Vaughan, Henry and Thomas

(1622-1695)
   Twin brothers, Henry and Thomas were born at Newton-by-Usk in the parish of Llansaintffraed, Brecknockshire, a part of southeast Wales once inhabited by a tribe called the Silures (hence the geological "Silurian Age"). Henry styled himself a "Silurist." It is known that Thomas entered Jesus College, Oxford in 1638 (probably in company with his brother). Thomas graduated in 1642, but there is no mention of Henry having graduated.
   • Henry, 1622-1695
   Henry started practicing law in London but turned to medicine, and on the outbreak of the Civil War in 1642 he returned to Breconshirel, began practicing as a doctor, and was surgeon in the Royalist army in 1645. Before 1650, his poetry was mostly secular-he translated Ovid and other ancient writers and wrote fashionable love poetry. After 1650 his poetry turned toward the spiritual. He was buried in Llansaintffraed churchyard, Breconshire. Some of his publications: Poems, with the Tenth Satyre of Juvenal, 1646 and 1647. Silex Scintillans, 1650 and 1655. Olor Iscanus, 1651 (The Swan of Usk: A Collection of Some Select Poems and Translations). The Mount of Olives, 1652. Thalia Rediviva. 1678 (Thalia Revived). Some of his poems: "Ascension Hymn," "Cheerfulness," "The Ass," "The Brecon Beacons and the Black Mountains," "The Charnel-house," "The Daughter of Herodias," "The Hidden Treasure," "The Passion."
   • Thomas, 1622-1666
   He was rector of Llansantfraed, from which he was evicted by the Puritan administration in 1650, charged with being a drunkard and having taken up arms against Parliament. He then resided in London, where he devoted himself to alchemical experiments and theory. Between 1650 and 1655 he published various treatises (also translated on the Continent) under the name "Eugenius Philalethes." He was an active poet, as well as an author of prose; 24 of his Latin poems were included in Thalia Rediviva. In 1665, when the Royal Court fled London for fear of the plague, Vaughan accompanied it to Oxford. He died (so it is reported as a result of mercury poisoning, a consequence of his scientific experiments) at Albury, near Oxford. Some of his poems: "So Have I Spent on the Banks of Ysca Many a Serious Hour," "On the Death of an Oxford Proctor," "The Stone," "The Usk."
   Sources: Anglo-Welsh Poetry, 1480-1980. Raymond Garlick and Roland Mathias, eds. Poetry Wales Press, 1984. Anglo-Welsh Poetry, 1480-1990. Raymond Garlick and Roland Mathias, eds. Poetry Wales Press, 1993. Biography of Thomas Vahughan: The Literary Encyclopedia (http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=5473) . Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite DVD, 2006. Five Seventeenth-Century Poets: Donne, Herbert, Crashaw, Marvell, Vaughan. Brijraj Singh, ed. Oxford University Press, 1992. Life and Works of Henry Vaughan (http://www.luminarium.org/sevenlit/vaughan/). Microsoft Encarta 2006 (DVD). Microsoft Corporation, 2006. The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The Faber Book of Poems and Places. Geoffrey Grigson, ed. Faber and Faber, 1980. The Oxford Book of Death. D.J. Enright, ed. Oxford University Press, 1987. The Oxford Companion to English Literature. 6th edition. Margaret Drabble, ed. Oxford University Press, 2000. The Three Treatises of Philalethes, in the Hermetic Museum, pp 227-269. Arthur Edward Waite, Samuel Weiser, Inc. York Beach, Maine, paperback edition 1991. The Works of Henry Vaughan. Clarendon Press, 1957. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia).

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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