Vaughan, Sir Thomas

(d. 1483)
   Sir Thomas Vaughan was one of the chief Welsh adherents of the house of YORK. A supporter of Richard PLANTAGENET, duke of York, Vaughan was included among the acts of ATTAINDER passed against leading Yorkists in the COVENTRY PARLIAMENT of 1459. He probably fought for the Yorkists at the Battle of MORTIMER’S CROSS in February 1461 and at the Battle of TOWTON a month later. EDWARD IV rewarded him with numerous offices, including the treasurership of the royal chamber, which Vaughan acquired in 1465. In 1470, Vaughan was one of the commissioners sent to BURGUNDY to confer the Garter (symbol of a prestigious order of chivalry) on Duke CHARLES. A political ally of the WOODVILLE FAMILY, Vaughan was also a member of Edward IV’s inner circle of household servants. In 1473, while retaining his position in the royal chamber,Vaughan was also appointed treasurer of Prince Edward’s chamber, an office of great trust that made Vaughan an influential member of the prince’s COUNCIL in WALES. The king knighted Vaughan in 1475.
   On Edward IV’s death in April 1483, Vaughan was with the prince (now EDWARD V) at Ludlow on the Welsh marches (i.e., border). Along with Anthony WOODVILLE, Earl Rivers, the new king’s uncle and the governor of his household, Vaughan set out with the royal party for LONDON. On 29 April, Vaughan remained with Edward at Stony Stratford while Rivers returned to Northampton to meet the king’s paternal uncle, Richard, duke of Gloucester (see Richard III, King of England), who was riding south with Henry STAFFORD, duke of Buckingham. Next day, upon their arrival in Stony Stratford, Gloucester and Buckingham arrested Vaughan and the king’s half brother Richard Grey and sent them north to join Rivers in confinement in one of Gloucester’s Yorkshire strongholds. Told that Vaughan and the others had hastened Edward IV’s death by encouraging his involvement in their debaucheries and that they had plotted to deprive Gloucester of his rightful office as regent, Edward V vigorously if vainly protested their innocence. Because of Vaughan’s connections with the Woodvilles and his well-known loyalty to Edward IV, Gloucester probably considered him a likely opponent of any attempt to seize Edward V’s throne. Acting on Gloucester’s orders, and probably without granting any form of trial, Sir Richard RATCLIFFE oversaw the execution of Vaughan, Rivers, and Grey at Pontefract on 25 June 1483.
   See also Usurpation of 1483
   Further Reading: Evans, H.T.,Wales and the Wars of the Roses (Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK: Alan Sutton Publishing, 1995); Ross, Charles, Richard III (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981).

Encyclopedia of the Wars of the Roses. . 2001.

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