G. G. (George Gordon) Coulton.

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aforesaid town of Chatillon. But to know and better
discover the bearing of the French his enemies, who
were lodged before this town of Chatillon, he sent his
spies secretly around their quarters ; moreover he
sent word to those who were within the said town that

Talbot's Death. 621

they should take courage, for he came with might and
puissance, intending to succour them ; and he bade
them prepare themselves on the morrow when they
should see him approach, that each man might be
under arms and ready to sally forth without their walls
and fall upon the enemy, for he was purposed, as he
told them, never to turn back until he had driven away
the beleaguering army or were slain himself in the
fight. At which news those of Chatillon were filled
with joy, and took good heart again, for it seemed to
them that the lord Talbot had great will to succour
them, forasmuch as he came so hastily and that the
French had as yet only lain two days about the town ;
wherefore they sent back word that he should come
when it pleased him, but they thought it fitting that
he should first of all drive out those who were lodged
in the abbey hard by their town, and that they, for
their part, would come and help him with all their
might, in this assault. Which news being thus brought
back to him, he started without long delay from his
lodging in Libourne and marched all night long until
he came to a wood hard by the aforesaid abbey, wherein
were lodged the free-archers of the duchies of Anjou
and Perigord, who had with them Pierre de Bauval
lieutenant to Charles of Anjou, count of Maine, who
commanded this guard with the aforesaid Joachim
Rohault. Since, therefore, this Talbot had purposed
to carry out his enterprise, and the French that lay
in the aforesaid abbey had no tidings of his coming,
then the Tuesday following at daybreak he drew with
all his company towards this abbey, raising a terrible
shout, at the sound whereof the French, who were
within, fell into rout, and issued forth with the purpose
of gaining the park, whereof we have already spoken
and wherein those of their party were lodged ; and in
this disorder the aforesaid free-archers sallied forth,
and Pierre de Bauval and Joachim Rohault stayed
behind, bearing the burden of the fight for a long space,
making head against the English and withdrawmg
step by step towards the park. Yet, albeit the French
who were therein became aware of the great travail

622 A Medieval Garner.

which their own folk must needs undergo that had
fled forth from the abbey, nevertheless they advanced
not, nor brought no help nor succour to their comrades,
by reason whereof in the very first onset five or six
nobles were killed on the French part. Moreover the
said Joachim, through his own valour, was more than
once stricken to the ground ; but by the help of the
free-archers, who loved him well, he was raised up
and remounted on his horse ; whereon afterwards
he did deeds of great prowess, for he had sworn to
his free-archers that he would live and die with them ;
and, for all that the English might do, yet the French
reached the park ; but, before they had reached it, there
were done great deeds and fair feats of arms on either
side, and of the two parties some four-score or hundred
men were left on that field. After which the lord
Talbot, seeing that the French had gained the park,
turned back to the abbey where he lodged, to take
refreshment with his men ; wherein he found much
victual which the French had brought thither, with
five or six pipes and barrels of wine, which were forth-
with burst open and put at the mercy of all the soldiers,
by reason whereof they lasted but a short while ; and,
seeing that the aforesaid skirmish had been begun and
ended so early and that Talbot had as yet heard no
mass, his chaplain made ready to sing one, and the
altar with its ornaments was ready prepared. In the
meanwhile he was of too light credence, for he gave
faith to a man who brought him nought but lies, saying
as it were in these words : " My lord, the French leave
their park and fiee away ; now is the hour or never,
if ye will accomplish your promise." Alas;! here is a
fair example for all princes, lords, and captains, who
have people subjected to their governance, that they
should not set too light faith in such tidings ; for in
so weighty a matter we must not build upon the tale
of a jongleur, but of true and loyal officers-of-arms,
as of a knight or gentleman, sure of his mouth. But
my lord Talbot, for the great desire that he had to
serve King Henry his sovereign lord, and also to keep
his promise made to the aforesaid town and city of

