He held many high offices during the reigns of Elizabeth and James I., including a judgeship of the admiralty court (1584), a mastership in chancery (1588), a mastership of the court of requests (1595), chancellor and under treasurer of the exchequer (1606).
He was fitted for an embassy or judgeship, but was too mild, supine and luxurious for the tasks thrust upon him by his brother.
The "judges," in spite of the fact that most of them had clearly no more than a local influence, are all represented as successive rulers in Israel, and the history is dated by the years of each judgeship and those of the intervening periods of oppression.
In 1848 he was admitted a councillor of the supreme court, and in 1852 he was elected a senator for Louisiana, and thereafter he took an active part in politics, declining to accept a judgeship of the supreme court.
At the first vacancy the title and rank of chief baron of the exchequer will be abolished and the office reduced to a puisne judgeship. By the County Officers and Courts (Ireland) Act 1877, it was provided that the chairmen of quarter sessions should be called " county court judges and chairmen of quarter sessions " and that their number should be reduced to twenty-one, which was to include the recorders of Dublin, Belfast, Cork, Londonderry and Galway.