VAUGHAN, Richard I (c.1600-1686), of Golden Grove, Llanfihangel Aberbythych, Carm. and ?Fleet Street, St. Dunstan-in-the-West, London.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press

Family and Education

b. c.1600, 1st s. of Sir John Vaughan* of Golden Grove, 1st earl of Carbery, and his 1st w. Margaret, da. of Sir Gelly Meyrick† of Gellyswick, Hascard, Pemb. and Gladestry, Rad. educ. G. Inn 1638.1 m. (1) by ?1626, Bridget (d.1636), da. and h. of Thomas Lloyd of Llanllyr, Card. 2s. d.v.p.;2 (2) 8 Aug. 1637, Frances (d. 9 Oct. 1650), da. and coh. of Sir James Altham of Oxhey, Herts., 3s. (2 d.v.p.) 6da. (4 d.v.p.);3 (3) settlement 6 July 1652 (with £6,000), Alice (bur. 19 July 1689), da. of John Egerton, 1st earl of Bridgewater, 1s. d.v.p.4 cr. K.B. 1 Feb. 1626;5 suc. fa. 1634; cr. Bar. Vaughan of Emlyn, Carm. 25 Oct. 1643.6 d. 3 June 1686.7 sig. Ri[chard] Vaughan.

Offices Held

J.p. Carm. 1626-49, 1660-d. (custos rot. 1644-9, 1660-d.), Card. 1626-49, 1660-d. (custos rot. 1630-49, 1669-d.), Pemb. 1643-6 (custos rot. 1643-6), Wales and the Marches 1660/1-72;8 commr. subsidy arrears, Carm. and Card. 1626,9 Forced Loan 1626-7,10 knighthood fines, Card. 1630-1;11 bailiff, Kidwelly and Carreg Cennen castles, Carm. 1630-4 (jt.) 1634-?d. (sole);12 commr. bk. of orders, Kidwelly, Carnwallon and Iscennen, Carm. 1631;13 dep. lt., Carm. and Card. by 1637-42; capt. militia horse, Carm. by 1637-42;14 trustee, charity of Bp. Anthony Rudd 1641;15 commr. subsidy, Carm. and Carmarthen 1641-2, Poll Tax 1641, Irish Aid 1642,16 sequestration of parliamentarian lands, Pemb., Carm. and Card. 1643, oyer and terminer, Carm. 1643, impressment (roy.), Brec., Card., Carm., Glam., Herefs., Mon. and Rad. 1644; 17 member, Council in the Marches 1645,18 ?v.-pres., 1645;19 common cllr. Carmarthen by 1658;20 ld. lt., Wales and the Marches 1660-72;21 constable, Radnor Castle, Rad. 1660-?d.; steward, manors of Radnor and Maelienydd, Rad. 1660-d; steward and chamberlain, Brecon, Brec. 1660-d.;22 ld. pres., Council in the Marches 1661-72;23 commr. oyer and terminer, Wales and the Marches 1661, Berks. and Oxon. 1665-72;24 kpr., king’s game, Wales and the Marches 1661;25 constable, Ludlow Castle, Salop 1665.26

Col. of ft. (roy.), ?Carm. 1642-3;27 capt. gen. (roy.), Wales, the Marches and Chester 1643;28 lt. gen. (roy.), Carm., Pemb. and Card. 1643-5;29 gov., Milford Haven, Pemb. 1643.30

PC 1661-79.31


Richard Vaughan represented another generation of the dynasty which assumed a controlling interest in the politics of Stuart Carmarthenshire. Although he succeeded his father in 1634, it was only after the outbreak of Civil War that he achieved real prominence, becoming leader of the royalist forces in south-west Wales during the early stages of the conflict. He was probably born shortly after his parents married in 1598.32 There is no record that he attended university, but he may have received a private education in the grammar school at Carmarthen. He travelled abroad in his early twenties, and anticipated his father’s trip to Spain, as in August 1623 James Howell* noted that he and Vaughan had been ‘comrades and bedfellows here [in Madrid] many months together.’33

Vaughan succeeded his father as Member for Carmarthenshire in 1624, following a controversy in the previous session about Sir John’s status as an Irish peer. The election writ recorded that his uncles, Henry* and Walter, along with Rowland Gwyn, stood as sureties for his attendance at Parliament.34 This practice, common in the Middle Ages, was rare in the Stuart era, and seems to have been a local quirk. In the Commons, it is impossible to distinguish Vaughan from his uncle Henry Vaughan, who sat for Carmarthen Boroughs. However, his father’s position as comptroller to Prince Charles makes it likely that he was the man nominated to the committee to confirm duchy of Cornwall leases (9 March).35 Either Vaughan or his uncle was also ordered to help draft a message to the Lords asking them to take action to prevent the export of money by Jesuits (12 March). If the Member concerned was Vaughan, he may have been hoping to establish his anti-Catholic credentials in a Parliament in which war with Spain was high on the agenda.36 The nomination to a committee to consider the drainage of marshes in eastern England (10 Apr.) defies easy association with either Vaughan or his uncle.37

