He was born at Rochester, and educated at Westminster School and the University of Oxford. He was ordained in 1818, and was appointed vicar of Cowley, Oxford, in 1823. In 1827 he received the rectory of West Tytherley, Hampshire, and two years later he was elected headmaster of Harrow School. He held this office until 1836, when he was consecrated bishop of the new see of Ripon. In 1856 he became Bishop of Durham, and in 1860 he became Archbishop of York.
In 1862 he succeeded John Bird Sumner as Archbishop of Canterbury. Soon afterwards the questions connected with the deposition of Bishop Colenso were referred to Longley, but, while regarding Colenso's opinions as heretical and his deposition as justifiable, he refused to pronounce upon the legal difficulties of the case.
The chief event of his primacy was the meeting at Lambeth, in 1867, of the first Pan-Anglican conference of British, colonial and foreign bishops. His published works included numerous sermons and addresses. He died at Addington Park, near Croydon.
This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.