IOHANNES VAUGHAN Miles Capitalis Just. de Com̄: Banco. An̄o: 1674.


BEING All of them Special Cases, and many wherein he Pronounced the Resolution of the whole Court of Common Pleas; At the time he was CHIEF JUSTICE there.

Published by his Son EDWARD VAƲGHAN Esq;

LONDON, Printed by Thomas Roycroft for Richard Marriott, to be sold by Thomas Bassett and George Marriott, at their Shops in Fleetstreet and in Westminster-Hall. M DC LXXVII.


PRefaces to Books, if writ­ten by other Hands than the Author's own, are for the most part Panegyricks, and lean more to Flattery than Truth; the Writers of them taking more pains to describe themselves, than the Au­thor [Page] of the Book. If they write Elegantly enough, or strain sufficiently in his praise, they cap­tivate the Reader (or at least conceive so) into a good Opinion of themselves; but the sufficiency of the Author must still appear from his own Work.

This therefore shall be, First, only such a brief Account of the Author, as is usual of Persons of his Station upon the like Occa­sion: And Secondly, the Reason why these Papers see the Light; which I conjecture the Author intended should have dyed with him; or survived him in very few Hands, and those such as he had a particular esteem for.

He was the eldest Son of Edward Vaughan Esquire, and born on the Fourteenth of Sep­tember, in the Year of our Lord 1603. [Page] at Trowscoed in the County of Cardigan, the Ancient Seat of his Family, himself being the Eleventh of that House in a direct Line.

About the Tenth year of his Age he was sent to be Educated at a Publique School in the City of Worcester, and about the Fifteenth removed from thence to Christ-Church in Ox­ford; where, although he had a Tutor of the said Colledge, yet the Education of him was more especially committed to an Ʋncle of his own by his Fathers side, then a Fellow of All-Souls Colledge in Oxford, who being a person of good Learning and Prudence, omitted nothing that might cherish the hopes he entertain'd of his Nephew, and improve him in all kinds of Learning with which the Ʋniversity doth sea­son Youth. This Care of his Ʋncles he would frequently commemorate to his Last.

About the Eighteenth year of his Age he was removed to London, and on the Fourth of November, in the Year 1621. admitted of the Inner Temple, where I have often heard him say, that he addicted himself to Poetry, Mathematicks, and such more alluring Studies at first, neglecting that severer of the Laws of England, until he became acquainted with that incomparable Person Mr J. Selden, who discerning in him a ready Wit, and sound Judg­ment, did studiously afford him Occasion of making a right use of two such excellent Ingre­dients, and frequently admitted him to the Converse of himself, and other worthy Persons his Cotemporaries, where having been instru­cted in the value of Civil Learning, he soon af­ter apply'd himself closely to that Course of Study, and more particularly of the Laws of England, which he after made his Profession. [Page] His Practice, after he was call'd to the Bar, was for the most part in the Star-Chamber, where he soon became Eminent.

He was elected Burgess for the Town of Cardigan, to serve in the Parliament Conven'd on the Third of November, 1640. where he gave sufficient Testimony his Learning was not confin'd within the Walls of Westminster-Hall, but that he was possess'd of great Publique A­bilities likewise.

Soon after King Charles the First withdrew from White-Hall to Hampton-Court, and that the Rent between Him and the Parliament was too too visible, being no longer able to serve his Prince there, he left the House of Commons (whence he, among other Worthy Members, was not long after Secluded by Vote of that House, and a new Writ issued forth for [Page] the Election of a Member in his place) and he betook himself to those Duties where­in he was capable of serving his Prince in his proper County.

From the Year 1641. in which he retir'd from the Parliament, until the Year 1660. in which God blessed us with the Restoration of our present King, he did in a manner quit his Profession: For in that time he never received a Fee from any Person whatever, nor could be prevail'd with to appear in any Court, although exceedingly importun'd to it by such as had a desire to make use of his Abilities: And the reason I have heard him assign for it, was, That it was the Duty of an honest Man to decline, as far as in him lay, owning Jurisdictions that de­rived their Authority from any Power, but their lawful Prince.

Private Counsel he frequently imparted, but that was either gratuitously to such of his Acquaintance as he had a great Esteem for, or charitably to such as were not at all, or not well able, to Fee other Council.

Thus for the most part for Twenty years together, he pass'd a retir'd Life at his own Country House, until he was Elected to serve as Knight of the Shire for the County of Cardi­gan in this present Parliament, begun the Eighth Day of May, in the Year 1661. and on the Twentieth of May, 1668. his Majesty, whose Goodness is ever Extensive to worthy Men, did by his Commission under the Great Seal, constitute him Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, in which Imployment he died on the Tenth of December, in the Year 1674. Leaving these Remains of his Labours in that Court, which having no particular Direction [Page] from the Author to that purpose, I did for some time resolve should not have been made Pub­lique, although I well understood the value of some of them, wherein there are Questions handled, not familiar in any of our Reports yet extant; but in their Nature more Pub­lique.

This Resolve of mine being imparted to some Learned Gentlemen of the Coyf, and others who had a particular esteem for the Author, begot Importunities for Copies of several of those Ar­guments then in my hands, which were procu­red, and soon after, by what means I know not, dispersed further than I intended them, and as I have been informed, Cited as Au­thorities.

Thus having, without my privity, become so Publique, and apprehending that things in [Page] themselves good, innocent, and useful, may by mis-application become dangerous, and disgust­ful, I conceived it best to procure a Licence for them to speak for themselves, that they may bear their own blame, and that such as make use of them may have no further share in the Guilt (if any such be) than that they have, done as others do, that is, Quoted Authority.

Which I conceive may be done with safe­ty; most of the subsequent Cases being not the single Opinions of the Author, but the Resolutions of the whole Court by him deli­vered. If in some few other Cases it hath been his Fate in any thing to differ from his Brethren, it is no more than many of his Pre­decessors have done; particularly that most Learned and Reverend Judge, the Lord Ho­bart, whose single Opinions in many Cases pub­lish'd, being built upon excellent Reason, carry [Page] great weight with them at this day: whether the Author may be so fortunate, Time must determine. But I hope such as shall think fit to oppose such of his Opinions wherein he is singular, will first Reverse the Reasons of them; for if they be not vanquish'd, the Con­clusions thence deduc'd must prevail. So Reader, I commit him to you, heartily wish­ing you the benefit design'd by this Publica­tion.

WE all knowing the great Learning, Wisdom, and In­tegrity of the Author, Do, for the Common Benefit, allow the pub­lishing of these Reports and Ar­guments in the same Letter as now they are Printed.

  • Finch C.
  • Ri. Raynsford.
  • Fra. North.
  • Tho. Twisden.
  • W. Montagu.
  • W. Wylde.
  • Tim. Littleton.
  • Hugh Wyndham.
  • Rob. Atkyns.
  • Edward Thurland.
  • V. Bertie.
  • Tho. Jones.
  • Will. Scroggs.