(Archbishop of Canterbury)

Died: 1501

Buried: Winchester Cathedral, Hampshire, England

Chaplain to King Edward IV & King Richard III; Ambassador to France & Rome. Bishop of Winchester from 1493-1501, during his episcopate the Channel Islands became part of the diocese. Shortly before his sudden death, he was elected Archbishop of Canterbury.

Successively Provost of the Queen's College, Oxford and Bishop of St. David's, Salisbury and Winchester, Langton, a northerner, had been in favour with Richard III and one of his immediate entourage. Langton was at Bosworth Field. His was the effusive praise of Richard: 'He contents the people where he goes best that ever did prince, for many a poor man that hath suffered wrong many days have been relieved and helped by him and his commands now in his progress. And in many great cities and towns were great sums of money given him which all he hath refused. On my truth I never liked the conditions of any prince so well as his'. Langton must have trimmed his sails to Henry's wind, but he had a Yorkist background, had not been guilty of treason, and might have proved a witness to the truth.

If Henry was acting under diplomatic or political pressure, the need for haste might account for some lack of plausibility in his story as recounted by Sir Thomas More. But the time may also have seemed propitious at last, for some eminent servants of the church and state who might have had an inkling of the truth and had recently died, including Archbishops Morton and Rotherham (Hastings' fellow conspirators) and John Alcock, tutor to Edward V when Prince of Wales and successively Bishop of Rochester, Worcester and Ely. Most relevant may have been Thomas Langton. Not only was he restored by Henry VII, but in 1500 he was nominated by the crown to succeded John Morton as Archbishop of Canterbury but died of the plague before his translation could be perfected. The King then persuaded the chapter of Canterbury to put up Henry Dean as the next Archbishop of Canterbury. They did so and the Pope was quick to acquiesce. The year was 1501.

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