Irish itinerant, born in Dublin on 17 February 1754. Brought up a Roman Catholic, he was apprenticed to a printer and bookseller. His career in the printing business was troubled by a fiery temper and frequent changes of employment in both Dublin and England. Impressed by John Wesley on his 1773 visit to Dublin, he began an erratic spiritual journey marked by a self-doubt which continued beyond his conversion to Methodism and first appointment as an itinerant in 1783. But he became an effective preacher and from 1795 to 1806 was the first Book Steward of the Irish Conference.