Calle copy


Richard Calle came from near Framlingham in Suffolk and served the Pastons as a very able and loyal bailiff, being present at many of the critical moments. When the family inherited the vast Fastolf estates in 1459, Calle’s value to the family grew and there are many references in the letters to show his key role. Alas, all was to change when Richard and Margery Paston (the daughter of John Paston) fell in love and spoke the sacred words of betrothal. Despite Calle’s abilities and education (he regularly scribed letters for the family) the Pastons were not having an employee marrying into the family. There followed an enormous row, with the lovers being hauled in front of the Bishop of Norwich. However, the vow could not be undone and following a brief period of exile in West Norfolk the couple were married. Calle returned to work for the Pastons eventually but things were never the same. Calle’s story provides insight into the life and activity of the medieval household.



    1. You are correct Jacqueline – I believe the Calle’s chandlery shop was in Framlingham. There is a book of the Calles in the Norwich reference library – I’ll check next time I am in there


      1. Thank you for your response. I get most of my info from the terrific book The Marriage of Margery Paston by Susan Curran, Lasse Press 2013. so any knowledge I have so far is confined to the 15th C. I hope to tackle some of the references in the Bibliography of that book including one about the life of Richard Calle, as much as could be known! I found a reference recently in St, Lawrence, Little Waldingfield, Suffolk to a Wilmo Calle of the 14C. In a former History of the Church written by a retired Farmer some years ago. I hope to find out where the Calle farm land was before Richard’s Father left for Fram. Best wishes


      2. PS. I think the book could be “The Calls of Norfolk and Suffolk, Their Paston Connections and Descendants” by Charles Romanes, privately pub. 1920. I will be ordering a copy from Suffolk Lib. Service I may be unlucky as all has gone from the ‘County’. It could also be Ref. only!


      3. Dear Rob, awhile since the last contact, but my local library here in Long Melford was able to track down a copy of ‘The Calls of Norfolk and Suffolk’ at the Brit. Lib. store in Yorks. by Romanes. It is a fascinating read, although later chapters may not be relevant to Richard in the 15th Century, but all grist to the mill. The Calles seem to have prospered (mostly) in business down the ages. Going back they were of Anglo-Saxon origin. I recommend trying to get a copy -usual £5 fee, these days!
        Best wishes,
        Ps. Romanes came from a Russian arm of the family, originating in Scotland, andwhen engineers etc, went out to assist Peter the Great, etc.


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