Born in Truro, the son of a cabinet-maker, he was apprenticed as a china-painter and first worked for William Cookworthy and then R. Champion in Bristol. After the failure of the latter’s factory in 1778 he settled in London and began to exhibit enamels at the Royal Academy. He made a special reputation for his copies after old master paintings and received high prices in his own time; the highest being for his copy of Titian’s Bacchus and Ariadne, which fetched 2,299 guineas in 1811. Whilst most of his prolific output consisted of such copies in enamel, he painted a few portraits in watercolour on ivory. He was appointed Enamel Painter to George III, George IV, and William IV, and often incorporated references to these in the lengthy inscriptions on the backs of his miniatures. His sight failed in 1832 and he died at Somers Town two yeas later.