Talbot's Death. 623

Bordeaux, did otherwise at this time ; for, beheving
too lightly that these tidings were true, he left to hear
the mass against his first purpose, and, issuing forthwith
from this abbey, he was heard to say these words
following : " Never shall I hear the mass until this
da}^ I shall have put to rout the company of the French
whom I see before me in this park." Notwithstanding
therefore that the French in the park were sore moved
and troubled by the pursuit which my lord Talbot
had made upon those who had fled from the abbey,
yet they disposed their artillery straight in the vanguard
on that side whereon they saw my lord Talbot come
with his company, which advanced in excellent fair
array with many trumpets and clarions sounding.
Then these English uttered a horrible and terrible cry,
shouting with all their voices : " Talbot, Talbot,
St. George ! " but, as they drew near to the park, an
ancient gentleman of England who had seen and
experienced in his life many doughty deeds of war,
perceived that the French within the park gave no
ground, whereupon, seeing that they were posted in a
strong and advantageous place and that the tidings of
their pretended flight were false, he said to the lord
Talbot : " My lord, my counsel would be that ye should
return again, for ye may well see how the tidings
brought unto you were untrue. Ye see theh' camp
and their bearing ; ye will gain nought at this time."
At which words my lord Talbot was sore displeased,
and made him a rough answer with exceeding injurious
words : nay even, (if it be true that I have heard,)
after this speech he struck him with the sword across
the visage, of which stroke he died afterwards ; but of
this I have never learned the right truth. Certain it
is, nevertheless, that my lord Talbot followed the
counsel of his own great valiance and marched on
toAvards the park, at the entry whereof he caused his
standard to be planted upon one of the stakes wherewith
the entrance-gate on that side was closed ; and the
standard-bearer, whose name I could never learn,
clasped the stake with the lance of the banner, at
which point and in which posture he was slain, and

624 A Medieval Garner.

the standard smitten down to the earth in the ditch
of the park. Then the English, by reason of the great
number of artillery which the French had within their
park and which played upon them with all their might,
began to fall into disorder ; for at the entrance there,
and at the planting of the aforesaid standard, some five
or six hundred English were slain, which caused them
great fear and rout ; seeing which the French opened
the gate of their park and sallied forth, not only there
but by the other gates, and over the ditches. Then
they came valiantly to fight the English hand to hand,
where marvellous deeds of arms were done on either
side. In this sally the aforesaid lord Talbot, who was
armed with a brigantine covered with scarlet velvet,
was slain by a dagger-thrust in the throat, for he had
already received a stroke across his face, and was sore
wounded with arrows through the thighs and the
legs ; and I have been assured by heralds and officers-
at-arms, and by many lords and gentlemen, that at
this hour and in that fight 4,000 men or more were
slain with Talbot, among whom were the son and one
of the nephews of the aforesaid lord Talbot, and another
whom men called the Bastard of England. The rest,
seeing this defeat, withdrew ; some within the town
of Chatillon, and others fleeing through the woods and
through the river, wherein great numbers were drowned.
Moreover a good two hundred were taken prisoners.
All that day the dead lay exposed on the earth, and
the French had much ado to know the truth of the
death of the lord Talbot, for some assured that he had
been slain, while others said, " No." When therefore
all had been somewhat appeased, many officers-at-
arms and heralds were sent to seek for the lord Talbot
among the dead ; in which search they found among
the rest a dead man who seemed somewhat advanced
in age, and whom they surmised to be this same lord.
Wherefore they laid him on an archer's shield and
brought him into their park ; in which place he lay all
night. Meanwhile there was much question, with great
difficulty and doubt in the company of the lords and
others, who said they had known and seen him in his

Talbot's Death.


lifetime, concerning the truth of his death ; for, though
such as affirmed themselves to have kno^\^l and seen
him well maintained that this was he, yet there were
many others who said the contrary. But on the
morrow there came upon the field many heralds and
officers-at-arms of the English party, among whom was


From 3IS. Reg. 13, c. ix (end of 14th century ; reproduced in H. Shaw's
Dresses and Decorations).

