He was born in Northumberland, but moved with his parents to Bradford c.1825. Subsequently apprenticed in the woolsorting and spinning trades, he became a partner in the firm of Hill, Smith and Drummond. Smith retired in 1849 and Hill died in 1851. The worsted spinning and manufacturing business continued to expand, Drummond erecting a large mill in Lumb Lane. In 1871, with his sons entering the business, it became Drummond & Partners. Originally a Wesleyan, in 1849 he joined the Wesleyan Reformers. He was Liberal councillor for the Manningham Ward 1867-1870 and also served on the Board of Guardians.