Barrister, journalist, actor, playwright. Editor of Gray's Inn Journal between 1752 and 1754. Henry Thrale's oldest and dearest friend. Introduced Samuel Johnson to the Thrales in January 1765. Commissioner of Bankruptcy in 1803.
Best known for three biographies: his 1792 Essay on the Life and Genius of Samuel Johnson, his 1762 Fieldingís Works and his 1801 Life of David Garrick. Thought to have coined the legal term "wilful misconstruction" whilst representing the Donaldson v. Becket appeal to the House of Lords in 1774 against the perpetual possession of copyright.
A biography of his life was written in 1811 by Dr. Jesse Foote. Nathaniel Dancer painted his portrait which is thought to now be in the Irish National Portrait Collection.