The script dates back to 1477. The oldest known Valentine's Day message in the English language was uncovered by the British Library.
The message was written in Norfolk more than 500 years ago. It was originally bought by the library as part of a collection of papers from a family called Paston in the 1930s. But it was only rediscovered last year.
While the language used to word them may have changed, the sentiments expressed in the message would find sympathy with many people living today.
The Valentine message, which dates back to 1477, is from Margery Brews to her fiance, John Paston. In the message, Margery tells John she has asked her mother to put pressure on her father to increase her dowry, while at the same time saying that, if he loves her, he should
be prepared to marry her anyway.
The full text of the letter is below:
"Unto my right well-beloved Valentine John Paston, squire, be this bill delivered.
"Right reverent and worshipful and my right well-beloved valentine, I recommend me unto you full heartedly, desiring to hear of your welfare, which I beseech Almighty God long for to preserve unto his pleasure and your hearts desire.
"And if it pleases you
to hear of my welfare, I am not in good health of body nor of heart, nor shall I be till I hear from you.
"For there knows no creature what pain that I endure, And even on the pain of death I would reveal no more.
"And my lady my mother hath laboured the matter to my father full diligently, but she can no more get than you already know of, for which God knoweth I am full sorry.
"But if you love me, as I trust verily that you do, you will not leave me
therefore. "For even if you had not half the livelihood that you have, for to do the greatest labour that any woman alive might, I would not forsake you. Love you truly.
"And if you command me to keep me true wherever I go, indeed I will do all my might you to love and never anyone else. "And if my friends say that I do amiss, they shall not stop me from doing so.
heart me bids evermore to love you truly over all earthly things. "And if they be never so angry, I trust it shall be better in time coming. "No more to you at this time, but the Holy Trinity have you in keeping. "And I beseech you that this bill be not seen by any non earthly creature save only yourself. "And this letter was written at Topcroft with full heavy heart.
"Be your own Margery Brews."
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