He was descended from an eminent nonconformist family which had lived for nearly two centuries at Little Lever and at Rivington Hall, near Bolton, Lancashire. He received his theological education under Dr. Caleb Rotheram, at Kendal. He was chosen in 1747 minister of the presbyterian congregation at Lydgate, in the parish of Kirkburton, Yorkshire. He continued to hold this charge till about 1753, when he became minister of Platt Chapel, a place of worship for Protestant dissenters in Rusholme, Lancashire. He stayed there about three years. He afterwards presided over a presbyterian congregation at Bridgnorth, where he remained till his health broke down and he became mad.
In the earlier part of his life he sent to the press a criticism on the sermons of his friend, the Rev. John Holland, and some animadversions on Dr. John Brown's Essays on the Characteristics. His Virgil Englished, 1766, was dedicated to the Hon. Booth Grey. It is in blank verse, and attempted to convey the sense of Virgil line for line. This was a rare book, printed by John Baskerville. Another work of his, called Eidyllia, is a volume of poems, 1757, dedicated to the Hon. Charles Yorke. The preface contains a polemic on rhyme.