Margaret Paston to John Paston, 19th May 1448

James Gresham
15/16th Century
Location of Original:
British Library

Ryght worshipfull husbond, I recomaund me to yow, and prey yow to wete þat on Friday last passed be-fore noon, þe parson of Oxened beyng at messe in our parossh chirche, euyn atte leuacion of phe sakeryng, Jamys Gloys hadde hen in þhe tovne and come homward by Wymondams gate. And Wymondam stod in his gate and John Norwode his man stod by hym, and Thomas Hawys his othir man stod in þhe strete by þhe canell side. And Jamys Gloys come with his hatte on his hede betwen bothe his men, as he was wont of custome to do. And whanne Gloys was a-yenst Wymondham he seid þus, 'Couere thy heed!' And Gloys seid ageyn, , 'So I shall for þhe .' And whanne Gloys was forþhe r passed by þhe space of iij or iiij strede, Wymondham drew owt his dagger and seid, 'Shalt þow so, knave?' And perwith Gloys turned hym and drewe owt his dagger and defendet hym, fleyng in-to my moderis place; and Wymondham and his man Hawys kest stonys and dreve Gloys into my moderis place. And Hawys folwyd into my moderis place and kest a ston as meche as a forthyng lof into þhe halle after Gloys; and pan ran owt of þhe place ageyn. And Gloys folwyd owt and stod with-owt þhe gate, and þanne Wymondham called Gloys thef and seid he shuld dye, and Gloys seid he lyed and called hym charl, and bad hym come hym-self or ell þhe best man he hadde, and·Gloys wold answere hym on for on. And þanne Haweys ran into Wymondhams place and feched a spere and a swerd, and toke his maister his swerd. And with þhe noise of þis a-saut and affray my modir and I come owt of þhe chirche from þhe sakeryng; and I bad Gloys go in to my moderis place ageyn, and so he dede. And thanne Wymondham called my moder and me strong hores, and seid þhe Pastons and alle her kyn were (... )myngham (... )e seid he lyed, knave and char! as he was. And he had meche large langage, as ye shall knowe her-after by mowthe .

After non my modir and I yede to þhe Priour of Norwich and told hym al þis cas, and þhe Priour sent for Wymondham and þerwhyle we yede hom a-geyn and Pagraue come with vs horn. And whil Wymondham was with þhe Priour, and we were at hom in our places, Gloys stod in þhe strete at my moderis gate and Hawys aspyed hym þere as he stod on þhe Lady Hastyngis chambre. A-non he come doun with a tohand swerd and assauted ageyn þhe seid Gloys and Thomas my moderis man, and lete flye r a strok at Thomas with þhe sword and rippled his hand with his sword. And as for þhe latter assaut þhe parson of Oxened sygh it and wole a-vowe it. And moche more thyng was do, as Gloys can tell yow by mouthe. And for þhe perilx of þat myght hapþhe by þese premysses and þhe circumstances þerof to beu eschewed, by þ'aduyse of my modir and oþer I send yow Gloys to attend up-on yow for a seson, for ease of myn owen hert; for in good feyth I wolde not for xl li. haue suyche an-oþer trouble.

As touchyng my Lady Morlé, she seith þat she atte hire will wole haue þhe benyfyce of hire obligacion, for hir counseyll telleth hir, as she seith, þat it is forfayt. And she wole not haue þhe relif til she hath your homage, &c.

The Lord Moleyns man gaderyth up þhe rent at Gresham a gret pace, and Jamys Gresham shall telle yow more pleynly perof at his comyng.

Nomore at éis tyme, but Almyghty God haue yow in his kepyng. Wretyn in hast on Trynyté Sunday at euyn.


As touchyng Roger Foke, Gloys shall telle yow all, &c.

Qwhan Wymdham seyd þat Jamys xuld dy I seyd to hym þat I soposyd þat he xuld repent hym jf he schlow hym or dede to hym any bodyly harm; and he seyd nay, he xuld never repent hym ner have a ferdyng wurth of harm þow he kelyd ȝw and hym bothe. And I seyd ȝys, and he sclow þe lest chylde þat longyth to ȝwr kechyn, and jf he dede he were lyke, I sopose, to dy for hym. It js told me þat he xall kom to London jn hast. I pray ȝw be ware hw ȝe walkyn jf he be þere, for he js ful cursyd-hertyd and lwmysch. I wot wel he wyl not set vp-on ȝw manly, but I be-leve he wyl styrt vp-on ȝw or on sum of ȝwr men leke a thef. I pray ȝw hertyly þat ȝe late not Jamys kom hom aȝen in non wyse tyl ȝe kom home, for myn hertys ese; for be my trwth I wold not þat he were hurt, ner non man þat longyth to ȝw jn ȝwr absens for xx pwnd. And in gode feyth he js sore hatyd both of Wymdam and sum of hys men, and of oþer þat Wymdam tellyth to hys tale as hym lyst, for þer as Wymdam tellyth hys tale he makyth hem be-levyn þat Jamys js gylty and he no þyng gylty.

I pray ȝw hertyly here masse and oþer servys þat ȝe am bwn to here wyth a devwt hert, and I hoþhe veryly þat ȝe xal spede ryth wele in all ȝwr materys, be þhe grase of God. Trust veryly in God and leve hym and serve hym, and he wyl not deseve ȝw. Of all oþer materys I xall sent ȝw wurd jn hast.

Gairdner provides an abstract only from the start of this letter; Davis provides the full letter, noting that there are different scribes for the main letter and the postscript. One of the most distinctive differences between the two is that the postscript uses the 'ȝ' character and the main letter does not. As indicated, Davis credits James Gresham as being the scribe of the main part of the letter.

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