VAUGHAN, JOHN (1663-1722), social and religious reformer Derllys Court, Carmarthenshire

Name: John Vaughan

Date of birth: 1663

Date of death: 1722

Spouse: Elizabeth Vaughan (née Thomas)

Child: Bridget Bevan (née Vaughan)

Parent: Rachel Vaughan (née Vaughan)

Parent: John Vaughan

Gender: Male

Occupation: social and religious reformer

Home: Derllys Court

Area of activity: Education; Public and Social Service, Civil Administration; Religion

Author: Mary Clement

Born 1663, the son of John Vaughan of Derllys (1624 — 1684), barrister, and Rachel, daughter of Sir Henry Vaughan, Derwydd, Carmarthenshire. His paternal grandfather was a brother of John Vaughan, Golden Grove, the first earl of Carbery. He was (probably) educated at Carmarthen grammar school. On 6 October 1692 he married Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Thomas (née Protheroe), Meidrym, the latter being a first cousin to Lucy Walter, mother of the duke of Monmouth.

During the last twenty years of his life John Vaughan was the leader of religious and educational life in Carmarthenshire. He and his friend Sir John Philipps, of Picton castle, Pembrokeshire, succeeded with the aid of the S.P.C.K. in making their respective counties the most progressive in Wales. John Vaughan paid special attention to the founding of charity schools and libraries and to the distribution of Welsh religious literature. He was the pioneer of free libraries and children’s libraries, advocated county grants for the education of poor children, and took special interest in workhouse and prison reform. He emphasised, too, the importance of family devotion in every home. He was mayor of Carmarthen borough, 1710-11, and a member of the borough council, 1707-22. His daughter, Bridget Bevan, was the chief patron of the Welsh circulating schools. His wife died in 1721, and was buried in Merthyr church; he himself died on 16 November 1722, and was buried in Llan-llwch church, Carmarthenshire.

His elder brother, RICHARD VAUGHAN (1653 — 1724), followed his father at the Bar, became bencher and treasurer of Gray’s Inn, Member of Parliament for Carmarthen borough (1685-1724), recorder (1683-6, 1688-1722), and chief justice of Carmarthenshire, Cardiganshire, and Pembrokeshire. He married Arabella Philipps of Picton Castle, and was thus a brother-in-law to Griffith Jones, Llanddowror.