THE TRAWSGOED INHERITANCE It has often been observed that the long genealogy of the Vaughan family of Trawsgoed is remarkable for its direct line of male succession. Generation after generation produced sons; only twice, in 1741 and in 1820, did the estate pass to a brother for want of a son. The second occasion was normal, given the circumstances Wilmot, the second Earl of Lisburne, was certified insane, never married, and his brother John inherited in 1820. The situation was much more controversial on the earlier occasion, when the succession of the first Wilmot Vaughan to the estate and title of his brother John, second Viscount Lisburne, was far from peaceful. A drunken wedding, an accusation of infidelity, and of bastardy, eventually led, many years later, to a sensational court occasion. None of these events was unique, of course; the background is vividly set out by Lawrence Stone, whose work has illuminated my understanding of the story set out in this article. John Vaughan, son of Edward Vaughan (d.1684) and grandson of Sir John Vaughan (d.1674), continued to add to the family estate, and in 1695 he gained an Irish peerage (Viscount Lisburne and Baron Fethers) before dying in 1721. His marriage in 1692 to Malet (d.1709), daughter of John Wilmot, second Earl of Rochester, and joint heiress of her childless brother of the third Earl, is intriguing, and together with his peerage, suggests that there was more to John Vaughan, the first Viscount, than we can now discover. According to the Dictionary of Welsh Biography, John's eventual successor, Wilmot Vaughan, was the son of the first Viscount's second marriage to one Elizabeth, who died in 1716, and was therefore half-brother to the second Viscount.2 However, Alcwyn Evans's genealogy of the family, the Castell Gorfod copy of the Golden Grove genealogies, and the manuscript Pedigree of Vaughan, Earls of Lisburne, drawn up by York Herald of Arms in 1921, are all agreed that Wilmot was also the son of Malet and therefore full brother to John. Repetitions of the names Edward, John and Wilmot can cause some confusion in tracing the remarkable story which follows.4