Distinguished for his zeal and accomplishment in the preservation of the music of Ireland. He was born at Armagh, of Irish descent on his mother's side, his father being an English engineer. He studied both organ and piano, and from 1806 to 1817 served as organist in a church in Belfast. Attending a meeting of the old harpers, held at Belfast in 1792, he was roused to enthusiasm for the native airs; and this enthusiasm did not abate. He made a life-study of the music of Ireland, and preserved for posterity the songs of the Irish bards. In 1796 he brought out his General Collection of the Ancient Irish Music, an enlarged edition in 1809, and a third collection in 1840. His life-work was a labor of love.