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

Agnes Paston

TO WILLIAM PASTON I 1440, 04, 20?

To my worshepefull housbond W. Paston be þis lettere takyn.

Dere housbond, I recomaunde me to yow, &c. Blyssyd be God, I sende yow gode tydynggys of þe comyng and þe brynggyn hoom of þe gentylwomman þat ye wetyn of fro Redham þis same nyght, acordyng to poyntmen þat ye made þer-for yowre-self. And as for þe furste aqweyntaunce be-twhen John Paston and þe seyde gentilwomman, she made hym gentil chere in gyntyl wyse and seyde he was verrayly yowre son. And so I hope þer shal nede no gret treté be-twyxe hym. þe parson of Stocton toold me yif ye wolde byin here a goune, here moder wolde yeue ther-to a godely furre. þe goune nedyth for to be had, and of coloure it wolde be a godely blew or ellys a bryghte sanggueyn. I prey yow do byen for me ij pypys of gold. Yowre stewes do weel. The Holy Trinité have yow in gouernaunce. Wretyn at Paston in hast þe Wednesday next after Deus qui errantibus, for defaute of a good secretarye, &c. Yowres, Agnes Paston. Page  27

TO EDMOND PASTON I 1445, 02, 04

To Edmond Paston of Clyffordis Inne in London be this lettre take.

To myn welbelouid sone I grete yow wel, and avyse yow to thynkke onis of the daie of yowre fadris counseyle to lerne the lawe; for he seyde manie tymis that ho so euer schuld dwelle at Paston schulde have nede to conne defende hymselfe.

The vikarie of Paston and yowre fadre, in Lenttyn laste was, wher thorwe and acordidde, and doolis sette howe broode the weye schuld ben; and nowe he hathe pullid vppe the doolis and seithe he wolle makyn a dyche fro the cornere of his walle ryȝht overe the weye to the newe diche of the grete cloose. And there is a man in Truntche hyȝht Palmere to, þat hadde of yowre fadre certein londe in Truntche on vij yere ore viij yere agoone for corn, and trwli hathe paide all the yeris; and now he hathe suffrid the corne to ben with-sette for viij s. of rentte to Gymmyngham, wich yowre fadre paide nevere. Geffreie axid Palmere why the rentte was notte axid in myn husbonddis tyme, and Palmere seyde, for he was a grete man and a wyse man of the lawe, and that was the cawse men wolde not axe hym the rentte. I sende yow the namis of the men that kaste down the pittis that was Gynnis Close wretyn in a bille closid in this lettre. I sendde yow not this lettre to make yow wery of Paston, for I leve in hoope; and ye wolle lerne that they schulle be made werye of here werke, fore in good feyth I dare wel seyne it was yowre fadris laste wille to have do ryȝht wel to that plase, and that can I schewe of good prefe, thowe men wolde seye naye. God make yow ryȝht a good man, and sende Goddis blessyng and myn. Wrettyn in haste at Norwich the Thorsdaie aftir Candelmasse Daie. Wetith of yowre brothere John how manie gystis wolle serve the parlour and the chapelle at Paston, and what lenghthe they moste be and Page  28 what brede and thykkenesse thei moste be; for yowre fadris wille was, as I weene veryli, that thei schuld be ix enchis on wey and vij another weye, and pourveiithe therfore that thei mow be squarid there and sentte hedre, for here can non soche be hadde in this conttré. And seye to yowre brothir John it weere wel don to thinkke on Stansted chirche; and I praye yow to sende me tydynggis from be-yond see, for here thei arn aferde to telle soche as be reportid. By yowre modre Angneis Paston


Wood mylle.

This byll jndented mad the xxx daye of Octobere wittenessyth that Agnes Paston hath this daye the xxvti yere of Kyng H. the Sexte letyn to John Downyng, myllere, to Robert Cobbe, and to Robert Eemond my mylle callede Woodmyll for the terme of v yere, paying there-fore yerly to the seyd Agnes, to hire heyres or to hire certeyn attorny, x marke at iiij termes in the yere, that is to sey: at the Natiuité of Owre Lord v nobl., and at the fest of the Anunciacion of Owr Lady v nobl., and at the fest of the Natiuité of Seynt John the Baptest v nobl., and at the fest of Seynt Michaell v nobl.; to hauen and to helden to the seyd John, Robert, and Robert, doyng the costes of the reparacion, like as the mylleres haue do biforn, fro the fest of Seynt Mychaell last past duryng the terme a-boue seyd. Item, the seyd Agnes hath letyn to the seyd John, Robert, and to Robert the clos next the myll, paying to the seyd Agnes yerly duryng the terme a-boue seyd viij s. In wittenesse where-of the partyes han set here sealis. Yeuen the daye and the yere a-boue seyd.


The endenture of Palmer of Trunche.

