An English author of more than thirty-five novels, he is best known for his 1834 work, Rookwood. His other novels include The Lancashire Witches (1848) and Jack Sheppard (1839).
He published a play called The Rivals in March of 1821. Around this time, he collaborated with James Crossley on a novel entitled Sir John Chiverton.
He established a magazine called Windsor Castle.
He was born in Manchester, England to an attorney father and a minister's daughter mother. He married Fanny Eber on October 11, 1826.
He was a contemporary of fellow English novelist Charles Dickens.