VAUGHAN, John I (by 1512-77), of Sutton Place, Surr., Sutton-upon-Derwent, Yorks. and London.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Mar. 1553
Apr. 1554
Nov. 1554

Family and Education

b. by 1512, yr. s. of Thomas Vaughan of Porthaml, Brec. by Elizabeth, da. of Henry Miles alias Parry of Newcourt in Bacton, Herefs. m. 1548/49, Anne, da. and h. of Sir Christopher Pickering of Killington, Westmld. and Escrick, Yorks., wid. of Sir Francis Weston and of Sir Henry Knyvet of Charlton, Wilts., 2s. 2da.4

Offices Held

Page of the chamber by 1533, sewer by 1538; steward Pembridge, Herefs. 1533-d., Penrith, Cumb. 1559-d., Galtres forest, Yorks. 1564-d., keeper, Cawood Park, Yorks. 1568, chief steward, crown lands, Yorks. (E. Riding) 1572, Cumb. and Westmld. n.d.; j.p. Surr. by 1555, Yorks. (E., N and W. Ridings) 1558/59-d., Cumb. 1569-d., custos rot. Yorks. (E. Riding) by 1566; member, council in the north Dec. 1558-d.; sheriff, Yorks. 1559-60; commr. eccles. causes, province of York from 1561, musters, Surr. from c.1576.5


John Vaughan came of a junior branch of the Vaughan family of Porthaml and his relatives included Blanche Parry, Queen Elizabeth’s gentlewoman, Sir Roger Vaughan, (Sir) Thomas Parry and Sir William Cecil. The last named once corrected in his own hand a pedigree showing the degrees of their relationship.6

Vaughan’s entry into the royal household cannot be dated with certainty, but it is probable that the John Vaughan who served as a groom of the chamber for the first 25 years of Henry VIII’s reign was an older namesake (and perhaps kinsman), and that Vaughan himself began as a page of the chamber not long before the grant to him in that capacity in September 1533 of the stewardship of Pembridge and three other Herefordshire manors. This strengthening of his links with Herefordshire, to which his mother belonged and to which his home at Talgarth was adjacent, would help to identify him as the first knight for that shire in 1542 if, as the compilers of the Official Return accepted, the now illegible return bore his name and that of James Croft. To his local standing he could have added his position at court and his cousinship with the sheriff, Sir Richard Vaughan. Whether he was reelected for the shire to the succeeding Parliament is not known, the Herefordshire names being lost, but thereafter he was to achieve a life-long Membership by way of seats elsewhere. His return for Horsham to the Parliament of 1547 (when his name appears on the indenture over an erasure) he presumably owed to Admiral Seymour, who then held the barony of Bramber in which the borough lay. Vaughan may have attracted Seymour’s notice at court or have been recommended to him either by one of his kinsmen, Cecil or Thomas Parry, or by his fellow-Member Andrew Baynton. Some years earlier Baynton had accompanied Sir Henry Knyvet on an embassy to Ratisbon and within a further two years Vaughan was to marry Knyvet’s widow. She was the heir to great estates in Middlesex and the north, and during the minority of her eldest son Henry Weston, she and Vaughan lived at the Weston seat, Sutton Place in Surrey.7

Vaughan thus became one of the leading gentlemen in that county, and although in August 1549 Henry Polsted unsuccessfully recommended him to Cecil for appointment to the Surrey bench he was soon to gain a greater distinction. Both the knights of the shire for Surrey died during the Parliament of 1547, Sir Anthony Browne in April 1548 and Sir Christopher More in August 1549. Browne was evidently replaced by Sir Thomas Cawarden, whose name stands first for the shire on the list of Members as revised in 1551-2, but of a successor to More nothing is heard before 1 Feb. 1552, when the Council sent a writ for a by-election with an instruction to the sheriff, Robert Oxenbridge, to ‘prefer’ (Sir) Thomas Saunders. This recommendation notwithstanding it was presumably Vaughan who was returned and tools the vacant seat during the last session. It is, however, likely that he replaced not More, but More’s immediate successor (whose identity is unknown), for it would otherwise be hard to explain the holding of the by-election after the opening of the session and after a lapse of two-and-a-half years since More’s death. No by-election is known for Horsham.8

The Council seems not to have taken amiss this rejection of its recommendation, for at the election to the Parliament of March 1533 it was prepared to support—the letter concerned survives only in draft—both Vaughan and Cawarden. This time, however, Vaughan was passed over, although he managed to find a seat at his stepson’s newly enfranchised borough of Petersfield. Henry Weston was still under age and Vaughan probably needed backing, which was perhaps supplied by William Paulet, Marquess of Winchester, a local magnate who was also master of the wards: he may have already become a relation by marriage of his fellow-Member, Sir Anthony Browne, who was also a kinsman of the Duke of Northumberland. Vaughan himself could hardly have controlled the borough in his stepson’s name, for although they were to share its representation in the two Parliaments of 1554, with Vaughan taking the senior seat, he did not sit in the first Parliament of the reign. In 1555 he was returned for Bletchingley, a borough controlled by his former colleague Cawarden: his name may have been inserted in the indenture in a different hand from that of the document. He was not among the Members who ‘seceded’ from the Parliament of November 1554 but he opposed a government bill in that of 1555. A few months later Vaughan, whose Protestant sympathies were to be apparent in the succeeding reign, was questioned about his relations with Henry Dudley, Henry Peckham and others who had been proclaimed traitors: he denied having had any communication with them. This opposition to the Marian regime may have prevented Vaughan’s sitting in the last Parliament of the reign.9

On the accession of Elizabeth, Vaughan was appointed a member of the council in the north, and thereafter spent the greater part of his time in Yorkshire, living at Escrick, one of the estates of his wife’s inheritance, until he bought the manor of Sutton-upon-Derwent in 1563. He died on 25 June 1577.10

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Patricia Hyde


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.
  • 2. Ibid.; Hatfield 207.
  • 3. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.
  • 4. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Yorks. Peds. (Harl. Soc. xcvi), 405-6; Vis. Yorks. (Harl. Soc. xvi), 251; Glover’s Vis. Yorks. ed. Foster, 120-1; Vis. Herefs. ed. Weaver, 4; Jones, Brec. iv. 43, 271; Gen. Vaughan of Tretower ed. Vaughan; C. A. Bradford, Blanche Parry, 11; Harl. 2141, f. 200.
  • 5. LP Hen. VIII, vi, xiii, xiv, xvi, xvii, xx; CPR, 1558-60, p. 36; 1560-3, pp. 170-1; 1563-6, pp. 86, 256; 1566-9, pp. 172-3; 1569-72, pp. 223-4, 364; 1572-5, pp. 168-9, 468; Lansd. 10(17), f. 84; R. R. Reid, King’s Council in the North, 493; SP11/5, f. 45.
  • 6. SP13/Case H. no. 10.
  • 7. LP Hen. VIII, vi, viii; C219/18B/33, 19/108; CPR, 1553-4, p. 229.
  • 8. SP10/8/48; APC, iii. 470-1.
  • 9. Royal 18 C, xxiv, f. 290v; C219/24/153; Guildford mus. Loseley 1331/2; SP11/8/56.
  • 10. CPR, 1558-60, p. 207; 1560-3, p. 581; C142/177/58.