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Of the very large number of owners of Welsh estates who have, either personally
or else indirectly through trustees or agents, transferred to the custody of the Library,
under the deposit' system, the older records relating to those estates, one of the first to
take this step was the Right Honourable Ernest Edmund Henry Malet Vaughan, 7th Earl
of Lisburne, of Crosswood, Cardiganshire. In 1923 Lord Lisburne (who, by virtue of hold-
ing the office of Lord Lieutenant of Cardiganshire, has been a member of the Court of
Governors of the Library since 1924, and has also held a seat on its Council since 1927)
transferred to the Library on permanent deposit the Crosswood Deeds and Documents,
a collection of approximately 3,000 documents relating mainly to his Welsh estates.
The Vaughan family of Crosswood (or Trawscoed) is one of the oldest established of
the county families of Wales, for its descent can be traced continuously from Collwyn ap
Tangno, founder of the fifth noble tribe of Gwynedd. In the words of Burke's Peerage,
This noble family stands in the first rank of ancient Cymric houses, and is almost without
a parallel for prolonged undisturbed possession of the original seat and estate.' It is hardly
surprising, therefore, that the original documents in this collection range in date from
1527 to 1857-there are copies of still earlier documents-and that students of Welsh
economic history are provided with a fairly complete picture of the fortunes and activities
of the Vaughans and their West Wales tenantry over a period of three hundred and thirty
The first member of the family who figures in the documents is Richard ap Moris
Vaughan, gentleman, who flourished in the middle of the sixteenth century, not very long
after the epithet Fychan' became standardised, in its Anglicised form, as the family
surname. His son, Moris ap Richard, gentleman, is mentioned in several deeds, while the
next who figures in the collection is Edward Vaughan, a generation or two later. From
the first reference to him, in a bond dated October 14, 1601, until 1605 he is described as
Edward Vaughan of Trawscoed, gentleman,' while henceforward until his death in 1635
he is Edward Vaughan, esquire.' Among the documents are his covenant (I, 147), dated
December 10, 1601, to marry Lettis Stedman, daughter of John Stedman of Strata Florida,
and a grant, dated October 28, 1624 (I, 226), in consideration of his intended marriage to
his second wife, Anne Stedman, the widow of John Stedman of Cilcennin, and that of his
son and heir, John Vaughan, to Jane, eldest daughter of the said John and Anne
Stedman. This John, who figures frequently in documents dated between this time and
1674, the year of his death, is better known as Sir John Vaughan, knight, Chief Justice
of the Common Pleas at Westminster. He was a friend of John Selden, the antiquary,
after whose death the Liber Landavensis came into Vaughan's possession and was lent
by him to Robert Vaughan of Hengwrt for transcribing.1 And so, as the years roll by,
there appear as parties in the documents of their respective periods the owners in succession
of the Crosswood estates-Edward (d. 1684), the son of the Chief Justice, member of
Parliament for Cardiganshire and for a short time one of the lords of the Admiralty; his
son John, who in 1695 was elevated to the Irish peerage as Lord Vaughan, Baron of Fethard,
and Viscount Lisburne, and who died in 1721 his son John Edward, the second Viscount,
1 See Handlist of Manuscripts in the National Library of Wales, Part I, p. iv. Cross-
wood Document I, 443, is a Memorandum of writings left in London,' 1677. Among
the documents mentioned is' a deed of gift of Mr. Selden's estate to Sir John Vaughan, knt.'
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