Clement Paston

d. 1419

Whilst the Paston family can be reasonably described as a modern family in our understanding of them, they were also very much a product of their time – and nowhere is this more demonstrably true than with Clement Paston.

Born sometime soon after the Black Death of 1349, he was very much of humble origins in comparison to his descendants.

The labour shortage caused by the death toll from the outbreak meant that many workers were able to command higher rates than was previously the case and he took full advantage of this, his increased status leading to a rewarding marriage to Beatrice Somerton, who was well connected enough for the couple to have ambitions for their son William.