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Meet the Paston women

The Paston letters reveal a fascinating family of bold, enterprising and intelligent people.  As part of our Rebel Women campaign our initial focus is on the gutsy Paston women and their mythical symbol the griffin.

You explore the whole family on our annotated family tree.


Agnes (de Berry) Paston
c.1398 - 1479

The first matriarch and family lynchpin

Margaret (Mautby) Paston
c.1422 - 1484

Woman of letters and fierce Captainess

Elizabeth Paston / Poynings / Browne 1429 - 1488

From forgotten daughter to wealthy widow

letter writer.JPG
Lady Katherine.jpg

Margery (Brewes) Paston
1446 - 1495

Author of the first Valentine letter and shrewd marriage negotiator

Margery Paston
1448 - 1480

Rebellious daughter who married for love

Lady Katherine (Knyvett) Paston
1578 - 1629

Managed the family affairs with her own letter collection

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Rebecca (Clayton) Paston
c.1635 - 1694

The hinge upon which family affairs hung

Margaret Paston


Defied her parents, chose her own husband and set up her own business in Venice

The griffin

Brave, bold and clever - the perfect symbol for the Pastons.

Experience the Paston story by adding your creative expression to the 21st century chapter. You can respond to one of our creative challenges 

We'd love to see, share and celebrate your imaginings of the Pastons. Please post your work on social media with the hashtag #Pastonfootprints and/or tag us. Links to our social media channels are in the footer.

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