Primitive Methodist local preacher, Liberal politician with advanced views, and temperance advocate, was born at Dye House near Hexham. He worked on his father's farm until sixteen when along with his brother he moved to Blaydon and became a butcher. Initially he attended a Newcastle Baptist chapel, but soon united with the Primitive Methodists and became a local preacher. He retired from commercial life in 1857. In 1834 he joined the Moderation Temperance Society, which permitted the drinking of beer and wine but not spirits. He served as the Secretary of the North of England Temperance League, was a Vice President of the United Kingdom Alliance, and also a good Templar and Rechabite.
Having moved to Gateshead, he was elected to represent the West Ward in November 1867 and continued on the borough council until his death on 15 September 1885. He was Mayor of Gateshead in 1873 and again in 1874, and was elected to the aldermanic bench in 1876. He also was for a time a Poor Law Guardian.
A drinking fountain was erected to his memory in Saltwell Park about 1886.