He was born in Dublin in 1830 and entered Trinity College Dublin where he graduated with BA in 1853 and MA in 1860. He also won prizes as an undergraduate for English and Hebrew.
In 1854 he was ordained deacon by the Bishop of Lichfield and his first curacy was at Brierley Hill in Staffordshire. After two years he was ordained priest and moved to Eckington and Ridgeway still as a curate.
Through Alexander Crawford Bromehead junior, the son of the Squire of Newbold, who was involved in setting up St. John’s, he came to Newbold as the first Minister.
The living at Newbold was created of a consolidated chapelry in 1861; Newbold did not become a parish until 1867. So at the age of 27 Bolton’s ministry began in Newbold in 1857 where he stayed for 32 years; his achievements in setting up the new parish were immense.
He was the driving force behind the provision of education and the church school on Littlemoor was built during his time. He was well aware that Whittington Moor, then the most densely-populated part of the parish, was where his ministry and mission should be concentrated.