Missionary to the West Indies, he was born in High Wycombe, Bucks., at a time when Hannah Ball was the leading light of local Methodism. When he was fifteen, the preaching of Jonathan Coussins caused him to tremble in fear, and he consequently joined a Methodist class. He soon gained a sense of justification, became a local preacher, and developed an interest in the new Methodist missions overseas. This led him to offer his services as a preacher in the West Indies. He was ordained by Thomas Coke in October 1791 and sailed for St. Kitts and Nevis. His appointment to Jamaica in 1794 coincided with the early stages of a life-long liver ailment that forced him, in the following year, to convalesce in the United States. At his next station, St. Vincent (1796-1798), he achieved what was perhaps the greatest success of his career, a net increase of approximately one thousand black members.
Recurring bilious complaints in 1798 forced him to return to England where he was able to work about half a year with William Bramwell during a revival in Nottingham and then half a year in Jersey and Guernsey. He married in August 1799, apparently in Jersey, and left with his wife in October for an appointment in Tortola. Subsequent bouts of illness did not deter him. With further appointments in Antigua, Dominica and Barbados, he had compiled a record of service in at least seven Caribbean circuits over a span of fourteen years by 1806. For the rest of his life he served in English circuits, mostly in the North and north Midlands and almost always as the circuit superintendent. During that time, he became part of the growing contingent of former Methodist missionaries in the British Isles who were actively promoting overseas missions. In 1835, when both his sight and memory had started to fade, he settled in Manchester as a supernumerary, dying there on 29 December 1839.