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The Paston Letters.

Volume VI.

by James Gairdner.


_To John Paston, Esquyer, be thys lettre delyveryd, or to my mestresse, hys wyffe, at Norwych, to delyver to hym._

[Sidenote: 1478 / AUG. 25]

Brother John, I recomaund me to yow, and I thanke God, my sustr yowr wyffe, and yow, off my ffayr nevywe Crystofore, whyche I undrestande ye have, wher off I ame ryght gladde, and I praye God sende yow manye, if it be Hys plesyr; nevertheless ye be nott kynde, that ye sende me no wetyng ther off; I hadde knowlege by ffootemen, or ever ye kowde ffynde any messenger on horsbak to brynge me worde theroff.

Sir, it is soo, that the Duke off Bokyngham shall come on pilgrymage to Walsyngham, and so to Bokenham Castell to my lady hys sustr;[1-2] and then it is supposyd that he shalle to my Lady off Norffolk.[1-3] And myn oncle William comythe with hym; and he tellyth me, that ther is like to be troble in the maner off Oxenhed; wherffor I praye yow take hedde lesse that the Duke off Suffolk councell pley therwith now at the vacacion[1-4] off the beneffyse, as they ded with the beneffice off Drayton, whyche by the helpe off Mr. John Salett and Donne hys man, ther was a qweste made by the seyde Donne, that ffownde that the Duke off Suffolk was verrye patrone, whyche was ffalse, yitt they ded it ffor an evydence; but nowe iff any suche pratte scholde be laboryd, it is I hope in bettr case, ffor suche a thynge most needs be ffownde byffor Master John Smyth, whyche is owr olde ffreende; wherffor I praye yow labor hym, that, iff neede bee, he maye doo use a ffreends torne therin.

Item, bothe ye and I most neds take thys mater as owr owne, and it weer ffor noon other cawse butt ffor owr goode grawnt dames sake; neverthelesse ye woote well, thatt ther is an other entresse longyng to usse afftr her dyscease; iffe ther be any suche thynge begune ther by suche a fryer or prest, as it is seyde, I mervayle that ye sente me no worde ther off; butt ye have nowe wyffe and chyld, and so moche to kar ffor, thatt ye fforgete me.

As for tydyngs her, I her telle that my cosyn Sir Robert Chamberleyn hathe entyrd the maner of Scolton uppon yowr bedffelawe[2-1] Conyerse, wheroff ye sende me no worde.

Item, yonge William Brandon is in warde and arestyd ffor thatt he scholde have by fforce ravysshyd and swyvyd an olde jentylwoman, and yitt was nott therwith easyd, butt swyvyd hyr oldest dowtr, and than wolde have swyvyd the other sustr bothe; wherffor men sey ffowle off hym, and that he wolde ete the henne and alle hyr chekynnys; and som seye that the Kynge entendyth to sitte uppon hym, and men seye he is lyke to be hangyd, ffor he hathe weddyd a wedowe.

Item, as ffor the pagent that men sey that the Erle off Oxenforde[2-2]

hathe pleyid atte Hammys, I suppose ye have herde theroff; itt is so longe agoo, I was nott in thys contre when the tydyngs come, therfor I sent yow no worde theroff.

But ffor conclusion, as I her seye, he lyepe the wallys, and wente to the dyke, and in to the dyke to the chynne; to whatt entent I can nott telle; some sey, to stele awey, and some thynke he wolde have drownyd hymselffe, and so it is demyd.

No mor, but I ame nott sertayne whether I shall come home in haste or nott.

Wretyn at London, the daye nexte Seynt Bartelmewe,[3-1] anno E. iiij^ti xviij^o.


[Footnote 1-1: [From Fenn, ii. 270.]]

[Footnote 1-2: Joan, sister to Henry, Duke of Buckingham, was the second wife of Sir William Knevet, Knight, of Bokenham Castle, in Norfolk.--F.]

[Footnote 1-3: Elizabeth, widow of John Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk.--F.]

[Footnote 1-4: Agnes Paston, grandmother to Sir John, presented Thomas Everard to the Rectory of Oxnead in 1475, and in 1479, she again presented William Barthulmew, so that the Duke of Suffolk either did not attempt to disturb her right; or at least did not succeed, if he endeavoured to do it.--F. It will be seen by No.

935 that before presenting William Barthulmew she presented Dr.

Richard Lyncoln.]

[Footnote 2-1: A word at this time, implying a friend, or intimate acquaintance, who really slept in the same bed. _See_ Steevens'

Shakspeare, _Henry V._ Act ii. Sc. 2.--F.]

[Footnote 2-2: John de Vere, Earl of Oxford, had been for several years a prisoner in the Castle of Hammes, in Picardy. He became a favourite of Henry VII. and died in the reign of Henry VIII.--F.]

[Footnote 3-1: St. Bartholomew's Day is the 24th August. 'The day _next_ St. Bartholomew' should be the 25th, unless the writer meant to say 'next before.']




[Sidenote: 1478 / OCT. 9]

Spoke to him on Sunday about a clerk presented by William Paston's mother to the Church of Oxnead, and not admitted, though the presentation was delivered to Master John Bulman, my lord's deputy, within the time limited by law. Requests him to get the Bishop to do him justice. The living is of small value, and the delay can be of little benefit to my lord. Desires an answer by the bearer, Sir William Upgate, Vicar of Castre.

Norwich, 9 Oct.

[The MS. is a corrected draft partly in William Paston's own hand, endorsed 'The copy of a lettre to Mr. Nicholas Goldewell, broder to the Busshopp of Norwich, ix^o Octobris, anno xviij^o E. iiij^ti, by Sir William Ubgate, Vicar of Castre.']

[Footnote 3-2: [From Paston MSS., B.M.]]




[Sidenote: 1478 / OCT. 17]

Cannot be at the Court at Paston on Monday next. Bids him warn the tenants to keep the Court on Friday instead, and to bring their rents, for he will be there himself. He is also to warn the tenants of Bakton to-morrow openly in the church of the said Court to be kept on Friday next; also the tenants of Swaffeld, Mundesley,[4-1] Edyngthorpe, and Wytton.

Norwich, Saturday after St. Edward,[4-2] the ---- October.

[The MS. is a draft with corrections in the handwriting of William Paston, endorsed--'The copy of a lettre to William Pope of Bacton, the xvij. day of Octobre, anno xviij^o E. iiij^ti, by William Dam of Rughton.']

[Footnote 3-3: _Ibid._]

[Footnote 4-1: This name is very ill written, and looks more like 'Maxsley'; but Mundesley is the only place in the neighbourhood that seems at all probable.]

[Footnote 4-2: Translation of St. Edward the Confessor, 13th October. The Saturday after it in 1478, was the 17th, but the writer has left only a blank for the day.]



_To hys worchepful brodyr, John Paston, be thys delyvered in hast._

[Sidenote: 1478 / NOV. 7]

Ryght reverent and worchepful brodyr, I recomaunde me on to yow, desyrynge to here of yowre welfare and prosperite; letynge yow wete that I have resevyd of Alwedyr a lettyr and a nobyll in gowlde therin.

Ferthermor my creansyr [_creditor_], Mayster Thomas,[4-4] hertely recomandyd hym to yow, and he praythe yow to sende hym sum mony for my comons; for he seythe ye be xx^{ti}_s._ in hys dette, for a monthe was to pay for when he had mony laste.

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