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


To my mastresse Margret Paston, James Gresham, and Richard Calle.

I recomaund me to yow, and haue reseyvid ij lettirs from John Russe wherin he remembirth me that I shuld owe hym xix li. or ther-upon for diuers parcelles whech he seith he shuld haue deliuerid in-to myn hows, wherof he seith xiiij li. was deliuerid in-to myn howse ij yere goo [unclear] and that I had a bille deliuerid me therof, and the remnaunt sithen, and desireth of me payment of the seid xix li.; wherfore I certifye [unclear] yow as I vndirstand in the mater. Ye may lete John Russe come to yow and take such a direccion in the mater as reason and trought woll. I lete yow wete that abought ij yere goo the seid John Russe deliuerid me first a bille of the seid xiiij li. [unclear] , and I examined the parcelles; and as I remembir xj li. was my dewté, wherof the certeyn somme is writen in my blak book of foreyn reseytes that yere, and the remnaunt was Richard Calles dewté, wherof he was allowed, savyng a part was Elys dewté. And Page  137 as for the seid xj li., I offerid the seid John Russe payment in hand at þat tyme and desired hym he shuld nomore send in-to myn howse, and warnyd yow and Richard that ye shuld nomore stuffe take in-to myn hows without ye paijd in hand, nowther of hym ner of non other. And the seid John Russe praijd me to remembir that I had graunted hym the maner of Akthorp in Leystoft at a certeyn prise, as it apperyd by writyng vndir my seall, and desired me that I wold take the seid somme in party of payment. And I told hym that, as for such mony that shuld come from hym for that lond, I wold take it of hym and ley it vp by the self, that I myght purchase other lond therwith, bicause I wold lesse Fastolffes lyuelode for the college; but I wold pay hym his dewté without any stoppage. And he thanne desired me to take þat same xj li. and ley it vp to the same vse, seying to me that it was as good to do so as I for to take it hym and he to take it me ayen. And thus he and I agreed and departed, and thanne he praijd me to take more chafar of hym, whech I denyed. And nough I merveyll what shuld cause hym to aske mony for that dewté. Neuirethelesse I deme he supposith that he coud not opteyne his bargeyn by me bicause of the trobill that it standyth in, and for that or for some other cause he repentyth his bargeyn and woll nomore of it. Wherfore send for hym, and take James Gresham or some of your frendes and Richard Calle, and fele what he menyth; and if ye can fynd hym disposed to leve his bargeyn, yet though I myght kepe stille the seid mony, I wold he shuld not lese therby. Neuirthelesse, if he woll refuse his bargeyn, thanne take ayen the writyng that he hath of that bargeyn and a writyng of his hand that he dischargyth me of the graunt that I mad hym of that same bargeyn. And thanne loke that ye enquere what mony he hath reseyvid of the seid maner in my tyme, wherof the ferme is vj li. yerly, whech I suffird hym to occupie to his owne vse by fors of the seid bargeyn all my tyme; and aftir the parcellis cast what I haue had of hym, abbate þerof the mony that he hath reseyvid of the seid maner and also as moch of the xiiij li. as the seid Richard Calle and Elys owen, wherof he is allowid, and thanne see that the seid John Russe be content of the remnaunt of his parcellis that is dew by me; but loke ye pay non other mennes dewtés. Also the seid John Russe writyth in his lettir that, rather thanne he shuld fayle this mony, that I wold lend hym asmoch to pay ayen at Cristemasse; wherfore, if he leve his bargeyn, I woll ye lend hym asmoch mony over his dewté as shall make vp xx li., takyng of hym suerté to pay ayen at Cristemasse, as he writyth. In case be that he will kepe stille his Page  138bargeyn, thanne ye may answere hym it is no reason that he shuld aske me any part of that mony ayen, for he owyth that and moch more.
Item, the seyd John Rus sent me heder a man for þis mater only with-in thes ij daijs, wherfor let him know an ansuer [deleted in MS] betymes, for I fel well he hath mad a gret bargen but late wherfor he hath mor nede of mony now; and I wol do for hym that I may resonably. Neuertheles his wrytin [deleted in MS]g merweylith me that he askith þis mony as dewté whech he toke me for parte of my payment. I deme it comith not all of his owne disposiciun. Inquier ye that ye can [deleted in MS] what it menith. God kepe yow. Wret þe Wednisday nex Lammes. Yowr [deleted in MS]is John Paston In cas ye han Drayton in any quiete, take sewerté of yowr tenantis for paiment, as I haue wret befor.