He was an avid amateur astronomer and skilled observer. In 1876 he made the acquaintance of Rev. Thomas William Webb and assisted with the compilation of the famous book Celestial Objects for Common Telescopes; after Webb's death he published expanded 5th and 6th editions of it. He discovered many nebulas, variable stars, and more than 2500 double stars. He made many observations of the spectra of stars, and in particular he also did extensive searches for red stars (especially in his early career) and published a catalogue of them.
He discovered Nova Lacertae 1910.
In 1888 he became Vicar of Tow Law and held this post until his death. He also served as a county magistrate for 35 years beginning in 1891 and was Chairman of Stanhope and Wolsingham Sessions. He never married.