Margaret Paston to John Paston, 15th February 1449

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To my rytȝ wurchipful mayster, Jon Paston, be þis delyvered in hast.

Ryt wurchipful hosband, I recommawnd me to ȝou, desyryng hertyly to heryn of ȝour wele fare, preying ȝou to weten þat I commawndyd Herry Goneld to gon to Gunnore to have copys of þe pleyntes in þe hundrede, and Gunnore was not at home; but þe seyd Herry spake with his clerk, and he told hym pleynly he wost wele his mayster wuld not late hym have no copys, thow he wor at home, tyl þe nexst hundred; qher for I send ȝou þat byl þat was wownd abowt þe relefys. Custans, Mak, and Kentyng wold adysavowyd here swtes rytȝ fayn þe last hundred, as I herd sayn of rytȝ thryfty men; but þe Lord Moleynys men thrett hem þat boþe þey xuld ben betyn and lesen here hows and lond and alle here goods, but if þey wold avow it; and after þat Osborn was gon, Hasard intretyd Kentyng and Mak to avow þe swtys after þat þey hadde disavowyd itt, and ȝave hem mony to zȝef to þe clerkes to entren aȝen þe pleyntes. But if ȝe seke a remedy in hast for to remeve itt, I soppose þey wyl distreyn for þe mersymentes er þe nexst hundred.

As for Mak, he gate respyt þat he xuld not sew tyl þe nexst hundred. As for Herry Goneld, he was dystreynyd ȝysterday for rent and ferm, and he must pay it to morue, xxij s., or elles lesyn his dystresse. þey gadder mony fast of all þe tenawntes. All þe tenawntes ben chargyd to pay al her rent and ferm be Fastyngong Sonday.

It ys told me þat þe Lord Moleynys xuld kepe his Fastyngong att Jon Wynters plase. þe seid Lordes men haddyn a letter on Thursday last past; qhat tydyngs þey hadde I wote nott; but on þe nexst moruenyng be tymys Thomas Bampton, a man of þe Lord Moleynys, rod with a letter to his lord, and þey þat ben at Gressam waytyn after an answer of þe letter in hast. Barow, and Hegon, and all þe Lord Moleynys men þat wer at Gressam qhan ȝe departyd hens bene þere styll, save Bampton, and in his stede is kom anoþer; and I here sey þei xul abyd here styll tyl her lord kom . . . to Barow as ze komawndyd me to weten quhatt þe cawse was þat þei thrett men . . . . Goneld and oþer of ȝour servawnts and wele willers to zow, þe qheche wer namyd to hym þat were thrett . . . . . swore pleynly þat þey were never thrett; but I know veryly þe contrary, for of his owyn felaschep layn in awayt sondery dayis and nytis abowt Gunnelds, Purrys, and Bekks plasis, and som of þem zedyn in to Bekks and Purrys housys, bothen in þe hallys and þe bernys, and askyd qher þei were, and þei were answeryd þat þey were owth; and þei seydyn aȝen þat þey xuld meten with hem anoþer tyme. And be dyvers oþer thyngs I know, if þei mytzȝ aben kawt, oþer þey xuld aben slayn or sor hurt.

I sent Kateryn on þis forseyd masage, for I kowd geten no man to do it, and sent with her Jamys Halman and Herry Holt; and sche desyryd of Barow to have an answer of her masage, and if þese forseyd men mytȝ levyn in pese for hem, and seyd þer xuld elles ben purveyd other remedy for hem. And he made her grett chere, and hem þat wer þer with her, and seyd þat he desyryd for to spekyn with me, if it xuld ben non displesans to me; and Kateryn seyd to hym þat sche supposyd þat I desyryd not to speken with hym. And he seyd he xuld com forby þis plase on huntyng after non, and þer xuld no mor com with hym but Hegon and on of his owyn men; and than he wold bryng seche an answere as xuld plese me. And after none þey come hydder, and sent in to me to weten if þei mytȝ speken with me, and praying þat þei mytz speken with me, and þey abedyn styl with owtȝ þe zatys; and I kam owth to hem, and spak with hem with owt, and prayid hem þat þei wold hold me exkusyd þat I browth hem not in to þe plase. I seyd in as meche as þei wer nott wele wyllyng to þe gode man of þe plase, I wold not take it up on me to bryng hem in to þe jantylwoman. þey seyd I dede þe best, and than we welk forthe, and desyryd an answer of hem for þat I hadde sent to hem for. þei sayd to me þei had browtz me seche an answer as þei hopyd xuld plese me, and told me how þei had comownd with all her felaschep of soche materis as I had sent to hem fore, and þat þei durst under take þat þer xud no man ben hurt of hem þatt wer rehersyd, ner no man þat longeth to ȝou, noþer for hem ner non of her felaschep, and þat þey answeryd me be her trowþis. Never lese I trest not to her promese, in as meche as I fend hem on-trew in oþer thyngs.

