After completing his education on the Continent of Europe, he obtained a clerkship in the War Office in 1857.
Senses of "clerkship" and "learning" have long since fallen obsolete.
On his arrival in London Lord George Germain, secretary of state, appointed him to a clerkship in his office.
Process which runs through the book: "If Shakespeare was really articled to a Stratford attorney, in all probability, during the five years of his clerkship, he visited London several times on his master's business, and he may then have been introduced to the green-room at Blackfriars by one of his countrymen connected with that theatre."
In 1756, immediately on his leaving school, he was appointed to a junior clerkship in the secretary of state's office by Henry Fox (afterwards Lord Holland), with whose family Dr Francis was at that time on intimate terms; and this post he retained under the succeeding administration.
In 1762 he was appointed to a principal clerkship in the war office, where he formed an intimate friendship with Christopher D'Oyly, the secretary of state's deputy, whose dismissal from office in 1772 was hotly resented by "Junius"; and in the same year he married Miss Macrabie, the daughter of a retired London merchant.
In 1849 he resigned the office of borough coroner on being elected to the town-clerkship, which he retained till his death on the 21st of March 1866.
In 1589 he received the first substantial piece of patronage from his powerful kinsman, the reversion of the clerkship of the Star Chamber.
Then came a few years of terrible poverty; but at the beginning of 1862 he obtained a clerkship, at the modest salary of a pound a week, in the house of Hachette the publisher.
He was articled as a law clerk in Edinburgh, and his Elegy on Craigmillar Castle (1776) was printed during his clerkship. In 1781 he removed to London to devote himself to literary work, publishing in the same year a volume of Rimes of no great merit, and Scottish Tragic Ballads.