He attended Charterhouse School (1819) and then matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford, on 24 January 1825, aged 18.
He was awarded his Bachelor in 1828, and in the same year was made a Fellow of All Souls College. He gained a Bachelor of Civil Law in 1831 and Data Control Language in 1836. He was called to the bar at the Middle Temple in 1835, and became a bencher in 1862.
In 1844 he succeeded Philip Williams as Vinerian Professor of English Law, and held the chair until his death.
He was also Recorder of Oswestry. He died on 17 April 1880 in the place of his birth.