Margaret Paston to Sir John Paston, 12th September 1469

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I grete you wele, letyng you wete that your brother and his felesshep stand in grete joperte at Cayster, and lakke vetayll; and Dawbeney and Berney be dedde, and diverse other gretly hurt; and they fayll gunnepowder and arrowes, and the place sore brokyn with gonnes of the toder parte, so that, but thei have hasty help, thei be like to lese bothe ther lyfes and the place, to the grettest rebuke to you that ever came to any jentilman, for every man in this countre marvaylleth gretly that ye suffre them to be so longe in so gret joperte with ought help or other remedy.

The Duke hathe be more fervently set therup on, and more cruell, sith that Wretyll, my Lord of Claraunce man, was ther, than he was befor, and he hath sent for all his tenaunts from every place, and other, to be ther at Cayster at Thorysday next comyng, that ther is than like to be the grettest multitude of pepill that came ther yet. And thei purpose them to make a gret assaught--for thei have sent for gannes to Lynne and other place be the seeys syde--that, with ther gret multitude of gannes, with other shoot and ordynaunce, ther shall no man dar appere in the place. Thei shall hold them so besy with ther gret pepill, that it shall not lye in their pore within to hold it ageyn them with ought God help them, or have hasty socour from you.

Therfor, as ye wull have my blyssyng, I charge you and require you that ye se your brother be holpyn in hast. And if ye can have nonmeane, rather desire writyng fro my Lord of Clarens, if he be at London, or elles of my Lord Archebusshop of York, to the Duke of Norffolk, that he wull graunte them that be in the place her lyfes and ther goodes; and in eschewyng of insurreccions with other in convenyens that be like to growe within the shire of Norffolk, this trobelows werd, be cause of such conventicles and gaderyngs within the seid shire for cause of the seid place, thei shall suffre hym to entre up on such appoyntment, or other like takyn be the advyse of your councell ther at London, if ye thynk this be not good, till the law hath determyned otherwyse; and lete hym write a nother letter to your brother to deliver the place up on the same appoyntment. And if ye think, as I can suppose, that the Duke of Norffolk wull not aggre to this, be cause he graunted this aforn, and thei in the place wuld not accept it, than I wuld the seid massanger shuld with the seid letters bryng fro the seid Lord of Clarence, or ell[es] my Lord Archebusshop, to my Lord of Oxenford, other letters to rescue them forth with, thowghe the seid Erle of Oxenford shuld have the place duryng his lyfe for his labour. Spare not this to be don in hast, if ye wull have ther lyves, and be sett by in Norffolk, though ye shuld leys the best maner of all for the rescuse. I had lever ye last the lyffelode than ther lyfes. Ye must gete a massanger of the Lords or sume other notabill man to bryng ther letters.

Do your devoir now, and lete me send you no mor massangers for this maters; but send me be the berer her of more certeyn comfort than ye have do be all other that I have sent be for. In any wyse, lete the letters that shall come to the Erle of Oxenford comyn with the letters that shall comyn to the Duke of Norffolk, that if he wull not aggree to the ton, that ye may have redy your rescuse that it nede no mor to send therfor. God kepe you.

Wretyn the Tuesday next befor Holy Rood Day, in hast.

Be your Moder.

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