He started his bookselling and publishing business in a small shop in the gateway of Street Bartholomew"s Hospital, London. He is known for his "beautiful edition" of Izaak Walton"s Compleat Angler which he published in 1823. lieutenant proved so popular that he produced reprints and further editions with additional illustrations in 1824, 1833, 1839, 1844 and 1847.
He also published editions of John Bunyan"s Pilgrim"s Progress complete with a biography of Bunyan by Robert Southey (1830) and Daniel Defoe"s Robinson Crusoe, for which book he wrote a preface wishing "the reader a good appetite for, and a healthy digestion of, the banquet here provided".
Major"s business affairs were never well managed, and he allowed himself to become dangerously involved in speculative ventures with a bibliographer named Thomas Frognall Dibdin. This eventually led, after many changes of address, to bankruptcy, and he "obtained an asylum in the Charterhouse", where he died.