Having lost his first employment - with a procureur - through dishonesty, he obtained a clerkship in the Paris octroi in 1789, but was dismissed for abandoning his post when the Parisians burned the octroi barriers on the night of the L2th-13th of July 1789.
In 1589 he received the first substantial piece of patronage from his powerful kinsman, the reversion of the clerkship of the Star Chamber.
After completing his education on the Continent of Europe, he obtained a clerkship in the War Office in 1857.
A crisis occurred in Cowper's life when his cousin Major Cowper nominated him to a clerkship in the House of Lords.
On his arrival in London Lord George Germain, secretary of state, appointed him to a clerkship in his office.
In 1756, immediately on his leaving school, he was appointed to a junior clerkship in the secretary of state's office by Henry Fox (afterwards Lord Holland), with whose family Dr Francis was at that time on intimate terms; and this post he retained under the succeeding administration.