Born in Westmoreland, he attended Hawkshead and Sedbergh Schools. He then studied the Mathematics Tripos at Queens' College, Cambridge, where he was senior wrangler (the highest-scoring graduate in his year). He entered Gray's Inn in 1790 and was called to the bar twelve years later, retiring in 1809. He was Deputy High Steward of the University of Cambridge from 1806 until death. A strong Whig, he was active in the anti-slavery campaign.
Source: Alumni Cantabrigienses