A member of the Methodist New Connexion, born on 13 July 1801 at York, he qualified as an apothecary in 1823 and as a surgeon in 1843, and gained his MD at St. Andrews in 1862. From 1823 to the end of his life he lived at Shelton, Hanley, Staffs., where he served as medical officer for Stoke on Trent. His concern for improving the social conditions of the poor and underprivileged did not prevent him from pursuing more intellectual interests. He became a devoted student of craniology, made a large collection of skulls from different parts of the world (catalogued in his Thesaurus craniorum, 1867) and published a number of papers on the subject. He was a joint editor of the Journal of the Anthropological Institute and of Anthropologia and collaborated with John Thurnam on the two-volume Crania Britannica (1865). In 1880 he gave his collection of fourteen skeletons and other items to the Royal College of Surgeons. He died at Shelton on 19 May 1881.