Born on 6 October 1797 in Deptford, the son of a drawing master. He took lessons from Samuel Prout c. 1813 and was apprenticed for one year to the engraver John Pye. He exhibited British and European landscape views in oil and water-colour at the Royal Academy, London 1811-18 and 1843-58, the Old Water-Colour Society, London 1821-46 and 1856-62, and on five occasions at the British Institution, London between 1827-50.
He travelled frequently in Europe from 1824. A dedicated teacher, he published a number of Drawing Books and teaching manuals illustrated with lithographs; one, dedicated to Louis-Philippe in 1836, earned him a Sèvres breakfast service. He died in Barnes on 4 December 1863.