Born in the parish of Llandrillo in North Wales, he left home c.1754 to work as a carpenter in the neighbourhood of Chester. There he heard John Wesley preach in 1756, an experience which contributed towards his conversion. He was married three times: in 1758 to Margaret Jones of Bala, where he established a small business; in 1761 to Jane Jones, the widowed mother of Sarah, the future wife of the Rev. Thomas Charles; and in 1787 to Lydia Lloyd, daughter of Simon Lloyd, again of Bala. He then moved to Machynlleth. Though a WM, he possessed a tolerant spirit which allowed him to co-operate with the Calvinists and preach among them. He died on 15 May 1802.