Bibliophile and local historian, he was born in Switzerland and brought up as a Roman Catholic. He came to England in 1857, working as a teacher at Bakewell, Gildersome and Wetherby before settling in Bradford. He published various books on dialects including his Materials for French Translation (1891). Some time after 1864 he renounced Roman Catholicism and became a Methodist, attending the White Abbey WM chapel. His collection of books and memorabilia (including many Methodist items) is in the Bradford Central Library.