Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol II (1901).djvu/15

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Christie
Christie
3

For nearly a quarter of a century (1857–1881) Chitty acted as umpire at the inter-university boat race. He was a member, and for ten years (1867–77) major, of the Inns of Court volunteer corps. In later life he amused himself with carpentering and cabinet making. He was also a skilful executant on more than one musical instrument.

[Foster's Alumni Oxon. and Men at the Bar; Oxford Honours Register; Treherne's Record of the University Boat Race; Gent. Mag. 1858, ii. 414: Truth, 14 Sept. 1882; Pump Court, 1883; Vanity Fair, 28 March 1885, 10 July 1886; The World, 28 March 1888; Men and Women of the Time, 1899; Abbott and Campbell's Life and Letters of Jowett, i. 214; Sir Algernon West's Recollections, i. 51; Burke's Peerage, 1896; Times, 16, 17, and 20 Feb. 1899; Ann. Reg. 1899, ii. 133; Law Journ. 23 Feb. 1878, 16 Jan. 1897, 18 Feb. 1899; Law Times, 18 Feb. 1899; Solicitor's Journ. 18 Feb. 1899; Law Quart. Review, xv. 128; Law Mag. and Rev. 5th ser. xxv. 238.]

J. M. R.

CHRISTIE, RICHARD COPLEY (1830–1901), scholar and bibliophile, born on 22 July 1830 at Lenton, Nottinghamshire, was the second son of Lorenzo Christie of Edale, Derbyshire, a mill-owner much respected in Manchester, and his wife Ann, a daughter of Isaac Bayley of Lenton Sands. In April 1849 he entered as an undergraduate at Lincoln College, Oxford, where Mark Pattison [q. v.] was then establishing his ascendency. Towards him Christie was drawn by common literary interests and by a close agreement between their ideas as to the higher purposes of academical life; they became intimate friends in later years, and after the rector's death Christie contributed a biographical notice of him to this 'Dictionary.' His own Oxford days came to an end in 1853, when he graduated B. A ., taking a first class in law and history. Hallam, the historian, was one of his examiners. In 1855 he proceeded M.A. Having resolved upon a legal career, he was on 21 Nov. 1854 admitted a student of Lincoln's Inn (Lincoln's Inn Records, ii. 266); but almost immediately he was induced to settle at Manchester, and devote himself for a time to educational work. In this year the trustees of the newly founded Owens College had to select the first body of professors of that institution, which from small and tentative beginnings was gradually to grow into the largest of the university colleges of the Victorian type. As was inevitable in the case of a foundation intended to supply the instruction usually given in the English universities, Owens College opened with more chairs than teachers, and Christie, who had been appointed professor of ancient and modern history, was in the following year also chosen for the Faulkner professorship of political economy and commercial science [see Faulkner, John], To these, modestly remunerated, chairs was in 1855 added a third, that of jurisprudence and law; and, pluralist as he was, Christie found himself further called upon to bear an active share in the teaching of the evening classes of the college, for many years one of its most important departments, and even for a time to hold an additional class at the Working Men's College in the Mechanics' Institution. In the deliberations which aimed at increasing the public usefulness of the Owens College, and which in fact for many a year largely turned on the question of how to assure its existence, Christie from the first took a leading part, distinguishing himself by resourcefulness as well as judgment. One of the most satisfactory incidents in the earlier internal history of the college, the institution of the associateship, was due to his suggestion. As a teacher he was, according to general consent, successful; he can at no time have excelled in delivery, but he was invariably clear in statement and polished in expression, and he had at command that incisive kind of wit which as a tradition endears itself to students.

In June 1857 Christie had been called to the bar from Lincoln's Inn, and he at once commenced practice at Manchester as an equity draughtsman and conveyancer, and in the chancery court of the county palatine of Lancaster. His practice continuously grew, till at the time of his retirement in 1877 he was the leader of the Manchester equity bar. He was a good draughtsman and clear-headed lawyer, and professionally a model of honour and propriety. After the procedure had been altered he was less effective as an examiner of witnesses in court. Pupils found his chambers an admirable school of training. With his practice, which was of a high class, the importance of his personal position at Manchester steadily rose. In 1861 he married Mary Helen, daughter of Samuel Fletcher of Broomfield near Manchester, who from first to last closely 'associated herself with her husband's interests and beneficence. In their hospitable house on Cheetham Hill, and afterwards at Prestwich, bis library had already begun to be a source of pride and pleasure to him, and in his vacations he was quietly pursuing his literary and bibliographical researches in France and elsewhere. Gradually the pressure of his Owens College duties, as super-