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 John prevented his occupation of the see until 1213. He acted with the barons in securing the Magna Carta and opposed the papal legate, Pandulf. 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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