Stephen Langton

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Langton, Stephen,

c.1155–1228, English prelate, cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He was educated at Paris. Innocent III named him cardinal in 1206, and he became archbishop of Canterbury the following year. The opposition of King JohnJohn,
1167–1216, king of England (1199–1216), son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. Early Life

The king's youngest son, John was left out of Henry's original division of territory among his sons and was nicknamed John Lackland.
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 prevented his occupation of the see until 1213. He acted with the barons in securing the Magna Carta and opposed the papal legate, PandulfPandulf
, Ital. Pandolfo, d. 1226, Italian churchman. He was first sent to England in 1211 by Pope Innocent III on an unsuccessful mission to settle the pope's dispute with King John.
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. Because of his continued opposition to John after the reconciliation of pope and king, he was suspended as archbishop in 1215 but was restored after the accession of Henry III and continued his efforts to reform church and state. He was a learned and prolific writer, and the present chapter division of the Scriptures is derived from Langton. He probably composed the hymn Veni, sancte spiritus.


See F. M. Powicke, Stephen Langton (1928, repr. 1965); study by P. B. Roberts (1968).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Langton, Stephen


Year of birth unknown; died July 9, 1228, in Slindon, county of Sussex. English church and political figure.

Langton spent 25 years in France, where he was one of the most prominent theologians at the University of Paris. In 1206 he became a cardinal. In 1207, under pressure from Pope Innocent III, he was made archbishop of Canterbury against the wishes of the English King John “Lackland.” Langton’s appointment to the archbishopric precipitated an open conflict between the king and the Pope; Langton was able to assume his post only after their reconciliation in 1213. Langton became one of the leaders of the baronial opposition and took part in the struggle for the Magna Carta.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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