The future Professor of Surgery at Newcastle was educated at the University of Edinburgh and, for a time, held office in the Colonial Hospital, Perth, Western Australia before being appointed house surgeon to the old Newcastle Infirmary in 1870. As well as being a skilful and quick surgeon, particularly in relation to amputations, he was a successful teacher, both in the wards of the Infirmary and in the College of Medicine.
In 1888, the University of Durham conferred upon him the degree of M.A. and subsequently the honorary degree of D.C.L. For a period, he acted as examiner in surgery in Edinburgh University, was a consulting surgeon to several of the hospitals in Newcastle, was a J.P. for the city and county of Newcastle and for several years vice-chairman of the local Licensing Committee.