Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Background Information

Number of voters:

748 in 1689


11 July 1660SIR RICHARD PRYSE, 2nd Bt. 
17 Apr. 1661JOHN VAUGHAN 
25 Aug. 1669EDWARD VAUGHAN II vice John Vaughan, appointed to office 
1 Apr. 1685JOHN LEWIS 
17 Jan. 168JOHN LEWIS385
 John Vaughan363

Main Article

The Vaughans of Trawscoed represented Cardiganshire for most of the period without opposition until 1689. On 16 May 1660 it was reported that the writs for both county and borough had miscarried. On the petition of the freeholders, new writs were issued, and the elections committee ordered to investigate the miscarriage; but no report was made. Sir Richard Pryse, a time-server, was elected, though only after another two months had elapsed. In 1661 John Vaughan, an inactive Royalist, was returned ‘unanimously, freely and indifferently’. He was a strong supporter of the country party, until elevated to the bench in 1668. His son, Edward Vaughan, who replaced him, retained the seat for the rest of his life. He held similar political views to his father and was a moderate member of the Opposition in the Exclusion Parliaments. In February 1679, he was returned ‘with the full and free assent and consent of the whole county’.1

In 1685, with Edward Vaughan dead and his heir under age, John Lewis, presumably a Tory at this time, was elected. None of the Cardiganshire gentry gave affirmative answers on the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws, and it seems that the Duke of Beaufort (Henry Somerset) was unable to recommend any replacements. In 1689 Lewis, with the support of the Pryse interest, was opposed by Vaughan’s son, John. The poll, which lasted three days, was conducted by one of the coroners only, and was so close that one of Lewis’s supporters told Vaughan: ‘We have lost it this time’. ‘No’, replied Vaughan, ‘you know very well to the contrary, for I have lost it.’ But on reconsideration he petitioned, claiming that the return should have been made by both coroners, and that Lewis’s non-resident voters had been accepted while his own had been denied. On 20 June the elections committee recommended that Lewis’s election should be confirmed, and Vaughan’s petition was rejected without a division.2

Authors: Leonard Naylor / Geoffrey Jaggar


  • 1. CJ, viii. 32.
  • 2. Ibid. x. 188-9.