VAUGHAN, Walter (d.1598), of Golden Grove, Carm.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

1st s. of John Vaughan II of Carmarthen and bro. of Henry. educ. ?G. Inn 1561. m. (1) Mary, da. of Griffith Rice of Newton, Llandefaison, 10s. inc. Sir John 3da.; (2) Lettice, illegit. da. of Sir John Perrot, wid. of Rowland Laugharne of St. Brides, Pemb., 2da. suc. fa. 1574.2

Offices Held

Bailiff, Carmarthen 1572-3, mayor 1574, 1580, 1597; receiver, Kidwelly 1574; j.p. Carm. from c.1575, q. by 1579, Pemb. from c.1591; sheriff, Carm. 1584-5, Pemb. 1593-4; commr. Exchequer, Carm. 1581; ragler, Carm. by 1589.3


Within three years of his succession to his father’s estates Vaughan began to accumulate lands in the neighbourhood of Carmarthen and Llanstephan. In 1581. he leased the manor of Llandeilo from the bishop of St. David’s, and ten years later the addition to his holdings of a grist mill on the Llwchwr, near Llanelly, gave him a more southerly foothold. Here he worked ‘for the space of halfa year ... one vein of coal’. In 1593 he acquired from Lord Audley a life interest in the manors of Hirfryn, Perfedd and Llandovery.4

Both Vaughan’s offices and his lands brought their tale of litigation. In 1589 he charged before the court of Exchequer 26 tenants of four of the manors of Cantref Mawr (north of the Towy) with defrauding the Crown, and himself as ragler, by withholding customary dues. Two years later he defended before the same court his mill rights on the Llwchwr from tenants who were declining suit of mill. In 1591 he was accused of forging a bond, and the president of the council in the marches of Wales was directed by the Privy Council to look into the matter. In the last year of his life he was arraigned before both Exchequer and Star Chamber on charges of misusing his influence as magistrate to suborn, in the interests of a servant of his under sentence for murder, the jury in an Exchequer commission investigating the title to lands in Llangathen, near Llandeilo; his son John was further accused of assault and battery on the claimant to the lands.5

Vaughan was twice elected for his county, where his marriage into the house of Rice of Newton had enhanced his standing. He was elected to the 1576 session of the 1572 Parliament in place of his deceased father. At the beginning of the third session of of that Parliament his membership was challenged because he had been outlawed for debt, but a small and sympathetic committee consisting of the Speaker, Henry Knollys II and Henry Townshend excused him on the ground that the debt had been incurred as surety for a friend. Vaughan’s brother-in-law Walter Rice succeeded him in the county representation in 1584. In his second Parliament Vaughan could have attended the subsidy committee appointed 26 Feb. 1593 and a legal committee appointed 9 Mar. His second marriage brought him little advantage, for Sir John Perrot was attainted in 1592. However, Vaughan found a powerful protector in the Earl of Essex, whose livery he wore, and who came to the defence of ‘my servant’ when in 1585 this ‘affectionate follower’ was denounced by the judges of the Carmarthen circuit for reprieving, on his patron’s directions, a prisoner committed to his custody as sheriff. The Earl’s intervention, however, came too late to save him from a Star Chamber fine for interference with the course of justice. In 1592 he was one of those from Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire commissioned by the Privy Council to root out recusancy and ‘superstitious’ practices in West Wales; four months later it came to light that he and several of his colleagues had not yet taken the oath of supremacy.6

In 1576 Walter Vaughan joined with others in petitioning for a free school at Carmarthen to replace an earlier one which had decayed. In the instrument granting the petition the Queen named the petitioners among the foundation wardens and governors of what still goes by the name of Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School. Rent charges supporting the endowment were later challenged as an encroachment on common rights, which involved Vaughan’s son Sir John in litigation 30 years later. Vaughan died intestate in 1598 and was succeeded by his son and heir John, afterwards Earl of Carbery.7

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: A.H.D.


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.
  • 2. Trans. Cymmrod. Soc. 1963, pp. 103-4; PCC 26 Martyn.
  • 3. Williams, Parl. Hist. Wales, 43; Hist. Carm. ed. Lloyd, ii. 467; Somerville, Duchy, i. 643; Flenley, Cal. Reg. Council, Marches of Wales, 139, 184, 213; APC, xxii. 122; Augmentations , ed. Lewis and Davies (Univ. Wales Bd. of Celtic Studies, Hist. and Law ser. xiii), 258.
  • 4. Exchequer, ed. E. G. Jones (Univ. Wales Bd. of Celtic Studies, Hist. and Law ser. iv), 108, 120-1, 128-9; Augmentations (same ser. xiii), 248-9, 254-6; Duchy of Lancaster, ed. Rees (same ser. xii), 262.
  • 5. Exchequer, 108, 109, 119, 120-1; Star Chamber, ed. Edwards (Univ. Wales Bd. of Celtic Studies, Hist. and Law ser. i), 51; APC, xxii. 122.
  • 6. CJ, i. 124; D’Ewes, 292, 294, 474, 496; J. M. Lewis, Carreg Cennen Castle (Min. of Works 1960), p. 5; Star Chamber, 45; Lansd. 53, f. 182; Harl. 6994, ff. 3, 15, 48, 62; CSP Dom. 1581-90, p. 335; P. H. Williams, Council in the Marches of Wales, 282-3; APC, xxii. 544; xxiii. 260.
  • 7. Knight, Welsh Grammar Schools to 1600, pp. 16-17; Trans. Cymmrod. Soc. 1963, p. 109; C193/32/9; Exchequer, 128-9; HMC Hatfield, viii. 82, 104; PCC admon. act bk. 1598, f. 240.