Born deaf at Devonport; early life is obscure. Apparently financially supported by family money, since he had the means to run, unsuccessfully, for a seat in Parliament in 1835 and the leisure time to study architecture. Began designing buildings in the 1830s and continued at least through 1850. Most of his buildings were Baptist chapels, his last known building to be constructed being the Baptist Chapel on River Street, Truro (1849-1850), though he remained listed in a trade directory as late as 1868. He made several lectures on architecture, read aloud by others because Sambell's deafness prevented his speaking clearly enough. Died at Stonehouse in Devon.
Deaf Lives, p.160-161.