Jean-Anne Christy de la Pallière

Jean-Anne Christy de la Pallière, also written "Christy-Pallière", (18 September 1755 – 29 July 1829[1]) was a French Naval officer.

Jean-Anne Christy-Pallière
Birth nameJean-Anne Christy de la Pallière
Born(1755-09-18)18 September 1755
Dinan, Côtes-du-Nord
Died29 July 1829(1829-07-29) (aged 73)
Allegiance France
Service/branchFrench Navy
Years of service1778–1816
Commands heldSans Pareil
Tyrannicide (later renamed Desaix)
Battles/warsAmerican Revolutionary War

French Revolutionary Wars

Napoleonic Wars
AwardsLegion of Honour
Order of Saint Louis


Born in Dinan, Côtes-du-Nord, to a captain of the French East India Company, Christy-Pallière began his sailing career in 1773, as an apprentice on an East Indiaman. He was ensign in 1774 and voyaged to China and to India in 1776-1777.

On 8 May 1778,[1] Christy-Pallière joined the French Royal Navy, serving as a lieutenant aboard the frigate Surveillante and taking part in the Battle of Ushant. From February 1779, Christy-Pallière served as an ensign on the 64-gun ship Sévère, in Suffren's squadron. In 1782, he served aboard the 74-gun Orient; the ship ran aground as he was on duty and upon his return to France, in 1784, he was expelled from the Navy, in spite of his captain having been on deck at the time of the incident.

On 1 March 1793,[1] Christy-Pallière was reinstated into the Navy and promoted to captain. He took command of the Sans Pareil, and later of the Scévola. In January 1794, as a nobleman, Christy-Pallière was removed from duty, but reinstated in November. From the ship Dix-août,[1] he commanded a frigate division, and later captained the ship Convention. In 1799, he was general adjutant of the Océan, supervising the general staff of Admiral Bruix during the expedition to the Mediterranean.

He then went on to command the 74-gun ship Tyrannicide, which was renamed Desaix in 1801. On 3 July 1801, Desaix captured HMS Speedy, captained by Lord Cochrane; brought aboard, Cochrane handed over his sword, which Christy-Pallière refused in recognition of Cochrane's achievements. Christy-Pallière took part in the ensuing Battle of Algeciras Bay.

In 1803, Christy-Pallière was put in charge of the military harbour of Brest. From 1805 to 1815, he commanded the harbour of Toulon. He also periodically relieved the préfet maritime, Jean-Marthe-Adrien l'Hermite, who was often too ill to serve.

Christy-Pallière was retired on 31 December 1815, was reinstated in March 1816, and retired again at the Bourbon Restoration in July 1816, with the honorary rank of contre-amiral.

He died in Toulon in 1829.


Christy-Pallière is a recurring character in the Aubrey-Maturin series by Patrick O'Brian. Some of the exploits of the hero of the books, Jack Aubrey, are closely modelled on Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald in the first book Master and Commander and he encounters Christy-Pallière in similar circumstances when his ship, the Sophie is captured. Christy-Pallière appears again in later books in the series.


  1. Liévyns, A.; Jean Maurice Verdot; Pierre Bégat (1847). Fastes de la Légion-d'honneur: biographie de tous les décorés accompagnée de l'histoire législative et réglementaire de l'ordre [Annals of the Legion of Honour: biographies of all the recipients accompanied by the legislative and regulatory history of the order] (in French). Paris: Bureau de l'administration. p. 91. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
  • Quintin, Danielle; Quintin, Bernard, Dictionnaire des capitaines de vaisseau de Napoléon, Paris: S.P.M. (1 October 2003) p. 427 ISBN 2-901952-42-9
  • Granier, Hubert, Marins de France au combat (1715-1789) Paris : Editions France-Empire (12 October 1995), p. 432 ISBN 2-7048-0758-2
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