626 A Medieval Garner.

the herald of lord Talbot himself, who bare his coat-
of-arms ; which heralds besought grace to have leave
and permission to seek for their master. Then men
asked this herald of the lord Talbot whether he would
know him well by sight, whereunto he answered
joyously (deeming that he was yet alive and captive)
that he would fain see him ; whereupon he was brought
to the place where Talbot lay dead upon the archer's
shield, where the men said unto him : " Look and see
if this be your master." Then forthwith his colour
was changed ; yet at first he witheld his judgment, not
saying what he thought, for he saw his master much
changed and disfigured by the stroke which he had
in his face ; moreover he had lain there since his death
all that night through and all the morrow until that
hour ; wherefore he was much changed. Yet the herald
kneeled down beside him, saying that he would
presently know the truth. Then he thrust one of the
fingers of his right hand into his lord's mouth, to seek
on the left-hand side the place of a great tooth which
he knew him certainly to have lost, which place he
found, as his purpose was ; and no sooner had he found
it than, being on his knees as we have said, he kissed
the dead man on the mouth, saying : " My lord and
master, my lord and master, it is you ! I pray to God
that He pardon your misdeeds. I have been your
officer-at-arms these forty years or more, and it is
time that I render you all your loving-kindness ! "
making in the meanwhile piteous cries and lamentations,
and raining piteously with salt tears from his eyes.
Then he drew off his coat-of-arms and laid it on his
master : by which recognition there was an end of
the question and debate which had been made con-
cerning the good lord's death.

Husband and Wife. 627

Extracts 285-96 are from Dr. Gairdiier's 1900 Edition of the Paston
Letters, which are probably the fullest and most remarkable collection
of medieval family letters existing in any language.

2S5.—mi(t to ©usbanD.

(Margaret Paston to John Paston, Sept. 28, 1443 ; vol. I, p. 48).

To my right ivorshipful husband, John Paston, dwelling
in the Inner Temple at London, in haste.

IGHT worshipful husband, I recommend me
to 3^ou, desiring heartily to hear of your
welfare, thanking God of your amending of
•3^ the great disease that ye have had ; and I
thank you for the letter that ye sent me,
for by my troth my mother and I were not in heart's
ease from the time that we wist of your sickness, tOl
we wist verily of your amending. My mother behested
another image of wax, of the weight of you, to our
Lady of Walsingham ; and she sent iiij nobles to the
iiij Orders of Friars at Norwich to pray for you ; and
I have behested to go on pilgrimage to Walsingham
and to Saint Leonard's* for you ; by my troth I had
never so heavy a season as I had from the time that
I wist of your sickness till I Avist of your amending ;
and sith my heart is in no great ease, nor nought shall
be, till I wot that ye be very whole. Your father and
mine was this day se'nnight at Beccles for a matter of
the Prior of Bromholme ; and he lay at Gelderstone
that night, and was there till it was ix of the clock,
and the t'other day. And I sent thither for a gown,
and my mother said that I should have then, till I
had been there anon, and so they could none get.

My father Garneys sent me word that he should be
here the next week, and my uncle also, and playen
them here with their hawks, and they should have
me home with them ; and, so God help me ! I shall
excuse me of mine going thither if I may ; for I suppose
that I shall readilier have tidings from you here than

* St. Leonard's Priory at Norwich, where there was a wonder-
working shrine of King Henrj^ VI., sainted by popular acclamation.

628 A Medieval Garner.

I should have there. I shall send my mother a token
that she took me, for I suppose the time is come that
I should send her, if I keep the behest that I have
made ; I suppose I have told you what it was. I praj'
you heartily that ye will vouchsafe to send me a letter
as hastily as ye may, if writing be no disease to you,
and that ye will vouchsafe to send me word how your
sore doth. If I might have had my will, I should have
seen you ere this time ; I would ye were at home, (if
it were your ease, and your sore might be as well
looked to as it is where ye be,) now liever than a gown,
though it were of scarlet ! I pray you, if your sore be
whole, and so that ye may endure to ride, when my
father come to London, that ye will asken leave, and
come home when the horse shall be sent home again ;
for I hope ye should be kept as tenderly here as ye
be at London. I may none leisure have to do writen
half a quarter so much as I should say to you if I might
speak with you. I shall send you another letter as
hastily as I may. I thank you that ye would vouchsafe
to remember my girdle, and that ye would write to
me at the time, for I suppose that writing was none
ease to you. Almighty God have you in His keeping,
and send you health. Written at Oxnead, in right
great haste, on St. Michael's Even.



My mother greets you well, and sendeth you God's
blessing and hers ; and she prayeth you, and I pray
you also, that ye be well dieted of meat and drink ;
for that is the greatest help that ye may have now
to your health-ward. Your son fareth well, blessed
be God.

Husband and Wife. 629

286.— iE)ust)anrj to mitt,

(John Paston to Margaret Paston, Sept. 'il, 14t)5 ; vol. II, p. 235).

