Son of a WM minister of the same name, he was born at Alnwick on 29 July 1802. He was one of the first pupils at Woodhouse Grove School and as a Probationer taught there from 1822 to 1826. He was Governor and Tutor at Abney House, the Preparatory Branch of the Theological Institution, from 1839 until the opening of Richmond College in 1843, where he became classical tutor. In 1858 he became Governor and chaplain of Woodhouse Grove and in 1868 the first Governor at Headingley College. He was also Chairman of the Leeds District, 1858-1877 and secretary of the Book Committee etc. He was Secretary of the Conference 1851-64 and President in 1854 and 1870. Among his biblical works was a Biblical and Theological Dictionary (1851) which went through several editions. It came close to endorsing the concept of verbal dictation, but this was modified by a later editor, J.R. Gregory, in the 1889 edition. Farrar retired on health grounds in 1877 and died at Leeds on 19 November 1884.
'An excellent classical scholar. - Sound judgment. - Acute. -A bland open countenance.'
Wesleyan Takings (1840), p.318