He was born in Dublin in 1756. Walks along the North Wall of the Liffey developed his urge to travel, and in 1773 he joined the army, enlisting in the 9th Foot. In 1776 he was posted to America, serving under Burgoyne, Clinton and Cornwallis. Captured at Saratoga in 1777 and later in North Carolina, he made two escapes, the second with four others by digging a tunnel under the wall of Philadelphia Gaol. Returning to England he was discharged at Winchester, but refused a pension as his service was less than 20 years. He then returned to Dublin where he heard John Wesley preach and became a Methodist, married a widow with several children, and became a schoolmaster. In 1793 he was appointed the master of the free school at Whitefriar Street which prospered and grew under his mastership. He exercised a great and good influence on the boys he taught. He was a member of the Strangers’ Friend Society. He published a book about his American experiences and another about his own life.