VAUGHAN family, of Golden Grove, Carms.

The Vaughans of Golden Grove claimed descent from Bleddyn ap Cynfyn, prince of Powys. The first member of the family to settle at Golden Grove was JOHN VAUGHAN. His son, WALTER VAUGHAN m. (1) Katherine, second daughter of Gruffydd ap Rhys of Dinefwr (see Rice family), and (2) Letitia, daughter of Sir John Perrot. He was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN VAUGHAN (1572 - 1634),

who served under the earl of Essex in the Irish campaign of 1599. He was Member of Parliament for Carmarthen borough in 1601 and 1620-22. Appointed Comptroller of the Household to the prince of Wales (afterwards Charles I), he accompanied him to Spain in 1623. He was created baron Vaughan of Mullingar and earl of Carbery in the Irish peerage. He m. (1) Margaret, daughter of Sir Gelly Meyrick, and (2) Jane, daughter of Sir Thomas Palmer of Wingham, Kent. He died 6 May 1634, and was buried at Llandeilo-fawr.

John Vaughan was succeeded by his eldest and only surviving son,

RICHARD VAUGHAN (1600? - 1686),

who had been knighted on the occasion of the coronation of Charles I in February 1625/6. He was a Member of Parliament for Carmarthenshire, 1624-9, and admitted to Gray's Inn in February 1637/8. In March 1642 the House of Commons nominated him lord-lieutenant of the militia, to be raised in Carmarthenshire and Cardiganshire; but on the outbreak of the Civil War he was appointed by the king to the command of the Royalist Association of the three western counties. The House of Commons, therefore, resolved to impeach him in April 1643. Carbery does not appear to have taken any active steps until the summer of 1643 when he summoned representatives of Pembrokeshire to a conference at Carmarthen, with a view to suppressing those who had Parliamentary sympathy there, and to the security of Milford Haven, where troops, withdrawn from Ireland, might land. He entered the county in Aug. Tenby submitted on 30 Aug., and a garrison was placed in Haverfordwest. Pembroke, however, proved defiant under the leadership of the mayor, John Poyer, who was joined by Rowland Laugharne. Carbery appointed his uncle, Sir Henry Vaughan of Derwydd (below), commander of the Royalist forces in Pembrokeshire. With the assistance of ships of the Parliamentary fleet, Laugharne took the offensive, reduced the Royalist garrisons, and captured the fort which they were building at Pill on Milford Haven (23 February 1644). Sir Henry Vaughan withdrew from Haverfordwest and Carbery left the county, resigning his commission in April. He was ordered to pay an immediate fine of £160 for his delinquency to the Committee for Compounding, and on 17 November 1645 his full obligation was assessed at £4,500. But Rowland Laugharne personally intervened in his favour, and on 9 April 1647 the House of Commons remitted the fine. The fact that he escaped sequestration suggests that he took no definite part in the struggle after 1644. He tried to dissuade the Carmarthenshire gentry from lending any support to Poyer and Laugharne in the revolt against disbanding in 1648. During the Civil War disturbances Jeremy Taylor took refuge at Golden Grove and dedicated his Holy Living, 1650, and Holy Dying, 1650/1, to Carbery as his patron and protector. After the Restoration Carbery was appointed lord-president of the Marches of Wales at Ludlow, and there he had Samuel Butler as his secretary and steward of the castle; part of Hudibras is said to have been composed there. Carbery was removed from the presidency in 1672 owing to charges brought against him of ill-treatment of his servants and tenants at Dryslwyn. He died 3 December 1686. He married (1) Bridget, daughter of Thomas Lloyd, Llanllyr, Cards., (2) Frances, daughter of Sir John Altham, Oxhey, Herts., and (3) lady Alice Egerton, daughter of John, 1st earl of Bridgwater. His surviving children were by his second wife. FRANCIS VAUGHAN, the eldest son, was Member of Parliament for Carmarthen, 1661-7, and d. in 1667 without issue. He was, therefore, succeeded by John, who was the 3rd and last earl of Carbery.

JOHN VAUGHAN (1640 - 1713), 3rd earl of Carbery,

matriculated from Christ Church, Oxford, 23 July 1656, and was admitted to the Inner Temple in 1658. He was knighted in 1661 and represented the borough of Carmarthen in Parliament, 1661-79, and the county, 1679-81 and 1685-7. He was appointed governor of Jamaica in 1674. There he was in constant conflict with the deputy-governor, the notorious Sir Henry Morgan, who intrigued with buccaneers and endangered the peace with France and Spain, which the governor was instructed to preserve. He was superseded by the earl of Carlisle in 1678. After his succession to his father's estates he settled down in London, pursuing his scientific investigations. He was president of the Royal Society (1686-9). He was also a member of the Kit-Kat Club, and is described by Samuel Pepys as ‘one of the lewdest fellows of the age.’ As he d. in January 1712/13 without male issue, the earldom became extinct.

Sir HENRY VAUGHAN (1587? - 1659?),

Royalist, was the 6th son of Walter Vaughan of Golden Grove and a younger brother of John Vaughan, 1st earl of Carbery. He settled at Derwydd. He was sheriff of Carmarthenshire in 1620 and Member of Parliament for the county in 1621-9 and 1640. He was knighted at Oxford 1 January 1643, and disabled from sitting in the Commons 5 February 1644. Accompanying Carbery into Pembrokeshire in 1643 he was given command of the Royalist forces there. After the success of Rowland Laugharne at Pill (February 1644) he abandoned Haverfordwest and retired to Carmarthen. He was taken prisoner at the battle of Naseby (14 June 1645) and committed to the Tower.

WILLIAM VAUGHAN (1575 - 1641), author and colonial pioneer,

was the second son of Walter Vaughan of Golden Grove and brother of John Vaughan, 1st earl of Carbery. He matriculated from Jesus College, Oxford, 4 February 1592 (B.A. March 1594, M.A. November 1597). He travelled widely on the Continent. In 1616 he was sheriff of Carmarthenshire. He m. Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of David ap Robert of Llangyndeyrn (now called Torcoed). In 1617 he purchased land from the Company of Adventurers to Newfoundland, and sent out settlers from Wales at his own expense in that year and two years later. The settlement he called ‘Cambriol,’ and he gave it Welsh place-names; it was situated on the south coast at the head of Tripaney Bay. Vaughan was prevented by ill-health from going out himself in 1622, and he did not succeed in establishing the colony. Owing to severe weather conditions and other causes the scheme was abandoned. He was knighted in 1628. His writings include (a) a work entitled Golden Grove (1600), a commonplace-book which includes quotations from a great variety of authors, classical, mediaeval, and contemporary, arranged under three headings — moral, economic, and political. He also wrote (b) a Latin poem in celebration of the marriage of Charles I, and (c) the curious compilation which he entitled The Golden Fleece (1626). In both he employed the pseudonym ‘Orpheus Junior.’ The Golden Fleece contains verse, both in Latin and English, animadversions on religion of a distinctly anti-Romanist character, and observations on the commercial weaknesses of the kingdom, all leading to the advocacy of colonisation, particularly in Newfoundland. He also wrote other pamphlets dealing mainly with questions of religion and health. He died at Llangyndeyrn in Aug. 1641, and was buried in the churchyard there.

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Published date: 1959

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