Born in St. Anthony's, Walker, nr Newcastle upon Tyne.
(June) Durham Regatta: 3 Claspers and Chambers won fours for £20, H. & J. Clasper won pairs.
Thames National Regatta Winship & Bruce beat H.Clasper & Pocock in pairs, H.Clasper,
Pocock, Chambers, MacKinney won fours for £100.
(August) Thames National Regatta 2 Claspers, A.Maddison, Chambers won fours for £100.
(28/08/1857) Manchester Regatta: H.Clasper, Chambers, Ault, Winship won fours.
(September) Lancaster Regatta: Clasper's crew beat Taylor's crew.
Thames National Regatta: H.Clasper, Chambers, T.MacKinney, T.Pocock won fours and £100.
(19/04/1858) Robert Chambers beat Thomas White of Bermondsey, "it was this victory,
in a measure unexpected, which was the principal cause of his being backed against
Kelley" (Bell's Life 20/08/1859; also reported in the Times 20/04/1859). Both Ned Corvan and
Joe Wilson composed songs about this race.
(30/04/1858) Illustrated London News write up.
(27/06/1858) Durham Regatta: H. & J. Clasper won pairs beating Chambers & Winship.
H. & J. Clasper, Chambers, Winship won fours.
(August) Bell's Life August 1859 on Robert Chambers' style "was magnificent and few who
saw him row that latter part of the race will ever forget that majestic, even, and stupendous
sweep of the sculls, or the finished fall of his compact shoulders, and his well defined muscles."
Thames National Regatta: H. & J. Clasper, Chambers, Winship won fours and £100.
(23/08/1858) Manchester Regatta: H. & J. Clasper, Chambers, Winship won fours.
(18/06/1860) Durham Regatta: H. & J. Clasper, Chambers, Winship shared fours' prize
of £23 with Taylor's crew.
(21/07/1860) Royal Thames National Regatta final H. & J. Clasper, Chambers, Winship
fouled by Shakespear and Thames crews and lost for £100, Thomas crew of Putney and
AP Lonsdale crew of Manchester and Tyne. The committee offered Clasper £10 for the race
but Clasper challenged the others to race for no stake, which they declined. To add insult
to injury when Harry went to race his pair with his son he found two holes had been drilled in
(26/07/1860) Derby Regatta: H. & J. Clasper, Chambers, Winship won fours.
(27/08/1860) Manchester Regatta: H. & J. Clasper, Chambers, Winship won fours.
(September) Robert Chambers defeated Harry Kelley for the Championship of England,
the first Tyne sculler to do so. George Ridley sang "O, ye Cockneys all, Ye mun think't very
funny' For Bob he gans and licks ye all, an' collars all your money."
(27/09/1860) Newcastle & Gateshead Regatta: H. & J. Clasper, Chambers, Winship won fours.
Thames Regatta won by a Tyne four.
Engraving of the Kilmorey crew of 1861 George Hammerton, John Tagg, Edward
Winship, Robert Chambers, Robert Clasper
Thames regatta Harry Clasper stroked the winning four.
(July 1862) Crew was H. & J. Clasper, E.Winship, R.Chambers cox R.Clasper.
(16/06/1863) Robert Chambers v Thomas Green of Australia for the Championship of the
Tyne, the first "International World Professional Sculling Contest" - a match worth thousands
"half the world travelling o,er to lay wor Tyneside law,
the tother half now may try an still we'll keep the craw,
aw says aw'll lay me brass on Bob an work the winnin seam."
Harry Kelley beat Chambers and Cooper at Eau Brink Cut near Kings Lynn for the national
title. Kelley went onto claim the world title by defeating Hamill of Canada in 1865.
(28/08/1863) Tyne Regatta: Kelly, Chambers and Cooper race for the Tyne Champion's
cup for £50, Green absent as ill, race ended in acrimony and dispute, the scullers refused to
rerow on Monday.
(05/09/1864) Chambers v Cooper on the Tyne race postponed to the following day as
Chambers' boat was holed, Cooper had beaten Chambers twice over shorter distances, but this
time Chambers won. Cooper was a Redheugh ferryman.
(Autumn) Dispute arose over a race between Chambers and Robert Cooper.
Race painted by John Warkup Smith the next year.
(September) York Regatta got Clasper, Chambers and Cooper down from the Tyne to
promote rowing (Yorkshire Gazette 30/09/1865).
Championship match Harry Kelley v Robert Chambers who used a sliding seat designed
and made by Adam Deas of Gateshead.
(May) Kelley defeats Chambers for the Championship of England, "The name o'Chambers,
honest Bob, Aw's sure 'ill nivor dee, The brave, the game undaunted man That struggled hard
to be The hero of a hundred spins, The champion frae Tyneside, That kept the world se lang
at bay, Tho lick't, yor still wor pride," sang Joe Wilson. Chambers was probably already
dying from Tuberculosis.
(04/06/1868) Robert Chambers "Honest Bob" of Walker died. "Massive crowds lined the route of the
funeral cortege as it moved from Pottery Bank in St. Anthony's to Walker Cemetary. Flags on the boats
of the Tyne General Ferry Company flew at half mast and the bells of St. Nicholas Church boomed out
a sonerous death march pace" (The Tyne Oarsmen - Peter Dillon)