MARGARET, COUNTESS OF OXFORD, TO JOHN PASTON[92-2]
_To my right trusti and welbiloved John Paston, Shrieve of Norffolk and Suffolk._
[Sidenote: 1486 / MAY 19]
Right trusti and welbiloved, I recomaund me unto you. And for as moche as I am credebly enfourmed that Fraunceis, late Lorde Lovell, is now of late resorted into the Yle of Ely, to the entente by alle lykelyhod, to finde the waies and meanes to gete him shipping and passage in your costes, or ellis to resorte ageyn to seintuary, if he can or maie;
I therfor hertily desire praie you, and neverthelesse, in the Kinges name, streitly chargie you that ye in all goodly haste endevore your self that suche wetche or other meanes be used and hadde in the poorts, and creks, and othre places wher ye thinke necessary by your discrecion, to the letting of his seid purpose; and that ye also use all the waies ye can or maie by your wisdom, to the taking of the same late Lorde Lovell. And what pleasur ye maie do to the Kings Grace in this matier, I am sure, is not to you unknowen. And God kepe you.
Wretyn at Lavenham, the xix. day of May.
[Footnote 92-2: [From Fenn, ii. 338.] The date of this is quite certain from the subject to which it refers, as well as from the fact of John Paston being at the time Sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk. Francis, Viscount Lovel, was one of the principal adherents of Richard III., and was attainted after the accession of Henry VII. in 1485. For some time he lay concealed, but in the spring of 1486 he attempted to raise an insurrection along with Humphrey and Thomas Stafford, who had broken out of their sanctuary at Colchester. He is said to have been drowned in the Trent in 1487, in endeavouring to escape after the battle of Stoke. But according to another story he lived in concealment for some time after.]
[Footnote 93-1: Margaret, daughter of Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury, and sister of Richard, the great Earl of Warwick, was the first wife of John de Vere, Earl of Oxford.--F.]
HENRY VII. TO JOHN PASTON[93-2]
_To our trusty and welbeloved John Paston, one of our Esquiers for our Body, Shreife of our countys of Norffolk and Suffolk._
BY THE KING.
[Sidenote: 1486 / AUG. 12]
Trusty and welbeloved, we greet you well. And whereas we send at this time our trusty and welbeloved clerke and counseilor, Mr. Edmunde Chaderton, to do and execute certein things by our commandement in those parties, like as he can shew to you more at large; We desire and pray you that ye not only yeve unto him therein credence, but also, for the effectuall and speedy performance of the same, ye will be unto him from time to time in everythinge, as the case shall require, adviseinge, aidinge, and assistinge, as we singularly trust you, and as ye desire to do us pleasure.
Yeven under our Signet at our manner of Shene, the xij^th day of August.
[Footnote 93-2: [From Sandford's Genealogy of the Paston Family.]
This letter is derived from Mr. Worship's article in the _Norfolk Archaeology_ on a MS. Genealogy of the Paston family. The date must be 1486, during John Paston's shrievalty. The transcript is of the seventeenth century.]
JOHN, LORD FITZWALTER, TO JOHN PASTON[94-1]
_To my right wurshipfull cosyn, John Paston, esquyer._
[Sidenote: 1486 / SEPT. 19]
Right wurshipfull cosyn, I recomaunde me to you, certifyeng you that, where as I understond ye have distreyned Richard Caus of Byngham[94-2]
for issuez ronne uppon hym in th'escheker to the summe of iiij_li._ and odde sylver, I pray you that ye wull, the rather for my sake, showe hym the favour that ye may doo, savyng youre sylfe, and that ye wulle not be harde uppon hym; but if ye kan by th'advys of councell this next terme fynde the meanes for youre discharge uppon youre acompte in th'escheker, that than ye wull lete hym be so in reste and peas withoute more paymentz for that cause; the which I prey you to tendre the rather because I fynde the seid Richard Caus at all tymez my trewe servaunt, and I shall be as redy to the acomplyshment of all youre resonable desirez with Goddis grace, Who kepe you. At Attelburgh, this Tuesday next before Seint Mathuz Day.
