VAUGHAN family, of Tretower Court, parish of Llanfihangel Cwm-du, Brecknock.

Sir ROGER VAUGHAN, third son of ROGER VAUGHAN of Bredwardine - see Vaughan family of Bredwardine - by Gwladys, daughter of Dafydd Gam, was the first of the Vaughans to reside at Tretower. It is said that the residence was a gift to him from his half-brother William Herbert, earl of Pembroke, to whom the castle and manor of Tretower had descended by the marriage of his father, Sir William ap Thomas, to the widow of Sir James Berkeley, heiress of Tretower. Roger Vaughan enlarged and remodelled the house by the addition of a western range of buildings with a hall. Like all his kindred, Roger Vaughan is found on the Yorkist side in the divisions of his time, but he also was granted a pardon by the Coventry Parliament of 1457. The Privy Council ordered him, with Sir William Herbert and Walter Devereux, to prevent assemblies and the victualling of castles in Wales, 17 August 1460. He was with Edward's forces at Mortimer's Cross, 1461, and it is said that it was he who led Owain Tudor to his execution at Hereford after the battle. He was granted the offices of porter of the castle of Bronllys, forester of Cantrecelly, steward and receiver of the lordships of Cantrecelly, Penkelly, Alexanders-ton, and Llangoed, 15 November 1461, and lands in south-west England, 11 July 1462. He took a prominent part in quelling a rising in Carmarthenshire in 1465, and received grants of the insurgents' manors and estates in Gower and Kidwelly. By 23 March 1465 he was a knight, though the investiture is not recorded by Shaw. He was on commissions of 'oyer et terminer' in Wales and the Marches in 1467 and 1468. In the earl of Warwick's charter to Neath abbey, 24 June 1468, Vaughan as the earl's chancellor at Cardiff is the first witness, and Thomas ap Roger, possibly his son, is described as coroner of Cardiff. The common belief that he fell with his brothers at the battle of Banbury is incorrect. Lewis Glyn Cothi called upon him to avenge that battle, and on 16 February 1470 he was appointed constable of Cardigan castle. After the battle of Tewkesbury, 1471, it is said that Edward IV ordered him to pursue and capture Jasper Tudor, earl of Pembroke, but it was Vaughan himself who fell into the earl's hands, to be summarily beheaded at Chepstow. His elegies were sung by Ieuan ap Hywel Swrdwal or Huw Cae Llwyd, and Llywelyn Goch y Dant, who accused Jasper Tudor of treachery and guile. Guto'r Glyn also called on his family to avenge his death. He is described in the pedigree books as lord of Cantrecelly and Penkelly, owner of Merthyr Tydfil and Llandimore, and various lands in Glamorgan, and it is said that he built the 'royal palace' at Cardiff. He was twice married. The first wife was Denise, daughter of Thomas ap Philip Vaughan of Talgarth, and she was the mother of the heir (Sir) THOMAS VAUGHAN, Roger Vaughan - see Vaughan family of Porthaml - and four daughters who married into prominent families, the wives of Robert Raglan, Henry Donne, Morgan Gamage, and Morgan ap Thomas ap Gruffudd ap Nicolas. His second wife was Margaret, lady Powis, daughter of James, lord Audley, by his second wife, Eleanor, illegitimate daughter of Edmund, earl of Kent. (Her first husband, Sir Richard Grey, lord Powis, died 17 December 1466. The order of the marriages is incorrect in G. E. Cokayne under ' Grey of Powis.' She was lady Powis before her marriage to Sir Roger Vaughan. She was dead before 2 February 1480/1.) She had one daughter by Sir Roger, the wife of Humphrey Kynaston. A large number of illegitimate children are ascribed to Sir Roger Vaughan. Vaughan families are derived from some of the others: the Vaughans of Gelli-gaer from Lewis, the Vaughans of Cathedine from Roger, the Vaughans of Merthyr Tydfil from William, and the Vaughans of Coedkernew from John. One of the illegitimate children, Thomas, was long a prisoner in France; ' Sir ' Philip Emlyn wrote a cywydd on his imprisonment, and Edward IV granted £40 from the customs of the port of Bristol towards his ransom, 28 September 1477. One of the earliest records of the heir, (Sir) THOMAS VAUGHAN, is that he was a trustee for the king's debt to his uncle, William Herbert, earl of Pembroke, 6 December 1468. He was on commissions of 'oyer et terminer,' etc., in South Wales in 1471/2. He was granted appointments in the lordship of Gower during the minority of Anne, heiress of John, duke of Norfolk, 7 October 1480. He gave Richard III strong support against the rebellion of the duke of Buckingham in October 1483. Henceforward, he is styled knight in the records, and he was granted the stewardship of the lordship of Brecknock, 4 March 1484. He seems to have acted cautiously during the months preceding the battle of Bosworth, and he obtained a general pardon from Henry VII, 2 April 1486. He built the gateway in the eastern wall of Tretower Court, and he maintained his family's traditional patronage of Welsh bards. He was unstintingly eulogised by Lewis Glyn Cothi, Dafydd Epynt, Ieuan ap Huw Cae Llwyd, Huw Dafi, and others. His first wife was Cissil, daughter of Morgan ap Jenkin 'ap Philip' of Gwent; the second was Jane, lady Ferrers. Lewis Glyn Cothi addressed an awdl to his three sons, Roger, Watkin, and Henry, but the family soon ceased to play a prominent part in Welsh life. The inheritance passed to HENRY VAUGHAN, the third son. CHRISTOPHER VAUGHAN, son of Henry Vaughan, was sheriff of Brecknock in 1548-9, and his son, WILLIAM VAUGHAN, held the same office in 1591-2. He died 1613, leaving WILLIAM VAUGHAN, who died 1617. In addition to the heir, CHARLES VAUGHAN (died 1636) of Tretower, William Vaughan's children included THOMAS VAUGHAN (died 1658), who married the heiress of Newton in Llansantffraed; Henry Vaughan the Silurist and Thomas Vaughan were their sons. CHARLES VAUGHAN was sheriff of Brecknock in 1622-3 and 1636. He died 1654. His son, EDWARD VAUGHAN, dying without issue, the estate passed to the daughter, MARGARET, wife of Thomas Morgan, Maes-gwartha. Her heir, VAUGHAN MORGAN, died 1684, and his son, CHARLES, assumed the surname of VAUGHAN. He died 1704, and was succeeded at Tretower by his son CHARLES VAUGHAN. The latter married the heiress of Hugh Powell of Scethrog, and took up residence there, where he was followed by his son and grandson (both named CHARLES VAUGHAN).

Tretower Court was sold about 1783, and the long association of the Vaughan family with that place was broken.


Published date: 1959

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