He was the son of Langham Christie, who had inherited Glyndebourne, the Sussex country house now famous for its music festival, after paying off a rival family claimant. William succeeded his father in 1861.
During the 1870s he made substantial alterations to Glyndebourne, adding a brick extension, ornate stonework and balustrading. In 1876 he engaged architect Ewan Christian to install bay windows and add decorative brickwork to give the house its current Jacobean appearance.
He was elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Lewes at the 1874 general election, having unsuccessfully contested the seat in 1865 and 1868. He was the first Conservative MP to represent Lewes in the House of Commons since Henry Fitzroy had died in 1860. Christie was re-elected in 1880, and retired from Parliament at the 1885 general election.
He married in 1855 Agnes Hamilton Clevland, who was heir to Tapeley Park in Devon, which the couple rebuilt with a "severe brick facade".
Their children were Augustus Langham Christie and Agnes Chichester Dixon-Hartland. Glyndebourne and Tapeley passed to John Christie, the son of Augustus Langham.
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by William Christie
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
| Member of Parliament for Lewes
Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher, Bt