Search the Paston Letters and Documents

This is the page on which you can search all the Paston documents which have already been put on this site. Because this is a developing project, you need to be aware of what you can do at present and watch for changes in the future.

From September 2020 the site contains all the Paston letters from the medieval period. and the letters from the 17th century.

The medieval letters are mostly, but not completely, using the text of Gairdner's 1904 publication with later research where available. We are gradually working through them to add notes and a 'The Letter Today?' version. Use the 'Search Mode' box to choose whether you search all the letters or just the ones we have edited with notes. At present, the majority are in the unedited format.

Search for:
Search using:
Any word

All words

Specified using AND/OR, NOT and (brackets)
Search in:
Title
From
To
Letter Text
Optionally restrict by year from to
Topics
Any
All
accommodation
agriculture
arrest
assault
assizes
barley
battle
blessing
books
building
cattle
children
clothing
coast
coastal raiders
court
death
debts
defence
disease
dispute
Duke
Duke of York
family
fishing
Flemings
hawk
herring
highway robbery
horse
house
housekeeping
influence
inheritance
jewellery
King Edward IV
land ownership
legal
legal matters
lime-burning
livery
lost property
love
malt
marriage
masonry
medicine
meeting
mill, milling
misbehaviour
money
murder
oyer and terminer
payments
pedigree
plague
politics
prison
prisoners
privy seals
Queen
relationships
rent
repairs
royal visit
rumours
rushes
sea
sea fishing
sex
sheep
shipwreck
siege
stable
threats
Valentine
wardship
weapons
wood, woodland
wool
Search Restrictions
Letter inclusion:
Era:
Location of Original:

When the option Specified using AND/OR and (brackets) is selected, the search field recognises:

  • the AND or OR terms - for example John OR Margaret and John AND Margaret;
  • grouping by brackets such as (John OR Margaret) AND Paston where we are searching for either John or Margaret but saying that Paston must always appear;
  • grouping words using quotes - e.g. 'John Paston' AND ('Margaret Paston' OR 'Margarete Paston') where we are trying to cover where John Paston must appear along with either Margaret Paston or the alternative spelling of Margarete Paston.

The search field also recognises wild card searches using an asterisk (*) in order to use entries such as Margaret*Paston which should handle anywhere where Margaret appears in the text as long as Paston appears anywhere afterwards.

The 'Topic' search buttons can be grey, with no action, clicked once to be green and used for searching or clicked again for red, and omitted from a search. These are limited in their coverage will be replaced in due course by a comprehensive taxonomic ssearch facilty.