Margaret Paston

An ordinary woman who led an extraordinary life

The Church of Ss. Peter and Paul, Mautby
The Church of Ss. Peter and Paul, Mautby, where Margaret Paston is buried. Photo by Evelyn Simak made available through the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license

This profile of Margaret Paston is part of
Who's Who in Medieval History

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 

Margaret Paston was also known as:

Margaret Mautby Paston

Margaret Paston is noted for:

Her strength and fortitude as an English wife, who took on her husband's duties while he was away and held her family together through disastrous events.

Occupation:

Woman of Note

Place of Residence and Influence:

England

Important Dates:

Born: 1423
Married: 1441
Died: Nov. 4, 1484

Quotation from Margaret Paston:

"I pray you that you will wear the ring with the image of St. Margaret that I sent you for a remembrance till you come home. You have left me such a remembrance that makes me to think upon you both day and night when I would sleep."

--Letter from Margaret to John, Dec. 14, 1441, in which she references her unborn child

About Margaret Paston:

Margaret was born to a prominent Norfolk family. Her marriage to John Paston, son of William and Agnes, was arranged but proved a happy one, and she clearly sympathized with her in-laws, who she called "Mother" and "Father." Margaret frequently managed her husband's properties when he was away and even faced armed forces who physically ejected her from the household. She had seven children who lived to adulthood, and she took a direct interest in their affairs. Margaret Paston died 18 years after her husband, at the age of 61.

For more about Margaret's life, visit the Concise Biography of Margaret Paston.

About the Paston Family Letters:

An extensive correspondence among Paston family members, written between the years 1422 and 1509, was preserved, acquired by antiquarians, and eventually published in the 18th century. These letters -- from husbands to wives, mothers to sons, brothers to brothers and so forth -- provide an excellent window into 15th-century life, later medieval family relationships, and the evolution of the English language.

Of the letters, 104 of them were written by Margaret, allowing her personality to come through most strongly.

For more about the letters, read this encyclopedia article.

More Margaret Paston Resources:

Biography of Margaret Paston
Encyclopedia Article about the Paston Letters

 

Margaret Paston in Print

The links below will take you to an online bookstore, where you can find more information about the book to help you get it from your local library. This is provided as a convenience to you; neither Melissa Snell nor About is responsible for any purchases you make through these links.

 

 

The Paston Letters: A Selection in Modern Spelling
(Oxford World's Classics)
edited by Norman Davis

The Pastons And Their England
by H. S. Bennett

Most Wise & Valiant Ladies
by Andrea Hopkins


Medieval Britain
Daily Life and Society
Women and Gender Issues


Who's Who Directories:

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Geographical Index

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