This endenture made the teen day of Nouembre þe yeer of þe regne of Kyng Henry þe Sexte xxvti be-twen Anneys Paston, late the wyff of Page  29William Paston, on the ton parte and William Palmer of Trunche on the tothir parte witnessyth þat þe seyd Anneys hathe grauntyd and lete to ferme to þe seyd William Palmer a pece of londe, outetake þe medwe in and of þe same pece, conteynyng be estimacion ix acres in all, lyyng in Trunche feld, to haue and to hold þe seyd pece, outetake þe seyd medwe, to hym, his heires and hys assyngnes, fro the fest of Allehalwyn nowh last paste on-to the terme of teen yeer þan nexte folwyng fully endyd, payyng yeerly there-fore to the lordys of the fee the rentys, seruys and custumys, taxes and talagys of all the holl forseyd pece duryng the terme be-foreseyde. And the seyd William Palmere schall felle and dite the medwe and brynge home all the heie, and stakke it in seche an hous, in þe maner of the forseyd Anneys in Paston, os sche or her debité wyll assyng hym; and yf sche kepe houssold there, he schall dyne or suppe there at þe bryngyng home. And the seyd Anneys schall warent the lond clere to the seyd William Palmer on-to þe daye of þe makyng of thise endenture. And yf the forseyd medwe be not dite in good tyme of þe yere, but appeyred or lost throwh þe defaute of þe forseyd Palmer, þat þan it be lawfull to the seyd Anneys or her assyngnes to distreyne op-on the holl forseyd pece of lond on-till the seyd Anneys be satysfyed of the valew of the heye, yf it had well a be dite. In witnesse where-of eche of them to othirs parte haue set her selys. Youe þe day and þe yeer a-boue seyd.


Wareyn Baxstere of Knapton

This indenture mad on Seynt Andrewes evyn the yere of the regne of Kyng Herry the Sexte xxvj wyttnessyth that it is a-cordyd a-twyx Agnes Paston and Waryn Baxtere that the seyd Waryn shall haue to hym and his heyres, at the wille of the lord of the maner of Knapton, all the londes and tenementes in Knapton that were Richard Redys that he late held to ferme for barly, except a messe conteynyng be estymacion di. acre that was sumtyme Robert at the Medwes, sold to William Boot, and iiij acre j rod sold to John Archall the yongere. And the seyd Waryn shall content and a-gré wyth the seyd lord for the fyne of the seyd lond, that be estymasion is cxiiij s. vj d., and aquyte the seyd Agnes of all oder duteys dew Page  30to the seyd lord or to any oder persone except William Ward that claymyth xij s., Nicholus Crabbe that claymyth iiij s., and William Foucke that askyth xxviij d. for the seyd lond, be-for the day of the date of this indenture. And he shall pay xvj s. viij d. to Jone, late the wiffe of the seyd Richard Rede, and xxs. to John of Fen to the vse of the chirche of Knapton, and viij s. x d. to the same John to his awne vse. Also he shall pay to the seyd Agnes, on of the executoures of William Paston, xx combes of barly at Candylmes next comyng in fulle payment for all the ferme of the seyd lond. And the seyd Waryn knowlachyd that he is alowyd and content, as wele for that that he can aske of the seyd Agnes as wele for the seyd lond as for all oder thyng. Yowe the day and yere be-forseyd. Wittnes of William Dalton, Lauerans parson of Oxnede, John Fen, and Thomas of Fen. In witness wheroff þe partés haue sette her seles.


To John Paston be þis letter delyueryd.

Soon, I grete ȝow wel wyth Goddys blyssyng and myn; and I latte ȝow wette þat my cosyn Clere wrytted to me þat sche spake wyth Schrowpe aftyre þat he had byen wyth me at Norwyche, and tolde here what chere þat I had made hym; and he seyde to here he lyked wel by þe chere þat I made hym. He had swyche wordys to my cosyn Clere þat lesse þan ȝe made hym good chere and ȝaf hym wordys of conforth at London he wolde no more speke of þe matyre. My cosyn Clere thynkyth þat it were a foly to forsake hym lesse þan ȝe knew of on owdyre as good ore bettere, and I haue assayde ȝowre sustere and I fonde here neuer so wylly to noon as sche is to hym, ȝyf it be so þat his londe stande cleere. I sent ȝow a letter by Brawnton fore sylke and fore þis matyre be-fore my cosyn Clere wrote to me, þe qwyche was wrytten on þe Wednysday Page  31nexȝt aftyre Mydsomere Day. Ser Herry Ynglows is ryȝth besy a-bowt Schrowpe fore on of his doȝthteres. I prey ȝow fore-ȝette noȝth to brynge me my mony fro Horwelbery as ȝe com fro London, edyre all ore a grete parte. þe dew dette was at Crystemesse last paste, no thynge a-lowyd, vij li. xiiij s. viij d., and at þis Mydsomere it is v li. more; and thow I a-low hym all his askyng it is but xxvj s. vj d. lesse, but I am noȝth so avysyth ȝytt. As fore þe frere, he hath byen at Sent Benettys and at Norwyche, and made grete bowste of þe sewte þat he hath a-ȝens me, and bowȝthe many boxes, to what jntent I wett neuer. It is well doen to be ware at London in drede ȝyf he bryng ony syse at Sent Margaretys tyme. I kan no more, but Almyȝty God be owre good lorde, who have ȝow euer in kepyng. Wryten at Oxnede in grete hast on þe Satyr-day [deleted in MS] next aftyre Mydsomere. By ȝowre modyre A. P.

