Born in Carluke, he was a stone mason and self-taught sculptor. He
worked at the Clydesdale Quarries in Lanarkshire until being
"discovered" by a Colonel Gordon ( Gunnis
His first commission was a life-size statue of a Highland
Chieftain, followed by William Wallace, for Lanark (1817).
As a full-time sculptor he produced statues of literary and historical
's Lord Melville Monument,
St Andrew's Square, Edinburgh (1822), and produced James V at
Cramond Bridge, Clermiston House (c.1836).
His work in Glasgow is represented by the John Knox (1825)
and William McGavin Monuments (1834) in the Necropolis (the former
designed by William Warren, the latter modelled by John Ritchie).
In 1834, he entered the competition for the Sir Walter Scott
Monument in Glasgow's George Square, but lost to John Greenshields.
In 1840, he exhibited some of his work in his studio in Glasgow's Hope Street.
The exhibits included a colossal equestrian statue of Napoleon,
a portrait of the Duke of Wellington, The Sisters of Scio,
A Scottish Duke in Highland Costume, and Mazeppa and the Wild Steed,
all "sculptured from one block of stone taken from the best specimens of our
native rock" (Scottish Reformers Gazette, 4 April 1840).
He also executed the Henry Bell Monument, Rhu (c.1848) and
the statue of the Duke of Wellington, Falkirk (1851).
- Scottish Reformers Gazette, 4 April, 1840;