A grocer and mercer of Keighley, Yorks, he was converted by John Wilkinson c. 1743. He and Wilkinson established the first Methodist society at Haworth in 1744-45. John Wesley accepted him as an itinerant in 1748. In that year, with Wesley and Grimshaw, he faced the fury of the mob at Roughlee and Barrowford. He was in charge of two Classes from 1764 and became Steward of the Haworth Circuit in 1765. 'The refined and gentle Colbeck,' as Grimshaw described him, died of a fever caught while undertaking visitation work.