William Paston to William Worsted and others

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A mez treshonnourés Meistres Will’m Worstede, John Longham, et Meistre Piers Shelton soit donné.

Right worthy and worshepefull sires and maistres, I recomand me to yow, and thank yow with al my herte, of þe gret tendrenesse ye lyke to have of þe salvacion of my symple honeste, preying yow evermore of your good continuance. I have, after þe advys of your lettre, doon dewely examyned þe instrument by þe wysest I coude fynde here, and in especial by on Maister Robert Sutton, a courtezane of þe Court of Rome, þe which is þe chief and most chier man with my Lord of Gloucestre, and his matier in þe said court for my lady, his wyff; and here aunswere is þat al this processe, though it were in dede preceded as þe instrument specifieth, is not suffisant in þe lawe of Holy Cherche, and þat hem semyth, by þe sight of þe instrument and by þe defautes [that] ye espied in þe same and other, and in maner by þe knowelech of þe notarie, þat þe processe, in gret part ther of, is fal[se and un]trewe. I have taken advys of Maister Robert Bruus, chauncellor with my Lord of Cantirbury, and Maister Nicholl Billesdon, chauncellor of my Lord of Wynchestre, and Maister John Blodwelle, a weel lerned man holden, and a suffisant courtezan of þe seyd court, and all these acorden to þe seyd Maister Robert Sutton.

Nought with stondyng þat I herde nevere of this matier no maner lykly ne credible evidence unto þat I sey your lettre and þe instrument, yet I made an appell and a procuracie, and also a provocacion, at London, longe biforn Cristemasse, by þe advys of Maister David Aprys, Maister Symond Kempston, and Maister James Cole, and sent al this, with an instruccion of al þe matier, with my procuratours to Rome by your frere, my Maister Suppriour, and geff hym gold þat he was content: and, evermore, nowe here by advys I make this day a newe appelle and a newe procuracion, and upon this alle þe seyd worthy men here seyn and informe me pleynly I have no maner cause in lawe ne in conscience to drede aught in this matier. for þe priory and Myn adversarie is become Bysshop of Cork in Irland, and ther arn ij. other persones provided to þe same bysshopriche yet lyvyng, beforn my seyd adversarie; and by this acceptacion of this bysshopriche, he hath pryved hym self of þe title þat he claymed in Bromholm, and so adnulled þe ground of his processe ageyn me, and also þe tyme of his grevaunce pretendid, and þe tyme of his sute he was apostata, and I trowe is yet, and so unable to sue any swich processe. I purpose me to come homward be London, to lerne more in this matier, if I may. I prey þe Holy Trinite, lord of your cherche and of alle þe werld, delyvere me of my iij. adversaries, of this cursed bysshop for Bromholm, Aslak for Sprouston, and Julian Herberd for Thornham. I have nought trespassed ageyn noon of these iij., God knowing, and yet I am foule and noysyngly vexed with hem, to my gret unease, and al for my lordes and frendes matieres, and nought for myn owyn. I wot not whether it were best in any sermon or other audience, in your cherche or elles where, to declare aught of this matier in stoppyng of þe noyse þat renneth in this case. I submitte me and alle this matier to your good discrecion; and evere gremercy God, and ye, who ever have yow and me in His gracious governance. I suppose to see yow on Palm Sunday. Writen at Leycestre, þe Friday þe thredde wyke of Lente.

Alle þe seyd lerned men telle me trewely ther is nother perill ne doubte in þe takyng doun of þe instrument and þe bille to no creature. Which instrument and bille I send yow ageyn by þe berare of this, which I prey you to kepe as pryve as ye may.

Yowr man,

W. PASTON.

I have preyed my Maister Hammond to write yow tydyngges, and smale lesynges among.

William Paston could consult officials at Leicester at this time, as Parliament was sitting at Leicester.

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