Past Organists:

Richard Langdon BMUS 1782 - 1794

Born Exeter c.1729, died Exeter 8 September 1803 aged 74. A confirmation that this was the same Richard Langdon who had been organist of Exeter Cathedral can be found in John Stafford Smith's copy of his own Anthems (1793), now in the Royal College of Music. It contains a torn fragment of a letter, dated Armagh, 23 November 1794, and signed "Susanna Langdon", which concludes "Mr Langdon is so ill, but if his health will permit intends to return here early in Spring."

Langdon was a relative (probably a grandson) of Rev Tobias Langdon, Vicar Choral of Exeter Cathedral, 1683-1712. He was a chorister of that cathedral, and from 1744 took organ lessons from John Hicks, the Master of the Choristers. VII In June 1753, he himself became lay Vicar Choral and organist of Exeter Cathedral and also Master of the Choristers (informator puerorum) and sub-chanter (succentor) in 1762. VI In 1761 he took the Oxford degree of BMus and on 28 August l770 he married Susanna Evans. He resigned his posts at Exeter in October 1777 and in November of that year he was appointed organist of Ely Cathedral, moving thence to Bristol Cathedral in December 1777 where he resigned in June 1781. In 1782 he came to Armagh Cathedral which had probably been without an organist for over a year. He may not have been entirely happy at Armagh if he was the same Richard Langdon who, in June 1784, was appointed organist of Peterborough Cathedral and did not take up duty there. He remained at Armagh until 1794 when he left in poor health, thus leading to his retirement to Exeter. After his resignation from Armagh, Langdon was paid a salary of £25 p.a., this sum being deducted out of the successive organists' salaries until his death.

Langdon also composed some music including several anthems and chants which can still be found in the old part books in the choir library at Armagh. A memorial to him in St Martin's Church, Exeter reads: "Richard Langdon Batchelor of Music died the 8th of Sept. 1803. aged 74." VII West gives his burial place as St Paul's Church Exeter.

Back to Past Organists page