He completed his education in England, and was admitted to the bar. He also married Elizabeth Downes on September 4, 1762 and one son, William Temple. When the family returned from England in 1763, he carried a commission from George III to be the Colonial Governor of New Jersey.
William remained as governor until he was arrested by the rebels in 1776. For two years he was held as a prisoner of war. When finally released, he fled to New York City which was still occupied by the British. He later left with other loyalists for England, and died there in 1813.