TO JOHN PASTON I 1450, 02, 18?

Thys letter be delyuerd to John Paston, dwellyn jn the Indere In of the Tempyll + att London, in hast.

I grete yow well, and lete yow wete that thys day I was wyth my doughtyr yor wyfe, and che was in good hele att the makyn of thys letter, thankyd be God. And sche lete yor sustyr and me wete of a letter wheche ye sent hyr, that ye haue be laboryd to fore Sere William Oldhall to haue your sustyr and desyryng in the seyd letter to haue an answere in schort tyme who sche wyll be demenyd in thys matere. Yor sustere recomaundyt hyr to yow, and thankyt yow hertyly that ye wyll remembyre hyr and lete Page  32hyr haue knowleche there-of; and preyt yow that ye wyll do your deuere to bryng it to a good conclusyon, for sche seythe to me that sche trystyt þat ye wyll do so that it xall be bothe fore hyr worchup and profyt. And as fore me, if ye can thynke that hys lond standyt clere, in as meche as I fele your sustyr well wyllyd there-to I hold me well content. And as fore the oblygacyon of the person of Marlynferthe, wheche I sent yow by John Newman, I prey yow lete it be suyd; and as fore the person and Lyndesey, they be acordyd. And God haue yow in kepyn and send yow hys blyssyn and myn. Wretyn att Norwyche on Puluer Wedenesday. Be yor modere Angnes Paston

TO JOHN PASTON I 1450, 03, 11

To John Paston, dwellyn in the Inder In of the Tempyll att London, be thys letter delyuerd in hast.

Son, I grete yow and send yow Goddys blyssyng and myn; and as for my doughtyr your wyfe, che faryt well, blyssyd be God, as a woman in hyr plyte may do, and all your sonys and doughtrys. And for as meche as ye wyll send me no tydyngys, I send yow seche as ben in thys contré. Rychard Lynsted cam thys day fro Paston, and letyt me wete that on Saturday last past Drawale, halfe brothere to Waryn Harman, was takyn wyth enemyis walkyn be the se syde and haue hym forthe wyth hem; and they tokyn ij pylgremys, a man and a woman, and they robbyd the woman and lete hyr gon and ledde the man to the see, and whan they knew he was a pylgreme they geffe hym money and sett hym ageyn on the lond. And they haue thys weke takyn iiij vessellys of Wyntyrton and Happysborough, and Ecles men ben sore aferd for takyn of mo, for there ben x grete vessellys of the enemyis. God yeue grace that the see may be bettere kepte than it is now, or ellys it chall ben a perlyous dwellyng be the se cost. Page  33I prey yow grete well your brethyrne, and sey hem that I send hem Goddys blyssyn and myn; and sey William that, if Jenett Lanton be nott payd for the krymsyn cors wheche Alson Crane wrote to hyr fore in hyr owyn name, that than he pay hyr and see Alson Cranys name strekyn owt of hyr boke, for che seythe che wyll aske no man the money butt Alson Crane. And I prey yow that ye wyll remembyr the letter that I sent yow last; and God be wyth yow. Wretyn att Norwyche the Wedenesday next before Sent Gregory. Be yor modere Angnes Paston

TO JOHN PASTON I 1451, 05, 12

To John Paston be thys byll delyuerd in hast.

I spacke thys day wyth a man of Paston syde, and he told me that a man of Paston told hym that Paston men wold nott goo presessyon ferther than the chyrche-yerde on Sent Markys Day, for he seyd the presessyon wey was stoppyd in, and seyd wyth-in chort tyme men hopyd that the wall chuld Page  34be broke doun a-geyn. Item, he seyd that I was amercyid for stoppyng of the seyd wey [deleted in MS] att the last generall court, butt he cowd not tell who meche the mercyment was; and he that told it me askyd the man that told it hym if he had the mercyment in hys exstrete for to dystreyn there-fore; and he seyd nay, but seyd he that chuld do it chuld bettyr dor take it up-on hym than he chuld. Item, the same man told me that he mett wyth a man of Blyclyng hyght Barkere, that cam late fro London, and he told hym that I had a sute att London ageyn Waryn Herman of Paston, and seyd that Roberd Branton was hys attornye and seyd he seygh hym ryght besy for hym att London. And for-yete not yor sustyr, and God haue yow in kepyng. Wretyn att Norwyche the xij day of May. Be yor modyr A. Paston


To Meye Barkere of Synt Clementys parys in Norwych, to delyuer to my + master John Paston in haste.

