From Manchester, he entered the RA Schools in 1769 and was a student of well known topographical artist Richard Wilson.  From 1765-1813 he exhibited topographical subjects at both the RA and the SA.

He was one of the first artists to arrive in Polperro in 1810, on an extended visit to the West Country.  He stayed at the Ship Inn in Polperro, recording in his diary at the time that he "went to the rocks at the entrance to the harbour and being favoured by the weather passed several hours in tinting a sketch of Polperrow."

His engraving of Rocks at the Lands End (1813) is in Penlee House, Penzance and served as the cover illustration to the 1993 Exhibition catalogue An Artistic Tradition, Two Centuries of Painting and Craft in West Cornwall 1750-1950, as curated by Jonathan Holmes, the then Museum Officer. This engraving is one of twenty-four 'Views of Cornwall' in Part IV of Britannia Depicta, worked by the artist in 1814.

The artist is most famous for his diary that contains valuable information about the internal life of the London art world during the late 18th and early 19th Centuries.