At that tyme I knewe not what love was bitwix them, but now I undrestand that bothe there myndes is to mary to geders; wherunto on my parte, I am agreble and wel content, desiring and praying you to be the same, and to be the better frende unto them at this my prayer and instaunce. And what pleasir as I may doo unto you in thies partes shal be redye, in that I may, at your desires. And I pray you to recommaunde me to my cousin your nyce. And Jesu preserve you.
Writen at London, the first day of Juyn.
Your own, the Priour of Saint Johns,
SIR JOHN KENDAL.
[Footnote 164-1: [From Paston MSS., B.M.] Sir John Kendal was Prior of St. John's from 1491 to 1501, and probably later, so that there is nothing clearly to fix the date of this letter, except that it was written before the death of Sir John Paston in 1503.]
[Footnote 164-2: John Clippesby, Esq. of Oby.]
[Footnote 164-3: Constance, daughter of William Paston, Sir John's brother.]
MARGARET, COUNTESS OF OXFORD, TO SIR JOHN PASTON[165-1]
_To my right trusty and hertely wilbilovede sone, Sir John Paston, Knyght._
[Sidenote: Year uncertain]
Right trusty and hertely wilbiloved sone, I recommennde me to you, and send you Godes blyssynge and myn. And where oon John Malpas my olde servaunt, brynger herof, hath purchacede a writt directede to you and othre Justices of Peace in the shires of Norffolk and Suffolk, and also to the Sheryff of the same, for to put hym in pessible possescion in such certayn landes of his, accordynge to the Kynges writt; I pray you therefor hertely, and of my blyssynge charche you that at this my pour request and desir ye wole pute you in your faythfull devoir with othere Justaces associete with you, to see the execuscion doon and performyede accordynge to the saide writt. And Almyghty God evere more preserve you, my nown dere sone.
Writene in my lordes castell of Hethyngham, the xv. day of January.
[Footnote 165-1: [From Paston MSS., B.M.] I see nothing certain about the date of this letter, except that it must have been addressed to the later Sir John Paston (for in his brother's time the Earl of Oxford was an exile, and his Countess Margaret in needy circumstances), so that the date must lie between 1488 and 1503. For what reason the Countess calls Sir John her son I cannot explain.]
[[my nown dere sone.
SIR JOHN PASTON TO WILLIAM PASTON AND RICHARD LIGHTFOOTE[166-1]
_To my brother William Paston and my cosyn Richard Lightfoote, and to iche of theym._
Mastyrs bothe, I recomand me to yow, and send yow closid herin a booke of the seying of dyvers folkis, whiche testyfiee ayenst Thomas Rutty and other. I prey yow shewe it to my lordys[166-2] good lordshepe, and that I may know hys plesur ferther in as hasty wyse as may be, that I may ordre me ther aftyr. I had gret labore to come by the woman that was in servyse with Rutty, whiche sie [_saw_] all ther conversacyons many yeris. She is now in servyse with Richard Calle. And I have Thomas Bange in prison at Norwyche with the Shrevys of Norwych. The woman seythe he is as bold a theffe as eny is in Ingland; but he wyll nowghte confesse, nor I handelyd hym not sore to cause hym to confesse. But and Ruty knewe that he and the woman be in hold, and hathe told talis, I thynke it wyll cause Rutty to shewe the pleynesse.
Clerk and Roger Heron are endightid at this sessyons at Norwyche, last holdyn on Twysday last past, for robbing of the pardoner; and so is Rotty and all his felawshepe that the woman hathe apechid. According to hir apechement, Raff Taylour is over the see; Robert Fenne is dede; John Baker and William Taylour ar yett untakyn. If my lord send for T. Bange or the woman, some of my lordis servauntes had need to come for theym; for I can not do in the cause for lake of men and horse, for my wyff ridith this next week in to Kente, to the wydow, hir doughtir Leghe.
And as for Ramesey, liek a prowde, lewde, obstynat foole, he wyll not come befor my brothe[r] Sir R. Clere, nor me, but he seythe he wyll be with my lord hastyly, and shewe hys mynde to his lordshepe, whiche I beleve not. The substancyall marchantys of Norwyche hathe shewid ther myndys to my brother Sir R. Clere and me that he entendith to William Bayly gret wronge in his reknynges.
