Educated at Trinity College, Dublin, Potter took first class honours in Divinity and first prize in Rhetoric and English Literature in 1856. He was ordained deacon by the Bishop of Sydney in 1858 and priested in Melbourne the following year. Potter was Examiner in English Language and Literature and in Logic and Philosophy at Melbourne University for some years and took his Masters degree (from Melbourne University) in 1884. Potter worked in various Anglican parishes in Melbourne and was appointed Canon of St Paul's Cathedral in 1883.
The pseudonyms Robert Easterley and John Wilbraham were used conjunctively as the 'collaborative' authors of The Germ Growers : An Australian Story of Adventure and Mystery.