To my Cousin Margaret Paston.

INE own dear sovereign lady, I recommend
me to you, and thank you of the great cheer
that ye made me here to my great cost and
charge and labour. No more at this time,
but that I pray you ye will send me hither
i] clue of worsted for doublets, to wrap me this cold
winter ; and that ye inquire where William Paston
bought his tippet of fine worsted, which is almost like
silk, and if that be much finer than that he should buy
me after vij. or viij. shillings,* then buy me a quarter
and the mail thereof for collars, though it be dearer
than the other, for I would make my doublet all worsted
for worship of Norfolk, rather than like Gonnore's


Item, on the day after your departing, I received
letters by Will. Ros from your sons to me, and to you,
and to Ric. Calle, etc. f
Item, I shall tell you a tale,

Pampyng and I have picked your mail [trunk

And taken out pieces five.

For upon trust of Calle' s promise, we may soon unthrive;
And, if Calle bring us hither twenty pound
Ye shall have your pieces again, good and round ;
Or else, if he will not pay you the value of the pieces,

To the post do nail his ear ;
Or else do him some other wrongs,^
For I will no more in his default borrow ;

* i.e., " if that [of W. P.'s] be much finer than could be bought for 7
or 8 shillings, then etc."

■j- This etc., as the reader will presently see, was the frequent refuge
of writers unaccustomed to express themselves at length on paper : it
occurs with tantalizing frequency all through these letters.

I Query, sorrow 1

630 A Medieval Garner.

And, but if the receiving of my livelihood be better plied

He shall Christ's curse and mine clean tried ;

And look ye be merry and take no thought.

For this rhyme is cunningly wrought.

My Lord Percy and all this house

Recommend them to you, dog, cat, and mouse.

And wish ye had been here still ;

For they say ye are a good gille.

No more to you at this time.

But God him save that made this rhyme.

Writ the [day] of Saint Mathee

By your true and trusty husband, J. P.

287.— TBustness ^atcf)es.

(Elizabeth Clere to John Fasten, junr., about 1449 ; vol. I, p. 89).

To my Cousin^ John Paston, be this letter delivered.

I BUSTY and well-beloved cousin, I commend
me to you, desiring to hear of your welfare
and good speed in your matter, the which
I pray God send you to his pleasance and
to your heart's ease.
Cousin, I let you wit that Scrope hath been in this
country to see my cousin your sister, and he hath
spoken with my cousin your mother, and she desireth
of him that he should shew you the indentures made
between the knight that hath his daughter and him,
whether that Scrope, if he were married and fortuned
to have children, if those children should inherit his
land, or his daughter the which is married. Cousin,
for this cause take good heed to his indentures, for
he is glad to show them, or whom ye will assign with
you ; and he saith to me he is the last in the tail of
his livelihood, the which is cccl marks and better, as
Watkin Shipdam saith, for he hath taken account of
his livelihood divers times ; and Scrope saith to me
if he be married, and have a son and heir, his daughter
that is married shall have of his livelihood 1 marks and

Business Matches. 63 t

no more ; and therefore, cousin, nieseemeth he were
good for my cousm your sister, without that ye might
get her a better. And if ye can get her a better, I
would advise you to labour it in as short time as ye
may goodly, for she was never in so great sorrow as
she is nowadays, for she may not speak with no man,
whosoever come, nor may not see nor speak with my
man, nor Avith servants of her mother's, but that she
[the mother] beareth her on hand otherwise than she
meaneth. And she hath since Easter the most part
been beaten once in the week or twice, and sometimes
twice on one day, and her head broken in two or three
places. Wherefore, cousin, she hath sent to me by
Friar Newton in great counsel, and prayeth me that
I would send to you a letter of their heaviness, and
pray you to be her good brother, as her trust is in
you ; and she saith, if ye may see by his evidences
that his children and hers may inherit, and she to have
reasonable jointure, she hath heard so much of his
birth and his conditions, that an ye will she will have
him, whether that her mother will or will not, not-
withstanding it is told her his person is simple,* for
she saith men shall have the more duty of her if she
rule her to him as she ought to do.

