At the age of eight he was taken in charge by an elder brother of his father, Howard Hastings, who held a post in the customs. After spending two years at a private, school at Newington Butts, he was moved to Westminster, where among his contemporaries occur the names of Lord Thurlow and Lord Shelburne, Sir Elijah Impey, and the poets Cowper and Churchill.
The defects of this method are that the tops are liable to split in the brake and the butts to remain foul.
The willows are cut at the first indication of the sap rising and "couched" in rotten peelings and soil at a slight angle, the butts being on the ground, which should be strewn with damp straw from a manure heap. The tops are covered lightly with rotted peelings and by periodical application of water, fermentation is induced at the bottom, heat is engendered, the leaves force their way through the covering and peeling may begin.
The Ausbruch wines take from three to four years to ripen, and they may contain from 12% to 15% of alcohol and a little or a fair quantity of sugar, these factors varying according to the vintage and the number of " butts " of zibebs employed.
In 1758 without graduating in arts, and in the following year succeeded his father in the living of Newington Butts in Surrey.