_To the Right Honorable Sir John Paston, Knyght, be this delyverid._
[Sidenote: 1489 / FEB. 2]
Right reverent and honorable, after the ordre of all diew recommendacion had, I recomaunde me un to your maistership. Sir, it is so that John Talyour of Brytcham, debite [_deputy_] in your office of Th'admirallite, was with me this mornyng to have myn advyce in this mater folowyng, the whiche is this.
There was taken ageyns Thornham, in the Kynges streeme, leyng ij. fadam and an halff depe upon the see, a whalle fyssh, by Thornham men labouryng all nyght on Sunday nyght last was, and so have slayn it, and brought to lande; upon the whiche your said debite hath ben ther as yister day, and seysed my lordes part therof; wherof the puple was glad it shuld so be. Than John a Lowe was there, and he seyd to your debite that he wold have the Kynges part in this wise, that the Kyng and my lord shuld part the halff. Sir, the lawe cyvylle seyth thus, 'If any fyssh ryall be founde on the se, that is to say, _whalle, bales, sturgion, porpeys, or gra[m]peys_, that my Lord Admyrall shall have the halvendele,' &c.
I thynke my lord[116-1] hath the Kynges prerogatyff upon the see, the whiche I remytte to your discrecion, &c.
Sir, by lyklyhode, without ye take hede and send thedir som of youres, my lordes part shall be litill. It is a greet fissh and a ryall; your debite sheweth me it is xj. fadam and more of length, and ij. fadam of bygnes and depnes in the mydde fyssh.
Sir, remembre what ye have to do; there came not suche a casualte in your tyme of your office, &c. Wherfore this, by th'enfourmacion of your sayd debite, cause me to wryte un to you this sympill bille, praying you to pardone me of the writyng, for it was don in hast; and this bille I sent to Willyam Brykkes your servant, to Matelask, by masse tyme, to brynke it to you. And this day they purpose to breke it. Do hereyn now as it please you, and Allmighti God have you and all youres in Hese kepyng; besechyng you that this symple bille may recomaunde my pouer wiff un to your maistershipp.
Wretyn on Candilmas Day, in hast, at Welles.
[Footnote 115-3: [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter is evidently of the same year as that which follows it, to which we refer the reader.]
[Footnote 116-1: The Earl of Oxford was Lord Admiral.]
MARGERY PASTON TO SIR JOHN PASTON[117-1]
_To my rygth wurchypfull mastyr, Syr John Paston, Knyth, this lettyr be delyvered in hast._
[Sidenote: 1489 / FEB. 10]
Rygth reverent and worchypfull sir, in the most owmble wyse I recomand me un to yow, desyryng to here of yowre welfare, the qwech God long contynew.
Sir, myn brodyr Wyllyam recomawnd hym on to yow. And as for the lettyr that ze sent on to hym, he hath schewyd my lord the entent ther off, and he thynkyth hym self, that it is no part of hys dute to have any part of the fysch, or any mony that schuld grow ther of. Never the lasse, my lord, acordyng as yowr desyre was in the letter, had qwestyond John a Lowe of thys fych, afor the comyng of John Danyel, what he had doon with all; and he answerd, as for the nedyr chavyll [_jaw_] therof, he had put it in sewrte, and leyd it in a howse, be cawse youre debyte [_deputy_]
seasyd it to myn lords use, tyll it myth be undyrstond wedyr the propyrte ware in the Kyng or in my lord; and so my lord held hym well content it schud be so, in so moche as the Kyng and my lord have comawndyd John a Lowe that thys forsayd chavyll schuld be browth up to the Kyng in all goodly hast.
Fardermore, my brodyr Wyllyam perseyvyd be yowre wrytyng that ye cowd make the remnawnth of the fych worth a iiij_li._ to my lord. My lord wold ze schuld not trobyll yowre self no more with all, becawse he thynkyth that the propyrte is not in hym. And also anodyr, my brodyr Wyllyam heryth sey in the corte, that the Kyng and my lord be content that the remenaunt of the fych be to the use of them of the cuntre, the wech ze schall here the more serteyn therof here after.
Also my broder Wyllyam seyth, that my lord wyllyd yow that ze schuld send the retorne of the comyscion as hastyly as ze can, and mervell that ze hath not sent it up or thys.
As touards the brekyng up of the Parlement,[118-1] many lykelywoodes ther be, that it schuld contynew no wyle, and these be they. My Lord the Archebyschop of Yorke departyd as zysterday, and my Lord of Northethomyrlond schall goo as on Fryday; and also all schuch folkys as schall goo in to Breten schall be at Portysmowth on Satyrday cum forthnyth, and the Munday after on see bord, at wech seassun the Kyng intentyd to be ther to take the mustyrs.
And as for thos jantylmen that toke schyppyng to a gon over in to Breten up on a fortnyth a goo, that is to sey, Syr Richard Egecum, the cowntroller,[118-2] Sir Roberd Clyfford, Sir John Trobylvyll, and John Motton, sarjant porter, be a ryvyd ageyn up on the cost of Yngland, save all only Syr Richard Egecum, wech londyd in Breten, and ther was in a towne callyd Morleys, wech a non up on hys comyng was besegyd with the Frenchmen, and so skapyd hardly with hys lyff, the wech towne the Frenchemen have gotyn, and also the town callyd Breest; how be it the castell holdyth, as we here say.
