WM preacher, born on 4 November 1740 at Portwood Hall, Stockport, the son of a farmer. Following an illness and after hearing John Wesley preach, he joined the Methodists in 1759 and was converted during a communion service in 1762. With John Morris, he began house prayer meetings around Ashton-under-Lyne and Dukinfield. In 1763 Wesley encouraged him to begin preaching in Birmingham, from where he extended his work throughout Staffordshire and northwards as far as south Lancashire, notably in Oldham. He declined becoming a local preacher or a regular itinerant, seeing his special mission as that of preaching to the poor and opening up new places. But his growing reputation brought him prominent ministerial friends and Wesley consulted him on local problems. After two decades of travelling, he confined his work to the Stockport area, especially encouraging the growth of Sunday Schools. including the Stockport undenominational school. He died at Cale Green, Stockport on 5 November 1814.