Margaret Paston to John Paston, 1449

15/16th Century
Location of Original:
British Library

Ryt wurchipful hwsbond, I recomawnd me to ȝu, and prey ȝw to gete som crosse bowis, and wyndacs to bynd them with, and quarrels for ȝour hwsis her ben so low þat þer may non man schet owt with no long bowe, þow we hadde never so moche nede.

I sopose ȝe xuld have seche thyngs of Ser Jon Fastolf, if ȝe wold send to hym; and also I wold ȝe xuld gete ij. or iij. schort pelle-axis to kepe with doris, and als many jakkys, and ȝe may.

Partryche and his felaschep arn sor aferyd þat ȝe wold entren aȝen up on hem, and þey have made grete ordynaw[n]ce with inne þe hwse, as it is told me. Þey have made barris to barre the dorys crosse weyse, and þey have made wykets on every quarter of the hwse to schote owte atte, bothe with bowys and with hand gunnys; and þe holys þat ben made forr hand gunnys, they ben scarse kne hey fro þe plawncher, and of seche holis ben made fyve. þere can non man schete owt at þem with no hand bowys.

Purry felle in felaschepe with Willyum Hasard at Querles, and told hym þat he wold com and drynk with Partryche and with hym, and he seyd he xuld ben welcome, and after none he went thedder for to aspye qhat they dedyn, and qhat felachep they hadde with them; and qhan he com thedder, the dors were fast sperid, and þere wer non folks with hem but Maryoth, and Capron and hys wyff, and Querles wyf, and anoþer man in ablac ȝede sum qhate haltyng, I sopose be his words þat it was Norfolk of Gemyngham. And ȝe seyd Purry aspyde alle ȝis forseyd thyngs, and Marioth and his felaschep had meche grette langage þat xall ben told ȝw qhen ȝe kom hom.

I pray ȝw that ȝe wyl vowche-save to don bye for me j. li. of almands and j. li. of sugyr, and þat ȝe wille do byen sume frese to maken of ȝour chileris gwnys; ȝe xall have best chepe and best choyse of Hayis wyf, as it is told me. And that ȝe wyld bye a ȝerd of brode clothe of blac for an hode fore me of xliiijd. or iiijs. a ȝerd, for þer is nether gode cloth ner god fryse in this twn. As for the childeris gwnys, and I haue them, I wel do hem maken.

The Trynyté haue ȝw in his keping, and send ȝw gode spede in alle ȝour materis.

Gairdner quotes Fenn's conclusion that this letter is hastily written, with no exact date. He connects it with Paston's intent to retake Gresham. It seems probable that Margaret is at a nearby house, perhaps at Sustead, fering she might be attacked further there.

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