Page:Dictionary of National Biography, Second Supplement, volume 2.djvu/436

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Langford
Langford
416

was called to the bar of Lower Canada in 1850. Settling in Quebec, he became editor in 1857 of the 'Courrier du Canada.' He was elected to the Quebec city council in the same year and was mayor of Quebec from 1858 to 1860. He entered political life in 1857, when he was elected member for Dorchester in the legislative assembly of Canada. He held the seat till 1867. In 1864, when he was made Q.C., he was admitted to the Taché-Macdonald conservative ministry as solicitor-general for Lower Canada. In 1866 he was promoted to be postmaster-general and remained in office till the Confederation Act was passed. Langevin played an active part in the negotiations which led to the formation of the Dominion of Canada. On the passing of the Act of Confederation in 1867, when he was sworn a privy councillor of Canada, he became a member of the Dominion House of Commons, and sat there till 1896. He represented his old constituency of Dorchester until 1874, and Three Rivers from 1878 to 1896. In Sir John Macdonald's first Dominion administration he filled the office of secretary of state (1867-9), and was minister of public works (1869-73). He was postmaster-general on Macdonald's return to power in 1878, and from 1879 to 1891 resumed the ministry of public works. His resignation of that post in 1891 followed charges of corruption against his department. He was exonerated from blame save as to negligence. In 1873 he had succeeded Sir George Etienne Cartier [q. v.] as leader of the French-Canadian conservative party. He owed his political influence to his consistent support of the ultramontane forces in the church. In 1870 Pope Pius IX created him Knight Commander of the Order of St. Gregory. He was appointed C.B. in 1868 and K.C.M.G. in 1881. He was made LL.D. of Laval University in 1882.

Langevin died in Quebec on 11 June 1906, and was buried in the church of the Hotel Dieu du Precieux Sang.

He married on 10 Jan. 1854 Marie Justine (d. 1882), eldest daughter of Lieut.-colonel Charles H. Tétu of Quebec; of nine children only two daughters survive (1912).

[The Times, 12-13 June 1906; Debrett's Peerage; Rose, Cycl. of Canadian Biography, 1888.]

P. E.


LANGFORD, JOHN ALFRED (1823–1903), Birmingham antiquary and journalist, born in Crawley's Court, Bradford Street, Birmingham, on 12 Sept. 1823, was second surviving son of John Langford, who, coming to Birmingham from Wales in 1815, started business in 1828, as a chairmaker, in Bradford Street, Cheapside (Pigot's National Commercial Directory, 1835, col. 41).

Langford owed his early education to his mother, Harriet Eaton, a paralysed invalid. After attending a private school in Brixhall Street, Deritend (1829-33), he entered his father's chair-making business at ten, and was duly apprenticed when thirteen in 1836. In his scanty leisure he read widely for himself. At nineteen, while still an apprentice, he married his first wife, and at twenty-one was a journeyman earning a guinea a week. In 1846 he became hon. secretary of the newly established Birmingham Co-operative Society.

Langford soon contributed to various periodicals, including 'Howitt's Journal.' William Howitt described a visit to him in June 1847 under the title of 'A Visit to a Working-man' (Howitt's Journal, ii. 242-4). In August 1847 he joined the new unitarian 'Church of the Saviour,' which George Dawson [q. v.] started. In a widely circulated pamphlet he defended Dawson against an attack by George Gilfillan in 'Tait's Edinburgh Magazine' (1848, pp. 279-285). In the winter of 1850-1 he taught evening classes in the schools of Dawson's church, gave up chair-making, and opened a small news vendor's and bookseller's shop. From 1852 to 1855 he carried on a printing business (45 Ann Street), and then became sub-editor of the newly founded 'Birmingham Daily Press' (7 May 1855). From 1862 to 1868 he was closely associated with the 'Birmingham Daily Gazette' (a liberal-conservative daily paper), from which he withdrew on account of his radical convictions. Always an ardent liberal, he was honorary secretary of a Birmingham branch of the 'Friends of Italy,' formed in 1851, aided in the organisation of the liberal party when its headquarters were at Birmingham under the control of Francis Schnadhorst, and joined Dawson in conducting the 'Birmingham Morning News,' an advanced liberal paper, (2 Jan. 1871 to 27 May 1876); after the split in the liberal party in 1886 he allied himself with the Gladstonian section, but gradually abandoned political work.

Langford helped in the acquisition for the public of Aston Hall and Park in 1858, and served as manager with a residence at the Hall until the purchase of the property by the corporation in 1864. He was teacher of English literature in the