Born in Middleton in 1363 Thomas Langley became Bishop of Durham and Chancellor of England for 3 kings. As a child he was sent to an abbey in Norfolk returning to Middleton in 1385. In 1404 he was elected Bishop of London but this was dis-allowed by the then Pope who wasn't happy about some of his activities. In 1405 he was appointed Chancellor and lived in London before becoming Bishop of Durham in 1406. In 1407 he was appointed first Foreign Minister of England.
In 1411 Langley was awarded a Cardinals Hat which he refused. He never did become a Cardinal, even though locally he is known as one. On returning to Middleton again in 1412, he re-built the Parish Church from it's existing Norman structure and also founded The Middleton Grammar School adding a chantry to the church for the education of local children.
He semi-retired from politics and the church in 1430, died 20th November 1437 and is buried at Durham Cathedral. In 1572 Alexander Nowell, Dean of St Pauls Cathedral who was educated at the Parish Church School, obtained an endowment from Queen Elizabeth granting letters of patent to the school and the new school building off Boarshaw Road, The Old Grammar School as we know it today, was completed and opened in 1586. This building still thrives after restoration in the 1990's being used for various events by local groups.Written by the editor. July 2008