A merchant, Champneys began the building of Hall Place, Bexley, in about 1537. The son of Robert Champneys of Chew Magna, Somerset, he was a member of the Worshipful Company of Skinners. A contemporary chronicler, John Stow, noted that he was blind in later life: a divine judgment for having added 'a high tower of brick' to his house in Mincing Lane, 'the first that I ever heard of in any private man's house, to overlook his neighbours in this city.'
He was buried on 8 October 1556 at St Mary the Virgin, Bexley.
- Stephen, Leslie, ed. (1887). "Champneys, John". Dictionary of National Biography. 10. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
- London Borough of Bexley: Surnames - C Accessed 11 March 2013.