Taylor was commissioned lieutenant on 9 July 1778 and on 16 January 1780 fought at the Moonlight Battle off Cape St. Vincent aboard the Sandwich 90, Captain Walter Young, the flagship of Admiral Sir George Rodney. He was promoted commander in April, and posted captain on 27 May, whereupon he commanded the Albemarle 28 until February 1781 when he left her at Woolwich.
From November 1781 he had the Proserpine 28 in the Downs squadron, capturing the Voltigeur 16 on 2 August 1782, and then escorting the trade out to Jamaica after parting from Admiral Lord Howe’s Gibraltar-bound fleet on 9 October off Cape St. Vincent. Upon returning to England the Proserpine was paid off in September 1783.
Taylor does not appear to have been employed thereafter until he replaced Captain William Young aboard the Fortitude 74 following that officer’s promotion to rear-admiral on 1 June 1795, although he had not succeeded to the command by the time Young commanded her at the Battle of the Hyeres Islands on 13 July. On 25 September he departed Gibraltar as the senior officer of a squadron sent home with a convoy including the French prize Censeur 74, but although the latter was recaptured by Rear-Admiral Jospeh de Richery’s squadron on 7 October Taylor managed to see the rest of the convoy to safety.
In December 1795 he assumed command of the forty year-old Fame 74 at Portsmouth before paying her off at the beginning of 1797, prior to her conversion into a prison ship.
Taylor was elevated to flag rank on 14 February 1799, promoted vice-admiral on 23 April 1804, was a pall-bearer at Vice-Admiral Lord Nelson’s funeral on 9 January 1806, and promoted admiral on 31 July 1810. He died in August 1812.
He married Maria Beck of Gerrard’s Cross, Buckinghamshire, who died in 1824.