On Thurisday þe wall was mad ȝarde hey; and a good wylle be-fore euyn it reyned so sore þat þey were fayne to helle þe wall and leue werke, and þe water is fallyn so sore þat it standyt ondyre þe wall a fote deppe to Ballys warde. And on Fryday after sakeryng on come fro cherch warde and schoffe doune all þat was þere-on and trad on þe wall and brake sum and wente ouer. But I can not ȝet wete hoo it was. Page  35 And Warne Kyngys wyfe, as she went ouer þe style, she cursyd Ball and seyde þat he had ȝeuyn aweye þe waye, and so it preuyt be John Paston is wordys; and after, Kyngys folke and odyr come and cryid on Annes Ball, seying to here þe same. ȝystyrneuyn wan I xuld [unclear] goo to my bede þe vycare seyde þat Warne Kyng and Warne Harman be-twyxte messe and matynsse toke Ser Roberd in þe vestry and bad hym sey to me verely þe wall xullde doun a-gayne; and wan þe vycore tolde me I wyste þere-of no worde, nor ȝet do, be Ser Roberde, for he syth he were loth to make any stryfe. And wan I cam out of þe cherch Roberd Emundys schewyd me how I was a-mercyde for seute of corte þe laste ȝere vj d., and seyd it was xij d. tylle Warne Kyng and he gat it awey vj d. I send ȝou word how John Jamys was de-menyd at Cromere, to send to Jamys Gressham how he xall be de-menyd. Gaffrey Benchard and Alexander Glouer, heywardys, tokyn a dystresse of John Jamys on þe bond tenement of A. Paston calde Reynaldys in Cromer þe xxviijti ȝere of þys kyng, and W. Goodwyn, baly of Cromer, wyth þe seyd J. Jamys wyth forsse toke awey þe dysstres, wech was ij horsse and a plowe. And Good be wyth ȝou. Be Annes Paston ȝoure modyr

TO JOHN PASTON I 1451, 11, 08

To John Paston, dwyllyng in þe Tempyll at London, be þis letter delyuerid + in haste.

I gret ȝou well, and lete ȝou wete þat Warne Harman, on þe Sonday after Hallumes Day after ensong, seyd oponly in þe cherch-ȝerde þat he wyst wyll þat and þe wall were puddoun, þou he were an hondryd myle fro Paston, he wyste well þat I wolde sey he ded yt and he xuld bere þe blame, seying, 'Telle yte here ho so wyll, þou it xuld coste me xx nobyllys it xall be puddoun aȝen.' And þe seyd Warnys wyfe wyth a Page  36lovde vosse seyd, 'All þe deuyllys of hell drawe here sowle to hell for þe weye þat she hat mad!' And at euyn a sertyn man suppyd wyth me and tolde me þat þe patent grantyt to closse but a perch on bred, and þat I had clossyd more þan þe grant of þe patent is, as men seyd. And John Marchall tolde me þat þere was a thryfty woman come forby þe watteryng and fond þe wey stoppyde, and askyd hym ho had stoppyd þe weye; and he seyd þey þat had pore to ȝeue it, and askyd here wat was freere þan ȝyfte. And she seyd she sey þe day þat Paston men wold not a sofferyd þat. And God be wyth ȝou. Wretyn at Paston on Monday after Hallumys Day. Be ȝoure modyr Annes Paston

TO JOHN PASTON I 1451, 11, 21

To John Paston, dwellyng jn þe Tempyll at London, be thys lettere delyuerd in hast.

