The son of WM parents in Nottinghamshire, he worked as a student teacher before being accepted for the ministry in 1862. His family emigrated to New Zealand the following year and he began a 36-year ministry there. He was twice President of the Conference, in 1879 and 1884, attended the second Oecumenical Methodist Conference in 1891 and became Connexional Secretary in 1893 and President of the Australasian General Conference in 1894. The administrative structure of New Zealand Methodism owes more to him than to any other person. He received a DD from Emory and Henry College, Virginia in 1898. His History of Methodism in New Zealand was published in 1900. Problems in Australian Methodism led to his transfer in 1902 to the Victoria Conference, where he managed the Supernumerary Fund until his retirement in 1914.