Margaret Paston to John Paston, April 1448

15/16th Century
Location of Original:
British Library

To my ryth wyrchypful hwsbond, Jon Paston, be þis lettyr delyveryd in hast.

Ryth wyrchypful hwsbond, I recomawnd me to ȝw, desyryng hertyly to heryn of ȝwr wel fare, praying ȝw to wete þat I was with my Lady Morley on the Satyrday next after þat ȝe departyd from hens, and told here qhat answer þat ȝe had of Jon Butt, and sche toke it ryth straw[n]gely, and seyd þat sche had told ȝw, and schewyd ȝw j-now, qher by ȝe myth have knowleche þat the releve owt to ben payd to her. And sche seyd sche wyst wel þat ȝe delay it forthe, þat sche xuld nowth have þat longyth to her ryth. And sche told me hw it was payd in Thomas Chawmbers tym, qhan her dowther Hastyngs was weddyd; and sche seyd sythyn þat ȝe wyl make none end with her, sche wyl sew therfore as law wyl.

I conseyvyd be here þat sche had cwnsel to labore aȝens ȝw therin withyn ryth schort tym. And than I prayd her þat sche wuld vwche save nowth to labowr aȝens ȝw in þis mater tyl ȝe kom hom; and sche seyd nay, be her feyth, sche wuld no more days ȝeve ȝw therin. Sche seyd sche had sett ȝw so many days to a kord with her, and ȝe had broke them, þat sche was ryth wery therof; and sche seyd sche was but a woman, sche must don be her cownseyl, and her cwnseyle had avysyd her, so sche seyd sche wyld do. Than I prayd her azyn þat sche wuld teryn tyl ȝe kom hom, and I seyd I trostyd veryly þat ȝe wuld don qhan ȝe kom hom, as itt longeth to ȝw to don; and if ȝe myth have very knowleche þat sche awyth of ryth for to have itt, I seyd I wyst wel þat ȝe wuld pay it with ryth gode wyl, and told her þat ȝe had sergyd to a fownd wrytyng therof, and ȝe kwd non fynd in non wyse. And sche sayd sche wyst wele there was wrytyng therof inow, and sche hath wrytyng therof hw Syr Robert of Mawthby, and Sir Jon, and my grawnsyre, and dyverse other of myn awncesterys payd it, and seyd nevyre nay therto. And in no wyse I kwd not geyn no grawnth of her to sesyn tyl ȝe kom hom; and sche bad me þat I xuld don an erand to my moder, and qhan I kam hom, I dede myn erand to her. And sche axyd me if I had spokyn to my lady of þis forseyd mater, and I told her hw I had do, and qhat answer I had; and sche seyd sche xuld gon to my Lady Morles on the nexst day, and sche xuld speken to her therof, and a say to getyn grawnt of her to sesyn of the forsayd mater tyl þat ȝe kom hom. And truly my moder dede her dever ryth feythfully therin, as my cosyn Clare xal tellyn ȝw qhan þat he speketh with zow; and sche gete grawnt of my seyd lady þat there xuld nowth ben don aȝens ȝw therin, and ȝe wold acordyn with her, and don as ȝe owyn to do be twyx þis tym and Trinyte Sunday.

Lauerawnce Rede of Mawthhy recommawndeth hym to zu, and prayt ȝw þat ȝe wyl vwchesave to leten hym byn of ȝw the ferm barly þat ȝe xuld have of hym, and if ȝe wyl laten hym have it to a resonabyl pris, he wyl have it with ryth a gode wyl; and he prayit ȝw if ȝe wyl þat he have it, þat ȝe wyl owche save to send hym word at qhat pris he xuld have the kowmb as hastyly as ȝe may, and ellys he must be purvayd in other plase.

As twchyng other tydyngs, I sopose Jon of Dam xal send ȝw word in a letter. As it is told me veryly, Heydon xal not kom at London þis term.

It is seyd in þis contre þat Danyell is owth of the Kyngs gode grase, and he xal dwn and all hys mene, and all þat ben hys wele wyllers; there xal no man ben so hardy to don nether seyn aȝens my Lord of Sowthfolk, nere non þat longeth to hym; and all þat have don and seyd aȝens hym, they xul sore repent hem. Kateryn Walsam xal be weddyd on the Munday nexst after Trinyte Sonday, as it is told me, to the galaunte with the grete chene; and there is purvayd for her meche gode aray of gwnys, gyrdelys, and atyrys, and meche other gode aray, and he hathe purcheysyd a gret purcheys of v. mark be ȝer to ȝevyn her to her joynture.

I am aferd þat Jon of Sparham is so schyttyl wyttyd, þat he wyl sett hys gode to morgage to Heydon, or to sum other of ywre gode frendys, but if I can hold hym inne the better, ere ȝe kom hom. He hath ben arestyd sythyn þat ye went, and hath had moche sorw at the sewte of mayster Joh Stoks of London for x. mark þat Sparham owt to hym; and in gode feyth he hath had so moche sorow and hevynesse þat he wyst nowth qhat he myth don. I fell hym so disposyd þat he wold asold and asett to morgage all þat he hath, he had nowth rowth to qhom, so þat he myth an had mony to an holpyn hym self wyth; and I entretyd hym so, þatt I sopose he wyll nother sellyn ner sett to morgage, nother catel ner other gode of hese, tyl he speke with ȝw. He soposeth þat al þat is don to hym is att the request of the Parson of Sparham and Knatylsale. I sopose it is almas to comfort hym, for in gode feyth he is ryth hevy, and hys wyf al so. He is nowth nw under arest, he hath payd hys feys, and goth at large; he was arestyd att Sparham, of on of Knatysales men.

Hodge Feke told me þatt Sym Schepherd is styl with Wylly, and if ȝe wyl I xal purvey þat he xal be browth hom er ȝe kom hom. It is told me þat he þat kept ȝwr schep was owth lawyd on Munday at the swth of Sir Thomas Todynham, and if it be so, ȝe arn nowth lyk to kepe hym longe. And as twchyng þat þat ȝe badeyn me spekyn for to Bakton, he seyth he is wel avysyd þat sche seyd sche wuld never have to don with all, ner he kan not pek þat sche seyd sche hath non ryth to have it, and he wyl say lyche as he hath herd her seyd; and if sche speke to hym therof, he wyll rather hold with ȝw than with her. I pray ye þat ȝe wyl vwche save to send me word hw ȝe spede in ȝwr matter twchyng Gressam, and hw Danyel is in grace. Harry Goneld hath browth to me xl s. of Gressam syn ȝe ȝede, and he seyth I xal have more or Qhythson tyd, if he may pyk it up.

I sopose Jamys Gressam hath told ȝw of other thyngs þat I have sped syn ȝe ȝedyn hens. If I her any strawnge tydyngs in þis contre, I xall send ȝw word. I pray ȝw þat I may ben recommawndyd to my Lord Danyel.

The Holy Trynyté have ȝw in hys kepyng, and send ȝw helth and gode spede in al ȝwr maters twchyng ȝwr ryth.

Wretyn at Norwyche, on the Wedenys day nexst after þatt ȝe partyd hens.


Gairdner identifies her as Isabel de la Pole, married to become Lady Morley and points out that Fenn identifies her incorrectly as an earlier Lady Morley.

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