I grete yow well, and lete yow wete that on þe Sonday before Sent Edmond after euyn-songe Angnes Ball com to me to my closett and bad me good euyn, and Clement Spycere wyth hyr. And I acsyd hym what he wold, and he askyd me why I had stoppyd jn þe Kyngys wey; and i seyd to hym I stoppyd no way butt myn owyn, and askyd hym why he had sold my lond to John Ball; and he sore he was neuyr a-cordyd wyth your fadyr. And I told hym if hys fadyr had do as he dede, he wold a be a-chamyd to a seyd as he seyd. And all that tyme Waryn Herman lenyd ouyr þe parklos and lystynd whatt we seyd,and seyd þat þe chaunge was a rewly chaunge, for þe towne was vn-do þereby and is þe wersse by an c li.; and I told hym it was no curtesé to medyll hym jn a mater butt if he were callyd to councell. And prowdly goyn forthe wyth me jn þe cherche, he seyd the stoppyng of þe wey xulld coste me xx nobyllys, and ȝet it chuld downe ageyn; and I lete hym wete he þat putte it downe chull pay þere-fore. Also he seyd þat it was well don þat I sett men to werke to owle money whyll I was Page  37here, butt jn þe ende I chall lese my coste. Than he askyd me why I had a-wey hys hey at Walsam, seyng to me he wold he had wyst it whan it was karyyd and he chuld a lettyd it; and I told hym it was myn owyn grownde, and for myn owyn I wold holde it. And he bad me take iiij acre and goo no ferthere; and thus churtly he departyd fro me jn þe cherche-ȝerde. And syt, I spacke wyth a sertyn man and acsyd hym if he herd owt sey why þe dynere was mad att Norfolkys howse; and he told me he [deleted in MS] herd sey that serteyn men had sentt to London to gete a comyssyon owt of þe Chaunstré to putt downe ageyn þe wall and þe dyke. I receyuyd yor lettere by Robert Reppys thys day after thys letter wretyn thus fare. I haue red it butt I can yeue yow non aunswere more than I haue wretyn, saue þe wyfe of Harman hathe þe name of Owre Lady, whos blyssyn ye haue, and myn. Wretyn at Paston on þe day aftere Sent Edmond. Be yowyr modyr Angnes Paston

TO JOHN PASTON I 1452, 11, 16

This lettre be delyuered to John Paston, beynge at London in the Innere In of the Temple.

I grete you well, and sende you Goddes blissyng and myn; and as touchyng the mater wheche ye desyryd my cosyn Clere shulde write fore, she hath doo, and I sende you the copy closed in this lettre. As for the enquerré I haue sent by Pynchemour to enquere, and sent myn owen men to William Bakton and don hem enquered in dyuerse places, and I can here no word of noon suych enquerans. I wot not what Page  38 it menyth. Roberd Hill was at Paston this wyke, and the man that duelled in Bowres place is oute ther-of and seid to Roberd he durst no lenger a-byde there-in for Waryn Herman seyth to him it is his place. As for Coketes mater, my doughter youre wif told me yester-even the man that suyth him will now stonde to youre a-warde. Bertilmow White is condennyd in Fornecet court in xl marc., as it is seid.
Item, as for Talfas, the sherevis han be-hest to do all the fauour thei may. I sente the parson of Seynt Edmundes to Gilberd, and he seide there was come a newe writ for to haue him vp by the xv day of Seynt Martyn; and how Caly hadde ben at hem and desired to carye vp Talfas on his owen cost and yeue hem goode wages.
Item, John Osbern seide to me this day that he supposed thei will not haue him vp be-forn Estern, and Margerete Talfas seide to me the same day that men tolde hire that he shulde neuer han ende till he were at London, and asked me counsell wheder she myte yeue the sherevys syluer or non,and I tolde hire if she dede I supposed she shulde fynde hem the more frendly.
Item, as for Horwelbury I sende you a bille of all the reseytes syn the deth of youre fadere, and a copy wrete on the bak how youre fader lete it to ferme to the seide Gurnay. I wulde ye shulde write Gurnay and charge him to mete wyth you fro London warde, and at the lest weye lete him purveye x li., for owyth be my reknyng at Myhelmesse last passed, be-syde youre faderes dette, xviij li. xiiij s. viij d. If ye wolde write to him to brynge suerté boþe for youre faderys dette and myn, and pay be dayes so þat the man myte leven and paye vs, I wolde for-yeue him of the olde arrerages x li., and he myte be mad to paye xx marc. be yere. On that condicion I wolde for-yeuen him x li., and so thynketh me he shulde han cause to preye for youre fader and me, and was it leten in my faderes tyme. I fele be Roberd his wif is right loth to gon thens; she seide that sche had leuer I shulde haue all here gode after here day than thei schulde go out there-of.
Item, John Dam told me that þe Lady Boys will selle a place called Halys, but he seith sche speketh it prevyly and seith it is not tayled; as John Dam knoweth will, she hath seide as largely of oþer thyng þat hath not be so.
Item, he tolde me as he herd seyn Sere John Fastolf hath sold Heylysdon to Boleyn of London, and if it be so it semeth he will selle more; wherfore I preye you, as ye will haue my loue and my blissyng, þat ye will helpe and do youre deuer that sumthyng were purchased for youre ij bretheren. I suppose þat Ser John Fastolf, and he were spoke to, wolde be gladere to lete his kensemen han parte than straunge men. Asay him in my name Page  39 of suych places as ye suppose is most clere. It is seid in this contré þat my lord of Norfolk seith Sere John Fastolf hath youen him Castre, and he will han it [deleted in MS] pleynly. I sende you a bille of Osbern hand whech was the ansuere of the sheref and John of Dam.
Item, brynge me my lettre hom with you and my cosyn Clere is copy of here lettre and the copy of the reseyth of Horwelbury. And recomaunde me to Lomnour, and tell him his best be-loued fareth well, but sche is not yet come to Norwich, for thei deye yet, but not so sore as thei dede. And God be wyth you. Wrete at Norwych in right gret hast the xvj day of Nouembre. By youre moder Anneys Paston.

