Born in Plymouth, Devon and married to Lilian at the time of the 1891 Census, the couple were living at Uny Lelant ('Gonwin'), where he was listed as an artist photographer and employer. Kelly's Directory of 1893 lists him as Ashton, Photographer located at Tregenna Hill, in nearby St Ives.

The author Lewis Hind used his topographical photographs in Days in Cornwall (1907).