He was born near Bingley, Yorks. Following his conversion he lived with William Grimshaw, accompanying him on preaching excursions into Lancashire and Yorkshire. In 1752 he was at Newcastle upon Tyne, while the following year he assisted John Haughton in the Manchester Circuit. On being appointed to the Haworth Circuit he settled at Dean Head, a farm near Rochdale. Apparently adopting Calvinistic views, he acted as an Independent pastor for several years, before returning to Methodism. John Wesley remarked of him: 'Ten such preachers would carry the world before them.'