The orphaned ward of a wealthy uncle, who disinherited him because of his association with the Methodists. He was baptized on 25 August 1745 and became an itinerant in 1776. In 1784 John Wesley ordained him deacon and elder along with Richard Whatcoat, and sent them to America with Thomas Coke to establish the Methodist Episcopal Church. While there he successfully applied to the newly consecrated William White, Bishop of Pennsylvania for episcopal orders; but, disapproving of the prevailing republicanism, he returned home after only two years. He served as a curate in England until reunited with Wesley in 1789. He was then stationed, mainly in northern circuits, until 1811. In 1794 he was involved in the controversy over the administration of the Sacrament in Bristol. For his last fifteen years he was resident clergyman at Wesley's Chapel, London, prolonging an era when the Methodist itinerants were not permitted to officiate there. In 1826 he retired to Leeds, where he died suddenly on 27 December that year.