Miller Christy


Miller Christy was a respected authority on archaeology and ornithology in Essex, and over a forty year period he published many books and articles on these subjects, plus Natural History and related topics. He was President of the Essex Field Club in the early 1900s and chairman of the Essex Archaeological Society in 1920s. Although he did not live locally, some of his literature refers to the Blackwater region and this has contributed significantly to our local history and the Goldhanger Past website. Information on the site about The Stone in The Square, Decoy Ponds, Bounds Farm salt-works, and biographical details of author the Revd J C Atkinson all originate from his published works. This is more than enough to justify the inclusion of biographical details about him on this site, particularly as no extensive biography of him identifying the full extent of his publications has been found...

He was born Robert Miller Christy, never married and had no direct descendants. He lived two miles west of Chelmsford in the small village of Chignal St. James, and is said to have stayed at the Mill House in Fish St, Goldhanger on occasions, probably while undertaking local research work.

Miller Christy was a member of a well known Quaker family and many of his relatives were successful in business:

Miller Christy (1748-1820) a hat-making business in Gracechurch Street, London

William Miller Christy (1778-1858) hat and textile manufacturer, and banker

Henry Christy (1810-1865) banker, collector, founder of Christy towel manufacturers

Fell Christy (1835-1918) founded Christy & Norris, in Chelmsford - machinery manufacturers

Frank & Leonard Christy founded Christy Bros. in Chelmsford in 1833 - manufacturers of electrical equipment

Detailed genealogy of his family is available at...  [ about these  external links ]

and an obituary for Miller Christy is at...

Throughout his life Miller Christy was a prolific author and most if not all of his work is still available. The Essex Library on-line catalogue lists 62 items for Author: Miller Christy in... spread around various Essex libraries, many are "reference only" and not available for loan. Some are hard-back books, most are reprints of articles from published journals of the day, but even these are of substantial lengths ie up to 70 pages in length. Today, much of his work can be found on various websites, and nine different websites are identified below. His many articles in Essex Field/Naturalist journals can found with a search within... ...and/or by going to their contents page.

Miller Christy Literature referenced and used on the Goldhanger Past website

Birds of Essex (1890)

This book is perhaps his best known work and has 9 references to Goldhanger in it. He describes the local decoy ponds on pages 62 & 63. The 2-pages are in the Documents and Estuary webpages of this website at... Goldhanger Decoy Ponds. Maura Benham used material from the book in Appendix-III, describing the Method of working decoy ponds [2-pages down], and also used his drawings.

Chapter-2(p8) of the book is Biographies of Principle Essex Ornithologists and includes amongst the many Essex based ornithologists, author The Revd. John Christopher Atkinson (1814-1900), who was born in Goldhanger, and who would have been well know to Christy. His words are included on our biographical details of Atkinson. The Birds of Essex book has over 50 references to J C Atkinson's work.

The Biographies chapter also includes ornithologists the Revd. John Atkinson (1786-1870), Goldhanger Curate and J C Atkinson's father, A E Fitch, mayor of Maldon, H Laver of Colchester. It was Fitch and Laver who excavated the Goldhanger saltworks at Bounds Farm in 1889. It seems that the same small group of Essex men were involved in both ornithology and archaeology.


The 330-page book can be viewed on-line at...   [ about these... external links ]

and at...





The Goldhanger Stone: what is it?

3-pages published in the Essex Archaeological Society journal of 1909.

An extract is in Goldhanger Past - documents for 1909, and can be viewed here.





Two years after he published the article above on the Golddhanger stone, Christy Miller published a 3-page sequel in the Essex Archaeological Society journal of 1911. It explains that he was totally convivnce it was a cider press originating from Hey Tor on Dartmoor


The original 560 page transactions can be seen at..




This 12-page article published in the Essex naturalist: journal of the Essex Field Club in 1906, has extensive i information about the saltworks in Goldhanger, Heybridge and Maldon, and was used to create...

Goldhanger Past - Salt Extraction on the Blackwater

The original article can be seen at..




This is the title of a 22 page paper written by Christy Miller and WH Dalton in 1925 and published in the Transactions of the Essex Archaeological Society...

Two Large Groups of Marsh Mounds on the Essex Coast

IV - Description and known history of the group near Maldon

The paper provides a valuable insight into the origins of the Barrow Marsh Tumuli.

See... The Barrow Marshes  which includes extracts.

The original 260 page transactions can be seen at..





Trade Signs of Essex (1887)

"A popular account of the origin and meanings of the public house & other signs now or formerly found in the county of Essex".

The book contains references to the Goldhanger Bird-in-Hand and Dolphin alehouses, as seen here.... but strangely no references to the Chequers or Cricketers, although the names are covered in the book.

The 207-page book can be read on-line at...





Durrants Handbook of Essex (1887) a 237-page hardcover pocket-size book...

"A guide to the principal places, and objects of interest in each parish In the County; For the use of tourists and others". Edmund Durrant was the publisher and a book seller in Chelmsford and Miller Christy was the author.

The book has a brief description of Goldhanger

and it has an interest description of Beckinham Hall ruins

This website has six other extracts... Miller (historian)




Other publications by Miller Christy of note


The Silver Map of the World

Miller Christy's commemorative interpretation of Sir Walter Drakes "Great Voyage", which included maps...

The 140-page book can be read on-line at...

at...   and









The Voyages of Captain Luke Foxe of Hull

         and Captain Thomas James

...of Bristol, in Search of a Northwest Passage, in 1631-32

Two volumes of hardback books published in 1894, including maps.

The 526 & 450 page books can be read on-line at...









The Bryant and May Museum of Fire-making Appliances

A catalogue of the exhibits in 1926 commissioned and published by the Bryant and May Company. 225 pages long, but not seen.







Catalogue of British Birds (1891)

This is a bibliography of all the bird books and articles published in the British Isles at that time, organised in order of county.

The 45 pages booklet can be read on-line at...






Alfriston and its Star Inn

Commissioned and published by Trust Houses, Ltd. in 1928.

"A 20 page colour and black and white illustrations paperback, one colour tipped in print to fronts piece, the author who died shortly before publication details the history and illustrates some of the architectural features of the Inn". See... Colour photo & 1st page




Manitoba Described (1885)

"Being a Series of General Observations Upon the Farming, Climate, Sport, Natural History and Future Prospects of the Country".

As a young man Miller Christy spent a year in Manitoba, Canada and this book is about that region is one of his earliest. The 208 page book can be read on-line at...

He also wrote   Notes on the Land & Freshwater Mollusca of Manitoba   in 1885.





Man-Traps and Spring-Guns

This article first appeared in the Windsor Magazine, vol.13 published in 1901. It is 7 pages long. A 6-page version of the article in Outing in 1902 can be read on-line at...




Royal Scottish Geographical Society, Islands of the Atlantic, 1898, 12-pages long.

Monthly Weather Review, July 1898...

"Christy suggests that it would be feasible to moor a light-ship on some portion of Rockall Bank and utilize that as a meteorological station.... Mr. Christy estimates the cost of the suhmarine cahle at 35,000 or 40,000 pounds; the annual expense of maintenance of the Iight-ship would undoubtedly be large, but still feasible, anid in the end economical, considering its value to British marine. " The 21-page article (p392-p413) can be read at...

The facing page at the beginning of the article has a fine... drawing of Rockall

In total, 9 books, 3 booklets, 11 biographies and 79 articles written by Miller Christy have been found to date

dates, titles and publications are given in...

Miller Christy literature list

there may be many more


local authors