His father was Christopher Bushell, and mother Margaret Smith., and he was born in Aigburth, Liverpool, moving to Hinderton Hall, Neston, when his father built it in 1855.
He was a wine merchant in the family firm, a director of the Liverpool Overhead Railway and of Sea Insurance Company, He was closely connected with Liverpool University from it’s foundation and was a member of the Liverpool Council of Education foundation and other educational bodies in Lancashire and Cheshire and a Justice of the Peace for Cheshire.
Through his interest in clocks he designed and built several turret clocks, which performed extremely well. In order to determine time he made himself a practical meridian observer and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1871.
When he died suddenly in 1904, he left a wife, Caroline, two sons, the younger being Christopher Bushell VC, and a daughter. He is commemorated in Neston Parish Church with a window (designed by Edward Burne-Jones and made by Morris & Co. 1906) and elaborate wrought iron gates.