Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 32.djvu/138

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Langton
Langton
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ter; but Langton never got more than a half support from Edward II, 'ad semigratiam regis recipitur' (Trokelowe, p. 64), and the ordainers, headed by the irreconcilable Winchelsea, soon turned against him. On Monday, 3 April, as Langton was sitting with the barons of the exchequer at the exchequer of receipt, an angry band of grandees, headed by the Earls of Pembroke and Hereford, burst in and forbade them to act any longer (Madox, Exchequer, ii. 266–8). On 13 April Edward strongly urged him to do his duty despite their threats (Fœdera, ii. 164); but power was with the ordainers, and Langton was forced to yield. Winchelsea excommunicated him for taking office against the injunctions of the ordainers. Langton now appealed to the pope, receiving on 1 May a safe-conduct to go abroad from the king, who still described him as treasurer (ib. ii. 166), and wrote to the pope begging for his absolution (ib. ii. 167; cf. 171, 178). Adam Murimuth the chronicler went to Avignon to represent Winchelsea (Murimuth, p. 18).

Langton remained some time at the papal court. In November Edward was forced by the ordainers to write pressing for a conclusion of the suit (Fœdera, ii. 186, 189). Langton was still away in February 1313; but the death of Winchelsea in 1313, and the reconciliation of English parties, again made it possible for him to regain his position in England. He remained in the king's council until the February parliament of 1315 insisted on driving him from office along with Hugh le Despenser (Monk of Malmesbury, p. 209). After the reconciliation of the king with the ordainers in 1318, Langton put before the new council a claim for 20,000/., which he alleged that he had lost in the king's service. He was asked whether he intended to burden the king's distressed finances by so large a demand, and answered vaguely, neither renouncing nor pressing his claim. In the end he received nothing. He died at his house in London on 9 Nov. 1321 (Flores Hist. iii. 200; Chesterfield, De Epp. Cov. et Lichfield in Anglia Sacra, i. 442; other writers say on 16 Nov.). He was buried on 5 Dec. in the lady-chapel of Lichfield Cathedral. His effigy, in Derbyshire marble, still remains, though in rather a defaced condition. It is figured on p. 16 of Hill's 'History of Langton.' His cousin, Edmund Peveril, was his next heir, and, despite all his misfortunes, he left land in eleven counties (Cal. Inq. post mortem, i. 300). He is described as always dealing moderately with the people as an official (Ann. Dunst. in Ann. Mon. iii. 400), and as 'homo imaginosus et cautissimus' (Hemingburgh, ii. 272).

Despite the cares of state Langton found time and money to be a munificent benefactor to his church and see. About 1300 he began the building at Lichfield of the lady-chapel in which he was buried. He left money in his will to complete the work. He also surrounded the cloisters with a wall, built a rich shrine for St. Chad's relics, which cost 2,000/., and gave vestments, jewels, and plate to the cathedral. He encompassed the whole cathedral close with the wall which enabled a royalist garrison to offer a stout defence to Lord Brooke in 1643. He erected the great bridge, built houses for the vicars, and increased their common funds. He built for himself a new palace at the edge of the close, rebuilt Eccleshall Castle, repaired his London house in the Strand, and repaired or rebuilt several of his manor-houses (Anglia Sacra, i. 441, 447; Stone, Hist. of Lichfield, pp. 22–3). He may have been associated with the fine new churches at Church Langton and Thorpe Langton (Hill, Hist. of Langton).

[Chronicles of Edward I and II, Cotton, Trokelowe, Flores Historiarum, Murimuth, all in Rolls Ser.; Hemingburgh (Engl. Hist. Soc.); Chron. of Lanercost (Bannatyne Club); Rymer's Fœdera, Record ed.; Madox's Hist. of the Exchequer; Wharton's Anglia Sacra, i. 441–2, 447, 451; Le Neve's Fasti Ecclesiæ Anglicanæ, ed. Hardy, i. 549–50; Calendarium Inquisitionum post mortem; Parliamentary Writs, i. 554–5, ii., iii. 729–31; Foss's Judges of England; Stubbs's Constitutional Hist. vol. ii.; Hill's Hist. of Langton; Stone's Hist. of Lichfield.]

T. F. T.

LANGTON, WILLIAM (1803–1881), antiquary and financier, son of Thomas Langton (who in early life had been a merchant at Riga, afterwards at Liverpool, and who died in 1838 in Canada West), was born at Farfield, near Addingham, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, on 17 April 1803. His mother was the daughter of the Rev. William Currer, vicar of Clapham. He was educated chiefly abroad, where he acquired familiarity with foreign languages. From 1821 to 1829 he was engaged in business in Liverpool, during the latter part of the time as agent for some mercantile firms in Russia. Removing to Manchester in August 1829, he accepted a responsible position in Messrs. Heywood's bank, and in connection with that house he continued until 1854, when he succeeded to the important post of managing director of the Manchester and Salford Bank, which flourished under his rule for the next twenty-two years. He resigned in October 1876 in consequence of the complete failure of his sight.

During the long period of his residence in Manchester he was justly regarded as one of its most accomplished and philanthropic