Gruffudd VAUGHAN
Edward OWEN of Hengwrt
(Abt 1538-1604)
Hywel VAUGHAN of Gwengraig, Gent.
Margaret OWEN, Heiress of Hengwrt
Robert VAUGHAN of Hengwrt, Esq.
(Abt 1592-1667)


Family Links

Catherine NANNEY

Robert VAUGHAN of Hengwrt, Esq. 1

  • Born: Abt 1592, Gwengraig, Garthgynfor, Dolgelley, Merioneth, Wales
  • Married:
  • Died: 16 May 1667

  General Notes:

compiler's 10 x great grandfather

  Research Notes:

VAUGHAN, ROBERT (1592? - 1667), antiquary, collector of the famous Hengwrt library

only legitimate son of Howell Vaughan (d. 1639 ), of Gwengraig , in the township of Garthgynfor and parish of Dolgelley on the eastern slope of Cader Idris, who traced his ancestry from Cadwgan, lord of Nannau, son of Bleddyn ap Cynfyn, prince of Powys . His mother was Margaret, daughter of Edward Owen of Hengwrt, parish of Llanelltyd, and granddaughter of Lewis Owen, baron of the Exchequer of North Wales. Robert Powell Vaughan, or Robert Vaughan as he came to be known, was b. at Gwengraig, about 1592, judging by the record of his entry into Oriel College, Oxford, at the age of 20, in 1612 . He left college without taking his degree. The early period of his life is obscure, but it can be argued from his friendship with Rhys and Siôn Cain, whom he acknowledged to be his tutors in genealogy, that he spent some time at Oswestry. The date of his marriage to Catherine ( 1594 - 1663 ), daughter of Griffith Nanney (b. 1568 ) is not known, but he was living at Gwengraig in 1624 and it is likely that he settled at Hengwrt soon after his marriage. Between 1608 and 1612 Hengwrt had been mortgaged by Robert Owen to his brother-in-law, Howell Vaughan. Robert Vaughan was on the commission of the peace for Merioneth and took an active part in local affairs. He appears to have acted as receiver of bridge mises in the county during the Commonwealth. The controversies of that period do not seem to have greatly disturbed his life. His chief interests were genealogy, early Welsh history and antiquities, and the collection of books and manuscripts. In these pursuits he corresponded with Rhys and Siôn Cain, Dr. John Davies of Mallwyd, Evan Lloyd Jeffrey of Palé, John Jones of Gellilyfdy (whose manuscripts became his property in 1658 ), Meredith Lloyd of Welshpool, William Maurice of Cefn-y-braich, the Wynnes of Gwydir, Sir Simonds d'Ewes, John Selden, James Ussher, archbishop of Armagh, and others. The library of manuscripts which he collected at Hengwrt is the finest collection of Welsh manuscripts ever assembled by an individual. It remained at Hengwrt until 1859, when it passed by the will of Sir Robert Williames Vaughan to W. W. E. Wynne of Peniarth. The purchase of the reversion of the Hengwrt-Peniarth library to Aberystwyth by Sir John Williams in 1905 was one of the deciding factors for establishing the National Library of Wales there. Robert Vaughan also collected books, but they were dispersed by Thomas Kerslake, a bookseller of Bristol , early in the 19th cent. The catalogue which Robert Vaughan compiled of his library is extant ( N.L.W. MS. 9095 ). He transcribed a large number of literary and historical texts , compiled a concordance of scripture , genealogical books , notably the great collection of Peniarth MS. 287 , and tracts on early Welsh history and chronology , and translated ‘Brut y Tywysogion’ into English. He published at Oxford in 1662 a small book entitled British Antiquities Revived, containing a refutation of Sir Thomas Canon 's arguments that Cadell was the eldest son of Rhodri Mawr and that, consequently, the princes of Deheubarth had superiority over those of Gwynedd, a correction of the pedigree of the earl of Carbery as given in Percy Enderbie 's Cambria Triumphans, distinguishing between Gwaethfoed of Powys and Gwaethfoed of Ceredigion, and a short tract on the Five Royal Tribes of Wales .

Robert Vaughan d. on Ascension Day (16 May) 1667. Anthony Wood, on the authority of Thomas Ellis, rector of Dolgelley, states that he was buried in the church of that parish in 1666. The burial is not recorded in the parish register, but in a draft will, made 1 May 1665 , he left instructions for his burial there. He left four sons and four daughters.... 2


Appears in a marriage indenture for his son Griffith July 10, 1652.

  Marriage Information:

Robert married Catherine NANNEY, daughter of Griffith NANNEY of Nannau, Esq. and Ellen FERCH WYN. (Catherine NANNEY was born in 1594 and died in 1663.)


1 The History of The Princes, The Lords Marcher, and the Ancient Nobility of Powys Fadog and the ancient lords of Arwystli, Cedewen, and Meirionydd, by J. Y. W. Lloyd, of Clochfaen, Esq., M.A., K.S.G., London, 1885, Vol. IV., Owen of Hengwrt, p. 292.

2 Dictionary of Welsh Biography, Robert Vaughan.

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