VAUGHAN family of Corsygedol, in the parish of Llanddwywe, Meironnydd

The pedigree of this illustrious North Wales family as given by Lewis Dwnn, deputy-herald-at-arms, and by other genealogists, begins (normally) with the union of Osbwrn Wyddel and the daughter and heiress of the old Welsh family of Corsygedol, this daughter being a ward of Llywelyn the Great. Details of the pedigree were given to Dwnn, when he visited Corsygedol in 1588, by GRIFFITH VAUGHAN, head of the house, and (in that year) high sheriff of Merioneth. This Griffith Vaughan rebuilt Corsygedol in 1592/3, added the Corsygedol chapel to Llanddwywe church, and died 9 November 1616, being buried at Llanddwywe. An earlier GRIFFITH VAUGHAN was associated with Dafydd ap Ieuan ab Einion, his cousin, in the defence of Harlech castle against the Yorkists; it was this Griffith Vaughan who is said to have built ' Y Tŷ Gwyn in Bermo ' 'in order to enable him to communicate more safely, relative to the invasion of England, with Jasper Tudor, earl of Pembroke, uncle of Henry of Richmond, afterwards Henry VII ' (W. W. E. Wynne, quoted in E. Rosalie Jones, Hist. of Barmouth; see also ' Cywydd moliant Gruffydd Vychan ap Gruffydd ab Einion o Gorsygedol rhyfelwr gyda'r Brenin Henry VII,' written by the bard Tudur Penllyn. Robert Vaughan, the antiquary, of Hengwrt, says that Jasper Tudor 'lay in Corsygedol, when he fled to France in the time of Edward IV,' Vaughan adding that, 'as some say,' Henry, earl of Richmond, was with him. Griffith Vaughan's wife was Lowry, niece of Owain Glyn Dwr.

Dwnn gives the following pedigree for the Griffith Vaughan of 1588 : Griffith Vaughan, son of Richard, son of Rhys, son of William, son of Griffith Vaughan, esquire of the body to Henry VII, and third son of Griffith, son of Einion, son of Griffith, son of Llywelyn, son of Cynwrig, son of Osbwrn Wyddel. From the 16th century downwards to the end of the 18th century the pedigree can be seen in many printed and manuscript sources, e.g. quite conveniently in J. E. Griffith, Pedigrees (1914), 279. There is also a general account of Corsygedol and the Vaughans in Archæologia Cambrensis, vi (1875), 1-16; this account was edited and annotated by W. W. E. Wynne of Peniarth from a transcript by Angharad Llwyd from a Mostyn manuscript compiled in 1770 by William Vaughan (below). Various members of the family, as shown by Edward Breese in Kalendars of Gwynedd, served as high sheriffs of Merioneth (and some of Caernarvonshire), or as knights of the shire or Custodes Rotulorum. Richard Vaughan became constable of Harlech castle in July 1704, his nephew, Evan Lloyd Vaughan (died 1791) becoming constable fifty years later.

WILLIAM VAUGHAN (died 1633) was high sheriff of Caernarvonshire in 1613 and 1632; he rebuilt Plas Hen, Llanystumdwy, 1607, and the gate-house at Corsygedol, 1630. 'He was a great friend of Ben Jonson, the poet, who made him a present of his works.' (See also James Howell in Epistolae Ho-Elianae). His son RICHARD VAUGHAN (died 1636) became well known in London as the abnormally stout Member of Parliament for Merioneth. He married Anne, daughter of John Owen, Clenennau. WILLIAM VAUGHAN (died 1669) their son married Anne, daughter of the house of Nannau, and thus united two families which had already been on friendly terms. Their eldest son, GRIFFITH VAUGHAN, died without issue in 1697; the second son, RICHARD VAUGHAN (died 1734), maintained the line. By his wife Margaret, daughter of Sir Evan Lloyd of Bodidris, Denbighshire., he became the father of WILLIAM VAUGHAN (1707 - 1775) (below), whose wife, Catherine, daughter of Hugh Nanney, became eventual heiress of Nannau. Their only child was ANN VAUGHAN, who married David Jones Gwynne, of Taliaris, Carmarthenshire She, the last heir in the direct line, died 16 March 1758, leaving no issue. The last male representative was EVAN LLOYD VAUGHAN, Member of Parliament for Merioneth, brother to William Vaughan. Upon the death of Evan Lloyd Vaughan on 4 December 1791, Corsygedol and the associated estates passed to his niece, Margaret, wife of Sir Roger Mostyn, bart. (see the article Mostyn).

Throughout the centuries, members of the family were patrons of Welsh literature and welcomed itinerant bards (see NLW MS 3061D ). As one might expect, some members of the group of bards known as ' Phylipiaid Ardudwy ', whose homes were near Corsygedol, wrote poems to various Vaughans. Siôn Phylip (died 1620) wrote about sixteen, his son, Gruffydd Phylip (died 1666), who was bardd teulu at Corysgedol, wrote about nineteen, whilst another son, Phylip Siôn Phylip (died c. 1677), wrote one. William Phylip (died February 1670), who lived at Hendre-fechan, close to Corsygedol, helped Siôn Bryncir to write a cyngor to William Vaughan, nephew of Siôn Bryncir. One poem by Gruffydd Phylip has an interesting title - ' I Wmffre Davies o Landy-frydogy Mon dros Rich: Vnô Gorsygedol i ofyn 100 o gywydde D[afydd] ap G[wilym].' That some of the Vaughans collected manuscripts and books is an established fact. The following manuscripts, formerly at Mostyn Hall, Flintshire, but now in the National Library of Wales, were at Corsygedol - NLW MS 3034B , NLW MS 3038B , NLW MS 3039B , NLW MS 3047C ('Llyfr Coch Nannau'), NLW MS 3048D ('Llyfr Gwyn Corsygedol'), NLW MS 3050D , NLW MS 3056D , NLW MS 3058D , NLW MS 3059D ('Y Llyfr Gwyrdd'), NLW MS 3060D and NLW MS 3061D (this last an important volume from the family history standpoint). The literary tradition is continued in the 18th century in the person of William Vaughan (1707 - 1775), who was Member of Parliament for Merioneth from 1734 to 1768, lord-lieutenant and Custos Rotulorum of that county, and the first ' Chief President ' of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion. Born in 1707, he attended schools in Chester and London and went to S. John's College, Cambridge. Huw Jones of Llangwm's anthology called Diddanwch teuluaidd (London, 1763) is dedicated to William Vaughan, to whom there are numerous references in the correspondence of the Morris brothers of Anglesey. Diddanwch Teuluaidd includes 'Caniad y Gôg i Feirionydd,' the well-known poem by Lewis Morris, followed by an English version by William Vaughan. Vaughan's Welsh address in the Merioneth parliamentary election of 1747 is printed by E. Breese in Kalendars of Gwynedd.


Published date: 1959

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