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John Langley

John Langley, A. M.—This celebrated scholar was born near Banbury in Oxfordshire, and educated in Magdalen-hall, Oxford. Afterwards he was prebendary of Gloucester, where he was master of the college school about twenty years; and, in the year 1640, he succeeded Dr. Gill as chief master of St. Paul's school, London. In both these situations many persons were trained up under his tuition, who became eminently distinguished characters in church and state. Among the number of his learned pupils was Mr. Richard Cumberland, afterwards bishop of Peterboroiigli.|| He was a judicious divine, a universal scholar, and so celebrated an antiquarian, that his delight in, and acquaintance with, antiquities deserves the highest commendation that can be given.f He was highly esteemed by men celebrated for literature, but little regarded by the clergy, because he was a puritan, and a witness against Archbishop Laud at his trial."

Mr. Langley was indeed called as witness against the archbishop; when he deposed, that, in the year l6l6, his lordship, then dean of Gloucester, came down to the cathedral of that place, intending to turn the communion-table into an altar, aud to place it altar-wise at the east end of the choir, removing it from its former situation in the midst of the church. Dr. Smith, bishop of Gloucester, opposed the innovation, and warmly protested to the dean and the prebends, that if the communion-table should be removed, or any such innovation brought into the cathedral, as Dean Laud then intended, he would never come within the walls of the cathedral any more. But the dean was so violent, that, in direct opposition to the order and appointment of the bishop, he caused the Lord's table to be removed and placed altarwise, from north to south, at the east end of the choir, with popish furniture upon it, bowing towards it himself, and commanding the various officers of the church to do the same. He further deposed, that the bishop was so much offended at these innovations, that he, according to his protestation, came no more into the cathedral to the day of his death. This is the substance of what Mr. Langley testified, which was further confirmed by other evidence.*

* Janewav's Life of Mr. John Jancwi.y. Edit. 1673.—Clark's; Livei last vol. p. 60—81.

+ Simpson's Plea for Religion, p. 308, 310. Edit. 1810.

1 Athena* Oxon. vol. ii. p. 385.

S Palmer's Noncon. Mem. vol. ii. p. 308. iii. 311, 313.

0 Biog. Britan. vol. iv. p. 658. Edit. 1778.

1 Reynolds's Fun. Ser. for Mr. Langley. '•• Wood's Athena Oxon. vol. ii. p. 135.

Mr. Langlev, being a most celebrated scholar, was chosen one' of the licensers' of the press for the philosophical and historical departments A minister of his name, but, according to Wood, a different person, was chosen one of the assembly of divines.; He died at his house adjoining Paul's school, SeptembA 13, \657- Dr. Edward Reynolds, afterwards bishop of Norwich, preached his funeral sermon, which was afterwards published. Fuller calls Mr. Langley "the able and religious schoolmaster." Archdeacon Echard denominates him " an excellent theologist of the puritan stamp, a great linguist and historian, and a nice and exact antiquary';'for which he was highly esteemed by the famous Sclden and other learned meii; i Mr. Strype says, "he was a general scholar, and a great antiquary, especially in matters relating to his own country, the stories and curiosities of which he, during his travels, made a considerable collection." His awful presence and speech produced uncommon respect and fear among his scholars; and such was his behaviour towards them, that they both feared and loved him. His remains were interred, with great funeral solemnity, in Mercer's chapel, Cheapside; when all his scholars attended. And, as he died a single man, they walked before the corpse, having white gloves, and being hung with verses instead of escutcheons, from the school through Cheapside to Mercer's chapel. He was so much in favour with the worshipful company of mercers, that they accepted his commeudation of a successor.il Mr. Langley was author of "Totius

» Prynae's Cant. Dnomc, p. 75—78.

+ Neal's Puritans, »ol. iii. p. 4fi. t Wood's Athena, vol. ii. p. 13S.

S Echard's Hist, of l.ng. vol. ii. p. 811.

'! Knight 5 Life of Coin, p. 379, 380. Edit. 1724.

Rhetoric* adurribratio in lisum Scholae Paulinae," 1644— "An Introduction to Gidiuinar"—And some other pieces.