He was born at Givendale on the Yorkshire Wolds in 1762 or 1767. On his conversion in 1804, he joined the WMs and by his praying converted others, becoming known as 'Praying Johnny'. In 1819, after hearing William Clowes preach at Hull, he joined the PMs and itinerated from 1821, mainly in the Yorkshire Wolds. He was instrumental in the 1823 revival at Filey, which resulted in a strong society among the fishermen, and later gave fresh impetus to the revival in Weardale. He died on 19 January 1830.