For the Long Parliament, which met on the 3rd of November 16 4 0, he was elected for Downton in Wiltshire, but the return was disputed, and he did not take his seat - his election not being declared valid until the last days of the Rump. He was present as a spectator at the setting up of the king's standard at Nottingham on the 25th of August 1642; and in 1643 he appeared openly on Charles's side in Dorsetshire, where he raised at his own expense a regiment of foot and a troop of horse, of both of which he took the command.
Elected a member of the Versailles assembly, he resigned his mandate in anger at French insults, and withdrew to Caprera until, in 1874, he was elected deputy for Rome.
He was afterwards appointed professor ordinarius of philosophy at Kiel (1873), and in 1878 he was elected to the philosophical chair at Tubingen.
He was present at the September massacres and saved several prisoners, and on the 7th of September 1792 was elected one of the deputies from Paris to the convention, where he was one of the promoters of the proclamation of the republic. He suppressed the decoration of the Cross of St Louis, which he called a stain on a man's coat, and demanded the sale of the palace of Versailles.