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VAUGHAN , HERBERT MILLINGCHAMP ( 1870 - 1948 ), historian and author ;

b. 27 July 1870 at Penmorfa , Llangoedmor, Cards. , eldest son of John Vaughan and Julia Ann ( Morris ) . He was educated at Clifton College and at Keble College , Oxford , where he graduated. Having private means he was able from his early youth to pursue his interests in the study of history and literature , and in authorship . He produced and published over a dozen books , besides articles, studies and reviews; three novels and other works remain in MS. His first book was The Last of the Royal Stuarts ( 1906 ), a life of Henry Benedict Stuart , Jacobite Duke of York and later Cardinal of York . From 1899 to 1910 , when he was writing on Italian history and topography , he lived in Italy , mainly in Naples and Florence . A visit to Australia in 1912-13 led to the writing of An Australasian Wander Year . During World War I he lived at Plas Llangoedmor , engaged in various types of war service , mainly on committees in the county of Cardigan , and in writing works of fiction , particularly Meleager: A Fantasy ( 1916 ) and The Dial of Ahaz ( 1917 ). Two books by him were published privately, Sonnets from Italy ( 1919 ), and Nepheloccygia: or Letters from Paradise ( 1929 ).

In 1924 , Vaughan went to live at Tenby where he wrote his best known work of Welsh interest, viz. The South Wales Squires ( 1926 ); he had previously written a national eisteddfod essay on ‘ The Welsh Jacobites ’ (published in Cymm. Trans. ; 1920 ) and a study of Thomas Johnes of Hafod and his private press ( Cymm. Trans. , two articles, 1911-12 , 1919-20 ; DWB , 441-2); he was also a contributor to West Wales Historical Records , the Journal of the Welsh Bibliographical Society , Western Mail , Welsh Outlook , and some of the better known English Reviews.

Vaughan deserves to be commemorated also for his long years of devoted service ( 1916-48 ) to the National Library of Wales , both as member or chairman of some committees, and for his gifts to that institution. He gave to the Library the Oriental manuscripts collected in India by his great-grandfather, Benjamin Millingchamp ( DWB , 633) ; on Millingchamp and the MSS. see his ‘ Life and Letters of the Venerable Benjamin Millingchamp ’ (now N.L.W. MSS. 13915-6 ) and H. Ethé , N.L.W. Catalogue of Oriental Manuscripts ( 1916 ). He was an authority on bookplates , helping to catalogue the Sir Evan Davies Jones collection and cataloguing for the National Library ( 1938 ) the Aneurin Williams collection. During his sojourn in Italy he had collected a large number of Italian books , some of them rare works; this Italian collection is now in the National Library . Just before he d. he wrote (not for publication) ‘ Memoirs of a Literary Bloke ’ (now N.L.W. MS. 14341 ) and ‘ Notes on the Life of Dorothy, Viscountess Lisburne ’ ( N.L.W. MS. 14647 ), a member of a family with which he claimed kinship. He d. 31 July 1948 at Tenby .


  • The National Library of Wales Journal , 6, 166-9;
  • Who's who? , 1948 ;
  • personal knowledge.


Sir William Llewelyn Davies, M.A., LL.D., F.S.A. (1887-1952), Aberystwyth

Published date: 2001