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Langham, Simon

Langham, Simon (d. 1376). Archbishop of Canterbury, chancellor, and curial cardinal. Born in Rutland, Langham entered the Benedictine monastery at Westminster (c.1335), and was successively prior and then abbot (1349), then treasurer of England (1360), bishop of Ely (1362), chancellor (1363), and archbishop (1366–8). As chancellor, his speeches at the opening of parliaments were the first in English. After a brief spell as archbishop, Edward III forced him to resign, whereupon he accepted a cardinalate without royal permission, thus becoming a valued diplomat in the papal curia at Avignon (1368). Regaining Edward's favour, he held various English dignities in plurality. When the Canterbury monks re-elected him archbishop (1374), the pope would not spare him, though, when the papacy was to move to Rome (1376), he was given permission to return to England, only to die in Avignon before setting out. Langham was a skilful administrator and a great benefactor of Westminster.

Revd Dr William M. Marshall

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Langham, Simon

Simon Langham (lăng´əm), d. 1376, English prelate and statesman, cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He ruled the abbey of Westminster with such skill that Edward III appointed (1360) him treasurer and chancellor (1363). Created bishop of Ely in 1362, Langham rose to be archbishop of Canterbury (1366). His acceptance of the red hat without royal permission led to a breach with Edward, and Langham resigned (1368). He went to Avignon, where he held office at the court of Pope Gregory XI.

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