Born at Salisbury, England; he was a chorister from 1815 to 1823 in the cathedral under Arthur Thomas Corfe. Entering the Royal Academy of Music he studied the violoncello under Lindley, harmony and composition under Lord and Dr. Crotch. In 1830 he was made a member of Queen Adelaide's private band and not long after preceptor to Prince George (afterwards Duke) of Cambridge and the Princess of Saxe-Weimar. During this time he composed and arranged much band music. He succeeded Cipriani Potter in 1832 as conductor at the Royal Academy of Music and he also became a member of the Opera and other orchestras as violoncellist. He succeeded Lindley as cellist at the Opera, provincial festivals and elsewhere. He belonged to the music-publishing firm of Addison Hollier and Lucas from 1856 to 1865. In 1859 he had succeeded Potter as principal of the Royal Academy of Music and he held this position until his health gave out. Among his compositions are The Regicide, an opera: three symphonies, string quartets, anthems and songs.