Being a man of no principle, and solely bent on a distinguished ecclesiastical career, he became one of Henry VIII Tudor's chief agents in the royal divorce proceedings, being rewarded therefor by the deanery of Lichfield in 1533, the rectory of Hackney (1534), and treasureship of Salisbury (1535). On 11 June, 1536, he was elected Bishop of Chichester, and as such furthered Henry's political and -from the Catholic point of view schismatical- ecclesiastical policy, though not sufficiently thoroughly to satisfy archbishop Thomas Cranmer.
On 19 February, 1543, he was translated to the bishopric of Coventry and Lichfield on the royal authority alone, without papal confirmation. He held his bishopric through the reign of Edward VI, though Dodd says he was deprived for recanting his disloyalty to the pope. Godwin the Anglican writer and the Catholic John Pitts both agree that he did so retract, but are silent as to his deprivation. He wrote an "Oratio" in defence of the royal prerogative (1533) and an explanation of the Psalms (1539-48) and of the Pauline Epistle to the Romans (1546).