Born at Esholt, near Bradford, the son of a spinning and weaving manufacturer, he spent his working life in the business world and was President of the Bradford Chamber of Commerce. He gave much public service to both community and the Wesleyan Church. He was a councillor from 1870, alderman from 1871 to 1877, and Mayor in 1875, and was the first President of the Bradford Technical College. A Conservative in politics, he received a knighthood in 1887. As a Wesleyan layman, he was a member of the Committee of Privileges, served on the London Mission Committee and the Overseas Missions Fund, and was lay treasurer of the Theological Institution Fund. He died on 27 April 1898.