CHAMBERS, William. 1748 — 1793. British Colonial Official and a Pioneer of Indology. Son of Robert Ch. (d. 1749), an attorney in Newcastle, and Anne Metcalf, younger brother of —> Robert Ch. Educated in Newcastle. Went to India before 1774. Political servant of E.I.C., apparently first in Madras. In 1775-92 interpreter of the Supreme Court at Bengal (in the As. Misc. called judge). Member of A.S.B. from its foundation. He was married with Charity Fraser and had a son, William Frederic Ch. (1786-1855, a physician), born in India. A good Persian and Hindūstānī scholar, apparently also knew Telugu.

Publications: Ed. with Sir William Jones: The Asiatic Miscellany. Calcutta 1787, himself contributed two translations: “An account of embassies and letters that passed between the Emperor of China and Sultan Shahrokh, son of Amir Timur. Extacted from the Malta us Sadein of Abdur Rezak”, 100-125, and “A short account of the Marratta State. Written in Persian by a Munshy, who accompanied Colonel Upton on his Embassy to Poonah”, 127-133.

– “A short History of the Origin and Progress of the Marratta State. Extracted from the Khazanah e Aamerah”, The Asiatic Miscellany vol. 2, Calc. 1786, 87-122 (transl. with text and notes).

– “Some Account of the Sculptures and Ruins at Mavalipuram”, As. Res. 1, 1788, 8° reprint 1798, 145-170 (originally written in 1784).

Sources: Briefly in D.N.B. 10, 1887, under his brother. Not in Br. Biogr. Arch. 1st ser. – but several articles on his brother and son, both also in Wikipedia. has the years of birth and death.

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