Sir William Chambers RA (1723-96) was born in Sweden to Scottish parents, educated in England, then travelled to the Far East, France, and Italy. He became architecture tutor to the Prince of Wales (later George III) who advanced his career, and for whom he designed a coronation coach still used by the Royal Family. In 1757 he published Designs of Chinese Buildings, and his Treatise of Civil Architecture (1759) became an important and standard work dealing with the Orders and their uses.
The pagoda and orangery at Kew are fine examples of his work, which led to a general interest in Britain in eastern architecture, and his masterpiece is considered to be Somerset House in London.
As a founder member and treasurer of the Royal Academy, his influence led to the development of the architectural profession, and he is buried in Poets Corner in Westminster Abbey.