Zowr Cosyn and frend,
J. SIEUR FYTZWAUTER.
[Footnote 94-1: [Add. MS. 34,889, f. 176.] This letter is probably of the year 1486, when John Paston was sheriff. Its contents, as will be seen, are somewhat similar in character to those of No.
1024, written a year or two later, after John Paston had been knighted.]
[Footnote 94-2: Binham in Norfolk.]
[[I fynde the seid Richard Caus _text reads "Cans"_]]
THE EARL OF OXFORD TO JOHN PASTON[95-1]
_To my right trusty and right welbelovyd Councellor, John Paston, Esquier._
[Sidenote: 1487 / JAN. 24]
John Paston, I comaund me to you. And as for such tithynge as ye have sent hider, the Kyng had knowlech therof more than a sevyn-nyght passed.
And as for such names as ye have sent, supposyng theym to be gone with the Lord Lovell, they be yitt in England, for he is departyng with xiiij. personys and no moe. At the Kynges comyng to London I wold advise you to see his Highnes. And Almyghty God kepe you.
Writen at Wyndesore, the xxiiij^th day of January.
_Endorsed_: The Countis of Oxfordes lettre.
[Footnote 95-1: [From Douce MS. 393, f. 78.] Francis, Viscount Lovel, after trying to raise a rebellion in England in 1486, escaped abroad to Flanders, and joined the Earl of Lincoln in the following spring in an invasion of England in behalf of Lambert Simnel. This letter appears therefore to have been written in the beginning of the year 1487.]
JOHN, PRIOR OF NORWICH, TO ----[95-2]
Right worchupfull serys, we recomaunde us all unto you in oure most herty wyse. And it is so that longe and many yerys ther hath ben hangyng a grete variaunce and a growge bitwix Annes Paston deceassed, late the wyff of William Paston, Justice, and William Paston now lyvyng, and Clement Paston deceassid, ther sones, one the oone parte, and John Paston, the sone of the seide William Paston, Justice, and of the seide Annes his wiff, also deceassid, and Ser John Paston, Knyght, deceassed, and John Paston yet lyvyng, sones to the seide John deceassid, on the othir parte. And now the seide variaunce contynueth betwixe the seide William and John that now is lyvyng of and upon the right, title, and possessioun of the maners of Sporle, Woodhall, Pagrave, Cressyngham, Swaynesthorpe, and Est Bekham, all [in] this cuntre of Norffolk.
Likith it you to wete that the seide William Paston, Justice, in his lyve was a speciall lover and frende to our monastery, and for synguler love and trust that he hadde to be remembred amonge us after hys deceasse, not with stondyng h[e de]yed at London, yet he bequest his body to be beryed, and is beryed in the chapell of Our Lady with inne oure monastery. [And] the seide William Paston, Justice, oftyn and many tymes in his pleyn lyfe, the seide Annes beyng present, he shewed unto the Priour of our monastery that was than, called Dawn John Heverlonde,[96-1] and to Dawn John Molett,[96-2] that was Priour after, to Dawn John Fornsett, Doctour of Devynyte, Dawn Richerd Walsham, our sexten, and to Dawn John Wechyngham, and to many dyverse other that were of his acqueyntaunce, and that he had trust unto to breke his mynde for the wele of his soule, that were thanne olde fadirs of our monastery, and arn now decessed, that it was his verry last will that ought of the seide maners schuld be perpetually immortaysed a serteyn londe, or annuyte of suche valewe, that every suche monke that syngith the last messe in the seide chapell, wher the body of the seide William Paston light beryed, schuld have that day that he songe messe ther iiij_d._ to pray for the soules of the seide William, and of Annes his wif, and for ther auncetrys, kynred, consanguynyte, affynyte, and frendes, and for all Cristen soules; and over that, a serteyn summe of money yerly to be payed to have the obytt of the seide William and Annes zerly kept with _dirige_ and masse in the seide chapell.
