TWO VAUGHAN BROTHERS OF TRAWSGOED THE FIRST EARL OF LISBURNE AND LIEUTENANT-GENERAL SIR JOHN VAUGHAN Two Welshmen who made something of an impact in eighteenth- century Britain, albeit in a small way, were a pair of brothers from Cardiganshire, sons of the third Viscount Lisburne of Trawsgoed, then known as Crosswood. A brief account of their careers will supplement exist- ing knowledge on the Vaughan family, their estate, and their electoral activ- ities in Cardiganshire.1 Few would have expected much of a future for the two boys from the family environment in which they grew up. For two decades their uncle, the second Viscount Lisburne, a spendthrift gambler, plunged the Trawsgoed estate into debt. After his death in 1741 the boys Wilmot and John then aged about thirteen and eleven respectively,2 saw their father pursue a policy of financial retrenchment. But it was less by frugal economy than by two provident marriages that the Vaughan family fortunes were restored. The third viscount himself had wed Elizabeth Watson, sister of bachelor Berwick-on-Tweed MP Thomas Watson, who in 1766 left his Northumberland estate, worth £ 2000 a year, to his nephew Wilmot, and bequests of £ 1000 each to his siblings John and Elizabeth.3 By then Wilmot had acquired by marriage in July 1754 the Mamhead estate in Devonshire, worth £ 106,000 when sold by his son in 1823. Even the death of his wife Elizabeth Nightingale within a year of their wedding did not invalidate this inheritance, and Wilmot Vaughan's personal correspondence shows him to have been in possession of the estate by 1760.4 He was to make Mamhead his chief residence, even after inheriting Trawsgoed, with Robert Adam improving the house and Capability Brown the garden.5 Wilmot Vaughan intended to pursue a political career, even though his father had eschewed any such ambitions, and a fortunate conjunction of events enabled him to enter Parliament as county MP for Cardiganshire at an unopposed by-election in 1755.6 The Vaughan family had long formed part of the ruling Whig oligarchy, headed in mid-century by the Duke of Newcastle: and although at the general election of 1761 Vaughan had to cede the shire seat to the superior interest of young John Pugh Pryse of Gogerddan, the Duke nevertheless appointed him secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer for the last year of his ministry, until his resignation in May 1762 led to a period of factional politics, with six ministries in the next eight years. Vaughan's path back to Westminster was Berwick, where his uncle Thomas Watson resigned his seat in Vaughan's favour in December 1765,