Born on 20 July 1830 at Hinckley, Leics., the son of a Chartist and Methodist, he was entirely self-educated and began his working life as a stocking-loom operator, then became a foreman puddler in an iron foundry in Wednesbury. From the earliest days he was actively involved in the National Association of Ironworkers, despite leaving the iron trade to become superintendent of the Wednesbury public baths in 1877. From 1887 to 1912 he was president of the National Association and was very much involved in the work of the conciliation boards which maintained co-operation between management and work-force during periods of industrial unrest. His wife shared his allegiance to Primitive Methodism and the temperance cause. For 62 years he served as superintendent of the Leabrook PM Sunday school and he played a leading part in the Wednesbury Sons of Temperance Society. He was made a JP in 1893. He died at Wednesbury on 27 December 1915.