He was the son of an Attorney in Hatton Garden, (and his mother afterwards married a Mr. Sayer.) He was of Trinity Hall, Cambridge; LL.B. 1752; LL.D. 1757. His promotion began by making an arrangement of the Duke of Newcastle's library when Chancellor of the University of Cambridge. He was elected Master of Trinity Hall in 1764, on the death of Dr. Dickins; in the same year was appointed advocate-general to his Majesty, and received the honour of knighthood; and was appointed Judge of the Admiralty Court in 1778, in the room of Sir George Hay. He twice represented the borough of Sudbury. (See his speech in defence of the Ministry, Gent. Mag. vol. LII. p. 164.) His principal publication was the Case of the Dutch Prizes taken in the War before last, about 1759. In 1769 he published The Rights and Privileges of both the Universities, and of the University of Cambridge in particular, defended, in a Charge to the Grand Jury at the Quarter Sessions for the Peace at Cambridge, Oct. 10, 1768; also, an Argument in the Case of the Colleges of Christ and Emmanuel. Several of his verses are published in Dodsley's Collection, particularly Laura, and others, which had been printed for private use, some singly, others in a volume. He died at Twinsted hall, near Sudbury, March 21, 1803, aged 72.