Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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VAUGHAN , ARTHUR OWEN ( Owen Rhos-comyl ; 1863? - 1919 ), adventurer and author ;

a native of the Vale of Clwyd . When a boy, he ran away to sea (from Portmadoc ), and became a wanderer . In the Boer War , he led a troop of horse (‘ Rimington's Guides ’), and acquired note; and in the 1914 war he rose to be colonel and D.S.O. Two novels of his were The Jewe of Ynys Galon , 1895 , and The White Rose of Arno , 1897 ; and he collaborated with lord Howard de Walden in a drama, The Children of Don , 1912 . His historical books, Flamebearers of Welsh History , 1905 , and The Matter of Wales , 1913 (a more ambitious work), have not met with the approval of professional historians . He d. 15 Oct. 1919 at a London nursing-home, aged 56 as it is said.


  • The Times , 17 Oct. 1919 ;
  • Western Mail , 16 and 20 Oct. 1919 ;
  • Rhyl Journal (1878-1933) , 25 Oct. 1919 ;
  • 'Dictionary of Welsh Biography.' 27 vols., N.L.W. MSS. 9251–77 ;
  • NLW MSS 2504-5.


Sir William Llewelyn Davies, M.A., LL.D., F.S.A. (1887-1952), Aberystwyth

Corrections and additions:


This was an adopted name; his baptismal name was Robert Scourfield , s. of Robert Mills and Jane Ann , daughter of Joseph Scourfield ; b. at Southport , 6 Sept. 1863 . His father was buried less than a month later. His mother moved to Manchester and remarried. Her second husband, Luke Etchells , d. in 1869 . The child was brought up by his grandmother who came originally from Tremeirchion . She called him Owen . He himself adopted the name Arthur Owen Vaughan and formed his pseudonym ‘ Owen Rhoscomyl ’ from Rho[bert] Sco[urfield] Myl[ne] using the Middle English word for mill. He m. Catherine Lois ( Katherine Louisa ) de Geere on the bank of the river Vaal c . 21 Dec. 1900 . His certificate of marriage was lost when he was admitted to hospital. She d. at Penarth in 1927 . The regiment in which he served during the South African War was the 14th Northumberland Fusiliers .

He was the author of two other novels, Old Fireproof ( 1906 ) and Battlement and Tower . [ 1896 ].


  • His papers are at the National Library of Wales, uncatalogued.
  • See further Hywel Teifi Edwards , I godi'r hen wlad yn ei hôl, 1850-1914 (Llandysul, 1989) ( 1989 ), 246-50;
  • also Hel Achau cylchgrawn Cymdeithas Hanes Teuluoedd Clwyd journal of the Clwyd Family History Society (Wrecsam) , 34(1991).
  • Information from his daughter.


Thomas Gwynn Jones (1904-90), Swansea

Published date: 1959