Born on 29 June 1899 at Egham, into a Methodist family, he was educated at Queen's College, Taunton. He trained as a lawyer and was articled to George Macdonald, the son of the Rev. F.W. Macdonald. He had a distinguished career as a lawyer and public servant, and became KBE in 1956 and a life peer in 1964. He died on 5 June 1973.