He was born near Ryton, Co. Durham on 14 November 1796, of devout Methodist parents. Converted in 1814, he offered for the work overseas in 1820 and sailed immediately for the West Indies, where he had a notable ministry in Jamaica until his wife's health caused him to move to Nova Scotia 1826-1830. He then returned to the home work.In 1843 he returned to the West Indies to resolve a number of issues that had arisen between the Conference and the missionaries. In 1852 he was sent to Australia to arrange for an independent Australasian Conference. On his return he was appointed President of the British Conference in 1856. Described as 'wise, graceful, winning, fervent, energetic', paralysis forced him to retire from the active work to Truro in 1860, where he died on 16 November 1865.Woodhouse Grove. He became tutor in Biblical Literature and Classics at Headingley College in 1876, then at Handsworth College when it opened in 1881, becoming Governor 1892-1897. In 1886, he became the only son of a former President of the Conference to be elected to the presidential chair. He died in Birmingham on 1 August 1898.