He was educated at Norwich grammar school and at Caius College, Cambridge, where he was scholar and afterwards fellow.
Gadaldinus, Conrad Gesner, Sylvius, Cornarius, Joannes Montanus, Joannes Caius, Thomas Linacre, Theodore Goulston, Caspar Hoffman, Rene Chartier, Haller and Kuhn.
There he remained a year, more or less, and "seems afterwards to have gone to Sedlescombe school in Sussex, from whence he passed to Caius College, Cambridge, on the 29th of June 1667, and was admitted a sizar of St John's, on the 2nd of February 1668-1669, aged 18."
It does not seem to have been commonly known till the middle of the 16th century, when John Caius sent a description and figure, with the name Gallus Mauritanus, to Gesner, who published both in his Paralipomena in 1555, and in the same year Belon also gave a notice and woodcut under the name of Poulle de la Guinee; but while the former authors properly referred their bird to the ancient Meleagris, the latter confounded the Meleagris and the turkey.
He also wrote A Political Life of Sir Robert Peel (London, 1856); A Financial, Statistical and Monetary History of England from 1688 (London, 1847); Matter for Materialists (London, 1870); The Eve of St Mark, a Romance of Venice; and three dramas, The Statue Wife, Diocletian and Caius Marius, in addition to some fishing songs, and many contributions to various newspapers and periodicals.