Christian, Sir Hugh Cloberry 1747-1798, rear-admiral, descended from a younger branch of the Christians of Milntown, Isle of Man, entered the navy about 1761, and, having served for the most part in the Channel and Mediterranean, was promoted to be lieutenant in 1771. In 1778 he commanded the Vigilant, hired ship, on the coast of North America, and on his return to England was advanced to post rank 8 Dec. 1778. He was then appointed captain of the Suffolk, carrying Commodore Rowley's broad pennant, in the squadron that went to North America with Lord Shuldham. The Suffolk was sent on to the West Indies, and took part in the action off Grenada, 6 July 1779, and in the three actions off Martinique in April and May 1780 [see Byron, John, 1723-1786; Rodney, Lord George Brydges]. Rowley having then shifted his flag to the Conqueror, Christian was appointed to the Fortunée frigate, in which he was present at the actions off the Chesapeake, 5 Sept. 1781; St. Kitts, 26 Jan. 1782; and Dominica, 12 April 1782. He returned to England after the peace, and had no active employment till 1790, when he was for a short time second captain of the Queen Charlotte with Lord Howe. He held the same post in the summer and autumn of 1793, and on 1 June 1795 was advanced to be rear-admiral of the blue. In November of the same year he was appointed commander-in-chief in the West Indies, and with his flag in the Prince George of 98 guns put to sea on the 16th, in company with the squadron and a convoy of above two hundred merchant ships and transports carrying a large body of troops. A violent gale came on immediately; several of the convoy foundered; others were driven on shore; more than two hundred dead bodies were taken up on the coast between Portland and Bridport; the men-of-war were driven back to Spithead, but all more or less shattered, the Prince George especially. Christian shifted his flag to the Glory, also of 98 guns, and again put to sea on 9 Dec., but only to experience a similar fate. The fleet was again scattered; on 29 Jan. 1796 the Glory and five ships of the line, with about fifty of the convoy, got back to Spithead. The rest of the ships of war and some of the convoy arrived in the West Indies; many were lost; many were captured. On 17 Feb. he was invested with the order of the Bath, and on 20 March again sailed for the West Indies, this time with his flag in the Thunderer, 74. He arrived at Barbadoes in the end of April, and in concert with Sir Ralph Abercromby undertook the conquest of St. Lucia, which capitulated 25 May. In October he returned to England, and the following year was sent out to the Cape of Good Hope as second in command. In 1798 he succeeded to the command-in-chief, but died suddenly, a few months later, November 1798. His wife, Anne, daughter of Mr. B. Leigh of Thorleigh, Isle of Wight, whom he had married in 1775, survived him by barely two months, and died in January 1799, leaving issue two daughters and two sons, the eldest of whom, Hood Hanway Christian, born in 1784, died a rear-admiral 31 Aug. 1849.
Naval Chronicle, xxi. 177
Official Letters &c. in Public Record Office
Manx Note-book (1885), i. 100
O'Byrne's Nav. Biog. Dict. (s.n. Hood Hanway Christian). The Romantic Annals of a Naval Family, by Mrs. Arthur Traherne (daughter of Admiral Hanway Christian), professes to be a detailed sketch of the life and career of the author's grandfather, of which she had no personal knowledge
and the book is so heavily loaded with fiction—or mistakes—that it is impossible to accept any one statement in it as having either historical or biographical value. As one instance of this it speaks of Christian's father as Thomas, a captain in the navy, killed in a brawl in a gambling-house in London in 1753. There was at that time no Thomas Christian a captain in the navy, or an officer in the navy at all. There was an Edward Christian, but he was in the East Indies, 1744-9
was therefore not the father of a boy born in 1747, and did not die till 1758. Thomas Christian was probably captain of a privateer.
Contributor: J. K. L. [John Knox Laughton]