He was remarkable for his godliness, his enthusiasm for knowledge, and his prodigious memory.
He endeavoured to attract to his court the best scholars of Britain and Ireland, and by imperial decree (787) commanded the establishment of schools in connexion with every abbey in his realms. Peter of Pisa and Alcuin of York were his advisers, and under their care the opposition long supposed to exist between godliness and secular learning speedily disappeared.
The outstanding feature of his life was a transparent simplicity and saintliness of spirit, and the testimony of his contemporaries to his godliness is unanimous.
The church as the guide of the nation in duty and godliness, even extending its activity into state affairs as a mediator and a moderator, was not sufficient.
In 1850 he became vice-principal and Hebrew lecturer at St David's College, Lampeter, where he introduced muchneeded educational and financial reforms. He was appointed select preacher of Cambridge University in 1854, and preached a sermon on inspiration, afterwards published in his Rational Godliness after the Mind of Christ and the Written Voices of the Church (London, 1855).