TO MARGARET PASTON 1465, 08, 07
To my cosyn Margret P [unclear] aston, at Heylisdoune.
I recomaund me to yow, and as for the letter that I send yow touchyng John Russe, I woll that ye and your counsell see it openly, and kepe this bille to your-self or to some secret frend of your. And I pray yow remembir ij thynges: on, if ye fynd hym in any maner wise disposed to leve his bargeyn, take it at his offer and take ayen the writyng that he hath of that bargeyn, or a writyng of his owne hand of relesyng his bargeyn to me; for paraventure at this tyme he woll be glad to leve his bargeyn, as I vndirstand, and whanne he sethe that I haue peas he woll calle ther-on ayen, wherfore I pray yow werk wisely herin, for he may in no maner wise aske the mony of me and kepe his bargeyn, for he hath diuers Page 139tymes desired me to haue take of hym more stuffe þerfore; a-nother, as sone as ye may, or ye breke this mater with John Russe, make due serche with the fermours at Akthorp what mony Russe hath reseyvid there in my tyme: that is to sey for Mighelmes the first, the ij, iij, iiij yeres of Kyng E., of whech he hath reseyvid ij paymentes, that is xij li. at the lest, or er the maner was trobelid by Jenney or Yeluerton. And I deme that he hath reseyvid some sithen, but that he kepith counsell.
Item, for asmoch as Ser Thomas Howes gaderid for the xxxix yere of Kyng Herry, the seid John Russe woll, vnder colour of that, surmytte that he reseyvid in my tyme was therfore; wherfore ye must make a serche what he hath reseyvid sith Ser John Fastolff dyed, and what tyme, and therupon ye shall vndirstand what he hath reseyvid for me and what for hym. And in case he hath reseyvid xij li. and Richard hath paijd hym his duté as he promised, thanne growyth nat to John Russe past iiij or v li. Notwithstandyng, fare fayre with hym and resonabilly, so þat he leve his bargeyn, and lend hym the remnaunt of the xx li. vpon suerté for xx li. he desireth to haue outher by dewté or borowyng at this tyme.
Item, he that shall speke with the fermours of Akthorp, whos name is Langham, he must inquere generally what mony he hath paijd to all men sith Ser John Fastolff dyed, and see his billes of payment and take therof a titelyng. Richard Calle hath a bille of parcellis of euery mannes ferme, and he can serche this best in case he be not to favorabill to John Russe; wherfore I remitte this to your discrecion. But I suppose John Russe woll telle yow what he hath reseyvid, for I [deleted in MS] haue bifore this tyme wretyn by his seying what he had reseyvid, and I suppose and he remembird that he seid to me he wold not aske his mony in this forme. Neuirthelesse it shall do good so he leve his bargeyn by this meane. I merveyll that I here no tidyngges from yow hough ye haue do at the assises. The berer of this lettir is a comon carier and was at Norwich on Satirday, and brought me lettirs from other men; but your seruauntes inquere nat diligently after the comyng of cariers and other men. Wretyn at London the Wednesday next after Lammes Day. Ye shall haue lettirs of me this weke. John Paston Page 140