Sir Clement PASTON
Born: ABT 1508
Died: 18 Feb 1597, Oxnead Hall, Norfolk, England
Father: William PASTON (Sir)
Mother: Bridget HEYDON
Married: Alice PACKINGTON (d. 1608) (w. of Edward Lambert)
Naval commander under Henry VIII, Protector Somerset, Mary I and Elizabeth I. Second son of Sir William Paston and Bridget Heydon. His sister Eleanor was married to Thomas Manners, Earl of Rutland. He is first mentioned in 1544 as 'one of the pensioners' and a fitting man to command a king's ship. In 1545 he commanded the Pelican of Danzig, of three hundred tons, in the fleet under Lord Lisle. In 1546, still, presumably, in the Pelican, he captured a French galley having on board the Baron St. Blanchard, who appears to have been coming to England on some informal embassy from the King of France. The galley was probably the Mermaid, which was added to the English navy ; but of the circumstances of the capture no record can be found. It was afterwards debated whether the galley was 'good prize', and whether St. Blanchard ought to pay ransom, for which Paston demanded five thousand crowns, with two thousand more for maintenance of the baron, held in Caister Castle. At the request of Henri II, on giving his bond for the money, St. Blanchard was released, and he returned to France with his servants, two horses, and twelve mastiff dogs. Afterwards he pleaded that he was under compulsion at the time, and that the bond was worthless, nor does it appear that the money was paid. Paston, however, kept the plunder of the galley, of which a gold cup, with two snakes forming the handles, was in 1829 still in the possession of the family.
At the battle of Pinkie in 1547, Paston was wounded and left for dead. It is said that he was the captor of Sir Thomas Wyatt in 1554, which is contrary to evidence, and that he commanded the fleet at Havre in 1562, which is fiction. In 1570 he was a magistrate of Norfolk, and a commissioner for the trial and execution of traitors (State Papers, Dom. Elizabeth, Ixxiii. 28), and in 1587, though a deputy-lieutenant of the county, he was suspected of being lukewarm in the interests of religion (STRYPE, Annals, in. ii. 460). In 1588 he was sheriff of Norfolk. He died on 18 Feb 1597, and was buried in the church of Oxnead, where a stately marble tomb testifies that '... princes he served four, In peace and war, as fortune did command, Sometimes by sea and sometimes on the shore...'.
He married Alice Packington, widow of Edward Lambert. He appears to have had no children, and left the bulk of his property to his wife, with remainder to his nephew, Sir William Paston.
Blomefield and Parkins's Hist, of Norfolk, vi. 487
Chambers's Hist, of Norfolk, p. 211, 959
State Papers of Henry VIII (1830, &c.), i. 811, 866, 891, xi. 329
Acts of the Privy Council (Dasent), 1542-7 pp. 514, 566, 1547-50 p. 447
State Papers of Henry VIII (in the Public Record Office), vols. xvi-xix.
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