neville, Archbishop of York.]

[Footnote 42-3: The original MS. was indistinct in these places.]

[Footnote 43-1: The words 'zour zoyng' (your going) seem to be redundant.]

[Footnote 43-2: Sir Humphrey Talbot was a Captain at this siege, under the Duke of Norfolk.--F.]

[Footnote 43-3: The original MS. was indistinct in these places.]

[Footnote 44-1: Thomas Bourchier, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Lord Cardinal.]

[Footnote 44-2: Henry Bourchier, Earl of Essex.]

[Footnote 44-3: Here the original MS. was indistinct.]



[Sidenote: 1469 / SEPT. 12]

I grete you wele, letyng you wete that your brother and his felesshep stand in grete joperte at Cayster, and lakke vetayll; and Dawbeney[45-2]

and Berney[45-3] be dedde, and diverse other gretly hurt; and they fayll gunnepowder and arrowes, and the place sore brokyn with gonnes of the toder parte, so that, but thei have hasty help, thei be like to lese bothe ther lyfes and the place, to the grettest rebuke to you that ever came to any jentilman, for every man in this countre marvaylleth gretly that ye suffre them to be so longe in so gret joperte with ought help or other remedy.

The Duke hathe be more fervently set therup on, and more cruell, sith that Wretyll, my Lord of Claraunce man, was ther, than he was befor, and he hath sent for all his tenaunts from every place, and other, to be ther at Cayster at Thorysday next comyng, that ther is than like to be the grettest multitude of pepill that came ther yet. And thei purpose them to make a gret assaught--for thei have sent for gannes [_guns_] to Lynne and other place be the seeys syde--that, with ther gret multitude of gannes, with other shoot and ordynaunce, ther shall no man dar appere in the place. Thei shall hold them so besy with ther gret pepill, that it shall not lye in their pore within to hold it ageyn them with ought God help them, or have hasty socour from you.

Therfor, as ye wull have my blyssyng, I charge you and require you that ye se your brother be holpyn in hast. And if ye can have nonmeane, rather desire writyng fro my Lord of Clarens, if he be at London, or ell[es] of my Lord Archebusshop of York, to the Duke of Norffolk, that he wull graunte them that be in the place her lyfes and ther goodes; and in eschewyng of insurreccions with other in convenyens that be like to growe within the shire of Norffolk, this trobelows werd [_world_], be cause of such conventicles and gaderyngs within the seid shire for cause of the seid place, thei shall suffre hym to entre up on such appoyntment, or other like takyn be the advyse of your councell ther at London, if ye thynk this be not good, till the law hath determyned otherwyse; and lete hym write a nother letter to your brother to deliver the place up on the same appoyntment. And if ye think, as I can suppose, that the Duke of Norffolk wull not aggre to this, be cause he graunted this aforn, and thei in the place wuld not accept it, than I wuld the seid massanger shuld with the seid letters bryng fro the seid Lord of Clarence, or ell[es] my Lord Archebusshop, to my Lord of Oxenford, other letters to rescue them forth with, thowghe the seid Erle of Oxenford shuld have the place duryng his lyfe for his labour. Spare not this to be don in hast, if ye wull have ther lyves, and be sett by in Norffolk, though ye shuld leys the best maner of all for the rescuse. I had lever ye last the lyffelode than ther lyfes. Ye must gete a massanger of the Lords or sume other notabill man to bryng ther letters.

Do your devoir now, and lete me send you no mor massangers for this maters; but send me be the berer her of more certeyn comfort than ye have do be all other that I have sent be for. In any wyse, lete the letters that shall come to the Erle of Oxenford comyn with the letters that shall comyn to the Duke of Norffolk, that if he wull not aggree to the ton, that ye may have redy your rescuse that it nede no mor to send therfor. God kepe you.

Wretyn the Tuesday next befor Holy Rood Day, in hast.

Be your Moder.

[Footnote 45-1: [From Fenn, iv. 382.] This and the other letters relating to the siege of Caister are all rendered certain in point of date by the documents touching its surrender on the 26th September.]

[Footnote 45-2: John Dawbeney, Esq.]

[Footnote 45-3: Osbert Berney, the other person here mentioned as dead, was not killed at the siege. He survived, and died without issue some years after, when he was buried in Bradeston Church in Norfolk, there being a brass plate in the chancel having the following inscription to his memory:--'_Hic jacet Osbertus filius Joh. Berney, Armig. de Redeham Dni. et de Brayston._' He was the son of John Berney, Esq., by Catherine, daughter of Osbert Mundeford of Hockwell, Esq.--F.]



