Langley, Thomas (d.1437) (DNB00)

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LANGLEY or LONGLEY, THOMAS (d. 1437), bishop of Durham, cardinal, and chancellor, is said to have been second son of Thomas Langley of Langley, Yorkshire (Dugdale, Visit. of Yorkshire, Surtees Soc., p. 300). He was educated at Cambridge, and was in his youth attached to the family of John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster [q. v.] The accession of Henry IV insured his promotion; in 1400 he was a canon of York, and on 20 July 1401 was made dean of York. In 1403 he was keeper of the privy seal. Bishop Henry Beaufort [q. v.] having resigned the chancellorship, the great seal was committed to Langley on or about 28 Feb. 1405, and on 8 Aug. he was elected by the chapter of York to the archbishopric, then vacant by the execution of Scrope on 8 June. The king wrote to Innocent VII recommending Langley, but the pope was offended at the execution of Scrope, and the election was annulled. Nevertheless the pope appointed Langley to the see of Durham by provision, he was elected on 17 May 1406, and, the see of York being still vacant, was consecrated on 8 Aug. in St. Paul's by Thomas Arundel [q. v.], archbishop of Canterbury. He received authority from Gregory XIIl to reconcile all who had taken part in Scrope's death. On 30 Jan. 1407 he resigned the great seal. Langley was an able and prudent statesman, and is said to have been a good canonist, and otherwise well educated. He seems to have belonged to the party of the Beauforts and the Prince of Wales, and to have so far at least remained constant to the policy of his old master John of Gaunt {Constitutional History, iii. 69). Having in March 1409 received letters of protection from the king, he set out with great magnificence to attend the general council at Pisa, and on 7 May presented himself at the council as proctor for several English bishops, abbots, and priors (Fa•edera, viii. 579; Eulogium, iii. 414; Labbe, Concilia, xxvii. col. 348). In 1410 he was appointed to hold a conference with the Scots commissioners on the border. John XXIII, being anxious to obtain the support of England, appointed him a cardinal on 6 June 1411, but in common with Robert Hallam [q. v.], bishop of Salisbury, and for the same reason, he did not receive a title from one of the Roman churches (Ciaconi ,ii. 803, where will be found an engraving of Langley's arms). By Italian writers he is said to have borne the sobriquet of Armellinus (? armellino, ermine). In August 1414 he was sent by Henry V, with the Bishop of Norwich and others, on an embassy to Paris, and returned thither again early the next year, and concluded a truce [see under Courtenay, Richard; J. J. Des Ursins, pp. 500, 503). On 23 June 1417 he again succeeded Beaufort as chancellor, and opened parliament in November, taking as his text 'Confortamini, viriliter agitis, et gloriosi eritis,' which he applied byrecalling to his hearers the successes of Henry from the battle of Shrewsbury to his victory at Agincourt, and reminding them of the necessity of keeping peace at home, and granting supplies for the war, for the guardianship of the seas, and for the defence of the border. He assisted at the coronation of Catherine of Valois [q. v.] in February 1421. On the death of Henry V, as a measure of precaution, he surrendered the great seal to the council on 28 Sept. 1422, and received it again as from the new king in parliament on 16 Nov. (Rot, Parl. iv. 171). He also exhibited to the Archbishop of Canterbury the king's last will, of whicn he was a supervisor. On 6 July 1424 he retired from the chancellorship, and whs succeeded by Beaufort (Constitutional History, iii. 100). In that year he assisted at the conclusion of the treaty of Durham, and entertained James I of Scotland and his queen. Having been appointed on the council in the parliament held at Leicester in February 1426, he wrote to excuse his non-attendance, on the pleas of age and infirmity and the duties of nis episcopal office. Before long, however, he resumed his attendance (Ordinances of the Privy Council, iii. 197, 200 sqq.) In February 1429 he waa appointed to treat with James of Scotland, and at the coronation of Henry VI [q. v.], on 6 Nov., he and the Bishop of Bath led the young king up the church. When the parliament of 1431 met he was engaged in guarding the border. In 1436 he was again employed to treat with the Scots. He died on 20 Nov. 1437, and was buried in the galilee of his cathedrid church, where his marble altar-tomb still remains. He left benefactions to the libraries of Oxford and Cambridge, Durham House at Oxford, St. Mary's at Leicester, and the college at Manchester (Surtees), and his executors are said to have erected the magnificent window on the south side of the choir of York Minster. At Durham he repaired and finished the galilee of his church, founded a chantry there (Dugdale), and obtained licence to place a font there for the baptism of the children of excommunicate persons, assisted the prior and convent to repair the cloisters, and founded two schools on the palace green, one for grammar and the other for plain-song. He also built a western gateway at Howden, where the manor belonged to Durham. In 1407 he obtained from Henry IV a charter confirming the privileges and possessions formerly granted to his church, which was given to him in recognition of the faithful service rendered by him to the king's father and the king himself for many years. As lord of the Palatinate he held seven commissions of array, levied a subsidy for the war with France, and did other acts belonging to his office (Surtees). He employed as suffragans Oswald, bishop of Whithern, in 1416, to whom he paid a fee of 14/. 6s. 8d. (ib.), and in 1426 Robert Forster, bishop of Elphin (Stubbs).

[Surtees's Durham, i. 55; Foss's Judges, iv. 338; Le Neve's Fasti, iii. 109, 391 (Hardy); Stubb's Registr. Secr. Anglic. pp. 68, 140, Constitutional Hist. iii. 48, 59, 89, 96, 97, 100; Ordinances of Privy Council, i. 381, vols. ii. iii, iv. passim; Rot. Parl. iv. 106, 171, 209; Rymer's Fœdera, vii. 579, 686, ix. 141, x. 410 (ed. 1710); Labbe's Concilia, xxvii. col. 348; Ciaconi's

Vitæ Romanorum Pontiff, ii. col. 803; Nomenclator S. R. Eccl. Cardinalium, p. 78; Creighton's Papacy, i. 246; Juvenal des Urains (Michsud), ii. 500, 503; Eulogium, iii. 414 (Rolls Ser.); Amundesham, i. 58 (Rolls Ser.); Hist. Collect.. Gregory, pp. 140, 168 (Camden Soc.); Dugdale's Monasticon, i. 228. 240.]

W. H.