In 1753 he accepted the curacy of Durley, and in 1757 he was a candidate for the provostship of Oriel, but failed to secure election.
After holding the office of dean at Oriel for some years, he succeeded to the provostship in 1814, and owing largely to his influence the college reached a remarkable degree of prosperity during the first quarter of the 19th century.
He was also one of the most trusted advisers of Frederick's son and successor Maximilian I., and his services were rewarded in 1500 with the provostship of the cathedral at Augsburg and in the following year with the bishopric of Gurk.
Prestonkirk), in East Lothian; and about 1501 was preferred to the deanery or provostship of the collegiate church of St Giles, Edinburgh, which he held with his parochial charges.
At the Restoration he was favourably received at court, and in 1665 would have received the provostship of Eton, if he would have taken orders; but this he refused to do, on the ground that his writings on religious subjects would have greater weight coming from a layman than a paid minister of the Church.