William I

1378-1444

The subject of what is considered to be the first ‘Paston Letter’, William benefited from his parents newfound wealth and status by receiving a formal education, paid for by his uncle, Geoffrey Somerton.

This allowed him to become a lawyer, amassing both further wealth and a successful reputation in law, as a steward, as a Justice for the Peace and the epithet ‘the Good Judge’.

Perceived as capable, fair and effective, he represented many prosperous clients, including the Crown itself, which brought numerous rewards. Cementing his position further, William added significantly to the Paston properties, both from his own money and through his marriage to Agnes Berry in 1420.