From about 1836 until 1846 he lived in France, where, after a course of study at Paris, he became manager of some chemical works, later acting as assistant to Michel Eugène Chevreul. On his return to England he settled in Manchester as a consulting chemist, and was appointed honorary professor of chemistry at the Royal Manchester Institution. Devoting himself almost entirely to industrial chemistry, he gave much attention to the manufacture of coal-tar products, and particularly carbolic acid (for use in the treatment of raw sewage), for the production of which he established large works in Manchester in 1865. Besides contributing extensively to the English and French scientific journals, he published a work on Dyeing and Calico-Printing. He died in Manchester.