The Knight in Medieval England, 1000-1400

The Knight in Medieval England, 1000-1400

The Knight in Medieval England, 1000-1400

The Knight in Medieval England, 1000-1400

Excerpt

In July 1466 King Edward IV commanded that the manor of Caister should be restored to Sir John Paston. In doing so he declared himself satisfied that Paston and his uncles were 'Gentlemen discended lineally of worshipfull blood sithen the Conquest hither', that is since 1066. The king had very probably been presented with a proclamation of the Pastons' ancestry, an account of which still survives. Its essence is as follows:

They showed divers great evidences and court rolls, how that they and their ancestors had been possessed of a court and seignory in the town of Paston, and of many and sundry bondmen, since the time that no mind is to the contrary; and how that Agnes Paston, wife to the said William Paston, father to the said John, William, and Clement, in title of her dower, is in possession of bondholders and also of bondmen, whose ancestors have been bondmen to the ancestors of the said John Paston since the time that no mind is to the contrary. And they showed divers fines, some levied in the time of the beginning of the reign of our noble progenitor Edward the First, son of King Henry, son of King John, of livelihood whereof they and their ancestors have been possessed ever since to this day.

Also they showed divers inquests which is a matter of record. Also they showed divers deeds and grants before time of mind, how that their ancestors had licence to have a chaplain ... and that divers of their ancestors had given livelihood to houses of religion to be prayed for, and confirmations under the great seal of our noble ancestor King Henry the Third, son of King John, confirming the same grants.

Also they showed divers old deeds, some without date, sealed under authentic seals, of divers particular purchases in the town of Paston, reciting in the said deeds that the land was held of the ancestors of the said [John] Paston as of the chief lord of the fee, and by homage, and had ward, marriage, and relief.... Also they showed a great multitude of old deeds, without date and with date, wherein their ancestors were always set first in witness and before all other gentlemen. Also they showed how that their ancestors had in old time and of late time married with worshipful gentlemen, and proved by deeds of marriage and by other deeds how their ancestors had endowed their wives, and by descents of livelihood and by testaments and wills of their ancestors under seal; and made open by evident proof how they and their ancestors came lineally descended of right noble and worshipful blood and of great lords sometime living in this our . . .

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