Vaughans of Glanllyn

The coat of arms of the Vaughan's of Glanllyn is descended from Rhirid Flaidd Lord of Penllyn, Eifionnydd and Pennant Melangell; he resided at Rhiwaedog, near Bala. Late medieval genealogists make Rhirid the son of Gwrengau, claiming pedigree going back to Cunedda Wledig. The appellation of blaidd (wolf) he inherited from his maternal grandmother, daughter and heiress of Blaidd Rhudd (Bloody Wolf) of Gest, a township in Eifionydd.

Cynddelw Brydydd Mawr the foremost bard in Powys, composed three poems to Rhirid, one returning thanks to his patron for a fine sword with which he had presented him, and the other two lamenting his hero's premature death. Cynddelw refers to Rhirid's intimate connection with Madog ap Maredudd (died 1160) the last prince of the entire Kindom of Powys. There is reference to Rhirid combating the English at the swamplands of Tern beyond Shrewsbury. The lordship of Oswestry was in Madog ap Maredudd possession for some years, and it is likely that Rhirid was the recipient of a gift of land from him. Rhirid was a leading nobleman of the time, a noted warrior greatly favoured in the courts of Powys and a proprietor of land throughout the breadth of two provinces. He may well have deserved the status attributed to him by Cynddelw, 'Priodawr Pennant pennaf, uchelwr uchelwyr vodrydaf' (The greatest of landowners, a magnate of magnates).

Rhirid Flaidd was succeded by his eldest son Madog ap RHIRID of Rhiwaedog. Another son Einion Greulon (Cruel Einion) was Lord of Grugaeth, in the lordship of Croes Oswald (Oswestry). Gwenllian ferch RHIRID married Gruffydd of Henglawdd, son of Ednyfed Fychan, Lord of Bryn Ffanigl, by whom she was the mother of Sir Howel Pedolau, who was knighted by Edward II and was noted for his great strength.

Einion ab ITHEL of Rhiwaedog great great grandson of Madog ap RHIRID was Esquire of the Body to John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster and was High Sheriff for the county of Meirioneth for life; he died in 1401 leaving issue a son and two daughters.

The Vaughans of Glanllyn branch were descended from Iorweth ap MADOG of Rhiwaedog. Ieuan ap GRUFFYDD of Llanuwchllyn and Cefn Treflaith, in the parish of Llanstundwy in Eifionydd died circa 1370; the below effigy at Llanuwchllyn Church shows him represented in armour with a shield charged with his coat of arms, with the following inscription:


Lloyd (1881) states that Ieuan ap GRUFFYDD "lived in great credit and esteem in the days of Edward III (1327-77)". Ieuan ap GRUFFYDD married Anne, second daughter of Sir Griffith VAUGHAN, knight bannert, by whom he had Dafydd ap IEUAN, the father of Dafydd Llwyd ap DAFYDD, who purchased the demesnes of Glanllyn in 1503-4. Dafydd ap IEUAN's other son, Rhys ap DAFYDD, was of Tre Prysg, Llanuwchllyn.

The Vaughans of Glanllyn had a close connnection with the Vaughans of Llwydiarth. Dafydd Llwyd ap DAFYDD of Glanllyn married Lowri ferch Howell VAUGHAN of Llwydiarth, their son being Howell VAUGHAN of Glanllyn, his son John VAUGHAN of Glanllyn was the Sheriff of Meirionethshire in 1595. Edward VAUGHAN (1600-1661) of Llwydiarth left the Llwydiarth estate in trust to his nephew Charles SALUSBURY and his sister Dorothy VAUGHAN for the benefit of any male heirs of his brother Rowland VAUGHAN, should he marry. If no such heirs were produced the estate was to go to the male heirs of Howell VAUGHAN of Glanllyn, 'succesively one after another as they shall happen to be in seniorite';  the Llwydiarth estate was eventually inherited by Howell Vaughan's son Edward VAUGHAN of Glanllyn. Edward VAUGHAN of Glanllyn the son of Howell VAUGHAN reunited the Vaughans of Glanllyn and Llwydiarth by marrying Mary PURCELL, daughter of John PURCELL of Nantcribba and Eleanor VAUGHAN daughter and heiress of Sir Robert VAUGHAN of Llwydiarth and Llangedwyn.

The estates of Llwydiarth, Llangedwyn and Glanllyn were inherited by Anne Josephine VAUGHAN daughter of Edward VAUGHAN, her husband being Sir Watkin WILLIAMS WYNN (1692-1749) 3rd bart of Wynnstay. Anne Josephine VAUGHAN died with no surviving issue.

Sir Watkin WILLIAMS WYNN (1749-1789) 4th bart was the first borne of the second marriage of Sir Watkin WILLIAMS WYNN 3rd bart with Francis SHACKERLEY; therefore, he wasn't a direct descendant of the Vaughans of Glanllyn. In 1944, Sir Watkin WILLIAMS WYNN (1891-1949) 8th bart succeeded to the title facing crushing death duties. The Llwydiarth estate was sold in 1947 whilst the Glanllyn estate was accepted by the HM Revenue and Customs in lieu of death duties due. In 1949, Urdd Gobaith Cymru (Welsh League of Youth) aquired Glan Llyn and it was turned into a residential adventure centre.

John JONES (b. 1632), Rhydyfen, Llanycil, Bala was the son of Dorothy VAUGHAN, Trawscoed, Llanuwchllyn and 4 x great grandson of Dafydd Llwyd ap DAFYDD, Glanllyn.

Robert VAUGHAN (d 1662) of Llwynhir, Llanfihangel yng Ngwynfa - who was married to Gwen Bynner - was a descendant of Dafydd Llwyd ap DAFYDD of Glanllyn and Lowri ferch HOWELL VAUGHAN of Llwydiarth. Robert VAUGHAN's great granddaughter Gwen JONES (b. 1711) married Oliver JONES (b. 1710) of Coedtalog, Llanerfyl.

Rev. W V Lloyd (1881), Description of the Armorial Insignia of the Vaughans of Llwydiarth, T. Richards, London.