English architect. Originally an illiterate mason, he taught himself to read and write, and learned the ‘rudiments’ of architecture from William Atkinson (c. 1773–1839). He established (1813) a successful practice as an ecclesiastical architect in Manchester (where Atkinson also had an office (1812–16) ), specializing in Gothic Revival churches. Among his works may be mentioned the ambitious RC Church of Sts Mary and John, Pleasington, Lancs. (1816–19—with a noble circular west window), St Peter's Chapel, Blackburn, Lancs. (1819–21), St Augustine's Chapel, Granby Road, Manchester (1820), the Church (now Cathedral) of St Mary, Blackburn (1820–6—reconstructed and altered after 1831 by Rickman and others), and Holy Trinity Church, North Ashton, Ashton-in-Makerfield, Lancs. (1873–8). He had interests in architectural history, and restored and altered the Collegiate Church (now Cathedral), Manchester (1814–15): he published (1829) his Guide to the Collegiate Church of Manchester, and contributed a detailed description of that building to Hibbert-Ware & Whatton's History of the Foundations of Manchester (1834). Considering his humble origins and late start, his work is remarkable for its quality and scholarship.
Colvin (1995);Pevsner : BoE, North (1969) and South (1969) Lancashire