Vaughan, Henry

, an English poet and translator, called the Silurist, from being a native of that part of Wales whose ancient inhabitants were called Silures, was born, in 1621, at Newton St. Bridget, in Brecknockshir. | After being educated at home under Matthew Herbert, an able grammar- master, he was entered of Jesus college, Oxford, in 1638, but after two years residence, he departed without taking a degree, his father wishing him to study law in London. On the breaking out of the rebellion he was sent for home, and followed, as Wood says, “the pleasant paths of poetry and philology,” but afterwards studied and practised physic with reputation. He was, adds Wood, “esteemed by scholars an ingenious person, but proud and humorous.” He died in April 1695, and was buried in the parish church of Llansenfreid near Brecknock. His poetical works are, 1. “Olor Iscanus, a collection of some select poems,” Lond. 1650, 8vo. 2. “Silex scintillans, or the Bleeding Heart, sacred poems and private ejaculations,1650, 1655, 12mo. 3. “The Mount of Olives: or. Solitary Devotions,1652, 8vo. 4. “Thalia Rediviva,” poems, which Wood says were ready for the press in 1673, but knows not whether they were printed. Mr. Ellis has given a few specimens from Vaughan’s poetry, but without being able to applaud it much. He translated some parts of Plutarch’s Morals, which were printed in a second edition of his “Olor Iscanus;Anselm’s “Blessed state of Man;” Guevara “On the praise and happiness of the Country Life;” the “Life of Paulinus bishop of Nola,” and a few other articles mentioned by Wood.

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 jackpudding, &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.” Mure 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 Oidbury 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. 1


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