From 1843 to 1849 he was vice-principal of St David's College, Lampeter, and in 1854 was appointed Norrisian professor of divinity at Cambridge.
After holding a chair in King's College, London, he was appointed vice-principal at St David's College, Lampeter (1862-1872).
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).
Anglicized in spelling and even to some extent changed in sound are Carmarthen (Caerfyrddin); Pembroke (Penfro); Kidwelly (Cydweli); Cardif f (Caerdydd); Llandovery (Llanymddyfri); while Lampeter, in Welsh Llanbedrpont-Stephan, affords an example of a Celtic place-name both Anglicized and abbreviated.
An honourable exception to the indolent and rapacious divines of this stamp was Thomas Burgess (bishop of St Davids), to whose exertions is mainly due the foundation of St David's College at Lampeter in 1822, an institution erected to provide a better and cheaper education for intending Welsh clergymen.
The foundation of Lampeter College was one of the earliest signs of a new era of revived vigour and better government within the Church, although it was not till 1870 that, by Mr Gladstone's appointment of Dr Joshua Hughes to the see of St Asaph, the special claims of the Welsh Church were officially recognized, and the old Elizabethan policy was one more reverted to after a lapse of nearly two hundred years.
David's Theological College, Lampeter, where he gathered about him a band of earnest religious enthusiasts, known as the Lampeter Brethren, and was eventually ordained to the curacy of Charlinch in Somerset, where he had sole charge in the illness and absence of the rector, the Rev. Samuel Starkey.