VAUGHAN, John II (by 1525-74), of Kidwelly, Carmarthen and Golden Grove, Carm.
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Family and Education
b. by 1525, 1st s. of Hugh Vaughan of Kidwelly by 1st w. Jane, da. of Morris ab Owen of Bryn-y-Beirdd, Llandeilo, Carm. and Upton Castle, Pemb. m. Catherine, da. of Henry Morgan of Muddlescwm, Carm., 2s. Henry† and Walter†; at least 6s. 5da. illegit. suc. fa. 1532/40.2
Bailiff, Carmarthen in 1553, mayor 1554-3, 1563-4, alderman in 1555; receiver, duchy of Lancaster, Kidwelly 10 Mar. 1554-d.; j.p.q. Carm. 1558/59-d., commr. subsidy 1560, piracy 1565; customer, Milford Haven, Pemb. 1560-d.; steward, Cilgerran, Pemb. 26 Sept. 1560-d.; sheriff, Carm. 1562-3; bailiff, coroner, escheator and town clerk, Kidwelly by 1572.3
The family of Vaughan of Golden Grove was of illegitimate descent from the medieval princes of Powys. John Vaughan’s father was the first of the line to settle in Carmarthenshire, where he married the daughter of a Lancastrian supporter who was second cousin to Sir Rhys ap Thomas of Dynevor; on the execution in 1531 of Sir Rhys’s grandson and heir Rhys ap Gruffyd he was appointed bailiff and rent collector of the Dynevor lands in the lordship of Kidwelly.4
John Vaughan himself took advantage of the dispersal of the Dynevor estates: in 1546 he obtained a lease of the manor of Dryslwyn at a rent of £10 10s. and acquired tenements, mills and rents in the commote of Is-Cennen. Then living at Kidwelly, he was also a notable figure at Carmarthen, where in 1550 he was included in the commission issued to the mayor and leading townsmen to levy the borough’s fee-farm. To his leading place in the officialdom of both towns he was to add the customership of Milford Haven and a share in county administration. Pardoned on the accession of Mary as a resident of Carmarthen, he was one of those imprisoned in the Fleet in 1556 for having attacked the deputies of the crown searcher, Thomas Phaer, as they were confiscating an illegal cargo in Carmarthen harbour. Phaer was to be one of his fellow-Members in the Parliament of 1558.5
In his later years a notorious smuggler-in-chief, Vaughan died in 1574.6