Robert Chambers (publisher, born 1832)

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Robert Chambers
Born March 1832
Died 23 March 1888 (aged 55–56)
Claremont Crescent, Edinburgh
Nationality Scottish
Citizenship United Kingdom
Education Circus Place School, Edinburgh
Occupation Partner, W & R Chambers Ltd, Publisher, Edinburgh (1853-88)
Active in the production of Chambers' Encyclopaedia (1859-68)
Editor, Chambers' Journal (1874)
Spouse(s) Miss Anderson (1856)
Children Eldest son: Charles Edward Stuart Chambers (born 1859), editor of the Journal and chairman of W. & R. Chambers
Parent(s) Father: Robert Chambers
Relatives Nephew of William Chambers
Robert Chambers' grave, Dean Cemetery

Robert Chambers FRSE (March 1832 – 23 March 1888) was a Scottish publisher, editor of Chambers' Journal and encyclopaedist, the son of Robert Chambers, the co-founder of the W & R Chambers publishing house in Edinburgh.[1]


He became a member of the publishing firm in 1853, and in 1862 wrote an excellent book on golfing, A Few Rambling Remarks on Golf. A poem on St. Andrews Links was the joint work of Chambers and his father. In 1874, on the resignation of James Payn, he became editor of Chambers's Journal; he occasionally contributed papers, and he conducted the magazine with great success. On the death of his uncle William in 1883, the whole responsibility of the publishing house devolved upon him, but he was assisted during the last two or three years of his life by his eldest son, Charles Chambers. He took an active part in the production of the first edition of Chambers's Encyclopædia (1859–68), and helped in the preliminary work in connection with the new edition. He also assisted Alexander Ireland, in the preparation of the 1884 edition of his father's Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation, in which was given the first authoritative information of the authorship.[2]

Robert was a member of several golf clubs and his golfing career is summarised separately under Robert Chambers, Jr..

He was a member of the St. Giles's Cathedral board, and, like his uncle, took much interest in the church.[2]

Chambers was for long in delicate health, and spent most of his time at North Berwick or St. Andrews. He died of an affection of the heart on 23 March 1888 at his house in Claremont Crescent in the eastern New Town, Edinburgh.[2] He is buried on the north side of one of the central paths in Dean Cemetery in Edinburgh.


He was married to Laura Anderson.

His eldest daughter Violet Tweedale (1862-1936) was a novelist and spiritualist, who became a friend of the famous Theosophist Helena Blavatsky.[3]

Other children included Charles Edward Stuart Chambers (1859-1936)


  1. ^ Waterston, Charles D; Macmillan Shearer, A (July 2006). Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783-2002: Biographical Index (PDF). I. Edinburgh: The Royal Society of Edinburgh. ISBN 978-0-902198-84-5. Retrieved 26 January 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c Aitken 1901.
  3. ^ Every woman's encyclopaedia, volume 2 p. 1380 (1910-12).

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainAitken, George Atherton (1901). "Chambers, Robert (1832-1888)". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 supplement​. London: Smith, Elder & Co.