He was a composer and a teacher of virginals and viol. In middle life, becoming a Quaker, he publicly burned his instruments and music on Tower Hill and took to shoemaking. To show his contempt for ‘steeple-houses’ he for two Sundays running insisted on making shoes in the pulpit of a London church during service, and had to be removed by the constable. During the plague of London he ran about the streets stripped to the waist and with a burning brazier on his head, warning men to repent. Later he accompanied George Fox, the founder of Quakerism, to the West Indies, and also went to New England. He wrote a wild book against music, "A Musick Lector", which appeared in 1667. He is often confused with that other Solomon Eccles who is known to have been one of the musicians of James II and may have been his son.