Search - List of Books by Edward Christian
Edward Christian (3 March 1758 – 29 March 1823) was an English judge and law professor, and the older brother of Fletcher Christian, leader of the Mutiny on the Bounty.
Total Books: 33
Christian went up to Peterhouse, Cambridge in 1775, but migrated to St John's College in 1777, graduating as third wrangler in 1779. While at Cambridge he forged a friendship with William Wilberforce. He was admitted to Gray's Inn on 5 July 1782. In 1788 Christian was appointed Downing Professor of the Laws of England, although the chair was only founded along with Downing College in 1800. He held the professorship in conjunction with a fellowship of Downing until his death in 1823.
In 1794, Stephen Barney, counsel to Mutineer William Muspratt, at the urging of Edward Christian, published his version of the Minutes of the Bounty Court-Martial which included an 'Appendix' written by Edward Christian. In the Appendix, Edward did not try to excuse his brother Fletcher's conduct, but citing his interviews with several of the people involved (none directly), and listing the names and addresses of several prominent people as witnesses to these interviews, he recounted several of the excesses of William Bligh, Commander of the Bounty. At the time of the publication of the Minutes and Appendix, the public's only published source of information about the mutiny were Bligh's own 'A Narrative of the Mutiny on the Bounty,' published in 1790, and 'A Voyage to the South Sea,' published in 1792. With the publication of the 'Appendix,' the tide of public opinion began to turn against Bligh. Indeed, Bligh responded by publishing 'An Answer to Certain Assertions Contained in The Appendix to a Pamphlet, entitled...' etc., etc., to which, Edward Christian promptly published "A Short Reply to Capt. William Bligh's Answer,' which only served to fan the flames.
Christian was Chief Justice of the Isle of Ely and was one of the preciding judges at the Ely and Littleport riot Special Commission assizes at Ely in 1816.
The process was aided by the efforts of the family of Peter Heywood, a Midshipman on the Bounty, and others, but many attribute the source of William Bligh's bad reputation, to this day, to Edward Christian's 'Appendix.' It is believed by many that Edward Christian's impetus for both the 'Minutes' and the 'Appendix,' were a letter from, and a subsequent meeting with, Peter Heywood, after the latter's pardon.