He was born on 25 April 1865 in Swansea, Wales, the son of solicitor Henry Harrison Field and his wife Ellen Barfort, and was baptised on 24 February 1869 at St. Mary's Church, Swansea.
He studied at Bishop Gore's Grammar School, Swansea, and then at London University. He became a solicitor in 1887, initially working as a clerk in a solicitor's firm in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
He married Lilian Frances Austin, daughter of naval architect Francis Bartram Austin and his wife Lila Elizabeth (née Armstrong), in 1894 in Cardiff. The couple had two children, but one died in infancy. The surviving child was:
He was the Deputy Town Clerk of Huddersfield Corporation from 1896 to 1899.
By 1898, they were residing at 2 Woodland Mount, Huddersfield. It was in this year that Lilian published An Introduction to the Study of the Renaissance.
In 1899 the family moved to The Vicarage, Ainsworth Lane, Tonge in Lancashire, where Field worked as the Deputy Town Clerk for Bolton.
In 1903 he was appointed the Town Clerk for Huddersfield Corporation and remained in the post until he retired in 1930, after which he was a local Clerk of the Peace.
By 1911, he was residing with his wife at Gledholt Grove, Huddersfield, with two servants.
Joseph Henry Field died on 20 May 1942 at the Beechwood Hall Hotel, Worthing.
Lilian Frances Field died aged 84 in 1955 in Worthing.