Open main menu


LANGDON, RICHARD (1730–1803), organist and composer, son of Charles Langdon of Exeter, and grandson of Tobias Langdon (d. 1712), priest-vicar of Exeter, was born at Exeter in 1730. An uncle, Richard Langdon, with whom he is sometimes confused, was born in 1686. The younger Richard Langdon was appointed organist of Exeter Cathedral on 23 June 1753 (Cathedral Records). He graduated Mus.Bac. at Exeter College, Oxford, 13 July 1761, aged 31 (Oxford Register). On 25 Nov. 1777 he was elected organist of Ely, but seems not to have entered on his duties there, having been made organist of Bristol Cathedral, 3 Dec. 1777. His last appointment was as organist of Armagh Cathedral, 1782-94. He died at Exeter on 8 Sept. 1803 (Gent. Mag. 1803, pt. ii. p. 888, and memorial tablet). Langdon's works include, besides several anthems, 'Twelve Songs and Two Cantatas,' opus 4 (London, n.d.); and 'Twelve Glees for Three and Four Voices' (London, 1770). In 1774 he published 'Divine Harmony, being a Collection in score of Psalms and Anthems.' At the end of this work are twenty chants by various authors, all printed anonymously; the first, a double chant in F, has usually been assigned to Langdon himself, and has long been popular.

[Grove's Dict, of Music, where the date of his appointment to Exeter is wrongly set down as 1770; Parr's Church of England Psalmody; Jenkin's Hist, of Exeter; Foster's Alumni Oxon.; notes from Exeter, Ely, and Bristol Cathedral Records, as privately supplied.]

J. C. H.