Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 32.djvu/110

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Langhorne
Langland
104

at extortion by one Lingaps, the naik of the Poonamalee district, but only at the unlooked-for expense of what might have proved a perilous misunderstanding with the king of Golconda (see Wheeler, Madras, p. 86). In 1676 he showed his tolerant spirit by firing a salute upon the consecration of a Roman catholic church in Madras, and thereby drew upon himself a rebuke from the directors at home. A strict disciplinarian, he drew up as governor a code of by-laws which helps us to picture the contemporary social life of the settlement. Among his regulations it was enacted that no person was to drink above half a pint of arrack or brandy or a quart of wine at a time; to such practices as blaspheming, duelling, being absent from prayers, or being outside the walls after eight o'clock, strict penalties were allotted.

An over-shrewd man of business, Langhorne fell a victim, like his predecessor, to charges of private trading, by which he was said to have realised the too obviously large sum of 7,000l. per annum, in addition to the 300l., allowed him by the company. He left Madras in 1677, and was succeeded by Streynsham Master, uncle of Captain Streynsham Master, R.N. [q. v.]

On arriving in England Langhorne bought from the executors of William Ducie, viscount Downe, the estate and manor-house of Charlton in Kent (Lysons, iv. 326). Here he settled, became a J. P., and commissioner of the court of requests for the Hundred of Blackheath (1689), endowed a school and some almshouses, and died with the reputation of a rich and beneficent 'nabob' on 26 Feb. 1714–15; he was buried in Charlton Church. By his will he left a considerable sum to be applied, after the manner of Queen Anne's Bounty, in augmenting poor benefices (Hasted, Kent, ii. 263, 285). His first wife, Grace, second daughter of John, eighth earl of Rutland, and widow of Patricius, third viscount Chaworth, having died within a year of their marriage, on 15 Feb. 1700, Langhorne remarried Mary Aston, who, after his decease, married George Jones of Twickenham. Leaving no issue by either marriage he was succeeded in his estate by his sister's son, Sir John Conyers, bart., of Horden, Durham, and Langhorne's baronetcy became extinct.

[Burke's Extinct Baronetage, p. 298; Burke's Extinct Peerage, p. 112; London Gazettes, Nos. 3416, 3453; Hasted's Kent, i. 35; Lysons's Environs of London, vols. ii. and iv.; Hist. MSS. Comm. 12th Rep. App. pt. v. pp. 80, 124, pt. vi. p. 409, where his name is misspelt Langborne; John Fryer's New Account of East India and Persia, 1698; J. Talboys Wheeler's Madras in the Olden Time, from the company's original records, i. 68–93 (with facsimile of Langhorne's autograph); the same writer's Early Records of British India, pp. 56, 62, 72, and Handbook to the Madras Records; Birdwood's India Office Records, pp. 23, 64.]

T. S.

LANGLAND, JOHN (1478–1547), bishop of Lincoln [See Longland.]

LANGLAND, WILLIAM (1330?–1400?), poet, is not mentioned in any known contemporary documents. The first recorded notice is in notes found in, two manuscripts of 'Piers Plowman.' The Ashburnham MS. says that 'Robert or William Langland made pers ploughman.' The manuscript now at Dublin (D. 4. l) has a note in Latin, said to be in a handwriting of the fifteenth century, to the effect that the poet Langland's father was of gentle birth, was called 'Stacy de Rokayle,' dwelt in Shipton-under-Wychwood, and was a tenant of Lord 'le Spenser in comitatu Oxon.' About the middle of the sixteenth century Bale, in his 'Scriptores Illustres Majoris Britanniæ,' wrote that 'Robertus [?] Langelande, a priest, as it seems [?], was born in the county of Shropshire, at a place commonly known as Mortymers Clibery [i.e. Cleobury Mortimer], in a poor district eight miles from the Malvern hills. I cannot say with certainty whether he was educated until his maturity in that remote and rural locality, or whether he studied at Oxford or Cambridge, though it was a time when learning notably flourished among the masters in those places. This is at all events certain, that he was one of the first followers [?] of John Wiclif; and further, that in his spiritual fervour in opposition to the open blasphemies of the papists against God and his Christ he put forth a pious work worthy the reading of good men, written in the English tongue, and adorned by pleading fashions and figures, which he called "The Vision of Peter the Ploughman." There is no other work by him. In this learned book he introduced, besides varied and attractive imagery, many predictions which in our time we have seen fulfilled. He finished his work A.D. 1389, when John of Chichester was mayor of London.' There is no other external authority of importance, but some details may be supplied from passages in 'Piers Plowman.'

Several manuscripts mention that his christian name was William, as appears also from his poem. Thus, in the B text, xv. 148:

'I have lyued in lande, quod I; 'my name is Long Wills.'

In three manuscripts—the Ilchester, the Douce, and the Digby—a W. follows the