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The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Langton, Hon. Edward

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Langton, Hon. Edward, third and youngest son of David Elland Langton, was born at Gravesend, Kent, on Jan. 2nd, 1828, and emigrated to Victoria in 1852. He early distinguished himself as an unflinching opponent of fiscal protection, and in 1859 he lectured at Fitzroy in favour of the retention of free trade. In face of the rising tide of protection he unsuccessfully contested Collingwood in 1859 and 1861, East Melbourne in 1861, East Bourke Boroughs in 1864, and Dundas in 1865. At length, in Jan. 1866, his perseverance was rewarded, and he succeeded Mr. Kyte as member for East Melbourne. He exchanged that constituency for West Melbourne at the general election in 1868, and continued to sit until 1877, when he was defeated. In May 1868 Mr. Langton, who was a staunch Conservative as well as a Free-trader, became Treasurer in Sir Charles (then Mr.) Sladen's short-lived Ministry, and occupied the same post, with the additional office of Postmaster-General, in the Francis Government, from June 1872 to July 1874, when he resigned with his colleagues. Mr. Langton has written much for the Melbourne press, and was one of the earliest proprietors of the Spectator, a free trade organ started in 1865. He was secretary of the Free Trade League of Victoria from its commencement until 1866, has been an honorary member of the Cobden Club since 1874, and is a trustee and treasurer of the Melbourne Public Library and Museum. Mr. Langton was an unsuccessful candidate for the Assembly in April 1892.