1812 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir William Vaughan

Joseph Haslewood, in British Bibliographer 2 (1812) 265-66.



William Vaughan, Cambro-Briton, as he styles himself, was son of Walter Vaughan, of the Golden-Grove, in Carmarthenshire, Esq. In July, 1591, he was a scholar at Westminster, and, according to Wood, became a Commoner of Jesus College, in Michaelmas term of the same year, then aged fourteen. The fruits of his scholastic attainments began to appear uncommonly early. By the extract, from his Address to the Reader, presently given, dated in 1599, it will be found he prepared for printing an easy paraphrase of Persius, in English and Latin, above seven years before, and when he could only be in his fifteenth year. In 1597-98, the publications enumerated by his biographer, also bespeak a prematurity of genius not usually discovered in one scarcely escaped from the teens. However, the dates are partially confirmed, as in the Golden Grove, he relates "in the yeere of our Lord 1589, I being as then but a boy, do remember." — And that work, which first appeared as early as 1600, shews and extensive reading of both ancient and modern writers, and an acute observation of the passing world. He shortly after 1600 visited Vienna, and, his biographer says, after performing some exercise, "did proceed Doctor there, and, at his return, was incorporated at Oxon. in the same faculty, Anno 1605." Some of his works were dedicated to his royal master Charles the First, and he speaks of Sir William Alexander, William Burton, John Florio, and others, with the familiarity of close acquaintance. He is supposed to have been living at Cambriol, Newfoundland, 1628.