He was elected a life member of the New York State Board of Regents in 1878; and in 1902 he became vice-chancellor and, in 1904, chancellor of the university of the state of New York.
It was not their first encounter, for a letter of 1299 to Edward from Scotland describes Comyn as having seized Bruce by the throat at a meeting at Peebles, where they were with difficulty reconciled by the regents.
The beginning of the i 2th century was the age of the atabegs (regents or stadtholders).
On the death of James in December 1542 he attempted to assume office as one of the regents for the infant sovereign Mary, founding his pretensions on an alleged will of the late king; but his claims were disregarded, and the earl of Arran, head of the great house of Hamilton, and next heir to the throne, was declared regent by the estates.
He was one of the regents during the minority of James V., and was chiefly responsible for this king's action in allying himself with France and not with England.