TO JOHN PASTON I 1453, 07, 06

To my welbelouyd son John Paston.

Sone, I grete yow well and send you Godys blyssyng and myn, and lete you wete that Robert Hyll cam homward by Horwelle-bery; and Gurney tellyd hym he had byn at London for mony and kowd not spedyng, and behestyd Robert that he shuld sende me mony be you. I pray for-ȝet yt not as ȝe com homward, and speke sadly for j nothyr fermour. And as for tydyngys, Phylyppe Berney is passyd to God on Munday last past, wyt þe grettes peyn that evyr I sey man. And on Tuysday Sere Jon Henyn [deleted in MS]gham ȝede to hys chyrche and herd iij massys,and cam hom agayn nevyr meryer, and seyd to hese wyf that he wuld go sey a lytyll deuocion in hese gardeyn and than he wuld dyne; and forth-wyth he felt a feyntyng in hese legge and syyd doun. Thys was at ix of þe clok, and he was ded or none. Myn cosyn Clere preyt you that ȝe lete no man se here letter wheche is in-selyd vndyr my selle. I prey you that ȝe wyl pay youre brothyr William for iiij vnce and j half of sylke as he payd, wheche he send me by William Page  40Tauyrnere, and bryng wyt you j quarter of j vnce evyn leke of the same that I sende you closyd in thys letter. And sey youre brothyr William that hese hors hath j farseyn and grete rennyng sorys in hese leggis. God haue you in kepyng. Wretyn at Norwyche on Sent Thomas Evyn in grete hast. Be youre modyr A. Paston


This indenture made betwix Anneys that was þe wyfe of William Paston, John Paston hir sone, and John Dam on þe one partie and William Clopton, squyer, on þe other partie witnesseth that accord is take attwyn þe seid parties that John Clopton, sone and heir of þe seid William Clopton be þe grace of God, shall wedde Elizabeth, the doughter of þe seid Anneys. For which mareage the seid Anneys, &c., shall paye to þe seid John Clopton ccccth marc. in hand of lawfull mony of England; and ouer that, yf the seid mareage be holdyn with the seid Anneys, the seid Anneys shall bere þe costages þerof þe day of þe weddyng, with swech chaumbyr as shall be to þe plesir of þe seid Anneys. And þe seid William Clopton shall do his feffees make a lawfull estate to þe seid William of londes, tenementz, rentz, and seruysez to þe yerly value of xl li. ouer all chargez b [unclear] orn to haue and hold to hym terme of his lyfe withoutyn enpechement of wast, the remaindre þerof to þe seid John and Elizabet [unclear] h and to his heires male of [unclear] hir body lawfully begotyn withoute enpechement of wast, Page  41withynne xij dayes after þe seid weddyng. And ouer that, withynne þe seid xij dayes the seid John shall do lawfull estate to be made to þe seid William of londes, tenementz, rentz, and seruysez to þe yerly value of xl marc. ouer all charges born, to haue and hold to þe seid William terme of his lyfe without enpechement of wast, the remayndre therof to þe seid Elizabeth to haue and hold to hir terme of hir lyfe withoute enpechement of wast. Also it is accorded that þe seid William shall make estate of all þe residue of his londes which he is sesid of, or any other man to his vse, to swech personys as the seid John shall name to þe vse of the seid John. Also the seid John Clopton shall do lawfull estate to be made to þe seid Elizabeth of londes, tenementz, rentz, and seruysez to þe yerly value of xxx li. ouer all chargez born, to haue and hold to hir duryng þe lyfe of the seid William. And moreouer the seid John promytteth and ensureth be þe feith of his body that he shall leve, ouer the xl li. worth lond aboueseid, to his heires and issue male of þe body of þe seid Elizabeth begotyn, londes in fee symple or in taill to þe yerly value of xl marc. in cas þe same issue male be gouernyd to the seid John as the sone oweth to be to the fadir. And &c.


Erandys to London of Angnes Paston the xxviij day of Jeniuer the yere of Kyng Herry the Sext xxxvj.

