Animated Pastons

Paston Footprints have been working on a number of animated stories about the Pastons and others associated with the family. These are being developed for use in schools but they're attracting a wider interest - so we're making them available in this section as well.

Sir John Fastolf

Sir John was the wealthy builder and owner of Caister castle. He was distantly related to the Pastons through his wife Millicent and his lawyer in the latter days of his life was John Paston I. After his service with Henry V in France, he retired to Southwark and then to Caister.

Sir John Fastolf - Valiant Knight

The Goshawk

One of the Letters from John Paston III to his elder brother John Paston II in London was to ask him for a goshawk, to be used for hunting. Our animated story pictures John Paston III as a younger man; a later letter indicates that the goshawk proved to be something of a disappointment.

The Young John Paston Longs for a Goshawk

Judge William and Bromholm Priory

The Paston family claimed a long association with Bromholm Priory, and William Paston I had an active role in the running of the Priory in the 1420s. Close to his home at Paston Hall, our Judge William tells us a little of the family association.

William Paston visits Bromholm Priory

Edward Paston, 1550-1630

In Tudor times, when the family had become well-established and much better off, Edward Paston was a talented musician and numbered among his associates some of the most famous musicians of the time. Edward outlines his story - and plays the lute for us.

Edward Paston, Musician

Margery Brews and her Valentine

The Brews family lived in Topcroft, south east Norfolk. Margery Brews married John Paston III; the Paston Letters include her Valentine's letter and an account of the mothers of John an Margery conspiring to encourage Mr Brews to agree to the marriage. The question of a dowry was often important in the arrangement - and the gift of Sparham manor did the trick!

Margery Paston, née Brews, 1460-1495

Sir William Paston, 1528-1610

In the 1500s the fortunes of the family had become very set and the Pastons owned estates across the county of Norfolk. Sir William Paston, head of the family, built a reputation as a generous benefactor and a just magistrate and founded a school in North Walsham.

Sir William Paston, Benefactor & School Founder

Robert Paston, 1632-1683

Robert Paston, supporter of King Charles II, became First Earl of Yarmouth. His letters to wife Rebecca form a fascinating family record for the latter part of the 17th century - his political activity and his largely unsuccessful attempts to recover family funds.

Robert Paston, First Earl of Yarmouth

John Fenn

John Fenn of Dereham was able to bring the medieval letters recovered from Oxnead Hall together, and spent ten years transcribing and translating them. He first published two volumes and then went on to complete five volumes.

Sir John Fenn, editor of the first printed edition of the Paston Letters

William Paston 1378-1444

William Paston, sometimes referred to as 'the good judge', was the first of the family to come to prominence. Thanks to the foresight of his father and the support of his uncle, he was trained in the law and rose to be a figure of national significance.

William Paston - The Good Judge

Richard Calle - Bailiff

Richard Calle was a senior steward for the Paston family and trusted to look after the household and matters to do with the estate. Our animated Richard makes the journey to the local market town of North Walsham, to buy supplies for the coming week.

Richard Calle goes Shopping

John Paston III at Caister Castle

The siege of Caister Castle was the one battle of the Wars of the Roses in East Anglia. It was one of the minor conflicts of local power and influence that occurred around England while the King's law was weakened through the battle for the throne.

The Siege of Caister Castle

Margaret Paston 1422-1454

The indomitable Margaret Paston was often left to look after Paston affairs in Norfolk whilst her husband was away in London. Drayton, Hellesdon, Caister and Gresham were all properties which she sought to defend, whilst running business affairs across their various manors.

Margaret Paston tells her story

Clement Paston 1508-1597

Clement Paston was the senior member of the family through the reign of four monarchs, including those of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. He made his reputation as a sea captain and spent his wealth on the building of a fine house at Oxnead. His splendid tomb is amongst those found in Oxnead church.

Clement Paston, Sea Captain

Sir William Paston, 1610 -1663

This William Paston was a scholar at the University of Cambridge. Born in the time of King James, he brought up his family at Oxnead Hall but travelled for a year and a half in Europe and the Middle East after the death of his wife. You can see his portrait today at Felbrigg Hall.

Sir William Paston, Traveller

Charlotte Paston 1676-1744

Charlotte was a daughter of William Paston (1652-1732) and Charlotte. She was first married to Thomas Herne of Haveringland in 1703 and then on his death to Colonel Thomas Weldon in 1732. Charlotte and Thomas had four children: Paston (d 1762), Thomas, Charles and Hanover.

Charlotte Weldon, née Paston

John Paston 1421-1466

John Paston trained as a lawyer to follow in the footsteps of his father, Judge William Paston. There was considerable dispute when, as lawyer to Sir John Fastolf, he was the major beneficiary from Sir John Fastolf's will. He and his family had great difficulty in establishing there rights. The letters of his wife Margaret are a window into national and family life in the 15th century.
John Paston (1421-1466), lawyer, husband and father