John was born in Aylesbury in 1948 moving to Hutton six years later when he joined All Saints Primary School, Hutton. Having passed the Eleven Plus he entered Middle 2 and Weald House becoming Head of House, captain of school cross country and athletics. He won the school prize for local history and was the first Brentwood student to enter Peterhouse, Cambridge to read history but quickly changed courses and graduated in Law. He was called to the Bar in the Middle Temple and became a circuit judge specialising in family law, publishing a number of books on the subject.
Following his retirement he returned to his passion for history becoming chairman of the Middle Temple Historical Society where before his sudden death on 27th March 2021 he was due to give a lecture on the first black member of the Middle Temple.