In 1834 he was articled to a solicitor in Bury St Edmunds, but the uncongenial and sedentary employment soon broke down his health.
The minor accuracies, the limitation of range, the treading and re-treading of the same small patch of ground, the concentration of interest in success before a board of examiners, were all uncongenial to a nature of exuberant intellectual curiosity and of strenuous and self-reliant originality.
Westminster was uncongenial to him.
He obtained a seat in Lord Palmerston's cabinet of 1859, and after filling the uncongenial posts of secretary for Ireland and chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster (1861), became secretary for the colonies in 1864.
The seeds of West Indian plants are thrown on the western shores of the British Isles, and as they are capable of germination, the species are only prevented from establishing themselves by an uncongenial climate.