Renaud was born in London and studied medicine in Edinburgh, qualifying in 1844. He then moved to Manchester and became a physician at Ardwick and Ancoats Dispensary. In 1848 he was appointed to the honorary staff of the MRI. Renaud lectured in medical jurisprudence, pathology and morbid anatomy at Manchester Royal School of Medicine. He retired from the Infirmary in 1867 due to ill-health; he later joined its Board of Management in 1892.
Renaud was a noted medical historian, producing several works on local medical history including A short history of the House of Recovery or Fever Hospital in Manchester (1885) and A short history of the rise and progress of the Manchester Royal Infirmary from the year 1752 to 1877 (1893).