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Charles John Vaughan
(1816 - 1897) U.K.

Charles Vaughan

Headmaster and clergiman


Born at Leicester, he was educated at Rugby School and Trinity College, Cambridge University, where he graduated BA in 1838. In 1839 he was elected a fellow of Trinity and in 1845 was awarded the degree of Doctor of Divinity. Ordained deacon and priest in the Church of England, he suceeded his ather as a vicar of a parish in Leicester.

In 1844 he was elected headmaster at Harrow School, which was then in a run-down condition. In 1850 he married Catherine Stanley, daughter of the Bishop of Norwich. From 1851 Vaughan was a chaplain to Queen Victoria and one of her favourite preachers.

Vaughan sought to turn Harrow into something like Rugby and the school flourished and became famous. He stablished close relationships with his senior pupils and his friendship sometimes went further. In 1858 a Harrow pupil told a school friend, John Addington Symonds, that he had been having a love affair with Vaughan and had personal letters to prove it.

This information eventually came to the knowledge of Symond's father, a well known physician, who threatened to expose Vaughan unless he resigned as headmaster and agreed to nver accept an important ecclesiastical post. In 1959 Vaughan resigned, claiming that after 15 years of service at Harrow he had outlived his usefulness.

He was several times offered a bishopric, but he alwas refused. He then became vicar of Doncaster in Yorkshire where he began, within his own hosehold, the preparation for ordination of talented young men who were university graduates. In 1869 he was appointed Master of the Temple, a prestigious post in the city of London.


Source: excerpts from: Aldrich R. & Wotherspoon G., Who's Who in Gay and Lesbian History, from Antiquity to WWII, Routledge, London, 2001

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