Langston, John (DNB00)

From Wikisource
 
Jump to: navigation, search

LANGSTON, JOHN (1641?–1704), independent divine, was born about 1641, according to Calamy. He went from the Worcester grammar school to Pembroke College, Oxford, where he was matriculated as a servitor in Michaelmas term 1655, and studied for some years. Wood does not mention his graduation. At the Restoration in 1660 (when, if Calamy is right, he had not completed his twentieth year) he held the sequestered perpetual curacy of Ashchurch, Gloucestershire, from which be was displaced by the return of the incumbent. He went to London, and kept a private school near Spitalfields. On the coming into force of the Uniformity Act (24 Aug. 1662) he crossed over to Ireland as chaplain and tutor to Captain Blackwell, but returned to London and to school-keeping in 1663. Under the indulgence of 1672 he took out a license, in concert with William Hooke (d. March 1677, aged 77), formerly master of the Savoy, 'to preach in Richard Loton's house in Spittle-yard.' Some time after 1679 he removed into Bedfordshire, where he ministered till, in 1686, he received an invitation from a newly separated congregation of independents, who had hired a building in Green Yard, St. Peter's parish, Ipswich. Under his preaching a oongregational church of seventeen persons was formed on 12 Oct. 1686. Langston, his wife, and thirty others were admitted to membership on 22 Oct., when a call to the pastorate was given him; he accepted it on 29 Oct., and was set apart by four elders at a solemn fast on 2 Nov. A 'new chappell' in Green Yard was opened on 26 June 1687, and the church membership was raised to 123 persons, many of them from neighbouring villages. Calamy says he was driven out of his house, was forced to remove to London, and was there accused of being a jesuit, whereupon he published a successful 'Vindication.' The publication is unknown, and Calamy gives no date; the year 1697 has been suggested. Langston's church-book gives no hint of any persecution, but shows that he was in the habit of paying an annual visit of about three weeks' duration to London with his wife. He notices the engagement with the French fleet at La Hogue on 19 May 1692, 'for ye defeat of wh blessed he God,' and the earthquake on 8 Sept. in the same year. The tone of his ministry was conciliatory 'towards people of different perswasions.' In November 1702 Benjamin Glandfield (d. 10 Sept. 1720) was appointed as his assistant. Langston died on 12 Jan. 1704, 'aetat. 64.' Hs portrait hangs in the vestry of Tacket Street Chapel, Ipswich; an engraving from it is in the 'Evangelical Magazine,' 1801. He published nothing of a religious nature, but issued the following for school purposes: 1. 'Lusus Poeticus Latino-Anglicanus,' &c., 1675, 8vo; 2nd edition, 1679, 8vo; 3rd edition, 1688, 12mo (intended as an aid to capping verses). 2. 'Ἐγχειρίδων ποεητικόν. Sive Poeseως Græcæ Medulla, cum versione Latina,' &c., 1679, 8vo.

[Calamy's Account, 1713, pp. 650 sq.; Browne's Hist. Congr. Norf. and Suff. 1877, pp. 369 sq.; information from the master of Pembroke College, Oxford.]

A. G.