He attended the University of Edinburgh and, after the obligatory Grand Tour of the antiquities of Continental Europe, joined his father"s textile manufacturing enterprise.
Though he was elected to Parliament for Manchester in 1839, it was without his consent and he resigned in the following year. He was an opponent of factory reform, trades unions and worker health and safety legislation. He died at Norcliffe Hall, Styal, Cheshire and is buried at the Dean Row Unitarian Chapel, Wilmslow.
13th United Kingdom Parliament]
He was an active member of the Liberal Party and the Anti-Corn Law League.