Langham Simon of
Langham Simon Of, an English prelate, was born about 1310, probably at Langham, in Rutlandshire. In 1335 he entered the convent of St. Peter, Westminster, of which he became abbot in 1349, and showed great zeal in the reformation of monastic abuses. As a reward for his talents Edward III appointed him lord treasurer in 1360, and chancellor in 1364. In the mean time (1361) he had been appointed bishop of Ely. In 1366 he was transferred to the see of Canterbury. The principal act of his administration was the deposing of the celebrated Wycliffe (whom his predecessor had appointed head of Canterbury Hall, Oxford) on the plea that a secular priest was not suitable for the position. This injustice perhaps first suggested to Wycliffe an inquiry into papal abuses. His proceedings on that occasion gave great offense to Edward III, and when the pope, as a reward, created Langham cardinal of St. Sixtus, the king seized on his temporalities, as, by the law, the see of Canterbury had become vacant by the promotion. Langham now went to join the pope, who loaded him with favors. He continued to take a part in the political affairs of England, vainly trying to reconcile that country to France. During the last years of his life Gregory XI entrusted him with the care of the papal affairs at Avignon, where he died July 22, 1376. His body was taken back to England, and buried at Westminster. See Wharton, Anglia Sacra; Moser, Life of Simnon of Langham, in the
European Magazine, 1797; Th. Tanner, Biblioth. Britannica; Baluze, Vitae Pap. Aven. volume 1; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, 29:409 Collier, Eccles. Hist. (see Index in volume 8); Neander, Church Hist. 5:136.