I conseyvyd wele be hem þat þey wer wery of þat þei haden don. Barow swor to me be his trowth þat he had lever than xl s., and xl. þat his lord had not comawndyd hym to com to Gressam; and he seyd he was rytȝ sory hidderward, in as meche as he had knowleche of ȝw before, he was rytȝ sory of þat þat was don. I seyd to hym þat he xuld have compascion on ȝou and oþer þat wer disseysyd of her lyvelode, in as meche as he had ben dissesyd hym self; and he seyd he was so, and told me þat he had sewyd to my Lord of Suffolk dyvers tymys, and wold don tyl he may gete his gode aȝen. I seyd to hym þat ȝe had sewyd to my Lord Moleynys dyvers tymys for þe maner of Gressam syth ȝe wer dissesyd, and ȝe cowd never gete no resonabyl answer of hym; and þer fore ȝe entred azen, as ye hopid þat was for þe best. And he seyd he xuld never blame my Lord of Suffolk for þe entre in his lyvelode, for he seyd my seyd lord was sett þer up on be þe informacion of a fals schrew; and I seyd to hym in lyke wyse is þe matier be twyx þe Lord Moleynys and ȝou. I told hym I wost wele he sett never þer upon be no tytyl of rytȝ þat he hadde to þe maner of Gressam, but only be þe informacion of a fals schrew. I rehersyd no name, but me thowt be hem þat þei wost ho I ment. Meche oþer langage we hadde, qhyche xuld taken long leysyr in wrytyng. I rehersyd to hem þat it xuld abe seyd þatt I xuld not longe dwell so ner hem as I dewe and þey for swer it, as þei do oþer thyngs more þat it was never seyd, and meche thyngs þat I know veryly was seyd.

I here seyn þat ȝe and Jon of Damme ben sore thrett alway, and seyn thow ȝe ben at London, ȝe xul ben met with þer as wele as thow ȝe were her; and þer for I pray ȝou hertyly be ware how ȝe walk þer, and have a gode felaschep with ȝou qhan ȝe xul walk owt. Þe Lord Moleynys hathe a cumpany of brothell with hym þat rekk not qhat þey don, and seche ar most for to drede. þei þat ben at Gressam seyn þat þey have not don so moche hurte to ȝou as þei were commawndyd to don. Rabert Lauerawns is wele amendyd, and I hope xall recure. He seyth pleynly he wyl compleyn of his hurt, and I soppose Bek wyl compleyn also, as he hath cause. Bek and Purry dare not abyd att hom tyl þei here oþer tydyngs. I wold not Jon of Damme xuld com hom tyl þe cuntre be storyd oþerwyse than it is. I pray Godde grawnt þat it mot sone ben oþerwyse than it is. I pray ȝou hertyly þat ȝe wil send me word how ȝe don, and how ȝe spede in ȝour materis, for be my trowth I kan not ben wel att ese in my hert, ner not xal ben tyl I here tydynges how ȝe don. þe most part of ȝour stuff þat was at Gressam is sold, and ȝovyn away. Barow and his felaw spak to me in þe most plesawnt wyse, and me semyth be hem þei wold fayn plese me. þei seyd þei wold do me servyse and plesans, if it lay in her powres to don owth for me, save only in þat þat longeth to her lordes rytȝ. I seyd to hem, as for seche servys as þey had do to ȝw and to me, I desyr no mor þat þei xuld do noþer to ȝw ner to me. Þei seyd I myt an had of þem att Gressham qhat I hadde desyryd of hem, and had as moche as I desyryd. I seyd, nay; if I mytȝ an had my desyr, I xuld noþer a departid owth of þe place, ner from þe stuff þat was þer in. Þei seyd, as for þe stuff it was but esy. I seyd ȝe wold not a ȝoven þe stuff þat was in þe place qhan þei com in, not for c li. Þei seyd þe stuff þat þei sey [saw] þer was skars worth xxli.

As for ȝour moder and myn, sche faryth wel, blissid be God, and she had no tydynges but gode zett, blissid be God.

Þe blissyd Trynyté have ȝou in his kepyng, and send ȝou hele, and gode spede in al your maters. Wretyn at Sustede, on þe Satyrday next after Seynt Valentynys day.

Here dare no man seyn a gode wurd for ȝou in þis cuntre, Godde amend it.

Ȝowrys,

M. P.

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