Vaughan, Charles Richard (DNB00)
|←Vaughan, Charles John||Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 58
Vaughan, Charles Richard
VAUGHAN, Sir CHARLES RICHARD (1774–1849), diplomatist, son of James Vaughan, physician, of Leicester, and Hester, daughter of John Smalley, who had married a daughter of Sir Richard Halford, was born at Leicester on 20 Dec. 1774. His brothers were Sir Henry Halford [q. v.] (Vaughan), who dropped the latter name; Sir John Vaughan (1769–1839) [q. v.], baron of the exchequer; and Peter Vaughan, warden of Merton. He was educated at Rugby, where he entered on 22 Jan. 1788, and at Merton College, Oxford, whence he matriculated on 26 Oct. 1791. He graduated B.A. in 1796, and M.A. in 1798, in which year he was also elected a fellow of All Souls'. He intended to follow the medical profession, attending lectures both in Edinburgh and London, and took the degree of M.B. in 1800. He was, however, elected Radcliffe travelling fellow on 4 Dec. 1800, and spent the next three years in Germany, France, and Spain. In 1804 he visited Constantinople, Asia Minor, and Syria. In 1805 he made his way from Aleppo to Bagdad, travelling with a pundit; thence he went to Persia, fell ill near the Caspian, and was indebted perhaps for his life to the kindness of some Russian officers. With them he sailed for the Volga in November, was shut out by the ice, had to spend the winter on the desert island of Kulali, but eventually arrived at Astrakan in April 1806, reaching England by St. Petersburg on 11 Aug. 1806.
In 1808, in a private capacity, Vaughan accompanied Charles Stuart (afterwards Lord Stuart de Rothesay) [q. v.] to Spain, and was present at the assembly of the northern juntas at Lugo; thence he went to Madrid, and travelled to Saragossa with Colonel (Sir) Charles William Doyle [q. v.] On his return to Madrid he was sent with despatches relating to the battle of Tudela to Sir John Moore at Salamanca, and returned to England in December 1808. In 1809 he published his ‘Narrative of the Siege of Saragossa’ (London, 8vo), which reached a fifth edition within the year.
In 1809 Vaughan was appointed private secretary to Henry Bathurst, third earl Bathurst [q. v.], secretary for foreign affairs. On 5 Jan. 1810 he became secretary of legation (later of embassy) in Spain, whither he returned with the minister, Henry Wellesley. He was sent to England in 1811 to give information as to the state of politics in Spain. He acted as minister-plenipotentiary during the absence of his chief from August 1815 till December 1816. His correspondence during these years throws much light on Spanish politics. On 5 April 1820 he went to Paris as secretary of embassy under his old friend Sir Charles Stuart, and on 8 Feb. 1823 became minister-plenipotentiary to the confederated states of Switzerland. In 1825 he was appointed envoy-extraordinary and minister-plenipotentiary to the United States, and on 23 March 1825 he was made privy councillor. Between 11 July and 13 Aug. 1826 he travelled nearly eighteen hundred miles in the States; in 1829 he accomplished another long tour. From 1831 to 1833 he was on leave of absence in England, and during this time had a personal conference with the king on American affairs. In 1833 he was created knight grand cross of the Guelphs of Hanover. In October 1835 he finally left Washington. His service in the United States covered one of the most interesting periods in American history. He was intimate with such men as Story and Clay, and he had to watch such burning questions as that of the boundary with Canada, the position of the South American republics, the slave trade, and the tariff.
In 1835 Vaughan made a protracted tour on the continent. On 4 March 1837 he was sent on a special embassy to Constantinople, and proceeded by way of Malta, where he heard that the mission was no longer required; he therefore went to Venice, and thence travelled home through Italy and Switzerland. In such travel he spent most of the years that were left to him. He has left minute itineraries of his later journeys. He died unmarried in Hertford Street, Mayfair, on 15 June 1849.[Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1715–1886; Gent. Mag. 1849, ii. 204; minute details are contained in notes taken by Mr. J. A. Doyle from the papers of Sir Henry Halford, and particularly in a very careful summary of the events and dates of Vaughan's life found among those papers.]