Brabazon Christian

1755-1788. He came from an old Isle of Man family that later settled in Ireland.

Modern day Chestnut Neck, which was the site of action in the Egg Harbour Expedition in 1779.

Christian was commissioned lieutenant on 18 July 1776 and commanded the galley Cornwallis 3 at New York during 1777. Promoted commander on 22 November by Vice-Admiral Lord Howe, he joined the purchased ship Vigilant as a 20-gun sixth rate at Philadelphia, and he was present with the fleet at the defence of New York in July 1778 and the action off Rhode Island in August. In October the Vigilant joined the Egg Harbour Expedition and she later took part in the successful defence of Savannah when the French fleet under the Comte d’Estaing arrived in September 1779. Christian was sent home with Captain John Henry’s dispatches from the Savannah River dated 8 November, and he arrived at the Admiralty in the early hours of 21 December.

As was often the case with the bearer of dispatches, Christian was posted captain on 1 January 1780, joining the twenty-five-year-old Seaford 24, and going out on a short cruise with a small squadron at the end of the month. His command was then refitted at Chatham, from where she put down to Blackstakes on 17 May before sailing to the northward from the Downs on 4 June with a small frigate squadron including the Apollo 32, Captain Philemon Pownoll, who was to lose his life in action with a privateer eleven days later. At the end of July, the Seaford sailed from Portsmouth, and after reaching the Downs she proceeded to cruise in the North Sea with the Apollo, which was now under the command of Captain John Bazely.

In December 1780 the Seaford was sent to the north-west coast of Scotland to guard the fishing fleets, and in February 1781 was in the Leith Roads, but with many of her crew sick ashore. At the end of June she arrived at Greenock after a cruise, and she put out from that port once more on 23 August. Sailing for Carrickfergus, she gave chase, unsuccessfully, to a troublesome large lugger privateer, and in Septembers she visited Lough Foyle before finishing her tour of duty when she anchored in Plymouth Sound on 6 November.

On 3 December 1781 Christian was appointed to the frigate Maidstone 28, but he only commanded her for fifteen days until she was paid off. Less than a week later, on 24 December, he was appointed to the Cyclops 28, which frigate had been taken into Sheerness for repairs, and she was ordered to join the North Sea station at the end of January 1782. She was still in the Yarmouth Roads during May, and in June she formed part of a convoy escorting German troops transports from the Cuxhaven before sailing for Nova Scotia with two thousand troops under convoy. Remaining on the North American station and serving out of New York, the Maidstone assisted the Amphion 32 Captain John Bazely, in the capture of the French brig Railleur 14 on 11 January 1783, and she later took the letter of marquee Aimable Catichette on 10 February. She assisted in the evacuation of loyalist families from New York at the conclusion of the American Revolutionary War, and in January 1784, after returning to England, she sailed for the Thames to be paid off.

Christian’s final command was the Daphne 20, to which he was appointed on 19 April 1784, and which arrived at Portsmouth from the Thames two days later before sailing for Ireland to reach Waterford on 18 June. She remained on the Irish station, returning briefly to Portsmouth in early April 1785, but in October a tragedy struck when nine men drowned after the boat in which they were returning to Passage from Waterford overset near Buttermilk Castle. The sole survivor, a midshipman, was washed ashore on an oar. The Daphne was relieved of her Irish duties in June 1787, whereupon Christian appears to have left her.

Captain Christian died at Balynakill, County Waterford, Ireland on Christmas Day 1787.

He married Elizabeth Greene, the daughter of John Greene of Tramore, in January 1785 at Waterford. She gave birth to their only child, a daughter Olympia, in the year of Christian’s death.