Charles Langdale

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The Honourable
Charles Langdale
Black-and-white depiction from the waist up of an old, bearded man dressed in a dark jacket, sat in a chair and looking towards the left.
Langdale depicted in Salvage from the Wreck
Personal details
Born Charles Stourton
(1787-09-19)19 September 1787
Died 1 December 1868(1868-12-01) (aged 81)
Mayfair, London, England
Resting place Houghton, Yorkshire, England
Nationality British
Political party Whig
Occupation Politician, layman
Religion Roman Catholic

Charles Langdale (formerly Stourton); 19 September 1787 – 1 December 1868) was a British politician, Roman Catholic layman, and biographer. He served as Whig Member of Parliament, wrote the memoirs of Maria Fitzherbert, and was a leading Roman Catholic figure during the 19th century.


Langdale was born Hon. Charles Stourton in 1787, the fourth son of Charles Stourton, 17th Baron Stourton by his wife Mary Langdale, a daughter and co-heiress of Marmaduke Langdale, 5th Baron Langdale (1771–1777). He became the heir of his mother's cousin Philip Langdale (d.1815) of Houghton Hall, East Riding of Yorkshire, who died without male progeny, and to comply with the terms of his inheritance he adopted the surname Langdale by royal licence dated 1815, for himself and his descendants.[1]


He was educated at Oscott College and Stonyhurst College.[2]

Politics and public life

Langdale campaigned for Catholic Emancipation, and after the passing of the Catholic Relief Act 1829 he became Member of Parliament for Beverley following the 1832 general election, becoming one of the first Roman Catholics in the House of Commons.[2] He represented Beverly until 1835, and represented Knaresborough between 1837 and 1841.

Throughout his life, Langdale took a leading part in all matters relating to the interests of Roman Catholics. He supported the foundation and became the chairman of the Catholic Poor School Committee, serving until his death. During his tenure, he played an important role in the negotiations for public funds for Roman Catholic schools.[2]

Shortly before his death, he was admitted as a lay brother of the Society of Jesus. At his funeral, Peter Gallwey described him as "the acknowledged father and patriarch of the oppressed Catholic community in England" and as "a father to us all".[3] Henry Edward Manning, Archbishop of Westminster, in a funeral sermon in London, described him as having been for fifty years the foremost man among the Roman Catholic laity in England.

Biography of Maria Fitzherbert

Langdale had been a close friend of Maria Fitzherbert during their youth; there was a family connection through her first husband George Weld, whose niece married his eldest brother William. In the publication Memoirs of Lord Holland, it was claimed that Fitzherbert, a Roman Catholic, never believed her marriage vows to George, Prince of Wales, to be in any way binding (the marriage was considered invalid under the Royal Marriages Act 1772 because it had not been approved by King George III and the Privy Council). With a view to the vindication of her character, he published Memoirs of Mrs. Fitzherbert: with an account of her marriage with H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, afterwards King George IV at the request of his brother, Lord Stourton, one of the trustees named in Fitzherbert's will. He was refused access to her papers by the other trustees, but he was able to use the narrative drawn up by Lord Stourton. The memoirs showed that Fitzherbert believed herself to be George's wife.[2]

Marriage & progeny

He married twice:

  • Firstly in 1817 to Charlotte Mary Clifford (died 1819), fifth daughter of Charles Clifford, 6th Baron Clifford of Chudleigh, by whom he had two daughters.
  • Secondly in 1821 he married May Constable-Maxwell (died 1857), eldest daughter of Marmaduke William Haggerstone Constable-Maxwell, by whom he had at least five sons and six daughters.

Death & succession

He died in Mayfair, London, in 1868 and was buried near his seat, Houghton Hall, Yorkshire. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Charles Joseph Langdale (1822-1895).[4]



  1. The London Gazette: no. 16973. p. 23. 7 January 1815. Retrieved 2009-10-03.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Mitchell, Rosemary (2004). "Langdale, Charles (1787–1868)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/16009. Retrieved 2009-10-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> (subscription or UK public library membership required)
  3. Gallwey, Peter (1890). Salvage from the Wreck: a few memories of friends departed, preserved in funeral discourses. London: Burns & Oates. pp. 20–21. OCLC 25523766. Retrieved 2009-10-08.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Papers of the Langdale Family of Houghton Hall and Holme on Spalding Moor". The National Archives. Retrieved 2013-03-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain[ "Langdale, Charles" ] Check |ws link in chapter= value (help). Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Henry Burton
William Marshall
Member of Parliament for Beverley
With: Henry Burton
Succeeded by
Henry Burton
James Hogg
Preceded by
John Richards
Andrew Lawson
Member of Parliament for Knaresborough
With: Henry Rich
Succeeded by
Andrew Lawson
William Busfeild Ferrand