Fennells Place, Ewell, Surrey: unexecuted designs for a house, interior works, and rustic offices, for Anthony Chamier, 1765-74 (14)
Anthony Chamier (1725-80), was the son of a French Huguenot merchant, Daniel Chamier (1696-1741). The family had sought refuge in London in 1691. Anthony Chamier worked as a stockbroker, and later became a financier, and a financial advisor to the governments of Newcastle and Bute. In 1763 he was appointed to the war office, in which he fulfilled various offices, becoming Undersecretary at War in 1772. In 1775 he was made Undersecretary for State. He then served as MP for Tamworth in 1778-80. Chamier was also a founder-member of the Literary Club in 1764, becoming friends with Samuel Johnson, Henry Thrale, and Sir Joshua Reynolds. In 1753 he married Dorothy Wilson, daughter of Robert Wilson, a merchant, of Woodford, Essex, but they had no children, and Chamier was succeeded by his nephew John Deschamps (1754-1831).
In 1765 Chamier purchased three estates in Surrey including Fennells Place and The Elms, and he immediately engaged Adam to make designs for alterations to both. At Fennells, Adam’s drawings proposed rebuilding entirely. This cannot have been executed as the early sixteenth-century house survives. Adam also made designs for a rustic dairy office which was not executed. Fennells Place is now a college called Fitznells.
See also: The Elms, Epsom, Surrey
Literature: A.T. Bolton, The architecture of Robert and James Adam, 1922, Volume II, index pp. 13, 65; I. Nairn, and N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Surrey, 1971, p. 224; D. King, The complete works of Robert & James Adam and unbuilt Adam, 2001, Volume I, p. 213, Volume II, pp. 125, 257; J. Brooke, 'Chamier, Anthony (1725-80), of Epsom, Surrey', History of Parliament online, 2012