VAUGHAN, DAVID, HBC captain; d. 1720?
The first firm date we have for David Vaughan is 15 May 1713 when he contracted to serve the HBC as a carpenter for four years at £36 for the first year and £40 thereafter. He obviously had other talents, for in June of that year he sailed for Fort Albany as mate of the Prosperous boy. On 6 Sept. 1714 he sailed from Albany in the sloop Eastmain for York to assist James Knight “to build and fortifye That Place.” But a month later, 15 miles short of his destination, a storm coated the sloop so heavily with ice that to prevent her foundering she was run ashore, and Vaughan and five men walked to York Fort, where they arrived 17 October. They returned by dog team to unload the sloop on 25 October but she had vanished without trace. Vaughan remained at York until 5 June 1716 when Knight ordered him to take two men and an Indian guide and return to Fort Albany. There he was to take command of the Prosperous and, with three extra men, bring provisions and trade goods back to York Fort. On 17 September Knight, in a letter to the council, not only absolved Vaughan from any blame in the loss of the Eastmain but recommended him for another command: “you cannot have a soberer or a brisker man.”
The following summer (1717) Vaughan commanded the Success which, with the Prosperous (Capt. Michael Grimington), sailed in the expedition under Knight to establish Fort Prince of Wales at the Churchill River. In July he cut his foot badly while getting timber but by mid-August he was sufficiently recovered to pilot the Prosperous out and the Hudson’s Bay [III] in to Churchill. On 23 August Knight sent him to York Fort with an armourer, sawyer, and two men to help strengthen that place, and he returned to Churchill 13 September. In the summer of 1718, again with the Success, he sailed north along the western shore of the bay and opened a trade with the Eskimos. Later that year he returned to England on the frigate Albany (Capt. George Berley).
In 1719 he sailed from the Thames as captain of the new sloop Discovery, accompanied by Berley in the Albany, on Knight’s ill-fated expedition which was wrecked on Marble Island. Presumably he died in 1720.