Having taken holy orders his advancement in the Church was very rapid, mainly through the influence of his brother Andrew.
In 1561 he became a fellow of his college and took holy orders.
Abroad unsuccessful attempts were made by local councils to enact that officials and vicars-general should be in holy orders (Hefele on Councils of Tortosa in 1429 and Sixth of Milan in 1582).
On leaving Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, in 1681, he became an assistant master at the Birmingham grammarschool, and took holy orders.
As applied to the Roman Catholic Church the word embraces the whole hierarchy, whether its clerici be in holy orders or merely in minor orders.