WRITTILL TO THE BESIEGERS OF CAISTER[50-1]
_Sir John Hevyngham,[50-2] Th. Wyngfeld,[50-3] Gilbert Debenham,[50-4]
Wil. Brandon,[50-5] and to everych of them severally in otheris absence._
[Sidenote: 1469 / [SEPT.]]
Hit is so that accordyng to such direccion as was mevid to be desird of my Lords beyng heer, as for such as heere bee they marveil gretly therof, thynkyng and remembring in themself that such offre as was made by my credence to my Lorde,[50-6] and to fore you reported, shuld have sownyd more to his pleasure and honour than this his desire.
Nevirthelesse my Lords thenke where as they wrote and desirid joyntly that such credence as ye remembre myght be observyd and taken, and by you refusid, nowe yif they shuld assent to the desire of this direccion, hit is thought in them not so to doo; for it is so fortuned that dyvers of my Lords, from whome I brought both wrytyng and credence, be at the Kyngs high commaundement hastely departed unto his Highnesse, trustyng in God to have heeryng in brief tyme of their hasty ayen comyng, atte which tyme my Lords that heere be, and they that shal come ayen, shal comon and speke to gyder of this desire and direccion, and such answere as they geve and make shall be sent unto you than with haste possible.
Ovir this, me thenkith for your excuse of burden and charge such as I hier will be leid unto you concernyng the grete werks that dailly be and ar at the maner of Castre, yif ye thenk that God shuld have pleasir, and also the Kyng oure sovereign Lorde, and that my seide Lords shuld thenk in you gode avise or sad, and that ye entendid to avoide the sheddyng of Cristyn blode and the destruccion of the Kyngs liege people, that at your politik labour and wisedome ye myght bryng my Lord to th'abstynence of warre, and a trieux to be had and contynued unto tyme of the retourn of my seid Lords, or els knowlege of their entent; certifieng you for trouth that ther be messengers sent unto my seid Lords with lettrez of such answere as I had of you to your desire to gyder, knowyng certeinly that ther shal be hasty relacion of ther entents in the premisis, which answers ye shall have atte ferthist by Monday cometh sevenyght.
Ferthirmore lettyng you wit that I understond for certein that my Lords that be heere eschewe, for such inconveniense that myght fall, to conclude any answere by them self, consideryng that my credence was geven by all the Lords; prayng you, as shal be doon to the continuaunce of this trieux aforesaid, that I may be acerteyned, or yif at this houre ye coude yit thenk my credence resonable and honourable to be accepted and taken, sendith me woorde in wrytyng from you by my servant, brynger of this, al delaies leid aparte. For I acertein you, as he that owe you service, I was and yit am gretly blamed for my long tarying with you, for, dyvers of my Lords taried heere for me, by th'assent of al my Lords, lenger than they wold have don, to know myn answere and guydyng from you.
And ovir this I certyfie you that ye cannot make my Lords heere to thenk that yif ther be inconvenient or myshief, murdre, or manslauter had or done, but and your wills and entents were to the contrarye, my Lord is notid so well disposid that, with oute your grete abettement, he neither will doo nor assent to non such thyng; prayng you therfor, as your frende, to remembre wele your self, and so to rule you, as my Lords may have in tyme to come knowlege of your more sadd disposicion than as yit I feele they thenk in you. And how that my Lords note sum of you, James Hobert, beyng of my Lords counsel, can enforme you; wherefor for Godds sake remembr you, and delyver my servant, and yif ye thenk my first credence or this advertisement shal be taken to effect, than I pray you that my servaunt, brynger hereof, may have sure condyte to speke with John Paston, and to report to hym these direccions, and upon that to delyver hym a bill certifyng the same.
[Footnote 50-1: [From Fenn, iv. 404.] This letter is anonymous, but was evidently written by Writtill during his negotiations for a suspension of hostilities.]
[Footnote 50-2: Sir John Heveningham, Knight and Banneret, was a descendant of an ancient family situated at the town of Heveningham, in Suffolk. His son Thomas became owner of the estate at Ketteringham, in Norfolk, where this family continued for several generations.--F.]
[Footnote 50-3: Sir Thomas Wingfield was a younger son either of Sir Robert or Sir John Wingfield of Letheringham, in Suffolk.--F.]
[Footnote 50-4: Sir Gilbert Debenham, Knight, was descended of an ancient and knightly family in the county of Suffolk.--F.]
[Footnote 50-5: Sir William Brandon married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Robert Wingfield, and was ancestor to Charles Brandon, afterwards Duke of Suffolk.--F.]
[Footnote 50-6: The Duke of Norfolk.]
WRITTILL TO THOMAS WINGFIELD[52-1]
Mr. Wyngfeld, I recomande me to you. Please you to wit I have sent a lettre joyntly to you and to al my Lordes[52-2] counsel; nevirtheles, for the special favor and service that I bere and owe to you, I write to you aparte, praying you to put your hasty devoir to the delyverans of my servaunt, with th'answere of the same; and ovir that for Goddis sake remember you hou that ye stond my Lordes nygh kynnesman, and by whom my Lordes wulle gretly be steerid, that ye eschewe and avoide to be non of those that my Lordes here thenk shuld set or cause my Lord to do thynges otherwise than accordith to the pleasir of my Lordes; for it is so that there be dyvers of my Lordes counsel stond in hevy report of my Lordes, of which I wold ye were non; certifieng you that I know so ferre that yif ye any thyng doo in this mater to the pleasir of my Lordes, it will neither be unremembrid ne unrecompensid, not doutyng but that hereafter to have a large thonk of you for this my counsel; praying you ferthermor to move Sir John Hevyngham, and such as ye knowe wele disposid, to assist you in this; and that this bille be kept secrete, as my trust is in you. Wreten at London.
