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The Tathams of County Durham
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William  Christopher

William Christopher

Male abt 1734 - 1797  (~ 63 years)


  • Name William Christopher  [1, 2
    Birth abt 1734  Norton-on-Tees Find all individuals with events at this location   [1
    Baptism 04 May 1735  St Mary the Virgin, Norton-on-Tees Find all individuals with events at this location   [1, 3
    • son of John Christopher
    Occupation abt 1752 - 1788  Officer, Hudson Bay Company  [1
    • retired as Senior Captain of the HBC Fleet, styled Commodore
    Marriage 18 Apr 1765  St Giles Cripplegate, London Find all individuals with events at this location   [1, 2
    Ann Tatham,   b. 17 Sep 1743, Stockton-on-Tees Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Jan 1784, Stockton-on-Tees Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Residence Jan 1776  Narrow St, Limehouse Find all individuals with events at this location   [4
    Residence abt 1780  14 Stepney Causeway, Limehouse Find all individuals with events at this location   [5
    Residence abt 1783 - 1797  High St, Stockton-on-Tees Find all individuals with events at this location   [1, 6
    Death 02 Nov 1797  Newcastle-upon-Tyne Find all individuals with events at this location   [1, 8, 9
    • On Thursday, in the 63d year of his age, Wm. Christopher, Esq., of Stockton, very highly respected. [Newcastle Courant, Sat 04 Nov 1797]
    • Captain Christopher, having left the service of the Hudson's Bay Company with a considerable fortune, returned to his native county of Durham, where he owned a small landed estate not far from Stockton, in the parish of Norton. He died at Newcastle-on-Tyne, where he had gone for medical advice, on the 2nd November, 1797, aged 63. There is a mural monument in Norton Parish Church, by Davies, erected in his memory as a "tribute of affection, by his only surviving son, George, A.D. 1826." [The Family of Christopher and some others; Alfred Christopher, 1933]
    • He died in a fit in his carriage (he had his own coach and four horses) and was then, as he had been many years, living in Stockton. [Family letters, 1868, William Christopher's granddaughter Dorothy Marsden (née Christopher) to her son-in-law John Chambers.] [7]
    Probate 06 Nov 1797  London Find all individuals with events at this location   [10
    Notes 
    • "William Christopher was a friend of Captain Cook, the famous navigator, and accompanied him on his last voyage."
      [unsubstantiated statement in Cambridge University Alumni (1922-1954), sv Alfred Millard William Christopher; repeated, with extra details, in "The Family of Christopher and some others" (1933)]
    • Connection and supposed friendship with Captain Cook seriously questioned in later research. [cf article by Geoff King]
    • After Ann Tatham's death in 1784, William Christopher married, secondly, Isabella Lindsey. [Will, PCC 1797]
    • Capt. William Christopher, of the Hudson Bay Service, bapt. 4 May, 1735, was of Norton, and Grangefield, Co. Durham. His chief service to the Government was his discovery, in 1761, of the passage through Chesterfield Inlet, Hudson's Bay. He accompanied Captain Cook in his third and last voyage round the world, 1776-9; and he subsequently figured in various honourable services, and especially in 1783, when he was engaged in a gallant achievement at or near Hudson's Bay, "After this," says the Rev. John Brewster, in his Memoir of him, "he left the service of the Company with a considerable fortune [about £90,000], and resided at Stockton. His abode was the house in the High Street." He died 2 Nov., 1797, in the 63rd year of his age, and was bur. at Norton, where there is a Memorial Inscription. [Curtis]
    • He went to sea very young with one jacket and half a crown in his pocket but by remembering his mother's advice and by God's blessing, he had succeeded in all he undertook and he was always anxious that young men who came in his way should be encouraged by his success in walking wisely. He studied at sea, and at all spare times - became Captain of a Merchant Vessel - bought part of a ship - then a whole one and in time had ships trading to all parts of the world. He lived in London during this time of success - all his children, there were ten, were born in London - his four eldest sons were Captains of Merchantsmen, his ships.
      After many years residence in London my grandfather, having accumulated a large fortune (he left £100,000), partly by supplying the Government with transport ships during the American war, he came down to Stockton, his native town, and commenced ship building there.
      [From letter written by William Christopher's granddaughter Dorothy Marsden (née Christopher) in 1868 to her son-in-law John Chambers.] [7]
    Person ID I1092  Tatham | Christopher branch, Durham roots | Spouse
    Last Modified 19 Jun 2013 