Vaughan served as knight of the shire for the remainder of the decade. His indentures testify to the support he enjoyed from county figures such as his uncle Walter Vaughan of Llanelli, and Rice Rudd of Aberglasney.38 His recorded activity was insignificant. Apart from his nomination to the conference at which William Herbert, 3rd earl of Pembroke and Archbishop Abbot urged the Commons to support the war with Spain (7 Mar. 1626), his only other mentions were two requests to absent himself from the House (5 Apr. 1626; 27 May 1628); on the latter occasion the pretext was his father’s sickness. However, in 1626 he was also noted to have delivered Sir Walter Rice* ‘an exact and perfect relation of all the passages of the last Parliament’.39

Vaughan was created a knight of the Bath at Charles’s coronation, perhaps in compensation for his father’s failure to secure a position at the Caroline Court. Vaughan’s appointment to the Cardiganshire bench in 1626 suggests that it was around this time that he married Bridget, daughter of Thomas Lloyd, who brought him an estate of 2,300 acres in Cardiganshire; he later became custos rotulorum of the shire.40 Vaughan succeeded his father as earl of Carbery in 1634, but faced legal challenges to some of his Welsh estates.41 In 1637 he took as his second wife a 16-year old Hertfordshire heiress, whose estates must have helped raise his profile outside the Principality.42 This alliance also brought Vaughan into contact with Sir Francis Annesley*, whose son Arthur† married his sister-in-law shortly thereafter. The two families were subsequently involved in a dispute over jointure provisions.43

In February 1642 Parliament nominated Vaughan lord lieutenant of Carmarthenshire and Cardiganshire, but in January 1643 he arrived at Oxford as commander of a royalist regiment.44 Three months later he was appointed lieutenant general of south-west Wales, and in the autumn he acquired an English peerage as Baron Vaughan of Emlyn.45 Following initial success negotiating with the parliamentarian garrisons of Pembrokeshire, he suffered military reverses at the hands of Rowland Laugharne† in 1644. Accused of cowardice and misconduct, he relinquished his command shortly afterwards.46 Laugharne entreated Parliament to remit Vaughan’s delinquency in order to secure his support for Parliament’s authority there.47 In 1645 he was also discharged of punitive assessments for the fifth and twentieth part.48 Vaughan refused to involve himself in the 1648 risings on behalf of the king, and spent the Interregnum at Golden Grove, although there were later claims that he was on familiar terms with local parliamentarian leaders, and had received gifts from Oliver Cromwell*.49

At the Restoration Vaughan re-entered political life as president of the Council in the Marches, but was accused of corruption.50 The charge may have had some foundation, as Vaughan had pleaded poverty when faced with sequestration, and a mortgage of 1661 suggests that he was then in financial difficulty.51 He was exonerated by the Privy Council, but fresh claims of maltreatment of tenants in Carmarthenshire led to his removal in 1672.52 He unsuccessfully pleaded with Charles II for mercy, on the pretext of his ‘constant loyalty to, and many great sufferings for, the Crown’.53 He subsequently persuaded the king to establish a ‘printer of the British language’.54

Vaughan died on 3 June 1686, and was interred at Llanfihangel Aberbythych 12 days later.55 His will, composed 47 years before his death, named his eldest son Francis† as his executor, but the latter was already dead, and the eventual heir was a younger brother, John†; Vaughan’s sister-in-law Elizabeth Annesley secured partial administration on 12 Apr. 1687, in order to recoup the money he had won from the Annesley family for her jointure. The family continue to dominate the Carmarthenshire seat after the Restoration. Three portraits of Vaughan survive; one, depicting him as lord president, now hangs in the Carmarthen Museum.56

