Samuel Chetham was educated at Oxford and succeeded his father James Chetham (1641-1697) to estates in Lancashire. James Chetham was a great-nephew of Humphrey Chetham (1580-1653), Manchester's great benefactor who founded Chetham's Hospital and Library there. James married Margaret, daughter of Sir Samuel Sleigh of Etwall, Derbyshire and through his mother Margaret Sleigh, Samuel Chetham acquired extensive estates in Derbyshire.
Samuel Chetham was a J.P. for Lancashire, Deputy Lieutenant in 1714 and High Sheriff 1737-1738. He married Mary Holt (1691-1749), daughter of James Holt of Castleton at Rochdale on 21 July 1714. Mary Holt was one of the four daughters and co-heirs of James Holt of Castleton who died in 1712. The other daughters were Frances wife of James Winstanley, Elizabeth wife of William Cavendish, Isabella wife firstly of Delaval Dutton and afterwards of Sir William Parsons. Samuel Chetham purchased the shares of his three sisters-in-law and thus acquired the whole Castleton estate. As he had no issue he settled the property on two cousins named Chetham who also died without issue with remainder to James Winstanley of Braunston (1706-1770), his wife's nephew who came into the Castleton property. He died after two hours sickness without issue and was buried at the Collegiate Church, Manchester (now Manchester Cathedral). His wife was buried there in 1749.
See lots 118 and 120 for portraits of Samuel Chetham's wife, Mary.