Things you find when you’re looking for something else…
Letter from John Fastolf to John Paston, 5 February 1454:
Worshipful Sir and cousin, I recommend me to you, and like you to weet that I have a tally with my cousin Fenn of 500 marks and more, for to be changed upon such places as a man might have most speedily payment; and I pray you heartily to commune with the said Fenn, that I might be ensured of the said tally to be exchanged, and for what reward component to be given upon the same I will agree to it.
Item, I desire to know what be the residue, the remnant, of the co-executors of the Lord Willoughby, now the Lord Cromwell is deceased; for this cause it was so, that there was due to the Lord Willougbhy and to me 10,000 marks for a reward to be paid of my Lord Bedford’s goods, for the taking of the Duke of Alencon.
And the said Lord Willoughby had but 1000 marks paid, and I 1000 marks so 8000 remains yet to pay; of which sum, 4000 must grow to the executors of the said Lord Willoughby to dispose.
And therefore I desire that the executors, and such as most have interest in the Lord Willoughby’s goods, may be communed with; that they may make pursuit of payment of the said 4000 marks, for his part to be had, and I shall make for my part.
And if Master Nevile, the which has wedded my Lady Willoughby, have power or interest to receive the Lord Willoughby’s debts, then he to be laboured unto. And my Lord of Salisbury will be a great helper in this cause.
The king, which is supervisor of my Lord Bedford’s testament, has written and commanded by sundry letters that the said Lord Willoughby should be content for his part; and so much the matter is the forwarder.
And there is one Young, a servant of the Lord Willoughby, which pursued this matter; if he were in London he could give good information upon this matter.
I pray you write to me how my matters do, and of such novelties as ye have there, and our Lord have you in his keeping.
Written at Caister hastily, the 5th day of February, in the 34th year of King Harry VIth.
Your cousin, John Fastolf.
The ‘Lord Cromwell’ referred to in this letter is Henry Stanhope, Maud’s brother.
As I haven’t seen Lord Willoughby’s will, I don’t know how this amount might have been divided between his widow and his daughter. Given Maud’s straitened circumstances, I suspect that even half of 8,000 marks would have been most welcome. How much Thomas Nevill or his father might have pursued the matter if all (or even most) were to end up in Joan Welles’s hands is another matter. I have no idea how it all turned out, as there is no further reference to it in the Paston Letters.