Little is known of his early life. He was an itinerant for c. 30 years despite a weak and nervous constitution blamed on poor accommodation and damp beds during his service in rural Ireland at various periods between 1758 and 1766. He had a formative influence on the friend of his schooldays, Robert Roberts (1731-22 December 1799). John Wesley named him as one of the 'Legal Hundred' and as a beneficiary in his will. He spent his retirement from 1786 in Chester. His obituary characterized him as 'a sensible, well-read man, and by no means a weak preacher'. John Wesley mentioned his wife several times in his correspondence, commending her as 'a good leader, either for a band or a class'.