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John Langford (1750–1804)


John Langford was the son of the Oxford grocer Robert Langford (or Longford) and his wife Elizabeth. His parents owned the house that was the former octagonal chapel at 29 Broad Street in the parish of Holywell.

Robert and Elizabeth Langford had the following children:

  • Robert Langford (baptised at Holywell Church 31 August 1747, buried there 18 October 1747)
  • Robert Langford (baptised at Holywell Church 14 September 1748)
  • John Langford (baptised at Holywell Church on 20 June 1750)

John’s father Robert is probably the man of that name who was buried at Holywell Church on 8 April 1762. Certainly his father was dead by 1765, when his mother Elizabeth is listed as the owner of the former octagonal chapel. In 1780, after John had come of age, the house is described as being owned by “John Langford, surgeon, and Elizabeth Langford, widow”, and they continued to let it out.

In April 1767 Langford was apprenticed to the surgeon Charles Nourse for seven years. Soon after the end of his apprenticeship, on 28 July 1775, he was matriculated at the University of Oxford as “Chirurgus”. On 4 November 1775 he was elected a surgeon of the Radcliffe Infirmary. It is understood that he practised from 13 Ship Street.

John's only surviving brother Robert married Elizabeth Brown at St Aldate's Church on 5 October 1769, and they had the following children: Robert (born in Holywell in 1770), two daughters who died in infancy, and Elizabeth (born in Holywell in 1773).

The Universal Business Directory of 1794 lists Langford Rob., Grocer and Tea-dealer and Langford William, Gingerbread-baker: These are likely to be John Langford’s relations, possibly his brother and father.

Langford died (at the age of 54, according to his baptism) on 9 November 1804. Jackson’s Oxford Journal published the following day reads:

Yesterday died, in the 54th year of his age, much regretted, Mr. John Langford, an eminent Surgeon of this city.

John Langford left everything to his niece Elizabeth and nephew Robert. There were no descendants of this Langford family.


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