PASTON, Clement (by 1523-98), of Oxnead, Norf.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. by 1523, 5th but 4th surv. s. of Sir William Paston of Caister and Oxnead, by Bridget, da. of Sir Henry Heydon of Baconsthorpe; bro. of Erasmus, John and Sir Thomas. m. aft. 1567, Alice, da. of Humphrey Pakington of London, wid. of Richard Lambert of London, s.p.

Offices Held

Gent. pens. by 1544-d.; j.p. Norf. from c.1577, commr. musters by 1579.2


Mentioned in 1544 as ‘one of the pensioners’ and as a fitting person to command one of the King’s ships, Clement Paston was given a command in 1545 and, with the accession of Elizabeth, he was active both in the navy and the army. Though still described as the ‘Queen’s servant’ in 1559, he then retired to his Norfolk estates and lived as a country gentleman. At the by-election of 1566 the 4th Duke of Norfolk told the sheriff to nominate ‘those I talked with you of’, i.e. Roger Townshend and Clement Paston, with the proviso that should Sir Richard Fulmerston—then a burgess for Thetford—ask for the second county seat, his request should be granted, and Paston would then be accommodated at Thetford. Fulmerston, however, retained the seat at Thetford.3

Though Paston’s name was on a list drawn up in the interests of Mary Stuart in 1574, and though his attitude to the Elizabethan settlement was reported lukewarm as late as 1587, he kept clear of a plot discovered in July 1570 to free the Duke of Norfolk from the Tower and commit other ‘horrible treason’, and was appointed a commissioner to deal with those involved. He also avoided the disputes which occupied the Norfolk justices after the fall of the Duke in 1572.4

Paston was bequeathed by his father the family property at Oxnead, and having married a rich widow, he built a new house there. There ‘he spent his old age honourably, quietly and in good-housekeeping’, and there he died on 18 Feb. 1598. His will, made on 5 Sept. 1594, was proved on 14 Mar. 1598. He asked to be buried at Oxnead church, bequeathed the household goods and £1,000 to his wife, and remembered relatives and friends. The prisoners of Norwich were left £28.5

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: A. M. Mimardière


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament. Folger, V. b. 298.
  • 2. Vis. Norf. (Harl. Soc. xxxii), 216-17; PCC 26 Stonard; Mill Stephenson, Mon. Brasses, 359; A. H. Smith thesis, App. I.; LP Hen. VIII, xix; LC2/4/2.
  • 3. DNB; CPR, 1558-60, p. 66; A. H. Smith thesis, 113, 226, 235; SP12/133/14.
  • 4. Trans. Norf. Arch. Soc. v. 75-6; CSP Dom. 1547-80, p. 390; APC, ix. 344; xiii. 310; xxii. 87-8, 93; Cath. Rec. Soc. Misc. viii. 95; Strype, Annals, iii(2), 460.
  • 5. Mason, Hist. Norf. 153; Fuller, Worthies, ii. 456; The Pastons: the Story of a Norf. Fam. (Norwich Castle Mus. 1953), 17; PCC 27, 28 Lewyn.