W. Paston and Thomas Playters to John Paston, 4th April 1461

Thomas Playter
15/16th Century
Location of Original:
British Library

To my maister, John Paston, in hast,

Please you to knowe and wete of suche tydyngs as my Lady of York hath by a lettre of credens, under the signe manuel of oure Soverayn Lord King Edward, whiche lettre cam un to oure sayd Lady this same day, Esterne Evyn, at xj. clok, and was sene and red by me, William Paston.

Fyrst, oure Soverayn Lord hath wonne the feld, and uppon the Munday next after Palmesunday, he was resseved in to York with gret solempnyte and processyons. And the Mair the Yorkist cause and Comons of the said cite mad ther menys to have grace be Lord Montagu and Lord Barenars, whiche be for the Kyngs coming in to the said cite desyred hym of grace for the said cite, whiche graunted hem grace. On the Kyngs parte is slayn Lord Fitz Water, and Lord Scrop sore hurt; John Stafford, Horne of Kent ben ded; and Umfrey Stafford, William Hastyngs mad knyghts with other; Blont is knygth, &c.

Un the contrary part is ded Lord Clyfford, Lord Nevyle, Lord Welles, Lord Wyllouby, Antony Lord Scales, Lord Harry, and be supposyng the Erle of Northumberland, Andrew Trollop, with many other gentyll and comons to the nomber of xx.ml..

Item, Kyng Harry, the Qwen, the Prince, Duke of Somerset, Duke of Exeter, Lord Roos, be fledde in to Scotteland, and they be chased and folwed, &c. We send no er un to you be cause we had non certynges tyl now; for un to this day London was as sory cite as myght. And because Spordauns had no certeyn tydyngs, we thought ye schuld take them a worthe tyl more certayn.

Item, Thorp Waterfeld is yeldyn, as Spordauns can telle you. And Jesu spede you. We pray you that this tydyngs my moder may knowe.

Be your Broder,



Comes Northumbriæ.
Comes Devon.
Dominus de Beamunde.
Dominus de Clifford.
Dominus de Nevyll.
Dominus de Dacre.
Dominus Henricus de Bokyngham.
Dominus de Well[es].
Dominus de Scales Antony Revers.
Dominus de Wellugby.
Dominus de Malley Radulfus Bigot Miles.


Sir Rauff Gray.
Sir Ric. Jeney.
Sir Harry Bekingham.
Sir Andrew Trollop.
With xxviij.ml. nomberd by Harralds.

Fenn: ‘On a piece of paper pinned to the above letter is a list of the names of the noblemen and knights, and the number of soldiers slain at the above battle of Towton.' This is now mounted below the letter by the British Library.

The date of the battle at Towton is generally given as 29th March, and is preceded by the confrontation at Ferrybridge. There is a considerable number of articles available on the Web and in print discussing the sequence of events and dates.

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