VAUGHAN, Rhys I (by 1523-80/82), of Cors-y-Gedol in Llanddwywe, Merion.

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



Family and Education

b. by 1523, 1st s. of William Vaughan of Cors-y-Gedol, Merion. and Cilgerran, Pemb. by Margaret, da. of Sir William Perrot of Haroldston, Pemb. m. Gwen, da. of Gruffydd ap William ap Madog Fychan, 3s. 4da. suc. fa. ?by 1544.1

Offices Held

Sheriff, Merion. 1547-8, Nov. 1555, 1556-7; commr. relief 1550, subsidy 1556; j.p. 1558/59-d.; escheator 1566-7.2


Rhys Vaughan’s pedigree can be traced back to Osbwrn Wyddel, an Irishman who settled in west Merioneth and married the heiress of Cors-y-Gedol, a ward of Prince Llewelyn the Great. More recently the family was notable for its support of the Lancastrian cause: Rhys Vaughan’s grandfather helped to defend Harlech castle against the Yorkists and is said to have built the Ty Gwyn at Barmouth to facilitate a Lancastrian invasion. Both Jasper and Henry Tudor are believed to have sought refuge at the Vaughan home at Cors-y-Gedol. No such dramatic interest attaches to the life of Rhys Vaughan, who seems to have been a quiet country squire, although his replacement of the murdered Lewis ab Owen as sheriff in 1555 could have stirred ancestral memories. His election to the Parliament of 1545, at the outset of his career in local administration, was perhaps the work of his neighbour Edward Stanley I as sheriff. Vaughan had presumably been a justice of the peace for some time before his appearance on the commission of 1558/59; in 1575 his area of jurisdiction was defined as the commote of Ardudwy, where he had been assessed for subsidy in Mary’s reign on lands worth £5 a year. In the muster of June 1571 he supplied one light horseman, so ranking equal with the other leading gentlemen of Merioneth. He was a sick man on 8 Aug. 1580 when he made his will. After asking to be buried in Llanddwywe church and leaving 3s.8d. to Bangor cathedral he provided for his wife, sons and kin. The will was proved by his executors, his sons Richard and Robert, on 6 Mar. 1582.3

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: P. S. Edwards


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from return to Parliament in December 1544. Dwnn. Vis. Wales, ii. 218-19.
  • 2. CPR, 1553, p. 363; 1560-3, p. 447; E179/222/323; R. Flenley, Cal. Reg. Council, Marches of Wales, 135, 212.
  • 3. DWB (Osbwrn Wyddel; Vaughan fam. of Cors-y-Gedol); W.W.E.W. ‘The Vaughans of Cors-y-Gedol’, Arch. Camb. (ser. 4), vi. 1-16; E. R. Jones, Barmouth, 184; Flenley, 74, 135; E179/222/323; PCC 14 Rowe.