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


Page  127

To my mastres Margrete Paston and to my welbelovid frendes John Daubeney + and Richard Calle.

I praye yow see to the god gouernaunce of my housold and guydyng of other thynges touchyng my profite, and þat ye, with Daubeney and Richard Calle and with other such of my frendes and seruauntes as can avise yow aftir the mater requirith, wekely take a sad communicacion of such thynges as be for to do, or oftenner and nede be; takyng avise of the master and of the viker and Ser Jamis in þat is for to say, aswell for provision of stuffe for myn howsold as for the gaderyng of the reveneus of my livelode or greynes, or for settyng awerk of my seruauntes, and for the more poletik meane of sellyng and carijng of my malt and for all other thynges necessarj for to be do, so þat whanne I come home I haue not an excuse seying þat ye spoke to my seruauntes and þat Daubeney and Calle exkuse hem þat þei were so besy thei myght not attende; for I woll haue my mater so guided þat if on man may not attende a-nother shall be comaundid to do it. And if my seruauntes faile I had lever wage some other man for a iorny or a season thanne my mater shuld be on-sped. As for my livelode, I left with Daubeney a bille of many of my dettes, wherby ye all myght haue be indused whedir ye shuld haue sent for siluer. It liketh me evill to here þat my prestes and poremen be onpaijd, and þat no mony sent to me more thanne x mark be Berney of alle this season. And yet therof telle Richard Calle he sent me viij nobills in goold for v mark and þat as longe as gold was bettir payment thanne siluer I had neuir so moch gold of hym at onys; and telle hym þat I woll nat þat he shall kepe þat vse, for I trowe my tenauntes haue but litell gold to pay. Also, remembir yow in any howsold, felaship, or company þat will be of good rewle, purvyauns must be had þat euery persone of it be helpyng Page  128 and fortheryng aftir his discrecion and powyre, and he þat woll not do so without he be kept of almes shuld be put out of the houshold or felachep.
Item, where ye desire me þat I shuld take your sone to grase, I woll for your sake do the bettir, and will ye knowe þat he shall not be so oute of my favour that I will suffir hym to mischefe without be eftsones his owne defaut. And hough be it þat in his presumptuose and ondiscrete demenyng he gaf bothe me and yow cause of displeasir, and to other of my seruauntes ille exsaumple, and þat also guided hym to all mennes vndirstondyng þat he was wery of bidyng in myn hows, and he not insurid of help in any other place, yet þat grevyth nat me so evill as doth þat I neuir coud fele ner vndirstand hym poletyk ner diligent in helpyng hym-self, but as a drane amonges bees whech labour for gaderyng hony in the feldes and the drane doth nought but takyth his part of it. And if this myght make hym to knowe the bettir hym-self, and put hym in remembrauns what tyme he hath lost and hough he hath leved in jdelnes, and that he coud for this eschewe to do so heraftir, it myght fortune for his best. But I here yet neuir from no plase þat he hath be in of any poletyk demenyng or occupacion of hym: and in þe Kyngis hows he coud not put hym-self foorth to be in favour or trust with any men of substauns þat myght forther hym. Neuirthelesse, as for your house and myne, I purpose not he shall come there, ner be my will non other, but if he can do more thanne loke foorth and make a fase and countenauns.
Item, send me word whedir my glasier hath do at Bromholm and at the Friers of the south towne, and whedir he be paijd such mony as I sent home word he shuld be paijd; and if he haue do all he must haue more mony, but I remembir nat certeynly what till I come home, for I remembir nat what his bargeyn was for þe werk at the south towne. I trowe Master Clement can telle, and also fele hym-selff and send me word. Also, þat ye and Richard Calle and Daubeney see þat Master Clement and Master Braklee, which hath gret nede I wote well, and my prestes and poremen be paijd, and also all other men; and þat ye see þat I be not callid on for þat is my dewté. Also þat ye see amonges yow þat that is owyng me be not lost ne forborn for lewdnes, for þat shall bothe hurt me and do my tenauntes harme. Lete Richard Calle remembir þat my fermour of Sweynesthorp is falle in gret dette for defaut of callyng Page  129vpon but be on yere, and I deme þat bothe John Willeys and my newe fermour of Snaylewell arn like to be in the same case, and paraventure Aleyn of Gresham, and other.
Item, remembir yow or evir I had a-doo with Fastolffes livelode, whill I toke hede to my livelode my-self it bothe servid myn exspenses at home and at London and all other charges, and ye leid vp mony in my cofirs every yere as ye knowe. And I wote well that the payment of my prestes and other charges þat I haue for Fastolffes livelode is not so gret as the livelode is, thow part therof be in trobill. And thanne consider that I had nought of my livelode for myn exspenses at London this thwolmonyth day. Ye may verely vndirstand þat it is not guided wittely ner discretly, and therfore I pray yow hertly put alle your wittes to-gedir and see for the reformacion of it. And ye may remembre be þis how ye shuld do if þis wer yowres alone, and so do now. And þat ye woll remembir I haue sent yow all many lettirs touchyng many maters, and also a bille now last by Pecok of erandes, desiryng yow to see hem alle to-gedir and send me an answere articlerly, and such as ye can not spede at this tyme, lete hem be sped as sone as ye may. þat ye se ouer my seyd letter [deleted in MS]s oft tymis til þey be sped.
