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Thomas Christie

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I have loved three women. One was a witch and a whore, the second only a whore. Ye well may be a witch yourself, but it makes nay whit o' difference. The love of you has led me to my salvation, and to what I thought was my peace, once I thought ye dead. And here you are. I shall have no peace while ye live, woman. Mind, I dinna say I regret it.
— Tom Christie, An Echo in the Bone


Tom Christie is the father of Allan Christie and uncle of Malva Christie. He joined the Stuarts during the Jacobite Rising of 1745, and was imprisoned at Ardsmuir, where he met Jamie Fraser.

Personal HistoryEdit

The son of a self-made merchant, Tom inherited his father's business as a young man. When the Stuart Rising began in 1745, he paid a visit to O'Sullivan, the quartermaster-general and adjutant for the Jacobite army, and came away from the meeting as a commissary officer. He followed the army through the campaign, but left it at Nairn the day before the Battle of Culloden. He had left it too late, though – driving a commissary wagon, he was waylaid by a government troop of Campbells, and they arrested him.

Tom was first sent to Berwick Prison, then transferred to Ardsmuir Prison in 1752. After Jamie Fraser arrived at the prison a year later, tensions between the Protestant faction, headed by Tom, and the Catholic, headed by Jamie, rose steadily until a solution was reached: Harry Quarry, then-governor of the prison, made Jamie an apprentice in his Masonic lodge. Jamie eventually rose to Master status, and he made his own lodge of several of his fellow prisoners, one of whom was Tom Christie. Soon, all the men in the prison were made apprentices, and tensions abated.

While still in prison, Tom's wife, Mona, sent him word that she had borne a daughter by his brother, Edgar, who had promised to look after Tom's wife and son. She had been sentenced to hang for the murder of Edgar Christie, and she wrote Tom to tell him she was leaving the children with Edgar's wife.

After Ardsmuir ceased its function as a prison, he was transported to America as an indentured servant. Once there, his indenture was bought by a wealthy plantation owner in South Carolina named Mr. Everett, who recognized Tom as a man of learning, and had Tom act as schoolmaster to his children. Mr. Everett also arranged for Tom's children, Allan and Malva, to be sent from Edinburgh to the colonies to join him. After the term of his indenture expired, Tom agreed to stay on as schoolmaster, teaching the local children for wages.

Tom married again, but his wife as well as his employer died during a yellow fever epidemic, and so he moved with the children to North Carolina to find Jamie Fraser, whose standing offer to help former Ardsmuir men settle in the backcountry was well-known.

Events of the NovelsEdit

The Fiery CrossEdit

Tom Christie arrives on Fraser's Ridge with his children, seeking Jamie Fraser's permission to settle on the land. Roger MacKenzie accepts him as a tenant while Jamie is indisposed, recovering from a nearly fatal snakebite.

A Breath of Snow and AshesEdit

Tom's son, Allan Christie, gets his half-sister Malva pregnant. She starts sleeping with various men in order to deceive everyone as to the child's paternity. Under Allan's influence, she starts claiming that the child was fathered by Jamie. She later decides to come clean but is murdered by Allan. Her body is found by Claire, who tries to save the baby by making a perimortem C-section. Claire is charged with the murder and taken from the Ridge to stand a trial, accompanied by Jamie and Tom Christie who want to ensure her safety on the way. Claire becomes a prisoner of governor Josiah Martin. When Jamie's negotiations with the governor for Claire's freedom fail, Tom Christie confesses to Malva's murder. He also tells Claire that he has been in love with her. Claire and Jamie leave, thinking that Tom will likely be hanged.

An Echo in the BoneEdit

In spring 1777, Claire Fraser meets Tom Christie in Wilmington. She learns that he was the person who placed a notice of Fraser's Ridge fire in The Wilmington Gazette—the notice that made Brianna go through the stone circle in 1971 and arrive in 1769 to warn her parents, Claire and Jamie—having heard about the fire from a Mr. McCreary of Brownsville in early January 1777.

Christie also explains that after he confessed to Malva's murder in summer 1775, he spent several months as a secretary to governor Josiah Martin on board of his ship. In late November, the governor got an official secretary and Christie's services were no longer needed, however, they had become acquainted. When faced with the prospect of disposing of Tom, the governor decided to put him ashore to be dealt with by the civil authorities—but there weren't any authorities capable of dealing with such matter anymore. Christie went on to work as a teacher and preach.

Christie tells Claire that he still loves her and should have no peace while she is alive, but he doesn't regret it. He kisses her hand and leaves.

PersonalityEdit

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Physical AppearanceEdit

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RelationshipsEdit

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NameEdit

  • Thomas derives from the Greek form of the Aramaic name תָּאוֹמָא (Ta'oma') which meant "twin".[2]
  • Warren is from an English surname which was derived either from Norman French warrene meaning "animal enclosure", or else from the town of La Varenne in Normandy.[3]
  • Christie derives from the personal names Christian (from Greek χριω (chrio) "to anoint"[4]) or Christopher (from the Late Greek name Χριστοφορος (Christophoros) meaning "bearing Christ"[5]).

TriviaEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 An Echo in the Bone, chapter 19: Tom explains that the "W" in his initials – printed on the pamphlet Claire has – stands for Warren.
  2. Thomas on Behind the Name – accessed 26 June 2014
  3. behind the name: Warren - accessed 12 August 2016
  4. Christos on Behind the Name – accessed 26 June 2014
  5. Christopher on Behind the Name – accessed 26 June 2014

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