He was ordained by Thomas Coke at Liverpool on 6 October 1793 for the West Indian mission, but failed to turn up for the voyage. After supplying in the Stockport Circuit, in 1794 he was appointed to the Leeds Circuit, but was suspended by the District Meeting for alleged misconduct with young women. He left the ministry in 1795 (not 1797, as stated by William Myles), possibly because of his Kilhamite sympathies. His attempts to be reinstated were unsuccessful, so he formed his own congregation in Leeds in a carpenter's shop and his supporters built him a chapel. He also published a hymn book.
John Pawson described him in February 1794 as 'a very promising young man', but by March 1797 was reporting that he 'now sinks into nothing' and dismissed him as 'a simpleton' and 'an effeminate creature who has disgraced religion and wounded the cause of God'. He may have been the brother of William Thoresby (e.m. 1785; died 1806); if so, he came from Great Ouseburn, north of York.