And it is so that many yeres aftir the decesse of the seide William, Justice, ther were many men lyvyng bothe of olde brethern of oures afore rehersyd, and of other that cowde aborne witnesse in this mater, and that knewe the mynde of the seide William Paston, Justice, that it was his last will, of whiche men many now be deceassed; and no merveill, for it is upon a xliij. yere past sithen the seide William, Justice, deyed.
And also the seide Annes that was hys wif lyved more thanne xxx. wynter aftir hir husbonde, and was in singuler trust with her husbonde, and one of his executours, and wele knowen in this cuntre, a woman of vertuos lyvyng and disposicion, and of goode discrecioun and conscience, and knewe hir husbondes mynde and last will as wele as ony lyvyng creature; she witnessed alway that it was hire husbondes last will to have this perpetuall messe, and called on it all the dayes of hir lyfe, and also atte her decesse; and sche seide that [it] was the will of her husbonde that the annuyte schulde go oute of the seide maner of Swaynesthorpe.
The seide John Paston decessed wolde have hadde it graunted owte of the seide maner of Cressyngham; and summe of the executours wolde have hadde the seide messe to a contynued but for the terme of iiij^xx. yere, and wolde have made writyng accordyng; but the seide Annes wolde not ther of, but seide alway that it was the last will of hir husbonde to have the messe made perpetuall, and the executours schewid to us that they wolde se the wyll perfourmed; and ther upon the executours, be ther comon assent, lefte a cofre with a grete substaunce of money of the goodes of the seide William, Justice, to be kepte with inne our monastery, and tolde and schewed to us that the seide gode schuld never be departid nor hadde oute of our place till we wer made sure of the seide annuyte. And duryng all that season that the seide cofer with the goodes was with ynne our monastery, it was alway schewid to us that the seide annuyte schulde be mortaysed in perpetuyte, and duryng all that season that the seid cofer was in our place, we hadde money yerly yoven us to pray for his soule to kepe [his obytt][97-1]; and be menys devysed with oute the knowleche of the seide Annes, or of ony of our brethern, all the goode that was in the seide cofre was conveyed oute of our monastery, and after that dede done, ther was no more money yoven us, nowther to kepe the seide obit, ner to pray for the soull of the seide William, as be the seide executours, savyng that the seide Annes, duryng her lyve, yaff us of hir owne cost yerly to remembre the soule, and that that hath be done sythen, hath be don of our owne devocion, and this many zerys ther hath no thing be yoven us, notwithstondyng of our own devocion we have rehersid his name in oure bede rolle every Sonday.
And now it is informed us that as wele the seide William as the seide John hath putt all ther title and interest, as wele in and of all the seide maners, londes, and tenementys as of the seide goodes in the awarde and jugement of the Right Reverend Fader in God, my Lord of Ely,[98-1] Chaunceler of Inglond, Ser Reynold Bray, Knyght, and in you tweyne. And in asmoche as ze be of our cuntre and speciall frendes to our monastery, and longest acqueyntyd with you, that makith me and all my brethren the more bolde to schewe this our mater and interest unto you, beseching yow bothe to tendre the mater, and to schewe it bothe to my Lorde of Ely and to Ser Reynolde Bray, that atte suche tyme as ze have the examynacion of the title of theise seide maners, that ze will vouche saff of your charite to schewe this mater and our interest in this behalf, and of the seide annuyte, and how that we aught of right to have a graunt of it oute of the seide maners.
And in this mater we hertily pray yow to take remembraunce and speciall labour, so that we may trust that it schall not askape your handes, nowe that the mater is putte in yowe; and all our monastery schall pray for you, and also rewarde you to your plesur, and over that, ze schall do her in suche a goode dede that God schall rewarde you.
Wretyn in our monastery, the ----[98-2] day of ----,[98-2] the secunde yer of the regne of Kyng Herry the vij^th.