Langdon, John (DNB00)

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LANGDON, JOHN (d. 1434), bishop of Rochester, a native of Kent, and perhaps of Langdon, was admitted a monk of Christ Church, Canterbury, in 1398. Afterwards he studied at Oxford, and graduated B.D. in 1400; according to his epitaph he was D.D. He is said to have belonged to Gloucester Hall, now Worcester College (Wood, City of Oxford, ii. 269, Oxf. Hist. Soc.) According to another account he was warden of Canterbury College, which was connected with his monastery; but this may be an error, due to the fact that a John Langdon was warden in 1478 (ib. ii. 288). He was one of twelve Oxford scholars appointed at the suggestion of convocation in 1411 to inquire into the doctrines of Wycliffe (Wood, Hist. and Antiq. Univ. Oxf. i. 551). Their report is printed in Wilkins's 'Concilia,' iii. 339-49. Langdon became sub-prior of his monastery before 1411, when he preached a sermon against the lollards in a synod at London (Harpsfield, Hist. Eccl. Angl. p, 619). On 17 Nov. 1421 he was appointed by papal provision to the see of Rochester, and was consecrated on 7 June 1422 at Canterbury by Archbishop Chicheley (Stubbs, Reg. Sacr. Angl. p. 65). After his consecration he appears among the royal councillors (Nicolas, Proc. Privy Council, iii. 6), and after 1430 his name constantly occurs among those present at the meetings. He was a trier of petitions for Gascony in the parliament of January 1431, and for England, Ireland, Wales, and Scotland in that of May 1432 (Rot. Parl. iv. 368n, 388) In February 1432 he was engaged on an embassy to Charles VII of France (Fœdera, x. 500, 514). In July following he was appointed one of the English representatives at the council of Basle, whether he was intending to set out at the end of the year; he was at the same time entrusted with a further mission to Charles VII (ib, x. 524, 527, 530). Langdon was, however, in England in March 1433, and for some months of 1434 (Nicholas, Proc. Privy Council, iv. 154, 177, 196, 221). On 18 Feb. 1434 he had license to absent himself from the council if sent on a mission by the pope or cardinals, and on 3 Nov. of that year was appointed to treat for the reformation of the church and peace with France (Fœdera, x. 571, 589). Langdon had, however, died at Basle on 30 Sept. It is commonly alleged that his body was brought home for burial at the Charterhouse, Loudon, but in reality he was interred in the choir of the Carthusian monastery at Basle (see epitaph printed in Notes and Queries, 3rd ser. ix. 274). His will, dated 2 March 1433-4, was proved 27 June 1437.

Langdon is said to have been a man of great erudition, and to have written: 1, 'Anglorum Chronicon.' 2. 'Sermones.' Thomas Rudborne, in his preface to his 'Historia Minor,' says that he had made use of Langdon's writings (Wharton, Anglia Sacra, i. 287).

[Bale, vii. 68; Tanner's Bibl. Brit.-Hib. p. 466; Wharton's Anglia Sacra, i. 380; Rymar's Fœdera, orig. ed.; Godwin's De Præsulibus, p. 534, ed. Richardson; Le Neve's Fasti Eccl. Angl. ii. 666; authorities quoted.]

C. L. K.