Paston letters and papers of the fifteenth century, Part I
Paston family
Norman Davis


And after þat þe ȝ day of þe monethe my seyd husbond, lyyng sek on hijs bede, sent fore me, John Paston, Bakton, and John a Dame to here hijs wyll rede. And in owre presens all he began to reede hijs wyll and spak fyr [deleted in MS]st of me and assynyd to me the maneris of Paston, Latymer, and Schypden and Ropers in Crowmer fore term of my lyffe, and the manerys of Merlyngforthe, Stonsted, and Horwelbury, wyche wasse myn own enheritans, and Oxned, wyche wasse my jontore; and seyde and he [deleted in MS] hadde do to lityll to ony it wasse to me, for for [deleted in MS] me he faryd Page  46þe better and so dede he for noon [deleted in MS] of hem all, but he hadde more to care for wyche myn as well as hys. And þan he red John parte and assynyd to hym and to hys wyffe the maner of Gressam and after my desesse the maner of Oxned; and he, thynkyng by John Pastons demenyng þat he wasse not plesyd be-cause Swynne of slowthe þat hijs wyll wasse not made vp, 'but wat swm euer cwn of me, dame, I wyll ȝe know my wyll'; and seyd þat swyche lond as he hadde not wrytyn in hijs wyll, wat xwlde be do wyth-all he wolde hijs ij ȝongest sonnys Wyllam and Clement xwlde haue, and owte of Sweyn- thorpe to haue hijs perpetuell masse. And of thys prayd me to reporte. record, and berre wyttnesse; in qwyche disposicion and intent he conti [deleted in MS]nuyd on-to þe day off hijs dethe. And I darre rytgh largely deposse þat that sam wasse hijs last wyll the tym of hijs dethe, qwyche wyll inmediatly after my husbondys decesse I hopynd and declaryd to John Paston and al the other excectorys of my husbond, desyeryng hem to haue performyd it. And the seyd John Paston wold in no wysse agree there-to, seyyng þat by the lawe the seyd manerys xulde be hijs, in as moche as my husbonde made no wyll of hem in wrytyn; and gatte þe dedys owte of my possession and estat of the feffeez in þe seyde manerys myn vnknowyng. And after þat swyche tresowre of my husbons as wasse leyd in the abbey of Norwyche by the seyd John Paston, John Bakton, John Dam, and me, to delyuere aȝen to vs all excectorys [deleted in MS] the seyde John Paston owte of þe seyde abbey, vnknowyn to þe Priour ore ony oder person of þe seyde abbey, and wyth-owte my wetyn and assente ore ony of owre felawys, toke and barre awey all, and kepyng it styll a-ȝens my wyll and all the tothere excectorys wyllys, nothere restoryng the seyd Wyllam and Clement to þe forseyd lond nore of my husbondys tresore recompensyng theim and ordeynyng fore my husbondys sowle in hauyng of hijs perpetuell masse acordyn to hys wyll. Werefore in as moche as I know and vndere-stonde verrely þat it wasse my husbondys wyll þe tym of hys dethe þat the seyd Wyllam and Clement xwlde haue the seyd manerys of Sporle, Sweyn [deleted in MS]sthorpe, and Bekham, and þe anuyté fore hys perpetuell masse to be goyng owte of þe seyde maner of Sweynthorp, and Page  47 þat they þat be possessioners of the seyd manerys at thys day wyll in no wysse by any fayere menez ore spekyng tendere my seyd husbondys sowle and myn, nere perform the wyll of my seyd husbon, I wyll haue and xall - by the grass of swyche lyuelode as I haue in my possession, þat is for to sey þe maner of Stonsted, Marlyngforthe, and Horwelbury, þat swm tym wasse my faderys and my moderys and cwm on-to me by them as myn enheritans, and after my decesse if I wolde soffere it to desend xwld goo to þe wronge possessi [deleted in MS]oners of the seyd manerys of Sporle, Sweyn [unclear] sthorp, and Bekham, qwyche xall not be lettyd fore me but if it be thorow here owne defaute [unclear] , make, stab [unclear] lesse, and ordeyn myn husbondys per [unclear] petuell [unclear] masse and myn, and of þe remnaunt as swerly as can be made by the lawe I wyll the seyd Wyllam and Clement be recompensyd to þe valew of the seyde manerys of Sporle, Sweynthorpe, and Bekkam ȝerly on-to þe tyme þat they be restoryd to þe forseyd manerys of Sporle, Sweynthorp, and Bekkam in lik form and lyke estat, as xall be afterwardys lymytyd in thys my last.