Ephraim Chambers

Ephraim Chambers, author of the English Encyclopedia, is buried in the north cloister of Westminster Abbey. The white marble monument on the wall, which originally had a pyramid above, is by sculptor N. Hedges and the Latin inscription (written by Chambers himself) can be translated:

Common to many, known by few, who between light and shade neither learned nor simple, passed a life devoted to literature; But as a man, held nothing human foreign from his cause, his days and labours together discharged here wished to rest EPHRAIM CHAMBERS, F.R.S. He died May 15 1740

He was born about 1680 near Kendal in Cumbria, a son of Richard Chambers, a farmer. Apprenticed in London to a map maker he soon had an idea for a larger encyclopedia than any that was then available. He published his two volume work in 1728 and later editions followed. He died at Canonbury House in Islington. His brothers were Nathaniel and Zachary and he had two sisters.

Further reading

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004



15th May 1740




Cloisters; North Cloister

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Ephraim Chambers
Ephraim Chambers memorial

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