Langley, Richard, Bl.

views updated


Gentleman, lay martyr; b. Grimthorpe (?), Yorkshire, England; hanged, drawn, and quartered at York, Dec. 1, 1586. As the son of Richard Langley of Rathorpe Hall (Walton) and Joan Beaumont of Mirfield, Richard inherited several estates including Grimthorpe, Rathorpe, and Ousethorpe near Pocklington in the East Riding of Yorkshire, which was his primary home. He married Agnes Hansby of New Malton with whom he had one son and four daughters. He created hiding places on his estates for refugee priests. The existence of an underground retreat at Grimthorpe was revealed to the president of the North, who dispatched (Oct. 28, 1586) a group of civil, military, and Protestant religious authorities to search his properties. Two priests were arrested at Grimthorpe and Langley himself seized at Ousethorpe. All were taken to York prison and arraigned. During his trial, the sympathetic jury was dismissed and another empaneled. Although his guilt was never established by the evidence, Langley was convicted and sentenced to death for harboring illegal priests. His friends requested and were denied the opportunity to bury him honorably. Langley was beatified by Pius XI on Dec. 15, 1929.

Feast of the English Martyrs: May 4 (England).

See Also: england, scotland, and wales, martyrs of.

Bibliography: r. challoner, Memoirs of Missionary Priests, ed. j. h. pollen (rev. ed. London 1924; repr. Farnborough 1969), I, 120. h. foley, Records of the English Province of the Society of Jesus (London 1878), III, 735; (London 1880), VI, 316. j. morris, ed., The Troubles of Our Catholic Forefathers Related by Themselves, 3 v. (London 187277). j. h. pollen, Acts of English Martyrs (London 1891).

[k. i. rabenstein]