To prey Grenefeld to send me feythfully word by wrytyn who Clement Paston hath do his devere in lernyng. And if he hathe nought do well, nor wyll nought amend, prey hym that he wyll trewly belassch hym tyl he wyll amend; And so ded the last mayster, and þe best that euer he had, att Caumbrege. And sey Grenefeld that if he wyll take up-on hym to brynge hym in-to good rewyll and lernyng, that I may verily know he doth hys devere, I wyll geue hym x marc. for hys labore; for I had leuer he were fayr beryed than lost fore defaute. Page  42
Item, to see who many gownys Clement hath, and tho that be bare, late hem be reysyd; he hathe a chort grene gowne, And a chort musterdevelerys gowne were neuer reysyd, And a chort blew gowne þat was reysyd and mad of a syde gowne whan I was last at London, And a syde russet gowne furryd wyth bevyr was mad this tyme ij yere, And a syde murry gowne was mad this tyme twelmoneth.
Item, to do make me vj sponys of viij ounce of troy wyght, well facyond and dubbyl gylt. And sey Elyzabet Paston that che must vse hyr-selfe to werke redyly as other jentylwomen don, and sumwhat to helpe hyr-self ther-wyth.
Item, to pay the Lady Pole - xxvj s. viij d. for hyr bord. And if Grenefeld haue do wel hys devere to Clement, or wyll do hys devere, yeffe hym þe nobyll.

JOHN PASTON I 1461, 12, 01

To John Paston at London be this delyuerd jn hast.

I grete you welle, and lete you wete that this day Bertholomew Elys of Paston come to Norwych to me and shewyt me a rentall for the terme of Seynt Michel the yere of Kyng H. vixxxixti , and jn the ende of the seyd rentall, of Waryn Kynges hand, is wretyn Agnes Paston vij d. ob. Item, the same Agnes for v acre lond xx d.
Item, Aleyn Bayfeld askyth the same rent for the yere last past at Michelmas.
Item, I haue knowlech be a trew man that whan Sharpe the reseyuore was at Gemyngham last Waryn Herman was dyuers dayes wyth hym, Page  43and put hym in mynde þat þe mercyment for makyng of the walle chuld be askyd ageyn and be distreynyd þer-fore.
Item, I sent you be Doctore Aleyns man the rescew of Waryn Herman and seche names as Cullynge and Sammys putt in of her owyn fre wylle be-fore John Northales, shereue of Norwyche, vnder her selis. God be wyth you and send you his blyssyng and myn. Wretyn at Norwych the Tuisday next after Seynt Andrew.
Item, the seyd Bertholomew Elis seyth that þe seyd reseyuore wold not alowe the rent in Trunche nor the mercymentys for my sute to þe curt. Gonnore wold suffyr no man to answere for me. Be youre moder Agnes Paston

TO JOHN PASTON I 1465, 10, 29

Tho my wele be-louyd son John Paston be þis delyuered in haste.

Sonne, I grete ȝow wele and lete ȝow wete þat, for as myche as ȝoure broþir Clement leteth me wete þat ȝe desyre feythfully my blyssyng, þat blyssyng þat I prayed ȝoure fadir to gyffe ȝow þe laste day þat euer he spakke, and þe blyssyng of all seyntes vndir heven, and myn, mote come to ȝow all dayes and tymes. And thynke veryly non oþer but þat ȝe haue it, and shal haue it wyth þat þat I fynde ȝow kynde and wyllyng to þe wele of ȝoure fadres soule and to þe welfare of ȝoure breþeren. Be my counseyle, dyspose ȝoure-selfe as myche as ȝe may to haue lesse to do in þe worlde, ȝoure fadyr sayde, 'In lityl bysynes lyeth myche reste.' þis worlde is but a þorugh-fare and ful of woo, and whan we departe þer-fro, riȝth nouȝght bere wyth vs but oure good dedys and ylle. And þer Page  44knoweth no man how soon God woll clepe hym, and þer-for it is good for euery creature to be redy. Qhom God vysyteth, him he louyth. And as for ȝoure breþeren, þei wylle I knowe certeynly laboren all þat in hem lyeth for ȝow. Oure Lorde haue ȝow in his blyssed kepyng, body and soule. Writen at Norwyche þe xxix day of Octobyr.

