Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 32.djvu/135

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

ford, besides legacies to the friars at both universities, and to the Carmelites at Appleby. To his sister and her husband, Rowland Machel, lands (probably the family estates) in Westmoreland and two hundred marks were bequeathed. An annual pension of eight marks was set aside to maintain a chapel at Appleby for a hundred years to pray for the souls of Langton, his parents, and all the faithful deceased at Appleby. A nephew, Robert Langton, also educated at Queen's College, Oxford, according to Wood, left money to that foundation with which to found a school at Appleby.

[Lansd. MS. 978, f. 12; Cole MS. 26, f. 240; Godwin's Cat. of Bishops, pp. 191, 284; Godwin, De Præsul. Angl. (Richardson), p. 295; Wood's Athenæ (Bliss), ii. 688; Wood's Colleges and Halls (Gutch), i. 147; Cooper's Athenæ Cantabr. i. 4; Le Neve's Fasti, i. 24, 196, 414, ii. 198; Syllabus of Rymer's Fœdera, ii. 708, 709, 710, 712, 714, 715; Grants of King Edward V (Camd. Soc.), pp. xxix, lxiv, 2, 37; Newcourt's Repertorium, i. 245; Willis's Cathedrals (Lincoln), p. 229; Hawes's Framlingham, p. 217; Smith's College Plate, pp. 6, &c.]

E. T. B.

LANGTON, WALTER (d. 1321), bishop of Lichfield and treasurer, is said to have been born at Langton West, a chapelry in the parish of Church Langton, four miles from Market Harborough in Leicestershire. He continued his connection with the district, receiving in 1306 a grant of free-warren at Langton West (Hill, Hist. of Langton, p. 15). Yet at his death he only held three acres of land in the parish (Cal. Inq. post mortem, i. 300). He was the nephew of William Langton, dean of York; but there seems no reason for making him a kinsman to John Langton [q.v.], bishop of Chichester and chancellor, his contemporary. Neither can any real connection be traced between him and Stephen Langton [q.v.], archbishop of Canterbury (Hill, Hist. of Langton, p. 17). He started life as a poor man (Hemingburgh, ii. 272), and became a clerk of the king's chancery. His name first appears prominently in the records in 1290. He was then clerk of the king's wardrobe (Fœdera, i. 732), and received in the same year license to impark his wood at Ashley, and a grant of twelve adjoining acres in the forest of Rockingham (Foss). In 1292 this park was enlarged (Cal. Inq. post mortem, i. 104, 111). In 1292 he is first described as keeper of the king's wardrobe (Fœdera, i. 762), though he is also spoken of as treasurer of the wardrobe (Ann. Dunstaple in Annales Monastici, iii. 400), and even simply as treasurer (Fœdera, i. 772). He attached himself to the service of the powerful chancellor, Bishop Burnell [q.v.], and on Burnell's death in October 1292 received for a short space the custody of the great seal, until in December a new chancellor, John Langton, was appointed (ib. i. 762). But his custody was merely formal and temporary, resulting apparently from his position as keeper of the wardrobe, and he has no claim to be reckoned among the regularly constituted keepers of the great seal. Langton now became a favoured councillor of Edward I ('clericus regis familiarissimus,' Flores Hist. iii. 280), was rewarded with considerable ecclesiastical preferment, and soon became a landholder in many counties. He became canon of Lichfield and papal chaplain, and also dean of the church of Bruges (Fœdera, i. 766). But the local lists of dignitaries of the chapel of St. Donatian, now the cathedral of Bruges, do not contain his name (Compendium Chronologicum Episcoporum ... Brugensium, p. 80, 1731). It was afterwards objected against him that he held benefices in plurality regardless of church law or papal sanction. By 1297 he had acquired lands worth over 20l. a year in Surrey and Sussex (Parl. Writs, i. 554).

Langton took an active part as one of the judges of the great suit respecting the Scottish succession (Fœdera, i. 766 sq.; Rishanger, p. 261, Rolls Ser.). In 1294 he shared with the Earl of Lincoln the responsibility of advising Edward I to consent to the temporary surrender of Gascony to Philip the Fair (Munimenta Gildhallæ Londoniensis, II. i. 165; Cotton, Historia Anglicana, p. 232). As the chancellor, John Langton, would not sign the grant of surrender, the great seal was handed over temporarily to his namesake, Walter, who signed with it the fatal deed. When the French king treacherously retained possession of the duchy, Langton busied himself with obtaining a special offering from the Londoners to the king. On 28 Sept. 1295 Langton was appointed treasurer in succession to William of March, bishop of Bath (Madox, Exchequer, ii. 37). His tenure was to be during the king's pleasure, and the salary a hundred marks a year (ib. ii. 42). Langton accompanied to the court of the French king the two papal legates who had been sent to England by Boniface VIII to negotiate a truce between Edward and his allies with Philip. The commission to Langton and the other English negotiators is dated 6 Feb. 1297 (Fœdera, i. 859; Flores Hist. iii. 287). He also utilised this journey for acting as one of the negotiators of the peace and alliance with Count Guy of Flanders (ib. iii. 290).

On 20 Feb. Langton was elected both by the monks of Coventry and the canons of