PASTON, Erasmus (by 1508-40).

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer




Family and Education

b. by 1508, 1st s. of Sir William Paston of Caister and Oxnead, Norf. by Bridget, da. of Sir Henry Heydon of Baconsthorpe, Norf.; bro. of Clement, John and Sir Thomas. m. Mary, da. of Sir Thomas Wyndham of Felbrigg, Norf., 3s. 3da.1

Offices Held

Commr. sewers, Norf. 1538.2


A member of the prominent Norfolk family, Erasmus was the only Paston known to have sat for a Suffolk borough. His fellow-Member, Richard Hunt, was a municipal official of Orford and doubtless the town’s nominee. The other seat, which in 1523 had been claimed by the 11th Lord Willoughby, may by 1529 have come under the sway of the Duke of Suffolk, who held the wardship of Willoughby’s heir; however, Willoughby’s brother Christopher was challenging his niece’s claim to succeed to the family estates which included the castle and manor of Orford, and he may have tried to wield the patronage. What is likely to have been the decisive factor is that Paston’s father Sir William was sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk at the time of the election. Little more is known of Paston save that he was in the retinue of the 3rd Duke of Norfolk appointed to receive Anne of Cleves. He died in 1540 and was buried on 6 Nov. of that year in Paston church, where a monument was erected in his memory. If he made a will it has not been found. His title to the family estates passed to his son William, who succeeded his grandfather 15 years later, and founded in North Walsham the branch of the family from which the 1st Earl of Yarmouth was descended.3

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: M. K. Dale


  • 1. Presumed to be of age at election. Vis. Norf. (Norf. Arch.), 47-48; Vis. Norf. (Harl. Soc. xxxii), 216-17.
  • 2. LP Hen. VIII, xiii.
  • 3. CPR, 1554-5, p. 10; W. A. Copinger, Suff. Manors, i. 208; Pevsner, N.E. Norf. and Norwich, 298.