[Footnote 166-1: [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter is anonymous, but is in the handwriting of Sir John Paston, the younger of that name. From the mention of his wife and 'the widow, her daughter Leghe,' it was evidently written not during the life of Margery Brews, his first wife, who must have died about the year 1495, but after his marriage to another. This second wife was Agnes, daughter of Nicholas Morley, Esq., of the well-known family at Glynd, in Sussex, and had already been twice married before her marriage with Sir John. Her first husband was John Hervey, Esq. of Thurleigh, Beds, Usher of the Chamber to King Edward IV. Her second was John Isley of Sundridge, Kent. By the former she had a daughter, Isabel, married to John Leghe or Alyghe, Esq. of Addington, Surrey, who proved his father-in-law's will in 1494.
She herself survived her own third husband, Sir John Paston, and died in 1510. Her will, in which she calls herself 'Dame Agnes Paston,' is at the principal registry at Somerset House, dated the 31st May in that year, and proved on the 19th June following. For these particulars I was indebted to the genealogical researches of the late Colonel Chester, and _Notes and Queries_, 5th S. ix. 326, 370, 414, 512.]
[Footnote 166-2: The Earl of Oxford.]
THE EARL OF OXFORD TO SIR JOHN PASTON[167-1]
_To the right worshipfull and my right entierly welbelovyd Sir John Paston, Knyght._
[Sidenote: After 1503?]
Right worshipfull and right intierly belovyd, I commaund me hartely to you. And where as your broder William, my servaunte, ys so troubelid with sekenes and crasid in his mynde, that I may not kepe hym aboute me, wherfor I am right sory, and at this tyme sende hym to you, prayng especially that he may be kepte surely and tendirly with you, to suche tyme as God fortune hym to be bettyr assurid of hym selfe and his myndes more sadly disposid, whiche I pray God may be in shorte tyme, and preserve you longe in gode prosperite.
Writen at my place in London, the xxvj. day of Juyn.
[Footnote 167-1: [From Douce MS. 393, f. 86.] This letter is probably later in date than the last, as it would appear that when the last was written, William Paston was still in the Earl of Oxford's service.]
THE EARL OF OXFORD'S STEWARD TO THE 'BLACK KNIGHT'[168-1]
_Sinescallus Comitis Oxoniae Nigro Militi._
Non decet Sinescallo tam magni Comitis Ut Comes Oxoniae verbis in Anglicis Scrittere epistolas, vel suis in nuncijs Aliquid proponere si non in Latinis.
Igitur ille pauperculus praedicti Comitis Magnus Sinescallus magni Comitatis Nuncupatur Norff. Latinis in verbis Apud Knapton in curia in forma Judicis.
Tibi nigro militi salutem, et omnibus Notifico, quod Langdon ille homunculus Nullam pecuniam liberare vult gentibus, Quod est magnum impedimentum nostris operibus.
Idcirco tibi mando sub pna contemptus, Quod tu indilate proprijs manubus Scribas tuas lettras, quod ille homunculus Copiam pecuniae deliberet gentibus.
Sin autem per littras has nostras patentes Ego et operarij, qui sunt consentientes Omnes una voce promemus suos dentes Nisi liberet pecuniam, cum simus egentes.
Teste meipso apud Knapton praedicta, Est et michi testis Maria Benedicta, Quod vicesimo die Julij non inde relicta Erat summa solidi, res haec non est ficta.
[Footnote 168-1: [From Fenn, iv. 458.] The 'Black Knight,' to whom this facetious doggrel was addressed, seems to me to have been most probably the later Sir John Paston, whose services the Earl of Oxford, as the reader is aware, continually made use of. The manor of Knapton came to John, 12th Earl of Oxford, who died in 1462, by his marriage with Elizabeth, grand-daughter of Sir John Howard.]
[Sidenote: 1503 / FEB. 6]
Where Sir John Paston and Roger Townesende have agreed and promysed to obey as we, Jamys Hobart and John Yaxley will devyse for the varians of the maner of Estbekham: We devyse and a warde that Sir John Paston shall have the seid maner to hym, and to his heires; and he therfor shall paye to the seid Rogyr xl_li._ at Pentecoste nexte, and at Halowmesse nexte aftyr that xl_li._, and at Pentecoste next aftyr that xx_li._; and the same Syr John shall have the arrerages of the seid maner. And if the seid Sir John refuse to have the maner, then the seid Rogyr to have the same maner, with the arrerages as is a forseid, payeng to the seid Sir John the seid C_li._ at the dayes aforseid; and the seid Syr John to geve answer which he will chose the viij. daye of this moneth.