1812 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Thomas Vaughan

Alexander Chalmers, in General Biographical Dictionary (1812-17) 30:267-68.



Henry Vaughan had a twin-brother, THOMAS VAUGHAN, who styles himself in his strange writings, Eugenius Philalethes. He also came to Jesus college at the same time with his brother, but remained longer, and took one degree in arts, and was made fellow. He then entered into holy orders, and was made rector of St. Bridget, near Brecknock, a living conferred upon him by his kinsman, sir George Vaughan. But being interrupted in the quiet possession of this by the commotions of the times, he returned to Oxford, and distinguished himself for extravagant admiration of Cornelius Agrippa, and for many publications of the alchymical kind, replete with the grossest absurdities. Among these are his Anthroposophia Theomagica, dedicated to his brethren the Rosicrucians, Lond. 1650, 8vo, and his Anima magica abscondita. Dr. Henry More, on whom he had reflected, did him the honour to answer these publications in some Observations published the same year under the name of Alazonomastix Philalethes, and as he had made rather free with Vaughan, according to the controversial spirit of the times, and called him a Momus, a mimic, an ape, a fool in a play, a jack-pudding, &c. Vaughan answered him in a work with a suitable title, The Man-Mouse taken in a trap, and tortured to death for gnawing the margins of Eugenius Philalethes. More again replied, but was afterwards ashamed of the controversy, and suppressed it in the edition of his collected works. Wood mentions other works, on magic, by Vaughan, the titles of which we may be excused transcribing. He is said to have died in consequence of some experiment with mercury, Feb. 27, 1665-6, and was buried in Oldbury church, Oxfordshire, at the expence of his friend and fellow Rosicrucian, sir Robert Moray, or Murray, of whom we have given an account in vol. XXII.