His parents are unknown. He was found as a toddler on the steps of a church in London, hence his surname. He was married twice, and had four children. He was ordained as a non-conformist minister in 1807. He served as minister at an independent chapel in Banbury, but left there after rumours that he was having sex with some of the men of the congregation. He later became minister at the Obelisk Tabernacle at St George's Fields in Southwark.
In 1813 he was accused of conducting mock marriages at the White Swan, Vere Street.
In 1816 he was convicted of attempted sodomy and sentenced to two years in prison.
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