Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol II (1901).djvu/17

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Christie
Christie
5

the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the foundation of the college. Already in 1893 Christie had himself offered to the college a specially characteristic gift at his own cost. This was the beautiful Christie library, which, erected by the architect of the college, Mr. Alfred Waterhouse, R.A., at a cost of over 21,000l., was opened by the Duke of Devonshire, as president of the college, on 22 June 1898.

Christie was only able to see the progress of the building of this library in its earlier stages. After ceasing to reside at Manchester, he had for some time been a frequent visitor there. In 1887 he had been appointed chairman of the Whitworth company, and he held this post till 1897. From 1890 to 1895 he was president of the Whitworth Institute. He was much interested in the medical and other charities of Manchester, and the Cancer Pavilion and Home, of whose committee he was chairman from 1890 to 1893, while he retained the presidency of the institution till his death, owed much to his munificence and care. Of a different nature was an office which he held from 1883 to the time of his death. This was the chairmanship of the Chetham Society, in which he had succeeded James Crossley [q.v.J, and to which he gave much attention, as may be seen from the reports, for which he was annually responsible. He was successful in securing new contributors to the society's publications. His own contributions included a volume of considerable local interest on 'The Old Church and School Libraries of Lancashire' (1885), and part ii. of vol. ii. of the 'Diary and Correspondence of Dr. John Worthington,' 1886 (the previous portions had been edited by James Crossley), together with a bibliography of Worthington (1888).

Christie's literary reputation had some years before this been established almost suddenly by a publication his studies for which, as his friends were aware, had occupied him for several years, but which took the reading world by surprise. 'Etienne Dolet, the Martyr of the Renaissance,' which appeared in 1880, was the result of long labour and indefatigable research (the latter carried on more especially at Lyons), and formed a contribution of enduring value to the history of llenaissance learning. The work was translated into French by Professor C. Stryienski, under the superintendence of the author, who thus gave the translation the character of a revised edition of the original (1886). Christie, however, lived to publish in 1899 a second English edition, for which he had in the interval collected much new material. The second edition, while filling some lacuna and correcting some oversights in the first, left wholly unmodified those fearless expressions of liberal thought and feeling which were eminently characteristic of the writer.

According to his own statement Christie had looked forward to putting into form, now that at last literary leisure seemed at his command, the materials he had collected for a series of essays on personalities of special interest to him in the history of the Renascence. Two of these, on Pomponatus and Clenardus, appeared in the 'Quarterly Review' in 1893 ; a paper on Giordano Bruno was published in 'Macmillan's Magazine' in 1885, and one on Vanini in the 'English Historical Review' in 1895. Unfortunately, not long after he had settled in Surrey, his health began to fail, and consecutive literary labour gradually became difficult and then impossible. Among his publications not already mentioned were an edition, with translation, of the 'Annales Cestrienses' for the Record Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, of which society he was for many years president (1887), and 'The Letters of Sir Thomas Copley to Queen Elizabeth and her Ministers' (Roxburghe Club, 1897). He wrote for the 'Quarterly Review ' articles on 'Biographical Dictionaries' (1884), 'The Forgeries of the Abbé Fourmont' (1885). and on 'The Dictionary of National Biography' (1887), and contributed to this 'Dictionary' the following articles : Alexander, Hugh, Thomas, and William Christie, Anthony and Sir Thomas Copley, Mark Pattison, and Florence Volusene. He also wrote the article on 'The Scaligers' in the ninth edition of the 'Encyclopaedia Britannica,' and was a frequent contributor to the 'Spectator' and to ' Notes and Queries.' Among his bibliographical publications were 'The Marquis de Morante, his Library and its Catalogue' (1883), 'Catalogues of the Library of the Due de la Valliere ' (1885), 'Elzevir Bibliography;' 'Works and Aims of the Library Association' (presidential address, 1889) ; 'Special Bibliographies' (1893) ; 'Chronology of the Early Aldines' (in 'Bibliographica,' 1895) ; ' An Incunabulum of Brescia '(1898).

In the Library Association of the United Kingdom Christie took a very active interest ; he was a vice-president of the Bibliographical Society, and for many years a useful member of the London Library committee. At the Royal Holloway College, near Egham, of which he was a governor from 1892 till 1899, and to whose affairs he during those years gave assiduous attention, he was chairman of the library committee, and