[Sidenote: 1469 / SEPT. 15]

Moodr, uppon Saterday last was, Dawbeney and Bernay wer on lyve and mery, and I suppose ther com no man owt of the place to yow syn that tyme that cowde have asserteynyd to yow of ther dethys. And as towchyng the fyrsenesse of the Duke or of hys peple schewyd syn that tyme that Wryttel departyd, I trowe it was concludyd that trews and abstynence of werre scholde be hadd er he departyd, whych shalle dewr tyl Monday next comyng; and by that tyme I trow that trews shall be takyn tyll that day vij. nyght aftr, by whych tyme I hope of a goode dyreccion schall be hadde.

And wher as ye wryght to me that I scholde sewe for letteris from my Lordys of Clarans and Yorke, they be not her, and if they wrot to hym as they have don ij. tymes, I trow it wolde nat advayle; and as for to labor thois letteris and the rescu to gedre, they ben ij. sendry thyngys, for when the rescu is redy, that the cost ther of is don. For if I be drevyn therto to rescu it er they com ther that scholde do it, it shall cost a m^{l}. escuys, and as meche after, whyh wey wer harde for me to take, whyll that I maye do it otherwise; but as to sey that they schall be rescuyd if all the lands that I have in Ingelond and frendys maye do it, they shall, and God be frendly, and that as schertly as it may goodlely and wele be brout abut. And the grettest defawt erthly is mony and som frendys and neyborys to helpe; wherfor I beseche yow to sende me comfort with what money ye coude fynde the menys to get or chevysche uppon suerte sufficient, er uppon lyflod to be inmorgage er yit solde, and what peple by lyklyed yowr frendys and myn kowde make uppon a schort warnyng, and to send me worde in all the hast as it is needfull. But, moodre, I fele by yowr wryghtyng that ye deme in me I scholde not do my devyr withowt ye wrot to me som hevye tydyngs; and, modre, if I had nede to be qwykynyd with a letter in thys nede, I wer of my selfe to slawe [_too slow_] a felaw; but, moodre, I ensur yow that I have herde x. tymes werse tydyngs syn the assege by gan than any letter that ye wrot to me, and somtyme I have herde ryght goode tydyngs both.

But thys I ensure yow that they that be within have no werse reste than I have, ner castyth mor jupperte; but whethyr I had goode tydyngys er ill, I take Gode to wittnesse that I have don my devoyr as I wolde be don for in case lyke, and schall doo tyll ther be an ende of it.

I have sent to the Kynge to Yorke, and to the Lordys, and hope to have ansswer from them by Wednysday at the ferthest, and after that answer shall I be rewlyd, and than send yow word, for tyll that tyme kan I take non dyreccion. And to encomfort yow, dy[s]peyre yow not for lak of vytayle ner of gonne powder, ner be natt to hevy ner to mery therfor; for and hevynesse or sorow wolde have be the remedy ther of, I knew nevyr mater in my lyfe that I kowde have ben so hevy or sory for, and with Goddys grace it schall be remedyed well inow; for by my trowthe I hadde lever lose the maner of Caister than the symplest mannys lyfe therin, if that may be hys saveacion. Wherfor I beseche yow to sende me worde wat mony and men ye thynke that I am lyke to get in that contre; for the hasty purchace of mony and men schall be the getyng and rescu of it, and the sauevacion of most mennys lyfys, if we take that weye.

Also thys daye I porpose to sende to Yorke to the Kyng for a thyng, whych same only maye by lyklyod be the savacion of all. Ye must remembre that the rescue of it is the last remedy of all, and how it is nat easy to get; and also ye sende me worde that I scholde nat kome hom withowt that I kome stronke. But if I had hadd on other stronge place in Norfolke to have comen to, thowe I have browt ryght fewe with me, I scholde, with Godds grace, have rescued it by thys tyme, er ellys he scholde have ben fayne to have besegyd bothe placys or yit, and the Duke had not kept Yarmoth owthe. But, mother, I beseche yow sende me som mony, for by my trowth I have but x_s._ I[49-1] wot not wher to have mor, and moreovyr I have ben x. tymes in lyke case or werse within thys x. wekys. I sent to Rychard Call for mony, but he sendyth me non.

I beseche yow to gyde the evydence that Pekok can tell yow of, and to se it saffe; for it is tolde me that Richard Call hath hadd right large langage of them. I wolde nat they com in hys fyngrys. I have no worde from yow of them, ner whether ye have yit in yowr kepyng the evydence of Est Bekham owt of hys handys, ner whethyr ye have sent to my manerys that they schold not paye hym no mor mony or not. Also that it like yow to geve credence to Robyn in other thyngs.

Wret the Fryday next after Holy Roode Day.


[Footnote 47-1: [From Fenn, iv. 386.] This letter was clearly written in reply to the last.]

[Footnote 49-1: _I._ The right-hand copy in modern spelling reads 'and.']

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