He was a New York City merchant. He served as the 41st Mayor of New York City from 1757 to 1766. He was the speaker of the Province of New York assembly from 1769 to 1775.
In the New York assembly he voted against approval of the proceedings of the First Continental Congress. He was named as one of the "suspected" persons on the New York Provincial Congress in 1776. Before the British occupation of New York City he retired to Kinderkook, returning to New York City in 1783.
He died December 27, 1791.
Member General Assembly, 1759-1768. Member New York City delegation Stamp Act Congress, 1765, author Declaration of the Rights and Grievances of the Colonists in America (sent to England), 1765.