Vaughan 400th Birthday Events Sunday 25 April 2021 4:00pm to 6:00pm BST

In honour of the 400th anniversary of the birth of the Vaughan twins – Henry, the poet and physician, and Thomas, the priest and alchemical philosopher – the Vaughan Association is holding an online celebration on Sunday 25th April 2021, from 4-6pm BST.

The event will include brief talks about the brothers, interviews with contemporary artists who have been inspired by them, and the launch of a new book about Henry Vaughan’s poetry. There will also be readings of modern poems in the Vaughan tradition, musical interludes, and examples of the twins’ continuing influence in the Usk Valley area of South Wales. The occasion will conclude with a short film of the annual wreath-laying ceremony at the grave of Henry Vaughan in the grounds of Llansantffraed church, near Brecon. The wreath will be laid by members of the local community, the Brecknock Society and Llansantffraed parish.

To join the international community attending this online event, please register by emailing including ‘Birthday event’ in the subject line.  There will be no charge for attendance, though you are invited to make a donation towards the work of the Vaughan Association and the publication of its annual journal of essays and poems in the metaphysical tradition, Scintilla.


Welcome and Zoom etiquette – Joe Sterrett

The Vaughan brothers – Donald Dickson

Poem 1: ‘Angel and Invisible Tree’, by Ruth Bidgood

Artist:  Clive Hicks Jenkins (stained glass artist) interviewed by William Gibbs

The Vaughan Garden – Nina Krauzewicz

Music: ‘A Hymn for Peace’ from The Country Beyond the Stars by Daniel Jones

Poem 2: ‘The Conversation of Prayers’, by Dylan Thomas

Artist: Philippine Sowerby (sculptor) interviewed by William Gibbs

Poem 3: ‘The Prayer’, by RS Thomas

Book launch: Keeping the Ancient Way by Bob Wilcher


[Break – 10 mins]


Thomas Vaughan – Alan Rudrum, read by Holly Nelson

Music: from A Vision of Time and Eternity by William Mathias

Y Gaer, Brecon and public poetry – Christopher Meredith

Poem 4: ‘Taken by surprise’, by Elizabeth Jennings

Artist: Martin Wenham (letter carver)

Poem 5: ‘The Bird in the Tree’, by Ruth Pitter

Vaughan memorial address formerly presented in 2010 by the late Anne Cluysenaar read by Jonathan Nauman

Wreath-laid by the Brecknock society at Henry Vaughan’s grave

Thank you – farewell


  • April 25, 2021
  • 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm