William Chambers

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Chambers, William,

1800–1883, and Robert Chambers, 1802–71, Scottish authors and publishers. Their firm of W. and R. Chambers is best known for Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, which William started in 1832 and for which both brothers wrote, and Chambers's Encyclopaedia (10 vol., 1859–68), which has gone through several editions. Robert published several books on history and in geology, including the anonymous Vestiges … of Creation (1844), a forerunner of Darwin's Origin of Species. William, always interested in public improvement, was lord provost of Edinburgh, 1865–69.

Chambers, William


Baptized Feb. 23, 1726, in Göteborg, Sweden; died Mar. 8, 1796, in London. British architect.

Chambers served in the Swedish East India Company from about 1740 to 1749. In the years 1748–49 he traveled to India and China. He studied in France during the years 1749–50 and in Italy from 1750 to 1755. He worked in England beginning in 1755.

Chambers was the last important representative of Palladian-ism in English architecture. He was also one of the creators of the landscape garden and is known for his designs for Kew Gardens, Surrey (1757–62). Chambers made use of classical as well as Gothic and Oriental motifs in his park structures.


Designs of Chinese Buildings. London, 1757.
A Treatise on Civil Architecture. London, 1759.
A Dissertation on Oriental Gardening. London, 1772.


Harris, J. Sir William Chambers, Knight of the Polar Star. London–University Park, 1970.