He attended a boarding school in Sunbury-on-Thames before being sent to sea at the age of eleven in 1813, aboard Impregnable.
He subsequently served as a midshipman aboard Newcastle based in North America and then later in the Mediterranean Sea. On receiving his commission as lieutenant in April 1821, he transferred to Euryalus and after being promoted to the rank of commander in May 1823, he later served aboard Brisk and Redwing in the North Sea. When promoted to captain in December 1824, he commanded Ariadne in 1826, Challenger in 1827 and Pallas in 1828.
On the accession of FitzClarence"s father as king in 1830, he took command of the Royal Yacht, Royal George.
He was also appointed Groom of the Robes in 1830 and a Lord of the Bedchamber in 1833. The queen reported that he "burst into tears, and said it was unexpected, for they did not dare to hope for anything" (as illegitimate children of a former monarch).
In 1848, he also became a naval aide-de-camp to the queen and retained the office until he died, unmarried, at Newburgh Priory in 1856. He was interred in the chancel of Saint Michael"s Church, Coxwold.