CHAMBERS, Robert. Newcastle-upon-Tyne 1737 — Paris 9.5.1803. Sir. British Colonial Official and a Pioneer of Indology. Son of Robert Ch., an attorney in Newcastle, brother of —> William Ch. Educated in Newcastle. Studies from 1754 at Oxford (Lincoln College; 1758 B.A., 1761 M.A., 1765 B.C.L.), from 1762 Vinerian Professor of Law, till 1777. A friend of (Sir) William Jones and Dr. Johnson as early as in 1766. As a succesful lawyer he went to India in 1774 as the second Judge of the Calcutta Supreme Court, knighted in 1778. From 1789 Chief Justice. As a judge of the Nancomar trial he was accused for clemency. After Shore President of the A.S.B. in 1797-99. In 1799 returned from India because of ill-health and in 1802 left for South France in order to tend his lungs, but died in Paris. He was married with Frances Wilton (Lady Ch., d. 1839), seven children. His fine collection of Sanskrit MSS. was later (1843) bought for Berlin Library.

Publications: “Discourse”, As. Res. 6, 179?, 1-5 (on the history of the A.S.B.).

A Treatise on Estates and Tenures. 1824 (not on India).

W. H. Smoult: A Collection of Orders by the Supreme Court of Judicature at Bengal on the Plea Side of the Court, 1774–1813, with notes from the note-books of Sir R. Ch. and Mr. Justice Hyde. 1834.

[Fr. Rosen]: Catalogue of the Sanskrit Manuscripts collected during his residence in India by the late Sir Robert Ch, with a brief memoir by Lady Chambers. 1838.

Sources: Buckland, Dictionary; D.N.B. 10, 1887; *Wikipedia with picture.


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