By JOHN, Prior off Northwich and the Covent.
[Footnote 95-2: [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The writer of this letter was John Bonwell, who was made Prior of Norwich in 1480, and died in 1488. As it is actually dated in the second year of Henry VII., it must have been written either after the 22nd August in 1486 or before that date in 1487. Most probably it is of the latter year.
It is endorsed in a contemporaneous hand--'Billa Prioris Norwic'
pro missa perpetue fundanda.' One or two words are now lost by the decay of the paper, which seem to have been visible in the text when Fenn copied the MS. for his fifth volume.]
[Footnote 96-1: John Haverland was Prior of Norwich from 1436 to 1453.]
[Footnote 96-2: Prior from 1453 to 1471.]
[Footnote 97-1: The writing is here blurred and indistinct, being written on an erasure.]
[Footnote 98-1: John Alcock.]
[Footnote 98-2: Blanks in MS.]
SIR EDMUND BEDINGFIELD TO JOHN PASTON[99-1]
_Un to my ryght wurshypfull cosyn, John Paston, Esquyer, for the Body._
[Sidenote: 1487 / MAY 16]
Ryght wurshypfull cosyn, I recomawnd me un to you as hertly as I can, letyng you wytte I was with my Lorde Stuarde[99-2] as on Munday laste paste, by the desyir of them that I myght not sey ney to. I herde all that was seyd there, but they gaate non avawntage, wurde, nor promyse off me; but they thought in asmoche as they ware the beste in the shere, that every man owghte to wayte and go with them. Wherto yt was answerd that oure master,[99-3] nexte the Kynge, havynge hys commysshon, muste nedys have the jentylmen and the contre to a wayte up on hym by the vertu of the same; but yt was thought I owght not to obeye no copy of the commisshon, withoute I had the same under wexe, where in hathe ben gret argument, whyche I understoode by reporte a fortnyte paste, and that causyd me to sende unto my lorde to have the very commysshon, whyche he sente me, and a letter, where off I sende you the copy here in closyd.
As for you, ye be sore takyn in sum place, seying that ye intende swyche thynges as ys lyke to folow gret myscheffe. I seyd I undyrstood non swyche, nor thynges lyke it; and yt ys thoughte ye intende nat to go forthe thys jorneye, nor no jentylman in that quarter but Robert Brandon that hath promysyd to go with them, as they seye.
I understonde Sir Wylliam Bolen[99-4] and Sir Harry Heydon[99-5] ware at Thetforde in to Kente ward, but they returnyd in to Norffolk a geyne; I thynke they wull not goo thys jorney, yff the Kynge nede. Ser Harry was at Attylborow on Saterday. I wene he had a vyce there to turne a zen; wher for, cosyn, yt ys good to understonde the sertente what jentylmen intende to goo, and be assuryd to go together, that I may have wurde; my cosyn Hoptun hathe promysyd that he wull be oon. As fore Wysman, he seythe he wull be off the same, but I can have no holde.
Furthermore, cosyn, yt ys seyd that after my lordys departyng to the Kynge ye ware mette at Barkwey, whyche ys construid that ye had ben with the Lady Lovell, but wrathe seyd never well; and in asmoche as we understonde my lordys plesur, yt ys well doon we dele wysly therafter.
And, nexte to the Kynge, I answerd pleynly I was bownde to do him service, and to fullfylle hys comaundment to the uttermest off my powere, by the grace off God, Who ever preserve you to Hys plesur.
Wretyn at Oxburgh, the xvj. day of Maye.
[Footnote 99-1: [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter and that which follows were written during the period of Lambert Simnel's rebellion. The rebels were at this time in Ireland, but they soon after invaded England, and were defeated at the battle of Stoke on the 16th June 1487. Francis, Viscount Lovel, took part in the movement, and is supposed to have perished in the battle, or shortly after it.]
[Footnote 99-2: John Ratcliff, Lord Fitzwalter.--_See_ Campbell's _Materials for a History of Henry VII._, i. 92, 241.]
[Footnote 99-3: Probably the Earl of Oxford.--_See_ next letter.]
[Footnote 99-4: Sir William Boleyn, of Blickling, had been made a Knight of the Bath at the Coronation of Richard III. He died in 1505.--F.]
[Footnote 99-5: Sir Henry Heydon, of Baconsthorp, Knight, had been steward of the household to Cecilia, Duchess of York, and died in 1503.--F.]
[Footnote 100-1: Sir Edmund Bedingfeld was made a Knight of the Bath at the Coronation of Richard III. He was likewise in high favour with Henry VII., who paid him a royal visit at Oxburgh, in Norfolk. He died in 1496.--F.]
[THE EARL OF OXFORD?] TO SIR EDMUND BEDINGFIELD[100-2]
[Sidenote: 1487 / MAY (?)]
Where as I understonde by your late wrytyng un to me, that ye have ryght well endevyrd you to th'execusion of the Kynges comission and comawndment, in preparyng your selffe with the jentylmen and other of the contre, to be redy to do the Kyng servyce, whyche I have shewid un to the Kynges Hyghnes, so that hys Grace ys ryght well content and ryght thankfully acceptyth the same, understondynge the ryght good myndys and dysposyschon off you and off other jentylmen there towardes hys Grace.
How be yt, hys Hyghnes wull not as zytte put you to ony further labur or charge, for somoche as hys rebellys and enemyes be in to Irlande; neverthelesse hys Grace wull that the contre be redy at all tymis to do hys Hyghnes servyce up on resonabull warnyng; for so moche as the Kynges Grace intendythe to make provysyon to sende an armi in to Irlonde in haaste, nat knowyng as zytte whether that ye, and other aboute you shall be desyird to bere ony charge there to or no. And where as yt ys mervellyd that ye had not the Kynges comysshon, under hys gret seall, I send yt to you with thys my wrytyng, wyllynge you nat to precede further to eny execushon theroff tyll swyche tyme as ye have other wise in comawndment, alwey thankyng hertyly the jentylmen, and all other for ther good wyllys towardes me.
[Footnote 100-2: [From Paston MSS., B.M.] The MS. from which this letter was printed was evidently the copy of a letter, which was enclosed in the preceding. Fenn supposes with great probability that the writer was the Earl of Oxford, but the MS. being only a copy, there is no signature attached. Commissions of array were issued on the 7th April 1487 for the counties of Suffolk, Norfolk, and Essex, with special instructions for repairing and guarding the beacons for fear of an invasion. The Commissioners for the County of Norfolk were John, Duke of Suffolk, John, Earl of Oxford, John Radcliff, Lord Fitzwalter, and fifteen others, among whom was John Paston.--See _Patent Roll_, 2 Hen. VII., p. 2, m. 6, _in dorso_.]
KNIGHTS MADE AT THE BATTLE OF STOKE[101-1]
[Sidenote: 1487 / JUNE 16]
Sir Edmond Benyngfeld.
Sir Jamys Blount.
Sir Richard Croft.
Sir [Humfrey] Stanley.
[Sir Richard De]levere.
Sir J[ohn] Mortumer.
Sir William Troutbeke.
_Knyghtes made at the same Batayll._
The sone and heyr of the Lord Audeley.[102-1]
Sir Edward Noreys.
Sir Robert Clyfford.
Sir George Hopton.
Sir John Paston.
Sir Thomas Lovell.
Sir Humfrey Savage.
Sir Herry Willoughby.
Sir John Sapcotes.
Sir William Vampage.
Sir Antony Brone.
Sir Gregory ... .
Sir Thomas Bl[ount].
Sir Robert Cheyny.