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William Chambers, a talented Oriental Scholar (d. 1793)


Artist: Jeremiah Meyer

Inscribed on the reverse Mr. Chambers, East India Company Civil Service. Greatest Oriental scholar of his day. Nephew of Mr. Collins and brother of Sir R Chambers, Lord Chief Justice of Bengal.

Chambers was not in the service of the East India company, but engaged in commercial pursuits, first at Madras and afterwards in Bengal and was distinguished by his talents particularly as an Oriental Scholar. For some years he was a corresponding member of the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge and took a lively interest in the propagation of Christianity in India.

He married Charity, daughter of Thomas Fraser of Balmain, Invernessshire. His son, William Frederick was born in India in 1786 and came to England in 1793, the year of his father's death.

It is known that Chambers was in India as early as 1762, so it is likely that this portrait was taken prior to his departure for Meyer had died before Chambers life was also cut short, in 1793.

More Information
Literature                 The Comerford Collection: Portrait Miniatures, (Dublin, privately published, 2009) pp 6, 16 (#18r &18v) 67 (sitter #3)
Exhibition                 Comerford Collection at the Irish Architectural Archives in Dublin, in 2009.
Condition                 Water damage to the left and right and side.
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