Sir Robert Williames Vaughan, 3rd Bart. (1803-1859)

Sir Robert Williames Vaughan, 3rd Bart. (1803-1859)

Half-length portrait, oil on canvas, by Samuel Drummond ARA 1825.

Images WA* - Courtesy of

Sir Robert is holding a letter dated March 16th 1825 addressed to him at Balliol, Oxford. The college is shown to one side of the background with a classic column to the other. A companion painting in the National Library of Wales shows his father holding a letter bearing a Member of Parliament free stamp (see NMW03).

Such were the preparations for Robert Williames Vaughan’s ‘Coming of Age’ celebrations (his twenty-first birthday) on June 25th, 1824 a new kitchen wing had already been built. As well as that, an eighty-four feet by twenty-four feet straw-thatched ‘temporary room’ was built in the court. This contained four tables, each measuring thirty-two feet by three feet, plus two end-tables measuring fifteen-feet by three feet. One-hundred and ninety-three people sat down to dinner.

The meal included a Baron of Beef from the Great White Ox of Nannau (and the last of the herd), (weighing one-hundred and sixty-five pounds), four haunches of Venison, five Venison Pies, four Legs of Mutton and ten Hot Plum Puddings.

He married Francis Margaret in 1835, eldest daughter of Edward Lloyd, Esq. of Rhagatt,

Robert lived most of his life away from Nannau, due to a possible formidable mother (who only passed away they year before he died).

He lived mainly at Rûg and died in London aged 55 without an Heir.

Chester Courant and Anglo-Welsh Gazette, June 29th 1824.


On Thursday last the son and heir of Sir Robert Vaughan, M.P. for the county of Merioneth, attained his majority for the celebration of which joyful event, the most enlarged preparations have been for some time making at Nannau, the family mansion of Sir Robert, and by his numerous tenantry and friends in various parts of the country. At Dolgelle, Bala, and all the intermediate and neighbouring towns and villages, festivities in every form and variety commenced on the above day.

At day-break in the morning, 21 rounds of guns were fired off from Cader Idris, which were returned from guns placed on eminence, near Nannau. At the same early hour, the bells of Dolgelly steeple commenced ringing in harmonious peal, and continued during the whole of the day. The bugles and trumpets of the Merionethshire militia struck up the revalley, and continued playing martial and other airs; flags were displayed on the towers of the church, and in different parts of the town.

At one o’clock a grand procession was formed which proceeded from Dolgelle to Nannau, consisting of a great number of respectable gentleman on horseback, followed by an innumerable multitude on foot; next followed and elegant mail coach, drawn by four beautiful brown horses, richly decorated with laurel and ribbons, mounting a coachman and two guards, elegantly dressed in red and gold, and carrying fourteen banners and afterwards followed a great number of gentleman in carriages. On the arrival of the procession near Nannau it was met by Sir R.W. Vaughan, Esq., the young heir, and about 50 other gentleman of the first respectability in North Wales, when greetings and cheerings of the most lively, (description anerceeded?), in the air resounding with joyful (socianations?).

At Nannau a capacious tent was erected, capable of dining 200 individuals, and in which not less than 150 gentlemen partook of a dinner of the most excellent description, and of abundance of wines; – and also of cwrw da which had been brewed at the time of the young man’s birth – Sir R. Vaughan presided upon the occasion; Col. Vaughan acted as vice-president, and the young heir of Nannau was placed on his right.

Other accommodations was prepared for the rest of the company, about 300 of whom sat down to elegant dinners. A number of Welsh bards and harpers we in attendance, who at intervals delighted the company with song, recitation, and musical performances. The weather was delightfully beautiful, and the whole of the day was spent in such a manner as powerfully to awaken in the mind a recollection of the olden time, when British hospitality, and mutual regards between landlords and tenants, relgued supremely.

We had almost forgot to notice, than our high-spirited neighbour, Mrs. Tomlinson, had at her entire expense, sent her coach, coachman, and guards to give (ceint?) to the celebration, and the compliment was felt not only by the immediate connexions of the family, but by her numerous Cambrian friends, for whose comforts convenience, and pleasure, she is ever prompt to make the most willing sacrificed,

While the festivities were proceeding at Nannau, at several of the principle inns in Dolgelle, elegant dinners were provided and bullocks and sheep were roasted, which with plentiful libations of ale were distributed to the populace – In the course of the day a very handsome balloon was sent off from Dolgelle, which took a fine ascent, and gave to the wondering sons of Cambria an exhibition which is extremely rare in the part of the country. – A general illumination at Dolgelle closed the mirthful scenes of this joyous day, which will long be remembered by the inhabitants with pleasure and delight. – It was not however alone in the neighbourhood of the worthy baronet that these marks of homage were paid to him and his ancient house. At Bala, the scene was animating and respectful; at the head inn, about a hundred gentlemen sat down to a public dinner, and in the evening there was a general illumination. There was also an illumination at Corwen, where also was an ox roasted, and other scenes of merriment occurred. In our next, we shall give further particulars.

