LANGHAM, Sir James (c.1621-99), of Lincoln's Inn Fields, Mdx. and Cottesbrooke, Northants.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



29 Apr. - 13 June 1661
21 Feb. - 26 Apr. 1662

Family and Education

b.c.1621, 1st s. of John Langham, and bro. of Sir William Langham. educ. Emmanuel, Camb. 1638; L. Inn 1640. m. (1) lic. 8 Dec. 1647, aged 26, Mary (d.1660), da. and coh. of Sir Edward Alston, FRCP, of Great St. Helens, London, 3s. d.v.p. 2da. (2) lic. 18 Nov. 1662 (with £10,000, Lady Elizabeth Hastings (d. 28 Mar. 1664), da. of Ferdinando Hastings, 6th Earl of Huntingdon, s.p.; (3) lic. 13 Apr. 1667, Lady Penelope Holles (d.1684), da. of John Holles, 2nd Earl of Clare, s.p.; (4) Dorothy, da. of John Pomeroy of Devon, s.p. Kntd. 25 May 1660; suc. fa. as 2nd Bt. 13 May 1671.1

Offices Held

Commr. for assessment, Northants. 1657, Jan. 1660-1, 1663-80, 1689, j.p. 1657-82, 1689-d.; commr. for militia 1659, Mar. 1660; member, Hon. Artillery Co. July 1660, sheriff, Northants. 1664-5.2

Commr. for public accounts 1667-70.

FRS 1677.


Langham sat for the county in the second Protectorate Parliament and for the borough in its successor; but he is not known to have stood for reelection in 1660. He accompanied his father to The Hague and was knighted there. At the general election of 1661, he was returned on both indentures, but the election was declared void a few weeks later. He regained his seat at the by-election caused by the death of Sir Charles Compton. An inactive Member of the Cavalier Parliament, he was appointed to four committees, three on commercial matters and the fourth to provide increased maintenance for clergymen in towns. On 13 Mar. 1662 he acted as teller with Thomas Lee I for an unsuccessful proviso to the militia bill. But 11 days later the elections committee agreed to receive a petition from Sir William Dudley and on 26 Apr. Langham’s election was again declared void. He did not stand again, realizing that his interest was insufficient to defeat Dudley, but eventually prevailed on Christopher Hatton to contest the by-election with the support of ‘the generality of the sober and discreet party’.3

After his third marriage Langham lived chiefly in London. His was the only name proposed for the public accounts commission set up after the second Dutch war that encountered serious opposition. Burnet described him as ‘a very weak man, famous only for his readiness of speaking florid Latin, which he attained to a degree beyond any man of his age’; but he was accepted after a division. In 1670 his only surviving child married Henry Booth, and there can be no doubt where his religious and political sympathies lay, though he canvassed energetically and expensively for the court candidate, Sir William Bucknall, at the Liverpool by-election. He and his wife were reported to frequent Baxter’s conventicle, and in 1677 he visited Shaftesbury in the Tower. Removed from the commission of the peace in 1682, he was included in the list of Northampton Whigs with an income of £3,000 p.a. He died in Lincoln’s Inn Fields on 22 Aug. 1699, and was buried at Cottesbrooke.4

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: E. R. Edwards


  • 1. VCH Northants. Fams. 216-17; Vis. Northants. (Harl. Soc. lxxxvii), 16.
  • 2. Northants. RO, FH2226; Ancient Vellum Bk. ed. Raikes, 82.
  • 3. J. C. Cox, Northampton Bor. Recs. ii. 345; Add. 29551, ff. 8, 12; CJ, viii. 269-70, 414.
  • 4. Survey of London, iii. 92; Burnet, i. 483; CJ, ix. 36; CSP Dom. 1670, p. 330; 1677-8, p. 268; W. Bearnont, Hale and Orford, 104; HMC Dartmouth, i. 15; SP29/421/216; Luttrell, iv. 552.