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_To my welbelovyd frend, John Paston, be thys byll delyveryd in hast._

[Sidenote: 1485 / AUG.]

Welbelovyd frend, I cummaunde me to yow, letyng yow to undyrstond that the Kyngs enmysse be a land, and that the Kyng wold hafe set forthe as uppon Monday but only for Howre Lady Day;[85-2] but for serten he gothe forward as uppon Tewsday, for a servant of myne browt to me the sertente.

Wherfor, I pray yow that ye met with me at Bery,[85-3] for, be the grace of God, I purposse to lye at Bery as uppon Tewsday nyght, and that ye brynge with yow seche company of tall men as ye may goodly make at my cost and charge, be seyd that ye have promysyd the Kyng; and I pray yow ordeyne them jakets of my levery, and I shall contente yow at your metyng with me.

Yower lover,


[Footnote 85-1: [From Fenn, ii. 334.] This letter must have been written in August 1485, some days after the landing of the Earl of Richmond, afterwards Henry VII., at Milford Haven.]

[Footnote 85-2: The Assumption of Our Lady, 15th of August.]

[Footnote 85-3: Bury St. Edmund's in Suffolk.]


_Henry VII._



_To my ryght worchepfull and hertly beloved nevew, John Paston, Sqwyer._

[Sidenote: 1485 / SEPT. 23]

Right worchepfull, and my ryght hertly beloved nevew, I recomand me to yow. And wher as ye desier me to send yow woord whether my brodyr John Paston, your fadyr, was with my fadyr and hys, whom God assoyle, duryng hys last syknesse and at the tyme of hys dissease at Seynt Brydis, or nowght.

Nevew, I assarteyn yow upon my feythe and poore honore that I was xiiij., xv. yer or xvj. yer old, and[86-2] at Seynt Brydis with my fadyr and my modyr when my fadyrs last syknesse took hym, and tyll he was disseassid; and I dare depose befor ony persone honorable that when my fadyrs last siknesse tooke hym, my brodyr your fadyr was in Norffolk, and he came not to London tyll aftyr that my fadyr was disseassid, and that can Sir William Cootyng[86-3] and Jamys Gressham record, for they bothe were my fadyrs clerkys at that tyme. And I remembre and wot well that Jamys Gressham was with my fadyr at Seynt Brydys duryng all hys siknesse and at hys disseasse, and thys wyll I wyttnesse whyle I leve for a trowthe, as knowith God, Whom I beseche to preserve you and yours.

And, nevew, I prey yow recomand to my neese your wyff, whom I wold be glad to se onys a yen in London, wher thys bylle was wretyn, signed with myn hand, and sealed with my seale [the Thursday next befor Whyghtsonday, the second yer of Kyng Richard the Thred],[87-1] the xxiij. daye of September the first yer of the reyngne of Kyng Herry the vij^{th}.

Your loveing awnte,


[Footnote 86-1: [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The MS. from which this letter is printed is not in the handwriting of Dame Eliz. Browne.

It is a corrected draft in the handwriting of John Paston, with the address at the head.]

[Footnote 86-2: The words 'xiiij. ---- old, and' are an interlineation, J. P. apparently did not know his sister's exact age at the time and wished her to supply it.]

[Footnote 86-3: Rector of Swainsthorpe from 1444 to 1450, and of Titchwell from 1450 to 1457. He was presented to the former living by Judge Paston and John Dam.]

[Footnote 87-1: This date is scratched through with the pen.]

[[Footnote 86-2 apparently did not know his sister's exact age at the time _text unchanged: error for "aunt's"?_]]



_To myn ryght worshepfull cosyn, John Paston, Esquyer._

[Sidenote: 1485 / OCT. 3]

Myn ryght worshipfull cosyn, I recomawnde me hertly to you, thankyng you of your greet kyndnes and lovyng disposicion towardys myn lord and me at all tymes, which I pray God I may leve to see the acquytell ther of to your plesure, prayeng you of your good continuans.

Cosyn, I shewyd you myn mynde that I wolde have myn shildern to Thorpe,[87-3] wher in, God yelde you, it pleasyd you to sey that I shulde have hors of you to help to conveye them thyder; but now I undirstonde myn Lord Fitz Walter[87-4] hath dischargyd myn lordys servauntes thens, affermyng up on them that they shulde have had unfittyng langage of the Kynges Grace. Cosyn, I trust that ye and all the jentilmen of the shire, which have had knowleche of myn lordes servauntes, kan sey that her to for they have not ben of that disposicion to be lavas of theyr tungys, whan they had moore cause of booldnes than they have nowe. I wolde not have thowght myn Lord Fitzwalter wolde have takyn so ferforth displeasure for the keepyng of x. or xij. men at Thorpe; I woot weell ther exceded not iij. mees[88-1]

meet, good and bad. I truste, all thow I weer a soel woman, to mayntene so many at the leeste, what so evyr I dyde moore.

I trustyd to have fowndyn myn Lord Fitzwalter better lord to me, seyng whan I was wyth myn Lord of Oxenforth, up on myn desyre and request at that tyme made un to hym, he promysed me to be good lord to myn lord and me, wher of I praye you to put hym in remembrauns, trustyng yit be the meene of you to fynde hym better lord to me her aftyr.

I have fownde myn Lord of Oxenforth singuler very good and kynde lord to myn lord and me, and stedefaste in hys promys, wher by he hath wonne myn lordys service as longe as he leevyth, and me to be hys trewe beedwoman terme of myn lyve; for hym I drede mooste, and yit as hyther to I fynde hym beste. I pray you good cosyn, the rather by your meane, that I may have the continuauns of hys good lordship, and to myn poore power I truste to deserve it. I pray you, cosyn, that thys byll may recomawnde [me][88-2] to myn Lady Brews and to myn cosyn, your wyf.

From Mynster, in the Yle of Shepey, the iij^de day of Octobre. I pray you yeve credens to the berer of thys, and to Thomas Jenney, whan he comyth to you.

[88-3]Your faythefoull cosyene,


[Footnote 87-2: [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter must have been written either in 1485 or in 1486. Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey, was taken prisoner at the battle of Bosworth on the 22nd August 1485, and was not released from confinement till 1487, in which latter year also John Paston, to whom this letter is addressed, was knighted at the battle of Stoke on the 16th June.

Most likely the letter is of the year 1485, at the beginning of the Earl's imprisonment, and when Henry VII. had been just six weeks upon the throne.]

[Footnote 87-3: In Norfolk.--F.]

[Footnote 87-4: John Ratcliff, Lord Fitzwalter, who was summoned to Parliament in September 1485.]

[Footnote 88-1: A mess was a party of four at dinner.]

[Footnote 88-2: Omitted in MS.]

[Footnote 88-3: These last words were written by the Countess, the letter by her secretary.--F.]


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