Chester Courant and Anglo-Welsh Gazette, July 6th 1824.


We last week noticed some few particulars of the celebration of this suspicious event at Nannau, the mansion of Sir R.W. Vaughan, and the neighbouring towns of Dolgelle, Bala, &c. – Among the gentlemen who sat down to dinner at Nannay, were the following individuals:–

(list to follow)

The public rejoicings at the coming of age of the heir of the house of Nannau, have not been confined within the immediate neighbourhood of the place of its residence, but have extended through various portions of the mother part of the Principality – a proof of the very high estimate in which the family is universally held. – To what we offered last week, we now add the following additional particulars:


On Friday the 25th ult, Robert Williames Vaughan, of Nannau, Esquire, completed his 21st year. – The morning was ushered in by the ringing of the bells at Myfod, Llansaintffraid, Llanfyllin and Llanfechau, and the firing of cannon upon different parts of the estate at Ystymeolwen; at twelve o’clock a remarkable fine ox, provided by the tenants, was distributed to the poor of the parishes of Myfod and Llansaintffraid, together with a plentiful supply of cwrw da and bread, as also a sheep given by Mr. Phillips, of Myford. John Jones, Esq. of Maesmawr, also gave fifty gallons of ale to the poor of Myfod and thus were upwards of 300 families retailed upon this joyful occasion.

The tenantry and well-wishers of Sir Robert Williames Vaughan, Bart, afterwards assembled at the mansion house of Ystymcolwen, where a most excellent dinner was provided at the expense of the worthy Baronet.; upwards of 100 gentlemen of the neighbourhood and tenants sat down at four o’clock, and the chair was taken by Sir Robert’s agent, Mr. Walter Jones. On the cloth being removed, the chairman, in a neat and concise speech, proposed the health of Mr. Vaughan, the heir of Ystymcolwen, which was drank in an elegant silver cup provided for the occasion. The health of the worthy baronet was next proposed, and drank with the most enthusiastic applause, and was followed by the healths of the rest of the worthy members of the houses of Nannau, Rug and Mostyn. The evening was spent in the greatest glee, and the party did not separate till an early hour in the morning, quitting the old Mansion highly delighted with the hospitable entertainment of the respected landlord.

– The cup is of an acorn shape: on one side is the following inscription – “Llwyddiant i Etifedd Ystymcolwen, R.W.V. 25th June, 1824;” on the opposite side is the figure of a Hand holding a Scales, with the words on each, “Landlord and Tenant;” at the top. “Do though likewise;” and below, “Walter Powell Jones;” around the rim of the cup, “Cyfiawndr rhwng Penneth a Thyddynwr a lawenha wldd.”

The Cheshire Observer and General Advertiser - May 14th 1859.

THE LATE SIR ROBERT VAUGHAN, BART.–It is our painful duty, says the North Wales Chronicle, to announce the death, on the 29th ult, at Storey’s Hotel, Dover-street, London of Sir Robert Williames Vaughan, Bart. of Rhug, Hengwrt and Nannau, in Merionethshire, the third baronet of his very ancient family which has held the domains of Nannau, in direct descent, from Cadwgan, Lord of Nannau, who was slain in 1107, one of the sons of Bleddyn ap Cynvyn, Prince of Powis.

Sir Robert was the only child of Sir Robert Williames Vaughan, the second baronet, who uninterruptedly represented in Parliament the county of Merionethshire for 44 years, by Anna Maria, one of the daughters of Sir Roger Mostyn, of Mostyn, Bart.

The deceased baronet was born June 25th, 1803. In 1835 he married Francis Margaret, eldest daughter of Edward Lloyd, Esq. of Rhagatt, late Chairman of the Quarter Sessions for Merionethshire. Dying without issue the baronetage becomes extinct. The remains were interred on Friday, the 6th inst. in the family vault in Llanfachreth.