Cousin, it is told me there is a goodly man in your
Inn, of the which the father died lately, and if ye think
that we were better for her than Scrope, it would be
laboured, and give Scrope a goodly answer that he
be not put off till ye be sure of a better ; for he said
when he was with me, but if he have some comfortable
answer of you, he will no more labour in this matter,
because he might not see my cousin your sister, and
he saith he might 'a seen her an she had been
better than she is ; and that causeth him to demur
that her mother was not well willing, and so have ]
sent my cousin your mother word. Wherefore,
cousin, think on this matter, for sorrow oftentime
causeth women to beset them otherwise than they
should do ; and if she were in that case, I wot well ye

* i.e., plain

^Z'^ A Medieval Garner.

would be sorry. Cousin, I pray you burn this letter,
that your men nor none other man see it ; for an my
cousin your mother knew that I had sent you this
letter, she should never love me. No more I write
to you at this time, but Holy Ghost have you in keeping.
Written in haste, on St. Peter's Day, by candle light.

By your Cousin,


288.— ctje Cour0e of loDe.

(a.D, 1476 ? John Paston to Margery Brews ; vol. Ill, p. 159).

ISTRESS, though so be that I, unacquainted
with you as yet, take upon me to be thus
bold as to write unto you without your
knowledge and leave, yet mistress, for such
poor service as I now in my mind owe you,
purposing, ye not displeased, during my life to continue
the same, I beseech you to pardon my boldness, and
not to disdain, but to accept this simple billet to
recommend me to you in such wise as I best can or
may imagine to your most pleasure. And, mistress,
for such report as I have heard of you by many and
divers persons, (and specially by my right trusty friend,
Richard Stratton, bearer hereof, to whom I beseech
you to give credence in such maters as he shall on my
behaK commune with you of, if it like you to listen him,)
and that report causeth me to be the more bold to
Avrite unto you, so as I do ; for I have heard oft-times
Richard Stratton say that ye can and will take every-
thing well that is well meant, whom I believe and trust
as much as few men living, I assure you by my troth.
And, mistress, I beseech you to think none otherwise
in me, but that I will and shall at all seasons be ready
with God's grace to accomplish all such things as I
have informed and desired the said Richard on my
behalf to give you knowledge of ; unless it so be that
against my will it come of you that I be cast off from

Love and Business. 633

your service and not willingly by my desert, and that
I am and will be yours and at your commandment
in every wise during my life. Here I send you this
billet written with my lewd hand and sealed with my
signet to remain wdth you for a witness against me,
and to my shame and dishonour if I contrary it. And,
mistress, I beseech you, in easing of the poor heart that
sometime was at my rule, which now is at yours, that
in as short time as can be that I may have knowledge
of your intent and how ye will have me demeaned in
this matter, and I will be at all seasons ready to perform
in this matter and all others your pleasure, as far forth
lieth in my power to do, or in all theirs that aught will
do for me, with God's grace. Whom I beseech to send
you the accomplishment of your most worshipful
desires, mine own fair lady, for I will no further labour
but to you, unto the time ye give me leave, and^till
I be sure that ye shall take no displeasure with my
further labour.

289.— cjje ^ame.

fThe same John Paston to his elder brother, Sir John Paston, May 6, 1476 ;
vol. Ill, p. 163).

To the right worshipful Sir John Paston, Knight, lodged
at the George, by PauVs Wharf, in London.

3]FTER all duties of recommendation, liketh
you to wit, that to my power ye be welcome
again into England. And as for the Castle
of Sheen, there is no more in it but CoUe and
his mate, and a goose may get it ; but in no
wise I would not that way, and my mother thinketh
the same. Take not that way, if there be any other.

I understand that Mistress Fitzwalter hath a sister,
a maid, to marry. I trow, an ye entreated him,
she might come into Christian men's hands. I pray
you speak with Master Fitzw^alter of that matter for
me ; and ye may tell him, since that he will have my
service, it were as good, and such a bargain might be

634 A Medieval Garner.

made that both she and I awaited on him and my
mistress his wife at our own cost, as I alone to await
on him at his cost ; for then I should be sure that I
should not be flitting, an I had such a quarry to keep
me at home. An I have his good will, it is none
impossible to bring about.

I think to be at London within a xiiij days at the
farthest, and peradventure my mistress also, in counsel
be it clattered. God keep you and yours.

At Norwich, the vj. day of May, anno E. iiijti xvj.

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