Christopher Parker 1774 - 1804

Christopher Parker was the eldest son of Sir Peter Parker. His younger brother had died as a child. At fourteen he was at the head of Westminster School. Following the family tradition he entered the navy at a young age & was promoted Commander by his father in 1778. In 1779 he was made a Captain commanding the Lowestoft at the capture of Omoa in the October of that year. He was wounded in this battle.

He served under Admiral Sir John Jervis in the West Indies during the 1790s, & then in the Channel under Admiral Lord Howe. In 1801 he was made a Rear Admiral.

Christopher Parker married Augusta Barbara Charlotte the daughter of Admiral John Byron “ in the dominions of the Pope” according to the Takeley Parish registers. Augusta Bryon was the Aunt of George Lord Byron the poet.

It seems that after the death of Robert Fowler the Archbishop of Dublin at Bassingbourne Hall, the house was occupied by Christopher & Augusta Parker. They were to marry a second time in September 1785 at Takeley Church. Many of their children were baptised there in the following years, Margaret Antoinetta in 1787, Juliana Maria in 1790, Augusta Georgiana in 1791 & Charles Christopher in 1792. Their eldest child Peter who was to become the second baronet was born in 1785. The youngest child Charles Christopher was to become the fifth & last baronet after the early death of his nephew Peter Parker the third baronet.

Of the six children born to Christopher & Augusta Parker only Margaret Antoinetta was to be buried at Takeley church. As with Robert Fowler there is no tomb or monument to her, so we are certain that she also lies in the vault under the chancel. Lord Byron described her in early poem as his “first love” & speaks of her great beauty. Margaret Antoinetta and  her sister Juliana died of T. B. at the age of sixteen.

Christopher Parker was not to succeed to the family title as he died in 1804 at the early age of thirty in the same year as his mother. His son Peter & grandson Peter were both naval officers serving with distinction. Peter Parker the third baronet died unmarried during an engagement in America & his grieving ship’s company brought his body back to England. A fine memorial to his memory was erected in St. Margaret’s church, Westminster.

Of all the first Sir Peter Parker descendants only Christopher Parker has a direct connection with Takeley.

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