This was the main branch of the Vaughans who traced their descent, through WALTER SEYS, to MOREIDDIG WARWYN (to whom the origin of the family's coat of arms, three boys’ heads with a snake entwined about their necks, was ascribed), and thence to DRYMBENOG AP MAENARCH, lord of Brycheiniog. The family had accumulated property at Llechryd in Elvael and Cwm Du before Walter Seys had won renown and wealth in the wars of Edward III. In the pedigree books, he is said to have married the heiress of Sir Walter Bredwardine, and to have taken up residence at Bredwardine, followed by his son, RHOSIER ‘HEN,’ who married a daughter of Sir Walter Devereux, and his grandson, ROGER VAUGHAN, who married Gwladys, daughter of Dafydd Gam, and fell with his father-in-law in the personal defence of Henry V on the field of Agincourt, 1415. According to a document given at Cwm Du, 26 November 1383, Walter Seys had a son called ROGER VYCHAN, whose mother was Matilda verch Ieuan ap Rees, then wife of Howel ap William ap Jankyn and holding land in the lordship of Talgarth (Cardiff Library, Brecknock Deeds, 3). It is certain that Roger Vaughan left three sons by Gwladys, daughter of Dafydd Gam — Watkin, heir of Bredwardine, Thomas ap Roger — see Vaughan family of Hergest, and (Sir) Roger Vaughan — see Vaughan family of Tretower — and that they were brought up with their uterine brothers, William Herbert, earl of Pembroke (died 1469), and Sir Richard Herbert (died 1469), sons of Sir William ap Thomas of Raglan (died 1446). Gwladys died in 1454. Hywel Swrdwal or Hywel Dafi composed an elegy on her death. WATKIN VAUGHAN was slain by an arrow at Hereford, according to his elegy by Hywel Swrdwal. This elegy does not support the suggestion made by Evans (Wales and the Wars of the Roses, 128-9) that this incident took place at the battle of Mortimer's Cross. Watkin's wife was Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Henry Wogan. He is described in the pedigree books as lord of Bredwardine, Cwm, Tir Ralph, Llechryd, and the Gorred. At least fifteen children are ascribed to him. Mention must be made of the second son, WILLIAM VAUGHAN of Rhydhelig, of whom Dr. John David Rhys reports that a family tradition maintained that it was he who slew the earl of Warwick when the kingmaker was stealthily escaping from Barnet field, 1471. He was regarded as a champion in the field of battle with no one to equal him, after the death of his uncle, Thomas ap Roger of Hergest. He was at one time constable of Aberystwyth castle and his praises were sung by Dafydd Nanmor and Lewis Glyn Cothi. Lewis Glyn Cothi also sang to Lewis ap Watkin, calling him the Roland of Llanbedr Painscastle and Rhulen. According to Lewis Dwnn, the Vaughans of Pont-faen, in Cemais, were descended from John Vaughan, another son. It is also said that John Vaughan, father of Sir Hugh Johneys, knight of the Sepulchre, 1441, was an illegitimate son of Walter Vaughan. Walter Vaughan's heir was Sir THOMAS VAUGHAN, who married Eleanor, daughter of Robert Whitney. Lewis Glyn Cothi wrote a eulogy of him before he was knighted. His heir was Sir RICHARD VAUGHAN, who was knighted at Tournai, 13 or 14 October 1513, and who was sheriff of Herefordshire, 1530-1, and 1541-2. His wife was Anne, daughter of John Butler, and heiress of Dunraven and Pen-bre. The main line now removed from Bredwardine, and we find WALTER VAUGHAN, Sir Richard's heir, sheriff of Carmarthenshire in 1557, and living at Dunraven in 1584. Walter's second son was CHARLES VAUGHAN, ancestor of the Vaughans of Cwmgwili and Pen-y-banc, and his heir was THOMAS VAUGHAN, sheriff of Carmarthenshire, 1566 and 1570. The latter married Catherine, daughter of Sir Thomas Johnes of Abermarlais, and bought the estate of Fallerstone, Wiltshire. His heir, Sir WALTER VAUGHAN (knighted 27 June 1603) died 4 June 1637, and was buried at Tenby. He was followed by his son, Sir CHARLES VAUGHAN, who married Frances, daughter and heiress of Sir Robert Knolles of Porthaml — see Vaughan family of Porthaml. Dunraven was sold by his son, THOMAS VAUGHAN, who, dying without a male heir, left the remainder of his estates to his sister, Bridget, who, in 1677, married John Ashburnham, who was created lord Ashburnham, 20 May 1698. The estates remained in this family for another two centuries. The main line gave way at Bredwardine to another branch of the family, the Vaughans of Moccas — see Vaughan of Porthaml family. The first of them recorded at Bredwardine is Watkin Vaughan, who wrote a letter to lord Burghley from there, 17 December 1584. His wife was Joan, daughter of Miles ap Harry of Newcourt, in the Golden Valley, and niece to Blanche Parry, queen Elizabeth's maid of honour. They had two sons, Harry, heir to Moccas and Bredwardine, and Rowland, heir of Newcourt. This Rowland was the author of the remarkable book entitled Most approved and long experienced waterworkes, 1610, which contains a long epistle to William Herbert, earl of Pembroke. His wife was Elizabeth, daughter of Rowland Vaughan of Porthaml. HARRY VAUGHAN ' s wife was a grand-daughter of Hugh Lewis of Harpton. Their heir was ROGER VAUGHAN (matriculated at Oxford, 11 May 1604, aged 15), who rebuilt Bredwardine castle, 1639-40. His son, HARRY VAUGHAN, married Frances, daughter of Walter Pye, in 1635. After his death, she married Edward Cornewall, of the Stapleton family, and it was his son who succeeded to Moccas, having purchased Bredwardine for himself.
Published date: 1959
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