VAUGHAN, John I (1667-1721), of Trawscoed, Llanafan, Card.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



19 Dec. 1694 - 1698

Family and Education

b. 7 Dec. 1667, 1st s. of Edward Vaughan† of Trawscoed and Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury, Mdx. by Letitia, da. of Sir William Hooker, Grocer, of Crown Court, Gracechurch Street, London, sis. of William Hooker*.  m. 18 Aug. 1692, Lady Malet (d. 1709), da. of John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester, and coh. to her bro. Charles, 3rd Earl (d. 1681), 3s. 3da.  suc. fa. 1684; cr. Visct. Lisburne [I] 5 June 1695.1

Offices Held

Steward of the manors of Mefenydd, Croyddin, Heninnock, Caerwedros and Perfedd, Card. 1685–d.; custos rot. Card. 1714–d.2


In 1692 ‘little Mr Vaughan of Wales’ was considered ‘a very indifferent’ match for Lady Malet Wilmot, heiress to property in Somerset and a share in her brother’s fortune estimated at £22,000. He was, however, the leader of the Whig interest in Cardiganshire politics, and with the help of his kinsman Lord Carbery (Hon. John Vaughan†) as custos, was able to return himself as knight of the shire, at the third time of trying, at a by-election in 1694. The following year he was raised to an Irish peerage, perhaps for his wife’s sake and also to bolster his prestige in the county. A staunch Whig, he was forecast as likely to support the Court in the divisions of 31 Jan. 1696 on the proposed council of trade, signed the Association promptly and voted in favour of fixing the price of guineas at 22s. On 3 Apr. he was given leave of absence on account of his wife’s illness, and he did not appear at the beginning of the next session, being one of several defaulters when the House was called over on 2 Nov. 1696. A week later a motion that Vaughan be sent for in custody, because of his absence, was defeated. He had a specific reason to attend in March and April 1698 when Lord William Powlett piloted through a private bill to enable Vaughan to mortgage part of the Wilmot estate and thereby raise £3,000 for his own use and a further £2,000 for his children. But he would seem to have lost interest in a parliamentary career: he did not put up for re-election in 1698 and was listed in that year as a member of the Court party ‘left out’ of the new Parliament. Though reports circulated in April 1702 that Vaughan would contest Cardiganshire in opposition to the Tory Lewis Pryse*, he did not stand at this or any future election, preferring to sponsor protégés like Thomas Johnes*.3

Vaughan continued, however, to pursue the party struggle in Cardiganshire, presenting loyal addresses from county and boroughs in 1701, sumptuously entertaining poor and gentry on the occasion of the Vigo Bay celebrations in 1702, pressing for a purge of ‘non-jurors’ from the commission of the peace in 1705–6, and even testifying for Thomas Johnes’s unsuccessful election petition in January 1710. During the Fifteen, when he had succeeded as custos of Cardiganshire, he took vigorous measures against local Jacobites. At the same time he was a noted patron of charity schools, and his antiquarian and patriotic interests were manifested in his founder-membership of the Society of Ancient Britons. The fortune he had acquired through marriage was slowly being dissipated through the reckless extravagance of his eldest son, John†, whose debts necessitated the borrowing of nearly £6,000 by 1719, and the sale of the Somerset estate and other peripheral properties for £26,000 in the following year. Vaughan died not long after this latter transaction, on 20 Mar. 1721, and was buried at Greenwich. The spendthrift 2nd Viscount at least recovered a parliamentary seat, representing Cardiganshire between 1727 and 1734.4

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: D. W. Hayton


  • 1. Guildhall Lib. ms 4107; Meyrick, Card. 276.
  • 2. Cal. Treas. Bks. viii. 460; ix. 83; xvii. 343; xxix. 197; Cal. Treas. Pprs. 1702–7, p. 61.
  • 3. Rutland mss at Belvoir Castle, Duchess to Duke of Rutland, [1692]; Ceredigion, iii. 303; Add. 70283, Pryse to Mrs Wogan, 9 Apr. 1702 (copy).
  • 4. London Gazette, 5–8 Jan. 1702; Post Man, 7–9 Jan. 1703; HMC Portland, iv. 275, 283; L. K. J. Glassey, Appt. JPs, 176–7; CJ, xvi. 267–8; The Commons 1715–54, ii. 493; Corresp. and Mins. of SPCK Relating to Wales (Univ. of Wales Bd. of Celtic Studies, Hist. and Law ser. x), 67, 77; F. Green, Crosswood Deeds, 138.