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Lloyd Bowen / Simon Healy


  • 1. GI Admiss.
  • 2. WARD 5/51; NLW, Derwydd 637.
  • 3. Mdx. Par. Regs. ed. W.P.W. Phillimore and T. Gurney, i. 7; F. Jones, ‘Vaughans of Golden Grove’, Trans. Hon. Soc. Cymmrodorion (1963), p. 128.
  • 4. HEHL, EL8192; HMC 5th Rep. 147; Reg. Westminster Abbey ed. J.L. Chester, 224; Soc. Gen., Llanfihangel Aberbythych reg.
  • 5. Shaw, Knights of Eng. i. 161.
  • 6. Bodl. Ashmole 832, ff. 194-5; Docquets of Letters Patent 1642-6 ed. W.H. Black, 92.
  • 7. Jones, 127.
  • 8. JPs in Wales and Monm. ed. Phillips, 166-80, 194-202, 218 and passim.
  • 9. E179/224/598, ff. 4-5.
  • 10. C193/12/2, ff. 66v-7; SP16/54/54; 16/54/74.
  • 11. E178/7154, f. 142v; 178/5938, f. 5.
  • 12. C54/2860/2; 54/2942/9.
  • 13. SP16/203/38.I.
  • 14. HEHL, EL7443.
  • 15. C54/3237/11; Carm. RO, Cawdor (Vaughan) 114/8443.
  • 16. SR, v. 67, 90, 107, 141.
  • 17. Docquets of Letters Patent, 58-9, 92, 196.
  • 18. Eg. 2882, f. 52.
  • 19. C108/189, pt. i. ‘misc.’
  • 20. Carm. RO, Mus. 155, f. 2.
  • 21. Herbert Corresp. ed. W.J. Smith (Univ. Wales, Bd. of Celtic Studs., Hist. and Law ser. xxi), 162, 359.
  • 22. CSP Dom. 1660-1, pp. 210, 367; 1686-7, p. 193.
  • 23. CSP Dom. 1660-1, p. 465.
  • 24. C181/7, ff. 119, 121, 331, 344, 365, 386, 428, 447, 482, 497, 572, 593, 613.
  • 25. CSP Dom. 1660-1, p. 182.
  • 26. Ibid. 1664-5, p. 363.
  • 27. Harl. 6851, f. 61; W. Dugdale, Life, Diary and Corresp. ed. W. Hamper, 46.
  • 28. Docquets of Letters Patent, 25.
  • 29. Ibid.; Harl. 6852, ff. 63-4.
  • 30. SP17/F/12; Carm. RO, Mus. 611.
  • 31. Cal. Wynn Pprs. ed. J. Ballinger, 367; HMC Var. ii. 394.
  • 32. Dwnn, Vis. Wales ed. S.R. Meyrick, i. 214.
  • 33. J. Howell, Epistolae Ho-Elianae, i. 171, 190.
  • 34. C219/38/314d.
  • 35. CJ, i. 680a.
  • 36. Ibid. 684a.
  • 37. Ibid. 762a.
  • 38. C219/39/269; 219/41B/12.
  • 39. Carm. RO, Dynevor 279/4.
  • 40. WARD 9/204, ff. 38v, 133; C142/329/19; JPs in Wales and Monm. 194.
  • 41. DL4/87/33; 4/88/2; E112/272/33; E134/6&7Chas.I/Hil.3.
  • 42. C142/466/51; 142/362/187; 142/402/134.
  • 43. C8/105/61; C5/28/25; C108/188, pt. 1, ‘corresp. ii’; PROB 6/63, ff. 30-1v.
  • 44. CJ, ii. 426b; Harl. 6851, ff. 61-3; Dugdale, Diary, 46.
  • 45. Docquets of Letters Patent, 25; CP.
  • 46. R. Hutton, Royalist War Effort, 68-74; Harl. 6802, ff. 129-32.
  • 47. HMC Portland, i. 312, 353; CJ, iv. 365b, 444b; C108/87, pt. 1; 108/189, pt. 1 ‘misc.’
  • 48. CCAM, 637; CJ, iv. 444b, v. 64b; LJ, viii. 707b; Earl of Carbery’s Ped. (1646), p. 1.
  • 49. C108/189, pt. i. ‘misc.’
  • 50. CSP Dom. 1668-9, p. 644; Addenda 1660-70, pp. 355-6; 1671, p. 63.
  • 51. H.F.J. Vaughan, ‘Pvte. Pprs. of Richard Vaughan’, Arch. Camb. (ser. 4. xii), 273-88.
  • 52. C.A.J. Skeel, Council in the Marches, 174-5.
  • 53. SP29/304/48.
  • 54. CSP Dom. 1675-6, pp. 575-6.
  • 55. PROB 11/391, ff. 93v-4v; Jones, 127; Cawdor (Vaughan) 22/657; N. Luttrell, Brief Relation, i. 379.
  • 56. R.A.G. Howard, Cat. Pictures at Golden Grove, 7; P. Gaunt, Nation Under Siege, 32.