Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

Offices Held

Sec. to (Sir) Walter Ralegh by 1585.


It is not known whether Langharne can be identified with the man who died 27 Dec. 1631, and whose inquisition post mortem was taken at Horncastle, Lincolnshire on 1 May 1632, when he was described as ‘late of Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, gent.’1 He may instead have belonged to the Cornish family of Langharne or Langhern of Tregavethan and St. Erme. A William Langherne was a member of Barnard’s Inn c.1585.2

Whatever his background, by April 1585 he was Sir Walter Ralegh’s secretary, reported to be concerned in a plot to rescue Mary Queen of Scots from Tutbury, when he was described to her, probably falsely, as a good Catholic, willing to do her service, and particularly useful because of his master’s friendship with her gaoler (Sir) Amias Paulet.3 As lord lieutenant of Cornwall and warden of the stannaries Ralegh was clearly in a position to engineer Langharne’s return at St. Germans.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: Irene Cassidy


  • 1. C142/489/101; Vis. Herts. (Harl. Soc. xxii). 78.
  • 2. Vis. Cornw. (Harl. Soc. ix), 122-3; D. Gilbert, Paroch, Hist. Cornw. i. 400; ii. 316-17; Lansd. 47, ff. 118-19.
  • 3. CSP Scot. ed. Thorpe, ii. 986; HMC Hatfield, iii. 97.