Fonds GB 0210 OWEMYL - Arthur Owen Vaughan (Owen Rhoscomyl) Papers,

Identity area

Reference code



Arthur Owen Vaughan (Owen Rhoscomyl) Papers,


  • 1880-1977 / (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

0.036 cubic metres (2 boxes, 4 volumes, 1 roll); June 2021 donation: 1 small box (0.009 mᶟ) + 2 special-sized boxes

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Arthur Owen Vaughan, born Robert Scourfield Mills, (1863-1919), was born and brought up in Lancashire, but was greatly influenced by his maternal grandmother who was born in 1797 at Tremeirchion and grew up there. He wrote under the pen-names Owen Rhoscomyl and Owen Vaughan, and was an adventurer and author. He worked in America as a cowboy and in mining camps. After returning to England, he joined The 1st Royal Dragoons in 1887 leaving in 1890. He served in the Boer War, rising to the rank of captain in Howard's Canadian Scouts, previously having served in Rimington's Guides and Damants's Horse. He returned to Wales in about 1902. He organised the National Pageant of Wales in 1909, and wrote a history for the investiture of the Prince of Wales in 1911. He published several novels, including Old Fireproof. He also wrote on Welsh history, publishing Flame-bearers of Welsh history, and corresponded with Professor J. Glyn Davies. He met his wife, Catherine (née Geere, d. 1927), in South Africa. Following his death, a fund was established to erect an appropriate memorial for his grave, coordinated by Edward James, London correspondent of the Western Mail. After some dispute and the death of his widow, two gravestones were set up on his grave, in Rhyl, Flintshire, one to Colonel Vaughan, and one to Owen Rhoscomyl. He had four children: Rhys, who emigrated to Canada, Olwen, Nest and Emrys Llewellyn. Olwen Vaughan became an architect and surveyor (ARIBA), in Cherry Hinton, Cambridgeshire, specialising in historic building restoration. She amassed a collection of papers relating to him and his family, with the intention of writing a history of the family

Archival history

Three volumes of genealogical research by Vaughan were given by him to Prof. G. Peredur Jones.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Part donated by Olwen Vaughan, 1959-1977

Vicki Matthew; Helston; Donation; April 2015; 3844455

Donated by Vicki Matthew, Helston, June 2021; 3844455. Two special-sized boxes.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Papers of Robert Scourfield Mills (Owen Rhoscomyl, Arthur Owen Vaughan) and Olwen Vaughan, 1880-1977, including: works by Arthur Owen Vaughan, including genealogical notes, [1905], papers and memorabilia of National Pageant of Wales 1909, and Investiture book, 1911; letters and papers of Arthur Owen Vaughan and family, 1880-1927; newspaper articles and manuscripts concerning Arthur Owen Vaughan, 1914-1955; correspondence and papers relating to the Memorial Fund and memorial, 1921-1928; correspondence of Olwen Vaughan with relatives and friends of Arthur Owen Vaughan, 1938-1960; correspondence of Olwen Vaughan concerning the deposit of papers and other items, 1959-1970; surveys and correspondence relating to the preservation and restoration of Cherry Hinton church, Stuntney Old Hall, and Hill Hall, Essex, 1958-1968; surveys and notes on historic places in England and Wales associated with the Scourfield family, 1968-1969; and correspondence, reports and plans relating to ancient trackways in Devon and Glamorgan, 1974-1977.

Additional tranche of letters - April 2015.

Additional donation of papers and printed volumes - June 2021.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Action: All records have been retained.


Accruals are not expected.

System of arrangement

Arranged into the following: works of Arthur Owen Vaughan; personal and family documents; tributes and newspaper articles; memorial correspondence; letters from Olwen Vaughan; miscellaneous letters relating to Vaughan family; papers relating to Arthur Owen Vaughan and family history; letters acknowledging donations and deposits; Olwen Vaughan's restoration campaigns and surveys; and Olwen Vaughan, trackways reports. Additional papers added (in separate boxes) June 2021.

For 2015 and 2021 donations, see under individual headings.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to sign the 'Modern papers - data protection' form.

Conditions governing reproduction

Usual copyright regulations apply.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes


Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

A hard copy of the catalogue under the title Arthur Owen Vaughan (Owen Rhoscomyl) is available at the National Library of Wales. The catalogue can be accessed online.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Further letters of Vaughan are in NLW, J. Glyn Davies Correspondence. His grand-daughter Mrs Vicki Matthew holds further family papers including letters written to Arthur Vaughan's sister Ada during his years in America and then during his time in the Royal Dragoons.

For further papers and correspondence of Owen Rhoscomyl, see also Papurau D. Tecwyn Lloyd, J. Glyn Davies Papers, E. T. John Papers and Dolaucothi Estate Records at NLW.

Related descriptions

Notes area


Title supplied from creator of fonds. The archive includes papers post-dating Vaughan's death, relating to his memorial fund, relatives, and to Olwen Vaughan's activities and research.


Language note: June 2021 additional papers: One item in French.

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number


Project identifier


Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru = The National Library of Wales

Rules and/or conventions used

Description follows ANW guidelines based on ISAD(G) 2nd ed. ;AACR2; and LCSH


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

April 2003; amended August 2005, further amended March 2007; further amended March 2023 (for June 2021 additional papers).


  • English



Archivist's note

The 1959-1977 donations and deposits were compiled by Manon Foster Evans, 1997. The 2015 donation was compiled by D. Rhys Davies, March 2016. The Fonds level description was originally compiled by Annette Strauch and Martin Locock for the ANW project. The following sources were used in the compilation of that description: NLW, Schedule of Arthur Owen Vaughan (Owen Rhoscomyl) Papers; Roberts, Alun, Discovering Welsh Graves (Cardiff, 2002); e-mail from Arthur Vaughan's grand-daughter Mrs Vicki Matthew, 3, Marconi Close, Helston, Cornwall, TR13 8PD, received 13 March 2007. [Her postal address is included by permission] $$b April 2003; amended August 2005, further amended March 2007.

Description of June 2021 donation compiled by Bethan Ifan, March 2023, utilising primary source material and online search engines.

Accession area

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Physical storage

  • Text: Arthur Owen Vaughan (Owen Rhoscomyl) Papers.