And ther be apoyntyd serteyn captens at thys seasun, wech be Lord Bruke, Sir John Cheney, Sir John of Arundell, Sir John Becham, Sir John Gray, myn broder Awdley, myn unkyll Syr Gylberd Debnam,[118-3] and Thomas Stafford, and many odyr knytys and esqwyrys.
And, sir, I thanke yow for the lettyr that ze sent me. Also, syr, I have fulfyllyd myn pylgremage, thanke it be God.
Also, sir, we undyrstond that it is anactyd of every x. marke of mevable goodes xx_d._ to the Kyng, besyd the tennyth of every mannys londys.
And, sir, my brodyr Heydon schall send yow the serteyn of all odyr thyngys grawntyd at thys Parlement, for he hath cawsed John Danyell to tery all thys day for hys letter, be cawse he was with the Kyng at Westmestre, that he myth not entend to wryth it tyl nyth.
Also, sir, Master Calthorp hath payd j.C. marke to the Kyng. Also, sir, I have delyverd the x_li._ to Master Hawes, and reseywed of hym the oblygacion. Also, I have delyverd the xx^ti marke to Edmund Dorman, be my brodyr Heydons comawndment.
No more to yow at thys tyme, but God and the Holy Trinyte have yow in Her kepyng. And myn syster Anne, with all the company, recomawnd hem on to yow.
Wretyn at London, the x. day of Februar.
Be yowr servaunt,
[Footnote 117-1: [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter is erroneously dated by Fenn 1487-8. Although Lord Woodville made an unauthorised expedition into Brittany in the spring of 1488, which is alluded to in No. 1026, no succours were sent by Henry for the relief of the Duchy till after the crushing defeat of Duke Francis at the battle of St. Aubin (July 28, 1488). The Duke died on the 9th September following, and his daughter Anne became Duchess of Brittany. Commissions to raise archers for the relief of Brittany were issued in December, and musters were commanded to be taken in February 1489.]
[Footnote 118-1: Parliament was dissolved on the 27th February 1489.]
[Footnote 118-2: Sir Richard Edgecombe was Controller of the King's Household.]
[Footnote 118-3: Sir Thomas Brews, Margery Paston's father, took for his second wife Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Giles, and sister of Sir Gilbert Debenham.]
WILLIAM PASTON TO SIR JOHN PASTON[120-1]
_To hys broder, Sir John Paston, be thys letter delyvered._
[Sidenote: 1489 / MARCH 7]
Sir, I recomaunde me to yow, letynge yow wete that ... ...
As for my Lord Treserer,[120-3] he was not with the Kynge of all the counsell tyme, the whyche was endyd on the iij^de day of Marche. And theder come my Lorde of Northethombyrland the fyrste day of Marche, and departyd the even afore the makyng of thys letter, and hath endentyd with the Kynge for the kepynge owt of the Schottys and warrynge on them, and schall have large money, I can not telle the some for certeyn.
Also ther is an rover takyn at Brystowe, on [_one_] Cowper, as I wene, and he is lyke to be hanged, and he confessythe more of hys felawis.
Also Edward Heestowe of Dovere is apechyd of treson of many straunge poynts; and hys accuser and he were bothe afore the Kynge, and then they were takyn apert. And he hymselfe confessyd it that hys accusere accusyd hym of, and many other thyngs more than he was accusyd of. And he had many lords and gentylmen to aunswere for hys trowthe and his demenynge afore tyme, for, as I hard sey, bothe the Kynge in a maner, nor non of the tother lords nor gentylmen belevyd not hys accuser, tyl that he confessyd it hym selfe; and so he is in the Towre and lyke to be dede.
As for the Kynges comynge into the contre. On Monday come fortenyght he well lye at the Abbey of Stratteforde and so to Chelmnsford, than to Syr Thomas Mongehombrey, than to Hevenyngham,[121-1] than to Colchestyr, than to Ipswyche, than to Bery, than to Dame Anne Wyngfelds, and so to Norwych; and there woll he be on Palme Sunday Evyn,[121-2] and so tary there all Ester, and than to Walsyngham. Wherefore ye had nede to warne Wylliam Gogyne and hys felaws to purvey them of wyne i now, for every man berythe me on hande[121-3] that the towne schalbe dronkyn drye as Yorke was when the Kynge was there.
Syr, Mayster Sampson recomaunde hym on to yow, and he hathe sende yow a rynge be Edmonde Dorman, and besydys that he requeryd me to wryte on to yow that it were best for yow to purvey yow of some gentyl meny thynges ageyns the Kyngs comyng, for suere he well brynge yow gests i now, and therfore purvey yow theraftyr. Also he sendythe yow worde that it is my lords mende that my syster with all other godely folkys there abowt scholde acompeny with Dame Elsebethe Calthrop[121-4] because there is noo grete lady ther abowte ageyns the Kyngs comyng, for my lorde hathe made grete boste of the fayre and goode gentylwomen of the contre, and so the Kynge seyd he wolde see them sure.
Syr, my lorde hathe sente on to the most parte of the gentyl men of Essex to wayte upon hym at Chelmnysford, where as he entendythe to mete with the Kynge, and that they be well apoyntyd, that the Lankeschere men may see that ther be gentylmen of as grete sobestaunce that thei be able to bye alle Lankeschere. Men thynke that ye amonge yow wol doo the same.
Your contre is gretely bostyd of, and also the inabytors of the same.
I beseche you to remembr my hors that ye promisyd me. God kepe yow.
Wretyn at Schene in haste, the vij. day of Marche, with the hande of your brodyr,