LANGTON, Joseph (c.1637-1719), of Newton Park, nr. Bath, Som.
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Family and Education
b. c.1637, 5th s. of John Langton, merchant, of Bristol, Glos. and Easton Piercy, Wilts., sheriff of Bristol 1634, by Joan Burrows, da. of John Butcher, alderman of Bristol. educ. Magdalen Coll. Oxf. 1657; I. Temple, 1660, called 1668. m. 15 Feb. 1668, Frances (d. 1716), da. of Sir John Borlase, 1st Bt.†, of Bockmer, Bucks., 1s. d.v.p. 4da. (2 d.v.p.).1
Freeman, Bath 1682.2
Langton was descended from a cadet branch of an ancient Lincolnshire family. His grandfather and father had both been merchants in Bristol, while his elder brother Thomas enjoyed a distinguished progress through the corporation, becoming mayor in 1666 and acquiring a knighthood. The youngest of five sons, Langton was trained for the law. He prospered well, adding to property in Bristol, inherited from two elder brothers in 1656 and 1661, some substantial estates near Bath which he purchased from the Harrington family. By 1683 he had been added to the commission of the peace for Somerset and distinguished himself by his zeal against Dissenters. In 1687 he refused to commit himself on the repeal of the Penal Laws and Test Act, asking for more time to consider. In 1690 he contested Bath unsuccessfully, but was chosen almost unanimously at a by-election for the city in October. He was classed by Lord Carmarthen (Sir Thomas Osborne†) as a Court supporter in December, while a list among Robert Harley’s papers of April 1691 notes him with evident uncertainty both as a Country opponent and as ‘doubtful’. Grascome had no such doubts, listing him in the spring of 1693 as a Court supporter. Otherwise he was not active in Parliament, and was three times granted leave of absence: 4 Jan. 1693, 3 Jan. 1694 and 19 Mar. 1695, on the latter two occasions for reasons of ill-health. Although he featured in the line-up of candidates for whom the corporation of Bath polled votes in 1695, he probably did not actively seek re-election, thereafter retiring from public life. He died on 17 Mar. 1720 aged 82 and was buried at Newton St. Loe, near his country seat. Most of his property passed to his grandson, Joseph Langton, the son of his only surviving daughter by her first husband and cousin, Robert Langton.3
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Authors: Paula Watson / Andrew A. Hanham
- 1. C. Langton, The Langtons of Langton, 55–57; F. Brown, Som. Wills, ii. 49–50; iv. 29–34; Collinson, Som. iii. 344.
- 2. Bath AO, ‘Freemen 1573–1911’ (typescript).
- 3. Collinson, Som. iii. 343–4, 346; CSP Dom. Jan.–June 1683, p. 194; July–Sept. 1683, p. 153; Duckett, Penal Laws and Test Act (1883), 14; Brown, iv. 31, 34.