He now began to be regarded as the chief upholder of Protestantism in the ministry; he lost favour with Charles, and on Sunday, the 9th of September 1673, was dismissed from the chancellorship. Among the reasons for this dismissal is probably the fact that he opposed grants to the king's mistresses.
He became by a singular arrangement, only repeated in the case of Lord Ellenborough, a member of the cabinet, and remained in that position through various changes of administration for nearly fifteen years, and, although he persistently refused the chancellorship, he acted as Speaker of the House of Lords while the Great Seal was in commission.
In 1559 he accompanied the princess Margaret, now duchess of Savoy, to Nice, where, in the following year, tidings reached him that he had been chosen to succeed Francois Olivier (1487-1560) in the chancellorship of France.
For his son, before he was eighteen years old, he procured a deanery, four archdeaconries, five prebends and a chancellorship, and he sought to thrust him into the bishopric of Durham.
For himself he obtained, in addition to his archbishopric and lord chancellorship, the abbey of St Albans, reputed to be the richest in England, and the bishopric first of Bath and Wells, then of Durham, and finally that of Winchester.