    Father John Christopher,   b. est 1694, Co Durham? Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother Margaret Wilkinson,   b. 1699, Co Durham Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1786  (Age 87 years) 
    Marriage abt 1721    [1
    Notes 
    • Other children of John Christopher and Margaret Wilkinson [Curtis]:
      i. Elizabeth Christopher, bapt 19 Mar 1723/24, Norton-on-Tees married […] Norton
      ii. Thomas Christopher, bapt 07 Dec 1725, Norton-on-Tees
      iii. John Christopher, bapt 16 Jan 1727/28, Norton-on-Tees
      iv. Christopher Christopher, bapt 31 Dec 1730, Norton-on-Tees
      vi. Jane Christopher, bapt 01 Mar 1735/36, Norton-on-Tees, married William Wilkinson
    Family ID F0672  Family Group Sheet

    Family Ann Tatham,   b. 17 Sep 1743, Stockton-on-Tees Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Jan 1784, Stockton-on-Tees Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 40 years) 
    Marriage 18 Apr 1765  St Giles Cripplegate, London Find all individuals with events at this location   [1, 2
    William Christopher & Anne Tatham
    William Christopher & Anne Tatham
    Marriage register
    Notes 
    • 10 children, 5 died young. [George Christopher tree, 31 Dec 1853]
    • The issue of this marriage was 7 sons and 3 daus. of whom survived 1 dau, Caroline, and 4 sons: I. John Thomas, 3rd but eldest surviving son; II. Henry; III. George; and IV. Thomas. [Curtis]
    Children 
     1. John Christopher,   b. abt Jan 1766, Norton-on-Tees? Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. infant
     2. William Christopher,   b. abt Oct 1766, Norton-on-Tees? Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Feb 1770  (Age ~ 3 years)
     3. Anna Maria Christopher,   b. 17 Aug 1770, Limehouse Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. infant
    +4. John Thomas Christopher,   b. 11 Jul 1772, Narrow St, Limehouse Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Aug 1803, Crook Hall, Durham Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 31 years)
     5. Charles Christopher,   b. 20 Sep 1773, Narrow St, Limehouse Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. infant
     6. Ann Christopher,   b. 06 Oct 1774, Narrow St, Limehouse Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. infant
    +7. Henry Christopher,   b. 18 Nov 1775, Narrow St, Limehouse Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 11 Jul 1817, Budge Budge, Calcutta Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 41 years)
     8. Caroline Christopher,   b. 24 Nov 1777, Narrow St, Limehouse Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Sep 1845, Chiswick Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 67 years)
    +9. George Christopher,   b. 06 Oct 1779, Ratcliff Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 07 Apr 1861, The Mall, Chiswick Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years)
    +10. Thomas Christopher,   b. 17 Aug 1782, London? Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Jan 1818, Crutched Friars, London Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 35 years)
    Histories
    Christopher Family Tree
    Christopher Family Tree
    drawn by George Christopher at Chiswick, 31 Dec 1853
    Last Modified 23 Aug 2013 
    Family ID F0333  Family Group Sheet

  • Event Map Click to display
    Link to Google MapsBirth - abt 1734 - Norton-on-Tees Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBaptism - 04 May 1735 - St Mary the Virgin, Norton-on-Tees Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarriage - < - 18 Apr 1765 - St Giles Cripplegate, London Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarriage - 18 Apr 1765 - St Giles Cripplegate, London Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - Jan 1776 - Narrow St, Limehouse Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - abt 1780 - 14 Stepney Causeway, Limehouse Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - abt 1783 - 1797 - High St, Stockton-on-Tees Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDeath - 02 Nov 1797 - Newcastle-upon-Tyne Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsProbate - 06 Nov 1797 - London Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
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  • Photos
    William Christopher (±1734-1797)
    William Christopher (±1734-1797)

    Histories
    Were William Christopher and James Cook friends?
    Were William Christopher and James Cook friends?
    Article by Geoff King, reproduced with thanks

  • Sources 
    1. [S04] H Curtis: Notes for a Pedigree of the Tathams of Co. Durham.

    2. [S06] Parish Registers, marriages, St Giles Cripplegate, 1559-1936 (IGI), 18 Apr 1765.

    3. [S06] Parish Registers, baptisms, St Mary, Norton (IGI), 04 May 1735.

    4. [S06] Parish Registers, baptisms, St Anne, Limehouse, 04 Jan 1776.
      son Henry

    5. [S07] Other Sources, Sun Fire Office.
      Guildhall MS 11936 vol. 278, policy 419116, cited by Geoff King

    6. [S62] The Family of Christopher and some others.

    7. [S03] Family Members, LN.

    8. [S11] Newspaper, Newcastle Courant, 04 Nov 1797.
      death notice

    9. [S07] Other Sources, Geoff King.
      article in Cook's Log, page 6, volume 31, number 1 (2008)

    10. [S07] Other Sources, Prerogative Court of Canterbury.