Golden Grove, Wales
Submitted by Ron Vaughan
Prominent Members of the Vaughan Family of Golden Grove
In the year 1485, just after the Battle of Bosworth,
Richard III was beheaded and Henry VII crowned king, a
young gentleman by the name of Hugh Fychan came to live
in Carmarthenshire. He claimed descent from Bleddyn ap
Cynfyn, a prince of Powys, who was killed in a battle in
Ystrad Tywi in the kingdom of Deheubarth in 1075.
An ancient chronicle at Llanbadarn states: " His
were those of the ideal prince-clemency, kindness, affability,
liberality to the weak and defenceless, respect for the rights
of the Church."
Hugh Fychan had settled ,therefore, in an area that
proved fatal to his ancestor. He married Jane, the daughter
of Morris ab Owen from Cwrt Bryn y Beirdd, a very large
and ancient mansion near Carreg Cennen Castle.
Morris ab Owen was a staunch supporter of Henry
and was a wealthy, influential landowner, who was in an
excellent position to promote the career of his son-in-law.
In 1485, Morris ab Owen became Steward of the lordship
of Kidwelly and Receiver of the Is-Cennen and Carnwyllion
commotes, and at the same time, through the influence of
is father-in-law, Hugh Fychan was appointed Forester of
In 1532 more promotions were bestowed upon him for
was appointed Groom of the Chamber at Court and also
Keeper and Receiver of the lands in Kidwelly that had been
confiscated by the Crown from his relative Rhys ap Gruffyth
of Dinefwr as a penalty for acts of treason.
Thus, he gradually improved his status in society
becoming more and more prosperous, mainly through the
misfortunes of his kinsman Rhys ap Gruffyth. Hugh and
Jane Fychan were the original founders of the powerful
and influential Fychan or Vaughan family, who were later
to settle at Golden Grove. They had one son John Vaughan
and eight daughters. John Vaughan, the only son and heir
of Hugh Vaughan, followed in his father's footsteps. He
obtained the Ieases of more and more lands in Carmarthen-
shire, including many lost by the Dinefwr family. His wealth
multiplied owing to the increasing number of rents he received
from the tenants occupying his lands and properties.
John Vaughan made a positive contribution to public
Carmarthenshire and further afield.
During his lifetime he served as senior bailiff
(1553), mayor of Carmarthen(1554 and 1563), Member of
Parliament for Carmarthen Borough(1558/59), commissioner
for lay subsidy, which involved raising money for laymen
(1560/1), High Sheriff of Carmarthen (1563), one of the commissioners involved in taking action against troublesome
pirates (1565), Justice of the Peace (1565).
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