DRAFT WILL 1466, 09, 16

To all to whom this present writting xal come I, Agnes Paston, late the wife of William Paston, Justice, send greting in God euer-lasting, lating hem know that I, the forseid Agnes, of goode and hole mende the xvj day of Septembre the vj yere of the reigne of Kyng E. the iiijth, and the yere of Our Lord a mlcccc lxvj, make and ordeyn my last will in al the maners, londys, tenementys, rentys, seruicys, mesuagys, and placys that ony person or personis ben seased of to myn vse and behof wyth-in Norwiche, Norffolk, Suffolk, Essex, Hertfordshere, or in any othere shere wyth-in Englond, praying and desiring al the personez so feffed to myn vse, after this my will writtyn and inceled vnder my seale be shewed vnto them, that they wol make astate to the persones lemitid in my seid will according. And in asmiche as myn husbond, whos soule God assoile, dyuerse tymes and specialy among othere the ȝ day of the moneth, rehersed to me that the lyvelod whiche he had assigned to his ij yongest, William and Clement, by his will in writting was so littill that they miȝt not leve theron wythouȝt they shuld hold the plowe be the tayle, and ferthermore seying that he had dyuers oder maners, that is to say the maner of Sporle. Sweynsthorp, and Bekham, which maner of Bekham he was purposed to chaunge wyth the maner of Pagrave, and if he myȝt bring it abouȝt then xuld on of his ij yongest sones haue the seid maners of Sporle and Bekham and no more, and the other yongest sone xuld haue al the remenaunt, and he that had the maner of Sweynsthorp xuld be bound in a gret some to the Prior of the abbey of Norwiche to paie dayly for euer to the monke that Page  45for that day singeth the masse of the Holy Goste in Our Lady chapell in Norwiche, where he purposed to leye his body, euery day iiij d. to sing and pray for his sowle and myn and al the sowles that he and I haue hade any goode of or be beholdyn to pray for. And after that the ȝ day of ȝ next folowing my seid husbond, lying seke in his bed, in the presens of John Paston, his sone and myn, John Bakton, John Dame, and of me, declared his will towching certein of his childern and me, at whiche tyme he assigned to the seid John Paston the maner of Gressham in honde, and the reuercion of suche lyvelode as he ȝave me after my decesse, askyng hym the question wheder he held hym not content, so seying to him in these termes: 'Sir, and thow do not I doo, for I will not geve so mekyll to on that the remenaunt xal haue to littill to leve on'; at the whiche


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.


pro voluntate Willelmi Paston justiciarij

On the Thurseday at nyght before Our Ladys Day the Assumpcion, betwixt xj and xij of the clokk, in the yere of our Lord God ml cccc and xliiij, the Sondays lettre on the D, died my husbond, God assoyle his sowle. And on the Fryday after I sent for John Paston, William Bakton, and John Dam; and on the Wedynysday after cam John Paston, the Thurseday John Dam and William Bakton. And on the Fryday John Paston, John Dam, and I yode in-to the chambre whyche was Goodredys, Page  48and they desyred of me to see the wyll. I lete them see it, and John Dam redde it. And whan he had redde it John Paston walkyd vp and down in the chamer; John Dam and I knelyd at the beddys fete. The sayd John Dam askyd me what was my husbondys wyll shulde be done wyth Sporle, and I sayd it was his wyll that oone of his tw [unclear] ayn yongest sonnys shulde haue it. He sayd preuely to me by his feyth he sayd the same to hym. Than the sa [unclear] me tyme I lete them see he dede of yiffte which as I suppose was councell to all tho this dede was made on-to till I shewyd it them. And soo they swore all sauf John Paston and John Damme. After that [unclear] my sonne John Paston had neuer ryght kynde wordys to me. And John Dam askyd me what justice and felowe of his my husbond trustyd most, and I aunsweryd hym as I knewe. Th [unclear] an they yede home wyth the body in-to Norffolk and buryed it ...... [unclear] ys whych I had takyn hym in his fadirs lyue whych oon longyd to the coffre at Oxnede [unclear] wher-in my dedys were that now be forsworn. Whan my husbondys body was in-to Norffolk I went to Berkyng and ... [unclear] Michelmas com to Shipleys hows in London. And thider cam John Paston and John Dam and intreted me to put in ... [unclear] Sweynesthorp and Sporle that John shuld haue it. And I sayd it was neuer my husbondys ...... [unclear] the aduy [unclear] s of my lord of Lyncoln. And John Dam lenyng vp-on a stole, I syttyng by hym, sayd...... [unclear] to a prest to aske hym councell of suche a thyng he wolde nat byde hym dowte, but if he do it and go to the prest he wyll asoyle hym. I yede in-to Seint Elyne chirche and told to William Bakton how they had sayde to me, and told hym I coude not fynde in my herte to sette in the wyll that I knewe wel was the contrary. And he sayde he wolde not councell me therto; and soo we departed. After this cam John Damme and askyd me whyche of the justicys my husbond trusted most, and sayde to me, Be ye not remembrid of suche a day my maister helde wyth Maryott at Norwych?' I sayd, 'Yis, for I was ther my-selfe.' he [unclear] sayd to me my husbond toke a certeyn man a thyng wryten and insealed of my husbondys hande, but what was in þer [unclear] -in he wyste neuer. Page  49

EXTRACT FROM WILL Not after 1479

Also I bequeath to the Whight Fryers of the said city of Norwich, for I am there a suster, to helpe to pay hir debts xx li., which I will be gathered of the arrerage of my lyvelode. also I bequeath to the auter of Gracion of the seid house, wheras mine husband and I have a perpetuall masse a vestment which they have for a prist to judge in of rede satern. Also to the mendinge of the chappell of Our Ladie within the said place, wheras Sir Thomas Gerbredge my grandfather and Dame Elizabeth his wife and Sir Edmond Berry my father and Dame Alice his wife be buried, and Clement Paston my sonn. Page  50