Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 58.djvu/189

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Vaughan
Vaughan
181

the extent of regarding that Sir Thomas as the chamberlain of Edward V.

Vaughan married Alianor or Eleanor, daughter and coheiress of Sir Thomas Arundel of Betchworth, Surrey, and widow of Sir Thomas Browne, under-treasurer of the household to Henry VI. By her he had a daughter Anne, married to Sir John Wogan, and a son Henry, whose son, Sir Thomas, taking the name of Parry [q. v.], is separately noticed.

[Authorities quoted; More's Life of Richard III, ed. Lumby, p. 18; Polydore Vergil's Hist. Engl. ed. 1557, p. 540; Acts of the Privy Council, vi. 94; Stanley's Memorials of Westminster Abbey, p. 180; Metcalfe's Knights, p. 5; Lodge's Illustrations of British Hist. i. 302, iii. 388; Cal. of Inquisitions post mortem, Hen. VII, p. 256; Gairdner's Richard III; Ramsay's Lancaster and York, vol. ii.; Markham in Engl. Hist. Rev. vi. 264; Rot. Parl. v. 316, 349, 350, 369, 534, 587, 590, 592, vi. 93, 221.]

W. A. J. A.

VAUGHAN, THOMAS (1622–1666), alchemist and poet, was son of Thomas Vaughan (d. 1658) of Llansaintffraed, Breconshire, and was born at Newton or Scethrog in that parish on 17 April 1622. Thomas, with his elder twin-brother, Henry Vaughan ‘Silurist’ [q. v.], was educated in the first instance under Matthew Herbert, rector of Llangattock (1632–8). On 14 Dec. 1638 Thomas matriculated from Jesus College, Oxford. He graduated B.A. on 18 Feb. 1642, and was made fellow of his college. In 1640 he seems to have been presented to the living of St. Bridget's, Breconshire, by a distant relative, Sir George Vaughan of Fullerstone in Wiltshire. He adhered to the royal cause during the civil wars, retired to Oxford, and bore arms for the king. Consequently about 1658 he was accused of ‘drunkenness, swearing, and incontinency, being no preacher,’ and was apparently deprived of St. Bridget's. He became a devoted student of chemistry, and pursued his researches both in Oxford and afterwards in London under the patronage of Sir Robert Murray (d. 1673) [q. v.] He died on 27 Feb. 1665–6 while staying at the rectory of Albury, Oxfordshire. The cause of his death is thought to have been the inhalation of the fumes of mercury upon which he was experimenting. He was buried at Albury on 1 March following. It is apparently his will in Somerset House (53 Mico) which was dated 17 Feb. 1662–3, and proved on 6 March 1665–6. He is there described as ‘of Cropredy in Oxfordshire;’ his son William was his sole executor. Vaughan married his wife, Rebecca, on 28 Sept. 1651. She died on 16 April 1658 at Mappershall in Bedfordshire, where she was buried on the 26th.

Vaughan was an attached disciple of Cornelius Agrippa, ‘to whom in matters of philosophy he acknowledged that, next to God, he owed all that he had’ (Wood). In his ‘Anthroposophia Theomagica’ he speaks of him as

    Nature's apostle and her choice high priest,
    Her mystical and bright evangelist.

With the philosophy of Aristotle he was entirely out of sympathy, and his attitude towards that of Descartes was hostile.

Having made some disparaging remarks in his ‘Anima Magica Abscondita’ on the ‘Psychodia Platonica’ of Henry More (1614–1687) [q. v.], a controversy between the two authors ensued. More (under the pseudonym of Alazonomastix Philalethes) published in 1650 his ‘Observations upon Anthroposophia Theomagica and Anima Magica Abscondita,’ in which he accused Vaughan of being a magician, cast a slur on his sense of morality, and resented his treatment of Aristotle and his followers. Vaughan vindicated himself in ‘The Man-Mouse taken in a Trap’ (1650), and was again answered by More in ‘The Second Lash of Alazonomastix’ (1651). Vaughan had the last word in ‘The Second Wash’ (1651). The controversy was characterised by much virulence and petty acridities which accord little with the tone of the rest of Vaughan's writings. Elsewhere in both his prose and verse there is to be discerned a passionate craving for a solution of the mysteries of nature. He himself claimed to be a philosopher of nature and no mere student of alchemy, which in the ‘common acceptation’ of the term meant no more than ‘a torture of metals.’ On such mistaken lines he confesses to have wandered in his early efforts. Vaughan's mysticism finds quaint expression in some diurnal jottings which he set down at the back of a manuscript of his in the British Museum, entitled ‘Aqua Vitæ; Non Vitis; or the Radical Humiditie of Nature mechanically and magically dissected’ (Addit MS. 1741). In these jottings he relates strange dreams and premonitions that had befallen him, and frequently prays for forgiveness for the errors of his past life, especially in connection with ‘a certain person with whom I had in former times revelled away many years in drinking.’ Vaughan is frequently said to have been a Rosicrucian, but the statement would appear to have been founded on the fact of his having published a translation (by an unknown hand) of the ‘Fama,’ with a preface of his own (London, 1652). In