[Footnote 52-1: [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This and the letter following are corrected drafts upon the same paper, and both evidently written at the same time, and by the same writer, as the last letter.]
[Footnote 52-2: The Duke of Norfolk's.]
WRITTILL TO JOHN PASTON[53-1]
Mr. Paston, it is so that sith tyme I spake with you I sent you a bill which concludith an abstinence of werre to be had unto Fryday last was, trustyng in that season that by the menes of my Lordes heere a conclusion shal be taken; lettyng you wit that before my comyng hider certein of my Lordes were departid hens towards the Kyng northwards. And for asmich as I cannot in this season have no hasty answere of such lettrez as were sent unto them concernyng this mater, I have wretyn by the meanes of my Lordes heere I have wretyn a lettre to my Lordes counsell a lettre,[53-2] and amonges other thynges movid them in the seid lettre to advertise my Lord for abstynence of werre til Monday come sevenyght; and yif my Lordes and his counsell so agree, I have comaundid my servaunt, brynger hereof, to geve you knowlege of the same, avisyng you that contenuyng the seid seson to absteyne you from werre gevyng outward in like wise; and by that season I hope to have knowlege of my Lordes ententes.
[Footnote 53-1: [From Paston MSS., B.M.] _See_ preliminary note to last letter.]
[Footnote 53-2: So in the MS., the redundant words being left uncancelled.]
SIR JOHN PASTON TO JOHN PASTON[53-3]
_To John Paston, and to non othyr._
[Sidenote: 1469 / SEPT. 18]
I recomand me to yow, and promyse yow that I have and schall labore and fynde the meane that ye schall have honor of yowr delyng as ye have hyddr towards, as all Ingelond and every man reportythe; and moreover I am in weye for it by many dyverse weys, wherof ther schall be one exicutyd by thys day xiiij. nyght at the ferthest, and peraventur within vij. dayes. And iff ye maye kepe it so longe, I wold be gladde, and aftr that iff ye have nott from me other wryghtyng, that than ye do ther in for yowr saffgarde and yowr felaschep only, and to yowr worschypys; and as for the place, no force therfor. Ye knowe thys hande, therfor nedythe no mencion from whem it comythe; and more ovyr, they that be abut yow be in obloquy of all men, and mor ovyr they have ben wretyn to by alse speciall wryghtyng as myght be, after the worlde that now is, and promyse yow that the Dukes concell wolde that they had nevyr be gon it; and more ovyr they be chargyd in payne of ther lyvys, that thow they gate the place, they scholde not hurt on of yow. Ther is nowther ye ner none with yow, but and he knewe what is generally reportyd of hym, he or ye, and God fortewne yow wele, may thynke hym iiij. tymes better in reputacion of all folk than evyr he was. Be war whom ye make a concell to thys mater.
Also I lete yow wete that I am in moche mor comfort of yow than I maye wryght, and they that be about yow have cawse to be mor ferde than ye have; and also bewar of spendyng of yowr stuffe of qwarellys, powdr, and stone, so that if they assaut yow er we come, that ye have stuffe to dyffende yow of over, and than of my lyfe ye get no mor, and that your felaschyp be evyr ocopyed in renewyng of your stuffe.
Wretyn the Mondaye next aftr Holy Roode Daye.
I trow, thow ye be not prevy ther to, ther is taken a trews new tyl thys day vij. nygh.
[Footnote 53-3: [From Fenn, iv. 394.] _See_ preliminary note to No. 724.]
PASSPORT TO THE BESIEGED ON SURRENDER OF CAISTER[55-1]
_The Duc of Norffolk._
[Sidenote: 1469 / SEPT. 26]
Where John Paston, esquier, and other divers persones have, ageyn the peas, kepte the manoir of Caster with force, ageyne the wille and entent of us the Duc of Norffolk, to oure grete displeaser; whiche notwithstanding, at the contemplacion of the writing of the moost worshipfull and reverent Fader in God the Cardenall of England, and our moost trusty and entierly beloved Unkel the Archbisshop of Canterbury, the right noble Prince my Lord of Clarence, and other Lords of oure blood, and also at the grete labour and enstaunce of our moost dere and singler belovid wiffe, we be agreed that the seid John Paston and his seid fellaship, beyng in the seid maneur, shall depart and goo out of the seid maneur without delay, and make therof deliveraunce to suche persones as we will assigne, the seid fellaship havyng their lyves and goods, horsse, and harneys, and other goods beyng in the kepyng of the seid John Paston; except gonnes, crossebows, and quarells, and alle other hostelments, to the seid maneur annexed and belonginge. And to have xv. dayes respyte aftir their seid departing out, to goo in to what place shall like theim, without any accions or quarell to be taken or made by us, in our name to theim, or any of theim, within our fraunchise or without, duryng the seid tyme.
Yoven under our signet at Yermouth the xxvj. day of Septembr the ix^te yere of King Edward the iiij^th.
[Footnote 55-1: [From Fenn, ii. 24.]]
[[_in the printed book, the letters "LS" (Locus Sigilli?) are shown in a circle after the signature_]]
JOHN PASTON AND THE SURRENDER OF CAISTER[56-1]