Item, I remembir þat myn heygh at Heylesdon the last yere was spent and wasted foull reklesly, and colored vnder my shep. I pray yow see þat I be not servid soo this yere.
Item, Pecok told me of a fermour þat wold haue had Mautby Merssh, paying xij mark, as it went afore; and Richard Calle told me of on þat wold pay more. Burgeys paijd me first xij mark vj s. viij d., and I had the reed and the russhis and he fond the shepherdes hyre in shakke tyme for my fold; and sithen he brigged awey the shepherdes hyre and thanne the nobill, and I trowe he occupijth no lenger hym-self, and I remembir he told me vij yere goo þat my merssh shuld alwey apeyr till the prime were past the nombre of xix and thanne it shuld amend a ix or x yere, promittyng me he wold þanne amend my ferme. I pray yow help to lete it aswell as ye can, rather to hym þanne a-nother man if he woll do aswell, and þat ye comon with Pecok.
Item, as for the mater þat I wrote of to the viker and other goode felaws, desire hem þat thei be [unclear] not to excessiue hasty in the mater for non nede, but to do þat thei may do þerin mesurably and wittely Page  130as sone as thei may; and as for the respite of the mater here lete hem not care therfore, I shall do wel jnough. Telle hem for certeyn the mater is in as good case as any such mater was this xx wynter, as my counsell tellyth me; but I woll be sure of all weyes þat I may haue, and specially of the declaracion of the trought of my mater and of my frendes.
Item, as for the mater athwyx the parson of Mautby, Constantine, and the viker of Derham, whedir it were small mater or gret I care not, but I am sure þat too witnesse which I knowe were apposed þerin before a juge sprituall, whech as I suppose was Master Robert Popy or some other. The viker of Derham can telle, and so I trowe can John Wynter of Mautby or other parysshons telle where the sute was athwyx hem, and I can thynk it was in the chapitell. If ye can safely gette me what the witnesse seid I wold nomore, but do no gret cost on it.
Item, recomaund me to Master Robert Popy and telle hym as for any thyng seid ayens hym in my mater, thow myn aduersaris ment ontrewly thei prevyd nought but þat he is a good man and a worshipfull and a trewe.
Item, if I haue any otes beside my stuffe, or may any bye aftir xiiij d., spare not and take good mesure or bartirre for some other chafare, and send me word hough moch ye may bye.
Item, it is told me ye make no wood nouther at Caster ner Mautby, wherof I merveyle. Remembir yow we must brenne wood a-nodir yere.
Item, I send yow a titelyng þat I mad whill I was at home, what malt I had by estimacion, set at the lest. Wherfore see þat Brigge make a reknyng of his malt, and cast ye my book and loke what ye can amend it; and apeyre it shall not if alle folkes haue do trewly, but I suppose fewe of yow haue take any heed at it asmoch as I ded.
Item, I may selle here for vj s. viij d. a quarter clene-fyed after Royston mesure, whech is lesse thanne the water mesure of London. Cambriggeshire malt is here at x s. Cast ye what I may selle of newe and old, savyng stuffe for myn hows. Item, to remembir þat Guton malt must be shipped at Blakeney. Item, Lynstedes malt at Walcote may be shipped there; ore cast amonges yow what malt may best be sold.
Item, if on man may not attende to gader siluer, sende a-nother; and send me word what hath be reseyvid and spent.
Item, þat I haue an answere of alle my lettirs and of euery article in hem. Page  131
Item, but if ye make such purvyauns þat my prestes be paijd and poremen, beside other charges, and purvey mony for me beside, outher ye gader shrewdly or ellis ye spend lewdly.
Item, I sent a lettir by Rauff Greneakyr to James Gresham and to yow, which he promised me shuld be at Norwich on Wednesday aftir Thwelth Day. And therin were diuers maters, and inespeciall of a mater þat shuld be in comunicacion on Tuisday last past bithwyx Yeluerton and Robert Wyngfeld for Caster as in the seid lettir is specifijd. It is so þat the seid Robard shall be here with-inne this ij dayes; if any thyng ye haue aspied of it send me word. Item, yong Knevet tellith me þat he is my good frend, and he is come ridyng homward on Friday last was. I pray yow ley wetche whedir ye here any thyng þat he medillyth hym in þat mater, and send me word; for I wold vndirstand whedir he were iust and trew or nought, and that do, it shall not ligh in his power to hurt me. But take ye hed and inquere, and knowe other mennes purpos, and kepe your intent as close as ye can; and what some evir boost be mad, werk ye wisely and set not by it but send me word what ye here.
Item, Calle sendyth me word þat Ser Thomas Howes is seke and not like to askape it, and Berney tellyth me the contrary; wherfore I pray yow take hed therat and lete me haue knowleche, for though I be not behold to hym I wold not he were ded for more thanne he is worth.
Item, take the viker the bille þat I send yow herwyth.
Item, þat ye, if ye can, fynd the meane to aspie what goodes Edmond Clere eschetith of any mannes.
Item, remembir well to take heed at your gates on nyghtes and dayes for theves, for thei ride in diuers contrés with gret felaship like lordes, and ride out of on shire in-to a-nother. Wretyn at London the Tuisday next aftir Sent Hillary.
Item, þat Richard Calle brynge me vp mony so þat my prestes be paijd, and þat he come vp suerly with other men and attornis.