He was an English High Court judge (Chancery Division) from 1881 to 1890, and a Lord Justice of Appeal from 1890, when he was made a Privy Councillor, until his retirement in January 1897. He was admitted to Trinity College, Cambridge in 1839 and received a Bachelor of Arts in 1844 and an Master of Arts in 1847. He was admitted to Lincoln"s Inn in 1844, called to the bar in 1847.
He became an authorised reporter at the Court of Chancery and was the author of "Kay"s Reports" and part of "Kay and Johnson"s Reports" during the period from 1853 to 1858.
He became Queen's Counsel in 1866. In 1883 he was living at Thorpe Abbotts in Brockdish, South Norfolk.