Born on 22 November 1787 in Sowerby, his childhood was spent in London and Cumbria. He settled in London in 1809 and became a pupil of John Varley (whose wife's sister he married). He was a highly productive landscape painter exhibiting at the Royal Academy, London 1811-42 and British Institution, London 1812-55 and showing 1,748 works at the Old Water-Colour Society, London 1813-55 of which he was President 1832-55.
He was a gold medallist at the Paris Salon in 1824. He died in Worthing on 3 March 1855.